Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Max Black and Backwards Causation

Issue: • Author/s: Brian Garrett
Topics: Metaphysics

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.

Revisiting Moore’s Metaphysics

Issue: Issue 01 • Author/s: Herbert Hochberg
Topics: Metaphysics

The paper reexamines Moore’s early (1890s-1903) metaphysics and critically examines some recent discussion (Bell, MacBride) of both Moore’s metaphysics and the significance of the latter for his more well-known works of the early 20th century. In doing so it focuses on (1) the distinction between natural and non-natural properties, (2) problems regarding universals, relations, particulars, “tropes” and predication, and (3) the matter of “intentionality”—both as issues and as they arise in Moore’s early writings.

Russellian Diagonal Arguments and Other Logico-Mathematical Tools in Metaphysics

Issue: Issue 03 • Author/s: Laureano Luna
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language

In its most general form, a diagonal argument is an argument intending to show that not all objects of a certain class C are in a certain set S, and does so by constructing a diagonal object, that is to say, an object of the class C so defined as to be other than all the objects in S. We revise three arguments inspired by the Russell paradox (an argument against Computationalism, an argument against Physicalism, and a counterargument to the Platonic One Over Many argument), extract its underlying structure,…

The Contemporary Relevance of Peirce’s Views on the Logic and Metaphysics of Relations

Issue: Issue 03 • Author/s: Claudine Tiercelin
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics, Theoretical philosophy

Independently of Frege or Russell, C.S. Peirce made major contributions to the history of the logic and metaphysics of relations. After presenting his metaphysical interpretation of relations and his emphasis on the reality and irreducibility of relations, the paper shows how Peirce’s views are tied to the dispositional realism he defends within a scientific realistic metaphysics, and why they are still relevant for assessing the logical and ontological status of relations, and insightful for the meta-physical agenda to pursue today.

Science, Thought and Nature: Hegel’s Completion of Kant’s Idealism [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 08 • Author/s: Katerina Deligiorgi
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics, Theoretical philosophy

Focusing on Hegel’s engagement with Kant’s theoretical philosophy, the paper shows the merits of its characterisation as “completion”. The broader aim is to offer a fresh perspective on familiar historical arguments and on contemporary discussions of philosophical naturalism by examining the distinctive combination of idealism and naturalism that motivates the priority both authors accord to the topics of testability of philosophical claims and of the nature of the relation between philosophy and the natural science. Linking these topics is a question about how the demands of unification—imposed internally, relative to…

Spiritualized Nature: Hegel on the Transformative Character of Work and History [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 08 • Author/s: David Ciavatta
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics

It is argued that one of Hegel’s main strategies in overcoming the opposition between nature and spirit is to recognize a realm of “spiritualized nature” that has a distinctive ontological character of its own, one that, though it is rooted in nature, must be understood in essentially historical terms. It is argued that for Hegel the activity of work is premised upon a commitment to the independent standing of such spiritualized nature and its historical character, and a detailed reading of Hegel’s account of the slave’s work in the Phenomenology…

Hegel’s Naturalism, the Negative and the First Person Standpoint [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 08 • Author/s: Stefan Bird-Pollan
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics

In this paper I attempt to move the discussion of Hegel’s naturalism past what I present as an impasse between the soft naturalist interpretation of Hegel’s notion of Geist, in which Geist is continuous with nature, and the opposing claim that Geist is essentially normative and self-legislating. In order to do so I suggest we look to the question of value which underlies this dispute. While soft naturalists seek to make sense of value as arising from material nature, those who support the autonomy thesis propose that value is something…

Hegel’s Dialectical Art [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 08 • Author/s: Antón Barba-Kay
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics

Most contemporary accounts of naturalism specify, as one of its necessary conditions, a community within which agents can take themselves to be adequately answerable for and responsible to the norms of autonomous practical reason. But what would it mean to succeed in giving an account of naturalism, absent such social conditions? What does it mean to think about naturalism from a position of relative alienation? My contention is that this incongruity between philosophy and the form of life sustaining it is already present within Hegel’s thought, and that it should…

Hegel’s Fact of Reason: Life and Death in the Experience of Freedom [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 08 • Author/s: Dean Moyar
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics

This paper shows how Hegel transforms Kant’s Fact of Reason argument for freedom, and in particular how Hegel takes over the role of experience and death in Kant’s “Gallows Man” illustration of the Fact. I reconstruct a central thread of the Phenomenology of Spirit in which Hegel develops his view of freedom and practical rationality through a series of life and death experiences undergone by “shapes of consciousness”. While Hegel views his fact of reason as a result of a developmental process rather than as an immediate brute fact, the…

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…
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