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41. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Thomas Carson “Comments on Brandt’s Paper”
42. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Timothy W. Bartel Like Us in All Things, Apart from Sin?
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A great many philosophers and theologians have recently maintained that we ought to adopt the following interpretation of the Christian Church’s proclamation that Jesus Christ is perfectly human and perfectly divine:(1) The one person Jesus Christ has every essential property of the kind humanity and every essential property of the kind divinity,where F is an essential property of a kind k just in case there is no possible world in which something belongs to k yet lacks F. I argue that these writers need to do much more work if they are to convince us that their view is rationally preferable to rival interpretations of traditional Christology. To be specific, they must try to persuade us that (1) plays an indispensable rôle in our best available explanation of how Christ’s life, death, and resurrection atone for our sins.
43. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Terence Horgan, Mark Timmons New Wave Moral Realism Meets Moral Twin Earth
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There have been times in the history of ethical theory, especially in this century, when moral realism was down, but it was never out. The appeal of this doctrine for many moral philosophers is apparently so strong that there are always supporters in its corner who seek to resuscitate the view. The attraction is obvious: moral realism purports to provide a precious philosophical good, viz., objectivity and all that this involves, including right answers to (most) moral questions, and the possibility of knowing those answers. In the last decade, moral realism has re-entered the philosophical ring in powerful-looking naturalistic form. ln this paper we provide a dialectical overview: we situate the new wave position itself, and also our objections to it, in the context of the evolving program of philosophical naturalism in 20th century analytic philosophy. We seek to show that although this new contender might initially look like championship material, it succumbs to punches surprisingly similar to those that knocked out the old-fashioned versions of naturalist moral realism.
44. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
John Langan Egoism and Mortality in the Teleology of Thomas Aquinas
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Aquinas holds that human actions are directed to a last end which is the supreme good and the complete satisfaction of the agent’s desires. He confronts serious difficulties in explaining how morally wrong or sinful choices and renunciatory acts are possible and in avoiding psychological egoism. The distinction that he makes between the concept of the last end as the fulfillment of desire and the object (God) in which that ful fillment is found enables him to alleviate these difficulties but still leaves him with a predominantly instrumental view of morality.
45. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
John Heil Introduction
46. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Frederick Adams Audi on Structural Justification
47. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Dan D. Crawford On Having Reasons for Perceptual Beliefs: A Sellarsian Perspective
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I interpret and defend Sellars’ intemalist view of perceptual justification which argues that perceivers have evidence for their perceptual beliefs that includes a higher-order belief about the circumstances in which those beliefs arise, and an epistemic belief about the reliability of beliefs that are formed in those circumstances. The pattem of inference that occurs in ordinary cases of perception is elicited.I then defend this account of perceptual evidence against 1) AIston’s objection that ordinary perceivers are not as critical and reflective as this view requires them to be; and 2) the charge that intemalism leads to various forms of infinite regress and circular reasoning. It is granted that subjects must have further grounds for their justifying reasons, and an attempt is made to identify these second-order reasons. In particular, I argue that epistemic beliefs are grounded in the perceiver’s awareness that his present experience-cum-conditions fits into a larger pattem of similar past experiences that were reliably connected with their objects.
48. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Susan Leigh Anderson Equal Opportunity, Freedom and Sex-Stereotyping
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Michael Levin, in Feminism and Freedom, argues that sex-stereotyping is inevitable and legitimate since there are innate non-anatomical differences between the sexes. He, further, believes that sex-stereotyping is compatible with members of both sexes acting freely and having equal opportunity in the job market and other areas of life. I will attack both claims, but I will particularly concentrate on the second one. I believe that Levin is only able to make his view sound plausible because of his minimal definitions of “freedom” and “equal opportunity” which I shall argue are not acceptable. The result of his mistake is that he presents us with a false dilemma: We must choose between either a Libertarian ideal---which includes freedom, equal opportunity, the inevitable sex-stereotyping and resulting patriarchal society (since it cannot be eliminated voluntarily)---and Feminism---which denies the legitimacy of sex-stereotyping, insists that unequal outcome means inequality of opportunity and so supports a quota system, and attempts to accomplish its aims, at great cost, by depriving people of freedom.
49. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Anthony Cunningham Liberalism, Egalité, Fraternité?
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This essay attempts to assess recent communitarian charges that liberalism cannot provide for genuine bonds of community or fraternity. Along with providing an analysis of fraternity, I argue that there is more common ground here than supposed by communitarians and l iberals alike. Communitarians often fail to see that liberal concerns for liberty and equality function as substantive constraints on the moral worth of fraternal bonds. On the other hand, insofar as liberals ignore fraternity, or see it as a purely derivative ideal, they too make an important error.
50. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Robert Audi Structural Justification
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This paper introduces and explicates a concept of justification not so far adequately treated in the epistemological literature. Structural justification for believing a proposition, p, is a kind implicit in one’s cognitive structure; it contrasts with (1) doxastic justification---justifiedly believing p; (2) situational justification---being justified in believing p (which is possible without believing it); and (3) propositional justification---the kind attributable to propositions for which suitable evidence is available. Structural justification is within one’s reach, but, unlike situational justification, not in one’s hands: one can construct a justification for p by reflecting on, say, one’s beliefs and memories, but does not already have that justification in an integrated form, as where one already believes premises that obviously entail p. Structural justification is accessible, however, through a justificatory path, and much of this paper is an account of the various kinds of path. The concluding section generalizes the notion of structural justification both to the other psychological attitudes---such as desires, intentions, and values---and to actions.
51. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
James V. Robinson The Nature of the Soul in Republic X
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There has been much discussion as to what, in Republic X, Plato took to be the true nature of the soul. My justification for extending the discussion is the continued popularity of the view that the true soul is incomposite. What I add to the discussion is a different perspective, one which sheds new light on the problem. Commentators have paid little or no attention to the role that order plays in this issue. By giving order its due, it becomes apparent not only that Plato was not stating that the true soul was incomposite, but also that, as he almost certainly realized, such a view would be inconsistent with other claims made in the dialogue.
52. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
R. B. Brandt Overvold on Self-Interest and Self-Sacrifice
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In order to explain the idea that sacrifice involves voluntary diminution of the agent’s well-being, “well-being” must be explained. The thesis that an agent’s well-being just consists in the occurrence of events wanted is rejected. Overvold replaces it by the view that the motivating desires involve the existence of the agent, alive, at the time of their satisfaction. This view seems counterintuitive. The whole desire-satisfaction theory is to be rejected partly because we dont’t think an event worthwile if it is not liked when it occurs, and partly because the theory cannot give a sensible account of what is good for an individual when his desires change. A more satisfactory view is that the goodness of an event for a person is fixed by his total gratifications as a result of its occurrence, provided they would occur if the person were fully informed about facts knowledge of which would change them if it existed. But self-sacrifice seems to involve not only voluntary diminution of well-being in this sense, but belief that the action is taken for the benefit of someone else. Overvold’s view leaves open the possibility that acting morally is never contrary to self-interest, if one of the agent’s major interests is that he act morally. This is an ingenious suggestion, but seems a bit counterintuitive.
53. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
Craig K. Ihara Comments on Paul Wierich’s “Contractarianism and Bargaining Theory”
54. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
John M. Connolly Whither Action theory: Artificial Intelligence or Aristotle?
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The problem of ‘wayward causal chains’ threatens any causal analysis of the concept of intentional human action. For such chains show that the mere causation of an action by the right sort of belief and/or desire does not make the action intentional, i.e. one done in order to attain the object of desire. Now if the ‘because’ in ‘wayward’ action-explanations is straightforwardly causal, that might be argued to indicate by contrast that the different ‘because’ of reasons-explanations (which both explain and justify) is non-causal. Myles Brand, in Intending and Acting (1984), resists this conclusion, but argues that waywardness shows that philosophers must ‘naturalize’ action theory by drawing on contemporary work in cognitive science and artificial intelligence. I argue that this is a misconceived response to the problem of waywardness: in Brand’s work action theory itself has gone astray, unsure which way to tum next.
55. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 16
James Baillie Split Brains and Single Minds
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This paper challenges the widely held theory that split-brain patients have ‘two-minds’ and can thus be described as being two distinct persons. A distinction is made between the singularity of mind and the coherence of mind. It is stressed that ‘a single mind’ is not something posited to explain coherence among mental contents, but is merely a mark that such coherence holds to a certain degree. However, there is no sharp dividing line regarding what counts as a single mind. It is argued that mental coherence is always a matter of degree, and that our concept of a single mind can accomodate spit-brain phenomena.
56. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 17
David Basinger Feminism and Epistemology: A Response to Code
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There have been many calls recently for philosophers to rethink what philosophy is and how it should be practiced. Among the most vocal critics is an influential group of feminist philosophers who argue that since current philosophical activity is based primarily on a conception of reason that is both inherently inadequate and oppressive to women, it is imperative that our understanding of the nature and practice of philosophy be significantly modified. I argue that this criticism is fundamentally misguided. Specifically, it seems to me that while philosophers may at times need to rethink the role of the traditional philosophical method of inquiry in the context of general societal debate and rethink the techniques used to help others understand and apply this methodology, this method of inquiry, itself, is not in need of abandonment or major modification.
57. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 17
Carlo Filice Pacifism: A Reply to Professor Narveson
58. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 17
Christopher R. Hitchcock Discussion: Massey and Kirk on the Indeterminacy of Translation
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Gerald Massey has constructed translation manuals for the purposes of illustrating Quine’s Indeterminacy Thesis. Robert Kirk has argued that Massey’s manuals do not live up to their billing. In this note, I will present Massey’s manuals and defend them against Kirk’s objections. The implications for Quine’s Indeterminacy Thesis will then be briefly discussed.
59. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 17
Susan V. Castagnetto Reid’s Answer to Abstract Ideas
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The doctrine of abstract ideas contains Locke’s views on the nature of generality and how we think in general terms-the nature of universals, of general concepts, and how we classify. While Reid rejects abstract ideas, he accepts Locke’s insight that we have an ability to abstract. In this paper, I show how Reid preserves Locke’s insight, while providing a more versatile and forward-looking account of universals and concepts than Locke was able to give.Reid replaces abstract ideas with what he calls “general conceptions.” But general conceptions are really three different things. First, they are universals---non-mental intrinsically general objects of acts of abstraction and conception. I show how Reid is able to make the claim that there are universals without being committed to holding that universals really exist. This claim, together with his type/token distinction, enables Reid to better explain how we have knowledge of attributes and use general terms meaningfully. The general features of our experience are not ideas and are not produced by the faculty of abstraction---but that faculty enables us to distinguish them.In the second sense, a general conception is an act of mind which takes universals as objects. Thinking in general tenns is not the manipulation of abstract ideas---it is engaging in acts of conceiving. Such acts are made possible by general conceptions in the third sense, namely, general concepts. While Reid does not distinguish this sense explicitly, I argue that he takes general concepts to be dispositions or abilities to distinguish general features of objects and to use the general terms of language as other users do. So rather than producing mental entities---abstract ideas---that act as standards to help us classify, abstraction makes possible the development of abilities to use general terms and classify objects.
60. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 17
Kirk Ludwig Brains in a Vat, Subjectivity, and the Causal Theory of Reference
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This paper evaluates Putnam’s argument in the first chapter of Reason, Truth and History, for the claim that we can know that we are not brains in a vat (of a certain sort). A widespread response to Putnam’s argument has been that if it were successful not only the world but the meanings of our words (and consequently our thoughts) would be beyond the pale of knowledge, because a causal theory of reference is not compatible with our having knowledge of the meanings of our words. I argue that this is not so. I argue also, however, that given how Putnam argues (here) for the causal theory of reference, he cannot after all escape this consequence.