Mind: Vol. 124, No. 495, July 2015

The Review of Metaphysics, September 2015 | Go to article overview

Mind: Vol. 124, No. 495, July 2015


The Intellectual Given, JOHN BENGSON

Intuition is sometimes derided as an abstruse or esoteric phenomenon akin to crystal-ball gazing. Such derision appears to be fueled primarily by the suggestion, evidently endorsed by traditional rationalists such as Plato and Descartes, that intuition is a kind of direct, immediate apprehension akin to perception. This paper suggests that although the perceptual analogy has often been dismissed as encouraging a theoretically useless metaphor, a quasi-perceptualist view of intuition may enable rationalists to begin to meet the challenge of supplying a theoretically satisfying treatment of their favored epistemic source. It is argued, first, that intuitions and perceptual experiences are at a certain level of abstraction the same type of mental state, presentations, which are distinct from beliefs, hunches, inclinations, attractions, and seemings. The notion of a presentation is given a positive explication, which identifies its characteristic features, accounts for several of its substantive psychological roles, and systematically locates it in a threefold division among types of contentful states. Subsequently, it is argued that presentations, intuitive no less than sensory, are by their nature poised to play a distinctive epistemic role. Specifically, in the case of intuition, we encounter an intellectual state that is so structured as to provide justification without requiring justification in turn--something which may, thus, be thought of as "given."

A Modality Called 'Negation,' FRANCESCO BERTO

The author proposes a comprehensive account of negation as a modal operator, vindicating a moderate logical pluralism. Negation is taken as a quantifier on worlds, restricted by an accessibility relation encoding the basic concept of compatibility. This latter captures the core meaning of the operator. While some candidate negations are then ruled out as violating plausible constraints on compatibility, different specifications of the notion of world support different logical conducts for (the admissible) negations. The approach unifies in a philosophically motivated picture the following results: nothing can be called a negation properly if it does not satisfy (Minimal) Contraposition and Double Negation Introduction; the pair consisting of two split or Galois negations encodes a distinction without a difference; some paraconsistent negations also fail to count as real negations, but others may; intuitionistic negation qualifies as real negation, and classical Boolean negation does as well, to the extent that constructivist and paraconsistent doubts on it do not turn on the basic concept of compatibility but rather on the interpretation of worlds. …

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Mind: Vol. 124, No. 495, July 2015
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