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51. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Crawford L. Elder The Alleged Supervenience of Everything on Microphysics
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Here is a view at least much like Lewis’s “Humean supervenience,” and in any case highly influential—in that some endorse it, and many more worry that it is true. All truths about the world are fixed by the pattern of instantiation, by individual points in space-time, of the “perfectly natural properties” posited by end-of-inquiry physics. In part, this view denies independent variability: the world could not have been different from how it actually is, in the ways depicted by common sense and the special sciences, without differing in the punctiform instantiation of fundamental physical properties. In part, it makes an ontological claim: what it is for one of the objects recognized by common sense or special sciences to be there in the world, bearing the properties attributed by a true description, is “nothing over and above” the obtaining of fundamental physical properties at points, and fundamental physical relations among points. I argue that this view is untenable. I concede that for every true claim in familiar discourses, there is a state of affairs at the level of fundamental microphysics that is the truth-maker—some state of affairs sufficient for truth in the familiar claim. The problem is that the view needs to posit not just truth-makers at the level of microphysics, but truth-conditions—states of affairs the obtaining of which is required for truth in any familiar claim, and the failure of which renders the familiar claim false. That is, the view must posit necessary conditions, at the level of microparticles, for truth in familiar claims. This it cannot plausibly do.
52. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Janez Bregant Neurophilosophy at Work
53. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Terry Horgan, Matjaž Potrč Attention, Morphological Content and Epistemic Justification
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In the formation of epistemically justified beliefs, what is the role of attention, and what is the role (if any) of non-attentional aspects of cognition? We will here argue that there is an essential role for certain nonattentional aspects. These involve epistemically relevant background information that is implicit in the standing structure of an epistemic agent’s cognitive architecture and that does not get explicitly represented during belief-forming cognitive processing. Since such “morphological content” (as we call it) does not become explicit during belief formation, it cannot be information that is within the scope of attention. Nevertheless,it does exert a subtle influence on the character of conscious experience, rather than operating in a purely unconscious way.
54. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Michael Glanzberg Meaning, Concepts, and the Lexicon
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This paper explores how words relate to concepts. It argues that in many cases, words get their meanings in part by associating with concepts, but only in conjunction with substantial input from language. Language packages concepts in grammatically determined ways. This structures the meanings of words, and determines which sorts of concepts map to words. The results are linguistically modulated meanings, and the extralinguistic concepts associated with words are often not what intuitively would be expected. The paper concludes by discussing implications of this thesis for the relation of word to sentence meaning, and for issues of linguistic determinism.
55. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Janet Levin Reconstruing Modal Intuitions
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In Naming and Necessity, Kripke argues that clearly conceived (or imagined) scenarios that seem to be counterexamples to a posteriori identity theses can indeed count as evidence against them—but only if, after reflection on our understanding of their constituent terms and the relevant empirical facts, we find that they cannot be acceptably reconstrued as intuitions about something else. This makes trouble for phenomenalphysical identity statements such as ‘pain is C-fiber stimulation’, since most agree that such statements cannot be so reconstrued—and thus some materialists reject Kripke’s account of the link between conceivability and possibility entirely. In my view, however, this is a mistake, since it impoverishes our resources for evaluating a posteriori modal claims;the better strategy for materialists is to show that phenomenal-physical identity statements comprise a special class of statements to which Kripke’s general strategy does not apply. In this paper I contribute to this project by examining, and challenging, Stephen Yablo’s (2005) general objections to Kripke’s strategy, and sketch a principled way to draw a distinction between phenomenal-physical identity statements and other a posteriori modal claims.
56. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Iris Vidmar Philosophy of Literature
57. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
David Pereplyotchik Psychological and Computational Models of Language Comprehension: In Defense of the Psychological Reality of Syntax
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In this paper, I argue for a modified version of what Devitt (2006) calls the Representational Thesis (RT). According to RT, syntactic rules or principles are psychologically real, in the sense that they are represented in the mind/brain of every linguistically competent speaker/hearer. I present a range of behavioral and neurophysiological evidence for the claim that the human sentence processing mechanism constructs mental representations of the syntactic properties of linguistic stimuli. I then survey a range of psychologically plausible computational models of comprehension and show that they are all committed to RT. I go on to sketch a framework for thinking about the nature of the representations involved in sentence processing. My claim is that these are best characterized not as propositional attitudes but, rather, as subpersonal states. Moreover, the representational properties of these states are determined by their functionalrole, not solely by their causal or nomological relations to mind-independent objects and properties. Finally, I distinguish between explicit and implicit representations and argue, contra Devitt (2006), that the latter can be drawn on “as data” by the algorithms that constitute our sentence processing routines. I conclude that Devitt’s skepticism concerning the psychological reality of grammars cannot be sustained.
58. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Martina Blečić Drawing the Boundaries of Meaning: Neo-Gricean studies in pragmatics and semantics in honor of Laurence R. Horn
59. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Mark Richard Reply to Lynch, Miščević, and Stojanović
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This paper responds to discussions of my book When Truth Gives Out by Michael Lynch, Nenad Miščević, and Isidora Stojanović. Among the topics discussed are: whether relativism is incoherent (because it requires one to think that certain of one’s views are and are not epistemically superior to views one denies); whether and when sentences in which one slurs an individual or group are truth valued; whether relativism about matters of taste gives an account of “faultless disagreement” superior to certain “absolutist” accounts of the matter.
60. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Marko Jurjako Parfit’s Chellenges
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In his long-awaited book On What Matters Parfit develops a normative theory that covers a whole range of normative concepts, from reasons and rationality to questions of moral progress and meaning of life. This paper focuses on Parfit*s view on reasons and rationality, and especially concentrates on three theses that are implicitly or explicitly endorsed by Parfit. The theses are: 1) the concept of a normative reason cannot be explicated in a non-circular way, 2) rationality of non-normative beliefs never influences the rationality of desires and actions, and 3) there are no desire-based reasons. The main aim of the paper is to critically evaluate the plausibility of the latter three theses.