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Profile: Basil Smith (Saddleback College)
  1. Basil Smith (2013). Epistemology, by Ian Evans and Nicholas Smith. [REVIEW] Teaching Philosophy 36 (2):204-209.
  2. Basil Smith, Internalism and Externalism in the Philosophy of Mind and Language. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    How are the contents of our beliefs, our intentions, and other attitudes individuated? Just what makes our contents what they are? Content externalism, as Hilary Putnam, Tyler Burge, and others have argued, is the position that our contents depend in a constitutive manner on items in the external world, that they can be individuated by our causal interaction with the items they are about. Content internalism, by contrast, is the position that our contents depend primarily on the properties of our (...)
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  3. Basil Smith (2012). A Dialogue on Consciousness, by Torin Alter and Robert Howell. [REVIEW] Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (9-10):247-252.
  4. Basil Smith (2012). Affect, Rationality, and the Experience Machine. Ethical Perspectives 19 (2):268-276.
    Can we test philosophical thought experiments, such as whether people would enter an experience machine or would leave one once they are inside? Dan Weijers argues that since 'rational' subjects (e.g. students taking surveys in college classes) are believable, we can do so. By contrast, I argue that because such subjects will probably have the wrong affect (i.e. emotional states) when they are tested, such tests are almost worthless. Moreover, understood as a general policy, such pretend testing would ruin the (...)
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  5. Hanno Sauer, Basil Smith & Jeremy Watkins (2011). Christopher Martin is a Researcher in the Faculty of Medicine and a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. A Former School Principal, His Central Area of Research is Moral Philosophy and the Ethical and Political Foundations of Education. Email: Chris. Martin@ Med. Mun. Ca. [REVIEW] Ethical Perspectives 18 (1):163.
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  6. Basil Smith (2011). Can We Test the Experience Machine? Ethical Perspectives 18 (1):29-51.
    Robert Nozick famously asks us whether we would plug in to an experience machine, or whether we would insist upon ‘living in contact with reality’. Felipe De Brigard, after conducting a series of empirical ‘inverted’ experience machine studies, suggests that this is a false dilemma. Rather, he says, '…the fact is that people tend to prefer the state of affairs they are in currently,' or the status quo. In this paper, I argue that these studies are a test case for (...)
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  7. Jeremy Watkins, Basil Smith, Christopher Martin, Renate Pilapil & Hanno Sauer (2011). Matching Well-Being to Merit: The Example of Punishment. Ethical Perspectives 18 (1):5-27.
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  8. Basil Smith (2007). The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy. [REVIEW] Review of Metaphysics 60 (3):696-698.
  9. Basil Smith (2006). Epistemic Luck, by Duncan Pritchard. [REVIEW] International Journal of Philosophical Studies 14 (2):291-295.
  10. Basil Smith (2006). John Locke, Personal Identity and Memento. In Mark T. Conard (ed.), The Philosophy of Neo-Noir. University of Kentucky Press.
    In this paper, I compare John Locke’s “memory theory” of personal identity and Memento (directed by Christopher Nolan). I argue that the plot of Memento is ambiguous, in that the main character (Leonard Shelby, played by Guy Pearce) seems to have two histories. As such, Memento is but a series of puzzle cases that intend to illustrate that, although our memories may not be chronologically related to one another, and may even be fused with the memories of other persons, those (...)
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  11. Basil Smith, Cartesian Scepticism About the External World, Semantic or Content Externalism, and the Mind.
    This thesis has three parts. In the first part, the author defends the coherence of Cartesian scepticism about the external world. In particular, the author contends that such scepticism survives attacks from Descartes himself, as well as from W.V.O. Quine, Robert Nozick, Alvin Goldman, and David Armstrong. It follows that Cartesian scepticism remains intact. In the second part of this thesis, the author contends that the semantic or content externalisms of Hilary Putnam and Tyler Burge do not refute Cartesian scepticism (...)
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  12. Basil Smith (2002). A Middle Way to God. [REVIEW] International Philosophical Quarterly 42 (1):138-139.
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  13. Basil Smith (2001). Davidson, Irrationality and Ethics. Philosophy Today 45 (3):242-253.
    In this paper I outline Donald Davidson’s account of two forms of irrationality, akrasia and self-deception, and relate this account to ethical action and belief. His view of irrationality is generally a Freudian one, to the effect that agents must compartmentalize both offending particular mental contents, and governing second order principles. Davidson also hints that his account of akrasia and self-deception might show certain normative and meta-ethical theories to be irrational, insofar as they too engender irrationality. I explore these hints, (...)
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  14. Basil Smith (2001). Mark Timmons, Morality Without Foundations: A Defense of Ethical Contextualism. [REVIEW] Journal of Value Inquiry 35 (2):269-273.
    In Morality Without Foundations, Mark Timmons argues that moral judgments (e.g. “cruelty is wrong”) have what he calls “evaluative assertoric content,” and so, are true or false. However, I argue that, even if correct, this argument renders moral truth or falsity mysterious.
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  15. Basil Smith (2001). Necessity, Volition, and Love Harry G. Frankfurt New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998, Xii + 180 Pp., $54.95, $17.95 Paper. [REVIEW] Dialogue 40 (02):411-.
  16. Basil Smith (2001). Necessity, Volition, and Love. Dialogue 40 (2):411-411.
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  17. Basil Smith (2000). Plantinga and Wittgenstein on Properly Basic Beliefs. Philo 3 (1):32-40.
    Alvin Plantinga argues that secular evidentialism is false because the criteria of properly basic beliefs are either too restrictive or incoherent. I argue that Wittgenstein provides a better position on basic propositions (e.g. in On Certainty), which amounts to a more psychologically plausible vision of our epistemic foundations.
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  18. Basil Smith (1999). Defending Theistic Proofs. [REVIEW] Philo 2 (2):58-63.
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  19. Basil Smith (1999). Wittgenstein's Thought in Transition, by Dale Jacquette. [REVIEW] Metaphilosophy 40 (4):373-378.
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