Volume 20 (2020)

    Reasoning, Defeasibility, and the Taking Condition

    Markos Valaris

    October 2020, vol. 20, no. 28, pp. 1-16

    Reasoning is a way of forming or revising attitudes such as beliefs and intentions. But what sets reasoning apart from other ways of forming or revising attitudes? According to the Taking Condition, an agent’s response does not count as an instance of reasoning unless the agent takes it that her circumstances warrant that response. While initially attractive to many, the Taking Condition has also faced a lot of criticism in the literature. This paper suggests a novel way of motivating the Taking Condition. More specifically, it argues that recognizing the pervasive defeasibility of human reasoning provides strong reasons to accept the Taking Condition.

    A Direction Effect on Taste Predicates

    Alexander Dinges and Julia Zakkou

    September 2020, vol. 20, no. 27, pp. 1-22

    The recent literature abounds with accounts of the semantics and pragmatics of so-called predicates of personal taste, i.e. predicates whose application is, in some sense or other, a subjective matter. Relativism and contextualism are the major types of theories. One crucial difference between these theories concerns how we should assess previous taste claims. Relativism predicts that we should assess them in the light of the taste standard governing the context of assessment. Contextualism predicts that we should assess them in the light of the taste standard governing the context of use. We show in a range of experiments that neither prediction is correct. People have no clear preferences either way and which taste standard they choose in evaluating a previous taste claim crucially depends on whether they start out with a favorable attitude towards the object in question and then come to have an unfavorable attitude or vice versa. We suggest an account of the data in terms of what we call hybrid relativism.

    "I Am the Original of All Objects": Apperception and the Substantial Subject

    Colin McLear

    September 2020, vol. 20, no. 26, pp. 1-38

    Kant’s conception of the centrality of intellectual self-consciousness, or "pure apperception", for scientific knowledge of nature is well known, if still obscure. Here I argue that, for Kant, at least one central role for such self-consciousness lies in the acquisition of the content of concepts central to metaphysical theorizing. I focus on one important concept, that of <substance>. I argue that, for Kant, the representational content of the concept <substance> depends not just on the capacity for apperception, but on the actual intellectual awareness of oneself in such apperception. I then defend this interpretation from a variety of objections.

    The Value of Thinking and the Normativity of Logic

    Manish Oza

    September 2020, vol. 20, no. 25, pp. 1-23

    I. This paper is about how to build an account of the normativity of logic around the claim that logic is constitutive of thinking. I take the claim that logicis constitutive of thinking to mean that representational activity must tend to conform to logic to count as thinking. II. I develop a natural line of thought about how to develop the constitutive position into an account of logical normativity by drawing on constitutivism in metaethics. III. I argue that, while this line of thought provides some insights, it is importantly incomplete, as it is unable to explain why we should think. I consider two attempts at rescuing the line of thought. The first, unsuccessful response is that it is self-defeating to ask why we ought to think. The second response is that we need to think. But this response secures normativity only if thinking has some connection to human flourishing. IV. I argue that thinking is necessary for human flourishing. Logic is normative because it is constitutive of this good. V. I show that the resulting account deals nicely with problems that vex other accounts of logical normativity.

    Coming Soon

    Essence as a Modality: A Proof-Theoretic and Nominalist Analysis

    Preston Stovall

    Does Identity Politics Reinforce Oppression?

    Katherine Ritchie