Derk Pereboom Cornell University
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  • Faculty, Cornell University
  • PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, 1985.

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Professor of philosophy, Cornell University; specializing in free will, philosophy of mind, Kant, and philosophy of religion.
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  1. Derk Pereboom (web). A Compatibilist Theory of the Beliefs Required for Rational Deliberation. Journal of Ethics.
     
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  2. Gunnar Björnsson & Derk Pereboom (forthcoming). Comments on Eddy Nahmias, “Is Free Will an Illusion?”. In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, Vol. 4. MIT Press.
    Discusses Eddy Nahmias' “Is Free Will an Illusion?”.
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  3. Michael McKenna & Derk Pereboom (2015). Free Will: A Contemporary Introduction. Routledge.
    If my ability to react freely is constrained by forces beyond my control, am I still morally responsible for the things I do? The question of whether, how and to what extent we are responsible for our own actions has always been central to debates in philosophy and theology, and has been the subject of much recent research in cognitive science. And for good reason- the views we take on free will affect the choices we make as individuals, the moral (...)
     
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  4. Derk Pereboom (2014). Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life. Oup Oxford.
    Derk Pereboom articulates and defends an original, forward-looking conception of moral responsibility. He argues that although we may not possess the kind of free will that is normally considered necessary for moral responsibility, this does not jeopardize our sense of ourselves as agents, or a robust sense of achievement and meaning in life.
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  5. Derk Pereboom (2014). Powers, Laws and Freedom of the Will. Metascience 23 (3):491-495.
    Laws, Mind, and Free Will is a highly valuable book for anyone interested in philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, or in the problem of free will and moral responsibility. The book has three distinct but related parts. The first presents an anti-empiricist position on the laws of nature, according to which the point of the laws is not primarily to predict kinematic outcomes, but rather to characterize dynamics. One upshot of the account is that the laws have an attenuated (...)
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  6. Susan Blackmore, Thomas W. Clark, Mark Hallett, John-Dylan Haynes, Ted Honderich, Neil Levy, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Shaun Nichols, Michael Pauen, Derk Pereboom, Susan Pockett, Maureen Sie, Saul Smilansky, Galen Strawson, Daniela Goya Tocchetto, Manuel Vargas, Benjamin Vilhauer & Bruce Waller (2013). Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books.
     
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  7. D. Pereboom & M. M. S. K. Sie (2013). Introduction. Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):97-100.
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  8. Derk Pereboom (2013). Free Will. In Roger Crisp (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Ethics. Oxford University Press.
     
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  9. Derk Pereboom (2013). Free Will Skepticism and Criminal Punishment. In Thomas A. Nadelhoffer (ed.), The Future of Punishment. Oup Usa. 49.
  10. Derk Pereboom (2013). Optimistic Skepticism About Free Will. In Paul Russell & Oisin Deery (eds.), The Philosophy of Free Will: Essential Readings From the Contemporary Debates. Oup Usa. 421.
  11. Derk Pereboom (2013). Précis of Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):715-727.
    Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism has three parts. The first (Chapters 1–4) develops a response to the knowledge and conceivability arguments against physicalism, one that features the open possibility that introspective representations represent mental properties as having features they actually lack. The second part (Chapters 5 and 6) proposes a physicalist version of a Russellian Monist answer to these arguments, the core of which is that currently unknown intrinsic physical properties provide categorical bases for known physical properties and also (...)
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  12. Derk Pereboom (2013). Qualitative Inaccuracy and Unconceived Alternatives Reply. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):753-764.
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  13. Derk Pereboom (2013). Russellian Monism and Absolutely Intrinsic Properties. In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Mind. Routledge. 40.
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  14. Derk Pereboom (2013). Replies to Daniel Stoljar, Robert Adams, and Lynne Baker. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):753-764.
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  15. Derk Pereboom (2013). Skepticism About Free Will. In Gregg Caruso (ed.), Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books. 19.
  16. Derk Pereboom & Maureen Sie (2013). Introduction. Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):97-100.
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  17. Derk Pereboom (2012). Frankfurt Examples, Derivative Responsibility, and the Timing Objection1. Philosophical Issues 22 (1):298-315.
  18. Derk Pereboom (2012). On Fischer's Our Stories. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 158 (3):523-528.
    On Fischer’s Our Stories Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s11098-010-9670-5 Authors Derk Pereboom, Sage School of Philosophy, Cornell University, 218 Goldwin Smith Hall, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA Journal Philosophical Studies Online ISSN 1573-0883 Print ISSN 0031-8116.
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  19. Derk Pereboom (2012). The Disappearing Agent Objection to Event-Causal Libertarianism. Philosophical Studies (1):1-11.
    The question I raise is whether Mark Balaguer’s event-causal libertarianism can withstand the disappearing agent objection. The concern is that with the causal role of the events antecedent to a decision already given, nothing settles whether the decision occurs, and so the agent does not settle whether the decision occurs. Thus it would seem that in this view the agent will not have the control in making decisions required for moral responsibility. I examine whether Balaguer’s position has the resources to (...)
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  20. Derk Pereboom (2011). And Divine Providence. In Ken Perszyk (ed.), Molinism: The Contemporary Debate. Oup Oxford. 262.
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  21. Derk Pereboom (2011). Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism. Oxford University Press.
    In this book, Derk Pereboom explores how physicalism might best be formulated and defended against the best anti-physicalist arguments. Two responses to the knowledge and conceivability arguments are set out and developed. The first exploits the open possibility that introspective representations fail to represent mental properties as they are in themselves; specifically, that introspection represents phenomenal properties as having certain characteristic qualitative natures, which these properties might actually lack. The second response draws on the proposal that currently unknown fundamental intrinsic (...)
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  22. Derk Pereboom (2011). Free Will Skepticism and Meaning in Life. In Robert Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press.
  23. Derk Pereboom (2011). Theological Determinism and Divine Providence. In Ken Perszyk (ed.), Molinism: The Contemporary Debate. Oxford University Press.
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  24. Andrew Chignell & Derk Pereboom (2010). Kant's Theory of Causation and its Eighteenth-Century German Background. Philosophical Review 119 (4):565-591.
    This critical notice highlights the important contributions that Eric Watkins's writings have made to our understanding of theories about causation developed in eighteenth-century German philosophy and by Kant in particular. Watkins provides a convincing argument that central to Kant's theory of causation is the notion of a real ground or causal power that is non-Humean (since it doesn't reduce to regularities or counterfactual dependencies among events or states) and non-Leibnizean because it doesn't reduce to logical or conceptual relations. However, we (...)
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  25. Derk Pereboom (2010). Structuralism, Anti-Structuralism, and Objectivity. Philosophic Exchanges 40:45-59.
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  26. Kit Fine, David Kaplan, D. A. Martin, Derk Pereboom, David Sanson & Luca Struble (2009). Production and Necessity. Philosophical Review 118 (2).
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  27. D. Pereboom (2009). Can God Be Free? Philosophical Review 118 (1):121-127.
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  28. Derk Pereboom (2009). Book Review. Can God Be Free? William Rowe. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 118 (1):121-27.
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  29. Derk Pereboom (2009). Consciousness and Introspective Inaccuracy. In Samuel Newlands & Larry M. Jorgensen (eds.), Metaphysics and the Good: Themes From the Philosophy of Robert Merrihew Adams. Oxford University Press.
  30. Derk Pereboom (2009). Can God Be Free? Philosophical Review 118 (1):121-127.
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  31. Derk Pereboom (2009). Further Thoughts About a Frankfurt-Style Argument. Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):109 – 118.
    I have presented a Frankfurt-style argument (Pereboom 2000, 2001, 2003) against the requirement of robust alternative possibilities for moral responsibility that features an example, Tax Evasion , in which an agent is intuitively morally responsible for a decision, has no robust alternative possibilities, and is clearly not causally determined to make the decision. Here I revise the criterion for robustness in response to suggestions by Dana Nelkin, Jonathan Vance, and Kevin Timpe, and I respond to objections to the argument by (...)
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  32. Derk Pereboom (2009). Free Will, Love and Anger. Ideas Y Valores 141 (141):5-25.
    I have argued we are not free in the sense required for moral responsibility, while at the same time a conception of life without this type of free will would not be devastating to morality or to our sense of meaning in life, and in certain respects it may even be beneficial (cf. Pereboom 2001). In ..
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  33. Derk Pereboom (2009). Hard Incompatibilism and its Rivals. Philosophical Studies 144 (1):21 - 33.
    In this article I develop several responses to my co-authors of Four Views on Free Will. In reply to Manuel Vargas, I suggest a way to clarify his claim that our concepts of free will and moral responsibility should be revised, and I question whether he really proposes to revise the notion of basic desert at stake in the debate. In response to Robert Kane, I examine the role the rejection of Frankfurt-style arguments has in his position, and whether his (...)
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  34. Derk Pereboom (2009). Kant's Transcendental Arguments. In Edward Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford.
  35. Derk Pereboom (2008). A Compatibilist Account of the Epistemic Conditions on Rational Deliberation. Journal of Ethics 12 (3/4):287 - 306.
    A traditional concern for determinists is that the epistemic conditions an agent must satisfy to deliberate about which of a number of distinct actions to perform threaten to conflict with a belief in determinism and its evident consequences. I develop an account of the sort that specifies two epistemic requirements, an epistemic openness condition and a belief in the efficacy of deliberation, whose upshot is that someone who believes in determinism and its evident consequences can deliberate without inconsistent beliefs. I (...)
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  36. Derk Pereboom (2008). A Hard-Line Reply to the Multiple-Case Manipulation Argument. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):160-170.
  37. Derk Pereboom (2008). Defending Hard Incompatibilism Again. In Nick Trakakis & Daniel Cohen (eds.), Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge Scholars. 1--33.
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  38. Derk Pereboom (2007). John Martin Fischer, My Way:My Way. Ethics 117 (4):754-757.
  39. Derk Pereboom (2007). Book Review. Libertarian Accounts of Free Will. Randolph Clarke. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74:269-72.
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  40. Derk Pereboom (2007). Book Review. My Way. John Martin Fischer. [REVIEW] Ethics 117 (4):754-57.
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  41. Derk Pereboom (2007). Hard Incompatibilism. In John Martin Fischer (ed.), Four Views on Free Will. Blackwell Pub..
     
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  42. Derk Pereboom (2007). Libertarian Accounts of Free Will. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):269–272.
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  43. Derk Pereboom (2007). On Alfred Mele's Free Will and Luck. Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):163 – 172.
    I argue that agent-causal libertarianism has a strong initial rejoinder to Mele's luck argument against it, but that his claim that it has yet to be explained how agent-causation yields responsibility-conferring control has significant force. I suggest an avenue of response. Subsequently, I raise objections to Mele's criticisms of my four-case manipulation argument against compatibilism.
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  44. Derk Pereboom (2007). Response to Kane, Fischer, and Vargas. In John Martin Fischer (ed.), Four Views on Free Will. Blackwell Pub..
  45. Derk Pereboom (2006). Reasons-Responsiveness, Alternative Possibilities, and Manipulation Arguments Against Compatibilism: Reflections on John Martin Fischer's My Way. Philosophical Books 47 (3):198-212.
  46. Derk Pereboom (2006). Kant on Transcendental Freedom. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (3):537-567.
    Transcendental freedom consists in the power of agents to produce actions without being causally determined by antecedent conditions, nor by their natures, in exercising this power. Kant contends that we cannot establish whether we are actually or even possibly free in this sense. He claims only that our conception of being transcendentally free involves no inconsistency, but that as a result the belief that we have this freedom meets a pertinent standard of minimal credibility. For the rest, its justification depends (...)
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  47. Derk Pereboom (2006). The Metaphysical and Transcendental Deductions. In Graham Bird (ed.), A Companion to Kant. Blackwell.
  48. Derk Pereboom (2005). Defending Hard Incompatibilism. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):228-247.
    In _Living Without Free Will_, I develop and argue for a view according to which our being morally responsible would be ruled out if determinism were true, and also if indeterminism were true and the causes of our actions were exclusively events.1 Absent agent causation, indeterministic causal histories are as threatening to moral responsibility as deterministic histories are, and a generalization argument from manipulation cases shows that deterministic histories indeed undermine moral responsibility. Agent causation has not been ruled out as (...)
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  49. Derk Pereboom (2005). Free Will, Evil, and Divine Providence. In Andrew Dole & Andrew Chignell (eds.), God and the Ethics of Belief: New Essays in Philosophy of Religion. Cambridge University Press.
  50. Derk Pereboom (2004). Is Our Conception of Agent-Causation Coherent? Philosophical Topics 32 (1/2):275-286.
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  51. Derk Pereboom (2004). The Problem of Evil. In William Mann (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Religion. Blackwell Pub..
     
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  52. Derk Pereboom (2003). Source Incompatibilism and Alternative Possibilities. In Michael S. McKenna & David Widerker (eds.), Freedom, Responsibility, and Agency: Essays on the Importance of Alternative Possibilities. Ashgate. 184--199.
    The claim that moral responsibility for an action requires that the agent could have done otherwise is surely attractive. Moreover, it seems reasonable to contend that a requirement of this sort is not merely a necessary condition of little consequence, but that it plays a decisive role in explaining an agent's moral responsibility for an action. For if an agent is to be blameworthy for an action, it seems crucial that she could have done something to avoid this blameworthiness. If (...)
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  53. Derk Pereboom (2002). Living Without Free Will: The Case for Hard Incompatibilism. In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press. 477-488.
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  54. Derk Pereboom (2002). Meaning in Life Without Free Will. Philosophic Exchange 33:19-34.
    In a recent article Gary Watson instructively distinguishes two faces or aspects of responsibility. The first is the self-disclosing sense, which is concerned centrally with aretaic or excellence-relevant evaluations of agents. An agent is responsible for an action in this respect when it is an action that is inescapably the agent’s own, if, as a declaration of her adopted ends, it expresses what the agent is about, her identity as an agent. An action for which the agent is responsible in (...)
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  55. Derk Pereboom (2002). On Baker's Persons and Bodies. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):615–622.
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  56. Derk Pereboom (2002). Robust Nonreductive Materialism. Journal of Philosophy 99 (10):499-531.
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  57. Derk Pereboom (2002). Review: On Baker's Persons and Bodies. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (3):615 - 622.
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  58. Derk Pereboom (2002). The Explanatory Irrelevance of Alternative Possibilities. In Robert Kane (ed.), Free Will (Blackwell Readings in Philosophy). Blackwell. 95-124.
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  59. Derk Pereboom (2001). Review: Howell, Kant's Transcendental Deduction: An Analysis of the Main Themes in His Critical Philosophy; Assessing Kant's Master Argument. Kantian Review 5 (1):90-156.
  60. Derk Pereboom (2001). Living Without Free Will. Cambridge University Press.
    Argues that morality, meaning and value remain intact even if we are not morally responsible for our actions.
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  61. Scott MacDonald, John Martin Fischer, Carl Ginet, Joseph Margolis, Mark Case, Elie Noujain, Robert Kane & Derk Pereboom (2000). Excerpts From John Martin Fischer's Discussion with Members of the Audience. Journal of Ethics 4 (4):408 - 417.
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  62. Derk Pereboom (2000). Robert Kane, The Significance of Free Will:The Significance of Free Will. Ethics 110 (2):426-430.
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  63. Derk Pereboom (2000). Alternative Possibilities and Causal Histories. Philosopical Perspectives 14 (s14):119-138.
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  64. Derk Pereboom (2000). Book Review. The Significance of Free Will. Robert Kane,. [REVIEW] Ethics 110 (2):426-30.
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  65. Derk Pereboom (1999). Arguably, Therefore, Nonreductive Materialism Can Respond Effectively to the Most Serious Arguments Made Against It Over the Last Forty Years, and as a Result, It Remains a Viable Position About the Nature of the Mental. See Also Functionalism; Mind-Body Problem; Multiple. Philosophical Studies 95:67-98.
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  66. Derk Pereboom (ed.) (1999). Rationalists. Rowman & Littlefield.
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  67. Derk Pereboom (1998). On Bilgrami's Belief and Meaning. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (3):621-626.
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  68. Derk Pereboom (1998). Review: On Bilgrami's Belief and Meaning. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 58 (3):621 - 626.
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  69. Derk Pereboom (ed.) (1997). Free Will (Hackett Readings in Philosophy). Hackett.
     
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  70. Derk Pereboom (1996). Early Modern Philosophical Theology. In Philip Quinn & Charles Taliaferro (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Religion. Blackwell.
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  71. Derk Pereboom (1996). Kant on God, Evil, and Teleology. Faith and Philosophy 13 (4):508-533.
    In his mature period Kant maintained that human beings have never devised a theory that shows how the existence of God is compatible with the evil that actually exists. But he also held that an argument could be developed that we human beings might well not have the cognitive capacity to understand the relation between God and the world, and that therefore the existence of God might nevertheless be compatible with the evil that exists. At the core of Kant’s position (...)
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  72. Derk Pereboom (1995). Conceptual Structure and the Individuation of Content. Philosophical Perspectives 9:401-428.
    Current attempts to understand psychological content divide into two families of views. According to externalist accounts such as those advanced by Tyler Burge and Ruth Millikan, psychological content does not supervene on the physical features of the individual subject, but is fixed partially by the nature of the world external to her.1 In the rival functional role theories developed by Ned Block and Brian Loar, content does supervene on the physical features of the individual, and is, in addition, determined solely (...)
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  73. Derk Pereboom (1995). Determinism Al Dente. Noûs 29 (1):21-45.
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  74. Derk Pereboom (1995). Self-Understanding in Kant's Transcendental Deduction. Synthese 103 (1):1 - 42.
    I argue that §§15–20 of the B-Deduction contain two independent arguments for the applicability of a priori concepts, the first an argument from above, the second an argument from below. The core of the first argument is §16's explanation of our consciousness of subject-identity across self-attributions, while the focus of the second is §18's account of universality and necessity in our experience. I conclude that the B-Deduction comprises powerful strategies for establishing its intended conclusion, and that some assistance from empirical (...)
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  75. Derk Pereboom (1994). Bats, Brain Scientists, and the Limitations of Introspection. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (2):315-29.
  76. Derk Pereboom (1994). Stoic Psychotherapy in Descartes and Spinoza. Faith and Philosophy 11 (4):592-625.
    The psychotherapeutic theories of Descartes and Spinoza are heavily influenced by Stoicism. Stoic psychotherapy has two central features. First, we have a remarkable degree of voluntary control over our passions, and we can and should exercise this control to keep ourselves from having any irrational passions at all. Second, the universe is determined by the providential divine will, and in any situation we can and should align ourselves with this divine will in order to achieve equanimity. Whereas Descartes largely endorses (...)
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  77. Derk Pereboom (1991). Is Kant's Transcendental Philosophy Inconsistent? History of Philosophy Quarterly 8 (4):357 - 372.
  78. Derk Pereboom (1991). Kant's Amphiboly. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 73 (1):50-70.
  79. Derk Pereboom (1991). Mathematical Expressibility, Perceptual Relativity, and Secondary Qualities. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (1):63-88.
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  80. Derk Pereboom (1991). Why a Scientific Realist Cannot Be a Functionalist. Synthese 88 (September):341-58.
    According to functionalism, mental state types consist solely in relations to inputs, outputs, and other mental states. I argue that two central claims of a prominent and plausible type of scientific realism conflict with the functionalist position. These claims are that natural kinds in a mature science are not reducible to natural kinds in any other, and that all dispositional features of natural kinds can be explained at the type-level. These claims, when applied to psychology, have the consequence that at (...)
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  81. Derk Pereboom & Hilary Kornblith (1991). The Metaphysics of Irreducibility. Philosophical Studies 63 (August):125-45.
    During the 'sixties and 'seventies, Hilary Putnam, Jerry Fodor, and Richard Boyd, among others, developed a type of materialism that eschews reductionist claims.1 In this view, explana- tions, natural kinds, and properties in psychology do not reduce to counterparts in more basic sciences, such as neurophysiology or physics. Nevertheless, all token psychological entities-- states, processes, and faculties--are wholly constituted of physical entities, ultimately out of entities over which microphysics quantifies. This view quickly became the standard position in philosophy of mind, (...)
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  82. Derk Pereboom (1990). Kant on Justification in Transcendental Philosophy. Synthese 85 (1):25 - 54.
    Kant''s claim that the justification of transcendental philosophy is a priori is puzzling because it should be consistent with (1) his general restriction on the justification of knowledge, that intuitions must play a role in the justification of all nondegenerate knowledge, with (2) the implausibility of a priori intuitions being the only ones on which transcendental philosophy is founded, and with (3) his professed view that transcendental philosophy is not analytic. I argue that this puzzle can be solved, that according (...)
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  83. Derk Pereboom (1988). Kant on Intentionality. Synthese 77 (3):321 - 352.
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