Philosophical Inquiries 2022-09-09T13:43:54+00:00 philosophical inquiries Open Journal Systems <div> <p><em>Philosophical Inquiries</em> is an Italian philosophical journal published in English. Its aim is to cover a wide range of philosophical questions of broad interest and belonging to diverse fields, such as epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, aesthetics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of law. It seeks to bring together international scholars committed to cutting edge research on pressing questions in those fields. <br />Needless to say, the submission system in use on this website is a strict double-blind peer-review process.</p> <p>Indexed in: <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Scopus</a>, Philosopher's Index, Fascia A Anvur (11/C1, C2, C3, C4, C5).</p> </div> <em>Husserl’s Legacy. Phenomenology, Metaphysics and Transcendental Philosophy</em>, by Dan Zahavi 2022-09-09T13:40:51+00:00 Rosario Croce <p>Book review of Dan Zahavi’s <em>Husserl’s Legacy. Phenomenology, Metaphysics and Transcendental Philosophy</em>, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017.</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 <em>Ethics, Conflict and Medical Treatment for Children: From Disagreement to Dissensus</em>, by D. Wilkinson & J. Savulescu 2022-09-09T13:37:43+00:00 Chiara Innorta <p>Review of D. Wilkinson &amp; J. Savulescu <em>Ethics, Conflict and Medical Treatment for Children: From Disagreement to Dissensus</em>, Elsevier, 2019, 192 pages.</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 The Birth of Habits 2022-07-29T11:27:32+00:00 Victor Egger <p>This journal issue presents, for the first time in English, Victor Egger’s short essay <em>La naissance des habitudes</em>, published in 1880 in the “Annales de la Faculté des Lettres de Bordeaux” (n. 1, pp. 209-223). The translation is based on the original text, the page numbering of which is indicated in square brackets. In order to facilitate the reader’s understanding of some of Egger’s examples, in some cases, the original French is provided in a footnote. Egger’s notes can be found at the foot of the page. Bibliographical additions and translators’ notes are placed between square brackets.<br>The translation of the quotations included in the text is by the translators unless otherwise indicated. We warmly thank Carolyn Benson for the expertise with which she revised this translation.</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Victor Egger: habit, repetition, and the unconscious 2022-07-29T11:25:40+00:00 Marco Piazza Sofia Sandreschi de Robertis <p>not available</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Betting and Presuming: From God’s Existence to Morality and Law 2022-07-29T11:23:16+00:00 Alberto Artosi Giovanni Sartor <p>Pascal famously argued that since God transcends the rational domain of demonstration, we must <em>bet</em> on his existence. Less famously, Leibniz claimed that in the absence of a full-fledged demonstration of God’s existence, we at least have to <em>presume</em>, that is to say, to assume, that he exists until the contrary is proved. Aside from marking a significant contrast between these two leading figures of modern philosophy (Leibniz would later reproach Pascal for having “paid attention only to moral arguments”), these two stances are at the origin of two independent developments: decision theory and presumptive reasoning, respectively. In this paper we will provide a critical account of Pascal’s and Leibniz’s lines of thought by first presenting the original arguments and then reconstructing them in light of the developments they gave rise to. Finally, we will advance some remarks about the interplay of presumption and probability in Leibniz’s approach to morality and law.</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Probable Interplay: Reactions to Epicureanism and Probabilism in the Seventeenth Century 2022-07-29T11:21:02+00:00 Rudolf Schuesser <p>Scholastic probabilism regulated the use of opinions in much of seventeenth-century Catholic moral theology. It should therefore not come as a surprise that it also affected the acceptance of philosophical doctrines like epicureanism in Catholic countries. The ups and downs in the careers of probabilism and epicureanism in Italy are in conspicuous synch as this paper will show, with special emphasis on the Jesuit Cardinal Francesco ‘Pietro’ Sforza Pallavicino. Pallavicino (1607–1667) was one of the leading probabilists of his time and sympathetically discussed epicurean positions in <em>Del bene</em> (1644). Probabilism’s license to favor the convenience and utility of agents in doubt about moral restrictions facilitated the adoption of epicurean attitudes, while opponents criticized probabilism for promoting the ‘prudence of the flesh’, a topos of longstanding anti-epicurean pedigree. The rising storm of opposition against probabilism in the second half of the seventeenth century thus contributed to a worsening of conditions for the spread of epicurean thought, with observable effects in Italy.</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 The Baby Jesus in a Drop of Blood: Evidence, Credibility, and Truth in Post-Reformation Catholicism 2022-07-29T11:18:42+00:00 Stefania Tutino <p>In the spring of 1693, a strange occurrence shook up the peaceful little town of Bolsena. While visiting the site of the well-known medieval miracle, Agostino Berton, a hemp and textile seller, witnessed yet another miracle: the apparition of an image of the baby Jesus inside a drop of blood. In this essay, I examine the investigation conducted by the Roman leaders over this case and discuss its implications for the relationship between credibility and truth in seventeenth-century Catholicism. Over the course of the Middle Ages, theologians, canonists, and jurists had provided an important reconsideration of the category of credibility as both a feature of the Christian faith and a necessary (and, in some cases, sufficient) basis for legal judgment. By the early modern times, credibility had come to occupy a central place in Catholic discourse. This centrality led to novel insight into the relationship between truth and evidence, faith and belief, causing new moral, doctrinal, and epistemological tensions. My essay uses Agostino's story as a springboard to explore some of those tensions.</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Melchor Cano and the conundrum of historical scholarship: Probability and criticism in the sixteenth century 2022-07-29T11:17:21+00:00 Giuliano Mori <p>This article discusses the role played by the rhetorical-judicial notion of verisimilitude in the sixteenth-century rise of historical criticism. Embracing a dialectical conception of historical facts as something that needed to be extremely probable rather than logically necessary, early modern authors became increasingly concerned with the development of critical tools of verification. Borrowed from the medieval judicial tradition—influenced in turn by classical rhetoric and dialectics—these tools aimed at assessing historical sources and accounts based on their inherent degree of verisimilitude. The judicial background of these tools of assessment explains the rise of historical criticism in environments that were influenced by the innovative legal and philological tradition of the <em>mos gallicus</em> (e.g., François Baudouin, Jean Bodin). Yet, at the same time, it also explains the emergence of similar critical notions among authors who independently integrated humanist, late scholastic, and canonistic interests. This was the case, for instance, with Melchor Cano (d. 1560), whose <em>De locis theologicis</em> predate both Baudoin’s and Bodin’s works, providing one of the earliest examples of a fully developed method of historical criticism.</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 A brief history of the French verb convaincre 2022-07-29T11:15:50+00:00 Francis Goyet <p>As a technical equivalent of the Latin <em>probare</em> or <em>fidem</em> <em>facere</em>, the French <em>convaincre</em> (“to convince”) does not appear in a rhetorical treaty before 1688 (via Pascal), for a simple reason: <em>conuincere</em> is not a technical word in the ancient or modern treatises in Latin. I will show that <em>convaincre</em> comes from another world, the <em>disputatio</em>, and contend that the goal it implies, <em>uictoria</em>, is not the goal of rhetoric qua rhetoric. With the distinction between rhetoric vs. <em>disputatio</em>, the rhetorical proof is equal in dignity to the scientific proof. Otherwise, it is necessarily inferior.</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Late scholastic probable arguments and their contrast with rhetorical and demonstrative arguments 2022-07-29T11:13:58+00:00 James Franklin <p>Aristotle divided arguments that persuade into the rhetorical (which happen to persuade), the dialectical (which are strong so ought to persuade to some degree) and the demonstrative (which must persuade if rightly understood). Dialectical arguments were long neglected, partly because Aristotle did not write a book about them. But in the sixteenth and seventeenth century late scholastic authors such as Medina, Cano and Soto developed a sound theory of probable arguments, those that have logical and not merely psychological force but fall short of demonstration. Informed by late medieval treatments of the law of evidence and problems in moral theology and aleatory contracts, they considered the reasons that could render legal, moral, theological, commercial and historical arguments strong though not demonstrative. At the same time, demonstrative arguments became better understood as Galileo and other figures of the Scientific Revolution used mathematical proof in arguments in physics. Galileo moved both dialectical and demonstrative arguments into mathematical territory.</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 The Problem of Certainty and the Changing Status of Probable Proofs 2022-07-29T11:10:14+00:00 Barbara J. Shapiro <p>This essay offers a preliminary survey of the development of probabilistic proofs in the early modern period. It examines several disciplines and their adoption of a mode of proof which embraced a scale of probability and whose high point was variously labeled “satisfied conscience,” “mind,” and “understanding,” “moral” as opposed to “mathematical certainty” or “demonstration,” and proof “beyond reasonable doubt.“ Although my focus is on England, I view this essay as part of a broader account that would include French, Italian and Spanish developments and earlier and later periods. I emphasize the long-lived ancient distinction between probability and certain knowledge, and between rhetoric and “science,” arguing that these distinctions played a crucial role in shaping thinking about proof. My account highlights the role of witnessing, the criteria for evaluating testimony, and the possibility of reaching moral certainty, that is, belief beyond reasonable doubt.<br />The first discipline to be examined is history, a discipline characterized by tension between the humanist desire for a rhetorically persuasive narrative on the one hand and truth telling norm on the other. The next to be examined are the probabilistic proofs adopted in several religious contexts. There follows a comparison of continental and English approaches to legal proof. The most challenging intellectual area to be examined is the natural sciences. There I examine efforts to find a probabilistic alternative to “science,” “demonstration” and “mathematical certainty. Scientists sought to adopt “hypothesis” as a means of linking “matters of fact” with generalizations, principles and theory. A brief treatment of Locke and his philosophical successors suggests how probabilistic proofs penetrated English thinking. The concluding section includes a discussion of disciplinary differences and suggestions for a more complete treatment of probable but believable proof.</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Introduction: Non-Demonstrative Proofs in Early Modern Europe 2022-07-29T11:05:43+00:00 Giuliano Mori <p>Focus introduction.</p> <p>Open access content. Abstract not available.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Quasi-analysis 2022-03-02T10:18:42+00:00 Rudolf Carnap Caterina Del Sordo Thomas Mormann <p>First English translation of R. Carnap’s “Die Quasizerlegung”.</p> <p>The unpublished manuscript is preserved at the Archives of Scientific Philosophy (ASP), Hillman Library, Carnap papers, University of Pittsburgh (RC-081-04-01).</p> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 <em>Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language</em>, by Andrea Iacona 2022-03-02T10:15:17+00:00 Giuliano Rosella <p>Book review of Andrea Iacona, <em>Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language</em>, Springer, 2018, 133 pages</p> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 <em>Ontology without Borders</em>, by Jody Azzouni 2022-03-02T10:12:23+00:00 Delia Belleri <p>Review of Jody Azzouni, <em>Ontology without Borders</em>, Oxford University Press, New York 2017, 279 pages.</p> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 The significance of Quasizerlegung for Carnap’s Aufbau and scientific philosophy in general 2022-02-28T14:50:42+00:00 Caterina Del Sordo Thomas Mormann <p>In this introduction to the first English translation of Carnap's <em>Quasizerlegung</em>, we summarize the history of its reception and its role as groundwork for Carnap's <em>Der logische Aufbau der Welt</em> (The logical structure of the World). We aim to stress the philosophical significance of the <em>Quasizerlegung</em> as a prototype of mathematical philosophy by uncovering the many points of convergence between the philosophical and mathematical enterprises of neutral monism and representations.</p> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Introduction 2022-01-17T15:47:26+00:00 Danilo Manca Giacomo Turbanti <p>In this introduction, we explain the origin, the approach and the aim of this issue. In particular, we focus on the choice to use the term "metaphilosophy" for the approach through which we explore Sellars' need to integrate the categorial framework of contemporary sciences with the conceptual framework of persons. Besides, by summarising the content of the contributions we bring out the common thread and contrasting elements.&nbsp;</p> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Danilo Manca, Giacomo Turbanti Kant and Sellars on the unity of apperception 2021-11-07T14:14:55+00:00 David Landy <p>That Wilfrid Sellars claims that the framework of persons is not a descriptive framework, but a normative one is about as well known as any claim that he makes. This claim is at the core of the famous demand for a synoptic image that closes, “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man,” makes its appearance at key moments in the grand argument of, “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind,” and is the capstone of Sellars’ engagement with Kant in <em>Science and Metaphysics</em>. Whereas mere things can be subject to ought-to-be rules – e.g. a clock ought to chime on the hour – to be a person, as Sellars understands it, is to be subject to ought-to-do rules – e.g. one ought to wind one’s clocks to chime on the hour. Prima facie, though, there is more to being a person than just being subject to ought-to-do rules. For example, on at least some common ways of using ‘person’ to be a person is to have a unified consciousness, i.e. to be a single subject of a manifold of experience persisting through time. Arguably, that is what Kant takes a person to be. What I hope to show here is that it is what Sellars takes a person to be too. I.e. the exciting twist here is that as Sellars sees it being a single subject of experience persisting through time is being subject to a particular kind of ought-to-do rules, namely, those concepts-qua-inferential-rules that are the means by which we represent the world of causally-related objects existing in space and persisting through time.</p> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 David Landy Emotion and affect in the space of reasons 2021-11-07T13:58:34+00:00 Peter Olen OlenP@LSSC.EDU <p>Wilfrid Sellars’s conception of “the space of reasons” makes critical assumptions about what constitutes persons and human uniqueness. Specifically, Sellars assumes that being human is defined through rationality. Although unique to Sellars, defining humans through rationality is an assumption not without its problems. I trace historical and contemporary issues with ignoring emotion and affect in our definition of persons and attempt to reconcile Sellars’s commitment to behaviorism with a seeming conflict between rationality and emotion.</p> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Peter Olen Does philosophical knowledge presuppose a moral attitude? 2021-11-07T11:41:01+00:00 Íngrid Vendrell Ferran <p>This paper explores Max Scheler’s metaphilosophical views. In particular, the paper seeks to reconstruct and assess Scheler’s thesis according to which philosophical knowledge presupposes a moral attitude which he describes as an “act of upsurge” on the part of the whole person of the philosopher toward the essential, an act which cannot be found in either the natural worldview or the sciences. After motivating the topic in the introduction (section 1), the paper explores how Scheler approaches the question about the nature of philosophy by focusing on the type of person of the philosopher (section 2). It then examines Scheler’s claim according to which philosophy is fundamentally distinct from the sciences (section 3), before exploring the moral attitude of the philosopher by examining three of its conditions: love, self-humbling, and self-mastery (section 4). The paper presents some challenges and objections against Scheler’s metaphilosophical thesis. In particular, critiques of its metaphysical implications and of the view of science implicit in it are provided (section 5). Finally, it is also argued that the thesis contains a grain of truth and as such a moderate interpretation of it could be defended (section 6). The main findings are summarized in the conclusion (section 7).</p> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Íngrid Vendrell Ferran A cybernetic theory of persons: how Sellars naturalized Kant 2021-11-07T11:23:53+00:00 Carl Sachs <p>I argue that Sellars’s naturalization of Kant should be understood in terms of how he used behavioristic psychology and cybernetics. I first explore how Sellars used Edward Tolman’s cognitive-behavioristic psychology to naturalize Kant in the early essay “Language, Rules, and Behavior”. I then turn to Norbert Wiener’s understanding of feedback loops and circular causality. On this basis I argue that Sellars’s distinction between signifying and picturing, which he introduces in “Being and Being Known,” can be understood in terms of what I call cybernetic behaviorism. I interpret picturing in terms of cycles of cybernetic behavior and signifying in terms of coordination between cybernetic behavior systems, or what I call triangulated cybernetic behavior. This leads to a formal, naturalistic understanding of personhood as the capacity to engage in triangulated cybernetic behavior. I conclude by showing that Sellars’s thought has the resources, which he did not exploit, for introducing the concept of second-order cybernetics. This suggests that Sellars’s philosophy of mind could be developed in the direction of autopoiesis and enactivism.</p> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Carl Sachs Some Remarks on the Categories of the Manifest Image 2021-11-07T11:27:39+00:00 Giacomo Turbanti <p>This paper addresses the question whether or not philosophical discourse can avail the categories of the scientific image. I argue that the clash of the images is better understood on the semantic rather than the ontologic level and that it results from the challenge to the representational adequacy of the categories tha articulate the conceptual repertoires of the manifest image. A challenge that will be met by a succesful recategorization of the concept of a person in the scientific image. I suggest some reasons to believe that such a recategoritazion is possible in principle without dismantling the philosophical discourse.</p> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Giacomo Turbanti Metaphilosophy of the Life-world 2021-11-07T11:13:25+00:00 Danilo Manca <div><span lang="EN-GB">The aim of this article is to assess whether the notion of “life-world” could be helpful for a philosophical theory that assigns a primacy to the scientific view of the world when it comes to establish what exists. I set out to integrate the concept of “life-world” as understood in Husserl’s late phenomenology with the point of view defended by Sellars in <em>Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man in the World</em>. In what follows, I will consider the image of nature proposed by the standard “Copenhagen” version of quantum physics. This will allow me to challenge Sellars’s assumptions that reality cannot be conceived as stratified<s>,</s> and that the term “phenomenon” has to be meant as “illusory appearance” in a supposedly Kantian sense. At the same time, I will discuss Husserl’s conviction that the ‘technization’ of science entails a philosophical loss of meaning of the scientific image of the world.</span></div> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Danilo Manca Persons, Peirceish, perfidious pluralism – rescuing Sellars 2021-11-07T10:02:05+00:00 Paul Giladi <p>In <em>Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man</em> (1962), Wilfrid Sellars contends that there is <em>tension</em> between manifest image (MI) and scientific image (SI) discursive formations. To end the tension and resolve the <em>clash </em>between the MI and the SI, Sellars does not aim to <em>reconcile</em> the two images. Rather, through the application of his functional classification semantics, typified by his distinction between logical irreducibility and causal reducibility, he aims to <em>join</em> the normative category of persons to the SI, to enrich and complete the SI. In other words, the way all things hang together stereoscopically in one unified and coherent image is by integrating persons into Peirceish. My principal aim in this paper is to argue that, rather than resolve the <em>clash </em>between the MI and the SI by joining the ‘lifeworldy’ conceptual framework of persons to the SI for the purpose of enriching and completing the SI, what Sellars ought to have done is adopt a <em>negative</em> dialectical ‘resolution’ of the clash between the images. This strategy invites one to dismantle the Placement Problem through the logic of “disintegration.” I take Sellars to have curiously hinted at this Adornian intellectual orientation in the concluding sentence of <em>Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind </em>(1956).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2022-03-04T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Paul Giladi <em>Manipulated Agents. A Window to Moral Responsibility</em>, by Alfred R. Mele 2021-10-14T07:56:03+00:00 Lorenzo Testa <p>Review of Alfred R. Mele, <em>Manipulated Agents. A Window to Moral Responsibility</em>, Oxford University Press, New York 2019, 174 pages</p> 2021-09-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 <em>The Tyranny of Merit. What’s Become of the Common Good?</em> by Michael J. Sandel 2021-09-30T15:57:09+00:00 Giulia Balossino <p>Review of Michael J. Sandel, <em>The Tyranny of Merit. What’s Become of the Common Good?</em>, Penguin Random House, London 2020, 270 pages</p> 2021-09-01T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 On What Makes a Social Group a Group Agent 2021-12-07T10:06:18+00:00 Giulia Lasagni <p>Thriving philosophical disputes in social ontology revolve around the question as to whether social groups can be agents. In this article, I contend that if there is something that can turn a social group into an agent, then that something must encompass the group’s ontological structure. The point is made by connecting Ritchie’s structuralist ontology (2018) with a widely received account of group agency proposed among others by List and Pettit (2011). If the argument is convincing, structuralism offers a helpful framework for vindicating realism about group agency and provides the tools to individuate agentive properties of different kinds.</p> 2022-09-09T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Giulia Lasagni Ethics, a matter of style? 2021-09-08T06:54:28+00:00 Bernard Williams <p>First published in Bernard Williams, <em>L’éthique et les limites de la philosophie</em> [1985], trans. Marie-Anne Lescourret, Editions Gallimard, NRF Essais, Paris 1990, pp. V-XIX. The present edition of this Introduction has been supplemented by a number of footnotes. They have been added by Paolo Babbiotti, Nikhil Krishnan and Mathis Marquier, the authors of “Commentary to B. Williams’s French Introduction to Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy”, published in Philosophical Inquiries, IX, 2-2021: 259-268.</p> 2021-09-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Philosophical Inquiries Commentary to B. Williams’s French Introduction to "Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy" 2021-09-08T06:16:17+00:00 Paolo Babbiotti Nikhil Krishnan Mathis Marquier <p>The English original of Bernard Williams’s <em>Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy</em> was published in 1985. Since its publication, it has provoked a substantial body of philosophical commentary, sympathetic as well as critical. Williams’s introduction to the 1990 French translation of <em>Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy</em> is an unusual text and an illuminating new source for readers of Williams. Refreshingly, it reflects an effort on Williams’s part to establish a connection with a new set of readers. It is also the work of a philosopher relishing the freedoms that come from not having to connect with the old one. Does his introduction itself benefit from a further introduction? We believe that it does, and for the same reason that the book needed some prefatory words before it could be put into the hands of French readers: because the work is not, or no longer, fully self-explanatory.</p> 2021-09-08T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Philosophical Inquiries Introduction 2021-05-16T08:06:40+00:00 Elisa Caldarola Jerrold Levinson <p>This is an introduction to the Focus "Art, and especially contemporary art, is often fueled by a need for innovation. Accordingly, the philosophy of art has no shortage of novel topics to address. Furthermore, just like in other areas of philosophical debate, reconsidering less-discussed views on the arts can be a refreshing exercise. Additionally, contemporary reflection on the arts and on aesthetic experience is facing new challenges, stemming from the impact of climate change on the natural and the urban landscape, from the pressing need for intercultural dialogue, and from the acknowledgment of cultural identities related to gender, race, and class. All the authors who successfully responded to our call for papers for the Focus “Philosophy of Art: New Directions” are concerned with the abovementioned issues. The collection, stemming as it does from a call for papers, has no ambition to exhaustiveness, and yet it seems to us that it covers quite a wide range of topics. A variety of research styles is also represented, the only common denominator being the quality of the proposals, in terms of originality, relevance, and argumentative force.of Art: New Directions".</p> 2021-08-02T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Philosophical Inquiries