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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Copernicus Banned: The Entangled Matter Of The Anti-Copernican Decree Of 1616, Maurice A. Finocchiaro Aug 2019

Copernicus Banned: The Entangled Matter Of The Anti-Copernican Decree Of 1616, Maurice A. Finocchiaro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The year 2016 marked the 400th anniversary of the Catholic Church’s prohibition of Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus (1543) and condemnation of the idea of a moving earth as false and contrary to Scripture. Some institutions and scholars marked the occurrence with conferences, exhibitions, and publications. The present volume is one such example.


Review Of Alberto A. Martínez’S Burned Alive: Bruno, Galileo And The Inquisition, Maurice A. Finocchiaro Jan 2019

Review Of Alberto A. Martínez’S Burned Alive: Bruno, Galileo And The Inquisition, Maurice A. Finocchiaro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In 1600, Giordano Bruno was burned alive by the Inquisition in Rome as punishment for advocating various heresies that he was reluctant to retract. This execution was the conclusion of a long trial that had begun in Venice in 1592, when Bruno was arrested by the Venetian Inquisition after a nobleman filed a written complaint against him. These charges were so serious, and Bruno’s past as an apostate Dominican friar was so problematic, and his notoriety as a controversial author of many philosophical books was such that the following year the Roman Inquisition succeeded in having him extradited to ...


Hull House, The Pullman Strike, And Tolstoy: Documenting The Work Of Jane Addams, Marilyn Fischer Jan 2019

Hull House, The Pullman Strike, And Tolstoy: Documenting The Work Of Jane Addams, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Review:

Mary Lynn McCree Bryan, Maree de Angury, and Ellen Skerrett, editors. The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, Volume III: Creating Hull-House and an International Presence, 1889-1900. University of Illinois Press, 2019.

The sheer amount of material packed into the nearly 1,000 pages of The Selected Papers of Jane Addams, volume 3, is breath-taking. In this volume the editors, Mary Lynn McCree Bryan, Maree de Angury, and Ellen Skerrett include a generous selection of Addams’s correspondence and writings during the first decade of Hull House’s existence, supplemented by extensive endnotes and commentary. This continues the pattern the ...


The Poststructuralist Broom Of Wallace’S System: A Conversation Between Wittgenstein And Derrida, Vernon W. Cisney Oct 2018

The Poststructuralist Broom Of Wallace’S System: A Conversation Between Wittgenstein And Derrida, Vernon W. Cisney

Philosophy Faculty Publications

David Foster Wallace famously characterized his first novel, The Broom of the System, as ‘a conversation between [Ludwig] Wittgenstein and [Jacques] Derrida.’ This comes as little surprise, given the ubiquity of the question of language in the works of these two thinkers, and given the novel’s constant reflections on the relation between language and world. Broom’s protagonist, Lenore Beadsmen – in search of her eponymous great-grandmother – is preoccupied with the dread that ‘all that really exists of [her] life is what can be said about it,’ that is to say, that reality is entirely coextensive with language. If, as ...


Review: 'Improvising Improvisation: From Out Of Philosophy, Music, Dance, And Literature', Aili W. Bresnahan Sep 2018

Review: 'Improvising Improvisation: From Out Of Philosophy, Music, Dance, And Literature', Aili W. Bresnahan

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This book review attempts to interpret the meaning and value of Gary Peters’ book in a way that is true to the kind of book, an experimental improvisation, that it purports to be. As such, it grapples with the difficulties of evaluating the merits of a philosophical discussion within a book that claims not to be philosophy and case studies in performance that beg the question of whether they accurately exemplify the (non-)philosophy they are meant to support. Despite these difficulties, this review ends with the conclusion that this book does, in fact, convey something essential about the nature ...


Exit, Voice, And Public Reason, Kevin Vallier Aug 2018

Exit, Voice, And Public Reason, Kevin Vallier

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Public reason liberals appeal to public deliberation to ensure that a legal order can be publicly justified to its citizens. I argue that this voice mechanism should be supplemented by exit mechanisms. By allowing citizens to exit legal orders they believe cannot be publicly justified, citizens can pressure states to change their laws. This exit pressure is sometimes more effective than deliberation. I explore federalism as an exit mechanism that can help public deliberation establish a publicly justified polity.


Can The Philanthropic Imperative Enhance International Health Care?, Paul Carrick Apr 2018

Can The Philanthropic Imperative Enhance International Health Care?, Paul Carrick

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Elsewhere I have argued that, historically, the public and private funding of health care has been fueled primarily by four mixed motives, namely, the redemptive, the utilitarian, the prudential, and the charitable motives. In this paper, I further explore what I call the unifying moral force of the philanthropic imperative. The philanthropic imperative interfaces these four motives by potentially appealing to the consciences of wealthier Northern countries to provide medical resources to the sick and hurting in the typically poorer South. This, as a matter of our collective duty to others consistent with the teachings of Immanuel Kant, Thich Nhat ...


A New Vision Of Liberal Education: The Good Of The Unexamined Life, Daniel R. Denicola Apr 2018

A New Vision Of Liberal Education: The Good Of The Unexamined Life, Daniel R. Denicola

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Alistair Miller’s book, A New Vision of Liberal Education, is a dilation of his doctoral thesis, but it is enormously ambitious in aim: “My specific aim in this book is to explore whether aspects of the two traditions [of Enlightenment and Aristotelian ethics] might be synthesised in the concrete form of a liberal-humanist education” (NVLE, 11). Indeed, the arc of Miller’s argument ranges from these contrasting traditions of moral philosophy, through alternate versions of liberal education, to a proposal for curricular content. The book is well researched and proceeds dialectically, as Miller sifts through scholarship on liberal education ...


“The Moral Equivalent Of War”: William James’S Minor Variation On Common Themes, Marilyn Fischer Apr 2018

“The Moral Equivalent Of War”: William James’S Minor Variation On Common Themes, Marilyn Fischer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Unlike other scholars who interpret William James’s “The Moral Equivalent of War” in light of the author’s other writings, I read the essay as James’s contribution to conversations being held within the pre-World War One international peace movement. The essay shares the vocabulary, images, and patterns of reasoning widely employed by others in the movement. James’s analysis of violence described a standard frame of mind at that time. Like many of his contemporaries, he assumed that war had contributed to social cohesion and strenuousness in the past, but that this was no longer the case. Like ...


Classical Logic, Stewart Shapiro, Teresa Kouri Kissel Mar 2018

Classical Logic, Stewart Shapiro, Teresa Kouri Kissel

Philosophy Faculty Publications

[From introductory section]

Typically, a logic consists of a formal or informal language together with a deductive system and/or a model-theoretic semantics. The language has components that correspond to a part of a natural language like English or Greek. The deductive system is to capture, codify, or simply record arguments that are valid for the given language, and the semantics is to capture, codify, or record the meanings, or truth-conditions for at least part of the language.

The following sections provide the basics of a typical logic, sometimes called “classical elementary logic” or “classical first-order logic”....


Truths, Facts, And Liars, Peter Marton Jan 2018

Truths, Facts, And Liars, Peter Marton

Philosophy Faculty Publications

A Moderate Anti-realist (MAR) approach to truth and meaning, built around the concept of knowability, will be introduced and argued for in this essay. Our starting point will be the two fundamental anti-realists principles that claim that neither truth nor meaning can outstrip knowability and our focus will be on the challenge of adequately formalizing these principles and incorporating them into a formal theory. Accordingly, the author will introduce a MAR truth operator that is built on a distinction between being true and being factual. He will show then that this approach partitions propositions into eight classes, on the basis ...


Review Of The Slow Professor: Challenging The Culture Of Speed In The Academy, Rory J. Conces Jan 2018

Review Of The Slow Professor: Challenging The Culture Of Speed In The Academy, Rory J. Conces

Philosophy Faculty Publications

I entered the academy having inherited a particular view of higher education from my mentors. They informed me about what I would face if I were lucky enough to land a teaching position. Not surprisingly, what they shared with me was an accurate foretelling of what I have experienced, including the exhausting Retention, Promotion, and Tenure (RPT) process, with its focus on research, teaching, and service – and ranked in that order!

It was after a quarter century of being a professor that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy ...


Against The Intentional Definition Of Argument, G. C. Goddu Jan 2018

Against The Intentional Definition Of Argument, G. C. Goddu

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Intentional definitions of argument, i.e. the conclusion being intended to follow from the premises, abound. Yet, there are numerous problem cases in which we appear to have arguments, but no intention. One way to try to avoid these problem cases is to appeal to acts, in which case one has to give up on the repeatability of arguments. One can keep repeatability and intentions if one resorts to act types, but then it appears that the problem cases re-emerge.


From Justice To Fairness: Does Kant's Doctrine Of Right Imply A Theory Of Distributive Justice?, Michael Nance, Jeppe Von Platz Jan 2018

From Justice To Fairness: Does Kant's Doctrine Of Right Imply A Theory Of Distributive Justice?, Michael Nance, Jeppe Von Platz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The fact that Kant does not articulate a theory of distributive justice has not kept political philosophers from citing Kant as inspiration and support for whatever theory of distributive justice they favor - including those who argue that the notion of distributive justice is itself mistaken. This widespread reliance on Kant invites the question, "Does the Doctrine of Right imply a theory of distributive justice?"

To address this question, we discuss Paul Guyer's argument that Kant's Doctrine of Right implies, roughly, the principles of distributive justice as found in Rawls's justice as fairness. Guyer's argument is that ...


Promoting Cognitive Conflict In Health Care Ethics: Moral Reasoning With Boundary Cases, Julia Bursten, Samantha Finkelstein Jan 2018

Promoting Cognitive Conflict In Health Care Ethics: Moral Reasoning With Boundary Cases, Julia Bursten, Samantha Finkelstein

Philosophy Faculty Publications

As many college students are at a time of tremendous personal and academic growth, introductory philosophy courses have the potential to equip students with practical critical reasoning skills. Despite this, many introductory courses in this domain emphasize students’ learning about pre-existing dialectics in the abstract, rather than over self-reflection and development of personal philosophical perspectives. In doing so, we may be failing to support the needs of pre-professional students looking to prepare themselves for their careers ahead. In this practitioner paper, we report our efforts as a practicing philosophy instructor (Bursten) and a learning scientist (Finkelstein) to iterate on the ...


Technology And Discrimination, D. E. Wittkower Jan 2018

Technology And Discrimination, D. E. Wittkower

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This chapter develops a full theory of discriminatory technologies grounded in Heideggerian, Latourian, and Ihdean theoretical structures and demonstrates its applicability to a wide and widening range of forms of normativity, exclusion, and discrimination, taking place across intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, trans/cisgender identity, disability, and religious identity. Technologies, technical systems, and artifacts considered are wide-ranging, and include algorithms, adhesive bandages, human resource management policies, calendars, VR systems, carpentry, strollers, photographic film formulation and printing, video game character classes, and stairs.


Nietzsche And The Death Of God, Justin Remhof Jan 2018

Nietzsche And The Death Of God, Justin Remhof

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Nietzsche is perhaps most famous for making the striking claim that God is dead. He writes, "God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him!" (GS 125).

What does this mean? Straightforwardly, it seems nonsensical. God is supposed to be eternal, and thus cannot die. Nietzsche’s claim, however, is that "God" is a fiction created by human beings. Thus, God "dies" when there is no good reason to believe that God exists.

This essay will help us understand this claim, his arguments for it, and its potential implications for contemporary religious and ethical thought.


Review Of Tsarnia Doyle, Nietzsche's Metaphysics Of The Will To Power: The Possibility Of Value, Justin Remhof Jan 2018

Review Of Tsarnia Doyle, Nietzsche's Metaphysics Of The Will To Power: The Possibility Of Value, Justin Remhof

Philosophy Faculty Publications

[First paragraph]

Tsarina Doyle's new book is required reading for those interested in Nietzsche's metaphysics, ethics, and metaethics. Doyle argues that for Nietzsche nihilism arises upon the recognition that our values are not objectively valid because they are not instantiated by a mind-independent world. Nietzsche responds to the threat of nihilism, according to Doyle, by developing will to power as a metaphysical view of reality. On this view, the world is constituted by mind-independent causal powers. For Doyle, Nietzsche believes values are metaphysically continuous with will to power because they are causal-dispositional properties of human drives. Will to ...


Diversified Philosophy, Aili W. Bresnahan Jan 2018

Diversified Philosophy, Aili W. Bresnahan

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In this essay, Aili Bresnahan notes that institutions and many others are working to diversify the field of philosophy, in terms of the persons who count as philosophers, what counts as a legitimate philosophical methodology, and which phenomena and entities it handles. She writes that this is a positive development that will enrich and enliven the field so that, ultimately, philosophy survives.


American Populism Shouldn’T Have To Embrace Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola Nov 2017

American Populism Shouldn’T Have To Embrace Ignorance, Daniel R. Denicola

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Public ignorance is an inherent threat to democracy. It breeds superstition, prejudice, and error; and it prevents both a clear-eyed understanding of the world and the formulation of wise policies to adapt to that world.

Plato believed it was more than a threat: He thought it characterized democracies, and would lead them inevitably into anarchy and ultimately tyranny. But the liberal democracies of the modern era, grudgingly extending suffrage, have extended public education in parallel, in the hope of cultivating an informed citizenry. Yet today, given the persistence and severity of public ignorance, the ideal of an enlightened electorate seems ...


The Revelation Of God, East And West: Contrasting Special Revelation In Western Modernity With The Ancient Christian East, Nathan A. Jacobs Nov 2017

The Revelation Of God, East And West: Contrasting Special Revelation In Western Modernity With The Ancient Christian East, Nathan A. Jacobs

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The questions of whether God reveals himself; if so, how we can know a purported revelation is authentic; and how such revelations relate to the insights of reason are discussed by John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, René Descartes, G. W. Leibniz, and Immanuel Kant, to name a few. Yet, what these philosophers say with such consistency about revelation stands in stark contrast with the claims of the Christian East, which are equally consistent from the second century through the fourteenth century. In this essay, I will compare the modern discussion of special revelation from Thomas Hobbes through Johann Fichte with the ...


Democratic Rights And The Choice Of Economic Systems, Jeppe Von Platz Nov 2017

Democratic Rights And The Choice Of Economic Systems, Jeppe Von Platz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Holt argues that Rawls’s first principle of justice requires democratic control of the economy and that property owning democracy fails to satisfy this requirement; only liberal socialism is fully democratic. However, the notion of democratic control is ambiguous,and Holt has to choose between the weaker notion of democratic control that Rawls is committed to and the stronger notion that property owning democracy fails to satisfy. It may be that there is a tension between capitalism and democracy, so that only liberal socialism can be fully democratic, but if so, we should reject, rather than argue from, the theory ...


Review: 'Embodied Philosophy In Dance: Gaga And Ohad Naharin’S Movement Research', Aili W. Bresnahan Jul 2017

Review: 'Embodied Philosophy In Dance: Gaga And Ohad Naharin’S Movement Research', Aili W. Bresnahan

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This book is an original and complex philosophy of dance that Katan (now Katan-Schmid) has extrapolated from a close examination of and studio-based engagement with Gaga, Ohad Naharin’s style of contemporary dance movement. It is culled from Katan’s first-hand experience as a participant in the training and as a researcher in conversation with Naharin and Gaga-engaged dancers. Gaga is both practiced alone as somatic movement research (one which studies internal, bodily perception and experience) and exhibited in dances that are choreographed by Naharin and other collaborators for the Batsheva Dance Company of Tel-Aviv, Israel. The philosophy provided here ...


A Letter From The Editor, Dale E. Miller Mar 2017

A Letter From The Editor, Dale E. Miller

Philosophy Faculty Publications

I began to transition into the role of editor-in-chief of Utilitas in the spring of 2016 and fully assumed the position late in the summer. Since volume 29 will be the first for which I am entirely responsible, this seems like an appropriate juncture for me to say a few words about my plans for the journal.


The Veil Of Ignorance In Rawlsian Theory, Jeppe Von Platz Jan 2017

The Veil Of Ignorance In Rawlsian Theory, Jeppe Von Platz

Philosophy Faculty Publications

As part of his effort to answer the question "What is the best conception of justice for a democratic society?" philosopher John Rawls constructed a thought experience called the original position. In the original position, representativs of members of society choose principles of justice for society in light of limited interests and with limited information. Situated behind the veil of ignorance, the parties in the original position have no knowledge about particular facts that could lead them to prefer principles of justice partial to those they represent. The veil of ignorance is thus an important part of Rawls's argument ...


Beasts, Sovereigns, Pirates: Melville's "Enchanted Isles" Beyond The Picturesque, Gary Shapiro Jan 2017

Beasts, Sovereigns, Pirates: Melville's "Enchanted Isles" Beyond The Picturesque, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Herman Melville's "The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles," included in his signature set of shorter narratives The Piazza Tales, remains relatively unvisited by readers and critics. So too was the archipelago generally known as the Galapagos, before becoming a chic destination for natural history excursions and eco-tourism. These ten "sketches" relate a narrator's experiences on the Pacific islands, adding a number of travelers' stories, some extrapolated (more or less accurately) from known records, some creatively transformed. One informative, comprehensive handbook suggests that Melville's description of this volcanic archipelago as Encantadas or "enchanted" in the sense of bewitched-uncanny, weird ...


Gentrification As Injustice: A Relational Egalitarian Approach To Urban Housing, Tyler J. Zimmer Jan 2017

Gentrification As Injustice: A Relational Egalitarian Approach To Urban Housing, Tyler J. Zimmer

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This paper focuses on the nature of the landlord/tenant relationship in uncontrolled rental housing markets. I argue that relational egalitarianism--the view that our social and political relations to one another ought not involve arbitrary power asymmetries--gives us moral reasons to criticize this relationship. In particular, I try to show that landlord/tenant relationships involve objectionable forms of economic subordination--more specifically, relations that involve exploitation and marginalization--as well as political inequality. I conclude the paper with some reflections on policy solutions to the problems I identify. Contrary to the consensus among most economists and government officials at least, not to ...


Haunted By A Different Ghost: Re-Thinking Moral Injury, Marycatherine Mcdonald Jan 2017

Haunted By A Different Ghost: Re-Thinking Moral Injury, Marycatherine Mcdonald

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Coined by Jonathan Shay, a clinician who works with combat veterans, the term 'moral injury' refers to an injury that occurs when one's moral beliefs are betrayed. Shay developed the term to capture the shame and guilt of veterans he saw in his clinical practice. Since then, debates about moral injury have centered around the 'what' (what kinds of actions count as morally injurious and why?) and the 'who' of moral injury (should moral injuries be restricted to the guilt and shame that I feel for what I do? Or is it possible to be morally injured by what ...


Mission Completion, Troop Welfare And Destructive Idealism: A Case Study On The Phenomenology Of A Combat Veteran’S Social Reintegration, Gary Senecal, Marycatherine Mcdonald Jan 2017

Mission Completion, Troop Welfare And Destructive Idealism: A Case Study On The Phenomenology Of A Combat Veteran’S Social Reintegration, Gary Senecal, Marycatherine Mcdonald

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among combat veterans remains an urgent and intractable problem for those who have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In this paper, we argue that one of the reasons that combat related PTSD remains so difficult to treat is because psychologists - and American culture at large - do not fully understand it yet. It is our contention that there are two contributing factors that currently hinder our ability to successfully treat combat related PTSD. The first is a failure to look critically at the theoretical underpinnings that ground our current understanding of the disorder. The ...


The Revival Of The Tulku Institution In Modern China: Narratives And Practices, Nicole Willock Jan 2017

The Revival Of The Tulku Institution In Modern China: Narratives And Practices, Nicole Willock

Philosophy Faculty Publications

[First paragraph]

What child could perform such an impossible feat? Arik Geshé Chenmo Jampa Öser’s (A rig dge bshes chen mo Byams pa ’od zer, 1728-1803) 2 trenchant last testament chided his disciples for imploring him to reincarnate, yet he did not deride the tulku institution itself. In his autobiography, the Sixth Tséten Zhabdrung, Jikmé Rikpai Lodrö (Tshe tan zhabs drung ’Jigs med rigs pa’i blo gros, 1910-1985) retold Arik Geshé’s story with a similar didactic purpose, in order to analytically expound “the Tibetan-Mongol system of reincarnation.”3 Yet when Arik Geshé’s incisive words were re-employed ...