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Displaying: 1-10 of 23 documents

1. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 42
Julie Wulfemeyer Bound Cognition
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Building upon the foundations laid by Russell, Donnellan, Chastain, and more recently, Almog, this paper addresses key questions about the basic mechanism by which we think of worldly objects, and (in contrast to many connected projects), does so in isolation from questions about how we speak of them. I outline and defend a view based on the notion of bound cognition. Bound cognition, like perception, is world-to-mind in the sense that it is generated by the item being thought of rather than by the mind doing the thinking. It is a direct, two-place, non-representational relation, and it is prior to any epistemic connection between the thinker and the object of thought. Although the paradigm case for bound cognition involves sensory perception of an individual, I argue that the cognitive relations falling under the heading of bound cognition also include non-perceptual cognitive relations (such as the relation between a thinker and a historical individual) as well as cognitive relations to non-individuals (such as pairs, pluralities, species, and features). Four illustrative cases are discussed, and anticipated worries about abstract and empty cases are addressed.
2. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 42
Christos Kyriacou Bifurcated Sceptical Invariantism: Between Gettier Cases and Saving Epistemic Appearances
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I present an argument for a sophisticated version of sceptical invariantism that has so far gone unnoticed: Bifurcated Sceptical Invariantism (BSI). I argue that it can, on the one hand, (dis)solve the Gettier problem and address the dogmatism paradox, and, on the other hand, show some due respect to the Moorean methodological incentive of ‘saving epistemic appearances.’ A fortiori, BSI promises to reap some other important explanatory fruit that I go on to adduce. BSI can achieve this much because it distinguishes between two distinct but closely interrelated (sub)concepts of (propositional) knowledge, fallible-but-safe knowledge and infallible-and-sensitive knowledge. I conclude that BSI is a novel theory of knowledge discourse that merits serious investigation.
3. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 42
Matthew Shea A Natural Fit: Natural Law Theory, Virtue Epistemology, and the Value of Knowledge
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I propose and defend a new combination of natural law ethics and virtue epistemology. While all contemporary natural law theories recognize knowledge as one of the basic human goods, none of them provide a detailed explanation for the value of knowledge, which would greatly enrich such theories. I show that virtue epistemology is able to deliver the required solution to the value problem, which makes this combination project very attractive. I also address two major worries about this approach: (1) it commits one to a type of virtue ethics that is incompatible with natural law theory; and (2) it results in a fragmented, pluralistic account of normativity. I attempt to alleviate both worries, arguing that the first is unfounded and the second, while true, is not a genuine cause for concern because the combination of natural law ethics and virtue epistemology is more unified than it may appear.
4. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 42
Yong Huang Knowing-that, Knowing-how, or Knowing-to?: Wang Yangming’s Conception of Moral Knowledge (Liangzhi)
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Gilbert Ryle has made the famous distinction between intellectual knowing-that and practical knowing-how. Since knowledge in Confucianism is not merely intellectual but also practical, many scholars have argued that such knowledge is knowing-how or, at least, very similar to it. In this essay, focusing on Wang Yangming’s moral knowledge (liangzhi 良知), I shall argue that it is neither knowing-that nor knowing-how, but a third type of knowing, knowing-to. There is a unique feature of knowing-to that is not shared by either knowing-that or knowing-how: a person with knowing-to (for example, knowing to love one’s parents) will act accordingly (for example, love his or her parents), while neither knowing-that (for example, the knowing that one ought to love one’s parents) nor knowing-how (for example, the knowing how to love one’s parents), whether separately or combined, will dispose or incline its possessor to act accordingly (for example, love one’s parents).
5. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 42
Adam Blincoe Rescue, Beneficence, and Contempt for Humanity
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Some philosophers (most prominently Peter Singer and Peter Unger) claim that there is no morally relevant distinction to be made between duties of rescue and beneficence. In this paper I will highlight an undesirable implication of this position: over-demandingness. After rejecting a prominent attempt to address this problem, I will then advance a virtue-ethical principle that adequately distinguishes the relevant duties and avoids over-demandingness. This principle links wrong actions to character by focusing on the vice of contempt for humanity. Here I will engage with Michael Slote’s similar efforts, critiquing and improving upon them. This essay addresses a gap in the literature on positive duties by appealing to relevant virtue-ethical considerations from within a Neo-Aristotelian framework.
6. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 42
Scott M. James A New Puzzle For Hedonistic Theories of Value
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Most of us would feel awful if we discovered that our beloved had been unfaithful. But the hedonist, I argue, cannot consistently claim: (1) that a betrayal that goes undetected does not make your life worse off for you; and, at the same time, (2) that one ought to feel bad if one happens to discover that one has been betrayed. To claim that one ought to feel bad requires adducing reasons for that reaction, but the hedonist either can adduce no such reasons or cannot make sense of the reasons we intuitively think we have. For it only makes sense to feel bad about things that make your life go worse for you, but a betrayal that went undetected did not make your life go worse for you, so feeling about bad about it makes no sense. The hedonist, one might have thought, has a variety of replies at her disposal. But I show that none of these responses is satisfactory.
7. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 42
Alexandru Volacu Heterogeneous Rationality and Reasonable Disagreement in the Original Position
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In this paper I challenge the claim that each party in the original position will have a first-ranked preference for an identical set of principles of justice. I maintain, by contrast, that the original position allows parties to choose on the basis of different conceptions of rationality, which in turn may lead to a reasonable disagreement concerning the principles of justice selected. I then argue that this reasonable disagreement should not lead us to abandon contractualism, but rather to reconstruct it in the form of a two-stage process, where parties first build individual preference rankings for alternative conceptions of justice and then work towards a reconciliation of the divergent conceptions that are chosen in the first stage. Finally, I claim that threshold prioritarianism is a strong candidate for selection in this reconciliatory stage, since it manages to address both the legitimate complaints of parties that would prefer a conception of justice focused on the most disadvantaged positions in society and the legitimate complaints of parties that would prefer a conception of justice in which less or no special weight is assigned to the worst-off positions.
8. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 42
Randall Harp Collective Action and Rational Choice Explanations
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In order for traditional rational choice theory (RCT) to explain the production of collective action, it must be able to distinguish between two behaviorally identical possibilities: one, that all of the agents in a group are each performing behaviors in pursuit of a set of individual actions; and two, that all of those agents are performing those behaviors in pursuit of a collective action. I argue that RCT does not have the resources necessary to distinguish between these two possibilities. RCT could distinguish between these possibilities if it were able to account for commitments. I argue that successful rational choice explanations of collective action appeal to commitments, and distinguish this way of explaining collective action from a general class of explanations called plural subject (or team reasoning) theories.
9. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 42
Jens Gillessen Reasoning with Unconditional Intention
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Suppose that you intend to go to the theater. Are you therein intending the unconditional proposition that you go to the theater? That would seem to be deeply irrational; after all, you surely do not intend to go if, for instance, in the next instant an earthquake is going to devastate the city. What we intend we do not intend ‘no matter what,’ it is often said. But if so—how can anyone ever rationally intend simply to perform an action of a certain kind? In response to the puzzle, a ‘conditionality’ view of intention has emerged: the contents of everyday intentions are claimed to be fraught with hidden conditional clauses. The paper argues that such claims are radically unmotivated: even unconditional intentions have only limited inferential import and hence contrast sharply with a ‘no matter what’ stance. The point is established by examining relevant patterns of reasoning from unconditional to conditional intentions.
10. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 42
Oliver Black An Analysis of Reliance
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Reliance is ubiquitous, and is important socially, normatively and philosophically. This paper offers an account of reliance as a four-place relation among agent A, A’s action of φing, A’s goal P, and the object of reliance Q. I propose, amplify and defend this analysis of action in reliance: A, in φing, relies, for P, on Q if and only if: (1) A φs; (2) A’s goal is P; (3) A by φing achieves P only if q; (4) A believes that (3); (5) A believes that q; and (6) (1) because < (2) and (4) and (5) >.