Florida Philosophical Review

Current Issue

Vol. X.1, Summer 2010

Volume XII, Number 1

Winter 2012

Copyright 2012 by The University of Central Florida: ISSN 1535-3656

Editorial Board

Table of Contents

  1. Editors' Introduction by Nancy Stanlick and Michael Strawseri
  2. "Nothing New Left to Say: Plagiarism, Originality, and the Discipline of Philosophy" by Brook J. Sadler1
  3. "Community, Equality, and Value Pluralism in G. A. Cohen's Why Not Socialism?" by David O'Brien17
  4. "Is Sylvan's Box a Threat to Classical Logic Norms?" by Theodore Locke32
  5. "Andrei Platonov: Utopia, Dystopia, and Community" by John Riser 53
  6. "Understanding Moral Responsibility within the Context of the Free Will Debate" by Stephen G. Morris68
  7. "On a Perceived Expressive Inadequacy of Principia Mathematica" by Burkay T. Öztürk 83
  8. Review of Martin Heidegger's Country Path Conversations by Christopher Merwin93
  9. Notes on Contributors96
Editors' Introduction

Nothing New Left to Say: Plagiarism, Originality, and the Discipline of Philosophy

Brook J. Sadler, University of South Florida

I argue that to see certain textual practices as instances of plagiarism depends upon prior assumptions about the nature of authorship and originality. I introduce key ideas from Kant's essay "On the Unauthorized Publication of Books" as a clue to the modern notion of authorship and from Foucault's "What Is an Author?" which offers a postmodern deconstruction of the author. I explain how the current proliferation of student plagiarism can be viewed as a radical departure from both of these views, pointing toward a future in which the creation of text is un-authored, anonymous, collective but non-collaborative, and dynamic. I suggest that faculty attitudes about plagiarism represent, in part, a failure to understand the changing economic, technological, and textual practices that are guiding students and administrators. Nonetheless, I maintain that plagiarism is unethical, even as I call for philosophers to rethink how our discipline might respond to these changing practices.

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Community, Equality, and Value Pluralism in G.A. Cohen's Why Not Socialism?

David O'Brien, Florida Atlantic University

In Why Not Socialism? G.A. Cohen articulates a version of socialism characterized by two values—equality and community—but, being a value pluralist, Cohen is not sanguine about the practical consistency of those values. This paper deals with the relationship between Cohen's formulations of the values of community and equality. I argue that Cohen faces a dilemma: either community and equality are not even in principle consistent, or else they are conceptually compatible. I argue, moreover, that despite the cost to Cohen's value pluralism of accepting the dilemma's second horn, it carries the felicitous consequence of obviating the contingent conflicts between community and equality about which Cohen is concerned. Finally, I suggest that accepting the second horn—that is, the grounds of compatibility between community and equality—is helpful in resolving a puzzle recently raised by John Roemer about Cohen's picture of socialism.

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Is Sylvan's Box a Threat to Classical Logic Norms?

Theodore D. Locke, University of North Florida

Advocates of certain paraconsistent logics claim that classical logic provides incorrect norms for reasoning about impossible situations. Some have taken this claim as a sufficient reason to modify classical accounts of consequence. In this paper, I explain and evaluate such an argument based on Graham Priest's fictional story, "Sylvan's Box." I will explain and evaluate an objection to this argument based on a consistent reading of Priest's story offered by Daniel Nolan. However, I will argue that the argument fails for different reasons. It is not the case that classical logic provides incorrect norms for reasoning about impossible situations. I will discuss logical tools, offered by Daniel Nolan, compatible with classical accounts of consequence that allow for non-vacuous reasoning about impossibilities. Finally, I will offer an explanation for seeming tensions between certain classical logic principles and reasoning about impossibilities.

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Andrei Platonov: Utopia, Dystopia, and Community

John Riser, Florida Gulf Coast University

The principal aim of my essay is to provide a selective description and positive evaluation of the development of Andrei Platonov's views in the 20th century from utopian communism through disillusioned cynicism to what I will call humanistic communalism. Now considered in Russia as one of its greatest writers, he articulated various highly significant ideas and issues – primarily philosophical but also political and psychological – concerning the viability of living within an indifferent, non-moral universe, an unprogressive, indeed oppressive, sociopolitical system, and a recurrently tragic, ineluctably contingent life-world. As a result of this not uncommon intellectual and existential journey, Platonov mapped out a way of hopeful, enriching living based upon creative activity and upon communal relationships—for example, of friendship and love, supplemented by a resolute combination of patience and endurance.

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Understanding Moral Responsibility within the Context of the Free Will Debate

Stephen G. Morris, The College of Staten Island/CUNY

Since philosophers generally agree that free will is understood partly by the relation it holds to moral responsibility, achieving a better understanding of free will requires that we have a clear idea of the sort of moral responsibility to which free will is thought to be connected. I argue that examining the substantive differences that exist between compatibilists and incompatibilists reveals a specific notion of moral responsibility that is best suited for philosophical debates regarding free will. Upon examination, it becomes apparent that the primary substantive disputes between compatibilists and incompatibilists—as well as between libertarians and skeptics—have to do with the issue of whether retributivist reward or punishment is ever appropriate for certain kinds of agents. Drawing from this, I suggest that participants in the free will debate adopt a particular understanding of moral responsibility that can ground the propriety of retributivist justice.

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On a Perceived Expressive Inadequacy of Principia Mathematica

Burkay T. Öztürk, University of Illinois at Chicago

This paper deploys a Cantor-style diagonal argument which indicates that there is more possible mathematical content than there are propositional functions in Russell and Whitehead's Principia Mathematica and similar formal systems. This technical result raises a historical question: "How did Russell, who was himself an expert in diagonal arguments, not see this coming?" It turns out that answering this question requires an appreciation of Russell's understanding of what logic is, and how he construed the relationship between logic and Principia Mathematica.

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Review of Martin Heidegger's Country Path Conversations by Christopher Merwin

Christopher Merwin, New School for Social Research

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Notes on Contributors

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