Philosophical Opposition of Liberty and Utility

By Raafay Syed John Stuart Mill, one of the most prominent British philosophers of the 19th century, has had a tremendous influence on political philosophy, ethical theory, and much of the liberal thought which has dominated contemporary Western culture. His libertarian viewpoints are espoused in his essay On Liberty, which is an unwavering defense of individual liberty and freedom from limitations imposed by society. A few years later, Mill published his essay Utilitarianism, in which he argues that utility is the fundamental principle of morality. The principle of utility, or the greatest happiness principle, states that right actions are those … Continue reading Philosophical Opposition of Liberty and Utility

Knowing Nŏl’ĭj

By Alex Ehrlich & AJ Durwin Abstract: Ever since Plato described knowledge in the Theaetetus and the Meno, three criteria, namely justification, truth, and belief (JTB), have composed the traditional philosophical definition of knowledge. In his 1963 paper “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?” Edmund Gettier attempts to disestablish the traditional definition of knowledge. He utilizes a thought experiment in which a person appears to meet the knowledge criteria yet still does not seem to have knowledge. In this paper we clarify and specify the definition of knowledge, breaking the justification criterion down into three separate criteria, saving the common sense … Continue reading Knowing Nŏl’ĭj

Solution to the Hardest Logic Puzzle Ever

By Cuong Q. Nguyen
Last semester I posted a riddle regarded by a number of contemporary philosophers as the “hardest” logic puzzle in the world. Raymond Smullyan, a prominent logician and philosopher, has a number of logic puzzles available online for people to solve, and this particular puzzle received a lot of attention from our readers. After some considerable delay, here is both my solution and various other solutions to the puzzle. Enjoy!
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The Saving Means: Technology, Art, and Techne

By Nestor Bailly Abbreviations for Heidegger and other works cited: QT – The Question Concerning Technology Ister – Hölderlin’s Hymn “The Ister” WAPF – What Are Poets For? SR – Science and Reflection OWA – The Origin of the Work of Art PLT – Hofstadter’s Introduction to Poetry, Language, Thought Zimmerman – Michael Zimmerman’s Heidegger’s Confrontation with Modernity Ferry and Renaut – Heidegger and Modernity trans. Franklin Philip — Here the question of the saving power potential of art against technology’s worlding as the standing-reserve will be addressed. Section I will provide a grounding analysis of Heidegger’s notions of technology … Continue reading The Saving Means: Technology, Art, and Techne

Free Will & Divine Action

By Michael Schwartz Abstract: While there is significant variation in the theist’s description of God, there are nonetheless a set of attributes upon which there is general (but certainly not universal) agreement. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and is capable of interacting in the lives of humans. My purpose in this paper is to provide an account of God’s relation to time given an assumption of these three divine attributes. I will show that the task is unsuccessful for an eternal God (one that exists outside of time), and succeeds in a modified version of an everlasting God that exists with … Continue reading Free Will & Divine Action

Role of Will in a Neuroscientific World

By Markus Prinz I. Introduction The debate on the role of neuroscience in the context of the law has crucial repercussions for the notion of legal responsibility. Legal responsibility and moral responsibility are not necessarily analogous; however, there is a strong correlation. Moral responsibility often informs our sense of legal responsibility, but the latter is best understood as a subset of the former. Legal responsibility is less demanding than moral responsibility mainly due to the context of its function: the courtroom. In the courtroom, evidence is the focus of judgments, whereas moral responsibility adjudicates in cases that are purely internal … Continue reading Role of Will in a Neuroscientific World

On Whether States of Affairs Make Propositions True

By Benjamin Perlin Abstract: This paper discusses the central argument of A World of States of Affairs by David Armstrong, which is intended to posit states of affairs as fundamental ontological entities. This ‘truth-maker’ argument is intended to conclude that states of affairs are what make propositions true; I explore this position and the response by David Lewis, which is a tentative rejection of Armstrong’s position in favour of a supremely permissive combinatorialism. — The sentence “the sun is bright” expresses a true proposition. What, if anything, makes it true? The tentative answer by D.M. Armstrong, which may be found … Continue reading On Whether States of Affairs Make Propositions True

Ethical Transvaluation and Consequentialism

By Helen Ciacciarelli
As secularized accounts of morality’s social origins, the theories of Machiavelli and Nietzsche call for a transvaluation of morality. If we analyze their systems of thought through the distorting, reductive lens of modern connotations, we see the repugnancy of Nietzsche’s anti-Semitism or the cold, calculating, seemingly self-interested tactics of Machiavelli; as a consequence, we fail to delve deeper into the complexity of these works. This dismissive approach needs to be replaced with a detailed examination of how these figures redefine the notions of good and evil as the foundations of their philosophy and political theory. Continue reading Ethical Transvaluation and Consequentialism

Threatening Ambivalence: Aliza Shvarts’s Disruption of the Patriarchal (Hetero)Normative

By Asam Ahmad ABSTRACT: In April of 2008, Yale University’s Aliza Shvarts was accused of a sort of ‘insanity’ that made her unable to make sound judgements and jeopardize her own body for the sake of her art. This paper aims to explore the nature of Shvarts’ artistic project and understand the hyper-reactionary interventions that followed its appearance. I will argue that what caused this hyper intervention and the disciplinary actions that followed was more than just the project itself – it was the very ambiguity of the Event the project was presenting us with, its very refusal to ‘name’ the … Continue reading Threatening Ambivalence: Aliza Shvarts’s Disruption of the Patriarchal (Hetero)Normative