Printer Friendly

Australasian Journal of Philosophy: March 2010, Vol. 88, No. 1.

Free Will and the Mind-Body Problem, BERNARD BEROFSKY

Compatibilists regard subsumption under certain sorts of deterministic psychological laws as sufficient for free will. As bona fide laws, their existence poses problems for the thesis of the unalterability of laws, a cornerstone of the Consequence Argument against compatibilism. The thesis is challenged, although a final judgment must wait upon resolution of controversies about the nature of laws. Another premise of the Consequence Argument affirms the supervenience of mental states on physical states, a doctrine whose truth would not undermine the autonomy of psychological laws, a condition of free will. Requirements for compatibilist acceptance of physicalism are described.

Normativity and the Metaphysics of Mind, NICK ZANGWILL

This article considers the metaphysical consequences of the view that propositional attitudes have essential normative properties. It is suggested that realism should take a weak rather than a strong form, and that expressivism cannot get off the ground. Finally, it is demonstrated that eliminativism is self-refuting.

Might All Normativity Be Queer?, MATTHEW S. BEDKE

This article discusses the conceptual structure and core semantic commitments of reason-involving thought and discourse needed to underwrite the claim that ethical normativity is not uniquely queer. This deflates a primary source of ethical scepticism and it vindicates so-called partner in crime arguments. When it comes to queerness objections, all reason-implicating normative claims--including those concerning Humean reasons to pursue one's ends, and epistemic reasons to form true beliefs--stand or fall together.

Epistemic Two-Dimensionalism and the Epistemic Argument, JEFF SPEAKS

One of Kripke's fundamental objections to descriptivism was that the theory misclassifies certain a posteriori propositions expressed by sentences involving names as a priori. Though nowadays very few philosophers would endorse a descriptivism of the sort that Kripke criticized, many find two-dimensional semantics attractive as a kind of successor theory. Because two-dimensionalism needn't be a form of descriptivism, it is not open to the epistemic argument as formulated by Kripke; but the most promising versions of two-dimensionalism are open to a close relative of that argument.

Moore's Paradox and Epistemic Norms, CLAYTON LITTLE JOHN

We shall evaluate two strategies for motivating the view that knowledge is the norm of belief. The first draws on observations concerning beliefs aim and the parallels between belief and assertion. The second appeals to observations concerning Moore's Paradox. Neither of these strategies gives us good reason to accept the knowledge account. The considerations offered in support of this account motivate only the weaker account on which truth is the fundamental norm of belief.

Moore's Proof and Martin Davies's Epistemic Projects, ANNALISA


In the recent literature on Moore's Proof of an external world, it has emerged that different diagnoses of the argument's failure are prima facie defensible. As a result, there is a sense that the appropriateness of the different verdicts on it may depend on variation in the kinds of context in which the argument is taken to be a move, with different characteristic aims. In this spirit, Martin Davies has recently explored the use of the argument within two different epistemic projects called respectively "deciding what to believe" and "settling the question." Depending on which project is in hand, according to Davies, the diagnoses of its failure--if indeed it fails--will differ. In this article it is argued that, by introducing the idea that the effectiveness of a valid argument may be epistemic project-relative, Davies has pointed the way to an important reorientation of the debates about Moore's Proof. This paper takes issue with much of the detail of his proposals. It is argued that Davies's characterization of his two projects is misleading ([section]1), and his account of their distinction defective ([section]2). The article then canvasses some suggestions about how it may be improved upon and about how further relevant kinds of epistemic projects in which Moore's argument may be taken to be a move can be characterized, bringing out how each of these projects impinges differently on the issue of the Proofs failure and of its diagnosis ([section][section]3 and 4). In conclusion ([section]5), an overview of the resulting terrain is offered.

Mereology, Modality and Magic, KATHERINE HAWLEY

In this article it is argued that, despite van Inwagen's pessimism about the task, it is worth looking for answers to his General Composition Question. Such answers or principles of composition tell us about the relationship between an object and its parts. Principles of composition are compared with criteria of identity, arguing that, just as different sorts of thing satisfy different criteria of identity, they may satisfy different principles of composition. Variety in criteria of identity is not taken to reflect ontological variety in the identity relation; it is discussed whether variety in principles of composition should be taken to reflect ontological variety in the composition relation.

A Relevance Constraint on Composition, DAVID VANDER LAAN

Whether certain objects compose a whole at a given time does not seem to depend on anything other than the character of those objects and the relations between them. This observation suggests a far-reaching constraint on theories of composition. One version of the constraint has been explicitly adopted by van Inwagen and rules out his own answer to the composition question. The constraint also rules out the other well-known moderate answers that have so far been proposed.

Transient Things and Permanent Stuff, PAUL NEEDHAM

A view of individuals as constituted of quantities of matter, both understood as continuants enduring over time, is elaborated in some detail. Constitution is a three-place relation which can't be collapsed to identity because of the place-holder for a time and because individuals and quantities of matter have such a radically different character. Individuals are transient entities with limited lifetimes, whereas quantities are permanent existents undergoing change in physical and chemical properties from time to time. Coincidence, considered as a matter of occupying the same place, is developed, alongside sameness of constitutive matter, as a criterion of identity for individuals. Quantities satisfy the mereological criterion of identity, applicable to entities subject to mereological relations and operations such as regions of space and intervals of time. A time-dependent analogue of mereological parthood is defined for individuals, in terms of which analogues of the other mereological relations can be defined. But it is argued that there is no analogue of the mereological operation of summation for individuals.

On Silencing, Rape, and Responsibility, ISHANI MAITRA and MARY KATE MCGOWAN

Two different models of oppressive speech are herein presented. The main interest in this paper is not in how speech can cause oppression, but in how speech can actually be an act of oppression. As we shall see, a particular type of speech act, the exercitive, enacts permissibility facts. Since oppressive speech enacts permissibility facts that oppress, speech must be exercitive in order for it to be an act of oppression. In what follows, two sorts of exercitive speech acts (the standard exercitive and the covert exercitive) are distinguished, and it is argued that each such exercitive affords a distinct model of oppressive speech.
COPYRIGHT 2010 Philosophy Education Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Geographic Code:80OCE
Date:Mar 1, 2010
Previous Article:Australasian Journal of Philosophy: December 2009, Vol. 87, No. 4.
Next Article:European Journal Of Philosophy: December 2009, Vol. 17, No. 4.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters