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61. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Viorica Farkas Dreaming in Descartes à la Wilson
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Descartes argues that since there are no certain marks to distinguish waking experiences from dreams, we need to justify our belief that waking experiences are veridical experiences of physical objects while dreams are illusions. He resolves this problem by arguing that the absence of marks distinguishing dreams from waking experiences notwithstanding, we are justified in ascribing different cognitive values to waking experiences and dreams. For, our belief in God rules out any other explanation of the agreement of all our faculties in supporting the instinctive belief that waking experiences are caused by physical objects.
62. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Douglas N. Walton, Deborah C. Hobbs Non-Treatment of Spina Bifida Babies
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This article presents a philosophical framework for physician-family ethical decision-making for the controversial cases of withdrawal, initiation, or continuation of treatment for spina bifida infants. The well-known criteria for selective treatment proposed by Lorber are shown to be ethically sub-optimal on the grounds that they are based on a general conception of the decision framework that is open to serious criticisms and questioning.We propose a model of joint physician-family decision-making that we think represents a more rational method of balancing patient autonomy with the professional expertise and international moral norms of physicians. We raise serious reservations about the wisdom of allowing the state to intervene too strenously in this type of decision, in many cases.
63. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Harold Zellner Spinoza’s Causal Likeness Principle
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Axiom 4 of the Ethics of Spinoza runs:The knowledge (cognitio) of an effect depends upon and involves the knowledge of the cause.Since this is in the ancestry of some of Spinoza’s most important and characteristic claims, a clarification of its meaning would be highly desirable (in the literature it is left unhelpfully vague.) I argue that A4 is a causal likeness principle, according to which causal relationships always feature a property which in some sense is “passed” from the cause to the effect. This interpretation provides a key to understanding some darker passages.
64. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Stephen Pollard Plural Quantification and the Iterative Concept of Set
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Arecent paper by George Boolos suggests that it is philosophically respectable to use monadic second order logic in one’s explication of the iterative concept of set. I shall here give a partial indication of the new range of theories of the iterative hierarchy which are thus madeavailable to philosophers of set theory.
65. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Sander H. Lee The Failure of Love and Sexual Desire in the Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre
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For Jean-Paul Sartre, both love and sexual desire are necessarily doomed to failure. In this paper, I wish to briefly explain why Sartre takes this position. Both love and sexual desire fail, as do all patterns to conduct towards the other, because they involve an attempt to simultaneouslycapture the other-as-subject and as-object. This, for Sartre, involves an ontological contradiction which I demonstrate.Furthermore, I wish to offer the outline of a criticism of this position, a criticism made from the perspective of an acceptance of the basic Sartrian approach taken in Being and Nothingness. Sartre’s description of love implies an attempt to overcome ontological aspects of the human condition which are fundamentally insurmountable. I will show that this description is flawed even within the confines of a Sartrian ontology by pointing out unwarranted assumptions on Sartre’s part as to the goals of these activities and their worth, as well as the worth of the emotional consciousness itself.
66. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Stephen Griffith How Not to Argue About Abortion
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The most important contribution which professional philosophers could make to the debate concerning abortion would be to produce a detailed conceptual analysis of the sorts of situations in which abortion is typically contemplated and/or performed and a set of moral considerations and/or principles which would be applicable to any such case. I argue that the sorts of hypothetical cases and fanciful analogies typically used by philosophers in their discussions of abortion can be either appropriate or inappropriate for this purpose, and attempt to illustrate this difference by considering several possible interpretations of some of the scenarios diacussed in J.J. Thomson’s classic paper “A Defense of Abortion” together with some of my own.
67. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Richard A. Blanke The Motivation to be Moral in the Groundwork to the Metaphysics of Morals
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Kant maintained that in order for an act to have moral worth it is necessary that it be done from the motive of duty. On the traditional view of Kant, the motive of duty is constituted solely by one’s belief or cognition that some act is one’s duty. Desire must be ruled out as forming partof the moral motive. On this view, if an agent’s act is to have moral worth, then it must be the ease that his belief that he has a duty has, on its own, motivational force.I attempt to argue that this view is mistaken, that for Kant desire does have a place in moral motivation, and that for Kant it is not possible that we can have an obligation, sincerely assert that we have, and at the same time have no desire to perform that obligation.
68. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Louis G. Lombardi The Nature of Rights
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The paper seeks to explain rights by first uncovering their specific place in the moral realm. Accounts of rights as claims or entitlements are criticized for attempting to explain the moral concept of rights in terms that are primarily non-moral. Rights are then described as a form ofprescriptive presumption, that is, as requirements on deliberations that yield justifiable expectations of certain types of treatment. Similarities and differences between rights and moral rules or principles are examined to uncover the specific role of rights in moral analysis.
69. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Michael A. Principe Is Universalization in Ethics Significant for Choosing A Theory of Identity Across Possible Worlds?
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Can Lewisian counterpart theory adequately account for the deliberation involved in universalizing moral judgments? In this paper, the dispute between Shalom Lappin and Yehudah Freunlich over the answer to this question is examined and clarified. Then it is argued that Lappin andFreunlich do not join issue in a way which allows for satisfactory adjudication of their dispute. Specifically, they are unaware of the different models of role projection which each employs. By making these models explicit, it can be seen that, regardless of how universalization is construed, a Lewisian can indeed offer an adequate account of moral deliberation.
70. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Michael Davis Interested Vegetables, Rational Emotions, and Moral Status
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Many discussions of the moral status of “mindless beings” such as the permanently comatose, the dead, trees, and human fetuses seem to take for granted the thesis that it is improper to appeal to emotions to establish the fundamental distinction between “persona” (beings capableof rights “in their own right”) and “things” (beings not capable of rights except in some fictional or iIlusory sense). Persons are persons, however we may feel about them.That thesis seems to be a major obstacle to any nonutilitarian account of the personhood of mindless beings.I argue that the thesis of independence is true, if at aIl, only for one class of persons (“rational agents”). Beyond that class, our emotional response to a being can be relevant to its moral status. Acting on some consideration (or believing something in virtue of it) can be rational inthe “constitutive”, “regulative”, or “associative” sense. A consideration is a good reason if it is rational in any of these senses. The importance of this claim is shown by briefly examining Feinberg’s weIl-known argument that it is a conceptual truth that mindless beings are incapable ofrights. His argument assumes that our emotions cannot be rational in the appropriate sense and coIlapses without that assumption.
71. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Maurice Mandelbaum The Determinants of Choice
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This paper assumes that human choices are determined, and distinguishes among the views of some classical modern philosophers regarding what determines choice.Hobbes and Hume are taken as representatives of choice as determined by subjective propensities; the differences between their views is discussed. Descartes is taken as a major representative of the view that choice is determined by an apprehension of that which is objectively good, and Spinoza, Malebranche, and Leibniz are discussed insofar as they share that view. It is then shown that interpretations of Locke and Mill whieh assimilate their views to those of Hobbes and Hume are mistaken.As a third alternative, the self-determinist positions of Green and Dewey are discussed. The views of James, in which attention and effort are key concepts, are traced, and that aspect of his view whieh stresses attention is accepted, while his emphasis on effort is rejected.
72. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Charles T. Hagen Rationality in Plato’s Republic
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This paper distinguishes six elements in the Platonic concept of rationality as it appears in the Republic: (a) being fully informed; (b) thinking logically; (c) having the single correct ultimate end; (d) determining the appropriate means; (e) matching action to thought; and (f) promotingone’s own interest. The evidence linking the rational part of the soul (the logistikon) to each of these aspects is discussed. The philosopher-guardians are shown to exemplify full and complete “Platonic rationality”, whereas the unjust men in books 8 and 9 exhibit different degrees of failure to conform to the six elements listed above.
73. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Germain Kopaczynski A Real Distinction in St. Thomas Aquinas?: 20th Century Opponents and the Linguistic Turn
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The objective of this study is to analyze the writing of three neo-scholastic writers of the twentieth century -- Marcel Chossat, Pedro Descoqs, and Francis Cunningham -- who happen to dispute the prevailing view of Thomists that St. Thomas Aquinas does indeed hold a doctrine of thereal distinction of essence and existence in created being. The approach utilized will be basically historical: we start with the year 1910, the year in which Marcel Chossat rekindled the ever-smoldering embers of the essence-existence controversy with his claim that Aquinas never held such a doctrine. In order to justify another treatment of what has been called “the endlessly rehashed question”, we try to show that the arguments put forth by the three thinkers in question an are based on considerable and weighty linguistic grounds which others in the debate have tended to dismiss. We conclude by saying that any discussion of the real distinction controversy must take a “linguistic turn” if it is to have any hope of being fruitful.
74. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Carl Cranor Billy Budd and the Duty to Enforce the Law: A Sketch of Some of the Major Moral Issues
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Herman Melville’s Billy Budd presents a classic example of a legal official legally required to enforce a law he believes or knows to be unjust. Although there has been considerable discussion of a citizen’s moral duty to obey unjust laws, there has been little consideration of a legalofficial’s duty to enforce unjust laws.In this paper I take the central moral dilemma of the novel -- a legal official’s moral duty to enforce a valid law of a legal system vs. his moral duty not to do or to contribute to injustice -- and discuss various moral considerations that would bear on this dilemma. By doing this I hope to contribute both to the moral issues involved as weIl as, to some extent, the literary criticism with regard to Billy Budd.
75. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Karl Pfeifer A Consideration of Modifications to the Multiplying Account
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A sequel to “A Problem of Motivation for Multipliers”, SJPhil 20, 209-24. It is argued that Goldman’s account of act and event individuation cannot be modified to escape criticisms previously raised. Augmentation generation and the counterfactual basis of the account are featured inthe discussion.
76. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
Robert L. Greenwood C.I. Lewis and the Issue of Phenomenalism
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According to the received view, the philosophy of C.I. Lewis is a form of phenomenalism. The first part of this paper is an argument designed to show that Lewis does not support one of the necessary conditions for ontological phenomenalism; namely, the sense-datum theory. The secondpart is an argument designed to show that Lewis’ theory is incompatible with linguistic phenomenalism, a view according to which there is an equivalence of meaning between physical object statements and sense-data statements. The argument is not merely that terminating judgments are not sense-data statements, but that they cannot be equivalent to objective statements.
77. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
John A. Barker, Thomas D. Paxson Jr. Aristotle vs. Diodorus: Who Won the Fatalism Debate?
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We develop a modified system of standard logic, Augmented Standard Logic (ASL), and we employ ASL in an effort to show that, contrary to prevailing opinion, both Aristotle and Diodorus presented impressive arguments, having valid structures and highly plausible premisses, in their famous fatalism debate. We argue that ASL, which contains standard logic and a full system of modal and temporal logic emanating from a modicum of primitives, should not only enable one to appreciate the sophisticated philosophizing which characterized this ancient debate, but should prove to be quite useful in application to contemporary issues.
78. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
William M. Goodman Structures and Procedures: Carnap’s Construction in the Aufbau
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This paper takes up the challenge which Carnap poses in his Aufbau: to make of it a basis for continued epistemological research. I try to close some gaps in Carnap’s original presentation and to make at least the first few steps of his constructional outline more accessible to the modern reader. Particularly emphasized is Carnap’s implicit recognition that, to be effective, “structural” models of epistemology (using logical symbols) must be complemented with “procedural” models (his “fictitious operations”). The paper shows how a procedural model, a computer program,can “bypass” Nelson Goodman’s counter example to Carnap’s logical construction of “similarity circles”.
79. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
T. F. Morris Plato’s Lysis
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It is shown that Plato’s Lysis is full of positive content between the lines. At the close of the dialogue Socrates says that he considers Lysis, Menexenus, and himself to be friends of one another. Following up on the questions which the dialogue leads us to ask yields an explanation ofwhy each of these instances of friendship is, in fact, an instance of friendship. In addition, the dialogue shows that there are five types of motivation for desiring something.
80. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 11
George Englebretsen Semantic Considerations for Sommers’ Logic
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During the last twenty-five years Fred Sommers has developed a series of inter-related theories of language structure, ontological structure, logical syntax, and truth. Each theory has naturally contained valuable suggestions concerning semantic issues. But Sommers has not yet offered a specifically semantic theory. I attempt here to fill that gap by sketching a theory of semantics based upon his logical theses. The theory holds that terms, as used in statement making sentences, have both denotation and signification. Terms denote objects and signify properties. Terms, when quantified, refer to some or all of their denotations, and, when qualified, characterize the subjects to which they are predicated as having or lacking the properties they signify. The semantic, syntactic, and ontological theses presented in this theory are contrasted with those found in classical, scholastic, Leibnizian, Fregean, and Quinean theories.