Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Age and Self-Knowledge

Issue: • Author/s: Marianna Bergamaschi Ganapini
Topics: Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action, Philosophy of mind

This paper proposes an analysis of some possible implications of aging focusing the effects that aging may have on one’s self-knowledge. The goal of the paper is in fact to connect research on aging with different accounts of self-knowledge and put forward the following hypothesis: (i) in the late stages of our lives we adopt a different way of looking at ourselves, and (ii) there are three main factors likely causing this change: cognitive problems (episodic memory impairment), motivational factors (coherence-seeking), and loss of a forward-looking way of structuring our…

Decoupling Accuracy from Fitness

Issue: • Author/s: Roberto Horácio de Sá Pereira
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

Tyler Burge (2010) provided a scathing critique of all programs for naturalizing concepts of representation, especially teleological naturalizing programs. He intended to demonstrate that “representational content” is a concept that cannot be reduced to more fundamental biological or physical ideas. According to him, since the 1970s, the concept of representational content has been firmly established in cognitive psychology as a mature science and utilized in adequate explanations. Since Dretske’s program is Burge’s primary objective, this paper concentrates on Dretske’s perspective. Following Burge’s criticisms, I concur that Dretske’s naturalizing program trivializes…

Having Experience and Knowing Experience: A Case for Illusionism about Phenomenal Consciousness

Issue: • Author/s: Daniel Shabasson
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

Most philosophers think that phenomenal consciousness is real and that it has two components: an experiential component—a state that is subjectively ‘like something’ for a subject of experience; and a cognitive component—the subject’s awareness of the experiential component and knowledge of what it’s like. Illusionists, by contrast, claim that phenomenal consciousness is an illusion. It does not exist but only seems to exist (Frankish 2016). Although illusionism is highly counterintuitive, I shall claim that it is probably true. For I shall argue that phenomenal realism—the view that phenomenal consciousness is…

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…

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…

Our Admiration for Exemplars and the Impartial Spectator Perspective: Moral Exemplarism and Adam Smith’s ‘Theory of Moral Sentiments’

Issue: • Author/s: Karsten R. Stueber
Topics: Ethics, Metaethics, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action, Philosophy of mind

This essay will discuss the philosophical viability of Linda Zagzebski’s refreshingly radical theory of moral exemplarism that attempts to elucidate the nature of human morality through an analysis of the structure of our admiration for morally exemplary individuals. After raising some systematic worries about exemplarism, I will turn to Adam Smith and his Theory of Moral Sentiments. There are indeed strands in Smith’s thoughts that contain an exemplarist flavor. Nevertheless, from the Smithian perspective that I favor, our moral concepts emerge from the everyday practice of holding each other morally…

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…

Happiness, Luck and Satisfaction

Issue: Issue 02 • Author/s: Kevin Mulligan
Topics: Philosophy of mind

In some of its many forms, happiness is no emotion. But there is also an emotion of happiness which, like other emotions, has correctness conditions. The correctness conditions of happiness differ in several respects, formal and non-formal, from those of emotions such as admiration, fear and indignation. The account given here of the correctness conditions of happiness suggests an account of happiness as a species of satisfaction and an account of the relation between happiness and affective rationality or reason.

Pragmatics, modularity and epistemic vigilance [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 02 • Author/s: Diana Mazzarella
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

The cognitive revolution, which from the early ’60s shaped the domains of linguistics, anthropology, psychology and related disciplines, manifested its effect in the field of pragmatics with the seminal work of Sperber and Wilson (1986/1995). Among many other issues, Sperber and Wilson brought to the attention of the pragmatics community the question of the place of pragmatic abilities in the overall architecture of the mind. At that time, Fodor had already suggested that human cognitive architecture is partly modular (Fodor 1983) by introducing the functional and architectural distinction between modular…
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