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Recent Articles in Philosophy
Defense Of Rawls: Response To Brock, Paul Baran Pacific University
Defense Of Rawls: Response To Brock, Paul Baran
Cosmopolitans like Gillian Brock, Charles Beitz, and Thomas Pogge argue that the principles of justice selected and arranged in lexical priority in Rawls’ first original position would—and should for the same reasons as in the first—also be selected in the second original position. After all, the argument goes, what reasons other than morally arbitrary ones do we have for selecting a second set of principles? A different, though undoubtedly related, point of contention is the cosmopolitan charge (most famously, made by Pogge) that Rawls fails to consider the unfavorable conditions that owe themselves to global factors. Perhaps there ...
The Panopticon Of The Public Protest: Technology And Surveillance, Stephen Clarke Pacific University
The Panopticon Of The Public Protest: Technology And Surveillance, Stephen Clarke
This paper deals with the issue of surveillance as it applies to recent technological advancements. Specifically, advancements in video capturing and social media have made public events into spectacles that are observed and shared online by the public. Public protest and discourse loosens itself from the bounds of state authority and enters the arena of the public. This phenomenon reconsiders Foucault’s conception of the panopticon. Foucault’s panopticon is useful as a tool for understanding the way power operates through surveillance in a state-to-public direction, but technological advancements have allowed for a reversal of this surveillance. With real examples ...
Embodied Art: A Merleau-Pontian Improvisation Of Being In Theater, Katharine Henshaw Pacific University
Embodied Art: A Merleau-Pontian Improvisation Of Being In Theater, Katharine Henshaw
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, in Eye & Mind, lyrically links vision and painting as modes of embodying Being. He powerfully argues that humans are bodies (rather than minds in bodies, or minds and bodies) and that vision is the primary mode of our embodied engagement with the world. He suggests that in painting, the artist re-embodies in paint on canvas that which has been first embodied in the artist’s body though his or her sight. This paper suggests that an alternate art form, theater, provides a richer physical arena for the re-embodiment of Being. In live performance, actors, singers, and dancers offer ...
Bergson’S Environment: Towards An Ecological Understanding, Lucas Aguirre Pacific University
Bergson’S Environment: Towards An Ecological Understanding, Lucas Aguirre
This paper draws on the thinking of the French philosopher and biologist Henri Bergson, and attempts an understanding of the environment while considering Bergson’s metaphysics. Why is it that the bulk of the discussion concerning environmental problems takes place within a narrow framework that has difficulty recognizing the intrinsic value of nature? In this paper I try and explain Bergson’s description of the ways that consciousness seeks to know the world around it, and conclude that modern thought fails to recognize the sensual, sympathetic nature of experience. Only through understanding the ecology of our own thoughts can we ...
A Critique Of Modern Agriculture And Its Effect On Personhood, Chelsea Richardson Pacific University
A Critique Of Modern Agriculture And Its Effect On Personhood, Chelsea Richardson
This paper outlines ways in which the alienated labor conditions of capitalism and certain technological applications in industrial agriculture contribute to the diminishing of one’s personhood through the production and consumption of industrial food. Personhood is defined as a person’s capacity to produce and consume food. The works of Karl Marx and Albert Borgmann are instrumental to the conclusions of this essay. Ultimately, the combination of Marx’s and Borgmann’s theories allow me to argue that a diminished form of personhood is the consequence of a food practice which encompasses the production and consumption of food using ...
Railton’S Moral Properties And Sinclair’S Critique Of Them, Reyes Espinoza Pacific University
Railton’S Moral Properties And Sinclair’S Critique Of Them, Reyes Espinoza
The field of Ethics in philosophy is confusing for many, even those having worked in the field a few years. Thus, the field of Meta-ethics may be even more confusing. Meta-ethics, in a nutshell, is arguing about how to argue about Ethics. A question to ask in this field is what are moral properties? That is, what makes claims about morality true or false? Peter Railton takes them to be naturalistic properties (facts in the natural and social sciences) that play an explanatory role in empirical theories. Railton’s ethical naturalism is one such theory of morality. Here I will ...
Value Theory For Virtue Ethics: Rational, Objective, And Human Criteria, Sebastian Orlander Pacific University
Value Theory For Virtue Ethics: Rational, Objective, And Human Criteria, Sebastian Orlander
This paper is an attempt at framing Virtue Ethics in a manner that it is not derivative of either deontological or utilitarian ethics. The purpose in doing this is to avoid certain pitfalls in the other two approaches, and the argument hinges on a holistic treatment of values in a social community, as well as the role of practical rationality as the means to edify such a system. There follows an examination of John Dancy and John McDowell’s work on this, with a critical perspective on where these clarifications have currency, and where these fall short.
Kant’S Implicit Suggestion Of The Negative Formulation Of Duty, Gilbert Enenajor Pacific University
Kant’S Implicit Suggestion Of The Negative Formulation Of Duty, Gilbert Enenajor
In this paper I argue that in Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals Kant suggests that while I can never know when I am acting from duty, I can know when I am not acting from duty. In this paper I neither reconcile Kant’s imperatives with his statement that we will never know if we are definitely acting on his maxims, nor do I mount an argument against his perfectionist ideal theory. Instead I propose a negative formulation of his perfectionist ideal theory that argues Kant implicitly suggests I can only know when I am not acting from duty ...
Unsaying Non-Knowledge: Georges Bataille And The Mysticism Of Writing, Ben Brewer Pacific University
Unsaying Non-Knowledge: Georges Bataille And The Mysticism Of Writing, Ben Brewer
Georges Bataille’s writing seems to teethe with something utterly foreign to the discipline of philosophy. In this paper, I investigate what Jason Wirth calls’ Bataille’s “mad game of writing” in order to show that Bataille’s bizarre writing style is actually an extension of his ethical and philosophical commitments. Bataille’s writing attempts to produce a state within the reader rather than simply transmit information. I trace the justifications and roots for such a writing from his own system, as well as showing how such a style of writing has its roots in Kantian aesthetics and in Hegel ...
Idealism And Pragmatism: “Transcendent” Validity Claims In Habermas’S Democratic Theory, Richard Van Barriger Pacific University
Idealism And Pragmatism: “Transcendent” Validity Claims In Habermas’S Democratic Theory, Richard Van Barriger
In her recent article “Realism and Idealism: Was Habermas’s Communicative Turn a Move in the Wrong Direction?” Maeve Cooke examines the evolution of Jürgen Habermas’s thought over the past five decades. According to Cooke, Habermas’s so-called “communicative turn” was a necessary step in his philosophy’s systematic attempt to derive a universal norm from the immanent context of human practices and institutions. In her opinion, however, Habermas is unable to uphold his pragmatically-based claim to “transcendence from within” without encountering problems of epistemic justification when it comes to his theory’s treatment of normative validity claims. Cooke ...
Can We Believe Without Sufficient Evidence? The James/Clifford Quarrel And The Response Of Alvin Plantinga, Fabio Lampert Pacific University
Can We Believe Without Sufficient Evidence? The James/Clifford Quarrel And The Response Of Alvin Plantinga, Fabio Lampert
This paper aims to be a brief discussion about the character of “evidentialism” in the discussion between William Clifford and William James. Known under the topic “the ethics of belief,” it discusses the problem of religious epistemology, specifically the status of the rationality of religious beliefs. After such discussion, we shall adduce in an introductory way Alvin Plantinga’s so-called “reformed epistemology” as a proper response to the problem of evidentialism.
Where Is The Limit To Abduction’S Explanatory Power?, Aaron Salomon Pacific University
Where Is The Limit To Abduction’S Explanatory Power?, Aaron Salomon
Abduction, also known as, inference to the best explanation, is employed in factual and normative inquiry. In this paper, I answer the question: where is the limit to abduction’s explanatory power? To answer this question, I examine Hobbes’s Leviathan and Descartes’s Discourse on Method. I compare Hobbes’s empirical beliefs about human psychology and Descartes’s micro mechanical explanations with Hobbes’s discussion of religion. As a result of this analysis, I argue that there is at least one case where religion is the limit to abduction’s explanatory power, and that case is Hobbes’s discussion ...
The Problem Of The Criterion & Sosa’S Virtue Epistemology, Aaron Flaster Pacific University
The Problem Of The Criterion & Sosa’S Virtue Epistemology, Aaron Flaster
The Problem of the Criterion arises from two plausible intuitions: first, belief sources (such as testimony and perception) should be reliable. Second, a person should be justified in believing that the source is reliable before it can produce justified beliefs. The problem is that these intuitions create a vicious circularity and lead to skepticism. The circularity arises from the priority relation between justified beliefs about a source and justified beliefs produced by a source. Oftentimes, the only way to have justified beliefs about the reliability of a source is to use that very source. For instance, the only way to ...
Novel Predictions: From Empiricism To Unificationism, Nicholas Havrilla Pacific University
Novel Predictions: From Empiricism To Unificationism, Nicholas Havrilla
From Fresnel’s wave theory of light to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the use of novel predictions has a long history in the method of science. Since predictions concern empirical matters, associated models of the method are usually empiricist ones. However, much of the recent philosophy of science shows a lack of emphasis on novel predictions. The central reasons include the general thesis of underdetermination of theory by evidence and the marginalization of novelty to a narrower issue in theory assessment, the prediction-accommodation distinction. In particular, novelty has become nothing more than code for methods classified as unificationist ...
Evolutionary Ethics And The Moral Skeptic, Philip Yaure Pacific University
Evolutionary Ethics And The Moral Skeptic, Philip Yaure
In this paper, I examine the relation between moral skepticism and evolutionary ethics. I focus on Robert Richards’ ‘Revised Theory’ of evolutionary ethics (in his “A Defense of Evolutionary Ethics), and Robert Joyce’s introduction of the moral skeptic as an objection to Richards’ view (in his The Evolution of Morality). I argue that Joyce’s application of the moral skeptic (an individual who denies common-sense moral judgments) is misaimed—for Richards can utilize a traditional response in moral theory and simply consider the skeptic beyond the pale of moral discourse. I then proceed to argue that the skeptic can ...
Redefining The Class Of Qualitative States—A Reply To Shoemaker, Michael Pratt Pacific University
Redefining The Class Of Qualitative States—A Reply To Shoemaker, Michael Pratt
The so-called qualia-type objections to functionalism seem to imply that some qualitative states are not functionally definable (or identical to some functional state type). In “Functionalism and Qualia,” Sydney Shoemaker concedes that functionalists can allow for some types of mental states to be functionally undefinable without committing themselves to a view that cannot account for the class qualitative states. If qualitative states are construed as a relation of qualitative similarity, Shoemaker argues that qualia are functionally definable, and thus do not pose a serious problem for functionalists. In this paper I argue that (i) Shoemaker’s argument against the possibility ...
On The Inevitable Internalization Of The External In The Process Of Metaphysical Enquiry, Vladimir Chlouba Pacific University
On The Inevitable Internalization Of The External In The Process Of Metaphysical Enquiry, Vladimir Chlouba
In this paper, I posit that our minds inevitably internalize the external in the process of metaphysical enquiry because they naturally rely on abstraction, categorization, simplification and association. I first focus on the idea of substratum by claiming that it cannot exist independently of our minds. Second, I opine that both primary and secondary qualities are significantly dependent on our minds. Last but not least, I extend the shadow of relativity over the notion of motion. Finally, I postulate that even though there is certain external reality upon which our enquiry can converge, the external world is neither perfectly nor ...
The Immateriality Of Consciousness And The Immanence Of Thought: How Emergence Forces Us To Rethink Metaphysics, Sterling Hall Pacific University
The Immateriality Of Consciousness And The Immanence Of Thought: How Emergence Forces Us To Rethink Metaphysics, Sterling Hall
This paper wishes to follow the injunction given to us from Badiou that philosophy shouldn’t dictate the progress in various fields that it’s coupled with (science, politics, etc.), and that it should instead be receptive to the ‘Events’ in these fields. This paper wishes to take the field of science called ‘Complexity Science’, specifically the idea of ‘Emergentism’ in it, as an Event that philosophy should be receptive to. In exploring this relatively new field, this paper wishes to draw the properly radical metaphysical conclusions that crop up from such an investigation. Thus this paper’s goal is ...
Machine Functionalism: Brains As Computing Machines, Yolanda Walker Pacific University
Machine Functionalism: Brains As Computing Machines, Yolanda Walker
Machine functionalism, or, the computational theory of mind, states that the inner workings of the brain are akin to the information processing of a computer. There are numerous faults with this view. Not only are computers inaccurate models for brain states, but also consciousness--as understood as generating appropriate (behavior) outputs to corresponding inputs--can’t be generated through mechanical means.
An Explanation Of Complete Colocation Of Indiscernibles, Zack Garrett Pacific University
An Explanation Of Complete Colocation Of Indiscernibles, Zack Garrett
The Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII) claims that objects that share all of the same properties are the same object. If this claim is denied, then, as is commonly believed, the denier must accept the possibility of objects completely overlapping in space. Michael Della Rocca argues that this possibility is absurd, and therefore PII should be accepted. He claims that the problem with colocated objects lies in the inexplicability of the distinctness of the objects. This inexplicability, he argues, is contrary to the brute fact method of demonstrating the distinctness of objects in counterexamples to PII. Without any ...
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Love: A Biological, Psychological And Philosophical Study, Heather Chapman
The Impact Of The Reformation On The Fine Arts, John Wilsey
Abstracting Aristotle’S Philosophy Of Mathematics, Babette Babich
Signs And Symbols: Art And Language In Art Therapy, Malissa Morrell
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