20/06/22: Samuel Scheffler on Partiality, Deference, and Engagement
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
by The Aristotelian Society
1y ago
The partiality we display, insofar as we form and sustain personal attachments, is not normatively fundamental. It is a byproduct of the deference and responsiveness that are essential to our engagement with the world. We cannot form and sustain valuable personal relationships without seeing ourselves as answerable to the other participants in those relationships. And we cannot develop and sustain valuable projects without responding to the constraints imposed on our activities by the nature and requirements of those projects themselves. More generally, we cannot engage with the world without ..read more
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6/05/22: Michael Della Rocca on Moral Criticism and the Metaphysics of Bluff
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
by The Aristotelian Society
1y ago
At a climactic—and, indeed, incendiary—moment in Bernard Williams’ classic essay, “Internal and External Reasons,” Williams says that those who advance moral criticisms by appealing to so-called external reasons are engaging in “bluff”. Williams thus alleges that condemning certain actions of others as somehow not only immoral, but also irrational or contrary to reason is nothing more than a kind of pretense. To say that a favorite pastime that so many of us happily engage in is empty, well—to use an American colloquialism—“them’s fightin’ words!” Indeed, in criticizing certain moral criticism ..read more
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30/05/22: Miriam Schoenfield on Deferring to Doubt
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
by The Aristotelian Society
1y ago
When we doubt a belief, we examine how things look from a perspective in which that belief is set aside. Sometimes we care about what that perspective recommends and, as a result, we abandon the belief we've been doubting. Other times we don't: we recognize that a perspective in which a certain belief is set aside recommends abandoning it, but we go on believing it anyway. Why is this? In this paper, I'll consider and then reject some proposals concerning when to defer to the perspective of doubt. I'll argue that ultimately the question of whether to defer to doubt on any given occasion can’t ..read more
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23/05/22: Alexander Mourelatos on 'Parmenides of Elea and Xenophanes of Colophon: the Conceptually Deeper Connections'
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
by The Aristotelian Society
1y ago
In the interpretation of Parmenides of Elea, there is a certain vulgate, one widely represented in general histories of philosophy and indeed assumed by philosophers broadly. The metaphysical tenor and thrust of the philosophy of Parmenides, according to this vulgate, is holistic monism: "all things are one," in Greek, hen to pan. As it may be recalled, Parmenides reached his metaphysical conclusions by initially reflecting on the language of to mē on or to ouk on (either of which may be translated as "what is not," or "non-being," or "not being"). Famously, or notoriously, he did rule that th ..read more
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09/05/22: Mazviita Chirimuuta on Disjunctivism and Cartesian Idealisation
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
by The Aristotelian Society
1y ago
In this paper I give answers to two apparently unrelated questions and aim to convince you that these different concerns are, in fact, intertwined. The first question is, why is dualism so tenacious? The second is, what is really at issue in the debate between Burge and McDowell? Regarding the first question, various contemporary philosophers have cast Descartes as the originator of a pernicious idea about the radical difference between mind and body, an idea with weed-like tenacity, that many have attempted to dig out once and for all, but which always seems to grow back from fragments left i ..read more
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25/04/22: Emma Borg on A Defence of Individual Rationality
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
by The Aristotelian Society
1y ago
Common-sense (or folk) psychology holds that (generally) we do what we do for the reasons we have. This common-sense approach is embodied in claims like “I went to the kitchen because I wanted a drink” or “She took a coat because she thought it might rain and she hoped to stay dry”. However, the veracity of these common-sense psychological explanations has been challenged by experimental evidence (primarily from behavioural economics and social psychology) which appears to show that individuals are systematically irrational – that often we do not do what we do because of the reasons we have. R ..read more
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21/03/22: Jack Spencer on Intrinsically Desiring the Vague
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
by The Aristotelian Society
2y ago
This paper is about whether it is rational to intrinsically desire the vague. A proposition is inconsequential if neither it, nor its negation is rational to intrinsically desire. The objects of intrinsic desire are propositions, and the contradictory of propositional vagueness is propositional precision. Every vague proposition is not precise, and every precise proposition is not vague. The question to be pursued thus can be posed as follows: is every consequential proposition precise? Jack Spencer is Associate Professor of Philosophy at MIT. Before doing his PhD at Princeton, he studied phil ..read more
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07/03/22: Dawn Wilson on Reflecting, Registering, Recording and Representing: From Light Image to Photographic Picture
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
by The Aristotelian Society
2y ago
Photography is highly valued as a recording medium. Traditionally it has been claimed that photography is fundamentally a causal recording process, and that every photograph is the causal imprint of the world in front of the camera. In this paper I seek to challenge that traditional view. I claim that it is based on a ‘single-stage’ misconception of the process that defines photographs as mind-independent images and leaves no room for photographic depiction. I explain my objections to that view and propose an alternative, ‘multi-stage’ account of the process, in which I argue that causal regis ..read more
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21/02/22: Andrew Huddleston on Aesthetic Beautification
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
by The Aristotelian Society
2y ago
Aesthetic beautification is a familiar artistic phenomenon: Even as they face death, heroes and heroines in operas still sing glorious music. Characters in Shakespearean tragedies still deliver beautifully eloquent speeches in the throes of despair. Even depicting suffering and horror, paintings can still remain a transfixing delight for the eyes. In such cases, the work of art represents or expresses something we would, in ordinary life, attribute a negative valence (suffering, horror, death, and the like), but it does so beautifully. Doubtless there is not a single explanation for what trans ..read more
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31/01/22: Rachel Cristy on Commanders and Scientific Labourers: Nietzsche on the Relationship Between Philosophy and Science
Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society
by The Aristotelian Society
2y ago
Nietzsche’s attitude toward science is ambivalent: he remarks approvingly on its rigorous methodology and adventurous spirit, but also points out its limitations and rebukes scientists for encroaching onto philosophers’ territory. What does Nietzsche think is science’s proper role and relationship with philosophy? I argue that, according to Nietzsche, philosophy should set goals for science. Philosophers’ distinctive task is to ‘create values’, which involves two steps: (1) envisioning ideals for human life, and (2) turning those ideals into prescriptions for behaviour and societal organisatio ..read more
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