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81. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Renata Ziemińska Pragmatic Inconsistency of Sextan Skepticism
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Skepticism described by Sextus Empiricus faces the persistent charge that it is an inconsistent, self-refuting view. However, recently its consistency hasbeen defended in three important ways: (1) it is a thesis with weak assertion, (2) it is a practice without any assertion, and (3) it is a process developing over time.The first option is not well supported by Sextus’ texts, where even a weak assertion is not allowed. The second option cannot explain the rationality of skeptical arguments. The third option reveals two levels of Sextan skepticism; however, the developing skeptic has to accept the self-refutation charge, and the mature skeptic takes flight from the charge without any rational answer. I claim that Sextus embraces the self-refutation charge. The mature skeptic’s speech acts are pragmatically inconsistent: their content cannot be asserted without contradiction. As a result, the charge of inconsistency is not answered.
82. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Joshua Rasmussen From Necessary Truth to Necessary Existence
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I introduce new details in an argument for necessarily existing propositions. The crux of the argument marks out a pathway to the conclusion that necessary truths cannot themselves be necessarily true unless they necessarily exist. I motivate the steps in the argument and then address several standard objections, including one that makes use of the distinction between ‘truth in’ and ‘truth at’. The purpose of the argument is to generate deeper insights into the nature of propositions and the logic of necessity. The argument also gives us a new reason to believe the traditional answer to the question of why there is anything: there is something because the alternative is impossible.
83. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Marco Simionato Reconsidering Metaphysical Nihilism
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In contemporary analytic philosophy metaphysical nihilism is the thesis according to which there might be nothing, i.e. a possible world with no concreteobjects in it, but that can contain (or must contain) abstract objects. After summarizing the set of premises from which analytic metaphysics deals with nothing, I propose a set of premises that could fit continental metaphysics. Then I propose a new set of premises for the question of nothing that derives from a synthesis of the two above mentioned sets. By means of this new set, I try to show that nothing as a possible world with no objects at all is not a self-contradictory entity and I propose an argument for proving that an empty possible world exists.
84. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Michael Blamauer The Role of Subjectivity in the Continuity-Argument for Panpsychism
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The Principle of Continuity (PC) is a major premise in what can be called the “Continuity-Argument for Panpsychism” (CAP): If we, as complex conscious organisms, are the evolutionary products of originally inorganic components and processes, and consciousness is a metaphysically irreducible feature, thenconsciousness must have already been a feature of these fundamental components, assuming there is continuity between the inorganic and the organic. This argument faces one serious objection, based on the possible vagueness of consciousness: If consciousness is a feature of organisms which is gradually gained at some later phylogenetic stage the conclusion of CAP is false. In my paper I defend the assumption that consciousness cannot be vague with the goal of concluding that CAP is sound.
85. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 7 > Issue: 1
Nicola Claudio Salvatore Skepticism, Rules and Grammar
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In his final notebook, published posthumously as On Certainty (1969, henceforth OC), Wittgenstein offers a sustained and, at least apparently, fragmentary treatment of skeptical issues. Given the ambiguity and obscurity of some of its remarks, in the recent literature on the subject we can find a number of competing interpretations of OC, particularly of the elusive concept of ‘hinges’, central to Wittgenstein’s last work. In this paper, I will discuss the dominant interpretations of OC in order to show how they fail to represent plausible renderings of his anti-skeptical thought. Finally, I will argue that the analogy between ‘hinges’ and ‘rules of grammar’, correctly understood and developed, can represent a plausible interpretation of Wittgenstein’s thought and, more importantly, a viable anti-skeptical strategy.
86. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Jack M. C. Kwong Why Concepts Should Not Be Pluralized or Eliminated
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Concept Pluralism and Concept Eliminativism are two positions recently proposed in the philosophy and the psychology of concepts. Both of these theories aremotivated by the view that all current theories of concepts are empirically and methodologically inadequate and hold in common the assumption that for any category that can be represented in thought, a person can possess multiple, distinct concepts of it. In this paper, I will challenge these in light of a third theory, Conceptual Atomism, which addresses and dispels the contentious issues. In particular, I contend that Conceptual Atomism, when properly understood, is empirically adequate and can overcome difficulties that plague Pluralism and Eliminativism.
87. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Voin Milevski The Utilitarian Justification of Prepunishment
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According to Christopher New, prepunishment is punishment for an offence before the offence is committed. I will first analyze New’s argument, along with theepistemic conditions for practicing prepunishment. I will then deal with an important conceptual objection, according to which prepunishment is not a genuine kind of ‘punishment’. After that, I will consider retributivism and present conclusive reasons for the claim that it cannot justify prepunishment without leading to paradoxical results. I shall then seek to establish that from the utilitarian point of view it is possible to provide a plausible justification of this practice. Finally, I shall attempt to defend the claim that the fact that utilitarianism can justify prepunishment in a satisfactory way is clearly a favourable characteristic of this ethical position.
88. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Olga Poller Formal Representation of Proper Names in Accordance with a Descriptive Theory of Reference
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In this paper I present a way of formally representing proper names in accordance with a description theory of reference–fixing and show that such arepresentation makes it possible to retain the claim about the rigidity of proper names and is not vulnerable to Kripke’s modal objection.
89. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Robert J. Rovetto Presentism and the Problem of Singular Propositions about Non-Present Objects – Limitations of a Proposed Solution
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In “A Defense of Presentism,” Ned Markosian addresses the problem of singular propositions about non-present objects. The proposed solution uses aparaphrasing strategy that differentiates between two kinds of meaning in declarative sentences, and also distinguishes between two truth-conditions for singularpropositions. The solution, however, is unsatisfactory. I demonstrate that both truth-conditions suffer from the same problems in spite of the examples used to support the claim that one is a proper treatment for singular propositions. Part of the difficulty is in the limited expressivity of logical formalisms, a limitation not unique to the philosophy of time, but one which calls for greater attention.
90. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
David Sackris It Might Not Be All That Cloudy
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Kai von Fintel and Anthony Gillies have proposed a revised contextual analysis of sentences that make use of “might” epistemically. On their view, when aspeaker uses an epistemic modal term, several propositions are made available to his conversational partners and, as a result, there are several propositions that may be picked up on by those partners. Because there is no concrete “context of utterance,” there is no one proposition that the speaker could be said to have asserted. This is meant to resolve conflicting truth evaluations by different speakers of a single utterance. I argue that the position is unworkable for two reasons: First, on their view there is no single proposition that counts as being asserted or semantically expressed by a “might” utterance; this has several counterintuitive consequences. Second, their position does not address several of the original problems that led many to abandon a contextual account.
91. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 1
Michael Shaffer The Paradox of Knowability and Factivity
92. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Joshua Anderson Counterfactuals and their Truthmakers: Comparing the Relative Strengths and Weaknesses of Plato and Lewis
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This article compares David Lewis’s understanding of counterfactuals with a Platonic theory of counterfactual truthmakers. By pointing to some weaknesses in Lewis’s theory, it will highlight some of the strengths of the Platonic theory. The article will progress in the following way. First, I present David Lewis’s understanding of counterfactuals, and discuss some problems the theory has. Next, I discuss Platonic truthmakers, in general, and then show how this applies to counterfactuals. Finally, I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Platonic theory, and how it is superior to Lewis’s theory.
93. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Sonia Kamińska Two Views on Intentionality, Immortality, and the Self in Brentano’s Philosophy of Mind
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This paper is devoted to Franz Brentano’s conception of intentionality, and aims to reveal some of its lesser known aspects, like the implications of his studies for our understanding of Aristotle’s psychology. I try to show two “currents” in Brentano’s thought: beside what is widely known as Franz Brentano’s philosophy of mind, I also present the Aristotelian side of his thinking. Each of these currents, which I call A (Aristotelian) and B (Brentanian), makes different assumptions about the ontological status of the soul and God, and from these different conceptions of mental life and its relation to God follow different accounts of immortality. By discussing them in detail I also hope to show Brentano as a philosopher of religion.
94. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Joanna Szelegieniec, Szymon Nowak Peirce and C. I. Lewis on Quale
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The debates about qualia are common in contemporary analytical philosophy, especially in the area of philosophy of mind or epistemology. Notwithstanding the significance of this notion in present-day investigations, there still appears to be a lack of agreement over how to understand the term “quale”. Due to this fact, our goal is to shed light on the concept of quale as it entered the modern history of philosophy. Strictly speaking, our concern shall be devoted to the American pragmatist philosophy of C. S. Peirce and C. I. Lewis. Therefore, we intend to outline the understanding of quale within Peirce's theory of categories at the beginning, and afterwards we shall present Lewis' remarks on quale in the context of his theory of the given. This approach will not only provide the grounds for relating Peirce's and Lewis' views with each other, but also it will let us interpret Lewis' notion of quale within the pragmatic framework.
95. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 8 > Issue: 2
Erich Rast Harming Yourself and Others: a Note on the Asymmetry of Agency in Action Evaluations
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Principles are investigated that allow one to establish a preference ordering between possible actions based on the question of whether the acting agent himself or other agents will benefit or be harmed by the consequences of an action. It is shown that a combination of utility maximization, an altruist principle, and weak negative utilitarianism yields an ordering that seems to be intuitively appealing, although it does not necessarily reflect common everyday evaluations of actions.
96. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Manuel García-Carpintero Indirect Assertions
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Imagination and Convention by Ernie Lepore and Matthew Stone is a sustained attack on a standard piece of contemporary philosophical lore, Grice’s (1975) theory of conversational implicatures, and on indirect meanings in general. Although I agree with quite a lot of what they say, and with some important aspects of their theoretical stance, here I will respond to some of their criticism. I’ll assume a characterization of implicatures as theory-neutral as possible, on which implicatures are a sort of indirectly conveyed meanings, illustrated by some traditional examples. Then I will discuss the claim that one can make an assertion indirectly, through a mechanism essentially like the one envisaged by Grice in his account of implicatures. This is something that not just L&S have argued against, but other writers as well, for more or less related reasons. Since it will be clear that assertions, the way I will characterize them, “convey information inthe usual sense” and provide “information in the semantic sense of publicly accessible content that supports inquiry”, I will be thereby arguing for a claim clearly at odds with some of those made by L&S.
97. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Joanna Odrowąż-Sypniewska Conventions of Usage vs. Meaning Conventions
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In this paper I criticise some aspects of the view that Ernie Lepore and Mathew Stone propose in their book Imagination and Convention. I concentrate on their analysis of indirect speech acts and contrast it with the view held by Searle. I point out some problems that arise for Lepore and Stone’s ambiguity view and argue that admitting conventions of usage that are not meaning conventions allows one to avoid postulating global ambiguity, which in my opinion threatens the view proposed in Imagination and Convention. In addition, if one admits that there might be such conventions of usage, one is in a position to provide an adequate analysis of sub-sentential speech acts and semantic underdetermination as well as indirect speech acts.
98. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Marcin Matczak Does Legal Interpretation Need Paul Grice?: Reflections on Lepore and Stone’s Imagination and Convention
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By significantly diminishing the role intentions play in communication, in Imagination and Convention (2015) Lepore and Stone attempt to overthrow the Gricean paradigm which prevails in the philosophy of language. The approach they propose is attractive to theorists of legal interpretations for many reasons. Primary among these is that the more general dispute in the philosophy of language between Griceans and non-Griceans mirrors the dispute between intentionalists and non-intentionalists in legal interpretation. The ideas proposed in Imagination and Convention naturally support the non-intentionalist camp, which makes them unique in the contemporary philosophy of language.In this paper I argue that despite an almost universal acceptance for the Gricean paradigm in legal interpretation, a strong, externalist approach to language, one in which interpretation is based on conventions, not intentions, better reflects the nature of legal language. The latter functions in societies as a written, public discourse to which many individuals contribute; the number of contributions renders the identification of individual intentions impossible, making it badly suited to a Gricean, intention-based analysis. Lepore and Stone’s discourse-based, non-Gricean alternative provides a better tool for the theorist of legal interpretation to analyse legal language. In what follows, I first present an overview of the disputes in legal interpretation that may be affected by Imagination and Convention. In the second section, I analyze several of Lepore and Stone’s theses and apply them to issues in legal interpretation, paying particular attention to their concept of “direct intentionalism.” In the last section, I outline some proposals for finishing the anti-Gricean revolution, which involves Ruth Millikan’s idea of conventions as lineages.
99. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
K. M. Jaszczolt On Unimaginative Imagination and Conventional Conventions: Response to Lepore and Stone
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The article is a response to Lepore and Stone 2015 and offers a critical discussion of their claims that various aspects of discourse meaning can be ascribed togrammar and that the concept of semantic ambiguity can be defended in the light of the current debates on the semantics/pragmatics interface. It also addresses the question of the understanding of conventions and inferences and their place in the above interface. It ends with the claim that the role Lepore and Stone ascribe to grammar cannot be defended.
100. Polish Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Maciej Witek Accommodation and Convention
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The paper develops a non-Gricean account of accommodation: a contextadjusting process guided by the assumption that the speaker’s utterance constitutes an appropriate conversational move. The paper is organized into three parts. The first one reconstructs the basic tenets of Lepore and Stone's non-Gricean model of meaningmaking, which results from integrating direct intentionalism and extended semantics. The second part discusses the phenomenon of accommodation as it occurs in conversational practice. The third part uses the tenets of the non-Gricean model of meaning-making to account for the discursive mechanisms underlying accommodation; the proposed account relies on a distinction between the rules of appropriateness, which form part of extendedgrammar, and the Maxim of Appropriateness, which functions as a discursive norm guiding our conversational practice.