Erasmus Student Journal of Philosophy

The Erasmus Student Journal of Philosophy (ESJP) is a double-blind peer-reviewed student journal that publishes the best philosophical papers written by students from the Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam. The ESJP aims to further enrich the philosophical environment in which Rotterdam’s philosophy students develop their thinking and to bring their best work to the attention of a wider intellectual audience. 

New issues of the ESJP will appear on this website every July and December. Published papers have been nominated by the teacher of the course for which they were written and subjected to double-blind peer review by at least one other teacher and two student editors that act as referees. More information about the requirements that essays need to meet in order to qualify for publication in the ESJP can be found under Submissions.

ISSN Erasmus Student Journal of Philosophy: 2212-9677


Edition 10

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Dirk-Jan Laan - De Lege Database: een pleidooi voor de netwerk-ontologie

Some philosophers, such as Jos de Mul and Lev Manovitch, think we can
understand the world as though it were a database. In ‘De Lege Database:
een pleidooi voor de netwerk-ontologie’, Dirk-Jan Laan argues that the
database is ultimately inadequate as a model for the world. Through a discussion
of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s rhizome, Timothy Morton’s
mesh and Bruno Latours’ actor-network theory, Laan demonstrates that
a network-ontology can remedy some of database-ontology’s fundamental
shortcomings.

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Bas Peeters - Frankfurt on Identification and Satisfaction: A Critical Response

In ‘Frankfurt on Identification and Satisfaction: A Critical Response’,
Bas Peeters demonstrates that Harry Frankfurt’s hierarchical concept of a
person faces two major problems. First, the notion of a ‘hierarchy’ implies
that higher-order desires have more authority. However, Frankfurt’s model
fails to explain this special status. And second, his hierarchical theory is vulnerable
to the problem of infinite regress. Although Frankfurt does manage
to solve the threat of infinite regress, Frankfurt’s solution, involving the
notions of ‘satisfaction’ and ‘identification’, comes at a heavy price. Peeters
argues that Frankfurt’s notion of identification is too strong, and that of
satisfaction too weak, to serve as criteria for personhood.

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Ruben Koster - Planthermeneutiek: een algemene verkenning

In ‘Planthermeneutiek: een algemene verkenning’, Ruben Koster
explores whether there can be such a thing as a hermeneutics of plants.
Koster argues that our current way of thinking about plants, as inferior
lifeforms that we can manipulate to our liking, is at the root of present-day
ecological problems. We should rather come to think of plants as clever
beings that have gained in complexity as a result of coevolution with their
environment. A plant hermeneutics can help us to shape the world in
accordance with a new understanding of the world of plants.

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Dennis Prooi - Tosaka Jun’s Critique of Hermeneutics

In ‘Tosaka Jun’s Critique of Hermeneutics’, Dennis Prooi shows how
philosophers associated with the Japanese Kyoto School of Philosophy
have applied the hermeneutic method in attempts to reconstruct and
demonstrate the superiority of the Japanese spirit. Through a discussion
of Tosaka Jun, a contemporary opponent of the Kyoto School, Prooi
argues that present-day comparative philosophers need to be aware of the
extent to which concepts employed by Kyoto School philosophers have
been informed by irrational, nationalistic sentiments.

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Edition 9

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Hugo Hogenbirk - De Houdbaarheid van Kurt Gödels Wiskundige Intuïtie

In ‘De Houdbaarheid van Kurt Gödels Wiskundige Intuïtie’, Hugo Hogenbirk argues that the notion of gödelian mathematical intuition should not be rejected straight out of hand as one that is too ‘exotic’. Hogenbirk attempts to demonstrate the viability of the notion by defending it against attacks from Paul Benacerraf and Charles Chihara.

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Sam van Dijck - Economics, Complexity and the Disenchantment of the Social World

In ‘Economics, Complexity and the Disenchantment of the Social World’, Sam van Dijck shows how economics became a mathematical science in spite of concerns raised by economists such as Alfred Marshall, Friedrich Hayek and John Maynard Keynes. These influential figures questioned the ability of mathematics to predict an economic reality that is highly complex. Van Dijck suggests that the mathematization of economics occurred because of an overriding demand for predictive power which in turn might be the result of a process Max Weber called ‘disenchantment’.

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Thijs Heijmeskamp - Dennett’s Drafters: The Mysteries of the Multiple Drafts Model

In ‘Dennett’s Drafters’, Thijs Heijmeskamp argues that Daniel Dennett’s work ‘Consciousness Explained’ fails to provide an explanation of consciousness. Dennett’s model, Heijmeskamp claims, is based on a wrong characterization of our phenomenology. As a consequence, Dennett has to rely on the mysterious notion of the ‘probe’ in order to be able to provide an account of phenomenal experience.

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Edition 8

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Sina Talachian - The Late Wittgenstein and Marxian Thought

Responses to Wittgenstein’s philosophy by those working in the Marxist tradition have been varied, ranging from outright rejection, which characterized the early responses, to the embracing of it, which became the norm for later thinkers. What lies behind this dialectic of repulsion and attraction and which of the two responses is the more valid? In order to ascertain this I first analyze the early critical responses, arguing that they fall short in their appreciation of in particular Wittgenstein’s later philosophy. I then go on to employ the concept of language ideology to unpack the respective underlying epistemological and ontological commitments of Wittgenstein’s later philosophy and that of the later Marxian thinkers attracted to it, arguing that here the sources for the latter’s affinities for the former can be found and that these are legitimate and merit expansion.

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Jochem Streefkerk - Rechtvaardigheid: ook iets voor de jurist? 

Welk recht is rechtvaardig? Een vraag die onder juristen en in de rechtenopleidingen slechts op weinig aandacht rekenen. Dit terwijl de rechtswetenschap mede tot taak heeft de grondslagen van onze maatschappij te codificeren en – vervolgens – te interpreteren. Dit essay gaat parafraserend en aan de hand van voorbeelden uit het Nederlandse recht in op Jacques Derrida’s Kracht van wet. Dwang is voor Derrida een centraal begrip om recht en rechtvaardigheid met elkaar in verband te brengen. Rechtvaardigheid wordt bepaald door de combinatie van verschillende verschijningsvormen van dwang. Daarnaast maakt Derrida een onderscheid tussen rechtvaardigheid binnen en rechtvaardigheid buiten het rechtssysteem. Omdat deze zo nu en dan op elkaar moeten worden afgestemd, doet de jurist er goed aan om zich met beide soorten bekend te maken.

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Victor van der Weerden - Socialist Principles of Appropriative Justice

During the last quarter of the twentieth century, many analytical Marxists contributed to the revival of the debate concerning the relationship between Marxism and morality. One such attempt made by Ziyad Husami (1978) was to derive a ‘socialist principle of justice’ from Marx’s “Critique of the Gotha Programme”. For Husami this ‘socialist principle of justice’ takes the form of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution”. From this principle Husami derives the conclusion that capitalist exploitation is unjust because the workers do not appropriate the surplus value they create during the production process. In this paper I will argue that what really makes capitalist exploitation unjust is not that workers do not appropriate the surplus product but rather that they do not appropriate the total product of their labor. Following Ellerman and Burczak, I develop this insight further to conclude that socializing the means of production and abolishing private property are not necessary eliminate capitalist exploitation. Furthermore, I want to argue that this notion of appropriative justice can be grounded in a Kantian framework but ultimately that a Hegelian framework should be preferred as it is more faithful to Marx’s philosophical worldview. 

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Huub Brouwer - What Does Desert Cost? 

Desert plays a relatively minor role in philosophical discussions on distributive justice, whereas it plays a central role in philosophical discussions on retributive justice. At the same time, theorists of justice argue that separating both spheres is to some extent artificial. Quite a few political philosophers have claimed that this asymmetry of desert needs to be defended, and some have offered defenses. I critically evaluate the last defense of the asymmetry that has not been challenged so far: Moriarty’s argument that an asymmetry in the costs of requiting desert between both spheres of justice (partially) vindicates the asymmetry of desert. It is my contention that his defense ultimately fails. The reason is that he does not specify a fairness threshold that systems setting out to reward desert need to live up to. 

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Edition 7

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David van Putten - Deleuze en het Zijn: De aanwezigheid van Heidegger in Verschil en Herhaling

Verschillende commentatoren hebben gewezen op de 'vage en alluderende manier' waarop Martin Heidegger wordt besproken in Verschil en Herhaling (1968) van Gilles Deleuze. In dit artikel wordt beargumenteerd dat Deleuzes gebruik van heideggeriaanse concepten en de korte verwijzingen naar Heidegger, neerkomen op een confrontatie met Heideggers filosofische problematiek. Door eerst een reconstructie te bieden van Deleuzes argumenten tegen het aristotelische systeem van species en genera -- waar ook Heideggers filosofie uit vertrekt -- laat de auteur zien hoe Deleuzes discussie van de 'univociteit van het Zijn' een oplossing probeert te bieden voor het probleem van ontotheologie. Uiteindelijk wordt beargumenteerd dat de reden dat Deleuze zichzelf 'ontrouw' acht aan het heideggeriaanse project, voornamelijk te maken heeft met Heideggers trouw aan een enkele vraag.

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Julien Kloeg - Cultural Difference and Human Rights: A Philosophical-Anthropological Approach

The theoretical justification of human rights is mostly sought either in humanist or political terms. As Pablo Gilabert has argued, we need to move beyond this dichotomy in order to do justice to the contemporary practice of human rights. Philosophical anthropology can ground an attempt to combine humanist and political justifications. In order to provide such a combination, this paper develops both a new conception of culture and a Rancièrian subject of human rights. Because of the reflexive nature of these two elements, human rights themselves come to appear in a different light.

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Issue 6

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Manuel Buitenhuis - On Metaphysical Cases against Political Theories

This paper considers some arguments that argue against particular political theories on metaphysical grounds. These arguments contain the implicit premise that political theories are only viable if they are grounded in a plausible metaphysical theory. This thesis was called the Posteriority Thesis by Kang (2003). While the truth of this premise is often trivially assumed, I argue that this is uncalled for. Applying the Posteriority Thesis consistently has undesirable consequences that are counterintuitive and risks paralyzing political theory as a discipline. Furthermore, I use the example of Rawls to show that a political theory need not depend on metaphysical premises if it takes moral beliefs as its starting point. 

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Huub Brouwer - Discussing Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale

In Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale, Debra Satz (2010) argues that four considerations should guide moral reflection on markets: does a market involve weak agency, extreme vulnerability, extremely harmful outcomes to individuals, or extremely harmful outcomes to society? If the answer is yes to one or more of these questions, a market could very well be noxious. In this paper, I assess to what extent Satz’ framework can indeed be used to discuss the moral status of markets. I claim that (1) it would be desirable to have a criterion that tells us when weak agency and extreme vulnerability make a market noxious; (2) it is unproductive to discuss the moral status of a theoretical market without first thinking about a regulatory framework for this market; and (3) it is paramount to consider all empirical evidence available on markets because they might turn out very differently in reality from how they look on paper.

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Nora Neuteboom - Would You Press a Button that Kills All Psychopaths?

In Rational Choice Theory, both the Evidential Decision Theory (EDT) camp and the Causal Decision Theory (CDT) camp are burdened with fatal problems of choosing rational action. According to proponents of CDT, imposing a ratifiability requirement will help us to save CDT. A ratifiability account rules out the irrational options for the agent to choose. The first proposal of ratifiability requirement, the (original) Ratification Theorem (RT), is refuted by an example of Egan. The second ratifiability proposal, the Lexical Ratificationism Theorem (LRT), is countered by an example of Gupta. In order to save CDT, I propose a transformed version of the Lexical Ratificationism Theorem: the Two-order Ratificationism Theorem (TORT).

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Myrthe van Nus - Wittgenstein vanuit continentaal fenomenologisch perspectief

Bestaand onderzoek dat Wittgenstein vergelijkt met de continentale fenomenologie schiet tekort. Deze onderzoek vergelijken Wittgenstein slechts begripsmatig met de continentale fenomenologen of beschrijven de ontwikkeling van het begrip fenomenologie in Wittgensteins werk. Myrthe van Nus laat zien waarom deze invalshoeken onvoldoende zijn om een antwoord op de vraag te kunnen formuleren of Wittgenstein verwantschap vertoont met de continentale fenomenologie en stelt een andere insteek voor die de methode van de fenomenologie centraal stelt. Een antwoord op de vraag formuleren of Wittgenstein tot de fenomenologische beweging behoort is belangrijk. Immers, wanneer er een verwantschap blijkt impliceert deze dat een duiding die uitsluitend in de analytische filosofische traditie is georiënteerd Wittgensteins denken tekort doet. 

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Issue 5

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James Grayot - Philosophy & The Discourse of Economics

'Samuelsonianism' can be used to refer to what is commonly called the neoclassical or mainstream approach to economics. In this paper I argue that it is this approach that is hindered by a rather contracted methodology, one which over-privileges the language of quantification. However, (to the benefit of economists) I argue that this methodology is itself resultant of a broader intellectual movement – what is called modernism. If we look carefully at the history of economics, much of the stringency that plagues the neoclassical approach can be traced to logical-positivism and the scientism of early ‘analytic’ philosophy. Thus, by considering the role that modernism played in philosophy and mapping its impact on economics, I show how this discourse, the hyper-quantified rhetoric of Samuelsonianism, is a relic of outmoded positivism. Consequently, economics could self-improve by seeking heterogeneity in its discourse and broadening its scope of analysis. While this paper is not an exercise in conceptual analysis per se, it does take language and rhetoric as both its point of departure and primary concern.

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Jasper van den Herik - Is Information Out There?

In this paper, I argue that the distinction between information and data lies at the root of much confusion that surrounds the concept of information. Although data are ‘out there’ and concrete, informational content is abstract and always co-constituted by information agents – a set which includes at least linguistically capable human beings. Information is thus not an intrinsic property of concrete data, but rather a relational property, which relies on the existence of information agents. To reach this conclusion I first argue that the semantic content of human-generated data is co-constituted by the information agent. In the second part I broaden the scope and argue that environmental information also depends on information agents. I further consider and reject both Dretske’s view of information as an objective commodity and foundational accounts of information, that take information to be the fundamental ingredient of reality.

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Darian Heim - Getting the Description Right

If Jane prefers a over b, and b over c, we normally expect her to prefer a over c too. Such transitivity of behavior is central to our normative assessment of the rationality of choices. However, experimental evidence shows recurring and stable violations of transitivity in choices over time. Are we ultimately incapable of satisfying our own criteria of rationality? In the present article, I shall argue against this conclusion. In ultimately choosing c rather than a, Jane might have been guided in her decision-making process by rational considerations (yet) unknown to the observer. New information or changed circumstances could have influenced the initial option c (and hence its assessment) such that it can be meaningfully refined and re-described as c*. As c* is preferred over a the transitivity of the preference ordering is preserved. Such a strategy, however, has been criticized by Paul Anand (1990). According to him, to re-describe prima facie intransitive behavior in transitive terms is necessarily ad hoc, arbitrary, and self-defeating. In the present article this conclusion is contested as Anand bases his reasoning on two questionable assumptions: a division between descriptive and normative decision theory, and observable choice being the sole criterion for describing preferences.

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Nicole Linkels - Philosophy and Religion in service of the Philosophia Christi

Desiderius Erasmus proposed a philosophia Christi, in which – at least to the Renaissance humanist – both religion and philosophy dictate the Christian way of living. The very term implies that philosophy and religion share a common ground. It fails, however, to acknowledge the unyielding conflict that arises from the differences between these two fields as conceived by Erasmus. The philosophia Christi is in fact intrinsically biased by its overruling dogmatic assumption of truth as dictated by Scripture. By default, it seems to be incompatible with the unbiased disposition that lies at the heart of philosophy itself. In this paper, I aim to show that this incompatibility becomes apparent through the fundamental difference between Erasmus’ use of Christian and his use of philosophical sources from antiquity. I will compare the occurrences of Augustine and Epicurus in Erasmus’ study of proper Christian conduct, and address the question of the extent to which he abides by their opinions in order to form his own. From this, it will become clear that while ancient philosophy was invaluable to Erasmus, pagan material was always to be considered conditional to religious doctrine. To spin his idea of the philosophia Christi, Erasmus would have to put one teaching above the other, and the standard of his era left him little choice in deciding which one.

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Issue 4

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Julien Kloeg - Respecting Preferences

Theorists of justice have to steer between two rocks. On the one hand, there is the intuition that an individual’s morally permitted preferences should be respected: it is not justifiable to intervene with them. On the other hand, such preferences are the result of formation processes, which are notoriously vulnerable to manipulation. Does justice demand respect for preferences that produce or perpetuate injustices, suffered either by the individual herself or by others? In this paper, I will investigate this problem in the context of the ambiguous tenet of neutrality. The field of gender justice has extended Rawlsian theories of justice in order to account for structural factors, such as socialisation. Some theorists have argued that the justice-inhibiting character of some preferences implies that the first intuition should be rejected in favour of the second in some cases, which leads to the conclusion that some preferences are like obstacles standing in the way of justice and should thus be reformed. I will call this the ‘Normative Hierarchy View’ and argue that it is problematic. It presupposes a certain attitude with respect to those who hold the preferences, which forecloses a politically salient kind of respect. Furthermore, at the more general level, there are at least two major problems with the kind of objectification that is at stake in those accounts: it requires a reduction of practical reason to theoretical reason and is incompatible with the criterion of publicity.

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Willem van der Deijl - The Metaphysical Case against Luck Egalitarianism

Luck egalitarianism is the name of a group of theories of justice that subscribe to the idea that a just society compensates for brute luck, but does not compensate for bad outcomes that fall under the responsibility of the agent himself. The theory has gained much popularity over the past decades. Notable defenders of versions of the theory are Dworkin (2000) and Cohen (1989). Centralizing luck in a theory of justice requires a substantial account of luck, and thereby makes the free will debate very important for distributive justice. Luck egalitarianism has been accused of relying heavily on a indeterminist view on free will. However, Richard Arneson (2004) and Carl Knight (2006) have argued that luck egalitarianism is also a plausible view under compatibilist accounts of free will. In this essay I argue that defenders of this view fail to properly distinguish between what T.M. Scanlon (1998) calls attributive and substantive responsibility. Compatibilist accounts of free will and responsibility provide an understanding of the former but not the latter concept, while the latter is the relevant one for justice. Knight and Arneson acknowledge difficulties, but do not deal with them in a satisfactory manner. A rigorous treatment of the argument in the free will debate, has detrimental consequences for the luck egalitarian position. If the libertarian position on free will is wrong, luck egalitarianism collapses into outcome egalitarianism. I argue that, in Dworkin’s terminology, the distinction between brute luck and option luck will turn out arbitrary, or irrelevant, for justice under Scanlon’s distinction. The only plausible version of luck egalitarianism that is different from outcome egalitarianism relies on indeterminism being true.

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Monique Goense - De hybride en zijn ritme

In dit essay zal ik onderzoeken of het concept ritme weerstand kan bieden aan het onderscheid tussen subject en object, door een denkruimte te openen die hieraan voorbij gaat. Dit zal ik doen met behulp van het elfde plateau van Deleuze & Guattari`s ‘A Thousand Plateaus’, waarin zij het concept ritme inzetten om na te denken over de wijze waarop levende wezens zich tot hun omgeving verhouden.

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Issue 3

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Daan Gijsbertse – Vervuld leven na de dood van God

We zijn volledig in de ban van productie en consumptie. Maar brengen persoonlijke prestaties en de bevrediging van begeerten werkelijk voldoening? Of zijn het de enige existentiële oriëntatiepunten die ons nog resten? De dood van God heeft de wereld en het leven van absolute betekenis beroofd. En hoewel de gevolgen daarvan nog altijd niet tot de mensen zijn doorgedrongen, behoren filosofen zich hierom te bekommeren. Want gaat er onder de oppervlakte van onze alledaagsheid geen akelige onbestemdheid schuil? Dit essay verkent de consequenties van de dood van God voor ons bestaan en zoekt daarop een antwoord. Het evalueert Heideggers gedachte van inter-esse en Sloterdijks antropotechnische oefenbegrip als mogelijke oplossingen, concludeert dat beiden afzonderlijk tekortschieten en ontwikkelt vervolgens een eigen antwoord op basis van hun vruchtbaarste ideeën. Wat daarmee wordt voorgelegd is de ge-waar-wording van een vervuld leven door existentiële oefeningen in inter-esse.

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Barış Kennedy – Conscious Reasoning or Quick Intuition?

This essay raises some methodological objections towards the theories of judgment and action in Haidt and Wegner, challenging the validity of their claim that the experience of free will is deceptive and results from the operation of an unconscious and automatic mechanism of judgment. The main  thrust of the argument is that the mechanism used to explain moral judgment as well as the experience of free will is impossible to falsify and untestable. A brief comparison with the argument for the direct relationship between moral choice and free will in Kant aims to show that the mentioned psychological accounts have ignored the normative nature of moral decision making at their own expense, and explain too much only by overlooking the distinct experience of judging.

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Ruud Kleyweg – Emotietheorieën: Cognitief, non-cognitief of beide?

Emotietheorieën zien veelal cognitieve of non-cognitieve elementen als essentieel voor emoties. In dit essay wordt, door een commentaar op William James en Jesse Prinz, beargumenteerd dat een theorie over emoties zowel cognitieve als non-cognitieve elementen moet bevatten. Daarnaast wordt aangetoond dat een dergelijke theorie compatibel is met empirisch onderzoek op het gebied van emotie.

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Issue 2

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Sébastien de la Fosse – The Paradox of Religious Neutrality

Donald Loose argues that modern western democracies are intrinsically influenced by Christianity, and that secular states therefore have an inherent bias towards Christian values over the values of other religions, as a result. This paper challenges this theory by confronting it with two other positions, specifically Robert Post's account on the clash between freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and Ronald Dworkin's distinction between the tolerant secular state and the tolerant religious state. What this will show, is that the aforementioned bias is both unavoidable and undesirable within current conceptions of democracy and the secular state.

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Joanna Semeniuk – The Alignment of Morality and Profitability in Corporate Social Responsibility  

Some approaches to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) suggest that market goals and the interests of society converge. This essay questions this claim and argues that this convergence is theoretically unstable because CSR shares the neoliberal principle of subjecting stakeholder interests to shareholder interest. In order to support this thesis, I present some areas of concern for CSR where market goals and interests of society diverge: the problem of CSR’s empirical grounds, the issue of public opinion preferences and the risks of free riding mechanisms.

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Johanna Thoma – Luck Egalitarianism and Procreation  

This paper presents what luck egalitarianism, one of the major frameworks in contemporary political philosophy, has to say on the questions of what children are owed and who should pay for the children in a society. Luck egalitarianism seems to imply firstly, that children are owed equal life prospects to everybody else, and secondly, that parents should pay. However, it seems unacceptable to make parents pay the full costs of egalitarian justice when they themselves have been disadvantaged in an unequal society. In non-ideal theory, the luck egalitarian should translate this insight into some joint responsibility for children.

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Issue 1

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Mara van der Lugt – The Foreground and Background of Consciousness

This paper questions the tendency of philosophers, especially in the free will debate, to posit a certain experience of the self as introspectively obvious. It will attempt to demonstrate that introspection can create an experience of the self that is different from self-experience prior to introspection: hence, that introspection can distort self-experience. It will be argued that although there is room for the use of introspection in phenomenology and philosophy, this use should be continually questioned and open to re-examination. The concepts of a foreground and background will be introduced as a more productive way of understanding and visualising consciousness.

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Elize de Mul – Het spel der betekenissen

In de hermeneutiek wordt wel onderscheid gemaakt tussen de reconstructieve (Schleiermacher en Dilthey), constructieve (Gadamer) en deconstructieve (Derrida) hermeneutiek. Of de laatste tot de hermeneutiek kan worden gerekend, wordt wel betwijfeld. Het verbinden van de begrippen ‘spel’ en ‘interpretatie’, aan de hand van ‘speldenkers’ als Huizinga, Caillois en Gadamer, kan de overeenkomsten en verschillen van de genoemde drie vormen van hermeneutiek verhelderen. Dit perspectief zorgt tevens voor een kader waarin ook de deconstructieve hermeneutiek als deel van het ‘verstaansspel’ kan worden aangemerkt, waarin elke hermeneuticus speelt volgens (en soms met de) eigen regels.

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Deren Olgun – The Argument for Anomalous Monism, Again

It is frequently argued that Donald Davidson’s anomalous monism implies property epiphenomenalism: that it renders the mental properties of events irrelevant to causal relations, so that rather than being a solution to the problem of how mental events cause physical ones, it actually denies that they do. Whilst this may be an appropriate criticism of the non-reductive physicalist theses that anomalous monism has inspired, I argue that it is an inappropriate criticism of Davidson’s position. Specifically, the extensional character of causation and the ontology on which the argument for anomalous monism is based preclude the possibility of levelling this kind of criticism at Davidson. I argue that such criticisms are made only by forcing onto anomalous monism an ontology that it actively seeks to deny; it is only by appreciating Davidson’s approach to metaphysics and causation in general that we can understand why the claim that anomalous monism implies property epiphenomenalism is so misguided.

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Karin de Bruijn – Geschreven met licht

De tragische gebeurtenissen van 9/11 kunnen worden beschouwd als het beginpunt van de eenentwintigste eeuw, en als een manifestatie van de crises waarmee de mens in de global village te maken heeft. Een rijke traditie in de westerse filosofie en kunsten tracht de condition humaine van de eigen tijd te duiden door zich te wenden tot de Griekse tragedie. Niet alleen door de overeenkomsten maar juist ook door de verschillen tussen onze wereld en die van het Athene van ruim 2500 jaar geleden, werpt een tragedie als Sophocles’ Antigone een verhelderend licht op het leven in de eenentwintigste eeuw. Daarbij is een belangrijke rol weggelegd voor de rouw.

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Volker Ruitinga – Ideal Theory and Utopia

John Rawls presents his work on social justice as Ideal Theory. By taking an idealized scenario, he is able to consider the compatibility of different concepts relating to social justice without being hampered by all the complexities of society and its actors; an approach to social theorizing that comes exceptionally close to designing Utopia. This paper examines the link between Rawlsian Ideal Theory and Utopia, and offers an amended definition of Ideal Theory with the concept of Utopia in mind.

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