Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


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…

The Transplant Intuition as an Argument for the Biological Approach

Issue: • Author/s: Alfonso Muñoz-Corcuera
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of mind

One of the primary objections to the biological approach revolves around what is known as the transplant intuition. That is, the allegedly widely shared intuition that if we had our cerebrum transplanted into a different body, we would be transferred to that body along with our cerebrum. Drawing upon our understanding of brain death, this paper argues that either (1) the transplant intuition should be rejected, and the biological approach has the advantage of being consistent with that rejection; or (2) the psychological approach, the biological approach’s main rival, cannot…

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…
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