Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Age and Self-Knowledge

Issue: • Author/s: Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini
Topics: Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action, Philosophy of mind

This paper proposes an analysis of some possible implications of aging focusing the effects that aging may have on one’s self-knowledge. The goal of the paper is in fact to connect research on aging with different accounts of self-knowledge and put forward the following hypothesis: (i) in the late stages of our lives we adopt a different way of looking at ourselves, and (ii) there are three main factors likely causing this change: cognitive problems (episodic memory impairment), motivational factors (coherence-seeking), and loss of a forward-looking way of structuring our…

Spinoza on Freedom, Feeling Free, and Acting for the Good

Issue: • Author/s: Leonardo Moauro
Topics: Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action, Theoretical philosophy

In the Ethics, Spinoza famously rejects freedom of the will. He also offers an error theory for why many believe, falsely, that the will is free. Standard accounts of his arguments for these claims focus on their efficacy against incompatibilist views of free will. For Spinoza, the will cannot be free since it is determined by an infinite chain of external causes. And the pervasive belief in free will arises from a structural limitation of our self-knowledge: because we are aware of our actions but unaware of their causes, we…

Norm and Failure in Mind and Meaning [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 05 • Author/s: Akeel Bilgrami
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

The paper first gives an argument for the Davidsonian thesis that norms constitute the human mind. Then it shows that that thesis is better formulated by Wittgenstein rather than by Davidson himself. And finally, it uses the Wittgensteinian formulation of the thesis to establish why Davidson was right to further claim that linguistic meaning was not normative despite the human mind being normatively constituted. Through this entire dialectic of the paper, the concept of failure is made central to the argument.

Coping: A Philosophical Exploration

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Federica Berdini
Topics: Ethics, Metaethics, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action

Coping is customarily understood as those thoughts and actions humans adopt while undergoing situations appraised as threatening and stressful, or when people’s sense of who they are and what they should do is significantly challenged. In these cases, coping thoughts and actions help one endure and hopefully overcome these stresses, threats, and/or challenges. Discussions of coping are common among psychologists, but nearly absent from the philosophical literature despite their importance in theories of agency and for closely related concepts like resilience. Building from psychological theories of coping, I offer a…

Toward a General Model of Agency

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Emanuele Martinelli
Topics: Epistemology, Metaethics, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action

Generally speaking, the present literature on agency has been heavily focused on human agency. This approach proves to be very useful for the immediate applications of the philosophy of agency, e.g. to develop a definition ready for use in ethics or political philosophy. However, there are some limitations to this line of thought, as, for instance, it poses too restrictive requirements on agency, like purposefulness, consciousness, or willingness. In this paper, I would like to tackle the question of agency with the need to include non-human agency in mind. I…