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Profile: Joshua Gert (College of William and Mary)
  1. Joshua Gert (2014). Begging the Question: A Qualified Defense. Journal of Ethics 18 (3):279-297.
    This discussion examines two of the central notions at work in Sterba’s From Rationality to Equality: question-beggingness, and the notion of a rational requirement. I point out that, against certain unreasonable positions, begging the question is a perfectly reasonable option. I also argue that if we use the sense of “rational requirement” that philosophers ought to have in mind when defending the idea that morality is rationally required, then Sterba has not succeed in defending this idea. Rather, he has at (...)
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  2. Joshua Gert (2014). Moral Rationalism and Commonsense Consequentialism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):217-224.
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  3. Joshua Gert (2014). Perform a Justified Option. Utilitas 26 (2):206-217.
    In a number of recent publications, Douglas Portmore has defended consequentialism, largely on the basis of a maximizing view of practical rationality. I have criticized such maximizing views, arguing that we need to distinguish two independent dimensions of normative strength: justifying strength and requiring strength. I have also argued that this distinction helps to explain why we typically have so many rational options. Engaging with these arguments, Portmore has (a) developed his own novel maximization-friendly method of explaining the ubiquity of (...)
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  4. Joshua Gert (2013). Color Constancy and Dispositionalism. Philosophical Studies 162 (2):183-200.
    This article attempts to do two things. The first is to make it plausible that any adequate dispositional view of color will have to associate colors with complex functions from a wide range of normal circumstances to a wide range of (simultaneously) incompatible color appearances, so that there will be no uniquely veridical appearance of any given color. The second is to show that once this move is made, dispositionalism is in a position to provide interesting answers to some of (...)
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  5. Joshua Gert (2013). Wittgenstein, Korsgaard and the Publicity of Reasons. Inquiry:1-21.
    Wittgenstein, Korsgaard and the Publicity of Reasons. . ???aop.label???. doi: 10.1080/0020174X.2013.776297.
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  6. Joshua Gert (2012). Crazy Relations. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):315-330.
    In The Red and the Real, Jonathan Cohen defends a relationalist view of color: the view that colors are constituted by relations between objects, perceivers, and circumstances. Cohen’s defense of relationalism is often ingenious, but it also commits him to some extremely counterintuitive—one might say “crazy”—claims. The present paper argues that the phenomena that are captured by Cohen’s ingenious defense of his interesting view can be captured equally well by a more “boring” view. Such a view distinguishes between colors and (...)
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  7. Joshua Gert (2012). Internalism and Hyperexternalism About Reasons. Journal of Ethics 16 (1):15-34.
    Alan Goldman’s Reasons from Within is one of the most thorough recent defenses of what might be called ‘orthodox internalism’ about practical reasons. Goldman’s main target is an opposing view that includes a commitment to the following two theses: (O) that there are such things as objective values, and (E) that these values give rise to external reasons. One version of this view, which we can call ‘orthodox externalism’, also includes a commitment to the thesis (I) that rational people will (...)
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  8. Joshua Gert (2012). Normative Bedrock: Response-Dependence, Rationality, and Reasons. Oup Oxford.
    Joshua Gert offers an original account of normative facts and properties, those which have implications for how we ought to behave. He argues that our ability to think and talk about normative notions such as reasons and benefits is dependent on how we respond to the world around us, including how we respond to the actions of other people.
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  9. Joshua Gert (2012). Religious, and Ethnic Aversions, the More Likely It is That They Will Let Them-Selves Be Persuaded to Overcome Them. Mind 121:484.
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  10. Joshua Gert (2011). Naturalistic Metaethics at Half Price. In Michael Brady (ed.), New Waves in Metaethics. Palgrave Macmillan.
     
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  11. Joshua Gert (2010). Color Constancy and the Color/Value Analogy. Ethics 121 (1):58-87.
    This article explains and defends the existence of value constancy, understood on the model of color constancy. Color constancy involves a phenomenal distinction between the transient color appearances of objects and the unchanging colors that those objects appear to have. The existence of value constancy allows advocates of response-dependent accounts of value to reject the question “What is the uniquely appropriate attitude to have toward this evaluative property?” as containing a false uniqueness assumption. Rejecting this assumption allows response-dependent accounts of (...)
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  12. Joshua Gert (2010). Color Constancy, Complexity, and Counterfactual. Noûs 44 (4):669-690.
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  13. Joshua Gert (2010). Fitting-Attitudes, Secondary Qualities, and Values. Philosophical Topics 38 (1):87-105.
    Response-dispositional accounts of value defend a biconditional in which the possession of an evaluative property is said to covary with the disposition to cause a certain response. In contrast, a fitting-attitude account of the same property would claim that it is such as to merit or make fitting that same response. This paper argues that even for secondary qualities, response-dispositional accounts are inadequate; we need to import a normative notion such as appropriateness even into accounts of such descriptive properties as (...)
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  14. Joshua Gert (2009). Colour, Emotion and Objectivity. Analysis 69 (4):714-721.
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  15. Joshua Gert (2009). Desires, Reasons, and Rationality. American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (4):319 - 332.
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  16. Joshua Gert (2009). Response-Dependence and Normative Bedrock. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):718-742.
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  17. Joshua Gert (2009). Toward an Epistemology of Certain Substantive a Priori Truths. Metaphilosophy 40 (2):214-236.
    Abstract: This article explains and motivates an account of one way in which we might have substantive a priori knowledge in one important class of domains: domains in which the central concepts are response-dependent. The central example will be our knowledge of the connection between something's being harmful and the fact that it is irrational for us to fail to be averse to that thing. The idea is that although the relevant responses (basic aversion in the case of harm, and (...)
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  18. Joshua Gert (2008). Michael Smith and the Rationality of Immoral Action. Journal of Ethics 12 (1):1 - 23.
    Although it goes against a widespread significant misunderstanding of his view, Michael Smith is one of the very few moral philosophers who explicitly wants to allow for the commonsense claim that, while morally required action is always favored by some reason, selfish and immoral action can also be rationally permissible. One point of this paper is to make it clear that this is indeed Smith’s view. It is a further point to show that his way of accommodating this claim is (...)
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  19. Joshua Gert (2008). Putting Particularism in its Place. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (3):312-324.
    Abstract: The point of this paper is to undermine the support that particularism in the domain of epistemic reasons might seem to give to particularism in the domain of practical reasons. In the epistemic domain, there are two related notions: truth and the rationality of belief. Epistemic reasons are related to the rationality of belief, and not directly to truth. In the domain of practical reasons, however, the role of truth is taken by the notion of objective rationality. Practical reasons (...)
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  20. Joshua Gert (2008). Vague Terms, Indexicals, and Vague Indexicals. Philosophical Studies 140 (3):437 - 445.
    Jason Stanley has criticized a contextualist solution to the sorites paradox that treats vagueness as a kind of indexicality. His objection rests on a feature of indexicals that seems plausible: that their reference remains fixed in verb phrase ellipsis. But the force of Stanley’s criticism depends on the undefended assumption that vague terms, if they are a special sort of indexical, must function in the same way that more paradigmatic indexicals do. This paper argues that there can be more than (...)
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  21. Joshua Gert (2008). What Colors Could Not Be: An Argument for Color Primitivism. Journal of Philosophy 105 (3):128-155.
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  22. Joshua Gert (2008). Williams on Reasons and Rationality. In Daniel Callcut (ed.), Reading Bernard Williams. Routledge.
  23. Joshua Gert & Michael McKenna (2008). Review of Normativity and the Will by R. Jay Wallace. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):559–563.
  24. Joshua Gert (2007). Beyond Moore's Utilitarianism. In Susana Nuccetelli & Gary Seay (eds.), Themes From G. E. Moore: New Essays in Epistemology and Ethics. Clarendon Press.
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  25. Joshua Gert (2007). Brute Requirements. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):153-171.
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  26. Joshua Gert (2007). Cognitivism, Expressivism, and Agreement in Response. In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume Ii. Clarendon Press.
  27. Joshua Gert (2007). Moral Reasons and Rational Status. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (5):pp. 171-196.
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  28. Joshua Gert (2007). Normative Strength and the Balance of Reasons. Philosophical Review 116 (4):533-562.
  29. Joshua Gert (2007). Reply to Tenenbaum. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (3):463-476.
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  30. Joshua Gert (2006). A Realistic Colour Realism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (4):565 – 589.
    Whether or not one endorses realism about colour, it is very tempting to regard realism about determinable colours such as green and yellow as standing or falling together with realism about determinate colours such as unique green or green31. Indeed some of the most prominent representatives of both sides of the colour realism debate explicitly endorse the idea that these two kinds of realism are so linked. Against such theorists, the present paper argues that one can be a realist about (...)
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  31. Joshua Gert (2006). Mistaken Expressions. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):459-479.
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  32. Joshua Gert (2006). Problems for Moral Twin Earth Arguments. Synthese 150 (2):171 - 183.
    Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons have recently presented a series of papers in which they argue against what has come to be called the ‘new wave’ moral realism and moral semantics of David Brink, Richard Boyd, Peter Railton, and a number of other philosophers. The central idea behind Horgan and Timmons’s criticism of these ‘new wave’ theories has been extended by Sean Holland to include the sort of realism that drops out of response-dependent accounts that make use of an analogy (...)
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  33. Joshua Gert (2006). The Color of Mirrors. American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (4):369 - 377.
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  34. Joshua Gert (2005). A Functional Role Analysis of Reasons. Philosophical Studies 124 (3):353 - 378.
    One strategy for providing an analysis of practical rationality is to start with the notion of a practical reason as primitive. Then it will be quite tempting to think that the rationality of an action can be defined rather simply in terms of ‘the balance of reasons’. But just as, for many philosophical purposes, it is extremely useful to identify the meaning of a word in terms of the systematic contribution the word makes to the meanings of whole sentences, this (...)
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  35. Joshua Gert (2005). A Light Theory with Heavy Burdens. Philosophical Studies 126 (1):57 - 70.
    In “ A Light Theory of Color”, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and David Sparrow argue that color is neither a primary quality of objects, nor a disposition that objects have, nor a property of our visual fields. Rather, according to the view they present, color is a property of light. The present paper aims to show, first, that the light theory is vulnerable to many of the very same objections that Sinnott-Armstrong and Sparrow raise against rival views. Second, the paper argues that (...)
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  36. Joshua Gert (2005). Breaking the Law of Desire. Erkenntnis 62 (3):295-319.
    This paper offers one formal reason why it may often be inappropriate to hold, of two conflicting desires, that the first must be weaker than, stronger than, or of the same strength as the second. The explanation of this fact does not rely on vagueness or epistemological problems in determining the strengths of desires. Nor does it make use of the problematic notion of incommensurability. Rather, the suggestion is that the motivational capacities of many desires might best be characterized by (...)
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  37. Joshua Gert (2005). Neo-Sentimentalism and Disgust. Journal of Value Inquiry 39 (3):345-352.
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  38. Joshua Gert & Alfred Mele (2005). Lenman on Externalism and Amoralism: An Interplanetary Exploration. Philosophia 32 (1-4):275-283.
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  39. Joshua Gert (2004). Brute Rationality: Normativity and Human Action. Cambridge University Press.
    Joshua Gert presents a new account of normative practical reasons and the way in which they contribute to the rationality of action. He argues that, rather than simply "counting in favor of" action, normative reasons play two logically distinct roles--that of requiring action and that of justifying action. Gert's book will appeal to a range of readers interested in practical reasoning in particular, and moral theory more generally.
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  40. Joshua Gert (2004). Intentional Action and Nearly Certain Success. Ratio 17 (2):150–158.
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  41. Joshua Gert (2004). Value and Parity. Ethics 114 (3):492-510.
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  42. Wlodek Rabinowicz, Toni Rønnow‐Rasmussen, Douglas Lavin, Rachana Kamtekar, Joshua Gert, Elijah Millgram, David Copp & Stephen M. Gardiner (2004). 10. Peter Singer, One World: The Ethics of Globalization Peter Singer, One World: The Ethics of Globalization (Pp. 634-638). [REVIEW] Ethics 114 (3).
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  43. Joshua Gert (2003). Brute Rationality. Noûs 37 (3):417–446.
  44. Joshua Gert (2003). Engaging Reason. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):745-748.
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  45. Joshua Gert (2003). Internalism and Different Kinds of Reasons. Philosophical Forum 34 (1):53–72.
  46. Joshua Gert (2003). Requiring and Justifying: Two Dimensions of Normative Strength. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 59 (1):5 - 36.
    Many contemporary accounts of normative reasons for action accord a single strength value to normative reasons. This paper first uses some examples to argue against such views by showing that they seem to commit us to intransitive or counterintuitive claims about the rough equivalence of the strengths of certain reasons. The paper then explains and defends an alternate account according to which normative reasons for action have two separable dimensions of strength: requiring strength, and justifying strength. Such an account explains (...)
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  47. Joshua Gert (2003). Two Concepts of Rationality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):367-398.
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  48. Joshua Gert (2002). Avoiding the Conditional Fallacy. Philosophical Quarterly 52 (206):88-95.
    Over-simple internalist accounts of practical reasons imply that we cannot have reasons to become more rational, because they claim that we have a reason to φ only if we would have some desire to φ if we were fully rational. But if we were fully rational, we would have no desire to become more rational. Robert Johnson has recently argued that in their attempts to avoid this problem, existing versions of internalism yield reasons which do not have an appropriate connection (...)
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  49. Joshua Gert (2002). Expressivism and Language Learning. Ethics 112 (2):292-314.
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  50. Joshua Gert (2002). Korsgaard's Private-Reasons Argument. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (2):303-324.
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