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Scholars often assert that Plato and Aristotle share the view that discursive thought (dianoia) is internal speech (TIS). However, there has been little work to clarify or substantiate this reading. In this paper I show Plato and Aristotle share some core commitments about the relationship of thought and speech, but cash out TIS in different ways. Plato and Aristotle both hold that discursive thinking is a process that moves from a set of doxastic states to a final doxastic state. The resulting judgments (doxai) can be true or false. Norms govern these final judgments and, in virtue of that, they govern the process that arrives at those judgments. The principal norm is consistency. However, the philosophers differ on the source of this norm. For Plato, persuasiveness and accuracy ground non-contradiction because internal speech is dialogical. For Aristotle, the Principle of Non-Contradiction grounds a Doxastic Thesis (DT) that no judgment can contradict itself. For Aristotle, metaphysics grounds non-contradiction because internal speech is monological.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
Author: Arthur Kok

This contribution investigates whether Hegel’s critique of social contract theory is still applicable to contemporary contract theory proposed by, e. g., Rawls and Nozick. At first sight, they seem to have overcome the problems identified by Hegel because Rawls and Nozick appropriate the social contract as something essentially rational and normative (though in different ways). I argue, however, that for Hegel, their appeal to rational argumentation is not compatible with the concreteness of human individuals. A revised reading of the master/ bondsman-relation, emphasizing the role of the “fear of death”, shows the limited scope of contemporary contract theory.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

In Plato’s Euthyphro, Euthyphro proposes to analyse the pious as that which is beloved of the gods. In the most widely discussed argument of the dialogue, Socrates tries to show that Euthyphro’s analysis fails. The argument crucially involves an ingenious use of the explanatory connective ‘because’ (ὃτι). This paper presents a detailed reconstruction and defence of the argument. It starts with a rigorous analysis of its logical form, explains and justifies its premises, and closes with a defence of the argument against the strongest common objection.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

The question of the relationship between faith and reason marks one of the fundamental issues for classical German philosophy. The paper is guided by a systematic interest in identifying some common features in the approaches taken by Kant and Hegel that are also of interest for the contemporary discussion: 1. The specific modernity of Kant’s and Hegel’s considerations, evident in their rejection of the resources traditionally appealed to by religion and rationalist metaphysics; 2. the anti-naturalist conviction that, in contrast to animals, a metaphysical dimension is inscribed into the human mind; and 3. the thesis that metaphysical questions are existential questions arising from an impulse toward freedom, and hence that a purely theoretical approach is inadequate to address them.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

In order to understand Hegel’s form of philosophical reflection in general, we must read his ‘speculative’ sentences about spirit and nature, rationality and reason, the mind and its embodiment as general remarks about conceptual topics in topographical overviews about our ways of talking about ourselves in the world. The resulting attitude to traditional metaphysics gets ambivalent in view of the insight that Aristotle’s prima philosophia is knowledge of human knowledge, developed in meta-scientific reflections on notions like ‘nature’ and ‘essence’, ‘reality’ (or ‘being’) and ‘truth’, about ‘powers’ and ‘faculties’ – and does not lead by itself to an object-level theory about spiritual things like the soul. We therefore cannot just replace critical metaphysics of the human mind by empirical investigation of human behaviour as empiricist approaches to human cognition in naturalized epistemologies do and neuro-physiological explanations propose. Making transcendental forms and material presuppositions of conceptually informed perception and experience explicit needs some understanding of figurative forms of speech in our logical reflections and leads to other forms of knowledge than empirical observation and theory formation.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

The main aim of this paper is to analyse Hegel’s theory of cognitive reference to the world and, in particular, Hegel’s theory of sensation (Empfindung), in order to verify whether it implies metaphysical commitments (and, if so, to what extent). I will pursue my goal by investigating the problem of sensation in Hegel’s philosophy starting from McDowell’s conception of the relation between mind and world and from his theory of perception. In my view, this strategy offers a threefold advantage that will enable us to do the following: i) persuasively interpret the Hegelian theory of sensation; ii) better understand the authenticity and the limits of McDowell’s ‘Hegelianism’; iii) place the Hegelian theory of sensation within the complex contemporary debate on the status of sensible experience.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

To which extent is it justified to adopt Kant as a godfather of cognitive science? To prepare the stage for an answer of this question, we need to set aside Kant’s general transcendental approach to the mind which is radically anti-empiricist and instead turn our attention to his specific topics and claims regarding the mind which are often not focus of Kant’s epistemological investigations. If someone is willing to take this stance, it turns out that there are many bridges connecting Kant with contemporary cognitive science. We investigate possible bridges suggested in the literature between some of Kant’s central claims about consciousness, mental content, and functions of mind, and some specific treatments of these topics in contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science. While doing so, we offer additional arguments for some proposed bridges, reconstruct others and completely destroy still other bridges by demonstrating that some suggested links between Kant and cognitive science remain only apparent.

In: History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis