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41. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 4
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42. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Marc E. Bobro Leibniz on Concurrence and Efficient Causation
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Leibniz defends concurrentism, the view that both God and created substances are causally responsible for changes in the states of created substances. Interpretive problems, however, arise in determining just what causal role each plays. Some recent work has been revisionist, greatly downplaying the causal role played by created substances—arguing instead that according to Leibniz only God has productive causal power. Though bearing some causal responsibility for changes in their perceptual states, created substances are not efficient causes of such changes. This paper argues against such revisionism; not only was Leibniz a consistent advocate of concurrentism (at least in his “mature” years), but also his account of concurrentism involves both God and created substances asefficient causes of the changes in the states of created substances.
43. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Crawford L. Elder Biological Species Are Natural Kinds
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This paper argues that typical biological species are natural kinds, on a familiar realist understanding of natural kinds—classes of individuals across which certain properties cluster together, in virtue of the causal workings of the world. But the clustering is far from exceptionless. Virtually no properties, or property-combinations, characterize every last member of a typical species—unless they can also appear outside the species. This motivates some to hold that what ties together the members of a species is the ability to interbreed, others that it is common descent. Yet others hold that species are scattered individuals,of which organisms are parts rather than members. But not one of these views absolves us of the need to posit a typical phenotypic profile. Vagueness is here to stay. Some seek to explain the vagueness by saying species are united by “homeostatic property clusters”; but this view collapses into the more familiar realist picture.
44. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Nathaniel Goldberg Tension within Triangulation
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Philosophers disagree about how meaning connects with history. Donald Davidson, who helped deepen our understanding of meaning, even disagreed with himself. As Ernest Lepore and Kirk Ludwig note, Davidson’s account of radical interpretation treats meaning as ahistorical; his Swampman thought experiment treats it as historical. Here I show that while Lepore and Ludwig are right that Davidson’s views are in tension, they are wrong about its extent. Unbeknownst to them, Davidson’s account of radical interpretation and Swampman thought experiment both rely—in different ways—on the same model of triangulation.I revise one of those ways to resolve the tension within Davidson’s views. I close by detailing what role history should play in Davidson’s views overall.
45. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Joseph Millum A Biological Alternative to Moral Explanations
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Some moral realists claim that moral facts are a species of natural fact, amenable to scientific investigation. They argue that these moral facts are needed in the best explanations of certain phenomena and that this is evidence that they are real. In this paper I present part of a biological account of the function of morality. The account allows the identification of a plausible natural kind that could play the explanatory role that a moral kind would play in naturalist realist theories. It is therefore a candidate for being the moral kind. I argue, however, that it will underdetermine the morally good, that is, identifying the kind is not sufficient to identify what is good. Hence this is not a natural moral kind. Its explanatory usefulness, however, means that we do not have to postulate any further (moral) facts to provide moral explanations. Hence there is no reason to believe that there are any natural moral kinds.
46. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Robert Schroer Open your eyes and look harder!: (An investigation into the idea of a responsible visual search)
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In this paper, I explore and defend the idea that we have epistemic responsibilities with respect to our visual searches, responsibilities that are far more fine-grained and interesting than the trivial responsibilities to keep our eyes open and “look hard.” In order to have such responsibilities, we must be able to exert fine-grained and interesting forms of control over our visual searches. I present both an intuitive case and an empirical case for thinking that we do, in fact, have such forms of control over our visual searches. I then show how these forms of control can be used to aim the visual beliefs that result from our searches toward various epistemic goals.
47. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Doran Smolkin Puzzles about Trust
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This article is an attempt to deepen our understanding of trust. To this end, several elements frequently present in trust-relationships are first identified, and then three underappreciated puzzles about trust are described. Next, it is argued that certain leading analyses of trust are unsatisfactory, in part, because they are unable to solve these puzzles succesfully. Finally, an alternative way of thinking about trust is proposed. It is argued that this new way of thinking about trust is bothindependently plausible and better able to solve these puzzles about trust.
48. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 3
Jason Wyckoff Reasons, Motivations, and Obligations
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I argue against Reasons Internalism, the view that possession of a normative reason for the performance of an action entails that one can be motivated to perform that action, and Motivational Existence Internalism, the view that if one is obligated to perform an action, then one can be motivated to perform that action. My thesis is that these positions cannot accommodate the fact that reasonable moral agents are frequently motivated to act only because they believe theircontemplated actions to be morally obligatory. The failure to accommodate this fact is reason to reject these two types of internalism about reasons.
49. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Vernon Cisney Categories of Life: The Status of the Camp in Derrida and Agamben
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This essay is an exploration of the relationship between Agamben’s 1995 text, Homo Sacer, and Derrida’s 1992 “Force of Law” essay. Agamben attempts to show that the camp, as the topological space of the state of exception, has become the biopolitical paradigm for modernity. He draws this conclusion on the basis of a distinction, which he finds in an essay by Walter Benjamin, between categories of life, with the “pro-tagonist” of the work being what he calls homo sacer, orbare life—life that is stripped of its humanity and value. Five years earlier, in 1990, Derrida had given a lecture at UCLA (later published in its entirety as “The Force of Law”) in which he had analyzed the very same essay by Benjamin and had highlighted the distinction between “base life” and “just life.” The implications of his analysis show a discomforting prox-imity between Benjaminian messianism and the Nazi “final solution,” a conclusion that Agamben dismisses entirely. Inthis paper, however, I demonstrate that the structures of the two works are quite similar in many important ways. I argue that, though the broad scope of Agamben’s work is original in many respects, and I would not wish to reduce Agamben’s work to Derridean repetitions, he nevertheless utilizes much more of Derrida’s analysis, specifically with respect to the categori-zation of life, than he would like the reader to believe.
50. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
David DeGrazia Moral Status As a Matter of Degree?
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Some people contend that fetuses have moral status but less than that of paradigm persons. Many people hold views implying that sentient animals have moral status but less than that of persons. These positions suggest that moral status admits of degrees. Does it? To address this question, we must first clarify what it means to speak of degrees of moral status. The paper begins by clarifying the more basic concept of moral status and presenting two models of degrees ofmoral status. It then sketches several significant considerations in favor of, and several against, the assertion of degrees of moral status. The paper concludes by drawing lessons from the discussion.
51. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Stephen Ellis The Varieties of Instrumental Rationality
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It is a mistake to think that instrumental rationality fixes a single standard for judging or describing actions. While there is a core conception of instrumental rationality, we appeal to different elaborations of that conception for different purposes. An action can be instrumentally rational in some sense(s) but not in others. As we learn more about behavior, it is possible to add useful elaborations of the core conception of instrumental rationality. In this paper, I propose a newelaboration based on Frederic Schick’s work on understandings.
52. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Christoph Kelp Classical Invariantism and the Puzzle of Fallibilism
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This paper revisits a puzzle that arises for theories of knowledge according to which one can know on the basis of merely inductive grounds. No matter how strong such theories require inductive grounds to be if a belief based on them is to qualify as knowledge, there are certain beliefs (namely, about the outcome of fair lotteries) that are based on even stronger inductive grounds, while, intuitively, they do not qualify as knowledge. This paper discusses what is often regardedas the most promising classical invariantist solution to the puzzle, namely, that beliefs about the outcomes of fair lotteries do not qualify as knowledge because they are too lucky to do so (or, relatedly, because they do not satisfy a safety condition on knowledge), while other beliefs based on potentially weaker inductive grounds are not too lucky (or, relatedly, because they are safe). A case is presented that shows that this solution to the puzzle is actually not viable. It is argued that there is no obvious alternative solution in sight and that therefore the puzzle still awaits a classical invariantist solution.
53. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Rebecca J. Lloyd Situating Time in the Leibnizian Hierarchy of Beings
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Leibniz’s widely influential account of time provides a significant puzzle for those seeking to locate this account within his hierarchical ontology. Leibniz follows his scholastic predecessors in supposing that there are different grades of being, with substances being the most real and all other things possessing their reality via their relationships to substance. Following this picture, Leibniz suggests that phenomenal bodies only possess the being that they derive from the substances (i.e., monads) that ground them. Some would argue that time likewise only possesses its being based on the bodies that it relates. Contrary to this suggestion (i.e., that time is twice removed from substances), I will argue that time is derived directly from rational souls. Thus, I will argue that time is on an ontological par with the phenomenal world of bodies.
54. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Stephen R. Palmquist Kant’s Quasi-Transcendental Argument for a Necessary and Universal Evil Propensity in Human Nature
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In Part One of Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason, Kant repeatedly refers to a “proof ” that human nature has a necessary and universal “evil propensity,” but he provides only obscure hints at its location. Interpreters have failed to identify such an argument in Part One. After examining relevant passages, summarizing recent attempts to reconstruct the argument, and explaining why these do not meet Kant’s stated needs, I argue that the elusive proof must have atranscendental form (called quasi-transcendental because Kant never uses “transcendental” in Religion). With deceptive simplicity, the section titles of Part One, viewed as components in an architechtonic system of religion, constitute steps in just such a proof.
55. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 2
Daniel C. Russell That “Ought” Does Not Imply “Right”: Why It Matters for Virtue Ethics
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Virtue ethicists sometimes say that a right action is what a virtuous person would do, characteristically, in the circumstances. But some have objected recently that right action cannot be defined as what a virtuous person would do in the circumstances because there are circumstances in which a right action is possible but in which no virtuous person would be found. This objection moves from the premise that a given person ought to do an action that no virtuous person would do, to the conclusion that the action is a right action. I demon-strate that virtue ethicists distinguish “ought” from “right” and reject the assumption that “ought” implies “right.” I then show how their rejection of that assumption blocks this “right but not virtuous” objection. I conclude by showing how the thesis that “ought” does not imply “right” can clarify a further dispute in virtue ethics regarding whether “ought” implies “can.”
56. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1
Hagit Benbaji Material Objects, Constitution, and Mysterianism
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It is sometimes claimed that ordinary objects, such as mountains and chairs, are not material in their own right, but only in virtue of the fact that they are constituted by matter. As Fine puts it, they are “onlyderivatively material” (2003, 211). In this paper I argue that invoking “constitution” to account for the materiality of things that are not material in their own right explains nothing and renders the admission that these objects are indeed material completely mysterious. Although there may be metaphysical contexts in which mysterianism can be accepted with equanimity, I further argue, the question of the materiality of quotidian objects is not one of them.
57. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1
Stephen Ellis The Main Argument for Value Incommensurability (and Why It Fails)
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Arguments for value incommensurability ultimately depend on a certain diagnosis of human motivation. Incommensurablists hold that each person’s basic ends are not only irreducible but also incompatiblewith one another. It isn’t merely that some goals can’t, in fact, be jointly realized; values actually compete for influence. This account makes a mistake about the nature of human motivation. Each valueunderwrites a ceteris paribus evaluation. Such assessments are mutually compatible because the observation that there is something to be said for an outcome from a particular perspective allows for any ultimate evaluation of that outcome. Values can be irreducible without thereby being incommensurable.
58. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1
René Jagnow Disappearing Appearances: On the Enactive Approach to Spatial Perceptual Content
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Many viewers presented with a round plate tilted to their line of sight will report that they see a round plate that looks elliptical from their perspective. Alva Noë thinks that we should take reports of this kind as adequate descriptions of the phenomenology of spatial experiences. He argues that his so-called enactive or sensorimotor account of spatial perceptual content explains why both the plate’s circularity and itselliptical appearance are phenomenal aspects of experience. In this paper, I critique the phenomenal adequacy of Noë’s sensorimotor account of spatial perceptual content. I begin by showing that some ofits central claims are in conflict with the phenomenology of perceptual experience. I then argue that shape appearances have no phenomenal reality, thus undermining this central motivation for his account.
59. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1
Timothy Lane, Caleb Liang Higher-Order Thought and the Problem of Radical Confabulation
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Currently, one of the most influential theories of consciousness is Rosenthal’s version of higher-order-thought (HOT). We argue that the HOT theory allows for two distinct interpretations: a one-componentand a two-component view. We further argue that the two-component view is more consistent with his effort to promote HOT as an explanatory theory suitable for application to the empirical sciences.Unfortunately, the two-component view seems incapable of handling a group of counterexamples that we refer to as cases of radical confabulation. We begin by introducing the HOT theory and by indicating why we believe it is open to distinct interpretations. We then proceed to show that it is incapable of handling cases of radical confabulation. Finally, in the course of considering various possible responses to our position, we show that adoption of a disjunctive strategy, one that would countenance both one-component and two-component versions, would fail to provide any empirical or explanatory advantage.
60. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 46 > Issue: 1
James McGuirk Phenomenological Reduction, Epochē, and the Speech of Socrates in the Symposium
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The point of the present article is to investigate whether the key conceptions of epochē and reduction as found in Husserl’s phenomenology can be brought to bear in a fruitful rereading of the speech of Socrates in Plato’s Symposium. In pursuit of this goal, I will begin by revisiting the traditional reading of this speech in terms of a scala amoris in which the erotic subject is guided from attachment to a series ofinferior objects to the Beautiful and Good itself such that the value of all preceding attachments is suspended. The critique that this approach to love instrumentalizes all but the transcendent Good is one that is found both within and without the text. In opposition to this reading, however, I will suggest that Husserl’s notions of epochē and reduction enable us to read the speech not as an instrumentalizing scala but in terms of a reflective distance in which our immersion in and with the erotic object is suspended so that we might reappropriate the real meaning of erotic engagement. According to this reading, Plato does not negate the particular or lower forms of eros but reinscribes them with a value derived from their position in relation to the ultimate. The suspension of the lower forms, then, is not final but is merely employed in order to let what occurs in erotic engagement show itself.