45 found

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  1. Vuko Andrić (2015). Objective Consequentialism and the Rationales of ‘ “Ought” Implies “Can”. Ratio 28 (3).
    This paper argues that objective consequentialism is incompatible with the rationales of ‘ “ought” implies “can” ’ – with the considerations, that is, that explain or justify this principle. Objective consequentialism is the moral doctrine that an act is right if and only if there is no alternative with a better outcome, and wrong otherwise. An act is obligatory if and only if it is wrong not to perform it. According to ‘ “ought” implies “can” ’, a person is morally (...)
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  2. Christopher J. Austin (2015). The Truthmaking Argument Against Dispositionalism. Ratio 28 (3):271-285.
    According to dispositionalism, de re modality is grounded in the intrinsic natures of dispositional properties. Those properties are able to serve as the ground of de re modal truths, it is said, because they bear a special relation to counterfactual conditionals, one of truthmaking. However, because dispositionalism purports to ground de re modality only on the intrinsic natures of dispositional properties, it had better be the case that they do not play that truthmaking role merely in virtue of their being (...)
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  3. Christopher J. Austin (2015). Is Dispositional Causation Just Mutual Manifestation? Ratio 28 (3):n/a-n/a.
    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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  4. Sam Baron (2015). Mathematical Explanation and Epistemology: Please Mind the Gap. Ratio 28 (3):n/a-n/a.
    This paper draws together two strands in the debate over the existence of mathematical objects. The first strand concerns the notion of extra-mathematical explanation: the explanation of physical facts, in part, by facts about mathematical objects. The second strand concerns the access problem for platonism: the problem of how to account for knowledge of mathematical objects. I argue for the following conditional: if there are extra-mathematical explanations, then the core thesis of the access problem is false. This has implications for (...)
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  5. Wolfgang Barz (2015). Two‐Dimensional Modal Meinongianism. Ratio 28 (3):n/a-n/a.
    The aim of this paper is to show that Priest's modal Meinongianism might benefit from joining forces with two-dimensionalism. For this purpose, I propose a two-dimensional solution to a problem for modal Meinongianism that is posed by Beall, Sauchelli, and Milne, and show that, by taking recourse to two-dimensionalism, divergent intuitions about the question of whether fictional characters might exist can be reconciled. Moreover, two-dimensionalism helps to rebut Kroon's argument to the conclusion that modal Meinongianism cannot rule out the odd (...)
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  6. Arvid Båve (2015). Charity and Error‐Theoretic Nominalism. Ratio 28 (3):256-270.
    I here investigate whether there is any version of the principle of charity both strong enough to conflict with an error-theoretic version of nominalism about abstract objects, and supported by the considerations adduced in favour of interpretive charity in the literature. I argue that in order to be strong enough, the principle, which I call “”, would have to read, “For all expressions e, an acceptable interpretation must make true a sufficiently high ratio of accepted sentences containing e”. I next (...)
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  7. Anthony Bolos (2015). Is Knowledge of God a Cognitive Achievement? Ratio 28 (3).
    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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  8. Kimberley Brownlee (2015). The Competent Judge Problem. Ratio 28 (3).
    We face an epistemic problem in competently judging some types of experience. The problem arises when an experience either defies our efforts to assess its quality, such as a traumatic event, or compromises our abilities to assess quality in general, such as starvation. In the latter type of case, the competent judge problem is actually a paradox since the experience undermines our competence to judge at the same time that it gives us competence to judge it against other experiences. The (...)
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  9. Kai Michael Büttner (2015). Is There Such a Thing as Relative Analyticity? Ratio 28 (3).
    Fine bases his influential conception of essence on a particular account of definitions. And he complements it with a specific account of analyticity. I will argue that Fine's conception of relative analyticity confuses the idea of a sentence's being true in virtue of a term's definition with the idea of a sentence's being true in virtue of a term's meaning. His idea that correct definitions specify essential properties of meanings is mistaken. The correctness of definitions can only be assessed by (...)
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  10. Daniel Cohnitz (2015). Moral Realism and Faultless Disagreement. Ratio 28 (3):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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  11. Daniel Crow (2015). A Plantingian Pickle for a Darwinian Dilemma: Evolutionary Arguments Against Atheism and Normative Realism. Ratio 28 (3).
    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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  12. Jason D'Cruz (2015). Rationalization, Evidence, and Pretense. Ratio 28 (3):318-331.
    In this paper I distinguish the category of “rationalization” from various forms of epistemic irrationality. I maintain that only if we model rationalizers as pretenders can we make sense of the rationalizer's distinctive relationship to the evidence in her possession. I contrast the cognitive attitude of the rationalizer with that of believers whose relationship to the evidence I describe as “waffling” or “intransigent”. In the final section of the paper, I compare the rationalizer to the Frankfurtian bullshitter.
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  13. Jeff Engelhardt (2015). Mental Causation is Not Just Downward Causation. Ratio 28 (3).
    According to a popular model of mental causation, an irreducible mental cause M1 brings about an irreducible mental effect M2 by bringing about M2's supervenience base, P2. Call this ‘the Downward Causation View’. This paper raises doubts about the Downward Causation View on grounds that M1 does not cause M2 immediately and there is no causal chain from M1 to M2. Prima facie, then, M1 does not cause M2 on this view. But a theory of mental causation ought to account (...)
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  14. Simon P. James (2015). Protecting Nature for the Sake of Human Beings. Ratio 28 (3):n/a-n/a.
    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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  15. László Kajtár (2015). What Mary Didn't Read: On Literary Narratives and Knowledge. Ratio 28 (3).
    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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  16. Raamy Majeed (2015). The Hard Problem & Its Explanatory Targets. Ratio 28 (3):n/a-n/a.
    Two decades in, whether we are making any progress towards solving, or even explaining away, what David Chalmers calls the ‘hard’ problem of consciousness is as controversial as ever. This paper aims to argue that there are, in actual fact, two explanatory targets associated with the hard problem. Moreover, this in turn has repercussions for how we assess the explanatory merits of any proposed solution to the problem. The paper ends with a brief exposition of how the present distinction goes (...)
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  17. Kristie Miller & Michael Duncan (2015). Modal Persistence and Modal Travel. Ratio 28 (3):241-255.
    We argue that there is an interesting modal analogue of temporal persistence, namely modal persistence, and an interesting modal analogue of time travel, namely modal travel. We explicate each of these notions and then argue that there are plausible conditions under which some ordinary objects modally persist. We go on to consider whether it is plausible that any modally persistent objects also modally travel.
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  18. Harold W. Noonan (2015). Two Boxing is Not the Rational Option. Ratio 28 (3).
    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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  19. Robert Northcott (2015). A Dilemma for the Doomsday Argument. Ratio 28 (3).
    I present a new case in which the Doomsday Argument runs afoul of epistemic intuition much more strongly than before. This leads to a dilemma: in the new case either DA is committed to unacceptable counterintuitiveness and belief in miracles, or else it is irrelevant. I then explore under what conditions DA can escape this dilemma. The discussion turns on several issues that have not been much emphasised in previous work on DA: a concern that I label trumping; the degree (...)
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  20. Shlomi Segall (2015). What's So Egalitarian About Luck Egalitarianism? Ratio 28 (3):349-368.
    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 as conventionally (...)
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  21. Gregory Stoutenburg (2015). Vicious Regresses, Conceptual Analysis, and Strong Awareness Internalism. Ratio 28 (3).
    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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  22. Jonathan Tallant (2015). Metaphysics, Intuitions and Physics. Ratio 28 (3):286-301.
    Ladyman and Ross do not think that contemporary metaphysics is in good standing. However, they do think that there is a version of metaphysics that can be made to work – provided we approach it using appropriate principles. My aim in this paper is to undermine some of their arguments against contemporary metaphysics as it is currently practiced.
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  23. R. Woudenberg & J. Rothuizen‐van der Steen (2015). Both Random and Guided. Ratio 28 (3):332-348.
    This paper argues, first, that biological evolution can be both random and divinely guided at the same time. Next it discusses the idea that the claim that evolution is unguided is not part of the science of evolution, and defends it against a number of objections.
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  24. 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 must (...)
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  25. 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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  26. Roberto Loss (2015). Grounding, Contingency and Transitivity. Ratio 28 (2):n/a-n/a.
    Grounding contingentism is the doctrine according to which grounds are not guaranteed to necessitate what they ground. In this paper I will argue that the most plausible version of contingentism is incompatible with the idea that the grounding relation is transitive, unless either ‘priority monism’ or ‘contrastivism’ are assumed.
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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. Nathaniel Sharadin (2015). A Partial Defense of Permissivism. Ratio 28 (2).
    Permissivism is the view that sometimes an agent's total evidential state entails both that she is epistemically permitted to believe that P and that she is epistemically permitted to believe that Q, where P and Q are contradictories. Uniqueness is the denial of Permissivism. Permissivism has recently come under attack on several fronts. If these attacks are successful, then we may be forced to accept an unwelcome asymmetry between epistemic and practical rationality. In this essay I clarify the debate by (...)
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  30. 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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  31. 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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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. 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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  39. Adrian Heathcote (2015). Testimony and Gettier: A Reply to Vance. Ratio 28 (1):n/a-n/a.
  40. Benjamin W. McCraw (2015). Brian Leftow, God and Necessity , Ix + 575 Pp., £60.00. [REVIEW] Ratio 28 (1):112-118.
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  41. 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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  42. Alik Pelman (2015). Metaphysics of Pain; Semantics of ‘Pain. Ratio 28 (1):302-317.
    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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  43. 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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  44. Tyron Goldschmidt (2015). Commanding Belief. Ratio 27 (2):163-174.
    This essay shows three things: first, that we cannot comply with a command from God to believe in God; second, that God cannot command us to believe in God; and, third, that the divine command theory is false. The third conclusion follows from the second, and the second follows from the first. The essay focuses on an argument from the medieval Jewish philosopher, Hasdai Crescas. It also draws from, and is something of a sequel to, an argument from Brown and (...)
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  45. Justin Tosi (2015). The Possibility of a Fair Play Account of Legitimacy. Ratio (3):1-12.
    The philosophical literature on state legitimacy has recently seen a significant conceptual revision. Several philosophers have argued that the state's right to rule is better characterized not as a claim right to obedience, but as a power right. There have been few attempts to show that traditional justifications for the claim right might also be used to justify a power right, and there have been no such attempts involving the principle of fair play, which is widely regarded as the most (...)
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