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Philosophy of Action

Edited by Constantine Sandis (University of Hertfordshire)
Assistant editor: István Zárdai (University of Pécs, Oxford Brookes University, University of Hertfordshire)
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  1. added 2016-06-28
    Matthew Babb (2016). The Essential Indexicality of Intentional Action. Philosophical Quarterly 66 (264):439-457.
    Cappelen and Dever challenge the widely accepted idea that some key aspect of intentional action is essentially indexical. They argue that the classical arguments for this coming from Perry are in fact arguments for a different phenomenon: the opacity of explanatory contexts. I agree with Cappelen and Dever that what Perry says about the ineliminability of indexical terms from explanations of intentional action fails to amount to an argument for this indexicality being essential. But this should not lead us to (...)
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  2. added 2016-06-27
    Yvette van der Eijk & Susanne Uusitalo (2016). Towards a ‘Sociorelational’ Approach to Conceptualizing and Managing Addiction. Public Health Ethics 9 (2):198-207.
    This article looks at how and why addiction should be understood as a ‘sociorelational’ disorder, and what this implies on a policy level in terms of the treatment and prevention of addiction. In light of scientific research, we argue that the neurobiological changes that underlie addiction are heavily influenced by sociorelational processes. We thereby advocate for a conceptual approach in which autonomy in addiction is a sociorelational concept, and social environments are considered autonomy undermining or autonomy promoting. We then discuss (...)
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  3. added 2016-06-27
    Richard Holton (2016). Addiction, Self‐Signalling and the Deep Self. Mind and Language 31 (3):300-313.
    Addicts may simply deny that they are addicted; or they may use self-signalling to try to provide evidence that giving up is not worthwhile. I provide an account that shows how easy it is to provide apparent evidence either that the addiction is so bad that it cannot be escaped; or that there is no real addiction, and hence nothing to escape. I suggest that the most effective way of avoiding this is to avoid self-signalling altogether.
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  4. added 2016-06-27
    Hanna Pickard (2016). Denial in Addiction. Mind and Language 31 (3):277-299.
    I argue that denial plays a central but insufficiently recognized role in addiction. The puzzle inherent in addiction is why drug use persists despite negative consequences. The orthodox conception of addiction resolves this puzzle by appeal to compulsion; but there is increasing evidence that addicts are not compelled to use but retain choice and control over their consumption in many circumstances. Denial offers an alternative explanation: there is no puzzle as to why drug use persists despite negative consequences if these (...)
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  5. added 2016-06-27
    Steve Pearce (2016). A Pure Representationalist Account of Belief and Desire. Dissertation, University of Western Ontario
    According to the traditional view, beliefs and desires are mental representations that play particular functional roles. A belief that P is state which represents P and plays the belief-role, while a desire that P is a state which represents that P and plays the desire-role. In this dissertation I argue that the traditional view has trouble accounting for (a) role that belief and desire play in the causal and rational explanation of behaviour and (b) our knowledge of our own conscious, (...)
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  6. added 2016-06-27
    C. Kelp (2016). Epistemic Frankfurt Cases Revisited. American Philosophical Quarterly 53:27-37.
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  7. added 2016-06-24
    Eric Entrican Wilson (2016). Habitual Desire: On Kant’s Concept of Inclination. Kantian Review 21 (2):211-235.
    Tamar Schapiro has offered an important new account of inclination and motivation, one that expands and refines Christine Korsgaards own view differs significantly from Schapiros view rests on a much sharper distinction between the rational and non-rational parts of the soul. In the process of explaining these differences, I argue that Kants.
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  8. added 2016-06-24
    Jozef Müller (2016). What Aristotelian Decisions Cannot Be. Ancient Philosophy 36 (1):173-195.
    I argue that Aristotelian decisions (προαιρέσεις) cannot be conceived of as based solely on wish (βούλησις) and deliberation (βούλευσις), as the standard picture (most influentially argued for in Anscombe's "Thought and Action in Aristotle", in R. Bambrough ed. New Essays on Plato and Aristotle. London: Routledge, 1965) suggests. Although some features of the standard view are correct (such as that decisions have essential connection to deliberation and that wish always plays a crucial role in the formation of a decision), Aristotelian (...)
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  9. added 2016-06-24
    Chris Tucker (2015). Satisficing and Motivated Submaximization. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (3).
    In replying to certain objections to the existence of God, Robert Adams, Bruce Langtry, and Peter van Inwagen assume that God can appropriately choose a suboptimal world, a world less good than some other world God could have chosen. A number of philosophers, such as Michael Slote and Klaas Kraay, claim that these theistic replies are therefore committed to the claim that satisficing can be appropriate. Kraay argues that this commitment is a significant liability. I argue, however, that the relevant (...)
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  10. added 2016-06-24
    Uri D. Leibowitz, Moral Deliberation and Ad Hominem Fallacies.
    Many of us read Peter Singer’s work on our obligations to those in desperate need with our students. Famously, Singer argues that we have a moral obligation to give a significant portion of our assets to famine relief. If my own experience is not atypical, it is quite common for students, upon grasping the implications of Singer’s argument, to ask whether Singer gives to famine relief. In response it might be tempting to remind students of the ad hominem fallacy of (...)
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  11. added 2016-06-24
    John Shand (2015). Free Will and Subject. Polish Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):51-70.
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  12. added 2016-06-24
    Randolph Clarke & Thomas Reed (2015). Free Will and Agential Powers. Oxford Studies in Agency and Moral Responsibility 3:6-33.
    Free will is often said—by compatibilists and incompatibilists alike—to be a power (or complex of powers) of agents. This paper offers proposals for, and examines the prospects of, a powers-conception of free will that takes the powers in question to be causal dispositions. A difficulty for such an account stems from the idea that when one exercises free will, it is up to oneself whether one wills to do this or that. The paper also briefly considers whether a powers-conception that (...)
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  13. added 2016-06-24
    Philippa Foot (2002). Moral Dilemmas. Oxford University Press Uk.
    Moral Dilemmas is the second volume of collected essays by the eminent moral philosopher Philippa Foot, gathering the best of her work from the late 1970s to the 1990s. It fills the gap between her famous 1978 collection Virtues and Vices and her acclaimed monograph Natural Goodness, published in 2001. In this new collection Professor Foot develops further her critique of the dominant ethical theories of the last fifty years, and discusses such topics as the nature of moral judgement, practical (...)
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  14. added 2016-06-23
    Neil Sinclair, On the Connection Between Normative Reasons and the Possibility of Acting for Those Reasons.
    According to Bernard Williams, if it is true that A has a normative reason to Φ then it must be possible that A should Φ for that reason. This claim is important both because it restricts the range of reasons which agents can have and because it has been used as a premise in an argument for so-called ‘internalist’ theories of reasons. In this paper I rebut an apparent counterexamples to Williams’ claim: Schroeder’s example of Nate. I argue that this (...)
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  15. added 2016-06-23
    Dominique Pestre (2016). Knowledge and Rational Action: The Economization of Environment, and After. In Susan Neiman, Peter Galison & Wendy Doniger (eds.), What Reason Promises: Essays on Reason, Nature and History. De Gruyter 93-99.
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  16. added 2016-06-23
    Konrad Utz (2016). Quid mihi? Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 64 (2):213-227.
    Kant did not explain the method of his foundation of ethics expressly. However, we can comprehend it as the demonstration of the originality of morality. For morality cannot be derived from anything non-moral – such a relation of derivation would destroy it. Therefore, there cannot be a justification or proof of morality in the strong sense, there can only be a “groundwork”, as the term “Grundlegung” is normally translated in English. This groundwork or grounding consists in disclosing the place or (...)
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  17. added 2016-06-23
    Ariela Tubert (2016). Sound Advice and Internal Reasons. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2):181-199.
    Reasons internalism holds that reasons for action contain an essential connection with motivation. I defend an account of reasons internalism based on the advisor model. The advisor model provides an account of reasons for action in terms of the advice of a more rational version of the agent. Contrary to Pettit and Smith's proposal and responding to Sobel's and Johnson's objections, I argue that the advisor model can provide an account of internal reasons and that it is too caught up (...)
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  18. added 2016-06-23
    Victor Kumar (2016). Psychopathy and Internalism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (3):318-345.
    Do psychopaths make moral judgments but lack motivation? Or are psychopaths’ judgments are not genuinely moral? Both sides of this debate seem to assume either externalist or internalist criteria for the presence of moral judgment. However, if moral judgment is a natural kind, we can arrive at a theory-neutral criterion for moral judgment. A leading naturalistic criterion suggests that psychopaths have an impaired capacity for moral judgment; the capacity is neither fully present nor fully absent. Psychopaths are therefore not counterexamples (...)
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  19. added 2016-06-23
    Ariela Tubert (2015). Sound Advice and Internal Reasons. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (1).
    Reasons internalism holds that reasons for action contain an essential connection with motivation. I defend an account of reasons internalism based on the advisor model. The advisor model provides an account of reasons for action in terms of the advice of a more rational version of the agent. Contrary to Pettit and Smith's proposal and responding to Sobel's and Johnson's objections, I argue that the advisor model can provide an account of internal reasons and that it is too caught up (...)
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  20. added 2016-06-23
    Joseph Raz (1999). Practical Reason and Norms. Oxford University Press Uk.
    Practical Reason and Norms focuses on three problems: In what way are rules normative, and how do they differ from ordinary reasons? What makes normative systems systematic? What distinguishes legal systems, and in what consists their normativity? All three questions are answered by taking reasons as the basic normative concept, and showing the distinctive role reasons have in every case, thus paving the way to a unified account of normativity. Rules are a structure of reasons to perform the required act (...)
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  21. added 2016-06-22
    Henk Bij de Weg, Collective Intentionality and Individual Action. My Website.
    People often do things together and form groups in order to get things done that they cannot do alone. In short they form a collectivity of some kind or a group, for short. But if we consider a group on the one hand and the persons that constitute the group on the other hand, how does it happen that these persons work together and finish a common task with a common goal? In the philosophy of action this problem is often (...)
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  22. added 2016-06-21
    Leslie Allan, Plantinga's Free Will Defence: Critical Note.
    Some atheistic philosophers have argued that God could have created a world with free moral agents and yet absent of moral evil. Using possible world semantics, Alvin Plantinga sought to defuse this logical form of the problem of evil. In this critical note, Leslie Allan examines the adequacy of Plantinga's argument that the existence of God is logically compatible with the existence of moral evil. The veracity of Plantinga's argument turns on whether his essential use of counterfactual conditionals preserves the (...)
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  23. added 2016-06-21
    Daniel Star (forthcoming). Précis of Knowing Better. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  24. added 2016-06-21
    Daniel Star (forthcoming). Replies to Cuneo, Driver, and Littlejohn. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
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  25. added 2016-06-20
    Sofia Jeppsson (forthcoming). Non-Elusive Freedom Contextualism. Philosophia:1-16.
    There are powerful arguments for free will scepticism. However, it seems obvious that some of our actions are done of our own free will. It has been argued that we can solve this puzzle by giving ‘free’ a contextualist analysis. In everyday contexts we are often allowed to ignore sceptical arguments, and can truly say that we acted freely. In the more demanding context of philosophy, it is true that we never do anything freely. Our freedom is elusive; it escapes (...)
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  26. added 2016-06-19
    Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). Do Reasons and Evidence Share the Same Residence? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    This is part of an authors meets critics session on Daniel Star's wonderful book, Knowing Better. I discuss a potential problem with Kearns and Star's Reasons as Evidence thesis. The issue has to do with the difficulties we face is we treat normative reasons as evidence and impose no possession conditions on evidence. On such a view, it's hard to see how practical reasoning could be a non-monotonic process. One way out of the difficulty would be to allow for (potent) (...)
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  27. added 2016-06-18
    Alfred R. Mele (forthcoming). Moral Responsibility: Radical Reversals and Original Designs. Journal of Ethics:1-14.
    This article identifies and assesses a way of thinking that might help to explain why some compatibilists are attracted to what is variously called an internalist, structuralist, or anti-historicist view of moral responsibility—a view about the bearing of agents’ histories on their moral responsibility. Scenarios of two different kinds are considered. Several scenarios feature heavy-duty manipulation that radically changes an agent’s mature moral personality from admirable to despicable or vice versa. These “radical reversal” scenarios are contrasted with a scenario featuring (...)
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  28. added 2016-06-17
    Marc-Kevin Daoust (forthcoming). Tolérance libérale et délibération : l'apport de la neutralité scientifique. Les ateliers de l'éthique/The Ethics Forum 10 (3).
    Cet article poursuit la réflexion de Dilhac (2014) touchant la relation entre politique et vérité. Au terme d’une analyse de la tolérance chez Mill et Popper, Dilhac conclut qu’une conception épistémique de la tolérance manque sa dimension politique, et qu’il est préférable d’opter pour le concept rawlsien de consensus raisonnable. Discutant ces résultats, le premier objectif est ici de montrer qu’une notion de « raisonnabilité » peut facilement trouver ses racines dans la neutralité scientifique wébérienne, et donc être porteuse d’une (...)
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  29. added 2016-06-16
    Luca Ferrero, Inescapability Revisited.
    According to constitutivism, the objective authority of practical reason is to be grounded in the constitutive features of agency. In this paper, I offer a brief survey of the basic structure of constitutive argument about objectivity and consider how constitutivism might dispel the worry that it can only ground a *conditional* kind of authority. In response to Enoch's original shmagency challenge, in the past I argued that the inescapability of agency shows that we should not be worried by challenges that (...)
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  30. added 2016-06-16
    John Martin Fischer (forthcoming). How Do Manipulation Arguments Work? Journal of Ethics:1-21.
    Alfred Mele has presented the Zygote Argument as a challenge to compatibilism. In previous work I have offered a critique of Mele’s first premise. Patrick Todd, Neal Tognazzini, and Derk Pereboom have offered an alternative interpretation of the argument, substituting for. Here I offer a critical evaluation of this strategy, and in the process I seek to understand the deep structure of the Zygote Argument.
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  31. added 2016-06-16
    Dana Kay Nelkin (forthcoming). Accountability and Desert. Journal of Ethics:1-17.
    In recent decades, participants in the debate about whether we are free and responsible agents have tended with increasing frequency to begin their papers or books by fixing the terms “free” and “responsible” in clear ways to avoid misunderstanding. This is an admirable development, and while some misunderstandings have certainly been avoided, and positions better illuminated as a result, new and interesting questions also arise. Two ways of fixing these terms and identifying the underlying concepts have emerged as especially influential, (...)
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  32. added 2016-06-16
    Terence Cuneo & Christos Kyriacou (forthcoming). Defending the Moral/Epistemic Parity. In C. McHugh J. Way & D. Whiting (eds.), Metaepistemology.
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  33. added 2016-06-16
    Michael McKenna (forthcoming). A Modest Historical Theory of Moral Responsibility. Journal of Ethics:1-23.
    Is moral responsibility essentially historical? Consider two agents qualitatively identical with respect to all of their nonhistorical properties just prior to the act of A-ing. Is it possible that, due only to differences in their respective histories, when each A-s only one A-s freely and is morally responsible for doing so? Nonhistorical theorists say “no.” Historical theorists say “yes.” Elsewhere, I have argued on behalf of philosophers like Harry G. Frankfurt that nonhistorical theorists can resist the historical theorists’ case against (...)
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  34. added 2016-06-16
    Markus Kohl (forthcoming). The Normativity of Prudence. Kant-Studien.
    Kant's account of “precepts of prudence” raises a striking interpretive puzzle. On the one hand, he presents such precepts as normative-practical rules; on the other hand, he relegates them to theoretical philosophy. I argue that to render these two strands coherent, we must assume that our empirical nature is a source of normativity for us: prudence is normative for us just because we have an “unconditional” empirical desire for obtaining happiness, a maximum of pleasant sensations. Since rules of prudence cognize (...)
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  35. added 2016-06-16
    Jürg Steiner (forthcoming). Deliberation Across Deep Divisions. Transformative Moments. Cambridge University Press.
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  36. added 2016-06-16
    Robert Kane (forthcoming). Moral Responsibility, Reactive Attitudes and Freedom of Will. Journal of Ethics:1-18.
    In his influential paper, “Freedom and Resentment,” P. F. Strawson argued that our ordinary practices of holding persons morally responsible and related reactive attitudes were wholly “internal” to the practices themselves and could be insulated from traditional philosophical and metaphysical concerns, including concerns about free will and determinism. This “insulation thesis” is a controversial feature of Strawson’s influential paper; and it has had numerous critics. The first purpose of this paper is to explain my own reasons for thinking that our (...)
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  37. added 2016-06-16
    Michael Smith (forthcoming). Romance and Responsibility in Woody Allen’s “Manhattan”. Journal of Ethics:1-23.
    Reflection on the wrongs done by characters in Woody Allen’s romantic comedy “Manhattan” helps us get clear about the evidence required to judge them responsible and so liable to blame them for those wrongs. On the positive side, what is required is evidence that trust remains a possibility, despite the fact that they wrong, and this in turn requires evidence that the wrongdoer had, but failed to exercise, the capacity to do the right thing when they did that wrong. On (...)
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  38. added 2016-06-16
    Daniel G. Campos (2016). The Role of Diagrammatic Reasoning in Ethical Deliberation. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 51 (3):338-357.
    In the 1903 lecture “What Makes a Reasoning Sound?” Charles Peirce provides a detailed account of the process of ethical deliberation intended to shape right conduct. He does this in the context of arguing against the claim that there is no distinction between moral right and wrong. He considered the argument for this claim to be analogous to the argument for the claim that there is no distinction between good and bad reasoning.1 Though Peirce’s ultimate concern in the lecture is (...)
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  39. added 2016-06-16
    Chrisoula Andreou & Sergio Tenenbaum (eds.) (2016). Belief, Action and Rationality Over Time. Routledge.
    Action theorists and formal epistemologists often pursue parallel inquiries regarding rationality, with the former focused on practical rationality, and the latter focused on theoretical rationality. In both fields, there is currently a strong interest in exploring rationality in relation to time. This exploration raises questions about the rationality of certain patterns over time. For example, it raises questions about the rational permissibility of certain patterns of intention; similarly, it raises questions about the rational permissibility of certain patterns of belief. While (...)
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  40. added 2016-06-16
    Matthew Chrisman (2016). What is This Thing Called Metaethics? Routledge.
    Are moral standards relative to cultures? Are there any moral facts? What is goodness? If there are moral facts how do we learn about them?_ _These are all questions in metaethics, the branch of ethics that investigates the status of morality, the nature of ethical facts, and the meaning of ethical statements. To the uninitiated it can appear abstract and far removed from its two more concrete cousins, ethical theory and applied ethics, yet it is one of the fastest-growing and (...)
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  41. added 2016-06-16
    Iakovos Vasiliou (ed.) (2016). Moral Motivation: A History. Oxford University Press Usa.
    Moral Motivation presents a history of the concept of moral motivation. The book consists of ten chapters by eminent scholars in the history of philosophy, covering Plato, Aristotle, later Peripatetic philosophy, medieval philosophy, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Kant, Fichte and Hegel, and the consequentialist tradition. In addition, four interdisciplinary "Reflections" discuss how the topic of moral motivation arises in epic poetry, Cicero, early opera, and Theodore Dreiser. Most contemporary philosophical discussions of moral motivation focus on whether and how moral beliefs by (...)
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  42. added 2016-06-16
    Hanne Jacobs (2016). Husserl on Reason, Reflection, and Attention. Research in Phenomenology 46 (2):257-276.
    This paper spells out Husserl’s account of the exercise of rationality and shows how it is tied to the capacity for critical reflection. I first discuss Husserl’s views on what rationally constrains our intentionality. Then I localize the exercise of rationality in the positing that characterizes attentive forms of intentionality and argue that, on Husserl’s account, when we are attentive to something we are also pre-reflectively aware of what speaks for and against our taking something to be a certain way. (...)
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  43. added 2016-06-16
    Micah Lott (2016). Constructing a Good Life. Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (3):363-375.
    _ Source: _Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 363 - 375 In _The Value of Living Well,_ Mark LeBar develops a position that he calls “virtue eudaimonism”. VE is both a eudaimonistic theory of practical reasoning and a constructivist account of the metaphysics of value. In this essay, I will explain the core of LeBar’s view and focus on two issues, one concerning VE ’s eudaimonism and the other concerning VE ’s constructivism. I will argue that, as it stands, VE does (...)
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  44. added 2016-06-16
    Derek Clayton Baker, Akrasia and the Problem of the Unity of Reason.
    Joseph Raz and Sergio Tenenbaum argue that the Guise of the Good thesis explains both the possibility of practical reason and its unity with theoretical reason, something Humean psychological theories may be unable to do. This paper will argue, however, that Raz and Tenenbaum face a dilemma: either the version of the Guise of the Good they offer is too strong to allow for weakness of will, or it will lose its theoretical advantage in preserving the unity of reason.
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  45. added 2016-06-16
    Arto Laitinen (2015). MacIntyre and Taylor: Traditions, Rationality and Modernity. In Jeff Malpas & Hans-Helmuth Gander (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Hermeneutics. Routledge 204-215.
    This chapter discusses five closely intertwined aspects of the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor that are relevant to the traditions of hermeneutics: (i) their fundamental philosophical anthropology, (ii) their views on explanation and understanding in the human sciences, (iii) their analysis of modernity and the nature of contemporary late modern Western cultures, (iv) ethics, and (v) the question of rationally comparing and assessing rival traditions or cultures.
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  46. added 2016-06-16
    Sabine Roeser & Cain Todd (eds.) (2014). Emotion and Value. Oxford University Press Uk.
    This volume brings together new work by leading philosophers on the topics of emotion and value, and explores issues at their intersection. Recent work in philosophy and psychology has had important implications for topics such as the role that emotions play in practical rationality and moral psychology, the connection between imagination and emotion in the appreciation of fiction, and more generally with the ability of emotions to discern axiological saliences and to ground the objectivity of ethical or aesthetic value judgements. (...)
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  47. added 2016-06-16
    Laura Specker Sullivan (2014). The Self-Contradictory Identity of the Personal Self: Nishida’s Argument Against Kantian Pure Practical Reason. Journal of Japanese Philosophy 2:33-56.
    Throughout his entire career, Nishida Kitarō was, arguably, interested in challenging Immanuel Kant’s formulation of the moral will. In his first work, An Inquiry into the Good, he criticizes Kant’s pure practical reason as idealistic, arguing that the good should be understood not in terms of an abstract, formal relation of reason with itself, but in terms of personality as a single, unique, unifying power that is the true reality of the self. He echoes this language in his last work, (...)
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  48. added 2016-06-16
    Danielle Bromwich (2013). Motivational Internalism and the Challenge of Amoralism. European Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):n/a-n/a.
    Motivational internalism is the thesis that captures the commonplace thought that moral judgements are necessarily motivationally efficacious. But this thesis appears to be in tension with another aspect of our ordinary moral experience. Proponents of the contrast thesis, motivational externalism, cite everyday examples of amoralism to demonstrate that it is conceptually possible to be completely unmoved by what seem to be sincere first-person moral judgements. This paper argues that the challenge of amoralism gives us no reason to reject or modify (...)
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  49. added 2016-06-16
    Glenn Mackin (2011). The Aporia of Practical Reason: Reflections on What It Means to Pay Due Respect to Others. Contemporary Political Theory 10 (1):58-77.
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  50. added 2016-06-14
    Caroline T. Arruda (forthcoming). What Kind of Theory is the Humean Theory of Motivation? Ratio.
    I consider an underappreciated problem for proponents of the Humean theory of motivation (HTM). Namely, it is unclear whether is it to be understood as a largely psychological or largely metaphysical theory. I show that the psychological interpretation of HTM will need to be modified in order to be a tenable view and, as it will turn out, the modifications required render it virtually philosophically empty. I then argue that the largely metaphysical interpretation is the only a plausible interpretation of (...)
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