Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

I Don’t Feel like That! A Phenomenology-Free Approach to Moods

Issue: • Author/s: Daniele Cassaghi
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

People in moods usually claim that they feel in a certain way, and yet they also say that moods are undirected states. If one takes these reports at face value, moods are a counterexample to representationalism, namely the doctrine of a necessary connection between phenomenal character and content. The standard representationalist answer is to deny moods’ undirectedness in order to capture the phenomenal character of moods. I go in the opposite direction: I will deny moods’ phenomenal character and secure moods’ undirectedness instead. I will show that both our folk-psychological…

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…

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…

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,…

Social Groups and the Problem of Persistence through Change

Issue: • Author/s: Giulia Lasagni
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Theoretical philosophy

The persistence of social groups through change is a matter of debate in social ontology. While mereological approaches contend that social groups persist if formed by the same members, other accounts leaning towards structuralism find that what ensures the persistence of social groups is instead continuity of structure. The aim of this paper is to challenge the idea that a structuralist account is bound to hold that continuity of structure is necessary and sufficient condition for persistence. First, I consider membership changes. I argue that for structure-based metaphysics, not all…

Taking Phenomenology at Face Value: The Priority of State Consciousness in Light of the For-me-ness of Experience

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

An important distinction lies between consciousness attributed to creatures, or subjects, (creature consciousness) and consciousness attributed to mental states (state consciousness). Most contemporary theories of consciousness aim at explaining what makes a mental state conscious, paying scant attention to the problem of creature consciousness. This attitude relies on a deeper, and generally overlooked, assumption that once an explanation of state consciousness is provided, one has also explained all the relevant features of creature consciousness. I call this the priority of state consciousness thesis (PSC). In this paper, I want to…

The Feelings of Presence, Reality, and Virtuality

Issue: • Author/s: Jérôme Dokic
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

This essay focuses on the feeling of presence, its relation to the feeling of reality, and the implication and alterations of both types of feelings in virtual reality environments. The feeling of presence is a pervasive aspect of our ordinary experience of the world, although it does not always accompany what otherwise seem like genuine perceptual experiences. It involves the feeling that objects are available to bodily action, but also the experience of being spatially connected to them and the experience of self-identification with a living body. It is often…

The Realist Dilemma: A Critical Discussion of the Illusionist-Realist Dialectic

Issue: • Author/s: Arianna Beghetto
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

This paper has two objectives. The first is to critically analyze the illusionist-realist debate about the existence of phenomenal consciousness. The second objective is to show that refuting illusionism is not as easy as most realists suppose. Many realists argue that illusionism is incoherent because it entails the falsity of a thesis that they take to be irrefutably true: when it comes to phenomenal properties, their appearance and their reality are indistinguishable. I label this thesis “No-Gap”. I explain that illusionists can oppose No-Gap, and accordingly conceive of introspection as…

The Thesis of Revelation in the Philosophy of Mind: A Guide for the Perplexed

Issue: • Author/s: Bruno Cortesi
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

The thesis of experiential revelation—Rev for brevity—in the philosophy of mind claims that to have an experience—i.e., to be acquainted with it—is to know its nature. It is widely agreed that although at least moderate versions of Rev might strike one as plausible and perhaps even appealing, at least up to a certain extent, most of them are nonetheless inconsistent with almost any coherent form of physicalism about the mind. Thus far, the issue of the alleged tension between Rev and physicalism has mostly been put in the relevant literature…
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