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141. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Georg Spielthenner On Practical Reasoning under Ignorance
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The purpose of this paper is to present an account of practical reasoning under ignorance—i.e., reasoning under conditions where the available information is so uninformative that we cannot assign probabilities to the outcomes of our options. The account shows that such reasoning need not rely on implausible principles (e.g. the maximin principle), but can nevertheless be logically valid. Put differently, I attempt to show that we can reason in a logically correct manner even if we do not know what the outcomes of our options are or how likely these outcomes are. The proposed approach is applicable to unidimensional and multidimensionalpractical reasoning, and it is therefore useful for analysing real-life decision problems found in a wide variety of choice situations. Its application requires only that an agent has some basic knowledge of propositional logic. To achieve the aim of the article, I first outline when practical reasoning can be said to be logically valid. Section 2 applies the approach to unidimensional reasoning and Section 3 shows how an agent can build up n-dimensional reasoning under ignorance in a logically correct way.
142. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 3
Jörgen Sjögren, Christian Bennet The Viability of Social Constructivism as a Philosophy of Mathematics
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Attempts have been made to analyse features in mathematics within a social constructivist context. In this paper we critically examine some of those attempts recently made with focus on problems of the objectivity, ontology, necessity, and atemporality of mathematics. Our conclusion is that these attempts fare no better than traditional alternatives, and that they, furthermore, create new problems of their own.
143. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Heimir Geirsson Moral Twin Earth, Intuitions, and Kind Terms
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Horgan and Timmons, with their Moral Twin Earth arguments, argue that the new moral realism falls prey to either objectionable relativism or referential indeterminacy. The Moral Twin Earth thought experiment on which the arguments are based relies in crucial ways on the use of intuitions. First, it builds on Putnam’s well-known Twin Earth example and the conclusions drawn from that about the meaning of kind names. Further, it relies on the intuition that were Earthers and Twin Earthers to meet, they would be able to have genuine moral disagreements. I will argue that the similarities with Putnam’s thought experiment are questionable and so the reliance on Putnam-like intuitions is questionable. I will then further argue that even if we accept the intuitions that Horgan and Timmons rely on, the anti-realist conclusion is not warranted due to there being more to the meaning of kind terms than the argument assumes. Once we develop the meaning of kind terms further we can acknowledge both that Earthers and Twin Earthers refer to different properties with their moral terms, and that in spite of that they can have a substantive disagreement due to a shared meaning component.
144. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Matt Sleat A Defence of the Radical Version of the Asymmetry Objection to Political Liberalism
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This article seeks to make two significant contributions to the debate surrounding the asymmetry objection to political liberalism. The first is to distinguish between and explicate moderate and radical versions of the asymmetry objection as two discrete forms that this criticism can take. The second contribution is to defend the radical version of the asymmetry objection as a serious challenge to political liberalism. It does this by arguing that the commitment to reciprocity that underpins the principle of legitimacy can be the subject of reasonable disagreement, which therefore undermines the asymmetry central to political liberalism between the legitimacy of being able to coerce compliance with principles of right but not principles of the good on the grounds that the latter can be the subject of reasonable disagreement whereas the former cannot.
145. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Timothy J. Nulty Hubert Dreyfus and the Last Myth of the Mental
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This paper critically evaluates the arguments advanced by Hubert Dreyfus in his debate with John McDowell regarding the nature of skilled coping. The paper argues that there are significant methodological shortcomings in Dreyfus’ position. The paper examines these methodological limitations and attempts to clarify the problems by re-framing the issues in terms of intentionality, and the specific intentional structures that may or may not be present in skilled coping. The paper attempts to show that the difficulties facing Dreyfus arise from his implicit adherence to a final myth of the mental. The last myth of the mental is the belief thatmental coping is fundamentally different than embodied coping because the former is characterized by mindedness while the latter is not. Dreyfus characterizes the mental as constituted by a kind of interiority while everyday expertise or embodied coping is characterized by exteriority to the exclusion of any type of interiority. I undermine this Cartesian assumption in Dreyfus’ position by showing that the criteria and phenomenological descriptions he uses to characterize embodied coping apply equally to mental coping.
146. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Ben Blumson A Never-Ending Story
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Take a strip of paper with ‘once upon a time there’ written on one side and ‘was a story that began’ on the other. Twisting the paper and joining the ends produces John Barth’s story Frame-Tale, which prefixes ‘once upon a time there was a story that began’ to itself. In this paper, I argue that the possibility of understanding Frame-Tale cannot be explained by tacit knowledge of a recursive theory of truth in English.
147. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Iris Vidmar A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature, Eds. Garry L. Hagberg and Walter Jost
148. 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.
149. 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.
150. 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.
151. 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.
152. 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.
153. 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.
154. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Dunja Jutronić Introduction
155. 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.
156. 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.
157. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Tereza Karabatić Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics by Niko Besnier
158. 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).
159. 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.
160. 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.