27 found

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  1. Christopher J. Austin (2015). Is Dispositional Causation Just Mutual Manifestation? Ratio 28 (2).
    Dispositional properties are often referred to as ‘causal powers’, but what does dispositional causation amount to? Any viable theory must account for two fundamental aspects of the metaphysics of causation – the causal complexity and context sensitivity of causal interactions. The theory of mutual manifestations attempts to do so by locating the complexity and context sensitivity within the nature of dispositions themselves. But is this theory an acceptable first step towards a viable theory of dispositional causation? This paper argues that (...)
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  2. Anthony Bolos (2015). Is Knowledge of God a Cognitive Achievement? Ratio 28 (2).
    This essay considers whether reformed epistemology is compatible with the claim that knowledge is a cognitive achievement. It is argued that knowledge of God is not only compatible with a more general achievement claim, but is also compatible with a much stronger achievement claim – namely, the strong achievement thesis where achievements are characterized by the overcoming of some obstacle. With respect to reformed epistemology, then, it is argued that the obstacle that is overcome is an environment that is not (...)
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  3. Daniel Cohnitz (2015). Moral Realism and Faultless Disagreement. Ratio 28 (2):n/a-n/a.
    Is moral realism compatible with the existence of moral disagreements? Since moral realism requires that if two persons are in disagreement over some moral question at least one must be objectively mistaken, it seems difficult to uphold that there can be moral disagreements without fault. Alison Hills argued that moral realism can accommodate such disagreements. Her strategy is to argue that moral reasoners can be faultless in making an objectively false moral judgement if they followed the relevant epistemic norm, i.e. (...)
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  4. Daniel Crow (2015). A Plantingian Pickle for a Darwinian Dilemma: Evolutionary Arguments Against Atheism and Normative Realism. Ratio 28 (2):n/a-n/a.
    Two of the most prominent evolutionary debunking arguments are Sharon Street's Darwinian Dilemma for Normative Realism and Alvin Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument against Atheism. In the former, Street appeals to evolutionary considerations to debunk normative realism. In the latter, Plantinga appeals to similar considerations to debunk atheism. By a careful comparison of these two arguments, I develop a new strategy to help normative realists resist Street's debunking attempt. In her Darwinian Dilemma, Street makes epistemological commitments that ultimately support Plantinga's structurally similar (...)
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  5. Travis Dumsday (2015). Some Ontological Consequences of Atomism. Ratio 28 (2):119-134.
    Is there a fundamental layer of objects in nature? And if so what sorts of things populate it? Among those who answer ‘yes’ to the first question, a common answer to the second is ‘atoms,’ where an atom is understood in the original sense of an object that is spatially unextended, indivisible, and wholly lacking in proper parts . Here I explore some of the ontological consequences of atomism. First, if atoms are real, then whatever motion they appear to undergo (...)
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  6. Simon P. James (2015). Protecting Nature for the Sake of Human Beings. Ratio 28 (2).
    It is often assumed that to say that nature should be protected for the sake of human beings just is to say that it should be protected because it is a means to one or more anthropocentric ends. I argue that this assumption is false. In some contexts, claims that a particular natural X should be protected for our sakes mean that X should be protected, not because it is a means to anthropocentric ends, but because it is part of (...)
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  7. László Kajtár (2015). What Mary Didn't Read: On Literary Narratives and Knowledge. Ratio 28 (2).
    In the philosophy of art, one of the most important debates concerns the so-called ‘cognitive value’ of literature. The main question is phrased in various ways. Can literary narratives provide knowledge? Can readers learn from works of literature? Most of the discussants agree on an affirmative answer, but it is contested what the relevant notions of truth and knowledge are and whether this knowledge and learning influence aesthetic or literary value. The issue takes on a wider, not only philosophical, importance (...)
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  8. Daniel Kodaj (2015). Intrinsic Causation in Humean Supervenience. Ratio 28 (2):135-152.
    The paper investigates whether causation is extrinsic in Humean Supervenience in the sense that being caused by is an intrinsic relation between token causes and effects. The underlying goal is to test whether causality is extrinsic for Humeans and intrinsic for anti-Humeans in this sense. I argue that causation is typically extrinsic in HS, but it is intrinsic to event pairs that collectively exhaust almost the whole of history.
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  9. Micah Newman (2015). A Realist Sexual Ethics. Ratio 28 (2):223-240.
    A very liberal sexual ethics now holds sway in Western culture, such that mutual consent alone is widely seen as morally legitimizing almost any sexual activity between adults. It is further commonly assumed by both philosophers and nonphilosophers that arguing for some alternative to liberal sexual ethics requires appeal to ethical commands specific to some religious tradition or other. The purpose of this paper is to challenge that assumption by suggesting some purely naturalistic and independently-plausible premises that can be used (...)
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  10. Harold W. Noonan (2015). Two Boxing is Not the Rational Option. Ratio 28 (2):n/a-n/a.
    In the standard Newcomb scenario two-boxing is not the rational act and, in general, in Newcomb-style cases the ‘two-boxing’ choice is not the rational act. Hence any decision theory which recommends two-boxing is unacceptable.
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  11. Gabriel Segal & Mark Textor (2015). Hope as a Primitive Mental State. Ratio 28 (2):207-222.
    We criticize attempts to define hope in terms of other psychological states and argue that hope is a primitive mental state whose nature can be illuminated by specifying key aspects of its functional profile.
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  12. Shlomi Segall (2015). What's So Egalitarian About Luck Egalitarianism? Ratio 28 (2).
    Luck egalitarians typically hold that it is bad for some to be worse off than others through no fault or choice of their own. In this paper I want to address two complaints against standard luck egalitarianism that do not question responsibility-sensitivity . The first objection says that equality itself lacks inherent non-instrumental value, and so the luckist component ought to be attached to a different pattern, say prioritarianism . The second objection also endorses luckism but worries that luck egalitarianism (...)
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  13. Scott Stapleford (2015). Epistemic Value Monism and the Swamping Problem. Ratio 28 (2):n/a-n/a.
    Many deontologists explain the epistemic value of justification in terms of its instrumental role in promoting truth – the original source of value in the epistemic domain. The swamping problem for truth monism appears to make this position indefensible, at least for those monists who maintain the superiority of knowledge to merely true belief. I propose a new solution to the swamping problem that allows monists to maintain the greater epistemic value of knowledge over merely true belief. My trick is (...)
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  14. Gregory Stoutenburg (2015). Vicious Regresses, Conceptual Analysis, and Strong Awareness Internalism. Ratio 28 (2):n/a-n/a.
    That a philosophical thesis entails a vicious regress is commonly taken to be decisive evidence that the thesis is false. In this paper, I argue that the existence of a vicious regress is insufficient to reject a proposed analysis provided that certain constraints on the analysis are met. When a vicious regress is present, some further consequence of the thesis must be established that, together with the presence of the vicious regress, shows the thesis to be false. The argument is (...)
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  15. Bonnie M. Talbert (2015). Knowing Other People: A Second‐Person Framework. Ratio 28 (2):190-206.
    What does it mean to know another person, and how is such knowledge different from other kinds of knowledge? These questions constitute an important part of what I call ‘second-person epistemology’ – the study of how we know other people. I claim that knowledge of other people is not only central to our everyday lives, but it is a kind of knowledge that is unlike other kinds of knowledge. In general, I will argue that second-person knowledge arises from repeated interactions (...)
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  16. Víctor M. Verdejo & Xavier Donato Rodríguez (2015). Partial Understanding and Concept Possession: A Dilemma. Ratio 28 (2):153-162.
    In the light of partial understanding, we examine the thesis that concepts are individuated in terms of possession conditions and show that adherents face a fatal dilemma: Either concept-individuating possession conditions include cases of partially understood concepts or not. If yes, possession conditions do not individuate concepts. If no, the thesis is too restricted and lacks a minimally satisfactory level of generalization.
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  17. Brian Zamulinski (2015). Hypocrisy and the Nature of Belief. Ratio 28 (2):175-189.
    We know that someone is a hypocrite when he acts inconsistently with his purported beliefs. Understanding how we know it is an essential aspect of understanding the nature of belief. We can recognize the phenomenon when beliefs are ‘inscribed’ in the brain, there is a disposition to maintain consistency among the propositions represented by the ‘inscriptions’, and the inscriptions and the disposition give rise to derivative disinclinations. Since the disinclinations ought to prevent certain actions, we notice the conflict between the (...)
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  18. Derek Baker (2015). Akrasia and the Problem of the Unity of Reason. Ratio 28 (1):65-80.
    Joseph Raz and Sergio Tenenbaum argue that the Guise of the Good thesis explains both the possibility of practical reason and its unity with theoretical reason, something Humean psychological theories may be unable to do. This paper will argue, however, that Raz and Tenenbaum face a dilemma: either the version of the Guise of the Good they offer is too strong to allow for weakness of will, or it will lose its theoretical advantage in preserving the unity of reason.
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  19. Pierrick Bourrat (2015). Levels of Selection Are Artefacts of Different Fitness Temporal Measures. Ratio 28 (1):40-50.
    In this paper I argue against the claim, recently put forward by some philosophers of biology and evolutionary biologists, that there can be two or more ontologically distinct levels of selection. I show by comparing the fitness of individuals with that of collectives of individuals in the same environment and over the same period of time – as required to decide if one or more levels of selection is acting in a population – that the selection of collectives is a (...)
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  20. Don Fallis (2015). Are Bald‐Faced Lies Deceptive After All? Ratio 28 (1):81-96.
    According to the traditional philosophical definition, you lie if and only if you say something that you believe to be false and you intend to deceive someone into believing what you say. However, philosophers have recently noted the existence of bald-faced lies, lies which are not intended to deceive anyone into believing what is said. As a result, many philosophers have removed deception from their definitions of lying. According to Jennifer Lackey, this is ‘an unhappy divorce’ because it precludes an (...)
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  21. Robert K. Garcia (2015). Philosophical Idling and Philosophical Relativity. Ratio 28 (1):51-64.
    Peter Unger has challenged philosophical objectivism, the thesis that traditional philosophical problems have definite objective answers. He argues from semantic relativity for philosophical relativity, the thesis that for certain philosophical problems, there is no objective answer. I clarify, formulate and challenge Unger's argument. According to Unger, philosophical relativism explains philosophical idling, the fact that philosophical debates appear endless, philosophical disagreements seem irresolvable, and very little substantial progress seems made towards satisfactory and definite answers to philosophical problems. I argue, however, that (...)
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  22. Andrew Graham (2015). From Four‐ to Five‐Dimensionalism. Ratio 28 (1):14-28.
    Philosophers have long noticed the similarity of identity over time and identity across worlds. Despite this similarity, analogous views on these matters are not always taken equally seriously. Four-dimensionalism is one of the most well-known accounts of identity over time. There is a clear modal analogue of four-dimensionalism, on which objects are modally extended and their trans-world identity is a matter of having distinct modal parts located in different possible worlds. Yet this view, which we might call ‘five-dimensionalism,’ is rarely (...)
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  23. Adrian Heathcote (2015). Testimony and Gettier: A Reply to Vance. Ratio 28 (1).
  24. Benjamin W. McCraw (2015). Brian Leftow, God and Necessity , Ix + 575 Pp., £60.00. [REVIEW] Ratio 28 (1):112-118.
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  25. Moti Mizrahi & David R. Morrow (2015). Does Conceivability Entail Metaphysical Possibility? Ratio 28 (1):1-13.
    In this paper, we argue that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’, which is the view that ideal primary positive conceivability entails primary metaphysical possibility, is self-defeating. To this end, we outline two reductio arguments against ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’. The first reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that conceivability both is and is not conclusive evidence for possibility. The second reductio shows that, from supposing that ‘Weak Modal Rationalism’ is true, it follows that it is possible (...)
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  26. Alik Pelman (2015). Metaphysics of Pain; Semantics of ‘Pain. Ratio 28 (1):n/a-n/a.
    Functionalism is often used to identify mental states with physical states. A particularly powerful case is Lewis's analytical functionalism. Kripke's view seriously challenges any such identification. The dispute between Kripke and Lewis's views boils down to whether the term ‘pain’ is rigid or nonrigid. It is a strong intuition of ours that if it feels like pain it is pain, and vice versa, so that ‘pain’ should designate, with respect to every possible world, all and only states felt as pain. (...)
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  27. Daniel Statman (2015). Moral Luck and the Problem of the Innocent Attacker. Ratio 28 (1):97-111.
    The purpose of this paper is to explore the relation between the right to self-defense against an innocent attacker and the notion of moral luck. It argues that those who accept the existence of such a right rely on the assumption that mere agency makes a significant moral difference – which is precisely the assumption that underlies the view held by believers in moral luck. Those who believe in the right to self-defense against innocent attackers are thus committed to the (...)
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