Telephone: 0191 334 6550
Email: philosophical.writings@dur.ac.uk

Summer 2005

No. 29, Summer 2005
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Papers
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DEPENDENT BEAUTY AND PERFECTION IN KANT’S AESTHETICS, Michael Joseph Fletcher – University of California, Santa Barbara.
This paper attacks an account of Kant’s controversial distinction between ‘free’ and ‘dependent’ beauty. I present three problems: The Lorland problem, The Crawford Problem, and the problem of intrinsic relation, that are shown to be a consequence of various interpretations of Kant’s distinction. Next, I reconstruct Robert Wicks’ well-known account of dependent beauty as ‘the appreciation of teleological style’ and point out a key equivocation in the statement of Wicks’ account: the judgment of dependent beauty can be thought to consist in comparing any two objects’ teleological styles either in respect of how, or in respect of how well, each realizes a common purpose. I argue that this equivocation forces Wicks into a dilemma: either he must assert the impossibility of ugliness or he must assert that the judgment of dependent beauty is reducible to the judgment of perfection. Either way, Wicks denies important theoretic desiderata.
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THE TRANSPARENCY OF QUALIA AND THE NATURE OF INTROSPECTION, Renze J. Smith – Coastal Carolina University.
The idea that the phenomenal character of experience is determined by non-intentional properties of experience, what philosophers commonly call qualia, seems to conflict with the phenomenology of introspection. Qualia seem to be transparent, or unavailable, to introspection. This has led intentionalists to deny that the phenomenal character of experience is a non-intentional property of experience—to deny there are qualia. It has led qualia realists to deny the transparency of qualia or to question the reliability of introspection. In this paper, I present what I call the problem of transparency and show that it is what lies at the core of this recent debate over the nature of phenomenal experience. The main positions in the qualia debate can be seen as providing solutions to this problem; however, none of these positions recognizes the central role introspection plays in uncovering the nature of experience.
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RESCUING THE M-WORLDS IN A NATURALIST ERA: THE PROSPECTS FOR FUNCTIONAL PLURALISM, Conor Farrington – King’s College, Cambridge.
To a far greater extent than any previous era, the scientific worldview is now the predominant one. In this context, areas of human life and discourse that are apparently non-scientific inevitably become subject to naturalistically motivated scepticism. Examples of such areas of human life include morality, modality, meaning, and mind – in Huw Price’s words, the ‘M-Worlds’. Despite the apparent vulnerability of the M-Worlds to naturalistic scepticism, we seem remarkably reluctant to jettison them altogether. The question that arises, therefore, is this: Can we find a metaphysic that allows us to be good naturalists and retain the M-Worlds? In this essay, I examine a metaphysic that purports to do just this – Price’s Functional Pluralism. After presenting an outline of this position, I compare it to some rival doctrines in order to gain a sense of its relative merits and/or demerits. I then present an objection to Functional Pluralism, suggesting that we may have reason to doubt the Carnapian ontology that underlies Price’s position. This objection notwithstanding, I conclude that Functional Pluralism is a significant and noteworthy attempt to salvage the M-Worlds in a naturalist era.
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CHARACTER SCEPTICISM, Tony Milligan – Glasgow University.
Gilbert Harman claims that we would be better off if we abandoned appeal to character in order to explain action. He argues that the idea of character is a hangover from folk psychology and conflicts with the more reliable evidence of experimental psychology. The cash value of abandoning any appeal to character is given in the following terms: appeals to character reinforce our stereotyping and general misunderstanding of others, abandoning it will help to improve the quality of our understanding of others. What follows will be part contrast and part argument. My concern will be to reject Harman’s character scepticism by resisting his account of what it is to have a character trait. He fails to give desire its due. To set out a contrasting desire-centred view I will draw upon Iris Murdoch. The paper concludes by challenging Harman’s treatment of the experimental evidence.
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Reviews
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Phillip Meadows – The Realm Of Reason.
Francis J. Raphael O’Sullivan – Thinking About Feeling: Contemporary Philosophers On Emotions.
M. D. Eddy – God’s Two Books: Copernican Cosmology And Biblical Interpretation In Early Modern Science .
Jonathan Tallant – Truth and Truthmakers.
Michael O’Sullivan – Moral Philosphers And The Novel: A Study Of Winch, Nussbaum And Rorty.
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