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PHILOSOPHY: Vol. 94, No. 4, October 2019.

Infintesimals, Nations, and Persons, IAN RUMFITT

The author compares three sorts of case in which philosophers have argued that we cannot assert the law of excluded middle for statements of identity. Adherents of smooth infinitesimal analysis deny that excluded middle holds for statements saying that an infinitesimal is identical with zero. Derek Parfit contended that, in certain sci-fi scenarios, the law does not hold for some statements of personal identity. He also claimed that it fails for the statement "England in 1065 was the same nation as England in 1067." The author argues that none of these cases poses a serious threat to excluded middle. The author's analysis of the last example casts doubt on the principle of the determinacy of distinctness. While David Wiggins's conceptualist realism provides a metaphysics that can dispense with that principle, it leaves no house-room for infinitesimals.

Love, Truth, and Moral Judgement, DAVID CARR

A famous section of 1 Corinthians and some influential passages in the work of Iris Murdoch seem to suppose a significant connection between the higher human love of agape and moral knowledge, namely, that the former may perhaps provide access to the latter. Following some skeptical attention to this possibility, this paper turns to a more modest suggestion of Plato's Symposium that the lower human love of eros might be a transitional stage to higher moral love or knowledge of the good. Still, while conceding that this may be so, the paper argues that any moral transformations of such loves would need to be informed by moral wisdom or knowledge rather than vice versa. However, it concludes that there are ultimately deep and perhaps irreconcilable tensions between the epistemic and agapeic dimensions of moral life.

God, Information and the World: The Metaphysics of William Dembski and Al-GhazaH, SHOAIB AHMED MALIK

This article reviews William Dembski's recent monograph entitled Being as Communion: A Metaphysics of Information, in which he establishes an entire information-centric metaphysics. This viewpoint is compared with the perspective of al-Ghazali, a Muslim philosophical theologian from the medieval period. It is concluded that what Dembski defines as information, which for him is the ontological basis of the natural world, seems remarkably close to alGhazali's notion of God's will and omnipotence. This article is an explorative comparison of their metaphysical frameworks discussed in light of modern scientific developments, highlighting their differences and similarities.

Lessons from a Quarrel: The Intentionality of Emotion Revisited, CAMILLA KRONQVIST

The author argues that a careful consideration of the internal relation between the expression of an emotion, "I am angry," and the description of the object of that emotion, "That was wrong," illuminates the sense in which emotions are intentional, and perhaps also rational, as brought out in cognitive accounts of emotion. It also throws light on the moral and interpersonal aspects of our emotional life, which the author instantiates through a discussion of the different perspectives on what has happened between the parties in a quarrel and the kinds of failures of understanding that may take place in such cases.

The Explanatory Link Account of Normality, ANDREW LAVIN

Few have given an extended treatment of the nonstatistical sense of normality: a sense captured in sentences like "dogs have four legs," or "hammers normally have metal heads," or "it is normal for badgers to take dust baths." The most direct extant treatment is Bernhard Nickel's Between Logic and the World, in which he claims that the normal or characteristic for a kind is what we can explain by appeal to the right sorts of explanations. Just which explanatory strategies can ground normalities, though, is difficult to determine without inviting circularity into the account. After raising this and other worries for Nickel's account, the author develops his own account according to which normal features are those which are explained by the kind of thing involved.

Listening to People: Using Psychology to Spotlight an Overlooked Virtue, SUSAN E. NOTESS

The author offers a novel interdisciplinary approach to understanding the communicative task of listening, which is undertheorized compared with its more conspicuous counterpart, speech. By correlating a Rylean view of mental actions with a virtue ethical framework, the author shows listeners' internal activity as a morally relevant feature of how they treat people. The listener employs a policy of responsiveness in managing the extent to which they allow a speaker's voice to be centered within their more effortful, engaged attention. A just listener's policy of responsiveness avoids unwarrantedly dismissing speakers' messages on the basis of peripheral attention alone.

Agency Intelligence and Reasons in Animals, HAND-JOHANN CLOCK

What kind of activity are nonhuman animals capable of? A venerable tradition insists that lack of language confines them to mere behavior. This article engages with this lingualism by developing a positive, bottom-up case for the possibility of animal agency. Higher animals can do more than just act; they can act intelligently, rationally, intentionally, and for reasons. In developing this case the author draws on the interplay of behavior, cognition, and conation, the unduly neglected notion of intelligence and its connection to rationality, the need to recognize that reasons are objective conditions, and the difference between the ability to act for reasons and the capacity to reflect on reasons.

Is the Mind-Body Relationship Mysterious? WILLIAM CHARLTON

Why do some philosophers (Nagel, McGinn, Chomsky), despite all we know about evolution and embryology, think that consciousness makes the mind-body relation a problem still unsolved and perhaps insoluble by those with human brains? They ask how consciousness arises in matter, not in living organisms, whereas nonphilosophers ask how far down the ladder of life it extends and when it arises in individuals of sentient and intelligent species. They desire the privacy of Locke's closet, furnished with phenomenological properties; and besides replacing Aristotle's folk conception of causation by Hume's, they mathematicize physical explanation in line with Newton's First Law of Motion. Nonphilosophers operate with vague concepts of life, sentience, and intelligence that allow them to treat these things as truly and naturally emergent. Machines that perform intelligent tasks are no more conscious of the reasons for their movements than actors performing them on the stage.
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Title Annotation:CURRENT PERIODICAL ARTICLES: PHILOSOPHICAL ABSTRACTS
Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Date:Dec 1, 2019
Words:1017
Previous Article:THE PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY: Vol. 69, No. 277, October 2019.
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