Examination is made of a range of cyborg solutions to bodily problems due to damage, but here with particular reference to aging. Both technological and animal implants, transplants and prosthetic devices are phenomenologically analyzed. The resultant trade-off phenomena are compared to popular culture technofantasies and desires and finally to human attitudes toward mortality and contingency. The parallelism of resistance to contingent existence and to becoming a cyborg is noted.
Book Symposium on Don Ihde’s Expanding Hermeneutics: Visualism in Science Content Type Journal Article Category Book Symposium Pages 1-22 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0060-5 Authors Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, University of Copenhagen, Nørre Farimagsgade 5 A, Room 10.0.27, 1014 Copenhagen, Denmark Larry A. Hickman, The Center for Dewey Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA Robert Rosenberger, School of Public Policy, Georgia Institute of Technology, DM Smith Building, 685 Cherry Street, Atlanta, GA 30332-0345, USA Robert C. Scharff, University of New (...) Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824-3574, USA Don Ihde, Stony Brook University, Harriman Hall 221, Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750, USA Journal Philosophy & Technology Online ISSN 2210-5441 Print ISSN 2210-5433. (shrink)
Beginning with an overview of Hume's life and work, Don Garrett introduces in clear and accessible style the central aspects of Hume's thought. These include Hume's lifelong exploration of the human mind; his theories of inductive inference and causation; skepticism and personal identity; moral and political philosophy; aesthetics; and philosophy of religion. The final chapter considers the influence and legacy of Hume's thought today. Throughout, Garrett draws on and explains many of Hume's central works, including his Treatise of Human Nature (...) , Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding , and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion . Hume is essential reading not only for students of philosophy, but anyone in the humanities and social sciences and beyond seeking an introduction to Hume's thought. (shrink)
"... Dr. Ihde brings an enlightening and deeply humanistic perspective to major technological developments, both past and present." —Science Books & Films "Don Ihde is a pleasure to read.... The material is full of nice suggestions and details, empirical materials, fun variations which engage the reader in the work... the overall points almost sneak up on you, they are so gently and gradually offered." —John Compton "A sophisticated celebration of cultural diversity and of its enabling technologies.... perhaps the best single (...) volume relating the philosophical tradition to the broad issues raised by contemporary technologies." —Choice "... important and challenging... " —Review of Metaphysics "... a range of rich historical, cultural, philosophical, and psychological insights, woven together in an intriguing and clear exposition... The book is really a pleasure to read, for its style, immense learning and sanity." —Teaching Philosophy The role of tools and instruments in our relation to the earth and the ways in which technologies are culturally embedded provide the foci of this thought-provoking book. (shrink)
It is widely believed that Hume often wrote carelessly and contradicted himself, and that no unified, sound philosophy emerges from his writings. Don Garrett demonstrates that such criticisms of Hume are without basis. Offering fresh and trenchant solutions to longstanding problems in Hume studies, Garrett's penetrating analysis also makes clear the continuing relevance of Hume's philosophy.
Introduction: situating Heidegger and the philosophy of technology -- Heidegger's philosophy of technology -- The historical-ontological priority of technology over science -- Deromanticizing Heidegger -- Interlude: the earth inherited -- Was Heidegger prescient concerning technoscience? -- Heidegger's technologies: one size fits all -- Concluding postphenomenological postscript: writing technologies.
Donald Davidson once suggested that a liar ?must intend to represent himself as believing what he does not?. In this paper I argue that, while Davidson was mistaken about lying in a few important respects, his main insight yields a very attractive definition of lying. Namely, you lie if and only if you say something that you do not believe and you intend to represent yourself as believing what you say. Moreover, I show that this Davidsonian definition can handle counter-examples (...) that undercut four prominent definitions of lying: viz., the traditional intend-to-deceive definition, Thomas Carson's definition, Don Fallis's definition, and Andreas Stokke's definition. (shrink)
Recent scientific findings about human decision making would seem to threaten the traditional concept of the individual conscious will. The will is threatened from "below" by the discovery that our apparently spontaneous actions are actually controlled and initiated from below the level of our conscious awareness, and from "above" by the recognition that we adapt our actions according to social dynamics of which we are seldom aware. In Distributed Cognition and the Will, leading philosophers and behavioral scientists consider how much, (...) if anything, of the traditional concept of the individual conscious will survives these discoveries, and they assess the implications for our sense of freedom and responsibility. The contributors all take science seriously, and they are inspired by the idea that apparent threats to the cogency of the idea of will might instead become the basis of its reemergence as a scientific subject. They consider macro-scale issues of society and culture, the micro-scale dynamics of the mind/brain, and connections between macro-scale and micro-scale phenomena in the self-guidance and self-regulation of personal behavior. Contributors: George Ainslie, Wayne Christensen, Andy Clark, Paul Sheldon Davies, Daniel C. Dennett, Lawrence A. Lengbeyer, Dan Lloyd, Philip Pettit, Don Ross, Tamler Sommers, Betsy Sparrow, Mariam Thalos, Jeffrey B. Vancouver, Daniel M. Wegner, Tadeusz W. ZawidzkiDon Ross is Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Finance, Economics, and Quantitative Methods at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. David Spurrett is Professor of Philosophy at the Howard College Campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Harold Kincaid is Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Ethics and Values in the Sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. G. Lynn Stephens is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (shrink)
In this study, Don Ross explores the relationship of economics to other branches of behavioral science, asking, in the course of his analysis, under what interpretation economics is a sound empirical science. The book explores the relationships between economic theory and the theoretical foundations of related disciplines that are relevant to the day-to-day work of economics -- the cognitive and behavioral sciences. It asks whether the increasingly sophisticated techniques of microeconomic analysis have revealed any deep empirical regularities -- whether technical (...) improvement represents improvement in any other sense. Casting Daniel Dennett and Kenneth Binmore as its intellectual heroes, the book proposes a comprehensive model of economic theory that, Ross argues, does not supplant, but recovers the core neoclassical insights, and counters the caricaturish conception of neoclassicism so derided by advocates of behavioral or evolutionary economics. Because he approaches his topic from the viewpoint of the philosophy of science, Ross devotes one chapter to the philosophical theory and terminology on which his argument depends and another to related philosophical issues. Two chapters provide the theoretical background in economics, one covering developments in neoclassical microeconomics and the other treating behavioral and experimental economics and evolutionary game theory. The three chapters at the heart of the argument then apply theses from the philosophy of cognitive science to foundational problems for economic theory. In these chapters, economists will find a genuinely new way of thinking about the implications of cognitive science for economics, and cognitive scientists will find in economic behavior, a new testing site for the explanations of cognitive science. (shrink)
In many ways, Benedict (Baruch) de Spinoza appears to be a contradictory figure in the history of philosophy. From the beginning, he has been notorious as an "atheist" who seeks to substitute Nature for a personal deity; yet he was also, in Novalis's famous description, "the God-intoxicated man." He was an uncompromising necessitarian and causal determinist; yet his ethical ideal was to become a "free man." He maintained that the human mind and the human body are identical; yet he also (...) insisted that the human mind can achieve a kind of eternality that transcends the death of the body. He has been adopted by Marxists as a precursor of historical materialism, and by Hegelians as a precursor of absolute idealism. He was a psychological egoist, proclaiming that all individuals necessarily seek their own advantage and implying that other individuals were of value to him only insofar as they were useful to him; yet his writings aimed to promote human community based on love and friendship, he had many devoted friends, and even his critics were obliged to acknowledge that his personal conduct was above reproach. He held that the state has the right to do whatever it has the power to do, while at the same time he defended democracy and freedom of speech. He denied supernatural revelation and criticized popular religion as a grave danger to the peace and stability of the state; yet he devoted himself to the careful interpretation of scripture and argued for toleration and freedom of religion. Rarely employing figures of speech or rhetorical flourishes of any kind, his works are nevertheless among the most magisterial and uplifting of all philosophical writings, and they have inspired more poets and novelists than those of any other philosopher of the early modern period. (shrink)
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Reviewed by: Hume’s Imagination by Tito MAGRI Don Garrett MAGRI, Tito. Hume’s Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2022. xiii + 494 pp. Cloth, $115.00In A Treatise of Human Nature, Hume defines “the imagination” in an inclusive sense as “the faculty, by which we form our fainter ideas”—that is, those that are not memories. In the narrower sense, it is “the same faculty, excluding only our demonstrative and probable (...) reasonings.” Book 1 of the Treatise is largely a work about the imagination in the inclusive sense. Indeed, by Magri’s count, book 1 contains more occurrences of the term imagination/imagine and its variants than of any other philosophical term with the exceptions of impression and idea. Yet until the late 1990s, it was surprisingly rare to find commentators treating the Humean imagination as a focus of attention in its own right, and the complete range of its many roles and operations has largely remained uncatalogued until now. With twelve highly detailed chapters distinguishing no fewer than twenty different “works of the imagination” governed by eighteen different “principles,” Hume’s Imagination is by far the most comprehensive treatment of the faculty to date. Indeed, its only limitations are its two announced ones. First, it does not discuss the imagination in Hume’s subsequent An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (where its operations receive much less attention) or other writings. Second, it does not discuss the extensive roles played by the imagination in Treatise, book 2 (“Of the Passions”) and book 3 (“Of Morals”)—although readers may hope that a sequel will take up those roles. The wide array of roles and operations that Hume attributes to the inclusive imagination, even in Treatise, book 1 alone, naturally raises the question of how much real unity it has as a psychological natural kind. Magri’s original and provocative answer to this question is that the various operations of Hume’s imagination are unified by their filling in various “cognitive gaps” between the representational contents of the mind’s sensations and memories, on the one hand, and the full range of its cognitive contents and capacities, on the other. Rather than appealing to the kind of purely intellectual ideas posited by Descartes and other so-called rationalists who drew a strong distinction between the intellect and the imagination, however, Hume traces our further abilities to the inferences and mental transitions that the imagination produces utilizing only broadly imagistic ideas. In support of this answer, the book is divided into five parts. Part I, chapter 1 explains the central notion of a “cognitive gap” in terms of a “dualism of representation and inference.” For Magri, “representation” applies only to sensation and memory (although he grants that [End Page 156] “presentation” might be the better term in the case of sensation), as governed by Hume’s self-described first principle: “our simple ideas in their first appearance are deriv’d from simple impressions which are correspondent to them, and which they exactly represent.” This principle is the topic of chapter 2. “Inference” (or, more broadly, “transitions”) applies only to the imagination, which generates new “nonrepresentational” cognitive content in accordance with what Hume calls his second principle: “the liberty of the imagination to transpose and change its ideas.” This principle is the topic of chapter 3. To say, as Magri does, that the only “representational” ideas for Hume are those of memory sounds highly paradoxical, but the intended (nonparadoxical) meaning becomes clear enough on careful reading. Part 2 of the book takes up the role of the imagination in generating specifically conceptual modes of thought. In chapter 4, Magri explains the mind’s capacity for generality in thought through the operation of “abstract ideas” and its capacity to distinguish different aspects of an object through the operation of “distinctions of reason.” In chapter 5, he examines the generation of distinctively modal content through the capacity of the imagination to conceive the same object as having different qualities or being placed in different circumstances. Part 3 turns to the crucial topic of the imagination’s generation of cognition of a world of “realities” beyond sensation and memory through the production of “causal ideas.” Chapter 6... (shrink)
Technology's impact on and implications for the social, ethical, political, and cultural dimensions of our world must be seriously considered and addressed. Philosophy of Technology is a clear introduction to one of philosophy's newest issues. Don Ihde critically examines the impact of technological developments on various cultures throughout history-from the earliest feats of engineering and architecture to the cutting-edge developments in artificial intelligence- with an aim to understanding the human implications within a world technological culture. Using a wide variety of (...) concrete examples and illustrations, including artificial intelligence, robotics, and nuclear energy, the author looks at both the current situation and future directions. In a final chapter, he takes the position that the foundational concern for the twenty-first century is the global environment, followed closely by multiculturality and its effect on technoculture, the future of warfare, and the distribution of wealth in a world economy. Special Features Provides an introduction to the best and most recent literature on the subject Places the philosophy of technology within the overall project of philosophy Provides a clear and comprehensive overview of the main issue in the field Promotes understanding of the special role of philosophical criticism Contains a wealth of often humorous and highly imaginative examples that have become the hallmark of this author. (shrink)
Humans, more than any other species, have been altering their paths of development by creating new material forms and by opening up to new possibilities of material engagement. That is, we become constituted through making and using technologies that shape our minds and extend our bodies. We make things which in turn make us. This ongoing dialectic has long been recognised from a deep-time perspective. It also seems natural in the present in view of the ways new materialities and digital (...) ecologies increasingly envelop our everyday life and thinking. Still the basic idea that humans and things are co-constituted continues to challenge us, raising important questions about the place and meaning of materiality and technical change in human life and evolution. This paper bridging perspectives from postphenomenology and Material Engagement Theory is trying to attain better understanding about these matters. Our emphasis falls specifically on the human predisposition for technological embodiment and creativity. We re-approach the notion Homo faber in a way that, on the one hand, retains the power and value of this notion to signify the primacy of making or creative material engagement in human life and evolution and, on the other hand, reclaims the notion from any misleading connotations of human exceptionalism. In particular, our use of the term Homo faber refers to the special place that this ability has in the evolution and development of our species. The difference that makes the difference is not just the fact that we make things. The difference that makes the difference is the recursive effect that the things that we make and our skills of making seem to have on human becoming. We argue that we are Homo faber not just because we make things but also because we are made by them. (shrink)
The purpose of this article is to advance a new understanding of gender as a routine accomplishment embedded in everyday interaction. To do so entails a critical assessment of existing perspectives on sex and gender and the introduction of important distinctions among sex, sex category, and gender. We argue that recognition of the analytical independence of these concepts is essential for understanding the interactional work involved in being a gendered person in society. The thrust of our remarks is toward theoretical (...) reconceptualization, but we consider fruitful directions for empirical research that are indicated by our formulation. (shrink)
This paper takes on several distinct but related tasks. First, I present and discuss what I will call the "Ignorance Thesis," which states that whenever an agent acts from ignorance, whether factual or moral, she is culpable for the act only if she is culpable for the ignorance from which she acts. Second, I offer a counterexample to the Ignorance Thesis, an example that applies most directly to the part I call the "Moral Ignorance Thesis." Third, I argue for a (...) principle--Don't Know, Don't Kill--that supports the view that the purported counterexample actually is a counterexample. Finally, I suggest that my arguments in this direction can supply a novel sort of argument against many instances of killing and eating certain sorts of animals. (shrink)
I bet you don’t practice your philosophical intuitions. What’s your excuse? If you think philosophical training improves the reliability of philosophical intuitions, then practicing intuitions should improve them even further. I argue that philosophers’ reluctance to practice their intuitions highlights a tension in the way that they think about the role of intuitions in philosophy.
Don Francisco Ayala cumple los cien años de edad; ésta ha sido la excusa para hacerle una serie de homenajes que se le debían en el ámbito académico y también en el extra-académico. Los Anales de la Cátedra Francisco Suárez ya publicaron un texto de don Francisco en esta misma sección de “Documentos” hace algunos años (“Los derechos individuales como garantía de la libertad”, Anales de la Cátedra Francisco Suárez, núm. 36, 2002, págs. 329-341), como modesto reconocimiento e incitación al (...) estudio de su obra. Pero no debían los Anales quedar al margen de la celebración de este centenario, que pilla al maestro, en sus propias palabras, “de cuerpo presente”. Nuestra contribución es la publicación de los dos textos que presentamos, y que don Francisco nos ha autorizado con la gentileza que es habitual en él y que le tenemos que agradecer tanto más cuanto que, como comprobará el lector, son unos textos ricos en forma y materia, aunque tengan una naturaleza que un músico llamaría “incidental”. (shrink)
According to the traditional philosophical definition, you lie if and only if you say something that you believe to be false and you intend to deceive someone into believing what you say. However, philosophers have recently noted the existence of bald-faced lies, lies which are not intended to deceive anyone into believing what is said. As a result, many philosophers have removed deception from their definitions of lying. According to Jennifer Lackey, this is ‘an unhappy divorce’ because it precludes an (...) obvious explanation of the prima facie wrongness of lying. Moreover, Lackey claims that there is a sense of deception in which all lies are deceptive. In this paper, I argue that bald-faced lies are not deceptive on any plausible notion of deception. In addition, I argue that divorcing deception from lying may not be as unhappy a result as Lackey suggests. (shrink)
Rivka Weinberg advances an error theory of ultimate meaning with three parts: (1) a conceptual analysis, (2) the claim that the extension of the concept is empty, and (3) a proposed fitting response, namely being very, very sad. Weinberg’s conceptual analysis of ultimate meaning involves two features that jointly make it metaphysically impossible, namely (i) the separateness of activities and valued ends, and (ii) the bounded nature of human lives. Both are open to serious challenges. We offer an internalist alternative (...) to (i) and a relational alternative to (ii). We then draw out implications for (2) and conclude with reasons to be cheerful about the prospects of a meaningful life. (shrink)
It is common for conservationists to refer to non-native species that have undesirable impacts on humans as “invasive”. We argue that the classification of any species as “invasive” constitutes wrongful discrimination. Moreover, we argue that its being wrong to categorize a species as invasive is perfectly compatible with it being morally permissible to kill animals—assuming that conservationists “kill equally”. It simply is not compatible with the double standard that conservationists tend to employ in their decisions about who lives and who (...) dies. (shrink)
Good’s theorem is the apparent platitude that it is always rational to ‘look before you leap’: to gather information before making a decision when doing so is free. We argue that Good’s theorem is not platitudinous and may be false. And we argue that the correct advice is rather to ‘make your act depend on the answer to a question’. Looking before you leap is rational when, but only when, it is a way to do this.
In The Birth of Sense, Don Beith proposes a new concept of generative passivity, the idea that our organic, psychological, and social activities take time to develop into sense. More than being a limit, passivity marks out the way in which organisms, persons, and interbodily systems take time in order to manifest a coherent sense. Beith situates his argument within contemporary debates about evolution, developmental biology, scientific causal explanations, psychology, postmodernism, social constructivism, and critical race theory. Drawing on empirical studies (...) and phenomenological reflections, Beith argues that in nature, novel meaning emerges prior to any type of constituting activity or deterministic plan. The Birth of Sense is an original phenomenological investigation in the style of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and it demonstrates that the French philosopher's works cohere around the notion that life is radically expressive. While Merleau-Ponty's early works are widely interpreted as arguing for the primacy of human consciousness, Beith argues that a pivotal redefinition of passivity is already under way here, and extends throughout Merleau-Ponty's corpus. This work introduces new concepts in contemporary philosophy to interrogate how organic development involves spontaneous expression, how personhood emerges from this bodily growth, and how our interpersonal human life remains rooted in, and often thwarted by, domains of bodily expressivity. (shrink)
In this book, a leading philosopher of technology explores the meaning of bodies in technology—how the sense of our bodies and of our orientation in the world is affected by the various information technologies.
According to the standard philosophical definition of lying, you lie if you say something that you believe to be false with the intent to deceive. Recently, several philosophers have argued that an intention to deceive is not a necessary condition on lying. But even if they are correct, it might still be suggested that the standard philosophical definition captures the type of lie that philosophers are primarily interested in (viz., lies that are intended to deceive). In this paper, I argue (...) that the standard philosophical definition is not adequate as a definition of deceptive lying either. I then suggest two plausible alternative definitions of this concept. (shrink)
Prototypical instances of disinformation include deceptive advertising (in business and in politics), government propaganda, doctored photographs, forged documents, fake maps, internet frauds, fake websites, and manipulated Wikipedia entries. Disinformation can cause significant harm if people are misled by it. In order to address this critical threat to information quality, we first need to understand exactly what disinformation is. This paper surveys the various analyses of this concept that have been proposed by information scientists and philosophers (most notably, Luciano Floridi). It (...) argues that these analyses are either too broad (that is, that they include things that are not disinformation), or too narrow (they exclude things that are disinformation), or both. Indeed, several of these analyses exclude important forms of disinformation, such as true disinformation, visual disinformation, side-effect disinformation, and adaptive disinformation. After considering the shortcomings of these analyses, the paper argues that disinformation is misleading information that has the function of misleading. Finally, in addition to responding to Floridi’s claim that such a precise analysis of disinformation is not necessary, it briefly discusses how this analysis can help us develop techniques for detecting disinformation and policies for deterring its spread. (shrink)
Ihde's book breaks new ground and... makes an important debate accessible." —Robert Ackermann Instrumental Realism has three principal aims: to advocate a "praxis-perception" approach to the philosophy of science; to explore ways in which ...
Avec le(s) don(s) de soi dans le soin, l’article postule l’idée d’un complexe de dépendance(s) par lequel différentes formes de honte cohabitent entremêlées. Le cas clinique d’un homme d’une soixantaine d’années, diabétique, père par procréation médicalement assistée, doublement transplanté puis hémodialysé chronique, est à l’origine de ses réflexions à ce sujet. Au sein de la relation soignant-soigné, transféro-contre-transférentielle, l’article discute de notre anthropophagie, ce désir à ne faire qu’un avec un autre. Enfin, il interroge les enjeux inter et transgénérationnels de (...) ces dons au sein du corps familial sur lequel prend appui tout corps soignant. (shrink)
The study of social norms sprawls across all of the social sciences but the the concept lacks a unified conception and formal theory. We synthesize an account that can be applied generally, at the social scale of analysis, and can be applied to empirical evidence generated in field and lab experiments. More specifically, we provide new analysis on representing norms for application in empirical political science, and in parts of economics that do not follow the recent trend among some behavioral (...) economists to build models of the cognitive and motivational states of individuals taken “one at a time”. Foundational sources for our project are Bicchieri (2006, 2017), Kuran (1995), and Stirling (2012, 2016). From Bicchieri take that a norm exists in a social structure when a significant networked subset of individuals share descriptive and injunctive expectations that it regulates their interactions. From Kuran we take the insight that prevailing norms may come to be widely disliked by participants in networks but survive because norm suppress public displays of disenchantment. From Stirling we apply conditional game theory (CGT) to provide the technical resources for building our model of a norm-regulated social interaction. The example we use is a multi-player Investment/Trust Game. (shrink)
_Expanding Hermeneutics_ examines the development of interpretation theory, emphasizing how science in practice involves and implicates interpretive processes. Ihde argues that the sciences have developed a sophisticated visual hermeneutics that produces evidence by means of imaging, visual displays, and visualizations. From this vantage point, Ihde demonstrates how interpretation is built into technologies and instruments.
When an abortion is performed, someone dies. Are we killing an innocent human person? Widespread disagreement exists. However, it’s not necessary to establish personhood in order to establish the wrongness of abortion: a substantial chance of personhood is enough. We defend The Don’t Risk Homicide Argument: abortions are wrong after 10 weeks gestation because they substantially and unjustifiably risk homicide, the unjust killing of an innocent person. Why 10 weeks? Because the cumulative evidence establishes a substantial chance (a more than (...) 1 in 5 chance) that preborn humans are persons around this stage of development. We submit evidence from our bad track record, widespread disagreement about personhood (after 10 weeks gestation), problems with theories of personhood, the similarity between preborn humans and newborn babies, gestational age miscalculations, and the common intuitive responses of women to their pregnancies and miscarriages. Our argument is cogent because it bypasses the stalemate over preborn personhood and rests on common ground rather than contentious metaphysics. It also strongly suggests that society must do more to protect preborn humans. We discuss its practical implications for fetal pain relief, social policy, and abortion law. (shrink)
Deliberation is often seen as the site of human freedom, but the binding power of rationality seems to imply that deliberation is, in its own way, a deterministic process. If one knows the starting preferences and circumstances of an agent, then, assuming that the agent is rational and that those preferences and circumstances don’t change, one should be in a position to predict what the agent will decide. However, given that an agent could conceivably confront equally attractive alternatives, it is (...) an open question whether rational choice theory can ever eliminate indeterminacy. The clearest support for such a limitation comes from the “Buridan’s ass” scenario, where an agent is confronted with two (or more) equally attractive/unattractive options. Does rationality by itself have the resources needed to prevent such paralysis of action? Those who cannot accept the idea of decisional impotence devise various ways to avoid it: postulating a neutral valence, tipping the utilities, positing sub-personal influences, and bunching the options. I argue that each of these responses is either unwarranted or flawed. All parties to the debate agree that, factually, paralysis of action is not a pervasive phenomenon. This is either because (i) the utilities one assigns to two or more options can never be balanced or because (ii) thanks to some non-rational faculty (say, the will), we would not be stuck even if those utilities were perfectly counterpoised. By looking critically at four untenable responses, I aim to show that (i) is often just a dogma and (ii) is by no means a silly position. (shrink)
What I want to talk about here is a puzzle for historians of philosophy who, like me, have spent a fair amount of time studying the history of mediaeval logic and semantic theory. I don’t know how to solve it, but in various forms it has come up repeatedly in my own work and in the work of colleagues I have talked with about it. I would like to share it with you now.