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Philipp Berghofer

Abstract

Can phenomenologists allow for the existence of unobservable entities such as atoms, electrons, and quarks? Can we justifiably believe in the existence of entities that are in principle unobservable? This paper addresses the relationship between Husserlian transcendental phenomenology and scientific realism. More precisely, the focus is on the question of whether there are basic epistemological principles phenomenologists are committed to that have anti-realist consequences with respect to unobservable entities. This question is relevant since Husserl’s basic epistemological principles, such as the “principle of all principles,” seem to suggest that epistemic justification is limited to what can be originally given in the sense that if an object cannot be given in an originary presentive intuition, then one cannot be justified in believing that this object exists. It is the main aim of this paper to show (i) that interpretative reasons exist for not reading Husserl in such a way and (ii) that systematic reasons exist as to why phenomenologists should not subscribe to this criterion. I shall put forward a different criterion of justification that satisfies the spirit of Husserlian transcendental phenomenology and allows for justifiably believing in the existence of unobservable scientific entities.

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Toby Lovat

Abstract

This article concerns Quentin Meillassoux’s claim that Kant’s revolution is responsible for philosophy’s catastrophic loss of the ‘great outdoors’, of our knowledge of things as they are in themselves. I argue that Meillassoux’s critique of Kant’s ‘weak’ correlationism and his defence of ‘strong’ correlationism are predicated on a fallacious argument (termed ‘the Gem’ by David Stove) and the traditional, but in my view mistaken, metaphysical interpretation of Kant’s transcendental distinction. I draw on Henry Allison’s interpretation of Kant’s idealism to argue that when Kant’s transcendental distinction is understood epistemologically we can avoid the fallacious reasoning underpinning Meillassoux’s argument, and at the very least attenuate his concerns about the ‘Kantian catastrophe’.

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Clarisse Monahan

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David J. Chalmers

Abstract

I argue that virtual reality is a sort of genuine reality. In particular, I argue for virtual digitalism, on which virtual objects are real digital objects, and against virtual fictionalism, on which virtual objects are fictional objects. I also argue that perception in virtual reality need not be illusory, and that life in virtual worlds can have roughly the same sort of value as life in non-virtual worlds.

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Takuya Niikawa

Abstract

In defence of naïve realism, Fish has advocated an eliminativist view of hallucination, according to which hallucinations lack visual phenomenology. Logue, and Dokic and Martin, respectively, have developed the eliminativist view in different manners. Logue claims that hallucination is a non-phenomenal, perceptual representational state. Dokic and Martin maintain that hallucinations consist in the confusion of monitoring mechanisms, which generates an affective feeling in the hallucinating subject. This paper aims to critically examine these views of hallucination. By doing so, I shall point out what theoretical requirements are imposed on naïve realists who characterize hallucinations as non-visual-sensory phenomena.

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Florian L. Wüstholz

Abstract

De se beliefs typically pose a problem for propositional theories of content. The Property Theory of content tries to overcome the problem of de se beliefs by taking properties to be the objects of our beliefs. I argue that the concept of self-ascription plays a crucial role in the Property Theory while being virtually unexplained. I then offer different possibilities of illuminating that concept and argue that the most common ones are either circular, question-begging, or epistemically problematic. Finally, I argue that only a primitive understanding of self-ascription is viable. Self-ascription is the relation that subjects stand in with respect to the properties that they believe themselves to have. As such, self-ascription has to be primitive if it is supposed to do justice to the characteristic features of de se beliefs.

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Sergi Oms

Abstract

Jamie Tappenden was one of the first authors to entertain the possibility of a common treatment for the Liar and the Sorites paradoxes. In order to deal with these two paradoxes he proposed using the Strong Kleene semantic scheme. This strategy left unexplained our tendency to regard as true certain sentences which, according to this semantic scheme, should lack truth value. Tappenden tried to solve this problem by using a new speech act, articulation. Unlike assertion, which implies truth, articulation only implies non-falsity. In this paper I argue that Tappenden’s strategy cannot be successfully applied to truth and the Liar.

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Nadine Elzein and Tuomas K. Pernu

Abstract

Supervenient libertarianism maintains that indeterminism may exist at a supervening agency level, consistent with determinism at a subvening physical level. It seems as if this approach has the potential to break the longstanding deadlock in the free will debate, since it concedes to the traditional incompatibilist that agents can only do otherwise if they can do so in their actual circumstances, holding the past and the laws constant, while nonetheless arguing that this ability is compatible with physical determinism. However, we argue that supervenient libertarianism faces some serious problems, and that it fails to break us free from this deadlock within the free will debate.

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Matthew J. Hart

Abstract

The advent of Frankfurt-style counterexamples in the early 1970s posed a problem not merely for incompatibilists, but for compatibilists also. At that time compatibilists too were concerned to hold that the presence of alternative possibilities was necessary for moral responsibility. Such a classical compatibilism, I argue in this paper, should not have been left behind. I propose that we can use a Kratzer-style semantics of ‘can’ to model ‘could have done otherwise’ statements in such a way that the truth of such expressions is both (i) evidently consistent with determinism, and (ii) clearly such that Frankfurt-style counterexamples do not count as cases where the agent could not have done otherwise.

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Taylor W. Cyr

Abstract

Recently, John Maier has developed a unified account of various agentive modalities (such as general abilities, potentialities, and skills). According to him, however, adopting the account provides an alternative framework for thinking about free will and moral responsibility, one that reveals an unacceptable instability in semicompatibilism (the view that the freedom required for moral responsibility is compatible with determinism even if the freedom to do otherwise is not). In this paper, I argue that Maier is mistaken about the implications of his account and sketch a semicompatibilist proposal that can, without countenancing any instability, accept Maier’s unified account of the agentive modalities.