Results for 'Pointlessness'

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  1. Is Defining Life Pointless? Operational Definitions at the Frontiers of Biology.Leonardo Bich & Sara Green - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    Despite numerous and increasing attempts to define what life is, there is no consensus on necessary and sufficient conditions for life. Accordingly, some scholars have questioned the value of definitions of life and encouraged scientists and philosophers alike to discard the project. As an alternative to this pessimistic conclusion, we argue that critically rethinking the nature and uses of definitions can provide new insights into the epistemic roles of definitions of life for different research practices. This paper examines the possible (...)
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  2. Continuous Lattices and Whiteheadian Theory of Space.Thomas Mormann - 1998 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 6:35 - 54.
    In this paper a solution of Whitehead’s problem is presented: Starting with a purely mereological system of regions a topological space is constructed such that the class of regions is isomorphic to the Boolean lattice of regular open sets of that space. This construction may be considered as a generalized completion in analogy to the well-known Dedekind completion of the rational numbers yielding the real numbers . The argument of the paper relies on the theories of continuous lattices and “pointless” (...)
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  3. The Puzzle of Petitionary Prayer.Daniel Howard-Snyder & Frances Howard-Snyder - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (2):43-68.
    The fact that our asking God to do something can make a difference to what he does underwrites the point of petitionary prayer. Here, however, a puzzle arises: Either doing what we ask is the best God can do or it is not. If it is, then our asking won’t make any difference to whether he does it. If it is not, then our asking won’t make any difference to whether he does it. So, our asking won’t make any difference (...)
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  4. God, Causality, and Petitionary Prayer.Caleb Murray Cohoe - 2014 - Faith and Philosophy 31 (1):24-45.
    Many maintain that petitionary prayer is pointless. I argue that the theist can defend petitionary prayer by giving a general account of how divine and creaturely causation can be compatible and complementary, based on the claim that the goodness of something depends on its cause. I use Thomas Aquinas’s metaphysical framework to give an account that explains why a world with creaturely causation better reflects God’s goodness than a world in which God brought all things about immediately. In such a (...)
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  5. Performative Transcendental Arguments.Adrian Bardon - 2005 - Philosophia 33 (1-4):69-95.
    ‘Performative’ transcendental arguments exploit the status of a subcategory of self-falsifying propositions in showing that some form of skepticism is unsustainable. The aim of this paper is to examine the relationship between performatively inconsistent propositions and transcendental arguments, and then to compare performative transcendental arguments to modest transcendental arguments that seek only to establish the indispensability of some belief or conceptual framework. Reconceptualizing transcendental arguments as performative helps focus the intended dilemma for the skeptic: performative transcendental arguments directly confront the (...)
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  6. Human Extinction and the Value of Our Efforts.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2004 - Philosophical Forum 35 (3):371–391.
    Some people feel distressed reflecting on human extinction. Some people even claim that our efforts and lives would be empty and pointless if humanity becomes extinct, even if this will not occur for millions of years. In this essay, I will attempt to demonstrate that this claim is false. The desire for long-lastingness or quasi-immortality is often unwittingly adopted as a standard for judging whether our efforts are significant. If we accomplish our goals and then later in life conclude that (...)
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  7. Gricean Rational Reconstructions And The Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2001 - Synthese 128 (1):93-131.
    This paper discusses the proper taxonomy of the semantics-pragmatics divide. Debates about taxonomy are not always pointless. In interesting cases taxonomic proposals involve theoretical assumptions about the studied field, which might be judged correct or incorrect. Here I want to contrast an approach to the semantics-pragmatics dichotomy, motivated by a broadly Gricean perspective I take to be correct, with a contemporary version of an opposing “Wittgensteinian” view. I will focus mostly on a well-known example: the treatment of referential uses of (...)
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  8.  67
    Resistance Training.Alex Madva - 2020 - The Philosophers' Magazine 91:40-45.
    The summer of 2020 witnessed perhaps the largest protests in American history in response to police and vigilante brutality against the black community. New protests are still erupting every time another suppressed video, such as of Daniel Prude, surfaces, or another killing, such as Breonna Taylor’s, goes unpunished. As communities demand meaningful reform, the point – or pointlessness – of “implicit bias training” takes on renewed urgency. Implicit bias trainings aim to raise awareness about the unwitting or unwilling prejudices (...)
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  9. Resemblance Nominalism and Russell's Regress.Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - 2001 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (3):395 – 408.
    Bertrand Russell argued that any attempt to get rid of universals in favor of resemblances fails. He argued that no resemblance theory could avoid postulating a universal of resemblance without falling prey to a vicious infinite regress. He added that admitting such a universal of resemblance made it pointless to avoid other universals. In this paper I defend resemblance nominalism from both of Russell's points by arguing that (a) resemblance nominalism can avoid the postulation of a universal of resemblance without (...)
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  10. The Fall of “Augustinian Adam”: Original Fragility and Supralapsarian Purpose.John Schneider - 2012 - Zygon 47 (4):949-969.
    The essay is framed by conflict between Christianity and Darwinian science over the history of the world and the nature of human personhood. Evolutionary science narrates a long prehuman geological and biological history filled with vast amounts, kinds, and distributions of apparently random brutal and pointless suffering. It also strongly suggests that the first modern humans were morally primitive. This science seems to discredit Christianity's common meta-narrative of the Fall, understood as a story of Paradise Lost. The author contends that (...)
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  11. The Fall of "Augustinian Adam": Problems of Original Fragility and Supralapsarian Purpose.John Schneider - 2012 - Zygon 47 (4):949-969.
    This essay is framed by conflict between Christianity and Darwinian science over the history of the world and the nature of original human personhood. Evolutionary science narrates a long prehuman geological and biological history filled with vast amounts, kinds, and distributions of apparently random brutal and pointless suffering. It has also unveiled an original human person with animal psychosomatic heredity. This narrative seems to discredit Christianity's metanarrative of the Fall—Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained. The author contends that the Augustinian story (...)
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  12. Against Multiverse Theodicies.Bradley Monton - 2010 - Philo 13 (2):113-135.
    In reply to the problem of evil, some suggest that God created an infinite number of universes—for example, that God created every universe that contains more good than evil. I offer two objections to these multiverse theodicies. First, I argue that, for any number of universes God creates, he could have created more, because he could have created duplicates of universes. Next, I argue that multiverse theodicies can’t adequately account for why God would create universes with pointless suffering, and hence (...)
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  13. Trivial Truths and the Aim of Inquiry.NicK Treanor - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (3):552-559.
    A pervasive and influential argument appeals to trivial truths to demonstrate that the aim of inquiry is not the acquisition of truth. But the argument fails, for it neglects to distinguish between the complexity of the sentence used to express a truth and the complexity of the truth expressed by a sentence.
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  14. Faulty Reasoning About Default Principles in Cosmological Arguments.Graham Oppy - 2004 - Faith and Philosophy 21 (2):242-249.
    Robert Koons claims that my previous critique of his “new” cosmological argument is vitiated by confusion about the nature of defeasible argumentation.In response, I claim that Koons misrepresents—and perhaps misunderstands—the nature of my objections to his “new” cosmological argument. The main claims which I defend are: (1) that the move from a non-defeasible to a defeasible causal principle makes absolutely no difference to the success of the cosmological argument in which it is contained; and (2) that, since it is perfectly (...)
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  15. The Inseparability of Logic and Ethics.John Corcoran - 1989 - Free Inquiry 9 (2):37-40.
    This essay takes logic and ethics in broad senses: logic as the science of evidence; ethics as the science justice. One of its main conclusions is that neither science can be fruitfully pursued without the virtues fostered by the other: logic is pointless without fairness and compassion; ethics is pointless without rigor and objectivity. The logician urging us to be dispassionate is in resonance and harmony with the ethicist urging us to be compassionate.
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  16. Aquinas and Gregory the Great on the Puzzle of Petitionary Prayer.Scott Hill - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5.
    I defend a solution to the puzzle of petitionary prayer based on some ideas of Aquinas, Gregory the Great, and contemporary desert theorists. I then address a series of objections. Along the way broader issues about the nature of desert, what is required for an action to have a point, and what is required for a puzzle to have a solution are discussed.
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  17. Argument From Chance.Dariusz Łukasiewicz - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (1):199--207.
    In the article, first I present the atheistic argument from pointless evil and the argument from chance. The essence of the argument from chance consists in the incompatibility of the existence of purposeless events and the existence of a God who planned the universe to the last detail. Second, I would like to show that there is a relation between the evidential argument from evil and the argument from chance. An analysis of the theistic argument from small probabilities is a (...)
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  18. How Human Life Could Be Unintended but Meaningful: A Reply to Tartaglia.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy of Life 7 (1):160-179.
    The question “What is the meaning of life?” is longstanding and important, but has been shunned by philosophers for decades. Instead, contemporary philosophers have focused on other questions, such as “What gives meaning to the life of a person?” According to James Tartaglia, this research on “meaning in life” is shallow and pointless. He urges philosophers to redirect their attention back to the fundamental question about “meaning of life.” Tartaglia argues that humanity was not created for a purpose and, therefore, (...)
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  19. Rawls Versus Utilitarianism: The Subset Objection.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2016 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 23 (2):37-41.
    This paper presents an objection to John Rawls’s use of the original position method to argue against implementing utilitarian rules. The use of this method is pointless because a small subset of the premises Rawls relies on can be used to infer the same conclusion.
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  20. Intersex Athletes: Do We Need A Gender Police In Professional Sports?Maren Behrensen - 2010 - IWM Junior Visiting Fellows' Conferences XXIX.
    Based on the case of Caster Semenya, I argue in this paper that the practice of Gender Verification Testing (GVT) in professional sports is unethical and pointless. The presumed benefit of GVT—ensuring fair competition for female athletes—is virtually nonexistent compared to its potential harms, in particular the exposure of individual athletes to a largely interphobic public. GVTs constitute a serious incursion on the athlete’s dignity, autonomy, and privacy; an incursion that cannot be justified by the appeal to fairness. My argument (...)
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  21. Code is Law: Subversion and Collective Knowledge in the Ethos of Video Game Speedrunning.Michael Hemmingsen - 2020 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 15 (3):435-460.
    Speedrunning is a kind of ‘metagame’ involving video games. Though it does not yet have the kind of profile of multiplayer e-sports, speedrunning is fast approaching e-sports in popularity. Aside from audience numbers, however, from the perspective of the philosophy of sport and games, speedrunning is particularly interesting. To the casual player or viewer, speedrunning appears to be a highly irreverent, even pointless, way of playing games, particularly due to the incorporation of “glitches”. For many outside the speedrunning community, the (...)
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  22.  52
    The Artistic Turn.Tine Wilde - 2012 - Dutch Internet Journal BLIND! 29 (Macht).
    We are living in an increasingly complex world. How are we able to cope with this complexity and the difficulties that arise from it? Can philosophy and art, classified as the two utmost useless and pointless disciplines, have any (positive) influence on the urgent and pressing problems at hand? And, related to this, if the two have more than just their uselessness in common, how, then, are philosophy and art related? In this article, I will argue that although ‘useless’ disciplines (...)
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  23. Ambition, Modesty, and Performative Inconsistency.Boris Rähme - 2017 - In Jens Peter Brune, Robert Stern & Micha H. Werner (eds.), Transcendental Arguments in Moral Theory. Berlin: de Gruyter. pp. 25-45.
    This chapter argues that the distinction between ambitious and modest transcendental arguments, developed and deployed by various authors in the wake of Stroud’s influential critique of transcendental reasoning, may be pointless when applied to transcendental arguments from performative inconsistency that have moral statements as their conclusions. If moral truth is assertorically constrained, then any modest moral transcendental argument from performative inconsistency can be converted into an ambitious moral transcendental argument. The chapter provides an account of performative inconsistency and suggests an (...)
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  24. Review of Physical Realization by Shoemaker (2009).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Over 40 years ago I read a small grey book with metaphysics in the title which began with the words “Metaphysics is dead. Wittgenstein has killed it.” I am one of many who agree but sadly the rest of the world has not gotten the message. Shoemaker’s work is nonsense on stilts but is unusual only in that it never deviates into sense from the first paragraph to the last. At least with Dennett, Carruthers, Churchland etc one gets a breath (...)
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  25.  50
    The Temptation of Absolute Truth.Julius Kovesi - 1962 - Twentieth Century 16:216-222.
    It is obvious that the fact that I consider my views to be true does not mean that they are true. However, not only is it my obligation to say what I think to be the case, but I do not know what else I should or even could say. It may be suggested – pointlessly – that I should say what is objectively true and not what I subjectively think to be true. The suggestion is pointless because if I (...)
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  26.  59
    Endless Incoherence— A Review of Shoemaker's Physical Realization (2009)(Review Revised 2019).Michael Starks - 2019 - In Talking Monkeys-- Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet-- Articles and Reviews 2006-2019 Michael Starks 3rd Edition. Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press. pp. 284-301.
    Over 40 years ago I read a small grey book with metaphysics in the title which began with the words “Metaphysics is dead. Wittgenstein has killed it.” I am one of many who agree but sadly the rest of the world has not gotten the message. Shoemaker’s work is nonsense on stilts but is unusual only in that it never deviates into sense from the first paragraph to the last. At least with Dennett, Carruthers, Churchland etc. one gets a breath (...)
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  27. A Inseparabilidade entre Lógica e a Ética.John Corcoran - 2013 - Philósophos - Revista de Filosofia 18 (1):245-259.
    A Inseparabilidade entre Lógica e a Ética. Philósophos. 18 (2013) 245–259. Portuguese translation by Décio Krause and Pedro Merlussi: The Inseparability of Logic and Ethics, Free Inquiry, Spring 1989, 37–40. This essay takes logic and ethics in broad senses: logic as the science of evidence; ethics as the science of justice. One of its main conclusions is that neither science can be fruitfully pursued without the virtues fostered by the other: logic is pointless without fairness and compassion; ethics is pointless (...)
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  28. COSMIC JUSTICE HYPOTHESES.John Corcoran & William Frank - 2014 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 20 (2):247-248.
    Cosmic Justice Hypotheses. -/- This applied-logic lecture builds on [1] arguing that character traits fostered by logic serve clarity and understanding in ethics, confirming hopeful views of Alfred Tarski [2, Preface, and personal communication]. Hypotheses in one strict usage are propositions not known to be true and not known to be false or—more loosely—propositions so considered for discussion purposes [1, p. 38]. Logic studies hypotheses by determining their implications (propositions they imply) and their implicants (propositions that imply them). Logic also (...)
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  29.  93
    Zeno’s Paradox for Colours.Barry Smith - 2000 - In O. K. Wiegand, R. J. Dostal, L. Embree, J. Kockelmans & J. N. Mohanty (eds.), Phenomenology on Kant, German Idealism, Hermeneutics, and Logic. Dordrecht. pp. 201-207.
    We outline Brentano’s theory of boundaries, for instance between two neighboring subregions within a larger region of space. Does every such pair of regions contain points in common where they meet? Or is the boundary at which they meet somehow pointless? On Brentano’s view, two such subregions do not overlap; rather, along the line where they meet there are two sets of points which are not identical but rather spatially coincident. We outline Brentano’s theory of coincidence, and show how he (...)
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  30. Vagueness and the Problem of Evil: A New Reply to van Inwagen.Luis Oliveira - 2021 - Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 44 (4):49-82.
    One of the few points of agreement between most theists and non-theists working on the problem of evil is that the existence of a perfect God is incompatible with the existence of pointless evil. In a series of influential papers, however, Peter van Inwagen has argued that careful attention to the reasoning behind this claim reveals fatal difficulties related to the Sorites Paradox. In this paper, I explain van Inwagen’s appeal to sorites reasoning, distinguish between two different arguments in his (...)
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  31. Russell’s Many Points.Thomas Mormann - 2009 - In Alexander Hieke & Hannes Leitgeb (eds.), Reduction, Abstraction, Analysis. Ontos Verlag. pp. 11--239.
    Bertrand Russell was one of the protagonists of the programme of reducing “disagreeable” concepts to philosophically more respectable ones. Throughout his life he was engaged in eliminating or paraphrasing away a copious variety of allegedly dubious concepts: propositions, definite descriptions, knowing subjects, and points, among others. The critical aim of this paper is to show that Russell’s construction of points, which has been considered as a paradigm of a logical construction überhaupt, fails for principal mathematical reasons. Russell could have known (...)
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  32.  11
    Fritz Jahr as Methodological Paradigm in Bioethical Education.Luka Perušić - 2019 - Jahr 10 (2):287-310.
    The paper examines Fritz Jahr as a possible role-model in bioethical education. It consists of two parts. The first part builds upon the acknowledged data and theories about how Fritz Jahr proposed the bioethical imperative and changed his way of thinking. It provides arguments for and against known claims and expands the knowledge background with the focus on reconstructing the thought process and some presumptions that led to the formulation of bioethical imperative. The second part uses these results to infer (...)
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  33. Why Leibniz Should Have Agreed with Berkeley About Abstract Ideas.Stephen Puryear - 2021 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 29 (6):1054-1071.
    Leibniz claims that Berkeley “wrongly or at least pointlessly rejects abstract ideas”. What he fails to realize, however, is that some of his own core views commit him to essentially the same stance. His belief that this is the best (and thus most harmonious) possible world, which itself stems from his Principle of Sufficient Reason, leads him to infer that mind and body must perfectly represent or ‘express’ one another. In the case of abstract thoughts he admits that this can (...)
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  34. Evil, Freedom and Heaven.Simon Cushing - 2018 - In Heaven and Philosophy. Lanham: Lexington. pp. 201-230.
    By far the most respected response by theists to the problem of evil is some version of the free will defense, which rests on the twin ideas that God could not create humans with free will without them committing evil acts, and that freedom is of such value that it is better that we have it than that we be perfect yet unfree. If we assume that the redeemed in heaven are impeccable, then the free will defense faces what I (...)
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  35. Heaven and Homicide.Simon Cushing - 2018 - In Heaven and Philosophy. Lanham: Lexington. pp. 255-269.
    I address the questions of whether or not the very existence of heaven provides a motivation for killing. If universalism is true, then anyone killed will end up there, as will the killer. And given that heaven is infinitely better than earth, killing would be, on this view, the greatest gift possible to the “victim.” But if universalism is not true, there is perhaps an even greater incentive to kill one’s loved ones if one knows them to be currently heaven-bound: (...)
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