The paper provides a reconstruction of proof by contradiction in Kant’s pure general logic. A seemingly less-explored point of view on this topic is how apagogical proof can account for the formal truth of a judgement. Integrating the argument held by Kjosavik (2019), I intend to highlight how one can use proof by contradiction, conceived as a modus tollens, to establish the logical actuality (logical or formal truth) of a cognition. Although one might agree on the capacity of the proof to prove formal falsity, the logical actuality of a judgement is assessable based on a logically grounded judgement and, as for transcendental logic, this cognitive operation has to presuppose the real possibility of an object.
In the past forty years, epistemology is one of the fastest growing branches of philosophy. Among the new topics studied by epistemologists are peer disagreement, wisdom, know-how, propaganda, understanding and explanation, testimony, epistemic value, collective and extended knowledge, epistemic injustice, and memory. Research on Kant has also grown immensely over the last decades. Given the unique legacy of Kant’s philosophy, and the fact that philosophy always benefits from a serious and sustained engagement with its history one would expect Kantian ideas to figure prominently in contemporary epistemology. But this is not the case. Even bracketing differences in terminology, Kant’s epistemological
In this essay, I discuss three readings of Descartes’ Meditations. According to the first reading, “I exist” is for Descartes the foundation of our knowledge. This reading is dismissed on the grounds that, in his view, as long as God’s existence is not proven there is a good reason to doubt this proposition. Proponents of the second reading claim that there are two kinds of Cartesian knowledge: perfect and imperfect knowledge. The meditator has imperfect knowledge of “I exist” before God’s existence is proven. Subsequently, she acquires perfect knowledge of various metaphysical theorems. This reading is repudiated, too. I argue for a third reading, according to which “I think” – and not “I exist” – is the foundation of our knowledge.
This paper examines the terms ‘elenchos’ and ‘elenchō’ as they occur in the Sophist in order to reveal a refined view of elenchos as a philosophical method. The explicit discussion of elenchos as a method in 226a6–231b8 must be read together with other passages described by these terms. Once this is done, it shall be seen that there are two types of elenchus employed in several ways. The first type, which I identify with the familiar Socratic elenchus, is used to purge false opinions or to arrive at plausible answers to philosophical difficulties. The second type, which appears to be the Stranger’s own method, is used to positively disclose relations between Forms. On this reading, elenchos is not merely destructive or preparatory for dialectic; it also forms a part of it.
Formulations of Anselm’s ontological argument have been the subject of a number of recent studies. We examine these studies in light of Anselm’s text and (a) respond to criticisms that have surfaced in reaction to our earlier representations of the argument, (b) identify and defend a more refined representation of Anselm’s argument on the basis of new research, and (c) compare our representation of the argument, which analyzes that than which none greater can be conceived as a definite description, to a representation that analyzes it as an arbitrary name.
Kant distinguishes concept negation from copula negation. While the latter results in a negative judgement, i.e. a judgement denying a property of certain objects, the former gives rise to a negative concept, such as ‘immortal’. Since Kant’s remarks on concept negation are scattered and inconclusive, five interpretations are worked out and put to the test: logical negation, pseudo-negation, attribution of a zero degree, possibility-restricted negation and genus-restricted negation. Whereas the first four interpretations fail for a number of reasons, genus-restricted negation turns out to be tenable.
Husserl famously argues that it is essential to perception to present the perceived object in perspectives. Hence, there is no – and there cannot be – perception without perspectival givenness. Yet, it seems that there are counterexamples to this essentialist claim, for we seem to be able to imagine beings that do not perceive in perspectives. Recently, there have been some accounts in the literature that critically discuss those counterexamples and assess to what extent they succeed in challenging Husserl’s essentialist claim. In this paper I discuss three different answers to these counterexamples, all of them are found wanting. I offer a novel solution, taking into account some crucial findings of the contemporary debate about imagination and modality. I argue that this new solution is capable of fully vindicating Husserl’s essentialist claim. Finally, I reconstruct Husserl’s own way to treat such counterexamples, in order to showcase the notion of modality Husserlian phenomenology relies on. I argue for the hitherto widely underappreciated point that Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology cannot appeal to strictly absolute modality but that the kind of modality in Husserlian phenomenology is conditional on the facticity that we have the transcendental structure we do in fact have.
Plato’s partition argument infers that the soul has parts from the fact that the soul experiences mental conflict. Alasdair MacIntyre poses a dilemma for the argument that highlights an ambiguity in the concept of mental conflict. According to the first sense of conflict, a soul is in conflict when it has desires whose satisfaction conditions are logically incompatible. According to the second sense of conflict, a soul is in conflict when it has desires which are logically incompatible even when they are unsatisfied. The dilemma is therefore this: if the mental conflict is supposed to be the latter kind of conflict, then the partition argument is valid but is likely unsound; if it’s supposed to be the former kind, then the partition argument has true premises but is invalid. We explain this dilemma in detail and defend a dispositionalist solution to it.