Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

Towards Reconciling Two Heroes: Habermas and Hegel

Issue: Issue 01 • Author/s: Robert B. Brandom
Topics: Meta-Philosophy

I describe my engagement with Habermas’s ideas, and sketch a way of reading of Hegel that I take to be consonant with the deepest lessons I have learned from Habermas. I read Hegel as having a social, linguistic theory of normativity, and an exclusively retrospective conception of progress and the sense in which history exhibits teleological normativity.

Some Remarks on Philosophy and on Wittgenstein’s Conception of Philosophy and its Misinterpretation

Issue: Issue 01 • Author/s: Peter Hacker
Topics: Meta-Philosophy

The paper advances a broadly Wittgensteinian conception of the nature and limits of philosophy. It differs from Wittgenstein over the claims that (i) philosophical problems arise only when language is idling; (ii) that philosophy does not result in new knowledge: it does. But the new knowledge does not concern the nature of the world, but the character of our forms of description of the world, and its form is not discovery but realisation. (iii) in the domain of practical philosophy further considerations come into play that are not budgeted for…

True but Also Not True

Issue: Issue 03 • Author/s: Stefano Boscolo, Giulia Pravato
Topics: Meta-Philosophy, Theoretical philosophy

We present three ways of expressing a possible interpretative uncertainty of the truth predicate: ambiguity, context-sensitivity and semantic indeterminacy. Next, we examine Kölbel (2008)’s pluralist view that “true” is ambiguous between a substantialist concept and a deflationist concept, and that it is ambiguous as the word “dog” is between “male dog” and “canine”. Our main goal is to show that Kölbel’s thesis does not withstand empirical scrutiny in the sense that “true” fails most of the well-established tests for ambiguity (conjunction-reduction, contradiction, and ellipsis). In addition, we reformulate Kölbel’s thesis…

Literature and Practical Knowledge

Issue: Issue 03 • Author/s: Pascal Engel
Topics: Aesthetics, Meta-Philosophy, Theoretical philosophy

This article defends literary cognitivism, the view that literature can convey genuine propositional knowledge, in the form of propositions which are (i) true (ii) justified and (iii) have aesthetic value because they convey such knowledge. I reply to familiar objections to this view, and reformulate it as the thesis that literary knowledge is a form practical knowledge that is only derivatively propositional. I attempt to apply some ideas to be found in Stanley’s and Williamson’s conception of knowing how. Literary knowledge is a kind of practical knowing how of propositions…

Conspiracy Theorists and Monological Belief Systems [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 06 • Author/s: Kurtis Hagen
Topics: Epistemology, Meta-Philosophy, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

Recent scholarship has claimed to show that conspiracy theorists are prone to simultaneously believe mutually contradictory conspiracy theories, as well as believe entirely made up conspiracy theories. The authors of those studies suggest that this supports the notion that conspiracy theories operate within “monological belief systems”, in which conspiracy theorists find support for conspiratorial beliefs in other conspiratorial beliefs, or in related generalizations, rather than in evidence directly relevant to the conspiracy in question. In this article, I argue that all of that is either wrong or at least misleading.

Some Limits to Hegel’s Appeal to Life [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 08 • Author/s: Andrew Werner
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Meta-Philosophy, Metaphysics, Philosophical logic

For two hundred years, people have been trying to make sense of Hegel’s so-called “dialectical method”. Helpfully, Hegel frequently compares this method with the idea of life, or the organic (cf., e.g., PhG 2, 34, 56). This comparison has become very popular in the literature (in, e.g., Pippin, Beiser, and Ng). Typically, scholars who invoke the idea of life also note that the comparison has limits and that no organic analogy can completely explain the nature of the dialectical method. To my knowledge, however, no scholar has attempted to explain…

Contexts: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Context (But Were Afraid to Ask) [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Diana Mazzarella, Antonio Negro, Carlo Penco
Topics: Introduction, Meta-Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

We give a short recap of how the notion of context has been developed in the philosophy of language since its introduction by Frege. We introduce various aspects of the concept of context: context of utterance, context at the semantics-pragmatics boundary, and social and cognitive context. We thereby offer to readers not accustomed to the distinctions used in the philosophy of language a framework to better understand the papers enclosed in this issue (and of which we provide summaries at the end of this introduction).

Directives and Context [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Tadeusz Ciecierski, Paweł Grabarczyk
Topics: Meta-Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

The paper aims to add contextual dependence to the new directival theory of meaning, a functional role semantics based on Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz’s directival theory of meaning. We show that the original formulation of the theory does not have a straight answer on how the meaning of indexicals and demonstratives is established. We illustrate it in the example of some problematic axiomatic and inferential directives containing indexicals. We show that the main reason why developing the new directival theory of meaning in this direction is difficult is that the theory focuses…

Proper Names as Demonstratives [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Maciej Tarnowski
Topics: Epistemology, Meta-Philosophy, Philosophy of language

The paper considers the hypothesis that proper names are simple demonstratives. In the first part, I provide the general motivation for an indexical treatment of proper names as well as assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing indexical accounts. The second part is devoted to proposing a new account that treats proper names as simple demonstratives, where referents are determined by the speaker’s referential intention. In my proposal, I use the hybrid approach toward indexical expressions developed by Wolfgang Künne (1992) and Stefano Predelli (2006). I argue that this approach…

Metaphor Identification beyond Discourse Coherence [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Inés Crespo, Andreas Heise, Claudia Picazo
Topics: Epistemology, Meta-Philosophy, Philosophy of language

In this paper, we propose an account of metaphor identification on the basis of contextual coherence. In doing so, we build on previous work by Nicholas Asher and Alex Lascarides that appeals to rhetorical relations in order to explain discourse structure and the constraints on the interpretation of metaphor that follow from it. Applying this general idea to our problem, we will show that rhetorical relations are sometimes insufficient and sometimes inadequate for deciding whether a given utterance is a case of metaphor. They are insufficient, since rhetorical relations fall…
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