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research articles
1. Symposion: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Alex Blum Kripke on Identity Statements
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We show that Kripke’s argument for the necessity of identity statements relating objects a and b by their rigid designators demands an additional significant premise.
2. Symposion: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Robert Donoghue Hegel’s Treatment of the Free Will Problem: A Conceptual Oversight and Its Implications for Legal Theory
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G.W.F. Hegel offers a thorough, complex, and unique theory of free will in the Philosophy of Right. In what follows, I argue that Hegel’s conceptualization of free will makes the mistake of collapsing the possibility of organic freedom (the ability to act freely of causal determination) into the potential for moral freedom (the capacity to act in accordance with Reason). This article engages in three distinct tasks in making this argument. First, I provide a critical overview of Hegel’s conception of free will – namely, how he envisages the movement from the abstract, incomplete, and undeveloped will, to that of a concrete, complete, and developed one through the unfolding of Reason. Second, I introduce the contemporary debate regarding nomological determinism between libertarians and skeptics, of both the in compatibilist and compatibilist variety. I suggest that, in the context of the modern free will debate, Hegel is best categorized as a compatibilist as he both accepts causal determinism but remains committed to the notion that certain persons can act in concert with their own volition. Third, I argue that Hegel’s compatibilist understanding of free will has important and problematic consequences for legal theory, particularly normative jurisprudence. Compatibilism, generally, and Hegel’s particular version, substantiates the idea of basic moral desert which poses a serious threat to the possibility of moral progress from a retributive justice system to a consequentialist one.
3. Symposion: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Janelle Pötzsch The Early J.S. Mill on Marriage and Divorce
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This paper discusses Mill’s early essay on marriage and divorce (1832) and gives two possible sources of influence for it: Plato’s arguments on the appropriate scope of the law in book IV of his Republic and Unitarian ideas on motherhood. It demonstrates that Plato’s Republic and Mill’s essay both emphasize the crucial role of background conditions in achieving desirable social aims. Similar to Plato’s claim that the law should provide only a rough framework and not concern itself with questions of etiquette (Republic, 425d), Mill envisions a society in which men and women meet as equals and hence are in no need of marriage laws. Besides, this paper will relate Mill’s essay on marriage and divorce to Unitarian ideas on the social role of women to account for his reservations about the gainful employment of married women and mothers. Mill’s claim that the rightful employment of a mother is “the training of the affections” (Mill 1970, 76) is fueled by the Unitarian conception of women as the moral educators of future citizens.
4. Symposion: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Daniel Rönnedal The Highest Good and the Relation between Virtue and Happiness: A Kantian Approach
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The paper develops a Kantian view of the highest good and the relation between virtue and happiness. Several Kantian theses are defended, among them the thesis that the highest good is realized only if every virtuous individual is happy, the view that virtue is neither necessary nor sufficient for happiness, and the proposition that virtue is both necessary and sufficient for the worthiness of being happy. The author argues that the highest good ought to be realized and that it ought to be that everyone who is virtuous is happy. To prove these claims, the author will use techniques developed by modern deontic logicians. According to Kant, we do not have an immediate duty to promote our own happiness, the aim of morality being not personal satisfaction but rather virtue and the good will. The important question is not “How do I become happy?” but “How do I become good?”. The arguments in this paper support this view.
5. Symposion: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Rajesh Sampath An Inhuman God for Our Inhuman Times: Death in Heidegger’s Being and Time and Jesus’s Agony in the Garden
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This paper attempts a careful reading of chapter I of Division Two, particularly section 53, on death in Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927). Our aim is to deconstruct some of Heidegger’s assumptions while imagining the margins of his text that could warrant a comparison and contrast with the biblical theological material of the New Testament. In parallel by reading the Synoptic Gospel of Mark on Jesus’s agony in the garden prior to his arrest, trial, death, and resurrection, we can initiate a series of comparisons and contrasts. For Heidegger, there is no conception or idea beyond death, and yet death itself as a possibility, even as the greatest possibility to be, is not like any other point in time that a human being can experience, grasp, remember, or anticipate while they are alive. It is not the witnessing of the medically certified death of another person or animal. Out of this paradox, we will argue for a greater philosophical degree of complexity that Jesus the human being experiences when it comes to the possibility of death and the impossibility to surmount it. In the same token we cannot exclude the theological doctrine of the single hypostatic substance (as two natures) of the historically finite person Jesus as human flesh and divine transcendence. So philosophically speaking, his death is unique even though its event as physical expiration on the Cross is like any other human being. However, the physical death of the human called Jesus does not answer the question of the meaning of death in the split-natured unified hypostatic substance of Christ, the Second Person of the Triune Christian God, which includes the First Person of the Father and the Third Person of the Holy Spirit. By tracing a series of complicated philosophical relations, we hope to contribute to the fields of philosophical theology, albeit a heterodox one, and the philosophy of religion while attending to the inherent secular limits that Heidegger’s philosophy requires in so far as he imagines his project as ‘ontological,’ and not ‘theological’ or ‘historical.’ We conclude with certain philosophical speculations to what is other to both Heidegger’s ontology and mainstream Christian theology.
6. Symposion: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
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7. Symposion: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
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8. Symposion: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
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