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21. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Juan Adolfo Bonaccini Concerning the Relationship Between Non-Spatiotemporality and Unknowability of Things in Themselves in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason
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In the present paper is analyzed the relationship between Kant's theses concerning unknowability and non-spatiotemporality of things in themselves. First of all, it is argued that even by taking for granted that the Unknowability Thesis does not contradict the Non-Spatiotemporality Thesis, because the former can be thought as a consequence of the latter, this is not enough to avoid another problem, namely, that the Non-Spatiotemporality Thesis is not sufficient to abolish the possibility of thinking consistently of space and time as empirical or material. It is also remembered that this point has already been partially envisaged for the first time by H.A. Pistorius (and later by A. Trendelenburg) and raised as the objection of the "third possibility" or "neglected alternative." Furthermore, it is maintained that although Kant tries to eliminate this possibility in the Metaphysical Expositions of Space and Time (but not in the Antinomies), by attempting to prove that space and time are only formal necessary conditions of sensibility, he cannot do it successfully. Hereafter it is argued that his circumstance is not due to the above objection itself, but to another difficulty that can only be grasped through the analysis of Kant's main argument in the Metaphysical Expositions of Transcendental Aesthetic. Ultimately, in order to show this difficulty, it is argued first that insofar as the Non-spatiotemporality Thesis supposes the validity of the Singularity Thesis, and this supposes the validity of the Apriority Thesis, the whole force of proof reposes on this latter. Secondly, it is shown that, despite his effort, Kant could not justify satisfactorily his claim to the formal apriority of space and time because of his failure to demonstrate necessarily the Apriority Thesis.
22. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Miran Bozovic Malebranche’s Occasionalism: The Philosophy in the Garden of Eden
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According to Malebranche, Adam should be considered as an occasionalist philosopher. Not only did philosophy originate in paradise, but it in fact originated as Malebranchian occasionalism. It was in order to be able to persist in his occasionalist belief that Adam was given exceptional power over his body, that is, the power to detach the principal part of his brain (i.e., the seat of the soul) from the rest of the body. It was only in continually detaching the principal part of his brain from the rest of the body that Adam was able to persist in his occasionalist belief despite the unmistakable testimony of his sense to the contrary. Having once sinned, he thereupon lost his psychophysical privilege. Whereas pre-lapsarian physiology made Adam's belief in the causal efficacy of God possible, post-lapsarian physiology, in contrast, necessarily engenders and sustains belief in the causal efficacy of bodies. It was only as a result of the post-lapsarian physiology that some of the central problems of early modern philosophy arose. Contingent upon Adam's psychophysical privilege, occasionalism was possible only in paradise.
23. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Maria de Lourdes Borges Hegel and Kant on the Ontological Argument
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I intend to present Kant's refutation of the ontological argument as confronted by Hegel's critique of Kant's refutation. The ontological argument can be exposed in a syllogistic way: everything I conceive as belonging clearly and distinctly to the nature or essence of something can be asserted as true of something. I perceive clearly and distinctly that existence belongs to the nature or essence of a perfect being; therefore, existence can be stated as true of a supremely perfect being, that is, perfect being exists. I intend to argue that Kant criticizes both the major and minor premises. To the major premise, he objects that there is an unqualified passage from the logical to the ontological level. To the minor premise, he objects that existence is not a concept predicate. Finally, I will show how Hegel criticizes Kant's refutation. To the former, Kant's critique is naïve as he could prove that existence is not inherent to a finite being's concept, which is not the concept of God.
24. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
James Fieser Hume’s Wide Construal of the Virtues
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The term "virtue" has traditionally been used to designate morally good character traits such as benevolence, charity, honesty, wisdom, and honor. Although ethicists do not commonly offer a definitive list of virtues, the number of virtues discussed is often short and their moral significance is clear. Hume's analysis of the virtues departs from this tradition both in terms of the quantity of virtues discussed and their obvious moral significance. A conservative estimate of the various virtues Hume refers to in his moral writings would put the number at around seventy, with the more untraditional ones including wit, good manners, and dialog. Unsurprisingly, Hume's critics have attacked him for making nonsense of the concept of virtue by construing it so widely. Hume was aware that his broad understanding of virtue was controversial and he offered several defenses for it. After presenting the neglected attacks of his contemporaries along with Hume's response, I argue that a problem remains: by failing to distinguish between degrees of virtue, Hume also fails to distinguish between degrees of vice. But, some vices (e.g., malevolence) clearly deserve punishment whereas other alleged vices (e.g., uncleanliness) clearly do not. Thus, for adequate retribution, a distinction is needed between important and less important virtues and vices. I conclude that Hume could have used his own account of instinctive vengeance as a natural indicator for distinguishing between important and unimportant vices.
25. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Paola Giacomoni Paideia as Bildung in Germany in the Age of Enlightenment
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There have been many interpretations of Bildung in the history of German philosophy, from the Medieval mystics to the secularization of the Enlightenment. Wilhelm von Humboldt's work at the end of the 18th century is a good example. He placed the idea of Bildung at the center of his work because it was rooted in a dynamic, transforming idea of the natural and human worlds while also being oriented toward a model of balance and perfection. Von Humboldt's interpretation of modernity is characterized by a strong emphasis on change as well as the need to find criteria for guiding such a transformation that has no intrinsic or predetermined end. Love of classical antiquity was not merely nostalgia for a lost world, a normative current that placed the idea of perfection and balance foremost in order to achieve the ideal of Humanitas in an attempt to overcome the unilaterally of modernity.
26. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Robert Greenberg Kant’s Categories Reconsidered
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Adopting a Quinean criterion of ontological commitment, I consider the question of the ontological commitment of Kant's theory of our a priori knowledge of objects. Its direct concern is the customary view that the ontology of Kant's theory of knowledge in general, whether a priori or empirical, must be thought in terms of the a priori conditions or representations of space, time, and the categories. Accordingly, this view is accompanied by the customary interpretation of ontology as consisting of Kantian "appearances" or "empirical objects." I argue against this view and interpretation. My argument turns on the opposition between the necessity and universality of the a priori and the particularity and contingency of the existent. Its main point is that the a priori can remain necessary and universal only if the existence of objects is kept distinct from it.
27. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Edgard José Jorge Filho Radical Evil and the Possibility of the Conversion into Good
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According to Kant, radical evil is the deep inherent blemish of our species that does not spare even the best of people. Despite judging the extirpation of such evil as an impossibility, Kant holds out the possibility of converting evil into good by means of human forces. But how can this be given the radical evil of human nature? I articulate various problems that arise from Kant’s conception of conversion while exploring certain resources in his thinking in order to clarify and resolve this difficulty. The difficulty nears an aporia when Kant asks: how can a bad tree bear good fruit? Two arguments will be presented as answers. The first maintains that free will is not definitely committed to any maxim generally accepted. The second points out the possibility of compromise between free will and a good ground maxim as the way to build up a coherent system of maxims. This would be clearly impossible if a bad ground maxim were chosen. While undecisive, the second argument is relevant because it leads to the overcoming of a certain incoherence in Kant's thought. In this way, I argue that the thesis of an existing intrinsic deficiency of the radical evil enjoys the status of a "quasi foundation" of human behavior.
28. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Timo Kajamies Are Spinozistic Ideas Cartesian Judgements?
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Some commentators maintain that Spinozistic active ideas are judgements. I shall call this view the common interpretation, since it is popular to interpret Spinoza as reacting against Descartes's theory of ideas. According to this reading, Spinozistic ideas are considered not as Cartesian ideas but as Cartesian judgements. One clear difference between Descartes and Spinoza is that Spinoza holds that ideas are active, while Descartes does not. According to the common interpretation, Spinoza and Descartes use the concept of activity in the same way. Since Descartes holds that judgements are active, it is maintained that Spinozistic active ideas are like Cartesian judgements. I find this an overly superficial interpretation of Spinoza. I argue that, for Spinoza, activity denotes more than mere Cartesian activity. Whereas Spinoza wants to say that active ideas incorporate the property of truth or certainty, Descartes does not consider judgements in that way. In this way, Spinozistic active ideas can be called truth-expressing.
29. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Olli Koistinen Bennett on Spinoza’s Philosophical Psychotherapy
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Spinoza's philosophy has a practical aim. The Ethics can be interpreted as a guide to a happy, intellectually flourishing life. Spinoza gives us principles about how to guard against the power of passions which prevent the mind from attaining understanding. In what follows, I consider Spinoza's techniques for guarding against the passions by turning to Jonathan Bennett's criticisms of Spinozistic psychotherapy. Bennett finds three central techniques for freeing oneself from the passions: (i) reflecting on determinism; (ii) separating and joining; and (iii) turning passions into actions. Bennett believes that all of these techniques are in some sense flawed. I contend that Bennett offers good criticism against technique (i), but his criticisms against (ii) and (iii) are unfounded.
30. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Marcia L. Homiak Does Hume Have an Ethics of Virtue?: Some Observations on Character and Reasoning in Hume and Aristotle
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I argue that Hume's ethics can be characterized as a virtue ethics, by which I mean a view according to which character has priority over action and the principles governing action: virtuous character guides and constrains practical deliberation. In a traditional utilitarian or Kantian ethics, character is subordinate to practical deliberation: virtue is needed only to motivate virtuous action. I begin by outlining this approach in Aristotle's ethics, then draw relevant parallels to Hume. I argue that virtuous character in Aristotle is understood in terms of "self-love." A true self-lover enjoys most the exercise of the characteristic human powers of judging, choosing, deciding and deliberating. A virtuous agent's self-love enables sizing up practical situations properly and exhibiting the virtue called for by the situation. But if an agent's character is defective, the practical situation will be misapprehended and responded to improperly. I argue that though Hume claims moral judgments are the product of sympathy, they are actually the result of a complex process of practical reflection and deliberation. Although Hume writes as though anyone can be a judicious spectator, there is reason to think that persons of calm temperament, who enjoy deliberation and have a facility for it, are more likely to perform the corrections in sentiments that may be necessary. If this is so, an agent's character has priority over his or her practical deliberations.
31. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Károly Kókai What is Freedom?
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Wenn man nach der Bedeutung des Wortes Freiheit fragt, fragt man nach dem System, wo dieses Wort seine Bedeutung hat. Die Frage richtet sich nach der Beschreibung des philosophischen, rechtlichen, politischen, wirtschaflichen und gesellschaftlichen System, in dem Freiheit sich entfalten soll. Man Fragt nach der Bedeutung des Wortes Liberalismus. Ich möchte hier auf die Erscheinung eines Begriffs in einer konkreten gesellschaftlichen Situation eingehen, indem ich die Ersheingung des Begriffs in den Schriften Immanuel Kants darstelle. Überblickt man die Erscheinungen des Begriffs Freiheit bei Kant, muß man zum Schluß die Frage stellen: Was ist das Problem der Freiheit innerhalb von Kants Philosophie? Die Probleme mit dem Begrif der Freiheit sind mehrfach. Freiheit ist keine Tatache, sondern eine Annahme. Angenommne wird sie, um die Verfolgung eines verbindlichen Gesetzes fordern zu können. Im selben Moment, als Freiheit angenommen wird, muß sie negiert werden. Freiheit der spekulativen und der praktischen Vernunft sind gegenseitig aufeinander bezogen. Spekulative kann sie nur mit einem Hinweis auf ihren praktischen Gebrauch, praktisch wiederum mit ihrer spekulativen Annahme bestehen. Das sind die Probleme innerhalb von Kants Philosophie. Weitere treten auf, wenn man Freiheit als gesellschftliche Realität betrachtet--auch dann, wenn dies bloß philosophisch, etwa in Anbetracht von Kants Metaphysik der Sitten geschieht. Was hier von Kant nämlich als Freiheit dargestellt wird, ist Freiheit des mit Rechten ausgestatteten Besitzbürgers und Unfreiheit aller anderen. Über Freiheit läßt sich nachdenken, man kann sie in kurzen Momenten, rückblickend und als offene Zukunft erleben, emphatisch verteidigen, für die praktische Umsetzung ihrer Idee kämpfen. Was bleibt aber zurück, wenn man den Begriff Freiheit zerlegt? Etwas, was von der Komplexität des Freiheitsbegriffs nichts mehr hat und nicht zu gebrauchen ist. Es bleibt eines: mit dem widersprüchlichen Begriff zu leben. In einer diskussion etwa, zu der diese Rede als Beitrag gedacht ist.
32. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Brandon Look Unity and Reality in Leibniz’s Correspondence with Des Bosses
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Leibniz's correspondence with Des Bosses presents students of his thought with a problem. It contains some of Leibniz's longest and most detailed discussions of the nature of substance while at the same time introducing two concepts into Leibniz's metaphysics that continually baffle commentators: scientia visionis and the vinculum substantiale. The aim of this paper is to explicate the relationship between scientia visionis, or God's knowledge by vision, and the vinculum substantiale, or the substantial bond, and to show how these concepts are used by Leibniz in the correspondence with Des Bosses to account for the unity and reality of corporal substances. In my view, the vinculum substantiale and scientia visionis do not represent rival strategies, as they have been recently portrayed in the literature; rather, they work together. But scientia visionis, when applied to questions of ontology, gives us a rather vacuous kind of reality, while the vinculum substantiale represents a much more significant, albeit problematic, account of the nature of substance.
33. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Wolfgang Malzkorn Leibniz’s Theory of Space in the Correspondence with Clarke and the Existence of Vacuums
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It is well known that a central issue in the famous debate between Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Samuel Clarke is the nature of space. They disagreed on the ontological status of space rather than on its geometrical or physical structure. Closely related is the disagreement on the existence of vacuums in nature: while Leibniz denies it, Clarke asserts it. In this paper, I shall focus on Leibniz's position in this debate. In part one, I shall reconstruct the theory of physical space which Leibniz presents in his letters to Clarke. This theory differs from Leibniz's ultimate metaphysics of space, but it is particularly interesting for systematic reasons, and it also gave rise to a lively discussion in modern philosophy of science. In part two, I shall examine whether the existence of vacuums is ruled out by that theory of space, as Leibniz seems to imply in one of his letters. I shall confirm the result of E. J. Khamara ("Leibniz's Theory of Space: A Reconstruction," Philosophical Quarterly 43 [1993]: 472-88) that Leibniz's theory of space rules out the existence of a certain kind of vacuum, namely extramundane vacuums, although it does not rule out vacuums within the world.
34. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Zuraya Monroy-Nasr Cartesian Dualism and the Union of Mind and Body: A Synchronic Interpretation
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Cartesian dualism and the union of mind and body are often understood as conceptions that contradict each other. Diachronic interpretations maintain that Descartes was first a dualist (in the Meditations) and later on developed his stance on the union of mind and body (Passions). Some authors find here a problem without solution. Nevertheless, in the last two decades, some interpretations have been developed intending to give a positive solution to the difficult relation between Cartesian dualism and the union of mind and body. The problem that I find in most of them is that they try to show no incoherence between Descartes' dualism and his conception of the union and interaction by "weakening" or making more "flexible" the dualist doctrine. I develop a synchronic interpretation, based on textual evidence, in order to show that dualism and union appeared simultaneously in Descartes' works. Under this perspective, my claim is that Cartesian radical dualism and the union of mind and body can be coherently understood only because they belong to different domains of knowledge. Thought and matter are clear and distinct primitive notions that come from reason, whose role is laying the foundations for Cartesian metaphysics and physics, while the primitive notion of union is acquired by the senses and lacks clarity and distinction even while it serves the objective of founding Descartes' moral philosophy.
35. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Danilo Marcondes de Souza Filho Skepticism and the Philosophy of Language in Early Modern Thought
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This paper discusses the importance of skeptical arguments for the philosophy of language in early modern thought. It contrasts the rationalist conception of language and knowledge with that of philosophers who adopt some sort of skeptical position, maintaining that these philosophers end up by giving language a greater importance than rationalists. The criticism of the rationalists' appeal to natural light is examined, as well as skeptical arguments limiting knowledge such as the so-called 'maker's knowledge' argument. This argument is then seen as capital for favoring a positive interpretation of the importance of language for knowledge.
36. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Eduardo Shore Some Esential Points in Reading The Critique of Pure Reason
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(1) Things are not to be found in the Critique (real things also called physical objects-an epoché 'avant la lettre' as in Husserl). The things as appearances are only Vorstellungen (representatio, B376). Confusion arrives because Kant calls these objects with the same names employed in the language of common sense for designating the things. (2) Due to the absence of these things, nothing is said concerning the relation between things and empirical objects (things as appearances, Erscheinungen). (3) Things in themselves, considered in the abstraction of sensible receptivity, are for this very abstraction, unknowable. Consequently, they cannot be considered as the origin of appearances. (4) I propose an explanation of the relation mentioned in (2). (5) What is the use of the Critique of so strange a conception as the thing in itself instead of simply mentioning real things and their representations in the subject? (6) Mind is not an adequate translation of the German gemüt. I think subject is better.
37. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Juhani Pietarinen Hobbes, Conatus and the Prisoner’s Dilemma
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I want to show the importance of the notion of conatus (endeavor) for Hobbes' political philosophy. According to Hobbes, all motion of bodies consists of elementary motions he called 'endeavors.' They are motions 'made in less space and time than can be given,' and they obey the law of persistence or inertia. A body strives to preserve its state and resist the causal power of other bodies. I call this the conatus-principle. Hobbes' argument for social contract and sovereign is based essentially on this model. He proves that the natural conatus makes people (i) strive to preserve their lives and therefore to get out of the destructive state of nature; (ii) commit to mutual contracts; (iii) keep the contracts unless some external cause otherwise determines; and (iv) establish a permanent sovereign power that Hobbes calls 'an artificial eternity of life.' All this is determined by the fundamental laws of nature, essentially, by the conatus-principle. I also show that the Prisoner's Dilemma interpretation of the Hobbesian state of nature does not represent all of the essential features of Hobbes' argument.
38. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Arto Repo Leibniz on Material Things
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My paper is about two at least apparently conflicting stands in Leibniz's arguments concerning the nature of material things. The first strand is phenomenalist in character, connecting the ontological status of material things with harmony between the perceptions of monads. According to the other strand, material things are understood to be aggregates of monads. These descriptions are different, but it is difficult to decide whether they are incompatible or not. Could Leibniz coherently claim that material things are phenomena, mental things, in some sense, and at the same time constituted by real substances? I consider Leibniz's view of relations, because this helps us to understand the move. Against R. Adams (following P. Hoffman) I argue that the interpretation of Leibnizian phenomena as intentional objects does not help either. My thesis is that it is possible to see the two strands as compatible only by taking the phenomenalist account as the primary and by interpreting the aggregate account as derivative. The result is an interpretation of Leibniz's theory of matter as fundamentally phenomenalistic.
39. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Paul Raymont Leibniz’s Distinction Between Natural and Artificial Machines
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I maintain that Leibniz's distinction between 'organic machines of nature' and the artificial machine that we produce cannot be adequately understood simply in terms of differing orders of structural complexity. It is not simply that natural machines, having been made by God, are infinitely more complex than the products of our own artifice. Instead, Leibniz's distinction is a thoroughly metaphysical one, having its root in his belief that every natural machine is a corporeal substance, the unity and identity conditions of which derive ultimately from its substantial form. Natural machines are thus true unities, while artificial machines are mere aggregates of substances and are therefore only accidental unities. I briefly explore this connection between Leibniz's distinction between natural and artificial machines and his views about individuality. I conclude on a polemical note, in which it is suggested that these results undermine the currently popular view that Leibniz renounced corporeal substances toward the end of his life.
40. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
William Sweet Bosanquet, Culture, and the Influence of Idealist Logic
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I discuss some of the features of the analysis of culture provided by the Britist idealist philosopher, Bernard Bosanquet (1848-1923). It has been suggested that Bosanquet's philosophical views, especially on topics related to culture, were determined by the 'absolutist' metaphysics he inherited from Hegel and F. H. Bradley, and that one can see a shift in his work from an early humanism, contemporary with his studies in logic, to a late anti-humanism. I argue that this account is problematic, that Bosanquet's discussion of cultural phenomena in fact consistently reflected principles present in his logic, and that these were articulated long before his explicitly absolutist metaphysical views. Specifically, I briefly outline three elements constitutive of a discussion of culture — aesthetics, religion and social life — and show how Bosanquet's account of each of them displays characteristics that are typically found in his logic. Since Bosanquet never abandoned the idealist logic of his youth — indeed, he wrote on the topic throughout his philosophical career — there is reason to doubt that he ever gave up the humanist values associated with them. This, I conclude, obliges us to reevaluate the standard assessments of Bosanquet's philosophy.