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    Peirce on the Symbolical Foundation of Personhood
    (Eidos, 2021-10) De Tienne, André; Philosophy, School of Liberal Arts
    This paper discusses the semiotic and metaphysical framework within which Peirce elaborated a symbolical and dynamical conception of personhood. It exhibits the centrality of Peirce’s early conception of the “unity of consistency” along with its decentering advantages. It describes how this gave rise to a metaphysics of personhood that questions the singularity of individuals. It then conducts a semiotic study of the evolutive process across which something indeterminate evolves into something determinate that increasingly personifies itself following the logic of symbolization, taking into account two major types of indetermination: generality and vagueness. It then considers the kind of teleology at work within personification. It concludes that personhood so conceived is not restricted to only individual human beings, for the process of symbolization at work is not confined to a particular species-specific application.
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    Platonic Realism
    (Routledge, 2022) Carmichael, Chad; Philosophy, School of Liberal Arts
    In this chapter, I make the case for platonic realism, the thesis that there are properties that lack spatial locations. After criticizing the one-over-many argument for realism and Lewis's argument for realism, I endorse a modal argument that derives the existence of platonic properties from considerations involving necessary truth. I then defend this argument from various objections. Finally, I argue that epistemic considerations and considerations of parsimony favor a weak form of platonic realism on which there are platonic properties, but each property could have had an instance, and would have been located in its instances if it had any.
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    A Peircean Approach to the Umwelt
    (UNIL, 2022) De Tienne, André; Philosophy, School of Liberal Arts
    The concept of Umwelt has become so significant in biosemiotics that one may wonder whether Peirce could conceivably have missed it within the broader logical and metaphysical context of his realist pragmaticist semiotic theory. This brief paper suggests that far from having missed it, Peirce tackled it front and center at a most fundamental level.
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    Vagueness: A Global Approach by Kit Fine (review)
    (The Philosophy Education Society, 2022-03) Carmichael, Chad; Philosophy, School of Liberal Arts
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    Immanence in Abundance
    (Springer, 2022-09-19) Carmichael, Chad; Philosophy, School of Liberal Arts
    In this paper, I develop a theory on which each of a thing’s abundant properties is immanent in that thing. On the version of the theory I will propose, universals are abundant, each instantiated universal is immanent, and each uninstantiated universal is such that it could have been instantiated, in which case it would have been immanent. After setting out the theory, I will defend it from David Lewis’s argument that such a combination of immanence and abundance is absurd. I will then advocate the theory on the grounds that it accomplishes all of Lewis’s “new work” while providing a gain in parsimony and a new account of fine-grained content. I will close with a discussion of how the theory also affords a new reply to two objections to uninstantiated universals: Armstrong’s charge that they are inconsistent with naturalism, and a Benacerraf-Field-style objection about epistemic access.
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    Rethinking Kant on Duty
    (The Philosophy Education Society, Inc., 2021-06) Kahn, S.; Philosophy, School of Liberal Arts
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    A new problem for internalism
    (Springer, 2021-12) Carmichael, Chad; Philosophy, School of Liberal Arts
    I will argue that internalism about justification entails the apparently absurd conclusion that it is possible to know specific facts about the external world—for example, that there is a tree in the quad—on the basis of introspection and a priori reflection. After a brief characterization of internalism (§1), I will set out the problem (§2). I will then discuss three replies: one that denies the form of doxastic voluntarism involved in the problem (§3), one that denies that knowledge of higher-order facts about justification can justify corresponding first-order beliefs (§4), and, finally, one that involves biting the bullet (§5). I will argue that each reply fails.
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    Kant and the trolley
    (Springer, 2021-07) Kahn, Samuel; Philosophy, School of Liberal Arts
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    A Problem for Frankfurt Examples
    (Philosphy Documentation Center, 2021-01) Kahn, Samuel; Philosophy, School of Liberal Arts
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    Why Positive Duties cannot Be Derived from Kant’s Formula of Universal Law
    (Springer, 2022-07) Kahn, Samuel; Philosophy, School of Liberal Arts
    Ever since Hegel famously objected to Kant’s universalization formulations of the Categorical Imperative on the grounds that they are nothing but an empty formalism, there has been continual debate about whether he was right. In this paper I argue that Hegel got things at least half-right: I argue that even if negative duties can be derived from the universalization formulations, positive duties cannot. The paper is divided into three main sections. In the first, I set out the procedures generally accepted among Kantians for deriving positive duties from the universalization formulations. In the second, I set out the arguments from section 1 in more detail and explain why they do not work. In the third, I examine a strategy that might be used to supplement the arguments from section 2 and I argue that it goes the same way.