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1. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 3
Hagit Benbaji On the Pragmatic Explanation of Concessive Knowledge Attributions
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On Lewis’s reading, fallibilism is the contradictory view that it is possible that S knows that p, even though S cannot eliminate some remote scenarios in which not-p. The pragmatic strategy is to make the alleged contradiction a mere pragmatic implicature, which is explained by false conversational expectations. I argue that the pragmatic strategy fails.
2. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 3
Neil Feit Naming and Nonexistence
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I defend a cluster of views about names from fiction and myth. The views are based on two claims: first, proper names refer directly totheir bearers; and second, names from fiction and myth are genuinely empty, they simply do not refer. I argue that when such names are used in direct discourse, utterances containing them have truth values but do not express propositions. I also argue that it is a mistake to think that if an utterance of, for example, “Vulcan is a planet” fails to express a proposition, then an utterance of “Le Verrier believed that Vulcan is a planet” cannot express a proposition. The argument applies to claims about fiction, such as “Sherlock Holmes is strong,” and claims about the attitudes of authors and auditors. The upshot is a semantics for fictional statements that provides a satisfying way for direct reference theorists to avoid taking fictional entities to be abstract objects and to accept the commonsense view that what is true in a fiction is ultimately a matter of what is pretended to be the case.
3. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 3
Matt Ferkany Recognition, Attachment, and the Social Bases of Self-Worth
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Recognition theorists have often sought to justify calls for the recognition of identities or cultures on grounds that a culturally egalitarian societal environment is a crucial social basis of a sense of self-worth. In doing so they have often drawn on noncognitivist social–psychological theorizing. This paper argues that this theorizing does not support the recognition theorist’s position. It is argued that attachment theory together with recent empirical evidence support a more attachment-focused and Rawlsian vision of self-worth’s social bases according to which secure parent–child attachment, associational ties, equal basic rights and liberties, and economic and educational opportunities are what really matter.
4. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 3
Jeff Wisdom A Defense of Descriptive Moral Content
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Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons have recently provided an updated presentation and defense of a metaethical view thatthey call cognitivist expressivism. Expressivists claim that moral judgments express propositional attitudes that do not representor describe the external world. Horgan and Timmons agree with this claim, but they also deny the traditional expressivist claimthat moral judgments do not express beliefs. On their view, moral judgments are genuine, truth-apt beliefs, thus making their form of expressivism a cognitivist one. In this essay, I argue that Horgan and Timmons have failed to demonstrate that moral judgments express sui generis, nondescriptive content by showing that at least some moral content is descriptive. In addition, I show how the descriptivist can account for those properties that Horgan and Timmons consider distinctive of moral belief. In doing so, I remove one of the expressivist’s most important lines of motivation for positing nondescriptive moral content in the first place. At the end of the essay, I briefly sketch a view that I call partial or modest moral realism.
5. The Southern Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 47 > Issue: 3
Christopher Woodard Pedro’s Significance
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Williams’s famous story of Jim exemplifies a general class of dilemmas caused by recalcitrant agents. Like Williams himself, most commentators have focused on Jim and the idea that he has special responsibility for his actions. This paper shifts attention to Pedro, exploring his significance in the story and arguing that Jim has a reason not to shoot that depends on Pedro’s best possible response. In so doing, it sketches a new approach to the general class of dilemmas posed by recalcitrant agents, drawing attention to the advantages of this approach and to the difficulties it faces and comparing it to rival views associated with Ross and Kamm.