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41. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Todd D. Janke Making Room for Bodily Intentionality
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The recived view in contemporary philosophy of action, inspired and sustained largely by Donald Davidson and his followers, holds that an action is intentional if and only if it is caused in the right way by beliefs and desires. In what follows below I discuss Merleau-Ponty’s account of bodily intentionality, with the aim of showing that it offers us an account of a form of intentional behavior that cannot be understood in terms of causally efficacious mental states like beliefs or desires. the aim, in short, is to show that, however things may stand with other forms of intentional behavior (deliberate action, for example), bodily intentional behavior is autonomously intentional --- it doesn’t derive its intentionality from the intentionality of mental states.
42. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Katarzyna Paprzycka Sneddon on Action and Responsibility
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The paper is a critical discussion of Sneddon’s recent proposal to revive ascriptivism in philosophy of action. Despite his declarations, Sneddon fails in his central task of giving an account of the distinction between actions and mre happenings. His failure is due to three major problems. First, the account is based on a misconceived methodology of “type” necessary and “token” sufficient conditions. Second, the “type” necessary condition he proposed is so weak that the connection that obtains between action and responsibility also obtains between action and lack of responsibility. Third, neither the idea of responsibility nor the idea of defeating conditions is elucidated sufficiently to play any role in understanding what it is to be an action.
43. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Mikel Burley The B-Theory of Time and the Fear of Death
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This paper discusses Robin Le Poidevin’s proposal that a commitment to the B-theory of time provides a reason to relinquish the fear of death. After outlining Le Poidevin’s views on time and death, I analyze the specific passages in which he makes his proposal, giving close attention to the claim that, for the B-theorist, one’s life is “eternally real.” I distinguish two possible interpretations of this claim, which I call alethic eternalism and ontic eternalism respectively, and argue, with reference to statements by other B-theroists, that alethic eternalism is the only viable option. I highlight two problems for Le Poidevin’s proposal: firstly, even if alethic eternalism does provide a reason not to fear death, this same reason is available to A-theorists; and secondly, alethic eternalism does not in fact provide such a reason. Having critically assessed possible responses to these problems, I conclude that Le Poidevin’s proposal is unfounded.
44. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Natan Berber A Situational Formal Ontology of the Tracatus
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This paper disucsses the Boolean algebraic axiomatic system of situations suggested by the Polish logician Roman Suszko (1919-1979). The paper will specifically examine the adequacy of the axioms, definitions and theorems of Suszko’s system as a model for Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tracatus Logico-Philosophicus. It will be shown how the formal properties of Suszko’s system - the atomicity and completeness of the Boolean algebraic system - can be employed in order to clarify key concepts of the situational part of the Tractarian ontology. After considering the formal reconstruction of the Tractarian concepts of teh world and logical space, a controversial issue pertaining to necessary facts in the Tracatus will be addressed. This will be followed by a formal clarification of the Tractarian concepts of logical place and possible worlds, the latter being identified as combinations of states and affairs, which are, according to the Tractarian ontology, the simplest kinds of situations.
45. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Simon Robertson How to be an Error Theorist about Morality
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This paper clarifies how to be an error theorist about morality. It takes as its starting point John Mackie’s error theory of the categoricity of moral obligation, defending Mackie against objections from both naturalist moral realists and minimalists about moral discourse. However, drawing upon minimalist insights, it argues that Mackie’s focus on the ontological status of moral values is misplaced, and that the underlying dispute between error theorist and moralist is better conducted at the level of practical reason.
46. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
John Barker Disquotation, Conditionals, and the Liar
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In this paper I respond to Jacquette’s criticisms, in (Jacquette, 2008), of my (Barker, 2008). In so doing, I argue that the Liar paradox is in fact a problem about the disquotational schema, and that nothing in Jacquette’s paper undermines this diagnosis.
47. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Jan Woleński Notes on Books
48. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Mark McLeod-Harrison God and (Nearly) Universal Pluralistic Antirealism
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This essay takes on two challenges to universal pluralistic antirealism (UPA). One of those challenges is successful, so the universality of UPA is not entirely plausible. However, I propose that the best way to remain as close to the spirit of UPA is to be a theist. God is the only thing that needs to be outside the universal claim of UPA. However, even God is what God is partially within human noetic schemes. Since God is “in the mix” with humans in terms of being a concept-user, God’s presence can solve the other challenge to UPA. UPA is thus replaced by nearly universal pluralistic antirealism (NUPA). The difference between UPA and NUPA, in the end, is not very great.
49. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Włodek Rabinowicz Values Compared
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Gert (2004) has suggested that several different types of value relations, including parity, can be clearly distinguished from each other if one interprets value comparisons as normative assessments of preference, while allowing for two levels of normativity - requirement and permission. While this basic idea is attractive, the particular modeling Gert makes use of is flawed. This paper presents an alternative modeling, developed in Rabinowicz (2008), and a general taxonomy of binary value relations. Another version of value analysis is then brought in, which appeals to appropriate emotions rather than preferences. It is also shown what the modeling of value relations would look like from such an emotion-centered perspective. The preference-based and the emotion-based approaches differ importantly from each other, but they give rise to isomorphic taxonomies.
50. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Christopher Norris Badiou on Set Theory, Ontology and Truth: mathematics as a guide to metaphysics (Part One)
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Alain Badiou is a highly original, indeed decidedly iconoclastic thinker whose work has ranged widely over areas of equal concern to philosophers in the ‘continental’ and mainstream analytic traditions. These areas include ontology, epistemology, ethics, politics, and – above all – philosophy of mathematics. It is unfortunate, and symptomatic of prevailing attitudes, that his work has so far receivedminimal attention from commentators in the analytic line of descent. Here I try to help the process of reception along by describing Badiou’s remarkably ambitious approach to issues of mathematical (more specifically: of set-theoretical) ontology, and by explaining just where his project stands in relation to some major issues within current analytic debate. Chief among them are: the issue between realists and anti-realists – along with various avowed middle-ground or compromise solutions – and those oddly tenacious problems-from-Wittgenstein (e.g., concerning what it means to follow a rule) that have so preoccupied philosophers over the past decade. In particular I stress the unusual, indeed unique combination in his thought of high formal rigour and conceptual clarity allied to a speculative scope and inventiveness which tend to make those other discussions appear somewhat self-absorbed and parochial. Most importantly, Badiou engages these issues at a level of creative as well as of technical or analytic grasp, which puts his thinking closely in touch with the way that set theory has itself evolved through a constant process of – in Badiou’s phrase – ‘turning paradoxes into concepts.’ I also discuss his strong and principled rejection of the ‘linguistic turn’ in its manifold (analytic and continental) variants, and his idea of the ‘event’ as that which inherently eludes or surpasses the conceptual resources of any received ontology, whether in mathematics and the natural sciences or in the history of genuinely epochal changes in politics and ethics. All in all, I put the case for Badiou as a thinker of the first importance not only for the impressive range, depth and originality of his work, but also because it points to an escape-route from some of the more cramped or windowless quarters of present-day philosophic thought.
51. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
John Skorupski Back to Kant?
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Can we develop a Critical Philosophy without resorting either to transcendental idealism or to linguistic conventionalism; that is, without resorting to either of these accounts of the a priori? I argue that we can, by focusing on the notion of a reason: the basic normative concept, which provides the ‘interface’ between self and thought about an objective world.
52. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Nicole A. Vincent Responsibility: distinguishing virtue from capacity
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Garrath Williams claims that truly responsible people must possess a “capacity … to respond [appropriately] to normative demands” (2008, p. 462). However, there are people whom we would normally praise for their responsibility despite the fact that they do not yet possess such a capacity (e.g. consistently well-behaved young children), and others who have such capacity but who are still patentlyirresponsible (e.g. some badly-behaved adults). Thus, I argue that to qualify for the accolade “a responsible person” one need not possess such a capacity, but only to be earnestly willing to do the right thing and to have a history that testifies to this willingness. Although we may have good reasons to prefer to have such a capacity ourselves, and to associate ourselves with others who have it, at a conceptual level I do not think that such considerations support the claim that having this capacity is a necessary condition of being a responsible person in the virtue sense.
53. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Paul Horwich Kripke’s Paradox of Meaning
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This paper argues that deflationism about truth enables us to resolve the notorious problem of intentionality—the problem (forcibly articulated by Kripke) of explaining how intrinsically dead signs, whether material or mental, are able to reach into the world and pick out specific collections of things.
54. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Sarah M. Roe The Attenuated Ramblings of a Madman: Feyerabend’s anarchy examined
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The slogan ‘anything goes’ first appears in Paul Feyerabend’s book Against Method at the end of the first chapter. Since that time, philosophical literature has been peppered with criticism and cries of outrage towards Feyerabend’s call for anarchy. Many have speculated on what exactly was meant by the slogan and even more philosophers and scientists have quickly discarded Feyerabend’s antidote as the obvious ramblings of a madman.In this essay, I will argue that Paul Feyerabend does not promote complete anarchy, contrary to his critics. Upon closer examination, it becomes clear that Feyerabend promotes methodological and theoretical pluralism, and does not call for total chaos. First, I will briefly outline the overwhelmingly cynical yet popular reading of Feyerabend’s anarchical ideas. Unlike other contemporary perspectives, I willthen argue for what I believe to be a much more fair reading of his anarchy as a prescription for the scientific discipline. I will conclude with postulating an overarching and interesting possibility, namely that Feyerabend’s call for anarchy is an attempt to distance philosophy from the scientific domain.
55. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Miłowit Kuniński Jerzy Wacław Perzanowski (1943-2009)
56. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Ruth Weintraub The Doomsday Argument Revisited (a Stop in the Shooting-Room Included)
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Leslie’s doomsday argument purports to show that the likelihood of the human race perishing soon is greater than we think. The probability we attach to it, based on our estimate of the chance of various calamities which might bring extinction about (a nuclear holocaust, an ecological disaster, etc.), should be adjusted as follows. If the human race were to survive for a long time, we, livingnow, would be atypical. So our living now increases the probability that the human race will end shortly. In this paper, I criticize some attempts to rebut the argument, and present my own. To facilitate the analysis, I consider a structurally similar problem, the “ShootingRoom.”
57. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Krzysztof Brzechczyn Leszek Nowak (1943-2009)
58. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Christopher Norris Badiou on Set Theory, Ontology and Truth: mathematics as a guide to metaphysics (Part Two)
59. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Magdalena Środa Barbara Skarga (1919-2009)
60. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Attila Tanyi Desire-Based Reasons, Naturalism, and the Possibility of Vindication: Lessons from Moore and Parfit
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The aim of the paper is to critically assess the idea that reasons for action are provided by desires (the Model). I start from the claim that the most often employed meta-ethical background for the Model is ethical naturalism; I then argue against the Model through its naturalist background. For the latter purpose I make use of two objections that are both intended to refute naturalism per se. One is G.E. Moore’s Open Question Argument (OQA), the other is Derek Parfit’s Triviality Objection (TO). I show that naturalists might be able to avoid both objections if they can vindicate the reduction proposed. This, however, leads to further conditions whose fulfillment is necessary for the success of the vindication. I deal with one such condition, which I borrow from Peter Railton and Mark Schroeder:the demand that naturalist reductions must be tolerably revisionist. In the remainder of the paper I argue that the most influential versions of the Model are intolerably revisionist. The first problem concerns the picture of reasons that many recent formulations of the Model advocate. By using an objection from Michael Bedke, I show that on this interpretation obvious reasons won’t be accounted for by the Model. The second problem concerns the idealization that is also often part of the Model. Invoking an argument of Connie Rosati’s, I show that the best form of idealization, the ideal advisor account, is inadequate. Hence, though not the knock down arguments they were intended to be, OQA and TO do pose a serious threat to the Model.