Call for Papers

Prometheus is currently accepting paper submissions for our academic journal, our online journal, and our mid-atlantic undergraduate philosophy conference. The deadline for our academic journal is Sunday, February 2nd.  The deadline for our conference is Friday, January 31st.  There is no deadline for our online journal; submissions will be considered and accepted on a rolling basis.  For further information on paper submissions, click here. Continue reading Call for Papers

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

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

Hammond Society Essay Contest: Deadline Extended

The Hammond Society essay contest on “What is a good life?” has a new deadline of April 10, 2009. The winner will receive a $100 gift card to Barnes and Noble and 2nd place a $50 gift card.  This contest is open to Johns Hopkins undergraduates only.  For further details on the prompt and other requirements, click here to visit the original post. Continue reading Hammond Society Essay Contest: Deadline Extended

The philosopher within: Wittgenstein’s critical reflection on the beginnings of philosophy

LOCATION CHANGE: Maryland 114, 04/01 @ 8PM Graduate Philosophy student Alexander James will be presenting a short talk and leading a discussion on “The philosopher within: Wittgenstein’s critical reflection on the beginnings of philosophy.” Coffee and snacks provided. All are encouraged to attend. For more information, see: Continue reading The philosopher within: Wittgenstein’s critical reflection on the beginnings of philosophy

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