Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

Frederick Kroon in Issue 2

Millianism and the Problem of Empty Descriptions

Philosophy of language

Empty names present Millianism with a well-known problem: it implies that sentences containing such names fail to express (fully determinate) propositions. The present paper argues that empty descriptions present Millianism with another problem. The paper describes this problem, shows why Millians should be worried, and provides a Millian-friendly solution. The concluding section draws some lessons about how all this affects Millianism and the problem of empty names.

Kevin Mulligan in Issue 2

Happiness, Luck and Satisfaction

Philosophy of mind

In some of its many forms, happiness is no emotion. But there is also an emotion of happiness which, like other emotions, has correctness conditions. The correctness conditions of happiness differ in several respects, formal and non-formal, from those of emotions such as admiration, fear and indignation. The account given here of the correctness conditions of happiness suggests an account of happiness as a species of satisfaction and an account…

Philip Pettit in Issue 2

The Democratic Riddle

Political philosophy

Democracy means popular control, by almost all accounts. And by almost all accounts democracy entails legitimacy. But popular control, at least as that is understood in many discussions, does not entail  legitimacy. So something has got to give. Democratic theories divide on what this is, so that the question prompts a taxonomy of approaches. The most appealing answer, so the paper suggests, involves a reinterpretation of the notion of popular…

Hilary Putnam in Issue 2

Reading Rosenzweig’s Little Book

Philosophy of religion, Theoretical philosophy

In this article the author addresses the issues that Franz Rosenzweig raises in his Büchlein as they affect the former’s own very personal manifestation of Judaism. The article therefore covers not only the contents of the “little book”, but aims more generally to say something about aspects of Rosenzweig’s thought that the author finds problematic. The article begins by looking at three notions that are often used in connection with…

Hillel Steiner in Issue 2

Unreasonableness and Rights: On Quong’s Liberalism without Perfection

Philosophy of law, Political philosophy

This article argues that Quong’s Liberalism without Perfection errs in claiming that the grounds for enforceably prohibiting unreasonable conduct are that it is unreasonable. What grounds that prohibition is, rather, that such conduct violates independently determined distributively just rights. Political liberalism presupposes a theory of distributive justice.

Maria Cristina Amoretti, Francesca Ervas in Issue 2

New Trends in Philosophy of Mind and Epistemology: An Overview [Special Issue]


The seven papers included in this special issue of Argumenta might be ideally divided into two parts. On the one hand, this issue collects four contributions dealing with some important topics in Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of language: the modularity of mind (the connections between the “pragmatic” module and epistemic vigilance mechanisms), the problem of perception and its link with action (the alleged anti-representational character of enactivism), the nature…

Diana Mazzarella in Issue 2

Pragmatics, modularity and epistemic vigilance [Special Issue]

Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

The cognitive revolution, which from the early ’60s shaped the domains of linguistics, anthropology, psychology and related disciplines, manifested its effect in the field of pragmatics with the seminal work of Sperber and Wilson (1986/1995). Among many other issues, Sperber and Wilson brought to the attention of the pragmatics community the question of the place of pragmatic abilities in the overall architecture of the mind. At that time, Fodor had…

Gabriele Ferretti, Mario Alai in Issue 2

Enactivism, Representations and Canonical Neurons [Special Issue]

Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

Enactivists often claim that since perception is one with action, it does not involve representations, hence perception is direct. Here we argue that empirical evidence on neural activity in the ventral premotor cortex confirms the enactivist intuitions about the unity of action and perception. But this very unity requires the detection of the action possibilities offered by the objects in the environment, which in turn involves certain representational processes at…

Takuya Niikawa in Issue 2

Naïve Realism and the Explanatory Role of Visual Phenomenology [Special Issue]

Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

This paper argues that naïve realism has an epistemic advantage over other rival views. The argument consists of two steps. First, I argue that the phenomenology of veridical visual experience plays an indispensable role in explaining how we can refer to the experience as a justificatory reason for a demonstrative judgment. Second, I argue that only naïve realism can coherently allow a veridical visual experience to be used as a…

François Kammerer in Issue 2

Conscious Experiences as Ultimate Seemings: Renewing the Phenomenal Concept Strategy [Special Issue]

Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

The Phenomenal Concept Strategy is a popular strategy used to support physicalism in the realm of conscious experience. This Strategy accounts for dualist intuitions but uses the ways in which we think about our experiences to explain these intuitions in a physicalist framework, without any appeal to ontological dualism. In this paper, I will raise two issues related to the currently available versions of the Phenomenal Concept Strategy. First, most…