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Displaying: 1-10 of 191 documents

1. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
Charles W. Mills, Black Radical Kantianism
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This essay tries to develop a “black radical Kantianism”—that is, a Kantianism informed by the black experience in modernity. After looking briefly at socialist and feminist appropriations of Kant, I argue that an analogous black radical appropriation should draw on the distinctive social ontology and view of the state associated with the black radical tradition. In ethics, this would mean working with a (color-conscious rather than colorblind) social ontology of white persons and black sub-persons and then asking what respect for oneself and others would require under those circumstances. In political philosophy, it would mean framing the state as a Rassenstaat (a racial state) and then asking what measures of corrective justice would be necessary to bring about the ideal Rechtsstaat.
2. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
Victor Caston, Aristotle on the Reality of Colors and Other Perciptible Qualities
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Recent interpreters portray Aristotle as a Protagorean antirealist, who thinks that colors and other perceptibles do not actually exist apart from being perceived. Against this, I defend a more traditional interpretation: colors exist independently of perception, to which they are explanatorily prior, as causal powers that produce perceptions of themselves. They are not to be identified with mere dispositions to affect perceivers, or with grounds distinct from these qualities, picked out by their subjective effect on perceivers (so-called “secondary qualities”). Rather, they are intrinsic qualities of objects, which are in reality just as they appear to be. At the same time, Aristotle rejects any “simple theory of color” according to which the essence and nature of colors is fully revealed in experience. Although the character of perceptibles as they are experienced is “better known to us,” their essence and nature only comes to be known through a correct theory.
3. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
Adam Harmer, Leibniz on Plurality, Dependence, and Unity
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Leibniz argues that Cartesian extension lacks the unity required to be a substance. A key premise of Leibniz’s argument is that matter is a collection or aggregation. I consider an objection to this premise raised by Leibniz’s correspondent Burchard de Volder and consider a variety of ways that Leibniz might be able to respond to De Volder’s objection. I argue that it is not easy for Leibniz to provide a dialectically relevant response and, further, that the difficulty arises from Leibniz’s commitment to part-whole priority in the case of material wholes, a commitment not shared by De Volder. One major implication is that Leibniz relies on a bottom-up conception of material things, which makes his argument vulnerable to objections stemming from certain types of monist positions.
4. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
Joseph Anderson, Daniel Collette, Wagering with and without Pascal
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Pascal’s wager has received the attention of philosophers for centuries. Most of its criticisms arise from how the wager is often framed. We present Pascal’s wager three ways: in isolation from any further apologetic arguments, as leading toward a regimen intended to produce belief, and finally embedded in a larger apology that includes evidence for Christianity. We find that none of the common objections apply when the wager is presented as part of Pascal’s larger project. Pascal’s wager is a successful argument in its proper place. However, the most interesting features of our first two presentations of the wager turn out to be either irrelevant or missing from our reading: infinite utility and the relativity of evidence. The successful wager is a boring wager. Still, this study shows us how the wager might profitably be incorporated into different apologetic contexts and why it often can’t.
5. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
Dionysis Christias, Reconciling Scientific Naturalism with the Unconditionality of the Moral Point of View: A Sellars-Inspired Account
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In this article, I investigate the possibility of reconciling a radically disenchanted scientific naturalism in ontology with the unconditional and non-instrumental character of the moral point of view. My point of departure will be Sellars’s philosophy, which attempts to satisfy both those, seemingly unreconcilable, demands at once. I shall argue that there is a tension between those two demands that finds expression both at the theoretical and practical level, and which is not adequately resolved from a strictly Sellarsian perspective. I will then develop a neo-Sellarsian framework, close to the spirit—if not the letter—of Sellars’s philosophy, which, as I will suggest, can live up to this task. This solution depends (1) on insisting on both the semantic irreducibility and explanatory reducibility of moral normativity to non-normative facts, while simultaneously acknowledging that those two dimensions mutually presuppose and support on another, and (2) on recognizing that the instrumental facets of theoretical-scientific rationality need not imply a coercive attitude toward nature, ourselves, and others.
6. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
François Levrau, Pluriform Accommodation: Justice beyond Multiculturalism and Freedom of Religion
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The central notion in this article is ‘pluriform accommodation,’ a term that we have coined to defend two lines of thought. The first is a plea for inclusive and consequential neutrality; the second is a closely linked plea for reasonable accommodation. With ‘pluriform accommodation’ we emphasize that the multicultural recognition scope should be expanded. The need for inclusive and accommodative rules, laws, and practices is a matter of principle and as such cannot be reduced to the inclusion of people with an immigration background who bring with them all kinds of ethnocultural and religious practices, convictions, and traditions. Furthermore, the enshrined freedom of religion does not provide the needed protection for the multiplicity of conscientious identifications, convictions, and strong allegiances that might be central to one’s sense of self. We argue that we should not engage in (top down) debates about the rights of individuals and groups of different types and think in terms of identity hierarchies, but instead should consider the various claims being made (bottom up), aiming for common standards and criteria to assess the validity of these claims and the reasonableness of the associated accommodations.
7. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
Eric Yang, Against an Updated Ontological Argument
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This paper examines a recent attempt at updating Anselm’s ontological argument by employing the notion of mediated and unmediated causal powers. After presenting the updated argument and the underlying metaphysical framework of causal powers that is utilized in the argument, I show that some of the key assumptions can be rejected. Once we closely examine some of the assumptions, it will also be evident that the updated version in some ways collapses back to Anselm’s original version and so is subject to some of the same worries.
8. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 1
Jonah N. Schupbach, Troubles for Bayesian Formal Epistemology?: A Response to Horgan
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This paper responds to Terry Horgan’s recent critique of Bayesian formal epistemology. I argue that each of Horgan’s criticisms misses its mark when Bayesianism is viewed as putting forward an inductive logic of confidences. Along the way, I explore the nature, scope, and limits of a defensible brand of Bayesianism.
9. Res Philosophica: Volume > 94 > Issue: 4
David Friedell, Music and Vague Existence
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I explain a tension between musical creationism (the view that musical works are abstract artifacts) and the view that there is no vague existence. I then suggest ways to reconcile these views. My central conclusion is that, although some versions of musical creationism imply vague existence, others do not. I discuss versions of musical creationism held by Jerrold Levinson, Simon Evnine, and Kit Fine. I also present two new versions. I close by considering whether the tension is merely an instance of a general problem raised by artifacts, both abstract and concrete. I argue that on at least one defensible account of music the tension is especially problematic for abstracta. I focus on musical works, but much of the paper straightforwardly applies to other kinds of abstract artifacts.
10. Res Philosophica: Volume > 94 > Issue: 4
Attila Tanyi, Circularity, Naturalism, and Desire-Based Reasons
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In this paper, I propose a critique of the naturalist version of the Desire-Based Reasons Model. I first set the scene by spelling out the connection between naturalism and the Model. After this, I introduce Christine Korsgaard’s circularity argument against what she calls the instrumental principle. Since Korsgaard’s targets, officially, were non-naturalist advocates of the principle, I show why and how the circularity charge can be extended to cover the naturalist Model. Once this is done, I go on to investigate in some detail the different ways of responding to the circularity challenge. I argue that none of these responses succeed, at least not without serious costs to their advocates. I then end the paper with a brief summary and some concluding remarks.