62 Works

Davidson_Decision and interpretation

Pol Vincent Harnay & Petronille Reme
Decision theory plays a central role in Davidson’s work. Based on the experimentations led in Stanford during the 1950s, it is possible to track down the origins and the foundations of the unified theory of thought, meaning and action. The ‘wording effect’ and the omission of meanings undermine decision theory as a whole, hence the need to enlarge the basis of decision theory by integrating an interpretation theory that reflects mental holism more accurately.

Revisiting Moore’s metaphysics

Herbert Hochberg
The paper reexamines Moore’s early (1890s-1903) metaphysics and critically examines some recent discussion (Bell, MacBride) of both Moore’s metaphysics and the significance of the latter for his more well-known works of the early 20th century. In doing so it focuses on (1) the distinction between natural and non-natural properties, (2) problems regarding universals, relations, particulars, “tropes” and predication, and (3) the matter of “intentionality”—both as issues and as they arise in Moore’s early writings.


Guido Seddone
Introduction: issue 8, volume 2019

Enactivism, representations and canonical neurons [Special Issue]

Gabriele Ferretti & Mario Alai
Enactivists often claim that since perception is one with action, it does not involve representations, hence perception is direct. Here we argue that empirical evidence on neural activity in the ventral premotor cortex confirms the enactivist intuitions about the unity of action and perception. But this very unity requires the detection of the action possibilities offered by the objects in the environment, which in turn involves certain representational processes at the neural level. Hence, the...

Unreasonableness and rights: on Quong’s Liberalism without Perfection

Hillel Steiner
This article argues that Quong’s Liberalism without Perfection errs in claiming that the grounds for enforceably prohibiting unreasonable conduct are that it is unreasonable. What grounds that prohibition is, rather, that such conduct violates independently determined distributively just rights. Political liberalism presupposes a theory of distributive justice.

Williamson on the psychological view [Special Issue]

Serena Maria Nicoli
What is the nature of the evidence provided by thinking about hypothetical cases, such as those presented in the thought experiments (TE)? Is it psychological, as those who speak about intuitions seem to think, or not? This problem is closely related to that of the nature of the subject matter of philosophy, that most philosophers tend to conceive as non-psychological. Williamson’s position on the matter (Williamson 2007) consists in rejecting the psychological view on intuitions:...

Russellian diagonal arguments and other logico-mathematical tools in metaphysics

Laureano Luna
In its most general form, a diagonal argument is an argument intending to show that not all objects of a certain class C are in a certain set S, and does so by constructing a diagonal object, that is to say, an object of the class C so defined as to be other than all the objects in S. We revise three arguments inspired by the Russell paradox (an argument against Computationalism, an argument against...

Davidson's semantic externalism

Claudine Verheggen
The received interpretation of Donald Davidson’s philosophy has it that his thoughts underwent a significant change between his early work and his later work, in particular, between his work on radical interpretation and his work on triangulation. It is maintained that the kind of semantic externalism Davidson advocated in his later work is importantly different from that advocated in the early work. Indeed, it is sometimes even maintained that his semantic externalism emerged only, roughly,...

Pragmatics, modularity and epistemic vigilance [Special Issue]

Diana Mazzarella
The cognitive revolution, which from the early ’60s shaped the domains of linguistics, anthropology, psychology and related disciplines, manifested its effect in the field of pragmatics with the seminal work of Sperber and Wilson (1986/1995). Among many other issues, Sperber and Wilson brought to the attention of the pragmatics community the question of the place of pragmatic abilities in the overall architecture of the mind. At that time, Fodor had already suggested that human cognitive...

Hegel’s naturalism, the negative and the first person standpoint

Stefan Bird-Pollan
In this paper I attempt to move the discussion of Hegel’s naturalism past what I present as an impasse between the soft naturalist interpretation of Hegel’s notion of Geist, in which Geist is continuous with nature, and the opposing claim that Geist is essentially normative and self-legislating. In order to do so I suggest we look to the question of value which underlies this dispute. While soft naturalists seek to make sense of value as...

Book Reviews

Null Null
Book reviews: issue 8, volume 2019

Some limits to Hegel's appeal to life

Andrew Werner
For two hundred years, people have been trying to make sense of Hegel’s so-called “dialectical method”. Helpfully, Hegel frequently compares this method with the idea of life, or the organic (cf., e.g., PhG 2, 34, 56). This comparison has become very popular in the literature (in, e.g., Pippin, Beiser, and Ng). Typically, scholars who invoke the idea of life also note that the comparison has limits and that no organic analogy can completely explain the...

Conscious experiences as ultimate seemings: renewing the phenomenal concept Strategy [Special Issue]

Francois Kammerer
The Phenomenal Concept Strategy is a popular strategy used to support physicalism in the realm of conscious experience. This Strategy accounts for dualist intuitions but uses the ways in which we think about our experiences to explain these intuitions in a physicalist framework, without any appeal to ontological dualism. In this paper, I will raise two issues related to the currently available versions of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy. First, most of the theories belonging to...

Experiments in visual perspective: size experience

Brentyn J. Ramm
Phenomenal objectivism explains perceptual phenomenal character by reducing it to an awareness of mind-independent objects, properties, and relations. A challenge for this view is that there is a sense in which a distant tree looks smaller than a closer tree even when they are the same objective size (perceptual size variation). The dual content view is a popular objectivist account in which such experiences are explained by my objective spatial relation to the tree, in...

Book Reviews

Null Null
Book reviews: issue 5, volume 2017

Hegel’s fact of reason: life and death in the experience of freedom

Dean Moyar
This paper shows how Hegel transforms Kant’s Fact of Reason argument for freedom, and in particular how Hegel takes over the role of experience and death in Kant’s “Gallows Man” illustration of the Fact. I reconstruct a central thread of the Phenomenology of Spirit in which Hegel develops his view of freedom and practical rationality through a series of life and death experiences undergone by “shapes of consciousness”. While Hegel views his fact of reason...

Demystifying Davidson_Radical interpretation meets radical enactivism

Daniel D. Hutto & Glenda Satne
Davidson’s signature ideas on the holism and autonomy of propositional thought have led some exegetes to hold that he advances a kind of transcendentalism that is discordant with a satisfactory naturalism. On the other hand, Davidson’s work has strong connections with naturalism, as some Quinean strands of his thinking make apparent. Two strands can thus be identified in Davidson’s thought. One emphasizes features of thought that set it apart from the rest of nature. The...

Language dreamwork reconsidered

Andreas Heise
This paper offers both exegetical and systematic reconsiderations of Donald Davidson’s view on metaphor. In his essay What Metaphors Mean, Davidson argued against the idea that metaphors have any kind of propositional content beyond the literal meaning of the relevant sentence. Apart from this negative claim, Davidson also made a constructive proposal by suggesting that metaphor’s distinctive effect is to prompt a mental state of seeing-as. These two points seem connected insofar as Davidson makes...

Undermining defeat and propositional justification [Special Issue]

Giacomo Melis
I extend the Higher Order View of Undermining Defeat (HOVUD) defended in Melis (2014) to account for the defeat of propositional justification. In doing so, I also clarify the important notion of higher-order commitment, and I make some considerations concerning the defeat of externalist epistemic warrants.

Naive realism and the explanatory role of visual phenomenology [Special Issue]

Takuya Niikawa
This paper argues that naïve realism has an epistemic advantage over other rival views. The argument consists of two steps. First, I argue that the phenomenology of veridical visual experience plays an indispensable role in explaining how we can refer to the experience as a justificatory reason for a demonstrative judgment. Second, I argue that only naïve realism can coherently allow a veridical visual experience to be used as a factive reason.

Externalist thought experiments and directions of fit

Casey Woodling
The classic thought experiments for Content Externalism have been motivated by consideration of intentional states with a mind-to-world direction of fit. In this paper, I argue that when these experiments are run on intentional states with a world-to-mind direction of fit, the thought experiments actually support Content Internalism. Because of this, I argue that the classic thought experiments alone cannot properly motivate Content Externalism. I do not show that Content Externalism is false in this...

Radical interpretation and pragmatic enrichment

Peter Pagin
I consider a problem from pragmatics for the radical interpretation project, relying on the principle of charity. If a speaker X in a context c manifests the attitude of holding a sentence s true, this might be because of believing, not the content of s in c, but what results from a pragmatic enrichment of that content. In this case, the connection between the holding-true attitude and the meaning of s might be too loose...

True but also not true

Stefano Boscolo & Giulia Pravato
We present three ways of expressing a possible interpretative uncertainty of the truth predicate: ambiguity, context-sensitivity and semantic indeterminacy. Next, we examine Kölbel (2008)’s pluralist view that “true” is ambiguous between a substantialist concept and a deflationist concept, and that it is ambiguous as the word “dog” is between “male dog” and “canine”. Our main goal is to show that Kölbel’s thesis does not withstand empirical scrutiny in the sense that “true” fails most of...

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