Sunday, December 12, 2010

Philosophers' Carnival 118

Philosophers' Carnival CXVIII

Welcome to the 118th edition of Philosopher’s Carnival, organized since August ‘04 by Richard Yetter Chappell. For those just discovering the Carnival, every few weeks or so many and various philosophy bloggers take turns submitting and hosting a collection of the latest relevant posts from around the blogosphere. An updated list of past host-blogs and the dates of their carnivals (searchable in the widget) can be found at the end of this one. And now to begin where it sometimes does...

logic and language

P.D. Magnus presents A paradox arises over beer posted at Footnotes on Epicycles. Best read without further introduction or excerpt.


John Jones presents The Classifications of Object posted at John Jones, saying, "I propose a simplification of our descriptions of the types of objects and ontologies. I draw on the resources of Wittgenstein in support."

Kenny Pearce presents Leibniz and Frankfurt on Freedom posted at We need to attach 'sensible charms' to the 'blind words' in which we reason, in order to have the motivation to follow the good to which we have reasoned. This submission is mentioned again in the section "mind".

Tuomas Tahko presents Review: David Oderberg's Real Essentialism posted at Does (knowing) a (complete/incomplete) bundle of properties flow from (knowing) essence, or does (knowing) essence flow from (knowing) a (complete/incomplete) bundle of properties? "That essence is an entity itself is a result to be avoided, as E. J. Lowe has pointed out time and time again: it leads to an infinite regress." Assuming God exists, wouldn't s/he be an example of an entity which exists its essence? Not unrelated...

Richard Yetter Chappell presents Non-Metaphysical Cognitivism posted at Philosophy, et cetera. "Perhaps [ Parfit ] would instead say that we can ask the external, metaethical question, but the answer is that it's just a brute fact that certain moral claims are (necessarily) true and others false, without any thing making them so." This topic is discussed on The Atheist's Advocate here. Again, assuming God exists, couldn't s/he be the "thing making them so"? Also not unrelated...


Maryann Spikes presents Replacing Agnosticism with Apisticism posted at Ichthus77. "Knowledge is justified, true belief (this goes back to Plato's Theaetetus). It is belief that is justified by the evidence and true by correspondence. If the belief is only true, then to call it knowledge commits the is-ought fallacy (this goes back to Hume). If the belief is only justified, then to call it knowledge commits the ought-is fallacy. ... A belief is either true or not true, regardless the amount of evidence you have in favor of it or against it, and regardless how subjectively certain you are or how strongly you believe it, which is why it is better to use 'apistic/pistic' on a belief scale, rather than 'agnostic/gnostic'." The 'belief' aspect is discussed on The Atheist's Advocate here. Also related...


Lewis Powell presents Some Reactions to Malebranche posted at Horseless Telegraph. Rather than willful judgment being a commission, it is an omission, a failing to reject or further investigate the ideas passively received in the understanding. "...judgment is a sort of privation, while suspension of judgment is something positive." Brings to mind the very positive 'reason' in Kenny Pearce's submission above. And wouldn't it be more accurate to say that suspension of judgment is rather just one example of positive judgment? Powell brings in the thinking of Sartre when he says, "my failure to act when I witness a harm I could have prevented is a voluntary omission." To refuse to choose (to suspend judgment), is a choice (judgment) made in bad faith. As Sam Harris noted in The Moral Landscape, his research found a similarity between belief and disbelief in the brain (p. 226, note 35). If you positively do not believe the challenging evidence/conclusion, it is because you positively believe otherwise (perhaps 'positively' only after being faced with the challenging evidence/conclusion).

gualtiero piccinini submits this by Eric Thomson: List of arguments against physicalism about consciousness posted at Brains. Self-explanatory. Currently there are 10.


A selection of unsubmitted philosophy posts by past hosts, in order of most recent hosting:

Florida Student Philosophy Blog [ Nov 1, 2010 ]
  1. Can Consequentialists Cogently Condemn Cheaters?
  2. Does Special Relativity Support Verificationism?
Richard Yetter Chappell’s Philosophy, et cetera [ Sep 20, 2010; Feb 01, 2010; Jul 06, 2009; Nov 17, 2008; Mar 16, 2008; Aug 27, 2007; Aug 23, 2004 ]
  1. Maxims and Morally Relevant Descriptions
  2. Cosmic Injustice is Bad, Mmkay?
Jeremy Pierce’s Parableman [ Jul 21, 2010; Jul 28, 2009 ]
  1. Augustine on Free Choice
  2. Secondary Moral Obligations
Practical Ethics [ Jun 07, 2010; Sep 22, 2008 ] Many.

Kenny Pearce [ Mar 15, 2010; Oct 19, 2009; Mar 23, 2009; Sep 08, 2008; Apr 13, 2008; Jun 12, 2006 ]
  1. John Locke, Ron Paul, and Airport Security
  2. Abilities and Tryings
Jean Kazez [ now In Living Color ] [ Feb 21, 2010 ]
  1. Sarah Palin's Killing Spree
  2. Know Thy Elephant

Matt and Madeleine Flannagan’s MandM [ Dec 21, 2009 ]

  1. The Number of the Beast
  2. God, Morality and Abhorrent Commands: Part III Philip Quinn

Thom Brooks’ The Brooks Blog [ Sep 07, 2009; Jun 30, 2008; Oct 22, 2007; Dec 18, 2006 ]

  1. Shovel your own streets . . .
  2. Natural Law Internalism

Gary Williams’ Minds and Brains [ Aug 17, 2009 ]

  1. Defending Damasio and Jaynes against Block and Gopnik
  2. Some thoughts on materialism, ontology, and the philosophy of mind

The Uncredible Hallq [ Dec 08, 2008; Mar 31, 2008; Oct 08, 2007; Jan 30, 2006 ]

  1. Unbelief by default and selective credulity
  2. A quick and dirty rebuttal to Craig’s argument from the impossibility of an actual infinite

Avery Archer’s The Space of Reasons [ Apr 23, 2007 ]

  1. Anti-Humeanism, Anti-Emotivism, and the Desire-as-Belief Thesis

Eric Schwitzgebel’s The Splintered Mind [ Nov 06, 2006 ]

  1. "Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear"

Clayton Littlejohn’s Think Tonk [ Mar 21, 2005 ]

  1. Thomson on the Doctrine of Double Effect (and many more)

Brandon’s Siris [ Sep 13, 2004 ]
  1. Absence of Evidence
  2. Rough Jottings on Zeno's Argument and Paradoxes Generally
...ah, and we've ended where we began. :)


That's it for this edition! Thanks to all who contributed, and to Richard Yetter Chappell for organizing the Philosophers' Carnival. The next carnival will be hosted by Tom at The Philosopher's Beard on January 10, 2011. Submit philosophy blog posts written after December 11 here. Please e-mail Richard if you are interested in hosting a future edition of the carnival—hosts needed!

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