Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Is Psychologism Unavoidable in a Phenomenologically Adequate Account of Mental Content?

Issue: • Author/s: Elisabetta Sacchi
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Philosophy of mind

In my paper I focus on psychologism in the theory of mental content and critically consider a variety of it—“intentional psychologism” (Pitt 2009)—that has recently entered the stage in the philosophy of mind literature. My aim is twofold. First, I want to provide a critical evaluation of this new variety of psychologism, considering in particular whether it is immune from (some of) the most famous classical criticisms. Secondly, I want to provide a diagnosis of what ultimately motivates the current revival of the “psychologistic attitude”. My aim in so doing…

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…

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 Stalemate Between Causal and Constitutive Accounts of Introspective Knowledge by Acquaintance

Issue: • Author/s: Jacopo Pallagrosi, Bruno Cortesi
Topics: Cognitive science, Epistemology, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

This paper will be concerned with the role acquaintance plays in contemporary theories of introspection. Traditionally, the relation of acquaintance has been conceived in analytic epistemology and philosophy of mind as being only epistemically relevant inasmuch as it causes, or enables, or justifies a peculiar kind of propositional knowledge, i.e., knowledge by acquaintance. However, in recent years a novel account of the role of acquaintance in our introspective knowledge has been offered. According to this novel constitutive approach, acquaintance is, in itself, a sui generis—i.e., non-propositional—kind of knowledge. As we…

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.
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