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Displaying: 81-100 of 885 documents

book exchange: epistemological disjunctivism
81. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Sanford Goldberg Comments on Pritchard’s Epistemological Disjunctivism
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Among the many virtues Duncan Pritchard ascribes to his disjunctivist position in Epistemic Disjunctivism, he claims it defeats the skeptic in an attractive fashion. In this paper I argue that his engagement with the skeptic is not entirely successful.
82. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Ram Neta How Holy is the Disjunctivist Grail?
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In his book Epistemological Disjunctivism, Duncan Pritchard describes disjunctivism as the “holy grail” of epistemology. This is because, according to him, disjunctivism enjoys the advantages of both internalism and externalism without suffering from their disadvantages. In this paper, I argue that Pritchard fails to make his case for this claim.
83. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Clayton Littlejohn Pritchard’s Reasons
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Pritchard’s epistemological disjunctivist thinks that when we come to know things through vision our perceptual beliefs are based on reasons that provide factive support. The reasons that constitute the rational basis for your belief that the page before you is white and covered in black marks entails that it is and includes things that could not have provided rational support for your beliefs if you had been hallucinating. There are some issues that I would like to raise. First, what motivation is there for thinking that this sort of view is preferable to a more traditional internalist view that insists that the rational support for our beliefs is always limited to things that are common to the cases of knowledge and subjectively indistinguishable cases of non-knowledge? I suspect that an important part of the motivation for the view comes from worries about skepticism. Second, if we’re worried about skepticism, can we resist these skeptical pressures without an appeal to metaphysical disjunctivism? Pritchard’s epistemological disjunctivist differs from McDowell’s in that Pritchard’s epistemological disjunctivist doesn’t take up controversial positions in the philosophy of perception. Is this kind of neutrality tenable? Third, should we follow Pritchard in thinking that the rational basis for our perceptual beliefs involves reasons? What specifically is the relationship between cases in which there is something the subject knows and cases in which there is something that is the subject’s reason for believing what she does?
84. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Duncan Pritchard Epistemological Disjunctivism: Responses to My Critics
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A response to commentaries on my book, Epistemological Disjunctivism (Oxford University Press, 2012), by Sanford Goldberg, Clayton Littlejohn, and Ram Neta. The themes covered include: the viability of the epistemological disjunctivist response to radical skepticism (Goldberg); the extent to which epistemological disjunctivism has dialectical advantages over classical epistemic internalism from an anti-sceptical point of view (Neta); and whether epistemological disjunctivism incorporates the right view of the nature of reasons (Littlejohn).
85. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Ryan W. Davis Can Consequentialism Require Selfishness?
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A moral theory that is consequentialist, welfarist, and impartialist can sometimes require providing a benefit to oneself, rather than to others. However, it seems intuitively wrong that selfish actions could be morally required. This essay develops a version of what has been called the selfishness objection, and considers how consequentialist views might respond to it. I argue that some proposed modifications to consequentialist theories to avoid the problem are objectionably ad hoc. That is, they risk discharging important motivating assumptions of the theory. Nor can the problem be dissolved by claiming the selfishness problem is empirically unlikely. Instead, I suggest that that the problem raises persistent doubts about whether we can be morally required to promote impartial welfare. Such doubts may indicate that well-being lacks the normative significance sometimes attributed to it.
86. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Neil Levy Culpable Ignorance: A Reply to Robichaud
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In earlier work, I argued that agents are blameworthy for their ignorance only when they have akratically failed to take advantage of an opportunity to improve their epistemic situation, because it is only when agents judge that they ought to take such an opportunity that they can reasonably be expected to do so. In response, Philip Robichaud argues that the conditions under which agents may reasonably be expected to improve their epistemic situation are broader than I recognize, and that culpable ignorance is more common that I believe. He also claims to show that my account of internalist reasons cannot do the work I demand of it. In response, I elaborate the conception of ‘capacity’ my account requires. If we pay attention to the conditions under which it is reasonable to expect an agent to exercise a capacity, I maintain, we can identify a sense of the term that plays the role I want: showing that agents can reasonably be expected to take advantage of an opportunity to improve their epistemic situation only when they would be akratic in not doing so.
87. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Yubraj Aryal The Human: Neither “Man” Nor God
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Going against the anthropocentric view of the human as a realized essence, the paper introduces a different understanding of the human in terms of relations of “forces.” Employing the posthumanist ideas of Michel Foucault and Gilles Deleuze, I will attempt to show how outside forces enter into relations with the inside forces of life and how this compounds the formation of the human at a certain historical time; how we have passed through different types of forces and created new becomings at different times; and how these different relations of forces have constantly been influencing and transversing our notion of the human.
88. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Kelly Becker Epistemology Without Certainty or Necessity
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In Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Richard Rorty presents powerful arguments against traditional epistemology, conceived as a quest both for empirical grounds that provide certainty and for necessary truths that provide a conceptual framework within which to couch empirical findings. Rorty finds traditional epistemology in general, and specifically any appeal to representation that might ground knowledge, to be an unmitigated failure. In this paper, I show that Rorty at least considered but ultimately rejected the possibility of a type of epistemically relevant, foundational representation with a normative status. Drawing on the work of Tyler Burge, I argue that Rorty was too quick in dismissing the important, epistemically foundational role of perceptual representation. A new and improved picture of foundational epistemology emerges. Throughout the paper, I aim to shed light on the fundamental disconnect between Rorty’s and Burge’s approaches to epistemology, and to philosophical investigation more generally.
89. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Kam-Yuen Cheng Kamm’s Doctrine of Triple Effect and Non-State-of-Mind Principle
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Frances Kamm initially argues for her Doctrine of Triple Effect (DTE), which states that it is morally impermissible to act with an evil intention but permissible to act merely because of an evil. The DTE distinguishes three kinds of effects: intended/because-of/merely-foreseen. Later, she replaces it with a non-state-of-mind principle, which states that the permissibility of an action does not depend on the agent’s mental states fundamentally. In this paper, I will first discuss Kamm’s defenses of the DTE and raise my objections to them. Next, I will examine Joseph Shaw’s challenge to the DTE and Kamm’s own criticism of the DTE. I argue that Shaw misses the point but Kamm’s criticism is valid. Afterwards, I will explicate and support Kamm’s non-state-of-mind principle. I will contend that the permissibility of an action depends on the agent’s mental states only derivatively. Finally, I will argue that even if there is a psychological difference between acting with the intention of an evil and acting because of the evil, there is no difference in their permissibility.
90. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Ernst Wolff “Technology” as the Critical Social Theory of Human Technicity
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The aim of this article is to argue for an interdisciplinary social theoretical approach to the technicity of human agency. This approach covers the spectrum of individual and social action from a perspective that logically precedes techno-optimism and techno-pessimism, and is intended to be both descriptively and normatively plausible. The study is anchored in a critical reading of Aristotle’s thought on techné and phronésis, as his work is the precursor of action theory and phenomenological hermeneutics, the central methodological orientations of this study. The importance of the “disposition formed under the guidance of reason” as the unifying trait of agency is affirmed with, and against, Aristotle. The article advocates reactivating and developing this trait of agency for a descriptive and critical discourse on the technicity of action, providing an outline of how to accomplish this task. The technicity of the individual agent is examined, reflecting on rule-following, the relation between technicity and creativity, and the interpretative moment of technicity. Next, the interwovenness of the skilful body with biological, social and symbolic aspects of human existence and with systems of technical artefacts is clarified. Finally, a case is made for the critical potential of this “technology,” reverting to Aristotelian means of normative thought.
91. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Andrés Luco Morality or “False Consciousness”? How Moral Naturalists Can Answer Thrasymachus’s Challenge
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In Book I of Plato’s Republic, Thrasymachus famously maintains that ideas of morality and justice are nothing more than an ideology indoctrinated in “the weaker” to benefit “the stronger.” This is Thrasymachus’s challenge to morality: the thesis that some social arrangements, including some moral norms, are products of “false consciousness.” False consciousness occurs when a dominant social group shapes the beliefs and desires of a subordinate group in such a way that the subordinates act for the benefit of the dominants, but against their own interests. In this paper, I grant that some moral norms emerge or persist because of false consciousness. However, I shall argue that these norms actually have the function of impartially promoting the interests of all persons in their range of application. Even if the actual effect of false consciousness norms is to benefit a powerful class while being harmful and discriminatory toward others, the true function of false consciousness norms is the intended effect that they were designed to have. And the crucial feature of false consciousness norms is that their designers—particularly subordinates—teach, preach, follow, and enforce them with the intention of promoting the mutual interests of everyone to whom the norms apply.
92. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Abel B. Franco Cartesian Passions: Our (Imperfect) Natural Guides Towards Perfection
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I defend that Cartesian passions are a function—in fact, the only function—of the mind-body union responsible for guiding us in the pursuit of our (natural) perfection, a perfection that we increase by joining goods that our nature deems to be so. This view is in conflict, on one hand, with those (a majority) who have emphasized either the epistemic or survival role of our passions and, on the other and more precisely, with a recent proposal according to which Cartesian passions should not be even seen as guides for happiness. Against the latter, I will attempt to show that passions perform a guiding function (1) by discriminating what is “important” for us regarding the increase of our natural perfection (which includes informing the soul about the current state of perfection both of the body and of the mind-body union); and (2) by disposing us to act (which includes proposing to the will possible ways of action to increase or maintain our perfection). Our passions are, thus, both informative and motivational. Making explicit their informative role will require, negatively, showing that this does not mean they are reliable and, positively, undertaking a study—largely absent among commentaries—of their specific intentionality.
93. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Matthew T. Flummer In Defense of Tracing
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John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza (1998) claim that reflection on tracing cases partially motivates the idea that moral responsibility is essentially historical. Fischer and Ravizza contend that in cases in which an agent is morally responsible for an action despite lacking the right kind of control, we must appeal to tracing. In a pair of recent papers, Andrew Khoury (2012) and Matt King (2014) have argued that tracing is not a necessary feature of moral responsibility. King argues that in tracing cases, the agent’s responsibility can be fully explained either by appeal to recklessness or by negligence. Khoury notes that the agent in a tracing case is claimed to be responsible for the consequences of his action even though he does not satisfy the control condition at the time of action. But he argues that agents cannot be responsible for the consequences of their actions. If no one is morally responsible for consequences, then tracing is unnecessary. In this paper, I will argue that both Khoury and King’s respective arguments fail to show that tracing is not a necessary part of a successful theory of moral responsibility.
94. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Karin Nisenbaum The Legacy of Salomon Maimon: Philosophy as a System Actualized In Freedom
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It is no longer disputed that Salomon Maimon decisively influenced the emergence and development of post-Kantian German Idealism. Yet there is far less consensus on how to interpret most aspects of Maimon’s thought, including the nature and philosophical significance of his skepticism and the reasons that compelled him to challenge Kant’s transcendental deduction of the categories or pure concepts of the understanding in the Critique of Pure Reason. In this article, I argue that the two ideas that define Fichte’s doctrine of science or Wissenschaftslehre—the necessity of a common derivation of all a priori knowledge from one principle, and the idea that philosophy should be based on freedom—can be traced back to Maimon’s Essay on Transcendental Philosophy. I also argue that, by emphasizing the regulative role of the ideas of pure reason in Kant’s account of empirical cognition, Maimon enables a rereading of the argumentative structure of the first Critique that reveals the relationship between sensibility, understanding, and reason. This rereading of the first Critique shows that Kant has the resources to address Maimon’s key challenges, but it also puts pressure on his discursive account of human cognition.
95. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Denise Gamble Cinematic Realism Revisited: A Kantian Perspective
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An anti-realist stance prevalent in philosophy of film, probably less familiar to analytical than continental philosophers, raises issues that are philosophically accessible and engaging. While this anti-realist stance can be historically situated many of its constituent ideas remain influential in contemporary milieus. A common claim of anti-realism is that realist art or cinema, in part by virtue of “reification,” is inherently “non-transformative.” Without rigorously refuting all manifestations of the “reification thesis,” key assumptions of anti-realism associated with it are challenged in this paper. An aesthetic and a political-ideological anti-realist thesis are identified and critiqued. Kant’s distinction between “aesthetic” and “mechanical art” provides a basis for defending a form of cinematic realism that vindicates its potential transformative power. The Kantian framework provides a reference point for a comparative analysis of Brecht’s and Lukács’s views on anti-realism versus realism as well as for a favorable reconsideration of André Bazin’s cinematic realism.
96. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Ryan Jenkins Rule Consequentialism and Moral Relativism
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Rule consequentialism is usually taken to recommend a single ideal code for all moral agents. Here I argue that, depending on their theoretical motivations, some rule consequentialists have good reasons to be relativists. Rule consequentialists who are moved by consequentialist considerations ought to support a scheme of multiple relativized moral codes because we could expect such a scheme to have better consequences in terms of impartial aggregate wellbeing than a single universal code. Rule consequentialists who find compelling the theory’s coherence with our considered moral intuitions should do the same because a scheme of multiple codes could better cohere with our intuitions about costless benefits, though these intuitions must be weighed against our allegiance to moral universalism.
97. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Tristan Haze A Counterexample to the Breckenridge-Magidor Account of Instantial Reasoning
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In a recent paper, Breckenridge and Magidor argue for an interesting and counterintuitive account of instantial reasoning. According to this account, in arguments such as one beginning with ‘There is some x such that x is mortal. Let O be such an x. . . . ,’ the ‘O’ refers to a particular object, although we cannot know which. I give and defend a simple counterexample involving the notion of an unreferred-to object.
98. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Casey Woodling The Indispensability and Irreducibility of Intentional Objects
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In this paper, I argue against Michael Gorman’s objection to Tim Crane’s view of intentional objects. Gorman (“Talking about Intentional Objects,” 2006), following Searle (Intentionality, 1983), argues that intentional content can be cashed out solely in terms of conditions of satisfaction. For Gorman, we have reason to prefer his more minimal satisfaction-condition approach to Crane’s because we cannot understand Crane’s notion of an intentional object when applied to non-existent objects. I argue that Gorman’s criticism rests on a misunderstanding of Crane’s position. I also discuss the importance of keeping track of the distinction between the intentional objects of intentional states and the referents of such states. I do agree with Gorman that conditions of satisfaction are needed to cash out propositional intentional content, but we cannot get these conditions of satisfaction right if we do not capture how the subject takes the world to be. And we cannot properly capture how the subject takes the world to be without commitment to intentional objects. I argue that Crane’s notion of an intentional object is one that avoids questionable ontological commitments. So, in the end we have a view of intentional objects with a respectable metaphysics and ontology that can properly capture the intentional content of subjects’ intentional states.
99. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
James Osborn The Overturning of Heidegger’s Fundamental Ontology
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In this paper I argue that the central issue in Heidegger’s path of thought from Being and Time to Contributions and beyond is what he will later call “the matter itself”: neither the meaning of being nor the analysis of Dasein but a transformational encounter in the margins of fundamental ontology. Heidegger’s account of temporality and transcendence from the late 1920s is a clue to the transformation, but it is not until the completion of fundamental ontology in the naming of ontological difference that he arrives at a crisis which performs the transformation and announces the “overturning.” This interpretation revolves around a reading of Heidegger’s 1929 treatise “On the Essence of Ground” in which the text and subsequent marginal notes prepare the transition from Being and Time to Contributions, from Sein to Seyn, and from ontological difference to its appropriation. Thus we find that the language of Ereignis beginning in the 1930s and whatever we might call the “turn” signal the doing of justice to the original task from Being and Time.
100. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 41
Alfred Archer Motivational Judgement Internalism and the Problem of Supererogation
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Motivational judgment internalists hold that there is a necessary connection between moral judgments and motivation. There is, though, an important lack of clarity in the literature about the types of moral evaluation the theory is supposed to cover. It is rarely made clear whether the theory is intended to cover all moral judgments or whether the claim covers only a subset of such judgments. In this paper I will investigate which moral judgments internalists should hold their theory to apply to. I will argue that the possibility of the supererogation amoralist, someone who makes genuine supererogation judgments but remains unmotivated by them, makes it implausible to be an internalist about moral goodness. As a result, internalists should restrict their claim to moral requirement judgments. I will then argue that this creates an explanatory burden for internalism. In order for their view to be plausible they must explain why some moral judgments and not others are necessarily connected to motivation.