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1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 72 > Issue: 1
Igal Kvart A Probabilistic Theory of Knowledge
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2. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 72 > Issue: 1
Robert J.Howell Self-Knowledge and Self-Reference
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Self-Knowledge and Self-Reference is a defense and reconciliation of the two apparently conflicting theses that the self is peculiarly elusive and that our basic, cogito-judgments are certain. On the one hand, Descartes seems to be correct that nothing is more certain than basic statements of self-knowledge, such as "I am thinking." On the other hand, there is the compelling Humean observation that when we introspect, nothing is found except for various "impressions." The problem, then, is that the Humean and Cartesian insights are both initially appealing, yet they appear to be in tension with one another. In this paper I attempt to satisfy both intuitions by developing a roughly descriptivist account of self-reference according to which our certainty in basic beliefs stems precisely from our needing to know so little in order to have them.
3. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 72 > Issue: 1
Guido Pincione, Fernando R. Tesón Rational Ignorance and Political Morality
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People frequently advance political proposals in the name of a goal while remaining apparently indifferent to the fact that those proposals, if implemented, would frustrate that goal. Theorists of "deliberative democracy" purport to avoid this difficulty by arguing that deliberation is primarily about moral not empirical issues. We reject this view (the moral turn) and propose a method (The Display Test) to check whether a political utterance is best explained by the rational ignorance hypothesis or by the moral turn: the speaker must be prepared to openly acknowledge the bad consequences of his political position. If he is, the position is genuinely moral; if he is not, the position evinces either rational ignorance or posturing. We introduce deontological notions to explain when the moral turn works and when it does not. We discuss and reject possible replies, in particular the view that a moral-political stance insensitive to consequences relies ona distribution of moral responsibility in evildoing. Finally, we show that even the most plausible candidates for the category of purely moral political proposals are best explained by the rational ignorance/posturing hypothesis, if only because enforcing morality gives rise to complex causal issues.
4. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 72 > Issue: 1
Andy Egan Secondary Qualities and Self-Location
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There is a strong pull to the idea that there is some metaphysically interesting distinction between the fully real, objective, observer-independent qualities of things as they are in themselves, and the less-than-fully-real, subjective, observer-dependent qualities of things as they are for us. Call this (putative) distinction the primary/secondary quality distinction. The distinction between primary and secondary qualities is philosophically interesting because it is (a) often quite attractive to draw such a distinction, and (b) incredibly hard to spell it out in any kind of satisfying and sensible way. I attempt such a spelling-out after first trying to pin down in more detail what we want from the primary/secondary quality distinction, and saying a bit about why that is such a hard thingto get.
5. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 72 > Issue: 1
Kevin Meeker Was Hume a Proper Functionalist?
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Nicholas Wolterstorff has claimed that David Hume hinted at a proper functionalist account that anticipates the epistemology of Alvin Plantinga. In this paper, I shall argue that we should refrain from attributing a proper functionalist epistemology to Hume. I shall first raise doubts as to how one could fit a notion of proper functioning into Hume's descriptive project. Next, I shall argue that adopting a proper functionalist epistemology would undermine some of Hume's most famous claims about causal inferences.
6. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 72 > Issue: 1
Stathis Psillos What Do Powers Do When They Are Not Manifested?
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In the present paper, I offer a conceptual argument against the view that all properties are pure powers. I claim that thinking of all properties as pure powers leads to a regress. The regress, I argue, can be solved only if non-powers are admitted. The kernel of my thesis is that any attempt to answer the title question in an informative way will undermine a pure-power view of properties. In particular, I focus my critique on recent arguments in favour of pure powers by the Late George Molnar and Jennifer McKitrick. The lines of defence of the friends of powers converge on what I call 'the ultimate argument for powers', viz., that current physics entails (or supports) the view that the fundamental properties (spin, mass, charge) are ungrounded powers. I take issue with this argument and make a modest suggestion: that the evidence from current physics is inconclusive.
7. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 72 > Issue: 1
Jay F. Rosenberg Still Mythic After All Those Years: On Alston’s Latest Defense of the Given
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Wilfrid Sellars' conclusion in "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind" that "the Given" is a "Myth" quickly elicited philosophical opposition and remains contentious fifty years later. William Alston has challenged that conclusion on several occasions by attempting to devise an acceptable account of perception committed to the givenness of perceived objects. His most recent challenge advances a "Theory of Appearing" which posits irreducible non-conceptual relations, ostensibly overlooked by Sellars, e.g., of "looking red", between the subject and the object perceived, that can playa justificatory role vis-à-vis the corresponding beliefs, e.g., that the object is red. I argue that Alston undermines his positive plausibility arguments by first blurring and then ignoring crucial differencesamong various looks-concepts, and that his own putative "phenomenal" looks-concept demonstrably cannot play the justificatory role that he envisions for it. Both his critique of Sellars' arguments and his own alternative proposal thus fail on all fronts.
book symposium
8. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 72 > Issue: 1
Christopher S. Hill Précis of Thought and World: An Austere Portrayal of Truth, Reference, and Semantic Correspondence
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9. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 72 > Issue: 1
Marian David A Substitutional Theory of Truth?
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10. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 72 > Issue: 1
Anil Gupta Remarks on Christopher Hill’s Thought and World
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