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  • ​​פרופ' חגית בנבג'י

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1.      “Colors as Primitive Dispositions." Oxford Studies of Metaphysics 10 (2016): 85-123.

This paper offers an account of colors that combines primitivism with dispositionalism. “Primitivist dispositionalism," as I shall call it, may sound like an oxymoron. Primitivismtakes redness to be a sui generis simple property of an object, wholly borne on its surface, and fully revealed to us in visual experience.1 Dispositionalism takes redness to be the disposition of an object to look red to normal perceivers under normal perceptual conditions.2 But it is puzzling how a sui generis property, wholly borne—like shape—on the surface of a physical object, is essentially connected to experiences, and, from the other direction, puzzling how a disposition to cause experiences is entirely revealed in these experiences. This paper has three goals. First, to show how primitive dispositions are possible. Second, to claim that colors are primitive dispositions. Third, to argue that if the primitive property that is directly revealed to us in experience is none other than the apple's disposition to look red, then objects do have these Edenic colors after all.

 

2.      “Why Color Primitivism." Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94.2 (2016): 1-23.

Primitivism is the view that colors are sui generis properties of physical objects. The basic insight underlying primitivism is that colours are as we see them, i.e. they are categorical properties of physical objects—simple, monadic, constant, etc.—just like shapes. As such, they determine the content of colour experience. Accepting the premise that colours are sui generis properties of physical objects, this paper seeks to show that ascribing primitive properties to objects is, ipso facto, ascribing to objects irreducible dispositions to look coloured, and that anything that primitive redness can do, the non-reductive disposition to look red can do just as well. What makes primitivism suspect is not the commitment to sui generis properties, but instead the claim that colours are more than dispositions. Since, as I show, whatever primitivism appeals to for the purpose of arguing that colours are more than dispositions—objectivity, explanation, causation, phenomenology, constancy, etc.—can also be invoked by nonreductive dispositionalism, the feature that purportedly renders colours more than dispositions remains mysterious.

 

3.      “On the Asymmetry between Twin Earth and Inverted Earth." Pacific Philosophical Quarterly (2017).

A crucial disanalogy between Twin Earth and Inverted Earth undermines qualia-internalism. A recent transplant to Inverted Earth has been equipped with color-inverting contact lenses, so that she is unable to see the colors of objects whereas a recent transplant to Twin Earth can see twater. It is implausible to think that time alone could rectify this perceptual shortcoming – that the passage of time could alter the contents of her visual perceptions or themeaning of her color terms. Thus, the thought experiment does not refute the close tie between phenomenology and representation in the case of color.

 

4.      “What Can We Believe At Will and Why?" Philosophical Studies 173.7 (2017): 1941-1961.

Recently it has been argued that we cannot intend at will. Since intentions cannot be true or false, our involuntariness cannot be traced to ''the characteristic of beliefs that they aim at truth'', as Bernard Williams convincingly argues. The alternative explanation is that the source of involuntariness is the shared normative nature of beliefs and intentions. Three analogies may assimilate intentions to beliefs vis-a`-vis our involuntariness: first, beliefs and intentions aim at something; second, beliefs and intentions are transparent to the true and the good respectively; third, beliefs and intentions are answers to questions other than that of whether to endorse them. The purpose of this paper is to argue that attempts to ground involuntariness in normativity rather than truth imply that we cannot act at will. I assume that actions are the paradigm case of doing something at will, and utilize this assumption as a restriction on any account of our inability to believe at will: it should not be possible to generalize it to actions. Any account of doxastic involuntarism that implies that we cannot act at will is false—if we cannot act at will, what can we do at will? I close by offering a notion of doing something at will that is based on Williams' insight that truth—rather than reason—matters to our inability to believe at will.

 

 

  • פרופ' עדו גייגר

    מאמרים בכתבי עת

1.      “Purposiveness: Regulative or Realized? Hegel's Response to Kant's Antinomy of Teleological Judgment." Hegel-Jahrbuch (2016): 499-504.

Hegel praises Kant's CPJ in which the Idea finds expression in “the notion of an intuitive understanding, of inner purposiveness, […] the universal concurrently thought of as concrete in itself" (Enc-I §55A). The paper attempts to determine how close the two are and what distance remains between them through a close analysis of Hegel's response to the antinomy of teleological judgment in SL. Specifically, it asks whether the vision of the actual empirical world as a systematic and comprehensive rational whole can be more than a regulative principle that guides the on-going activity of empirical investigation. Is Hegel right in claiming that we can go beyond “transferring the Idea into time […] the contradiction itself, posited as forever recurring" (Enc-I §60)?

 

2.      “Kant on the Analytic-Synthetic or Mechanistic Model of Causal Explanation." Kant Yearbook 9 (2017): 19-42.

In the Critique of Teleological Judgment, Kant endorses a distinct model of causal explanation. He claims that we explain natural wholes as the causal effect of their parts and the forces governing them, i.e., we explain mechanistically or following the analytic-synthetic method of modern science. According to McLaughlin's influential interpretation, Kant endorses in this, without argument, the predominant scientific method of his time. The text suggests, however, that we explain mechanistically according to the constitution of our discursive understanding. The paper attempts to reconstruct the argument establishing this claim.

 

 

  • דר' אנדי גרמן

    מאמרים בכתבי עת

1.      “Psuchē, Chronos and Logos in Plato's Euthydemus," Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 21, 2 (Spring 2017): 289-305.

Can the Euthydemus illuminate the philosophical significance of sophistry?  In answering this question, I ask why the most direct and sustained confrontations between Socrates and the two brothers should all center on time and the soul.  The Euthydemus, I argue, is a not primarily a polemic against eristic manipulation of language, but a diagnosis of the soul's ambiguous unity. It shows that sophistic speech emerges from the soul's way of relating to its own temporal character and to logos. Stated differently, a central theme of this dialogue is one which, we are repeatedly told, the Greeks had not yet thematized – the nature of interiority.

 

2.      “Is Socrates Free? The Theaetetus as Case Study," The British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25, 4 (July 2017): 621-640. 

Most scholars agree that Plato's concept of freedom, to the extent he has one, is 'intellectualist': true freedom is submission to the rule of reason through philosophical knowledge of rational order. Surprisingly, though, there are few explicit linkages of philosophy and freedom in Plato.  Socrates is called many things in the dialogues, but not 'free'. I aim to understand why by studying the Theaetetus, heretofore ignored in discussions of Platonic freedom. By examining the Digression (172c-177c) and Socrates' 'dream' about wholes and parts (201c-206c), I show that describing freedom as 'rule of reason' simplifies what, for Plato, is a more tangled skein. In the Digression, philosophers are free in occupying a comprehensive standpoint transcending all limited and partial perspectives. Socrates' dream, however, shows that logos cannot completely account for the knowledge of complex wholes or for itself as such a whole. Philosophical freedom cannot mean comprehensive discursive knowledge, then, since reason lacks a comprehensive grasp of itself. Socrates dreams of the rational whole, but is aware of why it remains only a dream, rather than wakeful knowledge. This awareness constitutes a freedom attained, not in total liberation from the confines of the partial human perspective, but within those confines

 

 

  • דר' שלמה כהן

מאמרים בכתבי עת

1.      "The Irrelevance of Ontology for the Ethics of Autonomy" American Journal of Bioethics 16.2 (2016): 46-47. 

This paper criticizes the view that recent biological understanding of human being as an "ecosystem" rather than an organism diminishes the force of the moral duty of respect for autonomy.

 

2.      "Are There Moral Limits to Military Deception?" Philosophia 44 (2017): 1305-1318. 

It is widely agreed that deception of the enemy can be morally permissible in war. However, the question of the morally acceptable limits to deception in war has barely been explored in contemporary ethics. This paper defends the thesis that there are no moral limits on military deception per se, that is, no limits based on the ethics of truthfulness. Rather, all moral restriction against deception in war is based on another moral principle: military deception is morally unacceptable only when it violates the principle of not harming those who do not intend to harm us.


3. "Preventing Nocebo Effects of Informed Consent without Paternalism" American Journal of Bioethics 17 (6) (2017): 44-46.

Referring to the phenomenon known as "the nocebo effect of informed consent," this essay describes two ways in which one party (the doctor) can make a beneficent personal decision for the second party (the patient) without the second party's consent and where this should nonetheless not count as paternalistic.

 

3.      "Didactical Ordering and Emotional Moral Persuasion," American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy 16 (Spring 2017): 6-8.

This paper makes two claims regarding teaching normative ethics. The first claim is that even if the order of the topics taught is not important from the point of view of the logic of the subject matter, it may still be important from the point of view of its psychological impact on the learners. The second claim is that emotional engagement of the students (specifically through elicitation of the sense of shame) is sometimes essential for understanding the subject matter taught. 

 


 

 

 

 

  • פרופ' יקיר לוין

מאמרים בכתבי עת

  1. “Transcendental Kantianism, Naturalized Kantianism, and the Bounds of Psychology." Acta Analytica (2017).

    Are there sensory states (“perceptions") that, unlike mere sensory registrations, require an explanatory framework (“psychology") that goes beyond biology? Based on a reconstruction of Kant's a priori, transcendental psychology, contemporary Kantians answer this question in the positive, but dramatically limit the scope of psychology. In contrast, naturalistically oriented deflationists answer it in the negative thereby not giving psychology any explanatory role whatsoever. In his recent monumental book Origins of Objectivity, Burge argues against both of these approaches, and seeks to develop an intermediate approach between them. This he does by embedding Kantian transcendental psychology in contemporary science of perception, thereby naturalizing the former and considerably broadening the scope of psychology. In this paper I critically examine Burge's naturalized Kantianism, thereby defending transcendental Kantianism. To this end, I first outline Kantian transcendental psychology of perception, highlighting the features that distinguish it from biology. I then show how Burge naturalizes this psychology by embedding its most fundamental notions in contemporary science of perception. Based on all this I conclude the paper by arguing for two closely related claims. First, that transformed into empirical psychology, Kantian transcendental psychology loses the features that distinguish it from biology. Second, that genuine perception starts at the high cognitive level for which transcendental psychology accounts and not at the rather low or elementary level on which Burge focuses.

     
  2. “Rational Mastery, the Perfectly Free Man, and Human Freedom." Philosophia (2017).

    This paper examines the coherence of Spinoza's combined account of freedom, reason, and the affects (FRA) and its applicability to real humans in the context of the perfectly free man Spinoza discusses towards the end of part 4 of the Ethics. On the standard reading, the perfectly free man forms the model of human nature and thus the goal to which real humans should aspire. A recently proposed non-standard reading, however, posits that the perfectly free man should not be considered the model of human nature. Consolidating FRA into a system of ten theses and outlining their intricate interconnections, I argue that under both the standard and non-standard readings of Spinoza's perfectly free man, FRA founders when applied to real humans. While it is no big news that FRA may face deep problems when applied to real humans, the paper is innovative: (a) in the specific tensions in FRA it exposes; (b) in the strategy deployed to expose the latter; and (c) in showing that a recent non-standard approach to resolving these tensions is unsuccessful. Depending on the specific reading of FRA that I suggest, my critical conclusions may not apply to every reading of FRA. They nonetheless pose a serious challenge to similar readings prominent within the literature. 

 

 

  • דר' אורי דוד ליבוביץ

    מאמרים בכתבי עת

     
  1. Uri D. Leibowitz. “Moral Deliberation and Ad Hominem Fallacies." The Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (2016): 507-529

Many of us read Peter Singer's work on our obligations to those in desperate need with our students. Famously, Singer argues that we have a moral obligation to give a significant portion of our assets to famine relief. If my own experience is not atypical, it is quite common for students, upon grasping the implications of Singer's argument, to ask whether Singer gives to famine relief. In response it might be tempting to remind students of the (so called) ad hominem fallacy of attacking the person advancing an argument rather than the argument itself. In this paper I argue that the “ad hominem reply" to students' request for information about Singer is misguided. First I show that biographical facts about the person advancing an argument can constitute indirect evidence for the soundness/unsoundness of the argument. Second, I argue that such facts are relevant because they may reveal that one can discard the argument without thereby incurring moral responsibility for failing to act on its conclusion even if the argument is sound.

 

פרקים בספרים

1.      Leibowitz, Uri D. & Sinclair, Neil (eds.) Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press, 2016.

How far should our realism extend? For many years philosophers of mathematics and philosophers of ethics have worked independently to address the question of how best to understand the entities apparently referred to by mathematical and ethical talk. But the similarities between their endeavours are not often emphasised. This book provides that emphasis. In particular, it focuses on two types of argumentative strategies that have been deployed in both areas. The first—debunking arguments—aims to put pressure on realism by emphasising the seeming redundancy of mathematical or moral entities when it comes to explaining our judgements. In the moral realm this challenge has been made by Gilbert Harman and Sharon Street; in the mathematical realm it is known as the 'Benacerraf-Field' problem. The second strategy—indispensability arguments—aims to provide support for realism by emphasising the seeming intellectual indispensability of mathematical or moral entities, for example when constructing good explanatory theories. This strategy is associated with Quine and Putnam in mathematics and with Nicholas Sturgeon and David Enoch in ethics. Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics addresses these issues through an explicitly comparative methodology which we call the 'companions in illumination' approach. By considering how argumentative strategies in the philosophy of mathematics might apply to the philosophy of ethics, and vice versa, the papers collected here break new ground in both areas. For good measure, two further companions for illumination are also broached: the philosophy of chance and the philosophy of religion. Collectively, these comparisons light up new questions, arguments, and problems of interest to scholars interested in realism in any area.

 

2.      Neil Sinclair & Uri D. Leibowitz. “Introduction: Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics." In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 1-20

Are moral properties intellectually indispensable, and, if so, what consequences does this have for our understanding of their nature, and of our talk and knowledge of them? Are mathematical objects intellectually indispensable, and, if so, what consequences does this have for our understanding of their nature, and of our talk and knowledge of them? What similarities are there, if any, in the answers to the first two questions? Can comparison of the two cases shed light on which answers are most plausible in either case? This chapter – the introduction to the volume Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics – elucidates these questions and sketches their history.

 

3.      Leibowitz, Uri D. & Sinclair, Neil, (2017) 'Evolution and the Missing Link (in Debunking Arguments)' In Michael Ruse & Robert J. Richards (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics, Cambridge University Press, pp. 210-225

What are the consequences, for human moral practice, of an evolutionary understanding of that practice? The paper argues that the availability of evolutionary accounts of moral practice that nowhere invoke moral truth does not provide the knock- down argument for skepticism as some debunkers suggest. However, the paper claims that evolutionary explanations of moral practice do add something distinctive to debates about the nature of morality: they increase the coherence of anti- realist positions in metaethics while the coherence of realist positions at best remains unchanged and possibly decreases. Nevertheless, even on the most favorable interpretation, evolutionary debunking arguments can hardly be claimed to have established that the realist program should be abandoned.

  • פרופ' יצחק נבו

מאמרים בכתבי עת

  1. “Professional education vs. general education: In what sense is knowledge intrinsically valuable?" Contemporary Educational Researches Journal. 6.6 (2016): 104-113.

In this paper I discuss the distinction between intrinsic and instrumental value as it pertains to the kind of knowledge produced and imparted in the academic setting of a university. In particular, I look at some traditional philosophical texts, by J.S. Mill, Cardinal J. Newman and I. Kant, who offer the distinction, or something similar to it, and mount a defense of its use with regard to knowledge as its own end, as well as some contemporary, or near contemporary, philosophical texts, by P. Kitcher, J. Derrida, and J. Habermas, who offer critical reflections on the theme. While the phrase “knowledge for the sake of knowledge" may sound as an empty, or even paradoxical, employment of the means-end schema of justification – for being identical with the means, the end cannot, in this case, serve to explain or justify it – the phrase remains meaningful as an ellipsis for a more substantive specification of value, or some conception of the good. In this respect, two alternatives seem to arise. Understanding the good of knowledge in specifically moral terms subordinates the search for knowledge to moral ends, thereby making the traditional, contemplative view of the university highly problematic. By contrast, understanding the good in question more broadly as incorporating different spheres of value, not just the moral but also specifically cognitive value, leaves greater room for the more traditional view of academic autonomy and freedom in the pursuit of truth.