Brute Facts

ISBN : 9780198758600

Elly Vintiadis; Constantinos Mekios
304 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Brute facts are facts that don't have explanations. They are instrumental in our attempts to provide adequate justifications for other facts or phenomena, they inform many people's views about the structure of the world, and are part of philosophical interpretations in metaphysics and the philosophy of science. Yet, despite the considerable literature on explanation, the question of bruteness has been left largely unexamined. The chapters in Brute Facts address this gap in academic thought by exploring the central considerations which surround this topic. How can we draw a distinction between facts that can reasonably be thought of as brute and facts for which further explanation is possible? Can we explain something and gain understanding by appealing to brute facts? Is naturalism inconsistent with the existence of (non-physical) brute facts? Can modal facts be brute facts? Are emergent facts brute? This volume brings together contributions by authors who offer different answers to these questions. In presenting a range of different viewpoints on these matters, Brute Facts engages with major debates in contemporary philosophy concerning modality, naturalism, consciousness, reduction and explanation.


1 Elly Vintiadis: Introduction
2 John Heil: Must there be brute facts?
3 Elanor Taylor: How to make the case for brute facts
4 Joseph Levine: Bruteness and supervenience: mind vs. morality
5 James Van Cleve: Brute necessity and the mind body problem
6 Dana Goswick: Are modal facts brute facts?
7 Kevin Morris: Truthmaking and the mysteries of emergence
8 Torin Alter: Are there brute facts about consciousness?
9 Gerald Vision: The Provenance of Consciousness
10 John Symons: Brute facts about emergence
11 Elly Vintiadis: There is nothing (really) wrong with emergent brute facts
12 Peter Wyss: Emergence: inexplicable but explanatory
13 Mark H. Bickhard: Naturalism, emergence, and brute facts
14 Argyris Arnellos and Charbel El-Hani: Emergence, downward determination and brute facts in biological systems


Elly Vintiadis teaches philosophy at the American College of Greece. Her current research interests are in the philosophy of mind, the metaphysics of mind and philosophy of psychiatry - mainly explanation, emergentism and the philosophical implications of mental disorders. In the past Vintiadis has taught at the Hellenic Naval Staff and Command College and at the City College of New York.; Constantinos Mekios studied genetics at Columbia University prior to joining the philosophy department at Boston University, where he specialized in the philosophy of biology. Mekios is currently associate professor of philosophy at Stonehill College, where he has been teaching since 2006. His philosophical research remains informed primarily by biological problems and his present work centers on questions concerning explanation and methodology in Systems Biology.