There is currently an explosion of interest in grounding. In this article we provide an overview of the debate so far. We begin by introducing the concept of grounding, before discussing several kinds of scepticism about the topic. We then identify a range of central questions in the theory of grounding and discuss competing answers to them that have emerged in the debate. We close by raising some questions that have been relatively neglected but which warrant further attention.
I discuss a modification of Lewisian modal realism called 'inclusionism'. Inclusionism is the thesis that some worlds contain other worlds as proper parts. Inclusionism has some attractive consequences for theories of modality. Josh Parsons, however, has raised a problem for inclusionism: the problem of unmarried husbands. In this paper I reply to this problem. My strategy is twofold: first I claim, pace Parsons, that it is not clear why the inclusionist cannot avail herself of an obvious solution to the problem; (...) and second, I argue that even if there is no available solution, the same problem also afflicts Lewis' original theory. Therefore, even if the problem remains unsolved, we have not been given any reason to think that an inclusionist version of Lewisian realism is worse than the original. (shrink)
This paper’s aim is to provide overview of the punishment of war crimes. It considers first the rationale of the law of war, the identification and scope of war crimes, and proceeds to consider the justification of punishing war crimes, arguing for a consequentialist view with side-constraints. It then considers the alternative of reconciliation.
This essential guide to paradoxes takes the reader on a lively tour of puzzles that have taxed thinkers from Zeno to Galileo and Lewis Carroll to Bertrand Russell. Michael Clark uncovers an array of conundrums, such as Achilles and the Tortoise, Theseus' Ship, Hempel's Raven, and the Prisoners' Dilemma, taking in subjects as diverse as knowledge, ethics, science, art and politics. Clark discusses each paradox in non-technical terms, considering its significance and looking at likely solutions.
Moore argued that his principle of organic unities, according to which the value of a whole is to be distinguished from the value of the sum of its parts, is consistent with a retributivist view of punishment: both crime and punishment are intrinsic evils but the combination of the crime with the punishment of its perpetrator is less bad in itself than the crime unpunished. Moores principle excludes any form of retributivism that regards the punishment of a guilty person as (...) an intrinsic good. Jonathan Dancy offers a different account of such unities on which, pace Moore, value does not necessarily stay the same from one context to another. This alternative account is defended, but still seems to create difficulties for various forms of retributivism. Key Words: Bentham Dancy Moore organic unities retribution. (shrink)
Nicholas Rescher claims that rational decision theory “may leave us in the lurch”, because there are two apparently acceptable ways of applying “the standard machinery of expected-value analysis” to his Dr. Psycho paradox which recommend contradictory actions. He detects a similar contradiction in Newcomb’s problem. We consider his claims from the point of view of both Bayesian decision theory and causal decision theory. In Dr. Psycho and in Newcomb’s Problem, Rescher has used premisses about probabilities which he assumes to be (...) independent. From the former point of view, we show that the probability premisses are not independent but inconsistent, and their inconsistency is provable within probability theory alone. From the latter point of view, we show that their consistency can be saved, but then the contradictory recommendations evaporate. Consequently, whether one subscribes to evidential or causal decision theory, rational decision theory is not in any way vitiated by Rescher’s arguments. (shrink)
Previous claims to have resolved the two-envelope paradox have been premature. The paradoxical argument has been exposed as manifestly fallacious if there is an upper limit to the amount of money that may be put in an envelope; but the paradoxical cases which can be described if this limitation is removed do not involve mathematical error, nor can they be explained away in terms of the strangeness of infinity. Only by taking account of the partial sums of the infinite series (...) of expected gains can the paradox be resolved. (shrink)