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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY: Vol. 25, No. 3, September 2017.

The Representation of an Action: Tragedy between Kant and Hegel, ANDREW COOPER

Hegel's theory of tragedy has polarized critics. In the past, many philosophers have claimed that Hegel's theory of tragedy removes Kant's critical insights and returns to precritical metaphysics. More recently, several have argued that Hegel does not break faith with tragic experience but allows philosophy to be transformed by tragedy. This paper examines the strength of this revised position. First the author shows that it identifies Hegel's insightful critique of Kant's theoretical assumptions. Yet he then argues that it fails to note the practical importance of Kant's separation of knowledge and aesthetics. He proposes an alternative approach to tragedy that builds from the revised view and yet maintains the autonomy of aesthetics. Tragedy represents an action, a set of events that are internally unified and yet cannot be reduced to theory. This is to say that tragedy confronts us with an aesthetic sphere of making and doing that, while constrained, is incessantly open and free.

Kant, Neo-Kantians, and Transcendental Subjectivity, CHARLOTTE BAUMANN

This paper furthers the understanding of Nietzsche's project of increasing the prevalence of higher individuals. The author does this by opposing the dominant tendency in Nietzschean scholarship of constructing a single ideal-type. She argues that Nietzsche actually describes multiple higher types, with incommensurable physiological and psychological characteristics, and that attempts to collapse these into one type obscure the nuance and richness of his thought. Furthermore, she claims that higher types are not ahistorical ideals; instead, their emergence relates closely to existing psychological and physiological conditions in society. The artistic-genius type, for example, is characterized by his sensitivity to stimuli and plays a vital role in injecting creativity into culturally uniform societies. He is, however, a counterproductive role model for diverse modern societies, characterized by an abundance of stimuli and widespread reactivity. In response to such conditions, Nietzsche extols the virtue of a peculiarly antimodem type, who cultivates independence from stimuli. Interpreting higher types as multiple and historically situated is vital to carrying out the normative aspect of Nietzsche's philosophy. This role is performed by the philosophical-physician, who surveys the physiological and psychological conditions of his own age and attempts to exploit these conditions to produce future higher individuals.

Beyond the Myth of the Nietzschean Ideal-Type, SIMON TOWNSEND

An enkratic agent is someone who intends to do A because he believes he should do A. Being enkratic is usually understood as something rationality requires of you. However, we must distinguish between different conceptions of enkratic rationality. According to a fairly common view, enkratic rationality is solely a normative requirement on agency: it tells us how agents should think and act. However, this normativist conception of enkratic rationality faces serious difficulties: it makes it a mystery how an agent's thinking and acting can be guided by the enkratic requirement, which is something that an adequate conception of enkratic rationality must be able to explain. This motivates exploring a different account of enkratic rationality. On this view, enkratic rationality is primarily a constitutive requirement on agency: it is a standard internal to agency, that is, a standard that partly spells out what it is to exercise one's agential powers well.

Why Should We Care About Nietzsche's 'Higher Men'? OMRI BEN-ZVI

This paper offers a new interpretation of Nietzsche's higher men doctrine, which explains how he can simultaneously hold the following two positions: first, that higher types are especially important or valuable; and second, that all moral claims are false (that is, a crude error theory regarding morality). Nietzsche can coherently subscribe to both views by arguing that higher types have wide intersubjective (prudential) value to lower types. More specifically, higher men, who are mainly characterized by their strong, commanding nature, fulfill a psychological need, common in most humans-- the need to obey. The paper develops this conception of higher types and shows how it relates to Nietzsche's insights on culture, nihilism, and becoming.

Heidegger on Human Finitude: Beginning at the End, OREN MAGID

Interpreters generally understand Heidegger's notion of finitude in one of two ways: (1) as our mortality--that, in the end, we are certain to die; or (2) the susceptibility of our self- and world-understanding to collapse--the fragility and vulnerability of human sense-making. This paper puts forward an alternative account of what Heidegger means by "finitude": human self-and world-understanding is nontransparently grounded in a final end. Our self- and world-understanding, that is, begins at the end, and authenticity requires us to interpretively appropriate the full range of this understanding. After laying out this view of finitude, via an analogical appeal to the Socratic account of action and desire in the Gorgias, the author discusses its relationship to the two leading views of finitude mentioned above.

Intentionality, Constitution and Merleau-Ponty's Concept of 'The Flesh, ' DIMITRIS APOSTOLOPOULOS

Since Husserl, the task of developing an account of intentionality and constitution has been central to the phenomenological enterprise. Some of Merleau-Ponty's descriptions of the flesh suggest that he gives up on this task or, more strongly, that the flesh is in principle incompatible with intentionality or constitution. The author shows that these remarks, as in Merleau-Ponty's earlier writings, refer to the classical, early Husserlian interpretations of these concepts, and argues that the concept of the flesh can plausibly be understood to advance a refined account of intentionality and constitution. Instead of a first-personal, unidirectional act or embodied motor project, intentionality is a latent openness to things, where the roles of subject and object are reversible. Whereas the view of constitution as meaning-bestowal is untenable, the flesh has a constitutive role, which is supported by a constitutional passivity from the subject. On this reading, Merleau-Ponty's later work aims to develop basic tenets of his earlier thought, albeit at a critical distance, an attempt he thought was continuous with the central problems that Husserl claimed a phenomenological philosophy must grapple with, even if Merleau-Ponty's answers to these problems are not Husserl's. Discriminatory Capacities, Russell's Principle, and the Importance of Losing Sight of Objects, GERSEL JOHAN PETER

What capacities for discrimination must a subject possess in order to entertain singular thoughts? Evans has suggested that a subject must be able to discriminate his referent from all other entities in order to be able to do so; what he calls Russell's Principle. Evans's view has few followers, and he has been repeatedly accused of presenting no argument in its favor. This paper presents what the author takes to be Evans's argument. The author suggests that he has been misinterpreted as introducing Russell's Principle for the purpose of fixing reference. Rather, he introduces it in order to ensure that our conceptual capacities have the functional complexity to allow for objective thought. The author suggests that the logical types of our thought are constituted by their inferential potential and argues that, even though singular thought may be possible without the satisfaction of Russell's Principle, singular thought that forms part of an objective world view is not.

Aims and Exclusivity, EMA SULLIVAN-BISSETT

If belief has an aim by being a (quasi)intentional activity, then it ought to be the case that the aim of belief can be weighed against other aims one might have. However, this is not so with the putative truth aim of belief: from the first-person perspective, one can be motivated only by truth considerations in deliberation over what to believe (exclusivity). From this perspective then, the aim cannot be weighed. This problem is captured by David Owens's Exclusivity Objection to belief having an aim. Conor McHugh has responded to this problem by denying the phenomenon of exclusivity and replacing it with something weaker: demandingness. If deliberation over what to believe is characterized by demandingness and not exclusivity, this allows for the requisite weighing of the truth aim. The author argues against such a move by suggesting that where nonevidential considerations play a role in affecting what we believe, these considerations merely change the standards required for believing in a particular context, they do not provide nonevidential reasons for forming or withholding belief, which are considered as such from the deliberative perspective. Exclusivity thus remains, and so too does Owens's objection.

Basic Self-Awareness: Lessons from the Real World, ALEXANDRE BILLON

Basic self-awareness is the kind of self-awareness reflected in our standard use of the first-person. Patients suffering from severe forms of depersonalization often feel reluctant to use the first-person and can even, in delusional cases, avoid it altogether, systematically referring to themselves in the third-person. Even though it has been neglected since then, depersonalization has been extensively studied, more than a century ago, and used as probe for understanding the nature and the causal mechanisms of basic self-awareness. This paper argues that depersonalized patients indeed have an impaired basic self-awareness, and that their study allows us both to favor one specific theory of basic self-awareness and to understand what is wrong with its rivals. According to the favored theory, which the author calls Cartesian, we are basically self-aware in virtue of being acquainted with ourselves through introspection.

Dissociative Identity Disorder, Ambivalence, and Responsibility, MICHELLE MAIESE

If someone with dissociative identity disorder (DID) commits a wrongful act, is he responsible? If one adopts the Multiple Persons Thesis, it may seem that one alter cannot be responsible for the actions of another alter. Conversely, if one regards the subject as a single person, it may seem that he is responsible for any actions he performs. The author argues that this subject is a single person, but one who suffers from delusions of disownership and therefore does not fulfill ordinary requirements for responsible agency. This is because he suffers from extreme ambivalence: his deep-seated needs and desires conflict, and he forms alter-personalities as a way to cope with inner discord without abandoning any of these contradictory impulses. However, although the ability to exercise autonomous agency is eroded in such cases, the capacity for autonomous agency is preserved. The subject with DID is weakly responsible for his wrongful acts.

Hybrid Speech Acts: A Theory of Normative Thought and Language That 'Has It Both WaysANDREW MORGAN

This essay proposes a novel hybrid metanormative theory. According to this theory, speakers making normative claims express both cognitive and motivational attitudes in virtue of the constitutive norms of the particular speech acts they perform. This view has four principal virtues: (1) it is consistent with traditional semantic theories; (2) it supports a form of motivational judgment intemalism that does justice to externalist intuitions; (3) it illuminates the connection between normative language and normative thought; and (4) it explains how speakers can express different conative states when speaking in different normative domains. In the first section, the author discusses the theories of Stephen Finlay and David Copp. He shows that they each come very close to having it both ways but ultimately fail. Understanding the shortcomings of these views is instrumental to a clear presentation of my own Hybrid Speech Act theory in section 2. In the final section, the author demonstrates how his view achieves its four advantages.

Science, Realism and Correlationism: A Phenomenological Critique of Meillassoux' Argument from Ancestrality, HARALD A. WILTSCHE

Quentin Meillassoux has recently launched a sweeping attack against correlationism, an umbrella term for any philosophical system that is based on "the idea [that] we only ever have access to the correlation between thinking and being, and never to either term considered apart from the other." Thus construed, Meillassoux's critique is indeed a sweeping one: It comprises major parts of the philosophical tradition since Kant, both in its more continental and in its more analytical outlooks. In light of this critique, the aim of this paper is twofold: On the one hand, the author defends phenomenology against Meillassoux's main argument, the so-called argument from ancestrally. On the other hand, the author argues that this argument, albeit unsuccessful in its original form, can be modified to pose a more serious threat. Although this modified version can also be circumvented, it forces phenomenologists to clarify their stance toward the natural sciences.
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Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2017
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