Dua Ansah (2023). Against the Guise of the Good. Arche. Boston. No 8, pp. (2024)

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Études phénoménologiques – Phenomenological Studies 8

Reality, Virtuality, and Play

2024 •

Pascal Massie

This essay explores the ontology of non-actuality. The term 'non-actuality' refers to being insofar as it is not actual and yet is not reducible to non-being simpliciter (pure nothingness). Potentiality or virtuality, for instance, seem to occupy an intermediate space since these are neither actual nor pure nothing. In the first part, I propose a critique of actualism, the ontological position that considers that only that which is actual is real by considering an ancient version (Diodorus Cronus) and a contemporary debate on modalities (modal realism and modal fictionalism). I then analyze non-actuality through the case of virtual reality, the ontology of power, Aristotelian dunamis, and Deleuzian virtuality and reject the common reduction of potentiality to a lack or privation. As an alternative, I propose to conceptualize the form of process ontology that would accommodate virtuality and potentiality in terms of play (Spielraum).

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Ideas and Idealism in Philosophy, Jure Simonity and Gregor Kroupa, eds., De Gruyter.

Hegel’s Metaphysical Alternative to the Choice between an Unrealistic Realism and an Opposing Sceptical Antirealism--preprint

2022 •

Paul Redding

In this paper I argue for an interpretation of Hegel’s philosophy beyond a choice between two distinctly “unrealistic” options: Robert Brandom’s “ro bust” realism and Richard Rorty’s skeptical anti-realism. I thus interpret Hegel’s idealism as a form of weakened Platonic realism (a realism about ideas, or real istic idealism) that falls between the interpretations of Rorty and Brandom. This position broadly coincides with the “actualism” found within debates over mo dality within analytic philosophy and represented there by Arthur Prior and Rob ert Stalnaker. For the actualist, there is a sense in which the actual world neces sarily contains “mind” and its ideational contents, but this is a trivial sense. What we mean by the actual world, in contrast to some of the non-actual possi ble alternatives to it, is the world as containing us, and we have no option other than to think of ourselves as “minded”.

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Paul Giladi (ed) Responses to Naturalism: Critical Perspectives from Idealism and Pragmatism

An Hegelian Actualist Alternative to Naturalism (preprint)

2019 •

Paul Redding

The reasons why philosophers with a this-worldly bent reject idealism are obvious enough. Idealism is typically understood as a philosophical outlook that gives a necessary place to mind in reality, and this seems to suggest traditional theological views like that which sees the material world as a creation of a transcendent mind. Naturalism has seemed the obvious alternative: why should the natural sciences stop at explaining our minds as the products of natural processes? Did not Darwin make plausible this general idea of the mind as something that has appeared in an essentially mind-less world? Huw Price has argued against the presuppositions of an “object naturalism” that presupposes in its methodology an account of the mind that, in its representationalist capacities, is incompatible with the naturalism it espouses. In broad agreement I here argue for an idealist alternative to Price’s “subject naturalism” in which idealism is interpreted, from a modally metaphysical perspective, as a type of “actualism”. In the course of this Hegel is linked, both historically and substantively, to a variety of contemporary, finitistic critiques of the classical logic that “object naturalism” presupposes.

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Staunch vs. Faint-Hearted Hylomorphism: Toward an Aristotelian Account of Composition

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The Routledge Handbook of Liberal Naturalism, Mario de Caro and David Macarthur (eds), Routledge

Actualism as a Form of Liberal Naturalism--preprint

2022 •

Paul Redding

It is argued that the features of a “liberal naturalism” as sought by advocates of that approach to philosophy might be found in the writings of “actualists” within recent debates in analytic modal metaphysics—here, Robert Stalnaker. The advantage of actualism over naturalism, it is argued, is that the idea of the actual world comes with the mind built into it from the start, and so one is not faced with the problem of finding a place for mind in nature. This should not be regarded as evidence of some unwanted “supernaturalism” on the part of actualists, however, but rather is a consequence of the actualist’s critique of the presupposed supernaturalistic semantic assumptions within rival views.

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The Objectivity of the Actual: Hegelianism as a Metaphysics of Modal Actualism--draft, comments welcome

Paul Redding

The problem of giving objective representations to the world was a central concern for the German idealists. Kant had secured the theoretical objectivity of world-accounts, but only at the price of omitting the existence of free rational beings, the acknowledgement of whom was limited to practical (moral) intentional states. But by omitting the existence of beings we are otherwise obliged to acknowledge, Kant thus denied objective theoretical knowledge of reality as such, such knowledge being limited to appearances, with an ersatz form of “objectivity” redefined as “objectively justified”. Hegel’s solution to this dilemma, I suggest, included a narrowing of the scope of metaphysics to the contents the actual world, but understood in such a way that alternate possibilities could be understood as internal to it. In this, Hegel’s position bears similarities to those of contemporary and recent “modal actualists” such as Robert Stalnaker and Arthur Prior. While Stalnaker and Prior opposed the “possibilism” of David Lewis, Hegel opposed that of Leibniz and the modified form of it found in Kant. By this means, the actualist incorporates minded beings into the (actual) world for theoretical cognition. This results in a form of idealism, but a non-worrisome form because while minded beings are thereby grasped as being parts of some possible worlds (in particular, ours), they are not assigned to all possible worlds.

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Marina F. Bykova and Kenneth R. Westphal (eds), The Palgrave Hegel Handbook (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming)

Hegel and Recent Analytic Metaphysics

2020 •

Paul Redding

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ESSENCE AND NECESSITY, AND THE ARISTOTELIAN MODAL SYLLOGISTIC: A HISTORICAL AND ANALYTICAL STUDY

Daniel J Vecchio

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Philosophical Books

Critical Notice of *Four Dimensionalism* by Theodore Sider

2004 •

Matthew Davidson

This is a critical notice of Theodore Sider's Four Dimensionalism. Philosophical Books 2004.

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Philosophical Books

Aristotle on Meaning and Essence

2004 •

Michael J Degnan

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Dua Ansah (2023). Against the Guise of the Good. Arche. Boston. No 8, pp. (2024)
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