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Displaying: 1-20 of 350 documents

1. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Edouard Machery Why Variation Matters to Philosophy
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Experimental philosophers often seem to ignore or downplay the significance of demographic variation in philosophically relevant judgments. This article confirms this impression, discusses why demographic research is overlooked in experimental philosophy, and argues that variation is philosophically significant.
2. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Hagop Sarkissian, Emma E. Buchtel What, Exactly, Is Wrong with Confucian Filial Morality?
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Confucianism’s emphasis on filial piety is both a hallmark of its approach to ethics and a source of concern. Critics charge that filial piety’s extreme partialism corrupts Chinese society and should therefore be expunged from the tradition. Are the critics correct? In this article, we outline the criticism and note its persistence over the last century. We then evaluate data from the empirical study of corruption to see whether they support the claim that partialism corrupts. Finally, we report some recent experimental work done with colleagues testing the claim that filial piety is associated with tolerance of corruption in Chinese societies. The results suggest that the critics are on to something. However, partialism (or kin affection) is not a cause of concern. Instead, authoritarianism (another aspect of filial piety) is associated with tolerance of corruption. We conclude that critics should reformulate their criticisms if they seek to combat corruption effectively.
3. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Alexis Elder Robots, Rebukes, and Relationships: Confucian Ethics and the Study of Human-Robot Interactions
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The status and functioning of shame is contested in moral psychology. In much of anglophone philosophy and psychology, it is presumed to be largely destructive, while in Confucian philosophy and many East Asian communities, it is positively associated with moral development. Recent work in human-robot interaction offers a unique opportunity to investigate how shame functions while controlling for confounding variables of interpersonal interaction. One research program suggests a Confucian strategy for using robots to rebuke participants, but results from experiments with educational technologies imply a different and potentially opposing account of shame’s role in personal development. By digging deeper into the details of Confucian theorizing about shame, I identify a unifying explanation for these apparently conflicting results. I conclude by offering suggestions for future empirical research in human-robot interactions to further investigate shame’s role in moral development.
4. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Bryce Huebner A Neuro-Yogacara Manifesto
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In this article, I defend a neuro-Yogacara framework that is based on an understanding of allostatic regulation, and organized around the following four philosophical claims: 1) experience is shaped, in deep and pervasive ways, by a person’s history and their ecological and social context; 2) each moment of experience occurs amid an ongoing flow of conscious activity, which reflects the attempt to integrate diverse sensory and cognitive experiences into a subjective awareness of a world; 3) every claim about a specific feature of experience is an abstraction, which only makes sense within the context of a complex and multidimensional experience of a world; and 4) the experience of being a self, in a world, is malleable.
5. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Ryan Nichols, Nicholaos Jones Holistic Cognitive Style, Chinese Culture, and the Sinification of Buddhism
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According to many experiments in cross-cultural psychology, East Asians exhibit holistic cognitive style typified by use of resemblance heuristics, field dependence, external sources of causation, intuitive forms of reasoning, and interdependent forms of social thinking. Holistic cognitive style contrasts with analytic cognitive style, which is common to Westerners. Section 1 presents information on the background of Buddhism’s entry into and treatment by China. Section 2 discusses experimental evidence for the representation of holistic cognitive style in contemporary East Asians. Section 3 presents preliminary evidence for the interaction between holistic cognitive style and the history of ideas in China at large. Section 4 analyzes two discussions of the same philosophical problem conducted by Chinese Buddhist philosopher Fazang and Indian Vedic philosopher Shankara. It is provisionally argued that the interpretive strategies displayed by Fazang interact with several components of holistic cognitive style, in contrast with Shankara. Implications are discussed.
6. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Julianne Nicole Chung "See You in Your Next Life": Creativity, the Zhuangzi, and Grief
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Drawing from cross-cultural work on creativity undertaken within philosophical psychology, as well as contemporary commentaries on the philosophy of the Zhuangzi, this article motivates a conception of creativity that emphasizes spontaneity and adaptivity—rather than novelty or originality—engendered by embracing you 遊 (“wandering”). It argues that this approach to creativity can enable us to understand certain forms of religious experiences, especially those related to grief and bereavement, as creative in a sense that is compatible with both: i) views that emphasize the capacity of religious experiences to connect us with something supernatural, immaterial, or non-physical and, ii) views that emphasize the capacity of religious experiences to connect us with something natural, material, or physical. Additionally, it elaborates how these reflections might pave the way for further cross-cultural inquiries—empirical and otherwise—into the nature and value of religious experience
7. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Juan Garcia Torres Carlos Vaz Ferreira on Freedom and Determinism
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Carlos Vaz Ferreira argues that the problem of freedom is conceptually distinct from the problem of causal determinism. The problem of freedom is ultimately a problem regarding the ontologically independent agency of a being, and the problem of determinism is a problem regarding explanations of events or acts in terms of the totality of their antecedent causal conditions. As Vaz Ferreira sees it, failing to keep these problems apart gives rise to merely apparent but unreal puzzles pertaining to the nature of freedom and its relation to determinism. In this article, I present my interpretation of Vaz Ferreira’s distinctive ideas regarding the nature of freedom and its relation to casual determinism.
8. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Sahana V. Rajan Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater: The Dangers of Global and Local Ontologies in Scientific Metaphysics
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In the recent years, attempts to relate metaphysics and sciences have taken various alternative forms such as metaphysics applied to science, metaphysics of science, and scientific metaphysics. In this article, I focus on scientific metaphysics and specifically explore the challenges with developing ontologies through four arguments. The Argument from Representational Indeterminacy highlights that global ontologies fail to clearly identify their target phenomenon. The Argument from Independent Inaccessibility explores the methodological difficulty of accessing a world that is independent of specific sets of phenomena. The Argument from Conceptual Mismatch focuses on the tendency of local ontologies to pick out arbitrary scientific concepts, adapting them to study phenomena where they might not fit well. Finally, the Argument from Eliminative Prophecy details the possibility that local ontologies could eventually be rendered redundant by mature versions of scientific theories. In the end, given these challenges, I recommend an eliminativist stance toward ontology development.
9. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Kurt Blankschaen Are Mass Shooters a Social Kind?
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On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed fifteen people at their high school in Columbine, Colorado. National media dubbed the event a “school shooting.” The term grimly expanded over the next several years to include similar events at army bases, movie theaters, churches, and nightclubs. Today, we commonly use the categories “mass shooter” and “mass shooting” to organize and classify information about gun violence. I will argue that neither category is an effective tool for reducing gun violence and use empirical data to show how these categories perpetuate a moral panic that harms already vulnerable demographics. I conclude that we should instead favor a narrower description of individuals and events, (e.g., “X shot Y people at Z”) because we can talk about all the relevant cases without contributing the undue harms.
10. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Mona Simion Sosa on Permissible Suspension and the Proper Remit of the Theory of Knowledge
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11. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Allan Hazlett The Aim of Suspension
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12. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Ernest Sosa On Epistemic Explanations: Response to Two Critics
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13. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 3
Tianyue Wu Aquinas on Wrong Judgments of Conscience
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Conscience can err. Yet erroneous conscience still seems binding in that it is likely to be morally wrong to ignore the call of conscience. Meanwhile, it seems equally wrong to act according to such a wrong judgment of conscience. The moral dilemma of erroneous conscience poses a challenge to any coherent theory of conscience. In light of this, I will examine Aquinas’s reflections on the psychological mechanism of erroneous conscience and reconstruct a sophisticated explanation of the obligatory force of erroneous conscience, in which the conscientious integrity of the agent is intimately integrated with the sovereignty of divine law. Next, I will appeal to Aquinas’s distinction between the judgment of conscience (iudicium consentiae) and that of free decision (iudicium liberi arbitrii) to show that the judgments pertaining to conscience are purely cognitive rather than affective. This analysis will also help specify in what sense we can tolerate conscience’s wrong judgments.
14. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 3
Joshua Hinchie, S.J. Justice toward God: Piety and the Problem of Human-Divine Reciprocity
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In both Plato and Thomas Aquinas, we find proposals to understand piety or religion as justice toward God/the gods. One issue with this proposal is what can be called the problem of human-divine reciprocity: Since justice would seem to require human beings to make a return for what they have received from God/the gods, how can this be done without implying God/the gods lack something that human beings can supply? I outline the account of piety/religion as justice toward the divine in both Plato and Aquinas, noting how the reciprocity problem arises along the way. Then I defend a proposed solution drawn from Aquinas: that glory, or the manifestation of divine goodness, is what God seeks in pious human action, yet without implying any benefit to God thereby.
15. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 3
Daniel Villiger An Ignorance Account of Hard Choices
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Ignorance is said to be the most widely accepted explanation of what makes choices hard (Chang 2017). But despite its apparent popularity, the debate on hard choices has been dominated by tetrachotomist (e.g., “parity”) and vagueness views. In fact, there is no elaborate ignorance account of hard choices. This article closes this research gap. In so doing, it connects the debate on hard choices with that on transformative experiences (Paul 2014). More precisely, an option’s transformative character can prevent us from epistemically accessing its expected value, promoting ignorance of how to rank the options. Methods of achieving an advance assessment of transformative experiences such as fine-graining, consulting testimony, and using higher-order facts can sometimes evade this epistemic blockade, but not always. Therefore, in cases where these methods fail, a choice can be hard because of our ignorance. The prominent hard choice between two careers could be such a case.
16. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 3
Xavier Castellà About the Scope of Non-Observational Practical Knowledge
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I discuss the issue whether the kind of nonobservational knowledge about our intentional actions that can be detected in ideal, paradigmatic cases can also be present when the agent is not confident enough to believe she will succeed in fulfilling her intention. It might be tempting to assume that if the agent’s confidence about what she is doing is relevantly increased after some observation, then the acquired practical knowledge has to be observational. I argue that this is a wrong reaction. On the one hand, I defend that practical knowledge is non-perceptual even in those cases. On the other hand, I insist that the rejection of certain common assumptions about the difference between those cases and the more ideal ones gives us a better understanding of what is going on in the latter.
17. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 3
Jeffrey Goodman The Puzzle of Fictional Resemblance
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This article discusses a puzzle, the heart of which is this question: How is it that real individuals can resemble fictional individuals? It seems that any answer given by one who has taken a stand on the ontology of fictional individuals will come with significant drawbacks. An Anti-Realist will have to explain, or explain away, the apparent truth of our positive assertions of resemblance, while a Realist will have to explain how we are to understand resemblance in light of either the further claim that fictional characters are not associated with properties in the same way real individuals are, or that fictional characters are nonexistent or nonactual. I here survey the different Realist and Anti-Realist strategies in hopes that reflection on (mainly the drawbacks of) each will aid those who are curious about ontologies that may include fictionalia.
18. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 2
Susan Brower-Toland Introduction
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2021 res philosophica essay prize
19. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 2
Eric W. Hagedorn The Changing Role of Theological Authority in Ockham's Razor
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Ockham’s own formulations of his Razor state that one should only include a given entity in one’s ontology when one has either sensory evidence, demonstrative argument, or theological authority in favor of it. But how does Ockham decide which theological claims to treat as data for theory construction? Here I show how over time (perhaps in no small part due to pressure and attention from ecclesiastical censors) Ockham refined and changed the way he formulated his Razor, particularly the “authority clause” that states that authoritative theological pronouncements constitute a reason for postulating entities in one’s ontology. This refinement proceeded across three stages, culminating in the political writings of the final period of his life, in which Ockham offers reasons (not previously mentioned in scholarly discussions of Ockham’s Razor) against granting ecclesial authority any significant role to play in settling ontological questions.
20. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 2
Giorgio Pini Making Room for Miracles: John Duns Scotus on Homeless Accidents
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In this article, I consider Duns Scotus’s treatment of accidents existing without substances (= homeless accidents) in the Eucharist to shed light on how he thinks Aristotle’s metaphysics should be modified to make room for miracles. In my reconstruction, Duns Scotus makes two changes to Aristotle’s metaphysics. First, he distinguishes a given thing’s natural inclinations (its “aptitudes”) from the manifestations of those inclinations. Second, he argues that it is up to God’s free decisions (organized in systematic policies) whether a thing’s aptitudes manifest or do not manifest themselves in any given situation. In this way, Duns Scotus tries to find a point of equilibrium between the necessary causal order he attributes to Aristotle and his followers on the one hand, and God’s freedom to break the natural order at any moment on the other hand.