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101. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Eric Barnes The Problem of Clean Hands
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The problem of dirty hands concerns the apparently inevitable need for effective politicians to do what is ethically wrong. This essay discusses a related problem in democratic elections of politicians being unwilling to commit themselves to precise positions on controversial policy issues. Given certain plausible assumptions, I demonstrate using a simple game theoretic model that there is an incentive structure for political candidates that is damaging to the public good. I contrast this problem with the classic prisoner’s dilemma and then go on to discuss some possible strategies for overcoming this problem by an improved system of political debates.
102. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Jessica B. Payson Moral Dilemmas and Collective Responsibilities
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In this paper, I work within Ruth Marcus’s account of the source of moral dilemmas and articulate the implications of her theory for collective responsibility. As an extension to Marcus’s work, I explore what her account means for the moral emotions and responsibilities of those complicit in perpetuating unjust systems of a non-ideal world from which moral dilemmas arise. This move necessitates shifting away from the primacy of control. That one is born into unjust systems one had no hand in establishing does not excuse one from responsibility to mend them. Similarly, even if one’s personal contribution in the perpetuation of unjust systems is negligible – the injustices would continue whether one participated or not, and one’s resistance would do little-to-nothing – one nevertheless retains responsibility. This expanded sense of responsibility necessitates a specialized sort of moral emotion – one that, like agent-regret or tragic-remorse, transcends the criterion of agentic control, but nevertheless can be classified neither as agent-regret nor tragic-remorse.
103. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Joseph Levine Collective Responsibility and the Individual
104. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Martin Schönfeld Issue Introduction
105. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Holly Wilson Divine Sovereignty And The Global Climate Change Debate
106. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Ruth Irwin Climate Change and Heidegger’s Philosophy of Science
107. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Bellarmine Nneji Eco-Responsibility: The Cogency for Environmental Ethics in Africa
108. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Philip Cafaro Economic Growth or the Flourishing of Life: The Ethical Choice Climate Change Puts to Humanity
109. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Casey Rentmeester A Kantian Look at Climate Change
110. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Sally Parker Ryan Reconsidering Ordinary Language Philosophy: Malcolm’s (Moore’s) Ordinary Language Argument
111. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Anthony Coleman, Ivan Welty Issue Introduction
112. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Jeff Johnson Grice’s Unspeakable Truths
113. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Alberto Voltolini Is Wittgenstein a Contextualist?
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There is definitely a family resemblance between what contemporary contextualism maintains in philosophy of language and some of the claims about meaning put forward by the later Wittgenstein. Yet the main contextualist thesis, namely that linguistic meaning undermines truth-conditions, was not defended by Wittgenstein. If a claim in this regard can be retrieved in Wittgenstein despite his manifest antitheoretical attitude, it is instead that truth-conditions trivially supervene on linguistic meaning. There is, however, another Wittgensteinian claim that truly has a contextualist flavour, namely that linguistic meaning is itself wide-contextual. To be sure, this claim does not lead to the eliminativist/intentionalist conception of linguistic meaning that radical contextualists have recently developed. Rather, it goes together with a robust conception of linguistic meaning as intrinsically normative. Yet it may explain why Wittgenstein is taken to be a forerunner of contemporary contextualism.
114. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Jonathan Trigg The Philosophy of Ordinary Language Is a Naturalistic Philosophy
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It is argued that the only response to the mereological objections of the ordinary language philosopher available to the scientistic philosopher of mind requires the adoption of the view that ordinary psychological talk is theoretical and falsified by the findings of brain science. The availability of this sort of response produces a kind of stalemate between these opposed views and viewpoints: the claim that attribution of psychological predicates to parts of organisms is nonsense is met with the claim that it is only nonsensical if our ordinary ways of talking are – naively – taken to be sacrosanct. The aim of the paper is to show that the ordinary language philosopher has a reply here that the scientistic philosopher is not in a position to ignore. Namely, that the only way to resist mereological objections is to adopt conceptions of personhood that are inimical to naturalistic accounts of mentality.
115. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Constantine Sandis The Experimental Turn and Ordinary Language
116. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
John Shand Love As If
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The primary focus here is romantic love, but it may be applied to other cases of love such as those within a family. The first issue is whether love is a non-rational occurrence leading to a state of affairs to which the normative constrains of reason do not apply. If one assumes that reasons are relevant to determining love, then the second issue is the manner in which love is and should be reasonable and governed by the indications of reason. It is contended that our conception of love is inherently contradictory. Depending on circumstances, we want love to be both a non-rational occurrence beyond reason and something normative such that the indications of reasons are relevant to determining and assessing it. We alternate between the two treatments of love and in so doing love can function in our lives. The incoherence is accommodated by each treatment or view of love being one of as if. This allows us to live with love in a manner whereby we do not have to definitively commit to either alternative, so we have a dipolar as if concept of love. Sometimes we view love as if reasons were beside the point and at others we view love as if it were rightly subject to the indications of reason.
117. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Eric J. Silverman Robert Solomon’s Rejection of Aristotelian Virtue: Is the Passion of Erotic Love a Virtue that is Independent of Rationality?
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A recurring theme within Robert Solomon’s writings concerns the central importance of the passions. His high regard for the passions even motivates him to challenge the traditional understanding of virtue. Solomon rejects the Aristotelian view that virtues are dispositions of character developed according to rational principles rather than passions. He offers the counter-example of erotic love as a passion that is not based upon rationality, which he argues ought to be viewed as a virtue. This paper argues that while Solomon’s account of love can accommodate the traditional Aristotelian motivations for rejecting passions as virtues, there are compelling reasons for preferring the Aristotelian account of virtue. Ultimately, Solomon’s argument relies upon an implausible view of the passions and offers inferior resources for examining love in terms of virtue.
118. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Constantine Sandis Issue Introduction
119. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Jussi Suikkanen The Possibility of Love Independent Reasons
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In his recent work, Harry Frankfurt has defended a theory according to which an agent’s practical reasons are determined by what she happens to love. In the first section of this article, I will describe some of the awkward consequences of this view. For instance, it would turn out that not all rapists would have reasons not to rape their victims. The second section of the article explains in detail Frankfurt’s argument for his theory of reasons. The crux of this argument is that, because reasons have to be attached to significant life-changes, any attempt to show that there were love independent reasons would need to be based on a prior evaluation of significance. However, such evaluations can only be based on what we already love, or so Frankfurt argues. From this threat of circularity, Frankfurt concludes that there cannot be reasons outside the realm of the objects of our loves. The rest of the article is a critical examination of Frankfurt’s argument. It first constructs an analogical argument for reasons for beliefs. In that case, both the unacceptable consequences of the argument and its basic flaws are more transparent. It is clear that our prior beliefs are not the only epistemic standard by which the justificatory role of new experiences is to be evaluated. In the end of the article, I argue that, likewise, our prior loving attitudes cannot be the only relevant standard for assessing the significance of life-changes. This is why our reasons are not constrained by what we love.
120. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Alan Soble Concerning Self-Love: Analytic Problems in Frankfurt’s Account of Love
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In The Reasons of Love, Harry Frankfurt proposes a philosophical account of love according to which there are four necessary conditions for the occurrence of love. We may ask reasonable questions about these four conditions: (1) Is each condition adequately analytically defined? (2) Is each condition plausibly a necessary condition for love, and has Frankfurt defended their necessity with good arguments? (3) Are all four conditions consistent with each other? And (4) if the four conditions are only necessary, and hence tell us only when love is absent, what must be added to Frankfurt’s account which would tell us, just as importantly, when love is present? In this essay I address these questions, although some more than others, especially in trying to understand Frankfurt’s claims about “self-love.” It emerges from this investigation that Frankfurt’s central metaethical thesis, which he has been advancing for three decades—that caring about or loving something logically precedes valuing it, and hence that we cannot have value-mentioning reasons for loving something or someone—starts to fall apart.