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Profile: Attila Tanyi (Universität Konstanz, University of Liverpool)
  1. Attila Tanyi (forthcoming). Ought We to Forget What We Cannot Forget? A Reply to Sybille Schmidt. In Giovanni Galizia & David Shulman (eds.), Forgetting. Magnes Press.
    This is a short response to Sybille Schmidt's paper (in the same volume) "Is There an Ethics of Forgetting?". The response starts out by admitting that forgetting is an essential function of human existence, that it serves, as it were, an important evolutionary function: that it is good, since it contributes to our well-being, to have the ability to forget. But this does not give us as answer, affirmative or not, to Schmidt’s title question: “Is There an Ethics of Forgetting?” (...)
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  2. Attila Tanyi & Martin Bruder (forthcoming). Consequentialism and Its Demands: A Representative Study. Journal of Value Inquiry:1-22.
    An influential objection to act-consequentialism holds that the theory is unduly demanding. This paper is an attempt to approach this critique of act-consequentialism – the Overdemandingness Objection – from a different, so far undiscussed, angle. First, the paper argues that the most convincing form of the Objection claims that consequentialism is overdemanding because it requires us, with decisive force, to do things that, intuitively, we do not have decisive reason to perform. Second, in order to investigate the existence of the (...)
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  3. Attila Tanyi & Martin Bruder (forthcoming). How to Gauge Moral Intuitions? Prospects for a New Methodology. In Christoph Luetge, Hannes Rusch & Matthias Uhl (eds.), Experimental Ethics. Palgrave Macmillan.
    Examining folk intuitions about philosophical questions lies at the core of experimental philosophy. This requires both a good account of what intuitions are and methods allowing to assess them. We propose to combine philosophical and psychological conceptualisations of intuitions by focusing on three of their features: immediacy, lack of inferential relations, and stability. Once this account of intuition is at hand, we move on to propose a methodology that can test all three characteristics without eliminating any of them. In the (...)
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  4. Attila Tanyi & Martin Bruder (forthcoming). Overdemanding Consequentialism? An Experimental Approach. Utilitas.
    According to act-consequentialism the right action is the one that produces the best results as judged from an impersonal perspective. Some claim that this requirement is unreasonably demanding and therefore consequentialism is unacceptable as a moral theory. The paper breaks with dominant trends in discussing this so-called Overdemandingness Objection. Instead of focusing on theoretical responses, it empirically investigates whether there exists a widely shared intuition that consequentialist demands are unreasonable. This discussion takes the form of examining what people think about (...)
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  5. Attila Tanyi (2013). Az Út az értelem felé (On The Road to Meaning’). In Attila Gabor Toth & Kriszta Kovacs (eds.), Lehetséges (Possible). Kalligram. 355-373.
    The paper offers a philosophically infused analysis of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. The main idea is that McCarthy’s novel is primarily a statement on the meaning of life. Once this idea is argued for and endorsed, by using a parallel between The Road and a 19th century Hungarian dramatic poem, The Tragedy of Man, the paper goes on to argue that the most plausible – although admittedly not the only possible – interpretation of The Road is that it advocates a (...)
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  6. Attila Tanyi (2013). Mennyire lehet nehéz? A túlzott követelések ellenvetésének újszerű megközelítései (‘How Hard Can It Get? Novel Approaches to the Overdemandingness Objection’). Cafe Babel:39-48.
    The paper begins with a detailed discussion of the Overdemandingness Objection to consequentialism. It argues that the best interpretation of the Objection is the one that focuses on reasons: consequentialism is overdemanding because it demands us, with decisive force, to do things that, intuitively, we do not have decisive reason to do. After this, the paper goes on to offer three – so far in the literature unpursued – responses to the Objection. The first puts forward a constitutive role of (...)
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  7. Attila Tanyi (2013). Pure Cognitivism and Beyond. Acta Analytica:1-18.
    The article begins with Jonathan Dancy’s attempt to refute the Humean Theory of Motivation. It first spells out Dancy’s argument for his alternative position, the view he labels ‘Pure Cognitivism’, according to which what motivate are always beliefs, never desires. The article next argues that Dancy’s argument for his position is flawed. On the one hand, it is not true that desire always comes with motivation in the agent; on the other, even if this was the case, it would still (...)
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  8. Attila Tanyi (2013). Silencing Desires? Philosophia 41 (3):887-903.
    In an overlooked section of his influential book What We Owe to Each Other Thomas Scanlon advances an argument against the desire-model of practical reasoning. In Scanlon’s view the model gives a distorted picture of the structure of our practical thinking. His idea is that there is an alternative to the “weighing behavior” of reasons, a particular way in which reasons can relate to each other. This phenomenon, which the paper calls “silencing”, is not something that the desire-model can accommodate, (...)
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  9. Attila Tanyi & Karl Karlander (2013). Immortal Curiosity. Philosophical Forum 44 (3):255-273.
    The paper discusses Bernard Williams’ argument that immortality is rationally undesirable because it leads to insufferable boredom. We first spell out Williams’ argument in the form of a dilemma. We then show that the first horn of this dilemma, namely Williams’ requirement of the constancy of character of the immortal, is defensible. We next argue against a recent attempt that accepts the dilemma, but rejects the conclusion Williams draws from it. From these we conclude that blocking the second horn of (...)
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  10. Attila Tanyi (2012). The Case for Authority. In S. Schleidgen (ed.), Should we always act morally? Essays on Overridingness. Tectum.
    The paper deals with a charge that is often made against consequentialist moral theories: that they are unacceptably demanding. This is called the Overdemandingness Objection. The paper first distinguishes three interpretations of the Objection as based on the three dimensions of moral demands: scope, content, and authority. It is then argued that neither the scope, nor the content-based understanding of the Objection is viable. Constraining the scope of consequentialism is neither helpful, nor justified, hence the pervasiveness of consequentialism cannot be (...)
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  11. Attila Tanyi (2011). Desires as Additional Reasons? The Case of Tie-Breaking. Philosophical Studies 152 (2):209-227.
    According to the Desire-Based Reasons Model reasons for action are provided by desires. Many, however, are critical about the Model holding an alternative view of practical reason, which is often called valued-based. In this paper I consider one particular attempt to refute the Model, which advocates of the valued-based view often appeal to: the idea of reason-based desires. The argument is built up from two premises. The first claims that desires are states that we have reason to have. The second (...)
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  12. Attila Tanyi (2011). Sobel on Pleasure, Reason, and Desire. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (1):101-115.
    The paper begins with a well-known objection to the idea that reasons for action are provided by desires. The objection holds that since desires are based on reasons (first premise), which they transmit but to which they cannot add (second premise), they cannot themselves provide reasons for action. In the paper I investigate an attack that has recently been launched against the first premise of the argument by David Sobel. Sobel invokes a counterexample: hedonic desires, i.e. the likings and dislikings (...)
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  13. Attila Tanyi (2010). Reason and Desire: The Case of Affective Desires. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (2):67-89.
    The paper begins with an objection to the Desire-Based Reasons Model. The argument from reason-based desires holds that since desires are based on reasons (first premise), which they transmit but to which they cannot add (second premise), they cannot themselves provide reasons for action. In the paper I investigate an attack that has recently been launched against the first premise of this argument by Ruth Chang. Chang invokes a counterexample: affective desires. The aim of the paper is to see if (...)
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  14. Attila Tanyi (2009). A Frankfurti Iskola és 1968 (The Frankfurt School and 1968). Fordulat 3 (2):9-33.
    The aim of the paper is to investigate the connection between the Frankfurt School and the events of 1968. Accordingly, the paper focuses only on those important members of the School whose philosophical, ideological or practical influence on the events is clearly detectable. This means dealing with four thinkers in three sections: the influence of Adorno and Horkheimer is treated in the same section, whereas the work of Marcuse and Habermas is examined in separate sections. The three sections represent three (...)
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  15. Attila Tanyi (2009). Desire-Based Reasons, Naturalism, and the Possibility of Vindication. Polish Journal of Philosophy 3 (2):87-107.
    The aim of the paper is to critically assess the idea that reasons for action are provided by desires (the Model). I start from the claim that the most often employed meta-ethical background for the Model is ethical naturalism; I then argue against the Model through its naturalist background. For the latter purpose I make use of two objections that are both intended to refute naturalism per se. One is G. E. Moore’s Open Question Argument (OQA), the other is Derek (...)
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  16. Attila Tanyi (2009). Desire-Based Reasons, Naturalism, and Tolerable Revisionism: Lessons From Moore and Parfit. Cuadernos de Anuario Filosófico 212:49-57.
    My aim in this paper is to critically assess the idea that reasons for action are provided by desires (the Desire-based Reasons Model or the Model). I start from the claim that the most often employed meta-ethical background for the Model is ethical naturalism; I then consider attempts to argue against the Model through its naturalism. I make use of two objections that are both intended to refute naturalism per se. One is the indirect version of G. E. Moore’s Open (...)
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  17. Attila Tanyi & Zsofia Kollanyi (2008). Egészségpolitika és etika (Health Policy and Ethics). DEMOS Studies, DEMOS Hungary.
    This book provides a survey of the ethical aspects of health care resources distribution. It first distinguishes health from health care in an effort to clear up the ethical landscape. After this, still with the same purpose, it makes a distinction between problems of macro-allocation and micro-allocation. In the rest of the book two questions of macro-allocation are treated in some detail. First, several approaches – in particular: utilitarian, egalitarian, communitarian, and libertarian – to the question whether we have a (...)
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  18. Attila Tanyi (2007). A Harmadik Út értékrendszere (The Values of the Third Way). Progressive Politics (Progressziv Politika) 2 (3):8-30.
    The paper examines the value system of the English Third Way. It argues that, contrary to its critics, the Third Way is not an empty ideology but has content, though this content is not brand new. The Third Way, I claim, is more like a rhetorically defined area, which is delimited by existing values that however leave room for interpretation. The Third Way is a framework that is delineated by two clusters of value: opportunity-equality-justice and responsibility-community-authority. On the basis of (...)
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  19. Attila Tanyi (2007). Rawls különbözeti elve (Rawls’ Difference Principle). Hungarian Review of Political Science (Politikatudomanyi Szemle) 16 (2):125-150.
    This paper deals with the third and most disputed principle of John Rawls’s theory of justice: the so-called difference principle. My reasoning has three parts. I first present and examine the principle. My investigation is driven by three questions: what considerations lead Rawls to the acceptance of the principle; what the principle’s relation to effectiveness is; and what and how much the principle demands. A proper understanding of the principle permits me to spend the second half of the paper with (...)
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  20. Attila Tanyi (2006). An Essay on the Desire-Based Reasons Model. Dissertation, Central European University
    The dissertation argues against the view that normative reasons for action are grounded in desires. It first works out the different versions of the Model. After this, in the next three chapters, it presents and discusses three arguments against the Model, on the basis of which, it concludes that the Model gives us the wrong account of normative practical reasons.
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  21. Attila Tanyi (2006). Naturalism and Triviality. Philosophical Writings 32 (Summer):12-31.
    The paper examines Derek Parfit’s claim that naturalism trivializes the agent’s practical argument and therefore abolishes the normativity of its conclusion. In the first section, I present Parfit’s charge in detail. After this I discuss three possible responses to the objection. I show that the first two responses either fail or are inconclusive. Trying to avoid Parfit’s charge by endorsing irreductionist naturalism is not a solution because this form of naturalism is metaphysically untenable. Non- descriptive naturalism, on the other hand, (...)
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  22. Attila Tanyi (2004). Erkölcsi igazolás és politikai kötelezettség. Journal of Legal Theory (Jogelmeleti Szemle) 5 (4).
    The paper focuses on John Rawls’ theory of political obligation. Rawls bases political obligation on our natural duties of justice, which are mediated to us by our sense of justice. Therefore the justification of political obligation also requires moral justification: the justification of the principles of justice. In the paper I first investigate that part of Rawls’ argument that has the role of justification: the method of reflective equilibrium. This method raises several problems, the most severe of which is that (...)
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  23. Attila Tanyi (2000). Piac és igazságosság? (Market and Justice?). Napvilág.
    The aim of the book is to uncover the relation between market and justice through the critical examination of the work of Friedrich Hayek. The book argues for the following thesis: the institution of free market is not the only candidate social system; substantial, not merely formal distributive justice must become the central virtue of our social institutions. Notwithstanding its achievements and virtues, the Hayekian theory makes a simple mistake by equivocating possible social systems, dividing them into two groups. One (...)
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