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Profile: Karl Schafer (University of Pittsburgh)
  1. Karl Schafer (forthcoming). Hume on Practical Reason: Against the Normative Authority of Reason. In Paul Russell (ed.), Oxford Handbook of David Hume. Oxford University Press.
    In broad outlines, the first of these claims that beliefs and other cognitive states, on their own, can never motivate a new desire, intention, or action. Rather, on this view, what motivates us to desire, intend, or act is always the cooperation of some desire (or other conative state) with such cognitive states. Thus, on HTM, practical motivation is always the product of two fundamentally distinct categories of mental states operating in conjunction with one another.
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  2. Karl Schafer (forthcoming). Oxford Handbook of David Hume. Oxford University Press.
     
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  3. Karl Schafer (2014). Constructivism and Three Forms of Perspective‐Dependence in Metaethics1. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):68-101.
  4. Karl Schafer (2014). Curious Virtues in Hume's Epistemology. Philosophers' Imprint 14 (1):1-20.
  5. Karl Schafer (2014). Doxastic Planning and Epistemic Internalism. Synthese 191 (12):2571-2591.
    In the following I discuss the debate between epistemological internalists and externalists from an unfamiliar meta-epistemological perspective. In doing so, I focus on the question of whether rationality is best captured in externalist or internalist terms. Using a conception of epistemic judgments as “doxastic plans,” I characterize one important subspecies of judgments about epistemic rationality—focusing on the distinctive rational/functional role these judgments play in regulating how we form beliefs. Then I show why any judgment that plays this role should be (...)
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  6. Karl Schafer (2014). Knowledge and Two Forms of Non‐Accidental Truth. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):373-393.
  7. Karl Schafer (2013). Hume's Unified Theory of Mental Representation. European Journal of Philosophy 22 (3).
    On its face, Hume's account of mental representation involves at least two elements. On the one hand, Hume often seems to write as though the representational properties of an idea are fixed solely by what it is a copy or image of. But, on the other, Hume's treatment of abstract ideas (and other similar cases) makes it clear that the representational properties of a Humean idea sometimes depend, not just on what it is copied from, but also on the manner (...)
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  8. Karl Schafer (2013). Perception and the Rational Force of Desire. Journal of Philosophy 110 (5):258-281.
    [A]ny theory of practical rationality must explain— or explain away—the following: Rational: In many cases, what it is rational (in some sense) for one to do or intend to do depends on what one desires. [...] I argue that in order to capture the rational significance of desire, we need to consider both its content and its force, on analogy to the rational significance of both the force and content of beliefs and perceptual experiences. This will open up a new (...)
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  9. Karl Schafer (2012). Assessor Relativism and the Problem of Moral Disagreement. Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):602-620.
    I consider sophisticated forms of relativism and their effectiveness at responding to the skeptical argument from moral disagreement. In order to do so, I argue that the relativist must do justice to our intuitions about the depth of moral disagreement, while also explaining why it can be rational to be relatively insensitive to such disagreements. I argue that the relativist can provide an account with these features, at least in some form, but that there remain serious questions about the viability (...)
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  10. Karl Schafer (2011). Faultless Disagreement and Aesthetic Realism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):265-286.
    It has recently been argued that certain areas of discourse, such as discourse about matters of taste, involve a phenomenon of ‘‘faultless disagreement’’ that rules out giving a standard realist or contextualist semantics for them. Thus, it is argued, we are left with no choice but to consider more adventurous semantic alternatives for these areas, such as a semantic account that involves relativizing truth to perspectives or contexts of assessment. I argue that the sort of faultless disagreement present in these (...)
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  11. Karl Schafer (2011). The Rationalism in Anil Gupta's "Empiricism and Experience". Philosophical Studies 152 (1):1 - 15.
    In these comments I briefly discuss three aspects of the empiricist account of the epistemic role of experience that Anil Gupta develops in his Empiricism and Experience. First, I discuss the motivations Gupta offers for the claim that the given in experience should be regarded as reliable. Second, I discuss two different ways of conceiving of the epistemic significance of the phenomenology of experience. And third, I discuss whether Gupta's account is able to deliver the anti-skeptical results he intends it (...)
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  12. Karl Schafer (2010). Evolution and Normative Scepticism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):471-488.
    It is increasingly common to suggest that the combination of evolutionary theory and normative realism leads inevitably to a general scepticism about our ability to reliably form normative beliefs. In what follows, I argue that this is not the case. In particular, I consider several possible arguments from evolutionary theory and normative realism to normative scepticism and explain where they go wrong. I then offer a more general diagnosis of the tendency to accept such arguments and why this tendency should (...)
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  13. Karl Schafer (2010). Review of Charles R. Pigden (Ed.), Hume on Motivation and Virtue. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (5).
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  14. Karl Schafer (2009). Review of Henry E. Allison, Custom and Reason in Hume: A Kantian Reading of the First Book of the Treatise. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (2).
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  15. Karl Schafer (2008). Practical Reasoning and Practical Reasons in Hume. Hume Studies 34 (2):189-208.
    Can desires and actions be evaluated as responsive or unresponsive to reasons, in ways that extend beyond the instrumental implications of one's (other) desires? And does there exist any form of inference or reasoning that is practical in nature? Hume is generally supposed to have given an unambiguously negative reply to both of these questions. In particular, he is often taken to have held that no desire, passion, or action may ever be said to be opposed to reasons, except (perhaps) (...)
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  16. Karl Schafer, Practical Cognition and Knowledge of Things-in-Themselves.
    Famously, in the second Critique , Kant claims that our consciousness of the moral law provides us with sufficient grounds to attribute freedom to ourselves as noumena or things-in-themselves. In this way, while we have no rational basis to make substantive assertions about things-in-themselves from a theoretical point of view, it is rational (in some sense) for us to believe that we are noumenally free from a practical one.
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