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Displaying: 41-60 of 368 documents

41. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 2
Jordan Lavender The Beatific Vision and the Metaphysics of Conscious Experience in John of Ripa
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Does human happiness consist in God, as the widespread medieval view that God is the last end of human beings would suggest, or does it consist in the experience of God, the view suggested by medieval readings of Aristotle? In response to this theological problem, the important fourteenth-century philosopher John of Ripa developed one of the most innovative and subtle late medieval theories of the metaphysics of awareness. This article provides an account of Ripa’s theory of awareness and shows how the theory was both motivated by and intended to solve this central theological problem for late medieval thought. In Section 1, I present the theological problem. In Section 2, I examine Ripa’s innovative theory of the metaphysics of awareness. In Section 3, I show how Ripa uses his account of the metaphysics of awareness to offer a solution to the theological problem.
42. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 2
Simona Vucu Christine de Pizan on Worldly Prudence and Loving God in The Treasure of the City of Ladies
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In The Treasure of the City of Ladies, Christine de Pizan gives various categories of laywomen advice on how to love God (the teachings about loving God) and to lead their lives (the teachings of worldly prudence). This article explores the connection between the two kinds of teachings focusing on the relevance of manners for spirituality and morality. Worldly prudence is about manners, reputation, and self-discipline—that is, about how people should behave toward one another and present themselves to each other. I argue that for de Pizan, manners are spiritually and morally relevant in two ways. On the one hand, they convey how individuals should practice the teachings about loving God in a way that agrees with these individuals’ status in their communities. On the other hand, by practicing the virtues with good manners, people can make surprising moral and spiritual gains and so deepen the teachings about loving God.
43. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 2
Amber J. Griffioen Doing Public Philosophy in the Middle Ages?: On the Philosophical Potential of Medieval Devotional Texts
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Medieval and early modern devotional works rarely receive serious treatment from philosophers, even those working in the subfields of philosophy of religion or the history of ideas. In this article, I examine one medieval devotional work in particular—the Middle High German image- and verse-program, Christus und die minnende Seele (CMS)—and I argue that it can plausibly be viewed as a form of medieval public philosophy, one that both exhibited and encouraged philosophical innovation. I address a few objections to my proposal—namely, that CMS is neither public enough nor that it counts as proper philosophy—and I attempt to defend CMS’s public philosophical credentials in light of these objections. I conclude with a brief discussion of how devotional texts like CMS can help us do innovative public philosophy today.
44. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 1
Adam Wood Thomas Aquinas on Reprobation: The Arbitrariness Problem and Some Quiescence Solutions
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Given certain anti-Pelagian assumptions he endorses, Aquinas faces an “arbitrariness problem” explaining why God predestines and reprobates the particular individuals he does. One response to the problem that Aquinas offers—biting the bullet and conceding God’s arbitrariness—has a high theoretical cost. Eleonore Stump proposes a less costly alternative solution on Thomas’s behalf, drawing on his notion that our wills may rest in a state of “quiescence.” Her proposal additionally purports to answer the general question why God reprobates anyone at all. I argue that Aquinas’s understanding of the relationship between divine causation and human freedom prevents him from accepting Stump’s proposal as she herself puts it forward; he couldn’t accept it as an answer to the general question. Nevertheless, I claim, granted one controversial but widely accepted assumption—that he isn’t a divine determinist—Aquinas could accept a slightly modified version of her quiescence solution to the arbitrariness problem. Indeed, there is evidence that he did accept some of its key components.
45. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 1
Nader Alsamaani An Epistemic Defeater for the Asharite Metaethical Theory
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In this article, I develop two arguments against the Asharite metaethical theory concerning God’s actions. First, I purport that the probability of God’s revelation being true given that the Asharite metaethical theory obtains is low. However, as some Asharites might point out, the probability increases by considering other items from the Asharite theology, which ultimately renders the first argument flawed. I further argue that the probability of our cognitive faculties being reliable given the Asharite metaethical theory concerning God’s action being true is rather low. I establish that this renders the Asharite metaethical theory self-referentially incoherent. I then provide another version of the second argument that avoids the reference to conditional probability in an attempt to undercut any objection that depends on the usage of conditional probability in the second argument.
46. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 1
Adam Harmer Mereological Nihilism and Simple Substance in Leibniz
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Leibniz famously argues that there must be simple substances, since there are composites, and a composite is nothing but a collection of simples. I reconstruct Leibniz’s argument, showing that it relies on a commitment to mereological nihilism (i.e., the view that composites cannot be true beings). I show further that Leibniz endorses mereological nihilism as early as the 1680s and offers both direct and indirect support for this commitment: indirect support via the notion of unity and direct support via the notion of persistence. I then assess the alignment of Leibniz’s mereological nihilism with his other commitments during the 1680s, including his potential commitment to corporeal substances. I argue that any viable interpretation of Leibniz’s commitment to corporeal substances is compatible with mereological nihilism, which provides a new perspective both on Leibniz’s developing theory of substance and on his mature theory of simple substance.
47. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 1
Alexander Leferman A Davidsonian Account of the Practicality of Practical Reasoning
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What makes practical reasoning practical? One answer to this question depends on what counts as an appropriate conclusion of practical reasoning. I defend accounts of practical reasoning that conclude in normative judgment by appeal to Davidsonian judgment-sensitive attitudes. In particular, I defend them against the objection that normative judgments lack a rational connection to action. To be considered practical, judgment accounts, as I call them, need to explain this rational connection. I argue that Davidsonian judgment-sensitive attitudes explain this rational connection by being conceptually related to normative judgments and systemically aiming at getting normative matters right.
48. Res Philosophica: Volume > 99 > Issue: 1
Jim Stone Zombies, Functionalism and Qualia
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David Chalmers maintains there is a logically possible world (Z) where we all have physically and functionally identical twins without conscious experiences. Z entails that qualia are extra-physical, hence physicalism is false. I argue that his Zombie Argument (ZA) fails on functionalist grounds. Qualia sometimes affect behavior or they never do. If they do affect behavior, they sometimes individuate functional states; hence my zombie twin cannot be functionally identical to me. To save ZA, we must support the second disjunct. This requires arguing that qualia are extra-physical; otherwise why wouldn’t they affect behavior? Suppose we find such an argument. But now ZA is idle. The supposedly successful argument that qualia are extra-physical does all the work. Hence Z is impossible or ZA is idle.
49. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 4
Tim Juvshik Artifactualization without Physical Modification
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Much recent discussion has focused on the nature of artifacts, particularly on whether they have essences. While it’s often held that artifacts are intentiondependent and necessarily have functions, it’s equally held, though far less discussed, that artifacts are the result of physical modification of some material objects. This article argues that the physical modification condition on artifacts is false. First, it formulates the physical modification condition perspicuously for the first time. Second, it offers counterexamples to this condition. Third, it considers and rejects two responses to these counterexamples, one which appeals to the distinction between being a K and being used as a K and another which argues that the counterexamples are merely of functional, not artifactual, kinds. Finally, it considers and rejects a more general objection that appropriation makes artifact creation too easy. Therefore, artifacts can be created by appropriation, and I sketch some success conditions for such appropriation.
50. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 4
Callie K. Phillips Why Future-Bias Isn't Rationally Evaluable
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Future-bias is preferring some lesser future good to a greater past good because it is in the future, or preferring some greater past pain to some lesser future pain because it is in the past. Most of us think that this bias is rational. I argue that no agents have futurebiased preferences that are rationally evaluable—that is, evaluable as rational or irrational. Given certain plausible assumptions about rational evaluability, either we must find a new conception of future-bias that avoids the difficulties I raise, or we must conclude that future-biased preferences are not subject to rational evaluation.
51. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 4
Joseph Vukov Rationality and Cognitive Enhancement
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When is it rational to undergo cognitive enhancement? In the case of what I’ll call massive cognitive enhancement, my answer is never. The reason is that one must base one’s decision to undergo massive cognitive enhancement on what I’ll call either phenomenal or non-phenomenal outcomes. If the former, the choice is not rational because massive cognitive enhancements are transformative and, I’ll argue with Paul (2015), transformative experiences cannot be chosen rationally. If the latter, the choice is not rational because it ought to be based at least partly on phenomenal outcomes. This argument, however, leaves open the idea that it may nonetheless be rational to choose massive cognitive enhancement for others—for example, one’s children. The article explores this possibility, arguing that choosing enhancement for others can be rational or moral, but not both.
52. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 4
Stafan Rinner Recanati on 'That'-clauses
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The received view concerning belief ascriptions of the form ‘A believes that S’ says (A) that ‘believe’ denotes a relation holding between agents and truth-bearing entities (propositions), and (B) that ‘that’-clauses are referential expressions denoting propositions. In “‘That’-Clauses as Existential Quantifiers,” Recanati expresses his dissatisfaction with the received view. According to Recanati, (B) threatens semantic innocence. Therefore, following Panaccio, Recanati proposes to treat ‘that’-clauses of the form ‘that S’ as restricted existential quantifiers of the form ‘For some p such that p is true iff S.’ In this article, I will argue that together with Kripke’s disquotational principle connecting sincere assertion and belief this analysis leads to unacceptable consequences. Since, as we shall see, the solution cannot be to reject Kripke’s disquotational principle, it will follow that the Recanati-Panaccio analysis cannot be correct. Concluding, I will show that the argument against the Recanati-Panaccio analysis of ‘that’-clauses also provides a more general way of testing semantic analyses and that, unlike the Recanati-Panaccio analysis, the received view passes this test.
book symposium
53. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 4
David McPherson Précis of Virtue and Meaning
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54. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 4
Philip J. Ivanhoe Comments on David McPherson's Virtue and Meaning: A Neo-Aristotelian Perspective
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55. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 4
Christian B. Miller McPherson on Virtue and Meaning
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56. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 4
David McPherson Replies to Ivanhoe and Miller
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57. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 3
Anders Herlitz, Karim Sadek Social Choice, Nondeterminacy, and Public Reasoning
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This article presents an approach to how to make reasonable social choices when independent criteria (e.g., prioritarianism, religious freedom) fail to fully determine what to do. The article outlines different explanations of why independent criteria sometimes fail to fully determine what to do and illustrates how they can still be used to eliminate ineligible alternatives, but it is argued that the independent criteria cannot ground a reasonable social choice in these situations. To complement independent criteria when they fail to fully determine what to do, it is suggested that society must engage in public deliberation by way of generating new reasons that can determine how to rank the alternatives. It is suggested that the approach to social choice presented here reveals a way of accepting the relevance of independent criteria for social choice without letting go of the idea that the attitudes of affected parties matter.
58. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 3
David Holiday Moral Incapacities of Vice
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This article examines the moral-theoretic implications of a species of moral incapacity which is frequently acknowledged, but nowhere fully explored, in the extant literature. This is the species ‘moral incapacity of vice,’ comprised of those strict limits to intentional action that manifest a weakness or corruption of moral character. Such incapacities demand closer attention, because they block a prominent line of skepticism about the moral incapacities (skepticism resulting partly from theorists’ heretofore exclusive concern with moral incapacities of virtue). A literary example of moral incapacity of vice is analyzed by means of a Thomistic concept of capital vice. The case blocks moral incapacity skepticism, illustrates that moral incapacities of vice share all of the major criterial (i.e., significant and collectively distinctive) features of moral incapacities of virtue, and brings out the significance of such incapacities for our understanding of character, practical reasoning, and agency.
59. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 3
Michael Vazquez Hopeless Fools and Impossible Ideals
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In this article, I vindicate the longstanding intuition that the Stoics are transitional figures in the history of ethics. I argue that the Stoics are committed to thinking that the ideal of human happiness as a life of virtue is impossible for some people, whom I dub ‘hopeless fools.’ In conjunction with the Stoic view that everyone is subject to the same rational requirements to perform ‘appropriate actions’ or ‘duties’ (kath¯ekonta/officia), and the plausible eudaimonist assumption that happiness is a source of normative reasons only if it is in principle attainable, the existence of hopeless fools demonstrates that the Stoics were pluralists about the ultimate justificatory basis of rational action. Hopeless fools are required to behave just like their non-hopeless counterparts, not because doing so is conducive to their happiness, but because doing so conforms with the dictates of Right Reason.
60. Res Philosophica: Volume > 98 > Issue: 3
Michael Granado Scientific Epistemology: Exploring the Primacy of Science in the Writing of Gaston Bachelard
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This article will explore the ways in which early twentieth century physics informs and sustains Gaston Bachelard’s writing on epistemology and time. By investigating the scientific underpinnings of Bachelard’s philosophy of time, this article will also establish a connection between his epistemological and temporal works that are underdeveloped in the secondary literature. This discussion will seek to prove an epistemological commitment, scattered throughout Bachelard’s work on science, in which all epistemological claims are beholden to the claims of modern science. It will be demonstrated how this epistemological claim is implemented in Bachelard’s work on time—specifically, the ways in which relativity theory and microphysics influences his philosophy of time. Such an approach will bridge the gap between Bachelard’s epistemological writings and his work on time while simultaneously illustrating the ways in which physics influences his thinking.