Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Intra-Personal Compromises

Issue: • Author/s: Juha Räikkä
Topics: Epistemology, Ethics, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action, Political philosophy

The most usual philosophical questions about compromises have been those related to inter-personal compromises, in which parties are compromising with each other, rather than intra-personal compromises, which are often psychologically demanding. This paper aims to fill the gap in the discussion and briefly analyze the nature of intra-personal compromises. The starting point here is the assumption that inter-personal compromises cannot be made without intra-personal compromises, although intra-personal compromises are common even when they are not linked to inter-personal compromises. The main question addressed in the paper is whether the intra-personal…

Is Intentionality a Relation? A Dialogue

Issue: • Author/s: Angela Mendelovici, David Bourget
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

This dialogue explores the question of whether intentionality––the “ofness”, “aboutness”, or “directedness” of mental states––is a relation. We explore three views: the Naive View, on which intentionality is a relation to ordinary, everyday objects, facts, and other such items; the Abstract Contents View, on which intentionality is a relation to mind-independent abstract entities; and the Aspect View, on which intentionality is a matter of having intentional states with particular (non-relational) aspects that are our contents. We consider the challenges facing these views, which include empirical challenges in accounting for all…

Is Psychologism Unavoidable in a Phenomenologically Adequate Account of Mental Content?

Issue: • Author/s: Elisabetta Sacchi
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

In my paper I focus on psychologism in the theory of mental content and critically consider a variety of it—“intentional psychologism” (Pitt 2009)—that has recently entered the stage in the philosophy of mind literature. My aim is twofold. First, I want to provide a critical evaluation of this new variety of psychologism, considering in particular whether it is immune from (some of) the most famous classical criticisms. Secondly, I want to provide a diagnosis of what ultimately motivates the current revival of the “psychologistic attitude”. My aim in so doing…

It Is Impossible to Be Able to Do the Impossible

Issue: • Author/s: Marco Hausmann
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Philosophical logic, Theoretical philosophy

Jack Spencer has recently argued that somebody might be able to do the impossible.  In response, Anthony Nguyen has argued against Spencer’s arguments. In this paper, I do not argue against Spencer’s arguments. Instead, I argue directly against Spencer’s thesis. In the first part of my paper, I develop an argument that suggests that it is implausible that somebody is able to do the impossible (because somebody who is able to do the impossible would be able to do something that would have incredible consequences). In the second part of…

Liberal Naturalism, Human Sciences, and Psychoanalysis

Issue: • Author/s: Ricardo Navia
Topics: Epistemology, Meta-Philosophy, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

In this text I intend to show to what extent a certain epistemological understanding of psychoanalysis (fundamentally Freudian) finds parallels with the so-called liberalization process of epistemological naturalism. My thesis is that the sui generis epistemological modalities created by Freud not only coincide with this process, but to a significant degree were precursors of the methodological and ontological innovations that LN (liberal naturalism) proposes to defend and theorize. I begin by reviewing the process of liberalization of epistemic naturalism, from a predominantly physicalist model to a liberal version that takes…

Locke on Free Will and Epistemic Responsibility

Issue: • Author/s: Samuel C. Rickless
Topics: Epistemology, Ethics, Metaethics, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action, Theoretical philosophy

This article summarizes John Locke’s considered views on freedom, explaining that freedom is a power of the mind to act in accordance with its volitions, that freedom is a power that can belong only to substances, that we have the freedom to will in many cases, including the power to hold our wills undetermined and thereby suspend the prosecution of our desires.  This is a seemingly reasonable account of how our minds work, and should work, when we make (important) decisions.  But Locke takes us to be morally responsible and…

Meta-Ethical Outlook on Animal Behaviours

Issue: • Author/s: Sanjit Chakraborty
Topics: Epistemology, Ethics, Metaethics, Moral Philosophy

The nominal ground that entwines human beings and animal behaviours is unwilling to admit moral valuing as a non-human act. Just to nail it down explicitly, two clauses ramify the moral conscience of human beings as follows: a) Can non-humans be moral beings?, b) Unconscious animal behaviours go beyond any moral judgments. My approach aims to rebuff these anthropomorphic clauses by justifying animals’ moral beings and animals’ moral behaviours from a meta-ethical stance. A meta-ethical outlook may enable an analysis of ethical and normative views through the limit of moral…

Prescribing Race: No Blank Scripts for Using Race and Ethnicity in Health

Issue: • Author/s: Phila Msimang
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of Race, Theoretical philosophy

Recent research shows that the inappropriate use of race and ethnicity in healthcare leads to poor patient outcomes. Contemporaneous work shows that accounting for inequalities caused by discrimination often requires the use of race and ethnicity as variables that are mediated in their effects by discrimination along those dimensions of identity and/or classification. This suggests that the appropriateness of using racial and ethnic group descriptors depends on context. This paper explores some contexts in which the use of racial and ethnic group descriptors may be appropriate, and the limitations thereof.…

Questioning, Rather Than Solving, the Problem of Higher-Level Causation

Issue: • Author/s: Erica Onnis
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Theoretical philosophy

In Metaphysical Emergence, Jessica Wilson recognises the problem of higher-level causation as “the most pressing challenge to taking the appearances of emergent structure as genuine” (2021: 39). Then, Wilson states that there are “two and only two strategies of response to this problem” (2021: 40) that lead to Strong and Weak emergence. In this paper, I suggest that there might be an alternative strategy—not opposite, but different in kind—to approach this difficulty. As noticed by Wilson, the problem of higher-level causation was formulated and made central by Jaegwon Kim. However,…

Race in Medicine: Moving Beyond the United States

Issue: • Author/s: Azita Chellappoo
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Biology, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of Race, Philosophy of science

Debates over the use of racial categories in medicine have, thus far, been largely focused on cases and considerations occurring in the United States. However, race is used in medical settings in many places outside the US. I argue that the US focus leads to important limitations in our ability to understand and intervene on issues of race in medicine in other areas of the world. I draw on work from metaphysics of race debates to indicate why transnational continuities and discontinuities in race present a problem for US focused…
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