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21. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 10
John L. Mackie Kant on Personal Identity
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Kant, in the third paralogism, needs to be rescued from his commentators. His argument that the identity of one's consciousness of oneself is no proof of the numerical identity of a soul-substance, since an indistinguishable identity of consciousness could result from one subject's handing over of memories to another, is sound and complete, and does not need the supplementations offered by Strawson, Bennett and James Anderson. But a possible supplementation is that this identity of consciousness calls for explanation and is partly explained by the continuity of the central nervous system, though this continuity is not guaranteed or conceptually required by that identity.
22. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 11
Harold Morick A Confirmation Criterion of Synonymy
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Two declarative sentences are synonymous if, and only if, the statements they can be used to make are. given certain assumptions about the truth or falsity of other statements, confirmed or disconfirmed to the same degree by the same evidence. This criterion of synonymy is Quinean in that it treats confirmation holistically. But unlike Quine's criterion of synonymy, it conforms to and explains our intuitions of sentence synonymy.
23. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 11
Donald Davidson Toward a Unified Theory of Meaning and Action
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The central propositional attitudes of belief, desire, and meaning are interdependent; it is therefore fruitless to analyse one or two of them in terms of the others. A method is outlined in this paper that yields a theory for interpreting speech, a measure of degree of belief, and a measure of desirability. The method combines in a novel way features of Bayesean decision theory, and a Quinean approach to radical interpretation.
24. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 11
Books received
25. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 11
Augustin Riska Knowledge by Acquaintance Reconsidered
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A propositional interpretation of knowledge by acquaintance seems more promising than the nonpropositional one, endorsed by Russell. According to the propositional interpretation, to be acquainted with an object means to attend (pay attention) to individuating features of the object. For the actual, direct acquaintance with an object, a subject's perception of the object and his attending to the individuating features of it (just as the fact that these features do belonge to the object in question) are the essential factors. Proper names of objects and subject's memory images referring to objects of acquaintance may be viewed as their special individuating features (in spite of being attached to these objects "externally"). For the dispositional (non-actual) notion of acquaintance, a relativization of time must be added, together with the subject's ability to attend to the individuating features of the object under proper conditions (when the object of previous acquaintance is presented or represented to the subject). Although the conditional formulas expressing these situations contribute to the explication of the concept of knowledge by acquaintance, their truth-status remains open and contingent upon the ways of solving the problem of individuation (identification).
26. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 11
Paul Oppenheimer, Ralf Meerbote The Certainty of Skepticism
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Carrier in a recent paper urges for consideration an argument for skepticism which is based on premises one of which in turn is to be defended by yet another principle (the "Janus Principle" of the text). We feel that the latter principle and the way Carrier wants to use it to defend his skeptical argument will find adherents, but we show that this argument rests on an interesting equivocation quite beyond repair even if we accept the "Janus Principle".
27. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 11
Ernest Sosa Varieties of Causation
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According to nomological accounts of causation causal connections among events or states must be mediated by contingent laws of nature. Three types of causal connection are cited and discussed in opposition to such nomological accounts: (a) material causation (as when a zygote is generated by the union of an ovum and a sperm); (b) consequentialist causation (as when an apple is chromatically colored as a result of being red); (c) inclusive causation (as when a board is on a stump in consequence of its having been placed there by a carpenter). These are all source-consequence relations or result-yielding relations and they are all cases of necessitation, each with its own distinguishing features.
28. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 11
Margaret M. Rooney What Do We Hope For?: Some Puzzles Involving Propositional Hoping
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In at least some cases of future directed propositional hoping, facts about the hoper become puzzling if one supposes that the object of hoping is a future tensed proposition. These facts are easily explained by the alternative suppostion that the hoper accepts a future tensed proposition but bears the hopingattitude toward a disjunctively tensed proposition. Parallel remarks apply to past directed and present directed prepositional hoping. Thus, at least some instances of hoping have as their objects disjunctively tensed rather than purely tensed propositions. Propositional remembering may possibly resemblepropositional hoping in this respect.
29. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 11
Gerald Vision Fictional Objects
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Problems concerning identity in possible worlds and the view that proper names are rigid designators pose no threat to the doctrine that names of fictional characters (fictional names) are referential. Some philosophers, notably Saul Kripke and David Kaplan, have held otherwise; but a close examination of their arguments discovers fatal flaws in them. Furthermore, the most readily available proposals for the alternative functions of fictional names — that is, proposals in which fictional names are not referential — are open to objections of a principled kind. This raises serious doubts that any such alternative could work.
30. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 11
Petra von Morstein Kripke, Wittgenstein, and the Privat Language Argument
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"Agreement" is the key notion in Wittgenstein's explanation of the possibility of public language. Agreement in judgements constitutes the justification for asserting agreement in definitions. The determinates of rules are empirical; rules as determinables are transcendental. Rules are on the limit of public language, and not within it. Wittgenstein's skeptical solutions to skepticism about language and about the given are transcendentalistic. His skeptical solutions in other areas are conventionalistic. Skepticism about mental phenomena is not solved because of a systematic rule-gap for the application of non-dispositional psychological concepts.
31. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 12/13
Rudolf Haller Theories, Fables, and Parables
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In the field of theory formation some of the old metaphysical questions attract the attention of philosophers anew. The idea that observational terms refer to objects only in a theoretical mode leads to a comparison of fables and theories. Meinong's concept of incomplete objects is used for linking these two ways of constructing objects. Lessing's theory of fables is then compared with the new anti-positivist theory of science by pointing out some striking similarities.
32. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 12/13
Myles Brand A Particularist Theory of Events
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Events are unstructured particulars and their identity conditions are to be stated in terms of necessary spatiotemporal coincidence. In contrast, Davidson says that events are unstructured particulars, with their identity conditions to be given in terms of sameness of causes and effects; and Kim says that events are structured particulars, with their identity conditions to be given in terms of sameness of their constituents. The consequences of my view are then traced for mental events.
33. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 12/13
Patrick Suppes The Limits of Rationality
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This lecture is cpncerned with the expected-utility or Bayesian model of rationality, with particular attention both to the strengths and limitations of the model. The alternative market and legal models of rationality are examined and rejected as less satisfactory than the expected-utility model. The role of intuitive judgement in the context of actual decision making is stressed. The fundamental place of intuitive judgement in science, especially in the performance of experiments and the analysis and presentation of results is analyzed. Errors of measurement naturally arise in application of the expected-utility model, but there is a long history of theory and practice for dealing with such errors. The existence of such errors constitutes a limitation, not a prohibition, on the use of expected-utility theory as a fundamental framework for rational behaviour.
34. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 12/13
Ernan McMullin The Rational and the Social
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How are rational and social factors to be balanced in writing the history of science? This is a crucial issue for the philosophy of science today because of the new reliance on case-studies. The essay distinguishes between epistemic and non-epistemic factors, and within the former, between standard and non-standard factors. Using these distinctions, a criticism is mounted of the Presumption of Standard Rationality proposed by writers such as Lakatos and Lau dan on the one hand, and on the Principle of Unrestricted Sociality defended by the Edinburgh group in sociology of science on the other. An intermediate position is outlined and defended.
35. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 12/13
Keith Lehrer The Evaluation of Method: A Hierarchy of Probabilities Among Probabilities
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A theory of probabilities of probabilities is articulated and defended. Hume's argument against higher probabiHties is critically evaluated. Conflicting probability assignments for a hypothetis or theory may result from the appHcation of different methods or perspectives, for example, those of consensual authority and individual ratiocination. When we have conflicting probabilities we may assign probabilities to the diverse probabilities initially obtained. These second level probabilities may also conflict as a result of applying diverse methods or perspectives, and the same is true of higher order probabilities. However, when higher order probabilities are normalized to obtain weights that are used to average the probabilities of the next lower level, the averaging process will yield convergence towards a single first order probability condensing higher order information. An infinite averaging process can be finitely calculated to obtain a coherent assignment. Hence there is no vicious regress of probabilities. Memory beliefs illustrate the convergence of an infinite hierarchy
36. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 12/13
Michael Dummett Ought Research to be Unrestricted?
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Freedom of scientific enquiry must be distinguished from freedom to communicate scientific results. The former demands freedom for scientists to communicate among one another, without which progress is hampered, but not, in itself, freedom to communicate conclusions to the public. The latter freedom may be taken as resting on a general principle of free speech, or, more specifically, on the right of all members of society to knowledge gained by that society, especially by means of public expenditure: it is not to be viewed as resting on the superior rationality of scientists as individuals. More important than knowledge are the social and practical consequences of scientific research, of which the most striking example is that of nuclear weapons; we may assume that the net practical effects of research will be, perhaps increasingly, disastrous. The social consequence, and the liability of scientists to prejudice, may both be illustrated by work on IQ and its genetic determination. Adequate safeguards are impossible; but some discouragement of what seems likely to be socially or practically malign Hnes of research may be exercised by relatively autonomous bodies in control of State funding.
37. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 12/13
Harald Ofstad How Can We - Irrational Persons Operating in Irrational Societies - Decide Rationality?
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Utilitarian deliberation has a number of weak or open points where the agent's judgements tend to be influenced by psychological and sociological factors, e.g., by his prejudices, anxieties, insecurities or group-identifications. The most vulnerable points are: the formulation of the problem, the selection of alternatives, the calculation of consequences, the weighing of evidence, the selection of ultimate values and the comparison of different values towards each other.— The utilitarian vocabulary provides the chooser with misleading expressions such as "The action A1 produces more value on the whole than A2" backing up his cpnviction of acting rationally. — In order to improve the situation, we must become aware of the delusiveness of such expressions and of society's and our own irrationality and try to develop more rational feelings and attitudes.
38. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 12/13
Lars Bergström Outline for an Argument for Moral Realism
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Moral realism is defined here as the ontological view that there are moral facts. This is compared with traditional views in moral philosophy, such as naturalism, nonnaturalism, and noncognitivism. It is argued that we have no good reasons to avoid inconsistencies among our moral views unless (we believe that) moral realism is true. Various counter-arguments to this claim are criticized. Moreover, it is argued that, since we do not want to give up the practice of moral reasoning, we have a good reason to believe that moral realism is true.
39. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 12/13
Gerald Dworkin The Concept of Autonomy
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In both theoretical and applied contexts the concept of autonomy has assumed increasing importance in recent normative philosophical discussion. Given various problems to be clarified or resolved the author characterizes the concept by first setting out conditions of adequacy. The author then links the notion of autonomy to the identification and critical reflection of an agent upon his first-order motivations. It is only when a person identifies with the influences that motivate him, assimilates them to himself, that he is autonomous. In addition this process of identification must itself meet certain procedural constraints.
40. Grazer Philosophische Studien: Volume > 12/13
Lorenz Krüger Unity of Science and Cultural Pluralism
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Modem science and technology tend to create one global civilization. To what extent and how can cultural pluralism be preserved under these conditions? Neither inherent limitations of natural science and technology nor alternative lines of developing them offer a promising road for pluralism. But it is to be expected that the unifying trend will not carry over into the realm of the human and social sciences; these are rather to be construed as "locally dispersed", i.e. uncapable of being developed into a unified theory of human nature, whereas natural science refers to a unified picture of non-human nature. Thus, modest hopes for preserving pluralism seem to be justified.