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41. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 2
Robert Koons Staunch vs. Faint-hearted Hylomorphism: Toward an Aristotelian Account of Composition
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A staunch hylomorphism involves a commitment to a sparse theory of universals and a sparse theory of composite material objects, as well as to an ontology of fundamental causal powers. Faint-hearted hylomorphism, in contrast, lacks one or more of these elements. On the staunch version of HM, a substantial form is not merely some structural property of a set of elements—it is rather a power conferred on those elements by that structure, a power that is the cause of the generation (by fusion) and persistence of a composite whole through time. Bernard Williams discussed (and rejected) a faint-hearted version of HM in 1986, and faint-hearted HM has been defended more recently by Mark Johnston (2006) and Kathrin Koslicki (2008). I defend the superiority of the staunch version, in spite of its heavier ontological commitments, as a way of accounting for a real distinction between living organisms and heaps of matter, without recourse to dualism or vitalism, and as a way of combining a powers ontology with the possibility of gunk.
42. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 2
Louise Richardson Non Sense-Specific Perception and the Distinction Between the Senses
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How should interaction between the senses affect thought about them? I try to capture some ways in which non sense-specific perception might be thought to make it impossible or pointless or explanatorily idle to distinguish between senses. This task is complicated by there being more than one view of the nature of the senses, and more than one kind of non sense-specific perception. I argue, in particular, that provided we are willing to forgo certain assumptions about, for instance, the relationship between modes or kinds of experience, and about how one should count perceptual experiences at a time, at least one way of thinking about the senses survives the occurrence of various kinds of non sense-specific perception relatively unscathed.
43. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 2
Jérôme Dokic Common Sense and Metaperception: A Practical Model
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Aristotle famously claimed that we perceive that we see or hear, and that this metaperception necessarily accompanies all conscious sensory experiences. In this essay I compare Aristotle’s account of metaperception with three main models of self-awareness to be found in the contemporary literature. The first model countenances introspection or inner sense as higher-order perception. The second model rejects introspection altogether, and maintains that judgments that we see or hear can be directly extracted from the first-order experience, using a procedure sometimes called “an ascent routine.” The third model insists that the first-order experience has a twofold intentional structure: it is directed both at the perceived external object and at itself, i.e., reflexively. Although Aristotle’s own account is certainly closer to the third model (as Brentano rightly observed), the latter does not exhaust Aristotle’s insights on metaperception. One function of the common sense in Aristotle’s theory of perception is apparently to monitor the activity of our sensory modalities, and to make us aware that we see or hear independently of the sensory contents of our experience. I shall suggest that the monitoring function of perception is best understood in relation with contemporary cognitive science research on metacognition. Common sense is or involves a metaperceptual practical ability distinct from both object level sensory perception and metarepresentational knowledge about our senses.
44. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 2
Howard Robinson Modern Hylomorphism and the Reality and Causal Power of Structure: A Skeptical Investigation
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In recent years, a significant number of philosophers from an orthodox analytic background have begun to advocate theories of composite objects, which they say are strikingly similar to Aristotle’s hylomorphism. These theories emphasize the importance of structure, or organization—which they say is closely connected to Aristotle’s notion of form—in defining what it is for a composite to be a genuine object. The reality of these structures is closely connected with the fact that they are held to possess powers, again in what is held to be a broadly Aristotelian sense, and so to be genuinely efficacious. Naturally enough, they want to do all this without espousing the discredited aspects of Aristotelian science. It is the purpose of this essay to cast a skeptical eye on whether this objective can be achieved.
45. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 2
William Jaworski Hylomorphism and the Metaphysics of Structure
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Hylomorphism claims that structure is a basic ontological and explanatory principle; it accounts for what things are and what they can do. My goal is to articulate a metaphysic of hylomorphic structure different from those currently on offer. It is based on a substance-attribute ontology that takes properties to be powers and tropes. Hylomorphic structures emerge, on this account, as powers to configure the materials that compose individuals.
46. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
J. C. Berendzen Disjunctivism and Perceptual Knowledge in Merleau-Ponty and McDowell
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On the face of it, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s views bear a strong resemblance to contemporary disjunctivist theories of perception, especially John McDowell’s epistemological disjunctivism. Like McDowell (and other disjunctivists), Merleau-Ponty seems to be a direct realist about perception and holds that veridical and illusory perceptions are distinct. This paper furthers this comparison. Furthermore, it is argued that elements of Merleau-Ponty’s thought provide a stronger case for McDowell’s kind of epistemological view than McDowell himself provides. Merleau-Ponty’s early thought can be used to develop a unique version of epistemological disjunctivism that is worth consideration alongside contemporary views on perceptual knowledge.
47. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Miroslav Hanke Semantic Paradox: A Comparative Analysis of Scholastic and Analytic Views
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Scholastic and analytic definitions of semantic paradoxes, in terms of groundlessness, circularity, and semantic pathology, are introduced and compared with each other. The fundamental intuitions used in these definitions are the concepts of being true about extralinguistic reality, of making statements about one’s self, and of compatibility with an underlying semantic theory. The three approaches—the groundlessness view, the circularity view, and the semantic pathology view—are shown to differ not only conceptually, but also in their applications. As both a means for showing these differences and as an adequacytest, the so-called two-line puzzles are used, which allows one to address the possibility of making non-paradoxical statements about paradoxical sentences within the same language.
48. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Helen Steward Replies to Randolph Clarke, John Bishop, and Helen Beebee
49. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Rebecca Konyndyk DeYoung Practicing Hope
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In this essay, I consider how the theological virtue of hope might be practiced. I will first explain Thomas Aquinas’s account of this virtue, including its structural relation to the passion of hope, its opposing vices, and its relationship to the friendship of charity. Then, using narrative and character analysis from the film The Shawshank Redemption, I examine a range of hopeful and proto-hopeful practices concerning both the goods one hopes for and the power one relies on to attain those goods. In particular, I show how the film’s picture of the role friends and friendship play in catalyzing hope is a compelling metaphor for Christian hope’s reliance on God.
50. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Daniel Lim, Wang Hao Can Mary's Qualia Be Epiphenomenal?
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Frank Jackson (1982) famously argued, with his so-called Knowledge Argument (KA), that qualia are non-physical. Moreover, he argued that qualia are epiphenomenal. Some have objected that epiphenomenalism is inconsistent with the soundness of KA. One way of developing this objection, following Neil Campbell (2003; 2012), is to argue that epiphenomenalism is at odds with the kind of behavioral evidence that makes the soundness of KA plausible. We argue that Campbell’s claim that epiphenomenalism is inconsistent with the soundness of KA is false.
51. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Andrew J. Jaeger A Tale of Two Parts
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Joshua Spencer (2010) has recently used the problem of spatial intrinsics in conjunction with the possibility of extended atomic regions of space to argue against the possibility of extended heterogeneous simples. In part 1, I explain Spencer’s argument against the possibility of heterogeneous simples. In part 2, I argue that if his argument is sound, then a parody argument can be constructed showing that heterogeneous composite objects are also impossible. In part 3, I provide an objection to my parody argument. I then go on to argue that if this objection is successful, then Spencer’s argument is left susceptible to an analogous objection. In short, I argue that either Spencer has shown that composite and simple heterogeneous objects are impossible, or that Spencer’s argument against the possibility of extended heterogeneous simples (and my parody argument) is unsound.
52. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
M. Oreste Fiocco On Simple Facts
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It is plausible that every true representation is made true by something in the world beyond itself. I believe that a simple fact is the truthmaker of each true proposition. Simple facts are not familiar entities. This lack of familiarity might lead many to regard them with suspicion, to think that including them in one’s ontology is an ad hoc maneuver. Although such suspicion is warranted initially, it is, I believe, ultimately unfounded. In this paper, I first present what I take to be the simplest argument for simple facts. I then clarify what a simple fact is supposed to be by elucidating the way in which such entities are simple and elaborating an account of their nature. The simplest argument for simple facts relies on a premise that is deeply plausible and yet not uncontroversial, so I present a second argument that forgoes this premise. The second argument is more subtle—and shows the relevance to this discussion of unity from complexity, a metaphysical notion of profound importance—and yet leads to the same conclusion: simple facts exist. I end by considering some concerns one might have regarding the existence of simple facts or the fundamental role that I maintain they have in making true our thoughts and claims about the world.
53. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Alisa Bokulich Metaphysical Indeterminacy, Properties, and Quantum Theory
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It has frequently been suggested that quantum mechanics may provide a genuine case of ontic vagueness or metaphysical indeterminacy. However, discussions of quantum theory in the vagueness literature are often cursory and, as I shall argue, have in some respects been misguided. Hitherto much of the debate over ontic vagueness and quantum theory has centered on the “indeterminate identity” construal of ontic vagueness, and whether the quantum phenomenon of entanglement produces particles whose identity is indeterminate. I argue that this way of framing the debate is mistaken. A more thorough examination of quantum theory and the phenomenon of entanglement reveals that quantum mechanics is best interpreted as supporting what I call the “vague property” construal of ontic vagueness, where vague properties are understood in terms of determinable properties without the corresponding determinates.
54. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Terence Cuneo The Significance of Liturgical Singing
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This is an essay on two topics—singing and liturgy—that lie well outside the standard repertoire of topics that form the subject matter of contemporary philosophy of religion, let alone Anglo-American philosophy more generally. Nonetheless, I maintain that thinking through the topic of liturgical singing can bear philosophical fruit. My discussion takes as its starting point the striking fact that the liturgies of Eastern Christianity are almost entirely sung. I explore the question why this would be especially fitting. The answer I offer draws upon recent work in philosophy of literature, collective action, and musical cognition, arguing that what I call the secondary form of the liturgy and its content mesh in such a way that, when an assembly sings the content of the liturgical script, it thereby instantiates important dimensions of its content.
55. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
John Bishop Causal Pluralism and the Problem of Natural Agency
56. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Helen Beebee Radical Indeterminism and Top-Down Causation
57. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Joshua Spencer Two Thoughts on "A Tale of Two Parts"
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In “A Tale of Two Simples,” I presented an argument against the possibility of extended heterogeneous simples that relied on the possibility of extended atomic regions of space. Andrew Jaeger has presented a parody of one part of my argument for a clearly absurd conclusion. In this short paper, I defend my argument by showing that there is a significant disanalogy between my support for a key premise in my argument and Jaeger’s support for the corresponding premise in his parody argument. Also, in opposition to my previous position, I present a case against the possibility of extended atomic regions of space.
58. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Kris McDaniel Metaphysics, History, Phenomenology
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There are three interconnected goals of this paper. The first is to articulate and motivate a view of the methodology for doing metaphysics that is broadly phenomenological in the sense of Husserl circa the Logical Investigations. The second is to articulate an argument for the importance of studying the history of philosophy when doing metaphysics that is in accordance with this methodology. The third is to confront this methodology with a series of objections and determine how well it fares in light of them.
59. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Daniel Padgett, T. Ryan Byerly Reconstituting Ersatzer Presentism
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Presentists claim that only presently existing objects exist. One version of presentism is ersatzer presentism, according to which times are a kind of abstract object. Such a view is appealing because it affords the presentist an answer to the grounding objection—a potentially lethal objection to presentism. Despite this advantage, available versions of ersatzer presentism suffer from a heretofore unappreciated shortcoming: they cannot account for the truth of certain counterfactual claims about the past. We argue for this claim by considering two views representative of ersatzer presentism—those of Thomas Crisp and Craig Bourne. After presenting our arguments against their views, we defend two crucial assumptions in those arguments. Finally, we offer a novel version of ersatzer presentism that appropriates the metaphysics of constitution in order to avoid the difficulty that current ersatzer presentist views face.
60. Res Philosophica: Volume > 91 > Issue: 3
Randolph Clarke Agency and Incompatibilism