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Displaying: 1-20 of 29 documents

symposium on unnatural doubts
1. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Richard Rorty Comments on Michael WIlliams’ Unnatural Doubts
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2. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Jonathan Vogel Skepticism and Foundationalism: A Reply to Michael Williams
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Michael WiIliams maintains that skepticism about the extemal worId is vitiated by a commitment to foundationalism and epistemological realism. (The latter is, approximately, the view that there is such a thing as knowledge of the extemal world in general, which the skeptic can take as a target). I argue that skepticism is not encumbered in the ways Williams supposes. What matters, first of all, is that we can’t perceive the difference between being in an ordinary environment and being in the sort of situation the skeptic describes (e.g. having one’s brain manipulated by deceitful experimenters). This point can be upheld without embracing any substantial foundationalist tenet, such as the existence of basic beliefs, the availabiIity of something “given,” or the epistemic priority of experience. As to “epistemological realism,” I find that Williams has offered no principled way to distinguish between ordinary chaIIenges to knowledge and skeptical challenges which, supposedly, have no cIaim on our concem.
3. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Michael Williams Still Unnatural: A Reply to Vogel and Rorty
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Professor Vogel claims that my responses to scepticism leave the traditional problems standing . I argue in reply that he fails to take sufficiently seriously the diagnostic character of my enterprise. My aim is not to offer direct refutations of sceptical arguments, taking such arguments at face value, but to undermine their plausibility by revealing their dependence on unacknowledged and contentious theoretical presuppositions. Professor Rorty is much more sympathetic to my approach but thinks that there is a simpler and more direct way to get the job done: that sketched by Davidson, who argues that scepticism fails because belief is intrinsically veridical. I doubt this. My approach is to identify the distinctively epistemological presuppositions of sceptical argumentation. If this remains undone, Davidsonian reflections on belief and meaning will seem only to transform sceptical problems about knowledge of the world into problems about knowledge of meaning.
symposium on the realistic spirit
4. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Sabina Lovibond The ‘Late Seriousness’ of Cora Diamond
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5. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Warren Goldfarb Metaphysics and Nonsense: On Cora Diamond’s The Realistic Spirit
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6. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Cora Diamond Realism and Resolution: Reply to Warren Goldfarb and Sabina Lovibond
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7. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Denis G. Arnold Introspection and Its Objects
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Traditionally conceived, introspection is a form of nonsensuous perception that allows the mind to scrutinize at least some of its own states while it is experiencing them. The traditional account of introspection has been in disrepute ever since Ryle argued that the very idea of introspection is a logical muddle. Recent critics such as William Lyons, John Searle, and Sydney Shoemaker argue that this disrepute is well-deserved. Three distinct objections to the traditional account of introspection are considered and rejected. It is argued that critics of the traditional account of introspection fail to adequately distinguish potential objects of introspection. Further, it is argued that at least two cognitive states are properly understood as objects of introspection. The conclusions reached suggest that there are sufficient reasons to reconsider ther merits of the traditional account of introspection.
8. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Nigel J. T. Thomas Imagery and the Coherence of Imagination: A Critique of White
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Traditionally ‘imagination’ primarily denotes the faculty of mental imagery, other usages being derivative. However, contemporary philosophers commonly hold it to be a polysemous term, with several unrelated senses. This effectively eliminates this culturally important concept as an appropriate explanandum for science, and paves the way for a thoroughgoing eliminative materialism. White challenges both these views of imagination, arguing that ‘imagine’ never means ‘suppose,’ ‘believe,’ ‘pretend’ or ‘visualize,’ that imagery may occur without imagination, and that the true sense of ‘imagine’ is (roughly) ‘think of as possibly being so.’ I defend a version of the traditional view. The disseverance of imagination from imagery is motivated by an implicit version of the theory of mental images as pictures. Other contemporary scientific theories of imagery do not entail it. I defend a view of imagery as arising from the interpretative aspect of perception (‘seeing-as’) and connect this, and our contemporary concept of imagination, to the root Aristotelian concept of φαντασία.This captures the association between imagination and creativity, and reveals the coherence of the concept, more plausibly than White’s theory.
9. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Aaron Ben-Ze’ev Appraisal Theories of Emotions
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Today appraisal theories are the foremost approach to emotions in philosophy and psychology. The general assumption underlying these theories is that evaluations (appraisals) are the most crucial factor in emotions. This assumption may imply that: (a) evaluative pattems distinguish one emotion from another; (b) evaluative pattems distinguish emotions from nonemotions; (e) emotional evaluations of the eliciting event determine emotional intensity. These claims are not necessarily related. Accepting one of them does not necessarily imply acceptance of the others. I believe that whereas (b) is false, (a) and (c) are basically true.
10. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Daniel Berthold-Bond Hegel and Marx on Nature and Ecology
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While neither Hegel nor Marx can be called “ecologists” in any strict sense of the term, they both present views of the human-nature relationship which offer important insights for contemporary debates in philosophical ecology. Further, while Marx and Engels began a tradition of sharply distinguishing their own views of nature from those of Hegel, careful examination reveals a substantial commonality of sentiment. The essay compares Hegel and Marx (and Engels) in terms of their basic conceptions of nature, their critiques of Romanitic nature-worship, their notions of how a meaningful unity with nature requires the act of socially transforming nature, their respective calls for a new science of nature, and their attitudes towards technology. I argue that we can uncover a largely shared humanistic orientation toward nature, and I situate this view within contemporary debates about the anthropocentric or non-anthropocentric foundation of ecological thinking.
11. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Kam-Yuen Cheng Davidson’s Action Theory and Epiphenomenalism
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12. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Ronald B. De Sousa What Can’t We Do with Economics?: Some Comments on George Ainslie’s Picoeconomics
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Ainslie’s Picoeconomics presents an ingenious theory, based on a remarkably simple basic law about the rate of discounting the value of future prospects, which explains a vast number of psychological phenomena. Hyperbolic discount rates result in changes in the ranking of interests as they get closer in time. Thus quasi-homuncular “interests” situated at different times compete within the person. In this paper I first defend the generality of scope of Ainslie’s model, which ranges over several personal and subpersonal levels of psychological analysis. I raise a problem which results from the temporal relativity of assessments of value, and affects the possibility of objective values. Finally, I offer one example of a form of time-related irrationality on which Ainslie’s scheme does not seem to have a grip, namely one which relates not to a situation’s relative position in time, but to its temporal (‘progressive’ or ‘perfect’) temporal aspect.
13. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Julian Dodd Indirect Speech, Parataxis and the Nature of Things Said
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This paper makes the following recommendation when it comes to the IogicaI form of sentences in indirect speech. Davidson’s paratactic account shouId stand, but with one emendation: the demonstrative ‘that’ should be taken to refer to the Fregean Thought expressed by the utterance of the content-sentence, rather than to that utterance itseIf. The argument for this emendation is that it is the onIy way of repIying to the objections to Davidson’s account raised by Schiffer, McFetridge and McDowell.Towards the end of the paper, a view of Fregean Thoughts as utterance-types is defended; and the recommendation offered in the main body of the paper is distinguished from the simiIar account offered by Ian Rumfitt.
14. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Leslie D. Feldman Freedom as Motion: Thomas Hobbes and the Images of Liberalism
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Central to the argument of this article is the sense in which Thomas Hobbes and liberals see freedom as centered around the notion of free movement. Hobbes, in chapter 21 of Leviathan, describes freedom as “the absence of opposition” to motion. This work argues that the Hobbesian view of freedom as motion was taken up by liberalism as its hallmark and flourished most of all in America where emphasis on individualism was greatest. In America, movement coupled with individualism to create a conception of freedom.
15. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Gene Fendt The Others In/Of Aristotle’s Poetics
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This paper aims at interpreting (primarily) the first six chapters of Aristotle’s Poetics in a way that dissolves many of the scholarly arguments conceming them. It shows that Aristotle frequently identifies the object of his inquiry by opposing it to what is other than it (in several different ways). As a result aporiai arise where there is only supposed to be illuminating exclusion of one sort or another. Two exemplary cases of this in chapters 1-6 are Aristotle’s account of mimesis as other than enunciative speech (speech that makes truth claims, or representation) and his account of the final cause of tragedy in itself as plot, vis a vis its final cause as regards the audience, which is katharsis. Confusions arising from failure to see the otherness of representation and katharsis leads to an overly intellectualist understanding of the purpose of tragedy.
16. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Ishtiyaque Haji Liberating Constraints
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Roughly, when an agent performs an action under liberating constraints, the agent could not avoid perfonning that action, her inability to do otherwise stems from her not being able to will to do otherwise, yet in perfonning the action, the agent may well regard herself as having acted freely or autonomously, or “in character” (as opposed to “out of character”), or in conformity with her “deep self.” As action under liberating constraints issues from one’s “deep self,” it seems reasonable to suppose, as some have recommended, that whenever a person acts under such constraints, she is morally responsible for her action. I first argue against this recommendation. Then I develop a sketch of an account of control---the sort required for the moral responsibility---which implies that, frequently, those who act under liberating constraints are not morally responsible for their (germane) actions.
17. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Andrew Kelley Intuition and Immediacy in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason
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In this paper, I provide an account of what Kant means by “intuition” [Anschauung] in the Critique of Pure Reason. The issue is whether “intuition” should be understood in terms of (1) singularity (e.g., singular concepts, singular representation, etc.), or (2) immediacy in knowledge. By considering issues intemal to the Critique, such as the nature of transcendental logic, the type of intuition God exhibits, and Kant’s use of the term “Anschauung,” I argue that the most fundamental way to view intuition is in terms of immediacy. More specifically, “immediacy” means that intuition is that through which the existence of an object, or the matter that goes into making an object, is given to the mind.
18. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Jonathan Kvanvig In Defense of Coherentism
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Alvin Plantinga and John Pollock both think that coherentism is a mistaken theory of justification, and they do so for different reasons. In spite of these differences, there are remarkable connections between their criticisms. Part of my goal here is to show what these connections are. I will show that Plantinga’s construal of coherentism presupposes Pollock’s arguments against that view, and I will argue that coherentists need not breathe their last in response to the contentions of either. Coherentism may be a mistaken theory of justification, but if it is, it is not shown to be so by either Plantinga or Pollock.
19. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
John Lemos Virtue, Happiness, and Intelligibility
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In such works as A Short History of Ethics, Against the Self-lmages of the Age, and After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre has argued that the intelligibility of the moral life hinges upon viewing the moral life as essential to the happy life, or eudaimonia. In my article I examine the reasons he gives for saying this, arguing that this thesis is not sufficiently defended by MacIntyre. I also draw connections between this thesis about the intelligibility of the moral life and other aspects of MacIntyre’s thought, such as his communitarianism. In concluding I note that several of MacIntyre’s more significant claims about morality might well be true even if his thesis about the intelligibility of the moral life is false.
20. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 22
Richard Lind A Micro-Phenomenology of Consonance and Dissonance
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“Consonance” and “dissonance” can be shown to denote a syndrome of relative characteristics falling within three distinct dimensions of experience: 1) tension-repose, 2) pleasure-displeasure, 3) coherence-incoherence. There is a demonstrable, complex relationship between the specific degree of each of those characteristics associated with a particular tonal interval and the degree of complication of the ratio of that interval. No extant theory is able to explain that correlation, including the currently popular theory of psychological expectation. Using micro-phenomenology, I hypothesize that a consonant tonal interval is simply one that can be subliminally discriminated with relative ease and a dissonant interval is one that is relatively indiscriminable. Predictions implied by the hypothesis can be shown consistent with musical experience. If the theory is true, the affective character of harmonic progression is more the result of the need to discriminate tonal proportionality than the effect of expectation.