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1. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Thomas Edelson Does Artificial Intellgence Require Artificial Ego?: A Critique of Haugeland
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John Haugeland, in Artiftcial Intelligence: The Very Idea, predicts that it will not be possible to create systems whieh understand discourse about people unless those systems share certain characteristics of people, specifically what he calls “ego involvement”. I argue that he has failed to establish this. In fact, I claim that his argument fails at two points. First, he has not established that it is impossible to understand ego involvement without simulating the processes which underlie it. Second, even if the first point be granted, the conclusion does not follow, for it is possible to simulate ego involvement without having it.
2. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Richard Foley Fumerton’s Puzzle
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There is a puzzle that is faced by every philosophical account of rational belief, rational strategy, rational planning or whatever. I describe this puzzle, examine Richard Fumerton’s proposed solution to it and then go on to sketch my own preferred solution.
3. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Béla Szabados Embarrassment and Self-Esteem
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Emotions are in as a philosophical topic. Yet the recent literature is bent on grand theorizing rather than attempting to explore particular emotions and their roles in our lives. In this paper, I aim to remedy this situation a little by exploring the emotion of embarrassment. First, I critically examine R.C. Solomon’s conceptual sketch and try to distinguish “embarrassment” from “shame”, “humiliation” and “being amused”. Secondly, I argue that “private embarrassment” is a coherent and useful idea and social scientists and philosophers who dismiss it as unintelligible are mistaken. Thirdly, I discuss the question why is embarrassment (unlike other emotions) catching. Fourth, I make the heretical suggestion that doing philosophy is essentially embarrassing for Socratic interlocutors. Throughout the paper there is a discussion of possible links between embarrassment and loss of self-esteem.
4. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Dan Turner Rand Socialist?
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In an article for this journal Michael Goldman has argued, inter alia, that Ayn Rand’s ethical views are, contrary to her own belief, inconsistent with capitalism. Despite the apparent perversity of such a claim, his argument has some plausibiIity. This paper is a response to Goldman’s argument, a clarification of and among the relevant concepts, and a suggestion for an alternative--more plausible and interesting--interpretation of a relevant aspect of Rand’s ethical position, viz., her views about how human beings ought to relate to each other.
5. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Otto Weininger Metaphysics: (Containing the idea of a universal symbolism, animal psychology [with a fairly complete psychology of the criminal], etc.)
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This is a translation of a posthumous essay by the Viennese philosopher-psychologist, Otto Weininger (1880-1903). His main book, Sex and Character, was published in 1903 (English version, 1906). Many distinguished Viennese were deeply influenced by Weininger; among them was Ludwig Wittgenstein, who paid tribute to him even late in his life. In particular, he is known to have admired the present essay and its foray into “animal psychology”. The investigation of the significance for human psychology of dogs and other animals is part of a larger scheme which Weininger sketches, to investigate the symbolism of all kinds of things. His ultimate goal is to reveal the relationship between the microcosm of the human consciousness and the macrocosm of the external universe. Hence the title, “metaphysics”.
6. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Panayot Butchvarov The Demand for Justification in Ethics
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The common belief that the epistemic credentials of ethics are quite questionable, and therefore in need of special justification, is an illusion made possible by the logical gap between reason and belief. This gap manifests itself sometimes even outside ethics. In ethics its manifestations are common, because of the practical nature of ethics. The attempt to cover it up takes the form of exorbitant demands for justification and often leads to espousing noncognitivism.
7. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Barbara von Eckardt Some Remarks on Laudan’s Theory of Scientific Rationality
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When is it rational to pursue a research tradition? In Progress and Its Problems, Laudan suggests that if a research tradition RT has a higher rate of progress than any of its rivals, where the rate of progress of an RT is the problem solving effectiveness of its theories over time, then it is rational to pursue RT. In this paper I offer a number of criticisms of this suggestion, with special attention to the current controversy over the rational pursuability of cognitive science.
8. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Russell Hardin Rationally Justifying Political Coercion
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The central problem of political philosophy is how to justify coercion by government. For political theories that are based in a rational accounting of the interests of the polity, citizens must have consented at least indirectly to coercion. Such indirect consent to coercion is plausible for ordinary contexts such as, for example, submitting to legally enforceable contracts. Unfortunately, however, Hobbesian mutual advantage, contemporary contractarian, and Lockean natural rights theories, all of which ground the state in rational interests at least in large part, can justify government coercion only in principle. They cannot justify coercion by actual states. In practice, these theories are morally indeterminate.
9. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Robert K. Shope A Causal Theory of Intending
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Having an intention can be analyzed in terms of certain causal powers possessed by an instance of one’s having a thought of a certain state of affairs, where a certain preference is what causes those powers to be present. A suitable understanding of such a prcference emerges from a discussion of Wayne A. Davis’ analysis of intending. However, Davis’ emphasis on belief and desire rather than on instances of having a thought leads to difficulties for his analysis of intending. After supplementing my own analysis with a sufficient condition of intentional action, I defend my approach by relating it to D.F. Gustafson’s Intention and Agency.
10. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Anthony Serafini Callahan on Harming the Dead
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In this paper I try to defend the notion that the dead can be harmed, in opposition to Callahan and in accord with some ideas of Feinberg. In agreement with Parlit, I argue that the existence of a person has degrees. I suggest that properlies of a subject, such as “reputations” and claims, can persist after death, aIthough the subject as such does not and that these can be harmed. A promise, e.g., can be frustrated merely by being ignored; in that sense a dead person can be wronged, and if wronged, s/he can be harmed.
11. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Edmund N. Santurri Response to Langan’s “Egoism and Morality in the Theological Teleology of Thomas Aquinas”
12. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Eric Russert Kraemer On The Moral Twin-Earth Challenge to New-Wave Moral Realism
13. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Phillip H. Wiebe Existential Assumptions for Aristotelian Logic
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This paper addresses the question of what existential assumptions are needed for the Aristotelian interpretation of the relationships between the four categorical propositions. The particular relationships in question are those unique to the Aristotelian logic, namely, contrariety, subcontrariety, subaltemation, conversion by limitation, and contraposition by limitation. The views of several recent authors of logic textbooks are surveyed. While most construe the Aristotelian logic as capable of being preserved by assuming that the subject class has a member, Irving Copi construes that logic as requiring that four assumptions about class membership be made. These are that the subject, predicate, complement of subject, and complement of predicate classes all have members. It is argued that only three assumptions about class membership are needed, viz., that subject, predicate, and complement of predicate classes have members.
14. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Saul Smilansky The Contrariety of Combatibilist Positions
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The compatibilist position on the free will problem tends to be perceived as clear, rather unitary and consistent even by those who oppose it. This notion is mistaken, and is harmful to the recognition of the weaknesses and strengths of compatibilism. By examining the three main compatibilist positions and their interrelationships, I attempt to see whether compatibilists can continue to hold together the different positions; and if they cannot, which position they should remain with. The conclusions reached are that compatibilists ought to opt for one (‘control’) type of compatibilism, but that compatibilism is only partially convincing.
15. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Gregory Fried Heidegger’s “Polemos”
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Despite the rekindling of an often bitter debate as to the meaning of Martin Heidegger’s involvement with National Socialism, little has been done to address afresh the texts themselves of the period in question and the problematic to which Heidegger conceived he was applying himself. Defying Enlightenment universalism, Heidegger asserts that meaningful human existence requires a belonging in a particular historical community whose integrity must be sustained in what he calls “Auseinandersetzung,”---confrontation. This paper attempts to show how “Auseinandersetzung,” itself Heidegger’s translation of the Greek word “polemos,” underlies central concepts of Heidegger”s ontology, influencing his views on work, art, and great creators. The current controversy lends us an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of fascism and the foundation for politics in a global era.
16. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Alfred R. Mele Incontinent Belief: A Rejoinder
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Brian McLaughlin, in “Incontinent Belief” (Journal of Philosophical Research 15 [1989-90] , pp. 115-26), takes issue with my investigation, in lrrationality (Oxford University Press, 1987), of a doxastic analogue of akratic action. He deems what I term “strict akratic belief” philosophically uninteresting. In the present paper, I explain that this assessment rests on a serious confusion about the sort of possibility that is at issue in my chapter on the topic, correct a variety of misimpressions, and rebut McLaughlin’s arguments as they apply to the psychological possibility of strict akratic belief and to the etiology of beliefs generally.
17. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Judith Andre The Demands of Deontology Are Not So Paradoxical
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The “paradox of deontology” depends partly upon ignoring the special responsibility each person has for her own actions, and partly upon ignoring the essential differences between refraining from X and persuading another to refrain. But only in part; the paradoxical situations schematized by Shaw can occasionally occur. When they do, his pragmatic defense of deontology is sound.
18. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Wayne Wasserman, Charles Sayward Nagel, Internalism, and Relativism
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In this paper we (1) give a new interpretation to Thomas Nagel’s The Possibility of Altruism, and (2) use that account to show how internalism and anti-relativism are compatible, despite appearances to the contrary.
19. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Suzanne Cunningham A Darwinian Approach to Functionalism
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I argue against the claim of certain functionalists, like Jerry Fodor, that theories of psychological states ought to abstract from the physiology of the systems that exhibit such states. Taking seriously Darwin’s claim that living organisms struggle to survive, and that their “mental powers” are adaptations that assist them in this struggle, I argue that not only emotions but also paradigm cognitive states like beliefs are intimately bound up with the physiology of the organism and its efforts to maintain its own well-being. I defend the definitional aspirations of functionalism but reject its attempt at ontological neutrality.
20. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Thomas W. Satre Human Dignity and Capital Punishment
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This paper reviews the concept of human dignity as it has evolved in recent decisions by the United States Supreme Court, and the paper then sketches a “rights based” theory of human dignity. Among the principles of human dignity is a principle of compensation for mistakes in the treatment of any person. A broad concept of mistake is outlined, and, in terms of this concept and the principles of dignity, the practice of capital punishment is examined. An argument by Jeffrie Murphy against capital punishment is stated and criticized and a stronger argument against capital punishment is presented.