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Displaying: 1-20 of 25 documents

1. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Urban Kordeš Learning How to See
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The article discusses some of the consequences of choosing the radical constructivist epistemological point of view (as proposed by Glasersfeld and von Foerster). What happens when the role of the observer (author, philosopher, or scientist) is not ignored? What happens when observation is taken as interaction instead of one-directional copying? By explicating his answers to fundamental (or—according to von Foerster—“unanswerable”) questions, the author makes an attempt at outlining the changes that science of the mind should adopt if the constructivist concept of interactional nature of observation is accepted in its entirety.
2. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Anna Ivanova Coherentist Justification and Perceptual Beliefs
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A common objection to coherence theories of justification comes from belief revision processes: in a system of knowledge, perceptual beliefs seem to bear more importance than other members of the coherent set do. They are more stable in the face of confronting evidence, and may be preserved despite their degrading effect on the coherence properties of the system. This appears to be inconsistent with coherentism, according to which beliefs cannot possess independent credibility. In order to abide by the coherence theory, one must explain the stability of perceptual beliefs in belief revision in a manner that does not rely on foundationalist premises. A suggestion about the personal justification of perceptual beliefs in terms of coherence is presented in the paper to explain their stability in belief revision processes. The coherence of perceptual beliefs and a network account of knowledge are advocated in order to avoid weak foundationalism and to provide a new perspective to the normative problems of epistemic justification.
3. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Maja Malec Yet Another Look at the Conceivability and Possibility of Zombies
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Since 1996, when David Chalmers introduced the zombie argument against physicalism in The Conscious Mind, numerous works of ever-increasing technical complexity and nuanced argumentation have been written on the conceivability and possibility of zombies. In this paper, I focus on the main points of the argument. First, I discuss the conceivability of zombies. I briefly outline three other thought-experiments in order to determine what is expected of a good thought-experiment and its workings. Next, I turn to Chalmers' defense of their conceivability, where the key consideration is to present conceivability as a credible a priori method that can entail metaphysical possibility. I conclude that Chalmers does not manage to create a credible link between conceivability and possibility, thus failing to show that zombies are not only conceptually possible, but also metaphysically possible. The most problematic idea is the identification of logically possible worlds with metaphysically possible worlds. Chalmers' main aim is to defend conceivability as an a priori method of acquiring modal knowledge, but by limiting it to the rational domain, the acquired knowledge is not knowledge of the objective reality, but of the content of our thoughts.
4. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Borut Trpin What is Learned from Conditionals?
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Some of the information that we learn comes to us in a conditional form. This has proven to be a problem for philosophers, who try to explain how probabilistic beliefs change when one learns from conditional sentences. The problem is that a straight-forward solution is not possible: the partial belief in the antecedent and the partial belief in the consequent either increase, decrease, or remain the same. Two existing approaches to learning from indicative conditionals are considered: an explanatory one, and another that builds on relative information minimizing with regard to the causal structure. A novel method based on epistemic entrenchment is proposed to overcome the drawbacks of the competing approaches. The method solves all the standard examples and some other examples for which existing approaches have failed to provide adequate solutions.
5. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Dragoş Popescu Between Explanation and Understanding: The Overview of an Investigation into the Function of Contradiction in the Explanatory Models of the Human Sciences
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The present paper argues that although the problem of contradiction is particularly important within the domain of human sciences, a close examination of its function within the main methodological options has not yet been undertaken. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to provide an overview of a possible investigation into the function of contradiction in explanatory models of human sciences.
6. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Ivan Cerovac Intentionalism as a Theory of Self-Deception
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Is self-deception something that just happens to us, or is it an intentional action of an agent? This paper discusses intentionalism, a theory claiming that self-deception is intentional behavior that aims to produce a belief that the agent does not share. The agent is motivated by his belief that p (e.g. he is bald) and his desire that not-p (e.g. not to be bald), and if self-deceiving is successful, the agent will end up believing not-p. Opponents of intentionalism raise two different objections: it seems that self-deceiver should then simultaneously hold two incompatible beliefs (namely, that p and not-p), as well as simultaneously intend the deception and be unaware of it. This paper reviews possible answers to anti-intentionalist objections (temporal partitioning, psychological partitioning, and the attentional strategy account) and offers guidelines to strengthen intentionalist claims.
7. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Mihaela Pop How Can an Artefact Become an Artwork in the 20th Century?
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The purpose of this paper is to identify those characteristics that transform a common artefact into an artwork, especially in our postmodern contemporary world. My analysis is based on aesthetic principles which are used in artistic theories and debates.
8. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Fan Meijun, Wang Zhihe The Second Enlightenment as an Aesthetic Enlightenment and its Relevance
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The Second Enlightenment is a deep reflection and an immanent transcendence of the first Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries). Although the great achievements of the first Enlightenment cannot be denied, its limits are increasingly being exposed. Among the many limitations of the Enlightenment, the suppression of beauty in general and natural beauty in particular is one of its main drawbacks, caused by its blind worship of reason and the domination of a modern mechanistic worldview. The suppression of beauty and natural beauty has produced destructive consequences which are responsible for the ecological, social, and spiritual crisis facing us today. In order to prevent ecological catastrophes and create an ecological civilization, a second Enlightenment whose core concept is beauty is needed. The Second Enlightenment challenges us to rethink the value and importance of beauty and natural beauty, and regards beauty as the aim of the universe, as well as of ecological civilization. In this sense, the Second Enlightenment can be seen as an aesthetic Enlightenment which not only helps us to resist consumerism, guard spiritual dignity, nurture our souls, find a sense of belonging, and lead a poetic life, but also helps Chinese society to overcome a defiant attitude toward rural civilization and farmers, and eventually to remove the Great Wall between city and country.
9. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Cristian-Ion Popa Republicanism: A New Political Philosophy?
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This article examines some aspects of current republican philosophy, starting from its central idea of human freedom—freedom as non-domination—then describes in general terms its political agenda, attempting therein to undertake a critical analysis of its position in relation to the prevalent political philosophies of our time—liberalism and social democracy. Current republicanism is a school of thought cultivated by philosophers and historians of ideas such as Philip Pettit, Quentin Skinner, Frank Lovett, John Maynor, and others who—drawing on the classical republican tradition from Cicero to James Madison—propose a new political philosophy as a way to establish and legitimate some general, “ecumenical” positions on the major policy issues of contemporary societies. At its core, the central objective of this political philosophy is to rethink almost all substantial issues of legitimacy and democracy, welfare and social justice, public policy and constitutional design from within the conceptual framework that its central idea of liberty as non-domination provides. Formally, republicans aspire to articulate a universal language, a political lingua franca in which all individuals and social groups are able to have a voice in the current and ardent political debates, especially in order to express their diverse “complaints” or “grievances.” For unless different individuals and groups can find a common language in which to talk about their problems, the complaints of each group are nothing but noise in the ears of the others; in effect, they would have the status, and the (in)significance, of inarticulate mewlings. The paper will argue that republicanism, consistent with its (overly) “ecumenical” propensity, risks overshadowing its sui generis existence by being insufficiently different from Socialism, as well as by its exaggerated insistence on providing a comprehensive alternative to Liberalism.
10. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Slobodan Nešković, Danijela Marčeta The Spanish Inquisition as a Means of Influencing the Common Sense of Citizens
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Manipulation of the human mind is a topic that suggests a number of different discussions, but so far most of these have focused on the subject of crowd manipulation as if it were only a contemporary phenomenon that is carried out through the mass media. However, manipulation is a means of engaging, controlling, or influencing the desires of a crowd in order to direct their actions toward the manipulators’ best interests. It is clear that manipulation is an essential part of human nature and dates back to the founding of societies. Religion is one of the mechanisms aimed at unification of societies, and therefore unification of their supreme values, principles, and objectives. Unfortunately, there are extreme examples of the manipulation of societies by means of religion, and the Spanish Inquisition is a case in point. The objective of this paper is to draw conclusions regarding the mechanisms of domination and control over human common sense. It also aims to discover how the Inquisition restricted not only people's actions, but also their minds, and how it employed human minds to achieve not only its own goals, but also the goals of the government with which it was mutually dependent.
11. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Petar Cholakov The Development of John Locke’s Ideas on Toleration
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This work analyzes the problem of the development of John Locke’s ideas on toleration, in particular the grounds of separation of church and state. The first part examines Locke’s arguments regarding the prerogatives of the magistrate towards ‘indifferent things’ and the religious sphere. I distinguish between three stages in the development of Locke’s view on toleration: a suspicion toward the plea for it (the Two Tracts); an implicit non-verbalized distinction between church and state, and support for toleration (An Essay on Toleration); and toleration as a political right (A Letter Concerning Toleration, the Two Treatises and the later letters). The second part focuses on the definition of ‘commonwealth’ in A Letter Concerning Toleration. I outline two fundamental sets of interdependent arguments that Locke uses for the separation of church and state. The third part is dedicated to the sphere of the church and the dimensions of the duty of toleration. The relation between Locke’s views on toleration and political practice explains the shift between the three stages, and is explored throughout the paper.
12. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Ali Akbar Ziaee How Theology Looks at Neurotheology
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In this paper, I discuss neurotheology and its scope as defined by natural scientists. In my opinion, in denying the paranormal world this science has failed to present criteria to distinguish “genuine” from “non-genuine” religious experiences. However, this science can be used to recognize revelation, inspiration, true dreams, and feelings of no-space, no-time, and annihilation of the human body in mysticism, but we should not attribute genuine experiences to mental disorders, since genuine experiences can be distinguished from non-genuine ones.
book reviews
13. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 2
Constantin Yanakiev The Berlin Group Anthology
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14. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
The Editorial Board Rationality: Reasoning, Intuition, Rational Sciences
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15. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Dimitri Ginev Invited paper: Rationality, Empirical Ontology, Reflexivity, and Ontological Difference
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While supporting the anti-foundational ontological turn in science and technology studies, the author criticizes the tendency towards the radical empiricizationof empirical ontology. The article discusses two crucial arguments against this tendency. On the cognitivist argument, empirical immediacy is inevitably shaped and mediated by non-empirical assumptions. According to the hermeneutic argument—which is of great greater importance—any empirically immediate state of affairs is the upshot of actualizing possibilities projected by interrelated practices upon horizons of practical existence. Thus, what is given as empirical immediacy is ineluctably “produced” within the potentiality for practical being. Following this argument, a non-empirical extension of empirical ontology is suggested. The starting-point of this extension is the integration of radical reflexivity into ethnographic descriptions of multiple realities. A further step consists in the introduction of double hermeneutics to studies of empirical ontology. Finally, the significance of ontological difference for these studies comes under scrutiny.
16. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Michel Weber Invited paper: Rationality and Consciousness from a Genetic Perspective
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Rationality and consciousness are strictly correlated. If one evolves, the other necessarily changes accordingly. Of all the possible modes of inquiry, this paper adopts a process genetic perspective informed by the historical speculations of Julian Jaynes. First, we co-define consciousness and rationality. Second, we take up again Jaynes’s insight: (proto-)consciousness has a history, or consciousness has a pre-history. Third, we underline that the sharpening of operational rationality has involved a palpable impoverishment of consciousness over the ages and nefarious consequences for our future.
17. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Mihai D. Vasile The Rationality of Metaphysical Intuitions in the Construction of a Scientific Image of the Universe
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The author argues that for the last 2,500 years, the science concerning the universe (o kosmoV) has been based on two metaphysical intuitions—the atomic one for more than 2,400 years, and the string intuition in the second half of the twentieth century.
18. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Marián Zouhar On the Alleged Indispensability of Intuitions in Philosophy
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It is sometimes claimed that intuitions are an indispensable part of the evidential support provided for, or against, philosophical theses concerning a wide rangeof topics. This view is ingeniously argued for by George Bealer. His approach is based on a close connection between the modal nature of philosophy and theindispensability of intuitions as sources of modally-oriented evidence. This paper is aimed at a critical assessment of this approach. It is claimed that philosophy,though being modal at bottom, need not rely on (modal) intuitions as sources of evidence. In particular, it is shown (i) that at least some of Bealer’s crucial philosophical arguments do not rest on intuitions as evidence and (ii) that one may find modal philosophical claims of considerable importance that do not require modal intuitions for support. As a result, (modal) intuitions need not be considered indispensable for gaining philosophical knowledge, even when philosophy is understood along Bealer’s lines.
19. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Lukáš Bielik The Indispensability Argument(s) for Induction
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Developing the ideas presented in Jacquette (2011), the paper presents an indispensability argument aimed at justification of induction. First, Hume’s problem of induction is introduced via slightly different reconstructions. Second, several traditional attempts to solve Hume’s problem are presented. Finally, Jacquette’s(2011) proposal to justify induction by an indispensability argument is developed. I conclude with presenting a kind of indispensability argument for induction.
20. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Viorel Vizureanu Rationality as a System in the Cartesian Beginnings of Modern Philosophy, Starting from some Heideggerian Ideas
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The aim of this article is to offer a contribution to our understanding of the way in which reason appropriated the idea of system at the beginning of the modernity and made from it one of its emblematical forms of expression. I will start with seminal remarks on the topic from Martin Heidegger, and will then move to the idea of the system in the works of René Descartes, the pathfinder of modern philosophy. After commenting on some Cartesian ideas, I will outline six points of support for and development of Heidegger’s conception about the system of philosophy and its roots in modern science.