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Journal Cover Phenomenology and Mind
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 2280-7853 - ISSN (Online) 2239-4028
   Published by Firenze University Press Homepage  [41 journals]
  • A Snapshot of a New Generation of Philosophers

    • Authors: Laura Caponetto, Bianca Cepollaro
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • The Practical Turn in Philosophy of Mathematics: A Portrait of a Young

    • Authors: Valeria Giardino
      Abstract: In the present article, the current situation of the so-called philosophy of mathematical practice is discussed. First, its emergence is evaluated in relation to the “practical” turn in philosophy of science and in philosophy of mathematics. Second, the variety of approaches concerned with the practice of mathematics and the new topics being now object of research are introduced. Third, the possible replies to the question about what counts as mathematical practice are taken into account. Finally, some of the problems that are still open in the philosophy of mathematical practice are presented and some possible new directions of research considered.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • New Wine in Old Bottles: The Kind of Political Philosophy We Need

    • Authors: Beatrice Magni
      Abstract: There isn’t an overall consensus on the aim, meaning and role(s) of contemporary political philosophy. The relationship between philosophy and politics has been addressed and sharpened – not just today but in different ways and from various, separate and sometimes conflicting perspectives (Leopold & Stears, 2008). Regardless, the main aims, meaning and role of a field of study are key issues, and the quality and credibility of the research will most likely depend on our capacity to draw a path through this conflicting background. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to drafting elements of a new road map that could lead contemporary political philosophy out of this crippling impasse. It builds on a specific version of political theory – Walzer’s interpretation path reviewed (Walzer, 1985) – and addresses a kind of political practice able to reconcile political philosophy’s normative commitments – as is the case with the Rawls’ four roles of political philosophy (Rawls, 2007) – with its actual ambitions and conditions of achievability (Hall, 2015; Galston, 2010).
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • What Metalinguistic Negotiations Can’t Do

    • Authors: Teresa Marques
      Abstract: Philosophers of language and metaethicists are concerned with persistent normative and evaluative disagreements – how can we explain persistent intelligible disagreements in spite of agreement over the described facts' Tim Sundell recently argued that evaluative aesthetic and personal taste disputes could be explained as metalinguistic negotiations – conversations where interlocutors negotiate how best to use a word relative to a context. I argue here that metalinguistic negotiations are neither necessary nor sufficient for genuine evaluative and normative disputes to occur. A comprehensive account of value talk requires stronger metanormative commitments than metalinguistic negotiations afford.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • The Myth of Presentism’s Intuitive Appeal

    • Authors: Giuliano Torrengo
      Abstract: Presentism, the view that only what’s present exists, seems to be intuitively very appealing. The intuitive appeal of presentism constitutes a main reason for treating the view as a serious option and worthy of consideration. In this paper, I argue that the appearance of presentism’s intuitiveness is based upon a series of misconceptions.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Contextualist Answers to the Challenge from Disagreement

    • Authors: Dan Zeman
      Abstract: In this short paper I survey recent contextualist answers to the challenge from disagreement raised by contemporary relativists. After making the challenge vivid by means of a working example, I specify the notion of disagreement lying at the heart of the challenge. The answers are grouped in three categories, the first characterized by rejecting the intuition of disagreement in certain cases, the second by conceiving disagreement as a clash of non-cognitive attitudes and the third by relegating disagreement at the pragmatic level. For each category I present several important variants and raise some (general) criticisms. The paper is meant to offer a quick introduction to the current contextualist literature on disagreement and thus a useful tool for further research.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • How to Dispel the Asymmetry Concerning Retraction

    • Authors: Diogo Santos
      Abstract: MacFarlane (2014) advocates a radical form of semantic relativism. He argues that his proposal complies with the norms governing our assertion practices in various areas of discourse. These practices also include norms regarding the conditions in which it is inappropriate not to retract an assertion. Ferrari & Zeman (2014) identify an asymmetry concerning retractions in two relevant areas of discourse and argue that assessment-sensitivity needs to be supplemented with further theoretical tools to explain it. I dispel the asymmetry and conclude that assessment-sensitivity needs no supplementation to account for it.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Slurs: At-issueness and Semantic Normativity

    • Authors: Simone Carrus
      Abstract: In the first part of the article, we present the main approaches to analyze slurs’ content and we investigate the interaction between an assertion containing a slur and a denial (‘It’s not true that P’ / P is false’) showing to what extent a “neutral counterpart account” works better than a “dual account”. Additionally, the analysis offers the opportunity to discuss the usefulness of the notion of “at-issueness” for a debate on the lexical semantics of slurs. In the second part, we use our apparatus to analyze a real case of non-standard use of ‘frocio’ (‘faggot’). Our conclusion is that even if a family resemblance conception of category membership could account for these uses, it cannot account for the related semantic normativity problem.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Thomason (Un)conditionals

    • Authors: Andrés Soria Ruiz
      Abstract: Thomason conditionals are sentences of the form if p, ~Kp. Given plausible assumptions, these sentences cause trouble for epistemic theories of indicative conditionals. Our aim is to show that Thomason examples are not indicative conditionals, but alternative unconditionals, in the sense put forward by Rawlins (2013). This hypothesis solves the difficulty and explains certain features that set Thomason examples apart from run-of-the-mill indicative conditionals.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Assertion and the Varieties of Norms

    • Authors: Paolo Labinaz
      Abstract: This paper challenges Cappelen’s claim that the speech act category of assertion is to be discarded since there is no principled way to distinguish between utterances that are assertions and those that are not. Using an Austin-inspired framework, I will argue that, in opposition to his claim, there are some norms that can be seen to apply to assertion in a more intimate way than others, and these norms can be shown to be constitutive of it, since it is by means of them that we can account for specific defects pertaining to the making of an assertion, which the reliance on contextually variable norms (such as the conversational maxims of Grice to which he refers) does not seem able to do.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Chomsky on Analytic and Necessary Propositions

    • Authors: Enrico Cipriani
      Abstract: My aim is to critically discuss Chomsky’s position concerning the analytic-synthetic distinction and necessary propositions. To do so, I present Chomsky’s objection to Quine’s criticism of the analytic-synthetic distinction, and I point out that Chomsky’s defense of such a distinction can be efficacious only under the assumption of conceptual innateness. I then focus on Chomsky’s analysis of necessary propositions. In particular, I present Chomsky’s objection to Kripke’s essentialism, and Chomsky’s hypothesis that the distinction between necessary and contingent truths is determined by the structure of the conceptual system and its relations with other systems of common-sense understanding. I highlight that this hypothesis is not compatible with Chomsky’s own objection to Kripke.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • The Two-Way Relationship Between Language Acquisition and Simulation

    • Authors: Hashem Ramadan
      Abstract: In this paper, I try to draw a two-way connection between simulation theory and language acquisition. I argue that an individual with better simulation capabilities is at an advantage when it comes to foreign language acquisition, but this also works in the opposite direction in that exposure to many languages leads to better simulation capacities and more empathy. A number of studies relating to the subject of language and simulation will be presented in this paper. An evolutionary explanation and an analysis of the case of children with autism will also be presented to argue in favor of simulation theory over theory theory.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Rebuilding the Landscape of Psychological Understanding After the
           Mindreading War

    • Authors: Marco Fenici
      Abstract: ‘Mindreading war’ refers here to the intricate net of connected debates both in the philosophy and the cognitive sciences concerning the onset, the development, and the nature of the cognitive mechanisms underlying mindreading – i.e., the alleged ability to attribute mental states to predict and explain others’ behavior. The mindreading war has lasted for almost forty years by now with apparently no winners or losers. This article argues that the present stalemate results from the lack of initial theoretical discussion about foundational issues that led to the conflict. Recovering the dialogue between psychologists and philosophers is necessary if we are to start rebuilding the landscape of psychological understanding once this long war is over.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Naturalizing Qualia

    • Authors: Alessandra Buccella
      Abstract: Hill (2014) argues that perceptual qualia, i.e. the ways in which things look from a viewpoint, are physical properties of objects. They are relational in nature, that is, they are functions of objects’ intrinsic properties, viewpoints, and observers. Hill also claims that his kind of representationalism is the only view capable of “naturalizing qualia”. After discussing a worry with Hill’s account, I put forward an alternative, which is just as “naturalization-friendly”. I build upon Chirimuuta’s color adverbialism (2015), and I argue that we would better serve the “naturalizing project” if we abandoned representationalism and preferred a broadly adverbialist view of perceptual qualia.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Carving Mind at Brain’s Joints. The Debate on Cognitive Ontology

    • Authors: Marco Viola
      Abstract: Since neuroimaging methods allow researchers to study the human brain at work, the vexed mind-brain problem ceased to be just a metaphysical issue, and became a practical concern for Cognitive Neuroscientists: how could they carve mind and brain into distinct entities, and what is the relation between these two sets' In this paper, I discuss the classical model of one-to-one mappings between mental and neural entities, inherited from phrenology, and make its assumptions explicit. I then examine the shortcomings of this “new phrenology”, and explore two solutions to them: the first accepts many-to-many mappings, whereas the second proposes a radically rethinking of the relata of this correspondence.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Looking for Emergence in Physics

    • Authors: Joana Rigato
      Abstract: Despite its recent popularity, Emergence is still a field where philosophers and physicists often talk past each other. In fact, while philosophical discussions focus mostly on ontological emergence, physical theory is inherently limited to the epistemological level and the impossibility of its conclusions to provide direct evidence for ontological claims is often underestimated. Nevertheless, the emergentist philosopher’s case against reductionist theories of how the different levels of reality are related to each other can still gain from the assessment of paradigmatic examples of discontinuity between models in physics, even though their implications must be handled with care.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Direct Social Perception of Emotions in Close Relations

    • Authors: Andrea Blomqvist
      Abstract: Drawing on a pluralist approach to mindreading, I explore Direct Social Perception with respect to perceiving the emotional states of people that we are close to, such as spouses, friends, and family. I argue that in general, emotions are embodied and can be perceived directly. I further claim that perceptual content includes concepts. That is, I argue against a non-conceptual view of emotion recognition, claiming instead that we learn emotional concepts by attending to certain expressive patterns of emotions. This view implicates that we can directly perceive both basic and non-basic emotions of people we are close to.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Me, You, and the Measurement. Founding a Science of Consciousness on the
           Second Person Perspective

    • Authors: Niccolò Negro
      Abstract: Modern science was born when physicists started studying phenomena by recruiting mathematical explanatory frameworks. Since this appears to be the direction followed in recent studies on consciousness, philosophers have to analyze the justification of this third-person methods of explaining a phenomenon that is supposed to be entirely subjective. In this paper I argue that this kind of justification could be found in a certain interpretation of the second-person perspective and I briefly sketch how one of the most promising contemporary theory of consciousness (IIT) could fit with such an interpretation.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Empathy, Simulation, and Neuroscience: A Phenomenological Case against

    • Authors: Timothy A. Burns
      Abstract: In recent years, some simulation theorists have claimed that the discovery of mirror neurons provides empirical support for the position that mind reading is, at some basic level, simulation. The purpose of this essay is to question that claim. I begin by providing brief context for the current mind reading debate and then developing an influential simulationist account of mind reading. I then draw on the works of Edmund Husserl and Edith Stein to develop an alternative, phenomenological account. In conclusion, I offer multiple objections against simulation theory and argue that the empirical evidence mirror neurons offer us does not necessarily support the view that empathy is simulation.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • On Experiencing Meaning: Irreducible Cognitive Phenomenology and Sinewave

    • Authors: John Joseph Dorsch
      Abstract: Upon first hearing sinewaves, all that can be discerned are beeps and whistles. But after hearing the original speech, the beeps and whistles sound like speech. The difference between these two episodes undoubtedly involves an alteration in phenomenal character. O’Callaghan (2011) argues that this alteration is non-sensory, but he leaves open the possibility of attributing it to some other source, e.g. cognition. I discuss whether the alteration in phenomenal character involved in sinewave speech provides evidence for cognitive phenomenology. I defend both the existence of cognitive phenomenology and the phenomenal contrast method, as each concerns the case presented here.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Embodied Mind – Ensocialled Body: Navigating Bodily and Social Processes
           within Accounts of Human Cognitive Agency

    • Authors: Joe Higgins
      Abstract: There is a prevalent tension within recent cognitive scientific accounts of human selfhood in that either bodily processes or social processes are explanatorily favored at the expense of the other. This tension is elucidated by the body-social problem (Kyselo, 2014) and at its heart is ambiguity regarding the body’s role within embodied cognitive science. Drawing on a range of phenomenological and empirical insights, I propose that we can avoid the problem by embracing the concept of an ensocialled body, in which all organic bodily processes are simultaneously social processes from the perspective of human cognitive agency.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • Biology, Justice and Hume’s Guillotine

    • Authors: Hugo de Brito Machado Segundo, Raquel Cavalcanti Ramos Machado
      Abstract: Biology and Neuroscience are addressing issues related to moral sentiments, but this does not mean that Philosophy has lost its importance in the debate. Paradoxically, the discovery that moral sentiments have evolutionary origins does not overcome the problem of “Hume’s Guillotine”. There are human characteristics which can be explained by natural selection and that are nonetheless culturally reproved. In order to choose or select which “natural” characteristics are to be promoted and which are to be discouraged, it is necessary to use a criterion that is not given by nature, although human capacities to discuss these criteria have been naturally shaped.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • On Solidarity: Gramsci’s Objectivity as a Corrective to
           Buber’s I-It

    • Authors: Ryan Adams
      Abstract: I and Thou sets out a dichotomy of human interactions between the merely objective I-It and the intense intersubjective relationship of the I-Thou, creating a problem of how one is to differentiate the I-It relations that are healthy and natural, and those that are limiting and detrimental. As a corrective to this ambiguity, I posit the principle of solidarity as a relation which retains the personhood of the Other yet still confines it to what Buber calls the I-It “relation”. To do this I will discuss similar attitudes such as sympathy and camaraderie using them to draw out the meaning of solidarity in contradistinction to them, and show how solidarity functions as Gramsci’s Objectivity.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
  • The Italian “Difference”. Philosophy between Old and New Tendencies in
           Contemporary Italy

    • Authors: Corrado Claverini
      Abstract: Back in vogue today is the tendency of Italian philosophy toward reflection on itself that has always characterized an important part of our historiographical tradition. The present essay firstly analyzes the various interpretative positions in respect to the legitimacy, the risks, and the benefits of such a discourse, which intends to distinguish the different traditions of thought by resorting to a criterion of territorial or national kind. Secondly, the essay examines diverse paradigms that identify – in “precursory genius”; in ethical and civil vocation; and in “living thought” – the distinctive hallmark of the Italian philosophical tradition from the Renaissance to today.
      Issue No: Vol. 0
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Heriot-Watt University
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