Florida Philosophical Review

Current Issue

Vol. XVI.1, Winter 2016

Volume XVI, Number 1

Winter 2016

Copyright 2016 by The University of Central Florida: ISSN 1535-3656

Editorial Board

Table of Contents

  1. "Arguments with Losers" by Andrew Aberdein1
  2. “Risk, Consent, and Externalities: How the Lack of a Global Basic Structure Implies a Right to Migrate” by Jeff Haines12
  3. “Inferences, External Objects, and the Principle of Contradiction: Hume’s Adequacy Principle in Part II of the Treatise” by
    Wilson Underkuffler
  4. "Excluding the Problem: Bennett on Counterfactual Tests and Backtracking” by Katelyn Hallman41
  5. "Pain Demands to Be Felt: Why We Choose to Engage With Tragic Works of Fiction” by Cheryl Frazier56
  6. "An Ecological Account of Visual ‘Illusions’” by Luis H. Favela and Anthony Chemero68
  7. “Is this a Truth-Maker which I See Before Me? Comments on Eli Chudnoff’s Intuition" by Richard N. Manning
  8. "Chudnoff on the Awareness of Abstract Objects” by D. Gene Witmer
  9. “Intuition, Presentational Phenomenology, and Awareness of Abstract Objects: Replies to Manning and Witmer" by Elijah Chudnoff
  10. Notes on Contributors

Arguments with Losers

Andrew Aberdein, Florida Institute of Technology

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Risk, Consent, and Externalities: How the Lack of a Global Basic Structure Implies a Right to Migrate

Jeff Haines, Florida State University

Risk is a problem for theories of justice and ethics. It seems to be both the case that it is prima facie wrong to cause non-negligible risk for others and that we very often do cause non-negligible risk for others. When others consent to be subjected to the risk, we are arguably justified in causing it. This leaves us with the problem that very few risk-generating actions are actually consented to. Using consent to justify creating risk, then, must make use of a notion of hypothetical consent. I argue that we can infer hypothetical consent in some cases only when we share an adequate basic structure with the people placed at risk. This, however, leaves unresolved the problem of creating risk for people in other countries. We must either cease causing such risk or invite them into a shared basic structure.

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Inferences, External Objects, and the Principle of Contradiction: Hume’s Adequacy Principle in Part II of the Treatise

Wilson Underkuffler, University of South Florida

This paper considers whether elements of T 1.2 Of the Ideas of Space and Time in Hume’s Treatise is inconsistent with skepticism regarding the external world in T 1.4.2 Of Scepticism with regard to the Senses. This apparent tension vexes commentators, and efforts to resolve it drives the recent scholarship on this section of Hume’s Treatise. To highlight this tension I juxtapose Hume’s “Adequacy Principle” with what I call his “skeptical causal argument” in T 1.4.2. The Adequacy Principle appears to state that we can form conclusions about objects through the comparison of our ideas of them, while Hume’s skeptical causal argument asserts that we cannot form any conclusions about objects using ideas. Is Hume being inconsistent? I argue that he is not. My paper has three parts. First, I give a general reading of the Adequacy Principle in light of Hume’s peculiar claim that it is “the foundation of all human knowledge.” I then explain why the Adequacy Principle itself is not inconsistent with Hume’s skeptical causal argument by explaining how the term “object” should not be strictly read as “external” object but merely the “the object of inquiry” or even “the matter under consideration.” Second, I sketch Hume’s employment of the Adequacy Principle in his Divisibility Argument, explaining how this is also not at odds with his skeptical causal argument. In the third and final part I explore various interpretations in the literature and consider whether “finite extensions” need necessarily be read as external objects.

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Excluding the Problem: Bennett on Counterfactual Tests and Backtracking

Katelyn Hallman, University of North Florida

In this paper, I explain and assess Karen Bennett’s solution to the exclusion problem. I begin by explaining and motivating Bennett’s formulation of the exclusion problem. Bennett’s formulation of the problem is unique in that it’s not a pointed argument against any one particular view; rather, her formulation sets up the problem as a set of inconsistent claims, at least one of which must be denied to remove the inconsistency. I then explain and motivate Bennett’s solution. Bennett creates a counterfactual test for overdetermination, which is meant to show that the non-reductivist account of mental causation does not result in rampant overdetermination. Next, I explain and motivate a recent objection to Bennett’s solution by Chiwook Won. Won’s charge is that Bennett’s counterfactuals are not necessary for overdetermination. However, I will show that Won does not assess the counterfactuals in Bennett’s test correctly and, thus, Bennett’s solution remains viable.

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Pain Demands to Be Felt: Why We Choose to Engage With Tragic Works of Fiction

Cheryl Frazier, Barry University

Some of the most successful works of art throughout history have dealt with tragic themes. From Romeo and Juliet to Jack and Rose in the film Titanic, millions of people have sat captivated through stories of death, separation, and loss. John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars has captivated audiences for half a decade, despite it depicting two young teens whose lives are threatened by cancer. Why is it that we actively seek out movies, books, paintings, and music that bring us to tears? What about the agony of these works makes them worth revisiting, especially when we shy away from similar scenarios in our everyday lives? In her essay, “A Strange Kind of Sadness,” Marcia Eaton attempts to explain this phenomenon, arguing that we engage with tragic works because of the control we have over them. In this paper I will argue that her solution is inadequate, instead claiming that our attraction to these works stems from a desire for a safe, detached experience which results in emotional catharsis. I will also argue that these works draw us in because they foster connections in the global community, exposing us to new experiences and ways of life.

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An Ecological Account of Visual “Illusions”

Luis H. Favela, University of Central Florida, and Anthony Chemero, University of Cincinnati

Direct realism in one form or another is gaining traction as an approach to perception. With the hope of bolstering such positions, we offer a framework upon which to base an argument for direct realism in matters of perception. Better yet, we offer an empirically supported framework. The framework on offer is that of ecological psychology. With the framework in place, we then discuss how it can address visual illusions, one of the major challenges facing proponents of direct realism.

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