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1. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Philip de Bary The Reason Why: A Theory of Philosophical Explanation by Edo Pivcevic
2. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Bogdana Todorova Understanding Islam by Cafer S. Yaran
3. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Editorial Board Foreword
4. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Lilia Gurova Philosophy of Science A-Z by Stathis Psillos
5. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Dimitri Ginev The Transcendental Dimension of Heidegger’s Analytic of Predication
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The threads of linguistic philosophy in Being and Time oppose the prevailing tendency to understand language philosophically within the confines of representational epistemology. In elaborating on the ontological aspects of the view of human beings as inhabiting a linguistically articulated world, the paper stresses the peculiar status of the “fore-structure of understanding” in the discursive articulation as an existential phenomenon of being-in-the-world.
6. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Nenad Mišcevic Can We Save A Priori Knowledge?
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The paper joins Horwich’s criticism of stipulationist accounts of a priori knowledge, and raises some problems for his own account of the a priori. It first questions the assumed separability of scientific investigation and non-scieentific assertoric practices in regard to norms of adequacy. It also questioned Horwich’s Restriction Assumption according to which only the former are answerable to the standards of empirical adequacy and overall simplicity (which threaten apriority in the case of science). Finally, it criticises his argument that inability to think otherwise might guarantee apriority, pointing to science-driven reflective revisability of possibly innate beliefs.
7. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Nina Dimitrova Der Untergang Des Abendlandes in The Bulgarian Cultural Area
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The main purpose of the research over the presence of Spengler’s famous book “Der Untergang des Abendlandes” in the Bulgarian intellectual area between the two world wars is to find explanation about the power and significance of the prophecy that the book contained – especially in the “Bulgarian case.” An accent is put on the interaction between Spengler’s ideas about the decline of the West, and the Eurasian movement whose manifesto carried the emblematic title “Back to the East.” The conclusion is that Spengler’s book played its most important role with regard to this vital question for Bulgarian national selfconsciousness– the definition of Bulgarian cultural identity.
8. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Danilo Šuster Non Sequitur – Some Reflections on Informal Logic
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Some general, programmatic points about informal logic are addressed. The informal approach to argument analysis faces serious foundational problems which have been recognized by its practitioners – but informal logic has yet to come together as a clearly defined discipline. Another problem is the dilemma of the dialectician (Sextus Empiricus): informal logic is either trivial or powerless on its own (field expertise is needed). According to Johnson and Blair the central notion in theory of argument is cogency which replaces soundness. An argument is cogent if and only if (i) its premises are rationally acceptable, (ii) its premises are relevant to its conclusion and (iii) its premises provide sufficient reason to accept the conclusion. I propose to understand cogency as a broader notion that includes deductively valid inferences. The criteria of cogency are simply the basic ideals of scientific methodology which requires a respect for available evidence and “reasonable” inference, an awareness of alternatives and a willingness to modify or reject those beliefs that fail to conform to the evidence. Informal logic in the sense of elementary scientific methodology is concerned with proper reasoning and not with proper dialogue. Informal logic involves non-trivial argumentativeskills and abilities applied to the subject area and accessible to every normally intelligent and educated person.
9. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Friderik Klampfer Should we Consult Kant when Assessing Agent’s Moral Responsibility for Harm?
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The focus of the paper is the conditions under which an agent can be justifiably held responsible or liable for the harmful consequences of his or her actions. Kant has famously argued that as long as the agent fulfills his or her moral duty, he or she cannot be blamed for any potential harm that might result from his or her action, no matter how foreseeable these may (have) be(en). I call this the Duty-Absolves-Thesis or DA. I begin by stating the thesis in a more precise form and then go on to assess, one by one, several possible justifications for it: that (i) it wasn’t the view Kant himself actually held or was committed to; (ii) there is nothing strange about the DA, either theoretically or intuitively; (iii) the DA is more plausible as an account of legal (either criminal or tort) liability; (iv) the DA becomesperfectly plausible when conceived as a thesis about what insulates the agent from either remedial moral responsibility or the demands of compensatory justice; (v) the rationale for the DA is to protect our moral assessment of agents and their actions from the threat of moral luck. I show, using the famous Inquiring Murderer example, all these (and some other) justificatory attempts unsuccessful. I conclude that besides being counter-intuitive, the DA-thesis also lacksfirm theoretical grounding and should therefore be rejected as (part of) an account of outcome moral responsibility.
10. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Joško Žanić Meaning and Truth
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The paper is divided into three parts. In the first part, four types of meaning theories are presented (namely, formal or truth-conditional theories, use theories, structuralism and the cognitivist and conceptualist approaches) with respect to how crucial they consider the notion of truth to be in the explication of meaning. In the second part, Conceptual Semantics, as the theory that understands the inquiry into meaning as an investigation of our conceptual structure, and doesn't use truth as a key notion, is advocated as a very promising approach. In the final part of the paper, a construal of truth as a matter of multiple fit is proposed as onethat both sits well with the framework of Conceptual Semantics and also sheds some light on the ways in which our cognitive system operates with the notion of truth.
11. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Mladen Domazet On What Value, My Lord? How Values Intervene in Hard Legal Cases
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The paper confronts the issue of single jurisprudence facing a value (-system) pluralism, the one often arising nowadays. Starting from the Raz – B. Williams debate, it outlines a proposal close to Raz’s but ontologically less demanding.
12. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Alexandru Boboc “Pragmatic Turn” in Contemporary Thinking. the Pragmatic Dimension and Shaping of the Pragmatic
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The study of a pragmatic dimension of semiotics appears only late in the history of this discipline. “Pragmatics” seems the last one called into the dispute of signs. The following study focusses on semiotics and the theory of action, stressing the distinction between “pragmatism” and “practical” matters within this philosophical discipline. The theory of “speech acts” is investigated and related to the new perspectives opened in the semiotics in order to highlight furtheravenues for research.
13. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Peter R. Costello Towards A Phenomenology Of Gratitude—A Response To Jean-Luc Marion
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Jean Luc-Marion’s assertion that Heidegger has not sufficiently addressed the notion of gratitude and the Call is incorrect. Based on Heidegger’s discussion in What is Called Thinking? of thankfulness and its relation to thinking, I argue that Heidegger indeed articulates a place for gratitude as the proper situation, the proper attitude of phenomenology. While I make an apology for Heidegger, I also note, however, that Husserl’s own discussions require more authentic reappraisal within the context of Heidegger’s work, thereby reinforcing the notion that gratitude has something to say in terms of the way phenomenology getsbuilt up over time, both in form and content.
14. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Information for contributors
15. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Alexandru Boboc The Philosophy of Culture by Marin Aiftincă
16. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Note from the Editorial Board
17. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Valerie Gray Hardcastle Intellectual Disability, Brain Damage, and Group-to-Individual Inferences: How the U.S. Court System Uses Neuroscience Data
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In this essay, I home in on the difficulties with group-to-individual (G2i) inferences in neuroscience and how they impact the legal system. I briefly outline how cognitive shortcutting can distort legal decisions, and then turn my attention to G2i inferences, with a special focus on issues of intellectual disability and brain damage. I argue that judges and juries are not situated to appreciate the nuances in brain data and that they are required to make clinical decisions without clinical training. As a result, they effectively ignore those responsibilities and simply decide cases in virtue of what they already believe to be true. How judges actually make decisions in highstakes criminal cases is troubling, but they are also hamstrung in a variety of ways.
18. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Drozdstoy St. Stoyanov Psychiatry and neurolaw: An Essay on the Mind-Brain Problem and Legal Proof
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The aim of this paper is to highlight the rationale behind the use of data from neuroscience, particularly neuroimaging, in psychiatric legal expert procedures and their interference with the mind-brain problem.The critical argument is that the employment of mental health evaluation of the defendants and/or witnesses as collected with clinical assessment methods in court proceedings should not be considered irrespective to the data from neuroscience. Essentially, neuroscience methods belong to the domain of nomothetic (natural explanatory) knowledge, whereas clinical evaluation methods in psychiatry belong to the domain of intra- and inter-subjective narratives. There exists an explanatory gap between those two groups of disciplines which concerns the ability to translate and integrate data across diverse methodological and terminological systems. Furthermore, it depends largely on the implicit positions in the mind-brain debate and the brain-to-behavior connections, which reflect on the professional and legal reasoning in terms of prioritizing certain solutions or approaches over another in the expert judgements. There are described those tacit positions adopted in the mind-brain debate by different traditions in psychiatry, with special emphasis on reductive and non-reductive forms of physicalism.In conclusion, a cognitive pluralist stance is adopted which sets priority for the supervenience theory of mind.
19. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Toma Strle, Olga Markič Looping effects of neurolaw, and the precarious marriage between neuroscience and the law
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In the following article we first present the growing trend of incorporating neuroscience into the law, and the growing acceptance of and trust in neuroscience’s mechanistic and reductionistic explanations of the human mind. We then present and discuss some studies that show how nudging peoples’ beliefs about matters related to human agency (such as free will, decision-making, or self-control) towards a more deterministic, mechanistic and/or reductionistic conception, exerts an influence on their very actions, mentality, and brain processes. We suggest that the neuroscientific view of the human mind exerts an influence on the very cognitive phenomena neuroscience falsely believes to be studying objectively. This holds especially when we consider the systematic integration of neuroscience into the public domain, such as the law. For, such an integration acts as a reinforcement of the public’s and legal decision-makers’ endorsement of and trust in neuroscience’s view of human nature that further changes how people think and act. Such looping effects of neurolaw are probably inevitable. Accordingly, we should be aware of the scope of neuroscientific explanations and be careful not to overstate neuroscientific evidence and findings in legal contexts.
20. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Bartosz Janik, Maciej Próchnicki Naturalizing the subjective side of the crime: a few introductory remarks on the role of consciousness in criminal law based on American and Polish examples
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Advancements in neuroscience cast new light on the functioning of the human mind. This is especially important within the context of criminal law, wherein consciousness plays a crucial role in determining criminal responsibility. Yet, there are some caveats in the direct application of these new findings, most of which are related to the specific conceptual framework of law based upon commonsense knowledge and (sometimes) outdated psychology. This framework has also produced different doctrines of interpretation in the systems of common and civil law. Moreover, the goals of the law are to some extent different from scientific research on the brain. The aim of this study is to assess to what extent and under what interpretation scientific knowledge concerning consciousness might be useful for legal purposes, especially for the criminal law. Our assessment is that most of the current concepts of criminal law are directly related to outdated psychological and neuroscientific theories, and that the content of those concepts should be updated according to the newest scientific findings while remaining in accordance with the primary functions of criminal law.