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Displaying: 1-20 of 28 documents

1. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Nenad Miscevic The competence view of intuitions - a short sketch
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This paper proposes an outline of a view concerning intuitions, tying them to our basic cognitive competences, or virtues-capacities, a view that is here called The Moderate Voice-of-Competence view. This view claims that intuitions form a kind, albeit a relatively superficial one, united by their phenomenal appearance, but linked to capacities for understanding various domains. Further, intuitions are extroverted, turned towards the items they are explicitly about, and normatively answerable to them; they teach us about things “outside”, not merely about our representation(s) of them. This view also takes seriously the actual dialectics of having intuitions: asking (or being asked) a question, imagining a scenario, giving a simple, preliminary answer to the question, formulating the immediate intuition which is often developed by considering other examples, and so on. This work involves more than mere inference following rules of logic. Further, this view is for the most part committed to realism about the objects of intuitions, and is very keen on their explainability. Finally, this view offers a complex answerabout the normative epistemic status of intuitions, tilted towards a posteriority: although intuitions are prima face a priori, their reflective justification has a rich structure in which a posteriori elements play a crucial role.
2. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Zdenka Brzović Species ontology in light of the debate about the existence of laws in biology
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In this paper I explore how the discussion about the existence of laws in biology, more specifically laws about species taxa, bears on the issue of whether species are kinds or individuals. One of the main arguments offered in favor of the view that species are individuals is that it explains the lack of laws about species taxa, since laws cannot refer to individuals. My aim in this paper is to question the premise that there are no laws about species axa and consequently to show that the proposed argument fails. I will argue that even if there are no strict scientific laws about species taxa, still, scientifically interesting, law-like generalizations are made which are used for explaining phenomena and predicting properties of species members. The existence of these law-like generalizations, in turn, suggests that species are, at least prima facie, best conceived of as kinds.
3. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Maja Malec What is more puzzling, real essences or the world of undifferentiated stuff?
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Conventionalists about modality deny that the world has a modal structure. Metaphysical necessity is not a real feature of the world, but a linguistic necessity grounded in conventions governing our use of words. In this paper, I focus on Allan Sidelle’s conventionalist account and especially on his claim that the idea of real necessity should be abandoned since it is puzzling. My strategy for the defense of the realist notion of modality is twofold. First, the ontology of undifferentiated stuff, which underlies his conventionalist account, is itself very puzzling and in need of further defense. Second, the alleged problems of the realist interpretation are based on an empiricist view of the world.
4. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Edi Pavlović Timothy Williamson on thought experiments – an empirical worry
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The topic of this paper is Timothy Williamson’s understanding of the logical form of thought experiments as involving counterfactual conditionals which are true when their antecedent is impossible. At the same time, he sees the ability to handle counterfactuals as grounded in our everyday capacities. The aim of this paper is to drive a wedge, on empirical grounds, between our ordinary capacities and the counterfactuals which require an impossible antecedent.
5. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Mihaela Pop Normal and abnormal and the body-soul relationship in some ancient medical texts
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This essay intends to reveal the contribution of some Aristotelian concepts – such as “just measure” (metron, meson) and “lack of measure” (alloiosis) as well as some other connected pathological affections (pathe) of the human volitive part of the soul (thymos), caused by certain changes of the humoral mixtures, especially the ones of the black bile, a humoral substance that was considered largely responsible for the severe alterations of the normal rational activity of the human soul (logismos). – to the definition of melancholy as a natural/pathological condition. This type of analysis could be useful for wider cultural studies in which certain medical traditions would have a significant contribution and would help us understand better the holistic thought of the ancient and medievalEuropean culture.
6. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Dorian Jano Reviewing the Rawlsian concept of public reason
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This essay tries to review the main elements of the concept of public reason as presented by John Rawls with reference to his latest book (The Law of Peoples with The Idea of Public Reason Revisited) and simultaneously brings up the arguments for and against this concept that have been put forward by the literature. Many of the arguments presented here are not new, but what this essay aims at is a reassessment of the debate by confronting many of the interpretations and points of view raised around the concept of public reason. Based on the argumentation that if ‘right’ precedes this leaves room for the (different existences of) ‘good’ I propose that public reason ought to be conceived more as a political concept and less of a comprehensive account of morality.
7. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Zeynep Zafer Esenyel The concept of ‘humanism’ from Existence to Being: Sartre vs. Heidegger
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Humanism as an ideological term in the modern sense finds its roots in the 18th century Enlightenment. However, it has been exposed to some important changes. For example, Sartre and Heidegger interpreted the concept of humanism by abstracting it from its ideological content and differentiated the term according to their own essential understanding. At the end they both identified their original grasp of humanism with their own philosophies, which at first glance resemble each other as Sartre thought, but in detail are very different. The difference between the concepts of humanism that Sartre and Heidegger understand occurs in their starting point of philosophizing. Sartre, according to Heidegger, starts from existence and could not be able to understand Being. For this reason, Sartre reaches a different kind of understanding on humanism. On the opposite side, Heidegger insists on moving from Being itself, hence attains another concept of humanism which has a different content from Sartre. In this paper my aim is to discuss the concept of humanism on the basis of these two philosophers’ views and draw a frame for understanding how the term gains different implications. In this context, the issue is argued on the basis of the works of Sartre Existentialism Is a Humanism and Heidegger The Age of World Pictures and Letter on Humanism.
8. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Catherine MacMillan One civilisation or many? The concept of civilisation in discourse for and against Turkish EU accession
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The paper argues that the concept of civilisation has been frequently used as a metaphorin arguments both in favour of and against Turkey’s eventual EU membership. However, an examination of the discourse suggests that civilisation, which is a polyvalent concept, has been understood and used differently by each side. While the concept of civilisation used by supporters of Turkish accession is an inclusive one, according to which civilisation is one and (potentially) available to all, it is used in a very different way by opponents of Turkey’s full membership. In this case, the conception of civilisation is similar to that of Huntington, as multiple, culturally based and relatively inflexible. Hence, on this basis, it is argued that Turkey is not a suitable candidate for full EU membershipas it does not share the civilisational background of European countries, and thus cannot easily adapt to ‘European’ values such as democracy or human rights. Finally, a minority of arguments imply a culturally based, yet more flexible view of European civilisation as being historically influenced by Islam, and by Turkey in particular. Such a view, similar to Delanty’s ‘civilisational constellations’ implies support of Turkish accession on a cultural basis.
9. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Bogdana Todorova The “Bulgarian Mohammedans” (Pomaks) in the East and Central Rhodopes: the problem of identity
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Speculations about Islam, Islamization and Fundamentalism proceed from the deficit of a serious historic study on the origin and activity of the Bulgarian Muslims (the Pomaks), which is due to both the politicization and ideologization of this theme through many centuries, and various national and chauvinistic interests. From the beginning of the 1890's and especially in the 1920’s and 1930's, the continuous campaign in the press encourages public opinion to differentiate religious affiliation from ethnic affiliation and to accept the Pomaks as the part of the Bulgarian nation. In the 1960’s, there is a growing pressure to integrate the “Bulgarian Muslims” (the Pomaks) into the community of the ethnic Turks at the same time that the ethnic Turks use the privileges of communism,of which they were gradually deprived later. Twenty years after the change, the state continues to abdicate its responsibilities for this clearly Bulgarian compactmass of the population, whose mother tongue is Bulgarian. The state does not pay attention to the poor, to education, to the large unemployment rate, the lack of investments in these regions, the lack of infrastructure, the discovery of the adequate and transparent way of financing the religious education of these people, or to their need to participate actively in the processes of building civil society.
10. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Daniel Şandru The conceptual reconsideration of ideology in the framework of political philosophy
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Starting from the marginal status allotted to ideology in the present day field of political philosophy, caused both by what I consider to be a “semantic narrowing” and by what I call “semantic contamination”, this article points to the possibility of a conceptual reconsideration of ideology within contemporary political philosophy. In line with Michael Freeden, my standpoint is one according to which the concept of ideology can be recovered by political philosophy as an analytical tool, because it plays not only an important normative role, situated at an abstract level, but also a very important role when it comes to explaining political reality. This requires, of course, an interdisciplinary approach, bearing in mind the influences that political philosophy itself receives in our time. Virtually,I believe that the political-philosophical perspective on ideology should open, in an interdisciplinary manner, towards related fields such as political sociology, political anthropology or discourse analysis, specific to communication sciences.
11. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 2
Forthcoming special issues of Balkan Journal of Philosophy
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12. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Editorial Board Special issue devoted to the topic of “Communication”
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13. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Johannes A. Hans van der Ven Religion’s Political Role in A Rawlsian Key
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In Political liberalism (expanded edition) Rawls repeatedly urges religions to accept liberal democracy for the right reasons, including reasons that are based on their own religious premises and not simply as a modus vivendi. This article is an exploration of that field. The first part is a hermeneutic analysis of Luke’s account of St Paul’s speech to the Areopagus in Athens, as it tries to find common ground with Hellenistic philosophy by means of deliberative rhetoric. In the second part these two characteristics (i.e. finding common ground and using deliberative rhetoric) are examined as building blocks for intrinsic acceptance of liberal democracy, albeit in a formal rather than a substantive key. The common ground Luke explored was religious, whereas in our day, at least in North-Western Europe, religion is espoused by a cognitive minority. But intercontextual hermeneutics metaphorically permits us to use the following quadratic equation: as the Lucan Paul related the Christian message to his philosophical context in order to find common ground with his listeners, so we have to relate this message to our context, the common ground being not philosophical but political. This article advocates playing a bilingual language game for religion to present its convictions to public debate and, in due course, translate them into the language of public reason. Such translation requires deliberative rhetoric and argumentation, in accordance with the logical and epistemological rules of practical reason.
14. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Plamen Makariev Non-public and Public Reasons: Rawls’ “proviso”, Habermas’ “translation” and the Issue of Cultural Rights
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The aim of this paper is to explore the split between two kinds of reasoning – non-public (culturally dependent) and public (characteristic for the procedures of policy design and, more generally, of taking generally binding decisions within the institutions of power). A largely acknowledged problem is that attempts to influence the public policies from the positions of cultural communities cannot be rationally substantiated because the arguments used are in most cases not recognized as valid by the general public, which does not share the particular beliefs and assumptions that guide reasoning in a contextually “embedded” cultural environment. This “barrier” between non-public and public reasoning is hindering the progress of recognizing minority rights and allowing the input of religiously inspired ideas into public life, to say the least. More concretely, my purpose is to point out certain philosophical debates which can provide, in my opinion,theoretical “instruments” that might help reconceptualize the possibilities for communication between the nonpublic and the public domains. I mean first of all, but not only, the theories of political liberalism and deliberative democracy as well as the differentiation between “substantivist” and “procedural” kinds of discourse.
15. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Carl G. Wagner Universality and Its Discontents
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In framing the concept of rational consensus, decision theorists have tended to defer to an older, established literature on social welfare theory for guidance on how to proceed. But the uncritical adoption of standards meant to regulate the reconciliation of differing interests has unduly burdened the development of rational methods for the synthesis of differing judgments. In particular, the universality conditions typically postulated in social welfare theory, which derive from fundamentally ethical considerations, preclude a sensitive treatment of special cases when carried over to the realm of judgment aggregation, especially in the case of probabilistic judgment.
16. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Nenad Miscevic Offensive Communication: The Case of Pejoratives
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Pejoratives carry with themselves as part of their meaning the stereotype containing representations (concepts) of negative qualities ascribed to the target, and the claim that the target is bad because it has these negative qualities. This is the kernel of our conceptual truth conditional proposal that this paper expounds and defends. The paper starts with a brief taxonomy of views, and very briefly mentions the reasons for disagreeing with the majority of them. The paper then argues for our truthconditional conceptual view from ordinary nasty inferences involving pejoratives, and then passes to figurative pejoratives offering a novel argument from the metaphorical nature of them. Decoding metaphorical meaning is a cognitive task. Since cognition has to do with semantic traits, and since the cognitive task is a good indicator of semantic structure, this cognitive complexity indicates interesting semantic properties of pejoratives, namely that the negative material involved in the traditional uses of such a pejorative is not merely expressive, but is part of its cognitive, truth-evaluable meaning. Some objectionsand replies follow. The conclusion briefly discusses the pragmatics of pejoratives pointing to the ubiquitous but little noticed use of pejoratives in the third person, slurring in absentia. This use suggests a novel interpretation of the perlocutory nature of the use of pejoratives.
17. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Ioan Biris The Relation of Similarity and the Communication of Science
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It has been said, not without some justification, that the knowledge process is, after all, a forward from „the identical to identical”, which means, firstly, that the advance of knowledge involves the principle of reduction, and secondly, that every step forward in knowledge involves the relationship of similarity, since the operation of reduction can not function without it. But this means, further, that all scientific knowledge must assume the methodological principle of derivation of the future from the past. However, it also means that any communication of science is based on similarity to find those images to match – in a more accessible language – pictures of the more technical languages. Such a situation was acknowledged by some scientists but also by some philosophers of science. In the following we try to reconstruct a possible way of this approach.
18. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Martina Blečić Communication, Implicature and Testimony
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Conversational implicatures, as a widely examined instance of indirect communication, can enrich philosophical pursuits in many domains. Applied to the field of the epistemology of testimony, the theory of conversational implicatures raises many questions that could in turn provide novel insights about how we should treat other people’s testimonies. The problem is not whether people acquire knowledge and form their beliefs on the basis of other people’s words or on the basis of their beliefs – the problem lies in being able to detect those cases in which beliefs and words do not match. I suggest that the use and the decoding of implicatures is a rational process and that correctly formed implicature-based beliefs are justified because of their rationality. I also suggest that minor differences between the speaker’s and the hearer’s communicative moves can generate cases of epistemic (bad) luck that can be treated as predictable outcomes of a communicational faux pas.
19. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Iris Vidman Communicative View of Literature
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It is often said that literature is cognitively valuable, and that there are many things that we learn from literary fiction. But it is hard to say how exactly this process of acquiring new beliefs and expanding our knowledge takes place through engagement with literature. In this paper, I develop an account of this process, claiming that literary works are a special kind of testimony. I then go on and claim that testimony can not only transfer knowledge from one person to another (this is the role testimony is traditionally given), but can also help an audience in reaching some other cognitive states considered valuable, such as understanding. Grounding literature in its social (institutional) setting and insisting on its humanistic aspect, in the last part of the paper I develop the roles of author-as-testifier and reader-as-audience and try to show how a reader can in fact learn from literary fiction.
20. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 4 > Issue: 1
Claudiu Baciu Language as Symbolic Form in Ernst Cassirer
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In this paper I discuss Cassirer’s interpretation of language as symbolic form by looking at it from the perspective of his general functionalist conception. Thisfunctionalism was developed by Cassirer in his early work Substanzbegriff und Funktionsbegriff in relation to an analysis of the modern science. Later, the results of this investigation evolved into a new understanding of human cultural activity as an activity of creating meanings.