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Profile: Roman Altshuler (Kutztown University of Pennsylvania)
  1.  40
    Roman Altshuler (forthcoming). Bootstrapping the Afterlife. New Content is Available for Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    Samuel Scheffler defends “The Afterlife Conjecture”: the view that the continued existence of humanity after our deaths—“the afterlife”—lies in the background of our valuing; were we to lose confidence in it, many of the projects we engage in would lose their meaning. The Afterlife Conjecture, in his view, also brings out the limits of our egoism, showing that we care more about yet unborn strangers than about personal survival. But why does the afterlife itself matter to us? Examination of Scheffler’s (...)
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  2. Roman Altshuler (2015). Immortality, Identity, and Desirability. In Michael Cholbi (ed.), Immortality and the Philosophy of Death. Rowman & Littlefield 191-203.
    Williams’s famous argument against immortality rests on the idea that immortality cannot be desirable, at least for human beings, and his contention has spawned a cottage industry of responses. As I will intend to show, the arguments over his view rest on both a difference of temperament and a difference in the sense of desire being used. The former concerns a difference in whether one takes a forward-looking or a backward-looking perspective on personal identity; the latter a distinction between our (...)
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  3.  42
    Roman Altshuler (2016). Character, Will, and Agency. In Jonathan Webber & Alberto Masala (eds.), From Personality to Virtue: Essays on the Philosophy of Character. Oxford University Press 62-80.
    Character and the will are rarely discussed together. At most, philosophers working on the one mention the other in an eliminativist vein—if character is represented as something chosen, for example, it can be chalked up to the work of the will; if the will consists merely of a certain arrangement of mental states, it can be seen as little more than a manifestation of character. This mutual neglect appears perfectly justified. If both character and will are determinants of action, to (...)
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  4.  67
    Roman Altshuler (2015). Teleology, Narrative, and Death. In John Lippitt & Patrick Stokes (eds.), Narrative, Identity and the Kierkegaardian Self. Edinburgh University Press 29-45.
  5. Roman Altshuler (2013). Practical Necessity and the Constitution of Character. In Alexandra Perry & Chris Herrera (eds.), The Moral Philosophy of Bernard Williams. Cambridge Scholars Publishing 40-53.
    Deliberation issues in decision, and so might be taken as a paradigmatic volitional activity. Character, on the other hand, may appear pre-volitional: the dispositions that constitute it provide the background against which decisions are made. Bernard Williams offers an intriguing picture of how the two may be connected via the concept of practical necessities, which are at once constitutive of character and deliverances of deliberation. Necessities are thus the glue binding character and the will, allowing us to take responsibility for (...)
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  6. Roman Altshuler (2015). Free Will, Narrative, and Retroactive Self-Constitution. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (4):867-883.
    John Fischer has recently argued that the value of acting freely is the value of self-expression. Drawing on David Velleman’s earlier work, Fischer holds that the value of a life is a narrative value and free will is valuable insofar as it allows us to shape the narrative structure of our lives. This account rests on Fischer’s distinction between regulative control and guidance control. While we lack the former kind of control, on Fischer’s view, the latter is all that is (...)
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  7. Roman Altshuler (2014). The Value of Nonhuman Nature: A Constitutive View. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):469-485.
    A central question of environmental ethics remains one of how best to account for the intuitions generated by the Last Man scenarios; that is, it is a question of how to explain our experience of value in nature and, more importantly, whether that experience is justified. Seeking an alternative to extrinsic views, according to which nonhuman entities possess normative features that obligate us, I turn to constitutive views, which make value or whatever other limits nonhuman nature places on action dependent (...)
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  8. Roman Altshuler (2012). The Origins of Responsibility. By François Raffoul. (Indiana UP, 2010. Pp. Xiv + 341.). [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 62 (246):217-220.
  9.  4
    Roman Altshuler (forthcoming). Bootstrapping the Afterlife. Brill.
    _ Source: _Page Count 16 Samuel Scheffler defends “The Afterlife Conjecture”: the view that the continued existence of humanity after our deaths— “the afterlife”—lies in the background of our valuing; were we to lose confidence in it, many of the projects we engage in would lose their meaning. The Afterlife Conjecture, in his view, also brings out the limits of our egoism, showing that we care more about yet unborn strangers than about personal survival. But why does the afterlife itself (...)
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  10. Roman Altshuler (2009). Agency and the A-Series. Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):153-161.
    Debates between A-theorists and B-theorists about time often center on our experiential beliefs about reality. Because we experience events as past, present, or future, the A-theorists argue, a tenseless theory of time cannot account for reality. B-theorists, in response, have sought to painstakingly explain away every argument for the existence of A-properties on the basis of experience. Recently, the dominant strategy in this response has involved turning our attention away from our beliefs about experience and toward the truth-makers of those (...)
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  11.  3
    Roman Altshuler & Michael J. Sigrist (2016). Introduction. In Roman Altshuler & Michael J. Sigrist (eds.), Time and the Philosophy of Action. Routledge 1-18.
    We do things in time. Philosophy of action can capture this phenomenon in at least two ways. On one hand, it might focus on the way that temporal preferences and long-term temporal horizons affect the rationality of decisions in the present (see, e.g., Parfit 1984; Rawls 1971). Such work may focus on the way we discount the distant future, for example, or prioritize the future over the past. Approaches of this kind treat time as, in a sense, something external to (...)
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  12.  82
    Roman Altshuler (2009). Political Realism and Political Idealism: The Difference That Evil Makes. Public Reason 1 (2):73-87.
    According to a particular view of political realism, political expediency must always override moral considerations. Perhaps the strongest defense of such a theory is offered by Carl Schmitt in The Concept of the Political. A close examination of Schmitt’s main presuppositions can therefore help to shed light on the tenuous relation between politics and morality. Schmitt’s theory rests on two keystones. First, the political is seen as independent of and prior to morality. Second, genuine political theory depends on a view (...)
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  13.  34
    Roman Altshuler (2013). Peter Goldie , The Mess Inside: Narrative, Emotion, and the Mind . Reviewed By. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 33 (3):189–192.
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  14. Roman Altshuler (2010). An Unconditioned Will: The Role of Temporality in Freedom and Agency. Dissertation, SUNY Stony Brook
    Eliminativists about free will and moral responsibility argue that no action can be free and responsible because in order to be actions, our movements must be caused by features of our character or will. However, either the will is constituted by states that are themselves produced by events outside our control, or it is constituted by our own choices, which must themselves stem from our will in order to be up to us. Thus, any attempt to account for freedom and (...)
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  15.  25
    Roman Altshuler & Michael J. Sigrist (eds.) (2016). Time and the Philosophy of Action. Routledge.
    Although scholarship in philosophy of action has grown in recent years, there has been little work explicitly dealing with the role of time in agency, a role with great significance for the study of action. As the articles in this collection demonstrate, virtually every fundamental issue in the philosophy of action involves considerations of time. The four sections of this volume address the metaphysics of action, diachronic practical rationality, the relation between deliberation and action, and the phenomenology of agency, providing (...)
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