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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Teaching Kant To Undergraduates: Some Notes, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Teaching Kant To Undergraduates: Some Notes, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

No abstract provided.


The Noise Of Battle: Talking Philosophy On The Internet, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

The Noise Of Battle: Talking Philosophy On The Internet, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

Although the Internet is often used to talk with those with whom one agrees, this paper presents an "agonistic" strategy designed to help students find discussion partners with whom they disagree. This "agonistic" strategy has a number of advantages, specifically helping students' skills in writing, reading, logic, and rhetoric, as well as helping them recognizes the values of these skills and the importance of being well-informed when one enters a debate. As a further benefit, this approach has improved classroom discussion and improved the substance and form of those discussions. In contrast with those who fear that the Internet has ...


Kant's Critical Model Of The Experiencing Subject, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Kant's Critical Model Of The Experiencing Subject, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

In an appendix to the Transcendental Analytic of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant remarks

  • Leibniz intellectualized appearances, just as Locke ... sensualized all concepts or the understanding, i.e. interpreted them as nothing more than empirical or abstracted concepts of reflection. ... each of these great men holds to one only of the two, viewing it as in immediate relation to things in themselves. The other faculty is then regarded as serving only to confuse or to order the representations which this selected faculty yields (A27 1=B327).

Kant, in rejecting the positions of Leibniz and Locke, presents ...


The Philosophical Sins Of Stephen Pinker, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

The Philosophical Sins Of Stephen Pinker, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

No abstract provided.


Kant And The Logic Of Aristotle, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Kant And The Logic Of Aristotle, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

In the Preface to the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant offers his best-known—indeed, notorious—remark about Aristotle's logic:

  • Since Aristotle . . . logic has not been able to advance a single step, and is thus to all appearance a closed and completed doctrine (Bviii).1

I wish to explore here the following question: is Kant in fact saying that since Aristotle, there need be no more concern about logic as a discipline or a field of study, that Aristotle (with some minor embellishments, in terms of presentation) is the last word in logic? Certainly that is ...


Naturalism And The Surreptitious Embrace Of Necessity, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Naturalism And The Surreptitious Embrace Of Necessity, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

In this article, two philosophical positions that structure distinct approaches in the history of metaphysics and epistemology are briefly characterized and contrasted. While one view, “naturalism,” rejects an a priori commitment to necessity, the other view, “transcendentalism,” insists on that commitment. It is shown that at the level of the fundamentals of thought, judgment, and reason, the dispute dissolves, and the naturalists' employment of “necessity for all practical purposes” is at best only nominally distinct from the transcendentalists' use of the same concept.


Kant's General Logic And Aristotle, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Kant's General Logic And Aristotle, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant uses the term “logic” in a bewildering variety of ways, at times making it close to impossible to determine whether he is referring to (among others) general logic, transcendental logic, transcendental analytic, a "special" logic relative to a specific science, a "natural" logic, a logic intended for the "learned" (Gelehrter), some hybrid of these logics, or even some still-more abstract notion that ranges over all of these uses. This paper seeks to come to grips with Kant's complex use of "logic."

Kant is standardly regarded as saying that since Aristotle, there need ...


Kant’S Logic(S) And The Logic Of Aristotle, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Kant’S Logic(S) And The Logic Of Aristotle, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

In the Preface to the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant offers his best·known- indeed, notorious- remark about Aristotle 's logic:

  • Since Aristotle ... logic has not been able to advance a single step, and is thus to all appearance a closed and completed doctrine (Bviii).

I wish to explore here the following question: is Kant in fact saying that since Aristotle. there need be no more concern about logic as a discipline or a field of study, that Aristotle (with some minor embellishments, in terms of presentation) is the last word ...


Kant And The Logic Of Aristotle, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Kant And The Logic Of Aristotle, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

Kant’s famous remark that Aristotle’s logic presents a “closed and completed doctine” has been traditionally interpreted, both by philosophers and historians of logic, as claiming that Aristotle provides the last word in logic. Given the later developments of Leibniz, Frege, Peirce, and others, such an interpretation paints Kant’s conception of logic as remarkably naive and historically uninformed. I argue here that Kant’s understanding of logic, and its history, is considerably more sophisticated than he has traditionally been given credit for, and that his remark tells us much more about Kant’s conception of logic, as a ...


Teaching The Bill Of Rights In China, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Teaching The Bill Of Rights In China, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

Recently, I was asked if I was interested in teaching a relatively short course on a topic of my choosing at Nanjing University in Nanjing, People's Republic of China. I agreed, and designed a course called "American Political Theory" to be taught three days a week for five weeks. Each class session would meet for two hours. China has changed a great deal over the last few decades, of course. That change continues, and the pace of that change continues to accelerate. While I was in Nanjing, the government announced China's seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit GDP growth ...


Kant And Feminism, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Kant And Feminism, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

The juxtaposition of Kant's name with "feminism" seems almost designed to invite scorn and indignation. As we will soon see, throughout his career Kant made a variety of noxious and distasteful comments about women. As we will also see, Kant has been regarded, with Descartes, as the philosopher chiefly responsible for providing modern Western philosophy with a picture of reason that has been employed in a variety of ways oppressive to women. Yet the reader of Kant's works in practical philosophy, specifically the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Practical Reason, could very well ...


Comments On Robinson, 'Langton And Traditionalism On Things In Themselves', Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Comments On Robinson, 'Langton And Traditionalism On Things In Themselves', Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

In her Kantian Humility , Rae Langton has worked very hard to steer us back toward a traditional reading of the Critique of Pure Reason, one that would make it safe to maintain a number of metaphysical commitments in interpreting this text. In his remarks on her work, Professor Robinson points out a number of things that suggest problems with her hermeneutical recommendations, among them the ambiguity of a very crucial word at stake here, “metaphysical.” I have very few disagreements with what Robinson has to say here about Langton but want to utilize ...


Cover Songs: Ambiguity, Multivalence, Polysemy, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Cover Songs: Ambiguity, Multivalence, Polysemy, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

The notion of a “cover song” is central to an understanding of contemporary popular music, and has certainly received its share of attention in writing about contemporary music, from the mainstream press to slightly more technical ethnomusicological studies such as “Cross-Cultural ‘Countries’: Covers, Conjuncture, and the Whiff of Nashville in Música Sertaneja (Brazilian Commercial Country Music)” (Dent, 2005). In many major U.S. cities, musicians make a living in “cover” bands, recreating the music of well-known groups such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, U 2, the Who, ABBA, the Dave Matthews Band, the Grateful Dead, and others ...


Bonjour, Kant, And The 'A Priori', Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Bonjour, Kant, And The 'A Priori', Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

In his 1985 The Structure of Empirical Knowledge, Laurence BonJour presented a compelling and articulate defense of a coherence theory of knowledge. Following what he called a “dialectical” strategy, he began by indicating the central issue at stake: the justification of empirical knowledge claims. He then argued that no available foundationalist or coherentist account could provide that justification, and that all such attempts either end in sheer dogmatism, or succumb to skepticism. After a lengthy critical discussion, he turned to developing a argument for his own view, combining a correspondence theory of truth with a coherence theory of justification. He ...


Fred Bartenstein: The Right Place At The Right Time, Kurt Mosser Apr 2016

Fred Bartenstein: The Right Place At The Right Time, Kurt Mosser

Kurt Mosser

Fred Bartenstein has always seemed to find himself perfectly situated to pursue his life-long interest in bluegrass music – as he puts it, “I’ve always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.” This luck has allowed him to find bluegrass in the most surprising places, whether at a private day school in New Jersey, or at Harvard University in the late 1960s. It has also meant that, among other things, he found himself attending the first bluegrass festival in Fincastle, Va., becoming a bluegrass DJ at the age of 16, starting Muleskinner News magazine, and playing ...