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symposium on the solace: finding value in death through gratitude for life
21. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 48
Connie S. Rosati Comments on Glasgow, The Solace
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In his book, The Solace: Finding Value in Death through Gratitude for Life, Joshua Glasgow recounts his thoughts as he tried to prepare for a conversation about death with his dying mother, whom he hoped to comfort. After rejecting certain possible sources of solace, he argues that our passing away itself has value, which it derives from the meaningfulness of our lives as a whole, and this value can provide the comfort we may seek. I raise a number of difficulties for and questions about Glasgow’s claims, ultimately concluding that even if our passing away had some value, recognizing thiswould add nothing to the solace we may derive from reflecting on the value of our lives themselves.
22. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 48
Sean McAleer 8-Tracks, The Demands of Gratitude and Harmonious Stews: Comments on Josh Glasgow's The Solace
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Joshua Glasgow’s (2020) is a beautiful, philosophically rich book. Here I raise five main questions and criticisms. The first argues that holistic gratitude is too demanding: someone who can muster only fragmented gratitude is not failing to do and feel what is required; thus holistic gratitude is morally optional. The second suggests ways in which the metaphors Glasgow uses to express the idea of radiant value are problematic. The third notes that radiant value seems a sort of inverted cousin of the doctrine of organic unities but points to an important analogy between them that problematizes the notion of radiant value. The fourth discusses Glasgow’s giving up on holistic gratitude in s penultimate chapter and briefly explores the strong affinities holistic gratitude to certain features of Roman Stoicism. The fifth draws on a passage from Henry James’ and the classical Chinese notion of harmony to gesture toward a conception of holistic gratitude that might, after all, provide solace for passing away.
23. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 48
Ben Bradley Glasgow on Death's Badness and Radiant Value
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In The Solace, Joshua Glasgow’s main claim is that life has “radiant value” and that death inherits some of that value; this provides us with a source of solace. He also argues that death is bad not only in virtue of depriving us of good things, but also in virtue of depriving us of opportunities for good things. I raise difficulties for these claims.
24. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 48
Joshua Glasgow Death, Value, Gratitude, and Solace: A Response to Bradley, McAleer, and Rosati
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This article responds to Ben Bradley, Sean McAleer, and Connie Rosati’s criticisms of The Solace. Broadly, the themes touched on include the sense of narrative value at work in the book; what attitudes we should have towards positive value, including especially narrative value; whether good opportunities are themselves good for us; how we should value extrinsic but final goodness like the positive value that death draws from life; and what kinds of questions about death are worth asking.
25. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Jeff Engelhardt, Patrick Mayer Unlucky on Twin Earth
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This paper proposes that there is a kind of moral luck that hasn’t been recognized in the philosophical literature: luck in the ‘wide’ contents of one’s concepts. We will treat moral luck as occurring when an agent is morally responsible for X—when X is a matter of luck for that agent. If moral luck is possible and content externalism is true, then there is a heretofore unrecognized kind of moral luck. We call it “conceptual moral luck.” This new kind of moral luck poses significant problems for two major theories of morally responsible agency, Agent-Causal Libertarianism and the Real Self View.
26. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Daniel Statman Cruelty, Sadism, and the Joy of Inflicting Pain for its Own Sake
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The paper offers a theory of cruelty that includes the following claims: First, cruelty is best understood as a disposition to take delight in the very infliction of suffering on others. Thus understood, cruelty is the same phenomenon as that studied and operationalized by psychologists in the last decade or so under the heading of everyday sadism. Second, for people to be cruel, they need not have proper understanding of the moral standing of their victims. Third, ascriptions of cruelty do not depend on judgments regarding the moral wrongness of the assumed cruel act. Fourth, since cruelty is primarily a property of agents rather than of actions, and since actions are not always a reliable indication of cruelty, identifying cruelty is a more challenging task than usually thought.
27. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Saja Parvizian Descartes on the Unity of the Virtues
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Commentators have neglected a tension in Descartes’s virtue theory. In some texts, Descartes seems to argue that there are distinct virtues. In other texts, Descartes seems to argue that there is only a single virtue—the firm and constant resolution to use the will well. In this paper, I reconcile this tension. I argue that Descartes endorses a specific version of the unity of the virtues thesis, namely, the identity of the virtues. Nonetheless, Descartes has the resources to draw conceptual distinctions between various virtues. Distinct virtues are conceptually generated when we regard the firm and constant resolution to use the will well in different ways, that is, based on the different ways this resolution manifests in moral situations.
symposium on the mismeasure of the self by alessandra tanesini
28. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Alessandra Tanesini Precis of the Mismeasure of the Self
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In this precis, I offer an overview of The Mismeasure of the Self (2021). The book provides accounts of the psychology and epistemology of virtues and vices of self-evaluation such as humility, arrogance, servility, vanity and timidity. I adopt the social psychological framework of attitudes to explain that these virtues and vices are underpinned by clusters of mental states that are the product of motivated cognition, and which, in turn, promote motivated reasoning. I show that each virtue and vice is accompanied by a characteristic emotion. I assess whether we are responsible for vices and briefly describe an ameliorative intervention.
29. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Vrinda Dalmiya Measure for Measure: Exploring the Virtues of Vice Epistemology
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Alessandra Tanesini’s The Mismeasure of the Self can be read as promoting non-ideal theory in epistemology. Tanesini articulates the virtue of intellectual humility (central for accurate self-assessment) in close connection with the human vices of superiority and inferiority. I begin by showing how her novel analysis that situates humility in a cluster of differently-functioning ‘attitudes’ enriches both the positive motivational resources and the pitfalls that a knower must negotiate. The proximity of virtues and vices in the conceptual map that constitutes humility, explains feminist claims of how subjects who are harmed as knowers can still flourish and even resist their cognitive marginalization. I then move on to critiquing Tanesini’s understanding of intellectual humility because it fails to be a truly ‘liberatory virtue.’ I suggest alternative ways of connecting intellectual humility to shame and hope that still remain true to Tanesini’s broader ethical context but make it potent for social justice. In spite of mindfulness of social context, Tanesini works with an epistemic selfhood bleached out of its historical and social embeddedness and hence, whose self-knowledge through humility does not involve the knowledge of the world and of others. Such an intellectual humility, I argue, cannot be justice-conducive.
30. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Stacey E. McElroy-Heltzel Epistemic Virtues and Vices as Attitudes: Implications for Empirical Measures and Virtue Interventions
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In this paper I remark on Tanesini’s (2021) account of intellectual humility and servility as attitudes, with a focus on how this proposal intersects with the psychology literature on intellectual humility. I begin by discussing the implications this may have for empirical measures of intellectual humility, including concerns that some current measures seem to do a better job of capturing dispositional limitations-owning than virtuous intellectual humility. Additionally, I raise concerns that excluding interpersonal features and a motivation to learn from conceptualizations of intellectual humility risk vicious manifestations of intellectual humility. Finally, I build on Tanesini’s (2021) ameliorative proposal centered on affirming one’s values by offering some specific strategies drawn from several psychology theories. These include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Social Learning Theory, and the Social Contact Hypothesis.
31. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Alessandra Tanesini Replies to Vrinda Dalmiya and Stacey McElroy-Heltzel
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In this response I address concerns raised by Dalmiya (2022) and McElroy-Heltzel (2022) about features of the account of intellectual humility developed in The Mismeasure of the Self (2021). I focus on the worries that humility is insufficiently relational, compatible with apathy, and potentially ineffective in the service of liberatory projects. I conclude with a brief discussion of the measurement of humility.
32. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Haicheng Zhao Reliability, Accessibility, and Justified Credence
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Can a reliabilist theory of justified belief be extended to account for justified credence? In exploring this question, this paper first takes as its target Tang’s (2016, 2021) reliabilist account of justified credence, which is inspired by William Alston’s “indicator reliabilism” (or “internalist externalism”) about justified belief. I point out a neglected shortcoming in Tang’s account, which concerns its failure to properly explain degrees of justification. Fortunately, Alston’s epistemology contains the resources which can be developed to remedy this defect. The central idea here is that the justificatory status of a credence can not only be (ultima facie) defeated by a subject’s own perspective, but also be (ultima facie) enhanced by that. Finally, it is argued that this idea applies to beliefs as well.
33. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Benjamin Winokur There Is Something to the Authority Thesis
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Many philosophers accept an ‘Authority Thesis’ according to which self-ascriptions of one’s current mental states ordinarily are or ought to be met with a distinctive presumptive of truth. Recently, however, Wolfgang Barz (2018) has argued that there is no adequately specified Authority Thesis. This, he argues, is because available specifications are either (1) philosophically puzzling but implausible, or (2) plausible but philosophically unpuzzling. I argue that there are several plausible and philosophically puzzling specifications of the Authority Thesis.
34. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Casey Doyle Knowing Your Mind by Making Up Your Mind Without Changing Your Mind, Too Much
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At the center of much contemporary work on self-knowledge of our attitudes is a debate between Agentialists and Empiricists. Empiricists hold that first-person knowledge of one’s own attitudes possesses a broadly empirical basis, such as observation or inference. Agentialists insist that an account of self-knowledge must make sense of the intimate connection between knowing one’s attitudes and actively forming them in response to reasons. But it is plausible to suppose that a psychologically realistic account of self-knowledge will emphasize both active and passive elements. Focusing on the idea that we form self-ascriptions of belief on the basis of active deliberation, this paper outlines such a middle ground position.
35. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Jeremy Randel Koons, Carl B. Sachs The Role of Picturing In Sellars’s Practical Philosophy
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Picturing is a poorly understood element of Sellars’s philosophical project. We diagnose the problem with picturing as follows: on the one hand, it seems that it must be connected with action in order for it to do its job. On the other hand, the representational states of a picturing system are characterized in descriptive and seemingly static terms. How can static terms be connected with action? To solve this problem, we adopt a concept from recent work in Sellarsian metaethics: the idea of a material practical inference, which (we argue) features centrally in how we picture. The key distinction is that the picturing of nonhuman animals involves only Humean material practical inference, in which representational states are corrected only by feedback from the environment and not from discursive interactions. The resulting view shows that Sellars’s contributions to practical philosophy (especially theory of action and metaethics) cannot be separated from his contributions to philosophy of mind, language, and cognitive science. Further, the view makes it clear that picturing is neither a version of the Given, nor is it a fifth wheel to inferential role in explaining representation, but is essential to Sellars’s model of how animals—including humans—represent their environment.
36. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Jonas R. Becker Arenhart Understanding Logical Evidence, With Lessons From The Paradoxes
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In this paper, I discuss the relation between logical theory and evidence in the context of an anti-exceptionalist approach to logic. I hold not only that current versions of anti-exceptionalism failed to appreciate the fact that logical evidence is theory laden, but also that benefits for the view are expected when we engage with the appropriate philosophy of science. I make the discussion more vivid by considering the cases of both the Liar and Russell paradoxes, and disputes between the classical and dialetheist approaches to them. Disputes between these parties involve different understandings of the logical terminology involved in the evidence (the paradoxes), and they illustrate how the data gets contaminated with theory. As a result of the discussion, I conclude that pragmatical considerations are better guides to evaluate disputes in such cases, with scientific fertility being the criterion of legitimacy for a logical system.
symposium on conversational pressure by sanford c. goldberg
37. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Sanford C. Goldberg Precis of Conversational Pressure
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In this overview of Conversational Pressure (2020), I summarize the main points of the book, which aims to provide an account of the distinctly normative pressures that arise in conversation.
38. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
A. K. Flowerree Entitled to Attention? Cooperativity, Context, and Standing
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Attention is a finite, morally significant good. Attention is a precondition for healthy human relationships, and its absence can wrong others by cutting them off from vital human goods. At the same time, human persons have limited powers of attention. And so the question arises, when does someone legitimately command my attention? In Conversational Pressure (2020), Sanford Goldberg argues that the competent speaker has a default entitlement to normatively expect the addressee to attend, even if only for a short while. If the addressee fails to attend, the speaker is wronged. I argue that the conditions under which attention is owed to another are more restricted than Goldberg allows, and are sensitive to context and standing.
39. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Sanford C. Goldberg Reply to Amy Flowerree
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Amy Flowerree (2022) offers an extended criticism of my account of (the normative dimensions of) the act of address, arguing that the notion of cooperativity cannot play the role that my argument needs it to play. Although I think she succeeds in highlighting points I had improperly ignored in my discussion, I argue that the account can be defended against her core concerns.
40. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 47
Charity Anderson On What We Owe in Attention
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A central aim of Sandy Goldberg’s project is to defend a fundamentally epistemic source of normative conversational pressure—one which does not reduce to the interpersonal dimension. A second core aim is to provide an explanation of how expectations are generated by the performances within a conversation. This essay raises several challenges for chapter 2 of his book, ‘Your Attention Please!.’ From various angles, the essay challenges the central idea of that chapter: namely, that by the act of address, a speaker generates an obligation for a hearer to attend to the speaker.