An Epistemic Problem for Intentional Semantics

By Travis McIntyre Abstract: This paper concerns the concept of reference within the field of semantics. W. V. Quine argues in his Word and Object that the relation between words and the objects they refer to is metaphysically indeterminate; there are no facts in the world which can determine what objects words refer to. This paper refutes this thesis by expanding the available facts for establishing reference from behavioral facts (stimulus meaning) to include mental facts which include peoples‟ intentions (intentional semantics). I go on to point out how this new set of facts does not entirely escape Quine‟s indeterminacy … Continue reading An Epistemic Problem for Intentional Semantics

Nietzsche and Kierkegaard on the Ethical

By Raj N. Patel .. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard are two great thinkers of the 19th century who had numerous points of philosophical intersection. Both had a distaste and suspicion for religious authority and instead emphasized individualism and subjectivity. However, one main area of disagreement between them the conception of the “ethical”: Nietzsche had a great distaste toward a conventional universal moral code of behavior, whereas it is precisely this universal ethic that characterizes Kierkegaard’s “ethical stage of life” which constitutes an important presupposition for his notion of the “religious stage of life”. In this paper, I will explore Kierkegaard and … Continue reading Nietzsche and Kierkegaard on the Ethical

The Possibilities of Imagination in Hannah Arendt’s Thought

By Gary Wang In Hannah Arendt’s earlier work, The Origins of Totalitarianism, imagination is caught by totalitarian ideology leading to a denial of experience and a complicity in evil.[1] In her later work, Eichmann in Jerusalem, she explicitly condemns Eichmann’s “lack of imagination” as evidence of his inability to think and as paradigmatic of her diagnosis of totalitarian evil as banal[2]. In her Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy, Arendt’s discussion centers on how imagination is central to the faculty of judgment to possibly resist evil.[3] The relationship between Arendt’s conceptions of imagination hinges upon the existence of a space of … Continue reading The Possibilities of Imagination in Hannah Arendt’s Thought

A Defense of the Extended Mind Thesis

In their article “The Extended Mind” (1998), Andy Clark and David Chalmers introduce a theory of extended cognition. In this paper I explain what extended cognition theories maintain by examining one such theory in particular- namely the Extended Mind thesis (EM), which Clark and Chalmers put forth. Following this, I consider two popular objections raised against EM- one based on concerns about what exactly constitutes a “part” of a cognitive system, and the other based on the intuition that the biological body is what marks the natural boundary between humans and their environments- and provide a defense of EM from each of these objections. Continue reading A Defense of the Extended Mind Thesis

Incommensurability and Scientific Progress

by ETHAN JERZAK Abstract. I aim to resolve a difficulty that has plagued post-Kuhnian philosophy of science. This difficulty stems from a simultaneous commitment to two theses: (1) that successive paradigms are incommensurable to such an extent that they define different puzzles and therefore different worlds, and (2) that each paradigm ‘improves’ on the one it replaces in a non-trivial way. I work through Davidson’s objection to the idea of a conceptual scheme (of which a scientific paradigm is a special case), as well as Kuhn’s response, to get in view a notion of ‘incommensurability’ that admits substantive conceptual differences … Continue reading Incommensurability and Scientific Progress