Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Philosophy Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 622

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

What Can I Do With A Degree In Philosophy?, David Boersema Apr 2019

What Can I Do With A Degree In Philosophy?, David Boersema

Bee Tree Books

During my teaching career I heard the same question, “What can you do with a degree in philosophy?” many times from some students I taught (and their parents). I know that many other philosophy professors have heard the same question.

This book works to dispel the view that studying philosophy is impractical or unimportant. As it turns out, most of the students I taught over the years who got a degree in philosophy went on to non-academic jobs and careers. They eliminate the notion that the only thing one can do with a degree in philosophy is to teach philosophy ...


Writing The Future: The Circular And The Transformative In Revolutionary Politics, Qian (Alice) Huang Jan 2019

Writing The Future: The Circular And The Transformative In Revolutionary Politics, Qian (Alice) Huang

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Science Vs. Non-Science, Natural Vs. Constructed Who Is In Charge Of Sorting Claims?, Heather M. Lawson Jan 2019

Science Vs. Non-Science, Natural Vs. Constructed Who Is In Charge Of Sorting Claims?, Heather M. Lawson

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Estranged From The World: The Film Audience As The Flâneur, Amir Maharjan Jan 2019

Estranged From The World: The Film Audience As The Flâneur, Amir Maharjan

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Issue Introduction, Ian O'Loughlin Jan 2019

Issue Introduction, Ian O'Loughlin

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Critical Remarks On An Interpretation Of Reid On Perceptual Apprehension, J. W. Waldrop Jan 2019

Critical Remarks On An Interpretation Of Reid On Perceptual Apprehension, J. W. Waldrop

Res Cogitans

I argue that Thomas Reid’s theory of perception can be defended against the charges of inconsistency levied against it by Nicholas Wolterstorff. The challenge to be met is roughly that of showing how the Reidian account of perception can avoid being hampered by a descriptive theory of mental reference for perceptual states. First, I will review Reid’s theory of perception and Wolterstorff’s objections to it. Wolterstorff maintains that Reid is committed to an account of perceptual reference according to which mental representations are conceptual intermediaries between the perceiver and the objects of perception. I hope in section ...


Response Through The Intentional Arc: Merleau-Ponty, Dreyfus And Second Language Acquisition, Mia Burnett Jan 2019

Response Through The Intentional Arc: Merleau-Ponty, Dreyfus And Second Language Acquisition, Mia Burnett

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Sympathia Aesthetica: On The Possible Significance Of Intersubjective Cognitive Uniformity In The Critical-Era Philosophy Of Immanuel Kant, Riley Andrew Pike Jan 2019

Sympathia Aesthetica: On The Possible Significance Of Intersubjective Cognitive Uniformity In The Critical-Era Philosophy Of Immanuel Kant, Riley Andrew Pike

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Identifying Errors In The Ethical Narrativity Thesis, Winston Meier Jan 2019

Identifying Errors In The Ethical Narrativity Thesis, Winston Meier

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


The Incompatibility Of Democracy And Equal Freedom, Samantha Koreman Jan 2019

The Incompatibility Of Democracy And Equal Freedom, Samantha Koreman

Res Cogitans

It is commonly believed that democracies are freedom preserving. In a limited, consequentialist sense, this presumption may be correct. However, if someone were to look critically at an application of liberal democracy, she would discover that democracy is not as consistent with freedom as it appears to be. This paper argues that democracy is incompatible with equal freedom as realistic applications of democracy undermine liberty on both a practical and structural level. To accomplish this task, this paper discusses the role of group agents in a democratic political system. While voting allows citizens to express their opinions, voting cannot—in ...


Can Contractualism And Consequentialism Be Used Together In A Two-Stage Model?, Daisy O’Connor Jan 2019

Can Contractualism And Consequentialism Be Used Together In A Two-Stage Model?, Daisy O’Connor

Res Cogitans

Contractualism and consequentialism, two of the most prominent theories in contemporary morality, are often perceived to be in opposition to each other. This essay will propose a novel two-stage system for moral decision-making which combines the two. I will explain how this model retains the strengths of contractualism and consequentialism, whilst resolving many of the problems with the theories as they stand alone.


Attitude Matters: The Inadequacy Of Consequentialist Ethical Practice, Elena Lusk Jan 2018

Attitude Matters: The Inadequacy Of Consequentialist Ethical Practice, Elena Lusk

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Does Art Have A Truth-Seeking Project?, Soren Schlassa Jan 2018

Does Art Have A Truth-Seeking Project?, Soren Schlassa

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Analytic Vs. Synthetic, Distinction Or Myth?: Kant’S Kantribution, Quine’S Inquisition, Grice And Strawson’S Salvation, Maité Castillo Jan 2018

Analytic Vs. Synthetic, Distinction Or Myth?: Kant’S Kantribution, Quine’S Inquisition, Grice And Strawson’S Salvation, Maité Castillo

Res Cogitans

Philosophers have relied heavily on the distinction between analytic truths and synthetic ones for various philosophical pursuits. In this paper I explore Immanuel Kant’s explanation of the distinction, W.V.O. Quine’s qualms with it, and the attempt of H.P. Grice and Strawson at saving synonymy in order to salvage analyticity from doubts. I conclude that although valiant, the efforts put forth by Grice and Strawson fall short. I argue that this is so because they attack a weak interpretation of Quine’s contention.


Salvation Or Damnation, And Where Ethics Fits In To All That, Sophie Zepf Jan 2018

Salvation Or Damnation, And Where Ethics Fits In To All That, Sophie Zepf

Res Cogitans

Ignazio Silone’s novel Bread and Wine explores the complex nature of ethical decision-making in the context of Fascist Italy, a world in which lofty concerns of moral conduct seem the fodder of fools and idealists. Silone uses his central character, firebrand and part-time philosopher Pietro Spina, to plunge his readers into one man’s quest for goodness within the debauchery and despair of war-torn Italy. Pietro’s moral development through the context of his adventures illustrates the challenge of crafting any sound ethical code, and the ease with which one might be lost to cynicism or indifference. The road ...


Issue Introduction, Ian O'Loughlin Jan 2018

Issue Introduction, Ian O'Loughlin

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Belief Revision In The Context Of Hume’S Treatise And Contemporary Psychology, Sarah Paquette Jan 2018

Belief Revision In The Context Of Hume’S Treatise And Contemporary Psychology, Sarah Paquette

Res Cogitans

This paper examines the emotional and social motivations of belief and belief correction. As beliefs motivate one’s actions, one must examine how one revises an erroneous or harmful belief and what methodology one can employ in order to best facilitate this revision, resulting in more conscientious action. This paper examines belief formation and revision in the context of David Hume’s 1739-1740 work A Treatise of Human Nature, with particular attention to not only Hume’s account of belief and belief revision, but also the interaction of passions, the mechanism of sympathy, reason, and probability judgments. It is hypothesized ...


Camus And Levinas: Embracing The Absurd While Finding Meaning, Susana Camacho Plascencia Jan 2018

Camus And Levinas: Embracing The Absurd While Finding Meaning, Susana Camacho Plascencia

Res Cogitans

Albert Camus’ idea of the absurd lands one in nihilism and the danger of rationally justified suicide. His attempt to solve this problem fails because it requires that one make an arbitrary choice to live without having good reasons to do so. By using Levinas’ ethics of an infinite responsibility and distinguishing between two types of meaning (cosmic and terrestrial), I propose that one can accept the condition of the absurd—where no cosmic meaning exists—and escape the problem of suicide by finding terrestrial meaning in our relations to others.


The Social Epistemology Of Anthropology: Insights From Judgment Aggregation, Dagan Douglas Jan 2018

The Social Epistemology Of Anthropology: Insights From Judgment Aggregation, Dagan Douglas

Res Cogitans

Anthropological writings have, at times, been vague in the approach used to gather evidence of cultural and social beliefs of the peoples studied, and the method of representing the data to the reading public. This paper employs the theory of judgment aggregation in critiquing anthropological theory and practice. It will be structured in three parts: first, I will present the theory of judgment aggregation as constructed by Christian List and Philip Pettit; second, I will sketch some epistemological methods used by anthropologists, and assess their attitude toward the notions of judgment aggregation and group agency; and finally, I will apply ...


Emotions, Practical Rationality, And The Self, Tyler Flanagan Jan 2018

Emotions, Practical Rationality, And The Self, Tyler Flanagan

Res Cogitans

In this paper I examine the relationship between emotions and practical rationality, arguing that emotions are incredibly useful in assisting us in making practical choices. However, this enthusiasm needs to be met with some caution as it not the case that every one of our emotions give us reasons we should be considering in order to make a rational choice, and there are times where if we did follow our hearts we would end up feeling ashamed or displeased with ourselves afterward. At the same time, we can feel guilty about a decision we made while purposefully ignoring our emotions ...


What Is Music? The Ontological Status Of Musical Works, Michael Pipko Oct 2017

What Is Music? The Ontological Status Of Musical Works, Michael Pipko

Res Cogitans

The ontological status of musical works is a controversial topic among those in the field. This paper aims to argue for a nominalist and non-reductive approach to musical works that differentiates musical works from the sound structures commonly equated with them. The difference between sound structures and musical works is heavily emphasized and I conclude that musical works have emergent attributes sound structures do not. These attributes being creatability, fine individuation, and the inclusion of performance means. After establishing this I begin to build an argument for a nonreductive approach to musical works by rejecting the extreme view held by ...


Expanding The Confucian Framework: Consequences And Character, Daniel Weldon Jan 2017

Expanding The Confucian Framework: Consequences And Character, Daniel Weldon

Res Cogitans

Typically, Western moral philosophy has sought to understand questions of right and wrong in the absence of Eastern tradition. Yet, Aristotelian ethics has long been used as a lens with which Chinese philosophy can be read from a Western perspective. Since Confucianism, in particular, seems to acquiesce rather well with a virtue ethics, other moral philosophies are seldom applied to the Confucian canon. In this paper, I apply a consequentialist ethics, in support of existing philosophical papers following a similar consequentialist approach. Through this, Confucianism can be seen as a system designed to optimize collective efficacy in society, by stressing ...


Issue Introduction, Ian O'Loughlin Jan 2017

Issue Introduction, Ian O'Loughlin

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Two Objections To The Eliminativist Research Program, Lorenzo Nericcio Jan 2017

Two Objections To The Eliminativist Research Program, Lorenzo Nericcio

Res Cogitans

Eliminative materialist philosophers, like Paul and Patricia Churchland, argue that the common use of mental state language is confused. They hold that neurological descriptions of mental states, more accurate and scientifically rigorous than “folk psychology”, should replace mental state language in a serious research program. In this paper, I argue that eliminative materialism instead poses an awkward and unwieldy research program. I take a computational functionalist position in order to demonstrate the way that mathematical descriptions of natural phenomena are useful in a scientific research program, and that mental states are in principle amenable to mathematical descriptions and modeling. I ...


Semiotic Exograms: Extending The Mind Fully, Robert Reimanis Jan 2017

Semiotic Exograms: Extending The Mind Fully, Robert Reimanis

Res Cogitans

This essay is an analysis and expanded defense of John Sutton’s essay “Exograms and Interdisciplinarity: History, the Extended Mind, and the Civilizing Process.” The first section of the essay surveys the extended mind literature, following the first and second waves of the Extended Mind theory. The second section explains Sutton’s exograms as external representations of internal thought. This section also details his argument that exograms extend the mind because, historically, exograms play a role in the internal functioning of a mind. The third section defends Sutton’s argument from objections against their place in mental processes, namely memory ...


Emergentism Reconsidered, Kenji Lota Jan 2017

Emergentism Reconsidered, Kenji Lota

Res Cogitans

This paper argues that emergentism is not committed to downward causation but of direct causation. Events that are believed to be caused by a mental state, whether physical or mental, are actually caused by a physical state with a mental property. These mental properties are caused by the complexity of a collection of several physical components. Emergentism, as a view, is often faced by the fallacy of composition given its nomological nature which leads one to resort to dualism. Mental properties cannot exist in and of itself, but it only supports the physical through entailment. Lastly, it gives a brief ...


Is Epicurus A Direct Realist?, Bridger Ehli Jan 2017

Is Epicurus A Direct Realist?, Bridger Ehli

Res Cogitans

In his Letter to Herodotus, Epicurus presents a controversial theory of perception according to which "all perceptions are true." In this paper, I argue that Epicurus' theory of perception should be interpreted as a version of direct realism. If this interpretation is correct, then Epicurus holds that typical human perceivers have direct perceptual awareness of mind-independent objects. In the first section, I present an interpretation of Epicurus' theory of perception. I interpret Epicurus as subscribing to the view according to which our perceptions always provide us with entirely accurate information about the world. In the second section, I provide an ...


Women And The Imago Dei: Gender Ontology In St. Augustine’S Thought, Philip Groth Jan 2017

Women And The Imago Dei: Gender Ontology In St. Augustine’S Thought, Philip Groth

Res Cogitans

To rebuild gender relations in the church we need to unpack the source of the current complementarian beliefs, which take their origin in the teachings of the church fathers. In this interpretative paper, I will attempt to provide a new reading of St. Augustine’s philosophy regarding women in light of The Trinity and City of God. It is my argument that Augustine has a twofold vision of the Imago Dei in humans. One based on the rational “inner man” —in which women do not participate— and another based on shared humanity. In this view women retain their own and ...


A Case For Dispositional Innatism, Hien Bui Jan 2017

A Case For Dispositional Innatism, Hien Bui

Res Cogitans

In An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke argues against the claim that there are innate ideas. His arguments consisted in the denial of universal assent, the incoherency of innate ideas, and the formation of principles by inductive means. In this paper, I attempt to show why these arguments do not work in showing that there are no innate ideas and also propose and defend Gottfried Leibniz’s model of dispositional innatism — the claim that we are born with at least innate dispositions or tendencies to have particular beliefs. I use the ordinary conception of memories as a proper analogy ...


On Time, Chengquan Xiang Jan 2017

On Time, Chengquan Xiang

Res Cogitans

Contemporary philosophy discussions on the nature of time begin with McTaggart, who introduces two ways of describing temporal relation between events: the A-series, focusing on the past, present and future, is about positions of time; and the B-series, which an event’s position in the series is described only in relation to other events: “earlier than,” “later than,” or “simultaneous with.” Along with McTaggart’s objection to the reality of time, I provide a detailed exposition of why change can be expressed within the A-series and why the A-series contains a contradiction. In addition, I demonstrate step by step that ...