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Profile: John Russell Roberts (Florida State University)
  1. John Russell Roberts, Innate Ideas Without Abstract Ideas: An Essay on Berkeley's Platonism.
    Draft. Berkeley denied the existence of abstract ideas and any faculty of abstraction. At the same time, however, he embraced innate ideas and a faculty of pure intellect. This paper attempts to reconcile the tension between these commitments by offering an interpretation of Berkeley's Platonism.
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  2. John Russell Roberts, Reply to Seth Bordner’s “Berkeley’s Defense of Common Sense”.
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  3. John Russell Roberts (forthcoming). Axiarchism and Selectors. Faith and Philosophy.
    This essay offers a defense of Axiarchism's answer to the question, "Why does the world exit?" against prominent objections leveled against it by Derek Parfit. Parfit rejects the Axiarchist answer while abstracting from it his own Selector strategy. I argue that the abstraction fails, and that even if we were to regard Axiarchism as an instance of a Selector hypothesis, we should regard it as the only viable one. I also argue that Parfit's abstraction leads him to mistake the nature (...)
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  4. John Russell Roberts (2012). Whichcote and the Cambridge Platonists on Human Nature: An Interpretation and Defense. Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy VI.
    Draft version of essay. ABSTRACT: Benjamin Whichcote developed a distinctive account of human nature centered on our moral psychology. He believed that this view of human nature, which forms the foundation of “Cambridge Platonism,” showed that the demands of reason and faith are not merely compatible but dynamically supportive of one another. I develop an interpretation of this oft-neglected and widely misunderstood account of human nature and defend its viability against a key objection.
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  5. John Russell Roberts (2010). A Mystery at the Heart of Berkeley's Philosophy. Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy:214-46.
    There is a problem regarding God and perception right at the heart of Berkeley’s metaphysics. With respect to this problem, I will argue for (A): It is intractable. Berkeley has no solution to this problem, and neither can we hope to offer one on his behalf. However, I will also argue for (B): The truth of (A) need not be seen as threatening the viability of Berkeley’s metaphysics. In fact, it may even be seen as speaking in its favor.
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  6. John Russell Roberts (2010). A Mystery at the Heart of Berkeley's Metaphysics. In Daniel Garber & Steven Nadler (eds.), Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy Volume V. Oup Oxford.
     
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  7. John Russell Roberts (2010). 'Strange Impotence of Men': Immaterialism, Anaemic Agents, and Immanent Causation. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 18 (3):411-431.
  8. John Russell Roberts (2007). A Metaphysics for the Mob: The Philosophy of George Berkeley. Oxford University Press.
    George Berkeley notoriously claimed that his immaterialist metaphysics was not only consistent with common sense but that it was also integral to its defense. Roberts argues that understanding the basic connection between Berkeley's philosophy and common sense requires that we develop a better understanding of the four principle components of Berkeley's positive metaphysics: The nature of being, the divine language thesis, the active/passive distinction, and the nature of spirits. Roberts begins by focusing on Berkeley's view of the nature of being. (...)
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  9. John Russell Roberts (2001). Mental Illness, Motivation and Moral Commitment. Philosophical Quarterly 51 (202):41-59.
    I present a dilemma which depressive behavioral pathology poses for both Humean and non-Humean theories of motivation and value. Although the dilemma shows that neither theory can be considered adequate in its standard form, I argue that if the Humean theory is modified so as to embrace a richer notion of satisfaction than it currently does, it can solve the problem which depression poses for it and, thus, the dilemma can be avoided. Embracing a richer notion of satisfaction not only (...)
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