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Profile: Reed Richter
  1. Reed Richter, DNA, Masterpieces, and Abortion: Shifting the Grounds of the Debate.
    Writers, philosophers, and theologians have oft made the comparison between being a mature human being and a masterpiece work of art or design. Employing the analogy between the creation of artistic value and the creation of full-fledged human value, this paper stakes out a middle ground between pro-choice and pro-life by considering a more general account of value and the relationship between being a potential X and a mature implementation of X's potential. I argue that the value of a potential (...)
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  2. Reed Richter, American Science and its Anti-Evolutionist Critics: It's the Evidence Stupid.
    This is an unpublished talk written for a meeting of French philosophers. The paper describes the evolution versus creationism/intelligent design controversy in the U.S. A number of philosophers and scientists try to resolve this issue by sharply distinguishing the realm of science versus any talk of the supernatural. These pro-evolutionists often appeal to science's essential commitment to "methodological naturalism," the view that scientific methodology is essentially committed to naturalism and cannot meaningfully entertain hypotheses concerning the supernatural. I criticize methodological naturalism, (...)
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  3. Reed Richter (2002). What Science Can and Cannot Say: The Problems with Methodological Naturalism. Reports of the National Center for Science Education 22 (Jan-Apr 2002):18-22.
    This paper rejects a view of science called "methodological naturalism." -/- According to many defenders of mainstream science and Darwinian evolution, anti-evolution critics--creationists and intelligent design proponents--are conceptually and epistemologically confusing science and religion, a supernatural view of world. These defenders of evolution contend that doing science requires adhering to a methodology that is strictly and essentially naturalistic: science is essentially committed to "methodological naturalism" and assumes that all the phenomena it investigates are entirely natural and consistent with the laws (...)
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  4. Reed Richter (1991). “Leckie on Fatal Attraction”. APA Newsletter on Feminism. 90 (Winter).
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  5. Reed Richter (1990). Ideal Rationality and Hand Waving. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 68 (2):147 – 156.
    In discussions surrounding epistemology and rationality, it is often useful to assume an agent is rational or ideally rational. Often, this ideal rationality assumption is spelled out along the following lines: -/- 1. The agent believes everything about a situation which the evidence entitles her to believe and nothing which it does not. -/- 2. The agent believes all the logical consequences of any of her beliefs. -/- 3. The agent knows her own mind: if she believes P, she believes (...)
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  6. Dale Jamieson & Reed Richter (1988). Richard Eric Sharvy 1942-1988. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 62 (2):315 - 316.
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  7. Reed Richter (1988). The Hastings Center and Euthanasia. The Euthanasia Review 3 (1):56-72.
    The Hasting Center's, "Guidelines on the Termination of Life-Sustaining Treatment and the Care of the Dying" (1987), outlines a position on assisted suicide that I argue is contradictory. On one hand the guidelines offers a position on human dignity and autonomy that accords competent patients the right to intentionally kill themselves by requesting doctors to terminate life-support. Yet, on the other hand, the guidelines argue that terminating life-support upon request is not ever the moral equivalent of doctored-assisted suicide, and granting (...)
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  8. Reed Richter (1987). Jon Elster and Aanund Hylland, Eds., Foundations of Social Choice Theory Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 7 (7):265-267.
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  9. Reed Richter (1986). Further Comments on Decision Instability. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 64 (3):345 – 349.
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  10. Reed Richter (1986). On Philips and Racism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (4):785 - 794.
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  11. Reed Richter (1985). Rationality, Group Choice and Expected Utility. Synthese 63 (2):203 - 232.
    This paper proposes a view uniformly extending expected utility calculations to both individual and group choice contexts. Three related cases illustrate the problems inherent in applying expected utility to group choices. However, these problems do not essentially depend upon the tact that more than one agent is involved. I devise a modified strategy allowing the application of expected utility calculations to these otherwise problematic cases. One case, however, apparently leads to contradiction. But recognizing the falsity of proposition (1) below allows (...)
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  12. Reed Richter (1984). Rationality Revisited. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (4):392 – 403.
    This paper looks at a dispute decision theory about how best to characterize expected utility maximization and express the logic of rational choice. Where A1, … , An are actions open to some particular agent, and S1, … , Sn are mutually exclusive states of the world such that the agent knows at least one of which obtains, does the logic of rational choice require an agent to consider the conditional probability of choice Ai given that some state Si obtains, (...)
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  13. Daniel Hunter & Reed Richter (1978). Counterfactuals and Newcomb's Paradox. Synthese 39 (2):249 - 261.
    In their development of causal decision theory, Allan Gibbard and William Harper advocate a particular method for calculating the expected utility of an action, a method based upon the probabilities of certain counterfactuals. Gibbard and Harper then employ their method to support a two-box solution to Newcomb’s paradox. This paper argues against some of Gibbard and Harper’s key claims concerning the truth-values and probabilities of counterfactuals involved in expected utility calculations, thereby disputing their analysis of Newcomb’s Paradox. If we are (...)
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