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Anna-Sofia Maurin: Värdet av att dela upp

Tid Onsdag 21 februari, 2024 kl. 13:15 - 15:00
Plats HUM.H.119 (HD108)

Högre seminariet i filosofi bjuder in till seminarium med Anna-Sofia Maurin, Göteborg. Seminariet har den engelska titeln "Value of Car(v)ing".

Abstract (på engelska): In this very much work-in-progress presentation, I critically discuss an argument put forward by Shamik Dasgupta (unpublished ms., cf. also esp. his 2018) to the effect that objectivity is a normative notion ‘twice over’, that this means that some things being (primitively) normative is part of what objectivity is and that, since nothing can be (primitively) normative, nothing can be objective either. In my presentation, I plan to argue: (1) …that the scope of Dasgupta’s argument may not be as wide as he wants it to be. His argument proceeds on the assumption that there is something he calls ‘the problem of symmetry’: the concepts we ought to reason in terms of (the ‘objective’ ones) are in a certain sense ‘equal’ to some other concepts we do – but ought not to – reason in terms of because both types of concepts pick out entities in mind-independent reality (natural and non-natural (abundant), respectively). I will argue that this argument most likely doesn’t work if the ontology you accept is ‘sparse’ (a sort of ontology defended by philosophers like, e.g., Armstrong). For if all there is, are the sparse entities, and the sparse entities are precisely those which the concepts we ought to reason in terms of pick out, there is no offending symmetry. Which means that there is no need not break the symmetry with reference to something (primitively) normative. Which means that, even if Dasgupta is right and nothing can be (primitively) normative, it’s unclear why, on this view, this threatens objectivity.  (2) …perhaps more importantly, that Dasgupta’s argument is at bottom an argument about explanation: about what must be explained, about what counts as an explanation. That it is, is not just enlightening but may in fact offer those of us who want to defend objectivity a way out even if the argument sketched under (1) doesn’t pan out (at least so I will – tentatively – argue). I don’t really have a paper polished enough warrant circulating. Those of you who want to prepare for the seminar can (but in no way need to) check out Dasgupta’s papers, which can be accessed via his website: https://shamik.net/ 
Dasgupta, S. (ms.) “Objectivity as a Normative Notion (Twice Over)”.
Dasgupta, S. (2018) “Realism and the Absence of Value”, The Philosophical Review, 127(3): 279-322 .

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Pär Sundström
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