Cover of The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy
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Displaying: 1-11 of 11 documents

1. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Joaquin Jareno Alarcon The Role of Action in the Development of Ethical Certainties
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I reflect on the incidence and character of the certainties that comprise the basis of our ethical behavior. We do not speak of the propositions due to evidence or to the result of conclusions to which our reasoning leads us. Rather, we treat that which is taken for granted when we justify any behavior. These certainties are not the consequence of theoretical teaching but of action itself, defined here as coinciding action between individuals. While coincidence gives ethical certainties meaning, the training we receive from childhood with respect to these certainties cannot be overestimated. However, ethical teaching as we commonly know it can be articulated in relation with these certainties. Finally, I reflect on the difficulties and problems posed by the different certainties in the background of the behavior of distinct groups and individuals. In my opinion, this does not lead to ethical relativism because some way of continuity must be given in terms of the common human condition. Persuasion can drive individuals sharing a common ethical image of the world to participate in another because some of the certainties are surely shared.
2. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Joseph Bien Camus: On and In Action
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In this paper I wish to examine the position of Camus regarding social change, namely his concepts of rebellion and revolution. I in no way question his well-deserved status as a major twentieth-century French writer, nor do I wish to suggest that he may have been someone caught in a Sartrean notion of 'bad faith.' I am concerned with what one might call his theory of social action. I do wish to assert that Camus was a good man who seriously wrestled with the events of his time. Yet his claims on behalf of suffering humanity, while honest, are not sufficient when faced with complex social issues. That his move toward the right that today might well be taken for a supposed liberalism was undoubtedly bound up with his continued misunderstanding of the dialectic of history.
3. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 26
C. W. Gichure Happiness through Human Work
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In what follows, I analyze the nature of work as human action. From there I discuss the triple dimension of human perfectibility through man's operative powers: the intellect, will and affections or emotions. After that, I focus on human work as the basis for the integration of ethics and practice: the root of human and cultural development of the individual and society.
4. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Catriona Hanley Theory and Praxis in Aristotle and Heidegger
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The discussion of Heidegger's “destructive retrieve” of Aristotle has been intensified in recent years by the publication of Heidegger's courses in the years surrounding his magnum opus. Heidegger's explicit commentary on Aristotle in these courses permits one to read Being and Time with Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Metaphysics. My paper analyzes a network of differences between the two thinkers, focusing on the relationship between theory and praxis. From Aristotle to Heidegger, there is: (1) a shift from the priority of actuality to the priority of possibility. This shift, I argue, is itself the metaphysical ground of: (2) a shift from the priority of theory to the priority of praxis. This shift is seen most clearly in the way in which (3) Heidegger's notion of Theorie is a modification of his poíesis. The temporal ground of the reversal is seen in (4) Heidegger's notion of transcendence towards the world, and not towards an eternal being.
5. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 26
María del Rosario Hernández Borges Los problemas de D. Davidson con la acción intencional
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Es este trabajo quisiera exponer las dificultades que el modelo de explicación de la acción propuesto por Donald Davidson tuvo a la hora de explicar la intención. En su primer modelo, Davidson había explicado la acción a partie de deseo y creencia, éstas no sólo racionalizaban sino que también causaban la acción; y acción e intención se identificaban. Sin embargo, Davidson repara posteriormente en que, por un lado, a veces el deseo y la creencia parecen tener como resultado la acción y, sin embargo, no se da entre ellos la relación causal 'adecuada,' por lo que no podemos decir de la acción que sea intencional. Son casos de cadenas causales irregulares o no estándar. Por otro lado, a veces tener un deseo y una creencia relacionada no nos conduce necesariamente a la acción. Y, aún en el caso de que nos conduzca a la acción, ésta puede ser contraria a lo que nuestro mejor juicio nos dicta. Este es el problema de las conductas irracionales. Ambos problemas causaron que introdujera algunos cambios en su modelo inicial. Sostengo que estos cambios no mejoraron el modelo. El problema de las cadenas causales irregulares no se resuelve, y el problema de las separación entre deseo-creencia y acción se reformula en términos lógicos, mediante un recurso técnico.
6. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Marion Ledwig The Rationality of Probabilities for Actions in Decision Theory
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Spohn's decision model, an advancement of Fishburn's theory, is valuable for making explicit the principle used also by other thinkers that 'any adequate quantitative decision model must not explicitly or implicitly contain any subjective probabilities for acts.' This principle is not used in the decision theories of Jeffrey or of Luce and Krantz. According to Spohn, this principle is important because it has effects on the term of action, on Newcomb's problem, and on the theory of causality and the freedom of the will. On the one hand, I will argue against Spohn with Jeffrey that the principle has to be given up. On the other, I will try to argue against Jeffrey that the decision-maker ascribes subjective probabilities to actions on the condition of the given decision situation.
7. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Kevin Magill Actions, Intentions, and Awareness and Causal Deviancy
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In Davidson's example of causal deviancy, a climber knows that he can save himself from plummeting to his death by letting go of a rope connecting him to a companion who has lost his footing, but the thought of the contemplated act so upsets him that he lets go unintentionally. Causation of behavior by intentional states that rationalize it is not enough for it to count as acting. Therefore, the behavior must be caused in 'the right way' or by the Right Kind of Cause (RKC). The immediate cause in Davidson's and other examples of causal immediacy is the agent's awareness or contemplation of what he or she is intending or thinking of doing, which is either caused by, or implicit in the agent's awareness of, his or her intentions or beliefs and desires. I argue that RKC can only be a mechanism-the Will-whose operation we are not directly aware of, but only indirectly once the action is underway.
8. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Michael S. McKenna A Speaker-Meaning Theory of Moral Responsibility
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In this paper I attempt to give an account of the moral criticizability of motive by appeal to some insights in semantic theory. I maintain that the actions for which we hold persons responsible cannot strictly be understood as expressive of semantic meaning. However, I argue that morally responsible actions can be understood on analogy with a basic Gricean distinction between speaker's and sentence meaning. The analogy suggests that morally responsible actions require a competent moral agent to operate from within the confines of an interpretive moral framework of action assessment, a framework analogous to the framework required for sentence meaning.
9. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Alexander J. Ovsich Outlines of the Theory of Choice: Attitude, Desire, Attention, Will
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There are two distinctions of orientation or of intention of a subject toward any phenomenon: "to" or "from" it, attraction or repulsion, acceptance or rejection. The +/- acceptability or pleasantness/unpleasantness of a phenomenon to a subject is the term indicating his or her +/- orientation to the perceived phenomenon. There are six components of the stream of human consciousness: contact senses (smell, taste, tactile senses), distant senses (auditory, visual) and emotions. Only four of them (the three contact senses and emotions) possess their own acceptability or pleasantness. Pleasantness of Condition of a Subject (PCS) is a sum or an integral of acceptabilities of these four components. "Happiness" is the upper limit of the maximization of PCS; a subject is constantly striving to maximize PCS or to reach for happiness. An attitude of a subject to a phenomenon in the center of his or her attention is determined by the synchronous PCS. Belief/disbelief is a verbalized positive/negative attitude. Desire of a phenomenon x is a change of PCS (ΔPCSx) created by the act of perceiving/imagining the phenomenon; the strength of desire is the magnitude of this change |ΔPCSx|. Desire of a phenomenon characterizes power of the PCS maximization possessed by this phenomenon. Need is a periodic desire; the desire correspondent to need is a concrete form of existence of this need. Choice is determined by comparative strength of the desirabilities of the competing elements of choice; it includes choice of the phenomena to perceive or attend. The attention of a subject toward a perceived phenomenon x is proportional to the strength of its desirability: ATTx=k|ΔPCSx| = k|DESIREx|. The distribution of attention is a function of the desirabilities of (n) phenomena perceived at the time (t): ATTtotalt=k|DES1t|+k|DES2t|+…+|DESnt|. Will is an ability of the subject to influence the balance of desirabilities of elements of the subject's choice in the predetermined way. The nature of the will's effort is a self-inducement of suitable emotions through activation of memories by the concentration of the subject's attention to them.
10. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Marc E. Smith Essential and Effective Freedom: Reflections Based on the Work of Bernard Lonergan
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The theory of agency, it has been claimed, seems to involve two strange notions: on the one hand, that of a self who is not merely an event, but a substance; and that of causation, according to which an agent, who is a substance, can nevertheless be the cause of an event. The understanding of the conscious subject as constituted by the operations of experience, understanding, judgment and decision, proposed by the Canadian philosopher and theologian, Bernard Lonergan, might resolve the puzzle, and provide the basis for an understanding of human freedom that is the affirmation of neither determinism nor arbitrariness. Perhaps one of the strongest arguments in the proposal's favor is that any attempt to refute it in theory would entail its adoption in practice.
11. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 26
Yujian Zheng How Genuine is the Paradox of Irrationality?
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In light of interpreting a paradox of irrationality, vaguely expressed by Donald Davidson in the context of explaining weakness of will, I attempt to show that it contains a significant thesis regarding the cognitive as well as motivational basis of our normative practice. First, an irrational act must involve both a rational element and a non-rational element at its core. Second, irrationality entails free and intentional violation of fundamental norms which the agent deems right or necessary. Third, "normative interpretation" is only possible for objects that are both natural events and capable of mental operations which presuppose some freedom of will as well as constructive representation of the surrounding reality. Fourth, there is always a question of whether we strike the best balance between fitting individual mental items consistently with the overall behavior pattern and keeping our critical ability in following certain normative principles which constitute our rational background. Fifth, the paradox of irrationality reflects and polarizes a deep-seated tension in the normative human practice under the ultimate constraints of nature. Finally, the ultimate issue is how we can find the best lines on which our normative rational standards are based-"best" in the sense that they are close enough to limits of human practical potentialities and are not too high as to render our normative standards idle or even disastrous.