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Displaying: 11-20 of 22 documents


11. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 36
Ronald P. Endicott, Flat Versus Dimensioned: The What and The How of Functional Realization
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I resolve an argument over “flat” versus “dimensioned” theories of realization. The theories concern, in part, whether realized and realizing properties are instantiated by the same individual (the flat theory) or different individuals in a part-whole relationship (the dimensioned theory). Carl Gillett has argued that the two views conflict, and that flat theories should be rejected on grounds that they fail to capture scientific cases involving a dimensioned relation between individuals and their constituent parts. I argue on the contrary that the two types of theory complement one another, even on the same range of scientific cases. I illustrate the point with two popular functionalist versions of flat and dimensioned positions—causal-role functionalism and a functional analysis by decomposition—that combine into a larger picture I call “comprehensive functional realization.” I also respond to some possible objections to this synthesis of functionalist views.
12. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 36
Jorn Sonderholm, World Poverty and Not Respecting Individual Freedom Enough
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Nicole Hassoun has recently defended the view that the relatively affluent members of the world’s population are, prima facie, obligated to ensure that the global institutional system enables all people to meet their basic needs. This paper is a critical discussion of Hassoun’s argument in favor of this view. Hassoun’s argument is first presented. In sections three and four, I try to bring out a number of formal and informal problems with the argument. Section five discusses a number of possible replies to the worries raised in section four. The conclusion of the paper is that Hassoun’s argument should be rejected. There are two independent and individually sufficient reasons for this conclusion: the argument is invalid and contains at least one false premise.
exchange: moral knowledge
13. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 36
Nathan L. King, McGrath on Moral Knowledge
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Sarah McGrath has recently defended a disagreement-based argument for skepticism about moral knowledge. If sound, the argument shows that our beliefs about controversial moral issues do not amount to knowledge. In this paper, I argue that McGrath fails to establish her skeptical conclusion. I defend two main claims. First, the key premise of McGrath’s argument is inadequately supported. Second, there is good reason to think that this premise is false.
14. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 36
Sarah McGrath, Reply to King
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In “Moral Disagreement and Moral Expertise” (2007), I offer an argument for the conclusion that our controversial moral beliefs do not amount to knowledge. In this paper, I defend that argument against the criticisms put forth by Nathan King in his “McGrath on Moral Knowledge.”
15. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 36
Nathan L. King, Rejoinder to McGrath
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In “Reply to King,” Sarah McGrath defends her argument for moral skepticism against my criticisms. Here I sketch some remaining reservations about the argument.
16. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 36
Yong Huang, Two Dilemmas in Virtue Ethics and How Zhu Xi’s Neo-Confucianism Avoids Them
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Virtue ethics has become an important rival to deontology and consequentialism, the two dominant moral theories in modern Western philosophy. What unites various forms of virtue ethics and distinguishes virtue ethics from its rivals is its emphasis on the primacy of virtue. In this article, I start with an explanation of the primacy of virtue in virtue ethics and two dilemmas, detected by Gary Watson, that virtue ethics faces: (1) virtue ethics may maintain the primacy of virtue and thus leave virtue non-explanatory, or it may attempt to explain virtue in terms of something else and thus render virtue secondary at most; (2) the explanation of virtue may be objective and thus become morally indeterminate, or it may be normative and thus lack objectivity, merely re-expressing the virtue it intends to explain (Section II). After showing the failure of both classical Aristotelian and contemporary neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics to escape these dilemmas, I turn to the ethical theory of Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130–1200)—the greatest synthesizer of neo-Confucianism, whose place in Confucianism is comparable to that of Thomas Aquinas in the Christian tradition—to show how it can successfully avoid both dilemmas.
17. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 36
Chris Tucker, No Justified Higher-Level Belief, No Problem: A Reply to Cling
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It is somewhat popular to claim that an argument justifies its conclusion only if the subject has a justified belief that the premise supports the conclusion. Andrew Cling gives a novel argument for this requirement, which he calls “(JCC).” He claims that any otherwise plausible theory that rejects (JCC) is committed to distinguishing arbitrarily between arguments that provide doxastic justification for their conclusions and those that don’t. In this paper, I show that Cling’s argument fails, and I explain how the opponent of (JCC) can justify her apparently arbitrary distinctions.
exchange: willfrid sellars: left-wing, right-wing, or middle way
18. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 36
William A. Rottschaefer, Why Wilfrid Sellars Is Right (and Right-Wing): Thinking With O’Shea on Sellars, Norms, and Nature
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Scholars of Wilfrid Sellars’s thought split into Right- and Left-wing Sellarsians. Right-wing Sellarsians urge Sellars’s scientific realism and the prominence of the scientific image of man in the synoptic vision. Left-wing Sellarsians emphasize the prominence of the logical space of reasons over that of causes, rejecting Sellars’s scientism. In his recent book James O’Shea attempts to reconcile these Sellarsian images, arguing that one best understands the Sellarsian synoptic image in terms of a norm/nature meta-principle that endorses the conceptual irreducibility and causal reducibility of norms. In this paper, I argue that O’Shea’s norm/nature meta-principle renders Sellars’s synoptic vision a Left-wing one. In its stead, I present a Sellarsian ideal: the view that Sellars ought to have held, whether he did so or not. My synoptic Sellarsian vision is based in part on the claim that Sellars found norms in nature and on a scientifically based philosophical account of norms in nature, whether these norms be biological, psychological, social, cultural or personal. I maintain then that Sellars was a Right-wing Sellarsian and that, if he wasn’t, he should have been. Indeed, a Sellars redivivus would be the leader of his party!
19. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 36
James R. O’Shea, How to Be a Kantian and a Naturalist about Human Knowledge: Sellars’s Middle Way
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The contention in this paper is that central to Sellars’s famous attempt to fuse the “manifest image” and the “scientific image” of the human being in the world was an attempt to marry a particularly strong form of scientific naturalism with various modified Kantian a priori principles about the unity of the self and the structure of human knowledge. The modified Kantian aspects of Sellars’s view have been emphasized by current “left wing” Sellarsians, while the scientific naturalist aspects have been championed by “right wing” Sellarsians, the latter including William Rottschaefer’s constructive criticisms of my own reconciling interpretation of Sellars. In this paper I focus first on how (1) Sellars’s Kantian conception of the necessary a priori unity of the thinking self does not conflict with his ideal scientific naturalist conception of persons as “bundles” or pluralities of scientifically postulated processes. This then prepares the way for a more comprehensive discussion of how (2) Sellars’s modified Kantian account of the substantive a priori principles that make possible any conceptualized knowledge of a world does not conflict with his simultaneous demand for an ideal scientific explanation and evolutionary account of those same conceptual capacities. Sellars’s own attempted via media synthesis—what I call his “Kantian scientific naturalism”—merits another look from both the left and the right.
20. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 36
William A. Rottschaefer, The Middle Does Not Hold: Why It’s Always Better to Be Right with the Right-Wing-Sellarsians
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This paper continues the dialogue between my right-wing-Sellars and James O’Shea’s middle-Sellars. In it, I reply to O’Shea’s middle-Sellars critique of my right-wing-Sellarsian criticism of his recent attempt (Wilfrid Sellars: Wilfrid Sellars: Naturalism with a Normative Turn) to develop an understanding of Sellars’s overall view that avoids the problems of both right and left-wing-Sellarsians. In his contribution to this issue O’Shea argues that Sellars follows a middle way between left and right-wing-Sellarsians by advocating a refined Kantian naturalist account of human knowledge. In so doing he finds my right-wing interpretation of Sellars is not true to the real Sellars. Here I show that O’Shea’s critique of my right-wing-Sellars fails and that the real Sellars is a right-wing-Sellars, a scientific naturalist.