It is often argued that the general propriety of challenging an assertion with ‘How do you know?’ counts as evidence for the Knowledge Norm of Assertion (KNA). Part of the argument is that this challenge seems to directly challenge whether a speaker knows what she asserts. In this article I argue for a re-interpretation of the data, the upshot of which is that we need not interpret ‘How do you know?’ as directly challenging a speaker's knowledge; instead, it's better understood (...) as challenging a speaker's reasons. Consequently, I argue that reasons-based norms can equally well explain this data. (shrink)
Contemporary liberal political justification is often accused of preaching to the converted: liberal principles are acceptable only to people already committed to liberal values. Catriona McKinnon addresses this important criticism by arguing that self-respect and its social conditions should be placed at the heart of the liberal approach to justification. A commitment to self-respect delivers a commitment to the liberal values of toleration and public reason, but self-respect itself is not an exclusively liberal value.
Presentists standardly conform to the eternalist’s paradigm of treating all cases of property-exemplification as involving a single relation of instantiation. This, we argue, results in a much less parsimonious and philosophically explanatory picture than is possible if other alternatives are considered. We argue that by committing to primitive past and future tensed instantiation ties, presentists can make gains in both economy and explanatory power. We show how this metaphysical picture plays out in cases where an individual exists to partake in (...) facts about its past and future, and also in cases where that individual no longer exists, and proxies (or surrogates) for that thing must be found. (shrink)
The presentist view of time is psychologically appealing. I argue that, ironically, contingent facts about the temporal properties of consciousness are very difficult to square with presentism unless some form of mind/body dualism is embraced.
Time passes; sometimes swiftly, sometimes interminably, but always it passes. We see the world change as events emerge from the shroud of the future, clandestinely slinking into the past almost immediately as though they are reluctant to meet our gaze: children are born, old friends and relatives die, governments once full of youthful enthusiasm wane. If the Earth were sentient, it might feel itself being torn apart as tectonic plates diverge, and chuckle as it outlived species upon species of transient (...) parasites. How could anyone possibly deny that time passes? (shrink)
Peter Unger's 'problem of the many' has elicited many responses over the past quarter of a century. Here I present a new problem of the many. This new problem, I claim, is resistant to the solutions cunently on offer for Unger's problem.
Although tolerance is widely regarded as a virtue of both individuals and groups that modern democratic and multiculturalist societies cannot do without, there is still much disagreement among political thinkers as to what tolerance demands, or what can be done to create and sustain a culture of tolerance. The philosophical literature on toleration contains three main strands. (1) An agreement that a tolerant society is more than a modus vivendi; (2) discussion of the proper object(s) of toleration; (3) debate about (...) whether there is a ‘paradox’ of toleration and, if so, how it might be solved. This Introduction outlines how each of the subsequent papers addresses problems in the theory and practice of toleration, in the light of these three strands in the existing literature. (shrink)
Holocaust denial (HD) is the activity of denying the occurrence of key events and processes which constitute the Holocaust. Should it be tolerated? HD brings into particularly sharp focus many difficult questions faced by defenders of content-neutral liberal principles protecting freedom of expression. I argue that there are insufficient grounds for the legal prohibition of HD, but that society has the right and the duty to expel and exclude deniers from the Academy.
The principal aim of this paper is to defend a certain view about temporary properties from an important objection to that view. More speciﬁcally, I will be defending the view that ostensible temporary intrinsic properties are really relations between the things that have those properties and times. The objection is, roughly speaking, that by construing ostensible temporary intrinsics as relations to times, persisting things are impoverished, being clothed only by their essential (and perhaps also their permanent) intrinsic properties. The worry (...) is that the relations to times view moves us towards thinking of persisting particulars as being quite bare. I do not suggest that this is the only diﬃculty for the relations to times view (in fact, I uncover a potential problem for the view in Section 3), but it is an important one. If the objection is successfully addressed, then a signiﬁcant obstacle to the relations to times view is overcome. (shrink)
This paper addresses an argument offered by John Hawthorne gainst the propriety of an agent’s using propositions she does not know as premises in practical reasoning. I will argue that there are a number of potential structural confounds in Hawthorne’s use of his main example, a case of practical reasoning about a lottery. By drawing these confounds out more explicitly, we can get a better sense of how to make appropriate use of such examples in theorizing about norms, knowledge, and (...) practical reasoning. I will conclude by suggesting a prescription for properly using lottery propositions to do the sort of work that Hawthorne wants from them. (shrink)
In this paper I comment on a recent “letter” by Burleigh Wilkins addressed to nascent egalitarian democracies which offers advice on the achievement of religious toleration. I argue that while Wilkins’ advice is sound as far as it goes, it is nevertheless underdeveloped insofar as his letter fails to distinguish two competing conceptions of toleration – liberal-pluralist and republican-secularist – both of which are consistent with the advice he offers, but each of which yields very different policy recommendations (as can (...) be seen by consideration of The United States v. Lee in America and, I’affaire du foulard in France). I argue that a democratic society of equals must be committed to liberal-pluralist rather than republican-secularist toleration. (shrink)
Supervaluational treatments of vagueness are currently quite popular among those who regard vagueness as a thoroughly semantic phenomenon. Peter Unger's 'problem of the many' may be regarded as arising from the vagueness of our ordinary physical-object terms, so it is not surprising that supervaluational solutions to Unger's problem have been offered. I argue that supervaluations do not afford an adequate solution to the problem of the many. Moreover, the considerations I raise against the supervaluational solution tell also against the solution (...) to the problem of the many which is suggested by adherents of the epistemic theory of vagueness. (shrink)
One winter’s Saturday Clarence wakes up. He realises he has left his umbrella at work. The oﬃce is locked, and he can’t get in. Being one of those people who punish themselves for their mistakes, he can’t bring himself to buy a replacement. He has an engagement six kilometres down the road and starts wondering whether it will rain. Normally, this would not be a problem, but his motor vehicle has broken down because he forgot to have it serviced. And (...) of course, he blames himself for this mistake, so it is only natural that he can’t bring himself to hire a cab or take a bus. He really should hope that it rains and that he gets drenched on the way to his engagement, but he is only human after all, and a small part of himhopes that it is a sunny day. (shrink)
The Knowledge Account of Assertion (KAA) says that knowledge is the norm of assertion: you may assert a proposition only if you know that it’s true. The primary support for KAA is an explanatory inference from a broad range of linguistic data. The more data that KAA well explains, the stronger the case for it, and the more difficult it is for the competition to keep pace. In this paper we critically assess a purported new linguistic datum, which, it has (...) been argued, KAA well explains. We argue that KAA does not well explain it. (shrink)
(1) Certain of our intentional attitudes appear to have time-asymmetric manifestation conditions. For instance, we dread a certain painful episode only if (we believe) it is future and feel relief about that episode only when (we believe) it is past. We eagerly anticipate events only when they are future and regard them with nostalgia only when they are past.
THIS PAPER DISTINGUISHES TWO MAIN SUPERNATURALIST SENSES OF ’MIRACLE’ AND FOUR CORRESPONDING SENSES OF ’PARADOX,’ ALL OF WHICH ARE SHOWN TO INVOLVE THE NOTION OF A DISCREPANT OR INCOHERENT FACT. IT REJECTS THIS NOTION AS A CONTRADICTION IN USE AND ARGUES THAT NONE OF THE TRADITIONAL SENSES OF THESE TERMS CAN CONSISTENTLY NAME OR DESCRIBE ANY REAL OR ALLEGED EVENT.
This article proposes a new account of luck and how luck impacts attributions of credit for agents' actions. It proposes an analogy with the expected value of a series of wagers and argues that luck is the difference between actual outcomes and expected value. The upshot of the argument is that when considering the interplay of intention, chance, outcomes, skill, and actions, we ought to be more parsimonious in our attributions of credit when exercising a skill and obtaining successful outcomes, (...) and more generous in our attributions of credit when exercising a skill but obtaining unsuccessful outcomes. Furthermore, the article argues that when agents skillfully perform an action, they deserve the same amount of credit whether their action is successful or unsuccessful in achieving the goal. (shrink)
In this paper I examine John Greco’s agent reliabilism, in particular, his requirement of subjective justification. I argue that his requirement is too weak as it stands to disqualify as knowledge claims some true beliefs arrived at by reliable processes and that it is vulnerable to the “value problem” objection. I develop a more robust account of subjective justification that both avoids the objection that agents require beliefs about their dispositions in order to be subjectively justified and explains why knowledge (...) is more valuable than true belief. (shrink)
It is increasingly argued that there is a single unified constitutive norm of both assertion and practical reasoning. The most common suggestion is that knowledge is this norm. If this is correct, then we would expect that a diagnosis of problematic assertions should manifest as problematic reasons for acting. Jennifer Lackey has recently argued that assertions epistemically grounded in isolated second-hand knowledge (ISHK) are unwarranted. I argue that decisions epistemically grounded in premises based on ISHK also seem inappropriate. I finish (...) by suggesting that this finding has important implications for the debates regarding the norms of assertion and practical reasoning. (shrink)
In The Point of View for my Work as an Author, Kierkegaard declares that the works discussed therein move from the aesthetic to the religious, that the Postscript represents the turning point in this movement, etc. In this brief and preliminary study we use a ?change?point? version of the chi?square test on the frequencies of selected sets of ?aesthetic? and ?religious? words to determine the degree of statistical evidence for these and other related claims. Briefly, these tests show that there (...) is strong statistical evidence for all but one of these various claims and that there are therefore good statistical grounds for taking Kierkegaard's ?aesthetic/religious? interpretation seriously. (shrink)
In the norms of assertion literature there has been continued focus on a wide range of odd-sounding assertions that have been collected under the umbrella of Moore’s Paradox. Our aim in these brief remarks is not to attempt to settle the question of what makes an utterance Moorean decisively, but rather to present some new data bearing on it, and to argue that this new data is best explained by a new account of Moorean absurdity.
v. 1. Kierkegaard; in translation.--v. 2. Fundamental polyglot konkordans til Kierkegaards samlede værker.--v. 3. Index verborum til Kierkegaards samlede værker.--v. 4. Computational analysis of Kierkegaard's samlade værker.
L'hypocrisie implique un souci de la réputation morale qui conduit à des contradictions entre les actions et les raisons d'agir qui sont ouvertement déclarées,ou entre les raisons d'agir réelles et celles qui sont ouvertement déclarées. On opposera ici les actions hypocrites aux actions velléitaires, et les personnes hypocrites aux personnes velléitaires. Les rapports entre l'intégrité et l'hypocrisie seront esquissés : ce qui distingue la personne intègre et l'hypocrite, ce sont leurs attitudes respectives à l'endroit de leurs raisons d'agir; cela ouvre (...) une voie pour la compréhension de ce qu'il y a de mauvais dans l'hypocrisie. Les supercheries de l'hypocrite font obstacle à sa tentative de se construire pour lui-même une personnalité dans le cadre de laquelle ses identifications autoconstitutives puissent lui fournir des raisons d'agir. II compromet ainsi son propre bien. Et il sape, au surplus, la fin collective de la moralité en faussant les données sur lesquelles les autres basent leurs jugements moraux. (shrink)
The most discussed puzzle about weakness of will (WoW) is how it is possible: how can a person freely and intentionally perform actions that she judges she ought not perform, or that she has resolved not to perform? In this paper, we are concerned with a much less discussed puzzle about WoW: how is overcoming it possible? We explain some of the ways in which previously weak-willed agents manage to overcome their weakness. Some of these are relatively straightforward: as agents (...) learns of the real costs of weakness, or as those costs mount dramatically, they can become strongly motivated to do what they already judged best. But other cases are more difficult to explain: sometimes, agents with a long history of forming and then weakly abandoning resolutions manage to stick to their guns. We argue that these cases can be explained by combining George Ainslie's model of agents as multiple preference orderings competing in game theoretic interactions along with the insights of evolutionary game theory. This can explain the puzzling cases where agents suddenly adopt successful strategies for avoiding weak-willed behavior, especially where agents gain no new information about themselves or the consequences of their actions. (shrink)
Agents can be insincere in many different ways. They can utter claims they take to be false, or they can utter true claims with an intention to deceive their audiences. While both liars and virtual liars are committed truth-seekers, they are poor truth-sharers. Agents can also deceive about their reasons for holding the true beliefs that they hold: cheaters and plagiarists deceive about the justifications of their true beliefs, and they intentionally exploit our normative practices of evaluating cognitive agents. Agents (...) can also be insincere about their commitment to truth-seeking enterprises. They may pose as serious truth-seekers and earnest truth-sharers, but they are what Frankfurt identifies as bullshitters: they do not care whether what they say is true. In this paper, I examine these different ways of deceiving others, and I assess Frankfurt’s charge that bullshit is worse than lies. (shrink)
The lottery paradox plays an important role in arguments for various norms of assertion. Why is it that, prior to information on the results of a draw, assertions such as "My ticket lost" seem inappropriate? This paper is composed of two projects. First, I articulate a number of problems arising from Williamson's analysis of the lottery paradox. Second, I propose a relevant alternatives theory, which I call the Non-Destabilizing Alternatives Theory (NDAT), that better explains the pathology of asserting lottery propositions, (...) while permitting assertions of what I call fallible propositions such as "My car is in the driveway.". (shrink)