1,683 research outputs found

    Other Than Whom?

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    The "impure" indexicality of the pronoun we is exploited to widen or reduce its scope, depending on rhetorical expediency. This has powerful and mostly damaging effects on public discourse. In fact, collective identities are seldom precisely defined, and when they are they often turn out to be less discriminating than the “we” rhetoric assumes them to be

    Quine and Wittgenstein on the science/philosophy divide.

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    In this article I first sketch what I take to be two Quinean arguments for the continuity of philosophy with science. After examining Wittgenstein’s reasons for not accepting the arguments, I conclude that they are ineffective on Wittgenstein’s assumptions. Next, I ask three related questions: (a) Where do Quine’s and Wittgenstein’s philosophical views essentially diverge? (b) Did Wittgenstein have an argument against the continuity of science with philosophy? (c) Did Wittgenstein believe until the end of his philosophical career that scientific results are philosophically irrelevant? It will be seen that all three questions are related with Wittgenstein’s distinction between conceptual and factual issues. I conclude that the opposition between Quinean philosophy and Wittgensteinian philosophy is genuine

    Word Meaning

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    Philosophical Thought Experiments: The Case for Engel

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    Je m’efforcerai de donner plus de poids aux doutes de Pascal Engel relatifs à deux affirmations de Timothy Williamson dans Philosophy of Philosophy: que les expériences de pensée philosophiques portent sur une possibilité métaphysique par opposition à une possibilité conceptuelle, et que le raisonnement contrefactuel joue un rôle crucial pour atteindre les conclusions modales pertinentes dans les arguments fondés sur des expériences de pensée. Dans le premier cas, je soutiendrai qu’à moins de comprendre la notion de conceptuel dans un sens psychologique, il est difficile de saisir la différence entre des expériences de pensée qui « portent sur des concepts » ou possibilités conceptuelles et des expériences de pensée qui « portent sur des êtres réels » ou possibilités métaphysiques. Dans le second cas, je soutiendrai qu’il n’est pas clair que les contrefactuels sont des prémisses indispensables dans des arguments fondés sur des expériences de pensée ou que le raisonnement contrefactuel prend l’avantage sur le raisonnement déductif ordinaire pour atteindre des conclusions modales.I will try to add some weight to Pascal Engel’s doubts about two claims of Timothy Williamson’s in The Philosophy of Philosophy: that philosophical thought experiments are about metaphysical possibility as opposed to conceptual possibility, and that counterfactual reasoning plays a crucial role in reaching modal conclusions relevant to arguments based on thought experiments. In the first case, I will argue that unless the notion of conceptual is understood psychologically, it is hard to tell the difference between thought experiments being ``about concepts’’, or conceptual possibilities, and their being ``about real things’’, or metaphysical possibilities. In the second case, I will argue that it not clear that counterfactuals are indispensable premises in arguments based on thought experiments, or that counterfactual reasoning has an epistemological edge over standard deductive reasoning in reaching modal conclusions
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