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JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY: Vol. 55, No. 4, October 2017.

Individuals as Universals: Audacious Views in Early TwelfthCentm'y Realism, CATERINA TARLAZZI

This article investigates a twelfth-century realist view on universals, the individuum-theory. The individuum-theory is criticized by Peter Abelard and Joscelin of Soissons, and endorsed by Quoniam de generali as well as by the unpublished Isagoge commentary found in MS Paris, BnF, lat. 3237, which is here taken into account for the first time. The individuum-theory blurs traditional distinctions between nominalism and realism by claiming that the universal is the individual thing itself. In this paper, the author presents the main strategies for such a claim, namely, putting forward identity "by indifference," distinguishing status and attentiones, and neutralizing opposite predicates. She argues that these strategies have parallels in Abelard's own views. The individuum-theory's paradoxical realism seems to defend universal res after criticisms were advanced against more traditional material essence realism, and it seems to have been using some of the nominalists' tools (particularly Abelardian tools) in its endeavor.

De Gravitatione Reconsidered: The Changing Significance of Experimental Evidence for Newton's Metaphysics of Space, ZVI BIENER

The author argues that Isaac Newton's De Gravitatione should not be considered an authoritative expression of his thought about the metaphysics of space and its relation to physical inquiry. The article establishes the following narrative: In De Gravitatione (circa 1668-84), Newton claimed he had direct experimental evidence for the work's central thesis: that space had "its own manner of existing" as an affection or emanative effect. In the 1710s, however, through the prodding of Roger Cotes and G. W. Leibniz, he came to see that this evidence relied on assumptions that his own Principia rendered unjustifiable. Consequently, he (1) revised the conclusions he explicitly drew from the experimental evidence, (2) rejected the idea that his spatial metaphysics was grounded in experimental evidence, and (3) reassessed the epistemic status of key concepts in his metaphysics and natural philosophy. The narrative the author explores shows not only that De Gravitatione did not constitute the metaphysical backdrop of the Principia as Newton ultimately understood it, but that it was the Principia itself that ultimately lead to the demise of key elements of De Gravitatione. The author explores the implications of this narrative for Andrew Janiak's and Howards Stein's interpretations of Newton's metaphysics.

Hume on the Stoic Rational Passions and "Original Existences," JASON R. FISETTE

The author argues that Hume's characterization of the passions as "original existences" is shaped by his preoccupation with Stoicism, and is not (as most commentators suppose) a ridiculous or trifling remark. The argument has three parts. First, the author shows that Hume's description of the passions as "original existences" is properly understood as part of his argument against the possibility of passions caused by reason alone (rational passions). Second, he establishes that Hume was responding to the Stoics, who claimed that a rational passion is caused by a special type of impression that accurately represents its cause--the divine reason administrating the cosmos--in virtue of resembling it. Third, he argues that Hume rejects the Stoics' claim by appeal to the following feature of his general account of impressions and ideas: for Hume, ideas are exact "copies" or representations of the impressions that caused them, but simple impressions are "originals" that do not represent in virtue of resembling their external or physiological causes. On the author's reading of Hume, the "original existence" passage therefore signals his rebuke of a key claim in the Stoics' theory of rational passions.

Radical Evil as a Regulative Idea, MARKUS KOHL

The author argues that Kant's doctrine of the radical evil in human nature does not involve the claim that all human beings are evil as a matter of fact. Such a claim would conflict both with the boundaries of human knowledge and with Kant's doctrine of moral freedom. On the author's reading, Kant holds that every human agent ought to adopt the presupposition that she has an evil character, not because we know this presupposition to be true, but because this presupposition plays a crucial role in our quest for moral progress and greater virtue.

Solving the Regress Puzzle: J. F. Fries's Psychological Reconstruction of Kant's Transcendental Methodology, PETER SPERBER

Many commentators have noted that Kant's transcendental methodology seems to be in danger of infinite regress. This paper discusses an early and much neglected attempt to resolve this Regress Puzzle. Jakob Friedrich Fries, one of the most prominent Kantians during the first decades of the nineteenth century, argued that in order to avoid the Regress Puzzle, Kant's transcendental methodology had to be reconstructed on empirical-psychological premises. As part of this argument, Fries developed a subtle and original account of the importance of psychology for pure philosophy, and of the proper relationship between the two disciplines, that remains of interest.

Merleau-Ponty on Style as the Key to Perceptual Presence and Constancy, SAMANTHA MATHERNE

In recent discussions of two important issues in the philosophy of perception, namely, the problems of perceptual presence and perceptual constancy, Merleau-Ponty's ideas have been gamering attention thanks to the work of Sean Kelly and Alva Noe. Although both Kelly's normative approach and Noe's enactive approach highlight important aspects of Merleau-Ponty's view, the author argues that neither does full justice to it because they overlook the central role that style plays in his solution to these problems. She shows that a closer look at the Phenomenology and several other texts from this period reveals that, on Merleau-Ponty's account, we are able to perceive the absent features of objects as present, constant properties, and constant objects because we recognize that the objects we perceive have a unique style that persists through and unifies all their appearances.
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Title Annotation:CURRENT PERIODICAL ARTICLES: PHILOSOPHICAL ABSTRACTS
Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Article Type:Abstract
Date:Dec 1, 2017
Words:936
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