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Displaying: 31-40 of 224 documents

31. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 2
Leonard Harris Necro-Being: An Actuarial Account of Racism
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I argue that racism is a form of necro-being entrapped in necro-tragedy. Necro-being, as I present it, is a condition that kills and prevents persons from being born. I defend a conception of tragedy: absolute necrotragedy; absolute irredeemable suffering in a non-moral universe. Explanations of racism are commonly subject to anomalies, for example, volitional accounts offer special desiderata to account for institutional racism; conversely for institutional accounts. I offer a way to see racism, given the existence of a vast array of kinds of racism: a descriptive actuarial approach. The account is intended to avoid the quandaries and anomalies of ‘explanation.’ I use rational-intentional explanations (including accounts by Jorge Garcia and Charles Mills) and social kind racial realism as inadequate explanations and examples of explanations with anomalies. These accounts also help demonstrate that logical systems of racism are inadequate. All such accounts explain racism as a coherent system and offer correlative reasons for its wrongness. I consider death, mortality, morbidity, and irredeemable misery as primary indicators of racism across an array of types of racism globally: racial necro-being.
32. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 2
Tina Fernandes Botts In Black and White: A Hermeneutic Argument against "Transracialism"
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Transracialism, defined as both experiencing oneself as, and being, a race other than the race assigned to one by society, does not exist. Translated into hermeneutics, transracialism is an unintelligible phenomenon in the specific sociocultural context of the United States in the early twenty-first century. Within this context, race is a function of ancestry, and is therefore defined in terms of something that is external to the self and unchangeable. Since transracialism does not exist, the question of whether transracialism would be ethically advisable if it did exist is inapposite. Nonetheless, at a minimum we can say that racial transition (defined as attempting to change one’s race through artificial and/or associative changes, and living life as a race other than the race assigned to one by society, etc.) is possible, but is very likely unethical, since it is the same as racial passing.
33. Res Philosophica: Volume > 95 > Issue: 2
Lewis R. Gordon Thinking through Some Themes of Race and More
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This article is a reflective essay, drawing upon insights on racism and related forms of oppression as expressions of bad faith, on several influential movements in contemporary philosophy of race and racism. The author pays particular attention to theories from the global south addressing contemporary debates ranging from Euromodernity, philosophical anthropology, and the racialization of First Nations or Amerindians to intersectionality theory, discourses on privilege, decolonization, and creolization.
34. 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.
35. 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.
36. 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.
37. 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.
38. 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.
39. 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.
40. 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.