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Profile: Benjamin Vilhauer (CUNY City College)
  1. 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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  2. Benjamin Vilhauer (2013). Persons, Punishment, and Free Will Skepticism. Philosophical Studies 162 (2):143-163.
    The purpose of this paper is to provide a justification of punishment which can be endorsed by free will skeptics, and which can also be defended against the "using persons as mere means" objection. Free will skeptics must reject retributivism, that is, the view that punishment is just because criminals deserve to suffer based on their actions. Retributivists often claim that theirs is the only justification on which punishment is constrained by desert, and suppose that non-retributive justifications must therefore endorse (...)
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  3. Benjamin Vilhauer (2013). The People Problem. In Gregg D. Caruso (ed.), Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books. 141.
    One reason that many philosophers are reluctant to seriously contemplate the possibility that we lack free will seems to be the view that we must believe we have free will if we are to regard each other as persons in the morally deep sense—the sense that involves deontological notions such as human rights. In the contemporary literature, this view is often informed by P.F. Strawson's view that to treat human beings as having free will is to respond to them with (...)
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  4. Benjamin Vilhauer (2012). Taking Free Will Skepticism Seriously. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (248):833 - 852.
    An apparently increasing number of philosophers take free will skepticism to pose a serious challenge to some of our practices. This must seem odd to many—why should anyone think that free will skepticism is relevant for our practices, when nobody seems to think that other canonical forms of philosophical skepticism (for example, skepticism about induction or other minds) are relevant for our practices? Part of the explanation may be epistemic, but here I focus on a metaethical explanation. Free will skepticism (...)
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  5. Benjamin Vilhauer (2010). The Scope of Responsibility in Kant's Theory of Free Will. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (1):45-71.
    In this paper, I discuss a problem for Kant's strategy of appealing to the agent qua noumenon to undermine the significance of determinism in his theory of free will. I then propose a solution. The problem is as follows: given determinism, how can some agent qua noumenon be 'the cause of the causality' of the appearances of that agent qua phenomenon without being the cause of the entire empirical causal series? This problem has been identified in the literature (Ralph Walker (...)
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  6. Benjamin Vilhauer (2009). Free Will and Reasonable Doubt. American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):131-140.
    The goal of this paper is to explain and defend the following argument: (1) If it can be reasonably doubted that someone had free will with respect to some action, then it is a requirement of justice to refrain from doing serious retributive harm to him in response to that action. (2) Anyone who believes the free will debate to be philosophically valuable must accept that it can be reasonably doubted that anyone ever has free will. (3) Therefore, anyone who (...)
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  7. Benjamin Vilhauer (2009). Free Will Skepticism and Personhood as a Desert Base. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):pp. 489-511.
    In contemporary free will theory, a significant number of philosophers are once again taking seriously the possibility that human beings do not have free will, and are therefore not morally responsible for their actions. Free will theorists commonly assume that giving up the belief that human beings are morally responsible implies giving up all our beliefs about desert. But the consequences of giving up the belief that we are morally responsible are not quite this dramatic. Giving up the belief that (...)
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  8. Ben Vilhauer (2008). Hard Determinism, Humeanism, and Virtue Ethics. Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):121-144.
    Hard determinists hold that we never have alternative possibilities of action—that we only can do what we actually do. This means that if hard determinists accept the “ought implies can” principle, they mustaccept that it is never the case that we ought to do anything we do not do. In other words, they must reject the view that there can be “ought”- based moral reasons to do things we do not do. Hard determinists who wish to accommodate moral reasons to (...)
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  9. Benjamin Vilhauer (2008). Hard Determinism, Humeanism, and Virtue Ethics. Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):121-144.
    Hard determinists hold that we never have alternative possibilities of action—that we only can do what we actually do. This means that if hard determinists accept the “ought implies can” principle, they mustaccept that it is never the case that we ought to do anything we do not do. In other words, they must reject the view that there can be “ought”- based moral reasons to do things we do not do. Hard determinists who wish to accommodate moral reasons to (...)
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  10. Benjamin Vilhauer (2008). Incompatibilism and Ontological Priority in Kant's Theory of Free Will. In Pablo Muchnik (ed.), Incompatibilism and Ontological Priority in Kant's Theory of Free Will.
    This paper concerns the role of the transcendental distinction between agents qua phenomena and qua noumena in Kant's theory of free will. It argues (1) that Kant's incompatibilism can be accommodated if one accepts the "ontological" interpretation of this distinction (i.e. the view that agents qua noumena are ontologically prior to agents qua phenomena), and (2) that Kant's incompatibilism cannot be accommodated by the "two-aspect" interpretation, whose defining feature is the rejection of the ontological priority of agents qua noumena. The (...)
     
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  11. Ben Vilhauer (2007). Review: Bird, The Revolutionary Kant: A Commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason. [REVIEW] Kantian Review 12 (2):176-181.
  12. Ben Vilhauer (2007). The Revolutionary Kant: A Commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason, by Graham Bird. Chicago: Open Court Books, 2006. Pp.Xii+856, $59.95. [REVIEW] Kantian Review 12 (2):176-181.
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  13. Benjamin Vilhauer (2007). Review of Graham Bird's The Revolutionary Kant: A Commentary on the Critique of Pure Reason. [REVIEW] Kantian Review 12 (2):176-181.
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  14. Ben Vilhauer (2004). Hard Determinism, Remorse, and Virtue Ethics. Southern Journal of Philosophy 42 (4):547-564.
    When hard determinists reject the claim that people deserve particular kinds of treatment because of how they have acted, they are left with a problem about remorse. Remorse is often represented as a way we impose retribution on ourselves when we understand that we have acted badly. (This view of remorse appears in the work of Freud, and I think it fits our everyday, pretheoretical understanding of one kind of remorse.) Retribution of any kind cannot be appropriate if we do (...)
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  15. Benjamin Vilhauer (2004). Can We Interpret Kant as a Compatibilist About Determinism and Moral Responsibility? British Journal for the History of Philosophy 12 (4):719 – 730.
    In this paper, I discuss Hud Hudson's compatibilistic interpretation of Kant's theory of free will, which is based on Davidson's anomalous monism. I sketch an alternative interpretation of my own, an incompatibilistic interpretation according to which agents qua noumena are responsible for the particular causal laws which determine the actions of agents qua phenomena. Hudson's interpretation should be attractive to philosophers who value Kant's epistemology and ethics, but insist on a deflationary reading of things in themselves. It is in an (...)
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  16. Ben Vilhauer (2003). On a Tension in Diamond's Account of Tractarian Nonsense. Philosophical Investigations 26 (3):230–238.
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