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Philosophies, Volume 8, Issue 2 (April 2023) – 27 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): People often say that romantic love should be unconditional, and they often want romantic love to last forever. These claims and desires are presumably linked: part of the reason it would be good for love to be unconditional is that it is assumed that such love, being detached from changing conditions, would last forever. This article argues that there are, indeed, kinds of unconditional and permanent love that are worth wanting, but also kinds that are not, and attempts to clarify just what it is that is valuable about these kinds of romantic love. View this paper
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12 pages, 209 KiB  
Article
Psychotherapy as Ethics
by Richard G. T. Gipps
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020042 - 20 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1678
Abstract
Talk of matters ethical is, in the psychotherapeutic context, typically relegated to therapy’s preconditions and setting, i.e., to its ‘frame’. What goes on within that frame, i.e., therapeutic action itself, gets theorised in psychological rather than ethical terms. An explanation for this is [...] Read more.
Talk of matters ethical is, in the psychotherapeutic context, typically relegated to therapy’s preconditions and setting, i.e., to its ‘frame’. What goes on within that frame, i.e., therapeutic action itself, gets theorised in psychological rather than ethical terms. An explanation for this is the frequent therapeutic imperative to extirpate self-directed moralising. Moralising, however, constitutes but a phoney pretender to the ethical life. A true ethical sensibility instead shows itself in such moments of life as involve our offering humane recognition to one another and to ourselves. Being offered such recognition not only allows a patient to internalise it as a remoralising dignity or healthy pride. It also enables the patient to know herself by animating within herself a range of virtue concepts—courage, probity, repentance, etc.—which can then function as regulative ideals for a well-functioning psyche. Inchoate anxiety now takes shape as intelligible guilt. Repentance and the repair of damaged relationships now replace blame’s repression or projection. Conscience now becomes a motor for therapeutic change. In such ways, ethical concern constitutes not merely the frame but the living flesh of the therapeutic project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Between Virtue and Epistemology)
11 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
An Inquiry Concerning the Persistence of Physical Information
by Roman Krzanowski
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020041 - 20 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1358
Abstract
Physical information is a property of nature. How does physical information persist over time? Does it do so as an object, process, or event, which are things considered in the current persistence theories? Physical information is none of these, however, this implies that [...] Read more.
Physical information is a property of nature. How does physical information persist over time? Does it do so as an object, process, or event, which are things considered in the current persistence theories? Physical information is none of these, however, this implies that persistence theories cannot explain the persistence of information. We therefore study the persistence of snowflakes, ephemeral natural structures, to better understand the persistence of natural things, such as physical information. The transitory nature of snowflakes suggests that physical information persists as nature’s latent order, therefore, it is associated with natural structures, but it is not identical to them. This interpretation preserves the properties attributed to physical information, particularly its foundational character. The concept of physical information as latent order accords with Burgin’s General Theory of Information (GTI), which is currently the most comprehensive conceptualization of information that has been proposed. Full article
13 pages, 264 KiB  
Article
Habit, Gesture and the History of Ideas
by Giovanni Maddalena and Simone Bernardi della Rosa
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020040 - 18 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1427
Abstract
This paper explores the intertwinement of ontology and history that happened after the idealist turn of Kantian transcendentalism, particularly in classic German idealism and later in American pragmatism. The paper focuses on the less remarked-upon consequence of this intertwinement, namely the possibility of [...] Read more.
This paper explores the intertwinement of ontology and history that happened after the idealist turn of Kantian transcendentalism, particularly in classic German idealism and later in American pragmatism. The paper focuses on the less remarked-upon consequence of this intertwinement, namely the possibility of a new reading of history based on changes in concepts and habitual mentality. The paper proposes a new take on historiography that vindicates Hegel’s insight but changes his approach to a pragmatist one, more apt to face historical changes in a technical way and less easily twistable into ideological frameworks. The paper argues that the notion of habit, as phenomenologically and semiotically described by Peirce, is the fundamental cellule of the pragmatist take on the entanglement of history and ontology. The paper elaborates on the notion of habit, singling out a special form of it called “gesture” that can be a useful tool for reading the history of the human spirit without incorporating Hegel’s dialectic and Absolute. The paper compares the notion of gesture as it originated in the pragmatist tradition with the parallel use of the term in the early studies of Michel Foucault and argues that the notion of gesture is better equipped to tackle a theoretical reading of history. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historic Ontology and Epistemology)
13 pages, 229 KiB  
Article
Practical Wisdom, Extended Rationality, and Human Agency
by John Hacker-Wright
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020039 - 16 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1682
Abstract
This paper defends a neo-Aristotelian conception of practical wisdom as a virtue that enables human agents to reflect on and direct their lives toward virtuous ends over time. This view is sometimes assumed to require a commitment to an intellectualist Grand End or [...] Read more.
This paper defends a neo-Aristotelian conception of practical wisdom as a virtue that enables human agents to reflect on and direct their lives toward virtuous ends over time. This view is sometimes assumed to require a commitment to an intellectualist Grand End or blueprint view. On that view, practical wisdom would require philosophical insight and an implausibly well worked out set of weighted preferences. In this paper, I aim to show that particularists can and should take on much of what was thought to belong to the Grand End view. I argue for a conception of practical wisdom as a virtue of extended action that accounts for overarching ends without the need to appeal to an unrealistic, intellectualized blueprint for life. Further, on the view advocated here, as in Aristotle, practical wisdom is a virtue of substantial rationality and a different capacity from instrumental rationality in that it requires reflection on what constitutes a good human life. This is not high-minded philosophical reflection and is, in fact, something rather mundane that draws on the same rational capacities we deploy to assess the goodness of actions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Between Virtue and Epistemology)
14 pages, 285 KiB  
Article
The Wrong Question?
by Michael Lambek
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020038 - 15 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1583
Abstract
The Wrong Question? is the response by an anthropologist to a question posed by a philosopher concerning the intelligibility of alien forms of thought. I argue that it is wrong to describe the problem of intelligibility as one of logic or rationality. Indeed, [...] Read more.
The Wrong Question? is the response by an anthropologist to a question posed by a philosopher concerning the intelligibility of alien forms of thought. I argue that it is wrong to describe the problem of intelligibility as one of logic or rationality. Indeed, foreign practices (no less than our own) may become intelligible only once they are not evaluated according to abstract criteria of rationality. To ask of a given practice or form of life whether it is rational is an error of grammar (nonsense) in Wittgenstein’s sense. I describe how intelligibility emerges over the course of ethnographic fieldwork but also argue that we must work on our own concepts in order to make foreign ones intelligible. The response draws from both Gadamer and Wittgenstein as well as anthropologists Geertz, Evans-Pritchard, and Lévi-Strauss. Following Cora Diamond, I suggest further that the ethical and rational dimensions of understanding another are indissociable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Wittgenstein’s “Forms of Life”: Future of the Concept)
28 pages, 621 KiB  
Article
History and the Manifestation of the Good in Plato’s Republic
by Marco Stango
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020037 - 14 Apr 2023
Viewed by 2602
Abstract
This paper suggests that history, both personal and political, plays a crucial role in the manifestation (or concealment) of the Good in Plato’s Republic. After an introduction on how to read Plato’s dialogues vis-a-vis the problem of history, this article offers a [...] Read more.
This paper suggests that history, both personal and political, plays a crucial role in the manifestation (or concealment) of the Good in Plato’s Republic. After an introduction on how to read Plato’s dialogues vis-a-vis the problem of history, this article offers a close reading of Books I and VIII of the Republic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historic Ontology and Epistemology)
16 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
Degradation of the Body in Idealist–Dualist Philosophy
by Alejandro Quintas
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020036 - 8 Apr 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1601
Abstract
There is no corporal philosophy at the level of other philosophical subdisciplines. A research line has begun whose ultimate goal is to determine whether a somatic philosophy can be built. From a pragmatist and biopolitical approach, the present study investigated why it has [...] Read more.
There is no corporal philosophy at the level of other philosophical subdisciplines. A research line has begun whose ultimate goal is to determine whether a somatic philosophy can be built. From a pragmatist and biopolitical approach, the present study investigated why it has not been possible to develop grounded somatic philosophy. As an answer, the “idealist–dualist episteme” is described, which encompasses invariants in the history of idealist philosophy at the ontological, gnoseological, ethical–political, and pedagogical levels. These constants reflect somatophobia, as well as an ontological and gnoseological disregard of the body, which has led to the irrelevance of the body and corporeality in philosophy until the arrival of the “bodily turn”. The critique of this prevailing idealism and dualism will enable a review of current approaches based on these positions, such as embodiment, enactivism, embodied cognition, or embodied artificial intelligence. It opens up a new philosophical line with a universalis scope that is open to the eclectic construction of a pragmatic corporal philosophy that takes into account Chinese, Japanese, or African philosophies. Full article
12 pages, 285 KiB  
Article
An Apology for a Dynamic Ontology: Peirce’s Analysis of Futurity in a Nietzschean Perspective
by Fabbrichesi Rossella
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020035 - 3 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1406
Abstract
Ontology is a part of metaphysics; it concerns what there is. Is it possible to consider being and reality not in a traditional metaphysical way—that is, not as a ground, an origin, a cause, but as a movement, a flux, a dynamogenic principle? [...] Read more.
Ontology is a part of metaphysics; it concerns what there is. Is it possible to consider being and reality not in a traditional metaphysical way—that is, not as a ground, an origin, a cause, but as a movement, a flux, a dynamogenic principle? I will set out from a seminal aphorism by Nietzsche, occurring in Human, all too Human (§2): “A lack of the historical sense is the hereditary fault of all philosophers. But everything has evolved; there are no eternal facts, as there are likewise no absolute truths. Therefore, historical philosophising is henceforth necessary, and with it the virtue of diffidence”. I will then move on to explore Peirce’s late thought, starting from a passage in a letter to W. James, where the author supports a “futurist” interpretation of reality—as he had in the juvenile writings—and speaks of “the reality of the public world of the indefinite future as against our past opinions of what it was to be.” This can be defined as a process of “mellonization,” that operation of logic by which what “is conceived as having been is conceived as extended indefinitely into what always will be”. Similarly, in the Preface to Human, all too Human Nietzsche writes: “Our destiny rules over us, even when we are not yet aware of it; it is the future that makes laws for our today”. I will try to read some Peirce’s statements in a Nietzschean perspective within the context of the plan to develop a dynamic and historical ontology; and I will try to read the “enigma” of Nietzsche’s Eternal recurrence from a Peircean perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historic Ontology and Epistemology)
15 pages, 248 KiB  
Article
Should We Want to Be Loved Unconditionally and Forever?
by Troy Jollimore
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020034 - 31 Mar 2023
Viewed by 3851
Abstract
People often say that romantic love should be unconditional, and they often want romantic love to last forever. These claims and desires are presumably linked: part of the reason it would be good for love to be unconditional is that it is assumed [...] Read more.
People often say that romantic love should be unconditional, and they often want romantic love to last forever. These claims and desires are presumably linked: part of the reason it would be good for love to be unconditional is that it is assumed that such love, being detached from changing conditions, would last forever. This article argues that there are, indeed, kinds of unconditional and permanent love that are worth wanting, but also kinds that are not, and attempts to clarify just what it is that is valuable about these kinds of romantic love. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Philosophical Richness and Variety of Sex and Love)
18 pages, 658 KiB  
Article
Concerning the Epistemology of Design: The Role of the Eco-Cognitive Model of Abduction in Pragmatism
by Alger Sans Pinillos and Anna Estany
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020033 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2603
Abstract
Design has usually been linked to art and applied in scenarios related to everyday life. Even when design has, on occasion, made its way into the world of academia, it has always been closely linked to art and scenarios related everyday life. At [...] Read more.
Design has usually been linked to art and applied in scenarios related to everyday life. Even when design has, on occasion, made its way into the world of academia, it has always been closely linked to art and scenarios related everyday life. At last, however, the idea of design has reached the field of epistemology: an area within the very heart of philosophy that has always focused, in theory, on the foundations of knowledge. Consequently, design is being studied from different approaches interested in the foundation of knowledge, theoretical and practical. This is one of the reasons why abduction and pragmatism have been considered relevant from a design perspective. This paper first shows the main features of abduction and pragmatism, describes their evolution and considers their mutual implications. Second, the epistemology of design is analysed considering its most relevant characteristics. Third, the connection between abduction and, on the one hand, pragmatism and, on the other, design epistemology is addressed. Finally, the role of abductive inference in grounding a real epistemology for design theory from the naturalised cognitive perspective of abduction is outlined. The central proposition is that this approach is essential as a methodological innovation, as it allows us to analyse both the inquiry process and the design process as interdependent when dealing with practical problems of a social and cultural nature. This approach allows us to analyse how human actions determine changes in the theoretical framework from which we make our inquiry. In short, the world is an open-ended project that humans design through our daily inquiry. Full article
11 pages, 246 KiB  
Article
Global Inequality and the Fracture of (Proactive) Solidarity
by Maria Julia Bertomeu
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020032 - 28 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1534
Abstract
In this paper, I wish to examine what is meant by this new concept of “international solidarity”. The study will be presented in a number of sections, beginning with a general introduction that sets out the problem and emphasizes the importance of the [...] Read more.
In this paper, I wish to examine what is meant by this new concept of “international solidarity”. The study will be presented in a number of sections, beginning with a general introduction that sets out the problem and emphasizes the importance of the document produced by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. I will then detail certain general characteristics of the normative concept of solidarity and clarify a number of methodological assumptions and historical data. Thirdly, I will forward an in-depth discussion on the analysis of and debate around the concept of solidarity in its bioethical context, both prior to and during the pandemic. Finally, I will attempt to analyze what I call the ‘rhetoric of solidarity’, as set forth by international organizations and political leaders of the Global North during the pandemic, understanding it as aid in the face of the morally objectionable global inequality and injustice caused by a number of factors, the principal one being the current system of patents imposed by the WTO and the conversion of vaccines into commodities and even ‘positional goods’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solidarity in Bioethics)
13 pages, 294 KiB  
Article
Taking Natural History Seriously: Whitehead and Merleau-Ponty’s Ontological Approach
by Maria Regina Brioschi
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020031 - 24 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1384
Abstract
This paper investigates Alfred North Whitehead and Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s attempts to develop a historical, dynamic ontology (a “process ontology”, according to the former, and an “ontology of the flesh” for the latter). The claim of the paper is that their originality lies in [...] Read more.
This paper investigates Alfred North Whitehead and Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s attempts to develop a historical, dynamic ontology (a “process ontology”, according to the former, and an “ontology of the flesh” for the latter). The claim of the paper is that their originality lies in the methods adopted to reach such ontologies, which show strong similarities. Both authors based their research on nature, conceived of as “the leaf of Being”, and on perceptual experience, understood not as a chaos of bare, punctual, sense data, but as the complex, original source of meaning that constitutes the primary field of philosophical investigation—the only source from which one can gain new understanding of both nature and logos (things, happenings, values, subjectivity, laws, etc.). After some introductory remarks on the connections between Whitehead and Merleau-Ponty, the paper is divided into three parts. The first part clarifies why and how, according to the philosophers, ontology should start from a new scrutiny of nature. The second part specifies what this new conception of nature, based on perceptual experience, is. The third part focuses on how their ontologies must be construed as historic, insofar as behaviors, actions, and practices lie at the core of their concept of being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Historic Ontology and Epistemology)
20 pages, 279 KiB  
Review
Review of the “Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Sex and Sexuality”
by Raja Halwani
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020030 - 24 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2543
Abstract
This paper is a review essay of the recently published Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Sex and Sexuality, edited by Brian D. Earp, Clare Chambers, and Lori Watson (2022). The anthology consists of an introduction and 40 essays, and it has eight [...] Read more.
This paper is a review essay of the recently published Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Sex and Sexuality, edited by Brian D. Earp, Clare Chambers, and Lori Watson (2022). The anthology consists of an introduction and 40 essays, and it has eight parts: (I) What Is Sex? Is Sex Good?; (II) Sexual Orientations; (III) Sexual Autonomy and Consent; (IV) Regulating Sexual Relationships; (V) Pathologizing Sex and Sexuality; (VI) Contested Desires; (VII) Objectification and Commercialized Sex; and (VIII) Technology and the Future of Sex. The anthology contains essays mostly by philosophers and a few by non-philosophers (which can be a double-edged sword for a philosophy book). Some essays survey a topic, while others defend specific theses. I argue that the quality of the essays varies, but that all are thought-provoking. Although the essays that deal with sexual orientation and race tend to be on the weaker side, those that deal with technology, objectification, incest, pedophilia, sex work, and the regulation of relationships are on the strong side. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Philosophical Richness and Variety of Sex and Love)
12 pages, 252 KiB  
Article
Educating for Virtuous Intellectual Character and Valuing Truth
by Duncan Pritchard
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020029 - 23 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1713
Abstract
This paper explores the thesis that the overarching goal of education is to cultivate virtuous intellectual character. It is shown how finally valuing the truth is central to this theory on account of how such valuing is pivotal to intellectual virtues. This feature [...] Read more.
This paper explores the thesis that the overarching goal of education is to cultivate virtuous intellectual character. It is shown how finally valuing the truth is central to this theory on account of how such valuing is pivotal to intellectual virtues. This feature of the proposal might be thought to be problematic for a number of reasons. For example, it could be argued that truth is not valuable, that insisting on valuing the truth in educational contexts could be politically dubious, or that there is something unduly prescriptive about an educational methodology that has this component. It is argued, however, that many of these grounds for concern are not sound on closer inspection. Properly understood, educating for virtuous intellectual character, even once the truth-valuing aspect of this thesis is made explicit, should not be a contentious proposal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Between Virtue and Epistemology)
23 pages, 321 KiB  
Article
Fair Competition and Inclusion in Sport: Avoiding the Marginalisation of Intersex and Trans Women Athletes
by Jonathan Cooper
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020028 - 23 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 9168
Abstract
Despite the reality of intersex individuals whose biological markers do not necessarily all point towards a traditional binary understanding of either male or female, the vast majority of sports divide competition into categories based on a binary notion of biological sex and develop [...] Read more.
Despite the reality of intersex individuals whose biological markers do not necessarily all point towards a traditional binary understanding of either male or female, the vast majority of sports divide competition into categories based on a binary notion of biological sex and develop policies and regulations to police the divide. In so doing, sports governing bodies (SGBs) adopt an imperfect model of biological sex in order to serve their particular purposes, which, typically, will include protecting the fundamental sporting value of fair competition. Yet, one potential consequence of enforcing such an approach would seem to be the exclusion or marginalization of individuals whose biological development does not fit within the binary model, whether due to genetics or through a choice to undergo medical intervention to better represent a chosen gender identity. Any such exclusion or marginalization will inevitably tend to undermine another fundamental value of sport, that of inclusivity. In the context of those with differences of sex development, SGBs appear to be faced with a difficult problem: dealing with a conflict between two fundamental values of sport. Different approaches to this problem have been suggested, with some academics proposing that sports organisations, in general, ought to prioritise fairness above, while others suggest the need to ‘balance’ competing values or even to prioritise inclusion over fairness. However, it is argued that any of these approaches are, in principle, justifiable as any sport should be free to prioritise or balance its own values. What seems more important for any SGB is the need for a rational and transparent justification of regulations that pursue fair competition at the expense of inclusivity. Furthermore, where fair competition and inclusivity are fundamental values, any such justification would seem to demand adherence to some basic norms. First, the regulations should be built on (and articulate) a consistent and principled basis of what ‘fair competition’ means in a particular sport. Second, any regulations should only exclude or restrict participation to the minimum degree necessary to achieve the sense of fair competition so articulated. Third, SGBs should be transparent about what their values are and where their priorities lie so that participants and other stakeholders are able to make an informed choice as to whether they wish to participate in, support, or be associated with a particular sport. With reference to the adoption of the Eligibility Regulations for Athletes with Differences of Sex Development (the ‘DSD Regulations’) by the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF), this article seeks to evaluate whether the approach of the IAAF satisfied these basic requirements. Full article
8 pages, 239 KiB  
Article
Effective Procedures
by Nathan Salmon
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020027 - 16 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1286
Abstract
The “somewhat vague, intuitive” notion from computability theory of an effective procedure (method) or algorithm can be fairly precisely defined, even if it does not have a purely mathematical definition—and even if (as many have asserted) for that reason, the Church–Turing thesis (that [...] Read more.
The “somewhat vague, intuitive” notion from computability theory of an effective procedure (method) or algorithm can be fairly precisely defined, even if it does not have a purely mathematical definition—and even if (as many have asserted) for that reason, the Church–Turing thesis (that the effectively calculable functions on natural numbers are exactly the general recursive functions), cannot be proved. However, it is logically provable from the notion of an effective procedure, without reliance on any (partially) mathematical thesis or conjecture concerning effective procedures, such as the Church–Turing thesis, that the class of effective procedures is undecidable, i.e., that there is no effective procedure for ascertaining whether a given procedure is effective. The proof does not even appeal to a precise definition of ‘effective procedure’. Instead, it relies solely and entirely on a basic grasp of the intuitive notion of such a procedure. Though the result itself is not surprising, it is also not without significance. It has the consequence, for example, that the solution to a decision problem, if it is to be complete, must be accompanied by a separate argument that the proposed ascertainment procedure is, in fact, a decision procedure, i.e., effective—for example, that it invariably terminates with the correct verdict. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Turing the Philosopher: Established Debates and New Developments)
7 pages, 188 KiB  
Article
The Problem with Conservative Art: A Critique of Russell Kirk’s Metaphysical Conservatism
by Seth Vannatta
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020026 - 15 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1731
Abstract
In this paper I measure the progressive potentiality of art against Russell Kirk’s notion of “normative art”. Kirk argues that good literature cultivates virtue according to a transcendent norm, a law of nature. I interrogate the extent to which this art can be [...] Read more.
In this paper I measure the progressive potentiality of art against Russell Kirk’s notion of “normative art”. Kirk argues that good literature cultivates virtue according to a transcendent norm, a law of nature. I interrogate the extent to which this art can be conservative according to Kirk’s own meaning of conservatism and read his own conservatism against itself in an effort to show which of its tenets detrimentally supersede and contradict its others. The criticism of Kirk’s discussion of normative art makes use of Charles Sanders Peirce’s more sophisticated epistemology, metaphysics, and normative science of aesthetics. Ultimately, Kirk’s conservatism and his position on normative art rely on metaphysical dualism and the gratuitous capacity of intuition. This ends in an unjustified discounting of his principles of variety, imperfectability, prescription, and continuity and their subordination to his principle of transcendence. Full article
19 pages, 307 KiB  
Article
Is Casual Sex Good for You? Casualness, Seriousness and Wellbeing in Intimate Relationships
by Aaron Ben-Ze'ev
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020025 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5849
Abstract
Enduring romantic love is highly significant for our wellbeing, and there is much scientific evidence for its value. There is also evidence that marital sex is important for the flourishing of wellbeing for both partners. Casual sexual relationships and experiences (CSREs) are often [...] Read more.
Enduring romantic love is highly significant for our wellbeing, and there is much scientific evidence for its value. There is also evidence that marital sex is important for the flourishing of wellbeing for both partners. Casual sexual relationships and experiences (CSREs) are often characterized in a non-normative way, as sexual behavior occurring outside a committed romantic relationship. However, the prevailing normative description is negative, perceived as superficial behavior that harms our wellbeing. Although sexual activities are linked to many psychological and physical health benefits, these are rarely attributed to casual sex. Instead, scholars and laymen have warned against the negative consequences of non-committed sex, particularly for women. Yet, positive reactions to casual sex, such as satisfaction, confidence, self-knowledge and social engagement, are stronger and more common than negative reactions. Accordingly, the two major aims of this article are to understand the complexity of CSREs better, and to substantiate the claim that in various circumstances, CSREs contribute to our wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Philosophical Richness and Variety of Sex and Love)
10 pages, 250 KiB  
Article
‘Prioritized Distribution of Equal Shares’—An Ethical and Practicable Allocation Framework for COVID-19 Vaccines
by Lina Corinna Heuberger, Sophia Forster and Andreas Frewer
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020024 - 10 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1576
Abstract
In the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the fast and equitable distribution of effective vaccines worldwide is one of the challenges faced by international institutions in charge, as global equity in vaccine supply has not yet been achieved. Our paper explains the [...] Read more.
In the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the fast and equitable distribution of effective vaccines worldwide is one of the challenges faced by international institutions in charge, as global equity in vaccine supply has not yet been achieved. Our paper explains the current state of ethical research on equity in global COVID-19 vaccine allocation, focusing on the COVAX Facility established by the WHO, acting as the global vaccine distributor. The article presents a detailed analysis of the first year of COVAX allocation in 2021 identifying problematic aspects of its allocation framework regarding the implementation of COVAX’s fundamental allocation principles. We argue that the COVAX Facility has developed a proper concept to deal with global vaccine allocation—but to address uncovered defaults, we introduce the ‘Prioritized Distribution of Equal Shares’ model—a both ethical and practically feasible alternative allocation framework to protect the value of human lives in both high- and low-income countries through fair and fast global vaccine distribution in health emergencies. Nonetheless, we argue that the COVAX Facility remains the main organization to provide equitable access to vaccines. Yet, the global community has to consider further aspects such as patent protection, vaccine production and the lack of power of global structures to address the inequities that have arisen. Since new wars and further crises have arisen, a shift in public global attention endangers the processing of COVID-19-related issues. That is why now more than ever extensive efforts to achieve vaccine equity are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Virtues)
10 pages, 330 KiB  
Article
On the Subjective Value of Life
by Ognjen Arandjelović
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020023 - 9 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2302
Abstract
Claims (or the implicit assumption) of the inherent worth of life are pervasive and remain virtually unchallenged. I have already argued that these outright moral dictates are thinly veiled vestiges of theological ethics which, following the removal of their theological foundations, remain little [...] Read more.
Claims (or the implicit assumption) of the inherent worth of life are pervasive and remain virtually unchallenged. I have already argued that these outright moral dictates are thinly veiled vestiges of theological ethics which, following the removal of their theological foundations, remain little more than nebulous claims supported only by fear of the consequences of a challenge. In my previous work, I rejected an a priori claim of an objective life’s worth, which is the worth that we should assign to others’ lives, and elucidated a principled framework that gives rise to the said worth immediately, as a consequence of the experiences of its sentient environment. Herein, I address the complementary question of the value of one’s own life, which is the subjective value of life and, thus, Camus’s (in)famous view that “there is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide”. As before, I rejected the inherency of a life’s worth, showing it to be contradictio in adjecto, and instead show how this worth too can in large part be seen to emerge from sentient experiences of the subject. Many of these are innately linked to experiences of other sentient beings as objects, thus erecting a framework that is both principled and thoroughly humane with Schopenhauer’s ‘loving kindness’ running through it. Practically, my framework illuminates an understanding of suicide as a real-world phenomenon, helping those who remain living to understand a deceased one’s decision, and paving the way to answering questions, such as when there should be an attempt to prevent suicide, and what means of suicide prevention are ethically permissible. Full article
30 pages, 1737 KiB  
Article
Turing and Von Neumann: From Logic to the Computer
by B. Jack Copeland and Zhao Fan
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020022 - 9 Mar 2023
Viewed by 3975
Abstract
This article provides a detailed analysis of the transfer of a key cluster of ideas from mathematical logic to computing. We demonstrate the impact of certain of Turing’s logico-philosophical concepts from the mid-1930s on the emergence of the modern electronic computer—and so, in [...] Read more.
This article provides a detailed analysis of the transfer of a key cluster of ideas from mathematical logic to computing. We demonstrate the impact of certain of Turing’s logico-philosophical concepts from the mid-1930s on the emergence of the modern electronic computer—and so, in consequence, Turing’s impact on the direction of modern philosophy, via the computational turn. We explain why both Turing and von Neumann saw the problem of developing the electronic computer as a problem in logic, and we describe their joint journey from logic to electronic computation. While much has been written about Turing’s and von Neumann’s individual contributions to the development of the computer, this article investigates less well-known terrain: their interactions and mutual influences. Along the way we argue against ‘logic skeptics’ and ‘Turing skeptics’, who claim that neither logic nor Turing played any significant role in the creation of the modern computer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Turing the Philosopher: Established Debates and New Developments)
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16 pages, 297 KiB  
Article
Beyond Consent: On Setting and Sharing Sexual Ends
by Jordan Pascoe
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020021 - 7 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2170
Abstract
This paper formulates a response to standard accounts of Kantian sexual morality, by first clarifying why sex should be understood as a case of using a person as a thing, rather than merely as a means. The author argues that Kant’s remedy to [...] Read more.
This paper formulates a response to standard accounts of Kantian sexual morality, by first clarifying why sex should be understood as a case of using a person as a thing, rather than merely as a means. The author argues that Kant’s remedy to this problem is not sexual consent, but a model of setting and sharing sexual ends. Kant’s account of sexual morality, read in this way, is a critical framework for contemporary moves to think beyond consent, and to grapple with concerns about sexual violation and “bad sex” that have gained uptake in the wake of the MeToo movement. The author defends an account of sex as a process of setting and sharing sexual ends in a Kantian key, which provides us with resources for thinking about the robust ongoing project of making our sexual selves in nonideal conditions, as well as for identifying the wrongs of both “bad” sex and sexual harassment. In doing so, they offer a critical middle ground between contemporary accounts of sexual morality that center questions of individual agency or autonomy, and those that foreground the intersubjective nature of sex. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Philosophical Richness and Variety of Sex and Love)
10 pages, 249 KiB  
Editorial
Introduction: Thinking Cinema—With Plants
by Sarah Cooper
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020020 - 3 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2317
Abstract
There is a moment in Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth’s Khadak (2006) when the image of a tree is rotated 180 degrees [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thinking Cinema—With Plants)
14 pages, 238 KiB  
Article
Neutral Realism: A New Metaphysical Approach to Representation
by Heather Dyke
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020019 - 27 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1502
Abstract
Metaphysics seeks an account of fundamental reality as it is independent of any observer or point of view. As such, one problem it faces is that any such account is necessarily created by some observer from some point of view. Does this mean [...] Read more.
Metaphysics seeks an account of fundamental reality as it is independent of any observer or point of view. As such, one problem it faces is that any such account is necessarily created by some observer from some point of view. Does this mean that metaphysics is thereby inherently impossible? Or inherently incomplete? I argue that it is possible and it can aim at completeness, but it must acknowledge the contributions made by the human perspective on reality, human cognition, and features of the conceptual and linguistic representations in which it is couched. The idea that we can discover metaphysical insights by investigating concepts and language has had a remarkably tenacious grip on the field of metaphysics. I offer a diagnosis of how this grip took hold and an argument that it should be loosened. I also propose a means of pursuing metaphysical investigation that does not rely on an enquiry into language and that can yield fruitful results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Nature of Structure and the Structure of Nature)
11 pages, 729 KiB  
Article
The Way of Nature from the Perspective of Laozi, Confucius, and Sunzi
by Jian Sun and Kody Sun
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020018 - 24 Feb 2023
Viewed by 4055
Abstract
Where do ethics or morals come from? We arrive at vastly different answers, given that these answers are contingent upon various sources, such as legendary stories, the theology of various religions, Western and Eastern philosophies, etc. In the Chinese tradition, Laozi, Confucius, and [...] Read more.
Where do ethics or morals come from? We arrive at vastly different answers, given that these answers are contingent upon various sources, such as legendary stories, the theology of various religions, Western and Eastern philosophies, etc. In the Chinese tradition, Laozi, Confucius, and Sunzi are considered as the three ancient sages from approximately 2500 years ago. Their thoughts and teachings have shaped Chinese culture and characterized the Chinese way of life. This essay attempts to demonstrate a new understanding of their philosophy on ethical principles. Herein, we present select analyses of their literary works—Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing), The Analects, and The Art of War. These three sages posited ethical ideas inspired by nature, and a single thread—the way of nature—sewed those ideas together. Full article
15 pages, 880 KiB  
Article
The Artificial Intelligence Explanatory Trade-Off on the Logic of Discovery in Chemistry
by José Ferraz-Caetano
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020017 - 23 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1831
Abstract
Explanation is a foundational goal in the exact sciences. Besides the contemporary considerations on ‘description’, ‘classification’, and ‘prediction’, we often see these terms in thriving applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in chemistry hypothesis generation. Going beyond describing ‘things in the world’, these applications [...] Read more.
Explanation is a foundational goal in the exact sciences. Besides the contemporary considerations on ‘description’, ‘classification’, and ‘prediction’, we often see these terms in thriving applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in chemistry hypothesis generation. Going beyond describing ‘things in the world’, these applications can make accurate numerical property calculations from theoretical or topological descriptors. This association makes an interesting case for a logic of discovery in chemistry: are these induction-led ventures showing a shift in how chemists can problematize research questions? In this article, I present a fresh perspective on the current context of discovery in chemistry. I argue how data-driven statistical predictions in chemistry can be explained as a quasi-logical process for generating chemical theories, beyond the classic examples of organic and theoretical chemistry. Through my position on formal models of scientific explanation, I demonstrate how the dawn of AI can provide novel insights into the explanatory power of scientific endeavors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Nature of Structure and the Structure of Nature)
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32 pages, 460 KiB  
Review
Affective Responses to Music: An Affective Science Perspective
by Federico Lauria
Philosophies 2023, 8(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/philosophies8020016 - 23 Feb 2023
Viewed by 4875
Abstract
Music has strong emotional powers. How are we to understand affective responses to music? What does music teach us about emotions? Why are musical emotions important? Despite the rich literature in philosophy and the empirical sciences, particularly psychology and neuroscience, little attention has [...] Read more.
Music has strong emotional powers. How are we to understand affective responses to music? What does music teach us about emotions? Why are musical emotions important? Despite the rich literature in philosophy and the empirical sciences, particularly psychology and neuroscience, little attention has been paid to integrating these approaches. This extensive review aims to redress this imbalance and establish a mutual dialogue between philosophy and the empirical sciences by presenting the main philosophical puzzles from an affective science perspective. The chief problem is contagion. Sometimes, listeners perceive music as expressing some emotion and this elicits the same emotion in them. Contagion is perplexing because it collides with the leading theory of emotions as experiences of values. This article mostly revolves around the critical presentation of the philosophical solutions to this problem in light of recent developments in emotion theory and affective science. It also highlights practical issues, particularly the role of musical emotions in well-being and health, by tackling the paradox of sad music, i.e., the question of why people enjoy sad music. It thus bridges an important gap between theoretical and real-life issues as well as between philosophical and empirical investigations on affective responses to music. Full article
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