A Critique of the Ontological Argument

by MATTHEW ROWE ABSTRACT The following is a brief introduction to the origins and logical flaws within St. Anselm’s famous Ontological Argument for the existence of G-d. Throughout the time since Anselm first formulated his argument, logicians and philosopher, including Kant, Gödel, and Aquinas, have struggled to reveal its apparent flaws. Through the study of this complex argument in the philosophy of religion, several advances in modern logic have emerged, including an understanding of the sensitive treatment of how to classify existence, whether it is a property of an object, or a quantifier within a logical system. Throughout the years … Continue reading A Critique of the Ontological Argument

Why Impartialists Make Good Friends

by LEAH TRUEBLOOD Why Impartialists Make Good Friends: A Defense of The Motivational Structure of Consequentalism. Utilitarians are often thought to make bad friends and lousy lovers. Philosophical heavyweights such as John Rawls and Bernard Williams argue, respectively, that Utilitarianism destroys the distinction between persons and is an attack on our integrity. Even though, as Rawls and Williams show us, the objections to Utilitarianism vary, a common worry does emerge. This worry is something like: without family and friends our lives would be miserable. Meaningful friendships are impossible for utilitarians because their motivation is exclusively to produce the best consequences. … Continue reading Why Impartialists Make Good Friends

Kant’s Argument for Free Will

By Andy Yu
Kant argues that we can and must admit free will in order for morality to be meaningful at all. The aim of this paper is to reconstruct his arguments found in the Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Practical Reason. I explore his main argument for free will, which relies on the thesis that morality reciprocally implies free will and break this argument into two steps: by discussing how Kant shows that morality implies rationality and how Kant shows that rationality implies free will. Finally, I review Kant’s position on the apparent incompatibility between free will and determinism.
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Ethical Subjects, Empowered Subjectivities

by FAHD HUSAIN Ethical Subjects, Empowered Subjectivities: Individuality, Agency and Interpersonality in the late Foucault ABSTRACT This essay will focus on the Foucauldian notion of the ‘care of the self’, wherein care is defined as the process undertaken by the self to perpetually regenerate its own unique ‘aesthetics’ that best informs and enriches its everyday life. Foucault’s insistence on a perpetual self-regeneration hinges upon a problematization of the pre-established criteria of normality structuring the context: it involves a mode of thinking that scrutinizes the relation of the self to such yardsticks and resists the passive acceptance of their prescribed normative … Continue reading Ethical Subjects, Empowered Subjectivities

The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever

By Cuong Q. Nguyen
Besides working on Prometheus, I like to distract myself from time to time trying to solve riddles and logic puzzles procured by philosophers. Raymond Smullyan, a prominent logician and philosopher, has a number of logic puzzles available online for people to solve. I’m proud to say that I solved a fair number of them but there’s this one particular puzzle by Smullyan that’s been coined by many philosophers to be “The hardest logic puzzle ever.” I found this early on in September 2008 and I’ve contemplated and quarreled with myself trying to solve this puzzle. Think you can solve it? Continue reading The Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever

Kant’s Religion vs. Our Religion

By Daniel Arango In Religion Within the Limits of Pure Reason Alone, Immanuel Kant considers the claim that God “arises out of mortality” without being the basis for moral obligation. “Morality thus leads ineluctably to religion, through which extends itself to the idea of a powerful moral Lawgiver, outside of mankind, for Whose will that is the final end (of creation) which at the same time can and ought to be man’s final end.” Kant develops what he calls the “pure religion of reason” and explains this true moral religion in relation to other established, historical religions. He was particularly interested … Continue reading Kant’s Religion vs. Our Religion

Let The Reading Begin

As the submission deadline comes to a close, we move forward in the review and publication process. Already, the volume of submissions and general interest in Prometheus has exceeded our highest hopes:

    50 submissions from 37 undergraduate philosophers
    Five countries: USA, England, Scotland, Canada, Australia

For our first submission cycle, our expectations have been far exceeded. We’d like to thank everyone who has helped us make this possible. Continue reading Let The Reading Begin

Plato on the Relationship Between Philosophy and Ethics

James Gilmore will be delivering a seminar on the above subject.  This is the first talk in the spring 2009 series “Meaning, Method and Motivation: Perspectives on the Nature and Scope of Philosophy.” The talk will take place in Maryland 202 at 8PM on Wednesday February 18, 2009. Q&A session to follow. Coffee and snacks will be provided. Continue reading Plato on the Relationship Between Philosophy and Ethics

Announcing Spring 2009 Seminar Series

The editorial staff of Prometheus, along with the Hammond Society, are pleased to announce a seminar series for the spring semester entitled “Meaning, Method and Motivation: Perspectives on the Nature and Scope of Philosophy.”  The seminars will consist of a short talk each session given by a graduate student in the Philosophy Department followed by a Q&A session. The first seminar will be delivered by James Gilmore on Februrary 18th at 8PM in Maryland 202.  For more details about the seminar, please see: http://prometheus-journal.com/events/seminar/ Details about future locations, abstracts of the talks, and any other information will continue to be … Continue reading Announcing Spring 2009 Seminar Series