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political philosophy
1. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Ivan Cerovac John Dunn Interview
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2. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Oliver Milne Political Parties as Corruption Hazards: The Republican Case for Sortition
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In this paper, I do several things. First, I present a definition of ‘corruption’ as ‘abuse of power that builds or maintains the abuser’s power’, arguing that this definition is more generally applicable than other definitions offered in the literature and that it highlights a crucial property of corruption, namely its tendency to metastasise, presenting a more and more serious danger to society. To defend the emphasis I place on this tendency, I then argue that corruption (as commonly understood) frequently produces three mechanisms pushing it to reproduce: self-perpetuation by the corrupt actors to protect themselves, formation of networks between corrupt actors which ensnare new participants, and normalisation of specific kinds of abuse of power in the corrupt actors’ social environments. From here, I turn to political parties, arguing that they present fertile soil for the mechanisms just described. In their stead, I argue for sortition—a system whereby legislators are randomly selected from the population at large. I make the case that each of the three metastatic mechanisms I have described would have much more difficulty taking root in a sortitional-democratic system than in an electoral-democratic one, before concluding by responding to a major potential objection to such a proposal’s feasibility—namely, that sortitional juries would be less competent than elected legislatures—and presenting a sketch of a sortitional-democratic system setting out how it could discharge the government’s executive functions, in addition to the legislative functions already covered. The paper as a whole, in addition to its explicit arguments, may be considered to make an implicit case for non-ideal over ideal theory, in that it attempts to show the importance of that quintessentially non-ideal factor, corruption, to the nature of any political order.
3. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Hana Samaržija How to Craft Economic Policy: Values in Economics
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This article argues that all economic theory presupposes implicit political premises, and that these affect its scientific conclusions. More specifically, I will argue that neoclassical economics trades the epistemic values of predictive accuracy and explanatory strength for an image of the capitalist economy as sustainable, which renders it unequipped to analyze its crises. Echoing Anwar Shaikh’s analysis, I will show that neoclassical economics, by constructing idealized settings and misleading metrics, obscures the inherent conflicts of capital accumulation. As this tendency leads to an incomplete understanding of the current system, I will argue that neoclassical economics cannot inform effective economic policy. To explain the difference between epistemic and non-epistemic values, I will begin with a brief historical overview of the role of values in science. I will then, by analyzing economic metrics and the basic assumption of perfect competition, proceed to show that neoclassical economics is both empirically and logically underdetermined. Once I have shown there is no epistemic argument in favor of neoclassical economics, I will argue that this choice of theoretical framework was mandated by underlying political concerns. I will end by discussing the relationship between engaged philosophy and public policy in times of crisis.
deliberative democracy and political epistemology
4. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Ivan Mladenović Democracy, Truth, and Epistemic Proceduralism
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The usual justifi cations of democracy attach central importance to fair decision-making procedures. However, it is being increasingly emphasized that it is necessary to address epistemic considerations to justify democracy and democratic authority. In her book Democracy and Truth: The Conflict between Political and Epistemic Virtues, Prijić-Samaržija defends the view which places emphasis on the necessity of epistemic justification of democracy. In this paper, I will discuss her criticism of epistemic proceduralism, which can be considered major contemporary framework for epistemic justification of democracy. Within the framework of epistemic proceduralism, for justifying democracy and democratic authority it is necessary to take into account both political and epistemic values. Nevertheless, Prijić-Samaržija thinks that epistemic proceduralism is not sufficiently epistemic and that it reduces epistemic to political values. I shall argue that epistemic proceduralism can be defended from this kind of criticism.
5. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Snježana Prijić Samaržija The Epistemic Justification of Democracy
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In the article, I am concerned with the epistemic justification of democracy: what does the epistemic justification of democracy consist of, and how can we assure that democracy indeed generates decisions of the highest epistemic quality? However, since it is impossible to speak about the epistemic justification of democracy without considering its relation to political justification, and their tension, this article will also question the relationship between epistemic and political justification. I endorse a position called the hybrid stance, not only because I think that, when justifying democracy, we need to consider both the political value of fairness and the epistemic values of truth-sensitivity and truth-conduciveness, but because I believe we should appropriately harmonize them. While the advocates of epistemic proceduralism hold that it best harmonizes the political and epistemic values of democracy, I argue that they do not separate epistemic values as intrinsically different from the political. On the other hand, even if we accept that epistemic justification is tied to intrinsically truth-respecting practices, the question remains which decision-making processes best satisfy this demand. In simpler terms, we must inquire how to divide epistemic labor between citizens and experts. I will try to show that the optimal model needs to preserve both the epistemic potential of the diversity present in the collective intelligence of citizens, and the epistemic potential of the factual knowledge embodied by the individual intelligence of experts.
6. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Elvio Baccarini Which Theory of Public Reason?: Epistemic Injustice and Public Reason
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Rawlsian public reason requires public decisions to be justified through reasons that each citizen can accept as reasonable, free and equal. It has been objected that this model of public justification puts unfair burdens on marginalized groups. A possible version of the criticism is that the alleged unfairness is constituted by what Miranda Fricker and other authors call epistemic injustice. This form of injustice obtains when some agents are unjustly treated as not reliable, or when they are deprived of epistemic resources to utter their claims or burdened when they need to express demands. I show that the Rawlsian model can stand the objection. Restricting justificatory reasons, at least when basic issues of human rights, liberties and opportunities are at stake, is needed in order to warrant a stable society as a fair system of cooperation among free and equal citizens.
7. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Marcus William Hunt Unscrutable Morality: Could Anyone Know Every Moral Truth?
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To begin to answer the question of whether every moral truth could be known by any one individual, this paper examines David Chalmers’ views on the scrutability of moral truths in Constructing the World. Chalmers deals with the question of the scrutability of moral truths ecumenically, claiming that moral truths are scrutable on all plausible metaethical views. I raise two objections to Chalmers’ approach. The first objection is that he conflates the claim that moral truths are scrutable from PQTI with the claim that moral truths are scrutable from non-moral truths. The upshot of this objection is that Chalmers has not in fact shown the scrutability of moral truths from the scrutability base from which he proposed to do so, PQTI. The second objection concerns his handling of moral sensibility theory, which fails to take into account certain features of the emotions—features which generate what I term synchronic and diachronic emotional co-instantiation problems. The upshot of this objection is that we have good reason to deny that any one individual could ascertain all moral truths, if moral sensibility theory is true, no matter how idealized the emoter.
8. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Adrian Walsh The Non-Identity Problem and the Admissibility of Outlandish Thought Experiments in Applied Philosophy
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The non-identity problem, which is much discussed in bioethics, metaphysics and environmental ethics, is usually examined by philosophers because of the difficulties it raises for our understanding of possible harms done to present human agents. In this article, instead of attempting to solve the non-identical problem, I explore an entirely different feature of the problem, namely the implications it has for the admissibility of outlandish or bizarre thought experiments. I argue that in order to sustain the claim that later born selves cannot be harmed (since they are in fact different persons), one must rule inadmissible certain kinds of modally bizarre imaginary cases. In this paper I explore how one might justify such a constraint on outlandish cases and, in so doing, develop the outline of a model for distinguishing between admissible and inadmissible imaginary cases in philosophical debate.
book discussion
9. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Martina Blečić Bending and Stretching the Definition of Lying
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One of the recent trends in dealing with the concept of lying has been to argue that the idea that one needs to deceive someone in order to lie has been accepted too hastily. In Lying and Insincerity Stokke shares this opinion and proposes a definition of lying based on the notion of common ground that includes bald-faced lies. Additionally, he rejects the idea that lying can be accomplished with pragmatic means such as conversational implicatures and proposes a formal distinction between lying and misleading. In this review, I present the content of Stokke’s book and critically discuss the two points mentioned above.
book reviews
10. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Gabriela Bašić Hanžek David Hitchcock, On Reasoning and Argument. Essays in Informal Logic and on Critical Thinking
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11. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
David Grčki Michael E. Bratman, Planning, Time and Self-governance: Essays in Practical Rationality
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philosophy of science
12. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
James Robert Brown Legitimate Mathematical Methods
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A thought experiment involving an omniscient being and quantum mechanics is used to justify non-deductive methods in mathematics. The twin prime conjecture is used to illustrate what can be achieved.
13. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Jessica Carter The Effectiveness of Representations in Mathematics
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This article focuses on particular ways in which visual representations contribute to the development of mathematical knowledge. I give examples of diagrammatic representations that enable one to observe new properties and cases where representations contribute to classification. I propose that fruitful representations in mathematics are iconic representations that involve conventional or symbolic elements, that is, iconic metaphors. In the last part of the article, I explain what these are and how they apply in the considered examples.
14. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Marko Grba, Majda Trobok Mathematics and Physics within the Context of Justification: Induction vs. Universal Generalization
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Motivated by the analogy which holds within the context of discovery between mathematics and physics, we aim to show that there is a connection between two fields within the context of justification too. Based on the careful analysis of examples from science (especially within the domain of physics) we suggest that the logic of scientific research, which might appear as enumerative induction, is deduction, and we propose it to be universal generalization inference rule. Our main argument closely follows the analysis of the structure of physical theory proposed by theoretical physicist Eugene P. Wigner.
15. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Sahotra Sarkar Structural Realism in Biology: A (Sympathetic) Critique
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Structural realism holds that ontological commitments induced by successful scientific theories should focus on the structures rather than the objects posited by the theories. Thus structural realism goes beyond the empirical adequacy criterion of traditional (or constructive) empiricism. It also attempts to avoid the problems scientific realism faces in contexts of radical theory change accompanied by discordant shifts in posited theoretical objects. Structural realism emerged in the context of attempts to interpret developments in twentieth-century physics. In a biological context, Stanford (2006) provided pre-emptive criticism. French (2011, 2012) has since attempted to answer those criticisms and extend structural realism to the biological realm. This paper argues that, though Stanford’s criticism may be misplaced, and structural realism fares much better than traditional scientific realism in biological contexts, it remains a promissory note. The promise is based on shifting the focus of the debate from the status of biological laws to that of biological organization, an issue that remains a live debate within biology.
16. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Richard Vallée Does Sherlock Holmes Exist?
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Fictional names have specific, cognitively relevant features, putting them in a category apart from the category of ordinary names. I argue that we should focus on the name or name form itself and refrain from looking for an assignment procedure and an assigned referent. I also argue that we should reject the idea that sentences containing fictional names express singular propositions. These suggestions have important consequences for the intuition that ‘Sherlock Holmes exists’ is either true or false, and they put our intuitions concerning fictional names into perspective. If Millianism is the view that names only have a referent only as their semantic value, then my proposal on fictional names is not Millian in nature.
17. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Erhan Demircioğlu Epistemic Infinitism, the Reason-Giving Game, and the Regress Skeptic
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Epistemic infinitism is one of the logically possible responses to the epistemic regress problem, claiming that the justification of a given proposition requires an infinite and non-circular structure of reasons. In this paper, I will examine the dialectic between the epistemic infinitist and the regress skeptic, the sort of skeptic that bases his attack to the possibility of justification on the regress of reasons. I aim to show that what makes epistemic infinitism appear as well-equipped to silence the regress skeptic is the very same thing that renders it susceptible to a powerful skeptical assault by the regress skeptic.
18. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Phil Maguire, Philippe Moser, Rebecca Maguire Are people smarter than machines?
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Recent progress in artificial intelligence has led some to speculate that machine intelligence may soon match or surpass human intelligence. We argue that this understanding of intelligence is flawed. While physical machines are designed by humans to simulate human rule-following behaviour, the issue of whether human abilities can be emulated is not well-defined. We outline a series of obstacles that stand in the way of formalizing emulation, and show that even a simple, well-defined function cannot be decided in practice. In light of this, we suggest that the debate on intelligence should be shifted from emulation to simulation, addressing, for example, how useful machines can be at particular tasks, rather than deliberating over the nebulous concept of general intelligence.
book reviews
19. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Tamara Crnko Leif Wenar, Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World
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20. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Vito Balorda Justin Garson, A Critical Overview of Biological Functions
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