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1. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Steven Ross Two Problems of Moral Objectivity
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Two distinct problems of objectivity in moral theory are that of reference and truth and that of justification. These questions are often run together. However, it is possible to discuss the two questions separately. A defense is offered of moral ascriptions and moral properties, in opposition to the proposals of Mackie and Harman. But the thin or minimal defense of moral ascriptions leaves the second problem of objectivity unaddressed. Further argumentation leads to a proposal that claims limited moral objectivity.
2. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Andrew Oldenquist Three Kinds of Nationalism
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Three kinds of nationalism are distinguished and explained: (1) Unifying nationalism, which created Italy, and is the more or less voluntary uniting of similar and usually contiguous territories. (2) Ethnic separatist nationalism, which created Ireland, and is the effort of an ethnic group to establish sovereignty in its historical territory. (3) Ongoing patriotic nationalism, which is found in every nation. Each comes in degrees of civility ranging from the democratic to the murderous.Five criticisms of nationalism are then examined in the light of the three varieties of it: (1) It is a historical novelty only two hundred years old, hence less essential and enduring than often supposed (Ernest Gellner, Eric Hobsbawm). (2) Separatist nationalism is acceptable only if its underlying goal is to achieve democracy. (3) Nationalism makes the interests of the state supreme and those of the individualnegligible, racializes ethnic difference, and leads to intolerance and genocide (William Pfaff, Isaiah Berlin). (4) If we encourage separatists the world will fragment into “5,000 countries” (Warren Christopher). (5) Supporting existing borders is simply a better safeguard against war (Pfaff).Each of these criticisms is found wanting. I discuss the difference between loyalties, which are particularistic, and morality including constitutional principles, which are universal, a distinction important both to the critics and to my rebuttal of them.
3. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Scott A. Shalkowski Atheistic Teleology
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Wesley Salmon and Michael Martin argue that scientific considerations about the order in the universe justify atheism. After sketching Salmon’s argument, I examine the nature of begging the question and argue that Martin takes a sufficient condition of that fallacy to be a necessary condition. After a pragmatic account to the fallacy is recommended, I point out how Salmon’s and Martin’s beg the question against all save those who already adhere to atheism and that the crucial considerations that they take to be distinctly scientific are really extra-scientific considerations, giving a specious impression that they are uncontroversial to all who accept mainstream science.
4. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Berislav Marušić The New Wittgenstein
5. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Crawford L. Elder Can Contrariety be Reduced to Contradiction?
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Can an ontology which treats properties as really out there in the world be combined vvith the view that necessity is not out there? What about the necessity by which redness excludes greenness, or weighing 8 kg excludes weighing 6 kg? Armstrong, who combines property realism with logical atomism, argues that such exclusions reflect just the trivial necessity that a whole cannot be any of its proper parts. Buthis argument fails for colors themselves and for other cases of contrary properties. Property realism must be necessity realism.
6. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Nenad Miščević Apriority and Conceptual Kinematics
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The paper critically discusses the Chalmers-and-Jackson strategy of accounting for the dynamics of conceptual intuitions. In contrast to this strategy, it is argued that concepts alone do not determine in advance rational responses to new evidence. An initial concept is often revised in the light of new data, the revision being guided by the goal of detecting the deep causal structure of the domain investigated. Using examples from the history of science (concept REFLEX ARC) as an illustration, it is argued that the dilemma of either irrational messy updating of intuitions (Yablo) or strict rails of conceptual pre-determination (Chalmers-Jackson) is a false one. Rationality does not lie in the alleged conceptual apriority, but in the flexible pursuit of reasonable epistemic goals.
7. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Elvio Baccarini Eugenio Lecaldano on Bioethics
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Eugenio Lecaldano offers an important contribution to the tradition of Italian liberal thought. In his book on bioethics, he deals with the subject’s most relevant topics by adopting a utilitarian perspective, which clearly demonstrates the influence of J.S. Mill’s philosophy. The indication of some significant analogies and the distinction between different moral problems are some of the most interesting and useful aspects of Lecaldano’s work.
8. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Isabella Muzio Emotions and Rationality
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This paper examines the sense and extent to which emotions can be thought of as rational. Through considering a number of examples, it argues (a) that there is more than one way of understanding the claims that we often make about emotions being “rational” or “justified”; (b) that none of the models of rationality already available to us can singly account for all of the various senses in which we think of emotions as rational; yet (c) that they can do so jointly, that is, by each explicating at least one of these senses. Thus, in the end it is suggested that, despite it not being right to identify emotions with either beliefs or actions, there is no obvious reason to believe that the claims we make about the rationality of our emotions need to be understood by appeal to any separate model of rationality, specific to the emotions, additional to the “cognitive” and “strategic” models already available to us for understanding the rationality of other states like beliefs and judgements on the one hand, and actions on the other.
9. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Loránd Ambrus-Lakatos On Rational Choice of Final Ends
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This paper is a non-technical paper on the kinematics of rational decision-making. lt focuses upon Williams’s Regret argument. The Argument is directed against injunction implicit in standard decision theory and formulated by Rawls: a rational agent is always ready to act so that she need never blame herself “no matter how things finally transpire”. The purpose of this paper is to offer new insights into theweaknesses of the Argument, introducing new considerations regarding coherence of the self of the would-be repentant. The opaqueness of one’s future preference-structure is argued at length, stressing that standard decision theory cannot possibly allow that the decision tree is not comprehended at the time of making one’s choice, even if it is about one’s final end.
10. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Aljoša Pužar Philosophy of Literature: An Introduction
11. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Predrag Šustar Inventare il giusto e l’ingiusto: Saggio sull’etica di John Leslie Mackie
12. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Matthew Nudds Common-Sense and Scientific Psychology
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In this paper I discuss the circumstances in which it would be right to revise a common-sense psychological categorisation -- such as the common-sense categorisation of emotions -- in the light of the results of empirical investigation. I argue that an answer to that question, familiar from eliminitivist arguments, should be rejected, and suggest that the issue turns on the ontological commitments of the explanations that common-sense psychological states enter into.
13. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Josep E. Corbí Self and Sense in a Natural World
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A subject is a being who has a life to lead. In this paper, I explore the array of resources that are available to us (i.e., Westerners at the turn of the millennium) to articulate and assess our lives. Specifically, I shall reflect on the impact that such matters may have on our naturalist conviction that the world ultimately consists of a causal network where notions such as sense and value have no direct bearing. Sometend to assume that an implication of our naturalist world-view is that the notions of sense and value are inevitably relative to the subject’s desires and inclinations. This is, however, a line of reasoning that I would like to resist. For I am convinced that this approach unnecessarily restricts the number of resources to which we can legitimately appeal in order to lead our lives. This restriction will turn out to be quite serious because, as we shall see, it dramatically distorts our perception of the relevance that social ties may have in the life of a subject, as well as the conditions under which a human life may escape the absurd.
14. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Barbara de Mori Human Rights and Concept of Person: Some Ethical Remarks
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The paper critically discusses the proposal of identifying the subject of human rights by means of the concept of moral person, reflecting on the inherent connection between the concept of person and that of human rights in their moral dimension, that is, in the light of an ethics of human rights, an ethics in which human rights represent fundamental moral values. The thesis defended is that the concept of moral person lends itself more than any other to the role of subject of human rights, if conceived as a relational, communicative and representative social value, that is as “the concept of an individual human being whose features enable him to join some segments of his life with others”.
15. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Snježana Prijić-Samaržija Trust and Epistemic Cooperation
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In this paper, I defend a certain moderate version of Humean evidentialism against a Reidian non-evidentialist’s position. My proposal of cooperative viewpoint of trust is based on the following theses: (i) epistemic cooperation is a necessary condition for us to attain knowledge (because of the scope and complexity of the task, capacity inequalities and background information, etc.), (ii) any form of cooperative activity, including division of labor, requires that cooperators trust one another, (iii) in contrast to Reidian non-evidentialism, justified trust cannot be blind but has to rely on some evidence, (iv) crucial evidence that the hearer can have is evidence about the trustworthiness of informants, i.e., their moral and epistemic character, (v) the fact that we depend on other people for most of our knowledge can be a good reason to weaken Humean epistemic self-reliance and to accept as epistemically responsible and rational the trusting partly based on epistemic forward looking reasons (gathering of information).
16. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Jasmina Čelica Self-Fulfillment
17. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Jonathan Wolff John Rawls: Liberal Democracy Restated
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The paper starts with brief biographical details of John Rawls’s life, and indications regarding the significance of his proposal. The most relevant part of the article is dedicated to the discussion of the concept of democracy as it is included in Rawls’s theory of Justice. Rawls tries to find a solution to the incompatibility of two different motivations for democracy: the instrumental and the intrinsic defence. It followsfrom Rawls’s proposal that the two defences need not necessarily to be incompatible. Participation in public decision procedures helps citizens to improve their capacities. According to the author of the paper, the main criticisms of Rawls come not so much from doubts about the validity of these arguments, but from questioning the realism of his proposals.
18. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Giovanni De Grandis Making Sense of A Theory of Justice
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The primary aim of this interpretive essay is to reconstruct some of the most important features of Rawls’s theory of justice, and to offer a hypothesis about how its assumptions and arguments are tied together in a highly structured construction. An almost philological approach is adopted to highlight Rawlsian ideas. First, I consider in what sense Rawls is an individualist and in what sense he is not. Fromthis I conclude that he ought not be charged of psychological egoism or atomism. Then I consider the role of rational choice, the contract and the relation of the latter to the criterion of reflective equilibrium. Here, pride of place is given to the reflexive method, while the role of contract and rational choice, though not denied, is downgraded. Finally, I enquire whether Rawls can be considered a universalist, and suggest that this category, owing to the theory’s practical aim and pragmatic method, is of little use. If successful, my reconstruction should offer a better insight into the theory and dispel some possible misunderstandings. But my presentation should not be read as either an assessment or a defense.
19. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Carla Bagnoli, Elvio Baccarini The Philosophy of John Rawls: Thirty Years after A Theory of Justice
20. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Matthew Clayton Rawls and Natural Aristocracy
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The author discusses Rawls’s conception of socioeconomic justice, Democratic Equality. He contrasts Rawls’s account, which includes the difference principle constrained by the principle of fair equality of opportunity, with Natural Aristocracy, which constrains the difference principle only by the principle of careers open to talents. According to the author, many of Rawls’s own arguments support NaturalAristocracy over Democratic Equality. In particular, Natural Aristocracy appears well placed to avoid a challenge that naturally arises in consideration of Democratic Equality, with respect to which formal distributive principle should deal with social and natural causes of inequality. The challenge is to cite a morally relevant distinction which supports the appropriateness of dealing with natural causes of inequality differently to those generated by social causes. In support of his proposal, the author also appeals to certain arguments in Rawls’s Political Liberalism.