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100 entries most recently downloaded from the archive "Oxford University Research Archive"

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  1. Peter D. McDonald, The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences.
    This website is a supplement to Peter D. McDonald’s book The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences, which was first published by Oxford University Press in February 2009. It is intended for anyone curious to know more about the subject and for those interested in doing further research into the vast topic of apartheid censorship.
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  2. Peter D. McDonald, The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences.
    This website is a supplement to Peter D. McDonald’s book The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences, which was first published by Oxford University Press in February 2009. It is intended for anyone curious to know more about the subject and for those interested in doing further research into the vast topic of apartheid censorship.
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  3. Antony Eagle, A Note on Dolby and Gull on Radar Time and the Twin 'Paradox'.
    Recently a suggestion has been made that standard textbook representations of hypersurfaces of simultaneity for the travelling twin in the twin 'paradox' are incorrect. This suggestion is false: the standard textbooks are in agreement with a proper understanding of the relativity of simultaneity.
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  4. Timothy Williamson, Verification, Falsification and Cancellation in KT.
    The main result of this paper is that KT is closed under a cancellation principle. This result extends to KTG1, but it does not extend to modal systems associated with the provability interpretation of L, such as KW and KT4Grz. Following Williamson, these results are applied to philosophical concerns about the proper form for theories of meaning, via the interpretation of L as some kind of veriflability. The cancellation principle can then be read as saying that verifilability conditions and falsiflability (...)
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  5. Frank Arntzenius, Transition Chances and Causation.
    The general claims of this paper are as follows. As a result of chaotic dynamics we can usually not know what the deterministic causes of events are. There will however be invariant forwards transition chances from earlier types of events, which we call the causes, to later types of events, which we call the effects. There will be no invariant backwards transition chances between these types of events. This asymmetry has the same origin and explanation as the arrow of time (...)
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  6. Dennis Lehmkuhl, Why Einstein Did Not Believe That General Relativity Geometrizes Gravity.
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  7. Nicholas Shea & Cecilia Heyes, Metamemory as Evidence of Animal Consciousness: The Type That Does the Trick.
    The question of whether nonhuman animals are conscious is of fundamental importance. There are already good reasons to think that many are, based on evolutionary continuity and other considerations. However, the hypothesis is notoriously resistant to direct empirical test. Numerous studies have shown behaviour in animals analogous to consciously-produced human behaviour. Fewer probe whether the same mechanisms are in use. One promising line of evidence about consciousness in other animals derives from experiments on metamemory. A study by Hampton : 5359-5362, (...)
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  8. Tim Mawson (2001). Miracles and Laws of Nature. Religious Studies 37 (1):33-58.
    In this paper, I argue that miracles should not be defined as involving violations of natural laws. They should be defined as signs of particular volitions of the deity or of other supernatural agents. I suggest that one may, without any prior belief in the existence of such supernatural agents, reasonably come to believe that one has witnessed miracles.
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  9. Timothy J. Mawson, Sources of Dissatisfaction with Answers to the Question of the Meaning of Life.
    In this paper, I seek to diagnose the sources of our dissatisfaction with answers to the question of the meaning of life. I contend that some of these have to do with the question and some have to do with life and meaningulness themselves. By showing how dissatisfaction arises and the extent to which it is in-eliminable even by God, I hope to show that we should be satisfied with our dissatisfaction.
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  10. Nicholas Shea, Representation in the Genome and in Other Inheritance Systems.
    There is ongoing controversy as to whether the genome is a representing system. Although it is widely recognised that DNA carries information, both correlating with and coding for various outcomes, neither of these implies that the genome has semantic properties like correctness or satisfaction conditions, In the Scope of Logic, Methodology, and the Philosophy of Sciences, Vol. II. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 387-400). Here a modified version of teleosemantics is applied to the genome to show that it does indeed have semantic (...)
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  11. Timothy Williamson, Bivalence and Subjunctive Conditionals.
    Writers such as Stalnaker and Dummett have argued that specific features of subjunctive conditional statements undermine the principle of bivalence. This, paper is concerned with rebutting such claims. 1. It is shown how subjective conditionals pose a prima facie threat to bivalence, and how this threat can be dissolved by a distinction between the results of negating a subjective conditional and of negating its consequent. To make this distinction is to side with Lewis against Stalnaker in a dispute about possible (...)
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  12. Hugh Rice, David Lewis's Awkward Cases of Redundant Causation.
    The main line of Lewis's account of causation is in terms of chains of counterfactual dependence. According to his original account, a causal chain is a sequence of two or more events, with counterfactual dependence at each step; and one event is a cause of another if there is a causal chain from one to the other. But some awkward cases involving redundant causation lead him to introduce the notion of quasi-dependence. Laurie Paul has suggested a way of dealing with (...)
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  13. Edward Kanterian, Puzzles About Descriptive Names.
    This article explores Gareth Evans's idea that there are such things as descriptive names, i.e. referring expressions introduced by a definite description which have, unlike ordinary names, a descriptive content. Several ignored semantic and modal aspects of this idea are spelled out, including a hitherto little explored notion of rigidity, super-rigidity. The claim that descriptive names are descriptions, or abbreviations thereof, is rejected. It is then shown that Evans's theory leads to certain puzlles concerning the referential status of descriptive names (...)
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  14. Timothy Williamson, On Knowledge of the Unknowable.
    If it is an unknown truth that p, it is an unknowable truth that it is an unknown truth that p. It follows, by classical logic, that if all truths are knowable then all truths are known. This hardish fact makes life difficult for the verificationist who wishes to assert that all truths are knowable, but to deny that all truths are known. He might try rejecting classical logic. Dorothy Edgington has recently suggested a different way out. She admits that (...)
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  15. Tim Mawson (2009). Mill's Argument Against Religious Knowledge. Religious Studies 45 (4):417.
    In On Liberty, Mill says that 'the same causes which make... [a person] a Churchman in London, would have made him a Buddhist or a Confucian in Pekin.' Despite Mill's not having drawn it out, there is an argument implicit in his comments that is germane to both externalist and internalist understandings of the epistemic justification of religious beliefs, even though some of these understandings would not wish to use the term 'epistemic justification' to refer to whatever it is they (...)
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  16. Timothy Williamson (1996). Knowing and Asserting. Philosophical Review 105 (4):489.
    This paper aims to identify the constitutive rule of assertion, conceived by analogy with the rules of a game. That assertion has such rules is by no means obvious; perhaps it is more like a natural phenomenon than it seems. One way to find out is by supposing that it has such rules, in order to see where the hypothesis leads and what it explains. That will be done here. The hypothesis is not perfectly clear, of course, but we have (...)
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  17. Tim Mawson, The Euthyphro Dilemma.
    Is something good because God wills it, or does God will it because it is good? This lies at the heart of our debate on "Good without God". Here Tim Mawson explains how he thinks the theist can solve it.
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  18. Tim Mawson (2007). Praying for Known Outcomes. Religious Studies 43 (1):71.
    In this paper, I consider what difference knowledge of outcomes - both past and future - might make to the rationality of praying for them on a traditional theistic model. More specifically, I address four questions: Could it be rational to pray for outcomes one knows will obtain? Could it be rational to pray for outcomes one knows will not obtain? Could it be rational to pray for outcomes one knows have obtained? I argue that on certain common theistic assumptions, (...)
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  19. Nicholas Shea, Using Phenomenal Concepts to Explain Away the Intuition of Contingency.
    Humans can think about their conscious experiences using a special class of ‘phenomenal’ concepts. Psycho-physical identity statements formulated using phenomenal concepts appear to be contingent. Kripke argued that this intuited contingency could not be explained away, in contrast to ordinary theoretical identities where it can. If the contingency is real, property dualism follows. Physicalists have attempted to answer this challenge by pointing to special features of phenomenal concepts that explain the intuition of contingency. However no physicalist account of their distinguishing (...)
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  20. A. W. Moore, Maxims and Thick Ethical Concepts.
    I begin with Kant's notion of a maxim and consider the role which this notion plays in Kant's formulations of the fundamental categorical imperative. This raises the question of what a maxim is, and why there is not the same requirement for resolutions of other kinds to be universalizable. Drawing on Bernard Williams' notion of a thick ethical concept, I proffer an answer to this question which is intended neither in a spirit of simple exegesis nor as a straightforward exercise (...)
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  21. Scott Sturgeon, Stalnaker on Sensuous Knowledge.
    Robert Stalnaker has recently argued that a pair of natural thoughts are incompatible. One of them is the view that items of non-indexical factual knowledge rule out possibilities. The other is the view that knowing what sensuous experience is like involves non-indexical knowledge of its phenomenal character. I argue against Stalnaker's take on things, elucidating along the way how our knowledge of what experience is like fits together with the natural idea that items of non-indexical factual knowledge rule out possibilities.
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  22. John Tasioulas, In Defence of Relative Normativity: Communitarian Values and the Nicaragua Case.
    This article investigates, and attempts a preliminary adjudication of, the conflict between two conceptions of customary international law and the rival conceptions of international society they presuppose. The first conception of custom is of a positivistic variety and draws on a statist conception of international society. The other manifests a natural law orientation and finds its rationale in a communitarian account of that society. The first pair of conceptions will be examined in the version powerfully elaborated by the French international (...)
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  23. Adrian W. Moore, Williams, Nietzsche, and the Meaninglessness of Immortality.
    In this essay I consider the argument that Bernard Williams advances in 'The Makropolus Case' for the meaninglessnss of immortality. I also consider various counter-arguments. I suggest that the more clearly these counter-arguments are targeted at the spirit of Williams's argument, rather than at its letter, the less clearly they pose a threat to it. I then turn to Nietzsche, whose views about the eternal recurrence might appear to make him an opponent of Williams. I argue that, properly interpreted, these (...)
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  24. Timothy Williamson, Invertible Definitions.
    A concept of informational equivalence between relations is explicated to generalize some suggestions by Geach. It is shown that two relations are informationally equivalent if and only if each can be defined in terms of the other without the use of quantifiers. It is shown that there is a general method for listing the./-place relations informationally equivalent to an arbitrary given /-place relation if and only if i (...)
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  25. Krister Bykvist & Anandi Hattiangadi, Does Thought Imply Ought?
    N.B. Dr Bykvist is now based at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford. The full-text of this article is not currently available in ORA, but you may be able to access the article via the publisher copy link on this record page.
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  26. Andrea Christofidou, Self-Consciousness and the Double Immunity.
    It is accepted that first-person thoughts are immune to error through misidentification. I argue that there is also immunity to error through _misascription_, failure to recognise which has resulted in mistaken claims that first-person thoughts involving the self-_ascription_ of bodily states are, at best, _circumstantially_ immune to error through misidentification relative to 'I' and, at worst, _subject to error_. Central to my thesis is that, first, 'I' is immune to error through misidentification absolutely, and that if there is any problem (...)
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  27. Lloyd Humberstone & Timothy Williamson, Inverses for Normal Modal Operators.
    Given a 1-ary sentence operator O, we describe L - another 1-ary operator - as a left inverse of O in a given logic if in that logic every formula φ is provably equivalent to LOφ. Similarly R is a right inverse of O if φ is always provably equivalent to ORφ. We investigate the behaviour of left and right inverses for O taken as the □ operator of various normal modal logics, paying particular attention to the conditions under which (...)
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  28. Vicki Xafis, Dominic Wilkinson, Lynn Gillam & Jane Sullivan, Balancing Obligations: Should Written Information About Life-Sustaining Treatment Be Neutral?
    Parents who are facing decisions about life-sustaining treatment for their seriously ill or dying child are supported by their child's doctors and nurses. They also frequently seek other information sources to help them deal with the medical and ethical questions that arise. This might include written or web-based information. As part of a project involving the development of such a resource to support parents facing difficult decisions, some ethical questions emerged. Should this information be presented in a strictly neutral fashion? (...)
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  29. Tim Bayne, Divided Brians and Unified Phenomenology: A Review Essay on Michael Tye's Consciousness and Persons.
    In _Consciousness and persons_, Michael Tye. Consciousness and persons. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.) develops and defends a novel approach to the unity of consciousness. Rather than thinking of the unity of consciousness as involving phenomenal relations between distinct experiences, as standard accounts do, Tye argues that we should regard the unity of consciousness as involving relations between the contents of consciousness. Having developed an account of what it is for consciousness to be unified, Tye goes on to apply his account (...)
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  30. Richard Swinburne & Alvin Plantinga (2001). Swinburne and Plantinga on Internal Rationality. Religious Studies 37 (3).
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  31. Frank Arntzenius, Reflections on Sleeping Beauty.
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  32. D. J. Wilkinson, G. Kahane, M. Horne & J. Savulescu, Functional Neuroimaging and Withdrawal of Life-Sustaining Treatment From Vegetative Patients.
    Recent studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging of patients in a vegetative state have raised the possibility that such patients retain some degree of consciousness. In this paper, the ethical implications of such findings are outlined, in particular in relation to decisions about withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. It is sometimes assumed that if there is evidence of consciousness, treatment should not be withdrawn. But, paradoxically, the discovery of consciousness in very severely brain-damaged patients may provide more reason to let them die. (...)
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  33. Tim Mawson, God's Body.
    On Classical Theism, God is ontologically distinct from the physical universe which He has created; He needn't have created any universe at all; and He could exist even if the universe didn't. By contrast, the universe couldn't have existed if God didn't and it needs God to sustain it in existence from moment to moment. Classical Theism is thus committed to the universe not being identical to God. I shall argue that Classical Theism is committed to seeing the universe as (...)
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  34. Richard Swinburne (2001). Plantinga on Warrant. Religious Studies 37 (2).
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  35. Roxana Baiasu (2009). Puzzles of Discourse inBeing and Time: Minding Gaps in Understanding. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (5):681-706.
    This paper takes issue with Heidegger's claim that discourse and understanding are equally basic in the constitution of our making sense of the world. I argue that Heidegger cannot consistently establish this claim, and that discourse can be thought of as being more basic than understanding. The proposed line of thinking has the advantage of shedding light on both the finitude and the normativity of our making sense of the world. Thus, by setting up an exchange with the later Wittgenstein's (...)
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  36. Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen, Indirect Discrimination is Not Necessarily Unjust.
    This article argues that, as commonly understood, indirect discrimination is not necessarily unjust: 1) indirect discrimination involves the disadvantaging in relation to a particular benefit and such disadvantages are not unjust if the overall distribution of benefits and burdens is just; 2) indirect discrimination focuses on groups and group averages and ignores the distribution of harms and benefits within groups subjected to discrimination, but distributive justice is concerned with individuals; and 3) if indirect discrimination as such is unjust, strict egalitarianism (...)
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  37. Michael Fara & Timothy Williamson, Counterparts and Actuality.
    Many philosophers, following David Lewis, believe that we should look to counterpart theory, not quantified modal logic, as a means of understanding modal discourse. We argue that this is a mistake. Significant parts of modal discourse involve either implicit or explicit reference to what is actually the case, raising the question of how talk about actuality is to be represented counterpart-theoretically. By considering possible modifications of Lewis's counterpart theory, including actual modifications due to Graeme Forbes and Murali Ramachandran, we argue (...)
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  38. Tim Mawson, Mill's Proof.
    In this paper I examine how Mill's argument in 'Utilitarianism' may be interpreted as a deductively valid proof of the Principle of Utility.
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  39. Nicholas Shea, New Thinking, Innateness and Inherited Representation.
    The New Thinking contained in this volume rejects an Evolutionary Psychology that is committed to innate domain-specific psychological mechanisms: gene-based adaptations that are unlearnt, developmentally fixed and culturally universal. But the New Thinking does not simply deny the importance of innate psychological traits. The problem runs deeper: the concept of innateness is not suited to distinguishing between the New Thinking and Evolutionary Psychology. That points to a more serious problem with the concept of innateness as it is applied to human (...)
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  40. Timothy Williamson, Reply to Machina and Deutsch on Vagueness, Ignorance, and Margins for Error.
    In their paper "Vagueness, Ignorance, and Margine for Error" Kenton Machina and Harry Deutsch criticize the epistemic theory of vagueness. This paper answers their objections. The main issues discussed are: the relation between meaning and use; the principle of bivalence; the ontology of vaguely specified classes; the proper form of margin for error principles; iterations of epistemic operators and semantic compositionality; the relation of lack of it between quantum mechanics and theories of vagueness.
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  41. Timothy Williamson, Knowability and Constructivism.
    If anti-realism is defined as the principle that all truths are knowable, then anti-realists have a reason to revise logic. For an argument first published by Fitch seems to reduce anti-realism to absurdity within classical but not constructivist logic. One might try to sever this link between anti-realism and revisionism in logic by giving either a modified version of anti-realism not vulnerable to Fitch's argument within classical logic or a modified version of Fitch's argument to which anti-realism is vulnerable within (...)
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  42. Timothy Williamson, Never Say Never.
    I. An argument is presented for the conclusion that the hypothesis that no one will ever decide a given proposition is intuitionistically inconsistent. II. A distinction between sentences and statements blocks a similar argument for the stronger conclusion that the hypothesis that I have not yet decided a given proposition is intuitionistically inconsistent, but does not block the original argument. III. A distinction between empirical and mathematical negation might block the original argument, and empirical negation might be modelled on Nelson's (...)
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  43. Nick Bostrom, The Doomsday Argument, Adam & Eve, UN⁺⁺, and Quantum Joe.
    The Doomsday argument purports to show that the risk of the human species going extinct soon has been systematically underestimated. This argument has something in common with controversial forms of reasoning in other areas, including: game theoretic problems with imperfect recall, the methodology of cosmology, the epistomology of indexical belief, and the debate over so-called fine-tuning arguments for the design hypothesis. The common denominator is a certain premiss: the Self-Sampling Assumption. We present two strands of argument in favor of this (...)
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  44. Guy Kahane, Pain, Dislike and Experience.
    It is widely held that it is only contingent that the sensation of pain is disliked, and that when pain is not disliked, it is not intrinsically bad. This conjunction of claims has often been taken to support a subjectivist view of pain's badness on which pain is bad simply because it is the object of a negative attitude and not because of what it feels like. In this article, I argue that accepting this conjunction of claims does not commit (...)
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  45. Timothy Williamson, Intuitionism Disproved?
    Perennial philosophers' hopes are unlikely victims of swift, natural deduction. Yet anti-realism has been thought one. Not hoping for anti-realism myself I here show it, lest it be underestimated, to survive the following argument, adapted from W. D.Hart pp. 156, 164-5; he credits first publication to Fitch).
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  46. Stephen Mulhall, 'Hopelessly Strange': Bernard Williams' Portrait of Wittgenstein as a Transcendental Idealist.
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  47. Aaron Sloman & D. F. Pears, Knowing and Understanding: Relations Between Meaning and Truth, Meaning and Necessary Truth, Meaning and Synthetic Necessary Truth.
    The avowed aim of the thesis is to show that there are some synthetic necessary truths, or that synthetic apriori knowledge is possible. This is really a pretext for an investigation into the general connection between meaning and truth, or between understanding and knowing, which, as pointed out in the preface, is really the first stage in a more general enquiry concerning meaning. After the preliminaries, in which the problem is stated and some methodological remarks made, the investigation proceeds in (...)
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  48. Timothy Williamson, Inexact Knowledge.
    Most of our knowledge is inexact, and known by us to be so. An example of such known inexactness will be described in some detail. The description seems to entail a contradiction. However, the paradoxical reasoning rests on an assumption. It will be suggested that the description is correct and this assumption false. Its failure will be explained by means of a picture of inexact knowledge in which the notion of _a margin for error_ is central. This picture suggests diagnoses (...)
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  49. Tim Mawson (1999). The Problem of Evil and Moral Indifference. Religious Studies 35 (3):323-345.
    In this paper, I argue that if the libertarian free will defence were seen to fail because determinism were seen to be true, then another solution to the problem of evil would present itself. I start by arguing that one cannot, by consideration of agents' choices between morally indifferent options, reach any conclusion as to those agents' moral qualities. If certain forms of consequentialism were false, determinism true, and if there were a God who chose to create this universe, then (...)
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  50. Luciano Floridi, Against Digital Ontology.
    The paper argues that _digital ontology_ should be carefully distinguished from _informational ontology_, in order to abandon the former and retain only the latter as a promising line of research. Digital vs. analogue is a Boolean dichotomy typical of our computational paradigm, but digital and analogue are only "modes of presentation" of Being, that is, ways in which reality is experienced or conceptualised by an epistemic agent at a given level of abstraction. A preferable alternative is provided by an informational (...)
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  51. A. W. Moore, Ineffability and Religion.
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  52. Antony Eagle, Reply to Stone on Counterpart Theory and Four-Dimensionalism.
    In a recent article, Jim Stone argues that counterpart theory and four-dimensionalism are incompatible. His arguments carry no obvious weight against the stage view defended by Sider. Nor do they undermine the more vulnerable combination of the worm view and counterpart theory – or so I argue.
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  53. Seth Lazar (2013). Associative Duties and the Ethics of Killing in War. Journal of Practical Ethics 1 (1):3-48.
    This paper advances a novel account of part of what justifies killing in war, grounded in the duties we owe to our loved ones to protect them from the severe harms with which war threatens them. It discusses the foundations of associative duties, then identifies the sorts of relationships, and the specific duties that they ground, which can be relevant to the ethics of war. It explains how those associative duties can justify killing in theory—in particular how they can justify (...)
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  54. Nicholas Shea, 'The Biological Basis of Cultural Transmission': Review of Kim Sterelny, Thought in a Hostile World. [REVIEW]
    Once someone hits upon a good idea, others can learn it from them with ease, and develop it further. This oft-noted human ability is surely remarkable, but can it do explanatory work, and can it in turn be explained? Re-labelled ‘memetics’ this idea has generated excitement, but little insight. Sterelny’s great achievement is to transcend the platitude, to provide an illuminating account of the phenomenon. Ironically, to make his case he has to overcome the trait itself, at work in the (...)
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  55. Joseph Shaw (2002). The Virtue of Obedience. Religious Studies 38 (1).
    In this paper I give an account and defence of the thought and practice associated with the notion of obedience in religious ethics, especially in reply to the claim that obedience is necessarily unconscientious. First, I argue that it is conscientious to give weight to commands if they are identifiable as pieces of authoritative advice, or, as theists commonly believe, if they have intrinsic moral force. Second, I argue that a theist's strictly moral reasons for fulfilling obligations are not replaced (...)
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  56. Peter D. McDonald, The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences.
    This website is a supplement to Peter D. McDonald’s book The Literature Police: Apartheid Censorship and its Cultural Consequences, which was first published by Oxford University Press in February 2009. It is intended for anyone curious to know more about the subject and for those interested in doing further research into the vast topic of apartheid censorship.
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  57. Eric William Metcalfe, David Miller & John Gardner, Are Cultural Rights Human Rights? A Cosmopolitan Conception of Cultural Rights.
    The liberal conception of the state is marked by an insistence upon the equal civil and political rights of each inhabitant. Recently, though, a number of writers have argued that this emphasis on uniform rights ignores the fact that the populations of most states are culturally diverse, and that their inhabitants have significant interests qua members of particular cultures. They argue that liberals should recognize special, group-based cultural rights as a necessary part of a theory of justice in multicultural societies. (...)
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  58. Tim Mawson, 'Byrne's' Religious Pluralism.
    " All major religious traditions are equal in respect of making common reference to a single transcendent sacred reality. All major traditions are likewise equal in respect of offering some means or other to human salvation. All traditions are to be seen as containing revisable, limited, accounts of the nature of the sacred: none is certain enough in its particular dogmatic formulations to provide the norm for interpreting the others." P. Byrne, Prolegomena to Religious Pluralism, p. 12. In this paper, (...)
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  59. Thomas Douglas, Ethics Committees and the Legality of Research.
    One role of research ethics committees is to assess the ethics of proposed health research. In some countries, RECs are also instructed to assess its legality. However, in other countries they are explicitly instructed not to do so. In this paper, I defend the claim that public policy should instruct RECs not to assess the legality of proposed research. I initially defend a presumption in favour of the Claim, citing reasons for making research institutions solely responsible for assessing the legality (...)
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  60. Timothy Williamson, Epistemicist Models: Comments on Gómez-Torrente and Graff.
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  61. Pamela Sue Anderson, Pure Reason and Contemporary Philosophy of Religion: The Rational Striving in and for Truth.
    This essay urges contemporary philosophers of religion to rethink the role that Kant's critical philosophy has played both in establishing the analytic nature of modern philosophy and in developing a critique of reason's drive for the unconditioned. In particular, the essay demonstrates the contribution that Kant and other modern rationalists such as Spinoza can still make today to our rational striving in and for truth. This demonstration focuses on a recent group of analytic philosophers of religion who have labelled their (...)
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  62. T. J. Mawson, Praying to Stop Being an Atheist.
    In this paper, I argue that atheists who think that the issue of God's existence or non-existence is an important one; assign a greater than negligible probability to God's existence; and are not in possession of a plausible argument for scepticism about the truth-directedness of uttering such prayers in their own cases, are under a _prima facie_ obligation to pray to God that He stop them being atheists.
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  63. Timothy Williamson, Margins for Error: A Reply.
    I address Peter Mott's 'Margins for Error and the Sorites Paradox', pp. 494–503). Mott criticizes my account of inexact knowledge, on which it satisfies margin for error principles of the form 'If one knows in a given case, one avoids false belief in sufficiently similar cases'. Mott's arguments are shown to be fallacious because they ignore the fact that our knowledge of inexact knowledge is itself inexact. In the examples discussed, the first-level inexact knowledge is perceptual. Since my defense of (...)
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  64. Jason Stanley & Timothy Williamson, Quantifiers and Context-Dependence.
    Let DDQ be the thesis that definite descriptions are quantifiers. Philosophers often deny DDQ because they believe that quantifiers do not depend on context in certain ways, ways in which definite descriptions do depend on context. In this paper, we examine one such argument, which, if sound, would entail the negation of DDQ.We show that this argument fails, and draw some consequences from its failure.
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  65. William Child, Wittgenstein, Dreaming and Anti-Realism: A Reply to Richard Scheer.
    The full-text of this article is not available in ORA, but you may be able to access the article via the publisher copy link on this record page. Citation: Child, W.. 'Wittgenstein, dreaming and anti-realism: a reply to Richard Scheer', Philosophical Investigations, 32, 329-337. Copyright © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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  66. Brian D. Earp & Julian Savulescu, Neuroreductionism About Sex and Love.
    "Neuroreductionism" is the tendency to reduce complex mental phenomena to brain states, confusing correlation for physical causation. In this paper, we illustrate the dangers of this popular neuro-fallacy, by looking at an example drawn from the media: a story about "hypoactive sexual desire disorder" in women. We discuss the role of folk dualism in perpetuating such a confusion, and draw some conclusions about the role of "brain scans" in our understanding of romantic love.
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  67. Volker Halbach, Reducing Compositional to Disquotational Truth.
    Disquotational theories of truth, that is, theories of truth based on the T-sentences or similar equivalences as axioms are often thought to be deductively weak. This view is correct if the truth predicate is allowed to apply only to sentences not containing the truth predicate. By taking a slightly more liberal approach toward the paradoxes, I obtain a disquotational theory of truth that is proof theoretically as strong as compositional theories such as the Kripke-Feferman theory, although it doesn't probe the (...)
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  68. Timothy Williamson, Knowledge as Evidence.
    It is argued that a subject’s evidence consists of all and only the propositions that the subject knows.
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  69. Julian Savulescu & Guy Kahane, The Moral Obligation to Create Children with the Best Chance of the Best Life.
    According to what we call the Principle of Procreative Beneficence, couples who decide to have a child have a significant moral reason to select the child who, given his or her genetic endowment, can be expected to enjoy the most well-being. In the first part of this paper, we introduce PB, explain its content, grounds, and implications, and defend it against various objections. In the second part, we argue that PB is superior to competing principles of procreative selection such as (...)
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  70. Timothy Williamson, Joseph Almog & Paolo Leonardi, Reference, Inference and the Semantics of Pejoratives.
    The full-text of this book chapter is not available in ORA. Citation: Williamson, T.. Reference, inference and the semantics of pejoratives. In: Almog, J. & Leonardi, P. The Philosophy of David Kaplan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 137-158.
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  71. Nicola Lacey & Hanna Pickard, From the Consulting Room to the Court Room? Taking the Clinical Model of Responsibility Without Blame Into the Legal Realm.
    Within contemporary penal philosophy, the view that punishment can only be justified if the offender is a moral agent who is responsible and hence blameworthy for their offence is one of the few areas on which a consensus prevails. In recent literature, this precept is associated with the retributive tradition, in the modern form of ‘just deserts’. Turning its back on the rehabilitative ideal, this tradition forges a strong association between the justification of punishment, the attribution of responsible agency in (...)
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  72. Tim Mawson (2002). God's Creation of Morality. Religious Studies 38 (1).
    In this paper, I argue that classical theists should think of God as having created morality. In form, my position largely resembles that defended by Richard Swinburne. However, it differs from his position in content in that it evacuates the category of necessary moral truth of all substance and, having effected this tactical withdrawal, Swinburne's dilemma. In the second, I argue that if necessary moral truths are seen as analytically/logically so, then, pace Swinburne, they cannot be regarded as substantive principles. (...)
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  73. Peter Holland & Harvey R. Brown, The Non-Relativistic Limits of the Maxwell and Dirac Equations: The Role of Galilean and Gauge Invariance.
    The aim of this paper is to illustrate four properties of the non-relativistic limits of relativistic theories: that a massless relativistic field may have a meaningful non-relativistic limt, that a relativistic field may have more than one non-relativistic limit, that coupled relativistic systems may be "more relativistic" than their uncoupled counterparts, and that the properties of the non-relativistic limit of a dynamical equation may differ from those obtained when the limiting equation is based directly on exact Galilean kinematics. These properties (...)
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  74. Tim Bayne, Perception and the Reach of Phenomenal Content.
    The phenomenal character of perceptual experience involves the representation of colour, shape and motion. Does it also involve the representation of high-level categories? Is the recognition of a tomato as a tomato contained within perceptual phenomenality? Proponents of a conservative view of the reach of phenomenal content say 'No', whereas those who take a liberal view of perceptual phenomenality say 'Yes'. I clarify the debate between conservatives and liberals, and argue in favour of the liberal view that high-level content can (...)
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  75. Timothy Williamson, The Contingent a Priori: Has It Anything to Do with Indexicals?
    Can some contingent truths be known a priori?: when this question is raised in modern philosophy — as, following Kripke, it often has been — it generally introduces a discussion of certain examples which seem to turn on indexical or indexical-like words. Sometimes the indexicality is quite obvious, as in 'I am here now', sometimes it appears only on analysis, as in 'If anyone uniquely invented the zip, Julius did', where by stipulation 'Julius' rigidly designates the inventor of the zip, (...)
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  76. Daniel Hausman, Motives and Markets in Health Care.
    The truth about health care policy lies between two exaggerated views: a market view in which individuals purchase their own health care from profit maximizing health-care firms and a control view in which costs are controlled by regulations limiting which treatments health insurance will pay for. This essay suggests a way to avoid on the one hand the suffering, unfairness, and abandonment of solidarity entailed by the market view and, on the other hand, to diminish the inflexibility and inefficiency of (...)
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  77. Timothy Williamson, Assertion, Denial and Some Cancellation Rules in Modal Logic.
    The full-text of this article is not currently available in ORA, but the original publication is available at springerlink.com. N.B. Timothy Williamson is now based at the Philosophy Faculty, University of Oxford.
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  78. William Jefferson, Thomas Douglas, Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu, Enhancement and Civic Virtue.
    Opponents of biomedical enhancement frequently adopt what Allen Buchanan has called the Personal Goods Assumption. On this assumption, the benefits of biomedical enhancement will accrue primarily to those individuals who undergo enhancements, not to wider society. Buchanan has argued that biomedical enhancements might in fact have substantial social benefits by increasing productivity. We outline another way in which enhancements might benefit wider society: by augmenting civic virtue and thus improving the functioning of our political communities. We thus directly confront critics (...)
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  79. Claudio Pizzi & Timothy Williamson, Strong Boethius' Thesis and Consequential Implication.
    The paper studies the relation between systems of modal logic and systems of consequential implication, a non-material form of implication satisfying "Aristotle's Thesis" and "Weak Boethius' Thesis". Definitions are given of consequential implication in terms of modal operators and of modal operators in terms of consequential implication. The modal equivalent of "Strong Boethius' Thesis" is identified.
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  80. Timothy Williamson, Unreflective Realism.
    "Truth and Objectivity" is full of ideas. Only a few of them will be discussed here. First, I consider the book's use of the notion of the a priori, and raise some problems for it. The trouble is then diagnosed as resulting from a preconception about semantics, one also connected with Wright's claim that, in disputes between realists and their opponents, the burden of proof always lies on the former. To put it crudely, the preconception is that it is the (...)
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  81. Timothy Williamson, A Note on Satisfaction, Truth and the Empty Domain.
    An attractive principle about domains of quantification is the analogue of the Separation Axiom in set theory: restricting a domain by an arbitrary predicate yields a domain. In particular, restricting a domain by a predicate that applies to nothing yields a domain. Thus if there is a nonempty domain, there is an empty domain. But semantics for the empty domain involves some neglected subtleties. Untangling them requires us to revise the usual definition of truth in a model, avoiding the detour (...)
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  82. A. W. Moore, Solipsism and Subjectivity.
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  83. Jonathan Pugh, Autonomy, Natality and Freedom: A Liberal Re-Examination of Habermas in the Enhancement Debate.
    Jurgen Habermas has argued that carrying out pre-natal germline enhancements would be inimical to the future child's autonomy. In this article, I suggest that many of the objections that have been made against Habermas' arguments by liberals in the enhancement debate misconstrue his claims. To explain why, I begin by explaining how Habermas' view of personal autonomy confers particular importance to the agent's embodiment and social environment. In view of this, I explain that it is possible to draw two arguments (...)
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  84. Adrian Moore, Williams on Ethics, Knowledge, and Reflection.
    Kant, in his third Critique, confronts the issue of how rule-governed objective judgement is possible. He argues that it requires a particular kind of aesthetic response to one's experience. I dub this response 'the Feeling of Unity', and I raise the question whether it is a type of inexpressible knowledge. Using David Bell's account of these matters as a touchstone, I argue that it is.
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  85. Timothy Williamson, Comments on Michael William's Contextualism, Externalism and Epistemic Standards.
    The full-text of this article is not currently available in ORA, but the original publication is available at springerlink.com.
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  86. Stephen Mulhall, Nietzsche's Style of Address: A Response to Christopher Janaway's Beyond Selflessness.
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  87. Timothy Williamson, Précis of "Knowledge and its Limits".
    A creature that is not aware of anything does not lead a genuinely intelligent life. Its activity is unintelligent because unguided by awareness. Although intelligent life does not consist solely of awareness, it is intelligent only where it is intimately related to awareness. Awareness of anything involves some awareness of how things are in some respect. Even awareness merely of how things appear to be is awareness of how they are in respect of appearance. Awareness of how things are is (...)
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