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1. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Dale Jacquette Algebra of Theoretical Term Reductions in the Sciences
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An elementary algebra identifies conceptual and corresponding applicational limitations in John Kemeny and Paul Oppenheim’s (K-O) 1956 model of theoretical reduction in the sciences. The K-O model was once widely accepted, at least in spirit, but seems afterward to have been discredited, or in any event superceeded. Today, the K-O reduction model is seldom mentioned, except to clarify when a reduction in the Kemeny-Oppenheim sense is not intended. The present essay takes a fresh look at the basic mathematics of K-O comparative vocabulary theoretical term reductions, from historical and philosophical standpoints, as a contribution to the history of the philosophy of science. The K-O theoretical reduction model qualifies a theory replacement as a successful reduction when preconditions of explanatory adequacy and comparable systematicization are met, and there occur fewer numbers of theoretical terms identified as replicable syntax types in the most economical statement of a theory’s putative propositional truths, as compared with the theoretical term count for the theory it replaces. The challenge to the historical model developed here, to help explain its scope and limitations, involves the potential for equivocal theoretical meanings of multiple theoretical term tokens of the same syntactical type.
2. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Franz Huber For True Conditionalizers Weisberg’s Paradox is a False Alarm
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Weisberg (2009) introduces a phenomenon he terms perceptual undermining. He argues that it poses a problem for Jeffrey conditionalization (Jeffrey 1983), and Bayesian epistemology in general. This is Weisberg’s paradox. Weisberg (2014) argues that perceptual undermining also poses a problem for ranking theory (Spohn 2012) and for Dempster-Shafer theory (Shafer 1976). In this note I argue that perceptual undermining does not pose a problem for any of these theories: for true conditionalizers Weisberg’s paradox is a false alarm.
3. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Franck Lihoreau Revelation and the Essentiality of Essence
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It is usually agreed that the Revelation Thesis about experience – the idea that the knowledge we gain by having an experience somehow “reveals” the essence, or nature, of this experience – only requires that we know the essence of the experience, not that we know, of this essence, that it is the essence of the experience. I contest this agreement. In the light of what I call the “Essentiality of Essence Principle” – the principle that whatever is in the essence of something is also essentially so – I argue that the Revelation Thesis does require that we know, of the essence of an experience, that it is the essence of the experience, and draw some conclusions about the plausibility of that thesis.
4. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Teodor Dima Introductory Note
5. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Ionuț-Alexandru Bârliba Søren Kierkegaard’s Repetition: Existence in Motion
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This article tries to make sense of the concept of repetition in Søren Kierkegaard’s works. According to Kierkegaard repetition is a temporal movement of existence. What is repetition and what is its meaning for human existence? In answering this question the Danish philosopher depicts repetition by comparing three different approaches to life. Throughout the article I try to develop a coherent argument on ‘the new philosophical category’ by analysing the three types of repetition and their corresponding human prototypes. I consider repetition a key concept in summarizing Kierkegaard’s theory of existence, where existence pictures the becoming of the human-self that follows several stages. Constantin Constantius’s repetition is an unsuccessful attempt, an aesthetic expression of human-life. The young lover’s repetition is spiritual, albeit not yet authentic, religious, but more poetic, even if he regains his self. Only Job’s repetition is an authentic movement of existence, an expression of a spiritual trial and of genuine faith.
6. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Scott Aikin, Emily McGill-Rutherford Stoicism, Feminism and Autonomy
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The ancient Stoics had an uneven track record with regard to women’s standing. On the one hand, they recognized women as fully capable of rationality and virtue. On the other hand, they continued to hold that women’s roles were in the home. These views are consistent, given Stoic value theory, but are unacceptable on liberal feminist grounds. Stoic value theory, given different emphasis on the ethical role of choice, is shown to be capable of satisfying the liberal feminist requirement that autonomy must be respected. In turn, a model for Stoic feminism is proposed.
7. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Clayton Littlejohn Skeptical Thoughts Concerning Explanationism and Skepticism
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According to the explanationist, we can rely on inference to best explanation to justifiably believe familiar skeptical hypotheses are false. On this view, commonsense beliefs about the existence and character of familiar, medium-sized dry goods provides the best explanation of our evidence and so justifies our belief that we're not brains-in-vats. This explanationist approach seems prima facie plausible until we press the explanationist to tell us what the data is that we're trying to explain by appeal to our beliefs about external objects and how we could have access to it.
8. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Hamid Vahid Some Problems With Steadfast Strategies for Rational Disagreement
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Current responses to the question of how one should adjust one's beliefs in response to peer disagreement have, in general, formed a spectrum at one end of which sit the so-called ‘conciliatory’ views and whose other end is occupied by the ‘steadfast’ views. While the conciliatory views of disagreement maintain that one is required to make doxastic conciliation when faced with an epistemic peer who holds a different stance on a particular subject, the steadfast views allow us to maintain our confidence in our relevant beliefs. My aim in this paper is not to adjudicate between these views. Rather, I shall focus on a particular strategy, namely, denying the appearance of epistemic symmetry between peers, that the steadfast views standardly invoke in support of their position. Having closely examined certain representative examples of the steadfast approach, I will argue that this strategy is fundamentally flawed.
9. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Andreea Iancu The Human Security Paradigm and Cosmopolitan Democracy
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This paper discusses the relation between the human security paradigm and the cosmopolitan democracy scenario as models for humanizing and changing the current international system and transforming it in a global security and development system centered on the individual rather than on the nation state. The main idea for which I argue is that the human security paradigm and the changes it determined in international relations (especially through the responsibility to protect principle) are compatible with the cosmopolitan democracy scenario for changing and transforming the current international system.
10. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Thom Brooks Equality, Fairness, and Responsibility in an Unequal World
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Severe poverty is a major global problem about risk and inequality. What, if any, is the relationship between equality, fairness and responsibility in an unequal world? I argue for four conclusions. The first is the moral urgency of severe poverty. We have too many global neighbours that exist in a state of emergency and whose suffering is intolerable. The second is that severe poverty is a problem concerning global injustice that is relevant, but not restricted, to questions about responsibility. If none were responsible, this does not eliminate all compelling claims to provide assistance. The third is that severe poverty represents an inequality too far; it is a condition of extremity with denial of basic needs. The fourth is that there is a need for an approach that captures all relevant cases – and the capabilities approach and the connection theory of remedial responsibilities are highlighted as having special promise.
11. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Ana-Maria Hojbotă Implicit Theories of Morality, Personality, and Contextual Factors in Moral Appraisal
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This article explores the implicit theories of morality, or the conceptions regarding the patterns of stability, continuity and change in moral dispositions, both in lay and academic discourses. The controversies surrounding these conceptions and the fragmentation of the models and perspectives in metaethics and moral psychology endangers the pursuit of adequate operationalizations of morally relevant constructs. The current debate between situationists, who deny that character is an useful concept for understanding human behavior, which is better explained by contextual factors (Doris 1998; Harman 1998) and dispositionists, who advocate the crosssituational stability of traits, is also present in the lay discourse, through the existence of competing commonsense ontological assumptions regarding the mutability or alterability of moral features, namely the implicit theories perspective (Chiu, Dweck, Tong, and Fu 1997). These personal theories are the primary suspects in the affective and cognitive reactions to transgressions: the type of attended information in formulating evaluative judgments, the calibration of moral responsibility and blameworthiness, the assignment of retribution or reparatory recommendations to transgressors. In the second part of the study we attempt to advance toward a more fine-grained inspection of these lay beliefs, arguing that the construct of implicit theories of morality, as it is currently treated and measured, tends to be restrictive and oversimplifying.
12. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Alexandru-Stelian Gulei Remigration, Identity, and Adjustment
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Migration generates well-being for individuals and communities, but the pursuit of well-being is not without risks. Tens of thousands of Romanian children are affected by the migration of their parents, others have to cope with the effects of their own migration. Should migrants have difficulties adjusting when returning “home”? Is readjustment even possible for all remigrants, without support? The article aims to present some issues that the remigrants are confronted with when trying to readjust to their communities of origin. The article shows how readjustment is influenced by the social image, which in turn influences the social support for their adjustment and subsequent development.
13. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Ana-Nicoleta Huluba Grigore The Dynamics of the Roles of Aggressor and Victim in Bullying and Cyberbullying: A Challenge for the Resilient Development of Students
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The diversification of the current types of bullying among students due to the appearance of a new type of school violence, cyberbullying, has led to a series of reevaluations regarding the definition of school violence and the risks that are likely to appear in the education and development of students. The present paper offers a comparative analysis of the roles of the students involved in bullying and those of the students involved in cyberbullying. In the manifestation of the bullying behavior, students move easily from "being an aggressor face to face" to committing similar aggressions in the cyber environment. Meanwhile, traditional victims have new opportunities of expression via technologically mediated devices. Thus, in the current context, the game of violence among students creates much higher risks of developing long-term negative psychological consequences. However, students can also acquire effective ways of managing this problem, generating some positive consequences for their resilient development.
14. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Cristina-Georgiana Voicu Cognitive and Identitarian Aspects in Jean Rhys’ Fiction
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From Gnỗthi seautόn (‘Know Thyself’) to cognitive theories of the self there has been a long time, but the paradigm has almost remained the same. This article proposes a reconsideration of their rediscovery filtered through Jean Rhys’ post-colonial sensitivity. Between the ‘core self’ and its iridescent, exotic edges, broadly speaking, the thoroughly analyzed facets of cultural identity interpose.
15. Symposion: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Jason Aleksander The Problem of Temporality in the Literary Framework of Nicholas of Cusa’s De pace fidei
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This paper explores Nicholas of Cusa’s framing of the De pace fidei as a dialogue taking place in caelo rationis. On the one hand, this framing allows Nicholas of Cusa to argue that all religious rites presuppose the truth of a single, unified faith and so temporally manifest divine logos in a way accommodated to the historically unique conventions of different political communities. On the other hand, at the end of the De pace fidei, the interlocutors in the heavenly dialogue are enjoined to return to earth and lead their countrymen in a gradual conversion to the acceptance of rites which would explicitly acknowledge the metaphysically presupposed transcendent unity of all true faiths. In light of these two aspects of the literary framing of the De pace fidei, the question that motivates this paper concerns the extent to which the understanding of history subtending Cusanus’ temporal political aims is consistent with the understanding of history grounded in his metaphysical presupposition that there is una religio in omni diversitate rituum. In addressing this question, I shall argue that the literary strategy of the De pace fidei sacrifices Nicholas of Cusa’s apologetic doctrinal aims insofar as the text creates an allegorical space in which the tension between its literal and figurative dimensions assigns to its readers the task of choosing their own orientations to the significance of history as a foundation for future action.
16. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Nicholas Rescher Consciousness
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Consciousness is sometimes viewed as a particular parametric factor in the analogy of blood pressure or electric charge. The paper argues that this is an erroneous conception becomes consciousness involves a varied assortment of different phenomena that have no single unified commonality. And so even as ‘abnormal psychology’ has to be a disjointed assembly of diverse specialties so will ‘consciousness studies’ have to be.
17. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Anca Dohotariu « Articuler » vie familiale et vie professionnelle: un objectif européen dans les politiques roumaines de l’égalité des chances ?
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This article intends to show the distance between work-life balance as a political and social issue at the EU and Romanian level, through the lens of the local gender equality policies following the process of EU accession. The article provides, in its first part, a brief presentation of the main theoretical axes structuring the available literature, followed up by the analysis of the occurrence of the work-life balance issue at the European level. Then the study examines the normative dimension of work-life balance in post-communist Romania, seeking to understand to what extent work-life balance policies have been designed and implemented in the last 25 years.
18. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Val Codrin Tăut Conversio ad phantasmata: Gouvernement, sécurité et imagination
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This article investigates the technical rationalities of modern forms of government. Conceived in a Foucauldian vein, the paper argues for an interpretation of security dispositifs which sustain the structures of modern government. The main argument developed in the article is that there is a difference between two securities diagrams: the preventive and the anticipatory. The first one is using rational devices like the actuarial table while the second is aiming to instrumentalise the imagination.
19. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Silviu-Petru Grecu Difficulties of Democratic Transition in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova
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This article analyses, in a comparative manner, the situation of democratization in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. The analysis is based on nine variables/ criteria: the effective number of political parties, the electoral system, institutional corruption, the legal background, the political freedom and civil rights, civil society, economic freedom, economic growth and the quality of democracy. The study shows that the two countries have a fragile democracy, emphasizing the main factor affecting their democratic consolidation: the fact that their Soviet past determines in the collective psychology the recurrence of communist values and practices. Democratic fragility is, therefore, both the product of a common communist history and of a civic model of the parish type, dominated by authoritarianism, political apathy and lack of ‘rule of law.’
20. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Roxana Marin Value Attainment, Orientations, and Quality-Based Profile of the Local Political Elites in East-Central Europe: Evidence from Four Towns
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The present paper is an attempt at examining the value configuration and the socio-demographical profiles of the local political elites in four countries of East-Central Europe: Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Poland. The treatment is a comparative one, predominantly descriptive and exploratory, and employs, as a research method, the case-study, being a quite circumscribed endeavor. The cases focus on the members of the Municipal/Local Council in four towns similar in terms of demography and developmental strategies (i.e. small-to-medium sized communities of around 35,000 inhabitants, with economies largely based on food industry and commercial activities): Tecuci (Galați county, Romania), Česk| Lípa (Liberec region, Czech Republic), Targovishte (Targovishte province, Bulgaria), and Oleśnica (Lower Silesia province, Poland). Hypothesizing that the local elites of the former Sovietized Erurope tend to differ in outlook, priorities, and value attainment, as compared to their Western counterparts, the paper considers the former’s attitudes and perspectives in regard to seven values: a series of values customarily connected with the concept of ‘democracy’ (i.e. citizen participation, political conflict, gradual change, economic equality), state intervention in economy, decentralization and increased local autonomy, cultural-geographical self-identification. The study uses, as well, five models of value attainment in what concerns the ‘ideal portrait’ of the local councilor (Putnam 1976): ethical, pragmatic, technocratic, political, and gender. According to the results of a study applying a standard written questionnaire among the local councilors of the three communities in the period December 2010-February 2013, the paper distinguishes among three corresponding types of local elites: (1) ‘predominantly elitistic,’ (2) ‘democratic elitist,’ and (3) ‘predominantly democratic,’ following two types of explanation accounting for the differences among the four cases: the legacy of the defunct regime and the degree of administrative decentralization.