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Displaying: 21-35 of 35 documents


21. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
Daniel A. Putman

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Kripke has noted that possible worlds are stipulated, not discovered, and that the stipulation of these worlds allows us to separate accidental from essential properties. In this paper I argue that possible worlds theory gives us an important tool for analyzing what Descartes is doing in the Meditations. The first Meditation becomes a thought experiment in which possible realities are stipulated in a search for one or more essential properties. Viewing the doubt in this manner sheds new light on the cogito and sum res cogitans and shows the limitations of some contemporary discussion of the cogito, namely, the positions taken by Ayer and Hintikka.
22. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
La Verne Shelton

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I argue that though a satisfactory semantics for the logic of inexact reference may assign no truth value to some statements, it should not assign truth (or falsity) of various degrees. Well-formed assertions are simply true or not. Inexactness does not “ramify.” I distinguish inexactness from other sorts of vagueness, including nonspecificity. I show that arguments from (i) use of quantifiers, (ii) the existence of properties which can be construed as a series of properties (as, e. g., red can be construed as a set of shades of red), (iii) the constructability of apparently paradoxical sorites arguments, and (iv) the presence of prototypes in the extension of a predicate do not show that there are degrees of truth.Much of the alleged evidence that inexactness ramifies is, in fact, a misreading of the undeniable evidence that there may be uncertainty about the truth value of a claim. In support of my claims, I discuss how cases of deeming that a predicate applies relate to its actually applying. A distinction between predicates of “pure” and “impure” function is essential to this.
23. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
Igal Kvart

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This article offers a resolution of Kripke’s well-known belief puzzle.
24. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
Harry A. Nielsen

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Much of the literature on the question “Is a human essentially distinct from every possible machine?” proceeds on the assumption that we know what a man essentially is, namely a living body with such attributes as consciousness, freedom, feeling and linguistic competence. Is a man essentially that? The paper contrasts that picture of man with Kierkegaard’s account of man as essentially self. Hard limits of machine subjectivity begin to appear in the failure of certain everyday concepts involving ‘self’ to engage at all with the concept ‘machine’.
25. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
Fred Wilson

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Bergmann has proposed an ontology that contains an entity many find strange: particularity. And in fact, Bergmann, too, seems to find it strange. He proposes a phenomenological method in ontology, and holds, as he therefore should, that particularity is presented. Nonetheless, he also holds that it is ineffable, that its presence in a particular is an unsayable state of affairs, and that it is something which is not a thing and yet is also not nothing. Bergmann’s position has been long developing, but especially in three recent essays. The aim of the present essay is to explore these views. We shall examine Bergmann’s method, and some criticisms of it by Rosenberg, in order to see whether we cannot get a better grasp of particularity. Specifically, we shall try to see whether it is not, after all, effable. It will turn out that this disagreement on the effability of particularity is really three disagreements: one concerning whether a particular can be thought apart from particularity, a second concerning the analysis of intentionality, and a third concerning whether, in the ontologically important sense of ‘different’, entities that are different are separable.
26. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
Jasper Hopkins

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C. Stanley Kane’s book, Anselm’s Doctrine of Freedom and The Will, is the only monograph in English on this topic. It will therefore influence a wide array of students and scholars. The book advances five theses: (1) that Anselm operates with a general ontological principle to the effect that the essential nature of anything is determined by its purpose in existing; (2) that Anselm’s theory of the will is not determinist but a variant of indeterminism; (3) that human freedom, for Anselm, consists in the ability either to do or not do what is unjust; (4) that, on Anselm’s view, God alone directly causes all just volitions in human beings; and (5) that Anselm regards the imparting of grace as solely dependent upon God’s offer and man’s response, without regard to the influencing effect of circumstances.I show that Anselm does not adhere to a single one of these allegedly Anselmian theses.
27. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
Charles Echelbarger

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The author examines Scheffler’s extensional alternative to the usual notion of belief and shows that it is necessarily inadequate to serve the purpose for which it was designed. This point is established by showing that Scheffler’s proposed substitute for psychologically intensional verbs like ‘believes’ can not deliver philosophers from the classical puzzles over propositional attitudes and can not be used in all cases even to provide materially equivalent extensional substitutes for ordinary belief-statements.
28. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
William A. Rottschaefer

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Sellars’ verbal behaviorism demands that linguistic episodes be conceptual in an underivative sense and his theoretical mentalism that thoughts as postulated theoretical entities be modelled on linguistic behaviors. Marras has contended that Sellars’ own methodology requires that semantic categories be theoretical. Thus linguistic behaviors can be conceptual in only a derivative sense. Further he claims that overt linguistic behaviors cannot serve as a model for all thought because thought is primarily symbolic. I support verbal behaviorism by showing that semantic categories are in the first instance teleological explanatory categories and consequently can be observational. And I show how theoretical mentalism can be maintained even though thought is primarily symbolic.
29. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
Philip A. Glotzbach

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W.V.O.Quine’s doctrine of referential inscrutability (RI) is the thesis that, first, linguistic reference must always be determined relative to an interpretation of the discourse and, second, that the empirical evidence always underdetermines our choice of interpretation--at least in principle. Although this thesis is a central result of Quine’s theory of language, it was long unclear just how much force RI actually carried. At best, Quine’s discussions provided localized examples of RI (e.g., ‘gavagai’), supplemented merely by arguments for the (in principle) constructability of more general referentially divergent manuals. In defense of Quine, Gerald Massey provides a method for generating large-scale referentially divergent manuals for a complex language. I argue that, while Massey’s rival manuals do meet Quine’s translational criteria, they are demonstrably inferior to their commonsensical “homophonic” competitor. This result provides a clear indication of seminal deficiencies in Quine’s behaviorial approach to the theory of language. Next I argue that Quine’s acceptance of standard assumptions about the nature of perception strongly influences the shape of his semantical theory. Finally, I suggest how an alternative to the standard account of perception might provide grounds for a more adequate understanding of language.
30. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
George S. Pappas

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Berkeley construes his own immaterialist philosophy as facing a serious competitor, namely, what he often termed ‘materialism.’ He tries on several grounds to eliminate materialism from the competition, thus leaving immaterialism as the most plausible metaphysical theory of perception and the external world. In this paper these grounds are explored, and it is found that Berkeley’s method for rational choice between materialism and immaterialism involves consideration of a host of criteria for choice between competitive theories.
31. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
Dennis Rohatyn

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Philosophy as a “way of life” is singularly unsatisfactory as a definition of the subject. Inspired by Kant, we examine six alternative formulations: philosophy may be seen as (1) a search for the conditions governing possible experience, (2) an attempt to derive ultimate categories of ontological or else psychological analysis, (3) the discovery (or erection) of synthetic a priori truths, coupled with making the notion of “S.A.P.” coherent, (4) resolving fundamental antinomies of thought, (5) finding, and/or explicating, the role of regulative principles in human enterprises, (6) “reconstructing” the domain of other disciplines, as Kant does throughout the three Critiques. We conclude with a synoptic suggestion about philosophy as self-criticism (of propositions normally accepted unthinkingly), and ponder its implications for the status of the profession.
32. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
John Kilcullen

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This paper is a contribution to the history of ethics, being an account of an episode in the detachment of ethics from religion. According to certain 17th century Jesuits, a person who does not know or think of God can commit only a ‘philosophic or moral’ sin which cannot deserve eternal punishment. Arnauld’s attack on this ‘Philosophism’, and on the idea that to deserve blame one must know one is doing wrong, touched on voluntariness, intention, conscientiousness, sincerity, the justice of God’s helping some and not others, the requirement to do the right thing for the right reason, and other matters related to wrongdoing, blame, punishment and excuses.
33. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
Richard W. Lind

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Hany metaethicists have all but abandoned the possibility that ordinary value language has any sort of universal logic. But careful phenomenological reflection indicates that we call something “good” only if we tacitly believe that it is disposed to be “pragmatically attractive” in some way. Conversely, “bad” things must be “pragmatically repellent”. Linguistic and phenomenological evidence supports these observations. Differences in the meanings of diverse value judgments seem to be due to variations in the practical context in which the attraction or repulsion is judged. The fact that we can legitimately request clarification regarding each of five practical dimensions tends to indicate that a common structure underlies all senses in which something can be said “good” or “bad.”
34. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
Lawrence R. Carleton

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A chronic difficulty for functionalism is the problem of instantiations of a functionalist theory of mind which seem to lack some or all of the mental states--especially qualitative--we want to attribute to minds the theory describes. Here I discuss one such counterexample, Block’s system S, consisting of the population of China organized to simulate a single mind as described by some true, adequate, psychofunctionalist theory. I then defend a version of functionalism against this example, in part by an adaptation of Dennett’s notion of “stances”. A true, adequate theory, as Block understands it, would be appropriate to Dennett’s “design” or (at best) “intentional” stance; but a genuinely true and adequate theory should instead coincide with a “personal” stance. Hence, if system S does instantiate such a theory, we must impute to it mental states, even qualitative, whether or not it “really" has them. Hence Block’s counterexample lacks force.
35. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 9
Edward T. Bartlett

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On the surface the concept of self-consciousness would seem to be understandable as consciousness of oneself. It is commonplace to resist this temptation by arguing that the self cannot properly be construed as the object of this form of consciousness. It is the subject. However, in this paper I show that any effort to see the self as the subject of consciousness converts it, willy nilly, into an object.Self-consciousness is not to be understood by determining the logically appropriate role of the self in a univocal kind of consciousness. It differs from ‘ordinary’ consciousness because of the need for it to be unmediated and direct. If, on the one had, one is conscious of something, it is possible for that awareness to be indirect and mediated. On the other hand, if one is self-conscious it is necessary for that awareness to be direct.