Cover of The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy
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1. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Azamat Sh. Abdoullaev The Ultimate of Reality: Reversible Causality
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Metaphysics is the search for an ultimate principle by which all real things and relations are ordered. It formulates fundamental statements about existence and change. A reversible (absolute) causality is thought to be the ultimate of reality. It is argued that a real (causal) process relating changes of any nature (physical, mental) and any sort (quantitative, qualitative, and substantial) reverses the order of its agency (action, influence, operation, producing): real causation must run in the opposite direction, or change to the opposite effect. A reversible process is a cyclical process, and all cyclical processes are reversible. The world is becoming active because it produces reversible processes; reversible processes organize the world. The world is the totality of interrelated cyclic processes occurring with all kinds of agents (objects, substances, and things).
2. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Sailesh Ranjan Bhattacharyya Philosophy of Science or Scientific Philosophy?
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Pursuit of Ultimate Reality forms the foundation of philosophical inquiry. The present paper represents a pursuit of this sort. Here I make a humble effort at making philosophy scientific— an effort which is based on the revival of Atomism initially formulated by some ancient philosophers of the East and West: Jainas, Vaisesikas, Democritus, Beucippus and others. Every material particle, however minute, is composite and divisible; naturally, the original 'stuff' of the Universe is required to be 'nonparticular.' Modern physicists have reached the terminal point of the method of analysis and succeeded to transform a very little part of a nuclear mass into an enormous kinetic energy by way of fission and fusion. The 'energy' as such, being the 'power' of activity dormant in the nuclear mass of every atom, is obviously 'non-particular' and original. Thus 'mass' is continually being transformed into 'energy' and conversely, resulting in the evolution of everything that makes up the universe; so that the original power is amenable to transformation and alien to annihilation.
3. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Paul Burger Rethinking the Synthetic a priori de re
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Hume and Kant destroyed the belief in the apriori de re, i.e. the rationalist’s doctrine of direct awareness of necessary facts about the nature of being. Later on, analytical philosophy told us that there are only two general classes of statements, synthetics a posteriori and analytics a priori. Quine eventually rejected the a priori in general and advanced a radical empiricism. However, both moderate and radical empiricism has recently been challenged by realistic minded philosophers. They have argued that ontological topics such as the nature of properties, laws or causation remain strongly undetermined by semantic ascent and Quinean ontological commitment, and announced an ontological turn. Are not ontological or metaphysical explanations a priori explanations? Despite his preferred talk in terms of a posteriori realism and inference of the best explanation, Armstrong’s defence of universals looks very much like an apriori one. Others, such as Barry Smith, explicitly defend that there are synthetic propositions a priori de re. I believe in both: Kant was right in claiming that an understanding of what metaphysics can teach us is dependent upon a clear concept of the synthetic a priori, but—against Kant— synthetics a priori de re are legitimate. In this paper I will defend synthetics a priori de re. However, I will reject the rationalist’s appeal to direct awareness of necessary facts as well as undeniableness or infallibility as necessary conditions for a prioris. Instead I will claim that all synthetics a priori express hypothetical truths.
4. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Phil Dowe Mellor on the Chances of Effects
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In the Facts of Causation (1995), D.H. Mellor includes, as a part of his theory of causation, an account of the chance that a cause gives its effect. He proposes that this chance can be analyzed as a certain kind of conditional, a closest world conditional with a chance consequent. I show that there are problems with Mellor’s account, but also attempt to show how these can be remedied. This analysis highlights important issues concerning the concept of components of single case objective chance.
5. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Douglas Hadley A Variation on the Dog and His Bone: The Unity of the World in Plotinian Philosophy (Ennead VI.4-5 [22-23])
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Do classical, contemplative philosophies have anything to teach which is relevant to life here and now? In the case of Plotinus, yes. While Platonic metaphysics is most often summarized as dualistic, where one sensible world stands apart from and in tension with an intelligible (or mystical) world, in the case of Plotinus this interpretation is incorrect. He does distinguish between sensibles and sense-experience, on one hand, and intelligibles and intelligible experience, on the other; but the two belong together intimately: both are located in the same space, and the sensible is related to the intelligible as a shadow to its object or a reflection to what it reflects. Plotinus’ world is one. Given this picture, one rightly wonders at the status of the Plotinian exhortation for the soul to flee "alone to the Alone." Does not the journey of the soul to its source require a passing beyond of this world to some other? No, Plotinus exhortation should be understood as a reorientation, a reordering within the world here and now, not a rejection of one reality in favor of some other. This can be likened to Aesop’s fable, "The Dog and the Bone," where the dog had the choice between one real and one illusory bone, not two separate bones. Similarly, Plotinus’ world, though it can be perceived dualistically, is ontologically one; hence his metaphysics, far from otherworldly, offers a means of understanding life as it is to be lived here and now.
6. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Howard P. Kainz, Jr. Artificial Intelligence and Angelology
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Recently, as I have become more computer-literate, I have noticed some interesting parallels between computer mechanisms and Aquinas’ metaphysics of angelic faculties. The present essay expands on some of the analogies which Aquinas himself, though no proponent of AI theory, might have found interesting.
7. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
S. L. Katretchko Philosophy as Metaphysics
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Philosophy works with special types of objects: the totalities. The basic characteristics of this type of object are their metaphysical, transcendental, and total character. The character of these objects determines the specificity of language and the methods of philosophy. The language of philosophy represents symbolic language; speculation is the basic method of philosophy. On the one hand, objects of this type emphasis homo sapien as essences capable of constructing such objects, which in turn assumes the ability of human consciousness to make synthetic acts. On the basis of philosophy as metaphysics, an original approach is offered which divides the history of philosophy into periods as well as providing analysis of different philosophical systems.
8. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Andrew W. Lamb Granting Time Its Passage
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Many philosophers who support a four-dimensionalist metaphysics of things also conceive of experience as a state of a mind having temporal extension or existing as a momentary feature of the dimension of time. This essay shows that such a strict four-dimensionalism — suggested in works by D. M. Armstrong, Mark Heller, and David Lewis — cannot be correct, since it cannot allow for the passing of time that is essential to awareness. The argument demonstrates that the positing of any temporal process at all must compromise the strict four-dimensionalist view of the temporality of experience. This is not to say that the traditional endurantist view is left wholeheartedly endorsed. As I point out, this traditional view makes several questionable claims of its own that must be carefully scrutinized. Still, the criticism of the strict four-dimensionalist ontology indicates a direction to be followed in developing a successful metaphysics of experience.
9. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Peter Loptson Extra-Causalism and the Unity of Being
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This paper identifies a thesis held widely in contemporary empiricist and naturalist metaphysics, viz., causalism — the view that to be is to be part of the causal structure of the world. I argue against this thesis, defending what I call extra-causalism. Claims that entities with no obvious causal role, like unexemplified properties and points of space, are unreal, or, if they are accorded reality, that they must have some discoverable — perhaps merely counter-factual — causal significance, are dogmatic and ad hoc. Another view logically independent of causalism, but often held by its advocates, is what may be called the thesis of ontic levels, the idea that there is a primary or basic sort of being (usually accorded the entities of the natural sciences), and at least one derivative or non-basic kind of being. I argue against this as well, claiming that extra-causalism and the unity of being are compatible with a fully naturalist and empiricist view of the world. Metaphysical causalism appears to involve misunderstanding the actual character and aims of natural science.
10. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Yegor Makharov Phenomenology of the Spirit
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The idea of spirit in its highest form takes a gathering character, where all is attracted by what Hegel called the world idea, an absolute spirit, and by what modern science understands as human psychological and social (consciousness) recognition. Included in this are unusual abilities like extrasensory perception, clairvoyance, telepathy, etc. The sensibility of the pointed problems can be more fruitfully realized within a new phenomenology of the spirit. This is distinguished from Hegel by the fact that spirit is considered as non-destroyed attribute or matter’s property (quality). If Hegel considered the absolute idea as the outcoming principle or substantial base of being, then a new phenomenology of spirit must be abstracted from the question stated of the primary and secondary character of the material and ideal in a global plan. But this conception of the materialistic philosophy should be over comprehended, where spiritual is considered as the secondary phenomenon, so as the secondary in comparison with the material side of being. This new phenomenology of the spirit is based on the Hegelian and Marxist traditions’ overcomprehension in a quality of the main idea which takes up the subjective content and spiritual material base — its material-ideal nature.
11. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Mark H Grear Mann Pluralism and the Being of the Between
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In this paper I attempt to reassess the age-old problem of conflicting religious truth-claims by utilizing the fundamental metaphysical insights of William Desmond. I first outline and critique ways that philosophers have traditionally attempted to address this issue, focusing my critique on the standard model (viz., exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism) used to describe different ways of making claims about truth. I then develop Desmond’s "fourfold sense of being" (the univocal, equivocal, dialectical and metaxological) as an alternative approach. My conclusion is that Desmond’s metaphysics provides a constructive model for addressing conflicting truth-claims, while also avoiding the pitfalls inherent in the traditional typological approach.
12. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Pavel Mazanka, Edmund Morawiec Classic Philosophy and some Negative Characteristics of Contemporary Culture
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This paper attempts to answer the question: "In what way could classical philosophy be useful to overcome shortcomings of the contemporary culture?" A response to this question is preceded by considerations about the meaning of the world "culture" as well as delineating such features of the contemporary culture and their origins which, in common opinion, are evidence of its crisis. If it is proposed to return to classical philosophy in order to remedy the contemporary culture and humanity, it is because this philosophy, due to its specific character, through the acceptance of real truth and real goodness as reasons for justifying both the order of cognition and the moral order, establishes that which is called culture on the bases of realism and secures its bases against subjectivism, relativism and pragmatism. Within classical philosophy, humankind learns an essential truth about itself, namely that human beings are not exclusively happening events because of human nature and essence, but that humans are persons which constitute a certain ontic fundament for historic processes and guarantee identity of being.
13. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
C. Beha McCullagh Natural Necessity, Objective Chances and Causal Powers
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Are the relations between the property of a thing and its related disposition to react in certain ways, and between the triggering of that disposition and the consequent effect, necessary? Harré and Madden, in their analysis of causal powers, said they are, but their arguments are not persuasive. Humeans like Simon Blackburn deny it. I criticize the Humean position, and argue afresh for their necessity. I note that David Lewis' analysis of causation requires their necessity, though as a confessed Humean he has not admitted this.
14. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Susanne Möbuß Emmanuel Lévinas: Die Würdigung des Metaphyschen als Pädagogishce Aufgabe
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In seinem Hauptwerk Totalité et Infini entwirft Emmanuel Lévinas eine doppelte Sichtweise der Philosophie: als ‘autonom’ und als ‘heteronom.’ Während der erste Typus einer allzu einseitigen Betonung des Egozentrismus des philosophierenden Individuums entspringt, stellt der zweite Typus das Ziel von Lévinas’ argumentativen Bemühungen dar. Im Gegensatz zur Philosophie im Zustand der Autonomie, die nicht dazu bereit ist, die Fremdartigkeit des Anderen gelten zu lassen und diese skrupellos dem eigenen Welt-Denken subsumiert, läßt die Philosophie in der Zustandsweise der Heteronomie den Anderen als den Freien bestehen und unterwirft sich dessen Andersartigkeit im bewußten Verzicht auf die eigene Souveränität. Vor diesem Hintergrund sieht Lévinas die Aufgabe der Philosophie darin, den Menschen über den falschen Anspruch seines individuellen Verlangens aufzuklären und die Alternative zue Erlangung einer umfassenden Gerechtigkeit zu weisen.
15. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Igor D. Nevvazhay Apophatical Metaphysics of a Subject
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In this paper, the inevitability of the metaphysics of a subject for the philosophical understanding of a person’s being in the world is established, and the apophatic character of this type of metaphysics is discussed. Analysis of the categories of being and non-being which allow the interpretation of a subject as transcendent and as transcendental being that is characterized by uniformity, spontaneity and irreversibility is also mentioned. The suggested interpretation of a subject discloses both the rational sense of the classical points of view on the absolute, unconditional, timeless and spaceless character of the subject of knowledge, and the compatibility of the notions of the absolute character of a subject and the ontological condition of a human being in society and culture. The main idea of the suggested conception of a subject is the fact that the subject’s being cannot be "housed" into the world, nor can it be characterized as impossible existence for the world. The world can be understood only from the point of view of being impossible (symbolic) existence. The discussion of the problem of identification of a subject shows that the presumption of a subject as one of the existing structures of the world leads to paradoxes and contradictions in the interpretation of the processes taking place in the world. To understand the process of education, it is necessary to bear in mind that it is not only cognitive, but also moral: education is the process of the formation of a subject of knowledge through identification with transcendental symbolic existence, which fact demands making efforts to be on the part of the thinking person.
16. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Paul Raymont Does Anything Break Because it is Fragile?
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I maintain that dispositions are not causally relevant to their manifestations. The paper begins with a negative argument, which is intended to undermine David Lewis’ recent attempt to restore causal potency to dispositions by identifying their instantiations with the instantiations of their causal bases. I conclude that Lewis’ attempt to vindicate the causal credentials of dispositions meets obstacles that are analogous to (though importantly different from) those that beset Donald Davidson’s attempt to accord a causal role to the mental. I then consider an argument recently given by Frank Jackson against the causal relevance of dispositions (to their manifestations). Jackson’s argument relies on a conception of dispositions that is not likely to be shared by those who defend their causal relevance. I sketch an alternative conception of dispositions that links them more closely to their causal bases, but argue that even on this model dispositions are causally impotent. The paper closes with a defense of the claim that dispositions, in spite of their causal irrelevance to their manifestations, are nevertheless causal-explanatorily relevant to them.
17. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Peter Schuller Descartes’ Daydream and the Mind-Body Problem
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After exhorting us to wake up from our ‘daydreaming’ and revolutionize our modality of thought to that of conceptualization, Descartes seems to forget about this crucial matter of a discontinuous leap. So, too, it seems has the profession generally and this has infected philosophical research and teaching. It is urged here that discontinuous processes are crucial in the universe, in human life, in human thinking. Such ontological events cannot be handled by dualism, materialism or postmodernism. Concentration on such discontinuous processes is urged, an alternative is briefly indicated, and a criterion for ordering levels of human levels of reality is offered. It follows in the line of Cantor and Marx. It is suggested that a human being is a transfinite entity and that such an entity has many levels of being, among which are cognitive processes, imaginative processes and physical processes. A person is ‘not other than’ these without being ‘nothing but’ any of these.
18. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Gordon Steinhoff Kant's Reply to Hume in the Second Analogy
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In the Second Analogy, Kant argues that we must presuppose, a priori, that each event is determined to occur by some preceding event in accordance with a causal law. Although there have been numerous interpretations of this argument, we have not been able to show that it is valid. In this paper, I develop my own interpretation of this argument. I borrow an insight offered by Robert Paul Wolff. In Kant's argument, our need to presuppose that the causal determination of each event rests not upon our need to impose a 'necessary' and 'irreversible' temporal order upon representations of the states of an object, as Kant is usually interpreted, but upon our need to generate a comprehensive representation that includes a certain a priori conception of events in the world around us. Although the argument I attribute to Kant is valid, it cannot compel the Humean skeptic to accept the necessity of presupposing the causal determination of each event: Kant has not successfully responded to Hume in the Second Analogy.
19. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jan Such The Origin of the Universe and Contemporary Cosmology and Philosophy
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Since the 1970s both in physics and cosmology, there has been a controversy on the subject of the ‘beginning of the universe.’ This indicates that this intriguing problem has reached scientific consideration and, perhaps, a solution. The aim of this paper is to try to answer the question as to whether the origin of the world has slipped out of the hands of philosophers (and theologians), and passed in its entirety into the realm of science, and whether science is able to solve this problem by itself. While presenting the main views in this dispute, I try to show also that metaphysics, philosophy of nature and epistemology provide important premises, proposals and methods that are indispensable for a solution. These premises concern such issues as the extremely subtle problem of the sense and existence of ‘nothing,’ the problem of extrapolation of local physics onto the large-scale areas of the universe, the epistemological status of cosmological principles, as well as problems of the origins of the laws of nature. This last issue is entangled in the difficult problem of the ‘rationality of the world’ and the problem of overcoming the dichotomy of laws and preconditions, according to which the conditions and laws are independent of each other.
20. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Aldo Tassi The Metaphysics Of Performance: The “Theatre Of The World”
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Something extraordinary has happened to metaphysics. At the very moment when philosophy is focusing its efforts at bringing metaphysics to an 'end,' metaphysics finds itself flourishing in the theatre, which speaks of itself as 'metaphysics-in-action' and publishes treatises carrying such titles as The Act of Being: Toward a Theory of Acting. The irony of the situation appears to have been lost on postmodern philosophers. What this paper sets out to do is explore the potential consequences of the metaphysical weight that has been acquired by the theatre for the practice of philosophy. It argues that the theatrical performance is in fact an 'enactment' of the performance of being and that, as such, it is possible to extend our understanding of this performance from the theatrical stage to the 'theatre of the world.' Finally, in doing so, we can establish the context for a metaphysics that does not privilege presence.