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Displaying: 1-10 of 24 documents


articles
1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 57 > Issue: 1
Jerrold J. Katz Analyticity, Necessity, and the Epistemology of Semantics
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Contemporary philosophy standardly accepts Frege’s conceptions of sense as the determiner of reference and of analyticity as (necessary) truth in virtue of meaning. This paper argues that those conceptions are mistaken. It develops referentially autonomous notions of sense and analyticity and applies them to the semantics of natural kind terms. The arguments of Donnellan, Putnam, and Kripke concerning natural kind terms are widely taken to refute internalist and rationalist theories of meaning. This paper shows that the counter-intuitive consequences about the reference of natural kind tenns depend as much on Frege’s conceptions of sense and analyticity as on what such theories of meaning say about the senses of natural kind tenns. Rather than refuting the internalist and rationalist theories of meaning, the arguments of Donnellan, Putnam, and Kripke are best recast as refutations of their own Fregean assumptions. The paper also shows how autonomous notions of sense and analyticity enable us to reconstruct such theories, formulate an internalist/rationalist account of semantic knowledge, and preserve Donnellan’s, Putnam’s, and Kripke’s insights about reference.
2. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 57 > Issue: 1
J. David Velleman How to Share an Intention
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Existing accounts of shared intention (by Bratman, Searle, and others) do not claim that a single token of intention can be jointly framed and executed by multiple agents; rather, they claim that multiple agents can frame distinct, individual intentions in such a way as to qualify as jointly intending something. In this respect, the existing accounts do not show that intentions can be shared in any literal sense. This article argues that, in failing to show how intentions can be literally shared, these accounts fail to resolve what seems problematic in the notion of shared intention. It then offers an account in which the problem of shared intention is resolved, because intention can indeed be literally shared. This account is derived from Margaret Gilbert’s notion of a “pool of wills,” to which it applies Searle’s definition of intention.
3. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 57 > Issue: 1
Diane Jeske Friendship, Virtue, and Impartiality
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The two dominant contemporary moral theories, Kantianism and utilitarianism, have difficulty accommodating our commonsense understanding of friendship as a relationship with significant moral implications. The difficulty seems to arise from their underlying commitment to impartiality, to the claim that all persons are equally worthy of concern. Aristotelian accounts of friendship are partialist in so far as they defend certain types of friendship by appeal to the claim that some persons, the virtuous, are in fact more worthy of concern than are other persons. This article argues that we can preserve the underlying impartiality of Kantianism and utilitarianism, while also preserving a certain partiality with respect to our friends: the partiality of commonsense only seems objectionable if we fail to understand the true grounds, nature, and implications of such partiality. Neo-Aristotelian partiality should be rejected in favor of commonsense partiality.
4. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 57 > Issue: 1
Ann Pirruccello “Gravity” in the Thought of Simone Weil
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Simone Weil’s concept of gravity (la pesanteur) has received attention from philosophers and interested readers at least since the 1947 publication of La Pesanteur et fa grâce. “Gravity” is a key concept in Weil’s moral and spiritual psychology, and despite the attention Weil’s writings have received, there is ample need for a study that draws together Weil’s scattered references to gravity and demonstrates their cohesion. This article develops a treatment of gravity that seeks to clarify one of the major scientific analogies Weil uses to develop her notion of moral gravity. It is hoped that this approach will furnish a point of departure for interpreting Weil’s obscure and often fragmentary remarks on gravity. In addition, something important can be said about both the difficulties and the promise of Weil’s analogy, and this article offers a few critical comments towards that end.
5. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 57 > Issue: 1
Eric T. Olson Was I Ever a Fetus?
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The Standard View of personal identity says that someone who exists now can exist at another time only if there is continuity of her mental contents or capacities. But no person is psychologically continuous with a fetus, for a fetus, at least early in its career. has no mental features at all. So the Standard View entails that no person was ever a fetus---contrary to the popular assumption that an unthinking fetus is a potential person. It is also mysterious what does ordinarily happen to a human fetus, if it does not come to be a person. Although an extremely complex variant of the Standard View may allow one to persist without psychological continuity before one becomes a person but not afterwards, a far simpler solution is to accept a radically non-psychological account of our identity.
6. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 57 > Issue: 1
Colin Cheyne Getting in Touch with Numbers: Intuition and Mathematical Platonism
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Mathematics is about numbers, sets, functions, etc. and, according to one prominent view, these are abstract entities lacking causal powers and spatio-temporal location. If this is so, then it is a puzzle how we come to have knowledge of such remote entities. One suggestion is intuition. But ‘intuition’ covers a range of notions. This paper identifies and examines those varieties of intuition which are most likely to playa role in the acquisition of our mathematical knowledge, and argues that none of them, singly or in combination, can plausibly account for knowledge of abstract entities.
7. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 57 > Issue: 1
Charles Taliaferro Possibilities in Philosophy of Mind
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This paper seeks to overturn the claim that Cartesian arguments for dualism based on the conceivable separation of person and body lack warrant, since it is just as conceivable that persons are identical with their bodies as it is that persons and their bodies are distinct. If the thesis of the paper is cogent, then it is not as easy to imagine person-body identity as many anti-Cartesians suppose.
8. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 57 > Issue: 1
Theodore Sider A New Grandfather Paradox?
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In a 1994 Scientific American article, physicist David Deutsch and philosopher Michael Lockwood give a defense of the possibility of time travel based on the “Many Worlds” interpretation of quantum mechanics. They motivate their appeal to the Many Worlds interpretation by arguing that the standard formulation of the paradox of time travel in terms of ability is misguided, presenting their own version of the paradox based on an “autonomy principle”, and arguing that this paradox should be resolved by appeal to the Many Worlds interpretation. But whatever the merits of their solution, it is unmotivated, for their new version of the paradox turns out on closer scrutiny to be nothing more than the original ability version of the paradox in disguise.
discussion
9. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 57 > Issue: 1
Dana Radcliffe Scott-Kakures on Believing at Will
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Many philosophers hold that it is conceptually impossible to form a belief simply by willing it. Noting the failure of previous attempts to locate the presumed incoherence, Dion Scott-Kakures offers a version of the general line that voluntary believing is conceptually impossible because it could not qualify as a basic intentional action. This discussion analyzes his central argument, explaining how it turns on the assumption that a prospective voluntary believer must regard the desired belief as not justified, given her other beliefs. It then shows that this assumption is false and also that some initially plausible suggestions for weakening the assumption fail to secure Scott-Kakures’s conclusion.
book symposium:
10. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 57 > Issue: 1
Robert Brandom Précis of Making It Explicit
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