The Liturgical and the Ethical in Lacoste and Kierkegaard

By: ALEXANDER GILMAN The relationship between the liturgical, defined by Jean-Yves Lacoste as “the logic that presides over the encounter between man and God writ large,” and the ethical is deeply ambiguous. Throughout Lacoste’s phenomenological work, Experience and the Absolute, the call of man and the world is set in contrast with the call of the Absolute. In this text Lacoste begins with the Heideggerian notion of our being as being-in-the world-toward-death and explores how a liturgical relationship with the absolute subverts, but also sublates, our being-in-the-world in favor of a being-toward-God. Without rejecting Heidegger’s fundamental ontology, Lacoste aims to … Continue reading The Liturgical and the Ethical in Lacoste and Kierkegaard

Justified False Beliefs and Truth as a Redundant Condition

By: STEVE TENSMEYER Despite the common intuition that something is very wrong with the Gettier problems, after forty years they still seem to be intractable. The responses to these paradoxes of knowledge range from complaints against their logical structure to conclusions that knowledge simply cannot be analyzed. Most philosophers, however, take a position somewhere in between these two extremes; their responses advocate changing the traditional Justified True Belief model of knowledge to something that “de-Gettierizes” knowledge. This almost always means either adding some fourth condition or clarifying or changing the definition of justification. In this essay I will consider different … Continue reading Justified False Beliefs and Truth as a Redundant Condition

Reason and Self-Interest in Hobbes’ Reply to the Fool

By JOSEPH CARLSMITH ABSTRACT: The Fool offers a famous objection to Hobbesian ethics: if practical rationality is rooted in self-interest, then isn’t it rational to abandon ethical reasoning when doing so “conduces to one’s benefit”? In this paper, I examine Hobbes’ reply to the Fool as it reveals the limitations of the moral theory presented in Leviathan. I begin by sketching out the reply and two traditional ways of interpreting it – the “case-by-case” interpretation and the “rule-commitment” interpretation. I argue that for empirical reasons both these interpretations fail to answer the Fool’s challenge. I then turn to an interpretation … Continue reading Reason and Self-Interest in Hobbes’ Reply to the Fool

Hellfire: A Loving God, Infinite Suffering, and the Reliability of the Bible

By ERIN McDONNELL ABSTRACT: One of the most imposing problems facing the modern theist philosopher is the ‘problem of Hell,’ or the problem of how to make the Bible’s depiction of Hell as a place of eternal punishment logically consistent with the generally held theist idea that God is perfectly loving. This issue has been dealt with by a number of philosophers; some have attempted to re-imagine Hell into something less severe than eternal punishment, and some have attempted to give justifications for the traditional version of Hell. An overview of these various views and attempts will conclude that universalism—the … Continue reading Hellfire: A Loving God, Infinite Suffering, and the Reliability of the Bible

The Will to Act and the Paradigm Shift Away From Aristotle’s Physics

By JUAN M. BOTERO-DUQUE ABSTRACT: The present study seeks to put together a critical assessment of the role that that “Will,” actualized through techné, played in Aristotle’s physics. It will be shown how said concept of Will led to a theoretical fissure of the Aristotelian cosmos between the natural and the artificial, which was finally detrimental to the sustainability of his scientific proposals. Furthermore, light will be shed on the incompatibility between Aristotelian physics and mathematics, an area of knowledge that was to become the primordial tool of modern scientific inquiry. As a manner of conclusion, brief remarks will be … Continue reading The Will to Act and the Paradigm Shift Away From Aristotle’s Physics

Brain Steroids: Ethical Concerns Regarding Cosmetic Neurology and Psychopharmacology

By GENNADIY KATSEVMAN ABSTRACT: Advancements in the field of medicine have created several novel ethical concerns. Developments in neuroscience, for example, have resulted in the creation of a new field called “neuroethics.” This paper addresses the neuroethical issue of psychopharmacological enhancement; should society have rules against psychopharmacological enhancement or “brain steroids,” particularly in academia? If so, on what guidelines should the rules be based? I argue that there should be no major restrictions against enhancement itself, although drugs that are blatantly harmful should be prohibited as with therapeutic drugs. In Part One, I provide arguments in favor of psychopharmacological enhancement. In Part Two, I describe and refute arguments against such enhancement. Finally, in Part Three, I provide … Continue reading Brain Steroids: Ethical Concerns Regarding Cosmetic Neurology and Psychopharmacology

Dennett’s Propositional Attitudes

By KAROLINA WISNIEWSKI ABSTRACT: The following paper will seek to do two things: succinctly outline Dennett’s defense of propositional attitudes as having causal powers over human behaviour using the intentional stance, and subsequently analyze the specific downfalls in his position which render his argument ineffective. Dennett’s wish to validate propositional attitudes stems from the desire to retain a certain degree of scientific certainty without doing away with the language of beliefs, values and intentions. His answer to the body-mind problem is to explain the how abstract sounding phenomena such as intentions are able to affect the physical actions of humans. A critical analysis, it will be … Continue reading Dennett’s Propositional Attitudes

Rorty, Connolly, and the Role of Irony

By MATT FRIBERG ABSTRACT: Despite agreeing on the importance of irony, Richard Rorty and William Connolly differ sharply on its role for the individual, and for society more broadly. That is, Rorty understands irony as of strictly personal use, whereas Connolly bases an entire public realm on ironic discourse. I will, in this paper, analyze each thinker’s views on irony’s ultimate function. That is, I will articulate Rorty’s view of ironist theory as problematic, and will attempt to apply Rorty’s claims regarding the ironist theorist to Connolly’s project. Also, I will attempt to support Rorty’s argument for liberal democracy as … Continue reading Rorty, Connolly, and the Role of Irony

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