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141. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Jasper Doomen Of Mosquitoes and Men: The Basis of Animal and Human Rights
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This article discusses the status of animal rights, and more particularly whether these rights may be defended from a natural rights perspective or from an ethical perspective. I argue that both options fail. The same analysis applies in the case of mankind. ‘Mankind’ does not bring with it the acknowledgement such rights, nor does a focus on what is arguably characteristic of mankind, namely, reason. Reason is decisive, though, in another respect, namely, the fact that reasonable beings can claim and lay down rights. It does not follow from this that animals should have no rights, since human beings may be motivated to constitute such rights, while this provides the most solid basis for them.
142. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Chen Bo Social Constructivism of Language and Meaning
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To systematically answer two questions “how does language work?” and “where does linguistic meaning come from?” this paper argues for SocialConstructivism of Language and Meaning (SCLM for short) which consists of six theses: (1) the primary function of language is communication rather than representation, so language is essentially a social phenomenon. (2) Linguistic meaning originates in the causal interaction of humans with the world, and in the social interaction of people with people. (3) Linguistic meaning consists in the correlation of language to the world established by collective intentions of a language community. (4) Linguistic meaning is based on the conventions produced by a language community in their long process of communication. (5) Semantic knowledge is empirical and encyclopedic knowledge distilled and condensed, and the uses of language accepted by a linguistic community. (6) Language and meaning change rapidly or slowly as the communicative practice of a linguistic community does. The crucial point of SCLM is to focus on the triadic relation among language, humans (a linguistic community) and the world, rather than the dyadic relation between language and the world.
143. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
Dwayne Moore Mereological Essentialism and Mereological Inessentialism
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Mereological essentialists argue that mereological summations cannot change their parts. Mereological inessentialists argue that mereological summations can change some or all of their parts. In this paper I articulate and defend a position called Moderate Mereological Inessentialism, according to which certain mereological summations can change some, but not all, of their parts. Persistent mereological summations occur when the functional parts of mereological summations persist through alterations to its spatial parts.
144. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Dan Sperber, Deirdre Wilson Beyond Speaker’s Meaning
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Our main aim in this paper is to show that constructing an adequate theory of communication involves going beyond Grice’s notion of speaker’s meaning. After considering some of the difficulties raised by Grice’s three-clause definition of speaker’s meaning, we argue that the characterisation of ostensive communication introduced in relevance theory can provide a conceptually unified explanation of a much wider range of communicative acts than Grice was concerned with, including cases of both ‘showing that’ and ‘telling that’, and with both determinate and indeterminate import
145. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Anne Bezuidenhout Cognitive Environments and Conversational Tailoring
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This paper explores the psychological notion of context as cognitive environment (CE) that is part of the Relevance Theory (RT) framework and describes the way in which such CEs are constrained during the course of conversation as the conversational partners engage in “conversional tailoring”.
146. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Nenad Miščević Pejoratives and Relevance: Synchronic and Diachronic Issues
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The paper considers a possible relevantist treatment, in the spirit of Wilson and Sperber’s work, of pejoratives and argues for three claims concerning them. On the level of synchronic issues it suggests that the negative content of pejoratives, at least in its minimal scope, is the normal part of their lexical meaning, and not a result of extra-semantic enrichment. It thus suggests an evaluative-content approach for the relevantist, in contrast to its neutral-content alternative. On the more general side, it suggests that the relevance theorist owes us a clear story about what kind of material is normally encoded. Concerning the issues of diachronic behavior of pejoratives, the paper suggests primarily the application of relevantist theory of irony, and secondarily some links with theory of metaphor. A relevantist theory of echoic use, and proposed for irony, can be used to understand the appropriation of pejoratives by their original target group, and the reversal of valence that goes with it. There is an interesting parallel between the echoing-cum-reversal processes Wilson and Sperber propose for irony and the repeating-and-reversing process typicall of appropriation of pejoratives. Finally, a brief application of the relevantist understanding of metaphor is proposed as a tool for understanding the genealogy of pejoratives of fi gurative origin. The dynamics, history and development of pejoratives has not been systematically addressed by philosophical theories of pejoratives: a collaboration with relevance theory might prove a useful strategy.
147. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Dunja Jutronić Cognitive Pragmatics and Variational Pragmatics: Possible Interaction?
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In this paper I attempt to look into a possible way in which cognitive pragmatics can help out variational studies in explaining the processes of language change. After broadly setting the scene this article proceeds by giving basic information about variational pragmatics. Then it concentrates on Sperber and Wilson’s relevance theory and its possible interaction with social sciences, namely its possible application in sociolinguistics. I next present my own research of Split (urban) dialect/vernacular change where I concentrate on explanatory side, asking which explanation would be the best one for the changes of some variables in the dialect. The interpretation and discussion of the fi ndings preceed the discussion of salience as the explanatory tool for language change as seen from cognitivists and variationists with the hope that such discussions can bring closer cognitivists, i.e. relevantists, to sociolinguists, i.e. variationists.
148. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Zsófia Zvolenszky Inferring Content: Metaphor and Malapropism
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It is traditionally thought that metaphorical utterances constitute a special—nonliteral—kind of departure from lexical constraints on meaning. Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson have been forcefully arguing against this: according to them, relevance theory’s comprehension/interpretation procedure for metaphorical utterances does not require details specific to metaphor (or nonliteral discourse); instead, the same type of comprehension procedure as that in place for literal utterances covers metaphors as well. One of Sperber and Wilson’s central reasons for holding this is that metaphorical utterances occupy one end of a continuum that includes literal, loose and hyperbolic utterances with no sharp boundaries in between them. Call this the continuum argument about interpreting metaphors. My aim is to show that this continuum argument doesn’t work. For if it were to work, it would have an unwanted consequence: it could be converted into a continuum argument about interpreting linguistic errors, including slips of the tongue, of which malaprops are a special case. In particular, based on the premise that the literal–loose–metaphorical continuum extends to malaprops also, we could conclude that the relevance-theoretic comprehension procedure for malaprops does not require details specific to linguistic errors, that is, details beyond those already in place for interpreting literal utterances. Given that we have good reason to reject this conclusion, we also have good reason to rethink the conclusion of the continuum argument about interpreting metaphors and consider what additional (metaphor-specific) details—about the role of constraints due to what is lexically encoded by the words used—might be added to relevance-theoretic comprehension procedures.
149. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Diana Mazzarella Pragmatics and Epistemic Vigilance: The Deployment of Sophisticated Interpretative Strategies
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Sperber (1994) suggests that competent hearers can deploy sophisticated interpretative strategies in order to cope with deliberate deception or to avoid misunderstandings due to speaker’s incompetence. This paper investigates the cognitive underpinnings of sophisticated interpretative strategies and suggests that they emerge from the interaction between a relevance-guided comprehension procedure and epistemic vigilance mechanisms. My proposal sheds a new light on the relationship between comprehension and epistemic assessment. While epistemic vigilance mechanisms are typically assumed to assess the believability of the output of the comprehension system (Sperber et al. 2010), I argue that epistemic assessment plays an additional role in determining this very output.
150. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Nenad Smokrović Argumentation as a Means for Extending Knowledge
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In this paper I am developing the theses that argumentation is a means for extending knowledge. The theses are founded on two focal points:1. Reasoning is designed for argumentation, and 2. Argumentation process is an exceptionally successful media that provokes usage of methods reliable for the extension of knowledge. The first point relies on Sperber’s and Mercier’s evolutionary psychological approach to argumentation which I consider the most convincing theory in the field. Taking this ground as a departing point, the goal of the paper is to broaden this approach with epistemological insights that I base on Williamson’s safety theory of knowledge.
151. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Dunja Jutronić Introduction
152. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Erhan Demircioglu Recognitional Identification and the Knowledge Argument
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Frank Jackson’s famous Knowledge Argument moves from the premise that complete physical knowledge about experiences is not complete knowledge about experiences to the falsity of physicalism. Some physicalists (e.g., John Perry) have countered by arguing that what Jackson’s Mary, the perfect scientist who acquires all physical knowledge about experiencing red while being locked in a monochromatic room, lacks before experiencing red is merely a piece of recognitional knowledge of an identity, and that since lacking a piece of recognitional knowledge of an identity does not entail lacking any pieces of knowledge of worldly facts, physicalism is safe. I will argue that what Mary lacks in her room is not merely a piece of recognitional knowledge of an identity and that some physicalists have failed to see this because of a failure to appreciate that Mary’s epistemic progress when she fi rst experiences red has two different stages. While the second epistemic stage can perhaps be plausibly considered as acquiring merely a piece of recognitional knowledge of an identity, there is good reason to think that the fi rst epistemic stage cannot be thus considered.
153. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Irena Cronin On Aristotelian Universals and Individuals: The “Vink” that is in Body and May Be In Me
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G. E. L. Owen, in his infl uential paper “Inherence,” talks of “vink,” a name he has created for a particular shade of the color pink, and this “vink” serves as an individual in the Aristotelian category of quality. Owen was one of the first to aim to discredit the belief that J. L. Ackrill and his camp espoused, the belief that Aristotle thought that “general attributes are not in individuals, particular attributes are not in more than one individual.” I postulate that there is nothing here that does not preclude the existence of transferable nonsubstantial particulars, and base this view on passages from Aristotle’s Categories and certain examples found in Ammonius’s commentary and On Colors. Given this, a nonsubstantial particular of “vink” would not have to rely on having inhered in just one particular body to have existence, however, it would have to inhere in at least one particular body.
154. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Danilo Šuster Knowledge and Conditionals of (Dis)connection
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The gist of modal epistemology is expressed in the idea that you fail to know if you do believe truly but it is seriously possible for you to believe falsely. According to subjunctivism, this idea is captured by certain subjunctive conditionals. One formulation invokes a safety condition—“If S had believed P, then P would have been the case,” while the other invokes a sensitivity condition—“If P had been false, S would not have believed that P.” According to simple subjunctivism, such conditionals do not contrapose and Sosa derives important epistemological consequences which favor safety from this difference. However, simple subjunctivism is inadequate. I return to Goodman and his analysis of factuals and propose modal stability, which is restricted sensitivity or enhanced safety as a proper epistemic condition for the non-accidental connection between the basis for the belief and the relevant facts of the matter. The idea of modal stability combines robustness (benefi ts of safety) with responsiveness to facts (benefi ts of sensitivity) and recovers the original motivation for the relevant alternatives theory—when testing for claims of knowledge that p we ask what might be the case if not-p, but we ignore irrelevant possibilities. Epistemic modal conditions should be expressed in terms of conditionals of connection which contrapose within the limits of relevance.
155. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Peter Baumann Safety, Virtue, Scepticism: Remarks on Sosa
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Ernest Sosa has made and continues to make major contributions to a wide variety of topics in epistemology. In this paper I discuss some of his core ideas about the nature of knowledge and scepticism. I start with a discussion of and objections against the safety account of knowledge—a view he has championed and further developed over the years. I continue with some questions concerning the role of the concept of an epistemic virtue for our understanding of knowledge. Safety and virtue hang very closely together for Sosa. All this easily leads to some thoughts on epistemic scepticism and on Sosa’s stance on this.
156. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Nenad Miščević Intuitions: Reflective Justification, Holism and Apriority
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The paper discusses Sosa’s view of intuitional knowledge and raises the question of the nature of reflective justification of intuitional beliefs. It is assumed, in agreement with Sosa, that pieces of belief of good researchers are typically reflectively justified, in addition to being immediately, first-level justified. Sosa has convincingly argued that reflective justification typically mobilizes and indeed should mobilize capacities distinct from the original capacity that has produced the belief-candidate for being justified, in order to assess the reliability of the original capacity. It has to go beyond justifiers that are of the same-kind (“homogeneous”) as first-level immediate ones, in order to enlarge the circle of justification (and thus avoid viciousness), and is, therefore, holistic and coherentist. But if this holds, it seems that reflective justifi cation of armchair beliefs, presumably produced by intuition and some reasoning, should revert to empirical considerations testifying to the reliability of intuition and reasoning. Therefore, it typically combines, in an articulated way, a posteriori elements contributing to the thinker’s reflective trust in her armchair capacities. In short, the paper argues that Sosa’s own view of second-order justification goes better with a more aposteriorist view, if it does not even force such a view.
157. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 3
Ernest Sosa Knowledge, Reflection, and Action
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Our main topic is epistemic agency, which can be either free or unfree. This aligns with a distinction between two sorts of knowledge, the reflective and the animal. We first take up the nature and significance of these two sorts of knowledge, starting with the refl ective. In a second section we then consider the nature of suspension and how that relates suspension to higher orders of meta-belief. Finally, we consider a distinction in epistemology between animal competence and refl ective justification. All of these topics and distinctions are important for virtue epistemology, in ways to be considered.
158. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Cheng-Chih Tsai Becker, Ramsey, and Hi-world Semantics: Toward a Unified Account of Conditionals
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In Lowe (1995), instead of endorsing a Stalnaker/Lewis-style account of counterfactuals, E. J. Lowe claims that a variation of C. I. Lewis’s strict implication alone captures the essence of everyday conditionals and avoids the paradoxes of strict implication. However, Lowe’s approach fails to account for the validity of simple and straightforward arguments such as ‘if 2=3 then 2+1=3+1’, and Heylen & Horsten (2006) even claims that no variation of strict implication can successfully describe the logical behavior of natural language conditionals. By incorporating the German logician O. Becker’s modal intuition with the insight of Ramsey’s Test, we show that there does exist a unified, strict-conditional based account of everyday conditionals, which withstands all attacks previously raised against truth-conditional accounts of conditionals. Furthermore, a subtle distinction between autistic and realistic readings of the indexical ‘I’ involved in a conditional helps us resolve a recent debate concerning the Thomason conditionals.
159. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Chen Bo Socio-historical Causal Descriptivism: A Hybrid and Alternative Theory of Names
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This paper argues for a hybrid and alternative theory of names—Socio-historical Causal Descriptivism, which consists of six claims: (1) the referring relation between a name and an object originates from a generalized “initial baptism” of that object. (2) The causal chain of the name N firstly and mainly transmits informative descriptions of N’s bearer. (3) The meaning of N consists of an open-ended collection of informative descriptions of N’s bearer acknowledged by a linguistic community. (4) With respect to practical needs of agents there is s weighted order in the collection of descriptions of N’s bearer. (5) The meaning or even partial meaning of N, together with the background of a discourse, the network of knowledge, speaker’s intention, etc., determines the referent of N. (6) All names have their own referents, including physical individuals, and parasitic, fictional, or intensional objects; there are few names absolutely without reference.
160. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Ivan Cerovac Plural Voting and J. S. Mill’s Account of Democratic Legitimacy
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This paper clarifies some of the contested ideas put forward by John Stuart Mill by analyzing the reasons and arguments Mill used to support them and demonstrating how these ideas and arguments supporting them are connected into a coherent system. Mill’s theory is placed in wider explanatory framework of democratic legitimacy developed by Thomas Christiano, and is portrayed as a typical example of democratic instrumentalism—a monistic position that focuses on the outcomes and results of a decision-making process. Following this move, the focus is shifted on the understanding of political equality in Mill’s political thought. I claim that, contrary to some contemporary interpretations, Mill’s theory is based on a few fundamentally inegalitarian ideas. Finally, Mill’s view on the role of experts in democratic decision-making is analyzed and compared with contemporary theories advocating democratic expertism—Mill’s view is again portrayed as inegalitarian, both to the extent of setting political aims and creating methods for achieving these aims.