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141. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
Tim Kenyon Are Names Ambiguous?
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It is widely held that proper names are ambiguous in some sense, a view commonly associated with the theory that names are, when suitably idealized, semantically “rigid designators”. In this brief paper I suggest that, while some refinement of the concept of a name is surely appropriate, proper names do not very clearly meet the standards normally used to determine ambiguity. There is reason to regard shared names as semantically univocal, including some evidence from development linguistics to regard a grasp of names as having a metalinguistic descriptive aspect.
142. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
Josep Macià Is Horwich’s Deflationary Account of Meaning an Alternative to Truth-Theoretic Semantics?
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In recent writings Paul Horwich has pursued two related aims: (i) To show “how small a constraint is provided by compositionality” (Horwich 1998, chapter 7, p. 183). “The compositionality of meaning imposes no constraint at all on how the meaning properties of words are constituted” (p. 154). (ii) To present a deflationary alternative to the “Davidsonian truth-theoretic perspective” (Horwich 2001) The paper has three sections: in section 1 I make some comments on compositionality, in section 2 I argue that Horwich does not succeed in achieving aim (i), and in section 3 I argue that he does not succeed either in achieving aim (ii).
143. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
Julian Nida-Rümelin Why Rational Deontological Action Optimizes Subjective Value
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In present day philosophy there are two competing views regarding practical rationality: (1) Decision and game theory and economic theory have developed a theory of rational decision which has proven to be fruitful in many areas of social science. Practical philosophy should work with that paradigm (2) Economic theory and decision theory do not have an adequate account of practical rationality. The homo oeconomicus model is – at best – one perspective which competes inter alia with philosophical accounts of practical reason.In this article I try to show that these two seemingly opposing views are in fact compatible. I argue that consequentialism is an inadequate account of rationality because rational action is deontological in character. Nevertheless the decision theoretic conceptual frame should not be given up. Deontology and decision theory can be made compatible via comprehensive description of action. The conceptual frame of decision theory should be interpreted as coherentist, not consequentialist. With this intertretation deontological action, if rational, maximizes subjective value.
144. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
145. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
Louise Röska-Hardy Reframing the Issues: On Donald Davidson’s Sea-change in Philosophical Thinking
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In his philosophy Donald Davidson developed original proposals, suggested innovative applications and moved philosophical debate forward by reframing key issues in analytic philosophy. In doing so, he attempted to bring about a profound transformation of the problems of modern philosophy by reframing philosophical issues. It is argued that essays in the collection, Donald Davidson, edited by Kirk Ludwig, show that the profound consequences of Davidson’s way of reframing issues about meaning, agency and mind have yet to be fully appreciated.
146. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
On ProtoSociology
147. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
Shmuel N. Eisenstadt The Transformations of the Religious Dimension in the Constitution of Contemporary Modernities
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This paper analyzes different aspects of the far-reaching resurgence or reconstruction of religions is taking place in the contemporary world. This resurgence is manifest among others in the rise of new religious, especially fundamentalist and communal-national movements, in the crystallization of new diasporas with strong religious identities, as well as far-reaching transformations of the major religious components in the constitution of contemporary collective identities and public arenas.The central focus of such reconstruction or reconstitution of the religious dimension in the classical model of the nation and revolutionary states was delegated or confined, is the transposition thereof from private or secondary public spheres, into the various political and cultural arenas and in the central frameworks of collective identities of many societies, thus greatly transforming the basic premises of the classical nation and revolutionary state. This resurgence of religion does not entail a simple return of some traditional forms of religion, but rather a far-reaching reconstitution of the religious component in new modern settings which transcends the vision of the “classical” cultural and political program of modernity and of the model of the modern nation state.
148. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
149. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
Cooperations – Announcements
150. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
Forthcoming Volume
151. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
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152. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
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153. ProtoSociology: Volume > 21
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154. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Sofia Miguens D. Dennett’s brand of anti-representationalism: a key to philosophical issues of cognitive science
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Although D. Dennett is sometimes accused of insensitivity to ‘real’, first-person problems of the mind, his Intentional Systems Theory offers a comprehensive, cognitive science grounded, account of the nature of subjectivity. This account involves views on intentionality (concern­ing the nature of the representation relation, content, psychological explanation), consciousness (comprising a functionalist model, a second order, belief-like, theory of self-awareness, and a deflationary view of qualia), personhood and freedom of action (concerning what must be in place in terms of cognition for the mentalistic concepts of ‘person’ and ‘action’ to apply). Since Dennett defends that the principles for understanding intentionality and consciousness are the same, in order to understand his brand of anti-representationalism we must deal with both intentionality and consciousness. That is what I will do in this article. I will also discuss the metaphysical implications of anti-representationalism, and in general use Dennett’s work as a key to describe how a range of philosophical issues of cognitive science appear from an anti-representationalist point of view.
155. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Kent Johnson Externalist Thoughts and the Scope of Linguistics
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A common assumption in metaphysics and the philosophy of language is that the general structure of language displays the general metaphysical structure of the things we talk about. But expressions can easily be imperfect representations of what they are about. After clarifying this general point, I make a case study of a recent attempt to semantically analyze the nature of knowledge-how. This attempt fails because there appears to be no plausible bridge from the linguistic structure of knowledge-how reports to knowledge-how itself. I then gesture at some other places where the connection between linguistics and metaphysics is commonly, but illegitimately, assumed.
156. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Christopher Viger Presentations and Symbols: What Cognition Requires of Representationalism
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I consider how several results from cognitive science bear on the nature of representation and how representations might be structured. Distinguishing two notions of representation, presentations, which are cases of direct sensing, and symbols, which stand in for something else, I argue that only symbols pose a philosophical problem for naturalizing content. What is required is an account of how one thing can stand in for another. Milner and Goodale’s dual route model of vision offers a model for this ‘stand-in’ relation. Following this model, symbols must play a functional role of activating cognitive operations relevant to what the symbols stand in for. What emerges is an interconnected network of symbols whose tokenings are central – as opposed to modular – cognitive operations. A consequence of this view, which I call an acquired language of thought (ALOT) since most of the symbols humans use are the words of a natural language, is that the framework for central cognition is constructed during the acquisition of a natural language lexicon.Presentations and Symbols: What Cognition Requires of Representationalism
157. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Perceptual Content Elka Shortsleeve and Kelly Trogdon
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Any adequate account of the content of perceptual experience should meet the following four constraints. First, it should simply tell us what perceptual content is. Second, it should explain why some perceptual states are transparent in a manner no cognitive states are. Third, it should explain – perhaps explain away – the apparent discrepancy between the capacity for richness in representational detail of the content of perceptual states and the relative representational sparseness of the content of cognitive states. Fourth, it should provide intuitively acceptable accuracy conditions for perceptions. Our paper outlines an account of perceptual content that meets these desiderata, in addition to being simple and, we think, intuitively appealing.
158. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Diana I. Pérez The Nonconceptual Contents of our Minds
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The aim of this paper is to review the controversy concerning the nature of nonconceptual content, and its philosophical implications. I will focus the presentation on three topics: (a) the different motivations behind the postulation of nonconceptual content, (b) the arguments for nonconceptual content, and (c) the different characterizations offered of nonconceptual content (and the problem these definitions pose). In the last section of the paper I will mention the presuppositions behind this notion and analyze a couple of paradoxical theses that emerged from this discussion.
159. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Urszula Żegleń From Representation and Identification to Misrepresentation and Misidentification
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The paper advocates the representational approach to the cognitive system. The issue of representation is considered on the example of visual perception – wherein perception is treated as a complex cognitive process whose final stage is perceptual experience with non-conceptual content. A perceiver is not only able to individuate an external object, but to identify it visually as well. In the controversy between conceptualists and non-conceptualists I stand for the moderate position arguing for the claim that in the efficient human cognitive system non-conceptual perceptual representational content is complemented by conceptual one. The problem of misrepresentation in misleading perception is analyzed contextually as the problem of misidentification.
160. ProtoSociology: Volume > 22
Liza Skidelsky Personal-Subpersonal: The Problems of the Inter-level Relations
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Although the personal-subpersonal distinction was first proposed in 1969 by D. Dennett, it has been approximately in the last ten years that it has received in­creasing attention and has became a widely used distinction particularly in the philosophy of mind and cognitive psychology literature. While the distinction is ubiquitous there are a few recent proposals about the relationship between the levels, namely, inter alia, the mixed horizontal explanation (Bermúdez 2000), the semantic view of computation (Peacocke 1994), and interaction without reduction (Davies 2000a, b). In this paper I will first describe the way of understanding the distinction shared by the proposals aforementioned. Second, I will show some of the difficulties facing each proposal. Finally, I will suggest what I consider are the misleading assumptions that are at the root of the proposed strategies of inter-level relations.