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2016

Pacific University

Articles 1 - 18 of 18

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Issue Introduction, David Boersema Jun 2016

Issue Introduction, David Boersema

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Subverting Campbell’S Materialist Conclusion, Noah Gordon Jun 2016

Subverting Campbell’S Materialist Conclusion, Noah Gordon

Res Cogitans

Keith Campbell and Jonathan Schaffer propose an ontology in which entities consist in collocated collections of tropes, and tropes are individuated by location. This would imply that immaterial entities are not possible. In this paper, I attempt to subvert this materialist conclusion by giving two arguments against the key individuation principle it requires. I show that the locational individuation principle can be formulated so as to survive the first, but not the second argument.


Substance Dualism Or Eliminativism, Perry Hendricks Jun 2016

Substance Dualism Or Eliminativism, Perry Hendricks

Res Cogitans

Physicalism (P) entails minimal physicalism (MP), MP entails minimal supervenience (MS), and MS is the thesis that there is covariance between the supervenient and the subvenient stuff. Therefore, if the (alleged) supervenient and subvenient stuff do not covary, then MS is false, and if MS is false then MP is false, and if MP is false then P is false. Put differently: if MS is false then P is false—P stands and falls with MS. In this essay, I begin by showing what the minimal physicalist thesis is: MP is, essentially, MS. Next, I look at qualia and the ...


Materialist And Casual Bridges Over The Explanatory Gap, Celine Geday Jun 2016

Materialist And Casual Bridges Over The Explanatory Gap, Celine Geday

Res Cogitans

I offer that the explanatory gap about consciousness can be bridged by a materialist account that is compatible with the causal closure of the physical world. I suggest that Jaegwon Kim’s argument for causal closure is the best motivation for materialist explanations of consciousness, or the character of subjective experience. I then propose that the best materialist account available to do this explanatory work, that is also compatible with a causal closure condition, is Austen Clark’s feature-placing hypothesis. Feature-placing has it that sensory individuals, or qualitative properties, are picked out by their locations in space around a perceiver ...


Affordance Ontology: Towards A Unified Description Of Affordances As Events, Larry A. Moralez Jun 2016

Affordance Ontology: Towards A Unified Description Of Affordances As Events, Larry A. Moralez

Res Cogitans

An argument is developed that suggests the concept of affordances can best facilitate the pursuit of new knowledge if it’s defined as an event. The first description initially generated by James J. Gibson was deceptively vague. This has led to several attempts by additional researchers to re-describe it. These efforts fall short of describing a concept that is consistent with both the historical context of Gibson’s work and his motivations for introducing the term. Additionally, no definition has been introduced that aims to limit the scope of information researchers must consider when using the term. I put forth ...


Sellars And Quine On Abstracta In Scientific Ontology, Richard Van Barriger Jun 2016

Sellars And Quine On Abstracta In Scientific Ontology, Richard Van Barriger

Res Cogitans

Wilfrid Sellars and Willard Van Quine long disagreed over the nature of ontological commitment in scientific inquiry. Particularly, they disagreed over whether abstract entities such as numbers, sets, or classes should be admitted into scientific ontology. In Quine’s view, positing such platonic entities is necessary in order for scientific inquiry to progress and for scientific knowledge to increase. Sellars, on the other hand, sees such a view as a form of platonic realism and eschews it in favor of a more austere nominalism about the ontological status of abstracta. I summarize the reasons for each philosopher’s view, drawing ...


The Phenomenology Of Temporal Experience, Hilda Loury Jun 2016

The Phenomenology Of Temporal Experience, Hilda Loury

Res Cogitans

In this paper, I will explore the dissonance between “physical explanation” and “human experience,” while focusing on the experience of temporal passage. As a starting point, I will introduce J.E. McTaggart’s A-Series theory of time and BSeries theory of time. The A-Series illustrates how humans intuitively experience time; the past is fixed and expired, while the present moment seamlessly unfolds forward into an open future. On the other hand, the B-Series is very unlike the intuitive experience of time; “time” is merely the culmination of “static snapshots,” where each snapshot possesses different properties than the preceding snapshot and ...


Deflationary Nominalism’S Commitment To Meinongianism, Anthony Nguyen Jun 2016

Deflationary Nominalism’S Commitment To Meinongianism, Anthony Nguyen

Res Cogitans

Deflationary nominalism is a novel view in the philosophy of mathematics on which there are mathematical statements, such as ‘There are prime numbers’ that are literally true despite the nonexistence of any mathematical objects. In this paper, I outline the deflationary nominalism of Azzouni, the most prominent contemporary defender of deflationary nominalism. I then object that it is committed to some form of Meinongianism. Because I believe that any view’s commitment to Meinongianism constitutes a strong reason in favor of rejecting that view, I suggest that deflationary nominalism should be rejected. Finally, I conclude that realism about mathematical objects ...


Critical Reflections On Intentions And Linguistic Communication, Brian Haas Jun 2016

Critical Reflections On Intentions And Linguistic Communication, Brian Haas

Res Cogitans

This paper has the following structure: first, Paul Grice’s original account of non-natural meaning (in “Meaning”) is critically discussed; second, Stephen Neale’s analysis (in “Paul Grice and the Philosophy of Language”) is critically discussed; third, Kent Bach and Robert Harnish’s analysis of linguistic communication is critically discussed; lastly, due to considerations detailed in the previous section, doubts are raised about the viability of intentional based semantics. In discussing Neale and Bach and Harnish, two novel counter-examples are employed to show their analyses to be inadequate.


Can We Forgive Andrea Yates?, Tara Weese Jun 2016

Can We Forgive Andrea Yates?, Tara Weese

Res Cogitans

A common assumption in the philosophical literature on forgiveness is that one can only forgive culpable moral agents. In this paper, I will argue against this assumption. Using the notorious case of Andrea Yates, I will show one can forgive non-culpable wrongdoers. I will argue that forgiveness involves letting go of negative reactive attitudes and those attitudes arise in a wide variety of cases including accidental wrongdoing and wrongs committed by those who are mentally incompetent or insane. Responding to such wrongdoings with forgiveness is not only possible, but also often advisable.


Epistemic Warrant For Ethical Beliefs In Relation To Living Freely And Patriarchal Systems Of Oppression, Kartik Raj Jun 2016

Epistemic Warrant For Ethical Beliefs In Relation To Living Freely And Patriarchal Systems Of Oppression, Kartik Raj

Res Cogitans

Regarding the epistemic warrant1 for ethical beliefs, I will make three arguments. First, that warrant for an ethical belief can only be transferred interpersonally if the adopter fully understands the justifications for that belief or takes the reasoning of the testifier as a proxy for their own. Second, that if most or all of one’s ethical beliefs are based on other’s testimony, that person will be living freely only if those beliefs were adopted with proper warrant. Third, that systems of oppression are unethical in part because the oppressed are expected to take on ethical beliefs from authority ...


Kant’S Rational Morality And The Mentally Impaired: The Quest For A Universal Moral Account, Matt Maler Jun 2016

Kant’S Rational Morality And The Mentally Impaired: The Quest For A Universal Moral Account, Matt Maler

Res Cogitans

Kantian deontology makes at least three central claims: (1) All humans are ends in themselves, (2) All humans have moral obligations, and (3) Morality (the categorical imperative) is a rational endeavor. However, the universal claims of Kantian deontology become suspect when we consider the mentally impaired who, in some cases, cannot meet the rationality requirements implicit in the categorical imperative. In this paper, I argue that Kantian deontology cannot account for the entirety of the human population lest it exclude the mentally impaired as either non-moral agents or sub-human entities. I then suggest that by adopting the paradigm of virtue ...


Climate Discourse And The Ontology Of The Citizen, Jaycob Izsó Jun 2016

Climate Discourse And The Ontology Of The Citizen, Jaycob Izsó

Res Cogitans

Deliberative mechanisms surrounding climate change politics in advanced democracies have, for some time, been at the mercy of ideological and political economic commitments. One need only to look at the banning of protests and marches during the 2015 COP21 international climate talks in Paris, or the historical risk assessments of violent international conflict linked to climate concerns by Germany and the US to see that the political institutionalization of climate change is pervasive. On the other hand, the discursive demarcation by climate science has consistently taken up two arguments in opposition to climate politics: (a) the view that political discourses ...


Perspectivalism And Blaming, Dana Ann Jun 2016

Perspectivalism And Blaming, Dana Ann

Res Cogitans

Using the combination of two views of blame (T. M. Scanlon and J. J. C Smart), I will argue in favor of a thesis I refer to as perspectivalism; that blame from the perspective of a third party is fundamentally a different sort of thing than blame from the perspective of an injured party. Using both examples that focus on hypocrites and moral luck cases, I will attempt to give reasons to why perspectivalism has strong explanatory value. Focusing on cases that involve hypocrites, I will attempt to show that two statements about hypocrites are true if we accept perspectivalism ...


Feminist Epistemology And James’ Ways Of Deriving Truth, Alan Spencer Jun 2016

Feminist Epistemology And James’ Ways Of Deriving Truth, Alan Spencer

Res Cogitans

In the following paper I will be comparing two trains of thought in the method of attaining knowledge, or lack thereof. The first critique will be from feminist epistemology headed by Genevieve Lloyd who argues that there is a fundamental difference in the knowledge of men and of women; the female virtues, as she states, have not been given their full voice in epistemology and philosophy in general. These virtues are of receptivity and dependence and most importantly, feelings and associations with the ‘body’ in the Cartesian sense. The males tend to represent the ‘mind’ category of the Cartesian framework ...


On Aristotle’S Function Argument, Angela Han Jun 2016

On Aristotle’S Function Argument, Angela Han

Res Cogitans

In this paper, I will reflect upon Aristotle’s argument claiming that the function of a human being is to engage in activity of soul in accord with reason (AWR). I will explicate and further defend this argument, which is based on the fact that the function of X must characterize it as an X and set a standard for X’s impairment and excellence, and the only candidates for a human’s function are: to take in nutrients and grow, to perceive and move, and to engage in activities of soul in accord with reason. I will raise the ...


Why Wrestle With Being And Time? A Justification Of Heidegger’S Methodology Of Obscurantism And Obfuscation, Dave Mckerracher Jun 2016

Why Wrestle With Being And Time? A Justification Of Heidegger’S Methodology Of Obscurantism And Obfuscation, Dave Mckerracher

Res Cogitans

It seems that complaints about Heidegger’s style of writing are common fare in secondary literature and the classroom. This paper argues that both Heidegger’s obtuseness and obscurantism work as methodological devices for effectively communicating and demonstrating his thought. By obfuscating, he forces breakdowns, which pulls the reader out of her ready-to-hand mode of reading/revealing, which otherwise threatens to fall into comprehending via reference from one’s average everydayness. By being obscure in some passages where taking the meaning in multiple ways will not interfere with the main points being made, Heidegger enables his students to form personal ...


An Exploration Of The Ontology Of The Intellectual, Katherine Nichols Jun 2016

An Exploration Of The Ontology Of The Intellectual, Katherine Nichols

Res Cogitans

In this paper I wish to explore the historical and sociological contexts that allowed the flourishing of philosophy and identify the modern intellectual’s relevance in a society that outside the realm of academia has appeared to regress in an appreciation or acknowledgement for the usefulness of philosophy. I will begin by examining the influence of socio-political and economic factors on the success of intellectuals primarily in the enlightenment period and the later 20th century French thought. I will include references to the motive of committed writing, ethical purity, investment in the academic community, autonomy of the discipline, and institutional ...