Welcome the 116th Philosophers’ Carnival!
The Florida Student Philosophy Blog is proud to once again host the Carnival. This instantiation of the Carnival is a collection of the best submitted Philosophy posts for the last three weeks of October 2010.
- David Sobel on PEA Soup brings up some more prima facie difficulties for adherents of Political Libertarianism. Exactly how can libertarianism both say that one may not pull the trigger on a gun pointed at another individual, the gun has only one bullet and an arbitrarily large number of empty rounds, and allow for individuals to pilot their own aircraft over the houses of others. Indeed, both cases are cases of very minimal risk to others but are seemingly difficult to reconcile for a libertarian; is there a way to balance risk without having to resort a calculus of utility in terms of risk?
Philosophy of Mind
- Over at Philosophy of Brains, Richard Brown fills us in on the workshop that he recently attended. Sponsored by the New York Consciousness Project, itself a sponsored by the New York Institute of Philosophy, Richard focuses on the clarification that Tyler Burge makes for notions of Perception and Representation and specifically does so in a way that incorporates some Philosophy of Language distinctions between syntactic and semantic in terms of perceptual states. Should mental states have a truth value? Or should it merely be a matter akin to a thermometer ‘getting it right.’
- Meanwhile at Philosophy and Psychology, Gary Williams goes over the distinction between first-order consciousness and second-order consciousness. Gary makes the claim that ‘All lifeforms possess “phenomenal consciousness”,’ furthermore he also makes the claim ‘…take what’s called a narratological or social-constructivist approach to consciousness.’ Gary’s post makes for an excellent read and is unique for its continental-focused background approach.
Philosophy of Science
- Next up is a Kiwi’s defense of Newton. Kirsten Walsh defends Newton from charges of inconsistency when he claims that his doctrine of colors is a theory and not a hypothesis. The post succinctly details the methodology of early Newton and Kirsten provides a distinction of the two that ultimately aid Newton’s case; however, postulate 1 of the definition of a theory does seem to set the bar quite high.
- Continuing the Kiwi mini-wave is post titled God, Morality and Abhorrent Commands: Part 1 Kant. Readers of this blog might remember this similar discussion, both posts generated quite the feedback. In this post, Matt details the position that Kant staked out in his difficulty with the notion of a God that commanded an action that was, at least, prima facie unjust. The discussion is quite lively and I encourage the reader to join in on it.
- Over at Think Tonk, clayton littlejohn defends a ought implies can view, Necessarily, if you ought to φ, you can φ (OIC), from Peter Graham. An issue of particular concern is whether or not a Kantian difficulty results from the adherence of “…treating others as mere means” dictum.
- Christopher O. Tollefsen from The Public Discourse defends a conservative view of pregnancy. However, his case is novel insofar as it takes the ‘liberal’ definition of pregnancy and uses that very definition to argue against ‘liberal’ claims of morality in regards to abortion and contraception.
Philosophy of Religion
- Over at Omnis Affirmatio est Negatio, TaiChi provides an excellent and updated version of the Logical Problem of Evil. Ultimately showing that the standard philosophical accounts of theism are untenable as a result of the problem of evil, TaiChi is very rigorous in his analysis and has a wealth of citations and references.
- At Only a Game, Chris Bateman submits a lengthy and well written series of posts on Kant’s Critique of Judgment. The second division of the post focuses on what is now known as Intelligent Design. Highly recommended as a good introduction to Kant’s aesthetics.
- Finally, Phillip Baron offers Four Principles of Using Digital Tools to Assist Humanities Research. I highly recommend undergraduates to read this post and incorporate the suggested methodology into their own.
That’s all for this month’s carnival; moreover, the noteworthy submissions tended to be morality heavy this month. New visitors, be sure to stick around and check out all the postings that the Florida Student Philosophy Blog has to offer!