Therapy, Ethics, and Religiosity: The Necessity of Conversion Included in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Therapy

By MICHAEL PUTNAM In Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, he writes that the ideal philosopher “treats a question; like an illness” (PI 255). This move from treating a question as something to be answered to treating it as something to be cured might encapsulate the focus of the Investigations; it certainly sums up Wittgenstein’s approach to various problems relating to the philosophy of language, the philosophy of logic, and the philosophy of mind. In this sense, Wittgenstein considers his method therapeutic and concludes that philosophy should do nothing more than demonstrate how its own questions are rooted in mistake. But Wittgenstein … Continue reading Therapy, Ethics, and Religiosity: The Necessity of Conversion Included in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Therapy

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

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

The Study of Truth and Knowledge

By James Fox Abstract Since its publication Gettier’s Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? has become the seminal work in modern epistemology. This paper challenges the very assumptions of Gettier’s counterexamples and is therefore a radical alternative to both the proponents, and critics, of Gettier. By showing how knowledge is found, not in mere words or statements, but within the fundamental beliefs of the speaker, I expose the way in which ambiguity in language can mislead us into rejecting the traditional definition of knowledge as Justified True Belief. . “What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and wouldn’t wait for an answer.” … Continue reading The Study of Truth and Knowledge

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