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Displaying: 101-120 of 899 documents

101. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Yubraj Aryal The Human: Neither “Man” Nor God
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Going against the anthropocentric view of the human as a realized essence, the paper introduces a different understanding of the human in terms of relations of “forces.” Employing the posthumanist ideas of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, I will attempt to show how outside forces enter into relations with the inside forces of life and how this compounds the formation of the human at a certain historical time; how we have passed through different types of forces and created new becomings at different times; and how these different relations of forces have constantly been influencing and transversing our notion of the human.
102. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Kelly Becker Epistemology Without Certainty or Necessity
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In Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Richard Rorty presents powerful arguments against traditional epistemology, conceived as a quest both for empirical grounds that provide certainty and for necessary truths that provide a conceptual framework within which to couch empirical findings. Rorty finds traditional epistemology in general, and specifically any appeal to representation that might ground knowledge, to be an unmitigated failure. In this paper, I show that Rorty at least considered but ultimately rejected the possibility of a type of epistemically relevant, foundational representation with a normative status. Drawing on the work of Tyler Burge, I argue that Rorty was too quick in dismissing the important, epistemically foundational role of perceptual representation. A new and improved picture of foundational epistemology emerges. Throughout the paper, I aim to shed light on the fundamental disconnect between Rorty’s and Burge’s approaches to epistemology, and to philosophical investigation more generally.
103. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Kam-Yuen Cheng Kamm’s Doctrine of Triple Effect and Non-State-of-Mind Principle
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Frances Kamm initially argues for her Doctrine of Triple Effect (DTE), which states that it is morally impermissible to act with an evil intention but permissible to act merely because of an evil. The DTE distinguishes three kinds of effects: intended/because-of/merely-foreseen. Later, she replaces it with a non-state-of-mind principle, which states that the permissibility of an action does not depend on the agent’s mental states fundamentally. In this paper, I will first discuss Kamm’s defenses of the DTE and raise my objections to them. Next, I will examine Joseph Shaw’s challenge to the DTE and Kamm’s own criticism of the DTE. I argue that Shaw misses the point but Kamm’s criticism is valid. Afterwards, I will explicate and support Kamm’s non-state-of-mind principle. I will contend that the permissibility of an action depends on the agent’s mental states only derivatively. Finally, I will argue that even if there is a psychological difference between acting with the intention of an evil and acting because of the evil, there is no difference in their permissibility.
104. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Ernst Wolff “Technology” as the Critical Social Theory of Human Technicity
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The aim of this article is to argue for an interdisciplinary social theoretical approach to the technicity of human agency. This approach covers the spectrum of individual and social action from a perspective that logically precedes techno-optimism and techno-pessimism, and is intended to be both descriptively and normatively plausible. The study is anchored in a critical reading of Aristotle’s thought on techné and phronésis, as his work is the precursor of action theory and phenomenological hermeneutics, the central methodological orientations of this study. The importance of the “disposition formed under the guidance of reason” as the unifying trait of agency is affirmed with, and against, Aristotle. The article advocates reactivating and developing this trait of agency for a descriptive and critical discourse on the technicity of action, providing an outline of how to accomplish this task. The technicity of the individual agent is examined, reflecting on rule-following, the relation between technicity and creativity, and the interpretative moment of technicity. Next, the interwovenness of the skilful body with biological, social and symbolic aspects of human existence and with systems of technical artefacts is clarified. Finally, a case is made for the critical potential of this “technology,” reverting to Aristotelian means of normative thought.
105. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Andrés Luco Morality or “False Consciousness”? How Moral Naturalists Can Answer Thrasymachus’s Challenge
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In Book I of Plato’s Republic, Thrasymachus famously maintains that ideas of morality and justice are nothing more than an ideology indoctrinated in “the weaker” to benefit “the stronger.” This is Thrasymachus’s challenge to morality: the thesis that some social arrangements, including some moral norms, are products of “false consciousness.” False consciousness occurs when a dominant social group shapes the beliefs and desires of a subordinate group in such a way that the subordinates act for the benefit of the dominants, but against their own interests. In this paper, I grant that some moral norms emerge or persist because of false consciousness. However, I shall argue that these norms actually have the function of impartially promoting the interests of all persons in their range of application. Even if the actual effect of false consciousness norms is to benefit a powerful class while being harmful and discriminatory toward others, the true function of false consciousness norms is the intended effect that they were designed to have. And the crucial feature of false consciousness norms is that their designers—particularly subordinates—teach, preach, follow, and enforce them with the intention of promoting the mutual interests of everyone to whom the norms apply.
106. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Abel B. Franco Cartesian Passions: Our (Imperfect) Natural Guides Towards Perfection
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I defend that Cartesian passions are a function—in fact, the only function—of the mind-body union responsible for guiding us in the pursuit of our (natural) perfection, a perfection that we increase by joining goods that our nature deems to be so. This view is in conflict, on one hand, with those (a majority) who have emphasized either the epistemic or survival role of our passions and, on the other and more precisely, with a recent proposal according to which Cartesian passions should not be even seen as guides for happiness. Against the latter, I will attempt to show that passions perform a guiding function (1) by discriminating what is “important” for us regarding the increase of our natural perfection (which includes informing the soul about the current state of perfection both of the body and of the mind-body union); and (2) by disposing us to act (which includes proposing to the will possible ways of action to increase or maintain our perfection). Our passions are, thus, both informative and motivational. Making explicit their informative role will require, negatively, showing that this does not mean they are reliable and, positively, undertaking a study—largely absent among commentaries—of their specific intentionality.
107. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Matthew T. Flummer In Defense of Tracing
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John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza (1998) claim that reflection on tracing cases partially motivates the idea that moral responsibility is essentially historical. Fischer and Ravizza contend that in cases in which an agent is morally responsible for an action despite lacking the right kind of control, we must appeal to tracing. In a pair of recent papers, Andrew Khoury (2012) and Matt King (2014) have argued that tracing is not a necessary feature of moral responsibility. King argues that in tracing cases, the agent’s responsibility can be fully explained either by appeal to recklessness or by negligence. Khoury notes that the agent in a tracing case is claimed to be responsible for the consequences of his action even though he does not satisfy the control condition at the time of action. But he argues that agents cannot be responsible for the consequences of their actions. If no one is morally responsible for consequences, then tracing is unnecessary. In this paper, I will argue that both Khoury and King’s respective arguments fail to show that tracing is not a necessary part of a successful theory of moral responsibility.
108. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Karin Nisenbaum The Legacy of Salomon Maimon: Philosophy as a System Actualized In Freedom
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It is no longer disputed that Salomon Maimon decisively influenced the emergence and development of post-Kantian German Idealism. Yet there is far less consensus on how to interpret most aspects of Maimon’s thought, including the nature and philosophical significance of his skepticism and the reasons that compelled him to challenge Kant’s transcendental deduction of the categories or pure concepts of the understanding in the Critique of Pure Reason. In this article, I argue that the two ideas that define Fichte’s doctrine of science or Wissenschaftslehre—the necessity of a common derivation of all a priori knowledge from one principle, and the idea that philosophy should be based on freedom—can be traced back to Maimon’s Essay on Transcendental Philosophy. I also argue that, by emphasizing the regulative role of the ideas of pure reason in Kant’s account of empirical cognition, Maimon enables a rereading of the argumentative structure of the first Critique that reveals the relationship between sensibility, understanding, and reason. This rereading of the first Critique shows that Kant has the resources to address Maimon’s key challenges, but it also puts pressure on his discursive account of human cognition.
109. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Denise Gamble Cinematic Realism Revisited: A Kantian Perspective
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An anti-realist stance prevalent in philosophy of film, probably less familiar to analytical than continental philosophers, raises issues that are philosophically accessible and engaging. While this anti-realist stance can be historically situated many of its constituent ideas remain influential in contemporary milieus. A common claim of anti-realism is that realist art or cinema, in part by virtue of “reification,” is inherently “non-transformative.” Without rigorously refuting all manifestations of the “reification thesis,” key assumptions of anti-realism associated with it are challenged in this paper. An aesthetic and a political-ideological anti-realist thesis are identified and critiqued. Kant’s distinction between “aesthetic” and “mechanical art” provides a basis for defending a form of cinematic realism that vindicates its potential transformative power. The Kantian framework provides a reference point for a comparative analysis of Brecht’s and Lukács’s views on anti-realism versus realism as well as for a favorable reconsideration of André Bazin’s cinematic realism.
110. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Ryan Jenkins Rule Consequentialism and Moral Relativism
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Rule consequentialism is usually taken to recommend a single ideal code for all moral agents. Here I argue that, depending on their theoretical motivations, some rule consequentialists have good reasons to be relativists. Rule consequentialists who are moved by consequentialist considerations ought to support a scheme of multiple relativized moral codes because we could expect such a scheme to have better consequences in terms of impartial aggregate wellbeing than a single universal code. Rule consequentialists who find compelling the theory’s coherence with our considered moral intuitions should do the same because a scheme of multiple codes could better cohere with our intuitions about costless benefits, though these intuitions must be weighed against our allegiance to moral universalism.
111. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Tristan Haze A Counterexample to the Breckenridge-Magidor Account of Instantial Reasoning
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In a recent paper, Breckenridge and Magidor argue for an interesting and counterintuitive account of instantial reasoning. According to this account, in arguments such as one beginning with ‘There is some x such that x is mortal. Let O be such an x. . . . ,’ the ‘O’ refers to a particular object, although we cannot know which. I give and defend a simple counterexample involving the notion of an unreferred-to object.
112. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Casey Woodling The Indispensability and Irreducibility of Intentional Objects
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In this paper, I argue against Michael Gorman’s objection to Tim Crane’s view of intentional objects. Gorman (“Talking about Intentional Objects,” 2006), following Searle (Intentionality, 1983), argues that intentional content can be cashed out solely in terms of conditions of satisfaction. For Gorman, we have reason to prefer his more minimal satisfaction-condition approach to Crane’s because we cannot understand Crane’s notion of an intentional object when applied to non-existent objects. I argue that Gorman’s criticism rests on a misunderstanding of Crane’s position. I also discuss the importance of keeping track of the distinction between the intentional objects of intentional states and the referents of such states. I do agree with Gorman that conditions of satisfaction are needed to cash out propositional intentional content, but we cannot get these conditions of satisfaction right if we do not capture how the subject takes the world to be. And we cannot properly capture how the subject takes the world to be without commitment to intentional objects. I argue that Crane’s notion of an intentional object is one that avoids questionable ontological commitments. So, in the end we have a view of intentional objects with a respectable metaphysics and ontology that can properly capture the intentional content of subjects’ intentional states.
113. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
James Osborn The Overturning of Heidegger’s Fundamental Ontology
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In this paper I argue that the central issue in Heidegger’s path of thought from Being and Time to Contributions and beyond is what he will later call “the matter itself”: neither the meaning of being nor the analysis of Dasein but a transformational encounter in the margins of fundamental ontology. Heidegger’s account of temporality and transcendence from the late 1920s is a clue to the transformation, but it is not until the completion of fundamental ontology in the naming of ontological difference that he arrives at a crisis which performs the transformation and announces the “overturning.” This interpretation revolves around a reading of Heidegger’s 1929 treatise “On the Essence of Ground” in which the text and subsequent marginal notes prepare the transition from Being and Time to Contributions, from Sein to Seyn, and from ontological difference to its appropriation. Thus we find that the language of Ereignis beginning in the 1930s and whatever we might call the “turn” signal the doing of justice to the original task from Being and Time.
114. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Alfred Archer Motivational Judgement Internalism and the Problem of Supererogation
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Motivational judgment internalists hold that there is a necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation. There is, though, an important lack of clarity in the literature about the types of moral evaluation the theory is supposed to cover. It is rarely made clear whether the theory is intended to cover all moral judgments or whether the claim covers only a subset of such judgments. In this paper I will investigate which moral judgments internalists should hold their theory to apply to. I will argue that the possibility of the supererogation amoralist, someone who makes genuine supererogation judgments but remains unmotivated by them, makes it implausible to be an internalist about moral goodness. As a result, internalists should restrict their claim to moral requirement judgments. I will then argue that this creates an explanatory burden for internalism. In order for their view to be plausible they must explain why some moral judgments and not others are necessarily connected to motivation.
115. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Tim Jankowiak Intentionality and Sensory Consciousness in Kant
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According to “intentionalist” interpretations of Kant’s transcendental idealism, Kant’s empirical objects are to be understood as mere intentional objects. This interpretation requires a corresponding account of intentionality and intentional objects. This paper defends an account of how the intentionalist should understand the intentional structures at work in the sensory consciousness of physical bodies. First a relational conception of intentionality (articulated in terms of an object’s presence to consciousness) is distinguished from a non-relational conception (articulated in terms of representational content). I argue that the intentionalist’s claim that Kant’s empirical objects are mere intentional objects is primarily a claim about non-relational intentionality. I then ask whether the intentionalist should also recognize a role for relational intentionality as well. After rejecting two possible answers (that there is no relational intentionality, or that there are intentional relations to things in themselves), I argue that sensory consciousness involves having spatially arrayed collections of sensations presented to consciousness in intuition, and then conceptualizing these sensation-arrays as physical objects. The obvious worry about such a phenomenalist interpretation has to do with the consistency of this interpretation with Kant’s empirical realism; these concerns are addressed in detail in the final section.
116. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Alasdair Richmond Achilles, the Tortoise, and the Time Machine: A Carrollian Dialogue
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Drawing on near-contemporaneous works by Lewis Carroll and H. G. Wells, this paper uses an imaginary dialogue between Achilles and the Tortoise to explore the supertask possibilities offered by combining Zeno’s (and Carroll’s) original Eleatic race setups with unlimited Wellsian time travel. Besides offering new thoughts on how to address some perennial worries about time travel, e.g., by paying due attention to the distinction between counterfactual and causal dependence, this paper also offers a new form of Eleatic “paradox” in which Achilles is condemned to run an unending (i.e., infinite time) race at constant finite velocity over a racetrack of finite length. This time round, the Tortoise shows Achilles just how Wellsian time machines can also be infinity machines, which allow unsuspected scope for “bifurcated” supertasks and unending Eleatic races.
117. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Konstantine Boudouris Preface to Selected Papers from the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy
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118. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
William L. McBride Foreword to Selected Papers from the XXIII World Congress Of Philosophy
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philosophical method
119. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Evandro Agazzi The Methodological Turn in Philosophy
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Controversies have always characterized philosophy as expression of its typical critical attitude that depends on the complexity of the fundamental philosophical issues. Traditionally these discrepancies regarded the answers given to certain questions and, therefore, the content of the opposite doctrines, as all legitimately belonging to philosophy. With modernity the determination of the correct method of thinking becomes the necessary precondition for philosophizing and represents the core of the philosophical activity itself. As a consequence people adopting a certain method of thinking often qualify as non-philosophical the discourse of those who do not belong to their methodological school, independently of the content of the doctrine they defend. This dominance of the methodological concern, on the contrary, has produced the discovery and deepening of several “thinking methods,” whose plurality must be considered a wealth and not a reason for skepticism, since it can offer to philosophy the tools for better coping with the increasing complexity of its fundamental issues.
120. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40
Mark D. White A Modest Comment on McMullin: A Kantian Account of Modesty
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In “A Modest Proposal: Accounting for the Virtuousness of Modesty,” Irene McMullin characterizes the modest person as striking a delicate balance between accurate self-assessment and sensitivity to the feelings of others. She criticizes ‘egalitarian’ understandings of this process as unrealistically demanding, and instead proposes an account based on Sartrean facticity and self-awareness. In this brief comment, I defend the egalitarian accounts, arguing for a specifically Kantian explanation of modesty that combines the best of both the egalitarian and Sartrean views, and is based on basic Kantian concepts of dignity and autonomy. On this account, the modest person honestly assesses her own successes according to her autonomously determined standards, yet exhibits modesty to others out of the recognition of the equal worth and dignity of all persons.