Search results for: philosophy-of-language-and-webs-of-information

Philosophy of Language and Webs of Information

Author : Heimir Geirsson
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The nature of propositions and the cognitive value of names have been the focal point of philosophy of language for the last few decades. The advocates of the causal reference theory have favored the view that the semantic contents of proper names�are their referents. However, Frege�s puzzle about the different cognitive value of coreferential names has made this identification seem impossible. Geirsson provides a detailed overview of the debate to date, and then develops a novel account that explains our reluctance, even when we know about the relevant identity, to substitute coreferential names in both simple sentences and belief contexts while nevertheless accepting the view that the semantic content of names is their referents. The account focuses on subjects organizing information in webs; a name can then access and elicit information from a given web. Geirsson proceeds to extend the account of information to non-referring names, but they have long provided a serious challenge to the causal reference theorist.

Philosophy of Language and Webs of Information

Author : Heimir Geirsson
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The nature of propositions and the cognitive value of names have been the focal point of philosophy of language for the last few decades. The advocates of the causal reference theory have favored the view that the semantic contents of proper names are their referents. However, Frege’s puzzle about the different cognitive value of coreferential names has made this identification seem impossible. Geirsson provides a detailed overview of the debate to date, and then develops a novel account that explains our reluctance, even when we know about the relevant identity, to substitute coreferential names in both simple sentences and belief contexts while nevertheless accepting the view that the semantic content of names is their referents. The account focuses on subjects organizing information in webs; a name can then access and elicit information from a given web. Geirsson proceeds to extend the account of information to non-referring names, but they have long provided a serious challenge to the causal reference theorist.

The Routledge Handbook of Linguistic Reference

Author : Stephen Biggs
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This Handbook offers students and more advanced readers a valuable resource for understanding linguistic reference; the relation between an expression (word, phrase, sentence) and what that expression is about. The volume’s forty-one original chapters, written by many of today’s leading philosophers of language, are organized into ten parts: I Early Descriptive Theories II Causal Theories of Reference III Causal Theories and Cognitive Significance IV Alternate Theories V Two-Dimensional Semantics VI Natural Kind Terms and Rigidity VII The Empty Case VIII Singular (De Re) Thoughts IX Indexicals X Epistemology of Reference Contributions consider what kinds of expressions actually refer (names, general terms, indexicals, empty terms, sentences), what referring expressions refer to, what makes an expression refer to whatever it does, connections between meaning and reference, and how we know facts about reference. Many contributions also develop connections between linguistic reference and issues in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science.

Mind Language and Subjectivity

Author : Nicholas Georgalis
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In this monograph Nicholas Georgalis further develops his important work on minimal content, recasting and providing novel solutions to several of the fundamental problems faced by philosophers of language. His theory defends and explicates the importance of ‘thought-tokens’ and minimal content and their many-to-one relation to linguistic meaning, challenging both ‘externalist’ accounts of thought and the solutions to philosophical problems of language they inspire. The concepts of idiolect, use, and statement made are critically discussed, and a classification of kinds of utterances is developed to facilitate the latter. This is an important text for those interested in current theories and debates on philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and their points of intersection.

Experiential Learning in Philosophy

Author : Julinna Oxley
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In this volume, Julinna Oxley and Ramona Ilea bring together essays that examine and defend the use of experiential learning activities to teach philosophical terms, concepts, arguments, and practices. Experiential learning emphasizes the importance of student engagement outside the traditional classroom structure. Service learning, studying abroad, engaging in large-scale collaborative projects such as creating blogs, websites and videos, and practically applying knowledge in a reflective, creative and rigorous way are all forms of experiential learning. Taken together, the contributions to Experiential Learning in Philosophy argue that teaching philosophy is about doing philosophy with others. The book is divided into two sections: essays that engage in the philosophical debate about defining and implementing experiential learning, and essays that describe how to integrate experiential learning into the teaching of philosophy. Experiential Learning in Philosophy provides a timely reflection on best practices for teaching philosophical ideals and theories, an examination of the evolution of the discipline of philosophy and its adoption (or reclamation) of active modes of learning, and an anticipation of the ways in which pedagogical practices will continue to evolve in the 21st century.

Democracy in Contemporary Confucian Philosophy

Author : David Elstein
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This book examines democracy in recent Chinese-language philosophical work. It focuses on Confucian-inspired political thought in the Chinese intellectual world from after the communist revolution in China until today. The volume analyzes six significant contemporary Confucian philosophers in China and Taiwan, describing their political thought and how they connect their thought to Confucian tradition, and critiques their political proposals and views. It illustrates how Confucianism has transformed in modern times, the divergent understandings of Confucianism today, and how contemporary Chinese philosophers understand democracy, as well as their criticisms of Western political thought.

Philosophy in Schools

Author : Sara Goering
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All of us ponder the big and enduring human questions—Who am I? Am I free? What should I do? What is good? Is there justice? Is life meaningful?—but this kind of philosophical interrogation is rarely carefully explored or even taken seriously in most primary and secondary school settings. However, introducing philosophy to young people well before they get to college can help to develop and deepen critical and creative thinking, foster social and behavioral skills, and increase philosophical awareness. Philosophy in Schools: An Introduction Philosophers and Teachers is an invaluable resource for students and practitioners who wish to learn about the philosophy for children movement, and how to work its principles into their own classroom activities. The volume provides a wealth of practical information, including how to train educators to incorporate philosophy into their daily lessons, best practices and activity ideas for every grade level, and assessment strategies. With contributions from some of the best practitioners of philosophy for children, Philosophy in Schools is a must-have resource for students of philosophy and education alike.

A Philosophy of the Screenplay

Author : Ted Nannicelli
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Recently, scholars in a variety of disciplines—including philosophy, film and media studies, and literary studies—have become interested in the aesthetics, definition, and ontology of the screenplay. To this end, this volume addresses the fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of the screenplay: What is a screenplay? Is the screenplay art—more specifically, literature? What kind of a thing is a screenplay? Nannicelli argues that the screenplay is a kind of artefact; as such, its boundaries are determined collectively by screenwriters, and its ontological nature is determined collectively by both writers and readers of screenplays. Any plausible philosophical account of the screenplay must be strictly constrained by our collective creative and appreciative practices, and must recognize that those practices indicate that at least some screenplays are artworks.

A Philosophy of Material Culture

Author : Beth Preston
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This book focuses on material culture as a subject of philosophical inquiry and promotes the philosophical study of material culture by articulating some of the central and difficult issues raised by this topic and providing innovative solutions to them, most notably an account of improvised action and a non-intentionalist account of function in material culture. Preston argues that material culture essentially involves activities of production and use; she therefore adopts an action-theoretic foundation for a philosophy of material culture. Part 1 illustrates this foundation through a critique, revision, and extension of existing philosophical theories of action. Part 2 investigates a salient feature of material culture itself—its functionality. A basic account of function in material culture is constructed by revising and extending existing theories of biological function to fit the cultural case. Here the adjustments are for the most part necessitated by special features of function in material culture. These two parts of the project are held together by a trio of overarching themes: the relationship between individual and society, the problem of centralized control, and creativity.

How History Matters to Philosophy

Author : Robert C. Scharff
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In recent decades, widespread rejection of positivism’s notorious hostility toward the philosophical tradition has led to renewed debate about the real relationship of philosophy to its history. How History Matters to Philosophy takes a fresh look at this debate. Current discussion usually starts with the question of whether philosophy’s past should matter, but Scharff argues that the very existence of the debate itself demonstrates that it already does matter. After an introductory review of the recent literature, he develops his case in two parts. In Part One, he shows how history actually matters for even Plato’s Socrates, Descartes, and Comte, in spite of their apparent promotion of conspicuously ahistorical Platonic, Cartesian, and Positivistic ideals. In Part Two, Scharff argues that the real issue is not whether history matters; rather it is that we already have a history, a very distinctive and unavoidable inheritance, which paradoxically teaches us that history’s mattering is merely optional. Through interpretations of Dilthey, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, he describes what thinking in a historically determinate way actually involves, and he considers how to avoid the denial of this condition that our own philosophical inheritance still seems to expect of us. In a brief conclusion, Scharff explains how this book should be read as part of his own effort to acknowledge this condition rather than deny it.

Realism Science and Pragmatism

Author : Kenneth R. Westphal
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This collection of original essays aims to reinvigorate the debate surrounding philosophical realism in relation to philosophy of science, pragmatism, epistemology, and theory of perception. Questions concerning realism are as current and as ancient as philosophy itself; this volume explores relations between different positions designated as ‘realism’ by examining specific cases in point, drawn from a broad range of systematic problems and historical views, from ancient Greek philosophy through the present. The first section examines the context of the project; contributions systematically engage the historical background of philosophical realism, re-examining key works of Aristotle, Descartes, Quine, and others. The following two sections epitomize the central tension within current debates: scientific realism and pragmatism. These contributions address contemporary questions of scientific realism and the reality of the objects of science, and consider whether, how or the extent to which realism and pragmatism are compatible. With an editorial introduction by Kenneth R. Westphal, these fourteen original essays provide wide-ranging, salient insights into the status of realism today.

Music and Aesthetic Reality

Author : Nick Zangwill
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In this volume, Zangwill develops a view of the nature of music and our experience of music that foregrounds the aesthetic properties of music. He focuses on metaphysical issues about aesthetic properties of music, psychological issues about the nature of musical experience, and philosophy of language issues about the metaphorical nature of aesthetic descriptions of music. Among the innovations of this book, Zangwill addresses the limits of literal description, generally, and in the aesthetic case. He also explores the social and political issues about musical listening, which tend to be addressed more in continental traditions.

Reframing the Intercultural Dialogue on Human Rights

Author : Jeffrey Flynn
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In this book, Flynn stresses the vital role of intercultural dialogue in developing a non-ethnocentric conception of human rights. He argues that Jürgen Habermas’s discourse theory provides both the best framework for such dialogue and a much-needed middle path between philosophical approaches that derive human rights from a single foundational source and those that support multiple foundations for human rights (Charles Taylor, John Rawls, and various Rawlsians). By analyzing the historical and political context for debates over the compatibility of human rights with Christianity, Islam, and "Asian Values," Flynn develops a philosophical approach that is continuous with and a critical reflection on the intercultural dialogue on human rights. He reframes the dialogue by situating it in relation to the globalization of modern institutions and by arguing that such dialogue must address issues like the legacy of colonialism and global inequality while also being attuned to actual political struggles for human rights.

Resisting Biopolitics

Author : S.E. Wilmer
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The topic of biopolitics is a timely one, and it has become increasingly important for scholars to reconsider how life is objectified, mobilized, and otherwise bound up in politics. This cutting-edge volume discusses the philosophical, social, and political notions of biopolitics, as well as the ways in which biopower affects all aspects of our lives, including the relationships between the human and nonhuman, the concept of political subjectivity, and the connection between art, science, philosophy, and politics. In addition to tracing the evolving philosophical discourse around biopolitics, this collection researches and explores certain modes of resistance against biopolitical control. Written by leading experts in the field, the book’s chapters investigate resistance across a wide range of areas: politics and biophilosophy, technology and vitalism, creativity and bioethics, and performance. Resisting Biopolitics is an important intervention in contemporary biopolitical theory, looking towards the future of this interdisciplinary field.

Contemporary Dualism

Author : Andrea Lavazza
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Ontological materialism, in its various forms, has become the orthodox view in contemporary philosophy of mind. This book provides a variety of defenses of mind-body dualism, and shows (explicitly or implicitly) that a thoroughgoing ontological materialism cannot be sustained. The contributions are intended to show that, at the very least, ontological dualism (as contrasted with a dualism that is merely linguistic or epistemic) constitutes a philosophically respectable alternative to the monistic views that currently dominate thought about the mind-body (or, perhaps more appropriately, person-body) relation.

Hate Speech Law Open Access

Author : Alex Brown
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Hate speech law can be found throughout the world. But it is also the subject of numerous principled arguments, both for and against. These principles invoke a host of morally relevant features (e.g., liberty, health, autonomy, security, non-subordination, the absence of oppression, human dignity, the discovery of truth, the acquisition of knowledge, self-realization, human excellence, civic dignity, cultural diversity and choice, recognition of cultural identity, intercultural dialogue, participation in democratic self-government, being subject only to legitimate rule) and practical considerations (e.g., efficacy, the least restrictive alternative, chilling effects). The book develops and then critically examines these various principled arguments. It also attempts to de-homogenize hate speech law into different clusters of laws/regulations/codes that constrain uses of hate speech, so as to facilitate a more nuanced examination of the principled arguments. Finally, it argues that it is morally fitting for judicial and legislative judgments about the overall warrant of hate speech law to reflect principled compromise. Principled compromise is characterized not merely by compromise over matters of principled concern but also by compromise which is itself governed by ideals of moral duty or civic virtue (e.g., reciprocity, equality, and mutual respect).

The Ontology of Psychology

Author : Linda A.W. Brakel
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In this volume, Brakel raises questions about conventions in the study of mind in three disciplines—psychoanalysis, philosophy of mind, and experimental philosophy. She illuminates new understandings of the mind through interdisciplinary challenges to views long-accepted. Here she proposes a view of psychoanalysis as a treatment that owes its successes largely to its biological nature—biological in its capacity to best approximate the extinction of problems arising owing to aversive conditioning. She also discusses whether or not "the mental" can have any real ontological standing, arguing that a form of reductive physicalism can be sufficient ontologically, but that epistemological considerations require a branch of non-reductive physicalism. She then notes the positive implications of this view for psychiatry and psychoanalysis, Finally, she investigates the role of "consistency" in method and content, toward which experimental philosophers strive. In essence, Brakel articulates the different sets of challenges pertaining to: a) ancient dilemmas such as the mind/body problem; b) longstanding debates about the nature of therapeutic action in psychoanalysis; and c) new core questions arising in the relatively young discipline of experimental philosophy.

Personal Autonomy and Social Oppression

Author : Marina A.L. Oshana
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Personal Autonomy and Social Oppression addresses the impact of social conditions, especially subordinating conditions, on personal autonomy. The essays in this volume are concerned with the philosophical concept of autonomy or self-governance and with the impact on relational autonomy of the oppressive circumstances persons must navigate. They address on the one hand questions of the theoretical structure of personal autonomy given various kinds of social oppression, and on the other, how contexts of social oppression make autonomy difficult or impossible.

Domination and Global Political Justice

Author : Barbara Buckinx
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Domination consists in subjection to the will of others and manifests itself both as a personal relation and a structural phenomenon serving as the context for relations of power. Domination has again become a central political concern through the revival of the republican tradition of political thought (not to be confused with the US political party). However, normative debates about domination have mostly remained limited to the context of domestic politics. Also, the republican debate has not taken into account alternative ways of conceptualizing domination. Critical theorists, liberals, feminists, critical race theorists, and postcolonial writers have discussed domination in different ways, focusing on such problems as imperialism, racism, and the subjection of indigenous peoples. This volume extends debates about domination to the global level and considers how other streams in political theory and nearby disciplines enrich, expand upon, and critique the republican tradition’s contributions to the debate. This volume brings together, for the first time, mostly original pieces on domination and global political justice by some of this generation’s most prominent scholars, including Philip Pettit, James Bohman, Rainer Forst, Amy Allen, John McCormick, Thomas McCarthy, Charles Mills, Duncan Ivison, John Maynor, Terry Macdonald, Stefan Gosepath, and Hauke Brunkhorst.

The Essence of the Self

Author : Geoffrey Madell
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In this volume, Geoffrey Madell develops a revised account of the self, making a compelling case for why the "simple" or "anti-criterial" view of personal identity warrants a robust defense. Madell critiques recent discussions of the self for focusing on features which are common to all selves, and which therefore fail to capture the uniqueness of each self. In establishing his own view of personal identity, Madell proposes (a) that there is always a gap between ‘A is f and g’ and ‘I am f and g’; (b), that a complete description of the world offered without recourse to indexicals will fail to account for the contingent truth that I am one of the persons described; and (c), that an account of conscious perspectives on the world must take into account what it means for an apparently arbitrary one of these perspectives to be mine. Engaging with contemporary positions on the first person, embodiment, psychological continuity, and other ongoing arguments, Madell contends that there can be no such thing as a criterion of personal identity through time, that no bodily or psychological continuity approach to the issue can succeed, and that personal identity through time must be absolute, not a matter of degree. Madell’s view that the nature of the self is substantively different from that of objects in the world will generate significant discussion and debate among philosophers of mind.