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21. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 4
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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the isaac levi prize 2021
22. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 3
Daniel Hoek Questions in Action
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Choices confront us with questions. How we act depends on our answers to those questions. So the way our beliefs guide our choices is not just a function of their informational content, but also depends systematically on the questions those beliefs address. This paper gives a precise account of the interplay between choices, questions and beliefs, and harnesses this account to obtain a principled approach to the problem of deduction. The result is a novel theory of belief-guided action that explains and predicts the decisions of agents who, like ourselves, fail to be logically omniscient: that is, of agents whose beliefs may not be deductively closed, or even consistent.
23. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 3
Andrew J. Latham, Hannah Tierney Defusing Existential and Universal Threats to Compatibilism: A Strawsonian Dilemma for Manipulation Arguments
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Many manipulation arguments against compatibilism rely on the claim that manipulation is relevantly similar to determinism. But we argue that manipulation is nothing like determinism in one relevant respect. Determinism is a "universal" phenomenon: its scope includes every feature of the universe. But manipulation arguments feature cases where an agent is the only manipulated individual in her universe. Call manipulation whose scope includes at least one but not all agents "existential manipulation." Our responsibility practices are impacted in different ways by universal and existential phenomena. And this is a relevant difference, especially on Strawsonian approaches to moral responsibility, which take facts about our responsibility practices to be deeply connected to the nature of responsibility itself. We argue that Strawsonian accounts of moral responsibility are immune to manipulation arguments, and no attempt to modify the scope of manipulation or determinism featured in these arguments will help incompatibilists secure their desired conclusion.
book reviews
24. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 3
Andreja Novakovic Dean Moyar: Hegel’s Value: Justice as the Living Good
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25. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 3
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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26. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 3
New Books
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27. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 2
David James Barnett Graded Ratifiability
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An action is unratifiable when, on the assumption that one performs it, another option has higher expected utility. Unratifiable actions are often claimed to be somehow rationally defective. But in some cases where multiple options are unratifiable, one unratifiable option can still seem preferable to another. We should respond, I argue, by invoking a graded notion of ratifiability.
28. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 2
Marija Jankovic, Kirk Ludwig Conventions and Status Functions
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We argue that there is a variety of convention, effective coordinating agreement, that has not been adequately identified in the literature. Its distinctive feature is that it is a structure of conditional we-intentions of parties, unlike more familiar varieties of convention, which are structures of expectations and preferences or obligations. We argue that status functions (i.e., social functions like being a pawn, a president, or a dollar bill) constitutively involve this variety of convention, and that what is special about it explains, and gives precise content to, the central feature of status functions, namely, that objects with status functions can perform their functions only insofar as they have been collectively accepted as having them.
29. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 2
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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30. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 1
Kyle Blumberg, John Hawthorne A New Hope
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The analysis of desire ascriptions has been a central topic of research for philosophers of language and mind. This work has mostly focused on providing a theory of want reports, that is, sentences of the form ‘S wants p’. In this paper, we turn from want reports to a closely related but relatively understudied construction, namely hope reports, that is, sentences of the form ‘S hopes p’. We present two contrasts involving hope reports and show that existing approaches to desire fail to explain these contrasts. We then develop a novel account that combines some of the central insights in the literature. We argue that our theory provides an elegant account of our contrasts and yields a promising analysis of hoping.
31. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 1
Sam Baron, Baptiste Le Bihan Composing Spacetime
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According to a number of approaches in theoretical physics, spacetime does not exist fundamentally. Rather, spacetime exists by depending on another, more fundamental, non-spatiotemporal structure. A prevalent opinion in the literature is that this dependence should not be analyzed in terms of composition. We should not say, that is, that spacetime depends on an ontology of non-spatiotemporal entities in virtue of having them as parts. But is that really right? On the contrary, we argue that a mereological approach to dependent spacetime is not only viable, but promises to enhance our understanding of the physical situation.
32. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 1
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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33. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 1
New Books
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34. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 12
Matthew Mandelkern If P, Then P!
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The Identity principle says that conditionals with the form 'If p, then p' are logical truths. Identity is overwhelmingly plausible, and has rarely been explicitly challenged. But a wide range of conditionals nonetheless invalidate it. I explain the problem, and argue that the culprit is the principle known as Import-Export, which we must thus reject. I then explore how we can reject Import-Export in a way that still makes sense of the intuitions that support it, arguing that the differences between indicative and subjunctive conditionals play a key role in solving this puzzle.
35. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 12
Holger Andreas, Mario Günther Difference-Making Causation
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We put forth an analysis of causation. The analysis centers on the notion of a causal model that provides only partial information as to which events occur, but complete information about the dependences between the events. The basic idea is this: an event causes another just in case there is a causal model that is uninformative on both events and in which the first event makes a difference as to the occurrence of the other. We show that our analysis captures more causal scenarios than the other counterfactual accounts to date.
36. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 12
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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37. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 12
Index to Volume CXVIII
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38. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 11
Benjamin Lennertz Quantificational Attitudes
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The literature contains a popular argument in favor of the position that conditional attitudes (especially intentions and desires) are not simple attitudes with conditional contents but, rather, have a more complex structure. In this paper I show that an analogous argument applies to what we might call quantificational attitudes—like an intention to follow every bit of good advice I receive or a desire to get rabies shots for each bite I incur from an infected bat. The conditions under which these attitudes are satisfied and thwarted are not captured by claiming that they are simple attitudes with quantificational contents. So, the argument supports a novel position—that quantificational attitudes have a more complex structure. After sketching the form of this extra structure, I show how similar considerations count in favor of the existence of genuinely quantificational speech acts.
39. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 11
Zachary C. Irving Drifting and Directed Minds: The Significance of Mind-Wandering for Mental Agency
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Perhaps the central question in action theory is this: what ingredient of bodily action is missing in mere behavior? But what is an analogous question for mental action? I ask this: what ingredient of active, goal-directed thought is missing in mind-wandering? My answer: attentional guidance. Attention is guided when you would feel pulled back from distractions. In contrast, mind-wandering drifts between topics unchecked. My unique starting point motivates new accounts of four central topics about mental action. First, its causal basis. Mind-wandering is a case study that allows us to tease apart two causes of mental action––guidance and motivation. Second, its experiential character. Goals are rarely the objects of awareness; rather, goals are “phenomenological frames” that carve experience into felt distractions and relevant information. Third, its scope. Intentional mind-wandering is a limit case of action where one actively cultivates passivity. Fourth, my theory offers a novel response to mental action skeptics like Strawson.
40. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 10
Ayelet Shavit, Aaron M. Ellison Diverse Populations are Conflated with Heterogeneous Collectives
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The concept of difference has a long and important research tradition. We identify and explicate a heretofore overlooked distinction in the meaning and measurement of two different meanings of 'difference': 'diversity' and 'heterogeneity'. We argue that ‘diversity’ can describe a population well enough but does not describe a collective well. In contrast, ‘heterogeneity’ describes a collective better than a population and therefore ought to describe a collective. We argue that ignoring these distinctions can lead to a surprising and disturbing conflict between diversity and heterogeneity. In particular, focusing on the 'diversity' of human communities can be self-defeating for those who truly care about the importance of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.