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21. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Elvio Baccarini Rawls and the Question of Physician-Assisted Suicide
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Rawls’s theory of justice is capable of providing an important contribution to the question of physician-assisted suicide (PAS). PAS should be guaranteed as a right to make decisions in accordance with the conception of the good the individual formulates as a rational being. This defense is supported, therefore, by a Kantian premise. But it is also possible to oppose this kind of proposal by relying on differentaspects of Kant’s theory, i.e. on some variant of the famous argument against suicide based on the means/end formulation of the categorical imperative. In this paper, I try to show that these attempts are not well founded, and that the Rawlsian appeal to the Kantian tradition divulges better perspectives. I also try to add considerations inspired by contextualist epistemology to the Rawlsian appeal to the burdens ofjudgment.
22. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Carla Bagnoli Rawls on the Objectivity of Practical Reason
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This article argues that Rawls’ history of ethics importantly contributes to the advancement of ethical theory, in that it correctly situates Kantian constructivism as an alternative to both sentimentalism and rational Intuitionism, and calls attention to the standards of objectivity in ethics. The author shows that by suggesting that both Intuitionist and Humean doctrines face the charge of heteronomy, Rawls appearsto adopt a Kantian conception of practical reason. Furthermore, Rawls follows Kant in assuming that ethical objectivity can be vindicated only if the productive and constructive powers of reason are acknowledged. The author accounts for this assumption against the background of Kant’s moral psychology, and examines Intuitionist and Humean rejoinders. Contrary to a common view, the author arguesthat because of its claims on the nature of moral agency and the sovereignty of practical reason, Kantian Constructivism sets the standards of ethical objectivity higher than its alternatives, and is more ambitious and more demanding than the realist conception of objectivity.
23. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Daniele Santoro Articulating Reasons: An Introduction to Inferentialism
24. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Neven Petrović Personal Assets and Justice: The Positive Argument
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This article critically explores John Rawls’s contention that the personal assets of individuals, i.e. their mental and bodily powers, should not determine the size of their holdings. Since such an argument may have several forms, the first task is to establish which of them Rawls himself advocates. He relies, it is argued, on a version that attempts to convince us that personal assets should not play a decisive distributive role because they are undeserved. This account is then formally reconstructed, making all the relevant premises visible and preparing the ground for a critique that concentrates on the argument’s separate steps. Coming under attack first is the claim that everything should be deserved. The discussion examines next the premise urging us to find an ultimate, indisputable ground for desert-claims. Debate about this issue reveals some fundamental weaknesses in Rawls’s position: that he demands too much and is inconsistent; that some strong counter-intuitive consequences follow from his demands; and that his entire project, were such a criterion taken seriously, is undermined. Final comments are directed against the assertion that the community should own everything an individual does not deserve, showing that this does not remove moral arbitrariness, allows for the use of some persons as resources for others, and cannot plausibly limit its range of application. Most of these criticisms are not original, but are in accord with this paper’s main intention of combining as many good points against Rawls as possible.
25. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Anthony Simon Laden Republican Moments in Political Liberalism
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The author argues that the distinctive aspects of political liberalism have historical roots in the republican tradition that is often described as “neo-roman,” and recently given articulation in the work of Q. Skinner and P. Pettit. The primary task of this paper will be to layout these correlations, to provide, as it were, a mapping between the vocabulary of the neo-roman theory and that of political liberalism. By tracing the genealogy of political liberalism, the author argues that we ought to rethink the history, the vocabulary, and conceptual framework of contemporary political philosophy. In particular, seeing political liberalism as a form of republican theory as well as a form of liberal theory changes how we understand it: it brings out certain distinctive features of the structure of the view that are often overlooked, such as its stress on certain civic duties and its conception of freedom as a freedom of the city. If leading republican and liberal thinkers turn out to have much in common, then we will have to rethink also our intellectual geography: we will have to sketch in some land-bridges between the continents.
26. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Sebastiano Maffettone John Rawls: An Interpretation
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This article raises some structural and theoretical problems in comprehensively reading Rawls. The first part divides Rawls’s oeuvre into two periods: the period marked by his most significant work A Theory of Justice (1971), and the period represented by Political Liberalism (1993) and The Law of Peoples (1999). The article examines ideas from all three books. The author first tries to show the continuity of Rawls’s liberalism, the best example being the development of the idea of the priority of right over the idea of the good, and the development of the ideal of equality. The second aim is to explain the idea of public reason, introduced in Rawls’s second period, and related objections, while examining three basic forms of justification in Political Liberalism. The author also takes into account Rawls’s criticism of the idea of political philosophy, which he sees as too keen to solve the needs of political society and less willing to explore the philosophical doctrine’s potential, and his idea of philosophical liberalism as opposed to political liberalism. The third part of the article stresses the principles and norms of international law and practice, and explains what Rawls calls “realistic utopia” and some related problems.
27. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Nebojša Zelič The Law of Peoples With “The Idea of Public Reason Revisited”
28. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Imre Ruzsa Russell versus Frege
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According to Russell’s famous Gray’s Elegy argument within “On Denoting”, Frege’s distinction between Sinn and Bedeutung is problematic when applied to a denoting phrase like ‘the first line of Gray’s Elegy’, which denotes a linguistic expression: ‘The curfew tolls the knell of parting day’. The author shows that Russell’s Gray’s Elegy argument involves imprecision in the use of quotation marks as well as the unwarranted identification of an expression’s meaning with the expression itself.
29. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Esther Romero, Belén Soria On Phrasal Pragmatics and What is Descriptively Referred to
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In this paper, we discuss contextualism, a philosophical position that some pragmatists have endorsed as a result of the philosophical reflection on pragmatics as a science. In particular, we challenge, from the results on phrasal pragmatics, the contextualist approach on incomplete definite descriptions and referential metonymy according to which optional pragmatic processes of interpretation are required (an optional pragmatic process of recovering unarticulated constituents for incompleteness and an optional pragmatic process of transfer for metonymy). By contrast, we argue from the standpoint of phrasal pragmatics that what is descriptively referred to depends, in both cases, on truth-conditionally mandatory pragmatic processes of recovery of unarticulated constituents.
30. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Nina Iskra A World Without Values?
31. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Ophelia Deroy The Importance of Being Able: Personal Abilities in Common Sense Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
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The paper aims at reconsidering the problem of “practical knowledge” at a proper level of generality, and at showing the role that personal abilities play in it. The notion of “practical knowledge” has for long been the focus of debates both in philosophy and related areas in psychology. It has been wholly captured by debates about ‘knowledge’ and has more recently being challenged in its philosophical foundations as targeting a specific attitude of ‘knowing-how’. But what are the basic facts accounted in the “knowing-how” debate? The problem is much more fundamental than knowledge: it addresses the need for an explanation of intelligent or guided behaviour, that could account for some distinctive aspects involved in the performance, but without positing too much beyond the observable actions. This is what I call the problem of “practical mastery” (PM). PM raises three questions: what kind of behaviour require such an explanation? What is distinctive about practical mastery? What does it consist in: a form of knowledge, or something else? I argue here that the notion of ability offers a less restrictive, though no less powerful answer to these three questions. It can offer an independent objective grasp on the subjects of attribution. I conclude that the notion is central both to account for common-sense psychology and to understand what experimental psychology actually measures and tests for.
32. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Greg Sherkoske Direction of Fit Accounts of Belief and Desire Revisited
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Proponents of Humean belief-desire psychology often appeal to the metaphor of direction of fit. Roughly, the distinction between belief and desire boils down to the differing relationship between the attitude, its content, and the way the world is. Belief in P will tend to go out of existence when confronted with the introduced (perception-like) state of not P. The desire that p will, by contrast, persist in face of the introduced state that not P. The world is to be aligned to match it. Two problems threaten the direction of fit strategy. The first is a worrying lack of clarity in the notion of an introduced state. On Smith’s view, this state looks and functions like a belief; this saddles the direction of fit strategy with vicious circularity. Second, David Copp and David Sobel argue that whether the metaphor iscashed out in descriptive or normative terms, the direction of fit metaphor is fatally flawed. This gloomy prognosis is premature: the Humean should adopt a normative interpretation, since doing so would yield salvage the metaphor. The cost of the salvage, however, might be higher than Humeans want, since the normative view can be happily accepted by Kantians.
33. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Ilhan Inan Inostensible Reference and Conceptual Curiosity
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A lot has been said about how the notion of reference relates to the notion of knowledge; not much has been said, however, on how the notion of referencerelates to our ability to become aware of what we do not know that allows us to be curious. In this essay I attempt to spell out a certain type of reference I call ‘inostensible’ that I claim to be a fundamental linguistic tool which allows us to become curious of what we do not know. In the first part, I try to explicate the notion of inostensible reference, both for singular and for general terms, as well as full declarative sentences, and in the second part, I argue that our capacity to enjoy conceptual curiosity is essentially based upon our aptitude for inostensible reference.
34. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Gustavo Fernández Díez The Demarcation between Philosophy and Science
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This paper is based on a criterion recently proposed by Richard Fumerton for demarcating philosophy of mind and cognitive science. I suggest to extend it to a demarcation criterion between philosophy and science in general, and put it in the context of the historical changes of boundaries between the philosophical and the scientifi c fi eld. I point to a number of philosophical claims and approaches that have been made utterly obsolete by the advancement of science, and conjecture that a similar thing may happen in the future with today’s philosophy of mind: under the supposition that cognitive science manages to progress very successfully in a certain direction, our concepts for mental states could change, and the type of philosophical interest we put in them, thus reshaping thewhole debate on the subject.
35. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Noriaki Iwasa The Impossibility of Political Neutrality
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For some contemporary liberal philosophers, a huge concern is liberal neutrality, which is the idea that the state should be neutral among competingconceptions of the moral good pursued by the people. In <i>The Morality of Freedom</i>, Joseph Raz argues that we can neither achieve nor even approximatesuch neutrality. He shows that neutrality and fairness are different ideas. His notion of neutrality is stricter than John Rawls’s and Ronald Dworkin’s. Raz shows that both helping and not helping can be neutral or non-neutral, thus neutrality is chimerical. Wojciech Sadurski’s appeal to rational expectations does not necessarily tell us which action is neutral. Distinguishing between comprehensive and narrow neutrality, Raz also claims that only the former is a proper response to conflicts. Sadurski criticizes it, claiming that conflicts are comprehensive in a sense which does not deny the adequacy of the narrow neutrality. In reality, however, it is almost impossible to achieve even the narrow neutrality. A theory is presented to explain why political neutrality is almost impossible to achieve. Philosophically, there is no neutral ground for neutral politics.
36. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Julian Fink Asymmetry, Scope, and Rational Consistency
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Suppose rationality requires you to A if you believe you ought to A. Suppose you believe that you ought to A. How can you satisfy this requirement? One way seems obvious. You can satisfy this requirement by A-ing. But can you also satisfy it by stopping to believe that you ought to A? Recently, it has been argued that this second option is not a genuine way of satisfying the above requirement. Conditional requirements of rationality do not have two ‘symmetric’, but only one ‘asymmetric’ satisfaction condition. This paper explores the consequences of this argument for a theory of the requirements of rationality. I seek to show that thisview conflicts with another powerful intuition about the requirements of rationality, i.e. ‘rational consistency’: if rationality requires you to X, then it is not the case that rationality requires you to not-X. I shall conclude that ‘asymmetric’ satisfying is based on a misleading intuition, for which we should not sacrifice ‘rational consistency’.
37. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
James L. Trafford Modal Rationalism and the Transference of Meaning
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The lesson is familiar. Kripke’s arguments in favor of a posteriori necessary truths annul the idea that conceivability is a guide to metaphysical possibility because determining that which is a priori is a separate issue from determining that which is necessary. Modal rationalists do not completely agree with this conclusion. Following recent work on two-dimensional semantics, David Chalmers suggests that two distinct semantic values can be assigned to a statement, depending on whether we consider possible worlds as counterfactual or counteractual. The idea is that counterfactual possibilities yield familiar Kripkean intuitions, but that counteractuals fulfill the desired link between a priori conceivability and metaphysical possibility. In this paper, I discuss a problem for modalrationalism that arises through the use of material conditionals, or conditionals in the indicative mood. I then turn to Chalmers’ response, and suggest reasons why it is inadequate. I turn to another response from Chalmers, and suggest that, whilst it solves the fi rst issue, it is incapable of grounding modal rationalism. In conclusion I will suggest a way in which a tempered version of modal rationalism can be salvaged.
38. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Jasper Doomen A Systematic Interpretation of Hobbes’s Practical Philosophy
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Hobbes’s political philosophy departs from a number of premises that are supposed to be self-evident, supplemented by various observations from experience. These statements are examined critically and in their interrelatedness in order to find out to what extent Hobbes provides a convincing system of thought. The importance of the basis of man’s actions, his self-interest, is inquired, since it serves as the basis of his practical philosophy. After this, Hobbes’s views on ‘moral’ notions are expounded. As it turns out, Hobbes maintains a number of concepts that have such a connotation, but interprets these in a specific way. The articleis concluded with a modest systematic reconstruction of Hobbes’s main thoughts in practical philosophy.
39. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Daniel Lassiter Semantic Normativity and Coordination Games: Social Externalism Deflated
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Individualists and externalists about language take themselves to be disagreeing about the basic subject matter of the study of language. Are linguistic facts are really facts about individuals, or really facts about language use in a community?The right answer to this question, I argue, is ‘Yes’. Both individualistic and social facts are crucial to a complete understanding of human language. The relationship between the theories inspired by these facts is analogous to the relationship between anatomy and ecology, or between micro- and macro-economics: both types of facts are important objects of study in their own right, but we need a theory that accounts for the complex relationship between the two. I argue that modern extensions of the signaling-games approach of Lewis (1969) do just this, defusing the conflict while preserving the core positive insights of both sides of this debate.The upshot is that arguments for social externalism and the normativity of meaning pose no threat to individualist explanations and can be accountedfor within a naturalistic theory of language. A good externalist theory will make crucial reference to individualistic facts, but go further by examining language users’ interactions in a systematic way.
40. Croatian Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3
Mikael Janvid Empirical Indefeasibility and Nonfactuality: Assessing Field’s Evaluative Approach to the A Priori
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Hartry Field has recently presented an original and interesting approach to the a priori. Its main theses are, first, that certain rules are empirically indefeasible and, second, that the reasonableness of these rules are not based on any factual property. After an introduction, Field’s approach is presented in section II. Section III examines his claims concerning empirical indefeasibility. It will be argued that his general argument for empirical indefeasibility fails along with the particular examples of rules he gives. Alternative ways of preserving empirical indefeasibility are suggested that are compatible with overdetermination under certain assumptions. In section IV, Field’s arguments for the nonfactuality of epistemological concepts, such as reasonableness, are found wanting. At the end, an alternative way of understanding the link between the epistemological concept in question and truth-conduciveness is proposed that preserves the factuality of the epistemological concept.