Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Browse by:

Displaying: 21-35 of 35 documents


21. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Michael V. Wedin

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper raises some difficulties with the strategy suggested in Robert Nozick’s Philosophical Explanations for explaining why there is something rather than nothing. I am concerned less with his adoption of an egalitarian, as opposed to inegalitarian, explanatory stance (the net effect of which is to detach for independent consideration the question, “Why is there something?”) than with his use of a crucial assumption in reasoning from the egalitarian point of view. I argue that this assumption, that all possibilities exist, is fatally ambiguous, that the persuasiveness of Nozick’s reasoning depends on at once assuming and blurring the difference between the predicates “does not exist” and “nonexists” and that the attempt to wed a priori reasoning and a posteriori (mystical) practice fails.
22. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
David Basinger

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
David Griffin and Nelson Pike recently had a spirited discussion on divine power. The essence of the discussion centered around what was labelled Premise X: “It is possible for one actual being's condition to be completely determined by a being or beings other than itself.” Pike maintains that ‘traditional’ theists have affirmed Premise X but denies that this entails that God has all the power there is and thus denies that Premise X can be considered incoherent for this reason. Griffin maintains that traditional theists have as a matter of fact affirmed that God has all the power there is and then argues that, given standard Process metaphysical assumptions, to say that God has all the power there is is incoherent. Griffin succeeds in demonstrating that, given Process assumptions, God cannot determine all of the activities of any human--i.e., all of an individual’s desires, choices and actions. But Pike is primarily interested in whether God could determine all of the bodily behaviors of any given human. And to this question, Griffin gives no response.
23. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
David V. Ward

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper argues that there are no necessary and sufficient conditions for the identity through time of material objects where those conditions have a kind of empirical content necessary for them to function as criteria for identity through time. Taking Eli Hirsch’s program in The Concept of Identity as representative of attempts to formulate conditions which are logically necessary and sufficient and which also function as criteria guiding our tracing of objects’ careers through time, I argue (a) that, when such programs are constructed in a way sensitive to the criteria we actually use, they fall prey to conceivable counterexamples and (b) that, when such programs are tightened to avoid logically possible counterexamples, they fail to capture the identity criteria implicit in our ordinary experience. The paper argues that our identity criteria are incomplete and informal and that our individuative practice is partially determined by the kind of interest we have in the object(s) being traced. The relationship between this view and two versions of relative identity is also discussed.
24. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Douglas P. Lackey

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper argues that there is a conflict between divine omniscience and the human right to privacy. The right to privacy derives from the right to moral autonomy, which human persons possess even against a divine being. It follows that if God exists and persists in knowing all things, his knowledge is a non-justifiable violation of a human right. On the other hand, if God exists and restricts his knowing in deference to human privacy, it follows that he cannot fulfill the traditional function of being the perfect and final judge of all things.
25. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Gary J. Percesepe

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The Differenzschrift is Hegel’s first distinctively philosophical work. Traditionally, the chief significance of the work has been said to be its announcement of the breach between Fichte and Schelling. The purpose of the present paper is to move from this proximate perspective to a systematic-teleological perspective. From the latter perspective we can see that it is in the Differenzschrift that Hegel not only criticizes and comprehends the work of his immediate predecessors but also constructs the conceptual-hermeneutic frame which makes his critique possible.Essentially Hegel argues that philosophy-as-science advances by means of text and commentary, but its advance is not continuous. Its history is characterized by violent, epoch-making leaps, which must be viewed as necessary organic constituents of telic progress. The impulse or force behind this telic advance is the concrete historical situation, in Hegel’s words, “the need of the times.”
26. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Claudia M. Murphy

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
I argue that there are good reasons to deny both type-type and token-token mind-brain identity theories. Yet on the other hand there are compelling reasons for thinking that there is a causal basis for the mind. I argue that a path out of this impasse involves not only showing that criteria of individuation do not determine identity, but also that there are sound methodological reasons for thinking that the cause of intelligent behavior is a real natural kind. Finally, a commitment to this methodology suggests both that these familiar anti-reductionist arguments fail to establish that identity is impossible and at the same time suggest that the preferred alternative will be some version of neutral monism.
27. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Michael W. Howard

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper it is argued that the predominant mode of organization of work in capitalist society undermines the conditions for self-respect and self-esteem. Although no society can guarantee that everyone have self-respect and self-esteem, it is a requirement of justice that a society provide conditions favorable to their development. Worker control is a form of society which can satisfy this requirement, in a manner that is compatible with political democracy and basic liberties, and thus, from the standpoint of justice, is to be preferred to capitalism.
28. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Sander H. Lee

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
It is claimed, in a recently published introductory text book on ethics, that Jean-Paul Sartre did not accept a principle of universalizability. In this paper, I will briefly demonstrate that Sartre did indeed accept such a principle, and I will support my claim by reference to Sartre’s own words.
29. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Lawrence L. Heintz

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Laymen and philosophers alike find it counterintuitive to consent to the assertion that “it is sometimes right not to follow the requirements of morality”. This may be because the conventions of ordinary language do much to encourage the view that “morally ought to do” functions as an equivalent for “what one ought to do all things considered”. In this paper I will argue against such an equivalence and attempt to shake the holders of the prevailing view, that moral reasons are always overriding, from their dogmatism. The primary theses of this paper are (1) there is no acceptable ordering of reasons for acting--not between types of reasons nor within the category of moral reasons, and (2) moral reasons are not unconditional or unexceptionable.The body of this paper will include a discussion of various versions of the prevailing view (that reasons do have an order with moral reasons as overriding all reasons). I will make some brief remarks about several forms of simplification or reductionism which provide fertile ground for the prevailing view, specifically (a) efforts to transform ‘the all things considered ought’ into a ‘moral ought’ and (b) three efforts to offer a single principle as the basis of moral reasoning. Then I will attempt to reveal flaws in two contemporary expressions of the prevailing view; those of D.Z. Phillips and Kurt Baier. The bulk of my efforts will be directed at demonstrating the conditionality and overrideability of moral reasons. In the process I will also attempt to illuminate the attractiveness of the, if I am correct, mistaken but prevailing view. And finally a moral will be drawn.
30. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Frank Lucash

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
I argue that Spinoza’s view of freedom in Part 5 of the Ethics is not incompatible with his view of determinism in Part 1, as Kolakowski claims, nor is it compatible for the reasons Parkinson, Hampshire, and Naess offer. Spinoza did not work out a clear view of how freedom differs from determinism. Using various resources in Spinoza, I present a view of freedom which is different from both internal or atemporal determinism and external or temporal determinism. Freedom, in the sense of the temporal process by which passive ideas become active, is compatible with both temporal and atemporal determinism.
31. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Saul Traiger

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The Hans Reichenbach Collection, part of the Archives of Twentieth Century Philosophy of Science, is located at the University of Pittsburgh. In the past few years work on the recently acquired Hans Reichenbach Collection has resulted in a useful research source. A great deal of organizational work on the collection has now been completed, and the correspondence is open to study by interested scholars. What follows is an overview of the correspondence catalogued in the collection. All of the information recorded here has been found in the many thousand letters to and from Reichenbach which make up only a portion of the collection. The purpose of this essay is both to acquaint the philosophical public with the wealth of material in this research source and to argue for the importance of this material for the history of recent philosophy.
32. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Joseph Wayne Smith

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Karl Popper introduced the idea of verisimilitude to explicate the intuitive idea that a theory T2, even though it is strictly speaking false, may be closer to the truth than a competitor T1. However, as is now well known, the results of Pavel Tichý, John Harris and David Miller establish that on Popper’s qualitative theory of verisimilitude, a theory T2 could be closer to the truth than another theory T1 only if T2 contains no false sentences. This result has been taken universally to show the inadequacy of Popper’s original account of verisimilitude, since the Miller-Tichý-Harris Theorem conflicts with the very basic intuition which first led Popper to formulate his theory.In this paper I shall first review the Miller-Tichý-Harris Theorem and examine a number of attempts to salvage the concept of verisimilitude. It will be argued that none of these attempts is successful. Finally an alternative, simple and intuitively satisfactory account of verisimilitude will be offered. This account will be along the lines first suggested by Popper, but it is not subject to any known limitation theorem. Further, the account is capable of giving verisimilitude orderings between not only scientific theories, but philosophical theories as well. This will be achieved without the use of the excessive formalism which dominates the contemporary verisimilitude research programs.
33. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Alan S. Rosenbaum

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper I shall defend the thesis that differing concepts of human nature (or “personhood”) lead to different ideas about what “human rights” are, about what types there are, and how rights are to be ranked according to priority. Though some correlation is obvious, as evidenced in the literature, political forums, and in case studies of many nation-states, the question that we will consider is whether this correlation is a causal relationship or whether it is merely accidental and hence, not worthy of any but passing notice. But if, as I believe, some definite causal connection, perhaps in combination with other factors does exist, we are quite right in focusing attention on the disparate “personhood” concepts or foundation level which lies uncovered and central to such disagreements about human rights.
34. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Jack Temkin

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper, I argue that Marcus G. Singer’s attack on Actual Consequence Utilitarianism, as held by G.E. Moore, is inconclusive. Singer contends that Moore’s view is incoherent because it cannot provide a criterion of moral rightness and wrongness. Singer makes the historical claim that Moore intended his theory to provide such a criterion and the philosophical claim that any moral theory must provide such a criterion.I contend that Singer’s historical claim is false. While Moore uses the terms ‘criterion’ and ‘test’ in connection with his moral theory, an examination of Moore’s use of the terms shows that this notion does not involve the verifiability that is at the heart of Singer’s understanding of ‘criterion’.I then argue that Singer’s claim that moral judgments be verified begs the question against Moore’s realism. I argue that Singer must either reject semantic realism in general or give up the view that moral judgments are objectively true or false.
35. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Jeffrey Gold

abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In Plato’s early dialogues, Socrates frequently asks questions of the form “What is X?” seeking definitions of the substitution instances of X (e.g., Justice, Piety, and Courage). In attempting to elucidate Socratic definition, a number of interpreters have invoked a distinction between real and nominal definition (the distinction between the definition of a thing and the definition of a word. In using that distinction, several interpreters have pointed out that, when Socrates asked his “What is X” question (e.g., “What is Justice?”), he was not seeking a nominal definition (a definition of the word ‘διχαιοσύνή’), but rather a real definition (a definition of the thing, Justice). My purpose in this paper is to argue that the preceding interpretation of Socratic thought is mistaken, i.e., I shall argue that there is no real/nominal distinction to be found in the Socratic dialogues.