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Stephen Puryear
North Carolina State University
  1. Schopenhauer on the Rights of Animals.Stephen Puryear - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):250-269.
    I argue that Schopenhauer’s ascription of (moral) rights to animals flows naturally from his distinctive analysis of the concept of a right. In contrast to those who regard rights as fundamental and then cast wrongdoing as a matter of violating rights, he takes wrong (Unrecht) to be the more fundamental notion and defines the concept of a right (Recht) in its terms. He then offers an account of wrongdoing which makes it plausible to suppose that at least many animals can (...)
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  2. On a Failed Defense of Factory Farming.Stephen Puryear, Stijn Bruers & László Erdős - 2017 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 30 (2):311-323.
    Timothy Hsiao attempts to defend industrial animal farming by arguing that it is not inherently cruel. We raise three main objections to his defense. First, his argument rests on a misunderstanding of the nature of cruelty. Second, his conclusion, though technically true, is so weak as to be of virtually no moral significance or interest. Third, his contention that animals lack moral standing, and thus that mistreating them is wrong only insofar as it makes one more disposed to mistreat other (...)
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  3.  68
    Leibniz on the Nature of Phenomena.Stephen Puryear - 2016 - In Wenchao Li (ed.), "Für Unser Glück oder das Glück Anderer": Vortrage des X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses, vol. 5. Georg Olms. pp. 169-177.
    Leibniz holds that bodies are phenomena, and that phenomena have their being in perceiving substances. After summarizing the evidence for ascribing this mentalistic conception of phenomenon to Leibniz, I argue that this conception coheres with three of his other doctrines of body: (1) that bodies presuppose unities or simple substances; (2) that bodies are aggregates of such substances; and (3) that bodies derive or borrow their reality from their simple constituents.
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  4. Leibnizian Bodies: Phenomena, Aggregates of Monads, or Both?Stephen Puryear - 2016 - The Leibniz Review 26:99-127.
    I propose a straightforward reconciliation of Leibniz’s conception of bodies as aggregates of simple substances (i.e., monads) with his doctrine that bodies are the phenomena of perceivers, without in the process saddling him with any equivocations. The reconciliation relies on the familiar idea that in Leibniz’s idiolect, an aggregate of Fs is that which immediately presupposes those Fs, or in other words, has those Fs as immediate requisites. But I take this idea in a new direction. I argue that a (...)
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  5. Thought, Color, and Intelligibility in the New Essays.Stephen Puryear - 2016 - In Wenchao Li (ed.), "Für Unser Glück oder das Glück Anderer": Vortrage des X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses, vol. 5. Georg Olms. pp. 49-57.
    I argue that Leibniz's rejection of the hypothesis of thinking matter on grounds of unintelligibility conflicts with his position on sensible qualities such as color. In the former case, he argues that thought must be a modification of something immaterial because we cannot explain thought in mechanical terms. In the latter case, however, he (rightly) grants that we cannot explain sensible qualities in mechanical terms, that is, cannot explain why a certain complex mechanical quality gives rise to the appearance of (...)
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  6. Idealism and Scepticism: A Reply to Brueckner.Stephen Puryear - 2013 - Theoria 79 (1):290-293.
    Anthony Brueckner argues that Berkeleyan idealism lacks anti-sceptical force because of the way Berkeley draws the appearance/reality distinction. But Brueckner's case rests on a misunderstanding of Berkeley's view. Properly understood, Berkeleyan idealism does indeed have anti-sceptical force.
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  7.  64
    Evil as Privation and Leibniz's Rejection of Empty Space.Stephen Puryear - 2016 - In Wenchao Li (ed.), "Für Unser Glück oder das Glück Anderer": Vortrage des X. Internationalen Leibniz-Kongresses, vol. 3. Georg Olms. pp. 481-489.
    I argue that Leibniz's treatment of void or empty space in the appendix to his fourth letter to Clarke conflicts with the way he elsewhere treats (metaphysical) evil, insofar as he allows that God has created a world with the one kind of privation (evil), while insisting that God would not have created a world with the other kind of privation (void). I consider three respects in which the moral case might be thought to differ relevantly from the physical one, (...)
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  8.  74
    Motion in Leibniz's Middle Years: A Compatibilist Approach.Stephen Puryear - 2012 - Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy 6:135-170.
    In the texts of the middle years (roughly, the 1680s and 90s), Leibniz appears to endorse two incompatible approaches to motion, one a realist approach, the other a phenomenalist approach. I argue that once we attend to certain nuances in his account we can see that in fact he has only one, coherent approach to motion during this period. I conclude by considering whether the view of motion I want to impute to Leibniz during his middle years ranks as a (...)
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  9.  35
    Leibniz on Concepts and Their Relation to the Senses.Stephen Puryear - 2008 - In Dominik Perler & Markus Wild (eds.), Sehen und Begreifen: Wahrnehmungstheorien in der Frühen Neuzeit. de Gruyter. pp. 235-264.
    Despite holding that all concepts are strictly speaking innate, Leibniz attempts to accommodate the common belief that at least some concepts are adventitious by appealing to his theory of ideal action. The essential idea is that an innate concept can be considered adventitious, in a sense, just in case its ideal cause is to be found outside the mind of the one who possesses the concept. I explore this attempt at accommodation and argue that it fails. [See external link for (...)
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  10.  71
    Unconscious Conceiving and Leibniz's Argument for Primitive Concepts.Paul Lodge & Stephen Puryear - 2006 - Studia Leibnitiana 38 (2):177-196.
    In a recent paper, Dennis Plaisted examines an important argument that Leibniz gives for the existence of primitive concepts. After sketching a natural reading of this argument, Plaisted observes that the argument appears to imply something clearly inconsistent with Leibniz’s other views. To save Leibniz from contradiction, Plaisted offers a revision. However, his account faces a number of serious difficulties and therefore does not successfully eliminate the inconsistency. We explain these difficulties and defend a more plausible alternative. In the process, (...)
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  11.  40
    The Leibniz-De Volder Correspondence, with Selections From the Correspondence Between Leibniz and Johann Bernoulli, Ed. P. Lodge. [REVIEW]Stephen Puryear - 2013 - The Leibniz Review 23:165-169.
    Paul Lodge’s excellent new contribution to the Yale Leibniz series collects together the entirety of the Leibniz-De Volder correspondence, totaling some thirty-three letters, together with a generous selection of relevant excerpts from Leibniz’s concurrent correspondence with Bernoulli, which Lodge has helpfully interspersed throughout. As with previous volumes in the series, the texts appear in the original language, in this case Latin, together with an English translation on opposing pages. Lodge’s transcriptions reflect his careful study of all the available manuscripts and (...)
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  12.  33
    Nicholas Rescher, Leibniz and Cryptography: An Account on the Occasion of the Initial Exhibition of the Reconstruction of Leibniz’s Cipher Machine. [REVIEW]Stephen Puryear - 2014 - Review of Metaphysics 67 (4):882-884.
    In Part 1 of this short book, Rescher provides an overview of the nature and source of Leibniz’s interest in the theory and practice of cryptanalysis, including his unsuccessful bid to secure an apprentice for John Wallis (1616-1703) with a view to perpetuating the Englishman’s remarkable deciphering abilities. In Part 2, perhaps the most interesting part of the book, Rescher offers his account of the inner workings of Leibniz’s cipher machine. Part 3 provides a brief pictorial history of such machines (...)
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  13. Perception and Representation in Leibniz.Stephen Puryear - 2006 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    I argue for three main claims about Leibniz. (1) He views representation as a kind of structural correspondence between the representing thing and its target. (2) The primary sense in which he considers a perception or representation distinct, as opposed to confused, concerns the degree to which its structure is explicit or consciously accessible. (3) This is also the sense in which he takes concepts or ideas to be distinct.
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