Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

Olympians and Vampires: Talent, Practice, and Why Most of Us ‘Don’t Get It’

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Alessandra Buccella
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of Sport, Theoretical philosophy

Why do some people become WNBA champions or Olympic gold medalists and others do not? What is ‘special’ about those very few incredibly skilled athletes, and why do they, in particular, get to be special? In this paper, I attempt to make sense of the relationship that there is, in the case of sports champions, between so-called ‘talent’, i.e. natural predisposition for particular physical activities and high-pressure competition, and practice/training. I will articulate what I take to be the ‘mechanism’ that allows certain people to rise to the Olympus of…

Max Black and Backwards Causation

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Brian Garrett
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology

In this discussion I point out that Max Black offers not one but two arguments against the (logical/metaphysical) possibility of backwards causation. Although both arguments fail in their intended aim, they show something of importance, viz., that defenders of backwards causation should understand Black’s Houdini example (and others like it) in terms of the ‘multiple causes’ model.

A Skeptical Approach to the Audibility of Semantic Properties

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Elvira Di Bona
Topics: Aesthetics, Cognitive science, Epistemology, Ontology, Philosophy of language

The issue of whether we can auditorily perceive meanings (or semantic properties) expressed in a language we understand has been approached through arguments based either on theoretical reasoning or the discussion of psychological effects. I am skeptical about the use of either type of argument. In this paper, I will first explain the limitations of the standard theoretical argument: the phenomenal contrast method. As for psychological phenomena, I will discuss semantic satiation and the Stroop effect. I will summarize why semantic satiation has already been dismissed and, based on said…

The Debate on the Problem of For-Me-Ness: A Proposed Taxonomy

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Alberto Barbieri
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

Several philosophers claim that a mental state is phenomenally conscious only if it exhibits so-called for-me-ness, or subjective character, i.e., the fact that there is something it is like to be in a conscious state not just for everyone but only for the subject who undergoes it. Consequently, they stress, a proper explanation of consciousness requires to address the question of what the nature of for-me-ness is. This question forms what I call the problem of for-me-ness. Although the debate on the problem of for-me-ness has assumed a centre stage…

Kant on the Analyticity of Logic

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Costanza Larese
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

This paper calls into question the traditional interpretation that logic is, according to Kant, analytic. On the basis of a reconstruction of the salient features of both Kant’s theory of analyticity and conception of pure general logic, it is shown that Kant does not apply the analytic-synthetic distinction to logical judgments at all. Moreover, applying Kant’s definitions beyond his reasons for leaving the matter unsolved leads to the result that many logical judgments are neither analytic nor synthetic.

The Paradox of Infallibility

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Daniel Rönnedal
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language

This paper discusses a new paradox, the paradox of infallibility. Let us define infallibility in the following way: (Def I) t is infallible if and only if (iff) everything t believes is true, where t is any term. (Def I) entails the following proposition: (I) It is necessary that for every individual x, x is infallible iff every proposition x believes is true. However, (I) seems to be inconsistent with the following proposition (P): It is possible that there is some individual who believes exactly one proposition, namely that she…

Reconsidering an Ontology of Properties for Quantum Theories [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Emanuele Rossanese
Topics: Epistemology, Logic, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of science

Da Costa, Lombardi and Lastiri (2013) have proposed an ontology of properties for non-relativistic quantum mechanics within the structure of the modal-Hamiltonian interpretation of the theory. Recently, this proposal has been developed in order to discuss the nature of entanglement and indistinguishability in such an ontology (Fortin and Lombardi 2022) and to explain how particles emerge from an ontology of properties (Lombardi and Dieks 2016). Oldofredi (2021) has also proposed an ontology of properties for Relational Quantum Mechanics. The aim of my paper is then to discuss an ontology of…

Book Reviews

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Marco Facchin, Andrea Lavazza, Giacomo Zanotti
Topics: book reviews, Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind

The Affective and Practical Consequences of Presentism and Eternalism

Issue: Issue 17 • Author/s: Mauro Dorato
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of science, Theoretical philosophy

In the dispute between presentism and eternalism, the affective dimensions of the debate have been somewhat neglected. Contemporary philosophers of time have not tried to relate these ontological positions with two of the most discussed maxims in the history of ethics—“live in the present” vs. “look at your life under the aspect of the eternity” (sub specie aeternitatis)—that since the Hellenistic times have been regarded as strictly connected with them. Consequently, I raise the question of whether the endorsement of one of these two ontological views can make a practical…

A Note on the Grandfather Paradox

Issue: Issue 17 • Author/s: Brian Garrett
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Theoretical philosophy

In this note, I am critical of some aspects of David Lewis’s resolution of the Grandfather Paradox. In particular, I argue that Lewis gives the wrong explanation of Tim’s inability to kill Grandfather, and that the correct explanation makes essential reference to the self-undermining character of Tim’s grampicide.
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