Abstract: The 1960s saw the publication of many works in philosophy in which materialism (or physicalism) was a major theme even if not always endorsed. But how should we assess the ‘materialist sixties’? This paper argues that what is distinctive about the period is that it combines materialist metaphysics with materialist meta-philosophy, and, in so doing, solved a problem that dogged the discipline of philosophy since it assumed its modern form in the 19th century.
What should we do when faced with powerful theoretical arguments that support a severe change in our personal beliefs and commitments? For example, what should new parents do when confronted by unanswered anti-natalist arguments, or two lovers vexed by social theory that apparently undermines love? On the one hand, it would be irrational to ignore theory just because it’s theory; good theory is evidence, after all. On the other hand, factoring in theory can be objectifying, or risks unraveling one's life, (...) fracturing one's identity or social relations. Sometimes, then, following the evidence where it apparently leads would mean not merely changing what we think but who we are. Some might say that there’s something right about the thought that theory can bear on what we ought to believe, it’s just that when we work with full beliefs, only then do we seriously risk having to substantially alter our doxastic economy when pressed by exceptional theoretical arguments. When we work with partial beliefs, however, this risk is greatly diminished. Others will say that we can advocate or champion revisionary positions whilst rationally retaining our pre-theoretical personal convictions. Still others will argue that we should adopt a Moorean posture towards the revisionary arguments. I argue that each response is inadequate, and argue instead that we are permitted to bracket certain kinds of theoretical evidence against our beliefs because of the personal and ethical risks born out of giving them serious consideration. In turn, some of philosophy's doxastic influence is constrained by its attendant ethical risks: the personal enjoys a partial insulation from the theoretical. I close by addressing what this means for practicing philosophers. (shrink)
In this paper it is explored the relationship between the practice of philosophy and the development of a sort of professional intuition through it. That is to say, this paper is broadly concerned with a very traditional metaphilosophical topic, namely, the sort of abilities a skillful philosopher must possess to excel at philosophizing. More precisely, it critically examines the long-held common place in philosophy according to which the competences acquired through philosophical training are related to applying concepts. Such a view (...) has given way to the idea that philosophers gain expert intuitions -provided by philosophical training- about using concepts. In this sense, it has been shown in experimental philosophy that philosophers holding this notion of the practice of philosophy might be under the illusion of expertise. For these reasons, we argue, based on the work of the psychologist Deanna Kuhn, that philosophical expertise, on a more positive account, might be related to the evaluation, construction, and rebuttal of arguments. With this in mind, we also explore the relationship between intuition and arguments in philosophy. (shrink)
This article aims to show that the alleged incompatibility of the views of Wittgenstein and Kripke is sometimes more specious than real. It is suggested that there are, underneath the surface, interesting points of contact between these two philosophers. Kripke’s views on names and reference are arguably not vulnerable to Wittgenstein’s critique of “the Augustinian Picture of Language” and of ostensive definitions. The attitudes of these two philosophers towards theories in philosophy are not as dissimilar as many have quickly judged (...) either. Certain “Wittgensteinian” critiques of Kripke and popular interpretations of Kripke which exaggerate his commitment to extreme natural kind essentialism are critically assessed. The nature of Kripke’s disputed idea on necessary a posteriori is clarified. It is suggested that perhaps Wittgenstein was not as unequivocally a semantic internalist as some of his ardent followers have insisted. (shrink)
As Josef Pieper writes in his study “On Hope,” the virtue of hope is the virtue that completes the human being in its intermediary, temporal state (the “status viatoris,” or condition of being “on the way”). To be human is always to be “on the way” toward a fulfillment and completion not yet available to it (the “status comprehensoris”). Those who are hopeful direct themselves toward this end as to their fulfillment despite recognizing that it, in some sense, exceeds their (...) grasp, whereas those who are not hopeful either reject the possibility of such a fulfillment (despair) or prematurely suppose themselves to have attained it (presumption). While Pieper’s account of hope is largely based on the theologically-inflected account found in Thomas Aquinas, Pieper draws his conception of the nature of philosophy and philosophical reasoning ultimately from Plato. Philosophy, for Plato, on Pieper’s view, is essentially structured by the “not yet” condition that Pieper calls the status viatoris, as we see mythically depicted in Diotima’s account of Eros as being an intermediary daimon who, partaking of his parents’ opposed natures, is fundamentally characterized by poverty and lack (the “not”) on the one hand and by resourcefulness (the “yet”) on the other. The human soul, erotic at its very core, is structured by this twofold relation to the object of its greatest longing, Beauty Itself, which it doesn’t yet possess but for which it strives with all of its being. In this essay, I show that Plato has a “hopeful” sense of reason on account of the erotic condition (the status viatoris) that essentially characterizes the human soul’s spatio-temporal life during its incarnate, earthly state. If reason is, for Plato, to be true to itself, it must strive for the whole of wisdom even as it lacks that wisdom. Because reason is directed toward a fulfillment it can’t quite fathom, it must relate to that fulfillment essentially in the mode of hope. When, by contrast, reason becomes presumptuous, thinking that it already has a clear and secure cognition of the truth for which it seeks, it becomes dogmatic and runs the risk of falling into the misology diagnosed in the Phaedo when it inevitably comes up against some crack in its understanding. Likewise, when reason succumbs to despair—as we see, for example, in Meno’s eristic argument about the impossibility of learning—it becomes excessively skeptical and inert. Only when reason avoids the twin errors of presumption and despair can it continue in its pursuit of the whole of wisdom while remaining mindful of its limitations. (shrink)
Philosophers ponder on how to do philosophy and how to do it well. This pondering has divided metaphilosophers’ concern about philosophical methodology into two groups that I shall label “pro-history” and “pro-intuitions”. The claim (and belief) of philosophers in the former group can be realized with this sentence by Robert Pasnau (2011): “The discipline of philosophy benefits from a serious, sustained engagement with its history.” The latter group believes that for philosophy not to slide into the realm of irrelevance, rather (...) than studying history of philosophy, it must rely on intuitions to make sense of our present ontologies. In this paper, I examine the disagreement between both parties and argue that both proponents of pro-history and pro-intuitions are wrongheaded. I argue for what I call proto-history. Proto-history here refers to the method of doing philosophy in which the intuitions of philosophers are informed by the history of philosophy (though not directly influencing, but indirectly informing). I shall refer to this informing-ness as “autonomous impression.” By autonomous impression, I mean the process of forming beliefs based on intuitions and by taking into account one’s knowledge about other people’s (i.e., past philosophers’) beliefs and opinions. (shrink)
Social phenomena—quite like mental states in the philosophy of mind—are often regarded as potential troublemakers from the start, particularly if they are approached with certain explanatory commitments, such as naturalism or social individualism, already in place. In this paper, we argue that such explanatory constraints should be at least initially bracketed if we are to arrive at an adequate non-biased description of social phenomena. Legitimate explanatory projects, or so we maintain, such as those of making the social world fit within (...) the natural world with the help of, e.g., collective intentionality, social individualism, and the like, should neither exclude nor influence the prior description of social phenomena. Just as we need a description of the mental that is not biased, for example, by (anti)physicalist constraints, we need a description of the social that is not biased, for example, by (anti)individualist or (anti)naturalist commitments. Descriptive social ontology, as we shall conceive of it, is not incompatible with the adoption of explanatory frameworks in social ontology; rather, the descriptive task, according to our conception, ought to be recognized as prior to the explanatory project in the order of inquiry. If social phenomena are, for example, to be reduced to nonsocial (e.g., psychological or physical) phenomena, we need first to understand clearly what the social candidates for the reduction in question are. While such descriptive or naive approaches have been influential in general metaphysics (see Fine 2017), they have so far not been prominent in analytic social ontology (though things are different outside of analytic philosophy, see esp. Reinach (1913). In what follows, we shall outline the contours of a descriptive approach by arguing, first, that description and explanation need to be distinguished as two distinct ways of engaging with social phenomena. Secondly, we defend the claim that the descriptive project ought to be regarded as prior to the explanatory project in the order of inquiry. We begin, in Section 2, by considering two different ways of engaging with mental phenomena: a descriptive approach taken by descriptive psychology and an explanatory approach utilized in analytic philosophy of mind. We take these two ways of approaching the study of the mind to be analogous to the distinction we want to draw in social ontology between a descriptive and an explanatory approach to the study of social phenomena. We consider next, in Section 3, how our approach compares to neighboring perspectives that are familiar to us from general metaphysics and philosophy more broadly, such as Aristotle’s emphasis on “saving the appearances”, Strawson’s distinction between descriptive and revisionary metaphysics, as well as Fine’s contrast between na¨ive and foundational metaphysics. In Section 4, we apply the proposed descriptive/explanatory distinction to the domain of social ontology and argue that descriptive social ontology ought to take precedence in the order of inquiry over explanatory social ontology. Finally, in Section 5, we consider and respond to several objections to which our account might seem to be susceptible. (shrink)
This collection of newly commissioned essays, edited by NYU philosophers Paul Boghossian and Christopher Peacocke, resumes the current surge of interest in the proper explication of the notion of a priori. The authors discuss the relations of the a priori to the notions of definition, meaning, justification, and ontology, explore how the concept figured historically in the philosophies of Leibniz, Kant, Frege, and Wittgenstein, and address its role in the contemporary philosophies of logic, mathematics, mind, and science. The editors’ Introduction (...) familiarizes the reader with the issues that are to be explored in detail in later parts of the anthology. (shrink)
Thomasson is a simple realist about the vast majority of entities: she thinks that they exist, and that their existence is to be accepted as a trivial consequence of the truth of various uncontroversial sentences (Thomasson, Ontology Made Easy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, p. 156). This position is to be taken in contrast to the explanatory realism familiar from dominant post-Quinean metaontology: the view that entities are posited to explain phenomena, and that (very roughly) we should believe in whatever (...) we need in order for our best scientific theories to come out as true. Recent literature further suggests an approach I’ll call ‘fundamentality realism’: the idea that we should understand realism in connection with notions of fundamentality and metaphysical priority. I introduce these notions and the relations between them before describing an objection to Thomasson-style simple realism. I argue that this objection can be overcome by combining simple realism with elements of fundamentality realism, and that such a view can nevertheless be seen to fit with Thomasson's overall metaphysical worldview. (shrink)
This paper argues that the proponents of epistemological scientism must take some stand on scientific methodology. The supporters of scientism cannot simply defer to the social organisation of science because the social processes themselves must meet some methodological criteria. Among such criteria is epistemic evaluability, which demands intersubjective access to reasons. We derive twelve theses outlining some implications of epistemic evaluability. Evaluability can support weak and broad variants of epistemological scientism, which state that sciences, broadly construed, are the best sources (...) of knowledge or some other epistemic goods. Since humanities and social sciences produce epistemically evaluable results, narrow types of scientism that take only natural sciences as sources of knowledge require additional argumentation in their support. Strong scientism, which takes sciences as the only source of knowledge, also needs to appeal to some further principles since evaluability is not an all-or-nothing affair. (shrink)
At the heart of Mizrahi’s project lies a sociological narrative concerning the recent history of philosophers’ negative attitudes towards scientism. Critics (e.g. de Ridder (2019), Wilson (2019) and Bryant (2020)), have detected various empirical inadequacies in Mizrahi’s methodology for discussing these attitudes. Bryant (2020) points out one of the main pertinent methodological deficiencies here, namely that the mere appearance of the word ‘scientism’ in a text does not suffice in determining whether the author feels threatened by it. Not all philosophers (...) use the term in ‘inherently negative’ (29) or pejorative ways. In this paper, I not only corroborate Bryant’s critical claim, but argue that Mizrahi’s response to this part of Bryant’s objection is inadequate. (shrink)
Plakias has recently argued that there is nothing wrong with publishing defences of philosophical claims which we don't believe and also nothing wrong with concealing our lack of belief, because an author's lack of belief is irrelevant to the merit of a published work. Fleisher has refined this account by limiting the permissibility of publishing without belief to what he calls ‘advocacy role cases’. I argue that such lack of belief is irrelevant only if it is the result of an (...) inexplicable incredulity or the result of a metaphilosophical or epistemic stance that is unrelated to the specific claim. However, in many real-life cases, including Fleisher's advocacy role cases, our doubts regarding the claims we defend arise from reasons that have something to do with the insufficiency of the philosophical evidence supporting the claim, and publishing an unconditional defence of a claim without revealing our doubts is impermissible as it involves withholding philosophically relevant reasons. Plakias has also argued that discouraging philosophers from publishing claims they don't believe would be unfair to junior philosophers with unsettled views. I propose that we should change our academic practices that pressure philosophers to publish articles that pretend to be defences of settled views. (shrink)
Predmet ove disertacije se u najširem smislu može posmatrati kao odgovor na meta-epistemološko pitanje o zadatku epistemologije i načinu na koji bi epistemološki projekat trebalo voditi. U radu prikazujemo i kritički analiziramo debatu savremenih metafilozofa o ulozi, a posledično i prirodi intuicija u savremenoj analitičkoj filozofiji. Osnovni cilj našeg rada je da odbranimo stav da epistemičke intuicije igraju ulogu evidencije u okviru metoda analize pojma znanja. Ovaj stav deo je standardne slike o epistemološkoj metodologiji koja se poslednjih godina dovodi u (...) pitanje, kako od strane naučno orijentisanih filozofskih naturalista, tako i filozofskih tradicionalista. Kao ključni problem izdvajamo neuspeh zastupnika standardne slike o filozofskoj metodologiji da ponude odgovor na pitanje prirode intuicija. Prema našem mišljenju ovaj neuspeh posledica je propusta koji prave kako zastupnici, tako i kritičari pozivanja na intuicije u filozofiji kada pristupaju ovoj metafilozofskoj debati. Jednom kada uvidimo da moramo podrobnije razumeti metode u okviru kojih se pozivamo na intuicije, uočićemo da filozofske intuicije ne smemo posmatrati kao homogenu klasu, već da ispitivanju njihove prirode moramo pristupiti u okviru pojedinačnih filozofskih disciplina. Kada smo ovu strategiju primenili u našem istraživanju došli smo do zaključka da intuicije kao izraz pojmovne kompetencije igraju ulogu evidencije u metodima pojmovne analize i misaonog eksperimenta koji su karakteristični za savremenu analitičku epistemologiju. (shrink)
In filosofia spesso si segue un metodo stando al quale una tesi o teoria che sia più in sintonia con il senso comune deve essere preferita alle posizioni meno in sintonia con esso, per lo meno fino a quando non si mostri che quella tesi o teoria è inadeguata e che una delle posizioni avverse costituisce un adeguato sostituto. Nel presente contributo si vuole offrire una caratterizzazione della nozione di senso comune generalmente in uso nei dibattiti filosofici contemporanei; illustrare criticamente (...) i principali metodi impiegabili per determinare contenuti filosoficamente rilevanti del senso comune; chiarire e giustificare il metodo filosofico dell'appello al senso comune; presentare, d'altro canto, alcune delle strategie argomentative attuabili da chi si trovi a sostenere una tesi o teoria contrastante con il senso comune. (shrink)
We argue that Lewis would have rejected recent appeals to the notions of ‘metaphysical dependency’, ‘grounding’ and ‘ontological priority’, because he would have held that they’re not needed and they’re not intelligible. We argue our case by drawing upon Lewis’s views on supervenience, the metaphysics of singletons and the dubiousness of Kripke’s essentialism.
In “The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Science of Addiction” Robert West highlights a pervasive challenge for more conceptual clarity and consensus within the field of addiction studies. In an attempt to address the challenge I provide the conceptual building blocks or architectonic of a metatheory of addiction, referred to as the Integrated Metatheoretical Model of Addiction (IMMA). The IMMA is not a general theory of addiction, but rather an exploratory attempt at providing the architectonic of an metaparadigmatic heuristic, that (...) may potentially provide the conceptual scaffolding needed for developing a general theory of addiction. (shrink)
Disagreements about scientific ontology have frequently been reconstructed as the result of a dispute between rival epistemic stances. In this paper, (i) we characterize some of these disagreements as deep disagreements. In addition, we show that deep disagreements about scientific ontology can arise not only from the adoption of different epistemic stances, but also between positions that fall within the same stance. The development of this point allows us, in turn, to establish a distinction between types of deep disagreement and (...) to explore the possibility that there are differences of degree between them. (shrink)
In Being You, Anil Seth takes us on a comprehensive tour through the science of consciousness, drawing on the most up-to-date data, lessons and theories in the field. This is a compelling book that will leave readers pondering whether new technologies and smart experimental designs will further deepen our understanding of the mind, writes Manh Tung Ho.
The last two decades have seen the proliferation of the empirical study of philosophy. This dissertation defends the practice and argues that to understand the way contingent features of the practice of philosophy affect the epistemic standing of philosophers, we need to draw upon a wider and more varied set of empirical data than is sometimes supposed. To explore this, the dissertation focuses on two places where the practices of the discipline of philosophy have an effect on the epistemology of (...) philosophy. -/- First, the dissertation discusses the interaction between notable works of philosophy and their readers. In particular, it critiques the method of defending the epistemic standing of philosophers through careful examination of notable works of philosophy to discern the methods in the text. Ultimately this method is epistemically unmotivated. It is instead far more important to study how people have interacted and reacted to works of philosophy. -/- Second, the dissertation defends the use of lexicography in philosophy. Using "intuition" as a case study, the dissertation argues metasemantically and lexicographically that philosophers often use common words with meanings unique to philosophy. -/- Through both discussions it is argued that experimental philosophers and epistemologists of philosophy need to drastically expand the sorts of data they collect and consider in their theorizing. -/- . (shrink)
Drawing on Laurie A. Paul’s notion of “transformative experience”, this paper explores transformative philosophical experiences and analyses the structure of the attitude underlying them. It is argued that these experiences have to be explained not in cognitive terms but as a change in our affective attitude. More precisely, these experiences lead us to feel values in a novel manner. However, in order to make the philosophical experience epistemically transformative and provide a new perspective from which we can acquire new philosophical (...) insights, this feeling of value must meet certain moral conditions such as being open, humble and aware of possible self-deceptive tendencies. Since affectivity is central to the person we are, epistemically transformative experiences in philosophy go hand in hand with personal transformation. (shrink)
This book illustrates a new theory of Consciousness attempting to solve the meta-problem of Consciousness and the mind-body problem using Aristotle's soul as the basis of self-hood. It attempts to solve the mind-body problem by illustrating the transition of the Soul as the body into a mind, using emotional experiences turning into experiences of feelings.
En los albores de la tercera del siglo XXI, la existencia de la humanidad se ha vuelto sumamente peligrosa. Estamos talando nuestros bosques, agotando nuestros acuíferos de agua dulce y perdendo nuestros suelos superiores vitais. Estamos eliminando a vida de nuestros oceanos e reemplazándola com cientos de milhões de toneladas de desechos plásticos. Estamos inundando nosso ambiente com produtos químicos industriais tóxicos. Nuestra contaminação está impulsando a mudança climática que provoca olas de calor, sequías e incêndios florestais que destrozan o (...) tejido de la vida en los continentes. Y estamos trazendo novas gerações no mundo, milhões que requerem acesso aos recursos de uma existência digna. El alcance y la amplitud de las amenazas a la vida aumentarn día tras día. Este não é um modo sustentável de desarrollo. A causa raíz de nuestros machos fornece uma forma de pensar equivocada. ¿Que significa exatamente? significa que hemos estado pensando em nosotros mismos principalmente como seres materiais, mientras negamos nuestra naturaleza espiritual. Debido a que pensamos que existimos como seres materiais e nada mais, damos prioridade a proteger nuestros cuerpos del daño y prolongar nuestra existencia material. Nuestra naturaleza espiritual, si é que se considera em absoluto, se trata como um aspecto secundário de nuestro ser físico, algo que não deve ser tomado em serio. Para nós, as únicas cosas que importam são os fenômenos que aparecem no mundo material, como se pueden ver, oír, tocar o mediterrâneo, por saber que nuestros sentidos nos engañan, los sentidos son una construção del cerebro. Lo que consideramos um mundo real é uma ilusão. A dominação do pensamento positivista e materialista conduz à irracionalidade e à destruição. Pero, ¿adónde nos ha llevado este enfoque? ¿Nos ha traído una sensación de felicidad y plenitud? No lugar de viver cada dia com um espírito de cooperação alegre, con nuestros corazones llenos de brillante esperanza y feliz antecipación, nos hemos aislado Diferenos de los demás y verlos como rivales o inemigos. Nuestros pensamientos estão inundados de sospecha, miedo y codicia, lo que lleva a un ciclo interminável de guerra, pobreza, hambruna y destruição ambiental. A menos que despertemos pronto e prestemos atenção a nossa naturaleza espiritual, não há futuro para a humanidade na Terra. Las palabras son vida. As palavras da luz. Las palabras son poder. Las palavras son energía. Las palabras son verdad. Las palabras pueden animar y las palabras también pueden matar. Las palabras pueden dar esperanza ou hundirnos en la desesperación. La gente usa palabras para construir la paz y usa palabras para hacer la guerra. Las palabras pueden crear muros entre culturas, religiões e nações. Y las palabras también pueden construir puentes. La existencia de un individuo, una familia, una comunidad, un país y nuestro planeta está conduzindo al been ou al mal a través del poder de las palabras que hablamos. Las palabras que hablamos son responsables de todo lo que sucede neste mundo. Nosotros, por lo tanto, debemos ser responsables de las palabras que hablamos. Em nome das gerações futuras, espero que cada um de nosotros haga todo o possível para hablar solo palabras brilhantes y llenas de luz, para que um dia, nuestros descendentes nazcan en un mundo lleno de luz. No hay tiempo que perder. A partir deste momento, espero que todos echemos uma vista de cerca das palavras que hemos estado usando e hagamos esfuerzos constantes para llenarlas de brillo. Nadie va a cambiar nuestra vida por nosotros. Nadie va a cambiar el mundo por nosotros. É hora de cada um de nós reconhecer o prodigioso poder criativo que se desata em cada palavra que pronuncia, e de maneira consciente pronunciemos apenas palavras de gratidão, alienação e boa intenção. A partir deste momento, elijamos palabras que resuenen con amor y perdón para nosotros mismos y para los demás. Ciertamente podemos fazer se damos um passo solo adelante. Un paso a la vez, uma palavra a la vez, podemos arrancar de raíz os gérmenes de tragédia e aislamiento de nossa consciência e conversão em ondas de felicidade e conciliação. Por nosostros mismos, por la Madre Tierra y por el bien de las generaciones futuras, usemos palavras que contribuem para a evolução positiva de la humanidad en la Tierra. (shrink)
Το χρονικό της σκέψης’’ ονομάζεται μια συλλογή δοκιμίων και ομιλιών που γράφτηκαν και εκφωνήθηκαν στην Αθήνα, στο διάστημα 2010 με 2012. Αυτά τα κείμενα συνθέτουν μία ενιαία και πολυδιάστατη στοχαστική έρευνα που ιχνηλατεί τις εποχιακές μεταμορφώσεις του Χρόνου και της φιλοσοφικής Σκέψης. Οι σκέψεις που αναπτύσσονται, επιχειρούν να συναρτήσουν την Ιστορία με τη Φιλοσοφία, με διάθεση να διερευνήσουν το Αίνιγμα του Κόσμου που δεν είναι, αλλά ξετυλίγεται ως ανοικτός χωροχρόνος με τις σκέψεις που τον εκφράζουν, με τις γλώσσες που τον (...) ονομάζουν. -/- Στον πρώτο τόμο του έργου επιχειρούμε μια αναδίφηση στις απαρχές της Δυτικής Φιλοσοφικής Σκέψης. Στόχος μας ο διάλογος με τον αρχαιοελληνικό Λόγο (γλώσσα και σκέψη) και η αναβίωση του στοχαστικού ερωτήματος για το Άνοιγμα του Κόσμου, που έχει λησμονηθεί λόγω της κυριαρχίας του ανεξέλεγκτου ανθρωποκεντρισμού που σηματοδοτεί την τεχνο-επιστημονική εποχή σε όλες τις εκφάνσεις της. Αφετηρία της Δυτικής Φιλοσοφικής Σκέψης είναι η Σκέψη των αρχαϊ- κών χρόνων, η οποία εκφράζεται με τον Προσωκρατικό Λόγο που στο- χάζεται το Εν-Παν, με μυθολογικές ενοράσεις, διαισθήσεις και λογικές κατηγορίες. Ο Προσωκρατικός Λόγος αποτελεί φιλία για τη σοφία του Εν-Όλου που το φανερώνει στη γλώσσα. Η Σκέψη στους κλασικούς ελληνικούς χρόνους, ο αρχαιοελληνικός Λόγος (ως γλώσσα και νόηση), στοχάζεται την ένθεη φύση και τα όντα, το είναι ή και το γίγνεσθαί τους, αποτελεί φιλία για τη σοφία, έρωτα για το υπεραισθητό, ομολογία με την ιδέα. Ο Λόγος φωτίζει το είναι και το είναι του όντος, αγνοεί όμως το ομόλογο σκοτάδι «του», το μη είναι, τον ίσκιο του όντος.Η Σκέψη στους ελληνιστικούς χρόνους αποτελεί επανάληψη και ανανέωση της κλασικής ελληνικής σκέψης. Με τους Σκεπτικούς ο Λόγος αυτοεξετάζεται κριτικά, οι Στωϊκοί και οι Επικούρειοι αποζητούν να θεμελιώσουν την Σκέψη στην αυτοσυνείδηση. Ο Πλωτίνος με επιρροές από τη χριστιανική θεολογία εγκαθιδρύει το νεοπλατωνισμό. (shrink)
Even prior to its publication, John Norton’s book has stimulated debates about induction. Its publication will galvanize these discussions. Does it merit all this attention? Yes, and not just from philosophers of science. Practically all philosophers will find novel and thought-provoking ideas, with implications for their research.
David Benatar has argued both for anti-natalism and for a certain pessimism about life's meaning. In this paper, I propose that these positions are expressions of a deeply impersonal philosophical temperament. This is not a problem on its own; we all have our philosophical instincts. The problem is that this particular temperament, I argue, leads Benatar astray, since it prevents him from answering a question that any moral philosopher must answer. This is the question of rational authority, which requires the (...) moral philosopher to say why existing human agents have strong practical reasons to comply with the philosopher's dictates. A purely impersonal ethical system can never do this, and this is why Benatar has no answer to this question. (shrink)
What can we know? How should we live? What is there? Philosophers famously diverge in the answers they give to these and other philosophical questions. It is widely presumed that a lack of convergence on these questions suggests that philosophy is not progressing at all, is not progressing fast enough, or is not progressing as fast as other disciplines, such as the natural sciences. Call the view that ideal philosophical progress is marked by at least some degree of convergence on (...) the core philosophical questions the pro-convergence thesis. I will argue that there is reason to reject the pro-convergence thesis in favor of the anti-convergence thesis, the view that significant viewpoint convergence is at odds with the aims of a philosophically ideal community. The argument centers on a thought experiment about two different philosophical communities. (shrink)
Recently there has been an increasing interest in metaphilosphy. The aim of philosophy has been examined. The development of philosophy has also been scrutinised. With the development of new approaches and methods, new problems arise. This collection revisits some of the metaphilosophical issues, including philosophical progress and the aim of philosophy. It sheds new light on some old approaches, such as naturalism and ordinary language philosophy. It also explores new philosophical methods (e.g., digital philosophy of science, conceptual engineering, and the (...) practice-based approach to logic) and their prospects. (shrink)
In contrast to a stereotypical account of Indian philosophy that are entailments of the interpreter’s beliefs (an approach that violates basic standards of reason), an approach to Indian philosophy grounded on the constraints of formal reason reveals not only a wide spread disagreement on dharma (THE RIGHT OR THE GOOD), but also a pervasive commitment to the practical foundation of life’s challenges. The flip side of this practical orientation is the criticism of ordinary experience as erroneous and reducible to the (...) agent’s mental states. If we ignore the background practical orientation in Indian philosophy, this seems not like an error theory, that I call Ironic Idealism, but as a defense of idealism. I consider salient candidates for Indian Idealism (Advaita Vedānta, Yogācāra Buddhism, Kāśmīra Śaivism and the Yogavāsiṣṭha) and note that these positions continue a theme in Indian philosophy of articulating Ironic Idealism. Ironic Idealism depends upon the very Indian distinction between ultimate and provisional truth, and Ironic Idealism criticizes the mundane, provisional sort of "truth" as psychological and mental --- and ultimately false. Interpretation, the common approach to the study of Indian philosophy, is an example of what Ironic Idealism criticizes. This explains why authors incorrectly find Idealism everywhere in Indian thought. (shrink)
Philosophy has a language problem. A recent study by Schwitzgebel, Huang, Higgins and Gonzalez-Cabrera (2018) found that, in a sample of papers published in elite journals, 97% of citations were to work originally written in English. 73% of this same sample didn’t cite any paper that had been originally written in a language other than English. Finally, a staggering 96% of elite journal editorial boards are primarily affiliated with an Anglophone university. This is consistent with earlier data suggesting that journal (...) submissions from countries that are outside the Anglophone world and Europe have disturbingly low chances of being accepted. The route forward is not entirely clear. What is clear, however, is that this structural disadvantage deserves closer philosophical and empirical attention. We owe this to current and future members of our philosophical community who speak English non-natively. We also need this if we want to make sure philosophy is enriched by a diverse group of thinkers who have a grasp of different languages, and of the cultures strongly associated with them. (shrink)
Along with “epoché” or his “reductions”, Husserl’s “noema” and “noesis”, being neologisms invented by him, are main concepts in phenomenology able to represent its originality. Following the trace of a recent paper (Penchev 2021 July 23), its formal and philosophical approach is extended to both correlative notions, in the present article. They are able to reveal the genesis of the world from consciousness in a transcendental method relevant to Husserl, but furthermore described formally as a process of how subjective temporality (...) appears being isomorphic to objective temporality of the “world by itself” (an abstraction meaning it out of consciousness or transcendental consciousness): thus, it shares the same mathematical structure, which is embodied in the physical process of decoherence by the physical quantity of quantum information. The temporal world is able to appear naturally (rather as a ridiculous effect of the mythical “Big Bang”). The same process translated by formal and mathematical tools as interpreted in terms of “noema”, “noesis”, or transcendental consciousness is isomorphic to how “Self” (including in an individual and psychological sense) appears in virtue of transcendental consciousness. (shrink)
The article aims to substantiate the philosophy of synthesis, which is built on the basis of analysis, but gives it a constructive direction. The turning point from analysis to synthesis is the problematization of the elements identified in the analysis, their criticism, replacement, or rearrangement, leading to the construction of alternative concepts and propositions that expand the field of the thinkable and innovate the categorical apparatus of philosophy. This article provides examples of philosophical synthesis at different levels: alternative terms and (...) concepts (“infinition”), postulates (the “diamond rule” in ethics), and disciplines (“horrology” as the study of the self-destructive mechanisms of civilization). Next, we consider the transition from the philosophy of synthesis to the synthesis of philosophy itself with contemporary scientific and technical practices. Technology of the 21st century is no longer instrumental/utilitarian, but a fundamental technology ("onto–technology"), which, thanks to science’s penetration into the micro- and macrocosm, can change the foundational parameters of being, thereby acquiring a philosophical dimension. Accordingly, philosophy as a study of the most general principles of the universe becomes a practical requirement in any “world-forming,” synthesizing acts of technology, including the design of computer games and multi-populated virtual worlds (e.g., “Second Life”), that involve a new ontology, logic, ethics, and axiology. The vocation of philosophy in the 21st century is not just to comprehend our unique world, but to lay the foundations for new world-forming practices, to initiate and design the ontology of possible worlds, and to pave the way for alternative forms of synthetic life and artificial intelligence. Contrary to Hegel, philosophy is no longer the “owl of Minerva” taking flight at dusk, but a skylark proclaiming the dawn of a new creative day. -/- . (shrink)
Conceptual engineering is the method for assessing and improving our concepts. However, little has been written about how best to conceive of concepts for the purposes of conceptual engineering. In this paper, I aim to fill this foundational gap, proceeding in three main steps: First, I propose a methodological framework for evaluating the conduciveness of a given concept of concept for conceptual engineering. Then, I develop a typology that contrasts two competing concepts of concept that can be used in conceptual (...) engineering — namely, the philosophical and psychological ones. Finally, I evaluate these two concepts of concept using the proposed methodological framework and I show that, when it comes to making conceptual engineering an actionable method, the psychological concept of concept outclasses its philosophical counterpart on all counts. This provides a baseline from which the concept of concept can be further improved for the purposes of conceptual engineering. (shrink)
Conceptual engineering is the method for assessing and improving our representational devices. On its ‘broad-spectrum’ version, it is expected to be appropriately applicable to any of our representation-involving cognitive activities, with major consequences for our whole cognitive life. This paper is about the theoretical foundations of conceptual engineering thus characterised. With a view to ensuring the actionability of conceptual engineering as a broad-spectrum method, it addresses the issue of how best to construe the subject matter of conceptual engineering and successively (...) defends the theses that conceptual engineering should be: (i) About concepts, (ii) psychologically theorised, (iii) as multiply realised functional kinds. Thereby, I claim to theoretically secure and justify the maximum scope, flexibility, and impact for the method of conceptual engineering on our representational devices in our whole cognitive life—in other words, a broad-spectrum version of conceptual engineering. (shrink)
Here we will go beyond the variety of violence to show its unity, common points and continuities. For although there are multiple forms of violence, they are interrelated: they define a continuum from trivial to extreme violence. Violence against oneself, things, living things such as plants and animals, other nations, the other, one’s fellow human beings, therefore the violence of society against its members, which returns to self-violence. Another continuum is its spiral development, with violence generating violence and pushing it (...) to grow. Violence can also be learned, we progress ever further in violence: in gangs, in armies, in society... Everyone is capable of violence, sometimes to a good advantage as in self-defence. Here it resides in necessity, that of survival, but in general it is impunity that allows and encourages it. In closed, totalitarian, universes: family, work, hospital, army, state... The proximity and distance between the perpetrator and the victim defines yet another continuity. We will discuss the various elements that contribute to its development. And paradoxically, to see that violence also serves to avoid violence. In this way, evacuating it, refusing it, is in fact feeding it, which makes today’s violence, which is an evolution of previous violence and which prepares and defines tomorrow’s violence. (shrink)
RESUMEN El objetivo de este trabajo es mostrar que la relación de Rorty con la tradición filosófica presenta muchos más matices de los que su reputación podría hacer creer. Se confrontan dos hechos: de un lado, el propósito rortiano de superar la tradición; de otro, la necesidad de la tradición para mantener la conversación, interés principal de la filosofía para Rorty. Por tanto, la relación de Rorty con la tradición es ambigua. Ahora bien, esa ambigüedad puede verse como no contradictoria: (...) Rorty no pretendió tanto ofrecer una argumentación alternativa a la de la tradición cuanto una alternativa a la argumentación de la tradición. Así, más que romper con la tradición, Rorty, a su modo, le da una oportunidad. ABSTRACT The aim of this paper is to show that Rorty’s relationship with philosophical tradition has more nuances of meaning than his reputation might suggest. Two opposite facts are considered: on the one hand, Rorty’s intention to overcome tradition; on the other hand, the fact that there cannot be conversation, the main interest of philosophy for Rorty, without tradition. Rorty’s relationship to the philosophical tradition is, thus, ambiguous. Nevertheless, this ambiguity can be seen as not inconsistent. One reason might explain this fact: rather than an alternative argumentation to the traditional one, Rorty offered an alternative to the traditional argumentation. Therefore it makes more sense to read Rorty as giving the tradition a break rather than breaking with the tradition. (shrink)
Abstract: According to the realist about philosophy, the goal of philosophy is to come to know the truth about philosophical questions; according to what Helen Beebee calls equilibrism, by contrast, the goal is rather to place one’s commitments in a coherent system. In this paper, I present a critique of equilibrism in the form Beebee defends it, paying particular attention to her suggestion that various meta-philosophical remarks made by David Lewis may be recruited to defend equilibrism. At the end of (...) the paper, I point out that a realist about philosophy may also be a pluralist about philosophical culture, thus undermining one main motivation for equilibrism. (shrink)
This paper argues that the main global critiques of scientism lose their punch because they rely on an uncharitable definition of their target. It focuses on epistemological scientism and divides it into four categories in terms of how strong (science is the only source of knowledge) or weak (science is the best source of knowledge) and how narrow (only natural sciences) or broad (all sciences or at least not only the natural sciences) they are. Two central arguments against scientism, the (...) (false) dilemma and self‐referential incoherence, are analysed. Of the four types of epistemological scientism, three can deal with these counterarguments by utilizing two methodological principles: epistemic evaluability of reliability and epistemic opportunism. One hopes that these considerations will steer the discussion on scientism to more fruitful pastures in the future. For example, there are interesting methodological considerations concerning what evaluability or reliability and epistemic opportunism entail. (shrink)
The intended title was “Universe Oriented Ontology” or “Multiverse Oriented Ontology”, or “Universe or Multiverse Metaphysics”. I mention this as it gives an idea about the meaning and intention of the title and the work as well as the titles I considered and why I moved away from them to the present one. The sub-title provides a further hint towards the intentions of the work, namely: ” Beyond Earth- and Human-centricity’. I opted for ‘transcending’ rather than beyond, as I am (...) still in the process of describing the process of transcending and many of the ideas I am obliged to use from our conceptual system and practices are still earth- and anthropo-centered, And, they have not yet gone to a state beyond those two -isms. I say something about universe-centeredness, then about planet earth as point and frame of reference and anthropo-centricity. The socio-cultural practice of philosophy and the doing of philosophy is merely one of many human, social and cultural practices. I post different notions of philosophy by a number of writers, some of them philosophers. These notions are about their perceptions of what philosophy is. Few of them go into detail about the subject-matter of philosophy. No one really deal with the aims, purposes and objectives of the discipline and none deal with the nature of the doing of philosophy or philosophizing. Activities that I suggest resemble certain features of the processes of theorizing. I end with explorations of possible characteristics of original- and creative thinkers. I do this by mentioning a number of themes of meta-philosophy listed and described by Peter Suber. I make a number of comments in them and highlight aspects relevant to these type of thinkers. One find them of course in all disciplines and socio-cultural [racticesand disciplines be they the arts,humanities, sciences, etc. I am of course specifically concerned with original andcreative thinkers inthe Western tradition of philosophy. As I am a radical and absolute sceptic, I end with an article on this theme. It is said by everyone, for example Hume, Russell and Pascal, that such a radical position is psychologically impossible and that it cannot be lived 24/7. Pascal for example opted for believe or faith and he and a number of writers suggest that that is the only way out and the final position of radical sceptics. I disagree with him. (shrink)
Although the later Wittgenstein appears as one of the most influential figures in Davidson’s later works on meaning, it is not, for the most part, clear how Davidson interprets and employs Wittgenstein’s ideas. In this paper, I will argue that Davidson’s later works on meaning can be seen as mainly a manifestation of his attempt to accommodate the later Wittgenstein’s basic ideas about meaning and understanding, especially the requirement of drawing the seems right/is right distinction and the way this requirement (...) must be met. These ideas, however, are interpreted by Davidson in his own way. I will then argue that Davidson even attempts to respect Wittgenstein’s quietism, provided that we understand this view in the way Davidson does. Having argued for that, I will finally investigate whether, for Davidson at least, his more theoretical and supposedly explanatory projects, such as that of constructing a formal theory of meaning and his use of the notion of triangulation, are in conflict with this Wittgensteinian quietist view. (shrink)
While many of Elizabeth Anscombe’s philosophical views are well-known (e.g. her views on practical knowledge or consequentialism), little has been written on her philosophical method, i.e., on her way of doing philosophy. This is unfortunate, for two reasons: First, the failure to understand Anscombe’s method is a major stumbling block for many of her readers. Second, and more importantly, we can still learn a lot from Anscombe’s way of doing philosophy: Her view differs considerably from current alternatives in metaphilosophy. Here (...) we want to begin to fill this lacuna. (shrink)
In domains like stock brokerage, clinical psychiatry, and long‐term political forecasting, experts generally fail to outperform novices. Empirical researchers agree on why this is: experts must receive direct or environmental learning feedback during training to develop reliable expertise, and these domains are deficient in this type of feedback. A growing number of philosophers resource this consensus view to argue that, given the absence of direct or environmental philosophical feedback, we should not give the philosophical intuitions or theories of expert philosophers (...) greater credence than those of novice philosophers. This article has three objectives. The first is to explore several overlooked issues concerning the strategy of generalizing from empirical studies of non‐philosophical expertise to the epistemic status of philosophical expertise. The second is to explain why empirical research into a causal relationship between direct learning feedback and enhanced expert performance does not provide good grounds for abandoning a default optimism about the epistemic superiority of expert philosophical theories. The third is to sketch a positive characterization of learning feedback that addresses developmental concerns made salient by the empirical literature on expert performance for specifically theory‐driven or “armchair” domains like philosophy. (shrink)