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Pacific University

2014

Articles 1 - 25 of 25

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

An Argument For A Phenomenological Pragmatic Conception Of Truth, Kyle Novak Jun 2014

An Argument For A Phenomenological Pragmatic Conception Of Truth, Kyle Novak

Res Cogitans

Correspondence theories of truth claim that truth involves a relationship between ideas in the mind and facts in the world, but because minds are viewed as being disconnected from the world, there is no way to determine whether beliefs are true or false under the correspondence view. For truth to be a meaningful concept, a theory about it must conceive of it in a way that is meaningful for humans. By looking at Heidegger’s ideas about phenomenology and humans as Dasein I argue for a framework that does not rest on a Cartesian subject/object dualism, and instead grounds ...


Issue Introduction, David Boersema Jun 2014

Issue Introduction, David Boersema

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Problems For Infinitism, Keith Wynroe Jun 2014

Problems For Infinitism, Keith Wynroe

Res Cogitans

Infinitism in epistemic justification is the thesis that the structure of justification consists in infinite, non-repeating series. Although superficially an implausible position, it is capable of presenting strong arguments in its favour, and has been growing in popularity. After briefly introducing the concept and the motivations for it, I will present a common objection (the finite minds problem) as well as a powerful reply which couches Infinitism in dispositional terms. I will then attempt to undermine this counter-objection by drawing parallels between it and the problems raised against semantic dispositionalism by Kripke’s exegesis of Wittgenstein’s private language argument.


Pluralism And Foundationalism In The Applied Sciences, David Baker Jun 2014

Pluralism And Foundationalism In The Applied Sciences, David Baker

Res Cogitans

Nancy Cartwright develops her scientific pluralism within The Dappled World and argues for its supremacy over foundationalism. Cartwright believes that the sciences should be applied for humane benefits and not for knowledge’s sake alone. However, Cartwright does not give enough credit to the practical applications produced by foundationalists. Cartwright’s goals are not hindered or detracted from when working with foundationalists. In fact foundationalism and pluralism offer complimentary means of practical application, the outcome of which is a bettered ability to apply our sciences towards practical concerns than either position offers alone. I will use exemplary cases demonstrating these ...


Juxtaposing Longino’S “Equality Of Intellectual Authority” With Her “Shared Standards”, Gourav Krishna Nandi Jun 2014

Juxtaposing Longino’S “Equality Of Intellectual Authority” With Her “Shared Standards”, Gourav Krishna Nandi

Res Cogitans

Helen Longino has proposed four criteria that can objectively criticize the background beliefs and assumptions in the development of scientific theories. She deduces that the criteria - ‘recognized avenues for criticism,’ ‘shared standards,’ ‘community response’ and ‘equality of intellectual authority’ - are mutually dependent. Using the assumption that the acceptance of more than one scientific approach is possible only if an individual is educated in a non-standard background, and is given intellectual authority which, in turn, refutes the idea of standardization in science, I argue that her assertion is contradictory. One of her criterion ‘shared standards’ implicitly nullifies the attempt to embrace ...


Currently Persisting Paradoxes: Getting Clear About Endurantism, Joshua Jarrott Jun 2014

Currently Persisting Paradoxes: Getting Clear About Endurantism, Joshua Jarrott

Res Cogitans

This paper addresses a mereological paradox which faces proponents of endurantism, the theory of persistence according to which objects may be wholly located at several times. The paradox is intended to demonstrate that endurantism is false because it entails that enduring objects are both 3D and 4D. I offer three ways for the endurantist to avoid the paradoxical conclusion by demonstrating that the fusion principle required to generate the paradox is untenable.


The Impossibility Of Free Will And Ultimate Responsibility, Alexia Syrmos Jun 2014

The Impossibility Of Free Will And Ultimate Responsibility, Alexia Syrmos

Res Cogitans

This paper concerns itself with the metaphysics of free will. To posit, as some philosophers do, that free will and determinism are incompatible is to provide a necessary condition for free will. Yet what should a sufficient condition look like? In other words, how might indeterminists provide a positive account of free will? In section 2 of this paper, I provide a few definitions and discuss an influential argument against compatibilism, namely the view that free will and determinism are compatible. This will help to identify some important criteria for theories of free will. Section 3 shows how abandoning determinism ...


Trans* Rights Under Egalitarianism, Alexandra Binsfeld Jun 2014

Trans* Rights Under Egalitarianism, Alexandra Binsfeld

Res Cogitans

Trans* rights have only come to the forefront of social, political, and philosophical discourse in recent years. Many of the issues afflicting the trans* community have yet to be properly addressed. This essay discusses trans* reassignments, including gender confirmation surgery and hormones, and makes a case for the government subsidization thereof. Ronald Dworkin and Phillip Pettit’s works regarding egalitarianism are used as supporting evidence. The essay delves into their notions of victimization, domination, equality of resources, the ability to pass the “eyeball test”, and liberal civic republicanism and applies these concepts to the real life issues of the trans ...


The Role Of Religious Reasons In A Liberal Democracy, Malcolm Morano Jun 2014

The Role Of Religious Reasons In A Liberal Democracy, Malcolm Morano

Res Cogitans

There is a long tradition of political thought that takes the use of religious reasons for supporting public policy to be a violation of one’s duties as a citizen. I refer to this as the ‘liberal position.’ But is this line of thought correct? In this paper, I examine three philosophers’ views on the matter, before staking out my own. First, I examine the position of John Rawls, the most influential contemporary heir of the liberal tradition. Then, I look towards Nicholas Wolterstorff for his charges against Rawls and this tradition, as well as his own view of the ...


Remaking The Possible: Intelligibility And Trans Autonomy, Valeria Levkovskaya Jun 2014

Remaking The Possible: Intelligibility And Trans Autonomy, Valeria Levkovskaya

Res Cogitans

This essay explores problems inherent to Butler’s concept of intelligibility as it is presented in her book Undoing Gender. By relegating gender minorities collectively to the unintelligible, Butler unintentionally diminishes the agency of gender minorities and their ability to produce themselves as subjects through oversights Butler makes with regard to the importance of embodiment. Accounts by transgender individuals and theorists, including objections to Butler’s work itself, emphasize different ways that trans individuals legitimate their own approach to norms of intelligibility. In order to salvage Butler’s notion of intelligibility, it is necessary to emphasize certain aspects and de-emphasize ...


Narrowing The Divide: Posthuman Autopoiesis And Social Propaganda, Alexandra Holmes Jun 2014

Narrowing The Divide: Posthuman Autopoiesis And Social Propaganda, Alexandra Holmes

Res Cogitans

This paper examines the relationship between social propaganda as presented by Jacques Ellul in his book Propaganda: the Formation of Men’s Attitudes and the concept of autopoiesis (or self-generation) within posthuman ideology. These two concepts intersect in their connection of the individual to the masses. Both posthuman theory and Ellul’s concept of social interaction are based on the bridging of the ontological gap to overcome cognitive isolation, resulting in the engagement in a community outside of oneself. The stripping of individuality becomes necessary, as our self-contained autopoietic beings employ analogical inference in order to connect with the mass ...


Saving The Substratum: Interpreting Kant’S First Analogy, Kevin Harriman Jun 2014

Saving The Substratum: Interpreting Kant’S First Analogy, Kevin Harriman

Res Cogitans

Kant’s transcendental idealism requires that experience be both spatial and temporal. In the First Analogy of Experience, he argues that in order for experience in time to be possible, there must be something permanent in our experience. This something permanent is substance: a bearer of properties that persists and conserves its quantity throughout any empirical change. The trajectory of Kant’s argument in the First Analogy is not entirely clear and this has left room for multiple interpretations. In this paper, I introduce the First Analogy and three suggested interpretations of its argument. I defend the so-called substratum interpretation ...


Reinventing The Mirror: Reconciling Guyer’S And Allison’S Interpretations Of Kant’S Second Analogy, Mckenzie Southworth Jun 2014

Reinventing The Mirror: Reconciling Guyer’S And Allison’S Interpretations Of Kant’S Second Analogy, Mckenzie Southworth

Res Cogitans

This paper concerns two interpretations of Kant’s second Analogy in the Critique of Pure Reason. On the one hand, Paul Guyer argues that the goal of the second Analogy is to provide grounds for the confirmation of beliefs about causal relations. Henry Allison, on the other hand, argues that the principle of the second Analogy is a condition of the possibility of experiencing succession, whether subjective or objective. Their starkly different views on the aims and coherence of Kant’s overall system clearly influence their interpretive differences in the specific context of the second Analogy. The exegetical investigation required ...


Mimesis And Ritual: Girardian Critique Of The Social Contract, Ysabel Johnston Jun 2014

Mimesis And Ritual: Girardian Critique Of The Social Contract, Ysabel Johnston

Res Cogitans

The social contract has become the dominant basis for political society, yet political theology is still prevalent in many countries. Rene Girard’s theory of human nature as involving mimesis and ritual offers a more sufficient account for this continuity than that of the social contract theorists. This paper will demonstrate how the views of human nature and the formation of society given by Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau not only failed to account for our religious and ritualistic aspects, but provided a basis for the evolution of the social contract into a pragmatic contract. Originally it was conceived as predicated ...


Animal Activism And The Ethics Of Terrorism, Jeffrey Pannekoek Jun 2014

Animal Activism And The Ethics Of Terrorism, Jeffrey Pannekoek

Res Cogitans

Terrorism is a subject deeply connected to the issue of animal welfare. This has not always been the case. Whereas it is definitely true that some criminal activity has been justified in the name of animal welfare, misdemeanors and even felonies are of a very different order than terrorism. The charge of terrorism can strip a person off their most fundamental rights, even without trial. Animal terrorism has not witnessed quite such a situation, although a number of animal activists who have committed direct action have been convicted for a range of crimes, and some have had the terrorism enhancement ...


Lifeboat Ethics And Systematic Stability, Peiran Tan Jun 2014

Lifeboat Ethics And Systematic Stability, Peiran Tan

Res Cogitans

A utilitarian, Garrett Hardin in his Lifeboat Ethics argues that an international state should refrain from sharing resources with and providing help for other states to maximize its people’s welfare. The global resources are finite and states ideally should share it equally for maximum collective interest. Yet the absence of supreme coercive authority to enforce fair sharing gives ample incentive for rule violation, as states attempt to maximize self-interest in disregard for the eventual collective ruin, which Hardin refers to as the “Tragedy of Commons.” Since other states act both as sharers and opponents, a state should aggressively eradicate ...


Towards A Humean Solution Of Vagueness In Language And Ontology, Matthew Hernandez Jun 2014

Towards A Humean Solution Of Vagueness In Language And Ontology, Matthew Hernandez

Res Cogitans

This paper explores how a Humean may respond to issues of vagueness in philosophy of language—and in extension—ontology. It begins with an examination of the sorites paradox and two common responses: epistemicism, and eliminativism. I then turn to David Hume’s conception of abstract ideas as a way to determine how vague terms refer and then compare this view to both epistemicism and eliminativism. The paper ends with a defense of the Humean view as a synthesis of the two, which ultimately questions the formulation of the sorites paradox as a proper use of language.


Revisiting Modal Imagination, Ross Jensen Jun 2014

Revisiting Modal Imagination, Ross Jensen

Res Cogitans

Conceivability arguments are quite common in philosophy. Given the continued prevalence of such arguments, the philosopher would do well to consider whether the inference from conceivability to possibility is in fact justified. In this paper, I reject Alex Byrne’s skeptical arguments against David Chalmers’s account of modal imagination. I suggest that, in regard to mental imagery, Byrne’s account of sensuous imagination is committed to the dubious claim that mental images are sufficient to individuate imaginings, whereas Chalmers’s account is not. On the contrary, in order to be successful, some imaginings must involve or co-occur with further ...


Motivating A Terminological Clarification In The Account Of Representation Between Computational And Dynamical Paradigms, Jamale Nagi Jun 2014

Motivating A Terminological Clarification In The Account Of Representation Between Computational And Dynamical Paradigms, Jamale Nagi

Res Cogitans

Debate in philosophy of cognition between computatationalists and dynamists often are found to be taking past one another. This is largely due to inconsistency within the dynamic camp regarding whether or not there are representations; and for those that do affirm them, clarifying how a representation is to be conceived and used under a dynamical system paradigm. Having been equipped with an understanding of a dynamic conception of representation may prove resourceful for giving a dynamic account for cognitive tasks in a ‘representation-hungry’ problem domain, largely thought only to be explained through a computational cognitive model.


Divine Hiddenness And Affective Forecasting, Miles Andrews Jun 2014

Divine Hiddenness And Affective Forecasting, Miles Andrews

Res Cogitans

In this paper I argue that J. L. Schellenberg’s Divine Hiddenness Argument is committed to a problematic implication that is weakened by research in cognitive psychology on affective forecasting. Schellenberg’s notion of a nonresistant nonbeliever logically implies that for any such person, it is true that she would form the proper belief in God if provided with what he calls “probabilifying” evidence for God’s existence. In light of Schellenberg’s commitment to the importance of both affective and propositional belief components for entering into the proper relationship with God, this implication of his argument becomes an affective ...


The Discourse Of The Scalpel And The Limbo Of Non-Identity: Doing Justice To Herculine Barbin, Aurora Laybourn-Candlish Jun 2014

The Discourse Of The Scalpel And The Limbo Of Non-Identity: Doing Justice To Herculine Barbin, Aurora Laybourn-Candlish

Res Cogitans

In this essay I will make a comparative analysis of Butlers reading of Herculin Barbin in Gender Trouble and David Reimer in Undoing Gender. My reading of Undoing Gender will illustrate reflective moments in which Butler herself describes spaces outside of intelligibility. First, my analysis will consist of in reading Butlers earlier work against her more recent writings on gender. Utilizing the same critical lens that Butler incorporated to compare Foucault’s later work against his earlier writing will bring to the fore important tensions in Bulter’s gender theory and her relationship with Foucault. Second, I will describe the ...


Looking Past The Web To See The Garden: An Exploration Of Epistemological Metaphors, Theresa Siver Jun 2014

Looking Past The Web To See The Garden: An Exploration Of Epistemological Metaphors, Theresa Siver

Res Cogitans

In their paper Identity, Oppression, and Power: Feminism and Intersectionality Theory, Samuels and Ross-Sheriff present those who engage with intersectionality with three challenges: avoid essentializing any one expression of identity (race, sexual orientation, class) over another, acknowledge interconnected privileges as well as oppressions, and pay mind to the changes in context that shift the designation of social identity and status. These challenges serve as an unpacking of the more general definition and purpose of intersectionality that “proposes that gender cannot be used as a single analytic frame without also exploring how issues of race, migration status, history, and social class ...


Fundamentalism Against The Patchwork Theory Of Laws, James Sheppard Jun 2014

Fundamentalism Against The Patchwork Theory Of Laws, James Sheppard

Res Cogitans

This paper offers an analysis of the arguments between fundamentalists and the claims made by Nancy Cartwright in The Dappled World. I start by introducing the arguments of fundamentalists through the work of Carl Hoefer, and go on to discuss Cartwright’s patchwork theory of laws, which is opposed to fundamentalism. Cartwright argues that the fundamentalists cannot claim that laws can be generalized, while the fundamentalists insist that they can make such claims. I will argue that this conflict between both sides places each side in the same epistemological boat. Once we recognize that both views are in the same ...


The Epistemic Value Of Live Fiction: A Dramatic Response To The Question Of Knowledge, Hannah Hicks Jun 2014

The Epistemic Value Of Live Fiction: A Dramatic Response To The Question Of Knowledge, Hannah Hicks

Res Cogitans

This essay occupies a niche wedged between Philosophy and Art, exciting both the creative and inquiring mind. Drawing on both foundational and recent work in the philosophical study of knowledge and aesthetic theory, this paper synthesizes two fields within the humanities: epistemology and live theatre. This presentation challenges the academic barriers that keep philosophy and the performing arts from fully participating in interdisciplinary communication, and challenges the conceptual definition of knowledge itself. The aim is to promote recognition of the value in using that which is live, liminal, and personal in understanding the nature of knowledge. This can be achieved ...


Semantics Embodied: Cognitive Linguistics And Searle’S Account Of Linguistic Intentionality, Krivo Flores Jun 2014

Semantics Embodied: Cognitive Linguistics And Searle’S Account Of Linguistic Intentionality, Krivo Flores

Res Cogitans

John Searle has long argued that the philosophy of language is a branch of the philosophy of mind. In his view the capacity of speech acts to represent and relate to reality derives from more biologically basic forms of intentionality, such as perception and action, which initially evolved to relate organisms directly to their environments. Searle’s naturalistic model of language, in order to be complete, requires a theory of how perception and action specifically give rise to linguistic meaning and interpretation. In this paper I argue that recent theoretical developments in cognitive linguistics and the emerging field of embodied ...