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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Review Of "The Ethical Treatment Of Depression: Autonomy Through Psychotherapy", Peter Boghossian Jan 2012

Review Of "The Ethical Treatment Of Depression: Autonomy Through Psychotherapy", Peter Boghossian

Essays in Philosophy

No abstract provided.


A New Hope For Philosophers’ Appeal To Intuition, Damián Enrique Szmuc Jan 2012

A New Hope For Philosophers’ Appeal To Intuition, Damián Enrique Szmuc

Essays in Philosophy

Some recent researches in experimental philosophy have posed a problem for philosophers’ appeal to intuition (hereinafter referred to as PAI); the aim of this paper is to offer an answer to this challenge. The thesis against PAI implies that, given some experimental results, intuition does not seem to be a reliable epistemic source, and —more importantly— given the actual state of knowledge about its operation, we do not have sufficient resources to mitigate its errors and thus establish its reliability. That is why PAI is hopeless. Throughout this paper I will defend my own conception of PAI, which I have ...


Towards A Non-Rationalist Inflationist Account Of Intuitions, Julia Langkau Jan 2012

Towards A Non-Rationalist Inflationist Account Of Intuitions, Julia Langkau

Essays in Philosophy

In this paper, I first develop desiderata for an ontology of intuitions on the basis of paradigmatic cases of intuitions in philosophy. A special focus lies on cases that have been subject to extensive first-order philosophical debates but have been receiving little attention in the current debate over the ontology of intuitions. I show that none of the popular accounts in the current debate can meet all desiderata. I discuss a view according to which intuitions reduce to beliefs, Timothy Williamson's (2004, 2007) account of intuitions as beliefs or inclinations to believe, and traditional rationalist accounts of intuitions. I ...


Intuition As Philosophical Evidence, Federico Mathías Pailos Jan 2012

Intuition As Philosophical Evidence, Federico Mathías Pailos

Essays in Philosophy

Earlenbaugh and Molyneux’s argument against considering intuitions as evidence has an uncharitable consequence — a substantial part of philosophical practice is not justified. A possible solution to this problem is to defend that philosophy must be descriptive metaphysics. But if this statement is rejected, one can only argue (a) that experts’ intuition does constitute evidence, and (b) that philosophical practice is justified by the overall growth of philosophical knowledge it generates.


Intuition & Calibration, Jonathan M. Weinberg, Stephen Crowley, Chad Gonnerman, Ian Vandewalker, Stacey Swain Jan 2012

Intuition & Calibration, Jonathan M. Weinberg, Stephen Crowley, Chad Gonnerman, Ian Vandewalker, Stacey Swain

Essays in Philosophy

The practice of appealing to intuitive judgments concerning esoteric cases, long standard in analytic philosophy, has recently fallen on hard times. Various recent empirical results have suggested that philosophers are not currently able to distinguish good intuitions from bad. This paper evaluates one possible type of approach to this problematic methodological situation: calibration. Both critiquing and building on an argument from Robert Cummins, the paper explores what possible avenues may exist for the calibration of philosophical intuitions. It is argued that no good options are currently available, but leaves open the real possibility of such a calibration in the future.


Intuition And Inquiry, Anand Vaidya Jan 2012

Intuition And Inquiry, Anand Vaidya

Essays in Philosophy

Recent work in philosophical methodology by experimental philosophers has brought to light a certain kind of skepticism about the role of intuitions in a priori philosophical inquiry. In this paper I turn attention away from a priori philosophical inquiry and on to the role of intuition in experimental design. I argue that even if we have reason to be skeptical about the role of intuition in a priori philosophical inquiry, we cannot remove intuition from inquiry altogether, because appeals to intuition are essential for experimental design.


The Trolley Method Of Moral Philosophy, James O'Connor Jan 2012

The Trolley Method Of Moral Philosophy, James O'Connor

Essays in Philosophy

The hypothetical scenarios generally known as trolley problems have become widespread in recent moral philosophy. They invariably require an agent to choose one of a strictly limited number of options, all of them bad. Although they don’t always involve trolleys / trams, and are used to make a wide variety of points, what makes it justified to speak of a distinctive “trolley method” is the characteristic assumption that the intuitive reactions that all these artificial situations elicit constitute an appropriate guide to real-life moral reasoning. I dispute this assumption by arguing that trolley cases inevitably constrain the supposed rescuers into ...


What Matters In (Naturalized) Metaphysics?, Sophie R. Allen Jan 2012

What Matters In (Naturalized) Metaphysics?, Sophie R. Allen

Essays in Philosophy

Can metaphysics ever really be compatible with science? In this paper, I investigate the implications of the methodological approach to metaphysical theorizing known as naturalized metaphysics. In the past, metaphysics has been rejected entirely by empirically-minded philosophers as being too open to speculation and for relying on methods which are not conducive to truth. But naturalized metaphysics aims to be a less radical solution to these difficulties, treating metaphysical theorizing as being continuous with science and restricting metaphysical methods to empirically respectable ones. I investigate a significant difficulty for naturalized metaphysics: that it lacks the methodological resources to comparatively evaluate ...


Meta-Conceivability, Philip Corkum Jan 2012

Meta-Conceivability, Philip Corkum

Essays in Philosophy

In addition to conceiving of such imaginary scenarios as those involving philosophical zombies, we may conceive of such things being conceived. Call these higher order conceptions ‘meta-conceptions’. Sorensen (2006) holds that one can entertain a meta-conception without thereby conceiving of the embedded lower-order conception. So it seems that I can meta-conceive possibilities which I cannot conceive. If this is correct, then meta-conceptions provide a counter-example to the claim that possibility entails conceivability. Moreover, some of Sorensen’s discussion suggests the following argument: if the conceivability of some proposition entails its possibility, then the meta-conceivability of some proposition entails its possibility ...


Philosophical Methodology In Modal Epistemology, Dana Goswick Jan 2012

Philosophical Methodology In Modal Epistemology, Dana Goswick

Essays in Philosophy

This paper examines the legitimacy of two common methodologies within philosophy: thought experiments and conceptual analysis. In particular, I examine the uses to which these two methodologies have been put within modal epistemology. I argue that, although both methods can be used to reveal conditional essentialist claims (e.g. necessarily: if x is water, then x is H20), neither can be used to reveal the de re essentialists claims (e.g. x is water and x is essentially H20) they’re often taken to reveal.


The View From The Armchair: Responding To Kornblith’S Alternative To Armchair Philosophy, Anthony Bryson, David Alexander Jan 2012

The View From The Armchair: Responding To Kornblith’S Alternative To Armchair Philosophy, Anthony Bryson, David Alexander

Essays in Philosophy

In the last two decades, the greatest threat to armchair philosophy has been the natural kinds approach. On this view, philosophic theorizing should not be obsessed with the ideas of justice, goodness, and truth but should look outward to the world of objects to find these things. And if these things happen to be natural kinds, like kinds of rock or fish for instance, then clearly we should reject the armchair for the lab. The philosopher should leave the office and join the scientist out in the field. Philosophy should become a species of science. We attempt to defend traditional ...


Experimental Philosophy And Philosophical Disputes, Justin Sytsma, Jonathan Livengood Jan 2012

Experimental Philosophy And Philosophical Disputes, Justin Sytsma, Jonathan Livengood

Essays in Philosophy

One view of philosophy that is sometimes expressed, especially by scientists, is that while philosophers are good at asking questions, they are poor at producing convincing answers. And the perceived divide between philosophical and scientific methods is often pointed to as the major culprit behind this lack of progress. Looking back at the history of philosophy, however, we find that this methodological divide is a relatively recent invention. Further, it is one that has been challenged over the past decade by the modern incarnation of experimental philosophy. How might the reincorporation of empirical methods into philosophy aid the process of ...


Interest As A Starting Place For Philosophy, Brian Talbot Jan 2012

Interest As A Starting Place For Philosophy, Brian Talbot

Essays in Philosophy

This paper discusses a puzzle about philosophical beliefs. Core philosophical beliefs that are widely shared among philosophers, such as the belief that skepticism is false, are often held with extreme confidence. However, this confidence is not justified if these beliefs are based on what are traditionally seen as the sources of philosophical evidence, such as intuitions or observation (or reasoning on these bases). Charity requires that we should look for some other basis for these beliefs. I argue that these beliefs are based on our knowledge of what we find interesting. Further, I argue that this is a good basis ...


Freshest Advices On What To Do With The Historical Method In Philosophy When Using It To Study A Little Bit Of Philosophy That Has Been Lost To History, Bennett Gilbert Jan 2012

Freshest Advices On What To Do With The Historical Method In Philosophy When Using It To Study A Little Bit Of Philosophy That Has Been Lost To History, Bennett Gilbert

Essays in Philosophy

The paper explores the question of the relationship between the practice of original philosophical inquiry and the study of the history of philosophy. It is written from my point of view as someone starting a research project in the history of philosophy that calls this issue into question, in order to review my starting positions. I argue: first, that any philosopher is sufficiently embedded in culture that her practice is necessarily historical; second, that original work is in fact in part a reconstruction by reinterpretation of the past and that therefore it bears some relation to historiographic techniques for the ...


How To Investigate The Grammar Of Aspect-Perception: A Question In Wittgensteinian Method, Reshef Agam-Segal Jan 2012

How To Investigate The Grammar Of Aspect-Perception: A Question In Wittgensteinian Method, Reshef Agam-Segal

Essays in Philosophy

I argue that the typical Wittgensteinian method of philosophical investigation cannot help elucidate the grammar of aspect-seeing. In the typical Wittgensteinian method, we examine meaning in use: We practice language, and note the logical ramifications. I argue that the effectiveness of this method is hindered in the case of aspect-seeing by the fact that aspect-seeing involves an aberrant activity of seeing: Whereas it is normally nonsense to say that we choose what to see (decide to see the White House red, for instance), it is possible to see aspects at will—e.g. to decide to see Jastrow’s duck-rabbit ...


Wittgenstein And Surrealism, Chrysoula Gitsoulis Jan 2012

Wittgenstein And Surrealism, Chrysoula Gitsoulis

Essays in Philosophy

There are two aspects to Wittgenstein’s method of deconstructing pseudo-philosophical problems that need to be distinguished: (1) describing actual linguistic practice, and (2) constructing hypothetical ‘language-games’. Both methods were, for Wittgenstein, indispensable means of clarifying the ‘grammar’ of expressions of our language – i.e., the appropriate contexts for using those expressions – and thereby dissolving pseudo-philosophical problems. Though (2) is often conflated with (1), it is important to recognize that it differs from it in imprtant respects. (1) can be seen as functioning as a direct method of ‘proof’ (i.e., attempt to convince the reader of some thesis), and ...


Philosophy As A Private Language, Ben Gibran Jan 2012

Philosophy As A Private Language, Ben Gibran

Essays in Philosophy

Philosophy (and its corollaries in the human sciences such as literary, social and political theory) is distinguished from other disciplines by a more thoroughgoing emphasis on the a priori. Philosophy makes no claims to predictive power; nor does it aim to conform to popular opinion (beyond ordinary intuitions as recorded by ‘thought experiments’). Many philosophers view the discipline’s self-exemption from ‘real world’ empirical testing as a non-issue or even an advantage, in allowing philosophy to focus on universal and necessary truths. This article argues otherwise. The non-instrumentality of philosophical discourse renders it into a collective private language, impairing the ...


Cartesian “Riddles”: Descartes, Words, And Deduction, Donald Cross Jan 2012

Cartesian “Riddles”: Descartes, Words, And Deduction, Donald Cross

Essays in Philosophy

Traditionally, ‘René Descartes’ is synonymous with ‘method.’ The so-called father of modern science, he is perhaps the systematic and methodological philosopher par excellence, a fundamental motivation for his attempt to secede from contemporary thought being the possibility of establishing a universally valid method in the search for truth. In a passage in the Rules for the Direction of the Mind, Descartes contrasts his method with what he calls scholastic “[r]iddles,” verbal equivocations that hinder the acquisition of knowledge. In this paper I analyze this notion of riddling and the Cartesian method to posit that, finally, Descartes cannot avoid replicating ...


Is James’S Pragmatism Really A New Name For Some Old Ways Of Thinking?, Elizabeth Shaw Jan 2012

Is James’S Pragmatism Really A New Name For Some Old Ways Of Thinking?, Elizabeth Shaw

Essays in Philosophy

Pragmatism may be the aspect of William James’s thought for which he is best known; but, at the same time, James’s pragmatism may be among the most misunderstood doctrines of the past century. There are many meanings of word “pragmatism,” even within James’s own corpus. Not a single unified doctrine, pragmatism may be better described as a collection of positions which together form a coherent philosophical system. This paper examines three interrelated uses of the term: (1) pragmatism as a temperament, (2) pragmatism as a philosophical method, and (3) pragmatism as a “humanistic” and “concrete” theory of ...


Issue Introduction, James Mcbain Jan 2012

Issue Introduction, James Mcbain

Essays in Philosophy

No abstract provided.


Review Of "The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through The Present", David Boersema Jul 2011

Review Of "The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through The Present", David Boersema

Essays in Philosophy

No abstract provided.


Review Of "The Veil Of Isis: An Essay On The History Of The Idea Of Nature", Peter H. Denton Jul 2011

Review Of "The Veil Of Isis: An Essay On The History Of The Idea Of Nature", Peter H. Denton

Essays in Philosophy

No abstract provided.


Quit Your Kvetching: The Humor Of Woody Allen, Alan Soble Jul 2011

Quit Your Kvetching: The Humor Of Woody Allen, Alan Soble

Essays in Philosophy

No abstract provided.


There Is No Progress In Philosophy, Eric Dietrich Jul 2011

There Is No Progress In Philosophy, Eric Dietrich

Essays in Philosophy

Except for a patina of twenty-first century modernity, in the form of logic and language, philosophy is exactly the same now as it ever was; it has made no progress whatsoever. We philosophers wrestle with the exact same problems the Pre-Socratics wrestled with. Even more outrageous than this claim, though, is the blatant denial of its obvious truth by many practicing philosophers. The No-Progress view is explored and argued for here. Its denial is diagnosed as a form of anosognosia, a mental condition where the affected person denies there is any problem. The theories of two eminent philosophers supporting the ...


The Contingency Of Science And The Future Of Philosophy, Ian James Kidd Jul 2011

The Contingency Of Science And The Future Of Philosophy, Ian James Kidd

Essays in Philosophy

Contemporary metaphilosophical debates on the future of philosophy invariably include references to the natural sciences. This is wholly understandable given the cognitive and cultural authority of the sciences and their contributions to philosophical thought and practice. However such appeals to the sciences should be moderated by reflections on contingency of sciences. Using the work of contemporary historians and philosophers of science, I argue that an awareness of the radical contingency of science supports the claim that philosophy’s future should not be construed as either dependent or necessarily related to that of the sciences. Therefore contemporary debates – about the possibility ...


Philosophy’S Future As A Problem-Solving Discipline: The Promise Of Experimental Philosophy, Richard Kamber Jul 2011

Philosophy’S Future As A Problem-Solving Discipline: The Promise Of Experimental Philosophy, Richard Kamber

Essays in Philosophy

Scientists often reach provisional agreement solutions to problems central to their disciplines, whereas philosophers do not. Although philosophy has been practiced by outstanding intellects for over two thousand years, philosophers have not reached agreement, provisional or otherwise, on the solution or dissolution of any central philosophical problem by philosophical methods. What about philosophy’s future? Until about 1970, philosophers were generally optimistic. Some pinned their hopes on revolution in methodology, others on reform of practice. The case for gradual reform still finds articulate advocates in philosophers like Michael Dummett and Timothy Williamson, but many philosophers today suspect that perennial disagreement ...


Metaphilosophical Dualism, Ross Barham Jul 2011

Metaphilosophical Dualism, Ross Barham

Essays in Philosophy

There exist two equally prominent, though seemingly divergent metaphilosophical viewpoints. One takes philosophy to be an essentially revolutionary process. The other sees philosophy as a constructive, collaborative enterprise that seeks increased rigor and consensus. Recent debate in the philosophy of language regarding the relationship of particular languages to the general capacity for language reveals an illuminating structural analogy with these divergent metaphilosophical trends. While neither debate is settled herein, regardless of their eventual determinations, it is concluded that there is little reason to suppose that philosophy will some day become a science, at least not in any metaphilosophically meaningful sense ...


Philosophy And Poetry, Duncan Richter Jul 2011

Philosophy And Poetry, Duncan Richter

Essays in Philosophy

Philosophy certainly has connections with science but it is not itself a science. Nor is it literature. But it is related to literature in a way that excessive emphasis on science can obscure. In this paper I defend the rather old-fashioned view that philosophy is essentially linguistic. I also argue, less conventionally, that there is an unavoidable personal aspect to at least some philosophical problems, and in answering them we must speak for ourselves without being able to count on every other speaker of our language agreeing with us or even understanding what we say. Where the rules of our ...


A Distinction Between Science And Philosophy, Nathan Sinclair Jul 2011

A Distinction Between Science And Philosophy, Nathan Sinclair

Essays in Philosophy

Ever since Kant published his Critique of Pure Reason, most philosophers have taken the distinction between science and philosophy to depend upon the existence of a class of truths especially amenable to philosophical investigation. In recent times, Quine’s arguments against the analytic-synthetic distinction have cast doubt over the existence of such a class of special philosophical truths and consequently many now doubt that there is a sharp distinction between science and philosophy. In this paper, I present a perfectly sharp distinction between science and philosophy that does not depend upon any distinction between philosophical and scientific truths.


Philosophy Between Religion And Science, James Tartaglia Jul 2011

Philosophy Between Religion And Science, James Tartaglia

Essays in Philosophy

Philosophical concerns are evidenced from the beginning of human literature, which have no obvious connection to philosophy’s mainstream epistemological and metaphysical problematic. I reject the views that the nature of philosophy is a philosophical question, and that the discipline is united by methodology, arguing that it must be united by subject matter. The origins of the discipline provide reasons to doubt the existence of a unifying subject matter, however, and scepticism about philosophy also arises from its a priori methodology and apparent lack of progress. In response, I argue that philosophy acquired a distinctive subject matter when the concept ...