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Profile: James McBain (Pittsburg State University)
  1. James McBain, Review of "Truly Human Enhancement: A Philosophical Defense of Limits". [REVIEW]
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  2. James McBain (2013). Ethics Without Morals: A Defense of Amorality, by Joel Marks. Teaching Philosophy 36 (3):306-310.
  3. James McBain (2013). Reproductive Reasons and Procreative Duty. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (1):67-74.
    Debates on procreative liberty usually surround the issue of whether it is permissible to not bring a child into existence. However, some argue that, under certain conditions, there is an obligation to bring a child (or even as many children as possible) into existence. This position, I will call the procreative duty stance, is argued for in two general ways—obligations arising from the extinction of the human species and obligations arising from personal reasons which override the reluctance of a potential (...)
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  4. James McBain (2012). Issue Introduction. Essays in Philosophy 13 (1):1-5.
    Introduction to a volume on Philosophical Methodology. Edited by James McBain.
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  5. James McBain (2007). Epistemological Expertise and the Problem of Epistemic Assessment. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (1):125-133.
    How do laypeople sitting on a jury make determinations of expertise? How, if at all, can laypersons epistemically assess the expertise of an expert or rival experts? Given that the domains of expertise are quite technical, if laypersons are to adjudicate the various proposed and often conflicting claims of experts, they must be able to determine the reliability of the experts as well as the truth of their claims. One way to address these concems is to say that the layperson (...)
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  6. James McBain (2005). Epistemological Practice and the Internalism/Externalism Debate. Facta Philosophica 7 (2):283-291.
    The dialogue between internalists who maintain a belief is a case of knowledge when that which justifies the belief is within the agent's first-person perspective and externalists who maintain epistemic justification can be in part, or entirely, outside the agent's first-person perspective has been part of the epistemological literature for some time with one side usually attempting to show how the other side is mistaken. Edward Craig argues the internalist/externalist debate is flawed from the outset. Specifically, both internalism and externalism (...)
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  7. James McBain (2005). Moral Theorizing and Intuition Pumps; Or, Should We Worry About People’s Everyday Intuitions About Ethical Issues? The Midwest Quarterly 46 (3):268-283.
    Intuitions are funny things. Intuitions would seem to be these fluid, temporary mental states that we form minute by minute. On the face of it, they would seem to have no real value. But, when we ask whether a particular theory is true, we usually turn to our intuitions. This is nowhere more prevalent than in moral theorizing. When we attempt to show that a particular moral theory is mistaken, we usually present cases that yield counterintuitive results for the theory. (...)
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  8. James McBain (2004). Epistemic Analysis and the Possibility of Good Informants. Principia 8 (2):193-211.
    The question as to the appropriate method of epistemic analysis has always been an issue for epistemologists. In recent years, the traditional method utilized in epistemology - conceptual analysis - has come under attack from various perspectives. Yet, often no replacement method is given in its place. In two works, "A Practical Explication of Knowledge" and Knowledge and the State of Nature, Edward Craig proposes a new way of doing epistemology. Craig's epistemic method eschews traditional conceptual analysis in favor of (...)
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  9. James McBain (2004). Moral Callings and the Decision to Have Children – A Response to Mitchell. Contemporary Philosophy 2004 (25):3&4.
    While there are numerous questions that the having of children raise, there is one that philosophers should be particularly concerned with – “What is the good reason for the having of children?” Recently, Jeff Mitchell has given a deontological answer to this question (Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. XXIV, NO. 5 & 6, Sept/Oct & Nov/Dec 2002, pp. 42-46). His answer is based on the moral function of the having of children. He claims that parenthood is a “moral calling” and that one (...)
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  10. James McBain (2004). On Skepticism About Case-Specific Intuitions. Logos-Sophia 12 (Fall/Winter):25-35.
  11. James McBain (2003). The Moral Poker Face: Games, Deception, and the Morality of Bluffing. Contemporary Philosophy (5&6):55-60.
    Bluffing is essentially nothing more than a type of deception. But, despite its morally questionable foundation, it is not only permissible in certain contexts, but sometimes encouraged and/or required (e.g., playing poker). Yet, the question remains as to whether it is permissible to bluff in other contexts – particularly everyday situations. In this paper, I look at László Mérő’s argument – one based in game theory and Kantian ethics – to the end that bluffing is morally permissible in everyday contexts. (...)
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  12. James McBain (1999). The Role of Theory Contamination in Intuitions. Southwest Philosophy Review 15 (1):197-204.
    It is all too common in philosophy to claim that a particular philosophical theory is mistaken because it fails to coincide with most philosophers' or normal inquirers' intuitions as represented in a particular case or counterexample. This suggests, as Alvin Goldman and Joel Pust point out, that our intuitions provide a sort of evidential basis for particular theories. Yet, the question remains as to whether this assessment is correct, and, if it is, whose intuitions (either those trained within the area (...)
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