Philosophical Inquiries <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> en-US Philosophical Inquiries 2281-8618 <p>Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication, with the work five (5) years after publication licensed under a <a href="" target="_new">Creative Commons Attribution License</a> that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.</p> <p>After five years from first publication, Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.</p> Moral Knowledge, by Sarah McGrath <p>Review of Moral Knowledge, by Sarah McGrath, Oxford University Press, 2019, x, 218 pages.</p> Luciana Ceri Copyright (c) 2023 Luciana Ceri 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 11 1 R9 R13 The Main Enterprise of the World: Rethinking Education, by Philip Kitcher <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Review of "The Main Enterprise of the World: Rethinking Education" by Philip Kitcher,&nbsp;Oxford University Press, 2022, xiv, 416 pages</p> </div> </div> </div> Alistair Miller Copyright (c) 2023 Alistair Miller 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 11 1 R1 R7 Responses to Critics <p>-</p> Sergio Tenenbaum Copyright (c) 2023 Sergio Tenenbaum 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 11 1 163 183 10.4454/philinq.v11i1.448 Tenenbaum on Instrumental Reason and the End of Procrastination <p>In <em data-removefontsize="true" data-originalcomputedfontsize="16">Rational Powers in Action</em>, Sergio Tenenbaum argues that instrumental rationality is constitutively rationality in action. According to his theory, we not only reason <em data-removefontsize="true" data-originalcomputedfontsize="16">to</em> action, we also reason <em data-removefontsize="true" data-originalcomputedfontsize="16">from</em> action: both the major premise and the conclusion of instrumental reasoning are intentional actions in progress. In the paper, I raise three objections. First, the view rests on the assumption of a symmetry between the starting point and the conclusion of instrumental reasoning. But in the cases of telic actions like building a house, the reasoning concludes with the completion of the action. Secondly, Tenenbaum conceives of the nexus between ends and means generally in terms of the relation between a temporally extended whole and its parts. This fails to account for distinction between telic action and conduct or praxis. Third, the theory implies that it is instrumentally irrational to abandon all of one’s ends. But this can’t be shown.</p> Matthias Haase Copyright (c) 2023 Matthias Haase 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 11 1 143 161 10.4454/philinq.v11i1.447 The Action-Guidingness of Rational Principles and the Problem of our own Imperfections <p>The following comment discusses the supposedly action-guiding role of rational principles and the question to what extent our imperfections as human agents should influence what these principles are. According to Sergio Tenenbaum, the principles of instrumental rationality (as stated in his theory) are meant to be action-guiding rather than merely evaluative. In the first part of the comment I look at how this action-guiding role is to be understood, especially when it comes to the pursuit of long-term indeterminate ends. The second part of the comment raises the question of whether the principles included in Tenenbaum’s Extended Theory of Rationality should be supplemented by principles for dealing with our own imperfections. I consider two possible sources for further principles: the risk that we will behave irrationally later on and uncertainty about the effectiveness of the means we take.</p> Erasmus Mayr Copyright (c) 2023 Erasmus Mayr 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 11 1 127 141 10.4454/philinq.v11i1.446 The Extended Theory of Instrumental Rationality and Means-Ends Coherence <p>In <em>Rational Powers in Action</em>, Sergio Tenenbaum sets out a new theory of instrumental rationality that departs from standard discussions of means-ends coherence in the literature on structural rationality in at least two interesting ways: it takes intentional action (as opposed to intention) to be what puts in place the relevant instrumental requirements, and it applies to both necessary and non-necessary means. I consider these two developments in more detail. On the first, I argue that Tenenbaum’s theory is too narrow since there could be instrumental irrationality with respect to an intention to f even if one is not yet engaged in any relevant intentional action. On the second, I argue against Tenenbaum’s claim that “<em>an agent is instrumentally irrational if she knowingly fails to pursue some sufficient means to an end she is pursuing.”&nbsp;</em></p> John Brunero Copyright (c) 2023 John Brunero 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 11 1 109 125 10.4454/philinq.v11i1.445 Instrumental Rationality and Proceeding Acceptably over Time <p>Theories of instrumental rationality often abstract away from the fact that actions are generally temporally extended and from crucial complications associated with this fact. Sergio Tenenbaum’s <em>Rational Powers in Action</em> (2020) reveals and navigates these complications with great acuity, ultimately providing a powerful revisionary picture of instrumental rationality that highlights the extremely limited nature of the standard picture. Given that I share Tenenbaum’s general concerns about the standard picture, my aim is to advance our general approach further by complicating and enriching debate regarding a picture of instrumental rationality that is accountable to the temporally extended nature of our actions and agency via the consideration of a few issues that merit further consideration and exploration. As I explain, despite stemming from or being associated with some important insights, some of the central ideas that Tenenbaum supports need to be qualified, modified, or reconsidered.</p> Chrisoula Andreou Copyright (c) 2023 Chrisoula Andreou 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 11 1 99 108 10.4454/philinq.v11i1.444 Rational Powers and Inaction <p>This discussion of Sergio Tenenbaum’s excellent book, <em>Rational Powers in Action</em>, focuses on two noteworthy aspects of the big picture. First, questions are raised about Tenenbaum’s methodology of giving primacy to cases in which the agent has all the requisite background knowledge, including knowledge of a means that will be sufficient for achieving her end, and no significant false beliefs. Second, the implications of Tenenbaum’s views concerning the rational constraints on revising our ends are examined.</p> Sarah K. Paul Copyright (c) 2023 Sarah K. Paul 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 11 1 87 97 10.4454/philinq.v11i1.443 Précis of Rational Powers in Action <p>Human actions unfold over time, in pursuit of ends that are not fully specified in advance. Rational Powers in Action locates these features of the human condition at the heart of a new theory of instrumental rationality. Where many theories of rational agency focus on instantaneous choices between sharply defined outcomes, treating the temporally extended and partially open-ended character of action as an afterthought, this book argues that the deep structure of instrumental rationality can only be understood if we see how it governs the pursuit of long-term, indeterminate ends. These are ends that cannot be realized through a single momentary action, and whose content leaves partly open what counts as realizing the end. For example, one cannot simply write a book through an instantaneous choice to do so; over time, one must execute a variety of actions to realize one’s goal of writing a book, where one may do a better or worse job of attaining that goal, and what counts as succeeding at it is not fully determined in advance. Even to explain the rational governance of much less ambitious actions like making dinner, this book argues that we need to focus on temporal duration and the indeterminacy of ends in intentional action. Theories of moment-by-moment preference maximization, or indeed any understanding of instrumental rationality on the basis of momentary mental items, cannot capture the fundamental structure of our instrumentally rational capacities. This book puts forward a theory of instrumental rationality as rationality in action.</p> Sergio Tenenbaum Copyright (c) 2023 Sergio Tenenbaum 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 11 1 67 85 10.4454/philinq.v11i1.442 <em>Husserl’s Legacy. Phenomenology, Metaphysics and Transcendental Philosophy</em>, by Dan Zahavi <p>Book review of Dan Zahavi’s <em>Husserl’s Legacy. Phenomenology, Metaphysics and Transcendental Philosophy</em>, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017.</p> Rosario Croce Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 R7 R13 <em>Ethics, Conflict and Medical Treatment for Children: From Disagreement to Dissensus</em>, by D. Wilkinson & J. Savulescu <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> Chiara Innorta Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 R1 R5 The Birth of Habits <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> Victor Egger Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 255 269 10.4454/philinq.v10i2.431 Victor Egger: habit, repetition, and the unconscious <p>not available</p> Marco Piazza Sofia Sandreschi de Robertis Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 241 254 10.4454/philinq.v10i2.430 Betting and Presuming: From God’s Existence to Morality and Law <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> Alberto Artosi Giovanni Sartor Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 219 238 10.4454/philinq.v10i2.429 Probable Interplay: Reactions to Epicureanism and Probabilism in the Seventeenth Century <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> Rudolf Schuesser Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 197 218 10.4454/philinq.v10i2.428 The Baby Jesus in a Drop of Blood: Evidence, Credibility, and Truth in Post-Reformation Catholicism <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> Stefania Tutino Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 179 196 10.4454/philinq.v10i2.427 Melchor Cano and the conundrum of historical scholarship: Probability and criticism in the sixteenth century <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> Giuliano Mori Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 159 178 10.4454/philinq.v10i2.426 A brief history of the French verb convaincre <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> Francis Goyet Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 139 158 10.4454/philinq.v10i2.425 Late scholastic probable arguments and their contrast with rhetorical and demonstrative arguments <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> James Franklin Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 99 116 10.4454/philinq.v10i2.424 The Problem of Certainty and the Changing Status of Probable Proofs <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> Barbara J. Shapiro Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 117 137 10.4454/philinq.v10i2.423 Introduction: Non-Demonstrative Proofs in Early Modern Europe <p>Focus introduction.</p> <p>Open access content. Abstract not available.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Giuliano Mori Copyright (c) 2022 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 11 1 85 98 10.4454/philinq.v10i2.422 Some arguments against the possibility of an infinite past <p>In this brief note we discuss some arguments against the purely conceptual possibility of an infinite past, arguing that they are ungrounded and showing how some points of the contemporary debate can be found in some mid-thirteenth-century controversies on the topic.</p> Luca Bellotti Copyright (c) 2023 Luca Bellotti 2023-03-24 2023-03-24 11 1 31 42 10.4454/philinq.v11i1.418 Quasi-analysis <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> Rudolf Carnap Caterina Del Sordo Thomas Mormann Copyright (c) 2022 2022-03-04 2022-03-04 11 1 255 271 10.4454/philinq.v10i1.404 <em>Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language</em>, by Andrea Iacona <p>Book review of Andrea Iacona, <em>Logical Form: Between Logic and Natural Language</em>, Springer, 2018, 133 pages</p> Giuliano Rosella Copyright (c) 2022 2022-03-04 2022-03-04 11 1 R7 R13 <em>Ontology without Borders</em>, by Jody Azzouni <p>Review of Jody Azzouni, <em>Ontology without Borders</em>, Oxford University Press, New York 2017, 279 pages.</p> Delia Belleri Copyright (c) 2022 2022-03-04 2022-03-04 11 1 R1 R6 The significance of Quasizerlegung for Carnap’s Aufbau and scientific philosophy in general <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> Caterina Del Sordo Thomas Mormann Copyright (c) 2022 2022-03-04 2022-03-04 11 1 231 253 10.4454/philinq.v10i1.401 Introduction <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> Danilo Manca Giacomo Turbanti Copyright (c) 2022 Danilo Manca, Giacomo Turbanti 2022-03-04 2022-03-04 11 1 43 48 10.4454/philinq.v10i1.396 Kant and Sellars on the unity of apperception <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> David Landy Copyright (c) 2022 David Landy 2022-03-04 2022-03-04 11 1 73 96 10.4454/philinq.v10i1.393 Emotion and affect in the space of reasons <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> Peter Olen Copyright (c) 2022 Peter Olen 2022-03-04 2022-03-04 11 1 125 144 10.4454/philinq.v10i1.392 Does philosophical knowledge presuppose a moral attitude? <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> Íngrid Vendrell Ferran Copyright (c) 2022 Íngrid Vendrell Ferran 2022-03-04 2022-03-04 11 1 145 168 10.4454/philinq.v10i1.391