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research articles
1. Symposion: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Alex Blum Aristotle and the Future
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We intend to show that Aristotle’s contention that future tense contingent statements are neither true nor false leads to inconsistency.
2. Symposion: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Curran F. Douglass Rescuing Responsibility – and Freedom: A Compatibilist Treatment
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This paper confronts two questions: How is it possible to be free if causal determinism is true?; and relatedly, How then is the practice of holding persons responsible for their actions to be justified? On offer here is a compatibilist account of freedom, tying it to control; the relation – argued to be a necessary connection – is considered in some detail. Then the question of ability to ‘do otherwise’ is discussed, which has held a fascination for many in regard to free choice. Our ability to learn to choose rationally is key here, to becoming able to choose well and (hence) freely, freedom being understood realistically. A developed rationality is necessary for maximal free choice, and (as argued here) is also key to the justification of the practice of holding persons responsible for their actions – a practice which is both necessary (socially indispensable) and capable of being justified, on both moral and pragmatic grounds. There is nothing in determinism that threatens that justification, but rather enables it.
3. Symposion: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Jude Edeh Characterizing Moral Realism
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The challenge faced with the proliferation of various kinds of cognitivism is the difficulty of providing a straightforward characterization of moral realism and antirealism. In light of this tension, I identified a problem in Sayre-McCord's way of specifying the criteria of moral realism. Furthermore, I provided a framework that characterized the moral realism beyond the features of cognitivism. Finally, I argue that any successful characterization of moral realism must capture its ontology robustly in order to separate it from other realist-like positions that espouse the idea of truth-value and objectivity.
4. Symposion: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Anna Kawalec What Philosophical Aesthetics Can Learn from Applied Anthropology
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Through a detailed case study of investigations on beauty, I demonstrate that a thoughtful consideration of empirical evidence can lead to the disclosure of the fundamental assumptions entrenched in a philosophical discipline. I present a contrastive examination of two empirically oriented approaches to art and beauty, namely, the anthropology of art and the anthropology of aesthetics. To capture these two different ways of interpreting the available evidence, I draw upon a debate between Alfred Gell and Jeremy Coote on the understanding of beauty and art in the Dinka community. Following Gell, I reveal that the Western-centric predilection of Coote, who uses traditional aesthetic categories, leads to his failure to grasp the functional and causal roles of beauty in the social relations of the Dinka. In more general terms, my study reveals the inherent limitations of aesthetics as developed in the Western tradition and its Kantian legacy. Being steadily driven towards purely abstract and speculative concepts, such as ‘work of art,’ Western aesthetics has lost the ability to account for the causal role of beauty in social relations. By contrasting this approach with Gell’s anthropological approach to art, I indicate those fundamental assumptions of aesthetics as a philosophical discipline that apparently confine it to a particular cultural context, compromising its ability to account for the universal human condition. As my study illustrates, this limitation could be overcome by a thoughtful and unprejudiced examination of empirical evidence.
5. Symposion: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Rajesh Sampath Inhabiting (CC.) ‘Religion’ in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit to Develop an Ambedkarite Critique of the Blasphemous Nucleus of Upanishadic Wisdom
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This paper begins with several opening passages from the most esoteric writings in Hinduism’s vast, ancient religious-philosophical heritage, namely the Upanishads. The aim is to reveal certain essential connections between the primordial relation between self and sacrifice while exploring uncanny paradoxes of eternity and time, immortals and mortals and their secret linkages. The work is entirely philosophical in its intent and does not aspire to defend a faith-perspective. The horizon for this exposition follows the spirit of Ambedkar’s critique of Brahmanic superiority inherent in this entire system of religious thought: we must expose what lies in the heart of modern Hinduism to reveal its inner-contradictory entanglements, which are not exactly innocuous. A phenomenological-deconstructive inspiration motivates our own critical theoretical-philosophical conceptualizations beyond Ambedkar’s basic attestation to liberate India from Hinduism. The enterprise derives from a speculative appropriation and extension of the depths of (CC.) ‘Religion,’ the penultimate chapter of Hegel’s indomitable Phenomenology of Spirit (1807). The aim of the paper is to advance new philosophical theses in an unrelenting metaphysical critique of Hinduism– beyond Ambedkar’s writings–but also in a manner that is irreducible to the Western philosophical cosmos within which the nineteenth-century Hegel inhabited. The paper argues that the internal contradictions and aporias of mortality, immortality, self, bodyhood, time, and eternity in the Hindu Upanishads can be contrasted with Hegel’s speculative Western-Christological propositions to expose a greater metaphysical complexity that escapes Eastern and Western religious and philosophical traditions alike. Therefore, the paper falls within the scope of comparative philosophies of religion.
6. Symposion: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Dmytro Shevchuk, Maksym Karpovets The Performative Practices in Politics: The Ukrainian Maidan and its Carnivalization
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Performance theory is one of the methods that can explain dynamic and unpredictable social phenomena. The basics of our research are to be found in the artistic practices that destroyed previous classical patterns in art, while overcoming its boundaries. Accordingly, performance as a practical phenomenon has become the basis for a theoretical explanation of different political processes with carnival nature that influence and change social reality. This article proves that the Maidan in Kiev had a performative nature as well, which developped spontaneously due to its active involvement of the human body and the release of unconscious elements. It is claimed that the use of performative practices inside the Maidan allowed to overcome the totalitarian vertical logic of power, realizing democratic ideals and overcoming nihilism. Therefore, we suggest that performative theory can be applied to similar carnival political, social, and cultural phenomena, revealing their procedural and creative substance.
7. Symposion: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
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8. Symposion: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
About the Journal
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9. Symposion: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Author Guidelines
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research articles
10. Symposion: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Ward Blondé EMAAN: An Evolutionary Multiverse Argument against Naturalism
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In this paper, an evolutionary multiverse argument against naturalism (EMAAN) is presented: E1. In an evolutionary multiverse, phenomena have variable evolutionary ages. E2. After some time T, the development of the empirical sciences will be evolutionarily conserved. E3. The phenomena with an evolutionary age above T are methodologically supernatural. Entities are classified according to whether they are (1) physical and spatiotemporal, (2) causally efficacious, and (3) either observed by or explanatorily necessary for the empirical sciences. While the conjunction of (1) and (2) is taken to be sufficient for existence in reality, the negation of (3) defines methodological supernaturalness. EMAAN uses a generalization of evolutionary theory, namely cosmological natural selection, to argue that phenomena evolve that fulfill conditions (1) and (2), but not (3). This shows that methodologically supernatural phenomena have a clear epistemology according to a theory that is grounded in the commitments of naturalism. Supernatural phenomena are not observed by the empirical sciences because the empirical sciences themselves are supernaturally guided and predestined to develop according to an evolutionarily conserved plan. In spite of this scientific plan, there is room for afterlives and supernaturality in the everyday experience.
11. Symposion: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
David Hernández Castro Empedocles without Horseshoes: Delphi’s Criticism of Large Sacrifices
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Scholars have generally analysed Empedocles’ criticism of sacrifices through a Pythagorean interpretation context. However, Empedocles’ doctrinal affiliation with this school is problematic and also not needed to explain his rejection of the ‘unspeakable slaughter of bulls.’ His position is consistent with the wisdom tradition that emanated from the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi, an institution that underwent significant political and religious changes at the end of the 6th Century B.C., the impact of which was felt all over Magna Graecia. The ritual practice of sacrifice played an important role in Delphi, but the sanctuary also gave birth to a school of wisdom that was highly critical of the arrogance (hybris) of large sacrifices. Asocio-cultural analysis of the Akragas of the first half of the 5th Century B.C. provides new arguments that support this interpretation. The work of Empedocles contains more evidence of being influenced by the Delphi school of wisdom than by Orphism or Pythagoreanism.
12. Symposion: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Landon Frim Impartiality or Oikeiôsis?: Two Models of Universal Benevolence
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‘Universal benevolence’ may be defined as the goal of promoting the welfare of every individual, however remote, to the best of one’s ability. Currently, the commonest model of universal benevolence is that of ‘impartiality,’ the notion promoted by Peter Singer, Roderick Firth, and others, that every individual (including oneself) is of equal intrinsic worth. This paper contends that the impartialist model is seriously flawed. Specifically, it is demonstrated that impartialist accounts of benevolence (1) attempt to draw positive moral conclusions from negative premises, (2) draw actual conclusions from merely counterfactual premises, (3) fail to live up to stated claims of naturalism, and (4) give no compelling account of moral motivation. By contrast, I propose an alternate model of universal benevolence, grounded in the Stoic, cosmopolitan theory of oikeiôsis, i.e. ‘appropriation.’ Such a model, in contradistinction to impartiality, would see benevolence as the positive identification between moral agent and moral patient, rather than a charitable sacrifice of oneself for a distinct but equal other. An ethics of oikeiôsis has the further benefit of avoiding each of the four abovementioned conceptual pitfalls common to impartialist theories.
13. Symposion: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Kazi A S M Nurul Huda The Expansionist View of Systematic Testimonial Injustice: South Asian Context
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In this paper, I offer an expansionist view of the Frickerian central case of testimonial injustice, citing examples from the South Asian context. To defend this expansionist position, I provide an argument in three parts. First, I argue that credibility deficit and credibility excess are entangled with each other in such a way that often, one produces the other. Secondly, I contend that we should not say that systematic testimonial injustice is a consequence of credibility deficit only because of the entanglement between them. I also contend that for being the central case of testimonial injustice, identity prejudice should not be necessarily negative; it can be positive as well. Propounding a twofold condition of the status of a knower, the last part claims that testimonial injustice occurs when one of the two conditions remains unmet.
14. Symposion: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Seungbae Park The Exemplar Approach to Science and Religion
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We can judge whether some activities are scientific or religious, depending on how similar they are to exemplar scientific activities or to exemplar religious activities, even if we cannot specify the necessary and sufficient conditions for science and religion. The absence of the demarcation between science and religion does not justify the school policy of teaching the creationist hypothesis that God created the universe any more than it justifies the religious policy of teaching evolutionary theory, quantum mechanics, and the Big Bang theory in religious institutions.
15. Symposion: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Rajesh Sampath The Dissolution of the Social Contract in to the Unfathomable Perpetuity of Caste: Questions of Nature, the State, Inequality, and Sovereignty in Hobbes, Hegel, and Ambedkar
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This paper examines Ambedkar’s critical view of certain distortions, contradictions, and instabilities in democratic norms, constitutional validity, and citizens’ rights in India’s secular, constitutional, legal, pluralistic democracy. Through a strident deconstruction utilizing Hegelian resources, the paper exposes the contortions and contradictions underpinning Hindu metaphysics in some of its most abstract texts, namely the ancient Upanishads. Through this deconstructive lens we unpack various aporias embedded in concepts of selfhood that render a truly liberal democratic political notion of citizenship impossible. The paper concludes with the necessity of further research on comparative philosophies of religion and political philosophy to better understand the limits of secular democracy, particularly for minority rights, in different metaphysical and civilizational traditions.
16. Symposion: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Information about Authors
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17. Symposion: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
About the Journal
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18. Symposion: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Author Guidelines
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research articles
19. Symposion: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Radoslav Baltezarevic, Borivoje Baltezarevic, Piotr Kwiatek, Vesna Baltezarevic The Impact of Virtual Communities on Cultural Identity
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The emergence of the Internet and various forms of virtual communities has led to the impact of a new social space on individuals who frequently replace the real world with alternative forms of socializing. In virtual communities, new ‘friendships’ are easily accepted; however, how this acceptance influences cultural identity has not been investigated. Based on the data collected from 443 respondents in the Republic of Serbia, authors analyze this connexion, as well as how the absorption of others’ cultural values is reflected on the local cultural values. The results show that the adoption of others’ cultural values diminished the bond with the local community. The present paper adds to the theory of virtual communities by examining the relationship between the acceptance of an unknown person in a virtual community and its effects on cultural identity. This study contributes to the clarification of the impact that virtual networking has on cultural identity.
20. Symposion: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
James Cargile The First Person
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Many languages have a first person singular subject pronoun (‘I’ in English). Fewer also have a first person singular object pronoun (‘me’ in English). The term ‘I’ is commonly used to refer to the person using the term. It has a variety of other uses. A normal person is able to refer to theirself and think about their self and this is of course an important feature of being a person. For any person x, no one other than x can possibly think about x and by that alone, qualify as thinking about theirself. Perhaps this is special. However, there is a strong tendency to conflate this important capacity with capacities of grammar, such as thinking first person thoughts or ‘I thoughts.’ This leads to attempts to establish necessary truths about persons on the basis of rules of grammar which are not logically necessary. Thinking about oneself does not logically require a first person linguistic capacity. This essay is criticizing various tendencies to overlook this.