Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

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…

Reichenbach, Russell and the Metaphysics of Induction

Issue: Issue 08 • Author/s: Michael J. Shaffer
Topics: Epistemology, History of Analytic Philosophy, Metaphysics, Philosophical logic

Hans Reichenbach’s pragmatic treatment of the problem of induction in his later works on inductive inference was, and still is, of great interest. However, it has been dismissed as a pseudo-solution and it has been regarded as problematically obscure. This is, in large part, due to the difficulty in understanding exactly what Reichenbach’s solution is supposed to amount to, especially as it appears to offer no response to the inductive skeptic. For entirely different reasons, the significance of Bertrand Russell’s classic attempt to solve Hume’s problem is also both obscure…

Persons, Reasons, and What Matters. Introduction

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: Fabio Patrone
Topics: Metaphysics

Time, Fission, and Personal Identity

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: John Perry
Topics: Metaphysics

I argue that the account I gave of Derek Parfit’s dividing self-case in “Can the Self Divide?” does not depend on a dubious four-dimensionalist metaphysics as claimed by Eric Olson (2006). I explain my metaphysics of time, and then re-describe my solution in “Can the Self Divide?” comparing it to treatments of the dividing selves by Parfit and Lewis.

Parfit’s Metaphysics and What Matters in Survival

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: Eric Olson
Topics: Metaphysics

Derek Parfit takes the central principle of his discussions of personal identity to be “reductionism”: that our existence and persistence are not basic facts, but consist in something else. A number of striking claims, including the famous unimportance of identity, are supposed to follow from it. But they don’t follow. The main principle in Parfit’s arguments is something far more contentious that is never mentioned: a capacious ontology of material things. But the capacious ontology makes trouble for Parfit: it weakens his claim about the unimportance of identity and undermines…

Why Should One Care About One’s Own Future?

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: Julien Bugnon, Martine Nida-Rümelin
Topics: Metaphysics

Our natural attitude is to care about the fate of a future person in a special manner once we know that this person is none other than ourselves. In the present paper, we defend the rationality of that attitude against Parfit’s famous contrary claim that ‘identity does not matter’. We argue that it is intrinsically bad for a conscious subject to have negative experiences, and that one therefore has reasons of a special kind (de se subject-relative reasons) to avoid having such experiences in the future. Our argument makes crucial…

Survival by Redescription: Parfit on Consolation and Death

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: Patrik Hummel
Topics: Metaphysics

Parfit argues that if we come to believe his theory of personal identity, we should care differently about the future. Amongst others, we can redescribe death in ways that make it seem less bad. I consider three challenges to his reasoning. First, according to the Argument from Above, a fact, event, or state of affairs can be good or bad independently of the value or disvalue of its constituents. Death could thus be bad even if R-relatedness matters and some degree of it is gets preserved. Second, I argue that…
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