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61. Symposion: Volume > 3 > Issue: 4
Andreea Poenaru Echoes of the Eugenic Movement from Interwar Romania in Communist Pronatalist Practices
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The present article dwells on the idea of the empowerment of women as it was used by the Communist regime. Eugenics, a field much discussed in inter-war Romania, was the main tool in controlling women. The principles of this science, related to the idea of biology as destiny, were adopted and applied so that the private sphere became public. My thesis is that even if these principles were used in the communist strategy in order to strengthen the nation, in fact, their core aspect – reproduction – became only a means for increasing work force and in the end weakened the family and implicitly the nation.
62. Symposion: Volume > 3 > Issue: 4
Terence Rajivan Edward Does Marilyn Strathern Argue that the Concept of Nature Is a Social Construction?
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It is tempting to interpret Marilyn Strathern as saying that the concept of nature is a social construction, because in her essay “No Nature, No Culture: the Hagen Case” she tells us that the Hagen people do not describe the world using this concept. However, I point out an obstacle to interpreting her in this way, an obstacle which leads me to reject this interpretation. Interpreting her in this way makes her inconsistent. The inconsistency is owing to a commitment that she shares with previous British anthropologists, a commitment which points to an incompatibility between two intellectual traditions.
63. Symposion: Volume > 3 > Issue: 4
James O. Young The Buck Passing Theory of Art
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In Beyond Art (2014), Dominic Lopes proposed a new theory of art, the buck passing theory. Rather than attempting to define art in terms of exhibited or genetic featured shared by all artworks, Lopes passes the buck to theories of individual arts. He proposes that we seek theories of music, painting, poetry, and other arts. Once we have these theories, we know everything there is to know about the theory of art. This essay presents two challenges to the theory. First, this essay argues that Lopes is wrong in supposing that theories of arts were developed to deal with the ‘hard cases’ – developments such as Duchamp’s readymades and conceptual art. This is a problem since Lopes holds that the buck passing theory’s capacity to deal with the hard cases is one of its virtues. Second, this essay argues that the buck passing theory has no account of which activities are arts and no account of what makes some activity an art.
64. Symposion: Volume > 3 > Issue: 4
Rocco J. Gennaro H.O.T. Theory, Concepts, and Synesthesia: A Reply to Adams and Shreve
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In response to Fred Adams and Charlotte Shreve’s (2016) paper entitled “What Can Synesthesia Teach Us about Higher Order Theories of Consciousness?”, previously published in Symposion, I argue that H.O.T. theory does have the resources to account for synesthesia and the specific worries that they advance in their paper, such as the relationship between concepts and experience and the ability to handle instances of ‘pop-out’ experiences.
65. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Arnold Cusmariu The Prometheus Challenge
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Degas, Manet, Picasso, Dali and Lipchitz produced works of art exemplifying a seeming impossibility: Not only combining incompatible attributes but doing so consistently with aesthetic strictures Horace formulated in Ars Poetica. The article explains how these artists were able to do this, achieving what some critics have called ‘a new art,’ ‘a miracle,’ and ‘a new metaphor.’ The article also argues that the author achieved the same result in sculpture by means of philosophical analysis – probably a first in the history of art.
66. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Paul Gomberg Workers without Rights
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In the United States the Civil Rights Movement emerging after World War II ended Jim Crow racism, with its legal segregation and stigmatization of black people. Yet black people, both in chattel slavery and under Jim Crow, had provided abundant labor subject to racist terror; they were workers who could be recruited for work others were unwilling to do. What was to replace this labor, which had been the source of so much wealth and power? Three federal initiatives helped to create new workers without rights: the welfare reform law of 1996 and the changes in immigration and crime law and policy both starting in the mid-1960s. These changes re-created vulnerable labor, disproportionately marked and stigmatized as black or Mexican. These workers create a central strength of U.S. imperialism: cheap food. Because workers without rights have an important function in a capitalist economy, a society where all workers can flourish is not capitalist but communist.
67. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
J. Angelo Corlett Are Women Beach Volleyballers ‘Too Sexy for Their Shorts?’
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This is a paper on the philosophy of sport or the ethics of sport more specifically. It provides a critical assessment of a particular feminist approach to a specific issue in the ethics of sport with regard to what some feminist scholars refer to as the ‘sexualizing’ of women in sport with particular attention paid to women beach volleyballers.
68. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Bianca-Alexandra Savu Grounds and Structural Realism: A Possible Metaphysical Framework
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This article discusses the proposal of accommodating grounding theories and structural realism, with the aim to provide a metaphysical framework for structural realism (ST). Ontic structural realism (OSR), one of the most accepted metaphysical versions for structural realism, is taken into account here, with the intention of analyzing the framework in which GT and OSR are compatible, and to what extent.
69. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Mark David Webster Questioning Technological Determinism through Empirical Research
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Using qualitative methods, the author sought to better understand how philosophical assumptions about technology affect the thinking, and influence the decision making, of educational technology leaders in their professional practice. One of the research questions focused on examining whether assumptions of technological determinism were present in thinking and influenced the decisions that leaders make. The core category that emerged from data analysis, Keep up with technology (or be left behind), was interpreted to be a manifestation of the technological imperative, an assumption associated with the philosophical perspective of technological determinism. The article presents a literature review and critique of philosophical issues surrounding technological determinism. Data analysis led to the conclusion that technology leaders working in K-12 education place weighted priority on the technological imperative, and there is philosophical tension between Keep up with technology (or be left behind), and a concurrently held perspective based on the logic of the instrumental view of technology. The findings suggest that different accounts of technological determinism, including Bimber’s three accounts of normative, nomological, and unintended consequences, are significant in the thinking of participants. School technology leaders placed priority on embracing technological change, sometimes adopting technology for its own sake.
70. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Erick Jose Ramirez A Conditional Defense of Shame and Shame Punishment
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In this paper I argue that, if we properly understand the nature of shame, it is sometimes justifiable to shame others in the context of a pluralistic multicultural society. I begin by assessing the accounts of shame provided by Cheshire Calhoun (2004) and Julien Deonna, Raffaele Rodogno and Fabrice Teroni (2012). I argue that both views have problems. I defend a theory of shame and embarrassment that connects both emotions to ‘whole-self’ properties. Shame and embarrassment, I claim, are products of the same underlying emotion. I distinguish between moralized and non-moralized shame in order to show when, and how, moral and non-moral shame may be justly deployed. Shame is appropriate, I argue, if and only if it targets malleable moral or non-moral normative imperfections of a person’s ‘whole-self.’ Shame is unjustifiable when it targets durable aspects of a person’s ‘whole-self.’ I conclude by distinguishing shame punishments from guilt punishments and show that my account can explain why it is wrong to shame individuals on account of their race, sex, gender, or body while permitting us to sometimes levy shame and shame punishment against others, even those otherwise immune to moral reasons.
71. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Fred Adams, Charlotte Shreve Reply to Gennaro
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Last year Charlotte Shreve and I (Adams and Shreve 2016) presented an argument that synesthesia contains evidence against higher order thought theories of consciousness. Rocco Gennaro (2016) took up the challenge and argued that H.O.T. theories like his could handle the example and dismiss the argument. Below we suggest otherwise. We think the traditional versions of H.O.T. theory are still vulnerable to our argument and we maintain that Gennaro’s version is as well.
72. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Author Guidelines
73. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Alex Blum Can It Be that Tully=Cicero?
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We show, that given two fundamental theses of Kripke, no statement of the form ‘‘a=b’ is necessarily true’, is true, if ‘a’ and ‘b’ are distinct rigid designators.
74. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Arnold Cusmariu The Prometheus Challenge Redux
75. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Michael Campbell Companions in Guilt Arguments and Moore's Paradox
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In a series of articles Christopher Cowie has provided what he calls a ‘Master Argument’ against the Companions in Guilt (CG) defence of moral objectivity. In what follows I defend the CG strategy against Cowie. I show, firstly, that epistemic judgements are relevantly similar to moral judgements, and secondly, that it is not possible coherently to deny the existence of irreducible and categorically normative epistemic reasons. My argument for the second of these claims exploits an analogy between the thesis that epistemic norms are non-categorical and G.E. Moore’s paradox concerning first personal belief ascriptions. I argue that the absurdity of the assertion “I have evidence that p but no reason to believe it” shows that the norms of belief are categorical. I then consider the counter-argument that this categoricity is a ‘conceptual’ rather than an ‘objective’ requirement. By drawing on the work of Hilary Putnam and Charles Travis, I show that this counter-argument is unsuccessful. Putnam is one of the original proponents of the Companions in Guilt strategy. Thus, by supporting the CG argument through appeal to other Putnamian theses, I show that its insights can only fully be appreciated in the context of broader metaphysical and semantic lessons.
76. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Hili Razinsky Ambivalence, Emotional Perceptions, and the Concern with Objectivity
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Emotional perceptions are objectivist (objectivity-directed or cognitive) and conscious, both attributes suggesting they cannot be ambivalent. Yet perceptions, including emotional perceptions of value, allow for strictly objectivist ambivalence in which a person unitarily perceives the object in mutually undermining ways. Emotional perceptions became an explicandum of emotion for philosophers who are sensitive to the unique conscious character of emotion, impressed by the objectivist character of perceptions, and believe that the perceptual account solves a worry about the possibility of a conflict between an emotion and a judgement. Back into the 1980s Greenspan has argued that emotional ambivalence is possible, her reasons implying that objectivist accounts of emotion are inconsistent with ambivalence. Tappolet has more recently replied that perceptual accounts allow for emotional ambivalence since the opposed values seen in ambivalence are good or bad in different senses. The present paper identifies strict objectivist ambivalence between judgements and between emotional perceptions by contrasting them with such ambivalence of separate values such as evoked by Tappolet.
77. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Terence Rajivan Edward Artefacts as Mere Illustrations of a Worldview
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This paper responds to an argument against a kind of anthropology. According to the argument, if the aim of anthropology is to describe the different worldviews of different groups, then anthropologists should only refer to material artefacts in order to illustrate a worldview; but the interest of artefacts to anthropology goes beyond mere illustration. This argument has been endorsed by key members of the ontological movement in anthropology, who found at least one of its premises in Marilyn Strathern’s writing.
78. Symposion: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Rocco J. Gennaro In Defense of H.O.T. Theory: A Second Reply to Adams and Shreve
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In Gennaro (2016), I had originally replied to Fred Adams and Charlotte Shreve’s (2016) paper entitled “What Can Synesthesia Teach Us About Higher Order Theories of Consciousness?,” previously published in Symposion. I argued that H.O.T. theory does have the resources to account for synesthesia and the specific worries that they advance in their paper, such as the relationship between concepts and experience and the ability to handle instances of ‘pop-out’ experiences. They counter-reply in Adams and Shreve (2017) and also raise further objections to H.O.T. theory which go well beyond the scope of their 2016 paper. In this paper, I offer additional replies to the points they raise in Adams and Shreve (2017).
79. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Anca Dohotariu Parental Leave Provision in Romania between Inherited Tendencies and Legislative Adjustments
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This article seeks to identify and analyse the most significant changes regarding parental leave provision in post-communist Romania, as well as the extent to which its legal adjustments that took place after 1990 reveal both old trends inherited from the former political regime as well as new tendencies influenced by EU norms and directives. Consequently, this article has a twofold structure. First, a brief overview of the main concepts and theoretical approaches to parental leave will allow us to proceed to a proper understanding of the epistemological tools underpinning this research object. Second, this article tackles the numerous legislative changes concerning parental leave that occurred after the fall of the communist regime. Although limited to a single category of research sources, this inquiry is indispensable for analysing the extent to which childcare and the gendered division of parental responsibilities have become real political struggles within the post-communist public agenda in Romania.
80. Symposion: Volume > 5 > Issue: 1
Alex Blum The Hidden Future
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We argue that the part of the future which is up to us is in principle unknowable.