- PublicationUna prospettiva sull’agency: Michael E. Bratman(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2013-07)Ginocchietti, MariannaIn this paper I intend to reconstruct Bratman’s perspective on human agency by focusing on his attempt to defend the agent’s role within an event-causal theory of action. I begin by analysing the role of the agent’s intentions in Bratman’s account of action, then I elaborate on the interrelations among what Bratman considers to be the main features of a full-blown agency (strong reflectiveness, planning agency, temporally extended agency). My aim is to make explicit the reasons why Bratman’s causal approach runs up against the same difficulties as the “standard” causalism from which Bratman wants to emancipate himself.
- PublicationFrom the Problem of “Secondary Qualities” to Intrinsically Relational Identity. Environmental Implications(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2013-07)Cavazza, ElisaThe article connects three arguments from Arne Naess, Alfred North Whitehead and Hans Jonas, which share an initial critical reference to the problem of the ontological separation between «primary» and «secondary qualities». Environmentally relevant consequences are drawn from the three arguments within an ecosophical frame. Through relational, processual and organicistic arguments these three authors put forth alternative perspectives to the subject-object dichotomy and the consequent mentality of domination that belongs to a subject who externally observes reality. The purpose of this outline is to put forth a relational perspective on identity of selves, that produces a practical attitude of «letting be» and respect of «otherness», and the very possibility of thinking a principle of «egalitarianism».
- PublicationDevelopment of Materialism in India: The Pre-Cārvākas and the Cārvākas(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2013-07)Bhattacharya, RamikrishnaThe existence of more than one materialist school before the Cārvāka (eighth century) has been admitted by modern scholars. The radical departure made by the new materialists (the Cārvākas) was most apparent in the field of epistemology: even though the ontology of the old and the new materialists was similar, the partial acceptance of inference as a valid means of knowledge marked off the new materialists from the old ones. Hemacandra and others who continued to ridicule the Cārvākas for not admitting inference as such, we must say that their understanding of ‘new materialism’ was faulty; they failed or more probably refused to distinguish between the old and new approaches. Before “Cārvāka”, three other words, nāstika, lokāyata and bārhaspatya, were already current to designate materialism although the same words, particularly nāstika and lokāyata, were also used in other senses too. By the eighth century, however, all these words have become interchangeable in signification and so used in the works of several Buddhist, Jain and Brahminical authors. It needs to be emphasized that materialism in India, however, did not begin with the Cārvāka/Lokāyata. On the other hand, it came as the culmination of a long history of heterodoxy and the attempt to see nature “just as it is, without alien addition”. There are several words in Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit that bear evidence to the existence of materialist outlooks. A study is made here of two such names, nāstika and bhūtavāda, and four points of difference between old materialism and new materialism are enumerated.