Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Possible Limits of Conceptual Engineering: Magnetism, Fixed Points and Inescapability [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Matti Eklund
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Theoretical philosophy

In contemporary philosophy there is much focus on conceptual engineering: the enterprise of revising and replacing concepts. In this talk, I focus on a theoretical issue that has not yet received much attention. What principled limits are there to this sort of enterprise? Are there concepts that for principled reasons cannot or should not be revised or replaced? Examples discussed include logical concepts and normative concepts.

In Defense of Irreducible Relations [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Francesco Orilia, Michele Paolini Paoletti
Topics: Epistemology, Logic, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of language

At least since Russell, mainstream analytic philosophy has distinguished internal and external relations and acknowledged the existence of both. This seems in line with both the manifest and scientific images of the world. However, there is a recent deflationary trend about relations, which focuses on the truthmakers of relational statements in order to show that putative external relations are in fact internal, and that internal relations do not really exist. Lowe’s posthumous 2016 paper is a thorough presentation of this line of thought. This article critically analyzes Lowe’s arguments in…

A Regional Scientific Image of Time [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Vincenzo Fano
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of science, Theoretical philosophy

Doing metaphysics by building on empirical sciences is a very controversial matter. This paper outlines a middle road between the Scylla of denying the possibility of metaphysics and the Charybdis of doing metaphysics a priori. This is possible if, on the one hand, we accept a moderate form of scientific realism. On the other, we establish a logico-epistemological framework adequate to face the underdetermination of metaphysical theses with respect to our best scientific theories. The case of the debate between eternalism and presentism tests my perspective. In this case study,…

Fiction and Reality: An Uncanny Relationship [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 17 • Author/s: Lisa Zorzato
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of science, Theoretical philosophy

In this paper, I will deal with the use of fictional models in the context of the realism vs antirealism debate. Specifically, I will argue that the explanatory role of fictional models can be accommodated by scientific realism. I will refer to the work of Alisa Bokulich, who has proposed a modification of realism in order to account for explanations employing fictional models. My own approach will be to offer an alternative: instead of a modification of realism, I will propose a modified notion of representation. Based on the work…

Non-Persistent Truths [Target Article]

Issue: Issue 17 • Author/s: Andrea Bonomi
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

I start from Evans’ criticism of temporalism, based on the claim that it does not “provide for the stable evaluation of utterances”. I try to show that, with suitable qualifications, assuming the possibility of evaluations yielding different truth-values at different times is not an “eccentric” move (as suggested by Evans). I briefly consider Prior’s metaphysical arguments in favour of the asymmetry between past and future and I suggest that, independently of these arguments, there are linguistic reasons in support of such an assumption. In particular, there are some future-oriented statements…

Hume’s Law, Moore’s Open Question and Aquinas’ Human Intellect

Issue: Issue 06 • Author/s: Augusto Trujillo Werner
Topics: Epistemology, Ethics, Ontology, Theoretical philosophy

This article concerns Aquinas’ practical doctrine on two philosophical difficulties underlying much contemporary ethical debate. One is Hume’s Is-ought thesis and the other is its radical consequence, Moore’s Open-question argument. These ethical paradoxes appear to have their roots in epistemological scepticism and in a deficient anthropology. A possible response to them can be found in that a) Aquinas defends the substantial unity and rationality of the human being; b) Thomistic natural law is a natural consequence of the rational being; c) Thomistic human intellect is essentially theoretical and practical at…

Presentism and Causal Processes

Issue: Issue 07 • Author/s: Ernesto Graziani
Topics: Epistemology, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

Presentism is the view that only present temporal entities (tenselessly) exist. A widely-discussed problem for presentism concerns causation and, more specifically, the supposed cross-temporally relational character of it. I think that the best reply to this problem can already be found in the literature on temporal ontology: it consists, roughly, in showing that (at least) some of the main approaches to causation can be rephrased so as to avoid commitment to any cross-temporal relation, including the causal relation itself. The main purpose of this paper is to extend this reply…

Book Reviews

Issue: Issue 09 • Author/s: Elisa Paganini, Alfredo Tomasetta, Massimo Marraffa
Topics: book reviews, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology

Book Reviews

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Peter Øhrstrøm, Giulia Lorenzi, Laura Caponetto, Bianca Cepollaro
Topics: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Moral Philosophy, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

Essence, Necessity, and Non-Generative Metaphysical Explanation [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 14 • Author/s: Michael Wallner
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Modal Logic, Ontology, Philosophical logic

Finean essentialists take metaphysical necessity to be metaphysically explained by essence. But whence the explanatory power of essence? A recent wave of criticism against the Finean account has put pressure on essentialists to answer this question. Wallner and Vaidya (2020) have responded by offering an axiomatic account of the explanatory power of essence. This paper discusses their account in light of some recent criticism by Bovey (2022). Building on work by Glazier (2017), Bovey succeeds in showing that Wallner and Vaidya’s account is in need of modification and clarification. In…
1 2 3 4 5