Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

The Problem of Conspiracism [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 06 • Author/s: Matthew Dentith
Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of language, Political philosophy, Theoretical philosophy

Belief in conspiracy theories is typically considered irrational, and as a consequence of this, conspiracy theorists––those who dare believe some conspiracy theory––have been charged with a variety of epistemic or psychological failings. Yet recent philosophical work has challenged the view that belief in conspiracy theories should be considered as typically irrational. By performing an intra-group analysis of those people we call “conspiracy theorists”, we find that the problematic traits commonly ascribed to the general group of conspiracy theorists turn out to be merely a set of stereotypical behaviours and thought…

Dummett on McTaggart’s Proof of the Unreality of Time

Issue: Issue 06 • Author/s: Brian Garrett
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Theoretical philosophy

Michael Dummett’s paper “A Defence of McTaggart’s Proof of the Unreality of Time” put forward an ingenious interpretation of McTaggart’s famous proof. My aim in this discussion is not to assess the cogency of McTaggart’s reasoning, but to criticise Dummett’s interpretation of McTaggart.

Two Concepts of Constitutive Rules [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 07 • Author/s: Jaap Hage
Topics: Ontology, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

In this article, it is argued that rules have two main functions, the practice-defining function and the constraining (fact-to-fact) function. These two functions are compatible. In their function as constraints, some rules are also indirectly regulative. In both of their functions, rules differ from the summaries (rules of thumb) that Rawls discussed and opposed to the constitutive (fact-to-fact) rules which make that some decisions are the right ones. In his work, first on the philosophy of language and later on social ontology, Searle focused on one kind of constitutive rules:…

The Occasions of Law (and the Occasions of Interpretation) [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 07 • Author/s: Frederick Schauer
Topics: Philosophy of law, Theoretical philosophy

When John Searle observed that there is “no remark without remarkableness,” he made a point about the pragmatics of conversation that is importantly applicable to legal interpretation. Just as the act of remarking, according to Searle, presupposes some reason for the remark, so too does the act of legal interpretation presuppose a reason to interpret. This paper explores this phenomenon, and identifies the distinct occasions that call for an act of interpretation.  

Constitutive Rules [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 07 • Author/s: John Searle
Topics: Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

Regulative rules regulate preexisting forms of behavior, constitutive rules make possible new forms of behavior. They constitute the phenomena they regulate. Brute facts can exist independently of any institutions. Institutional facts require pre-existing institutions, which consist of systems of constitutive rules. Constitutive rules create new forms of reality, with new powers, they typically require language, and they are the basis of human civilization.  

 Meta-Meta-institutional Concepts? [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 07 • Author/s: Guglielmo Feis
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of law, Theoretical philosophy

The paper is a critical analysis of Hubert Schwyzer’s idea of meta-institutional concepts. First, I isolate a presupposition in Schwyzer’s example of chess as ritual. I then show how Schwyzer’s idea of meta-institutional concepts is far from being the endgame in the research on levels of institutionality. In fact, we can iterate on meta-institutional concepts. Schwyzer’s idea has to face an infinite regress. I try to avoid such a regress by introducing the concept of technical end of game. A game defines its own terminal status. People playing the game…

Constitutive Rules: The Manifest Image and the Deep Image. [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 07 • Author/s: Maurizio Ferraris
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of mind, Theoretical philosophy

Social objects originate from constitutive rules. But there are two ways of explaining the relationship between them. I call them “Manifest Image” and “Deep Image”. The former depends on Searle’s interpretation of social reality and it is based on collective intentionality; the latter is the one I support and it is based on documentality. Indeed, recordings and documents are sufficient to explain how and why social world exists. There is no need to use such a vague notion, as that of collective intentionality, in order to give a useful account…

Constitutive Rules, Normativity, and A Priori Truth. [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 07 • Author/s: Terry Godlove
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

This paper develops an argument which seems to yield a set of a priori rules—rules which are constitutive of, but not normative for, thought and experience. I contrast the resulting Kantian sense of a priori truth as independent of all experience, because presupposed by it, with the use Searle makes of a priori truth by stipulation or definition. By focusing on the a priori rules of thought and experience we can make good on the sense of constitutivity that Searle had in mind in his early work. By virtue of…

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…

Book Reviews

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Kourken Michaelian, Patrizia Pedrini, Elisabetta Sacchi
Topics: Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Political philosophy, Theoretical philosophy

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