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Profile: David Forman (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
  1. David Forman (forthcoming). Kant’s Moderate Cynicism and the Harmony Between Virtue and Worldly Happiness. Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    For Kant, any authentic moral demands are wholly distinct from the demands of prudence. This has led critics to complain that Kantian moral demands are incompatible with our human nature as happiness-seekers. Kant’s defenders have pointed out, correctly, that Kant can and does assert that it is permissible, at least in principle, to pursue our own happiness. But this response does not eliminate the worry that a life organized around the pursuit of virtue might turn out to be one from (...)
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  2. David Forman (2013). Appetimus Sub Ratione Boni: Kant’s Practical Principles Between Crusius and Leibniz. In Stefano Bacin, Alfredo Ferrarin, Claudio La Rocca & Margit Ruffing (eds.), Kant und die Philosophie in weltbürgerlicher Absicht. de Gruyter.
  3. David Forman (2012). Kant on Moral Freedom and Moral Slavery. Kantian Review 17 (1):1-32.
    Kant’s account of the freedom gained through virtue builds on the Socratic tradition. On the Socratic view, when morality is our end, nothing can hinder us from attaining satisfaction: we are self-sufficient and free since moral goodness is (as Kant says) “created by us, hence is in our power.” But when our end is the fulfillment of sensible desires, our satisfaction requires luck as well as the cooperation of others. For Kant, this means that happiness requires that we get other (...)
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  4. David Forman (2012). Principled and Unprincipled Maxims. Kant-Studien 103 (3):318-336.
    Kant frequently speaks as if all voluntary actions arise from our maxims as the subjective principles of our practical reason. But, as Michael Albrecht has pointed out, Kant also occasionally speaks as if it is only the rare person of “character” who acts according to principles or maxims. I argue that Kant’s seemingly contradictory claims on this front result from the fact that there are two fundamentally different ways that maxims of action can figure in the deliberation of the agent: (...)
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  5. David Forman (2010). Second Nature and Spirit: Hegel on the Role of Habit in the Appearance of Perceptual Consciousness. Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (4):325-352.
    Hegel's discussion of the concept of “habit” appears at a crucial point in his Encyclopedia system, namely, in the transition from the topic of “nature” to the topic of “spirit” (Geist): it is through habit that the subject both distinguishes itself from its various sensory states as an absolute unity (the I) and, at the same time, preserves those sensory states as the content of sensory consciousness. By calling habit a “second nature,” Hegel highlights the fact that incipient spirit retains (...)
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  6. David Forman (2008). Autonomy as Second Nature: On McDowell's Aristotelian Naturalism. Inquiry 51 (6):563-580.
    The concept of second nature plays a central role in McDowell's project of reconciling thought's external constraint with its spontaneity or autonomy: our conceptual capacities are natural in the sense that they are fully integrated into the natural world, but they are a second nature to us since they are not reducible to elements that are intelligible apart from those conceptual capacities. Rather than offering a theory of second nature and an account of how we acquire one, McDowell suggests that (...)
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  7. David Forman (2008). Free Will and the Freedom of the Sage in Leibniz and the Stoics. History of Philosophy Quarterly 25 (3):203-219.
  8. David Forman (2007). Review of Ermanno Bencivenga, Ethics Vindicated: Kant's Transcendental Legitimation of Moral Discourse. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (6).
  9. David Forman (2006). Learning and the Necessity of Non-Conceptual Content in Sellars's Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind. In Michael P. Wolf & Mark Lance (eds.), The Self-Correcting Enterprise: Essays on Wilfrid Sellars. Rodopi. 115-145.
    For Sellars, the possibility of empirical knowledge presupposes the existence of "sense impressions" in the perceiver, i.e., non-conceptual states of perceptual consciousness. But this role for sense impressions does not implicate Sellars' account in the Myth of the Given: sense impressions do not stand in a justificatory relation to instances of perceptual knowledge; their existence is rather a condition for the possibility of the acquisition of empirical concepts. Sellars suggests that learning empirical concepts presupposes that we can remember certain past (...)
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