The Paradox of Ontologically Violent Resistance

By James Comotto, Washington College Introduction In Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire refers to “an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed.” (44) This violence is a sort of ontological violence because it “interferes with the individual’s ontological and historical vocation to be more fully human.” (Freire 44) In refusing to recognize the oppressed as self-affirmed beings, the oppressors perceive them as mere objects — things to be manipulated or ignored for one’s own sake. The acts of dehumanization resulting from this ontological violence enlist the oppressed in a struggle to resist. … Continue reading The Paradox of Ontologically Violent Resistance

Necessity and Counterfactual Discourse

By James Walsh The question “Is water necessarily H2O?” has a more complicated answer than may appear at first blush. To answer the question, one must first distinguish between conceptual and metaphysical necessity. By differentiating between these two types of necessity, it becomes clear that water is not necessarily H2O on a conceptual level. Whether water is necessarily H2O on a metaphysical level depends on the understanding of the word “water” on the part of the person who is judging whether water is metaphysically necessarily H2O. First I will expound upon the notion of conceptual necessity. Then I will evaluate … Continue reading Necessity and Counterfactual Discourse

Fluid Identity

By Mitchell Creelman Abstract: In this paper I propose a novel view on the persistence of identity through time. I propose that an object is defined by a certain set of basic properties, that these properties are maintained throughout the life span of the whole, and that the whole does not cease to exist due to the replacement of individual parts. Given the constant change throughout the persistence of a single whole, I call this idea of identity “Fluid Identity.” Throughout this paper, I will outline the concept that I call “fluid identity,” which I will define as the idea … Continue reading Fluid Identity

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

The Case For Vague Objects

By Jaime Harrell
In this paper, I examine David Lewisʼ treatment of vagueness as a problem of “semantic indecision” and conclude that this position on vagueness is inconsistent with the metaphysics of his theory of modal realism. To reach this, I employ a thought experiment in which an exact counterpart of Lewis is subjected to a series of possible worlds treatments designed to satisfy Lewisʼ criteria for counterparthood and test the limits of semantic treatments of higher-order vagueness. I find that Lewisʼ suggestions for dealing with vagueness fails to pick out counterparts at several points in this series, even when given a satisfactorily precisified set of criteria for the qua relation. Continue reading The Case For Vague Objects

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

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

Anscombe’s First Person

By Erik Hinton
Elizabeth Anscombe’s notorious claim in The First Person, that “I” is not a referential term, has suffered an unfair history of discredit. Although, I will ultimately conclude that Anscombe’s position is untenable when argued to apply for all uses of “I”, to deny the irreferentiality of “I” in many common uses is equally wrong-minded. The assumption which undermines both Anscombe’s argument and criticisms thereof is that “I” must always be either referential or not. While this claim seems to be intuitively true, our clinging to the fixity of “I” is purely a result of a fear that to sacrifice the fixity of “I” would be to sacrifice the fixity of self. Continue reading Anscombe’s First Person