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  1. Harriet Baber, David Copp, David Depew, John Dupr, Reinaldo Elugardo, John Martin Fischer, Don Garrett, Richard Healey, Bernard W. Kobes & Bruce Landesman (unknown). The Papers in This Volume Are a Selection of the Papers Presented at the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division Meeting of 1994. The Papers Were Selected by the 1993-1994 Pacific Division Program Committee, Whose Members Include: Jean Hampton (Chair). [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 77 (193):t995.
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  2. John Martin Fischer, Dennett on Freedom.
    This article is my contribution to an author-meets-critics session on Daniel Dennett’s Freedom Evolves (Viking, 2003) at the 2004 meetings of the American Philosophical Association – Pacific Division. Dennett criticizes a view I defend in Autonomous Agents (Oxford University Press, 1995) about the importance of agents’ histories for autonomy, freedom, and moral responsibility and defends a competing view. Our disagreement on this issue is the major focus of this article. Additional topics are manipulation, avoidance, and avoidability.
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  3. John Martin Fischer, Natural Freedom.
    Dearly beloved, I want to thank Brother Tim O’Connor for his candid reactions to my published sermons this Sunday morning, and I welcome you all, in the spirit of ecumenicism, to the Church of Fundamentalist Naturalism. Before the collection plate is passed, let me tell you a bit more about the Church. Our symbol is of course the Darwin-fish, the four-legged evolver that echoes the ancient fish symbol of Christianity. I was wearing my Darwin-fish lapel pin at an evolutionary theory (...)
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  4. John Martin Fischer, Pastoral Counsel for the Anxious Naturalist: Daniel Dennett's Freedom Evolves.
    The church-going philosopher who settles in for an extended reading of Dan Dennett’s new book will find himself in a familiar circumstance. What one confronts is a lot more like an extended sermon than it is a typical philosophical treatise. And, whatever one’s Sunday morning habits, one can’t help but admire the preaching skills artfully displayed. The delivery is powerful and assured; the argument is streamlined, peppered with evocative and delightful illustrations that will be recalled long after the particular points (...)
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  5. Neal A. Tognazzini & John Martin Fischer (forthcoming). Incompatibilism and the Past. In John Keller (ed.), Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes from van Inwagen. Oxford University Press
    A style of argument that calls into question our freedom (in the sense that involves freedom to do otherwise) has been around for millennia; it can be traced back to Origen. The argument-form makes use of the crucial idea that the past is over-and-done-with and thus fixed; we cannot now do anything about the distant past (or, for that matter, the recent past)—it is now too late. Peter van Inwagen has presented this argument (what he calls the Consequence Argument) in (...)
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  6. John Martin Fischer & Patrick Todd (eds.) (2015). Freedom, Fatalism, and Foreknowledge. Oxford University Press.
    We typically think we have free will. But how could we have free will, if for anything we do, it was already true in the distant past that we would do that thing? Or how could we have free will, if God already knows in advance all the details of our lives? Such issues raise the specter of "fatalism". This book collects sixteen previously published articles on fatalism, truths about the future, and the relationship between divine foreknowledge and human freedom, (...)
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  7. Patrick Todd & John Martin Fischer (2015). Introduction. In John Martin Fischer & Patrick Todd (eds.), Freedom, Fatalism, and Foreknowledge. Oxford University Press 01-38.
    This Introduction has three sections, on "logical fatalism," "theological fatalism," and the problem of future contingents, respectively. In the first two sections, we focus on the crucial idea of "dependence" and the role it plays it fatalistic arguments. Arguably, the primary response to the problems of logical and theological fatalism invokes the claim that the relevant past truths or divine beliefs depend on what we do, and therefore needn't be held fixed when evaluating what we can do. We call the (...)
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  8. John Martin Fischer & Anthony Brueckner (2014). Accommodating Counterfactual Attitudes: A Further Reply to Johansson. Journal of Ethics 18 (1):19-21.
    Here we respond to Johansson’s main worry, as laid out in his, “Actual and Counterfactual Attitudes: Reply to Fischer and Brueckner.” We show how our principle BF*(dd*) can be adjusted to address this concern compatibly with our fundamental approach to responding to Lucretius.
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  9. John Martin Fischer & Anthony Brueckner (2014). Erratum To: The Evil of Death: A Reply to Yi. Philosophia 42 (4):1169-1169.
    Erratum to: Philosophia 42:741–748DOI 10.1007/s11406-014-9543-9The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake. There were two slight text errors. The correct text information are given below.In the second line of the last paragraph in section "Reply to Yi" right before the "Conclusion", the text should read as:“atypical or, as Yi suggests, are more typical than we appear to suppose”.andIn the middle of the same paragraph, the text should read as:“…Note that a proponent of the Brueckner/Fischer approach can accept that (...)
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  10. John Martin Fischer & Anthony Brueckner (2014). The Evil of Death: A Reply to Yi. Philosophia 42 (3):741-748.
    In previous work we have presented a reply to the Lucretian Symmetry, which has it that it is rational to have symmetric attitudes toward prenatal and posthumous nonexistence. Our reply relies on Parfit-style thought-experiments. Here we reply to a critique of our approach by Huiyuhl Yi, which appears in this journal: Brueckner and Fischer on the evil of death. We argue that this critique fails to attend to the specific nature of the thought-experiments (and our associated argument). More specifically, the (...)
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  11. John Martin Fischer & Anthony Brueckner (2014). The Mirror-Image Argument: An Additional Reply to Johansson. Journal of Ethics 18 (4):325-330.
    We have argued that it is rational to have asymmetric attitudes toward prenatal and posthumous non-existence insofar as this asymmetry is a special case of a more general asymmetry in our attitudes toward past and future pleasures. Here we respond to an interesting critique of our view by Jens Johansson. We contend that his critique involves an inappropriate conflation of the time from which the relevant asymmetry emerges and the time of the badness of death.
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  12. John Martin Fischer & Anthony L. Brueckner (2014). Prenatal and Posthumous Non-Existence: A Reply to Johansson. Journal of Ethics 18 (1):1-9.
    We have argued that it is rational to have asymmetric attitudes toward prenatal and posthumous non-existence insofar as this asymmetry is a special case of a more general (and arguably rational) asymmetry in our attitudes toward past and future pleasures. Here we respond to an interesting critique of our view by Jens Johansson. We contend that his critique involves a crucial and illicit switch in temporal perspectives in the process of considering modal claims (sending us to other possible worlds).
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  13. John Martin Fischer & Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin (2014). Immortality and Boredom. Journal of Ethics 18 (4):353-372.
    In this paper, we aim to clarify and evaluate the contention that immortality would be necessarily boring . It will emerge that, just as there are various importantly different kinds of immortality, there are various distinct kinds of boredom. To evaluate the Necessary Boredom Thesis, we need to specify the kind of immortality and the kind of boredom. We argue against the thesis, on various specifications of “immortality” and “boredom.”.
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  14. John Martin Fischer & Neal A. Tognazzini (2014). Omniscience, Freedom, and Dependence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):346-367.
    Several theorists (Merricks, Westphal, and McCall) have recently claimed to offer a novel way to respond to the dilemma of freedom and foreknowledge, rooted in Molina's insight that God's beliefs depend on what we do, rather than the other way around. In this paper we argue that these responses either beg the question, or else are dressed-up versions of Ockhamism.
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  15. John Martin Fischer (2013). Abortion and Ownership. Journal of Ethics 17 (4):275-304.
    I explore two thought-experiments in Judith Jarvis Thomson’s important article, “A Defense of Abortion”: the violinist example and the people-seeds example. I argue (contra Thomson) that you have a moral duty not to unplug yourself from the violinist and also a moral duty not to destroy a people-seed that has landed in your sofa. Nevertheless, I also argue that there are crucial differences between the thought-experiments and the contexts of pregnancy due to rape or to contraceptive failure. In virtue of (...)
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  16. John Martin Fischer (2013). Death. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell
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  17. John Martin Fischer (2013). My Compatibilism. In Paul Russell & Oisin Deery (eds.), The Philosophy of Free Will: Essential Readings From the Contemporary Debates. OUP Usa
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  18. John Martin Fischer (2013). The Deterministic Horn of the Dilemma Defence: A Reply to Widerker and Goetz. Analysis 73 (3):489-496.
    I have argued that a proponent of the Frankfurt Cases as showing that the Principle of Alternative Possibilities is false can successfully reply to the Dilemma Defense. In their 2013 paper, Widerker and Goetz offer a critique of my view, especially as regards the deterministic horn of the dilemma. Here I clarify my strategy of response to the Dilemma Defense and reply to the critique developed by Widerker and Goetz.
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  19. John Martin Fischer & Anthony Brueckner (2013). The Evil of Death and the Lucretian Symmetry: A Reply to Feldman. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):783-789.
    In previous work we have defended the deprivation account of death’s badness against worries stemming from the Lucretian point that prenatal and posthumous nonexistence are deprivations of the same sort. In a recent article in this journal, Fred Feldman has offered an insightful critique of our Parfitian strategy for defending the deprivation account of death’s badness. Here we adjust, clarify, and defend our strategy for reply to Lucretian worries on behalf of the deprivation account.
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  20. John Martin Fischer & Garrett Pendergraft (2013). Does the Consequence Argument Beg the Question? Philosophical Studies 166 (3):575-595.
    The Consequence Argument has elicited various responses, ranging from acceptance as obviously right to rejection as obviously problematic in one way or another. Here we wish to focus on one specific response, according to which the Consequence Argument begs the question. This is a serious accusation that has not yet been adequately rebutted, and we aim to remedy that in what follows. We begin by giving a formulation of the Consequence Argument. We also offer some tentative proposals about the nature (...)
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  21. John Martin Fischer & Neal A. Tognazzini (2013). The Logic of Theological Incompatibilism: A Reply to Westphal. Analysis 73 (1):46-48.
    In our paper, "Omniscience, Freedom, and Dependence" (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88: 346-367), we argued that recent attempts (by Merricks, McCall, and Westphal) to resolve the dilemma of freedom and foreknowledge fail because they are question-begging. Westphal replied to our paper in an earlier issue of Analysis, and this article is our rejoinder to his reply.
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  22. Patrick Todd & John Martin Fischer (2013). The Truth About Foreknowledge. Faith and Philosophy 30 (3):286-301.
    In this paper we critically evaluate Trenton Merricks’s recent attempt to provide a “new” way of defending compatibilism about divine foreknowledge and human freedom. We take issue with Merricks’s claim that his approach is fundamentally different from Ockhamism. We also seek to highlight the implausibility of Merricks’s rejection of the assumption of the fixity of the past, and we also develop a critique of the Merricks’s crucial notion of “dependence.”.
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  23. John Martin Fischer (2012). Deep Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility. OUP USA.
    In this collection of essays -- a follow up to My Way and Our Stories -- John Martin Fischer defends the contention that moral responsibility is associated with "deep control". Fischer defines deep control as the middle ground between two untenable extreme positions: "superficial control" and "total control". -/- Our freedom consists of the power to add to the given past, holding fixed the laws of nature, and therefore, Fischer contends, we must be able to interpret our actions as extensions (...)
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  24. John Martin Fischer (2012). Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value. OUP Usa.
    Fischer here defends the contention that moral responsibility is associated with "deep control", which is "in-between" two untenable extreme positions: "superficial control" and "total control". He defends this "middle way" against the proponents of more--and less--robust notions of the freedom required for moral responsibility. Fischer offers a new solution to the Luck Problem, as well as providing a defense of the compatibility of causal determinism and moral responsibility.
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  25. John Martin Fischer (2012). Precis, Our Stories: Essays on Life, Death, and Free Will. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 158 (3):503-506.
  26. John Martin Fischer (2012). Responsibility and Autonomy: The Problem of Mission Creep. Philosophical Issues 22 (1):165-184.
  27. John Martin Fischer (2012). Semicompatibilism and Its Rivals. Journal of Ethics 16 (2):117-143.
    In this paper I give an overview of my “framework for moral responsibility,” and I offer some reasons that commend it. I contrast my approach with indeterministic models of moral responsibility and also other compatibilist strategies, including those of Harry Frankfurt and Gary Watson.
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  28. Thaddeus Metz, John G. Cottingham, Garrett Thomson, Ericj Wielenberg & John Martin Fischer (2012). Exploring the Meaning of Life. John Wiley & Sons.
     
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  29. John Perry, Michael Bratman & John Martin Fischer (eds.) (2012). Introduction to Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
    Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings, Sixth Edition, is the most comprehensive topically organized collection of classical and contemporary philosophy available. The sixth edition includes five new readings--by renowned contemporary philosophers Anthony Brueckner, John Martin Fischer, Alan Goldman, Rosalind Hursthouse, and Thomas Nagel--and additional descriptive material on the authors throughout the book.
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  30. John Martin Fischer (2011). Indeterminism and Control: An Approach to the Problem of Luck. In Michael Freeman (ed.), Law and Neuroscience. Oxford University Press
     
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  31. John Martin Fischer (2011). I. Molinism and its Role. In Ken Perszyk (ed.), Molinism: The Contemporary Debate. OUP Oxford
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  32. John Martin Fischer (2011). Putting Molinism in its Place. In Ken Perszyk (ed.), Molinism: The Contemporary Debate. OUP Oxford
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  33. John Martin Fischer (2011). Replies. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 37 (1):143-181.
    I am very grateful to the thoughtful and probing critical discussions by the nine authors who have discussed themes from my two collections, My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility, and Our Stories: Essays on Life, Death, and Free Will. In this essay I seek to respond to some of the points raised in these essays. I am unable to address all of the critiques, but I have certainly learned a great deal from these extremely insightful and generous papers, and I (...)
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  34. John Martin Fischer & Neal A. Tognazzini (2011). The Physiognomy of Responsibility. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):381-417.
    Our aim in this paper is to put the concept of moral responsibility under a microscope. At the lowest level of magnification, it appears unified. But Gary Watson has taught us that if we zoom in, we will find that moral responsibility has two faces: attributability and accountability. Or, to describe the two faces in different terms, there is a difference between being responsible and holding responsible. It is one thing to talk about the connection the agent has with her (...)
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  35. Patrick Todd & John Martin Fischer (2011). The Truth About Freedom: A Reply to Merricks. Philosophical Review 120 (1):97 - 115.
    In his recent essay in the Philosophical Review, “Truth and Freedom,” Trenton Merricks contends (among other things) that the basic argument for the incompatibility of God's foreknowledge and human freedom is question-begging. He relies on a “truism” to the effect that truth depends on the world and not the other way around. The present essay argues that mere invocation of this truism does not establish that the basic argument for incompatibilism is question-begging. Further, it seeks to clarify important elements of (...)
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  36. John Martin Fischer (2010). Precis of My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (1):229-241.
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  37. John Martin Fischer (2010). Replies. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (1):267-278.
    I am very grateful to the thoughtful and probing critical discussions by the nine authors who have discussed themes from my two collections, My Way: Essays on Moral Responsibility, and Our Stories: Essays on Life, Death, and Free Will. In this essay I seek to respond to some of the points raised in these essays. I am unable to address all of the critiques, but I have certainly learned a great deal from these extremely insightful and generous papers, and I (...)
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  38. John Martin Fischer (2010). Semicompatibilism. The Philosophers' Magazine 50 (50):40-41.
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  39. John Martin Fischer (2010). The Frankfurt Cases: The Moral of the Stories. Philosophical Review 119 (3):315-336.
    The Frankfurt cases have been thought by some philosophers to show that moral responsibility does not require genuine metaphysical access to alternative possibilities. But various philosophers have rejected this putative "lesson" of the cases, and they have put forward a powerful "Dilemma Defense." In the last decade or so, many philosophers have been persuaded by the Dilemma Defense that the Frankfurt cases do not show what Frankfurt (and others) thought they show. This essay presents a template for a general strategy (...)
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  40. John Martin Fischer & Neal A. Tognazzini (2010). Blame and Avoidability: A Reply to Otsuka. Journal of Ethics 14 (1):43 - 51.
    In a fascinating recent article, Michael Otsuka seeks to bypass the debates about the Principle of Alternative Possibilities by presenting and defending a different, but related, principle, which he calls the “Principle of Avoidable Blame.” According to this principle, one is blameworthy for performing an act only if one could instead have behaved in an entirely blameless manner. Otsuka claims that although Frankfurt-cases do undermine the Principle of Alternative Possibilities, they do not undermine the Principle of Avoidable Blame. In this (...)
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  41. John Martin Fischer (2009). Our Stories: Essays on Life, Death, and Free Will. Oxford University Press.
    Introduction: "meaning in life and death : our stories" -- John Martin Fischer and Anthony B rueckner, "Why is death bad?", Philosophical studies, vol. 50, no. 2 (September 1986) -- "Death, badness, and the impossibility of experience," Journal of ethics -- John Martin Fischer and Daniel Speak, "Death and the psychological conception of personal identity," Midwest studies in philosophy, vol. 24 -- "Earlier birth and later death : symmetry through thick and thin," Richard Feldman, Kris McDaniel, Jason R. Raibley, eds., (...)
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  42. John Martin Fischer (2009). Ultimacy and Alternative Possibilities. Philosophical Studies 144 (1):15 - 20.
    I explore a key feature of Robert Kane’s libertarianism (about which I have been puzzled for some time). Kane claims that we should separate issues of alternative possibilities from issues of ultimacy, but he further argues that they are connected in a certain way. I call into question this connection, and I continue to argue for a strict separation of considerations pertaining to alternative possibilities and “actual-sequence” considerations.
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  43. John Martin Fischer, Patrick Todd & Neal A. Tognazzini (2009). Engaging with Pike: God, Freedom, and Time. Philosophical Papers 38 (2):247-270.
    Nelson Pike’s article, “Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action,” is one of the most influential pieces in contemporary Philosophy of Religion. Published over forty years ago, it has elicited many different kinds of replies. We shall set forth some of the main lines of reply to Pike’s article, starting with some of the “early” replies. We then explore some issues that arise from relatively recent work in the philosophy of time; it is fascinating to note that views suggested by recent work (...)
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  44. John Martin Fischer & Neal A. Tognazzini (2009). The Truth About Tracing. Noûs 43 (3):531-556.
    Control-based models of moral responsibility typically employ a notion of "tracing," according to which moral responsibility requires an exercise of control either immediately prior to the behavior in question or at some suitable point prior to the behavior. Responsibility, on this view, requires tracing back to control. But various philosophers, including Manuel Vargas and Angela Smith, have presented cases in which the plausibility of tracing is challenged. In this paper we discuss the examples and we argue that they do not (...)
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  45. John Perry, Michael Bratman & John Martin Fischer (2009). Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings, Fourth Edition, International Edition. OUP Usa.
    Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings, International Edition, is the most comprehensive topically organized collection of classical and contemporary philosophy available. The text includes sections on God and evil, knowledge and reality, the philosophy of science, the mind/body problem, freedom of will, consciousness, ethics, political philosophy, existential issues, and philosophical puzzles and paradoxes.
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  46. John Martin Fischer (2008). Molinism. Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 1:18-43.
     
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  47. John Martin Fischer (2008). My Way and Life's Highway: Replies to Steward, Smilansky, and Perry. [REVIEW] Journal of Ethics 12 (2):167 - 189.
    I seek to reply to the thoughtful and challenging papers by Helen Steward, Saul Smilansky, and John Perry. Steward argues that agency itself requires access to alternative possibilities; I attempt to motivate my denial of this view. I believe that her view here is no more plausible than the view that it is unfair to hold someone morally responsible, unless he has genuine access to alternative possibilities. Smilansky contends that compatibilism is morally shallow, and that we can see this from (...)
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  48. John Martin Fischer (2008). Review: Alfred R. Mele: Free Will and Luck. [REVIEW] Mind 117 (465):195-201.
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  49. John Martin Fischer (2008). Responsibility and the Kinds of Freedom. Journal of Ethics 12 (3/4):203 - 228.
    In this paper I seek to identify different sorts of freedom putatively linked to moral responsibility; I then explore the relationship between such notions of freedom and the Consequence Argument, on the one hand, and the Frankfurt-examples, on the other. I focus (in part) on a dilemma: if a compatibilist adopts a broadly speaking "conditional" understanding of freedom in reply to the Consequence Argument, such a theorist becomes vulnerable in a salient way to the Frankfurt-examples.
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  50. John Martin Fischer (2007). Compatibilism. In Four Views on Free Will. Blackwell Pub.
     
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