Volume 17, No. 1 2021

Regular articles

  • True Grit and The Positivity of Faith
    Finlay Malcolm and Michael Scott 

    Article 1 | Pages: (A1)5-32 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.17.1.1

    Most contemporary accounts of the nature of faith explicitly defend what we call ‘the positivity theory of faith’ – the theory that faith must be accompanied by a favourable evaluative belief, or a desire towards the object of faith. This paper examines the different varieties of the positivity theory and the arguments used to support it. Whilst initially plausible, we find that the theory faces numerous problematic counterexamples, and show that weaker versions of the positivity theory are ultimately implausible. We discuss a distinct property of faith that we call ‘true grit’, such that faith requires one to be resilient toward the evidential, practical, and psychological challenges that it faces. We show how true grit is necessary for faith, and provides a simpler and less problematic explanation of the evidence used to support the positivity theory.
  • Pure Powers Are Not Powerful Qualities
    Joaquim Giannotti 

    Article 2 | Pages: (A2)5-29 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.17.1.2

    There is no consensus on the most adequate conception of the fundamental properties of our world. The pure powers view and the identity theory of powerful qualities claim to be promising alternatives to categoricalism, the view that all fundamental properties essentially contribute to the qualitative make-up of things that have them. The pure powers view holds that fundamental properties essentially empower things that have them with a distinctive causal profile. On the identity theory, fundamental properties are dispositional as well as qualitative, or powerful qualities. Despite the manifest difference, Taylor (2018) argues that pure powers and powerful qualities collapse into the same ontology. If this collapse objection were sound, the debate between the pure powers view and the identity theory of powerful qualities would be illusory: these views could claim the same advantages and would suffer the same problems. Here I defend an ontologically robust distinction between pure powers and powerful qualities. To accomplish this aim, I show that the collapse between pure powers and powerful qualities can be resisted. I conclude by drawing some positive implications of this result.
  • Acts that Kill and Acts that Do Not — A Philosophical Analysis of the Dead Donor Rule
    Cheng-Chih Tsai 

    Article 3 | Pages: (A3)5-32 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.17.1.4

    In response to recent debates on the need to abandon the Dead Donor Rule (DDR) to facilitate vital-organ transplantation, I claim that, through a detailed philosophical analysis of the Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) and the DDR, some acts that seem to violate DDR in fact do not, thus DDR can be upheld. The paper consists of two parts. First, standard apparatuses of the philosophy of language, such as sense, referent, truth condition, and definite description are employed to show that there exists an internally consistent and coherent interpretation of UDDA which resolves the Reduction Problem and the Ambiguity Problem that allegedly threaten the UDDA framework, and as a corollary, the practice of Donation after the Circulatory Determination of Death (DCDD) does not violate DDR. Second, an interpretation of the DDR, termed ‘No Hastening Death Rule’ (NHDR), is formulated so that, given that autonomy and non-maleficence principles are observed, the waiting time for organ procurement can be further shortened without DDR being violated.
  • Against Phenomenal Bonding
    S Siddharth

    Discussion 1 | Pages: (D1)5-16 | Abstract | DOI: 10.31820/ejap.17.1.3

    Panpsychism, the view that phenomenal consciousness is possessed by all fundamental physical entities, faces an important challenge in the form of the combination problem: how do experiences of microphysical entities combine or give rise to the experiences of macrophysical entities such as human beings? An especially troubling aspect of the combination problem is the subject-summing argument, according to which the combination of subjects is not possible. In response to this argument, Goff (2016) and Miller (2017) have proposed the phenomenal bonding relation, using which they seek to explain the composition of subjects. In this paper, I discuss the merits of the phenomenal bonding solution and argue that it fails to respond satisfactorily to the subject-summing argument.
  • Forthcoming: book symposium on “The Biopsychosocial Model of Health and Disease” by D. Bolton and G. Gillett. Guest editors are Cristina Amoretti (University of Genoa) and Elisabetta Lalumera (Milano-Biccoca University).
    For further information, please contact the guest editors: Cristina Amoretti or Elisabetta Lalumera