This article offers a realist interpretation of Tacitus’s analysis of political failure. Tacitus described the early Roman Empire as a balance between the conflicting and irreconcilable values and interests of the emperor, the army, and the senate. For him Stoic-republican morality in itself—without the intervention of a political standard demanding political agency in every circumstance—cannot provide an all-purpose guide to action. He provides a fine-grained analysis of types of political failure, such as failing to act, or to realize one’s (...) limited scope for maneuver, or the inevitability of failure given particular political circumstances. Tacitus also describes Thrasea, a moderate member of the senatorial opposition to Nero, as an exceptionally laudable figure. His preference for moderate politics places Tacitus on the side of contemporary status-quo oriented, liberal, realists (e.g., Bernard Williams), rather than on the side of radical realists (e.g., Raymond Geuss, Enzo Rossi), but the central lesson of his understanding of Roman politics is not so much that political order is fragile as that the cost of political failure can indeed be unbearably high. (shrink)
In this article Zoltán Somhegyi investigates the aesthetic qualities of Northern landscape representations, with a special focus on how contemporary examples are connected to classical ones. First he examines the history of the aesthetic appreciation of these sites, starting from their early modern reception and from the differentiation of “Northern” and “Mediterranean” landscapes: while the Mediterranean ones were highly valued already from the 15th–16th centuries on, the “wilder” Northern landscapes were admired mainly from Romanticism onwards. This has, among others, an (...) aesthetichistorical reason, namely the birth of the category of the sublime; and in this case the harmonious Mediterranean landscapes and the irregular yet impressive Northern ones relate to each other as the category of beautiful does to the sublime. This is why from Romanticism on Northern landscapes became not only aesthetically valuable, but even more capable than the Southern ones to move the spectator. This is especially because, from a gnoseological point of view, the landscape might be a place – and the landscape representation a means – of self-interpretation. The historical overview is then used to better understand some of the most important characteristics of contemporary Northern landscape interpretations and representations from leading artists of the region, which are analysed in the second part of the article. (shrink)
Roman Darowski. Philosophical Anthropology: Outline of Fundamental Problems. Translated from Polish by Łukasz Darowski SDS. Wydawnictwo Ignatianum [Editions of Ignatianum, The Jesuit University of Cracow, Wydawnictwo WAM: Cracow, 2014.—Author’s summary The translation of this book into English we are dealing with here is a somewhat changed and revised version of the 4th edition of Filozofia człowieka in Polish. The last section has been expanded, while the “History of Philosophical Anthropology” chapter and the Anthology of Texts section have both been (...) omitted. (shrink)
This is the first systematic survey of modern nominalistic reconstructions of mathematics, and for this reason alone it should be read by everyone interested in the philosophy of mathematics and, more generally, in questions concerning abstract entities. In the bulk of the book, the authors sketch a common formal framework for nominalistic reconstructions, outline three major strategies such reconstructions can follow, and locate proposals in the literature with respect to these strategies. The discussion is presented with admirable precision and clarity, (...) and should be accessible even to readers with only minimal background in logic and mathematics. There will be many who will turn directly to these pages and use them as a brief manual on the state of the art of nominalism in mathematics. But the most intriguing parts of this elegant book—at least in my view—are the introduction and the conclusion, where the authors examine the significance of reconstructive nominalism. (shrink)
The article summarizes the book Filozofia Jezuitów na ziemiach dawnej Rzeczypospolitej w XIX wieku [The Philosophy of the Jesuit in the Terriroties of the Former Commonwealth: Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine in the 19th Century], by Roman Darowski.
Combining up-to-date scholarship with clear and accessible language and helpful exercises, Metaphor: A Practical Introduction is an invaluable resource for all readers interested in metaphor. This second edition includes two new chapters--on 'metaphors in discourse' and 'metaphor and emotion' --along with new exercises, responses to criticism and recent developments in the field, and revised student exercises, tables, and figures.
The aim of this paper is to present an explanation for the impact of normative considerations on people’s assessment of certain seemingly purely descriptive matters. The explanation is based on two main claims. First, a large category of expressions are tacitly modal: they are contextually equivalent to modal proxies. Second, the interpretation of predominantly circumstantial or teleological modals is subject to certain constraints which make certain possibilities salient at the expense of others.
To the best of my knowledge, no one in recent decades has written a book of this magnitude about the semantics of natural language. Certainly, nothing available today matches this volume in depth, precision, and coherence. The authors present classical and recent results of linguistic semantics within the framework of interpretative T-theories and defend the philosophical foundations of their approach by showing how it fits into the larger enterprise of cognitive linguistics. The book also includes an array of excellent exercises (...) and a good list of references. (shrink)
I argue against the standard view that ontological debates can be fully described as disagreements about what we should believe to exist. The central thesis of the paper is that believing in Fs in the ontologically relevant sense requires more than merely believing that Fs exist. Believing in Fs is not even a propositional attitude; it is rather an attitude one bears to the term expressed by 'Fs'. The representational correctness of such a belief requires not only that there be (...) Fs, but also that the term expressed by 'Fs' should not misrepresent them. In certain cases we might believe that there are Fs without believing our conception of Fs applies to them. This may well be the situation we are in with regard to abstract entities of various sorts. (shrink)
The implicit-explicit distinction is applied to knowledge representations. Knowledge is taken to be an attitude towards a proposition which is true. The proposition itself predicates a property to some entity. A number of ways in which knowledge can be implicit or explicit emerge. If a higher aspect is known explicitly then each lower one must also be known explicitly. This partial hierarchy reduces the number of ways in which knowledge can be explicit. In the most important type of implicit knowledge, (...) representations merely reflect the property of objects or events without predicating them of any particular entity The dearest cases of explicit knowledge of a fact are representations of one's own attitude of knowing that fact. These distinctions are discussed in their relationship to similar distinctions such as procedural-declarative, conscious unconscious, verbalizable-nonverbalizable, direct-indirect tests, and automatic voluntary control. This is followed by an outline of how these distinctions can be used to integrate and relate the often divergent uses of the implicit-explicit distinction in different research areas. We illustrate this for visual perception, memory, cognitive development, and artificial grammar learning. (shrink)
Semantics is the study of linguistic meaning, or more precisely, the study of the relation between linguistic expressions and their meanings. This article gives a sketch of the distinction between semantics and pragmatics; it is the intention of the rest of this article to make it more precise. It starts by considering three alternative characterizations and explain what the article finds problematic about each of them. This leads to the discussion of utterance interpretation, which situates semantics and pragmatics in a (...) larger enterprise. But the characterization of their contrast remains sketchy until the final section, where the article discusses how truth-conditions and the notion of what is said fit into the picture. (shrink)
Knowledge ascriptions seem context sensitive. Yet it is widely thought that epistemic contextualism does not have a plausible semantic implementation. We aim to overcome this concern by articulating and defending an explicit contextualist semantics for ‘know,’ which integrates a fairly orthodox contextualist conception of knowledge as the elimination of the relevant alternatives, with a fairly orthodox “Amherst” semantics for A-quantification over a contextually variable domain of situations. Whatever problems epistemic contextualism might face, lack of an orthodox semantic implementation is not (...) among them. (shrink)
The theory and philosophy of history (just like philosophy in general) has established a dogmatic dilemma regarding the issue of language and experience: either you have an immediate experience separated from language, or you have language without any experiential basis. In other words, either you have an immediate experience that is and must remain mute and ineffable, or you have language and linguistic conceptualization that precedes experience, provides the condition of possibility of it, and thus, in a certain sense, produces (...) it. Either you join forces with the few and opt for such mute experiences, or you go with the flow of narrative philosophy of history and the impossibility of immediacy. Either way, you end up postulating a mutual hostility between the nonlinguistic and language, and, more important, you remain unable to account for new insights and change. Contrary to this and in relation to history, I am going to talk about something nonlinguistic—historical experience—and about how such historical experience could productively interact with language in giving birth to novel historical representations. I am going to suggest that, under a theory of expression, a more friendly relationship can be established between experience and language: a relationship in which they are not hostile to but rather desperately need each other. To explain the occurrence of new insights and historiographical change, I will talk about a process of expression as sense-formation and meaning-constitution in history, and condense the theory into a struck-through “of,” as the expression of historical experience. (shrink)
An accessible and illuminating exploration of the conceptual basisof scientific and statistical inference and the practical impact this has on conducting psychological research. The book encourages a critical discussion of the different approaches and looks at some of the most important thinkers and their influence.
We explore three methods for measuring the conscious status of knowledge using the artificial grammar learning paradigm. We show wagering is no more sensitive to conscious knowledge than simple verbal confidence reports but is affected by risk aversion. When people wager rather than give verbal confidence they are less ready to indicate high confidence. We introduce a “no-loss gambling” method which is insensitive to risk aversion. We show that when people are just as ready to bet on a genuine random (...) process as their own classification decisions, their classifications are still above baseline, indicating knowledge participants are not aware of having. Our results have methodological implications for any study investigating whether people are aware of knowing. (shrink)
Philosophers and linguists alike tend to call a semantic theory ‘Russellian’ just in case it assigns to sentences in which definite descriptions occur the truth-conditions Russell did in ‘On Denoting’. This is unfortunate; not all aspects of those particular truth-conditions do explanatory work in Russell's writings. As far as the semantics of descriptions is concerned, the key insights of ‘On Denoting’ are that definite descriptions are not uniformly referring expressions, and that they are scope-bearing elements. Anyone who accepts these two (...) claims can account for Russell's puzzle cases the way he did. Russell had no substantive argument for the claim that ‘The F is G’ entails ‘There is at most one F’; in fact, he had important misgivings about it. I outline an argument against this claim, and I argue that by holding on to uniqueness contemporary semanticists make a momentous mistake: they keep the illusion alive that there is a way to account for linguistic meaning without addressing what linguistic expressions are for. (shrink)
A recent version of the mental file framework argues that the antirealist theory of fictional objects can be reconciled with the claim that fictional utterances involving character names express propositions that are true in the real world. This hybrid view rests on the following three claims: character names lack referents but express a mode of presentation, fictional utterances introduce oblique contexts where character names refer to their modes of presentation, and modes of presentation are mental files. In this critical paper, (...) I will argue that the proposed view runs into a number of theory-internal problems. These problems arise partly from the unclarities inherent in the notion of mental file, and partly from a mistaken semantics for character names. I will also argue that adherents of fictional realism can make use of the notion of mental file without encountering similar difficulties. (shrink)
This essay draws on Ludwig Wittgenstein?s work to argue for a practice-oriented concept of expertise. We propose that conceptualizing types of expertise as having a family resemblance, relative to the problems such expertise addresses, escapes certain limitations of defining expertise as primarily epistemic. Recognizing the pragmatic purchase on actual problems a Wittgensteinian approach provides to discussions of expertise, we seek to understand the nature of expertise in situations where the people who need to make a difficult decision do not possess (...) or have access to the epistemic status that traditionally confers expertise. These are situations where people need to answer difficult questions that, while they may be informed by expertise in the epistemic register, are ultimately decided by expertise that weighs certified knowledge against the intractable characteristics of a particular situation. We suggest that there is not?even deep down on a conceptual level?only one kind of expertise, but multiple kinds of expertise that resonate with diverse kinds of problems. (shrink)
This article addresses the problem of expertise in a democratic political system: the tension between the authority of expertise and the democratic values that guide political life. We argue that for certain problems, expertise needs to be understood as a dialogical process, and we conceptualize an understanding of expertise through and as argument that positions expertise as constituted by and a function of democratic values and practices, rather than in the possession of, acquisition of, or relationship to epistemic materials. Conceptualizing (...) expertise through argument leads us to see expertise as a kind of phronetic practice, oriented toward judgments and problems, characterized by its ability to provide inventional capacities for selecting the best possible resolution of a particular problem vis-à-vis particular expectations regarding the resolution of a problem. At its core, expertise thus comes to exist in reference not to epistemic but to dialogical, deliberative, democratic practice. (shrink)
This article invites the view that the Europeanization of an antitotalitarian “collective memory” of communism reveals the emergence of a field of anticommunism. This transnational field is inextricably tied to the proliferation of state-sponsored and anticommunist memory institutes across Central and Eastern Europe, but cannot be treated as epiphenomenal to their propagation. The diffusion of bodies tasked with establishing the “true” history of communism reflects, first and foremost, a shift in the region’s approach to its past, one driven by the (...) right’s frustration over an allegedly pervasive influence of former communist cliques. Memory institutes spread as the CEE right progressively perceives their emphasis on research and public education as a safer alternative to botched lustration processes. However, the field of anticommunism extends beyond diffusion by seeking to leverage the European Union institutional apparatus to generate previously unavailable forms of symbolic capital for anticommunist narratives. This results in an entirely different challenge, which requires reconciling of disparate ideological and national interests. In this article, I illustrate some of these nationally diverse, but internationally converging, trajectories of communist extrication from the vantage point of its main exponents: the anticommunist memory entrepreneurs, who are invariably found at the helm of memory institutes. Inhabiting the space around the political, historiographic, and Eurocratic fields, anticommunist entrepreneurs weave a complex web of alliances that ultimately help produce an autonomous field of anticommunism. (shrink)
0. Abstract In this paper, I argue that although the behavior of adjectives in context poses a serious challenge to the principle of compositionality of content, in the end such considerations do not defeat the principle. The first two sections are devoted to the precise statement of the challenge; the rest of the paper presents a semantic analysis of a large class of adjectives that provides a satisfactory answer to it. In section 1, I formulate the context thesis, according to (...) which the content of a complex expression depends on the context of its utterance only insofar as the contents of its constituents do. If the context thesis is false, the content of some complex expression is not compositionally determined. In section 2, using an example due to Charles Travis, I construct an objection to the context thesis based on the behavior of the adjective ‘green’. In section 3 and 4, I look at some of the difficulties surrounding the semantics of ‘good’, which provide the motivation for the thesis that most adjectives are contextually incomplete one-place predicates. In section 5, I discuss how ‘green’ and other color adjectives can be treated within such a semantic theory. Since this theory is compatible with the context thesis, the objection against the compositionality of content looses its force. (shrink)
In Imagination and Convention, Ernest Lepore and Matthew Stone claim that there are no conversational implicatures. They argue that the scope of the conventional is wider and the scope of communication narrower than followers of Grice tend to assume, and so, there is simply no room for the sort of indirect communication based on reasoning about intentions conversational implicatures are supposed to exemplify. This way they seek to rehabilitate the old Lockean model of linguistic communication. I argue that while the (...) book is successful in undermining a number of Gricean analyses, the core cases of conversational implicature resist recasting in terms of disambiguation or creative interpretation. Granting that linguistic communication relies more heavily on conventions and that interpretation is more frequently open-ended than it is usually thought cannot save the Lockean model. (shrink)
We examined two potential correlates of hypnotic suggestibility: dissociation and cognitive inhibition. Dissociation is the foundation of two of the major theories of hypnosis and other theories commonly postulate that hypnotic responding is a result of attentional abilities . Participants were administered the Waterloo-Stanford Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility, Form C. Under the guise of an unrelated study, 180 of these participants also completed: a version of the Dissociative Experiences Scale that is normally distributed in non-clinical populations; a latent inhibition (...) task, a spatial negative priming task, and a memory task designed to measure negative priming. The data ruled out even moderate correlations between hypnotic suggestibility and all the measures of dissociation and cognitive inhibition overall, though they also indicated gender differences. The results are a challenge for existing theories of hypnosis. (shrink)