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Displaying: 1-20 of 368 documents

1. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 4
Jacob Stegenga, Tarun Menon The Difference-to-Inference Model for Values in Science
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The value-free ideal for science holds that values should not influence the core features of scientific reasoning. We defend the difference-to-inference model of value-permeation, which holds that value-permeation in science is problematic when values make a difference to the inferences made about a hypothesis. This view of value-permeation is superior to existing views, and it suggests a corresponding maxim—namely, that scientists should strive to eliminate differences to inference. This maxim is the basis of a novel value-free ideal for science.
2. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 4
S. Matthew Liao A Right Response to Anti-Natalism
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Most people think that, other things being equal, you are at liberty to decide for yourself whether to have children. However, there are some people, aptly called anti-natalists, who believe that it is always morally wrong to have children. Anti-natalists are attracted to at least two types of arguments. According to the Positives Are Irrelevant Argument, unless a life contains no negative things at all, it is irrelevant that life also contains positive things. According to the Positives Are Insufficient Argument, while life does contain some positive things, as a matter of fact, almost everyone’s life contains more negative things than positive things. In this article, I first offer new reasons to reject these arguments. I then offer a positive, human rights account of why not only is it not wrong to bring people into existence, but parents in fact have a human right to do so.
3. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 4
Rebecca L. Walker Virtue Ethics and Animal Moral Status
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A person of good character treats other sentient beings with care and compassion. Yet virtue ethics apparently has trouble accounting for the moral status of nonhuman animals because of its focus on excellent character traits, rather than the moral “patient,” and because of its non-codifiability, at least in some forms. The task of this article is to answer the question: How can virtue ethics account for the moral value of nonhuman animals in the context of biomedical research? I argue that it can do so through attention to animal good lives, human-animal bonds, and the virtues themselves. The virtue ethics resources I draw on to support nonhuman animal value are not the same as those typically brought to bear in moral status discussions, but I suggest that moral status as usually conceived has its own problems as a tool for use in practical contexts like animal research.
4. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 4
Lisa M. Rasmussen Trust Architectures in Research
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The research enterprise depends on trust, especially trust in data reliability and ethical conduct of research. This trust is accomplished via systems, or “architectures,” that do the work of ensuring trustworthiness in research when individuals are not able to assess it for themselves. In the United States and many other countries, national laws or regulations constitute the research ethics trust architecture. But new research methods, such as citizen science, DIY biology, biohacking, or corporate research, avoid such regulations because they draw on new means of funding, disseminating, and conducting research. This challenges the sufficiency of the traditional approach and requires us to revisit how we generate trust in the research enterprise. In this article, I discuss how new research challenges the existing trust architecture, offer some necessary elements of trust architecture in general, and use citizen science as a case study to illustrate how new, ethically meaningful trust architectures could be built.
5. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 4
David Hershenov An Alternative to the Rational Substance Pro-life View
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The Rational Substance View is a pro-life position which maintains that all humans are moral equals and have a right to life in virtue of their kind membership. Healthy embryos, newborns, children, adults, and as the cognitively impaired all essentially have a root or radical capacity for rationality, though it may not be developed or have its operations blocked. Their being substances with a rational nature is the basis of their moral status and what makes it wrong to kill them. I will argue that the view is committed to some bad biology, and suspect metaphysics, and is unable to escape all the reductios of potentiality. I will offer the Healthy Development View as an alternative to the Rational Substance View. It is a pro-life view that avoids the problematic biology and metaphysics and reductios of potentiality. It understands our rational development to be a contingent rather than an essential trait.
6. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 4
Ana S. Iltis Philosophy: A Fly in the Bioethics Ointment
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Socio-cultural shifts during the 1960s and 1970s included widespread secularization, challenges to authority and tradition, and an emphasis on individual choice. Healthcare and biomedical research advances accompanied these social changes, giving rise to numerous ethical and policy questions. The contemporary bioethics project emerged in this context with (at least) three aims: (1) to offer practical answers to these questions (often) in ways that (2) facilitate or support particular practices or goals (e.g., organ donation or human research) and that (3) appear broadly applicable and legitimately enforceable. Philosophical thinking, which involves investigating and disambiguating concepts and categories, articulating conceptually clear definitions, and mapping arguments to identify premises, detect fallacies, and describe their logical implications, can undermine the practical goals of the bioethics project. This tension between the goals of bioethics and philosophical thinking might help to explain what some scholars see as a disinterest in philosophical thinking in bioethics today.
7. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 3
Richard Brian Davis C. S. Lewis’s Argument against Naturalism Revisited
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In this article, I critically assess Peter van Inwagen’s rejection of C. S. Lewis’s argument against Naturalism. Van Inwagen argues that Lewis (1960) errs on two fronts. First, he falsely assumes that Naturalism implies Spinozism: that the only way the world could be is the way it is. Second, the central premise of Lewis’s argument is asserted without proof. I argue that van Inwagen is mistaken on both counts.
8. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 3
Chang Liu Eidetic Variation as a Source of Metaphysical Knowledge: A Phenomenological Contribution to Neo-Aristotelian Metaphysics
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In neo-Aristotelian accounts, the task of metaphysics is to explore the space of metaphysical possibilities, and our knowledge of metaphysical possibilities is ultimately grounded on our knowledge concerning the essence of entities. Eidetic variation, as established by Husserlian phenomenology, is a method of identifying a specific pattern of phenomenological givenness that is constitutive of the identity and condition of existence of a kind of entities. Thus, Husserlian phenomenology provides us with a method to acquire knowledge concerning the general essence of entities.
9. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 3
Alexander T. Englert Kant’s Favorite Argument for Our Immortality: The Teleological Argument
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Kant’s claim that we must postulate the immortality of the soul is polarizing. While much attention has been paid to two standard arguments in its defense (one moral-psychological, the other rational), I contend that a favorite argument of Kant’s from the apogee of his critical period—namely, the teleological argument—deserves renewed attention. This article reconstructs the argument and exhibits what makes it unique (though not necessarily superior) in relation to the other arguments. In particular, its form (as third-personal or descriptive, beginning from observations) and related force of assent (as a subjectively universal reflective judgment) set it apart from the other arguments. My goal is to establish that any engagement with Kant’s immortality postulate must include equal consideration of the teleological argument to be complete.
10. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 3
Daniele Mezzadri Kant on the Nature of Logical and Moral Laws
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In this article I engage with a recent debate vis-à-vis Kant’s conception of logic, which deals with whether Kant saw logical laws as normative for, or rather as constitutive of, the faculty of understanding. On the former view, logical laws provide norms for the correct exercise of the understanding; on the latter, they define the necessary structure of the faculty of understanding per se. I claim that these two positions are not mutually exclusive, as Kant held both a normative and a constitutive conception of logic. I also sketch a parallelism between Kant’s conceptions of logic and of ethics: Kant’s twofold conception of logic parallels his view of moral laws as normative (for the human will) but constitutive (of a holy will).
11. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 3
Tristan Grøtvedt Haze Modal Inertness and the Zombie Argument
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This article proposes a way of blocking the zombie argument against materialism. The central idea—which can be motivated in various ways, but which I will motivate by drawing on recent work by Wolfgang Schwarz—is that sentences reporting conscious experience are modally inert, roughly in the sense that adding them to a description of a metaphysically possible scenario always results in a description of a metaphysically possible scenario. This is notable in that it leads to a way of blocking the zombie argument, which is perfectly compatible with modal rationalism and with the view that conceivability entails possibility.
12. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
John Heil The Last Word on Emergence
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The metaphysical doctrine of emergence continues to exert a powerful pull on philosophers and metaphysically inclined scientists. This paper focuses on a recent account of emergence advanced by Jessica Wilson in Metaphysical Emergence, but the discussion has the broader aim of making explicit some of the underlying themes that inspire thoughts of emergence generally. These prove to be, not merely optional, but largely lacking in merit.
13. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
Roy T. Cook Perspectival Logical Pluralism
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Logical pluralism is the view that there is more than one formal logic that correctly (or best, or legitimately) codifies the logical consequence relation in natural language. This essay provides a taxonomy of different variations on the logical pluralist theme based on a five-part structure, and then identifies an unoccupied position in this taxonomy: perspectival logical pluralism. Perspectival pluralism provides an attractive position from which to formulate a philosophy of logic from a feminist perspective (and from other, identity-based perspectives, such as critical race theory). An example of how such an account might be developed is sketched. The essay concludes by defusing an obvious objection to the perspectival approach: the claim that the correct logic (or logics), in virtue of the formal nature of logic, should be independent of considerations regarding the identity of the reasoner.
14. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
Ali Hossein Khani Intention, Judgment Dependence, and Self-Deception
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Crispin Wright’s judgment-dependent account of intention is an attempt to show that truths about a subject’s intentions can be viewed as constituted by the subject’s own best judgments about those intentions. The judgments are considered to be best if they are formed under certain cognitively optimal conditions, which mainly include the subject’s conceptual competence, attentiveness to the question about what the intention is, and lack of any material self-deception. Offering a substantive, nontrivial specification of the no-self-deception condition is one of the main problems for Wright. His solution is to view it as a positive presumption, which is violated only if there is strong evidence to the effect that the subject is self-deceived. In this article, I will argue that the concern about self-deception in Wright’s account is misplaced and generally unmotivated.
15. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
Jonathan C. Rutledge Humean Arguments from Evil, Updating Procedures, and Perspectival Skeptical Theism
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In a recent exchange with prominent skeptical theists, Paul Draper has argued that skeptical theism bears no relevance to Humean versions of the argument from suffering. His argument rests, however, on a particular way of construing epistemically rational updating procedures that is not adopted by all forms of skeptical theism. In particular, a perspectival variety of skeptical theism, I argue, is relevant to his Humean arguments. I then generalize this result and explain how any argument from evil employing probabilistic premises is similarly threatened.
16. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
René Ardell Fehr Thomas Aquinas on Malice: Three Interpretive Errors
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This article addresses three interpretive errors that are common with respect to Thomas Aquinas’s understanding of malice. The first error concerns the interpretation of malice as consisting in the preference or choice of a lesser good over a greater good. I argue that malice instead consists in a disorder of the will, and where that disorder results in the choice of a spiritual evil. The second error occurs when one charges Thomas with inconsistency: it is claimed that Thomas’s view of the will is incompatible with malicious actions. I argue that such claims rest on a mistaken understanding of the role of choice in Thomas’s thought. The third error is one of translation: some scholars caution against translating Thomas’s malitia as “malice.” The reasons that are usually given for this view do not hold up to scrutiny.
17. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
Thomas Marré Kant on Natural Ends and the Science of Life
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In this article I argue that the mechanical inexplicability of natural ends in the third Critique is best understood against the background of a fairly traditional picture of the metaphysics of living things, one embraced by Kant himself. On this picture, the distinctive unity of a living thing was to be explained by a soul, form, or monad. The constraints placed on the understanding in the first Critique, however, make such an explanation impossible: because the principle of a living thing in virtue of which it constitutes a whole—rather than a mere aggregate of things—is simple, it cannot be met with in space. By ruling out a widely accepted explanans for a well-recognized explanandum, in other words, Kant’s first Critique makes living things inexplicable in precisely those ways suggested by the third.
18. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 2
Peter J. Graham Sosa on the New Evil Demon Problem
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19. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Edouard Machery Why Variation Matters to Philosophy
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Experimental philosophers often seem to ignore or downplay the significance of demographic variation in philosophically relevant judgments. This article confirms this impression, discusses why demographic research is overlooked in experimental philosophy, and argues that variation is philosophically significant.
20. Res Philosophica: Volume > 100 > Issue: 1
Hagop Sarkissian, Emma E. Buchtel What, Exactly, Is Wrong with Confucian Filial Morality?
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Confucianism’s emphasis on filial piety is both a hallmark of its approach to ethics and a source of concern. Critics charge that filial piety’s extreme partialism corrupts Chinese society and should therefore be expunged from the tradition. Are the critics correct? In this article, we outline the criticism and note its persistence over the last century. We then evaluate data from the empirical study of corruption to see whether they support the claim that partialism corrupts. Finally, we report some recent experimental work done with colleagues testing the claim that filial piety is associated with tolerance of corruption in Chinese societies. The results suggest that the critics are on to something. However, partialism (or kin affection) is not a cause of concern. Instead, authoritarianism (another aspect of filial piety) is associated with tolerance of corruption. We conclude that critics should reformulate their criticisms if they seek to combat corruption effectively.