Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


On Sellars’ Attempt to Build a Synoptic Image of the World [Special Issue]

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

In the first part of the paper, I discuss three possible ways to achieve some unity between Sellars’ manifest and scientific image of the world. The plurality of scientific methods that I am advocating is compatible with the fact that all empirical sciences strive for beliefs based on the normative concepts of evidence, explanatory power, and experimental accuracy. Such methods provide different means to reach the common purpose of justification. In the second part of the paper, I criticize Sellars’ definition of the manifest image in terms of a suddenly…

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.

Cohabiting with the Logical Paradoxes: A Negative Assessment and a Proposal [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Riccardo Bruni, Francesco Orilia
Topics: Epistemology, Logic, Metaphysics, Philosophical logic, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

At the commonsensical level of the manifest image, we seem to take for granted logical laws of all sorts, including classical logic (CL) and naive principles of truth and predication (TP), which, however, generate logical paradoxes such as the liar, Russell’s paradox and Curry’s paradox. The formal logic of the scientific image comes to the rescue by proposing many competing formal systems that restore consistency, by sacrificing either principles of CL or principles of TP. We wish to explore a different path, which aims at saving both CL and TP,…

A Hierarchical Characterization of Ignorance in Epistemic Logic [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Alessandro Aldini, Pierluigi Graziani, Mirko Tagliaferri
Topics: Epistemology, Logic, Modal Logic, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

We study different forms of ignorance and their correlations in a bi-modal logical language expressing the two modalities of knowledge and belief. In particular, we are mainly interested in clarifying which definitions of ignorance and which circumstances trigger higher-order forms of ignorance, inducing ignorance about ignorance and so on. To this aim, three ground conditions concerning knowledge and belief are presented, which may be seen as a cause of ignorance and can help us to identify the conditions enabling the emergence of higher-order forms of ignorance.

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,…

Analytic Philosophy and European Culture – Filosofia analitica e cultura europea

Issue: Issue 02 • Author/s: Umberto Eco
Topics: History of Analytic Philosophy, Theoretical philosophy

This is a talk for the Round Table that rounded off the 6th National Conference of the Italian Society for Analytic Philosophy (SIFA), Genoa 2004. Given the subject of Eco’s talk, it is worth noting that the Round Table was held in the Carlo Felice opera house and, perhaps because of the presence of Eco, there was standing room only. The conference to which the event was annexed was held in the classrooms of the Philosophy Department of the University of Genoa in via Balbi. Questa è la trascrizione di…

There Could Be a Light that Never Goes Out: The Metaphysical Possibility of Disembodied Existence

Issue: Issue 06 • Author/s: Michele Paolini Paoletti
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Theoretical philosophy

According to many philosophers, even if it is metaphysically possible that I exist without my present body or without my present brain, it is not metaphysically possible that I exist without any physical support. Thus, it is not metaphysically possible that I exist in some afterlife world, where I do not have any physical support. I shall argue against such a thesis by distinguishing two different notions of physical and by examining two strategies used by those who defend the thesis. No strategy will turn out to be conclusive. Thus,…

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…

The Ludic Background of Constitutive Rules in Bernard Suits [Special Issue]

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

The main purpose of the paper is to present and discuss Bernard Suits’ account of constitutive rules presented in his opus magnum—The Grasshopper. Games, Life and Utopia—and in several minor contributions, which supplement or modify his original position. This account will be regarded as a crucial part of Suits’ theory of ludic activities, mainly game-playing. The stress will be put on peculiarities of constitutive rules—their relation to ends in games, players’ attitudes and their limitative nature. The analysis of the consequences of breaking a rule in different types of actions…

Constitutive Rules and the Internal Point of View [Special Issue]

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

In this paper, I connect J.R. Searle’s concept of constitutive rules and H.L.A. Hart’s concept of internal point of view and look for an extension of this joint paradigm in institutional ontology. I make a distinction between five different perspectives about an institution—structural, teleological, axiological, strategic, and sociological—and connect these perspectives to three kinds of concepts: institutional, meta-institutional, and para-institutional. In the light of these distinctions, I submit that an explanation of institutional phenomena requires a three-dimensional ontology consisting of a structure (framed by constitutive rules), a conceptual background, and…
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