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Displaying: 1-20 of 39 documents


1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 10
Jessica Isserow Moral Worth: Having It Both Ways
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It is commonly recognized that one can act rightly without being praiseworthy for doing so. Those who act rightly from ignoble motives, for instance, do not strike us as fitting targets of moral praise; their actions seem to lack moral worth. Though there is broad agreement that only certain kinds of motives confer moral worth on our actions, there is disagreement as to which ones are up to the task. Many theorists confine themselves to two possibilities: praiseworthy agents are thought to be motivated by either (1) the consideration that their actions are morally right, or (2) the considerations that explain why their actions are morally right (where the ‘or’ is exclusive). Though there is an important element of truth in these proposals, each has limited explanatory purchase. In this paper, I develop a pluralist conception of moral worth that acknowledges both sorts of motives as grounds for moral praise.
2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 10
Michael J. Raven Is Logic Out of This World?
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Is logic out of this world? This elusive question reveals a tension in our thinking about the basis of logic: both worldly and unworldly answers get something right and yet they conflict. My aim is to clarify the question and explore a conciliatory answer. I focus on a characterization of unworldliness in terms of ground. This allows for a distinction between proximal and distal unworldliness. That in turn reconfigures our approach to the question. It may now be taken as asking for the proximal or the distal basis of logic. This helps alleviate the tension because the answer for the one need not conflict with a different answer for the other. I explore a case study culminating in an illustration of how a logical truth may indeed be proximally worldly but distally unworldly. I conclude by considering some potential extensions.
3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 10
Johan E. Gustafsson, Wlodek Rabinowicz A Simpler, More Compelling Money Pump with Foresight
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One might think that money pumps directed at agents with cyclic preferences can be avoided by foresight. This view was challenged two decades ago by the discovery of a money pump with foresight, which works against agents who use backward induction. But backward induction implausibly assumes that the agent would act rationally and retain her trust in her future rationality even at choice nodes that could only be reached if she were to act irrationally. This worry does not apply to BI-terminating decision problems, where at each choice node backward induction prescribes a move that terminates further action. For BI-terminating decision problems, it is enough to assume that rationality and trust in rationality are retained at choice nodes reachable by rational moves. The old money pump with foresight was not BI-terminating. In this paper, we present a new money pump with foresight, one that is both BI-terminating and considerably simpler.
4. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 10
New Books: Anthologies
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5. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 10
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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6. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 9
Santiago Echeverri Guarantee and Reflexivity
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The rule account of self-conscious thought holds that a thought is self-conscious if and only if it contains a token of a concept-type that is governed by a reflexive rule. An account along these lines was discussed in the late 1970s. Nevertheless, very few philosophers endorse it nowadays. I shall argue that this summary dismissal is partly unjustified. There is one version of the rule account that can explain a key epistemic property of self-conscious thoughts: GUARANTEE. Along the way, I will rebut a number of objections and introduce two constraints on how the reflexive rule is implemented.
7. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 9
Alex Grzankowski Navigating Recalcitrant Emotions
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In discussions of the emotions, it is commonplace to wheel out examples of (for instance) people who know that rollercoasters aren’t dangerous but who fear them anyway. Such cases are well known to have been troubling for cognitivists who hold the emotions are (at least in part) judgments or beliefs. But more recently, it has been argued that the very theories that emerged from the failure of cognitivism (perceptual theories and other neo-cognitivist approaches) face trouble as well. One gets the sense that the theory that can accomplish this will win a crucial point over its competitors. In the present paper I offer a new approach to making sense of the normative tension to which recalcitrant emotions give rise. Interestingly, the approach is one that can be adopted by anyone willing to grant that emotions are themselves governed by norms.
book reviews
8. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 9
Christian Pfeiffer Timothy Clarke: Aristotle and the Eleatic One
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9. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 9
New Books
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10. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 9
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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11. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 8
Wayne Wu Is Vision for Action Unconscious?
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Empirical work and philosophical analysis have led to widespread acceptance that vision for action, served by the cortical dorsal stream, is unconscious. I argue that the empirical argument for this claim is unsound. That argument relies on subjects’ introspective reports. Yet on biological grounds, in light of the theory of primate cortical vision, introspection has no access to dorsal stream mediated visual states. It is wrongly assumed that introspective reports speak to absent phenomenology in the dorsal stream. In light of this, I consider a different conception of consciousness’s relation to agency in terms of access. While theoretical reasons suggest that the inaccessibility of the dorsal stream to conceptual report is evidence that it is unconscious, this position begs important questions about agency and consciousness. I propose a broader notion of access in respect of the guidance of intentional agency as the crucial link connecting agency to consciousness.
12. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 8
Verónica Gómez Sánchez Crystallized Regularities
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This essay proposes a reductive account of robust macro-regularities (sometimes called “special science laws”). On the view proposed, regularities can earn their elite scientific status by featuring in good summaries of restricted regions in the space of physical possibilities: our “modal neighborhoods.” I argue that this view vindicates “nomic foundationalism” (that is, the view that the physical laws sustain all robust regularities), while doing justice to the practice of invoking physically contingent generalizations in higher-level explanations. Moreover, the view suggests an explanation for the particular significance of robust macro-regularities: we rely on summaries of our modal neighborhoods when reasoning hypothetically about “agentially accessible” possibilities.
13. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 8
New Books
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14. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 8
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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15. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 7
Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller, James Norton An Empirical Investigation of Purported Passage Phenomenology
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It has widely been assumed, by philosophers, that most people unambiguously have a phenomenology as of time passing, and that this is a datum that philosophical theories must accommodate. Moreover, it has been assumed that the greater the extent to which people have said phenomenology, the more likely they are to endorse a dynamical theory of time. This paper is the first to empirically test these assumptions. Surprisingly, our results do not support either assumption. One experiment instead found the reverse correlation: people were more likely to report having passage phenomenology if they endorsed a non-dynamical theory of time. Given that people do not have an unambiguous phenomenology as of time passing, we conclude that this is suggestive evidence in favor of veridical non-dynamism—the view that our phenomenology is veridical, and that it does not unambiguously represent that time passes. Instead, our phenomenology veridically has some quite different content.
16. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 7
Siegfried Jaag Siegfried Jaag, Christian Loew Christian Loew Why Defend Humean Supervenience?
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Humean Supervenience (HS) is a metaphysical model of the world according to which all truths hold in virtue of nothing but the total spatiotemporal distribution of perfectly natural, intrinsic properties. David Lewis and others have worked out many aspects of HS in great detail. A larger motivational question, however, remains unanswered: As Lewis admits, there is strong evidence from fundamental physics that HS is false. What then is the purpose of defending HS? In this paper, we argue that the philosophical merit of HS is largely independent of whether it correctly represents the world’s fundamental structure. In particular, we show that insofar as HS is an apt model of the world’s higher-level structure, it thereby provides a powerful argument for reductive physicalism and explains otherwise opaque inferential relations. Recent criticism of HS on the grounds that it misrepresents fundamental physical reality is, therefore, beside the point.
17. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 7
Olli Koistinen Ursula Renz: The Explainability of Experience: Realism and Subjectivity in Spinoza’s Theory of the Human Mind
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18. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 7
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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19. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 6
Lei Zhong Intervention, Fixation, and Supervenient Causation
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A growing number of philosophers are bringing interventionism into the field of supervenient causation. Many argue that interventionist supervenient causation is exempted from the fixability condition. However, this approach looks ad hoc, inconsistent with the general interventionist requirement on fixation. Moreover, it leads to false judgments about the causal efficacy of supervenient/subvenient properties. This article aims to develop a novel interventionist account of supervenient causation that respects the fixability requirement. The treatment of intervention and fixation that I propose can accommodate some theoretical constraints on causation and deliver correct causal verdicts in classic examples. It is also worth noting that this interventionist account offers a promising defense of mental causation without postulating mental-physical overdetermination.
20. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 117 > Issue: 6
Matthew Mandelkern A Counterexample to Modus Ponenses
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McGee (1985) argued that modus ponens was invalid for the natural language conditional ‘If…then…’. Many subsequent responses have argued that, while McGee’s examples show that modus ponens fails to preserve truth, they do not show that modus ponens fails to preserve rational full acceptance, and thus modus ponens may still be valid in the latter informational sense. I show that when we turn our attention from indicative conditionals (the focus of most of the literature to date) to subjunctive conditionals, we find that modus ponens does not preserve either truth or rational full acceptance, and thus is not valid in either sense. In concluding I briefly consider how we can account for these facts.