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georges rey’s philosophy
1. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Elvio Baccarini, Snježana Prijić-Samaržija Preface
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2. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Georges Rey Mind, Intentionality and Inexistence: an Overview of My Work
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The present article articulates the strategy of much of my work to date, which has been concerned to understand how we can possibly come to have any objective understanding of the mind. Generally, I align myself with those who think the best prospect of such an understanding lies in a causal/computational/representational theory of thought (CRTT). However, there is a tendency in recent developments of this and related philosophical views to burden the crucial property of intentionality with what I call Strong Externalism, a state’s intentional content being determined by some real external phenomenon to which the state is causally related. I argue against this tendency, drawing attention to the crucial role in cognitive scientific explanations of empty concepts, such as [angel], and the “intentional inexistents” that such concepts “represent.” This obliges me to take a brief excursion into what I hope is a minimal metaphysics, defending a methodology I call the “LEXX” strategy that treats phenomena as real only insofar as they are needed in genuine explanations. After a brief discussion of the need for greater patience generally regarding a theory of intentionality, I deploy this strategy with regard to many phenomena that are the purported objects of mental states, e.g. triangles, cones, words, sentences, colors, mental images and qualia. I argue that these phenomena do not actually exist: they are mere intentional inexistents, unreal projections of the intentional content of various mental states, and not themselves needed in any genuine explanations. In a concluding section, I summarize my suggestions about how a CRTT can explain the various illusions we have in this regard, particularly those concerning consciousness and qualia.
3. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Boran Berčić Rey’s Meta-Atheism
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The author argues that the atheist does not commit the so called “philosophy fallacy” but rather simply answers the theist’s arguments. The principle that the absence of evidence is the evidence of absence, although very sound, is nevertheless context-dependent and cannot be accepted without further qualifications. Also, any systematic study of religiousness should explore its links to emotions (prophets often invite people to open their hearts, not their minds or reasons) and its role in the constitution of identity (people often claim that they are Catholics, they are Moslems, etc).
4. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Dunja Jutronić Chomsky amongst the Philosophers
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It is argued that in the exchange that took place between Chomsky and Rey [2003], Chomsky’s answers to Rey might be interpreted more coherently if we interpret Chomsky as an instrumentalist about content. If the instrumentalist position is tenable, then Chomsky is justified in accusing Rey of misreading and applying philosophers’ interpretation on his naturalistic approach to language. Within linguistic theory, for example, syntax does not speak of people as agents who use language: it deals only with the automatically functioning computational systems in people’s heads under the rubric UG, natural language, and I-language.The upshot is that there is no prospect of revealing a conceptual incoherence within linguistic theory by bringing to bear considerations about ordinary or philosophical usage of terms such as ‘knowledge’, ‘tacit’ or ‘innate’, ‘content’ or ‘intentionality’.
5. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Davor Pećnjak How to Eliminate Computational Eliminativism
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Concerning the question about consciousness, Georges Rey argues that it does not exist from the success of computational theory of human mind. Everything that such a theory requires can be fulfilled by machines which do not have consciousness. So, according to theoretical parsimony, we do not have to attribute consciousness even to human beings. I wish to offer reasons why we should not doubt the existence of consciousness by showing that computational explanations can be explanations of just one part of an aspect of the human mind. Consciousness is also an explanandum rather than an explanans, and the possible reference of “what it is like” expression. Epistemic situation regarding possible accesses to consciousness is also considered.
6. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Ksenija Puškarić Rey and the Projectivist Account
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The paper discusses Rey’s projectivism. It offers an argument against it and in favor of the reliability of introspection. In short, if it is fallible, then at least sometimes it has to be veridical. Therefore, introspection can’t be systematically deceptive. But then, some introspective beliefs are true and at least some phenomenal conscious states exist.
7. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Nenad Miščević Rescuing Conceptual Analysis
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Rey’s project of rescuing conceptual analysis within a naturalistic computationalist framework, equipped with a Putnamian account of reference, is an interesting and valuable project. However, his extremepessimism about fundamental philosophical concepts, according to which they mostly tended to be empty, amounts to sacrificing philosophical analysis after having it rescued from the Quineans. An alternative is proposed, which accepts most of the naturalistic computationalist Putnamian framework, rejects the traditional view of analyticity, but secures more space for a constructive, as opposed to merely destructive, philosophical analysis.
8. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Georges Rey Replies to Critics
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9. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
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kant revisited
10. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Predrag Šustar Preface
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11. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Luca Illetterati Between Science and Wisdom
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The inquiry will attempt to answer several questions about: a) the cognitive status of philosophy according to Kant; b) the possibility of distinguishing philosophy from other forms of knowledge, with particular reference to specifically named scientific cognitions; c) the consequences connected with the necessity of thinking of philosophy in its relation to an ulterior dimension with respect to that of science, which is, according to Kant, the dimension of wisdom. Philosophy, according to Kant, is a rational cognition, yet different from mathematics. Philosophy is a rational cognition from concepts, and therefore makes a discursive use of reason in accordance with concepts. Mathematics is instead a rational cognition from the construction of concepts, and therefore makes intuitive use of reason through the construction of concepts. The construction of a concept implies necessarily the capacity and the possibility of exposing in the intuition the corresponding object and to express it through a representation which is universally valid “for all possible intuitions that belong under the same concept”. It is precisely the fact that it is a cognition that proceeds along the construction of concepts which makes mathematics a stable and certain discipline, accompanied by evident proofs founded upon definitions, axioms and demonstrations that no rational cognition that proceeds with mere concepts can possess. It is for this reason that philosophy, in contrast with mathematics and whatever else is in some manner reducible to mathematics, may not be learned; for the fact that philosophy, understood as a scientific discipline in the same way in which all scientific disciplines are to be understood, really doesn’t exist. Philosophy is not a discipline in the sense in which all the other scientific disciplines are, because philosophy, for Kant, “is a mere idea of apossible science that precisely as an idea of a possible science is nowhere given in concreto”. If one may effectively speak about philosophy as a science, this does not constitute the moment in which philosophy finally reaches completion in itself. What Kant underscores is that at this level philosophy is only a science, that is, knowledge which, as much as it is fundamentally stable and certain, does not succeed in any case in obtaining that which constitutes instead, the most important and irreducible element of philosophy: “the relation of all cognition to the essential ends of human reason”. The philosopher is not for Kant simply a technician of reason, in that his aim is not solely that of ability, the completeness of knowledge and its systematic organisation. Rather, he aspires to something which goes beyond the merely cognitive dimension, and that Kant calls “wisdom”. Even knowing that science is the only available path, philosophy knows also that science cannot satisfy itself. In this sense philosophy presents itself as a science of limits and finds precisely in this determination the difference of all particular scientific disciplines, and, at one and the same time, of all pseudocognitive attitudes which are programmatically presented as independent from and alternative to science.
12. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Alberto Vanzo Kant’s Treatment of the Mathematical Antinomies in the First Critique and in the Prolegomena: A Comparison
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This paper deals with an apparent contradiction between Kant’s account and solution of the mathematical antinomies of pure speculative reason in the Critique of Pure Reason and in the Prolegomena. In the first Critique, Kant claims that the theses are affirmative judgments, of the form ‘A is B’, and the antitheses are infinite judgments, of the form ‘A is non-B’. The theses and the antitheses are contradictorily opposed (i.e., the one true and the other false) and their proofs are valid only if a certain condition takes place, that is, if the world has a determinate magnitude. Otherwise, both are false and their proofs are wrong. Given transcendental realism, this condition takes place and the mathematical antinomies arise. Given transcendental idealism, this condition does not take place, the theses and the antithesesare false, and the mathematical antinomies disappear. At a first glance, according to the Prolegomena the theses are affirmative judgments and the antitheses are not infinite judgments, but negative judgments, of the form ‘A is not B’. Transcendental idealism granted, the subject common to theses and antitheses, namely, the concept of ‘world’, is inconsistent. Both judgments are false by the rule ‘non entis nulla sunt praedicata’ and the antinomies do not take place. These accounts seem to be incompatible with each other. Are the antitheses infinite or negative judgments? Are the antinomies solved because the world does not have a determinate magnitude, or because its notion is inconsistent?The paper argues that the contrast between the first Critique and the Prolegomena is only apparent. It depends on an error in the most natural interpretation of the paragraphs on the mathematical antinomies in the Prolegomena. The text of the Prolegomena gives the reader the impression, but it does not explicitly claim, that the antitheses are negative judgments, rather than infinite ones. In that case it is possible to hold that, for the Prolegomena, the antitheses are infinite judgments, as they are for the Critique, and they are contradictorily opposed to each other only if the world has a determinate magnitude. In addition to what is explained in the Critique, the Prolegomena make clear that both theses and antitheses have an inconsistent subject concept. On this reading, the Critique and the Prolegomena are not in contrast with each other. They rather complete each other, giving the reader a fuller comprehension of the solution of the mathematical antinomies. The theses and the antitheses are false because their subject is inconsistent, as the Prolegomena maintain. Their proofs are wrong because the world does not have a determinate magnitude, as the Critique claims.
13. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Predrag Šustar Nomological and Transcendental Criteria for Scientific Laws
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It has become a standard view in the philosophy of science scholarship (e.g., van Fraassen [1989]) that debates on the problem of laws of nature and/or scientific laws employ pre-Kantian approaches to the subject in question. But what exactly a Kantian approach might look like and, above all, what Kant endorses on this matter are not entirely settled issues. In particular, this regards Kant’s argument on the problem of ’necessity grounding’ with respect to different types of the so-called “empirical laws of nature” (empirische Naturgesetze) in the third Critique. In order to assess the aforementioned problem, in this paper I will address the following questions:1) What is Kant’s main nomological criterion or a combination of criteria, that is, the criterion/criteria according to which we can explicate the distinction between laws of nature and accidentally true statements?2) What exactly is the role of an apriori law of nature, such as the one instantiated by the Second Analogy of Experience, in considering nature as a lawful existence of objects?3) On what grounds can a statement describing a particular causal regularity, for example, the statement “the sun warms the stone” (Prolegomena, N 301), be viewed as an empirical law of nature?4) Is Kant’s systematicity a nomological criterion in the strict and standard sense or, rather, is it a certain kind of transcendental criterion, which not only makes the whole of Kant’s nomological machinery up and running, but also has decisive influence on the final arrangement of nomological criteria?
14. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Gabriele Tomasi Kant on Painting and the Representation of the Sublime
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The essay deals with the question of how works of art that evoke a sense of the sublime are to be analysed in terms of Kant’s theory. Although Kant assumes the possibility of a beautiful representation of the sublime, of a sublime “shaped by beauty”, that a work can appear sublime is not immediately clear. Contrapurposiveness plays a key role in the experience of the sublime, but art is an essentially purposive context and aims at beauty. Following readings such as those by K. Pillow and R. Wicks, this paper argues that a work of art can occasion a feeling akin to that of the sublime by expressing aesthetic ideas. According to Kant, the beautiful form conveys representations of imagination that strive towards a presentation of the ideas of reason, that is, the true sublime for Kant, opening up for the mind the prospect of an immensurable field of related representations. The image itself suggests that, in confronting this multitude of representations, the mind is “animated” in a way that can be compared -- albeit with significantdifferences -- to that typical of the sublime. In the essay this possibility is further pursued with particular regard to painting.
15. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Friderik Klampfer Contextualism and Moral Justification: A Discussion of Mark Timmons, Morality Without Foundations: A Defense of Ethical Contextualism
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In his insightful and stimulating book Morality Without Foundations: A Defense of Ethical Contextualism, Mark Timmons presents a strong case for embracing contextualism as a vibrant alternative to the two rival accounts that used to dominate moral epistemology in the past, foundationalism and coherentism. His sophisticated version of contextualist moral epistemology (CME) comprises of several intriguing and mind-boggling theses: (i) moral beliefs that lack Justification altogether can nevertheless be held in an epistemically responsible way; (ii) such unjustified beliefs can provide justification for other moral beliefs; (iii) the need for a justification of our moral beliefs does not always arise; and, finally, (iv) the potential for such a Justification depends on contextual parameters and can therefore never be fixed in advance.Despite its initial appeal, CME, or so I argue, ultimately fails to convince. In the paper I raise several mutually independent objections against Timmon’s solution. My main worry is that while contextualism mayguarantee us a cheap justification for our moral beliefs, such a justification is ultimately worthless for both theoretical and practical reasons: not only does it sever ties to moral truth that justification was initialy supposed to track, it also fails to resolve (or even point in the direction of resolving) any of our traditional moral disputes. Though, admittedly, none of my objections amounts to a knock-down argument, taken together they cast serious doubt both on certain aspects of Timmons’ particular solution and the presumed practical and theoretical need for a contextualist agenda in moral epistemology.
book reviews
16. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Vojko Strahovnik The Good in the Right: A Theory of Intuition and Intrinsic Value
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17. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Louise M. Antony, Norbert Hornstein Chomsky and His Critics
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18. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Nenad Miščević The Future for Philosophy
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19. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Smiljana Gartner Ethics without Principles
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20. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 5 > Issue: 3
Tea Logar Respect, Pluralism, and Justice
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