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Displaying: 61-70 of 818 documents

61. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Thomas Ricketts, Analysis, Independence, Simplicity, and the General Sentence-Form
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The first section of the paper argues that, in the context of Wittgenstein’s intentional understanding of the truth-functional construction of sentences, the independence of elementary sentences is required for every application of a truth-operation to have the same significance. The second section of the paper presents a ‘top-down’ interpretation of Tractarian analysis. There is no characterization of the bottom level of analysis apart from the general sentence-form; the only constraint on analysis is that apparently manifest logical relationships among colloquial sentences with sense be represented or otherwise accommodated using only the logical resources built into the general sentence-form. The third section of the paper considers how those logical resources might be applied in Tractarian analysis. Central here is the use of form-series to construct infinitary truth-functions. The section develops a view of Tractarian complexes which accommodates some colloquially manifest logical relations as presuppositions that are made explicit in analysis. Finally, I note that Tractarian analysis, as presented in this paper, is immune to the ‘color exclusion’ objection as formulated in Wittgenstein’s 1929 paper “Some Remarks on Logical Form.”
62. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Sanford Shieh, In What Way Does Logic Involve Necessity?
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In this paper I advance an account of the necessity of logic in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. I reject both the “metaphysical” reading of Peter Hacker, who takes Tractarian logical necessity to consist in the mode of truth of tautologies, and the “resolute” account of Cora Diamond, who argues that all Tractarian talk of necessity is to be thrown away. I urge an alternative conception based on remarks 3.342 and 6.124. Necessity consists in what is not arbitrary (nicht willkurlich), and contingency in what is up to our arbitrary choice (willkurlich), in the symbols we use, in how we picture or model the world. Necessity is not a mode of truth of propositions, but lies in the requirements of their intelligibility. I argue that this conception is implicit in certain “resolute” readings and in some of their critics. Both sides of the dispute are committed to certain logical features of language or thought, patterns of symbolizing constitutive of intelligibility that are not up to us to institute or alter. This conception of non-arbitrary patterns of symbolizing, I argue, is what logical syntax in the Tractatus consists in. I also argue that the well-known Tractarian view of propositions as truth-functions of elementary propositions can be understood in terms of patterns of norms governing our making sense with the affirmation and denial of propositions.
63. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 2
Jônadas Techio, Solipsism and the Limits of Sense in the Tractatus
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In the Preface of the Tractatus Wittgenstein presents his proposal of “drawing limits” separating sense from nonsense as a way to get rid of philosophical problems caused by “misunderstandings of the logic of our language.” Such limits, we will later discover, will be drawn by means of a method which allows one to determine whether a given projection of a strings of signs was made in accordance with the rules of logical syntax, or else violated them, thus generating (pseudo) metaphysical propositions (6.53). Notwithstanding its centrality for the Tractatus, the idea of drawing such limits seems to be in tension with Wittgenstein’s actual procedure in most of the book, which from its very first numbered proposition introduces “metaphysical” (pseudo?) theses again and again in order to achieve the results programmatically indicated in the Preface—hence the need for the self-undoing message of 6.54, urging the reader to recognize those propositions “as nonsensical, when he has used them—as steps—to climb up beyond them.” That tension creates some of the most challenging questions in the debate about how to read the Tractatus—questions such as: how are we supposed to use Wittgenstein’s propositions (and which ones?) as “steps in a ladder”? What exactly does “throwing the ladder away” amount to? And what does it mean to “see the world aright” after “overcoming” those propositions? This paper attempts to answer those questions by means of a close reading of an exemplary set of propositions dealing with solipsism and the limits of language (5.6n’s). Although limited in scope, the hope is that such reading might stand as a test case for parallel readings of other parts of the book.
64. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
James Conant, Sebastian Rödl, Introduction
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the fundamental character of the second person as a form of consciousness
65. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Anton Ford, Action and Passion
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When an agent intentionally changes something separate from herself—when, say, she opens a bottle—what is the relation between what the agent does and what the patient suffers? This paper defends the Aristotelian thesis that action is to passion as the road from Thebes to Athens is to the road from Athens to Thebes: they are two aspects of a single material reality. Philosophers of action tend to think otherwise. It is generally taken for granted that intentional transactions must be analyzed in terms of a causal relation. Controversy surrounds the question what the causal relata are: event-causalists claim that both of the relata are events; agent-causalists claim that the first relatum is an agent, and they dispute among themselves whether the second is an event or a terminal state of the patient. But the entire controversy assumes the necessity of some causal analysis of transactions. This paper argues that, far from being necessary, no such analysis is even possible.
66. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Glenda Satne, What Binds Us Together: Normativity and the Second Person
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Even if it appears quite evident that we live within society and as a consequence are bound together by shared norms and institutions, the nature of this relationship is a source of philosophical perplexity. After discussing the conditions of adequacy a conception of shared norms must accommodate, I discuss communitarian and interpretationist accounts of shared norms. I claim that they are problematic insofar as they fail to provide an adequate conception of the shared and binding character of social norms. Finally, I argue that a different understanding of the shared character of norms follows from a correct understanding of the conditions of adequacy at stake.
67. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Jeremy Wanderer, Alethic Holdings
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An alethic holding is any speech act that functions to hold another person to acting for reasons that they already had prior to the performance of a speech act with this function. Although it is tempting to think of such acts as either informing another person of extant reasons for acting or as creating new reasons for that person to so act, a central goal of this paper is to suggest that this temptation should be resisted. First, alethic speech acts are situated within the broader terrain of performances that strive to hold others responsible. Second, the precise sense of ‘holding’ to reason that characterizes an alethic speech act is explicated, in a manner that distinguishes such acts from either those designed to inform one of extant norms or to add new norms. Third, an account that attempts to explain how a speech act can achieve this holding function is offered, one based on the idea of a self-conscious interpersonal, transaction. Finally, it is suggested that the terrain of holding other’s responsible sketched at the outset looks different once this account of alethic holdings is in view.
the second person as a form of practical consciousness
68. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Will Small, The Transmission of Skill
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The ideas (i) that skill is a form of knowledge and (ii) that it can be taught are commonplace in both ancient philosophy and everyday life. I argue that contemporary epistemology lacks the resources to adequately accommodate them. Intellectualist and anti-intellectualist accounts of knowledge how struggle to represent the transmission of skill via teaching and learning (§II), in part because each adopts a fundamentally individualistic approach to the acquisition of skill that focuses on individual practice and experience; consequently, learning from an expert’s teaching is rendered at best peripheral (§III). An account of the transmission of skill that focuses on guided practice is shown to be immanent in an anti-individualist account of skill (§IV) that takes seriously the Aristotelian ideas that skills are rational capacities and second natures by developing the thought that doing, teaching, and practicing are three moments of an a priori unity: the life cycle of a skill (§V).
69. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Matthias Haase, For Oneself and Toward Another: The Puzzle about Recognition
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The paper is devoted to a certain way of thinking of the action of another. The posture of mind is characteristically expressed by a specific use of what G. E. M. Anscombe calls stopping modals. On this use, the sentence, “You can’t do that; it is mine,” registers the necessity of justice. My question is: what is the relation between the status of a person, a bearer of rights, the recognition of others as persons, and the practice of addressing the demands of justice to one another? According to a certain strand in the tradition, the answer is: in the sphere of justice, a special union arises among language, mind, and world such that there is a sense in which addressing, recognizing, and being a person are one reality. The paper articulates the relevant sense of ‘one reality’ and offers an argument in support of the formula. In the course of the argument I suggest that this issue is central to understanding the philosophical significance of the second person and appreciating that it marks an irreducible and fundamental form of thought.
the second person as the form of private law
70. Philosophical Topics: Volume > 42 > Issue: 1
Ariel Zylberman, The Very Thought of (Wronging) You
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Claiming rights against one another is a perfectly familiar phenomenon. We express the elementary thought you cannot do that to me in a variety of ways. And yet, in spite of the perfect familiarity of this phenomenon, the two standard philosophical theories of rights (the interest and the choice theories) face notorious difficulties in accounting for it. My aim in this paper is to introduce a distinctive, second-personal account of rights. I will call this the independence theory of rights, the view that rights are specifications of a basic right to independence against another. And I will argue that by taking as basic the second-personal thought you cannot do that to me the independence theory best illuminates the basic phenomenon of having rights against one another.