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1. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Clare Batty What’s That Smell?
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In philosophical discussions of the secondary qualities, color has taken center stage. Smells, tastes, sounds, and feels have beentreated, by and large, as mere accessories to colors. We are, as it is said, visual creatures. This, at least, has been the workingassumption in the philosophy of perception and in those metaphysical discussions about the nature of the secondary qualities. Theresult has been a scarcity of work on the “other” secondary qualities. In this paper, I take smells and place them front and center. I ask:What are smells? For many philosophers, the view that colors can be explained in purely physicalistic terms has seemed very appealing. In the case of smells, this kind of nonrelational view has seemed much less appealing. Philosophers have been drawn to versions of relationalism—the view that the nature of smells must be explained (at least in part) in terms of the effects they have on perceivers. In this paper, I consider a contemporary argument for this view. I argue that nonrelationalist views of smell have little to fear from this argument.
2. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Lee Franklin Meno’s Paradox, the Slave-Boy Interrogation, and the Unity of Platonic Recollection
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Plato invokes the Theory of Recollection to explain both ordinary and philosophical learning. In a new reading of Meno’s Paradox and the Slave-Boy Interrogation, I explain why these two levels are linked in a single theory of learning. Since, for Plato, philosophical inquiry starts in ordinary discourse, the possibility of success in inquiry is tied to the character of the ordinary comprehension we bring to it. Through the claim that all learning is recollection, Plato traces the knowledge achievable through inquiry back to our pretheoretical comprehension, showing not just that knowledge is in us, but that it is inchoate in the grasp of a property—akin to a concept—that enables us to speak and think about it ordinarily. Plato acknowledges in the Meno that a second step of argument, and a second application of Recollection, is needed to explain how knowledge comes to be inchoate in our ordinary grasp of a property. Though this second argument is provided most fully in the Phaedo, the evidence of the Meno is sufficient to outline Recollection as a two-stage theory of learning, beginning in ordinary speech and thought and extending, through philosophical reflection, to knowledge.
3. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Matthew C. Haug Two Kinds of Completeness and the Uses (and Abuses) of Exclusion Principles
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I argue that the completeness of physics is composed of two distinct claims. The first is the commonly made claim that, roughly, everyphysical event is completely causally determined by physical events. The second has rarely, if ever, been explicitly stated in the literatureand is the claim that microphysics provides a complete inventory of the fundamental categories that constitute both the causal features and intrinsic nature of all the events that causally affect the physical universe. After showing that these claims are distinct, I argue thatthey can be used to solve a difficulty with existing responses to the exclusion problem—namely, that these existing responses also undermine the powerful causal argument for physicalism. Recognizing that there are two kinds of completeness opens up room for the nonreductive physicalist to solve the exclusion problem while also endorsing a modified, cogent causal argument for a kind of physicalism compatible with her position.
4. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 4
Iuliana Corina Vaida A New Kantian Solution to the Third Antinomy of Pure Reason and to the Free Will Problem
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The goal of this paper is to articulate a new solution to Kant’s third antinomy of pure reason, one that establishes the possibility ofincompatibilist freedom—the freedom presupposed by our traditional conceptions of moral responsibility, moral worth, and justice—without relying on the doctrine of transcendental idealism (TI). A discussion of Henry Allison’s “two-aspect” interpretation of Kant’s TI allows me both to criticize one of the best defenses of TI today and to advance my own TI-free solution to the third antinomy by appeal to a thesis of epistemic modesty based on Paul Guyer’s realist interpretation of Kant’s theory of experience. According to this interpretation, the a priori forms of our sensibility and understanding are not forms that the mind imposes on a material whose real properties are unknowable to us but are instead forms that limit or filter the kinds of things we can experience and know. In particular, being causally determined is a real feature of things as they are in themselves, but the necessity and universality of our deterministic claims are relative, restricted to the objects of possible experience. Consequently, though a causally determined event cannot be free, the necessity and universality of determinism does not entail that free events (choices) cannot exist but that they cannot constitute objects of possible experience. After arguing that freedom is possible, I outline an argument for the reality of freedom, based on therequirements of morality. Finally, I argue that my view, though opposed to metaphysical naturalism, is consistent with scientific realism and methodological naturalism.