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Displaying: 1-10 of 29 documents


1. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 39
David Galloway, Deductive Intuitions and Lay Rationality
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This is a discussion of L. Jonathan Cohen’s argument against the possibility that empirical psychological research might show that lay deductive competence is inconsistent. I argue that, within the framework Cohen provides, the consistency of lay deductive practice is indeterminate.
2. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 39
Weng Hong Tang, Success Semantics and Partial Belief
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According to success semantics, a belief’s content is that which guarantees the success of the actions that the belief, in combination with the relevant desires, would cause. One worry with the view is that it seems to apply only to full beliefs and fares poorly in dealing with partial beliefs. For example, if Ida’s partial belief that p is of strength 0.5, she may act in a way that would fulfill her desires if p were in fact false—assuming that she desires money, she may well accept a bet that pays her $500 if not-p and costs her nothing otherwise. In response to the worry, defenders of success semantics hold that the content of a partial belief is simply that which guarantees the success of the actions it would cause were it a full belief. But, as I’ll argue in this paper, such a response is unsatisfactory.
3. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 39
Andrew J. Pierce, Structural Racism, Institutional Agency, and Disrespect
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In recent work, Joshua Glasgow has offered a definition of racism that is supposed to put to rest the debates between cognitive, behavioral, attitudinal, and institutionalist definitions. The key to such a definition, he argues, is the idea of disrespect. He claims: “φ is racist if and only if φ is disrespectful toward members of racialized group R as Rs.” While this definition may capture an important commonality among cognitive, behavioral, and attitudinal accounts of racism, I argue that his attempt to expand the definition to cover institutional or “structural” racism is less persuasive. Alternatively, I argue that structural racism must be understood in terms of injustice rather than disrespect. This involves giving a fuller account of how institutions are related to the beliefs, actions, and intentions of individuals, and thus how they can come to embody a certain kind of agency.
4. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 39
Micah Newman, Discernibility and Qualitative Difference
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The Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII), according to which two objects are identical if they share all the same properties, has come in for much criticism. Michael Della Rocca has recently defended PII on the grounds that it is needed to forestall the possibility that where there appears to be only one object present, there is actually a multiplicity of exactly-overlapping such objects. Katherine Hawley has criticized this approach for violating a plausible “ground rule” in applying rules of indiscernibility to questions of identity: where there is putative duplication, it must be qualitatively significant. Hawley further suggests that with this rule in hand, one can tell the difference between the presence of one and two indiscernible objects without recourse to either PII or brute, nonqualitative individuation. In this paper, I critically examine Hawley’s contention and find that her appeal to “qualitatively significant duplication” fails since its application to distinct indiscernibles involves a difference that is primarily quantitative anyway. The upshot is a different proposed set of “ground rules” for applying the criterion of qualitative difference when seeking a grounding or explanation for distinctness and identity.
5. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 39
Evan Butts, Slim Is In: An Argument for a Narrow Conception of Abilities in Epistemology
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Ability is a key notion in much contemporary externalist epistemology. Various authors have argued that there is (at least) an ability condition on knowledge (e.g., Ernest Sosa, John Greco, Alan Millar, and Duncan Pritchard). Moreover, epistemic justification is also arguably tied to ability. Yet there is not total agreement amongst the interested parties about the conditions under which subjects possess abilities, nor the conditions under which a subject who possesses an ability exercises or manifests it. Here, I will address what conditions must obtain for a subject to possess an ability.
6. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 39
Gary Bartlett, On Phenomenal Character and Petri Dishes
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In “New Troubles for the Qualia Freak,” Michael Tye argues that phenomenal character cannot be an intrinsic micro­physical property of experiences (or be necessitated by intrinsic microphysical properties) because this would entail that experience could occur in a chunk of tissue in a Petri dish. Laudably, Tye attempts to defend the latter claim rather than resting content with the counter-intuitiveness of the associated image. However, I show that his defense is problematic in several ways, and ultimately that it still amounts to no more than an appeal to the unargued intuition that experience could not occur in something small enough to fit in a Petri dish.
7. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 39
Brian Ball, Deriving the Norm of Assertion
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Frank Hindriks (2007) has attempted to derive a (restricted, moral) variant of Timothy Williamson’s (2000) knowledge rule for assertion on the basis of a more fundamental belief expression analysis of that speech act. I show that his attempted derivation involves a crucial equivocation between two senses of ‘must,’ and therefore fails. I suggest two possible repairs; but I argue that even if they are successful, we should prefer Williamson’s fully general knowledge rule to Hindriks’s restricted moral norm.
8. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 39
Frank Hindriks, Barteld Kooi, Reaffirming the Status of the Knowledge Account of Assertion
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According to the expression account, assertion is the linguistic expression of belief. Given the knowledge rule of belief, this entails that knowledge is a normative requirement of sincere assertions. On this account, which is defended in Hindriks (2007), knowledge can be a normative requirement of sincere assertions even though there is no knowledge rule that is constitutive of assertion. Ball (2014) criticizes this claim arguing that the derivation of the knowledge rule equivocates between epistemic and moral senses of obligation. In response, we resist the charge of equivocation. Ball does not, after all, demonstrate that the distinction matters in the context at issue. In addition to this, we argue that it is a virtue of the account that the knowledge rule is restricted in application to sincere assertions. The case we present to illustrate this is that of the virtuous liar who knows what he believes, and is insincere because that is the right thing to do in the situation. It makes no sense, we suggest, to criticize the liar for not knowing that which he asserts. After all, it is his moral duty to assert what he knows to be false. Furthermore, his epistemic standing is impeccable, as he knows what he believes.
9. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 39
Brian Ball, Response to Hindriks and Kooi
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10. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 39
Pieranna Garavaso, Psychological Continuity: A Discussion of Marc Slors’s Account, Traumatic Experience, and the Significance of Our Relations to Others
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This paper addresses a question concerning psycho­logical continuity, i.e., which features preserve the same psychological subject over time; this is not the same question as the one concerning the necessary and sufficient conditions for personal identity. Marc Slors defends an account of psychological continuity that adds two features to Derek Parfit’s Relation R, namely narrativity and embodiment. Slors’s account is a significant improvement on Parfit’s, but still lacks an explicit acknowledgment of a third feature that I call relationality. Because they are usually regarded as cases of radical discontinuity, I start my discussion from the experiences of psychological disruption undergone by victims of severe violence and trauma. As it turns out, the challenges we encounter in granting continuity to the experiences of violence and trauma victims are germane to those we encounter in granting continuity to the experiences of subjects in non-traumatic contexts. What is missing in the most popular accounts of psychological continuity is an explicit acknowledgment of the links that tie our psychological lives to other subjects. A more persuasive notion of psychological continuity is not only embodied and narrative, as is Slors’s notion, but also explicitly relational.