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1. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
David Lynn Holt Causation, Transitivity, and Causal Relata
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I consider an alleged example of a non-transitive causal chain, on the basis of which J. Lee has argued that causation is non-transitive. I show that his analysis of the example rests on too coarse-grained an approach to causal relata. I develop a fine-grained analysis of events which owes much to Dretske’s notion of an allomorphic event, and I use this analysis to show that in the example all the genuine causal chains are indeed transitive. It emerges that when fine-grained analyses of events are possible, causal contexts are aIlomorphicaIly sensitive.
2. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Oded Balaban, Asnat Avshalom The Ontological Argument Reconsidered
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The ontological argument--first proposed by St. Anselm and subsequently deveIoped by Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel and Marx--furnishes a key to understanding the relationship between thought and reality. In this article we shall focus on Hegel’s attitude towards the ontological argument as set out in his Science of Logic, where it appears as a paradigm of the relationship between thought and reality. It should be remarked, moreover, that our choice of the subject was not random and that it was seIected for the reason that belief in God is a preeminent social reality, inasmuch as faith in God creates His existence. Therefore, an investigation of the concept of God is an inquiry into the most profound recesses of human consciousness.The great opponents of the ontological argument, from Hume down to our day--and even Kant--have based their arguments upon the fundamental empiricist assertion that existential judgments are not analytical. In this paper we attempt to defend the ontological argument against its opponents.
3. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Edwin Curley Reflections on Hobbes: Recent Work on his Moral and Political Philosophy
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In this article I attempt to survey work on Hobbes within the period from 1975 to 1989. The text is restricted almost exclusively to work in English on topics in moral and political philosophy. The bibliography is more comprehensive, including work on other aspects of Hobbes’ philosophy and work written in a variety of other languages.The central questions on which the text focuses are these: what psychological assumptions underlie Hobbes’ moral and political conclusions? in particular, what roles do egoism, the striving for self-preservation, and the desire for glory play in his system? to what extent is Hobbes committcd to the claim that the state of nature is a war or all against all? does that war stem from human rationality or from human irrationality? does Hobbes view morality as entirely a human invention, a creation of the state? if people had the psychology Hobbes assumes in justifying the institution of a sovereign, would they be able to institute one? to what extent does Hobbes regard rebellion as justifiable?I devote an attention some people may find excessive to recent works by Greg Kavka and Jean Hampton. I share Gautier’s view that they will prove landmarks in Hobbes scholarship. But I do try also to pay attention to other interesting work by authors like Richard Tuck, Tom Sorell, and David Johnston, and I have many criticisms to make of Kavka and Hampton.
4. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Carl Ginet Justification: It Need Not Cause But It Must Be Accessible
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This paper argues that a fact which constitutes part of a subject’s being justified in adopting an action or a belief at a particular time need not be part of what induced the subject to adopt that action or belief but it must be something to which the subject had immediate access. It argues that similar points hold for justification of the involuntary acquisition of a belief and for the justification of continuing a belief (actively or dispositionally.)
5. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
William K. Frankena Kantian Ethics Today
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Kantian ethics is both very much alive and very much under attack in recent moral philosophy, and so I propose to review some of the discussion, though I must say in advance that my review will have to be incomplete and oversimplified in various ways.
6. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Paul K. Moser Reasons, Values, and Rational Actions
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This paper outIines an account of rational action. It distinguishes three species of reasons: motivating reasons, evidential reasons, and normative reasons. It also contends that there is a univocal notion of reason common to the notions of motivating reasons, evidential reasons, and normative reasons. Given this thesis, the paper explains how we can have a unified theory of reasons for action. It also explains the role of values in rational action. It sketches an affective approach to value that contrasts with prominent desire-satisfaction approaches.
7. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Brian P. McLaughlin Incontinent Belief
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Alfred Mele has recentIy attempted to direct attention to a neglected species of irrational belief which he calls ‘incontinent belief’. He has devoted a paper and an entire chapter (chapter eight) of his book, Irrationality (Oxford University Press, 1987) to explaining its logical possibility. In what follows, I will appeal to familiar facts about the difference between belief and action to make a case that it is entirely unproblematic that incontinent belief is logically possible. In the process, I will call into question the philosophical intercst of incontinent belief. If what I say is correct, incontinent belief does not warrant the attention of philosophers of mind.
8. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Edwin Curley Bibliography
9. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Hugh J. McCann Practical Rationality: Some Kantian Reflections
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Recent views on practical rationality harmonize well with a fundamentally Kantian conception of the foundations of morality. Rationality in practical thinking is not a matter of valid reasoning, or of foIlowing maximization principles. From an agent-centered perspective, it consists in observing certain standards of consistency. In themselves, these standards lack the force of duties, hence there can be no irresolvable conflict between rationality and morality. Furthermore, the Kantian test of universalization for maxims of action may be scen as adapting agent-centered standards of consistency to the task of specifying moral duties, so that objective rationality and morality are one and the same.
10. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
E.J. Bond Could There Be a Rationally Grounded Universal Morality?: (Ethical Realitivism in Williams, Lovibond, and MacIntyre)
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Williams claims that the only particular moral truths, and perhaps the only moral truths of any kind, are nonobjective, i.e., culture-bound. For Lovibond we have moral truths when an assertion-condition is satisfied, and that is determined by the voice of the relevant moral authority as embodied in the institutions of the sittlich morality. According to MacIntyre one must speak from within a living tradition for which there can be no external rational grounding. However, if my criticisms of traditional philosophical ethics are sound, such relativist and historicist views are unjustified, and the project of seeking a rationally grounded morality is perfectly in order.
11. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Thomas Edelson Does Artificial Intellgence Require Artificial Ego?: A Critique of Haugeland
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John Haugeland, in Artiftcial Intelligence: The Very Idea, predicts that it will not be possible to create systems whieh understand discourse about people unless those systems share certain characteristics of people, specifically what he calls “ego involvement”. I argue that he has failed to establish this. In fact, I claim that his argument fails at two points. First, he has not established that it is impossible to understand ego involvement without simulating the processes which underlie it. Second, even if the first point be granted, the conclusion does not follow, for it is possible to simulate ego involvement without having it.
12. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Richard Foley Fumerton’s Puzzle
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There is a puzzle that is faced by every philosophical account of rational belief, rational strategy, rational planning or whatever. I describe this puzzle, examine Richard Fumerton’s proposed solution to it and then go on to sketch my own preferred solution.
13. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Béla Szabados Embarrassment and Self-Esteem
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Emotions are in as a philosophical topic. Yet the recent literature is bent on grand theorizing rather than attempting to explore particular emotions and their roles in our lives. In this paper, I aim to remedy this situation a little by exploring the emotion of embarrassment. First, I critically examine R.C. Solomon’s conceptual sketch and try to distinguish “embarrassment” from “shame”, “humiliation” and “being amused”. Secondly, I argue that “private embarrassment” is a coherent and useful idea and social scientists and philosophers who dismiss it as unintelligible are mistaken. Thirdly, I discuss the question why is embarrassment (unlike other emotions) catching. Fourth, I make the heretical suggestion that doing philosophy is essentially embarrassing for Socratic interlocutors. Throughout the paper there is a discussion of possible links between embarrassment and loss of self-esteem.
14. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Dan Turner Rand Socialist?
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In an article for this journal Michael Goldman has argued, inter alia, that Ayn Rand’s ethical views are, contrary to her own belief, inconsistent with capitalism. Despite the apparent perversity of such a claim, his argument has some plausibiIity. This paper is a response to Goldman’s argument, a clarification of and among the relevant concepts, and a suggestion for an alternative--more plausible and interesting--interpretation of a relevant aspect of Rand’s ethical position, viz., her views about how human beings ought to relate to each other.
15. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Otto Weininger Metaphysics: (Containing the idea of a universal symbolism, animal psychology [with a fairly complete psychology of the criminal], etc.)
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This is a translation of a posthumous essay by the Viennese philosopher-psychologist, Otto Weininger (1880-1903). His main book, Sex and Character, was published in 1903 (English version, 1906). Many distinguished Viennese were deeply influenced by Weininger; among them was Ludwig Wittgenstein, who paid tribute to him even late in his life. In particular, he is known to have admired the present essay and its foray into “animal psychology”. The investigation of the significance for human psychology of dogs and other animals is part of a larger scheme which Weininger sketches, to investigate the symbolism of all kinds of things. His ultimate goal is to reveal the relationship between the microcosm of the human consciousness and the macrocosm of the external universe. Hence the title, “metaphysics”.
16. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Panayot Butchvarov The Demand for Justification in Ethics
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The common belief that the epistemic credentials of ethics are quite questionable, and therefore in need of special justification, is an illusion made possible by the logical gap between reason and belief. This gap manifests itself sometimes even outside ethics. In ethics its manifestations are common, because of the practical nature of ethics. The attempt to cover it up takes the form of exorbitant demands for justification and often leads to espousing noncognitivism.
17. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Barbara von Eckardt Some Remarks on Laudan’s Theory of Scientific Rationality
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When is it rational to pursue a research tradition? In Progress and Its Problems, Laudan suggests that if a research tradition RT has a higher rate of progress than any of its rivals, where the rate of progress of an RT is the problem solving effectiveness of its theories over time, then it is rational to pursue RT. In this paper I offer a number of criticisms of this suggestion, with special attention to the current controversy over the rational pursuability of cognitive science.
18. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Russell Hardin Rationally Justifying Political Coercion
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The central problem of political philosophy is how to justify coercion by government. For political theories that are based in a rational accounting of the interests of the polity, citizens must have consented at least indirectly to coercion. Such indirect consent to coercion is plausible for ordinary contexts such as, for example, submitting to legally enforceable contracts. Unfortunately, however, Hobbesian mutual advantage, contemporary contractarian, and Lockean natural rights theories, all of which ground the state in rational interests at least in large part, can justify government coercion only in principle. They cannot justify coercion by actual states. In practice, these theories are morally indeterminate.
19. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Robert K. Shope A Causal Theory of Intending
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Having an intention can be analyzed in terms of certain causal powers possessed by an instance of one’s having a thought of a certain state of affairs, where a certain preference is what causes those powers to be present. A suitable understanding of such a prcference emerges from a discussion of Wayne A. Davis’ analysis of intending. However, Davis’ emphasis on belief and desire rather than on instances of having a thought leads to difficulties for his analysis of intending. After supplementing my own analysis with a sufficient condition of intentional action, I defend my approach by relating it to D.F. Gustafson’s Intention and Agency.
20. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 15
Anthony Serafini Callahan on Harming the Dead
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In this paper I try to defend the notion that the dead can be harmed, in opposition to Callahan and in accord with some ideas of Feinberg. In agreement with Parlit, I argue that the existence of a person has degrees. I suggest that properlies of a subject, such as “reputations” and claims, can persist after death, aIthough the subject as such does not and that these can be harmed. A promise, e.g., can be frustrated merely by being ignored; in that sense a dead person can be wronged, and if wronged, s/he can be harmed.