The article investigates and defends central elements of Quine’s naturalized epistemology. Davidson’s coherentist attacks on Quine’s empiricismare dismissed. The view is advocated that sensory experience plays an essential epistemic role, and that, therefore, the study of perception must be taken seriously in the theory of knowledge. The author rejects, however, Quine’s behavioristic conception of experience as stimulation of sensory receptors and instead argues for a richer conception, according to which an experience is a sensory state of things appearing in certain ways to us. Finally, it is shown that this standpoint allows us to acknowledge a given element in experience without falling victim to a myth.
In the first part of this paper I suggest that Dogmatism about perceptual justification – the view that in the most basic cases, perceptual justification is immediate – commits to rejecting Evidentialism, as it commits, specifically, to accounting for the mechanics of perceptual justification otherwise than by maintaining that perceptual experiences justify by providing evidence. In the second part of the paper, by following W. Hopp’s recent interpretation of Husserl’s Sixth Logical Investigation, I suggest that Husserl’s theory of fulfilment provides the basis of the non-evidential account of the mechanics of perceptual justification needed to vindicate Dogmatism.
What does the way we clarify and revise concepts reveal about the nature of concepts? This paper investigates the ontological commitments of conceptual analysis and explication regarding their supposed subject matter – concepts. It demonstrates the benefits of a cognitivist account of concepts, according to which they are not items on which the subject operates cognitively, but rather ways in which the subject operates. The proposed view helps to handle alternating references to ‘concepts’ and ‘terms’ in instructions on analysis and explication. Furthermore, its virtue lies not in the capacity to render concepts ‘shareable’ but in its ontological parsimony.
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.
Epistemic warrant for Husserl is closely tied to his phenomenological method and his main philosophical theme: intentionality. By investigating the lived experience of intentional givenness he elaborates what being a justificatory reason amounts to and thereby develops his specific conception of epistemic justification: intuitive fulfillment of a signitive intention which achieves evidence as the experienced, subjectively accessible presence of the “thing itself.” Terminologically, Husserl calls this Ausweisung (demonstration, intuitive showing or warrant). The intuitively fulfilled givenness of the intended, its self-givenness, is the ultimate reason for its epistemic justification. For Husserl a “space of reasons” is thus is tied to and made possible only by means of the fundamental accomplishment of intentionality: the conscious presence of the world itself which surpasses the classical epistemological division between inner and outer realm, mind and world. By following Husserl’s development from the Logical Investigations up to his phenomenological version of transcendental idealism, the role of epistemic justification qua demonstration of intuitive fulfillment (Ausweisung) will be spelled out according to the theses above. In the last part of the paper I will examine Husserl’s position with respect to discussions on justification in the Philosophy of Mind and analytic epistemology.
This paper discusses ancient versions of paradoxes today classified as paradoxes of presupposition and how their ancient solutions compare with contemporary ones. Sections 1–4 air ancient evidence for the Fallacy of Complex Question and suggested solutions, introduce the Horn Paradox, consider its authorship and contemporary solutions. Section 5 reconstructs the Stoic solution, suggesting the Stoics produced a Russellian-type solution based on a hidden scope ambiguity of negation. The difference to Russell’s explanation of definite descriptions is that in the Horn Paradox the Stoics uncovered a hidden conjunction rather than existential sentence. Sections 6 and 7 investigate hidden ambiguities in “to have” and “to lose” and ambiguities of quantification based on substitution of indefinite plural expressions for indefinite or anaphoric pronouns, and Stoic awareness of these. Section 8 considers metaphorical readings and allusions that add further spice to the paradox.
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.
This paper offers a novel solution to the long-standing puzzle of why the Canon of Pure Reason maintains, in contradiction to Kant’s position elsewhere in the first Critique, both that practical freedom can be proved through experience, and that the question of our transcendental freedom is properly bracketed as irrelevant in practical matters. The Canon is an a priori investigation of our most fundamental practical capacity. It is argued that Kant intends its starting point to be explanatorily independent of transcendental logic and the ontic more generally, an independence that would be compromised if transcendental freedom were included in that starting point, even in a mode of supposition. In a different sense, however, practical reason precisely is dependent on the ontic: it can be realized only in beings. This species of dependence is used to explain the puzzling claim that practical freedom can be experienced.
This paper examines Du Châtelet’s and Kant’s responses to the famous vis viva controversy – Du Châtelet in her Institutions Physiques (1742) and Kant in his debut, the Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living Forces (1746–49). The Institutions was not only a highly influential contribution to the vis viva controversy, but also a pioneering attempt to integrate Leibnizian metaphysics and Newtonian physics. The young Kant’s evident knowledge of this work has led some to speculate about his indebtedness to her philosophy. My study corrects such speculations as well as misunderstandings of the Living Forces. This corrective result has implications for how to investigate Kant’s relation to the ever-evolving landscape of Leibniz exegeses.