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Croatian Journal of Philosophy

Volume 6, Issue 1, 2006
Debate with Michael Devitt

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articles
1. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Nenad Miščević Introduction
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2. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Michael Devitt Worldmaking Made Hard: Rejecting Global Response Dependency
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Against arealist background, the paper starts by demonstrating the horror of the very popular doctrine, “Worldmaking”, according to which a known world is partly constructed by our imposition of concepts. The rest of the paper aims to make worldmaking hard. (i) It rejects the usual episternological and semantic paths to Worldmaking arguing that they use the wrong methodology and proceed in the wrong direction. (ii) It considers the relation between Worldmaking and the response-dependency theory of concepts. Philip Pettit has proposed a global version of that theory: all our concepts are response-dependent. The paper argues that this theory provides an example of the semantic path to Worldmaking and for that reason alone should be rejected.
3. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Jacob Busch Does the Issue of Response-Dependence Have any Consequences for Realism?
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Recently Michael Devitt [2006] has argued for how adopting a position he calls ‘worldmaking’ is dangerous to a realist position. He further suggests that response-dependence under the form ‘global response-dependence’ is aversion of ‘worldmaking’. The aim of this paper is to identify what this supposed danger may be if any and to suggest one possible direction argumentation may take to decide the supposed debate between realists and world makers.
4. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Dunja Jutronić Is Reference Borrowing a Causal Process?
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In this paper I question Devitt and Sterelny’s proposal that reference borrowing is a causal process and that the reference borrower is ignorant about the referent.I argue that borrowers need to have some true beliefs about the referent. If so, reference borrowing involves a causal chain of communication together with some associated description. The conclusion is that what is needed for reference borrowing of other kind terms is also needed for the natural kind terms. There is no need to posit a difference between the two. Thus as you cannot refer to daggers by ‘dagger’ unless you realize that they are edged weapons, so you cannot refer to tigers by ‘tiger’ unless you realize that they are animals of a certain sort. The theory of reference borrowing that we need here in both cases seems to be descriptive-causal and not only causal.If the traditional views of borrowing have demanded too much of individual speakers, the causal picture surely demands too little. Mere causal connection with some antecedent tradition of name use does not suffice for the preservation of reference.
5. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Božidar Kante Devitt on Empty Names
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The paper deals with the topic of empty terms as considered in chapter six of Devitt’s book Designation. Devitt’s proposal is that a statement about fiction is (usually) implicitly preceded by a fiction operator roughly paraphrasable by “it is pretended that” or “in fiction”. The causal chain that forms the network for a fictitious name are not d(esignational)-chains, for they are not grounded in an object. Nevertheless, although the fictitious name does not designate, we could say that it stands in some other referential relationship to the world: it ‘F(ictionally)-designates’. It seem that we could then state truth conditions of a F-sentence using F-designation: the F-operator direct us to look not for the designatum of name but for its F-designatum. The name (for example, “Napoleon” in War and Peace), though nonempty, is just like a fictitious name. In proposing that nonempty names in fiction refer to real items, I argue against the view that “Napoleon” in the War and Peace designates the famous general, Napoleon, and F-designates parts of War and Peace. The referent of F-designation is Napoleon, famous general, too. At the end of the paper I claim that Devitt, if he wants to remain a modal fictionalist, has to renounce the view of one-world metaphysics.
6. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Boran Berčić Devitt on Moral Realism
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In this article the author criticizes Michael Devitt’s Naturalistic Moral Realism, as well as that program in general. The author argues the following: moral explanations do not work; the fact that moral featuressupervene on the non-moral ones does not support the thesis of Realism; moral principles can not be tested like factual ones; Moral Realists Naturalists water down their thesis so much that it ceases to be a form of realism; there are no moral observations in any interesting sense.
7. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Nenad Miščević Devitt’s Shocking Idea and Analyticity Without Apriority
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Natural kind terms don’t have descriptive meanings, Devitt claims. The paper argues that this claim is tantamount to denying the existence of natural kind concepts, in the usual sense of “concept”, since concepts are predicate meanings. The denial is counterintuitive, and has bad epistemological consequences, since natural kind concepts are among the building blocks of our understanding of the world. The paper ends with a positive proposal, featuring a bold claim: if the standard Kripke-Putnam, line on semantics of natural kind terms is correct, and if there are natural kind concepts, then propositions analyzing these concepts are not apriori knowable. Analyticity does not entail apriority.
8. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Michael Devitt Responses to the Rijeka Papers
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This paper is a response to criticisms that were, with one exception, delivered at a conference at the University of Rijeka in May 2003. (1) “The shocking idea” that the meanings of sorne words, hence the natures of some concepts, are causal modes of referring that are partly external to the head is defended frorn the criticisms of Nenad Miščević. (2) The causal theory of reference borrowing is defended from the criticisms of Dunja Jutronić, including those due to Thomas Blackburn and Adèle Mercier. (3) The treatment of empty names in Designation is defended from the criticisms of Božidar Kante. (4) The argument that the doctrine, urged by Philip Pettit, that all concepts are response-dependent leads to “worldmaking” is defended frorn the criticisms of Jacob Busch. (5) Moral realism is defended from the criticisrns of Boran Berčić.
discussion
9. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Juraj Hvorecký Appropriating A Priori
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The paper criticizes the novel approach of Miščević to apriority and analyticity. In a nutshell, it aims to show that Miščević has failed to appreciate the power and impact of semantic atomism in the theory of concepts. He simply assurnes a clean distinction between concept-analyzing propositions and those that do not analyze concepts, misconstrue the way atomists understand concept-analyzing propositions, namely epistemically and not semantically, and fails to provide an answer to atomistic considerations. Finally, I analyze his examples of alleged a posteriori concept analyzing propositions and I argue that they fail to support his theory.
book reviews
10. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Andra Lazaroiu Belief in God: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
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11. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Lucian Zagan Thought and World: An Austere Portrayal of Truth, Reference, and Semantic Correspondence
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12. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Janez Bregant Philosophy and Neuroscience: A Ruthlessly Reductive Account
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13. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Matej Sušnik Ethics and the A Priori: Selected Essays on Moral Psychology and Meta-Ethics
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14. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Martina Fürst There’s Something about Mary: Essays on Phenomenal Consciousness and Frank Jackson’s Knowledge Argument
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15. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Ana Gavran Classical Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction
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16. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Stefano Cavagnetto L’Etica deI Novecento: Dopo Nietzsche
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