Aristotle tells us that the Nicomachean Ethics (= NE ) is an “inquiry” and an “investigation” ( methodos and zētēsis , see NE 1094b10–11, 1102a12–15). One important way that the work comprises an investigation is that it is a prolonged search for the definition of
This book investigates whether knowledge is closed under known entailment. Traditionally it has been assumed that if a person knows some proposition p and also knows that this proposition entails another proposition q, then by inferring q from p that person would gain knowledge of q. This so-called ‚Principle of Deductive Closure‘ is of intrinsic interest because, if true, it expresses an important structural characteristic of knowledge. Challenges to this principle of deductive closure have been formulated by Fred Dretske and Robert Nozick, among others. Most replies to these challenges, as well as the challenges themselves, make explicit or implicit use of the idea that our knowledge claims are not invariant, but relative to a context. Therefore, a substantial part of the book is devoted to an analysis of contextualism and a criticism of the current contextualistic accounts. Once developed, the account is then used to answer the challenge to the principle of deductive closure. Epistemic contextualism results in a limited closure principle.
Advances in the neurosciences have ethical and social implications which need careful consideration from an interdisciplinary perspective: The present book allows readers with different backgrounds gaining a better understanding of recent progress in the neurosciences and their implications. It first introduces to thinking in applied ethics and offers an approach that does justice to challenges from the neurosciences. State-of-the-art scientific work is discussed with respect to its implications for the individual and society. Methods of brain monitoring are explained looking at potentials and limitations as well as at implications of applications. Second, the wide field of brain manipulation is analysed with a focus on psychopharmacological enhancement. The discussion includes investigation of our capacity to handle the options opened to us, safety issues, the role of social pressures, equality of opportunity and distributive justice, as well as questions of the concept of normality, authenticity and naturalness. The book highlights crucial challenges for the individual, policy, law, and society emerging from neuroscientiﬁc and neurotechnological advances.The approach avoids problematic neuro-reductionism and is aware of promises and perils of neuroscientific progress. It thus balances overly sceptical with overenthusiastic positions by offering a profound analysis of scientific and ethical issues.
The book shows the relevance of meta-ethical and metaphysical considerations to determine the nature of law and the connection between objective moral and legal judgements. The investigation analyses the legal theories of Ronald Dworkin, Jürgen Habermas and Michael Moore. The conclusion of the scrutiny is that the discussed views fail to explain the plausible links between objective moral and legal judgements. The lesson to learn from the failure of these philosophical perspectives is that we need to revise fundamental meta-ethical conceptions within law. In addition to the view that meta-ethical and metaphysical considerations play a central role in our understanding of objective moral and legal judgements, we enforce the idea that it is necessary to revise our meta-ethical and metaphysical premises in jurisprudence. Epistemic and meta-ethical abstinence in legal theory, in this way, is challenged by a number of criticisms. The outcome of our reflection is that in legal theory, as in many other disciplines, we need to take truth and objectivity seriously.
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.
Freges Konzeption der Existenz zählt zu seinen einflussreichsten und originellsten Beiträgen zur Philosophie. In diesem Buch wird Freges Konzeption neu interpretiert, historisch eingeordnet, mit den wichtigsten verwandten Konzeptionen verglichen und einer detaillierten systematischen Kritik unterzogen. „Die sogenannte ‘Frege-Russell-Theorie der Existenz’, dass Existenz eine Eigenschaft von Eigenschaften ist, gilt als eine der wichtigsten Errungenschaften der analytischen Philosophie. Angesichts der philosophischen Bedeutung der Frege-Russell Theorie ist es überraschend, dass es bisher keine Monographie gibt, die sich ihrer Entwicklung und den Argumenten für sie widmet. Ramis Buch füllt eben diese Lücke. Es wirft neues Licht auf Freges Texte und entwickelt eine originelle, Frege-inspirierte Theorie der Existenz.“ - Mark Textor „Dieses Buch stellt eine neue Konzeption der Existenz vor, die sich aus der Kritik an Freges Auffassung herleitet: Das Kernstück ist eine neue und sehr differenzierte Interpretation, der zufolge Frege zwischen einem Begriff erster Stufe und einem Begriff zweiter Stufe der Existenz unterscheidet.“ - Dirk Greimann
In Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, one can find a number of remarks that could be seen as antithetical to classic philosophical analysis. There are passages seemingly rejecting the ideas of concept decomposition, regression to first principles, and semantic substitution. The criticism, I argue, is aimed not at analysis in particular, but rather at some idealizations that pervade a certain picture of philosophy. This picture can be contrasted with Wittgenstein’s pragmatist view of explanations of meaning which, I believe, can inform a different attitude towards philosophical method that aligns well with a vision of philosophy as conversation. If we think of philosophy as engaging in the development and exchange of explanations of meaning, we can see how various methods can coexist insofar as they are useful, and as long as the urge to sublimate them beyond our practices can be avoided.
Husserl introduces a phenomenological concept called “motivation” early in the First Investigation of his magnum opus, the Logical Investigations. The importance of this concept has been overlooked since Husserl passes over it rather quickly on his way to an analysis of the meaningful nature of expression. I argue, however, that motivation is essential to Husserl’s overall project, even if it is not essential for defining expression in the First Investigation. For Husserl, motivation is a relation between mental acts whereby the content of one act make some further meaningful content probable. I explicate the nature of this relation in terms of “evidentiary weight” and differentiate it from Husserl’s notion of Evidenz, often translated as “self-evidence”. I elucidate the importance of motivation in Husserl’s overall phenomenological project by focusing on his analyses of thing-perception and empathy. Through these examples, we can better understand the continuity between the Logical Investigations and Husserl’s later work.
An act’s form of apprehension (Auffassungsform) determines whether it is a perception, an imagination, or a signitive act. It must be distinguished from the act’s quality, which determines whether the act is, for instance, assertoric, merely entertaining, wishing, or doubting. The notion of form of apprehension is explained by recourse to the so-called content-apprehension model (Inhalt-Auffassung Schema); it is characteristic of the Logical Investigations that in it all objectifying acts are analyzed in terms of that model. The distinction between intuitive and signitive acts is made, and the notion of saturation (Fülle) is described, by recourse to the notion of form of apprehension.