Journal of the History of Philosophy: Vol. 55, No. 3, July 2017.
This paper challenges the Standard Account of the so-called endoxic method that Aristotle articulates in a well-known passage from book 7 of the Nicomachean Ethics. That account is problematic because it misreads what Aristotle says and thereby attributes to him an unusually rigid and conservative method that he himself does not seem to employ. This paper carefully analyzes the semantics and syntax of the book 7 passage in order to present a novel and improved understanding of the endoxic method. This improved account helps adjudicate scholarly debates about the method's purpose and scope.
Locke on Personal Identity: A Response to the Problems of His Predecessors, RUTH BOEKER
This paper argues that the strengths of John Locke's account of personal identity can be revealed by understanding it in the context of the metaphysical and religious debates of his day, especially the debates concerning the possibility of the afterlife and the resurrection. The paper adopts Locke's classifications of the views of his predecessors and examines metaphysical problems for material, Cartesian, and non-Cartesian immaterial views of the soul, and views that regard human beings as mind-body unions. The paper shows that Locke was well aware of these problems, and it argues that the strength of his account of personal identity in terms of same consciousness is that it provides a response to the various problems that arise for the views of his predecessors. Furthermore, the advantage of his theory is that it does not require him to prove the views of his predecessors to be mistaken, and it is thereby consistent with their mutually exclusive views.
Restoring Kant's Conception of the Highest Good, LAWRENCE PASTERNACK
Since the publication of Andrews Reath's "Two Conceptions of the Highest Good in Kant," most scholars have come to accept the view that Kant migrated away from an earlier theological version to one that is more secular. The purpose of this paper is to explore the roots of this interpretative trend, reassess its merits, and then examine how the highest good is portrayed in Kant's Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. It is in this text, more so than any other, that Kant develops his most philosophically sophisticated account of the highest good. Because of the central significance of Kant's doctrine of the highest good for both his ethical theory and philosophy of religion, this paper therefore seeks to provide an important corrective to the current received views.
Perspectives without Privileges: The Estates in Hegel's Political Philosophy, CHRISTOPHER YEOMANS
For a variety of reasons, Hegel's theory of the estates remains an unexpected and unappreciated feature of his practical philosophy. In fact, it is the key element of his social philosophy, which grounds his more properly political philosophy. Most fundamentally, it plays this role because the estates provide the forms of visibility required by Hegel's distinctive theory of self-determination, and so the estates constitute conditions for the possibility of human agency as such. With respect to political agency in particular, this ramifies into the view that the estates are social preconditions for legal and political practices, forms of political participation in their own right, and conditions of possibility of moderate government (three functions also attributed to the estates by Montesquieu).
The Will, the Will to Believe, and William James: An Ethics of Freedom as Self-Transformation, COLIN KOOPMAN
William James's doctrine of the will to believe is one of the most infamous arguments in modern philosophy. Critics frequently interpret it as a feeble defense of wishful thinking. Such criticisms rely on treating James's ethics of belief independently from his moral psychology. Unfortunately, this separation is also implicitly assumed by many of his defenders. James's ethics of willing relies on his robust psychology of the will. In his 1896 essay "The Will to Believe," James carefully circumscribes those situations in which willful belief is defensible in a way that closely matches his description of decision by effort in the "Will" chapter of his 1890 The Principles of Psychology. Explicating this match helps show why the will to believe is not a defense of wishful thinking, but rather a naturalistic account of the value of sculpting our habits.
A Kantian Disagreement between Father and Son: Roy Wood Sellars and Wilfrid Sellars on the Categories, FABIO GIRONI
This paper examines a facet of the under-explored philosophical relationship between Roy Wood Sellars and his son, Wilfrid Sellars, analyzing both their published work and their unpublished correspondence. In particular, the paper focuses, first, on the explicit agreements in epistemological matters between the two philosophers, a consonance in views that highlights Wilfrid's profound debt to his father's philosophy, a debt often ignored or unexamined by Sellarsian scholarship. Secondly, the paper explores a topic of disagreement between the two regarding the source and the role of Kantian categories and a priori principles. The paper argues that Wilfrid Sellars's approach, a deeply Kantian, normatively saturated naturalism, was the result of his assimilation of new philosophical methods--originating in Camapian and Wittgenstenian analyses of language--unfamiliar and unavailable to his father and his generation. The paper presents this as an exemplar of philosophical progress, but also vouches for a return to a style of philosophical inquiry proper of early twentieth-century philosophy, when systematicity and the embedding of one's stance into extraphilosophical concerns were considered commendable goals.
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|Title Annotation:||PHILOSOPHICAL ABSTRACTS|
|Publication:||The Review of Metaphysics|
|Date:||Jun 1, 2017|
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