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In order to perfectly describe the world, it is not enough to speak truly. In this ambitious and ground-breaking book, Theodore Sider argues that for a representation to be fully successful, truth is not enough; the representation must also use the right concepts-concepts that 'carve at the joints'-so that its conceptual structure matches reality's structure. There is an objectively correct way to 'write the book of the world'. According to Sider, metaphysics is primarily about fundamentality rather than necessity, conceptual analysis, or ontology. Fundamentality is understood in terms of structure: the fundamental truths are those truths that involve structural (joint-carving) concepts. Sider argues that part of the theory of structure is an account of how structure connects to other concepts. For example, structure can be used to illuminate laws of nature, explanation, reference, induction, physical geometry, substantivity, conventionality, objectivity, and metametaphysics. Another part is an account of how structure behaves. Since structure is a way of thinking about fundamentality, Sider's account implies distinctive answers to questions about the nature of fundamentality. These answers distinguish his theory of structure from other recent theories of fundamentality, including Kit Fine's theory of ground and reality, the theory of truthmaking, and Jonathan Schaffer's theory of ontological dependence.
This book addresses five main topics of metaphysics in its first section: formal objects and truth-makers; tropes; properties and predicates; varieties of relations; and the notion of explanation in metaphysics. The second part of this volume focuses on the history of philosophy with an emphasis on Austrian philosophy: the ideas of Bolzano, Wittgenstein, Locke and Bergson, amongst others, are explored in the papers presented here.
This is the first volume in a two-volume set that originates from papers presented to Professor Kevin Mulligan, covering the subjects that he contributed to during his career including ontology, mind and value, history and philosophy of mind and philosophy of language. This volume contains thirty two chapters, written by researchers from across Europe, North America and North Africa.
These papers cover topics in metaphysics ranging from Lehrer and Tolliver s discussion of truth and tropes, to Johansson s defence of the distinction between thick and thin relations and Persson and Sahlin s presentation of the difficulties inherent in applying the concept of explanation in metaphysics.
Papers on the history of philosophy include a look at Bolzano s formative years and his conception of mathematics. De Libera examines Brentano s adverbial theory of judgment and Fisette traces the history of the Philosophical Society of the University of Vienna in the late 19th and early 20th century. Marion contests the trendy pragmatist accounts that lump Wittgenstein and Heidegger together and there are analyses of Locke and Bergson s work, amongst the many papers presented here.
This volume contains three chapters in French and one in Spanish. The second volume of this set looks at ethics, values and emotions, epistemology, perception and consciousness, as well as philosophy of mind and philosophy of language."
This book guides readers through an investigation of religion from a naturalistic perspective and explores the very meaning of the term 'religious naturalism'. Oppy considers several widely disputed claims: that there cannot be naturalistic religion; that there is nothing in science that poses any problems for naturalism; that there is nothing in religion that poses any serious challenges to naturalism; and that there is a very strong case for thinking that naturalism defeats religion. Naturalism and Religion: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation is an ideal introduction for undergraduate and postgraduate students of religious studies and philosophy who want to gain an understanding of the key themes and claims of naturalism from a religious and philosophical perspective.
This volume explores the themes of vanishing matter, matter and the laws of nature, the qualities of matter, and the diversity of the debates about matter in the early modern period. Chapters are unified by a number of interlocking themes which together enable some of the broader contours of the philosophy of matter to be charted in new ways. Part I concerns Cartesian Matter; Part II covers Matter, Mechanism and Medicine; Part III covers Matter and the Laws of Motion; and Part IV covers Leibniz and Hume. Bringing together some of the worlda (TM)s leading scholars of early modern philosophy, as well as some exciting new researchers, Vanishing Matter and the Laws of Motion stakes out new territory that all serious scholars of early modern philosophy and science will want to traverse.
Jose L. Zalabardo puts forward a new interpretation of central ideas in Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus concerning the structure of reality and our representations of it in thought and language. He shows the origins of Wittgenstein's picture theory of propositional representation in Russell's theories of judgment, arguing that the picture theory is Wittgenstein's solution to some of the problems that he found in Russell's position. Zalabardo defends the view that, for Wittgenstein, facts in general, and the facts that play the role of propositions in particular, are not composite items, arising from the combination of their constituents. They are ultimate, irreducible units, and what we think of as their constituents are features that facts have in common with one another. These common features have built into them their possibilities of combination with other features into possible situations. This is the source of the Tractarian account of non-actual possibilities. It is also the source of the idea that it is not possible to produce propositions answering to certain descriptions, including those that would give rise to Russell's paradox. Zalabardo then considers Wittgenstein's view that every proposition is a truth function of elementary propositions. He argues that this view is motivated by Wittgenstein's epistemology of logic, according to which we should be able to see logical relations by inspecting the structures of propositions. Finally, Zalabardo considers the problems that we face if we try to extend the application of the picture theory from elementary propositions to truth functions of these.
Mind, Brain, and Free Will presents a powerful new case for substance dualism (the theory that humans consist of two parts body and soul) and for libertarian free will (that humans have some freedom to choose between alternatives, independently of the causes which influence them). Richard Swinburne begins by analysing the criteria for one event or substance being the same event or substance as another one, and the criteria for an event being metaphysically possible; and then goes on to analyse the criteria for beliefs about these issues being rational or justified. Given these criteria, he then proceeds to argue that pure mental events (including conscious events) are distinct from physical events and interact with them. He claims that no result from neuroscience or any other science could show that there is no such interaction, and illustrates this claim by showing that recent scientific work (such as Libet's experiments) has no tendency whatever to show that our intentions do not cause brain events. Swinburne goes on to argue for agent causation, that-to speak precisely-it is we, and not our intentions, that cause our brain events. It is metaphysically possible that each of us could acquire a new brain or continue to exist without a brain; and so we are essentially souls. Brain events and conscious events are so different from each other that it would not be possible to establish a scientific theory which would predict what each of us would do in situations of moral conflict. Hence given a crucial epistemological principle (the Principle of Credulity), we should believe that things are as they seem to be: that we make choices independently of the causes which influence us. According to Swinburne's lucid and ambitious account, it follows that we are morally responsible for our actions.
This volume is based on the lectures given in London at The Royal Institute of Philosophy's annual lecture series for 2016-17. The topic chosen for the series was metaphysics, an area where at the moment there is much exciting and innovative work being done. Several papers in the volume consider the nature of metaphysical explanation, its scope and limits. There are also papers on such central metaphysical topics as essence, necessity, possibility and identity. Ranging wider, and testifying to the breadth of metaphysics as a subject, there are treatments of free will, of solipsism in Wittgenstein's philosophy of the 1930s, of the nature of social practices, of the notion that the conceptual recommendations of metaphysics are to do with assessing and perhaps changing the way we live, and also a consideration of the ontological status of the foetus and the unborn child.
As a Festschrift, this book celebrates and honours the scholarly achievements of Professor Jaysankar Lal Shaw, one of the most eminent and internationally acclaimed comparative philosophers of our times. Original works by leading international philosophers and logicians are presented here, exploring themes such as: meaning, negation, perception and Indian and Buddhist systems of philosophy, especially Nyaya perspectives. Professor Shaw's untiring effort to solve some of the problems of contemporary philosophy of language, logic, epistemology, metaphysics and morals from the perspectives of classical Indian philosophers or systems of philosophy is deserving of a tribute. Chapters in this volume reflect the diverse aspects of Shaw's contribution to comparative philosophy and are organised into four sections: Language, Epistemology, Mathematics and Logic, Ethics and Politics. These chapters would appeal to anyone interested in philosophy or East-West thinking, including students and professionals. Graduates and researchers with interests in epistemology, metaphysics, political philosophy, logic and non-western philosophy will find this work highly relevant. Regarding the editors, Purushottama Bilimoria is a honorary professor at Deakin University and research fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia, a Visiting Professor and Lecturer at University of California, Berkeley and Graduate Theological Union; Michael Hemmingsen is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Philosophy at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.
Ross P. Cameron argues that the flow of time is a genuine feature of reality. He suggests that the best version of the A-Theory is a version of the Moving Spotlight view, according to which past and future beings are real, but there is nonetheless an objectively privileged present. Cameron argues that the Moving Spotlight theory should be viewed as having more in common with Presentism (the view that reality is limited to the present) than with the B-Theory (the view that time is just another dimension like space through which things are spread out). The Moving Spotlight view, on this picture, agrees with Presentism that everything is the way it is now, it simply thinks that non-present beings are amongst the things that are now some way. Cameron argues that the Moving Spotlight theory provides the best account of truthmakers for claims about what was or will be the case, and he defends the view against a number of objections, including McTaggart's argument that the A-Theory is inconsistent, and the charge that if the A-Theory is true but presentism false then we could not know that we are present. The Moving Spotlight defends an account of the open future-that what will happen is, as yet, undetermined-Land argues that this is a better account than that available to the Growing Block theory.
Metaphysics: The Fundamentals presents readers with a systematic, comprehensive introductory overview of modern analytic metaphysics. * Presents an accessible, up-to-date and broad-ranging survey of one of the most dynamic and often daunting sub-fields in contemporary philosophy * Introduces readers to the seminal works of contemporary and historic philosophers, including Descartes, Leibniz, Russell, David Lewis, Alvin Plantinga, Kit Fine, Peter van Inwagen, John Hawthorne and many others * Explores key questions while identifying important assumptions, axioms, and methodological principles * Addresses topics in ontology, modality, causality, and universals; as well as issues surrounding material composition, persistence, space, and time
Human beings are not model epistemic citizens. Our reasoning can be careless and uncritical, and our beliefs, desires, and other attitudes aren't always as they ought rationally to be. Our beliefs can be eccentric, our desires irrational and our hopes hopelessly unrealistic. Our attitudes are influenced by a wide range of non-epistemic or non-rational factors, including our character, our emotions, and powerful unconscious biases. Yet we are rarely conscious of such influences. Self-ignorance is not something to which human beings are immune. In this book Quassim Cassam develops an account of self-knowledge which tries to do justice to these and other respects in which humans aren't model epistemic citizens. He rejects rationalist and other mainstream philosophical accounts of self-knowledge on the grounds that, in more than one sense, they aren't accounts of self-knowledge for humans. Instead he defends the view that inferences from behavioural and psychological evidence are a basic source of human self-knowledge. On this account, self-knowledge is a genuine cognitive achievement and self-ignorance is almost always on the cards. As well as explaining knowledge of our own states of mind, Cassam also accounts for what he calls 'substantial' self-knowledge, including knowledge of our values, emotions, and character. He criticizes philosophical accounts of self-knowledge for neglecting substantial self-knowledge, and concludes with a discussion of the value of self-knowledge. This book tries to do for philosophy what behavioural economics tries to do for economics. Just as behavioural economics is the economics of homo sapiens, as distinct from the economics of an ideally rational and self homo economics, so Cassam argues that philosophy should focus on the human predicament rather than on the reasoning and self-knowledge of an idealized homo philosophicus.
Francois Laruelle proposes a theory of identity rooted in scientific notions of symmetry and chaos, emancipating thought from the philosophical paradigm of Being and reconnecting it with the real world. Unlike most contemporary philosophers, Laruelle does not believe language, history, and the world shape identity but that identity determines our relation to these phenomena. Both critical and constructivist, Theory of Identities finds fault with contemporary philosophy's reductive relation to science and its attachment to notions of singularity, difference, and multiplicity, which extends this crude approach. Laruelle's new theory of science, its objects, and philosophy, introduces an original vocabulary to elaborate the concepts of determination, fractality, and artificial philosophy, among other ideas, grounded in an understanding of the renewal of identity. Laruelle's work repairs the rift between philosophical and scientific inquiry and rehabilitates the concept of identity that continental philosophers have widely criticized. His argument positions him clearly against Deleuze, Badiou, the new materialists, and other thinkers who stray too far from empirical approaches that might revitalize philosophy's practical applications.
This book articulates the theoretical outlines of a feminism developed from Aristotle's metaphysics, making a new contribution to feminist theory. Readers will discover why Aristotle was not a feminist and how he might have become one, through an investigation of Aristotle and Aristotelian tradition. The author shows how Aristotle's metaphysics can be used to articulate a particularly subtle and theoretically powerful understanding of gender that may offer a highly useful tool for distinctively feminist arguments. This work builds on Martha Nussbaum's 'capabilities approach' in a more explicitly and thoroughly hylomorphist way. The author shows how Aristotle's hylomorphic model, developed to run between the extremes of Platonic dualism and Democritean atomism, can similarly be used today to articulate a view of gender that takes bodily differences seriously without reducing gender to biological determinations. Although written for theorists, this scholarly yet accessible book can be used to address more practical issues and the final chapter explores women in universities as one example. This book will appeal to both feminists with limited familiarity with Aristotle's philosophy, and scholars of Aristotle with limited familiarity with feminism.
Metaphysics: Contemporary Readings is a comprehensive anthology that draws together leading philosophers writing on the major themes in Metaphysics. Chapters appear under the headings:
Modality and Possible Worlds
Realism and Anti-Realism
Allaire, Anscombe, Armstrong, Black, Broad, Casullo, Dummett, Ewing, Heller, Hume, Kripke, Lewis, Mackie, McTaggart, Mellor, Merricks, Parfit, Plantinga, Price, Prior, Putnam, Quine, Russell, Smart, Swinburne, Taylor, Van Cleve, van Inwagen, Williams
Featuring a new section on causation, this new edition is highly accessible and provides a broad-ranging exploration of the subject. Ideal for any philosophy student, this reader will prove essential reading for any metaphysics course. The sections and selections of readings have been updated to complement Michael Loux 's textbook Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction, third edition.
Wolfgang Spohn presents the first full account of the dynamic laws of belief, by means of ranking theory. This book is his long-awaited presentation of ranking theory and its ramifications. He motivates and introduces the basic notion of a ranking function, which recognises degrees of belief and at the same time accounts for belief simpliciter. He provides a measurement theory for ranking functions, accounts for auto-epistemology in ranking-theoretic terms, and explicates the basic notion of a (deductive or non-deductive) reason. The rich philosophical applications of Spohn's theory include: a new account of lawlikeness, an account of ceteris paribus laws, a new perspective on dispositions, a rich and detailed theory of deterministic causation, an understanding of natural modalities as an objectification of epistemic modalities, an account of the experiential basis of belief--and thus a restructuring of the debate on foundationalism and coherentism (and externalism and contextualism)--and, finally, a revival of fundamental a priori principles of reason fathoming the basics of empiricism and the relation between reason and truth, and concluding in a proof of a weak principle of causality. All this is accompanied by thorough comparative discussions, on a general level as well as within each topic, and in particular with respect to probability theory.
"Multiverse" cosmologies imagine our universe as just one of a vast number of others. While this idea has captivated philosophy, religion, and literature for millennia, it is now being considered as a scientific hypothesis-with different models emerging from cosmology, quantum mechanics, and string theory. Beginning with ancient Atomist and Stoic philosophies, Mary-Jane Rubenstein links contemporary models of the multiverse to their forerunners and explores the reasons for their recent appearance. One concerns the so-called fine-tuning of the universe: nature's constants are so delicately calibrated that it seems they have been set just right to allow life to emerge. For some thinkers, these "fine-tunings" are evidence of the existence of God; for others, however, and for most physicists, "God" is an insufficient scientific explanation. Hence the allure of the multiverse: if all possible worlds exist somewhere, then like monkeys hammering out Shakespeare, one universe is bound to be suitable for life. Of course, this hypothesis replaces God with an equally baffling article of faith: the existence of universes beyond, before, or after our own, eternally generated yet forever inaccessible to observation or experiment. In their very efforts to sidestep metaphysics, theoretical physicists propose multiverse scenarios that collide with it and even produce counter-theological narratives. Far from invalidating multiverse hypotheses, Rubenstein argues, this interdisciplinary collision actually secures their scientific viability. We may therefore be witnessing a radical reconfiguration of physics, philosophy, and religion in the modern turn to the multiverse.
Adorno's lectures on ontology and dialectics from 1960-61 comprise his most sustained and systematic analysis of Heidegger's philosophy. They also represent a continuation of a project that he shared with Walter Benjamin - 'to demolish Heidegger'. Following the publication of the latter's magnum opus Being and Time, and long before his notorious endorsement of Nazism at Freiburg University, both Adorno and Benjamin had already rejected Heidegger's fundamental ontology. After his return to Germany from his exile in the United States, Adorno became Heidegger's principal intellectual adversary, engaging more intensively with his work than with that of any other contemporary philosopher. Adorno regarded Heidegger as an extremely limited thinker and for that reason all the more dangerous. In these lectures, he highlights Heidegger's increasing fixation with the concept of ontology to show that the doctrine of being can only truly be understood through a process of dialectical thinking. Rather than exploiting overt political denunciation, Adorno deftly highlights the connections between Heidegger's philosophy and his political views and, in doing so, offers an alternative plea for enlightenment and rationality. These seminal lectures, in which Adorno dissects the thought of one of the most influential twentieth-century philosophers, will appeal to students and scholars in philosophy and critical theory and throughout the humanities and social sciences.
The third edition of Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity has been carefully updated to reflect significant developments, including a new chapter covering important recent work in the foundations of physics. * A new edition of the premier philosophical study of Bell s Theorem and its implication for the relativistic account of space and time * Discusses Roderich Tumiulka s explicit, relativistic theory that can reproduce the quantum mechanical violation of Bell s inequality. * Discusses the "Free Will Theorem" of John Conway and Simon Kochen * Introduces philosophers to the relevant physics and demonstrates how philosophical analysis can help inform physics
This volume discusses the importance of Peirces philosophy and theory of signs to the development of Biosemiotics, the science that studies the deep interrelation between meaning and life. Peirce considered semeiotic as a general logic part of a complex architectonic philosophy that includes mathematics, phenomenology and a theory of reality. The authors are Peirce scholars, biologists, philosophers and semioticians united by an interdisciplinary endeavor to understand the mysteries of the origin of life and its related phenomena such as consciousness, perception, representation and communication."
The philosophy of modality investigates necessity and possibility, and related notions-are they objective features of mind-independent reality? If so, are they irreducible, or can modal facts be explained in other terms? This volume presents new work on modality by established leaders in the field and by up-and-coming philosophers. Between them, the papers address fundamental questions concerning realism and anti-realism about modality, the nature and basis of facts about what is possible and what is necessary, the nature of modal knowledge, modal logic and its relations to necessary existence and to counterfactual reasoning. The general introduction locates the individual contributions in the wider context of the contemporary discussion of the metaphysics and epistemology of modality.
In this revised and updated edition of The Secret Connexion, Galen Strawson explores one of the most discussed subjects in all philosophy: David Hume's work on causation. Strawson challenges the standard view of Hume, according to which he thinks that there is no such thing as causal influence, and that there is nothing more to causation than things of one kind regularly following things things of another kind. He argues that Hume does believe in causal influence, but insists that we cannot know its nature. The regularity theory of causation is indefensible, and Hume never adopted it in any case.
On Philosophy and Philosophers is a volume of unpublished philosophical papers by Richard Rorty, a central figure in late-twentieth-century intellectual debates and a primary force behind the resurgence of American pragmatism. The first collection of new work to appear since his death in 2007, these previously unseen papers advance novel views on metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, philosophical semantics and the social role of philosophy, critically engaging canonical and contemporary figures from Plato and Kant to Kripke and Brandom. This book's diverse offerings, which include technical essays written for specialists and popular lectures, refine our understanding of Rorty's perspective and demonstrate the ongoing relevance of the iconoclastic American philosopher's ground-breaking thought. An introduction by the editors highlights the papers' original insights and contributions to contemporary debates.
Bradford Skow presents an original defense of the 'block universe' theory of time, often said to be a theory according to which time does not pass. Along the way, he provides in-depth discussions of alternative theories of time, including those in which there is 'robust passage' of time or 'objective becoming': presentism, the moving spotlight theory of time, the growing block theory of time, and the 'branching time' theory of time. Skow explains why the moving spotlight theory is the best of these arguments, and rebuts several popular arguments against the thesis that time passes. He surveys the problems that the special theory of relativity has been thought to raise for objective becoming, and suggests ways in which fans of objective becoming may reconcile their view with relativistic physics. The last third of the book aims to clarify and evaluate the argument that we should believe that time passes because, somehow, the passage of time is given to us in experience. He isolates three separate arguments this idea suggests, and explains why they fail.
The nature of emotion is an important question in several philosophical domains, but little attention has so far been paid to identifying the general ontological category to which emotions belong. Given that they are short-lived, are they events? Since they often have components or stages, are they processes? Or does their close link with behaviour mean they are dispositions? In this volume, leading scholars investigate these basic ontological issues, contributing to current discussions about emotions and paving the way for new research into an underexplored area of philosophy. With chapters addressing issues including the temporal profile of emotions, the distinction between emotions and other affective states, and the epistemology of emotion, this highly original book will be valuable for students and specialists of philosophy, and particularly for those working in the metaphysics of mind and emotions.
This masterful work on Kant's Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason explores Kant's treatment of the Idea of God, his views concerning evil, and the moral grounds for faith in God. Kant and Religion works to deepen our understanding of religion's place and meaning within the history of human culture, touching on Kant's philosophical stance regarding theoretical, moral, political, and religious matters. Wood's breadth of knowledge of Kant's corpus, philosophical sharpness, and depth of reflection sheds light not only on Kant, but also on the fate of religion and its relation to philosophy in the modern world.
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