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1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 56
Bogdan Dembiński Plato’s Theory of Ideas and Mathematics
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The subject of my address is a presentation of the crucial threads of Plato’s theory of Ideas. Accordingly, this proposal conjoins topics of epistemology and ontology, but foremost allows us to consider the issue of interconnection between mathematics and ontology. I will present Plato’s conception of measure-Idea, which has crucial significance for understanding the status of being of Ideas. The face of Plato’s teachings about Ideas that will also be analyzed is linked with his “unwritten doctrine” (agrafa dogmata). This theory refers mainly to teaching about numbers and ideal figures in addition to tutelage about principles of being, the One and the Infinite Dyad. It will let us depict in a precise way the very essence of Plato’s understanding of mathematics and explain the status of being which he attributed to mathematical objects. It will relate to critique of the interpretative stand declaring that in Plato’s philosophy we deal with so-called “two worlds” theory. Epistemological topics will also be given much attention. I consider my address as an invitation to discussion about the contemporary understanding of Plato’s philosophy, including the part of it that is accepted in many current versions of mathematical Platonism.
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2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 56
Costanza Brevini How to Have True Mathematical Beliefs and Different Mathematical Beliefs at the Same Time
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Philosophy of mathematics demands a strong sense of necessity for mathematical truths. But this demand seems to collide with the existence of different but true and consistent mathematical beliefs. Following the works of Benacerraf, Field, Balaguer and Putnam, I argue that philosophers of mathematics can either accept the plurality of interpretations of mathematics, but deny that every interpretation corresponds to an object, or, they can claim that every theory isolates a unique and only object. Facing this quandary, the philosopher of mathematics submit their theories to several difficulties and are led to adopt either a coherence or a correspondence theory of truth. A series of questions are entailed and need an answer to provide an impressive and complete theory of mathematical objects.
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3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 56
Анатолий В. Чусов Математика как объективация: развивающаяся онтология предмета
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The features of development of the subject-matter of mathematics can be viewed from the standpoint of the study of mathematics as objectification in Marx’s sense – as a relatively independently self-reproduced sphere of activity. For an explication of this development it is necessary to define concepts of “world”, “object”, “subject-matter”, “subject-actor”, “reality”, “structure”, “model”, “objectification”, “ontology”. In the process of objectification of the domain of objects of mathematics takes place a transformation of forms of existence and creation of new ontologies, with respect to new types of realities. The development of mathematics as a sphere of human activity necessarily contains subjectification (reproduction of a type of subject-actor as necessary substructure of every social objectification). The results of mathematical activity are fixed as objects and reproduced in the intersubjective, objectivized domain of mathematics, because the subject-actor itself is practically incorporated into the structure of the world as an object. Mathematics as practically realizable objectification of knowledge is modelling of ontologies. The immediate subject-matter of mathematics is the (realized in representation) manifold of abstract structures of subject-actor, whereas the mediated object of mathematics is the manifold of object structures of the world.
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4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Staale Gundersen Russellian Physicalism and the Causal Relevance of Consciousness
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Conscious experiences are those that have a special feel, or in Thomas Nagel’s words: ‘It is something it is like to have them’. One version of the mind-body problem is to explain how physical-functional states can generate conscious experiences. In this paper, I present a type of theory called ‘Russellian physicalism’ that proposes that we cannot solve the mind-body problem (bridge the explanatory gap between mental and physical states) because natural science cannot tell us about the categorical properties of physical entities which are necessary to know in order to explain qualia. I will argue that in order to avoid epiphenomenalism Russellian physicalism should adopt the Heil-Martin theory of dispositions. This theory claims that every disposition is identical to a categorical property. However, our conception of a property as a disposition does not describe it as it is in itself, that is, as a categorical property. Since we cannot know the dispositions considered as categorical properties, we cannot explain consciousness.
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5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Timothy C. Lord Eliminative Materialism and Historical Consciousness
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I argue that eliminative materialism, with its aim of jettisoning folk psychology, cannot account for the possibility of historical knowledge. Eliminative materialism destroys the disciplinary distinctions between history and science in such a way as to eclipse the former. I argue that (1) ‘historical consciousness’ cannot be reduced to the discoveries of neuroscience; (2) Paul Churchland’s charge of folk psychology’s explanatory impotence is undercut by the possibility, indeed, the actuality of historical knowledge, and (3) one of Churchland’s main arguments for eliminative materialism is dependent upon historical knowledge-claims that themselves must contradictorily utilize the propositional attitudes of folk psychology.
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6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Nazim Gökel Against the Platonic Ideology of Functionalism
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In this paper, I aim to reveal and examine the ideology behind functionalism. To this aim, first I will shortly describe the features of a Platonic metaphysics. Then I will attempt to show that there is a hidden Platonic ideology behind functionalism. This ideology is often manifested with the “software-hardware” dichotomy. In the end of this paper, I will argue for the claim that the software-hardware dichotomy is only a pragmatic distinction, and it should not be taken to imply metaphysically exclusive categories.
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7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Amita Valmiki Mind-body Problem: A Comparative Approach
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The age-old problem of mind and body is highly discussed problem that has occupied psychologists, thinkers, philosophers and intellectuals. Many philosophers starting from Plato in ancient Greece to Donald Davidson in contemporary times have been occupied by the issue of mind and body. So also, the issue occupied philosophers in Eastern philosophy of India. There is striking similarity between the Bhagavad Gita (the core of the epic Mahabharata) and Donald Davidson’s theory (Anomalous Monism) as a solution to the problem of mind and body. The whole argument of mind and body culminates to the conception of ‘personhood’ – and its limits. The comparison comes to the point that though there are similarities in the Gita concept of personhood and Davidson’s Anomalous monism, the differences bring to the light where the limit is set to personhood and where the personhood goes infinite – both through mind and body. The paper tries to prove that the Gita philosophy has an edge over Anomalous monism of Davidson, as Davidson is unable to solve the dualism of mind and body; while Gita does it successfully by initially introducing kshara purusha (mortal being) and akshara purusha (psychic soul), directly relating it to the Purushottam (the Absolute).
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8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Bill Wringe Can Visual Experience have a Propositional Content?
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Call the view that perceptual states can have propositional contents the ‘propositional view’ - or PV for short. Proponents of PV include John McDowell and Susanna Siegel; Anil Gupta and Charles Travis are prominent opponents. In this paper, I wish to address an argument against PV put forward by Anil Gupta. Gupta argues that the conjunction of PV with two further claims, which he calls the ‘Equivalence constraint’ (EC) and the ‘reliability constraint’ (RC), leads to skepticism. I shall argue that even if we grant EC, Gupta has not given us a compelling reason for rejecting PV and that if we are faced with a choice between rejecting PV and RC, we should reject RC ahead of PV. I shall also suggest that Gupta’s account begs the question against one prominent version of PV.
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9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Margarita Vázquez, Manuel Liz The Structure and Reality of Points of View
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There are very few analyses of the structure of points of view. However, we can identify two general approaches. One of them assumes as a paradigm the structure of propositional attitudes. Here, points of view are understood as having an internal structure similar to the one we can find in propositional attitudes. The other approach is based on the notions of location and access. Here, the internal structure of points of view is not directly addressed. The features that are emphasised are related with the role that points of view are intended to have. Points of view would be ways of having access to the world, and to ourselves, from certain emplacements. The paper has three parts. In the first one, we present these two approaches and some interesting developments inside each one of them. In the second one, we examine more closely the relationships between the two approaches. In the third part of the paper, we defend the non-reducible relational nature and modal character of points of view obtaining some conclusions.
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10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Liudmila Pugacheva The Individual’s Mind as a terra incognita and Resource of the Person in an Unsteady World: Internet Version of Development
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In the situation of limited resources and social structures, the search for being-in-the-world stimulates the person to explore inner space of consciousness. Today the Internet acts as a means of exploring the inner space of consciousness via network communication. This is the new mental support of the person. Autopoietic attitude to the body limits the abilities of the consciousness for interaction. The Network gives the individual new information, quasi-material pivot existing outside the body and created with computer technologies. The Network is a terra incognita of the modern person’s consciousness and a tool of its development. Contacting other consciousnesses, the individual’s consciousness gets “an outsider’s viewpoint”, which is extremely necessary for forming contextual-judicious view of a task. It happens with forming “common sense”, the basis of mind, thus bringing back the value of the mind. The states of consciousness expressed at the level of “first-person ontology” due to “network consciousness” today easily move to the level of the entire society. If network society due to individuals’ efforts will be able to focus on the creative state of the consciousness that excludes violence and destruction, network consciousness will turn these states into a pivot of the modern person.
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11. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Geeta Ramana Perception and the Mind-body Problem
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It is often said that we have an immediate knowledge of ourselves on a basic level that is captured in statements like ‘I am writing this paper’ or that ‘I am talking to you right now’. This certainty is largely attributed to an ‘inner’ faculty of perception that contrasts with the external sensory apparatus that receives inputs from the external world of objects. This paper discusses some of the significant parameters of this framework that separates the inner and the outer world on the epistemological basis of access and certainty. The paradigmatic cogito argument is considered and the grounds that establish the self and the world are discussed to understand the nature of internal and external perception and its implication for the mind –body problem. Perception is our direct mode of access to the world around us, but redirecting the paradigm of perception to understand the mind reinforces the false analogy of treating minds as inner objects and has played a significant part in the continuation of the mind-body problem.
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12. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Elisabetta Sacchi Can Phenomenology be Narrow if Content is Wide and Phenomenology is Claimed to Depend on Intentionality?
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There are two main ideas that inform the current reflection in the philosophy of mind, namely that the content of mental states is constitutively dependent on worldly, environmental facts (content externalism) and that phenomenology depends only on the intrinsic features of a subject (phenomenological internalism). The question I shall address is whether it is possible to preserve both ideas within a strong intentionalist account. In other words, as the title goes: Can phenomenology be narrow if content is wide and phenomenology is claimed to depend on intentionality? The paper has the following structure: I shall start by presenting a triad which seems to rule out the possibility of preserving both content externalism and phenomenological internalism. Then, after having claimed that the only way in which a strong intentionalist (SI) could stick to those two ideas is to make the phenomenal character of a mental state independent for its individuation on the mental state’s content, I shall present what I take to be the only possible variety of (SI) which is compatible with such a move.
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13. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Itaru Takeshita The Explanatory Role of Teleo-semantics in Explanation of Behavior
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Millikan’s (1984, 2004) and Papineau’s (1993) teleological accounts of mental content are among theories aimed to give a naturalistic semantics of mental content. It is said that those theories are faced with several problems, one of which emerges in explaining the link between having true mental representations and the success of behaviors based on the representations. As Godfrey-Smith (1996) pointed out, their teleological theories, which define mental representation’s content in terms of the success of behaviors directed by those representations, may not able to give a substantial account of why having true representation leads to organism’s success. I will discuss this problem and a solution suggested by Shea (2007), which seems unsatisfactory to me. Next, I will point out another problem similar to this one: explaining behavior. Finally, I reconsider the theoretical status of teleo-semantics and draw a conclusion that although Millikan insists that teleo-semantics is not conceptual analysis, but a theoretical definition, the difference is not so big in this case.
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14. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Vasilis Tsompanidis Mental Files and Times
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This paper argues that applying the mental files framework for singular thought to thoughts about specific times could produce an account of tensed thought with significant advantages over competing theories. After describing the framework (1) and motivating the paper (2), I discuss the possible make-up and function of a NOW indexical mental file (3-4). The last section argues that, if all ‘now’ thoughts can be coherently analyzed as thinking of a time under the NOW file, one would have a plausible explanation of the following issues: how the thought can refer to extended temporal intervals of various length; why reference to times is not destroyed by thought delays; and how a ‘now’ thought results in timely actions and relief.
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15. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Angela Mendelovici Intentionalism about Moods
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Moods are sometimes thought to be counter-examples to intentionalism, the view that a mental state’s phenomenal features are exhausted by its representational features. The problem is that moods are accompanied by phenomenal experiences that do not seem to be adequately accounted for by any of their plausibly represented contents. This paper develops and defends an intentionalist view of the phenomenal character of moods on which moods represent intentional objects as having sui generis affective properties that are not bound to any objects.
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16. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Rogerio Gerspacher Mental Causation: Are there Two Explanatory Gaps?
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The author briefly discusses the importance of the explanatory gap (the apparent impossibility of explaining the characteristics of subjective experience, or even its existence, in the context of physicalist ontology) in philosophy of mind. He claims that, if science cannot explain the existence of other people’s subjective experiences, at least what cannot be described is something that cannot be observed. On the other hand, if non-reductionist physicalists, who defend the causal efficacy of the mental are right, it would not be possible to explain the human behaviour only by physical laws (that is what we call the second explanatory gap), because human behaviour could be described as series of events in physical space, science would not be able to explain physical events describable in third person perspective, and therefore the second explanatory gap would be the most harmful to physicalism. The author briefly comments that these conclusions are compatible with Jaegwon Kim’s defence of epiphenomenalism, but disagrees with this author when he affirms that the importance of the mental could be minimized.
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17. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Alma Korko G. E. Moore on Consciousness
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In his article “The refutation of idealism” (1903) G.E. Moore (1873-1958) makes a distinction between mental act and its object (Moore, 1993, 35). My aim is to introduce his conception of consciousness in “The refutation of idealism”. In addition, I argue that scientific psychology had an impact on Moore’s view about consciousness. Moore introduces the distinction between a mental act and its object in his theory about judgment, which he presents in the second version of his fellowship dissertation The metaphysical basis of ethics (1898). For him, the object of a mental act is independent of the act (Moore, 2011, 161–162, 168). In his article “The refutation of idealism”, Moore defends the same distinction (Moore, 1993, 35). First, I introduce Moore conception of consciousness in “The refutation of idealism”. Van der Schaar, Hanna, Preti and Baldwin refer to the connection between scientific psychology and Moore’s early philosophy (Van der Schaar, 1996, 296; Hanna 2006, 56; Preti 2008, 176; Baldwin & Preti 2011, xxix). However, no one has studied the impact that scientific psychology had on Moore’s early philosophy (1894-1904). Second, I argue that scientific psychology had an impact on his view about consciousness because no one has earlier done this.
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18. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Caleb Liang Is Perception the Origin of Objectivity?
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In this paper, I challenge a specific claim by Tyler Burge that perception delineates the lower border of representational mind and exhibits the most basic form of objectivity (2010). According to this claim, perception is the most primitive type of representation that, when veridical, accurately attributes properties to non-perspective, mind-independent subject-matters. I argue that perception of the external world, especially vision, is not the most primitive type of objective representation. My approach will be interdisciplinary. After presenting Burge’s theory of perception, I show that the current best empirical accounts strongly suggest that how perceivers represent their bodily conditions plays a key role in the biological functions of perception. Then, I argue that the lower border of objective representation is not given by (visual) perception, but by body representation. Objective representation does not begin with perception.
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19. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Maria Helena Fávero Subjectivity and Consciousness: An Epistemological and Philosophical Issue in Psychology
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In this work, we firstly resume philosophical and methodological analysis of three authors – Vygotsky, Piaget, and Wallon – who, in the early 20th century discussed the nature of psychological knowledge. We show that the core of the issue is the refusal of the breakup between Philosophy and Psychology, which aimed at sustaining a kind of experimental Psychology according to the positivistic scientific canons that did not admit subjectivity and consciousness and kept the classic dichotomies: body/mind; individual/collectivity; thought/language; reason/emotion. Then we present a consensual dialogue between these authors and those from the first decade of the 21st century who discuss, epistemologically, philosophically, and historically, the same issue and the course taken by Psychology to establish itself as a science. We proceed to show that the particular focus of that consensual dialogue is on the definition of the experimental method, on the discussion of the opposition between subjectivity and objectivity and in the study of consciousness. Finally, we point out the existence of a philosophical consensus between the history of Psychology in the early 20th century and that of the first decade of the 21st century: the demand for a critical and reflexive philosophical analysis on the production of psychological knowledge and the relationship of that production with research practice and professional practice.
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20. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 57
Patricia Brunsteins Empathy, Mindreading and the Similarity between You and Me
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Theory-Theory (TT) and Mental Simulation Theory (ST) have been considered alternative and exclusive positions about mindreading. By the end of the year 2000 a variety of hybrid stances started to emerge. These views did not offer any exhaustive development that explain or respond to all the theoretical inconveniencies that have aroused from TT and ST combination. In the last years, it seems investigation about TT-ST controversy has vanished; despite the fact the problems they had initially settled remain unsolved. Currently, defenders of Mental Simulation have reestablished the debate by assuming that new empirical results presented arguments favoring them. However, another interpretation may be made: it is possible to elaborate a broader theory of the controversy so as to permit an autonomous notion of naturalistic empathy which would enable to resettle the TT-ST controversy. Thus, my suggestion is, firstly, that an interdisciplinary and unified notion of empathy may be appropriate as part of mindreading mechanisms if these theories require it. These ones may be an integral part both of Mental Simulation and of Theory-Theory as well, in any case neither makes a pure version of each one. Secondly, I maintain that new empirical research not only may be considered as a tool which determines one or another position of the TT-ST debate; but it may contribute to enlarge a theory of mental attribution and to strengthen an integral notion of empathy that hold them up. Thirdly, as a consequence of the second point, the empirical research will provide better tools to distinguish between empathy and simulation so that the relationship between them may be more plainly delimited.
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