Humanities and Social Sciences

Przegląd Filozoficzny. Nowa Seria

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Przegląd Filozoficzny. Nowa Seria | 2020 | No 2 |

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Abstract

The term “cause” is ubiquitous in life and science. It is surprising how, generally speaking, the existing all-purpose dictionaries, and even «professional» ones, are clumsy in their attempts to define “cause” and its derivative terms. We urgently need a more satisfactory definition of these words, along the following lines: an acting of object x on object y is the cause of the change in object y, when at the same time object x acts on object y, object y changes, and if something of the type of object x acts on an object of the type of object y, then object y changes. When expanding the proposed definition, I consider, among others: (a) traditional counterarguments aimed at the existence of cause-effect relation, (b) the question of necessity as a component of the notion of causality, (c) the notion of acting on something and the circumstances of its occurrence, (d) the essence of change, and (e) the causality principle. In addition, I sketch the relation of the reconstructed notion of causality to the notions of motivation, perpetration, and the act of creation (in arts and in Catholicism).

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Authors and Affiliations

Jacek Jadacki
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Abstract

Ethicists have thus far not paid much attention to uncertainty, very often concentrating on highly idealized hypothetical situations where both empirical (e.g. the state of the world, the spectrum of possible decisions and their consequences, the causal connections between events) and normative (the content of norms, value scales) matters were clearly defined and well-known to the decision-maker. In this article, which stems from a project on different types of decisions under uncertainty related to the rapid progress in biomedical research, I analyze some situations of normative uncertainty, cases when an agent must make a decision, but does not know which choice is correct, for example, because he/she has contrary intuitions about the permissibility of available decisions. The view termed comparativism claims that in such cases the appropriate decision depends not only on the credences that one assigns to different norms, but also on how much possible decisions are worth taking in the light of these norms. I analyze a few cases of normative uncertainty, and a specific counter-argument against the current versions of comparativism, showing that under normative uncertainty this view imposes risk neutrality, although it permits us to have different risk attitudes under empirical uncertainty. I also argue that a precautionary approach to situations of normative uncertainty is overly simplistic.

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Tomasz Żuradzki
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Abstract

We are familiar with the grammar and logic of relational predicates in predicate calculus, chiefly as transmitted through Whitehead and Russell. In natural languages however, relations are frequently expressed using what Peirce called relatives, that is, expressions like brother, gift, head, effect, successor, which require completion by one or more definite terms to yield general names or terms. Peirce developed a logic of such relatives which influenced Schröder and Tarski. Later, Leśniewski used relative terms such as part, overlapper, class etc. to formulate his mereology, rather than the predicates and operators subsequently and more standardly used. In this paper I con-sider aspects of the grammar and logic of such relative terms, particularly in regard to several areas of general logico-philosophical interest: cardinality; functions; abstrac-tion; the order problem of relations; and Russell’s multiple relation theory of belief and judgment.

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Peter Simons
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Abstract

In the skeptical tradition self-consciousness was transparent and it served as a basis for expressing doubts and developing arguments leading to certainty. After the linguistic and naturalistic turns, contemporary philosophy developed skeptical arguments against certainty and epistemic priority of the data of self-consciousness (both reflective and pre-reflective). Self-reflection reports on the stream of consciousness ex post, but the reports are meager and dependent on subject’s conceptual scheme, while the pre- -reflective data is unclear. Two contemporary skeptical hypotheses have been developed: H. Putnam’s content externalism hypothesis and so-called Kripkenstein’s quus hypothesis. I put forth the question what kind of self is immune to erroneous misidentification. The immunity seems to be limited to the contentless self, reducible to the pre-discursive feeling of one’s own existence. There is no guarantee that any content whatsoever can be attributed to self without error. I cannot negate that I exist any more than I can negate that something external exists, but any description of either is fallible. So the content of self-consciousness is not in an epistemically better position than the content of external perception.

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Renata Ziemińska
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Abstract

The presented paper sets out to answer the question: did the achievements of medieval mathematical theology and philosophy of nature contribute to the development of modern science? The article focuses primarily on the achievements of English thinkers before and up to the fourteenth century. To answer the main question, a brief history of introducing mathematics to the philosophy of nature is presented, then the concepts preceding the theory of Oxford Calculators, which was a new and original interpretation of Aristotle, are discussed. This review is intended as an answer to the question contained in the title.

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Elżbieta Jung
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Abstract

This article is an attempt to look at how individual freedom is realized in the world of consumption. Consumer freedom understood as a social relationship – and not for example as a gift received from God and the ability to make independent choices between good and evil according to one’s free will – is not a given once and for all. In the case of consumer freedom, some people have this type of freedom, while others are deprived of it, which often results in moral evil. Freedom in a world where ‘a menu replaces the Decalogue’ is first and foremost a freedom to consume, a freedom of those who have the appropriate material means to make use of them. Therefore, it is not a gift given once and for all, but it requires from us – free consumers – constant activity in acquiring funds that allow us to meet the needs of ownership. It only pretends to be accompanied by freedom of choice but in fact is not. Freedom in the world of consumption is implemented mainly in the sphere of everyday life practice and it does not constitute the implementation of any lofty philosophical ideas. It is an impoverished form without proper theoretical foundation. The problem is whether in the world of consumption there is any freedom at all. Unfortunately, most often we only have an illusion of freedom, because choosing to participate in it (more or less consciously), we agree to its prevailing rights. One of the most important rights in the domain of consumption implying is freedom of consumption, or ironically speaking, the free-dom to choose between Coca Cola and Pepsi. But even in its narrow application consumer freedom does not seem to realize any moral good. It is true that various attempts are being made to codify the ethical activity of consumers, traders, producers, etc., but this has nothing to do with the real moral dimension of actions, concerning instead instrumental and performative aspects of those actions by sustaining unreflective choice automatisms.

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Authors and Affiliations

Lesław Hostyński
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Abstract

In the first part, ‘Visions’, a pattern of interpreting Western philosophical thought, as an attempt to deal with the problem of axiological catastrophe, is outlined. In the second part, ‘Vastness’, the author tries to show how far human speculative thinking (metaphysical thinking) can be extended, regardless of whether the ‘vastness’ that human metaphysics aims at is realized one way or another. The third part, ‘God’, deals with the relationship between the concept of God and the concept of metaphysical vastness. The fourth part is called ‘Cradle’ and its intention is to show that in comparison with real or only possible metaphysical vastness, the world in which we live is a kind of beginning of an infinite life, and therefore serves as a cradle. In the last part, entitled ‘Fullness’, some ideas are proffered to show how the eternal life of such entities as human persons may appear against the background of metaphysical vastness.

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Authors and Affiliations

Stanisław Judycki

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Jacek Hołówka (Redaktor naczelny)

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Justyna Grudzińska

Jakub Kloc-Konkołowicz

Joanna Odrowąż-Sypniewska

Renata Wieczorek

Łukasz Kowalik (Sekretarz redakcji)

 

Rada Programowa


Adam Chmielewski (UWr)

Jan Hertrich-Woleński (UJ)

Paweł Kawalec (KUL)

Małgorzata Kowalska (UwB)

Anna Latawiec (UKSW)

Adam Nowaczyk (UŁ)

Jacek Paśniczek (UMCS)

Andrzej Przyłębski (UAM)

Andrzej Szahaj (UMK)

Renata Ziemińska (US)

 

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