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Profile: Gerald Harrison
Profile: Gerald K. Harrison (Massey University)
  1.  44
    Gerald K. Harrison (2016). A Moral Argument for Substance Dualism. Journal of the American Philosophical Association:21--35.
    This paper presents a moral argument in support of the view that the mind is a nonphysical object. It is intuitively obvious that we, the bearers of conscious experiences, have an inherent value that is not reducible to the value of our conscious experiences. It remains intuitively obvious that we have inherent value even when we represent ourselves to have no physical bodies whatsoever. Given certain assumptions about morality and moral intuitions, this implies that the bearers of conscious experiences—the objects (...)
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  2. Gerald K. Harrison & Julia Tanner (2011). Better Not to Have Children. Think, 10(27), 113-121 (27):113-121.
    Most people take it for granted that it's morally permissible to have children. They may raise questions about the number of children it's responsible to have or whether it's permissible to reproduce when there's a strong risk of serious disability. But in general, having children is considered a good thing to do, something that's morally permissible in most cases (perhaps even obligatory).
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  3. Gerald K. Harrison (2014). The Euthyphro, Divine Command Theory and Moral Realism. Philosophy (1):107-123.
    Divine command theories of metaethics are commonly rejected on the basis of the Euthyphro problem. In this paper, I argue that the Euthyphro can be raised for all forms of moral realism. I go on to argue that this does not matter as the Euthyphro is not really a problem after all. I then briefly outline some of the attractions of a divine command theory of metaethics. I suggest that given one of the major reasons for rejecting such an analysis (...)
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  4. Gerald K. Harrison (2013). The Moral Supervenience Thesis is Not a Conceptual Truth. Analysis 73 (1):62-68.
    Virtually everyone takes the moral supervenience thesis to be a basic conceptual truth about morality. As a result, if a metaethical theory has difficulties respecting or adequately explaining the supervenience relationship it is deemed to be in big trouble. However, the moral supervenience thesis is a not a conceptual truth (though it may be true) and as such it is not a problem if a metaethical theory cannot respect or explain it.
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  5.  8
    Gerald K. Harrison (2016). A God Exists. Think 15 (43):51-63.
    I argue that normative reasons are powerful evidence that a god exists. Normative reasons are presupposed by all intellectual inquiry, yet it appears there is only one thing they could credibly be: the favourings a god is having of us doing and believing things. I anticipate some possible objections and show them to be confused or dogmatic.
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  6. Gerald K. Harrison (2012). Antinatalism, Asymmetry, and an Ethic of Prima Facie Duties. South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):94-103.
    Benatar’s central argument for antinatalism develops an asymmetry between the pain and pleasure in a potential life. I am going to present an alternative route to the antinatalist conclusion. I argue that duties require victims and that as a result there is no duty to create the pleasures contained within a prospective life but a duty not to create any of its sufferings. My argument can supplement Benatar’s, but it also enjoys some advantages: it achieves a better fit with our (...)
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  7. Gerald K. Harrison (2005). Frankfurt-Style Cases and the Question Begging Charge. Facta Philosophica 7 (2):273-282.
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  8. Gerald K. Harrison (2009). Hooray! We're Not Morally Responsible! Think 8 (23):87-95.
    Being morally responsible means being blameworthy and deserving of punishment if we do wrong and praiseworthy and deserving reward if we do right. In what follows I shall argue that in all likelihood we're not morally responsible. None of us. Ever.
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  9.  7
    Gerald K. Harrison (2015). Morality, Inescapable Rational Authority, and a God's Wishes. Journal of Religious Ethics 43 (3):454-474.
    It is a supposed conceptual truth about moral norms that we have reason to comply with them even if we desire not to. This combination of rational authority and inescapability is thought to be incompatible with instrumentalism about practical reason. This essay argues that there are ways in which norms with inescapable rational authority can exist alongside instrumentalism about practical reason. One way involves positing an afterlife and a powerful supernatural agency—so, a kind of god—who has total control over our (...)
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  10.  59
    Gerald K. Harrison (2010). A Challenge for Soft Line Replies to Manipulation Cases. Philosophia 38 (3):555-568.
    Cases involving certain kinds of manipulation seem to challenge compatibilism about responsibility-grounding free will. To deal with such cases many compatibilists give what has become known as a ‘soft line’ reply. In this paper I present a challenge to the soft line reply. I argue that any relevant case involving manipulation—and to which a compatibilist might wish to give a soft line reply—can be transformed into one supporting a degree of moral responsibility through the addition of libertarian elements (such as (...)
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  11. Gerald K. Harrison (2006). The Case for Hyper-Libertarianism. Kriterion: Journal of Philosophy 20 (1):1-6.
    The hyper libertarian is compatibilist about control, but incompatibilist about free will. This paper argues that such a position has more to recommend it than either compatibilism or traditional libertarianism. It combines what is strongest about both positions, without encountering their principle weaknesses. Furthermore it has the resources to help render intelligible the reality of moral luck.
     
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  12.  44
    Gerald K. Harrison (2006). Frankfurt-Style Cases and Improbable Alternative Possibilities. Philosophical Studies 130 (2):399 - 406.
    It has been argued that a successful counterexample to the principle of alternative possibilities must rule out any possibility of the agent making an alternative decision right up to the moment of choice. This paper challenges that assumption. Distinguishing between an ability and an opportunity, this paper presents a Frankfurt-style case in which there is an alternative possibility, but one it is highly improbable that the agent will access. In such a case the agent has only the opportunity, not the (...)
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  13.  38
    Gerald K. Harrison (2008). Modest Libertarianism and Clandestine Control. Dialectica 62 (4):495-507.
    Cases involving clandestine manipulation pose a significant challenge to compatibilist conceptions of free will. But compatibilists often argue that they are not alone and that modest libertarian conceptions of free will are also susceptible to the problem. I take issue with this claim. I argue that agent-causal libertarian views are not susceptible to the problem. I then argue that the compatibilist cannot cite a relevant difference between agent-causal libertarian views and modest libertarian views. Therefore from a compatibilist's perspective modest libertarian (...)
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  14. Gerald K. Harrison (2012). Lucky Decisions: A Reply to Marouf. The Reasoner 6 (5):80-81.
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  15.  8
    Gerald K. Harrison (2009). Frankfurt-Style Cases and the Significance of the First Impression. American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (3):213-223.
    The claim that moral responsibility requires relevant alternative possibilities is encapsulated by the following principle: PAP: A person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. In 1969 Harry Frankfurt devised what purported to be a counterexample to PAP: Suppose someone, Black, let us say, wants Jones to perform a certain action. Black is prepared to go to considerable lengths to get his way, but he prefers to avoid showing his hand unnecessarily. So (...)
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  16.  11
    Gerald K. Harrison (2004). The Principle of Avoidable Blame. Ethic@ 3 (1):37-46.
    Many now accept that Frankfurt-style cases refute the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP). But, in this paper I argue that even if Frankfurt-style cases refute PAP they do not refute a related principle: the principle of avoidable blame (PAB). My argument develops from the observation that an agent in a Frankfurt-style case can be aware of the nature of their situation without this undermining their moral responsibility. I then argue that PAB captures all that is important about PAP such that (...)
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  17.  13
    Gerald K. Harrison (2007). Libertarian Free Will and the Erosion Argument. Polish Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):61-75.
    Libertarians make indeterminism a requirement of free will. But many argue that indeterminism is destructive of free will because it reduces an agent’s control. This paper argues that such concerns are misguided. Indeterminism, at least as it is located by plausible Libertarian views, poses no threat to an agent’s control, nor does it pose any other kind of threat.
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  18. Gerald K. Harrison (2007). Free Will and Lucky Decisions. The Reasoner 1 (3):3-4.
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  19. Gerald K. Harrison (2006). Frankfurt-Style Cases and Improbable Alternative Possibilities. Philosophical Studies 130 (2):399-406.
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