Neil Levy Oxford University
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About me
I am Head of Neuroethics at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia, and Director of Research at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics.
My works
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  1. Neil Levy, The Luck Problem for Compatibilists.
    Libertarianism in all its varieties is widely taken to be vulnerable to a serious problem of present luck, inasmuch as it requires indeterminism somewhere in the causal chain leading to action. Genuine indeterminism entails luck, and lack of control over the ensuing action. Compatibilism, by contrast, is generally taken to be free of the problem of present luck, inasmuch as it does not require indeterminism in the causal chain. I argue that this view is false: compatibilism is subject to a (...)
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  2. Neil Levy, Closing the Door on the Belief in Ability Thesis.
    It is, as Dana Nelkin (2004) says, a rare point of agreement among participants in the free will debate that rational deliberation presupposes a belief in freedom. Of course, the precise content of that belief – and, indeed, the nature of deliberation – is controversial, with some philosophers claiming that deliberation commits us to a belief in libertarian free will (Taylor 1966; Ginet 1966), and others claiming that, on the contrary, deliberation presupposes nothing more than an epistemic openness that is (...)
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  3. Jens Clausen & Neil Levy (eds.) (forthcoming). Springer Handbook of Neuroethics.
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  4. N. Levy (forthcoming). Forced to Be Free? Increasing Patient Autonomy by Constraining It. Journal of Medical Ethics:2011-100207.
    It is universally accepted in bioethics that doctors and other medical professionals have an obligation to procure the informed consent of their patients. Informed consent is required because patients have the moral right to autonomy in furthering the pursuit of their most important goals. In the present work, it is argued that evidence from psychology shows that human beings are subject to a number of biases and limitations as reasoners, which can be expected to lower the quality of their decisions (...)
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  5. N. Levy (forthcoming). The Harm of Intraoperative Awareness. Journal of Medical Ethics.
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  6. N. Levy (forthcoming). The Presumption Against Direct Manipulation. Neuroethics: Challenges for the 21st Century. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
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  7. Neil Levy (ed.) (forthcoming). Addiction and Self-Control. Oxford University Press.
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  8. Neil Levy (forthcoming). Luck and Agent-Causation: A Response to Franklin. Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-6.
    Christopher Franklin argues that the hard luck view, which I have recently defended, is misnamed: the arguments turn on absence of control and not on luck. He also argues that my objections to agent-causal libertarianism depend on a demand, for a contrastive explanation that guarantees the choice the agent makes, which would be question-begging in the dialectical context. In response to the first objection, I argue that though Franklin may be right that it is absence of control that matters to (...)
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  9. Neil Levy (forthcoming). Restrictivism is a Covert Compatibilism. In N. Trakakis (ed.), Essays on Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Cambridge Scholars Press.
    _Libertarian restrictivists hold that agents are rarely directly free. However, they seek to reconcile their views_ _with common intuitions by arguing that moral responsibility, or indirect freedom (depending on the version of_ _restrictivism) is much more common than direct freedom. I argue that restrictivists must give up either the_ _claim that agents are rarely free, or the claim that indirect freedom or responsibility is much more common_ _than direct freedom. Focusing on Kane’s version of restrictivism, I show that the view (...)
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  10. Neil Levy (forthcoming). Why Regret Language Death? Public Affairs Quarterly.
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  11. Neil Levy (forthcoming). Zimmerman's The Immorality of Punishment: A Critical Essay. [REVIEW] Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-10.
    In “The Immorality of Punishment”, Michael Zimmerman attempts to show that punishment is morally unjustified and therefore wrong. In this response, I focus on two main questions. First, I examine whether Zimmerman’s empirical claims—concerning our inability to identify wrongdoers who satisfy conditions on blameworthiness and who might be reformed through punishment, and the comparative efficacy of punitive and non-punitive responses to crime—stand up to scrutiny. Second, I argue that his crucial argument from luck depends on claims about counterfactuals that ought (...)
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  12. Neil Levy & Jens Clausen (eds.) (forthcoming). Springer Handbook of Neuroethics. Springer.
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  13. Hannah Maslen, Tom Douglas, Roi Cohen Kadosh, Neil Levy & Julian Savulescu (forthcoming). Do-It-Yourself Brain Stimulation: A Regulatory Model. Journal of Medical Ethics:2013-101692.
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  14. Neil Levy (2014). Addiction as a Disorder of Belief. Biology and Philosophy 29 (3):337-355.
    Addiction is almost universally held to be characterized by a loss of control over drug-seeking and consuming behavior. But the actions of addicts, even of those who seem to want to abstain from drugs, seem to be guided by reasons. In this paper, I argue that we can explain this fact, consistent with continuing to maintain that addiction involves a loss of control, by understanding addiction as involving an oscillation between conflicting judgments. I argue that the dysfunction of the mesolimbic (...)
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  15. Neil Levy (ed.) (2014). Addiction and Self-Control: Perspectives From Philosophy, Psychology, and Neuroscience. Oup Usa.
    This book brings cutting edge neuroscience and psychology into dialogue with philosophical reflection to illuminate the loss of control experienced by addicts, and thereby cast light on ordinary agency and the way in which it sometimes goes wrong.
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  16. Neil Levy (2014). Consciousness and Moral Responsibility. Oup Oxford.
    Neil Levy presents a new theory of freedom and responsibility. He defends a particular account of consciousness--the global workspace view--and argues that consciousness plays an especially important role in action. There are good reasons to think that the naïve assumption, that consciousness is needed for moral responsibility, is in fact true.
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  17. Neil Levy (2014). Countering Cova: Frankfurt-Style Cases Are Still Broken. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):523-527.
    In his “Frankfurt-style cases user manual”, Florian Cova (2013) distinguishes two kinds of Frankfurt-style arguments against the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), and argues that my attack on the soundness of Frankfurt-style cases succeeds, at most, only against one kind. Since either kind of argument can be used to undermine PAP, Cova suggests, the fact that my attack fails against at least one means that it does not succeed in rescuing PAP from the clutches of Frankfurt enthusiasts. In this brief (...)
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  18. Neil Levy (2014). Consciousness, Implicit Attitudes and Moral Responsibility. Noûs 48 (1):21-40.
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  19. Neil Levy (2014). Frankfurt in Fake Barn Country. Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):529-542.
    It is very widely held that Frankfurt-style cases—in which a counterfactual intervener stands by to bring it about that an agent performs an action but never actually acts because the agent performs that action on her own—show that free will does not require alternative possibilities. This essay argues that that conclusion is unjustified, because merely counterfactual interveners may make a difference to normative properties. It presents a modified version of a fake barn case to show how a counterfactual intervener can (...)
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  20. Neil Levy (2014). Is Neurolaw Conceptually Confused? Journal of Ethics 18 (2):171-185.
    In Minds, Brains, and Law, Michael Pardo and Dennis Patterson argue that current attempts to use neuroscience to inform the theory and practice of law founder because they are built on confused conceptual foundations. Proponents of neurolaw attribute to the brain or to its parts psychological properties that belong only to people; this mistake vitiates many of the claims they make. Once neurolaw is placed on a sounder conceptual footing, Pardo and Patterson claim, we will see that its more dramatic (...)
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  21. Neil Levy (2014). Katrina Hutchison and Fiona Jenkins (Eds.) , Women in Philosophy: What Needs to Change? Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 34 (3-4):132-135.
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  22. Neil Levy (2014). Miller , Christian . Moral Character: An Empirical Theory . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. 368. $55.00 (Cloth). [REVIEW] Ethics 124 (3):641-645.
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  23. Neil Levy (2014). Neither Fish nor Fowl: Implicit Attitudes as Patchy Endorsements. Noûs 48 (3).
    Implicit attitudes are mental states that appear sometimes to cause agents to act in ways that conflict with their considered beliefs. Implicit attitudes are usually held to be mere associations between representations. Recently, however, some philosophers have suggested that they are, or are very like, ordinary beliefs: they are apt to feature in properly inferential processing. This claim is important, in part because there is good reason to think that the vocabulary in which we make moral assessments of ourselves and (...)
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  24. Neil Levy (2014). William Hirstein , Mindmelding: Consciousness, Neuroscience, and the Mind's Privacy . Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 34 (1-2):75-77.
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  25. Ayla Barutchu, Olivia Carter, Robert Hester & Neil Levy (2013). Strength in Cognitive Self-Regulation. Frontiers in Psychology 4.
    Failures in self-regulation are predictive of adverse cognitive, academic and vocational outcomes, yet the interplay between cognition and self-regulation failure remains elusive. Two experiments tested the hypothesis that lapses in self-regulation, as predicted by the strength model, can be induced in individuals using cognitive paradigms and whether such failures are related to cognitive performance. In Experiments 1, the stop-signal task (SST) was used to show reduced behavioural inhibition after performance of a cognitively demanding arithmetic task, but only in people with (...)
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  26. 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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  27. Neil Levy (2013). Addiction is Not a Brain Disease (and It Matters). Frontiers in Psychiatry 4 (24).
    The claim that addiction is a brain disease is almost universally accepted among scientists who work on addiction. The claim’s attraction rests on two grounds: the fact that addiction seems to be characterized by dysfunction in specific neural pathways and the fact that the claim seems to the compassionate response to people who are suffering. I argue that neural dysfunction is not sufficient for disease: something is a brain disease only when neural dysfunction is sufficient for impairment. I claim that (...)
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  28. Neil Levy (2013). Are We Agents at All? Helen Steward's Agency Incompatibilism. Inquiry 56 (4):1-14.
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  29. Neil Levy (2013). Be a Skeptic, Not a Metaskeptic. In Gregg Caruso (ed.), Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books. 87.
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  30. Neil Levy (2013). Conversation and Responsibility, by Michael McKenna. [REVIEW] Mind 122 (486):fzt065.
  31. Neil Levy (2013). Hodgson, David., Rationality + Consciousness = Free Will. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (1):183-192.
  32. Neil Levy (2013). 20 Intuitions and Experimental Philosophy: Comfortable Bedfellows. In Matthew C. Haug (ed.), Philosophical Methodology: The Armchair or the Laboratory? Routledge. 381.
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  33. Neil Levy (2013). Psychopaths and Blame: The Argument From Content. Philosophical Psychology (3):1-17.
    The recent debate over the moral responsibility of psychopaths has centered on whether, or in what sense, they understand moral requirements. In this paper, I argue that even if they do understand what morality requires, the content of their actions is not of the right kind to justify full-blown blame. I advance two independent justifications of this claim. First, I argue that if the psychopath comes to know what morality requires via a route that does not involve a proper appreciation (...)
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  34. Neil Levy (2013). Punishing the Addict: Reflections on Gene Heyman. In Thomas A. Nadelhoffer (ed.), The Future of Punishment. Oup Usa. 233.
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  35. Neil Levy (2013). Peter Ulric Tse , The Neural Basis of Free Will: Criterial Causation . Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 33 (4):331-333.
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  36. Neil Levy (2013). The Importance of Awareness. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (2):221-229.
    A number of philosophers have recently argued that agents need not be conscious of the reasons for which they act or the moral significance of their actions in order to be morally responsible for them. In this paper, I identify a kind of awareness that, I claim, agents must have in order to be responsible for their actions. I argue that conscious information processing differs from unconscious in a manner that makes the following two claims true: (1) an agent’s values (...)
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  37. Neil Levy (2013). There May Be Costs to Failing to Enhance, as Well as to Enhancing. American Journal of Bioethics 13 (7):38 - 39.
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  38. Neil Levy (2013). The Moral Significance of Being Born. Journal of Medical Ethics 39 (5):326-329.
    This paper is a response to Giubilini and Minerva's defence of infanticide. I argue that any account of moral worth or moral rights that depends on the intrinsic properties of individuals alone is committed to agreeing with Giubilini and Minerva that birth cannot by itself make a moral difference to the moral worth of the infant. However, I argue that moral worth need not depend on intrinsic properties alone. It might also depend on relational and social properties. I claim that (...)
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  39. Sylvia Terbeck, Guy Kahane, Sarah McTavish, Julian Savulescu, Neil Levy, Miles Hewstone & Philip Cowen (2013). Beta Adrenergic Blockade Reduces Utilitarian Judgement. Biological Psychology 92 (2):323-328.
    Noradrenergic pathways are involved in mediating the central and peripheral effects of physiological arousal. The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of noradrenergic transmission in moral decision-making. We studied the effects in healthy volunteers of propranolol (a noradrenergic beta-adrenoceptor antagonist) on moral judgement in a set of moral dilemmas pitting utilitarian outcomes (e.g., saving five lives) against highly aversive harmful actions (e.g., killing an innocent person) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group design. Propranolol (40 mg orally) (...)
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  40. Neil Levy (2012). A Role for Consciousness After All. Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (2):255-264.
    In a recent paper in this journal, Matt King and Peter Carruthers argue that the common assumption that agents are only (or especially) morally responsible for actions caused by attitudes of which they are conscious needs to be rethought. They claim that there is persuasive evidence that we are never conscious of our propositional attitudes; we ought therefore to design our theories of moral responsibility to accommodate this fact. In this reply, I argue that the evidence they adduce need not (...)
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  41. Neil Levy (2012). Bruce N. Waller , Against Moral Responsibility . Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 32 (3):234-236.
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  42. Neil Levy (2012). Capacities and Counterfactuals: A Reply to Haji and McKenna. Dialectica 66 (4):607-620.
    In a recent paper, Ishtiyaque Haji and Michael McKenna argue that my attack on Frankfurt-style cases fails. I had argued that we cannot be confident that agents in these cases retain their responsibility-underwriting capacities, because what capacities an agent has can depend on features of the world external to her, including merely counterfactual interveners. Haji and McKenna argue that only when an intervention is actual does the agent gain or lose a capacity. Here I demonstrate that this claim is false: (...)
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  43. Neil Levy (2012). Ecological Engineering: Reshaping Our Environments to Achieve Our Goals. Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):589-604.
    Human beings are subject to a range of cognitive and affective limitations which interfere with our ability to pursue our individual and social goals. I argue that shaping our environment to avoid triggering these limitations or to constrain the harms they cause is likely to be more effective than genetic or pharmaceutical modifications of our capacities because our limitations are often the flip side of beneficial dispositions and because available enhancements seem to impose significant costs. I argue that carefully selected (...)
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  44. Neil Levy (2012). Skepticism and Sanction: The Benefits of Rejecting Moral Responsibility. Law and Philosophy 31 (5):477-493.
    It is sometimes objected that we cannot adopt skepticism about moral responsibility, because the criminal justice system plays an indispensable social function. In this paper, I examine the implications of moral responsibility skepticism for the punishment of those convicted of crime, with special attention to recent arguments by Saul Smilansky. Smilansky claims that the skeptic is committed to fully compensating the incarcerated for their detention, and that this compensation would both be too costly to be practical and would remove the (...)
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  45. Neil Levy & Jonathan Mcguire (2012). Cognitive Enhancement and Intuitive Dualism Testing a Possible Link. In Robyn Langdon & Catriona Mackenzie (eds.), Emotions, Imagination, and Moral Reasoning. Psychology Press. 171.
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  46. John Bigelow, Raymond D. Bradley, Andrew Brennan, Tony Coady, Peter Forrest, James Franklin, Karen Green, Russell Grigg, Matthew Sharpe, Jeanette Kennett, Neil Levy, Catriona Mackenzie, Gary Malinas, Chris Mortensen, Robert Nola, Paul Patton, Charles R. Pidgen, Val Plumwood, Graham Priest, Greg Restall, Jack Reynolds, Paul Thom & Michelle Boulous Walker (2011). The Antipodean Philosopher: Public Lectures on Philosophy in Australia and New Zealand. Lexington Books.
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  47. Neil Levy (2011). Culture by Nature. Philosophical Explorations 14 (3):237-248.
    One of the major conflicts in the social sciences since the Second World War has concerned whether, and to what extent, human beings have a nature. One view, traditionally associated with the political left, has rejected the notion that we have a contentful nature, and hoped thereby to underwrite the possibility that we can shape social institutions by references only to norms of justice, rather than our innate dispositions. This view has been in rapid retreat over the past three decades, (...)
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  48. Neil Levy (2011). Enhancing Authenticity. Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (3):308-318.
    Some philosophers have criticized the use of psychopharmaceuticals on the grounds that even if these drugs enhance the person using them, they threaten their authenticity. Others have replied by pointing out that the conception of authenticity upon which this argument rests is contestable; on a rival conception, psychopharmaceuticals might be used to enhance our authenticity. Since, however, it is difficult to decide between these competing conceptions of authenticity, the debate seems to end in a stalemate. I suggest that we need (...)
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  49. Neil Levy (2011). Expressing Who We Are: Moral Responsibility and Awareness of Our Reasons for Action. Analytic Philosophy 52 (4):243-261.
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  50. Neil Levy (2011). Hard Luck: How Luck Undermines Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Oxford University Press.
    The concept of luck has played an important role in debates concerning free will and moral responsibility, yet participants in these debates have relied upon an intuitive notion of what luck is. Neil Levy develops an account of luck, which is then applied to the free will debate. He argues that the standard luck objection succeeds against common accounts of libertarian free will, but that it is possible to amend libertarian accounts so that they are no more vulnerable to luck (...)
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  51. Neil Levy (2011). Joseph Keim Campbell , Free Will . Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 31 (4):251-252.
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  52. Neil Levy (2011). Moore on Twin Earth. Erkenntnis 75 (1):137-146.
    In a series of articles, Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons have argued that Richard Boyd’s defence of moral realism, utilizing a causal theory of reference, fails. Horgan and Timmons construct a twin Earth-style thought experiment which, they claim, generates intuitions inconsistent with the realist account. In their thought experiment, the use of (allegedly) moral terms at a world is causally regulated by some property distinct from that regulating their use here on Earth; nevertheless, Horgan and Timmons claim, it is intuitive (...)
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  53. Neil Levy (2011). Morality on the Brain. The Philosophers' Magazine 54 (54):108-109.
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  54. Neil Levy (2011). Neuroethics: A New Way of Doing Ethics. AJOB Neuroscience 2 (2):3-9.
    The aim of this article is to argue, by example, for neuroethics as a new way of doing ethics. Rather than simply giving us a new subject matter—the ethical issues arising from neuroscience—to attend to, neuroethics offers us the opportunity to refine the tools we use. Ethicists often need to appeal to the intuitions provoked by consideration of cases to evaluate the permissibility of types of actions; data from the sciences of the mind give us reason to believe that some (...)
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  55. Neil Levy (2011). Neuroethics and the Extended Mind. In Judy Illes & Barbara J. Sahakian (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics. Oxford University Press. 285.
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  56. Neil Levy (2011). Resisting 'Weakness of the Will'. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):134 - 155.
    I develop an account of weakness of the will that is driven by experimental evidence from cognitive and social psychology. I will argue that this account demonstrates that there is no such thing as weakness of the will: no psychological kind corresponds to it. Instead, weakness of the will ought to be understood as depletion of System II resources. Neither the explanatory purposes of psychology nor our practical purposes as agents are well-served by retaining the concept. I therefore suggest that (...)
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  57. Neil Levy (2011). Searle's Wager. AI and Society 26 (4):363-369.
    Nicholas Agar has recently argued that it would be irrational for future human beings to choose to radically enhance themselves by uploading their minds onto computers. Utilizing Searle’s argument that machines cannot think, he claims that uploading might entail death. He grants that Searle’s argument is controversial, but he claims, so long as there is a non-zero probability that uploading entails death, uploading is irrational. I argue that Agar’s argument, like Pascal’s wager on which it is modelled, fails, because the (...)
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  58. Neil Levy (2011). T. J. Mawson , Free Will: A Guide for the Perplexed . Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 31 (3):218-220.
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  59. Neil Levy & Yasuko Kitano (2011). We're All Folk: An Interview with Neil Levy About Experimental Philosophy and Conceptual Analysis. Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 19:87-98.
    The following is a transcript of the interview I (Yasuko Kitano) conducted with Neil Levy (The Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, CAPPE) on the 23rd in July 2009, while he was in Tokyo to give a series of lectures on neuroethics at The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy. I edited his words for publication with his approval.
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  60. N. Levy (2010). Preface. In James J. Giordano & Bert Gordijn (eds.), Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives in Neuroethics. Cambridge University Press.
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  61. Neil Levy (2010). Addiction and Compulsion. In C. Sandis (ed.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Action. Blackwell.
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  62. Neil Levy (2010). Introduction: Appiah's Experiments in Ethics. [REVIEW] Neuroethics 3 (3):197-200.
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  63. Neil Levy (2010). John S. Callender, Free Will and Responsibility: A Guide for Practitioners. Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 30 (5):318-319.
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  64. Neil Levy (2010). Mark Belaguer, Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 30 (2):80-82.
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  65. Neil Levy (2010). Nomy Arpaly, Merit, Meaning and Human Bondage: An Essay on Free Will Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 27 (2):89-91.
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  66. Neil Levy (2010). Psychopathy, Responsibility and the Moral/Conventional Distinction. In Luca Malatesti & John McMillan (eds.), Responsibility and Psychopathy: Interfacing Law, Psychiatry, and Philosophy. Oxford University Press, Usa. 213--226.
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  67. Neil Levy (2010). Review of Franck Grammont, Dorothée LeGrand, Pierre Livet (Eds.), Naturalizing Intention in Action. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (6).
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  68. Neil Levy (2010). Scientists and the Folk Have the Same Concepts. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):344.
    If Knobe is right that ordinary judgments are normatively suffused, how do scientists free themselves from these influences? I suggest that because science is distributed and externalized, its claims can be manipulated in ways that allow normative influences to be hived off. This allows scientists to deploy concepts which are not normatively suffused. I suggest that there are good reasons to identify these normatively neutral concepts with the folk concepts.
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  69. Neil Levy (2010). The Prospects for Evolutionary Ethics Today. EurAmerica 40 (3):529-571.
    One reason for the widespread resistance to evolutionary accounts of the origins of humanity is the fear that they undermine morality: if morality is based on nothing more than evolved dispositions, it would be shown to be illusory, many people suspect. This view is shared by some philosophers who take their work on the evolutionary origins of morality to undermine moral realism. If they are right, we are faced with an unpalatable choice: to reject morality on scientific grounds, or to (...)
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  70. Cheshire Calhoun, Mark LeBar, Matthew S. Bedke, Seth Lazar, Neil Levy & Daniel M. Hausman (2009). 10. Iakovos Vasiliou, Aiming at Virtue in Plato Iakovos Vasiliou, Aiming at Virtue in Plato (Pp. 796-800). In John Hawthorne (ed.), Ethics. Wiley Periodicals, Inc..
     
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  71. Neil Levy (2009). Autonomy is (Largely) Irrelevant. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (1):50 – 51.
  72. Neil Levy (2009). Culpable Ignorance and Moral Responsibility: A Reply to FitzPatrick. Ethics 119 (4):729-741.
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  73. Neil Levy (2009). Don Ross, David Spurrett, Harold Kincaid and G. Lynn Stephens, Eds. Distributed Cognition and the Will: Individual Volition and Social Context Reviewed By. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 28 (1):67-70.
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  74. Neil Levy (2009). Empirically Informed Moral Theory: A Sketch of the Landscape. [REVIEW] Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (1):3 - 8.
    This introduction to the special issue on empirically informed moral theory sketches the more important contributions to the field in the past several years. Attention is paid to experimental philosophy, the work of philosophers like Harman and Doris, and that of psychologists like Haidt and Hauser.
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  75. Neil Levy (2009). Luck and History-Sensitive Compatibilism. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):237-251.
    Libertarianism seems vulnerable to a serious problem concerning present luck, because it requires indeterminism somewhere in the causal chain leading to directly free action. Compatibilism, by contrast, is thought to be free of this problem, as not requiring indeterminism in the causal chain. I argue that this view is false: compatibilism is subject to a problem of present luck. This is less of a problem for compatibilism than for libertarianism. However, its effects are just as devastating for one kind of (...)
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  76. Neil Levy (2009). Neuroethics: Ethics and the Sciences of the Mind. Philosophy Compass 4 (1):69-81.
    Neuroethics is a rapidly growing subfield, straddling applied ethics, moral psychology and philosophy of mind. It has clear affinities to bioethics, inasmuch as both are responses to new developments in science and technology, but its scope is far broader and more ambitious because neuroethics is as much concerned with how the sciences of the mind illuminate traditional philosophical questions as it is with questions concerning the permissibility of using technologies stemming from these sciences. In this article, I sketch the two (...)
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  77. Neil Levy (2009). Review of Moral Psychology, Volume 1, the Evolution of Morality. [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):523 – 525.
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  78. Neil Levy (2009). What, and Where, Luck Is: A Response to Jennifer Lackey. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):489 – 497.
    In 'What Luck Is Not', Lackey presents counterexamples to the two most prominent accounts of luck: the absence of control account and the modal account. I offer an account of luck that conjoins absence of control to a modal condition. I then show that Lackey's counterexamples mislocate the luck: the agents in her cases are lucky, but the luck precedes the event upon which Lackey focuses, and that event is itself only fortunate, not lucky. Finally I offer an account of (...)
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  79. Neil Levy (2009). What Difference Does Consciousness Make? Monash Bioethics Review 28 (2):13.
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  80. Neil Levy & Michael McKenna (2009). Recent Work on Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophy Compass 4 (1):96-133.
    In this article we survey six recent developments in the philosophical literature on free will and moral responsibility: (1) Harry Frankfurt's argument that moral responsibility does not require the freedom to do otherwise; (2) the heightened focus upon the source of free actions; (3) the debate over whether moral responsibility is an essentially historical concept; (4) recent compatibilist attempts to resurrect the thesis that moral responsibility requires the freedom to do otherwise; (5) the role of the control condition in free (...)
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  81. Neil Levy & Julian Savulescu (2009). Moral Significance of Phenomenal Consciousness. Progress in Brain Research.
    Recent work in neuroimaging suggests that some patients diagnosed as being in the persistent vegetative state are actually conscious. In this paper, we critically examine this new evidence. We argue that though it remains open to alternative interpretations, it strongly suggests the presence of consciousness in some patients. However, we argue that its ethical significance is less than many people seem to think. There are several different kinds of consciousness, and though all kinds of consciousness have some ethical significance, different (...)
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  82. Neil Levy (2008). Bad Luck Once Again. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):749-754.
    In a recent article in this journal, Storrs McCall and E.J. Lowe sketch an account of indeterminist free will designed to avoid the luck objection that has been wielded to such effect against event-causal libertarianism. They argue that if decision-making is an indeterministic process and not an event or series of events, the luck objection will fail. I argue that they are wrong: the luck objection is equally successful against their account as against existing event-causal libertarianisms. Like the event-causal (...)
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  83. Neil Levy (2008). Bad Luck Once Again. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (3):749-754.
    In a recent article in this journal, Storrs McCall and E.J. Lowe sketch an account of indeterminist free will designed to avoid the luck objection that has been wielded to such effect against event-causal libertarianism. They argue that if decision-making is an indeterministic process and not an event or series of events, the luck objection will fail. I argue that they are wrong: the luck objection is equally successful against their account as against existing event-causal libertarianisms. Like the event-causal libertarianism (...)
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  84. Neil Levy (2008). Counterfactual Intervention and Agents' Capacities. Journal of Philosophy 105 (5):223-239.
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  85. Neil Levy (2008). Does Phenomenology Overflow Access? Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (7):29-38.
    Ned Block has influentially distinguished two kinds of consciousness, access and phenomenal consciousness. He argues that these two kinds of consciousness can dissociate, and therefore we cannot rely upon subjective report in constructing a science of consciousness. I argue that none of Block's evidence better supports his claim than the rival view, that access and phenomenal consciousness are perfectly correlated. Since Block's view is counterintuitive, and has wildly implausible implications, the fact that there is no evidence that better supports it (...)
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  86. Neil Levy (2008). Editorial. Neuroethics 1 (2):73-74.
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  87. Neil Levy (2008). Going Beyond the Evidence. American Journal of Bioethics 8 (9):19 – 21.
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  88. Neil Levy (2008). Introducing Neuroethics. Neuroethics 1 (1):1-8.
  89. Neil Levy (2008). Restoring Control: Comments on George Sher. [REVIEW] Philosophia 36 (2):213-221.
    In a recent article, George Sher argues that a realistic conception of human agency, which recognizes the limited extent to which we are conscious of what we do, makes the task of specifying a conception of the kind of control that underwrites ascriptions of moral responsibility much more difficult than is commonly appreciated. Sher suggests that an adequate account of control will not require that agents be conscious of their actions; we are responsible for what we do, in the absence (...)
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  90. Neil Levy (2008). Review of Experimental Philosophy. [REVIEW] Metapsychology 12 (33).
    This anthology mixes together previously published and new work in experimental philosophy, by many of its leading figures (among whom the editors feature prominently). Experimental philosophy is a burgeoning movement that urges philosophers to leave their armchairs and test their philosophical claims empirically. It builds upon but goes further than the movement that Jesse Prinz, in his contribution, calls empirical philosophy; philosophy that turns to existing scientific literature to find evidence for philosophical claim. Experimental philosophy involves philosophers actually getting their (...)
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  91. Neil Levy (2008). Self-Deception Without Thought Experiments. In T. Bayne & J. Fernández (eds.), Delusion and Self-Deception: Affective and Motivational Influences on Belief Formation. Psychology Press.
    Theories of self-deception divide into those that hold that the state is characterized by some kind of synchronic tension or conflict between propositional attitudes and those that deny this. Proponents of the latter like Al Mele claim that their theories are more parsimonious, because they do not require us to postulate any psychological mechanisms beyond those which have been independently verified. But if we can show that there are real cases of motivated believing which are characterized by conflicting propositional attitudes, (...)
     
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  92. Neil Levy & Michael McKenna (2008). Recent Work on Moral Responsibility. Philosophy Compass 43:96-133.
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  93. N. Levy (2007). Laurence Tancredi, Hardwired Behavior: What Neuroscience Reveals About Morality. Philosophy in Review 27 (1):76.
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  94. N. Levy (2007). Nomy Arpaly, Merit, Meaning and Human Bondage: An Essay on Free Will. Philosophy in Review 27 (2):89.
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  95. Neil Levy (2007). Agents and Mechanisms: Fischer's Way. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):123–130.
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  96. Neil Levy (2007). Doxastic Responsibility. Synthese 155 (1):127 - 155.
    Doxastic responsibility matters, morally and epistemologically. Morally, because many of our intuitive ascriptions of blame seem to track back to agents’ apparent responsibility for beliefs; epistemologically because some philosophers identify epistemic justification with deontological permissibility. But there is a powerful argument which seems to show that we are rarely or never responsible for our beliefs, because we cannot control them. I examine various possible responses to this argument, which aim to show either that doxastic responsibility does not require that we (...)
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  97. Neil Levy (2007). Norms, Conventions, and Psychopaths. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (2):pp. 163-170.
  98. Neil Levy (2007). Punishing the Dirty. In Igor Primoratz (ed.), Politics and Morality. Palgrave Macmillan.
     
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  99. Neil Levy (2007). Review: Agents and Mechanisms: Fischer's Way. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):123 - 130.
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  100. Neil Levy (2007). Rethinking Neuroethics in the Light of the Extended Mind Thesis. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (9):3-11.
    The extended mind thesis is the claim that mental states extend beyond the skulls of the agents whose states they are. This seemingly obscure and bizarre claim has far-reaching implications for neuroethics, I argue. In the first half of this article, I sketch the extended mind thesis and defend it against criticisms. In the second half, I turn to its neuroethical implications. I argue that the extended mind thesis entails the falsity of the claim that interventions into the brain are (...)
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  101. Neil Levy (2007). The Responsibility of the Psychopath Revisited. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (2):pp. 129-138.
    The question of the psychopath's responsibility for his or her wrongdoing has received considerable attention. Much of this attention has been directed toward whether psychopaths are a counterexample to motivational internalism (MI): Do they possess normal moral beliefs, which fail to motivate them? In this paper, I argue that this is a question that remains conceptually and empirically intractable, and that we ought to settle the psychopath's responsibility in some other way. I argue that recent empirical work on the moral (...)
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  102. Neil Levy (2007). The Social: A Missing Term in the Debate Over Addiction and Voluntary Control. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (1):35 – 36.
    The author comments on the article “The Neurobiology of Addiction: Implications for Voluntary Control of Behavior,‘ by S. E. Hyman. Hyman’s article suggests that addicted individuals have impairments in cognitive control of behavior. The author agrees with Hyman’s view that addiction weakens the addict’s ability to align his actions with his judgments. The author states that neuroethics may focus on brains and highlight key aspects of behavior but we still risk missing explanatory elements. Accession Number: 24077912; Authors: Levy, Neil 1,2; (...)
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  103. Neil Levy & Michael Mckenna (2007). Symposium on Free Will and Luck. Philosophical Explorations 10 (2):151 – 152.
  104. Timothy J. Bayne & Neil Levy (2006). The Feeling of Doing: Deconstructing the Phenomenology of Agnecy. In Natalie Sebanz & Wolfgang Prinz (eds.), Disorders of Volition. MIT Press.
    Disorders of volition are often accompanied by, and may even be caused by, disruptions in the phenomenology of agency. Yet the phenomenology of agency is at present little explored. In this paper we attempt to describe the experience of normal agency, in order to uncover its representational content.
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  105. N. Levy (2006). Respecting Rights … to Death. Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (10):608-611.
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  106. Neil Levy (2006). Autonomy and Addiction. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):427-447.
  107. Neil Levy (2006). Addiction, Autonomy and Ego-Depletion: A Response to Bennett Foddy and Julian Savulescu. Bioethics 20 (1):16–20.
  108. Neil Levy (2006). Cognitive Scientific Challenges to Morality. Philosophical Psychology 19 (5):567 – 587.
    Recent findings in neuroscience, evolutionary biology and psychology seem to threaten the existence or the objectivity of morality. Moral theory and practice is founded, ultimately, upon moral intuition, but these empirical findings seem to show that our intuitions are responses to nonmoral features of the world, not to moral properties. They therefore might be taken to show that our moral intuitions are systematically unreliable. I examine three cognitive scientific challenges to morality, and suggest possible lines of reply to them. I (...)
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  109. Neil Levy (2006). Determinist Deliberations. Dialectica 60 (4):453-459.
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  110. Neil Levy (2006). Foucault as Virtue Ethicist. Foucault Studies 1:20-31.
    In his last two books and in the essays and interviews associated with them, Foucault develops a new mode of ethical thought he describes as an aesthetics of existence. I argue that this new ethics bears a striking resemblance to the virtue ethics that has become prominent in Anglo-American moral philosophy over the past three decades, in its classical sources, in its opposition to rule-based systems and its positive emphasis upon what Foucault called the care for the self. I suggest (...)
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  111. Neil Levy (2006). Open-Mindedness and the Duty to Gather Evidence. Public Affairs Quarterly 20 (1):55-66.
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  112. Neil Levy (2006). On Determinism and Freedom. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):310-312.
     
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  113. Neil Levy (2006). Robert Kane, Free Will: A Contemporary Introduction Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 26 (3):200-202.
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  114. Neil Levy (2006). The Wisdom of the Pack. Philosophical Explorations 9 (1):99 – 103.
    This short article is a reply to Fine's criticisms of Haidt's social intuitionist model of moral judgement. After situating Haidt in the landscape of meta-ethical views, I examine Fine's argument, against Haidt, that the processes which give rise to moral judgements are amenable to rational control: first-order moral judgements, which are automatic, can nevertheless deliberately be brought to reflect higher-order judgements. However, Haidt's claims about the arationality of moral judgements seem to apply equally well to these higher-order judgements; showing that (...)
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  115. Neil Levy (2006). What Evolves When Morality Evolves? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 37 (3):612-620.
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  116. Tim Bayne & Neil Levy (2005). Amputees by Choice: Body Integrity Identity Disorder and the Ethics of Amputation. Journal of Applied Philosophy 22 (1):75–86.
    In 1997, a Scottish surgeon by the name of Robert Smith was approached by a man with an unusual request: he wanted his apparently healthy lower left leg amputated. Although details about the case are sketchy, the would-be amputee appears to have desired the amputation on the grounds that his left foot wasn’t part of him – it felt alien. After consultation with psychiatrists, Smith performed the amputation. Two and a half years later, the patient reported that his life had (...)
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  117. Neil Levy (2005). Contrastive Explanations: A Dilemma for Libertarians. Dialectica 59 (1):51-61.
    To the extent that indeterminacy intervenes between our reasons for action and our decisions, intentions and actions, our freedom seems to be reduced, not enhanced. Free will becomes nothing more than the power to choose irrationally. In recognition of this problem, some recent libertarians have suggested that free will is paradigmatically manifested only in actions for which we have reasons for both or all the alternatives. In these circumstances, however we choose, we choose rationally. Against this kind of account, most (...)
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  118. Neil Levy (2005). Downshifting and Meaning in Life. Ratio 18 (2):176–189.
    So-called downshifters seek more meaningful lives by decreasing the amount of time they devote to work, leaving more time for the valuable goods of friendship, family and personal development. But though these are indeed meaning-conferring activities, they do not have the right structure to count as superlatively meaningful. Only in work – of a certain kind – can superlative meaning be found. It is by active engagements in projects, which are activities of the right structure, dedicated to the achievement of (...)
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  119. Neil Levy (2005). Imaginative Resistance and the Moral/Conventional Distinction. Philosophical Psychology 18 (2):231 – 241.
    Children, even very young children, distinguish moral from conventional transgressions, inasmuch as they hold that the former, but not the latter, would still be wrong if there was no rule prohibiting them. Many people have taken this finding as evidence that morality is objective, and therefore universal. I argue that reflection on the phenomenon of imaginative resistance will lead us to question these claims. If a concept applies in virtue of the obtaining of a set of more basic facts, then (...)
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  120. Neil Levy (2005). Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, and David Shier, Eds., Freedom and Determinism Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 25 (5):323-326.
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  121. Neil Levy (2005). Libet's Impossible Demand. Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (12):67-76.
    Abstract : Libet’s famous experiments, showing that apparently we become aware of our intention to act only after we have unconsciously formed it, have widely been taken to show that there is no such thing as free will. If we are not conscious of the formation of our intentions, many people think, we do not exercise the right kind of control over them. I argue that the claim this view presupposes, that only consciously initiated actions could be free, places a (...)
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  122. Neil Levy & Mianna Lotz (2005). Reproductive Cloning and a (Kind of) Genetic Fallacy. Bioethics 19 (3):232-250.
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  123. Neil Levy (2004). Book Review: Understanding Blindness. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 3 (3):315-324.
  124. Neil Levy (2004). Cohen and Kinds: A Response to Nathan Nobis. Journal of Applied Philosophy 21 (2):213–217.
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  125. Neil Levy (2004). Conspiracy Theories. Inquiry 24 (1-2):47-48.
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  126. Neil Levy (2004). Epistemic Akrasia and the Subsumption of Evidence. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):149-156.
    According to one influential view, advanced by Jonathan Adler, David Owens and Susan Hurley, epistemic akrasia is impossible because when we form a full belief, any apparent evidence against that belief loses its power over us. Thus theoretical reasoning is quite unlike practical reasoning, in that in the latter our desires continue to exert a pull, even when they are outweighed by countervailing considerations. I call this argument against the possibility of epistemic akrasia the subsumption view. The subsumption view accurately (...)
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  127. Neil Levy (2004). Evolutionary Psychology, Human Universals, and the Standard Social Science Model. Biology and Philosophy 19 (3):459-72.
    Proponents of evolutionary psychology take the existence of humanuniversals to constitute decisive evidence in favor of their view. Ifthe same social norms are found in culture after culture, we have goodreason to believe that they are innate, they argue. In this paper Ipropose an alternative explanation for the existence of humanuniversals, which does not depend on them being the product of inbuiltpsychological adaptations. Following the work of Brian Skyrms, I suggestthat if a particular convention possesses even a very small advantageover (...)
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  128. Neil Levy (2004). Good Character: Too Little, Too Late. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 19 (2):108 – 118.
    The influence of virtue theory is spreading to the professions. I argue that journalists and educators would do well to refrain from placing too much faith in the power of the virtues to guide working journalists. Rather than focus on the character of the journalist, we would do better to concentrate on institutional constraints on unethical conduct. I urge this position in the light of the critique of virtue ethics advanced, especially, by Gilbert Harman (1999). Harman believed that the empirical (...)
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  129. Neil Levy (2004). Self-Deception and Moral Responsibility. Ratio 17 (3):294-311.
    The self-deceived are usually held to be moral responsible for their state. I argue that this attribution of responsibility makes sense only against the background of the traditional conception of self-deception, a conception that is now widely rejected. In its place, a new conception of self-deception has been articulated, which requires neither intentional action by self-deceived agents, nor that they possess contradictory beliefs. This new conception has neither need nor place for attributions of moral responsibility to the self-deceived in paradigmatic (...)
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  130. Neil Levy (2004). Why Frankfurt Examples Don't Beg the Question: A Reply to Woodward. Journal of Social Philosophy 35 (2):211–215.
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  131. Neil Levy & Timothy J. Bayne (2004). A Will of One's Own: Consciousness, Control, and Character. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 27 (5):459-470.
     
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  132. Neil Levy (2003). Analytic and Continental Philosophy: Explaining the Differences. Metaphilosophy 34 (3):284-304.
    A number of writers have tackled the task of characterizing the differences between analytic and Continental philosophy.I suggest that these attempts have indeed captured the most important divergences between the two styles but have left the explanation of the differences mysterious.I argue that analytic philosophy is usefully seen as philosophy conducted within a paradigm, in Kuhn’s sense of the word, whereas Continental philosophy assumes much less in the way of shared presuppositions, problems, methods and approaches.This important opposition accounts for all (...)
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  133. Neil Levy (2003). Cultural Membership and Moral Responsibility. The Monist 86 (2):145-163.
  134. Neil Levy (2003). Descriptive Relativism: Assessing the Evidence. Journal of Value Inquiry 37 (2):165-177.
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  135. Neil Levy (2003). Explaining the Differences. Metaphilosophy 1 (34).
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  136. Neil Levy (2003). Self-Deception and Responsibility for Addiction. Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (2):133–142.
  137. Neil Levy (2003). What (If Anything) is Wrong with Bestiality? Journal of Social Philosophy 34 (3):444–456.
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  138. N. Levy (2002). Deafness, Culture, and Choice. Journal of Medical Ethics 28 (5):284-285.
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  139. Neil Levy (2002). Against Philanthropy, Individual and Corporate. Business and Professional Ethics Journal 21 (3/4):95-108.
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  140. Neil Levy (2002). Excusing Responsibility for the Inevitable. Philosophical Studies 111 (1):43 - 52.
    It is by now well established that the fact that an action or aconsequence was inevitable does not excuse the agent from responsibilityfor it, so long as the counterfactual intervention which ensures thatthe act will take place is not actualized. However, in this paper I demonstrate that there is one exception to this principle: when theagent is aware of the counterfactual intervener and the role she wouldplay in some alternative scenario, she might be excused, despite the fact that in the (...)
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  141. Neil Levy (2002). In Defence of Entrapment in Journalism (and Beyond). Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (2):121–130.
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  142. Neil Levy (2002). Reconsidering Cochlear Implants: The Lessons of Martha's Vineyard. Bioethics 16 (2):134–153.
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  143. Neil Levy (2002). Self-Ownership. Social Theory and Practice 28 (1):77-99.
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  144. Neil Levy (2002). The Apology Paradox and the Non-Identity Problem. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (208):358-368.
    Janna Thompson has outlined ‘the apology paradox’, which arises whenever people apologize for an action or event upon which their existence is causally dependent. She argues that a sincere apology seems to entail a wish that the action or event had not occurred, but that we cannot sincerely wish that events upon which our existence depends had not occurred. I argue that Thompson’s paradox is a backward-looking version of Parfit’s (forward-looking) ‘non-identity problem’, where backward- and forward-looking refer to the perspective (...)
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  145. Neil Levy (2002). Terry Eagleton, The Idea of Culture Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 22 (1):28-30.
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  146. Neil Levy (2002). The Intrinsic Value of Cultures. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 9 (2):49-57.
    Our intuitions concerning cultures show that we are committed to thinking that they are intrinsically valuable. I set out the conditions under which we attribute such value to cultures, and show that coming to possess intrinsic value is a matter of having the right kind of causal history.
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  147. Neil Levy (2002). Virtual Child Pornography: The Eroticization of Inequality. Ethics and Information Technology 4 (4):319-323.
    The United States Supreme Court hasrecently ruled that virtual child pornographyis protected free speech, partly on the groundsthat virtual pornography does not harm actualchildren. I review the evidence for thecontention that virtual pornography might harmchildren, and find that it is, at best,inconclusive. Saying that virtual childpornography does not harm actual children isnot to say that it is completely harmless,however. Child pornography, actual or virtual,necessarily eroticizes inequality; in a sexistsociety it therefore contributes to thesubordination of women.
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  148. N. Levy (2001). Nicholas H. Smith, Strong Hermeneutics: Contingency and Moral Identity, London, Routledge, 1997, Pp. X 197, 14.99 (Paper). [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (1):136 – 138.
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  149. N. Levy (2001). Strong Hermeneutics: Contingency and Moral Identity. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2):296 – 297.
    Book Information Strong Hermeneutics: Contingency and Moral Identity. By Nicholas H. Smith. Routledge. London. 1997. Pp. x + 197. Paperback, £14.99.
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  150. Neil Levy (2001). Christine Sistare, Larry May, and Leslie Francis, Eds., Groups and Group Rights Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 21 (4):297-299.
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  151. Neil Levy (2000). Charles Taylor on Overcoming Incommensurability. Philosophy and Social Criticism 26 (5):47-61.
    As he recognizes, Taylor's view of practical reasoning commits him to the existence of incommensurable world-views. However, he holds that it is in principle possible to overcome these incommensurabilities. He has two major arguments for this conclusion, which I label the argument from the human condition, and the transition argument. I show that the first argument, though perhaps successful in the case Taylor takes as an example, cannot be generalized. The second argument is even less successful, since all the evidence (...)
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  152. Neil Levy (1999). Richard Polt, Heidegger: An Introduction Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 19 (5):369-371.
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  153. Neil Levy (1999). Stepping Into the Present. Social Theory and Practice 25 (3):471-490.
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  154. Neil Levy (1998). Ethics and Rules. Philosophy Today 42 (1):79-84.
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  155. Neil Levy (1998). Ethics and Rules a Political Reading of Foucault's Aesthetics of Existence: A Foucault Symposium. Philosophy Today 42 (1):79-84.
     
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  156. Neil Levy (1998). History as Struggle: Foucault's Genealogy of Genealogy. History of the Human Sciences 11 (4):159-170.
  157. Neil Levy (1998). Untimely Meditations. Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 2 (1):61-75.
    Most accounts of recent French intellectual history are organized around a fundamental rupture, which divides thought and thinkers into two eras: ‘modern’ and ‘postmodern’. But the attempts to identify the features which characterise these eras seem, at best, inconclusive. In this paper, I examine this rupture, by way of a comparison of two thinkers representative of the divide. Sartre seems as uncontroversially modern (and therefore out of date) as any twentieth-century can be, while Foucault’s work is often taken to be (...)
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  158. Neil Levy, Closing the Door on BAT.
    BAT - the belief in ability thesis - states, roughly, that for an agent to be able rationally to deliberate between two or more alternatives, she must believe that she is metaphysically free to perform each alternative. I show, by way of a counterexample, that BAT is false.
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  159. Neil Levy, Frankfurt Enablers and Frankfurt Disablers.
    In this paper, I introduce the notion of a Frankfurt Enabler, a counterfactual intervener poised, should a signal for intervention be received, to enable an agent to perform a mental or physical action. Frankfurt enablers demonstrate, I claim, that merely counterfactual conditions are sometimes relevant to assessing what capacities agents possess. Since this is the case, we are not entitled to conclude that agents in standard Frankfurt-style cases retain their responsibility-ensuring capacities. There is no principled rationale for bracketing counterfactual interveners (...)
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  160. Neil Levy, Why Frankfurt-Style Cases Don't Help (Much).
    Frankfurt-style cases are widely taken to show that agents do not need alternative possibilities to be morally responsible for their actions. Many philosophers take these cases to constitute a powerful argument for compatibilism: if we do not need alternative possibilities for moral responsibility, it is hard to see what the attraction of indeterminism might be. I defend the claim that even though Frankfurt-style cases establish that agents can be responsible for their actions despite lacking alternatives, agents can only be responsible (...)
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