March 27, 2010
How Reductive Theories of Mental Representation Lead to Phenomenalism
It seems initially plausible to suppose that mental representation can be reduced to phenomenal character. That is, we all know that when we think about things we get into certain states of mind, and there is such a thing as what it's like to be in that state of mind. Now, when we think about things, we are representing the world as being in certain ways. It is tempting to suppose that this representing can be explained entirely in terms of the what-it's-like (phenomenal character). According to naive forms of representative realism, this is because that phenomenal experience resembles the...
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March 19, 2010
Locke and Leibniz on Armchair Teleology
[I]f we may conclude that God hath done for men all that men shall judge is best for them, because it is suitable to his goodness so to do, it will prove not only that God has imprinted on the minds of men an idea of himself, but that he hath plainly stamped there, in fair characters, all that men ought to know or believe of him, all that they ought to do in obedience to his will, and that he hath given them a will and affections conformable to it. This, no doubt, everyone will think it better for...
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March 15, 2010
Philosophers' Carnival 105
Welcome to the 105th Philosophers' Carnival! The Philosophers' Carnival collects some of the best philosophy blog posts all in one place. Here they are: Metaphysics Aaron defends an account of the ontology of fiction which avoids commitment to possible worlds at the expense of introducing truth-value gaps, at the Florida Student Philosophy Blog. Philosophy of Mind Avery Archer of The Space of Reasons criticizes motivational rationalism. Gualtiero Piccinini provides a critical review of Gallistel and King's Memory and the Computational Brain: Why Cognitive Science Will Transform Neuroscience at Brains. Epistemology Martin Cooke considers a version of the two envelope paradox...
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March 11, 2010
Philosophers' Carnival Call for Submissions
I will be hosting the 105th Philosophers' Carnival
this coming Monday, March 15. Posts in all areas of academic philosophy are welcome. Submissions
should be made by Saturday, midnight.
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March 9, 2010
Deontic Utilitarianism, Liberty Utilitarianism, and Deontologism
I just came across the following passage by J.J.C. Smart in Smart and Williams' Utilitarianism: For and Against
: What Bentham, Mill and Moore are all agreed on is that the rightness of an action is to be judged solely by consequences, states of affairs brought about by the action. Of course we shall have to be careful here not to construe 'state of affairs' so widely that any ethical doctrine becomes utilitarian. For if we did so we would not be saying anything at all in advocating utilitarianism. If, for example, we allowed 'the state of having kept a promise'...
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