Combining Philosophers

All the ideas for Simone de Beauvoir, Peter Klein and R Martin / J Barresi

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10 ideas

2. Reason / A. Nature of Reason / 6. Coherence
Why should we prefer coherent beliefs? [Klein,P]
     Full Idea: A key question for a coherentist is, why should he or she adopt a coherent set of beliefs rather than an incoherent set?
     From: Peter Klein (Infinitism solution to regress problem [2005], 'Step 1')
     A reaction: The point of the question is that the coherentist may have to revert to other criteria in answering it. One could equally ask, why should I believe in tables just because I vividly experience them? Or, why believe 2+2=4, just because it is obvious?
13. Knowledge Criteria / A. Justification Problems / 2. Justification Challenges / a. Agrippa's trilemma
Infinitism avoids a regress, circularity or arbitrariness, by saying warrant just increases [Klein,P]
     Full Idea: Infinitism can solve the regress problem, because it endorses a warrant-emergent form of reasoning in which warrant increases as the series of reasons lengthens. The theory can avoid both circularity and arbitrariness.
     From: Peter Klein (Infinitism solution to regress problem [2005], 'Step 2')
     A reaction: It nicely avoids arbitrariness by offering a reason for absolutely every belief. I think the way to go may to combine individual Infinitism with a social account of where to set the bar of acceptable justification.
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 4. Foundationalism / e. Pro-foundations
If justification is endless, no link in the chain is ultimately justified [Ginet on Klein,P]
     Full Idea: An endless chain of inferential justifications can never ultimately explain why any link in the chain is justified.
     From: comment on Peter Klein (Infinitism solution to regress problem [2005]) by Carl Ginet - Infinitism not solution to regress problem p.148
     A reaction: This strikes me as a mere yearning for foundations. I don't see sense-experience or the natural light of human reason (or the word of God, for that matter) as in any way 'ultimate'. It's all evidence to be evaluated.
13. Knowledge Criteria / B. Internal Justification / 5. Coherentism / a. Coherence as justification
Reasons acquire warrant through being part of a lengthening series [Klein,P]
     Full Idea: The infinitist holds that finding a reason, and then another reason for that reason, places it at the beginning of a series where each gains warrant as part of the series. ..Rational credibility increases as the series lengthens.
     From: Peter Klein (Infinitism solution to regress problem [2005], p.137)
     A reaction: A striking problem here for Klein is the status of the first reason, prior to it being supported by a series. Surprisingly, it seems that it would not yet be a justification. Coherence accounts have the same problem, if coherence is the only criterion.
16. Persons / D. Continuity of the Self / 2. Mental Continuity / b. Self as mental continuity
Maybe we should see persons in four dimensions, with stages or time-slices at an instant [Martin/Barresi]
     Full Idea: Some recent philosophers have argued that we should replace the three-dimensional view of persons with a four-dimensional view according to which only time-slices, or 'stages', of persons exist at short intervals of time.
     From: R Martin / J Barresi (Introduction to 'Personal Identity' [2003], p.3)
     A reaction: At first glance this seems to neatly eliminate lots of traditional worries. But why would I want to retain my identity, if someone threatened to brainwash me. I also want to disown my inadequate earlier selves. Interesting, though. Lewis.
Maybe personal identity is not vital in survival, and other continuations would suffice [Martin/Barresi]
     Full Idea: A modern question is whether personal identity is primarily what matters in survival; that is, people might cease and be continued by others whose continuation the original people would value as much.
     From: R Martin / J Barresi (Introduction to 'Personal Identity' [2003], p.3)
     A reaction: When put like this, the proposal seems hard to grasp. It only makes sense if you don't really believe in a thing called 'personal identity'. I don't see how you can believe in it without also believing that for you it has central importance.
16. Persons / E. Rejecting the Self / 2. Self as Social Construct
Locke's intrinsic view of personal identity has been replaced by an externalist view [Martin/Barresi]
     Full Idea: In modern times the Lockean intrinsic relations view of personal identity has been superseded by an extrinsic relations view (also called the 'closest-continuer' or 'externalist' view).
     From: R Martin / J Barresi (Introduction to 'Personal Identity' [2003], p.1)
     A reaction: Sounds sweeping. My suspicion is that there is a raging fashion for externalist views of everything (justification, content etc.), but this will pass. I take Parfit to be the source of the modern views.
23. Ethics / F. Existentialism / 3. Angst
If existence is absurd it can never have a meaning [Beauvoir]
     Full Idea: To declare that existence is absurd is to deny that it can ever be given a meaning; to say that it is ambiguous is to assert that its meaning is never fixed.
     From: Simone de Beauvoir (Ethics of Ambiguity [1948], p.129), quoted by Kevin Aho - Existentialism: an introduction 6 'Bad'
     A reaction: Absurdity precludes meaning, but being meaningless doesn't entail absurdity. Asteroids are meaningless. Presumably if existence is meaningless now (as in a depression), but it might possibly become meaningful, then it can't qualify as 'absurd'.
24. Political Theory / D. Ideologies / 12. Feminism
One is not born, but rather becomes a woman [Beauvoir]
     Full Idea: One is not born, but rather becomes a woman.
     From: Simone de Beauvoir (The Second Sex [1952], p.301 (or 267)), quoted by Kevin Aho - Existentialism: an introduction 2 'Phenomenology'
     A reaction: This has become the principle idea in modern discussions of gender. It divides gender from sex, rather as Locke divided person from human being. It is an abstraction. It is part of the Hegelian-Marxist idea that persons are moulded by culture.
29. Religion / D. Religious Issues / 2. Immortality / a. Immortality
For Aristotle the psyche perishes with the body (except possibly 'nous') [Martin/Barresi]
     Full Idea: In Aristotle's view, with the possible exception of 'nous' the psyche and all its parts come into being at the same time as its associated body; it is inseparable from the body, and perishes along with it.
     From: R Martin / J Barresi (Introduction to 'Personal Identity' [2003], p.8)
     A reaction: It is suggested that he thought there was only one 'nous', which all humans share (p.9). If he wants to claim that one part is immortal, he doesn't have much evidence. If psyche is the form of the body, it is bound to perish.