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121. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
François Recanati Empty Thoughts and Vicarious Thoughts in the Mental File Framework
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Mental files have a referential role—they serve to think about objects in the world—but they also have a meta-representational role: when ‘indexed’, they serve to represent how other subjects think about objects in the world. This additional, meta-representational function of files is invoked to shed light on the uses of empty singular terms in negative existentials and pseudo-singular attitude ascriptions.
122. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Friderik Klampfer Consequentializing Moral Responsibility
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In the paper, I try to cast some doubt on traditional attempts to define, or explicate, moral responsibility in terms of deserved praise and blame. Desert-based accounts of moral responsibility, though no doubt more faithful to our ordinary notion of moral responsibility, tend to run into trouble in the face of challenges posed by a deterministic picture of the world on the one hand and the impact of moral luck on human action on the other. Besides, grounding responsibility in desert seems to support ascriptions of pathological blame to agents trapped in moral dilemmas as well as of excess blame in cases of joint action. Desert is also notoriously difficult, if not impossible, to determine (at least with sufficient precision). And finally, though not least important, recent empirical research on people’s responsibility judgments reveals our common-sense notion of responsibility to be hopelessly confused and easily manipulated.So it may be time to rethink our inherited theory and practice of moral responsibility. Our theoretical and practical needs may be better served by a less intractable, more forward-looking notion of responsibility. The aim of the paper is to contrast the predominant, desert-based accounts of moral responsibility with their rather unpopular rival, the consequence-based accounts, and then show that the latter deserve more consideration than usually granted by their opponents. In the course of doing so, I assess, and ultimately reject, a number of objections that have been raised against consequentialist accounts of moral responsibility: that it (i) doesn’t do justice to our common-sense theory and practice of responsibility; (ii) ties responsibility too closely to infl uenceability, thereby exposing itself to the charge of counter-intuitivity; (iii) assigns undeserved responsibility (praise, blame) to agents; (iv) confuses ‘being responsible’ with ‘holding responsible’‚ and (v) provides the wrong-kind-of-reason for praise and blame. My negative and positive case may not add up to a knockdown argument in favour of revising our ordinary notion of responsibility. As long as the considerations adduced succeed in presenting the consequentialist alternative as a serious contender to a pre-arranged marriage between moral responsibility and desert, however, I’m happy to rest my case.
123. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Neil Gascoigne The Metaphilosophical Significance of Scepticism
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The aim of this paper is to contribute to an appreciation of the metaphilosophical significance of scepticism. It proceeds by investigating what the differing characterisations of the sceptical threat reveal about the kind of understanding that is being sought; and specifically, what this envisaged understanding connotes concerning how epistemological inquiry is itself conceived. An investigation, that is to say, into how these characterisations support or help constitute that conception of inquiry by attempting to keep a relationship with ‘the sceptic’ going on their own terms.
124. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Guido Melchior A Generality Problem for Bootstrapping and Sensitivity
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Vogel argues that sensitivity accounts of knowledge are implausible because they entail that we cannot have any higher-level knowledge that our beliefs are true, not false. Becker and Salerno object that Vogel is mistaken because he does not formalize higher-level beliefs adequately. They claim that if formalized correctly, higher-level beliefs are sensitive, and can therefore constitute knowledge. However, these accounts do not consider the belief-forming method as sensitivity accounts require. If we take bootstrapping as the belief-forming method, as the discussed cases suggest, then we face a generality problem. Our higher-level beliefs as formalized by Becker and Salerno turn out to be sensitive according to a wide reading of bootstrapping, but insensitive according to a narrow reading. This particular generality problem does not arise for the alternative accounts of process reliabilism and basis-relative safety. Hence,sensitivity accounts not only deliver opposite results given different formalizations of higher-level beliefs, but also for the same formalization, depending on how we interpret bootstrapping. Therefore, sensitivity accounts do not fail because they make higher-level knowledge impossible, as Vogel argues, and they do not succeed in allowing higher-level knowledge, as Becker and Salerno suggest. Rather, their problem is that they deliver far too heterogeneous results.
125. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Rudi Kotnik Philosophy Textbooks: A Gap between Philosophical Content and Doing Philosophy
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The purpose of the paper is to explore to what extent the book Doing Philosophy written by Gerald Rochelle can contribute to practical issues of teaching philosophy as doing philosophy. Students often feel a gap between what is offered in textbooks and what is required from them in learning objectives: their own philosophical activity and creativity. The outstanding feature of Doing Philosophy is the author’s continual insistence on questioning; in the long term, this could develop a valuable philosophical attitude of problematisation. Rochelle’s intention is not so much to present philosophical content but more to invite the reader toexplore the recommended Further Reading. He guides the reader from the question, through the argument to the conclusion. The growing edge of the book and the approach is the domain of conceptualisation. This attitude of questioning that could be expanded to this domain as well remains within the areas of problematisation and argumentation. The book can help students and teachers with its novel encouragement of their questioning and can be combined with other philosophical sources.
126. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Moti Mizrahi Essentialism: Metaphysical or Psychological?
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In this paper, I argue that Psychological Essentialism (PE), the view that essences are a heuristic or mental shortcut, is a better explanation for modal intuitions than Metaphysical Essentialism (ME), the view that objects have essences, or more precisely, that (at least some) objects have (at least some) essential properties. If this is correct, then the mere fact that we have modal intuitions is not a strong reason to believe that objects have essential properties.
127. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Peter Gärdenfors A Semantic Theory of Word Classes
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Within linguistics a word class is defined in grammatical terms as a set of words that exhibit the same syntactic properties. In this paper the aim is to argue that the meanings of different word classes can be given a cognitive grounding. It is shown that with the aid of conceptual spaces, a geometric analysis can be provided for the major word classes. A universal single-domain thesis is proposed, saying that words in all content word classes, except for nouns, refer to a single domain.
128. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Peter Gärdenfors Comments: The Role of Attention in Lexical Semantics
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This article contains comments on the other papers in this volume. I take up the roles of the world, the mind and the society in my semantic theory. I show how semantic differences between languages can be seen as attending to different parts of event structures. The role of the emotion domain in relation to the meaning of pejoratives is discussed. Finally, the idea that articles in language should be seen as an extension of pointing is shown to be congenial with my theory of semantics based on conceptual spaces.
129. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Maja Brala-Vukanović Articles as a Lexical Pointing System. Is Unique Identifi ability a Linguistic and Cognitive Universal?
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Departing from the observation that traditional philosophical, lexical and foreign language approaches to the article system seem to fail in providing a satisfactory outline of article meaning, this paper aims at proposing an alternative, cognitively based account of the semantics of articles. The proposal is to view these closed-class elements as markers of communicative intention; while being more ‘elliptic’ than open-class lexical items, articles appear to be also more cognitively constrained in the meaning that they lexicalize. In other words, articles are likely to express content that is more ‘cognitively real’, and shared by subfields of human cognition other than language. The system of articles (in various languages) is perhaps best understood not as a peculiar phenomenonthat exhausts itself in the description of a list of usage rules, as is currently the trend, but rather as a range of possible codings of the status of nominal reference, whereby different languages choose to express different coding patterns, which can all, crucially, be reconciled with the semantic but also cognitive primitive of ‘pointing’ (as explored by Gärdenfors, 2014: ch. 4). In final analysis it is suggested that pointing on the one hand, and referential (unique) identification on the other, are one and the same communicative universal, with only one distinction: the former is essentially physical and the latter primarily linguistic (lexical), but the two actually overlap. Accessing this (overlapping) conceptual content of the formal linguistic element known as ‘article’ means accessing article meaning, and understanding this link provides new hopes for theoretical and methodological representation of article systems (crosslinguistically).
130. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Dunja Jutronić Are Meanings in the Head? The Explanation of Lexical Attrition
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The main question I consider in this paper is: What is the (explanatory) place of the social in cognitive linguistics? More specifically I am mainly occupied with the relationship of mind-internal (individual) and mind-external (social) in cognitive linguistics, particularly in lexical semantics that Gärdenfors talks about in the second part of his book The Geometry of Meaning.I argue in this paper that the idea of meaning being basically in the head/mind is fine but not really controversial. What is controversial is whether the mental states that are responsible for meaning are at least partly constituted by their relations to the external (social) world. If communicative acts “as part of the process of building meanings” in any way constitute meanings, then meanings in the head by themselves cannot play the explanatory role it is given to them by cognitivists.I try to prove my point on the example of sociolinguistic analysis of lexical loss in Split dialect arguing that the mechanism of lexical attrition is nicely explained by Gärdenfors’ idea of semantic transformations in the conceptual space but the final explanation of the lexical loss is mind-external and social. It is not only the communicative acts, as a result of the context of use, but more broadly different social factors that are most crucial for the explanation of lexical loss.
131. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Anita Memišević What’s in a Path? On Path Verbs: From Thought to Language
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The main requirement for Gärdenfors’s “meeting of the minds” is that speakers’ mental spaces are sufficiently similar. If this requirement is not met, communication cannot take place. This meeting of the minds is not always easy to achieve even among interlocutors who share a mother tongue, and it becomes even more complicated when an interlocutor is speaking in his/her second language. The reason for this is that the “geometries of meaning” of different languages frequently do not match. In this paper the focus is on what happens when two languages, i.e. Croatian and English, conceptualize space in different ways, that is, when they have different geometries of space. We first look at the findings of neuroscience, psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics. Next, we compare Croatian and English and analyze what consequences these differences in the conceptualization of space have for Croatians as L2 speakers of English when it comes to English path verbs. Finally, we look at what crosslinguistic differences between Croatian and English can reveal about the English path verbs.
132. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Nenad Miščević The Geometry of Offense – Pejoratives and Conceptual Spaces
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The meaning of pejoratives can be analyzed along several dimensions in the relevant conceptual space, of the kind put forward by Gärdenfors in his groundbreaking work. The first dimension has to do with neutral, non-evaluative sense: for a given class (group, social kind) K it delineates the basic causal-cum-descriptive components that determine the intended reference of the pejorative (say, the social kind “gays” for “faggot”). The second comprises the evaluative components ascribed to K, together with their associated descriptive bases. The third is a prescriptive one, suggesting how badly the target is to be treated. The fourth is expressive of speaker’s negative attitude towards members of K. The last three dimensions suggest that the concept associated with a pejorative is a thick concept, whose non-empty extension, is, however, determined by the first, neutral dimension. It also helps understand the dynamics of pejoratives, including the figurative origin and change of valence. The whole account treats pejoratives as negative social kind terms with a hybrid bases for reference (causal history plus a neutral description). The last section raises the general issue of realism in regard to conceptual spaces, and argues in favor of it, in a dialogue with Gärdenfors.
133. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
David Botting A Dialectical View of “Freedom and Resentment”
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In this paper I wish to look at the structure of Strawson’s argument in the classic paper “Freedom and Resentment.” My purpose is less to evaluate and criticize Strawson’s paper as to give a dialectical perspective on it in which Strawson and those he is arguing against are given specific dialectical roles and the arguments and counter-arguments are designed with specific dialectical aims in mind. Specifi c parallels will be drawn between some things that Strawson says and certain ideas in dialectical theory. Despite textual evidence that I will appeal to I do not claim to be reconstructing Strawson’s argument; the understanding ofStrawson’s argument that I will be trying to make clear is my own.
134. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Martina Blečić The Nature of the Literal/Non-literal Distinction
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In this paper I would like to suggest that a cognitive approach to pragmatics does not lead necessarily to the impossibility of a distinction between literal and non-literal contents and interpretations. If my reading is correct, this approach is focused on the cognitive activities that take place in the minds of regular language users and not on models applied to ideal speaker-hearers. If we accept that, then we should also accept that the distinction between the literal and the non-literal is subjective since different language users will, in certain cases, consider differently a linguistic element in regards to its belonging to the literal or non-literal domain. In order to save this dichotomy we need to return partially to a philosophical approach to pragmatics, that is, we need to establishthe distinction between the literal and the non-literal on the basis of generalized objective inferential strategies. The proposal is the following: the presence of implicit or explicit inferential communicational processes (explicit and implicit conversational implicatures, as I refer to them) connected to the literal meaning of the uttered words will be the criterion for the non-literal status of a linguistic/communicational element. By applying objective criteria to the subjective inferential processes of actual language users we can retain both the subjectivity of cognitive differences between individual speakers and the objectivity of the distinctionbetween the literal and the non-literal.
135. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Aneta Stojić, Anita Pavić Pintarić Pejorative Nouns in Speech Act of Insulting as Expression of Verbal Aggression
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In this paper we investigate lexical, semantic und pragmatic aspects of pejorative nouns which play an important role as language means of verbal aggression. The basis of study are nouns in the German and Croatian language used in the speech act of insult. The aim of this paper is to describe relative pejoratives, i.e. nouns which have both a neutral and pejorative meaning when used to refer to individuals. The following points will be investigated: semantic fields that the relative pejoratives belong to, their use in sentences, as well as similarities and differences between the two languages. The lexical aspect of pejoratives togetherwith their semantic and pragmatic characteristics will be described.
136. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Jörg Löschke Second-Personal Reasons and Special Obligations
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The paper discusses the second-personal account of moral obligation as put forward by Stephen Darwall. It argues that on such an account, an important part of our moral practice cannot be explained, namely special obligations that are grounded in special relationships between persons. After highlighting the problem, the paper discusses several strategies to accommodate such special obligations that are implicit in some of Darwall’s texts, most importantly a disentanglement strategy and a reductionist strategy. It argues that neither one of these strategies is entirely convincing. The last part of the papers sketches a novel account of how to accommodate special obligations in a second-personal framework: According to this suggestion, special obligations might be due to the fact that relationships change the normative authority that persons have over each other.
137. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 3
Vasco Correia From Self-Deception to Self-Control: Emotional Biases and the Virtues of Precommitment
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‘Intentionalist’ approaches portray self-deceivers as “akratic believers”, subjects who deliberately choose to believe p despite knowing that p is false. In this paper, I argue that the intentionalist model leads to a series of paradoxes that seem to undermine it. I show that these paradoxes can nevertheless be overcome if we accept the hypothesis that self-deception is a non-intentional process that stems from the influence of emotions on judgment. Furthermore, I propose a motivational interpretation of the phenomenon of ‘hyperbolic discounting bias’, highlighting the role of emotional biases in akratic behavior. Finally, I argue thatwe are not the helpless victims of our irrational attitudes, insofar as we have the ability—and arguably the epistemic obligation—to counteract motivational biases.
138. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Miguel López-Astorga Chrysippus’ Indemonstrables and Mental Logic
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Stoic logic assumes five inference schemata attributed to Chrysippus of Soli. Those schemata are the well-known indemonstrables. A problem related to them can be that, according to standard propositional calculus, only one of them, modus ponens, is clearly indemonstrable. Nevertheless, I try to show in this paper that the mental logic theory enables to understand why the Stoics considered such schemata to be basic kinds of arguments. Following that theory, four of them can be linked to ‘Core Schemata’ of mental logic and the only one that is more controversial is modus tollens. However, as I also comment, some assumptions of Stoic philosophy, which can be interpreted from the mental logic theory, can explain why this last argument was included into the set of the indemonstrablesas well.
139. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Hili Razinsky A Live Language: Concreteness, Openness, Ambivalence
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Wittgenstein has shown that that life, in the sense that applies in the first place to human beings, is inherently linguistic. In this paper, I ask what is involved in language, given that it is thus essential to life, answering that language—or concepts—must be both alive and the ground for life. This is explicated by a Wittgensteinian series of entailments of features. According to the first feature, concepts are not intentional engagements. The second feature brings life back to concepts by describing them as inflectible: Attitudes, actions, conversations and other engagements inflect concepts, i.e., concepts take their particular characters in our actual engagements. However, inflections themselves would be reified together with the life they ground unless they could preserve the openness of concepts: hence the third feature of re-inflectibility. Finally, the openness of language must be revealed in actual life. This entails the possibility of conceptual ambivalence.
140. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Dušan Dožudić Resisting the Restriction of the Propositional Attitude Class
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It is a standard view among philosophers that an attitude is propositional if a that clause could represent its content. One way of challenging this view is to argue that attitudes whose content can be represented in that way have categorically different content. A number of authors adopted such a strategy and imposed various restrictions on the propositional attitude class. In this paper, I will argue that such restrictions are not tenable because the arguments that are used to support them turn against such restrictions as well. As a consequence, if one cannot adequately deal with these arguments from the perspective of the standardview, one is forced to discard generally the propositionality of attitudes, perhaps even their relational nature. I will consider a strategy for resolving this challenge in favour of the standard view.