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Displaying: 1-10 of 2179 documents

1. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Clare Batty What’s That Smell?
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In philosophical discussions of the secondary qualities, color has taken center stage. Smells, tastes, sounds, and feels have beentreated, by and large, as mere accessories to colors. We are, as it is said, visual creatures. This, at least, has been the workingassumption in the philosophy of perception and in those metaphysical discussions about the nature of the secondary qualities. Theresult has been a scarcity of work on the “other” secondary qualities. In this paper, I take smells and place them front and center. I ask:What are smells? For many philosophers, the view that colors can be explained in purely physicalistic terms has seemed very appealing. In the case of smells, this kind of nonrelational view has seemed much less appealing. Philosophers have been drawn to versions of relationalism—the view that the nature of smells must be explained (at least in part) in terms of the effects they have on perceivers. In this paper, I consider a contemporary argument for this view. I argue that nonrelationalist views of smell have little to fear from this argument.
2. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Lee Franklin Meno’s Paradox, the Slave-Boy Interrogation, and the Unity of Platonic Recollection
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Plato invokes the Theory of Recollection to explain both ordinary and philosophical learning. In a new reading of Meno’s Paradox and the Slave-Boy Interrogation, I explain why these two levels are linked in a single theory of learning. Since, for Plato, philosophical inquiry starts in ordinary discourse, the possibility of success in inquiry is tied to the character of the ordinary comprehension we bring to it. Through the claim that all learning is recollection, Plato traces the knowledge achievable through inquiry back to our pretheoretical comprehension, showing not just that knowledge is in us, but that it is inchoate in the grasp of a property—akin to a concept—that enables us to speak and think about it ordinarily. Plato acknowledges in the Meno that a second step of argument, and a second application of Recollection, is needed to explain how knowledge comes to be inchoate in our ordinary grasp of a property. Though this second argument is provided most fully in the Phaedo, the evidence of the Meno is sufficient to outline Recollection as a two-stage theory of learning, beginning in ordinary speech and thought and extending, through philosophical reflection, to knowledge.
3. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Matthew C. Haug Two Kinds of Completeness and the Uses (and Abuses) of Exclusion Principles
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I argue that the completeness of physics is composed of two distinct claims. The first is the commonly made claim that, roughly, everyphysical event is completely causally determined by physical events. The second has rarely, if ever, been explicitly stated in the literatureand is the claim that microphysics provides a complete inventory of the fundamental categories that constitute both the causal features and intrinsic nature of all the events that causally affect the physical universe. After showing that these claims are distinct, I argue thatthey can be used to solve a difficulty with existing responses to the exclusion problem—namely, that these existing responses also undermine the powerful causal argument for physicalism. Recognizing that there are two kinds of completeness opens up room for the nonreductive physicalist to solve the exclusion problem while also endorsing a modified, cogent causal argument for a kind of physicalism compatible with her position.
4. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Iuliana Corina Vaida A New Kantian Solution to the Third Antinomy of Pure Reason and to the Free Will Problem
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The goal of this paper is to articulate a new solution to Kant’s third antinomy of pure reason, one that establishes the possibility ofincompatibilist freedom—the freedom presupposed by our traditional conceptions of moral responsibility, moral worth, and justice—without relying on the doctrine of transcendental idealism (TI). A discussion of Henry Allison’s “two-aspect” interpretation of Kant’s TI allows me both to criticize one of the best defenses of TI today and to advance my own TI-free solution to the third antinomy by appeal to a thesis of epistemic modesty based on Paul Guyer’s realist interpretation of Kant’s theory of experience. According to this interpretation, the a priori forms of our sensibility and understanding are not forms that the mind imposes on a material whose real properties are unknowable to us but are instead forms that limit or filter the kinds of things we can experience and know. In particular, being causally determined is a real feature of things as they are in themselves, but the necessity and universality of our deterministic claims are relative, restricted to the objects of possible experience. Consequently, though a causally determined event cannot be free, the necessity and universality of determinism does not entail that free events (choices) cannot exist but that they cannot constitute objects of possible experience. After arguing that freedom is possible, I outline an argument for the reality of freedom, based on therequirements of morality. Finally, I argue that my view, though opposed to metaphysical naturalism, is consistent with scientific realism and methodological naturalism.
5. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 3
Hagit Benbaji On the Pragmatic Explanation of Concessive Knowledge Attributions
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On Lewis’s reading, fallibilism is the contradictory view that it is possible that S knows that p, even though S cannot eliminate some remote scenarios in which not-p. The pragmatic strategy is to make the alleged contradiction a mere pragmatic implicature, which is explained by false conversational expectations. I argue that the pragmatic strategy fails.
6. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 3
Neil Feit Naming and Nonexistence
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I defend a cluster of views about names from fiction and myth. The views are based on two claims: first, proper names refer directly totheir bearers; and second, names from fiction and myth are genuinely empty, they simply do not refer. I argue that when such names are used in direct discourse, utterances containing them have truth values but do not express propositions. I also argue that it is a mistake to think that if an utterance of, for example, “Vulcan is a planet” fails to express a proposition, then an utterance of “Le Verrier believed that Vulcan is a planet” cannot express a proposition. The argument applies to claims about fiction, such as “Sherlock Holmes is strong,” and claims about the attitudes of authors and auditors. The upshot is a semantics for fictional statements that provides a satisfying way for direct reference theorists to avoid taking fictional entities to be abstract objects and to accept the commonsense view that what is true in a fiction is ultimately a matter of what is pretended to be the case.
7. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 3
Matt Ferkany Recognition, Attachment, and the Social Bases of Self-Worth
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Recognition theorists have often sought to justify calls for the recognition of identities or cultures on grounds that a culturally egalitarian societal environment is a crucial social basis of a sense of self-worth. In doing so they have often drawn on noncognitivist social–psychological theorizing. This paper argues that this theorizing does not support the recognition theorist’s position. It is argued that attachment theory together with recent empirical evidence support a more attachment-focused and Rawlsian vision of self-worth’s social bases according to which secure parent–child attachment, associational ties, equal basic rights and liberties, and economic and educational opportunities are what really matter.
8. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 3
Jeff Wisdom A Defense of Descriptive Moral Content
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Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons have recently provided an updated presentation and defense of a metaethical view thatthey call cognitivist expressivism. Expressivists claim that moral judgments express propositional attitudes that do not representor describe the external world. Horgan and Timmons agree with this claim, but they also deny the traditional expressivist claimthat moral judgments do not express beliefs. On their view, moral judgments are genuine, truth-apt beliefs, thus making their form of expressivism a cognitivist one. In this essay, I argue that Horgan and Timmons have failed to demonstrate that moral judgments express sui generis, nondescriptive content by showing that at least some moral content is descriptive. In addition, I show how the descriptivist can account for those properties that Horgan and Timmons consider distinctive of moral belief. In doing so, I remove one of the expressivist’s most important lines of motivation for positing nondescriptive moral content in the first place. At the end of the essay, I briefly sketch a view that I call partial or modest moral realism.
9. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 3
Christopher Woodard Pedro’s Significance
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Williams’s famous story of Jim exemplifies a general class of dilemmas caused by recalcitrant agents. Like Williams himself, most commentators have focused on Jim and the idea that he has special responsibility for his actions. This paper shifts attention to Pedro, exploring his significance in the story and arguing that Jim has a reason not to shoot that depends on Pedro’s best possible response. In so doing, it sketches a new approach to the general class of dilemmas posed by recalcitrant agents, drawing attention to the advantages of this approach and to the difficulties it faces and comparing it to rival views associated with Ross and Kamm.
10. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Daniel Colucciello Barber On Post-Heideggerean Difference: Derrida and Deleuze
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This paper takes up the Heideggerean question of difference. I argue that while Heidegger raises this question, his response to the question remains ambiguous and that this ambiguity pivots around the question of time. The bulk of the paper then looks at how Derrida and Deleuze respectively attempt to advance beyond Heidegger’s ambiguity regarding the questions of difference and time. Derrida is able to demonstrate the manner in which time—as delay—is constitutive of any attempt to think difference. I argue, however, that his innovative articulation of “différance” maintains an extrinsic rather than intrinsic relation to difference in-itself. To achieve an intrinsic relation, it is necessary to turn to the work of Deleuze, particularly to his discussion of “nonsense” and “singularity.”