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Displaying: 1-10 of 41 documents

1. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41 > Issue: Supplement
Robert Audi, Foreword
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2. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41 > Issue: Supplement
Thomas D. Senor, Introduction and Remembrance
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3. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Matthew Homan, On the Alleged Exceptional Nature of Thought in Spinoza
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Since modes of the attribute of thought are ideas of the modes of all the other attributes in Spinoza, the scope of thought appears to be equal to that of all the other attributes combined. This suggests that thought is exceptional, and threatens to upset Spinoza’s doctrine of parallelism, according to which thought is just one among an infinity of attributes each expressing the divine essence in its own unique way. After providing an overview of attempts to solve the problem of thought’s scope in the literature, I outline two reasons why the problem is not the problem it has been taken to be: (1) quantitative comparisons have no place between attributes, and (2) with knowledge of only two attributes, it is impossible to speak of norms and anomalies. I also explain how my view undercuts debate about where Spinoza lies on the idealism–dualism–materialism spectrum, and refocuses attention on the identity of the order and connection of causes regardless of the attribute under consideration.
4. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41 > Issue: Supplement
Sanford C. Goldberg, Epistemic Justification Revisited
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In his Beyond Justification, Bill Alston argued that there is no single property picked out by ‘epistemic justification,’ and that instead epistemological theory should investigate the range of epistemic desiderata that beliefs may enjoy (as well as the nature of and interconnections among the various epistemic good-making properties). In this paper I argue that none of his arguments taken singly, nor the collection as a group, gives us a reason to abandon the traditional idea that there is a property of epistemic justification. I conclude by suggesting how Alston’s proposal to investigate the variety of epistemic desiderata bears on the questions at the heart of the theory of epistemic justification. Here I suggest that, despite his attempts at neutrality with respect to debates about epistemic justification, Alston might well have taken sides on one of the main issues of substance.
5. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Simon Skempton, Transcendence and Non-Contradiction
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This article is an inquiry into how the relationship between the principle of non-contradiction and the limits of thought has been understood by thinkers as diverse as Hegel, Heidegger, Levinas, and Graham Priest. While Heidegger and Levinas focus on the question of temporality and Priest takes a formal approach, all these philosophers effectively maintain that the principle of non-contradiction imposes a restriction on thought that disables it from adequately accounting for its own limits and thus what lies beyond those limits, the implication being that the violation of the principle is necessary for such an accounting to take place. However, the ultimate argument here is that, contrary to Priest’s interpretation, Hegel’s philosophy can be convincingly read as supporting the idea that the mind’s ability to go beyond any particular limit of thought can actually be said to involve an adherence to a normative demand to locate and dispel the contradictions that emerge through the very setting of determinative limits. This is a non-formal consistency that evinces a “logic” that is unknowingly followed by the Heideggerian and Levinasian phenomenological philosophies of transcendence.
6. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41 > Issue: Supplement
Daniel Howard-Snyder, Two Peas in a Single Polytheistic Pod: John Hick and Richard Swinburne
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A descriptive polytheist thinks there are at least two gods. John Hick and Richard Swinburne are descriptive polytheists. In this respect, they are like Thomas Aquinas and many other theists. What sets Swinburne and Hick apart from Aquinas, however, is that unlike him they are normative polytheists. That is, Swinburne and Hick think that it is right that we, or at least some of us, worship more than one god. However, the evidence available to me shows that only Swinburne, and not Hick, is a cultic polytheist: he actually worships more than one god. I conclude that only Swinburne is a polytheist par excellence.
7. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41 > Issue: Supplement
Michael P. Lynch, Paul Silva, Jr., Why Worry about Epistemic Circularity?
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Although Alston believed epistemically circular arguments were able to justify their conclusions, he was also disquieted by them. We will argue that Alston was right to be disquieted. We explain Alston’s view of epistemic circularity, the considerations that led him to accept it, and the purposes he thought epistemically circular arguments could serve. We then build on some of Alston’s remarks and introduce further limits to the usefulness of such arguments and introduce a new problem that stems from those limits. The upshot is that adopting Alston’s view that epistemically circular arguments can be used to justify their conclusions is more costly than even he thought.
8. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Asha Bhandary, Liberal Dependency Care
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Dependency care is an asymmetric good; everyone needs to receive it, but it is not the case that we all have to provide it. Despite ethicists’ of care’s theorizing about the importance of dependency care, it has yet to be theorized within a form of liberalism. This paper theorizes two components of a liberal theory of dependency care. First, it advances a liberal justification to include the receipt of dependency care among the benefits of social cooperation. Then, it advances an autonomy-based principle to guide how care should be provided (“strong proceduralism”). Strong proceduralism is based on an account of autonomy that incorporates the significance of a person’s skills when he parses options. Strong proceduralism consequently requires educational efforts to teach care-giving skills to groups who have not previously possessed them. I hypothesize that strong proceduralism will secure adequate care provision as the outcome of autonomous choice, but if an inadequate number of people choose to provide care, then a secondary stage of deliberations will be necessary. If the outcome of those secondary deliberations is that people want to have their care needs met, then a fair process for distributing infringements on autonomy must be devised.
9. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41 > Issue: Supplement
Matthew McGrath, Alston on the Epistemic Advantages of the Theory of Appearing
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William Alston claimed that epistemic considerations are relevant to theorizing about the metaphysics of perceptual experience. There must be something about the intrinsic nature of a perceptual experience that explains why it is that it justifies one in believing what it does, rather than other propositions. A metaphysical theory of experience that provides the resources for such an explanation is to be preferred over ones that do not. Alston argued that the theory of appearing gains a leg up on its rivals, particularly sense-datum theory and adverbialism, precisely on this score. This paper examines these claims, along with the further question of whether the theory of appearing fares better epistemologically than the currently popular theory of intentionalism about perceptual experience. I conclude that while Alston is correct that the theory of appearing fares better than its traditional rivals (the sense datum theory and adverbialism), it does not clearly fare better than intentionalism. I further argue that Alston ignores a number of complexities in his account of how perceptual experience, construed as states of objects appearing certain ways to subjects, justifies perceptual beliefs.
exchange: framing a decision problem
10. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Thomas A. Blackson, Against Weatherson on How to Frame a Decision Problem
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In “Knowledge, Bets, and Interests,” Brian Weatherson makes a suggestion for how to frame a decision problem. He argues that “the states we can ‘leave off’ a decision table are the states that the agent knows not to obtain.” I present and defend an example that shows that Weatherson’s principle is false. Weatherson is correct to think that some intuitively rational decisions wouldn’t be rational if states the agent knows not to obtain were not omitted from the outcomes in the decision problem. This, however, is not true of every rational decision. Weatherson’s principle for how to frame a decision problem is open to counterexample.