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  Subjects -> PHILOSOPHY (Total: 762 journals)
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 2182-2875 - ISSN (Online) 0873-626X
Published by Sciendo Homepage  [389 journals]
  • Barren Worlds

    • Abstract: This work explores issues with the eliminativist formulation of ontic structural realism. An ontology that totally eliminates objects is found lacking by arguing, first, that the theoretical frameworks used to support the best arguments against an object-oriented ontology (quantum mechanics, relativity theory, quantum field theory) can be seen in every case as physical models of empty worlds, and therefore do not represent all the information that comes from science, and in particular from fundamental physics, which also includes information about local interactions between objects. Secondly, by giving a critical assessment of the role of symmetries in these fundamental physical theories; and, lastly, by warning about unfounded metaphysical assumptions. An argument is made for a moderate form of structural realism instead, one in which objects play the fundamental role of representing symmetries and bearing their conserved charges, and of participating in the network of interactions observed in the world.
      PubDate: Tue, 17 Jan 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • Disagreement and a Functional Equal Weight View

    • Abstract: If a colleague of mine, whose opinion I respect, disagrees with me about some claim, this might give me pause regarding my position on the matter. The Equal Weight view proposes that in such cases of peer disagreement I ought to give my colleague’s opinion as much weight as my own, and decrease my certainty in the disputed claim. One prominent criticism of the Equal Weight view is that treating higher-order (indirect) evidence in this way invariably swamps first-order (direct) evidence. While the opinions of our peers matter in our deliberations, the Equal Weight view counter-intuitively requires that evidence of mere disagreement is more important than standard kinds of evidence. I offer a proposal for how we should idealize epistemic agents that identifies the variable feature of disagreements that accounts for the shifting significance of direct and indirect evidence in different disagreement contexts. Specifically, by idealizing epistemic agents as deriving functions that characterize the non-subjective relationship between a body of evidence and the reasonableness of believing the various propositions supported by that evidence, we can accommodate the intuition to compromise that motivates the Equal Weight view, without accepting the counter-intuitive results.
      PubDate: Tue, 17 Jan 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • Can Constancy Mechanisms Draw the Limits of Intentionality'

    • Abstract: What are the minimal conditions for intentionality that a sensory state should satisfy for it to constitute a representational state' That is, what are the limits of intentionality' This is the problem of demarcation. The goal of this paper is to assess a specific demarcation proposal for the minimal conditions of intentionality—the constancy mechanism proposal. Accordingly, it is a minimal condition for the intentionality of a given state that the sensory system should employ a constancy mechanism in the production of this state. First of all, I introduce the problem of demarcation and show its relevance for the debate on the viability of naturalist theories of mental representation. After that, I present the explanatory role requirement for the positing of representational states by intentional explanations of behaviour and show how it constitutes a criterion for the assessment of demarcation proposals for the limits of intentionality. Finally, I assess the constancy mechanism proposal and show that its viability is seriously jeopardised by the minimal distance problem.
      PubDate: Tue, 17 Jan 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • The Information-Theoretic Account of Knowledge, Closure and the KK Thesis

    • Abstract: One common objection to Dretske’s Information Theoretic Account of Knowledge (ITAK) is that it violates closure. I show that it does not, and that extant arguments attempting to establish that it does rely instead on the KK thesis. That thesis does fail for ITAK. I show moreover that an interesting consequence of ITAK obeying the closure principle after all is that on this view if skepticism is false, we can have a great deal of empirical knowledge, but it is in principle impossible to know that skepticism is false. In short, a proper understanding of how ITAK closes off the KK thesis shows that we can 1) take seriously the skeptic, we can 2) respond to her appropriately that we do have knowledge and we can 3) keep closure.
      PubDate: Tue, 17 Jan 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • Dispositions and the Least Action Principle

    • Abstract: This work deals with obstacles hindering a metaphysics of laws of nature in terms of dispositions, i.e., of fundamental properties that are causal powers. A recent analysis of the principle of least action has put into question the viability of dispositionalism in the case of classical mechanics, generally seen as the physical theory most easily amenable to a dispositional ontology. Here, a proper consideration of the framework role played by the least action principle within the classical image of the world allows us to build a consistent metaphysics of dispositions as charges of interactions. In doing so we develop a general approach that opens the way towards an ontology of dispositions for fundamental physics also beyond classical mechanics.
      PubDate: Tue, 17 Jan 2023 00:00:00 GMT
  • Kant on Pleasure in the Good

    • Abstract: I analyze and defend Kant’s claim in the Critique of the Power of Judgement that pleasure in the good is interested.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • The Value of Aesthetic Value: Aesthetics, Ethics, and The Network Theory

    • Abstract: The standard discussion of the relation between aesthetics and ethics tends to avoid the fundamental question: how are those two values ranked against each other in terms of importance. This paper looks at two arguments, the ‘resource allocation argument’ and the ‘relative weight argument’. It puts forward the view that any theory of aesthetic value should characterise aesthetic value in a way that allows for the existence of these arguments. It argues that hedonism does that successfully, but the more recent approaches to aesthetic value—in particular Dominic McIver Lopes’s ‘Network Theory’ have more of a struggle.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • Assessing the Ethos Theory of Music

    • Abstract: The view that music can have a positive or negative effect on a person’s character has been defended throughout the history of philosophy. This paper traces some of the history of the ethos theory and identifies a version of the theory that could be true. This version of the theory can be traced to Plato and Aristotle and was given a clear statement by Herbert Spencer in the nineteenth century. The paper then examines some of the empirical literature on how music can affect dispositions to behave and moral judgement. None of this evidence provides much support for the ethos theory. The paper then proposes a programme of research that has the potential to confirm the ethos theory.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • Literary Form and Ethical Content

    • Abstract: The paper offers a qualified endorsement of Terry Eagleton’s striking claim that “a work’s moral outlook … may be secreted as much in its form as its content”. A number of points are raised in defence of the claim: an argument for the inseparability, under certain conditions, of form and content in a literary work; an idea of moral content, not as derived moral principle, but as inward-facing interpretation grounded in an ethical vocabulary; the possibility of internal and external perspectives on fictional characters; and an emphasis on emotions expressed in, rather than caused by, narrative. Three literary examples are explored, to show how vocabulary, syntax, implicature, and tone, contribute to the emergence of moral salience. A consequence drawn is that the ethical stance readers take to a scene or incident is partially shaped by the narrative modes of its presentation. The overall perspective of the paper is that of aesthetic autonomism: the view that the aesthetic value of a work of literature is distinct from, and not reducible to, any instrumental moral values (positive or negative) attributed to the work.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • Aesthetic Understanding and Epistemic Agency in Art

    • Abstract: Recently, cognitivist accounts about art have come under pressure to provide stronger arguments for the view that artworks can yield genuine insight and understanding. In Gregory Currie’s Imagining and Knowing: Learning from Fiction, for example, a convincing case is laid out to the effect that any knowledge gained from engaging with art must “be judged by the very standards that are used in assessing the claim of science to do the same” (Currie 2020: 8) if indeed it is to count as knowledge. Cognitivists must thus rally to provide sturdier grounds for their view. The revived interest in this philosophical discussion targets not only the concept of knowledge at the heart of cognitivist and anti-cognitivist debate, but also highlights a more specific question about how, exactly, some artworks can (arguably) afford cognitive import and change how we think about the world, ourselves and the many events, persons and situations we encounter. This paper seeks to explore some of the ways in which art is capable of altering our epistemic perspectives in ways that might count as knowledge despite circumventing some standards of evidential requirement. In so doing we will contrast two alternative conceptions of how we stand to learn from art. Whereas the former is modelled on the idea that knowledge is something that can be “extracted” from our experience of particular works of art, the latter relies on a notion of such understanding as primarily borne out of a different kind of engagement with art. We shall call this the subtractive conception and cumulative conception respectively. The cumulative conception, we shall argue, better explains why at least some insights and instances of knowledge gained from art seem to elude the evidential standards called for by sceptics of cognitivism.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • Introduction

    • Abstract: We present the structure and guiding principles of this Special Issue, with a brief description of the participants’ contributions and the relations holding between them. The intersection between aesthetics and ethics as a field of philosophical enquiry is presented under the guise of a ‘layer cake’: at the top layer we find the most general metaphysical and epistemological issues concerning the nature of value, aesthetic and ethical; the middle layer encompasses several normative issues about the interactions of aesthetic, moral and cognitive values in art; finally at the bottom layer we introduce issues of a more restricted focus, like the aesthetic peculiarity of political songs and the ethics of artistic appropriation.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • Schiller on the Aesthetic Constitution of Moral Virtue and the
           Justification of Aesthetic Obligations

    • Abstract: Friedrich Schiller’s notion of moral virtue includes self-determination through practical rationality as well as sensual self-determination through the pursuit of aesthetic value, i.e., through beauty. This paper surveys conceptual assumptions behind Schiller’s notions of moral and aesthetic perfections that allow him to ground both, moral virtue and beauty on conceptions of freedom. While Schiller’s notions of grace and dignity describe relations between the aesthetic and the moral aspects of certain determining actions, the ‘aesthetic condition’ conceptualises human beings from the perspective of aesthetic self-determinability. Schiller thereby provides a normative aesthetic standard that not only affects the moral nature of our motives and actions, but also of what we, as human beings, want to and should be conceived of in the first place. As I argue in this paper, considering this aesthetic self-determinability from a moral perspective results in an aesthetic constitution of moral virtue, which in turn justifies aesthetic obligations. Schiller thereby merges the perfections of the two normative domains for an extended anthropological conception of aesthetically infused notion of moral virtue while assuring the conceptual autonomy of each normative domain. Giving aesthetic demands a practical normative role by partly constituting moral virtue and thereby still maintain their aesthetic normative source is a move that opens up many resources for current research on the interactions between various normative demands, such as aesthetic reasons for moral or legal judgements and action, aesthetic obligations or weighing varying sources and elements of normative authority and hegemony against each other.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • Ethical Issues on Musical Appropriation

    • Abstract: This paper aims to shed light on the question of whether musical appropriation is ethically unobjectionable. James Young (2021) has recently advanced a position on this topic, according to which, whereas the appropriation of a whole work is uncontroversially non-permissible, the appropriation of parts of a work is usually permissible. He grounds this view in ontological matters and in a criterion of fair use in terms of economic harm to the source work’s composer. I argue that, pace Young, we cannot make general ethical claims about musical appropriation because their truth is sensitive to the musical genres that the involved works belong to. First, I clarify the scope of musical appropriation by means of considerations on musical practices and ontology. This will reveal that versions and covers are not genuine cases of musical appropriation. In a second step, I consider a specific kind of musical appropriation: using the first measures of a source work as the first measures of a secondary work. I show that, even if we assume Young’s ontological framework and his criterion on fair use, the instances of this kind of musical appropriation count as fair or unfair depending on the musical genres of the involved works due to their normative implications for the composition and appreciation of those works.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • Is There an Aesthetics of Political Song'

    • Abstract: Some think politics and art should not mix. The problem with this view is that politics and art were always entwined. Human experience is structured politically, even if much of it is not. Here, I illustrate this with a series of artistic examples that take us from work songs in a Mississippi 1940s forced labour camp to a desolate dead forest landscape in a former Krasnoyarsk gulag, evocative of a Paul Nash World War I painting. Powerful artworks help us to come to grips with human experience, more than merely “expressing emotion”. I treat songs as representations, looking for a way their political significance is part of their aesthetic value. To do this, I defend James Young’s (2001) concept of “illustrative representation” as bridging the gap between formalism and contextualism. But instead of Young’s “Wollheimian” (resemblance between experiences) approach to how such representation works I draw on Kulvicki’s (2020) notion of “syntactic parts”, combining it with Carroll’s (2016) concept of form as the “ensemble of artistic choices”, and Black’s (1954-55) frame-and-focus model of meaning in metaphor. Hopefully, in the end I will have clarified the ways in which (some) songs are both politically and aesthetically meaningful.
      PubDate: Mon, 28 Nov 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • In Defence of Discrete Plural Logic (or How to Avoid Logical
           Overmedication When Dealing with Internally Singularized Pluralities)

    • Abstract: In recent decades, plural logic has established itself as a well-respected member of the extensions of first-order classical logic. In the present paper, I draw attention to the fact that among the examples that are commonly given in order to motivate the need for this new logical system, there are some in which the elements of the plurality in question are internally singularized (e.g. ‘Whitehead and Russell wrote Principia Mathematica’), while in others they are not (e.g. ‘Some philosophers wrote Principia Mathematica’). Then, building on previous work, I point to a subsystem of plural logic in which inferences concerning examples of the first type can be adequately dealt with. I notice that such a subsystem (here called ‘discrete plural logic’) is in reality a mere variant of first-order logic as standardly formulated, and highlight the fact that it is axiomatizable while full plural logic is not. Finally, I urge that greater attention be paid to discrete plural logic and that discrete plurals are not used in order to motivate the introduction of full-fledged plural logic—or, at least, not without remarking that they can also be adequately dealt with in a considerably simpler system.
      PubDate: Mon, 29 Aug 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • Higher-Order Skolem’s Paradoxes and the Practice of Mathematics: a

    • Abstract: We will formulate some analogous higher-order versions of Skolem’s paradox and assess the generalizability of two solutions for Skolem’s paradox to these paradoxes: the textbook approach and that of Bays (2000). We argue that the textbook approach to handle Skolem’s paradox cannot be generalized to solve the parallel higher-order paradoxes, unless it is augmented by the claim that there is no unique language within which the practice of mathematics can be formalized. Then, we argue that Bays’ solution to the original Skolem’s paradox, unlike the textbook solution, can be generalized to solve the higher-order paradoxes without any implication about the possibility or order of a language in which mathematical practice is to be formalized.
      PubDate: Mon, 29 Aug 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • Necessarily the Old Riddle Necessary Connections and the Problem of

    • Abstract: In this paper, I will discuss accounts to solve the problem of induction by introducing necessary connections. The basic idea is this: if we know that there are necessary connections between properties F and G such that F -ness necessarily brings about G-ness, then we are justified to infer that all, including future or unobserved, F s will be Gs. To solve the problem of induction with ontology has been proposed by David Armstrong and Brian Ellis. In this paper, I will argue that these attempts to solve the problem of induction fail. Necessary connections fail to reliably imply the respective regularities for two main reasons: Firstly, according to an argument originally presented by Helen Beebee, the respective necessary connections might be time-limited, and hence do not warrant inferences about future cases. As I will discuss, arguments against the possibility or explanatory power of time-limited necessary connections fail. Secondly, even time-unlimited necessary connections do not entail strict or non-strict regularities, and nor do they allow inferences about individual cases, which is an important function of inductive reasoning. Moreover, the proposed solution to the problem of induction would only apply to a tiny minority of inductive inferences. I argue that most inductive inferences are not easily reducible to the proposed inference pattern, as the vast majority of everyday inductive inferences do not involve necessary connections between fundamental physical properties or essences.
      PubDate: Mon, 29 Aug 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • Three Arguments against Constitutive Norm Accounts of Assertion

    • Abstract: In this article I introduce constitutive norm accounts of assertion, and then give three arguments for giving up on the constitutive norm project. First I begin with an updated version of MacFarlane’s Boogling argument. My second argument is that the ‘overriding response’ that constitutive norm theorists offer to putative counterexamples is unpersuasive and dialectically risky. Third and finally, I suggest that constitutive norm theorists, in appealing to the analogy of games, actually undermine their case that they can make sense of assertions that fail to follow their putative constitutive norm. These considerations, I suggest, together show that the constitutive norm project founders not because any single norm is not descriptively correct of our assertion practices, but rather, because giving a constitutive norm as the definition of assertion alone is insufficient.
      PubDate: Mon, 29 Aug 2022 00:00:00 GMT
  • Editorial: ’s 25 Anniversary

    • PubDate: Tue, 23 Nov 2021 00:00:00 GMT
  • Degrees of Freedom: Is Good Philosophy Bad Science'

    • Abstract: The lecture starts by considering analytic philosophy as a tradition, and its global spread over recent years, of which Disputatio’s success is itself evidence. The costs and benefits of the role of English as the international language of analytic philosophy are briefly assessed. The spread of analytic philosophy is welcomed as the best hope for scientific philosophy, in a sense of ‘science’ on which mathematics, history, and philosophy can all count as sciences, though not as natural sciences. Arguably, experimental philosophy provides no plausible alternative methodology for philosophy, only a way of psychologizing it. However, it serves a useful purpose by highlighting the inadequacy of current methods for detecting errors in judgments on possible cases, which may result from reliance on possibly universal but imperfectly reliable cognitive heuristics. The problem is exacerbated by analytic philosophers’ tendency to regard increased flexibility in a theoretical framework as progress, where natural scientists would treat it as methodologically vicious profligacy with degrees of freedom. The result is a familiar type of bad science, overfitting theory to uncritically accepted data. The recent ‘hyperintensional revolution’ may be an example of such overfitting, it is suggested. The lecture ends with a call for a more miserly attitude to degrees of freedom.
      PubDate: Tue, 23 Nov 2021 00:00:00 GMT
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