Some philosophers have argued that truth is a norm of judgement and have provided a variety of formulations of this general thesis. In this paper, I shall side with these philosophers and assume that truth is a norm of judgement. What I am primarily interested in here are two core questions concerning the judgement-truth norm: (i) what are the normative relationships between truth and judgement? And (ii) do these relationships vary or are they constant? I argue for a pluralist picture—what (...) I call Normative Alethic Pluralism (NAP)—according to which (i) there is more than one correct judgement-truth norm and (ii) the normative relationships between truth and judgement vary in relation to the subject matter of the judgement. By means of a comparative analysis of disagreement in three areas of the evaluative domain—refined aesthetics, basic taste and morality—I show that there is an important variability in the normative significance of disagreement—I call this the variability conjecture. By presenting a variation of Lynch’s scope problem for alethic monism, I argue that a monistic approach to the normative function of truth is unable to vindicate the conjecture. I then argue that normative alethic pluralism provides us with a promising model to account for it. (shrink)
Assessment relativism, as developed by John MacFarlane, is the view that the truth of our claims involving a variety of English expressions—‘tasty’, ‘knows’, ‘tomorrow’, ‘might’, and ‘ought’—is relative not only to aspects of the context of their production but also to aspects of the context in which they are assessed. Assessment relativism is thus a form of truth relativism which is offered as a new way of understanding perspectival thought and talk. In this article, I present the main theses of (...) assessment relativism, focusing in particular on highlighting the points of commonality and contrast with other forms of truth relativism. I then offer some critical remarks concerning the motivation of assessment relativism in relation to matters of taste. (shrink)
This is one more edition of Voltaire's "Candide", meant to highlight the wealth of philosophical and theological discussions hidden behind the apparently innocent veil of the most renowned fable of modernity. The rather extended apparatus accordingly consists of a series of short chapters by Filippo Bruni on the Enlightenment and Metaphysics, and in more detail, on theology, Free choice, the problem of evil, and happiness in an imperfect world and another by Sergio Cremaschi on the Enlightenment and morality, and (...) in more detail on moral universalism, on religion without metaphysics, toleration, and pacifism. -/- Table of contents I. Before the text A trick for priests A scandalous book Garden with view -/- II. Text Candide or optimism -/- III. Context Biography 1. The seven years war 2. Calvinists and Socinians 3. Jiansenists and Gesuits 4. Marranos and inquisitors 5. Conquistadores and slave-traders 6. Paraguay under the Jesuits -/- IV. Co-text 1. Enlightenment and Metaphysics 1.1. Theology 1.2. Free choice 1.3. The problem of evil 1.4. Being happy in an imperfect world -/- 2. Enlightenment and morality 2.1. Universal morality 2.2. Religion without Metaphysics 2.3. Toleration 2.4. Pacifism -/- 3. Enlightenment and the images of other places 3.1. The image of Eldorado 3.2. The image of Paraguay 3.3 The image of the Islamic world 3.4. The image of the Jew -/- 4. The conte philosophique -/- Bibliography Lexicon Index of names and concepts -/- V. Reader’s guide. (shrink)
ABSTRACTEcumenical Alethic Pluralism is a novel kind of alethic pluralism. It is ecumenical in that it widens the scope of alethic pluralism by allowing for a normatively deflated truth property alongside a variety of normatively robust truth properties. We establish EAP by showing how Wright’s Inflationary Arguments fail in the domain of taste, once a relativist treatment of the metaphysics and epistemology of that domain is endorsed. EAP is highly significant to current debates on the nature of truth insofar as (...) it involves a reconfiguration of the dialectic between deflationists and pluralists. (shrink)
I present a novel strategy to account for two thoughts concerning disagreements about taste: (i) that they need not involve any substantive fault (faultlessness); (ii) that the faultlessness of a contrary opinion can be coherently appreciated from within a committed perspective (parity). Under the assumption that judgments of taste are truth-apt and governed by the truth-norm, I argue that understanding how exactly truth is normative offers a strategy for accounting for both thoughts. I distinguish between different ways in which truth (...) governs judgment to substantiate the thesis that truth’s normative function varies according to the subject matter at issue. I then argue that truth’s normative guidance in the domain of taste is characteristically weak. I introduce an intuitive distinction between basic and refined taste, and show how this distinction affects questions of faultlessness and parity. Last, I discuss the idea of alethic suberogation in connection with disagreement about refined taste. (shrink)
Since the publication of Truth, Paul Horwich’s ‘Minimalism’ has become the paradigm of what goes under the label ‘the deflationary conception of truth’. Despite the many theoretical virtues of Horwich’s minimalism, it is usually contended that it cannot fully account for the normative role that truth plays in enquiry. As I see it, this concern amounts to several challenges. One such challenge—call it the axiological challenge—is about whether deflationists have the theoretical resources to explain the value of truth. Some philosophers (...) have argued that they do not. The thought is that by being valuable in the way it is, truth plays a non-trivial explanatory role with respect to core phenomena of enquiry. In order to account for this aspect of truth, the challenge goes, we need to inflate truth’s nature to an extent incompatible with core tenets of the minimalist conception. In this paper, I first provide some clarifications of what we mean exactly when we say that truth is valuable. By borrowing important distinction from the current debate in axiology, I elaborate a framework within which to conduct investigations into the value of truth. With reference to Horwich’s discussion of the issue, I then discuss the link between questions concerning the explanatory role of truth and the issue of its metaphysical inflation. I conclude by briefly exploring a few strategies on behalf of minimalists to address the axiological challenge. (shrink)
In this paper I offer some critical comments to MacFarlane's recent book "Assessment Sensitivity". I focus primarily on MacFarlane's understanding of the normative aspects of enquiry—in particular I take issue with the phenomena of retraction and disagreement as preclusion of joint accuracy. I argue that both notions are problematic and that—at least in the case of basic taste—they are not needed in order to account for our intuitions.
In Truth and Objectivity, Crispin Wright argues that because truth is a distinctively normative property, it cannot be as metaphysically insubstantive as deflationists claim.1 This argument has been taken, together with the scope problem,2 as one of the main motivations for alethic pluralism.3 We offer a reconstruction of Wright’s Inflationary Argument (henceforth IA) aimed at highlighting what are the steps required to establish its inflationary conclusion. We argue that if a certain metaphysical and epistemological view of a given subject matter (...) is accepted, a local counterexample to IA can be constructed. We focus on the domain of basic taste and we develop two variants of a subjectivist and relativist metaphysics and epistemology that seems palatable in that domain. Although we undertake no commitment to this being the right metaphysical cum epistemological package for basic taste, we contend that if the metaphysics and the epistemology of basic taste are understood along these lines, they call for a truth property whose nature is not distinctively normative—contra what IA predicts. This result shows that the success of IA requires certain substantial metaphysical and epistemological principles and that, consequently, a proper assessment of IA cannot avoid taking a stance on the metaphysics and the epistemology of the domain where it is claimed to be successful. Although we conjecture that IA might succeed in other domains, in this paper we don’t take a stand on this issue. We conclude by briefly discussing the significance of this result for the debate on alethic pluralism. (shrink)
Within the framework of Meinongianism, nothingness turns out to have contradictory features—it seems to be an object and not. In this paper, we explore two different kinds of Meinongian accounts of nothingness. The first one is the consistent account, which rejects the contradiction of nothingness, while the second one is the inconsistent account, which accepts the contradiction of nothingness. First of all, after showing that the consistent account of nothingness defended by Jacquette fails, we express some concerns on the general (...) possibility of consistently characterizing nothingness. Secondly, starting from Priest’s inconsistent characterization of nothingness :146–158, 2014b), we will introduce our own inconsistent account. The key idea of our account is to take nothingness as the complement of the totality. Finally, we will make formal sense of it by constructing an inconsistent mereological system, which is the development of the paraconsistent mereology proposed by Weber and Cotnoir. (shrink)
In Savoring Disgust, Carolyn Korsmeyer argues that disgust is peculiar amongst emotions, for it does not need any of the standard solutions to the so-called paradox of fiction. I argue that Korsmeyer’s arguments in support of the peculiarity of disgust with respect to the paradox of fiction are not successful.
In a series of recent experimental philosophy articles, Florian Cova and colleagues have cast doubt on the existence of a traditional tension that aestheticians since Hume and Kant have noted in our aesthetic judgements and practices, viz. the paradox of taste. We argue that Cova et al. misrepresent the way in which the aesthetics tradition has conceived the paradox of taste, and question the relevance of their experiments for the existence of the paradox of taste as traditionally understood in aesthetics.
Is truth itself natural? This is an important question for both those working on truth and those working on naturalism. For theorists of truth, answering the question of whether truth is natural will tell us more about the nature of truth (or lack of it), and the relations between truth and other properties of interest. For those working on naturalism, answering this question is of paramount importance to those who wish to have truth as part of the natural order. In (...) this paper, we focus primarily on the kinds of theories of truth that occupy the central positions in current debates about truth, namely correspondence theories, deflationary theories, epistemic theories, and pluralist theories, and aim to discern the extent to which truth is a natural property on each view. (shrink)
It has been recently argued, contrary to the received eighteenth-century view, that disgust is compatible with aesthetic pleasure. According to such arguments, what allows this compatibility is the interest that art appreciators sometimes bestow on the cognitive content of disgust. On this view, the most interesting aspect of this cognitive content is identified in meanings connected with human mortality. The aim of this paper is to show that these arguments are unsuccessful.
Starting from a proof-theoretic perspective, where meaning is determined by the inference rules governing logical operators, in this paper we primarily aim at developing a proof-theoretic alternative to the model-theoretic meaning-invariant logical pluralism discussed in Beall and Restall. We will also outline how this framework can be easily extended to include a form of meaning-variant logical pluralism. In this respect, the framework developed in this paper—which we label two-level proof-theoretic pluralism—is much broader in scope than the one discussed in Beall (...) and Restall’s book. (shrink)
Peter Vaudreuil Lamarque is one of the most prominent members of the golden generation of analytic aestheticians born immediately after the Second World War. If, to follow Archilochus via Isaiah Berlin (via Peter Kivy), “a fox knows many things, but a hedgehog one important thing,” Lamarque is perhaps the biggest hedgehog of his generation. Lamarque’s “important thing” is not a single idea but, as he would put it, the practice that we call “literature.” His distinctive achievement has been to integrate (...) a number of different ideas into a systematic philosophical account of literature, which also sheds light on art more generally. (shrink)
In this book, we interpret post-truth as a multifaceted phenomenon which involves fake news, emotion-driven rhetoric (vs fact-driven discussion), credulism in the social-media, conspiracy theories and scientific denialism. We develop three models intended to represent the multifaceted nature of post-truth in terms of deviated forms of enquiry – which we label “post-enquiries”. The first form of post-enquiry posits the existence of alternative facts; the second prioritizes emotions over facts; the third limits the scope of the norms of enquiry. We elaborate (...) on the third model in relation to scientific denialism and we apply it to analyse the case of flat-earthism. (shrink)
Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, there has been a widespread affirmation of economic ideologies that conceive the market as an autonomous sphere of human practice, holding that market principles should be applied to human action at large. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the ascendance of market reason has been countered by calls for reforms of financial markets and for the consideration of moral values in economic practice. This book intervenes in these debates by showing how (...) neoliberal market practices engender new forms of religiosity, and how religiosity shapes economic actions. It reveals how religious movements and organizations have reacted to the increasing prominence of market reason in unpredictable, and sometimes counterintuitive, ways. Using a range of examples from different countries and religious traditions, the book illustrates the myriad ways in which religious and market moralities are closely imbricated in diverse global contexts. (shrink)
COVID-19 has brought to light the severity of economic inequalities by testing the capacity of the poorest families to make ends meet. Food insecurity has in fact soared all over the UK, with many people forced to rely on food support providers to not go hungry. This paper uses a unique dataset on 55 food support organizations active in Greater Manchester during the first COVID-19 wave, and 41 semi-structured interviews with food aid spokespersons and stakeholders, to shed light on what (...) they overcame, the complications and drawbacks of the food emergency response plan put in place. The results indicate that food aid organizations that remained open were surprisingly effective despite the growth in user demand and the decrease in volunteers. However, the necessity to maintain a timely supply food at all costs came with important drawbacks. The lockdown measures that followed COVID-19 not only affected the financial stability and management of the organizations, and the availability of food, but undermined the ways in which food support providers used to operate. Owing to physical distancing measures and to the increasing numbers of users, more or less intangible forms of support such as financial advice, empathic listening and human warmth were partially lost, probably when they were needed more than ever. (shrink)
This paper considers Niccolò Machiavelli’s contribution to a theory of constituent power. Modern authors who have analysed the concept of constituent power generally agree on its ambiguous, paradoxical and apparently contradictory essence. With few exceptions, Machiavelli is absent from both the historical reconstructions of and the theoretical debates on the origin of constituent power. My argument is built around two main theses: reintroducing Machiavelli to the debate on constituent power offers an original response to the theoretical fallacies and inconsistencies identified (...) by modern scholars. In particular, Machiavelli’s philosophy contributes to the comprehension of constituent power as a living force within social order. My second thesis is that by tracing the source of constituent power back to Machiavelli, we can overcome the main theoretical problem implied by this concept, namely the problem of the priority of the factual or the juridical, by providing a vision that emphasises their immanent coexistence. (shrink)
The question of the psychologism of the theory of number developed by Husserl in his Philosophy of Arithmetic has long been debated, but it cannot be considered fully resolved. In this paper, I address the issue from a new point of view. My claim is that in the Philosophy of Arithmetic, Husserl made, albeit indirectly, a series of arguments that are worth reconstructing and clarifying since they are useful in shedding some light on the psychologism issue. More specifically, I maintain (...) that the clarification of these arguments, along with other arguments that Husserl presented against alternative theories of number as well as with some contemporary distinctions concerning the notion of ontological dependence, allows us to determine that Husserl’s theory of number is psychologistic in a minimal and precise sense: it entails a generic ontological dependence of numbers upon the mind. (shrink)
I have two objectives in this paper. The first is to investigate whether, and to what extent, truth is valuable. I do this by first isolating the value question from other normative questions. Second, I import into the debate about the nature of truth some key distinctions hailing from value theory. This will help us to clarify the sense in which truth is valuable. I then argue that there is significant variability in the value of truth in different areas of (...) discourse. I shall call this the axiological variability conjecture. I illustrate and substantiate AVC by contrasting the occurrence of disagreement in two paradigmatically evaluative areas of discourse, viz. matters of taste, on the one hand, and morality, on the other. I claim that there is a reasonable tendency to care much more about settling moral disagreements than taste disagreements and that this difference has to do, at least partly but significantly, with the different value that truth exhibits in these two areas of discourse. I then turn to the second objective of the paper—namely, to discuss how pluralistic accounts of the nature of truth may deal with the value of truth in light of AVC. I will argue that AVC is a problem for all versions of truth pluralism that are committed to the following two theses: that truth is a value concept; and that this characteristic of the concept has to be reflected in the metaphysical nature of any admissible truth properties—i.e., all the various properties that are admissible in the pluralist account are value-conferring properties and thus intrinsically valuable. In so doing, I will focus primarily on Michael Lynch’s functionalist incarnation of truth pluralism. Lynch terms this “Manifestation Alethic Pluralism”. My reason for this is twofold: first and foremost, MAP is a paradigmatic exemplification of a model of truth pluralism that is committed to both and ; second, MAP has, to date, enjoyed the most discussion, and currently provides the most developed account of truth pluralism. However, I argue that MAP lacks the resources to account for AVC. Owing to this, I suggest two ways out for an advocate of MAP, which force various structural changes in her view. (shrink)
Mimicry, camouflage, transvestism, chance or cryptic anamorphism, fascination – all ways of changing clothes, habits and habitats in nature as well as in culture, in any symbolic field created by human beings during their history. Art and artification, aestheticization, stylization and beautification are all practices reflecting the need and desire for biological as well as social adaptation, all performances producing functional and fictional frames, boundaries or hierarchies in ordinary life, including the artworld. They can persuade and convince by creating consensus (...) and belief, but they can also lead to a different common sense, a sensorium – a sensorial medium and an aesthetic mediation open to a new world and to new experiences. -/- By investigating mimetism as a fundamental and polymorphic aesthetic performance, this issue of «Aisthesis» aims to rethink the concept, value, and function of mimesis and its media in the context of camouflage, simulation, and dissimulation, where images do not reveal themselves as such, but are to be perceived unambiguously as what they are not – as hieroglyphs or puzzles. In the animal kingdom, as well as in war or in ordinary public life, camouflage consists in taking on the traits, colours, and shapes of a given form or environment. This is a twofold process: on the one hand, by blending two or more shapes in one, the camoufleur seeks to remain hidden and to mislead the others in order to keep a vital secret or an ephemeral whim; on the other hand, however, he/she aims to be recognized by a specific milieu or group, thus betraying a craving for communication and familiarity, as well as a need to convey an agreeable appearance and to share a way of life. (shrink)
We show in rather informal terms how witness sets can be useful in both explicating some basic intuitions about scope and understanding how particular denotational semantic differences between noun phrases affect their abilities to bear out certain scopal patterns. More generally we suggest that the usual notion of scope needs to be factored into variation distributivity and maximality. This part lays some groundwork for several of the subsequent chapters and is thus of interest to all readers. The second part shows (...) that already in this initial raw form the above insights can be applied to make a novel claim concerning the availability of so-called branching readings. In logical terms a branching reading can be defined for any sentence with a subject and a direct object. However speakers of English accept only a fraction of these readings, so the question arises how the data can be predicted from the meanings of the participating quantifiers and the syntactic structure of the sentence. We propose that thinking about the behavior of quantifiers along the lines introduced in the first part leads to a simple answer to this question. (shrink)
In Spinoza, what I call the ‘Being Individual Multiple’ is the multitudo. Its form of life is Democracy, understood as the autonomous and conflictual organization of collective dynamics and not one form of government among others. Combining an original mode of argumentation with a critical discussion of opposing interpretations, I maintain that democracy is the translation into politics of the third and highest kind of knowledge in Spinoza, intuitive science. I argue moreover that the multitudo self-organized in a democracy has (...) the capacity to experiment and express a different rationality with respect to the singular individual. Wisdom and democracy thus converge to give life to something unknown and original in western political modernity. (shrink)
Per il dialeteismo ci sono contraddizioni vere. Questa concezione filosofica ha assunto una forma chiara e definita a partire dal lavoro del filosofo e logico Graham Priest – uno dei suoi padri fondatori, nonché uno dei suoi più strenui difensori. Questo libro intende portare il dialeteismo all’attenzione di un ampio pubblico, che non sia solo quello degli addetti ai lavori. Il volume è suddiviso in due parti. La prima include le cinque lezioni su "Dialeteismo e storia della filosofia" tenute da (...) Priest e Filippo Casati a Padova nel 2016, in occasione del Corso di Eccellenza per il dottorato in filosofia dell’Università di Padova. La seconda contiene quattro contributi sul dialeteismo di autori italiani. (shrink)
Noël Carroll’s influence on the contemporary debate on the horror genre is hard to overestimate. His work on the topic is often celebrated as one of the best instances of interdisciplinary dialogue between film studies and philosophy of art. It has provided the foundations for the contemporary study of horror in art. Yet, for all the critical attention that his views on horror have attracted over the years, little scrutiny has been given to the nature itself of the emotion of (...) horror in the genre. This article offers a critical understanding of the nature of the emotion of horror for Carroll, with a view to informing future investigations into the nature of horror in film (and beyond). (shrink)
Inspired by the text entitled The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy and Other Essays (2004) of Hilary Putnam, the volume focuses on the theory and practice of knowledge, but one can legitimately extend it to other fields, most especially in aesthetics. Certain observable features in the fields of aesthetics, practice and artistic creation show that old evaluation criteria may now be obsolete. This is because upon further consideration, the definition of value remains opaque : should the artwork be judged according (...) to its moral value, its market value, or its formal value ? To side with or against the concept of value in art and aesthetics does not preclude a certain number of differences concerning the very nature of what is meant by value. If traditionally the ‘fact’ was the work, taken in all its tangibility, currently the materiality of the object no longer seems to play such a major role. Art is increasingly populated by so-called ‘immaterial’ or ‘ephemeral’ works and is therefore rarely, or badly, quantifiable according to old aesthetic and economic evaluation criteria. The progressively pragmatic contextualization of works within the social space puts forward a new definition of aesthetic value, no longer eternal and ideal, but rather anchored in the sensible and the politico-economic issues of a culturally specific situation. The current changes too support the idea that the question of ‘value’ and its confrontation with the concept of ‘fact’ is urgent. What role do artistic practices and aesthetic theories play ? A role of emancipation, of liberation, escape, or transformation ? Or on the contrary, could art become another means to subject individuals to the status quo ? As can easily be noticed, the question of maintaining or rejecting the dichotomy of facts and values is at the heart of the most pressing issues. (shrink)
We provide a framework for understanding agnosticism. The framework accounts for the varieties of agnosticism while vindicating the unity of the phenomenon. This combination of unity and plurality is achieved by taking the varieties of agnosticism to be represented by several agnostic stances, all of which share a common core provided by what we call the minimal agnostic attitude. We illustrate the fruitfulness of the framework by showing how it can be applied to several philosophical debates. In particular, several philosophical (...) positions can be aptly conceived of as instances of agnosticism whilst retaining their differences and distinguishing features. (shrink)
According to the recent Perceptual Confidence view, perceptual experiences possess not only a representational content, but also a degree of confidence in that content. The motivations for this view are partly phenomenological and partly epistemic. We discuss both the phenomenological and epistemic motivations for the view, and the resulting account of the interface between perceptual experiences and degrees of belief. We conclude that, in their present state of development, orthodox accounts of perceptual experience are still to be favoured over the (...) perceptual confidence view. (shrink)
What happens when painting emancipates itself from all physical mediums, the piece of art disappears from the exposition site and it becomes immaterial, indiscernible within its surrounding space? What type of esthetic experience and embodied understanding of art is possible under these programmed and produced conditions, maybe dissimulated, and finally enunciated and affirmed next to and in place of that which presents itself with the title of art masterpiece? What type of description, definition and interpretation is necessary? What type of (...) phenomenology, pragmatic, rhetoric, and ontology is called upon? What type of percepts, of effects and affects, of appearance and apparatus, are put into play in this esthetic relation lacking an artistic object? When there is nothing to see and to touch, what living forms, what beliefs, what qualities are dealt with? Until this day, after more than 50 years, the “Exposition of Void” of Yves Klein doesn’t quit asking these and other questions on aesthetics and to the history of art. (shrink)
This thesis engages with three topics and the relationships between them: (i) the phenomenon of disagreement (paradigmatically, where one person makes a claim and another denies it); (ii) the normative character of disagreements (the issue of whether, and in what sense, one of the parties is “at fault” for believing something that’s untrue); (iii) the issue of which theory of what truth is can best accommodate the norms relating belief and truth. People disagree about all sorts of things: about whether (...) climate is changing, death penalty is wrong, sushi is delicious, or Louis C.K. is funny. However, even focusing on disagreements in the evaluative domain (e.g., taste, moral and comedic), where people have the intuition that there is ‘no fact of the matter’ about who is right, there are significant differences that require explanation. For instance, disagreement about taste is generally perceived as shallow. People accept to disagree and live comfortably with that fact. By contrast, moral disagreement is perceived as deep and sometimes hard to tolerate. Comedic disagreement is similar to taste. However, it may involve an element of ‘intellectual snobbery’ that is absent in taste disagreement. The immediate questions are whether these contrasts allow of precise characterization and what is responsible for them. I argue that, once a case is made for the truth-aptness of judgments in these areas, the contrast can be explained in terms of variable normative function of truth – as exerting a lightweight normative constraint in the domain of taste and a stricter constraint in the moral domain. In particular I claim that while truth in the moral domain exerts a sui generis deontic control, this normative feature of truth is silent in both the taste and the comedic domains. This leads me to investigate how to conceive of truth in the light of normative variability. I argue that an amended version of deflationism – minimally inflated deflationism – can account for the normative variability of truth. (shrink)
In recent years, increasing attention has been devoted to the underrepresentation, exclusion or outright discrimination experienced by women and members of other visible minority groups in academic philosophy. Much of this debate has focused on the state of contemporary Anglophone philosophy, which is dominated by the tradition of analytic philosophy. Moreover, there is growing interest in academia and society more generally for issues revolving around linguistic justice and linguistic discrimination (sometimes called ‘linguicism’ or ‘languagism’) (see e.g. Van Parijs 2011). Globalization (...) and the increasing adoption of English as global linguistic vehicle or lingua franca push these issues at the forefront of much of the world’s attention. The convergence of these two trends suggests the appropriateness of an analysis of the condition of non-native speakers of English in analytic philosophy. (shrink)