Ergo is a general, open access philosophy journal accepting submissions on all philosophical topics and from all philosophical traditions. This includes, among other things: history of philosophy, work in both the analytic and continental traditions, as well as formal and empirically informed philosophy. Ergo is strongly committed to diversity and especially welcomes submissions from members of groups currently underrepresented in philosophy.

Submission and publication are free, and authors retain copyright under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 license. Most generous support from the undergraduate departments of philosophy at the University of Toronto's St. George and Mississauga campuses and the University of Toronto's graduate department of philosophy make this arrangement possible.

Papers are published as they are accepted; there is no regular publication schedule.

Current Issue(s)

Science and Rationality for One and All

P.D. Magnus

A successful scientific community might require different scientists to form different beliefs even when faced with the same evidence. The standard line is that this would create a conflict between the demands of collective rationality which scientists face as members of the community and the demands of individual rationality which they face as epistemic agents. This is expressed both by philosophers of science (working on the distribution of cognitive labor) and by epistemologists (working on the epistemology of disagreement). The standard line fails to take into account the relation between rational belief and various epistemic risks, values of which are a matter of personal and social commitment. This introduces the possibility of conflicts the standard line does not recognize, because someone with extreme values might be individually rational but too far beyond the pale to have a place in the scientific community. More importantly, it introduces at least a possibility for good scientists to be rational individuals.

Assertoric Force Perspectivalism: Relativism Without Relative Truth

Lionel Shapiro

According to relativist accounts of discourse about, e.g., epistemic possibility and matters of taste, the truth of propositions must be relativized to nonstandard parameters. This paper argues that the central thrust of such accounts should be understood independently of relative truth, in terms of a perspectival account of assertoric force. My point of departure is a stripped-down version of Brandom’s analysis of the normative structure of discursive practice. By generalizing that structure, I make room for an analogue of the “assessment sensitivity” MacFarlane characterizes in terms of relative truth. I argue that my reformulation supplies a stronger rationale for the most distinctive feature of MacFarlane’s brand of relativism, its account of when speakers ought to retract assertions. Furthermore, I show that the view usually regarded as a “moderate” alternative to MacFarlane’s “radical” relativism requires the more radical deviation from an absolutist account of assertoric force.

Motor Imagery and Merleau-Pontyian Accounts of Skilled Action

J.C. Berendzen

Maurice Merleau-Ponty is often interpreted as claiming that opportunities for action are directly present in perceptual experience. However, he does not provide much evidence for how or why this would occur, and one can doubt that this is an appropriate interpretation of his phenomenological descriptions. In particular, it could be argued the Merleau-Pontyian descriptions mistakenly attribute pre-perceptual or post-perceptual elements such as allocation of attention or judgment to the perceptual experience itself. This paper argues for the Merleau-Pontyian idea that opportunities for action are present in perceptual experience. It further argues that the phenomenological descriptions can be supported and explained via reference to contemporary research on motor imagery. In particular, it will be argued that non-conscious, covert motor imagery is used to prepare for and regulate skilled actions, and that it is plausible that this imagery combines with perception (likely vision) to create a single experience of the environment as enabling action. The paper will also show that contemporary views on motor imagery are broadly compatible with Merleau-Ponty’s aims.