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On Sex and Gender Identity: Perspectives from Biology, Neuroscience and Philosophy

by Laeti Harris, Louise Moody, and Pam Thompson ____ Introduction This essay will explore the material qualities and political significance of the sexed human body, which has evolved in the service of sexual reproduction, although is not limited to that purpose. Our exploration is motivated by the relatively recent emergence in western cultures of campaigns to replace the position of […]

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Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: People

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ I shouldn’t need to tell anyone that there are people. You’re a person, as am I. There likely are others in your house. Certainly, there are more down on the street.  I understand from a not entirely reliable authority that Hell consists of them. Clearly, uncontroversially, obviously, people exist. They aren’t illusions. They aren’t like […]

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The ‘60s Gave Us Head

by E. John Winner “The tragedy of your time, my young friends, is that you may get exactly what you want.” [1] I. Monkees, the Signifier “The Monkees”: this verbal sign signifies a number of phenomena, certainly related, yet not identical. For instance: –A television show, broadcast in the mid-1960s; the musical group invented for that show. –A fictional musical […]

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Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: Actions, Reasons, Causes … and Ends

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ I’ve been saying that I’d like a return to philosophical “normalcy,” meaning that I’d like us to stop indulging what I’ve been calling, alternatively, “crazy” and “desperate” philosophical positions: Panpsychism; Hard Determinism; Eliminative Materialism and “Illusionism”; Platonism; Mind/Body Dualism; and so on. I’m running an ongoing series of conversations with Crispin Sartwell alongside these prolegomena, […]

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Art and Intention

by Carter Gillies We can stipulate that only things done with intention count as art, and surely many examples can be found where specific intentions lead specifically to art results. The question is whether all art necessarily relies on intention or even whether the intentions an artist has necessarily produce the end result of the art that follows it. It […]

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Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: Ontological Commitment

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ My working idea in these prolegomena is that (a) philosophers feel forced to embrace various “desperate” positions (Panpsychism, Dualism, Illusionism, etc.), because of a number of (often venerated) assumptions that they’ve taken on board, all of which happen to be wrong, and (b) the re-examination of those assumptions, within the frame of Wilfrid Sellars’ famous […]

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Confessions of an Amateur Philosopher

by Scott F. Parker After reading Daniel Kaufman’s essay “The Decline and Rebirth of Philosophy,” I found myself wondering what exactly philosophy offers those of us who are not professional philosophers and, specifically, what it has given me. Responding to these questions has entailed reflecting on my views and my case as one example of what philosophy can be for […]

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Theory and Practice

by Mark English ____ Disruptions to business as usual, such as we have been experiencing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, inevitably raise questions regarding which activities are essential or important for a good or fulfilling life, and which may be happily dispensed with. Answers to such questions will, of course, often be very subjective, influenced by personal histories […]

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Prolegomena for a Pluralist Metaphysics: The Scientific and Manifest Images

by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ I’ve characterized contemporary philosophy as beset by a number of “intellectually desperate” views that have come not just to mar the discipline but have led too many outstanding philosophers to waste their time and considerable talents. Of course, philosophy has always entertained views that when subjected to sober reflection and good sense are revealed to […]

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