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Displaying: 31-40 of 865 documents

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31. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Robert K. Shope Non-Deviant Causal Chains
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Causal processes that are technically called deviant or wayward causal chains must be ruled out when analyzing various phenomena, including intentional action, perception, and the operation of causal mechanisms involved in the manifesting of causal powers. Irving Thalberg is incorrect in arguing that this problem does not arise when analyzing intentional action. After criticizing solutions proposed by Christopher Peacocke and David Lewis, I provide a general analysis of non-deviance. In application to intentional action, the account is seen to be preferable to that of Michael H. Robins, and proves to be adequate to rule out what Alfred R. Mele calls cases of tertiary waywardness.
32. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Howard Sankey Feyerabend and the Description Theory of Reference
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In his early work Feyerabend argues that certain theories are incommensurable due to semantic variance. In this paper it is argued that Feyerabend relies on a description theory of reference in the course of his argument for incommensurability and in his analysis of the relevant kind of semantic variance. Against this it is objected that such reliance on the description theory eliminates ostensive reference determination and obscures the presence of theoretical conflict.
33. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Leo J. Bostar Method and Experience: The Possibility of Phenomenological Philosophy
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A persistent criticism of Edmund Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology is that it begs the question of its own possibiIity as science. In this essay I propose a reading of Husserl which addresses this question and attempts to show that the phenomenological ideal of freedom from all presuppositions, that is, the ideal of radical methodological autonomy, is not dogmatically assumed as valid but rests on a conception of philosophy which, although not explicitly formulated by Husserl, nevertheless informs his thinking on questions of method and, ultimately, the nature of science. According to this conception, phiIosophy, phenomenological or otherwise, is not sui generis the ground of is own possibiIity but is derived from the logic of experience itself and so is immanent to conscious, intentional life in all of its manifold occupations and interests. That is, experience ultimately fulfills itself not in the accumulation of objective facts but in its continued faithfulness to the idea of a more perfect knowledge. Thus, in the end, I hope to show that the question of the status and possibiIity of phenomenological philosophy is not of interest to phenomenologists alone but addresses the enterprise of philosophy itself.
34. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Paul Weirich Contractiarianism and Bargaining Theory
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Classical bargaining theory attempts to solve a bargaining problem using only the information about the problem contained in the representation of its possible outcomes in utility space. However, this information usually underdetermines the solution. I use additional information about interpersonal comparisons of utility and bargaining power. The solution is then the outcome that maximizes the sum of power-weighted utilities. I use these results to advance a contractarian argument for a utilitarian form of social cooperation. As the original position, I propose a hypothetical situation in which the members of society are rational, fully informed, free, and equal. I argue that in this original position they would adopt a utilitarian form of social cooperation. I conclude that utilitarian cooperation constitutes a moral ideal toward which society ought to aspire.
35. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Alan E. Fuchs Posthumous Satisfactions and the Individual Welfare
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Can events that take place after an individual’s death affect that person’s weIl-being? Aristotle apparently thought that they could, but Mark Overvold disagrees. Like other contemporary moral theorists, Overvold analyzes the notion of a person’s utility or welfare in terms of the fulfillment of the individual’s desires, but he adds the important qualification that the desites must be for states-of-affairs in which the agent is an essential constituent. The clear implication of such a view is that our welfare cannot be affected by the post-mortem satisfaction of any of the interests which we had while alive.I shall defend Overvold against his critics who insist that at least some posthumous satisfactions can contribute to a person’s welfare. I shall also argue against Brad Hooker’s proposal that we revise Overvold’s theory in order to account for such cases.
36. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Brad Hooker Mark Overvold’s Contribution to Philosophy
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The prevailing theory of self-interest (personal utility or individual welfare) holds that one’s Iife goes well to the extent that one’s desires are fulfilled. In a couple of seminal papers, Overvold raised a devastating objection to this theory---namely that the theory (added to commonsensical beliefs about the nature of action) makes self-sacrifice logically impossible. He then proposed an appealing revision of the prevailing theory, one which provided adequate logical space for self-sacrifice. And he analyzed his revised theory’s implications for the question whether being moral is in one’s self-interest. My paper assesses Overvold’s arguments and proposals, and it shows how they can be modified in certain ways so as to be even more attractive.
37. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Rod Bertolet Elementary Prepositions, Independence, and Pictures
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Wittgenstein initially endorsed but then abandoned, by the time of “Some Remarks on Logical Form”, the view that elementary propositions are logically independent. In this paper it is argued that the doctrine of logical independence is in fact inconsistent with the intuitions and examples that motivated the picture theory of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. This leaves the question of whether the logical independence of elementary propositions can be reconciled with the theory itself; the paper explores some interpretations of the early Wittgenstein with which this is, and others with which it is not, consistent.
38. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Alfred R. Mele Motivational Ties
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Must a rational ass equidistant from two equally attractive bales of hay starve for lack of a reason to prefer one bale to the other? Must a human being faced with a comparable, explicitly motivational, tie fail to pursue either option? Surely, one suspects, some practical resolution is possible. Surely, ties of either sort need not result in death or paralysis. But why? Donald Davidson has suggested that, in the human case, resolution depends upon the tie’s being broken---upon the agent’s coming to want to perform some action more than she wants to perform any genuine alternative. However, practical resolution is possible, I argue, even while the tie remains intact. This has significant implications for the theory of motivation. Most importantly, not all states that move us to action need be understood as moving us to A in virtue of their incorporating preponderant motivation to A.
39. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
William H. Shaw On the Paradox of Deontology
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Deontological moral theories may forbid a particular action in certain circumstances even though performing it would result in fewer actions of the forbidden type. This is the paradox of deontology, and the first two sections of the essay explicate this paradox and criticize some ways in which deontologists have responded to it. Thereafter, however, I come to the assistance of the deontologist. The third and fourth sections discuss the conditions that must be met before this paradox poses a genuine problem and the likelihood of those conditions being satisfied. Then, with a nod to rule utilitarianism, I show that the deontologist has an important, albeit pragmatic line of rebuttal, which in conjunction with other considerations raised in the essay can assist nonconsequentialists to disarm the paradox of deontology.
40. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Peter Vallentyn, Bob Frazier Motivational Ties and Doing What One Most Wats