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Displaying: 61-80 of 966 documents

61. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 46
Cristián Rettig Is there a Human Right to Subsistence Goods?: A Dilemma for Practice-based Theorists
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The much-discussed “claimability objection” holds that it is unjustified to believe that all individuals have a human right to subsistence because the bearers of the correlative duties are not sufficiently determined. This argument is based on the so-called “claimability-condition”: S has a right to P if and only if the duty-bearer is sufficiently determined. Practice-based theorists defend the human right to subsistence by arguing that if we take the existing human rights practice seriously, there is no indeterminacy about the allocation of duties. In this paper, I challenge this (apparently compelling) defense of the human right to subsistence with a dilemma. If the claimability condition is true, the practice-based defense fails to undermine the claimability objection because the duty-bearer is determined in some, but not all, cases. If practice-based theorists reject the claimability condition, they generate an account of human rights that is problematic from the practical perspective because it may contain duties that are unable to guide action.
62. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 46
Nicholas Tebben Assertions and Their Function
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I argue that the norms of assertion are engendered by the function of assertions, and that the function of assertions is, roughly, to facilitate the transmission of information from those who have it to those who need it. Assertions can play this role if they are governed by two norms. One norm is deontic in nature, and specifies the conditions under which a speaker may issue an assertion. I argue that the deontic norm permits A to issue an assertion to B if and only if: (1) doing so would improve B’s epistemic position with regards to the proposition thus conveyed, and (2) the proposition conveyed is justified (for A) in a way, and to a degree, appropriate to the purposes for which B is likely to use it. The other is not deontic; it says what it is for an assertion to be good, qua assertion. This is a truth norm. Assertions ought to be true, in that an assertion is good, qua assertion, when it is true.
63. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 46
Andrew Blitzer, Mark Lance How to Do Philosophical Things With Words
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We highlight a particular meta-philosophical assumption; namely, the philosophical “Claim-Claim” to the effect that meaningful philosophical utterances are, at least in core cases, descriptive claims. In Section I, we explain the Claim-Claim and describe its place in contemporary philosophy. In Section II, we sketch some of its stultifying implications. In Section III, we attempt to make these implications vivid by considering a case study. Specifically, we show that the Claim-Claim has had a pernicious effect on recent attempts to make sense of Martin Heidegger’s philosophical project. Section IV explains Heidegger’s positive pragmatic account, while Section V is a brief and polemical attempt to advance an alternative to the status quo.
64. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 46
Konsta Kotilainen Begging the Question Against a Peer?
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A dialectical conception of justification helps conciliationists about peer disagreement establish the symmetry considerations on which their account is premised. On this conception, appeals to personal or hidden forms of evidence fail to provide a symmetry breaker that would allow one to dismiss a conflicting peer opinion. Furthermore, the act of citing the same evidence repetitively tends to illegitimately beg the question against the peer, no matter how accurate one’s own overall assessment of this evidence. However, the dialectical conception of justification does not automatically vindicate conciliationism. In many of the most interesting cases of peer disagreement there are vast bodies of dialectically sharable evidence that can ultimately provide enough non-question-begging epistemic resources to settle the dispute, even if appealing to those resources violates the independence requirement—a further premise of conciliationism. Absent modifications to the independence requirement, it would therefore be premature to embrace conciliationism.
65. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 46
Margaret Greta Turnbull Dinosaurs and Reasonable Disagreement
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Most philosophical discussions of disagreement have used idealized disagreements to draw conclusions about the nature of disagreement. I closely examine an actual, non-idealized disagreement in dinosaur paleobiology and show that it can not only teach us about the features of some of our real world disagreements, but can help us to argue for the possibility of reasonable real world disagreement.
66. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 46
Duško Prelević The Chalmers Trilemma Re-examined
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The Continuum Hypothesis seems to be a counterexample to David Chalmers’s A Priori Scrutability thesis, according to which there is a compact class of truths (the scrutability base) from which all truths are a priori scrutable. Chalmers’s three-part answer to this problem (which I call the “Chalmers trilemma”) runs as follows: either the Continuum Hypothesis is indeterminate; or adding a new axiom will settle the issue; or, if these two options do not work, we should add the Continuum Hypothesis (or its negation) to the scrutability base. I argue that Chalmers’s answer is unsatisfactory: the first horn of the trilemma can be interpreted in several ways, and either it departs from common mathematical practice and rests on weak analogies, or it shares the same problems with two other horns; the second horn does not provide good reasons to believe that from a fixed system of axioms all truths about our world are scrutable; the third horn of the trilemma renders Chalmers’s project empty.
67. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 46
Casey Doyle There’s Something About Authority
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Barz (2018) contends that there is no specification of the phenomenon of first-person authority that avoids falsity or triviality. This paper offers one. When a subject self-ascribes a current conscious mental state in speech, there is a presumption that what she says is true. To defeat this presumption, one must be able to explain how she has been led astray.
68. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Subrena E. Smith Purposes, Parts, and Persons
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In her (2004) Varieties of Meaning, Ruth Millikan makes the claim that “no interesting theoretical line can be drawn” between biological purposes and intentional purposes. I argue that, contrary to her view, there are some interesting lines to be drawn. It is plausible that both intentions and the neural mechanisms that lie behind them have proper functions, but this does not license the inference that intentions are purposeful only because of their proper biological function. I use the proximate/ultimate distinction to argue that agents’ intentions are proximately purposeful, while their neural substrates are ultimately purposeful, and therefore that the former are not reducible to the latter, even if one adopts Millikan’s account of derived proper functions.
69. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Anna Hartford Complex Akrasia and Blameworthiness
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The idea that conscious control, or more specifically akratic wrongdoing, is a necessary condition for blameworthiness has durable appeal. This position has been explicitly championed by volitionist philosophers, and its tacit influence is broadly felt. Many responses have been offered to the akrasia requirement espoused by volitionists. These responses often take the form of counterexamples involving blameworthy ignorance: i.e., cases where an agent didn’t act akratically, but where they nevertheless seem blameworthy. These counterexamples have generally led to an impasse in the debate, with volitionists maintaining that the ignorant agents are blameless. In this paper, I explore a different sort of counterexample: I consider agents who have acted akratically, but whose very conscious awareness of their wrongdoing complicates their blameworthiness. I call these cases of “complex akrasia,” and I suggest that they are a familiar aspect of moral life. I interpret these cases as supporting non-volitionist accounts, and particularly Quality of Will accounts.
70. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Micah Lott Eudaimonism, Egoism, and Responsibility for Oneself
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This paper considers the following claim: In order to live well, your first concern must be with yourself. I show how the truth in this claim can be captured by a eudaimonist framework. I distinguish two sorts of self-concern: (1) self-care and (2) self-responsibility. I examine each of these notions. I also consider different senses in which either sort of self-concern might be one’s first concern. I identify the place of each of these ideas in a properly developed eudaimonism. As part of my discussion, I respond to the egoism challenge to eudaimonism, and I outline a thoroughly non-egoistic form of eudaimonism.
71. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Cameron Lutman Interactionist Moral Character and the Causal-Constitutive Fallacy
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Interactionism has emerged as a promising approach to moral character in the wake of the situationist challenge and the character-situation debate. This paper will consider whether interactionism is troubled by a familiar problem from the philosophy of mind: the coupling-constitution or causal-constitution fallacy (C-C fallacy). In relation to character, this issue pertains to whether the external factors featured in interactionist models are partly constitutive of the agent’s character, or whether they merely play a causal role. In contrast to some other interactionist theorists, I argue that interactionism doesn’t need to make distinctions regarding causation and constitution, and would be better off without attempting to do so. Making such claims would only add metaphysical baggage to interactionism that won’t aid in its goal of providing an empirically adequate moral psychology of character. Interactionists are thus better off evading the C-C fallacy challenge, rather than attempting to meet it head-on.
72. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Charles K. Fink Acting with Good Intentions: Virtue Ethics and the Principle that Ought Implies Can
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In Morals from Motives (2001), Michael Slote proposed an agent-based approach to virtue ethics in which the morality of an action derives solely from the agent’s motives. Among the many objections that have been raised against Slote’s account, this article addresses two problems associated with the Kantian principle that ought implies can. These are the problems of “deficient” and “inferior” motivation. These problems arise because people cannot freely choose their motives. We cannot always choose to act from good motives; nor can we always avoid acting from bad ones. Given this, Slote’s account implies that we sometimes cannot do what we ought to do, contrary to Kant’s principle. In this article, I propose an alternative agent-based account which, I argue, circumvents these problems. While people cannot choose their motives, they can choose their intentions. By characterizing virtuous action, as I do, in terms of good intentions rather than in terms of good motives, the conflict between what people can do and what they ought to do is resolved.
73. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Andrei Ionuţ Mărăşoiu Intellectual Virtues and Biased Understanding
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Biases affect much of our epistemic lives. Do they affect how we understand things? For Linda Zagzebski, we only understand something when we manifest intellectual virtues or skills. Relying on how widespread biases are, J. Adam Carter and Duncan Pritchard raise a skeptical objection to understanding so conceived. It runs as follows: most of us seem to understand many things. We genuinely understand only when we manifest intellectual virtues or skills, and are cognitively responsible for so doing. Yet much of what we seem to understand consists in conceptions whose formation could have easily been due to biases instead, and the work of biases is opaque to reflection. If conceptions constituting how we understand things could have easily been due to biases, then we are not cognitively responsible for them because we cannot reflectively appraise what we understand. So, we are mistaken in thinking we genuinely understand most of the time. I will defend the grounding of understanding in intellectual virtues and skills from Carter and Pritchard’s objection. We are cognitively responsible for understanding when we manifest our expertise. We can do so, I will argue, without being required to reflectively appraise what we understand.
74. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Allan Hazlett Truthfulness without Truth
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It is natural to think that the badness of false belief explains the badness of lying. In this paper, I argue against this: I argue that the badness of false belief does not explain the badness of lying and that, given a popular account of the badness of lying, the badness of false belief is orthogonal to the badness of lying.
75. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Saja Parvizian Al-Ghazālī and Descartes on Defeating Skepticism
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Commentators have noticed the striking similarities between the skep­tical arguments of al-Ghazālī’s Deliverance from Error and Descartes’ Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy. However, commentators agree that their solutions to skepticism are radically different. Al-Ghazālī does not use rational proofs to defeat skepticism; rather, he relies on a supernatural light [nūr] sent by God to rescue him from skepticism. Descartes, on the other hand, relies on the natural light of reason [lumen naturale] to prove the existence of God, mind, and body. In this paper, I argue that Descartes’ solution is closer to al-Ghazālī’s than commentators have allowed. A close reading of the cosmological argument of the Third Meditation reveals that there is also a type of divine intervention em­ployed in the Meditations, which helps Descartes defeat skepticism. This reading may buttress the case made by some that al-Ghazālī influenced Descartes; but more importantly, it requires us to rethink key features of Descartes’ epistemology.
76. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Krasimira Filcheva Can There Be Ineffable Propositional Structures?
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Is it possible for there to be facts about reality with a logical structure that is in principle unrepresentable by us? I outline the main motivations for thinking that this question should receive a positive answer. I then argue that, upon inspection, the view that such structurally ineffable facts are possible is self-defeating and thus incoherent. My argument is based on considerations about the fundamental role that the purely formal concept of an object plays in our propositional representations and its intimate connection with subject-predicate structure.
77. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Z. Zhou Two Conceptions of Omissions
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Conceptions of omissions standardly come in two flavours: omissions are construed either as mere absences of actions or are closely related to paradigmatic ‘positive’ actions. This paper shows how the semantics of the verb ‘to omit’ constitutes strong evidence against the view of omissions as involving actions. Specifically, by drawing from an influential fourfold typology of verbal predicates popularised by Zeno Vendler, I argue that declarative statements involving reference to omissions are semantically stative, which is a finding that makes serious trouble for the conception of omissions as being closely related to paradigmatic actions. But references to omissions, in certain linguistic contexts, undergo a shift of meaning to describe processes or activities engaged in by the agent. Still, despite the semantic flexibility of the verb ‘to omit’, its processive reading does not straightforwardly support the second conception of omissions. A subsidiary aim of this paper is to offer a sketch of the metaphysics of processive action in order to show what those who claim that omissions are closely related to actions might be committed to.
78. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Eugene Mills Consciousness and Topology
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Most philosophers of the self would take what David Barnett calls ‘The Datum’—that “pairs of people themselves are incapable of experience”—to merit its name. Barnett argues abductively from The Datum to Simplicity, the view that conscious beings must be simple. The truth of Simplicity would upend almost all materialist accounts of what we are, so Barnett’s argument and attempted rebuttals of it merit scrutiny. Rory Madden charges Barnett with overlooking a rival, better explanation, deriving from Integrity: the thesis that our naïve conception of a conscious subject demands that conscious beings be topologically integrated. The content of this naïve conception is supposed to be superior to Simplicity in explaining The Datum. I argue here that Madden is mistaken: the requirement of topological integration cannot explain The Datum, and Barnett’s argument survives Madden’s challenge.
79. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Kristján Kristjánsson Grounding Deep Friendships: Reconciling the Moralized and Aestheticized Views
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The aim of this paper is to offer an account of the grounding of deep friendships within the context of virtue ethics. While drawing on Aristotle’s justification of so-called character friendships, it goes some distance in reconciling Aristotle’s highly moralistic view with a prevalent counterview according to which we are drawn toward close friends for reasons that are essentially aesthetic, amoral, and irrational. It is argued that there are resources within Aristotelian virtue ethics (not exploited by Aristotle himself) that enable us to overcome some of the difficulties of his exclusively moralistic view and bring it into better harmony with common-sense conceptions; yet preserving the claim that vicious people cannot form truly deep friendships. The paper aims at an ‘individuality-adjusted moralized view’ of the grounding of deep friendships: a conciliatory view that yet remains closer to an amendment of the moralized view than to a middle-ground synthesis.
80. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 45
Andrew Kissel The Cartesian Doxastic Argument For Free Will
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This paper raises objections to what I call the Cartesian Doxastic Argument for free will: the argument that it is probably true that we are free on the grounds that there is already widespread intuitive belief in that claim. Richard Swinburne provides the best extant defense of the argument, using his principle of credulity (PoC), which holds that beliefs are probably true merely on the believer’s evidence that they believe it. I argue that the PoC is either too liberal, justifying intuitively unjustified beliefs, or else is inapplicable in practice. I then show that attempts to reformulate the principle to avoid liberality render it too weak to support the Cartesian Doxastic Argument. These failures suggest that any version of the argument that relies on similar principles is likely to fail.