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obituary
1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Ernest Sosa Roderick Milton Chisholm (1916-1999)
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articles
2. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
R. H. Myers The Inescapability of Moral Reasons
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According to Thomas Nagel, morality's authority is determined by the extent to which its way of balancing agent-neutral and agent-relative values resembles reason's. He himself would like to think that the resemblance is close enough to ensure that it will always be reasonable to act as morality demands. But his attempts to establish this never really get off the ground, in large part because he never makes it very clear how these two perspectives on value are to be characterized. My goal in this paper is to show how we might flesh out Nagel's conception of these matters by construing reason as a kind of self-governance and morality as involving a certain kind of cooperation. The challenge will therefore be to determine what self-governance and cooperation require of peoplegiven the assumption that there are objective values and that they take both the agent-neutral and the agent-relative forms. What we shall find is that their requirements differ rather more than Nagel allows, but perhaps not enough to prevent morality from being in some significant sense inescapable.
3. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Bruce Hunter Knowledge and Design
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Ruth Millikan and Alvin Plantinga claim, roughly, that knowledge is true belief produced by processes in circumstances for which they are (successfully) designed to yield truth. Neither offers the account as a conceptual analysis of knowledge. Instead, for Plantinga it represents the core concept of knowledge characterizing central cases, and for Millikan an empirically warranted theoretical definition of knowledge as a natural phenomenon. Counterexamples are then dismissed as appropriately called "knowledge" only in some analogically extended sense. I argue instead that a definition of knowledge is better thought of, like an account of justice, as an explication, or a decision about what normative constraints to adopt. It reflects trade-offs in intuitive judgements and pragmatic concerns. and perhaps background theories, for the sake of some overall coherence. However the contentious scientific and historical claims that underwritetheir views gives us reason not to accept the design account's norms for knowledge. Further, the controversial character of these claims gives us reason not to rest an interpersonally acceptable account of knowledge on them.
4. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Alex Rosenberg Naturalistic Epistemology for Eliminative Materialists
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This paper defends and extends Quine's version of a naturalistic epistemology, and defends it against criticism, especially that offered by Kim, according to which Quine's naturalism deprives epistemology of its normative role, and indeed of its relevance to psychological states, such as beliefs, whose warrant epistemology aims to assess. I defend Quinean epistemology's objections to the epistemic pluralism associated with other self-styled naturalistic epistemologies, and show how recent theories in the philosophy of psychology which fail to account for the intentionality of psychological states in fact provide a cognitive foundation for an eliminativist epistemology which both honors Quine's strictures and helps us accommodate important findings and results in experimentalpsychology and cognitive science.
5. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Terence D. Cuneo An Externalist Solution to the “Moral Problem”
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In his recent book, The Moral Problem (Basil Blackwell, 1994), Michael Smith presents a number of arguments designed to expose the difficulties with so-called 'extcrnalist' theories of motivation. This essay endeavors to defend externalism from Smith's attacks. I attempt three tasks in the essay. First, I try to clarify and reformulate Smith's distinction between internalism and externalism. Second, I formulate two of Smith's arguments- what I call the 'reliability argument' and 'the rationalist argument' -and attempt to show that these arguments fail to damage externalism. Third, I undertake to expose and question some of the motivations that drive internalism.
6. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Daniel Hutto A Cause for Concern: Reasons, Causes and Explanations
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This paper argues against causalism about reasons in three stages. First, the paper investigates Professor Davidson's sophisticated version of the claim that we must understand reason-explanations as a kind of causal explanation to highlight the fact that this move does no explanatory work in telling us how we determine for which reasons we act. Second, the paper considers Davidson's true motivation for regarding reasons-explanations as causal which connects with his claim that reasons are causes. He advocates anomalous monism in order to solve the mysterious connection problem. In assessing his proposed solution to this problem, the paper examines his 'extension reply' to the charge that his token identity theory ultimately results in epiphenomenalism. The paper argues that only a reading of this reply makes for a stable anomalous monism but for this reason Davidson's compatiblist metaphysics is unfit for the task of solving the mysteriousconnection problem. Given that reductive accounts are incompatible with the special features of reasons explanations, the paper concludes that we must reverse the orthodoxy once again and eschew causalism about reasons and reason-explanations. Finally, the paper considers a possible way of recasting our understanding of causation so that the mysterious connection problem disappears.
7. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Nicholas Rescher How Many Possible Worlds Are There?
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In recent years possible worlds and individuals have been in philosophical vogue, playing an important role in logical semantics, analytic metaphysics, linguistic theory, and elsewhere. In the enthusiasm over this much-promising device people have lost sight of the fact that the actual identification and introduction of such possibilia is effectively impossible. For the prospect of ostensive confrontation is here lost, and the purely descriptive individuation of nonexistent individuals is an altogether impracticable project. The very most we can accomplish here is to deal with schemata and scenarios-items whose element of generality is always present. We can indeed meaningfully operate a possibilism that is proportionately oriented (de dicta), but cannot succeed with one that is substantively oriented (de re).
8. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Amir Horowitz Is There a Problem in Physicalist Epiphenomenalism?
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Physicalist epiphenomenalism is the conjunction of the doctrine that tokens of mental events are tokens of physical events and the doctrine that mental events do not exert causal powers by virtue of falling under mental types. The purpose of the paper is to show that physicalist epiphenomenalism, contrary to what many have thought, is not subject to the objections that have been raised against classic epiphenomenalism. This is argued with respect to five such objections: that introspection shows that our mental properties are causally efficacious; that concrete existents and their properties necessarily possess causal powers; that the explanatory and predictive success of psychology implies that psychological properties exist and are causally efficacious; that epiphenomenalism cannot deal with the other minds problem, and that it is unlikely that our mentality does not endow us with evolutionary advantages and therefore it is unlikely that mental properties are not causally efficacious.
book symposium
9. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
David J. Chalmers Précis of The Conscious Mind
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10. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Volume > 59 > Issue: 2
Sydney Shoemaker On David Chalmers’s The Conscious Mind
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