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Kosmos
Astronomia Astrofizyka
Inne

Kultura
Sztuka dawna i współczesna, muzea i kolekcje

Metoda
Metodologia nauk, Matematyka, Filozofia, Miary i wagi, Pomiary

Materia
Substancje, reakcje, energia
Fizyka, chemia i inżynieria materiałowa

Człowiek
Antropologia kulturowa Socjologia Psychologia Zdrowie i medycyna

Wizje
Przewidywania Kosmologia Religie Ideologia Polityka

Ziemia
Geologia, geofizyka, geochemia, środowisko przyrodnicze

Życie
Biologia, biologia molekularna i genetyka

Cyberprzestrzeń
Technologia cyberprzestrzeni, cyberkultura, media i komunikacja

Działalność
Wiadomości | Gospodarka, biznes, zarządzanie, ekonomia

Technologie
Budownictwo, energetyka, transport, wytwarzanie, technologie informacyjne

Essays in Philosophy

Causal realism is the view that causation is a structural feature of reality, a power inherent in the world to produce effects independently of the existence of minds or observers. This article suggests that certain problems in the philosophy of mind are artefacts of causal realism because they presuppose the existence or possibility of a real causal nexus between the ‘physical’ and the ‘mental’. These dilemmas include (but are not necessarily limited to) the 'hard problem' of consciousness and the problems of free will and mental causality. Since the ostensible causal nexus cannot be directly perceived, it is sublimated into obscure and elusive phenomena along the purported mental causal chain. The antithesis of causal realism, and the proposed solution to the problems above, is causal anti-realism: the view that causation is not a fundamental property of the world, but of how observers purposively interpret ‘the world’. Causal anti-realism is compatible with causal pragmatism, which allows for the practical use of causal terms. Causal anti-realism denies the possibility of ontological reduction and is therefore incompatible with materialism and with materialist assumptions about the atom. The article concludes that causal anti-realism is at least prima facie reconcilable with idealism.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss2/5 2014/07/20 - 00:25

Thinking about the representational qualities of maps and models allows one to offer a new perspective on the nature of mindreading. The recent critiques of our dominant paradigms for mindreading, theory theory and simulation theory by enactivists such as Daniel Hutto reveal a flaw in the standard options for thinking about how we think about others. Views that rely on theorizing or simulation to account for the way in which we understand others often appear to over-intellectualize social interaction. In contrast, enactivists champion embodied, non-representational forms of engagement with others. I claim that one can improve on the representational views of social cognition by moving away from talk of the mental manipulation of propositions in favor of the construction of maps and models of others. Furthermore, I claim that the current state of social neurobiology lends itself towards such a view.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss2/4 2014/07/20 - 00:25

There are many interpretations of what consciousness is. In the past decade materialist and reductionist theories have gained in popularity as many neurological correlates of consciousness have been identified experimentally. This article presents a neurogenetic account of the underpinnings of neuron-based consciousness. In this paradigm, human consciousness is supported by genes that are involved in three distinct neurogenetic phases: 1) the emergence of neuron-based consciousness, 2) the continuum of neuron-based consciousness, and 3) the neurodegeneration of human consciousness. The methodology implemented to establish these three neurogenetic phases was a systematic search and evaluation of genes that have been proven to support an active role in one or more of these three phases. This article demonstrates that there is a substructure of gene-based correlates that functions in the three neurogenetic phases. These phases work in tandem with the conscious experience. Consequently, it is established that explanations of human consciousness that rely solely on regions of the brain and neurons are deficient without taking into consideration the neurogenetic element of human consciousness. This presentation of the neurogenetic dimensions of human consciousness is the first of its kind.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss2/3 2014/07/20 - 00:25

That experience requires a subject is all but uncontroversial. It is surprising, then, that contemporary philosophers of mind generally focus on experiences at the expense of subjects. Herein, I argue that beyond the qualitative character (or “what-it’s-like-ness”) of phenomenology, there is a discrete further fact—the subjective character (or “for-me-ness”) of phenomenology—that calls out for explanation. Similar views have recently been endorsed by both Zahavi and Kriegel, but a comparison of the ways they have framed the issue suggests there are two discrete questions afoot: (1) in virtue of what does subjective phenomenology exist whatsoever, and (2) in virtue of what might one’s subjective phenomenology differ from that of one’s perfect duplicate? The second question—that of individuative subjective phenomenology—is my primary concern, and its answer seems to me to require the invocation of haecceities: non-qualitative, non-duplicable properties that uniquely individuate objects (and, in this case, subjects). In other words, I suggest that the property of being the very subject that one is enters essentially into the phenomenological character of all one’s experiences.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss2/2 2014/07/20 - 00:25

As a professional philosopher that has participated in public philosophy forums for several years, I attempt to determine the character and value of public philosophy. To do this I adopt the perspective of Deweyan pragmatism, which I argue provides an effective theoretical framework for this purpose. Thinking particularly about relatively small, person-to-person philosophical forums, I argue that they share the main assumptions of the pragmatic method: a prevailing contingency with regard to starting points and conclusions, a willingness to entertain evidence from various sources and disciplines, and a commitment to continuing conversation on a variety of issues for the sake of continued growth and expansion of understanding. I believe it is unlikely that these sorts of conversations will deliver any immediate or obvious results in terms of improved democratic processes at the level of an entire community or nation because of the small scale and relatively narrow appeal. However, as a resource for intellectual growth, public philosophical forums provide an invaluable resource for those individuals willing to participate, professional philosophers included.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/11 2014/02/01 - 17:05

As a professional philosopher that has participated in public philosophy forums for several years, I attempt to determine the character and value of public philosophy. To do this I adopt the perspective of Deweyan pragmatism, which I argue provides an effective theoretical framework for this purpose. Thinking particularly about relatively small, person-to-person philosophical forums, I argue that they share the main assumptions of the pragmatic method: a prevailing contingency with regard to starting points and conclusions, a willingness to entertain evidence from various sources and disciplines, and a commitment to continuing conversation on a variety of issues for the sake of continued growth and expansion of understanding. I believe it is unlikely that these sorts of conversations will deliver any immediate or obvious results in terms of improved democratic processes at the level of an entire community or nation because of the small scale and relatively narrow appeal. However, as a resource for intellectual growth, public philosophical forums provide an invaluable resource for those individuals willing to participate, professional philosophers included.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/11 2014/02/01 - 17:05

Increasingly, philosophy is being viewed by the public as a non-essential part of non-academic, political life. Moreover, the converse, that philosophy is viewing itself as non-essential to life, is also becoming true. Both trends are deeply troubling. This essay has two aims, both of which stem from these trends. The first is to show that they can partly be explained by a misunderstanding by philosophers of philosophy’s original goals. In fact, we argue that the goal of philosophy from the very beginning was to improve lives and that this attitude has been present throughout its history. The second is to show that this mistake is pervasive and to try to articulate some of what has been lost as a result. So as to not be entirely negative, we provide brief remarks on what can be done to remedy the situation. We hold that generally, people’s lives and especially people’s political lives are worse than they otherwise might be because of the disconnect between the public and philosophy. Finally, we close with a few practical activities that some philosophers are already engaged in to make work in philosophy more public.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/10 2014/02/01 - 17:05

Increasingly, philosophy is being viewed by the public as a non-essential part of non-academic, political life. Moreover, the converse, that philosophy is viewing itself as non-essential to life, is also becoming true. Both trends are deeply troubling. This essay has two aims, both of which stem from these trends. The first is to show that they can partly be explained by a misunderstanding by philosophers of philosophy’s original goals. In fact, we argue that the goal of philosophy from the very beginning was to improve lives and that this attitude has been present throughout its history. The second is to show that this mistake is pervasive and to try to articulate some of what has been lost as a result. So as to not be entirely negative, we provide brief remarks on what can be done to remedy the situation. We hold that generally, people’s lives and especially people’s political lives are worse than they otherwise might be because of the disconnect between the public and philosophy. Finally, we close with a few practical activities that some philosophers are already engaged in to make work in philosophy more public.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/10 2014/02/01 - 17:05

Can popular Christian apologetics be public philosophy? This paper argues that it can be partly because the criteria for what counts as public philosophy are so vague but also partly because popular Christian apologetics parallels much that counts as public philosophy both in terms of its historical roots in Socrates but also how public philosophy is practiced now. In particular, there are parallels on the role of amateurs vs. professionals, the sorts of topics, the quality of the discussions, and the passion vs. the neutrality of its practitioners.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/9 2014/02/01 - 17:05

Can popular Christian apologetics be public philosophy? This paper argues that it can be partly because the criteria for what counts as public philosophy are so vague but also partly because popular Christian apologetics parallels much that counts as public philosophy both in terms of its historical roots in Socrates but also how public philosophy is practiced now. In particular, there are parallels on the role of amateurs vs. professionals, the sorts of topics, the quality of the discussions, and the passion vs. the neutrality of its practitioners.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/9 2014/02/01 - 17:05

Writing philosophy to be read by people who are not professional philosophers ought to be central to the work of professional philosophers. Writing for the public should be central to their work because their professional end is to produce ideas for use by people who are not professional philosophers. Philosophy is unlike most disciplines in that the ideas produced by professional philosophers generally have to be understood by a person before they can be of any use to them. As a tool for delivering philosophical ideas to the public, writing philosophical works is invaluable. The need to write philosophy directly for the public should be clear regardless of one’s conception of the value of philosophy, since writing directly for the public is in the spirit of all the most popular modern philosophical movements.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/8 2014/02/01 - 17:05

Writing philosophy to be read by people who are not professional philosophers ought to be central to the work of professional philosophers. Writing for the public should be central to their work because their professional end is to produce ideas for use by people who are not professional philosophers. Philosophy is unlike most disciplines in that the ideas produced by professional philosophers generally have to be understood by a person before they can be of any use to them. As a tool for delivering philosophical ideas to the public, writing philosophical works is invaluable. The need to write philosophy directly for the public should be clear regardless of one’s conception of the value of philosophy, since writing directly for the public is in the spirit of all the most popular modern philosophical movements.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/8 2014/02/01 - 17:05

Philosophy has been a public endeavor since its origins in ancient Greece, India, and China. However, recent years have seen the development of a new type of public philosophy conducted by both academics and non-professionals. The new public philosophy manifests itself in a range of modalities, from the publication of magazines and books for the general public to a variety of initiatives that exploit the power and flexibility of social networks and new media. In this paper we examine the phenomenon of public philosophy in its several facets, and investigate whether and in what sense it is itself a mix of philosophical practice and teaching. We conclude with a number of suggestions to academic colleagues on why and how to foster further growth of public philosophy for the benefit of society at large and of the discipline itself.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/7 2014/02/01 - 17:05

Philosophy has been a public endeavor since its origins in ancient Greece, India, and China. However, recent years have seen the development of a new type of public philosophy conducted by both academics and non-professionals. The new public philosophy manifests itself in a range of modalities, from the publication of magazines and books for the general public to a variety of initiatives that exploit the power and flexibility of social networks and new media. In this paper we examine the phenomenon of public philosophy in its several facets, and investigate whether and in what sense it is itself a mix of philosophical practice and teaching. We conclude with a number of suggestions to academic colleagues on why and how to foster further growth of public philosophy for the benefit of society at large and of the discipline itself.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/7 2014/02/01 - 17:05

There are some risks in producing public philosophy. We don’t want to misrepresent the work of philosophy or mislead readers into thinking they have learned all they need to know from a single, short book or article. The potential benefits, though, outweigh the risks. Public philosophy can disseminate important ideas and enhance appreciation for the difficult and complex work of philosophers. Popular writing is often less precise, lacking in fine detail and elaboration, but it can still be accurate (in the sense of being “on target”). People often need a simplified account to get an initial understanding. Whatever one thinks of the role of jargon in scholarly writing, its place should be minimal in popular writing. If physicists can write books of popular science with virtually no equations, philosophers can write books for a general audience with limited jargon.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/6 2014/02/01 - 17:05

There are some risks in producing public philosophy. We don’t want to misrepresent the work of philosophy or mislead readers into thinking they have learned all they need to know from a single, short book or article. The potential benefits, though, outweigh the risks. Public philosophy can disseminate important ideas and enhance appreciation for the difficult and complex work of philosophers. Popular writing is often less precise, lacking in fine detail and elaboration, but it can still be accurate (in the sense of being “on target”). People often need a simplified account to get an initial understanding. Whatever one thinks of the role of jargon in scholarly writing, its place should be minimal in popular writing. If physicists can write books of popular science with virtually no equations, philosophers can write books for a general audience with limited jargon.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/6 2014/02/01 - 17:05

One of the responses to the attacks upon the contemporary university, particularly upon the humanities, has been to encourage faculty to engage in so-called ‘public intellectualism.’ In this paper I urge (some) philosophers to embrace this turn, but only if the academy can effectively address how to credit such work in the tenure and promotion process. Currently, public philosophy is typically placed under ‘service’, even though the work is often more intellectually and philosophically rigorous than committee work, even sometimes more than publications. I address this problem by providing an analysis of what is academically valuable about good scholarship and then showing how much of public philosophy achieves those goods. From this I argue that the academy should abandon the traditional categories of teaching/research/service and replace them with a holistic and qualitative single category of “teacher-scholar.” I then recommend that evaluation criteria should be very inclusive, giving credit to the wide range of activities in which faculty participate and I provide some suggestions for how those criteria should read.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/5 2014/02/01 - 17:05

One of the responses to the attacks upon the contemporary university, particularly upon the humanities, has been to encourage faculty to engage in so-called ‘public intellectualism.’ In this paper I urge (some) philosophers to embrace this turn, but only if the academy can effectively address how to credit such work in the tenure and promotion process. Currently, public philosophy is typically placed under ‘service’, even though the work is often more intellectually and philosophically rigorous than committee work, even sometimes more than publications. I address this problem by providing an analysis of what is academically valuable about good scholarship and then showing how much of public philosophy achieves those goods. From this I argue that the academy should abandon the traditional categories of teaching/research/service and replace them with a holistic and qualitative single category of “teacher-scholar.” I then recommend that evaluation criteria should be very inclusive, giving credit to the wide range of activities in which faculty participate and I provide some suggestions for how those criteria should read.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/5 2014/02/01 - 17:05

In this article, I examine the purpose of public philosophy, challenging the claim that its goal is to create better citizens. I define public philosophy narrowly as the act of professional philosophers engaging with non-professionals, in a non-academic setting, with the specific aim of exploring issues philosophically. The paper is divided into three sections. The first contrasts professional and public philosophy with special attention to the assessment mechanism in each. The second examines the relationship between public philosophy and citizenship, calling into question the effect public philosophy has on political reasoning. The third focuses on the practice of public philosophy, describing actual events to investigate the nature and limits of their outcomes. I conclude that public philosophy aims at future philosophical inquiry but is best considered a form of entertainment.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/4 2014/02/01 - 17:05

In this article, I examine the purpose of public philosophy, challenging the claim that its goal is to create better citizens. I define public philosophy narrowly as the act of professional philosophers engaging with non-professionals, in a non-academic setting, with the specific aim of exploring issues philosophically. The paper is divided into three sections. The first contrasts professional and public philosophy with special attention to the assessment mechanism in each. The second examines the relationship between public philosophy and citizenship, calling into question the effect public philosophy has on political reasoning. The third focuses on the practice of public philosophy, describing actual events to investigate the nature and limits of their outcomes. I conclude that public philosophy aims at future philosophical inquiry but is best considered a form of entertainment.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/4 2014/02/01 - 17:05

The exploration of popular culture topics by academic philosophers for non-academic audiences has given rise to a distinctive genre of philosophical writing. Edited volumes with titles such as Black Sabbath and Philosophy or Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy contain chapters by multiple philosophical authors that attempt to bring philosophy to popular audiences. Two dominant models have emerged in the genre. On the pedagogical model, authors use popular culture examples to teach the reader philosophy. The end is to promote philosophical literacy, defined as acquaintance with the key problems, ideas, and figures in the history of philosophy. In contrast, on the applied philosophy model, authors use philosophy to open up new dimensions of the popular culture topic for fans. The end is to illustrate the value of philosophy in understanding the popular culture topic, and ultimately, to demonstrate the value of philosophy in general. Taking stock of the relative strengths and weaknesses of these two models provides an opportunity to reflect more broadly on whether, why, and how philosophers should engage the public.

http://commons.pacificu.edu/eip/vol15/iss1/3 2014/02/01 - 17:05