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Issue Introduction, David Boersema 2010 Pacific University

Issue Introduction, David Boersema

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Improper Parts, Restricted Existence, And Use: Three Arguments Against Ted Sider's Four-Dimensionalism, Mike Anthony 2010 University of Victoria

Improper Parts, Restricted Existence, And Use: Three Arguments Against Ted Sider's Four-Dimensionalism, Mike Anthony

Res Cogitans

This paper raises and defends three classes of objections to Ted Sider's argument from vagueness in his recent work, Four-Dimensionalism. The first class argues that Sider's case for four-dimensionalism is superfluous, that is, “mereologically promiscuous three-dimensionalists” can accept his argument yet maintain a compatible variety of three-dimensionalism that accepts the existence of temporal parts as improper parts of otherwise enduring wholes. Second, Sider's argument begs the question of unrestricted composition by presupposing an unrestricted conception of objecthood that the three-dimensionalist can freely reject. Finally, Sider's project offends ontology by undermining a deep ontological distinction between temporal ...


A Criticism Of The Argument From Vagueness For Unrestricted Composition, Peter Tan 2010 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

A Criticism Of The Argument From Vagueness For Unrestricted Composition, Peter Tan

Res Cogitans

A subject of much recent philosophical discussion is the thesis that for any finite class of objects, the xs, there is necessarily an object composed of those xs. Composition is unrestricted. Some support for this view arises from concerns about whether composition can be a vague matter. Ted Sider offers an ‘argument from vagueness’ in defense of unrestricted mereological composition which relies heavily on the premise that composition cannot be vague. However, he endorses a particular view of vagueness which, I propose, commits him to abandoning certain premises of his argument. I will defend Sider’s charge that composition cannot ...


The Perdurantist’S Commitments, Kristin Thornburg 2010 Lewis & Clark College

The Perdurantist’S Commitments, Kristin Thornburg

Res Cogitans

Issues of persistence through time have been controversial in recent scholarship. A popular new view is four-dimensionalism: the view that time is a dimension much like space. Although it has been motivated in part by advancements in special relativity, four-dimensionalism has primarily emerged as a solution to recent metaphysical dilemmas. In this paper, I will examine three solutions to David Lewis’ problem of temporary intrinsics. I then find that the four-dimensionalist view of perdurantism solves the problem of temporary intrinsics while managing to avoid the serious problems that the other two views encounter. I agree with Lewis that it is ...


On The Possibility Of Four-Dimensional Objects, Eli Cohn 2010 Lewis & Clark College

On The Possibility Of Four-Dimensional Objects, Eli Cohn

Res Cogitans

In this paper I will be examining the possibility of four-dimensional objects on Mark Heller’s view. I will begin by explaining Heller’s “unpleasant alternatives” argument to three-dimensional objects and why he believes these unpleasant alternatives should lead us to accept a view of four-dimensional objects. I will then examine a challenge to Heller’s view based on an earlier argument by Peter van Inwagen. I will show two ways to interpret van Inwagen and will argue that, based on the strong interpretation of van Inwagen, we should reject Heller’s idea that material objects are four-dimensional.


On Objects As Events And The Ontology Of Temporal Parts, Sam Hopkins 2010 University of Washington

On Objects As Events And The Ontology Of Temporal Parts, Sam Hopkins

Res Cogitans

Temporal parts pose something of a quandary. On the one hand, if they exist and fulfill the roles they are frequently claimed to, they appear to be an elegant solution to a number of basic metaphysical problems, change and identity of an object through time foremost, but also a number of smaller (perhaps subsidiary) issues. But on the other hand, an account of their ontology (not the ontology of things the temporal-parts theorist claims they compose) is not easily intuitively forthcoming. The questions of just exactly what a temporal part is and why we ought to believe they exist are ...


Possibility, Novelty, And Creativity, Alexander Haitos 2010 Lehigh University

Possibility, Novelty, And Creativity, Alexander Haitos

Res Cogitans

[From the introduction}

Genuine novelty is the introduction and creation of new things, relations, and affections in the world. Human experience constantly confronts us with novelty, in surprising, intimate ways (spotting new freckles, a great cup of hot chocolate, budding flowers), and in more time-extended, sweeping ways (invention of the automobile, the Little Ice Age, the development of homo sapiens). And yet things are the same. The novel always contains what has already been as a component, but with some modification.

Generically, all novelty is the outcome of some creative act, and all creative acts beget some novelty. Apart from ...


An Assessment Of The Metaontological Debate Concerning Composition, Davida Grimes 2010 Lewis & Clark College

An Assessment Of The Metaontological Debate Concerning Composition, Davida Grimes

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


S5, God And Numbers, Chad A. McIntosh 2010 Calvin College

S5, God And Numbers, Chad A. Mcintosh

Res Cogitans

It has become somewhat ontologically fashionable for theists to embrace anti-realist views of abstract objects. On pain of consistency, however, I will argue that any theist who accepts the S5 ontological argument for the existence of God should also accept a parallel S5 ontological argument for the existence of abstract objects. This is because the same ontological and modal inferences thought to demonstrate the existence of God can also be used to demonstrate the existence of numbers. I further argue that being ontologically consistent here might come at the price of being theologically unacceptable, as the argument for numbers would ...


Categories And Schemata, Anthony Schlimgen 2010 Creighton University

Categories And Schemata, Anthony Schlimgen

Res Cogitans

In this paper, I argue that once Kant has established his argument about the a priori transcendental ideality of Time, the objectivity of the Categories and their schematization can be established. If we remember that the Categories are not only concepts, but transcendental concepts, we will see that their objective nature is not as difficult to establish as if we were to consider them only as concepts as such. Further, once we understand the function of the Schematism and how Kant conceives of the Schemata, this will shed light as to the nature of the Categories themselves. Finally, I will ...


Restrictions On Warrant Properties, Tim Graf 2010 University of Oklahoma

Restrictions On Warrant Properties, Tim Graf

Res Cogitans

[From the introduction]

Not all true beliefs count as knowledge; warrant is the technical term for the (possibly logically complex) property that gives you knowledge when you add it to true belief. Warrant is not necessarily the same as justification, or any other epistemological property; all that this stipulative definition seems to entail about warrant is something akin to the following pair of biconditionals:

(1) A true belief counts as a piece of knowledge iff it is warranted.
A warranted belief counts as a piece of knowledge iff it is true.

What exactly warrant turns out to be depends upon ...


A Study Of Analytic Metaphysics: Meinong, Quine, And Williams On Conceptual Simplicity, Noah Sharpsteen 2010 Portland State University

A Study Of Analytic Metaphysics: Meinong, Quine, And Williams On Conceptual Simplicity, Noah Sharpsteen

Res Cogitans

[From the introduction]

Analytic metaphysics has come under fire from many directions under the rubric of naturalism. The irrelevance of analytic metaphysics for exploring the nature of ultimate reality is already at the level of household slogans: purportedly all it does is rest on armchair analysis consisting of linguistic intuitions. Yet analytic metaphysics even during its heyday was less uniform than the current slogans indicate. If analysis is or was the basis for its epistemology, then practice of analytic metaphysics leaves open not just how the process of analysis occurs, but also the objects of analysis themselves.

In this paper ...


Powers And Properties: On Causal Relevance And The Metaphysics Of Mind, Joanna Klimaski 2010 University of Scranton

Powers And Properties: On Causal Relevance And The Metaphysics Of Mind, Joanna Klimaski

Res Cogitans

[From the introduction]

Contemporary trends in philosophy of mind have galvanized non-reductive physicalism, the thesis that (1) the world and its components are essentially physical, and (2) entities cannot be reduced to their fundamental physical parts. Reality is comprised of layers, each one metaphysically affixed to its neighbors while still retaining its own unique ontological status. Higher-level phenomena are thought to be dependent on, but not reducible to, lower-level occurrences. A levels-ontology ostensibly solves the problems bequeathed by a Cartesian worldview as well as those that come with strict physicalism. But ultimately we face the same questions that plague these ...


Two Sorts Of Connectionist Models: A Critical Analysis, Jack Coughlin 2010 University of Washington

Two Sorts Of Connectionist Models: A Critical Analysis, Jack Coughlin

Res Cogitans

[From the introduction]

The two main paradigms in cognitive science are computationalism and connectionism. The former takes as its starting point the analogy of the mind as a computer, and so attempts to describe cognition in terms of discrete symbol manipulation, in the manner of a digital computer. Connectionism is a more “bottom-up” approach to cognitive science, assuming the neurological structure of the brain to be fundamentally important. It is the task of this paper to demonstrate that connectionist theories of cognitive science face a dilemma: either they are mere descriptions of the physical implementation of a computationalist system, or ...


The Phylogenetic Spectrum: Why Paramecia Matter To Daniel Dennett And Jerry Fodor, Brian Ray 2010 University of Georgia

The Phylogenetic Spectrum: Why Paramecia Matter To Daniel Dennett And Jerry Fodor, Brian Ray

Res Cogitans

No abstract provided.


Higher And Lower Pleasures And Our Moral Psychology, Kiran Bhardwaj 2010 Bryn Mawr College

Higher And Lower Pleasures And Our Moral Psychology, Kiran Bhardwaj

Res Cogitans

[From the introduction]

John Stuart Mill’s treatise, Utilitarianism, takes the standard concept of utilitarianism, and tries to disentangle itself from the problems that plagued earlier utilitarian theories. One of the essential moves in order to do so is to distinguish between high and low pleasures. This distinction, for example, would not categorize an intellectual pleasure, such as reading poetry, to be similar in pleasure to a sensory pleasure, like eating a really good cupcake. By creating the divide between higher and lower pleasures, Mill assures us that the intellectual pursuit gives to a subject, not a higher quantity of ...


Intrinsic Value For The Environmental Pragmatist, L. Pippa Callanan 2010 Portland State University

Intrinsic Value For The Environmental Pragmatist, L. Pippa Callanan

Res Cogitans

Motivated by the disconnect between the seeming impossibility of resolving deep metaphysical disputes, and the pressing need for environmental action, many environmental philosophers have embraced environmental pragmatism. Environmental pragmatists focus on the practical effects of philosophical arguments. With this as their agenda, environmental pragmatists have consistently endorsed anthropocentrism as the value system for discussing environmental issues, in order to achieve efficacious results. This is based on the notion that appeals to human goods are the best means for motivating humans to action. This essay will show some conceptual and empirical problems with this pretense, to argue that true environmental pragmatists ...


Refocusing The Refugee Regime: From Vagrancy To Value, Hannah Levinson 2010 University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Refocusing The Refugee Regime: From Vagrancy To Value, Hannah Levinson

Res Cogitans

[From the introduction]

This is an exploration of two moral-political accounts in my search to establish and frame better treatment of refugees. When regarding refugees as human beings whose lives lack sustainable levels of political, economic, and social stability, both of the frameworks I look at stress the importance of providing such persons with succor and alleviation. Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach posits the human body as a bearer of elemental rights that ought to be recognized and realized. Judith Butler presents an argument that focuses on life’s precariousness and grievability. Situating the refugee in a normative context will ...


Self-Governing Policies: A Critique Of Bratman, Robert J. Muckle 2010 University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Self-Governing Policies: A Critique Of Bratman, Robert J. Muckle

Res Cogitans

Michael Bratman in his essay “Reflection, Planning and Temporally Extended Agency” espouses a reductive view of agency based largely upon what he calls “self-governing policies.” Combining self-governing policies with a Lockean approach to personal identity over time, Bratman’s view stays within the bounds of event causation and attempts to reduce agency to mere attitudes. First I will give the problem Bratman’s approach to agency intends to solve, then move through his view beginning with the planning theory of intention, then on to his Lockean approach to personal identity and finally self-governing policies. I will then pose some problems ...


Art Is In The Doing: Diderot, Jankélévitch, And Artistic Agency, Jake Whipple 2010 Knox College

Art Is In The Doing: Diderot, Jankélévitch, And Artistic Agency, Jake Whipple

Res Cogitans

[From the introduction]

“Generally speaking, expression is the image of feeling.” The sentiment from Denis Diderot’s “Notes on Painting” sets up a discussion of just what ‘feeling’ is that it necessitates being set up as an image, as well as just how this ‘expression’ that relates to it works. Diderot follows his idea to a conclusion of good ‘expression’ concerned with painting, sculpture, and other visual arts in relation to the subjects within them and the necessity that they be shown as humans, not models. Expression as a word, however, has a multitude of possible applications merely within the ...


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