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Displaying: 1-20 of 357 documents

1. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
John Heil The Last Word on Emergence
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The metaphysical doctrine of emergence continues to exert a powerful pull on philosophers and metaphysically inclined scientists. This paper focuses on a recent account of emergence advanced by Jessica Wilson in Metaphysical Emergence, but the discussion has the broader aim of making explicit some of the underlying themes that inspire thoughts of emergence generally. These prove to be, not merely optional, but largely lacking in merit.
2. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
Roy T. Cook Perspectival Logical Pluralism
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Logical pluralism is the view that there is more than one formal logic that correctly (or best, or legitimately) codifies the logical consequence relation in natural language. This essay provides a taxonomy of different variations on the logical pluralist theme based on a five-part structure, and then identifies an unoccupied position in this taxonomy: perspectival logical pluralism. Perspectival pluralism provides an attractive position from which to formulate a philosophy of logic from a feminist perspective (and from other, identity-based perspectives, such as critical race theory). An example of how such an account might be developed is sketched. The essay concludes by defusing an obvious objection to the perspectival approach: the claim that the correct logic (or logics), in virtue of the formal nature of logic, should be independent of considerations regarding the identity of the reasoner.
3. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
Ali Hossein Khani Intention, Judgment Dependence, and Self-Deception
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Crispin Wright’s judgment-dependent account of intention is an attempt to show that truths about a subject’s intentions can be viewed as constituted by the subject’s own best judgments about those intentions. The judgments are considered to be best if they are formed under certain cognitively optimal conditions, which mainly include the subject’s conceptual competence, attentiveness to the question about what the intention is, and lack of any material self-deception. Offering a substantive, nontrivial specification of the no-self-deception condition is one of the main problems for Wright. His solution is to view it as a positive presumption, which is violated only if there is strong evidence to the effect that the subject is self-deceived. In this article, I will argue that the concern about self-deception in Wright’s account is misplaced and generally unmotivated.
4. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
Jonathan C. Rutledge Humean Arguments from Evil, Updating Procedures, and Perspectival Skeptical Theism
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In a recent exchange with prominent skeptical theists, Paul Draper has argued that skeptical theism bears no relevance to Humean versions of the argument from suffering. His argument rests, however, on a particular way of construing epistemically rational updating procedures that is not adopted by all forms of skeptical theism. In particular, a perspectival variety of skeptical theism, I argue, is relevant to his Humean arguments. I then generalize this result and explain how any argument from evil employing probabilistic premises is similarly threatened.
5. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
René Ardell Fehr Thomas Aquinas on Malice: Three Interpretive Errors
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This article addresses three interpretive errors that are common with respect to Thomas Aquinas’s understanding of malice. The first error concerns the interpretation of malice as consisting in the preference or choice of a lesser good over a greater good. I argue that malice instead consists in a disorder of the will, and where that disorder results in the choice of a spiritual evil. The second error occurs when one charges Thomas with inconsistency: it is claimed that Thomas’s view of the will is incompatible with malicious actions. I argue that such claims rest on a mistaken understanding of the role of choice in Thomas’s thought. The third error is one of translation: some scholars caution against translating Thomas’s malitia as “malice.” The reasons that are usually given for this view do not hold up to scrutiny.
6. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
Thomas Marré Kant on Natural Ends and the Science of Life
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In this article I argue that the mechanical inexplicability of natural ends in the third Critique is best understood against the background of a fairly traditional picture of the metaphysics of living things, one embraced by Kant himself. On this picture, the distinctive unity of a living thing was to be explained by a soul, form, or monad. The constraints placed on the understanding in the first Critique, however, make such an explanation impossible: because the principle of a living thing in virtue of which it constitutes a whole—rather than a mere aggregate of things—is simple, it cannot be met with in space. By ruling out a widely accepted explanans for a well-recognized explanandum, in other words, Kant’s first Critique makes living things inexplicable in precisely those ways suggested by the third.
7. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
Peter J. Graham Sosa on the New Evil Demon Problem
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8. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Edouard Machery Why Variation Matters to Philosophy
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Experimental philosophers often seem to ignore or downplay the significance of demographic variation in philosophically relevant judgments. This article confirms this impression, discusses why demographic research is overlooked in experimental philosophy, and argues that variation is philosophically significant.
9. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Hagop Sarkissian, Emma E. Buchtel What, Exactly, Is Wrong with Confucian Filial Morality?
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Confucianism’s emphasis on filial piety is both a hallmark of its approach to ethics and a source of concern. Critics charge that filial piety’s extreme partialism corrupts Chinese society and should therefore be expunged from the tradition. Are the critics correct? In this article, we outline the criticism and note its persistence over the last century. We then evaluate data from the empirical study of corruption to see whether they support the claim that partialism corrupts. Finally, we report some recent experimental work done with colleagues testing the claim that filial piety is associated with tolerance of corruption in Chinese societies. The results suggest that the critics are on to something. However, partialism (or kin affection) is not a cause of concern. Instead, authoritarianism (another aspect of filial piety) is associated with tolerance of corruption. We conclude that critics should reformulate their criticisms if they seek to combat corruption effectively.
10. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Alexis Elder Robots, Rebukes, and Relationships: Confucian Ethics and the Study of Human-Robot Interactions
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The status and functioning of shame is contested in moral psychology. In much of anglophone philosophy and psychology, it is presumed to be largely destructive, while in Confucian philosophy and many East Asian communities, it is positively associated with moral development. Recent work in human-robot interaction offers a unique opportunity to investigate how shame functions while controlling for confounding variables of interpersonal interaction. One research program suggests a Confucian strategy for using robots to rebuke participants, but results from experiments with educational technologies imply a different and potentially opposing account of shame’s role in personal development. By digging deeper into the details of Confucian theorizing about shame, I identify a unifying explanation for these apparently conflicting results. I conclude by offering suggestions for future empirical research in human-robot interactions to further investigate shame’s role in moral development.
11. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Bryce Huebner A Neuro-Yogacara Manifesto
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In this article, I defend a neuro-Yogacara framework that is based on an understanding of allostatic regulation, and organized around the following four philosophical claims: 1) experience is shaped, in deep and pervasive ways, by a person’s history and their ecological and social context; 2) each moment of experience occurs amid an ongoing flow of conscious activity, which reflects the attempt to integrate diverse sensory and cognitive experiences into a subjective awareness of a world; 3) every claim about a specific feature of experience is an abstraction, which only makes sense within the context of a complex and multidimensional experience of a world; and 4) the experience of being a self, in a world, is malleable.
12. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Ryan Nichols, Nicholaos Jones Holistic Cognitive Style, Chinese Culture, and the Sinification of Buddhism
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According to many experiments in cross-cultural psychology, East Asians exhibit holistic cognitive style typified by use of resemblance heuristics, field dependence, external sources of causation, intuitive forms of reasoning, and interdependent forms of social thinking. Holistic cognitive style contrasts with analytic cognitive style, which is common to Westerners. Section 1 presents information on the background of Buddhism’s entry into and treatment by China. Section 2 discusses experimental evidence for the representation of holistic cognitive style in contemporary East Asians. Section 3 presents preliminary evidence for the interaction between holistic cognitive style and the history of ideas in China at large. Section 4 analyzes two discussions of the same philosophical problem conducted by Chinese Buddhist philosopher Fazang and Indian Vedic philosopher Shankara. It is provisionally argued that the interpretive strategies displayed by Fazang interact with several components of holistic cognitive style, in contrast with Shankara. Implications are discussed.
13. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Julianne Nicole Chung "See You in Your Next Life": Creativity, the Zhuangzi, and Grief
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Drawing from cross-cultural work on creativity undertaken within philosophical psychology, as well as contemporary commentaries on the philosophy of the Zhuangzi, this article motivates a conception of creativity that emphasizes spontaneity and adaptivity—rather than novelty or originality—engendered by embracing you 遊 (“wandering”). It argues that this approach to creativity can enable us to understand certain forms of religious experiences, especially those related to grief and bereavement, as creative in a sense that is compatible with both: i) views that emphasize the capacity of religious experiences to connect us with something supernatural, immaterial, or non-physical and, ii) views that emphasize the capacity of religious experiences to connect us with something natural, material, or physical. Additionally, it elaborates how these reflections might pave the way for further cross-cultural inquiries—empirical and otherwise—into the nature and value of religious experience
14. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Juan Garcia Torres Carlos Vaz Ferreira on Freedom and Determinism
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Carlos Vaz Ferreira argues that the problem of freedom is conceptually distinct from the problem of causal determinism. The problem of freedom is ultimately a problem regarding the ontologically independent agency of a being, and the problem of determinism is a problem regarding explanations of events or acts in terms of the totality of their antecedent causal conditions. As Vaz Ferreira sees it, failing to keep these problems apart gives rise to merely apparent but unreal puzzles pertaining to the nature of freedom and its relation to determinism. In this article, I present my interpretation of Vaz Ferreira’s distinctive ideas regarding the nature of freedom and its relation to casual determinism.
15. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Sahana V. Rajan Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater: The Dangers of Global and Local Ontologies in Scientific Metaphysics
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In the recent years, attempts to relate metaphysics and sciences have taken various alternative forms such as metaphysics applied to science, metaphysics of science, and scientific metaphysics. In this article, I focus on scientific metaphysics and specifically explore the challenges with developing ontologies through four arguments. The Argument from Representational Indeterminacy highlights that global ontologies fail to clearly identify their target phenomenon. The Argument from Independent Inaccessibility explores the methodological difficulty of accessing a world that is independent of specific sets of phenomena. The Argument from Conceptual Mismatch focuses on the tendency of local ontologies to pick out arbitrary scientific concepts, adapting them to study phenomena where they might not fit well. Finally, the Argument from Eliminative Prophecy details the possibility that local ontologies could eventually be rendered redundant by mature versions of scientific theories. In the end, given these challenges, I recommend an eliminativist stance toward ontology development.
16. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Kurt Blankschaen Are Mass Shooters a Social Kind?
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On April 20, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed fifteen people at their high school in Columbine, Colorado. National media dubbed the event a “school shooting.” The term grimly expanded over the next several years to include similar events at army bases, movie theaters, churches, and nightclubs. Today, we commonly use the categories “mass shooter” and “mass shooting” to organize and classify information about gun violence. I will argue that neither category is an effective tool for reducing gun violence and use empirical data to show how these categories perpetuate a moral panic that harms already vulnerable demographics. I conclude that we should instead favor a narrower description of individuals and events, (e.g., “X shot Y people at Z”) because we can talk about all the relevant cases without contributing the undue harms.
17. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Mona Simion Sosa on Permissible Suspension and the Proper Remit of the Theory of Knowledge
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18. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Allan Hazlett The Aim of Suspension
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19. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 4
Ernest Sosa On Epistemic Explanations: Response to Two Critics
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20. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 3
Tianyue Wu Aquinas on Wrong Judgments of Conscience
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Conscience can err. Yet erroneous conscience still seems binding in that it is likely to be morally wrong to ignore the call of conscience. Meanwhile, it seems equally wrong to act according to such a wrong judgment of conscience. The moral dilemma of erroneous conscience poses a challenge to any coherent theory of conscience. In light of this, I will examine Aquinas’s reflections on the psychological mechanism of erroneous conscience and reconstruct a sophisticated explanation of the obligatory force of erroneous conscience, in which the conscientious integrity of the agent is intimately integrated with the sovereignty of divine law. Next, I will appeal to Aquinas’s distinction between the judgment of conscience (iudicium consentiae) and that of free decision (iudicium liberi arbitrii) to show that the judgments pertaining to conscience are purely cognitive rather than affective. This analysis will also help specify in what sense we can tolerate conscience’s wrong judgments.