Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

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…

From Persons to Selfing: Some Developments of Parfit’s Legacy

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: Michele Di Francesco, Massimo Marraffa, Alfredo Paternoster
Topics: Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind

In this paper we shall discuss some aspects of Parfit’s thought in connection with what we regard as a promising, quasi-naturalist approach to the self. The focus is not so much on the concept of person (considered as the starting point of a metaphysics of person), which—for our present purposes—we take essentially to be a forensic notion; our point is, rather, that certain ideas developed by Parfit in Reasons and Persons (1984) may be viewed as a component of a bottom-up account of the self that combines psychobiological and narrativist…

The Survival of Persons: A Reply to Parfit’s Psychological Reductionism

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: Andrew Ward
Topics: Metaphysics

The psychological reductionist claims that what is important to our survival just consists in a series of causally related experiences. Our belief in a separately existing subject of experiences is held to be unjustified. In reply, it is contended that we need to distinguish between persons (continuing subjects of experience) and any related series of experiences (their lives). A number of objections to this conception of a person are considered and rejected.

Why Parfit’s Psychological Criterion Does Not Work as a Personal Identity Theory (And How it Could)

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: Chris Lay
Topics: Metaphysics

On Parfit’s Psychological Criterion of personal identity, I persist as some future subject if we can trace a chain of overlapping mental state connections from me to that future subject. When two subjects are connected in this way, we can say that they are psychologically continuous. Parfit offers up three different versions of the Psychological Criterion in Reasons and Persons, and what he calls the Narrow, Wide, and Widest views are distinguished from one another by what is acceptable as the cause of continuity on each. However, there appear to…

Choosing Who Lives our Life

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: Luca Stroppa
Topics: Ethics, Metaphysics

The relationship between Parfit’s theory of Personal Identity and his research on Population Ethics is underexplored. In this paper I both examine this relationship and support the principle stating that it is moral to cause the greatest total wellbeing. Once introduced the basic concepts of Population Ethics and Parfit’s theory of Personal Identity, I report Parfit’s distinction between Different Number Choices, that affect both the number and the identity of future people, and Same Number Choices, that affect only future people’s identity. Parfit underlines how, in Different Number Choices, it…

Metaphysics at the Table: Introduction [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Andrea Borghini, Donatella Donati, Nicola Piras
Topics: Introduction, Metaphysics, Ontology

Can Unmodified Food Be Culinary Art? [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Sara Bernstein
Topics: Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Ontology

You are sitting in a fancy restaurant. After an extensively prepared, multi-course meal, out comes the dessert course: an unmodified but perfectly juicy, fresh peach. Many restaurants serve such unmodified or barely-modified foods, intending them to count as culinary art. This paper takes up the question of whether such unmodified foods, served in the relevant institutional settings, do count as culinary art. Drawing on debates about the metaphysics of art, I compare and contrast the case of unmodified food to Duchamp’s “Fountain” (1917), pointing out relevant similarities and differences between…

Unjust Food Systems and Applied Mereology [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Shane Epting
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology

Conventional food systems are highly complex entities with numerous components that span the globe. Having an overabundance of parts creates ‘globalized opacity’, a condition wherein the sheer number of parts makes it incredibly challenging to see how these parts fit together. In turn, people cannot see how these systems help create and perpetuate social injustices in select instances. With this notion in mind, it should be no surprise that numerous issues require mitigation. Gaining a clear view of the nature of such problems could improve how food-justice researchers understand the…

Local Food as Social Change: Food Sovereignty as a Radical New Ontology [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Samantha Noll
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology

Local food projects are steadily becoming a part of contemporary food systems and take on many forms. They are typically analyzed using an ethical, or socio-political, lens. Food focused initiatives can be understood as strategies to achieve ethical change in food systems and, as such, ethics play a guiding role. But local food is also a social movement and, thus social and political theories provide unique insights during analysis. This paper begins with the position that ontology should play a more prominent part in the analysis of local food movements,…

Towards a Particularistic Metaphysics of Recipes [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Giulio Sciacca
Topics: Metaphysics, Ontology

In this paper, I attempt to offer a new metaphysical account of recipes and to make sense of their relations with the authenticity of dishes. In doing so, I first show the untenability of any Platonistic characterisation of recipes, according to which recipes are universals instantiated by dishes. I do this by showing that recipes play a critical explanatory role for the sharing of culinary properties between dishes. That is, there are certain grounding relations between recipes and dishes that would not hold if recipes were Platonic universals. Then, by…
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