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1. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Thomas Donaldson Psychoanalysis and the Practical Inference Mode
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The paper considers the general question of whether unconscious practical inference is possible. It undertakes an investigation of Freud's theory of psychoanalysis, in order to determine whether his theory can meet the requirements of the practical inference model, and thus make room for unconscious practical inference. The paper argues that it cannot: although Freud's theory appears to meet certain conditions necessary for practical inference, i.e., minimal agent rationality and the postulation of desires, it leaves out one element which is essential for the identification of an unconscious practical inference—namely, unconscious belief.
2. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Helen E. Longino Inferring
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This paper is a discussion of the nature of inferring and focusses on the relation between reasons for belief and causes of belief. Two standard approaches to the analysis of inference, the epistemological and the psychological, are identified and discussed. While both approaches incorporate insights concerning, inference, counterexamples show that neither provides by itself an adequate account. A third account is developed and recommended on the grounds that it encompasses the essential insights of the rejected analyses while being immune to their counterexamples. On this account coming to believe for a reason is taken to be central to our concept of inferring, but a causal relation holds between taking something to be a reason and belief.
3. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Michael W. Martin Sartre on Lying to Oneself
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How, if at all, could a person intentionally persuade himself into believing something he knew to be false? Acting upon his intention would apparently require that he knowingly use his grasp of some truth in the very act of concealing that truth and in getting himself to believe the opposite falsehood. Sartre's elaboration of this problem as well as his examples of self-deception are widely acclaimed, yet too often the remainder of his account has been dismissed as hopelessly riddled with paradox and obscure jargon. I first provide an exegesis of the account that displays its coherence and rich suggestiveness. Next I argue that the account falls short of fully resolving the problems to which it is addressed, but that nevertheless a satisfactory resolution of the problems does emerge from a close examination of Sartre's examples.
4. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
David Basinger Evil as Evidence Against the Existence of God: A Response
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Robert Pargetter has recently argued that, even if the theist cannot produce plausible explanations for the evil we experience, the atheologian has no justifiable basis for claiming that evil can in any sense count as strong evidence against God's existence. His strategy is to challenge as question-begging (1) the atheologian's assumption that a prima facie conflict between God and evil exists and (2) the atheologian's claim that God's nonexistence is a more plausible explanation for unresolved (unexplained) evil than a number of theistic options. I argue that Pargetter is unsuccessful, mainly because he (1) fails to understand clearly the conditions under which a prima facie moral conflict exists and (2) fails to distinguish clearly between 'plausibility' and 'possibility' as these terms are applicable to explanatory hypotheses.
5. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Lawrence Stern Freedom and Love in Notes From Underground
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The narrator of the Notes is opposed to determinism, rationality, and socialism. He is also a severe neurotic. The solution to the neurosis, missed in personal life by the narrator, is love. But love also bears on the theoretical positions just discussed. For love is what the socialist programs lack (thinks Dostoevsky). And love is incompatible with a calculating attitude toward personal relations. Dostoevsky and his narrator, while making a telling case against the over-calculated life, mistakenly identify calculation with rationality. Similarly, a manipulative strain in socialism is mistakenly taken to presuppose, And stem from, a belief in determinism. But Dostoevsky's true quarrel would appear to lie not with the deterministic tendency of socialist theory but with its tendency to ignore factors in human nature he thinks important. The narrator's personal disaster occurs through his belief in his incapacity to change his life. But, pace Dostoevsky, this does not show the harm of believing in determinism: it shows the danger of counting oneself out too soon.
6. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Solomon E. Levy Dialogues Concerning Unnatural Uniformity (or Hume Persistently Misunderstood)
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The subject of the "Dialogues" is the nature of the Humean "objects" which are "constantly conjoined" or historically and repetitively given in the same (mere) spatio-temporal relations. One participant contends that scientific knowledge is of indefinite possibilities of action, prevention, invention, and complication as functions of historically-changing and changeable causally affecting contingencies; and hence is not reducible to mere exceptionless (and hence fatalistic) correlations. The other participant contends that this reflects a "persistent misunderstanding of Hume": it is the "total" cause and effect which are given as (merely) constantly conjoined, but only contingently so. The "Dialogues" explore the defensibility of these positions, and their implications for our conceptions of uniformity, lawfulness, induction, sampling, verification, and theory construction.
7. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
J. N. Kaufman La Conception Meta-Historique dans la Theorie Structurelle-Fonctionnelle de l'Action de Talcott Parsons
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The paper examines some implications of Parsonian theory of social change for the philosophy of history. A distinction is made between two concepts of social change, the first concerning transformations within a stable structure, the second concerning transformations of the structure (metamorphose). The principal meta-histori cal postulates underlying the functional analysis of social change are then formulated. They imply a twofold conception of the meaning of history : objective meaning as a functional property of a teleological system, subjective meaning as an intentional correlate of the individual actors. This irreducible duality of system theory and action theory characterizes the whole Parsonian approach to the theory and history of societies.
8. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Steven Rappaport Quine's Behaviorism
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Some charge W.V. Quine with being a behaviorist. Others attempt to clear him of the charge. In replying to Harman in Words and Objections, Quine himself says he is as behavioristic as anyone in his right mind could be, but nowhere does he give us a satisfactory account of how behavioristic that is. It is worthwhile trying to clear up this confusing situation. Two kinds of behaviorism are often distinguished, logical behaviorism and the thesis about the science of psychology known as methodological behaviorism. A careful definition of logical behaviorism, together with a description of relevant aspects of Quine's philosophy, enable us to conclude that Quine is no logical behaviorist. Rather, various moves Quine makes justify ascribing to him a doctrine we call "methodological behaviorism in linguistics." Our definition of this doctrine is based on an extended analysis of methodological behaviorism in psychology.
9. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Phillip H. Wiebe Criteria of Strengthening Evidence
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Confirmation theorists have frequently expressed an interest in evidence which strengthens a hypothesis or in evidence which makes a hypothesis firmer. A number of criteria have been offered, including the instantial criterion, the prediction criteria, and Hempel's satisfaction criterion. All of these criteria are dyadic, but the concept of strengthening evidence is triadic, for it makes explicit reference to an evidence report and a hypothesis, and implicit reference to prior evidence in the light of which a new evidence report must be evaluated. I argue that the approach to strengthening evidence reflected in these criteria is inadequate, that is, that dydic criteria can be of only limited value in connection with a triadic concept. I discuss the possibility that these criteria have been offered for the concept of initially strengthening evidence. The latter explanation is rejected, and other explanations for having failed to consider prior evidence are discussed.
10. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Neil Lubow Mind-Body Identity and Irreducible Properties
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The identity theory, advocated as a solution to the mind-body problem by materialists such as Feigl and Smart, has been criticized for implying the existence of irreducible properties (i.e. properties incompatible with materialism). After summarizing the relevant theses of materialism, I consider several versions of the irreducible properties objection, and argue that they are all unsuccessful.
11. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Elizabeth Smith Another Way to Derive an 'Ought' from an 'Is'
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In Speech Acts John Searle reframed his derivation of 'ought' from 'is' in order to eliminate the controversial ceteris paribus premises. I argue that the elimination of the first ceteris paribus (3a) is satisfactory but that the elimination of (4a) renders questionable his claim that an 'ought' statement follows from the premises categorically. Further I argue that the use of dilemma in the proof will enable us to show that an 'ought' statement follows from the premises whether everything (at step 4a) is equal or not. Thus Searle's original and clearer conclusion can be saved. Moreover, this proof technique allows us to more clearly illustrate some important features of obligation.
12. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Gary Fuller Hayden White on Historical Narratives
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In a number of places over the last few years Hayden White has attacked a view of history which I shall call the common-sense position and which runs as follows. Although moral and aesthetic assessments play some role in the writing of history, historians are to a large extent concerned with making true statements about the past and with giving correct explanations pf past events, and these central activities can and ought to be assessed by empirical standards, which on the whole are not dissimilar to those employed in the sciences. For White, historical accounts are more like literary fictions than like scientific accounts. They are to be assessed ultimately by appeal to pragmatic, moral, and aesthetic considerations rather than to empirical ones. My aim in this paper is mainly critical. I shall examine a number of claims and arguments which White puts forward in opposition to the common-sense position and argue that they do nothing to undermine it. I shall concentrate mainly on his article "The Historical Text as a Literary Artifact" (in Clio, Vol. Ill, No. 3, June, 1974), although I shall be making some reference to his book Metahistory (John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1973).
13. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Thomas J. Sheehan Heidegger's Interpretation of Aristotle: Dynamis and Ereignis
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The essay shows how Heidegger's understanding of physis in Aristotle lays the foundation for his understanding of Ereignis. The essay draws on Heidegger's lecture courses, published and unpublished, particularly "On the Being and Conception of Physis." After introductory remarks on how Heidegger reads Aristotle "phenomenologically" in general, the essay focuses on how Heidegger reads physis as a mode of Being (ousia) by reading kinesis as a mode of Being, specifically as energeia ateles (incomplete Being). But energeia ateles is characterized by Heidegger as Wiederholung (retrieve of possibility) and as Eignung (appropriation of dynamis for appearance). On the basis of that crucial reading of physis, the essay goes on to show how physis-as-dynamis is the foundation for Ereignis in Sein und Zeit through the radical transformation of Wiederholung in natural beings into resolve in Dasein.
14. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Paul Gomberg Are We Ever Right to Say We Know?
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Austin tried to forstall skeptical conclusions from the alleged ever present possibility of error. He felt that knowledge did not preclude the possibility of error and that the appearance that it did was due to a pragmatic requirement of saying one knows. Moreover, he seemed to feel that we were often right to say we know even though it is always possible that we are mistaken. The present paper argues, contra Austin, that if it is always possible that we are mistaken, then the skeptic is right that we never know and that it is never right to say we know.
15. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Ronald E. Hustwit Understanding a Suggestion of Professor Cavell's: Kierkegaard's Religious State as a Wittgensteinian 'Form of Life'
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The aim of the paper is to follow a lead of Prof. Stanley Cavell's in his paper, "Kierkegaard's On Authority and Revelation." The lead is: "to understand an utterance religiously you have to be able to share its perspective . . . The religious is a Kierkegaardian stage of life; and I suggest it should be thought of as a Wittgensteinian form of life." I try to present "form of life" as a larger picture sometimes necessary for understanding language-games, and to suggest that what counts as a form of life will depend upon what particular language-game one is trying to understand. Sometimes then, a person's religious belief might figure into this process as a relevant form of life. I then try to represent Kierkegaard's religious stage by discussing three related concepts: paradox, ideal interpretation, and subjectivity. Paradox is one criterion for marking off the religious stage from the ethical and the aesthetical stages. In the religious stage, the talk of believers about God is such that it interprets the events in one's life according to that belief. In calling this an "ideal interpretation" Kierkegaard is calling our attention to the difference between this and the scientific talk of hypothesis, observation, and evidence. The religious stage is subjectivity—a way of life. In it, the truth of what one says is measured by how one lives in relation to it. This, I suggest, is quite close to Wittgenstein's idea of a form of life being important for understanding the language used within it. My conclusion is that Prof. Cavell's suggestion is a helpful lead in thinking about the connection between Wittgenstein's "form of life" and Kierkegaard's religious stage.
16. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Gary Rosenkrantz, Joshua Hoffman Omnipotence and Conjunctive States of Affairs
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Certain philosophers have attacked the problem of defining omnipotence by arguing that the following provides at least the core of a successful definition:(Dl) x is omnipotent = df. (s)(it is possible for some agent to bring about s->-x has the ability to bring about s).In Dl, x ranges over agents and s over states of affairs.Despite the intuitive plausibility of Dl, it has been argued that certain conjunctive states of affairs provide counterexamples to Dl, for example:(si) A ball moves at t and no omnipotent agent brings it about that a ball moves at t.First, we show that if states of affairs like si are genuine counterexamples to Dl, then certain strategies which have been employed in the literature to provide an analysis along the lines of Dl do not succeed. Second, we argue that despite appearances, states of affairs like si are not genuine counterexamples to Dl.
17. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
L. Nathan Oaklander, Richard Gull Emotions and Judgment: A Critique of Solomon
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We can only determine what an emotion is if we first ask whether or not there are intrinsically emotional entities. To ask if there are intrinsically emotional entities is to ask if there are entities that are necessary and sufficient conditions for the correct application of emotion-words. Recently, Robert Solomon has developed a view of the emotions according to which there are intrinsically emotional entities. Specifically, he claims that emotions are a kind of judgment. Our task in this paper is to state and criticize Solomon's view. We argue that he has failed to distinguish emotional and non-emotional judgments. We also argue that Solomon fails to establish his "unitary form" analysis of emotions. He has not, therefore, vindicated the questionable assumption that there are intrinsically emotional entities.
18. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Kirk Dallas Wilson Kant's Transcendental Deductions An Outline of Theor Strategy and Execution
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To understand Kant's transcendental deduction of categories we must distinguish between Kant's strategy foe constructing such a deduction and the manner in which this strategy is executed. I argue that both versions of the deduction contain similar strategies in which categories are identified with transcendental conditions of experience. Where the versions differ substantially is in the manner Kant executes the various stages of this strategy. It is pointed out, for instance, that in the objective deduction in A Kant introduces 'understanding' as a defined term (A119), whereas in B Kant postulates understanding as the fundamental activity of synthesis in terms of which he formulates the arguments of each stage of the deduction. Once the distinction between strategy and execution is accepted, much of Vaihinger's evidence for the "patchwork thesis" dissolves. But I also argue that in neither version of the deduction does Kant execute the identificatory strategy with convincing success.
19. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Jean-Marie Breuvart Transposition et Proposition dans la Philosophie d'A.N. Whitehead
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L'article veut être une interrogation sur le conceptualisme de Whitehead, partant des notions de proposition et de transposition. La démarche est celle d’une confrontation entre la conception whiteheadienne de la proposition et quelques données de la linguistique . Après avoir situé la philosophie whiteheadienne comme un conceptualisme, l’auteur analyse les liens existant entre la conception whiteheadienne de la proposition et les structures élémentaires du discours.Il en tire alors la conclusion que cette conception, reposant sur la distinction entre le physique et le conceptuel, reniroie à un proto-discours, renforce ainsi le conceptualisme whiteheadien et légitime par là-même la pratique de la transposition dans l’ensemble de la philosophie de Whitehead. L’auteur pose enfin quelques questions sur les autres voies possibles que celle du conceptualisme.
20. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 4
Barbara Winters Acquiring Beliefs at Will
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The paper considers the question of whether it is possible to acquire beliefs at will, i.e. directly, simply as the result of willing to do so. In particular, it discusses an argument of Bernard Williams in "Deciding to Believe" to the conclusion that it is a necessary truth that one cannot acquire a belief at will. The argument is first clarified and reformulated so as to exhibit the underlying assumptions and explain precisely what he means by "acquiring beliefs at will." The truth of the premises is then examined. Attention is focused on the most important assumption, which is that necessarily, if in full consciousness I will to acquire a belief b irrespective of its truth, then after the event it is impossible that I believe in full consciousness [b is a present belief of mine and I acquired b at will]. After further clarification of this claim, I argue that whatever plausibility it has results from the plausibility of another claim: Necessarily ~ (Ǝx) (Ǝp) (x believes [x believes p and x's belief of p is not sustained by any truth-considerations] ) . I defend the latter claim against apparent counter-examples and show that it is compatible with the possibility conscious irrationality and has important implications. Nevertheless, I argue that even if it is true, other premises of Williams' argument are not plausible and he does not succeed in establishing that we cannot acquire beliefs at will.