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Profile: Evan Simpson (Memorial University of Newfoundland, McMaster University)
  1. Evan Simpson (1999). Between Internalism and Externalism in Ethics. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (195):201-214.
    If internalism in ethics is correct, then moral beliefs necessarily motivate. Externalism rejects this thesis, holding that the relationship between beliefs and motives is only contingent. The position I develop is that both views are false. By defining a logical relationship between moral beliefs and motives that is weaker than logical necessitation, it is possible to maintain (contrary to internalism) that beliefs may occur without motives, but (contrary to externalism) that they cannot always do so. The logical point is explicated (...)
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  2.  6
    Stanley G. Clarke & Evan Simpson (eds.) (1989). Anti-Theory in Ethics and Moral Conservatism. State University of New York Press.
    "This is a timely collection of important papers.
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  3.  39
    Evan Simpson (2013). Reasonable Trust. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (3):402-423.
    Establishing trust among individual agents has defined a central issue of practical reasoning since the dawning of liberal individualism. Hobbes was convinced that foolish self-interest always threatens to defeat uncompelled cooperation when one can gain by abandoning a joint effort. Against this philosophical background, scientific studies of human beings display a surprisingly cooperative species. It would seem to follow that biologically inherited characteristics impair our reason. The response proposed here distinguishes rationality and reasonableness as two forms of good reasoning. One (...)
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  4.  12
    Evan Simpson & Karen Wendling (2005). Equality and Merit: A Merit-Based Argument for Equity Policies in Higher Education. Educational Theory 55 (4):385-398.
    We assume, for the sake of argument, that the sole purpose of colleges and universities is the advancement of knowledge through teaching and research, and that academic merit, as defined by each discipline, ought to be the only relevant criterion in admissions and hiring decisions. Even on this restrictive set of assumptions, we argue that hiring and admitting women and people of color is sometimes the best way for colleges and universities to advance knowledge. We then address two objections to (...)
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  5.  6
    Evan Simpson (2003). The Faculty of the Future. Journal of Academic Ethics 1 (1):49-58.
    This paper examines some implications of predicted demographic changes in Canadian universities that may make them unable to replace retiring faculty members in numbers permitting academic business as usual. If the predictions prove correct, it will be desirable to reinterpret received verities about the relationship between professor/student ratios and effective education, the dual roles of teaching and research, and democratic governance in communities of higher education. Possibilities for restructuring inquiry and instruction in ways consistent with the responsibilities of educators are (...)
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  6.  20
    Evan Simpson (1968). Mention and Designation. Analysis 29 (1):1 - 4.
    Some characteristics of two species of singular reference are described and a complexity of mention vis-a-vis designation illustrated by means of special quotation devices. It is pointed out that the use/mention distinction is more complex and less absolute than sometimes realized.
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  7.  3
    Evan Simpson (2006). Responsibilities for Hateful Speech. Legal Theory 12 (2):157-177.
    This essay consolidates some fragments of the contemporary theory of expressive freedoms, bringing together scattered conceptual distinctions (e.g., hurting and harming, tolerating and legitimating) and moves (e.g., the need to rectify hateful speech and to constrain harmful actions legally) into an account that is sensitive to the needs of abused groups but faithful to the libertarian tradition associated with Mill's harm principle. Accepting this principle as the fundamental condition warranting legal control of action, we explore legislative responsibilities for protecting expressive (...)
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  8.  22
    Evan Simpson (1998). Prudence and Anti-Prudence. American Philosophical Quarterly 35 (1):73 - 86.
    This article identifies both prudence and antiprudence as options for rational people. Building upon Wiggins's "sensible subjectivism," the account offers an analysis of prudential emotions which are not rationally required but whose reasonableness need not be doubted. One result is that skepticism about prudence is avoidable. Another, as shown through examination of some of Parfit's worries about replication, is that prudence is autonomous from metaphysical theories of persons. It is also autonomous from morality, neither prudence nor morality being appropriately subordinated (...)
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  9.  25
    Evan Simpson (2013). Practical Reasonableness: Some Epistemic Issues. Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (1-2):135-145.
    This essay promotes the superiority of cognitivist expressivism over noncognitivism and normative realism. Cognitivist expressivism regards normative judgments as emotionally reasonable but non-truth-apt. It stresses a distinction between normative differences and disagreements and rejects several contrasting views: communicative rationalism, discursive nonnaturalism, and moral universalism. It also explains why moral thinking often appears to display a progressive direction but questions the proposition that previous social practices embodied moral errors demonstrable from the standpoint of the present. The result is that philosophers have (...)
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  10.  9
    Evan Simpson (2004). The Leadership of Service. Journal of Academic Ethics 2 (3):199-207.
    Using experiences at Memorial University of Newfoundland as a basis, this essay suggests that leadership should be an expectation of professional academics in all the categories of their work, namely teaching, research and service. The desirability of developing the leadership of service in particular is advanced as an appropriate expectation for faculty members career progress. Developing a general leadership ethos is both philosophically appropriate and practically advantageous in collegial organisations.
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  11. Evan Simpson (2003). Raymond A. Morrow and Carlos Alberto Torres, Eds., Reading Freire and Habermas: Critical Pedagogy and Transformative Social Change Reviewed By. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 23 (4):267-268.
     
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  12.  9
    Evan Simpson (1982). The Priority of Needs Over Wants. Social Theory and Practice 8 (1):95-112.
    Egalitarian assumptions are unsupported by standard liberal arguments, against which the libertarian critique of distributive principles seems persuasive. Liberal instincts can be defended, however, by ideas from the radical tradition. The priority of labor over capital is equivalent to adequate provision for human needs. By distinguishing needs (e.g., security) from their material conditions (e.g., medical care) it is shown that needs are not voracious but rational ends to which everyone has a valid claim.
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  13.  9
    Evan Simpson (1989). Patterns of Moral Complexity. [REVIEW] Canadian Journal of Philosophy 19 (2):309-324.
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  14.  13
    Evan Simpson (2013). Practical Reasonableness: Some Metaethical Issues. Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (4):425-437.
    Normative judgments are typically subject to emotional reasons that cannot be justified by reference to facts alone. As a result, practical disputes sometimes go unsettled in ways that support James Lenman's view of moral inquiry as politics. An important consequence is that reasonableness is often preferable to truth as a criterion of good practical judgment. Although the role of emotions suggests metaethical expressivism as preferable to realism for analysing practical reasoning, reasonableness transforms expressivism from a form of noncognitivism into a (...)
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  15. Evan Simpson (1987). Anti-Foundationalism and Practical Reasoning Conversations Between Hermeneutics and Analysis.
    The editor's introduction to the volume explores the thesis of a convergence between analytic and hermeneutic philosophy on the absence of grounds for knowledge and practice. The nature of philosophy without foundations is discussed, along with the conservative tendencies and utopian tensions of "anti-foundationalism.".
     
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  16.  15
    Evan Simpson (1979). Objective Reason and Respect for Persons. The Monist 62 (4):457-469.
    Objectivity in evaluation can be understood either in terms of satisfaction of certain formal criteria or in terms of correspondence to facts of a certain kind. Morality includes metaphysical claims which distinguish arbitrary wants from rational ends, but the weakness of the interpretation of such claims within formalist liberal views results in the collapse of that distinction and in mistaking moral ignorance for moral freedom. Only by showing that respect for persons is justified by the metaphysics of human nature - (...)
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  17. Evan Simpson (1991). Owen Flanagan, Varieties of Moral Personality: Ethics and Psychological Realism Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 11 (5):314-316.
     
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  18.  7
    Evan Simpson (1976). An Analysis of Certainty. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 6 (3):403 - 416.
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  19.  19
    Evan Simpson (2007). The Right to Life After Death. Dialogue 46 (3):531-551.
    Imagining a future world in which people no longer die provides a helplul tool for understanding our present ethical views. It becomes evident that the cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, and courage are options for reasonable people rather than rational requirements. On the assumption that the medical means to immortality are not universally available, even justice becomes detached from theories that tie the supposed virtue to the protection of human rights. Several stratagems are available for defending a categorical right to (...)
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  20.  17
    Evan Simpson (1976). Socialist Justice. Ethics 87 (1):1-17.
    John Rawls observes that "a theory of justice is . . . a theory of the moral sentiments." His analysis of moral attitudes as defined by rationally chosen principles is controversial, however, and distinguishes his liberal conception of justice from one which understands such attitudes as constituted by verifiable beliefs about social realities. The socialist conception suggested by the latter analysis is at least as plausible as individualist alternatives.
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  21.  5
    Evan Simpson (1986). A Values-Clarification Retrospective. Educational Theory 36 (3):271-287.
    Values clarification was too quickly scorned, for its problems are also problems for other contemporary approaches to moral education - especially cognitive-developmental accounts. These problems show the need for better understanding of behavioural characterizations - particularly of the use of words for virtues and vices. The problems can best be corrected by reexamining the role of conversation in education along lines suggested by Freire and Habermas rather than Dewey and Kohlberg. -/- .
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  22.  16
    Evan Simpson (1980). The Subjects of Justice. Ethics 90 (4):490-501.
    Competing political theories variously identify communities, individuals, institutions, and classes as the basic subjects of justice. Liberal theories fail to map an important part of the domain of right action by ignoring class conflict and thereby neglect the possibility that justice may require social direction of economic systems. A conceptually more adequate account strongly suggests the virtues of a market socialism.
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  23. Evan Simpson (1996). Simone Chambers, Reasonable Democracy: Jurgen Habermas and the Politics of Discourse Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 16 (5):325-327.
     
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  24.  9
    Evan Simpson (1977). Modal Thinking. [REVIEW] International Studies in Philosophy 9:173-175.
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  25.  11
    Evan Simpson (2000). Knowledge in the Postmodern University. Educational Theory 50 (2):157-177.
    Critiques of realism, rationalism, foundationalism and structuralism deriving from Derrida, Foucault and Lyotard lead to a characterization of the postmodern university as one in which metaphysical, epistemological and political theories are not canonical. Identifying some of the excesses in these interrelated critiques promotes disengagement from theories of rational scholarly agreement typical of the modern university without giving up on the notion of universal knowledge as an educational ideal. Since intellectual progress occurs without resolution of these distracting theories, the postmodern critique (...)
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  26. Evan Simpson (1994). Stephen Mulhall and Adam Swift, Liberals and Communitarians Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 14 (2):115-117.
     
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  27.  4
    Evan Simpson & Mark Williams (1994). The Ideal of Social Disillusionment. Philosophical Forum 26 (1):63-77.
    In this paper we argue that individuals in modern societies can share a general appreciation of the contingency of moral and political engagement without endangering these purposeful attachments. Depending upon the acceptance of various cognitive conventions, social practices and institutions cannot be sustained by appeals to advantage alone, but these conventions do not demand ontological commitment. Transparent fictions rather than ideological illusions can suffice to sustain valued forms of life. In contrast to Rorty's ironic society in which "only the intellectuals (...)
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  28.  10
    Evan Simpson (1997). Rights Thinking. Philosophy 72 (279):29 - 58.
    The practice of rights thinking is desirable in modern societies but its scope is restricted by concern for utility and the demands of personal relationships. The result is a hybrid practice no part of which is a foundation for the others. Differences between pure rights thinking, theories of rights and rights talk support a moral pragmatism for which the objects of moral thinking are not decided a priori. The argument draws upon the historical context provided by Bentham, Burke, Locke and (...)
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  29. Evan Simpson (1987). John Ibberson, The Language of Decision Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 7 (12):498-500.
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  30. Evan Simpson (2006). Dennis F. Thompson, Restoring Responsibility: Ethics in Government, Business, and Healthcare Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 26 (1):68-71.
     
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  31. Evan Simpson (1999). Donald RC Reed, Following Kohlberg: Liberalism and the Practice of Democratic Community Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 19 (4):279-281.
  32. Evan Simpson (1986). SC Brown, Ed., Objectivity and Cultural Divergence Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 6 (4):139-141.
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  33.  7
    Evan Simpson (1990). Marxism and Moralism. Dialogue 29 (04):583-.
    Moral philosophers continue to divide on the conundrum of Marx and morality— how a ferocious moral critic of nineteenth-century capitalism could also denounce morality as an ideological snare and delusion. In Marxism and the Moral Point of View, Kai Nielsen brings together many years of thought on both terms of the question, rightly seeking a balance between Marx's moralism and Marx's anti-moralism.
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  34.  7
    Evan Simpson (1993). Principles and Customs in Moral Philosophy. Metaphilosophy 24 (1-2):14-32.
    This discussion explores skepticism about moral principles, the diminishing authority of principles in much recent moral philosophy, transformations of rationalism that result, and the possibility of morality within the bounds of custom alone.
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  35.  7
    Evan Simpson (1969). The Philosophy of Action. Edited by Alan R. White. Oxford Readings in Philosophy Series. Toronto: Oxford University Press, 1967. Pp. 172. $1.30. [REVIEW] Dialogue 7 (4):687-688.
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  36.  6
    Evan Simpson (1969). Political Theory and the Rights of Man. Edited by D. D. Raphael. Toronto: Macmillan Company, 1967. Pp. 151. $6.00. [REVIEW] Dialogue 7 (4):689-690.
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  37.  5
    Evan Simpson (1975). Aesthetic Appraisal. Philosophy 50 (192):189 - 204.
    In the twenty-five years since philosophers began to bemoan ‘the dreariness of aesthetics’, students in Wittgenstein's wake have done a great deal to eliminate the grounds of the complaint. Unfruitful essentialist theories have been largely displaced by the vigorous, if somewhat uncontrolled, growth of an enterprise which attempts to characterize and explicate aesthetic phenomena outside the desert of definition. The resulting view portrays typically aesthetic concepts as being indivisibly characterizing and evaluative, relativistic in application, necessarily linked to human attitudes, irreducible (...)
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  38.  6
    Evan Simpson (1970). Social Norms and Aberrations: Violence and Some Related Social Facts. Ethics 81 (1):22-35.
    For any group there is a point beyond which the accumulation of acts of violence, cruelty, or even rudeness, implies disintegration. By a series of small and plausible transitions this putative empirical generalization may be transformed into a statement about the normative attitudes of persons in stable groups. The generalization may in the first place be more strongly construed as a statement of law governing any society. The weakening of bonds between persons implied by the prevalence of behavior of the (...)
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  39.  1
    Evan Simpson (1970). Bertrand Russell's Theory of Knowledge. By Elizabeth Ramsden Eames, New York: George Braziller, 1969. 240 Pages. $6.00.Bertrand Russell's Philosophy of Language. By Robert J. Clack, The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1969. 100 Pages. Guilders 14.40. [REVIEW] Dialogue 9 (1):103-106.
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  40.  1
    Evan Simpson (1971). On the Assertion of Philosophical Doubt. Dialogue 10 (1):82-91.
    Familiar arguments against scepticism are explicated in terms of a distinction between logical possibility and assertibility. Certain consistent sceptical propositions are unassertible.
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  41.  3
    Evan Simpson (1970). Actions and Extensions. American Philosophical Quarterly 7 (4):349 - 356.
    Basic Human Actions are event-like, and it should be possible to refer to them without mention of specific intentions. Such reference need not require an act ontology, since actions may be regarded as indivisible complexes -- of agent, object, and tool -- which are referred to by statements rather than named.
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  42. Evan Simpson (2004). Harms to Dignity, Bioethics, and the Scope of Biolaw. Journal of Palliative Care 20:185-192.
    Dignity is an expansive ideal, figuring in international covenants, codes of research involving human participants, and debates about decision making at the end of life. One result of this expansiveness is that human dignity can be appropriated by proponents on both sides of many issues, thereby appearing more as a rhetorical flourish than as a serious element in argumentation. However, an appreciation of narrative inquiry shows that opposing representations of dignity constitute alternative assessments of responsible action, both of which can (...)
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  43. Evan Simpson (1987). John Ibberson, The Language of Decision. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 7:498-500.
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  44. Evan Simpson (1992). Liberty, Democracy, Community. Public Affairs Quarterly 6 (3):327-344.
    Liberal and communitarian democrats describe different ways in which liberty, democracy, and community might exist together in political associations. The modern differentiation of political associations from traditional communities favours liberal accounts, in which a democratic society's collective acts do not extend beyond the official decisions of elected governments. While participatory self-rule does not seem possible at the level of the nation-state, however, there remain analogues to communal practices in various styles of political reasoning. Communitarians should therefore advocate customs of argument (...)
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  45.  15
    Evan Simpson (1979). Reason Over Passion: The Social Basis of Evaluation and Appraisal. Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
    Outline of the Argument REASON IS NOT passion's slave. In his famous statement to the contrary Hume supposed that reason labours only to satisfy our wants, ...
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  46. Evan Simpson (1986). S.C. Brown, Ed., Objectivity And Cultural Divergence. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 6:139-141.
     
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  47. Evan Simpson (1994). Stephen Mulhall and Adam Swift, Liberals and Communitarians. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 14:115-117.
     
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