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Profile: Steven Luper (Trinity University)
  1. Steven Luper, Retroactive Harms and Wrongs.
    Despite its plausibility, I mean to resist this argument. I will reject premise 1 on the grounds that dying may be atemporally bad for us. I will also reject premise 3. Some postmortem events are bad for some of us while we are alive. But I am not going to report some new exotic particle that makes backwards causation possible. As far as I know, 6 is true. If an event is responsible for a harm that we incur before the (...)
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  2. Steven Luper, Indiscernability Skepticism.
    Ideally, our account of knowledge would help us to understand the appeal of (and flaws in) skepticism,2 while remaining consistent with our ‘intuitions,' and supporting epistemic principles that seem eminently plausible. Of course, we don't always get what we want; we may not be able to move from intuitions and principles to an account that fully squares with them. As a last resort, we may have to move in the other direction, and give up intuitions or principles that are undermined (...)
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  3. Steven Luper, The Main Project.
    The subject of this book is epistemology. Epistemology is the theory of knowledge, the study of the nature, sources, and limitations of knowledge and justification. In studying the nature of knowledge and justification, theorists typically try to delineate the conditions that must be met for a given person to know, or justifiably believe, that a given proposition is true. That is, they offer analyses of knowledge and justification. In this introduction, we will briefly describe the task of analysis, and review (...)
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  4. Steven Luper, The Skeptics—Introductory Essay by (Back to Homepage).
    ‘Skepticism’ refers primarily to two positions. Knowledge skepticism says there is no such thing as knowledge, and justification skepticism denies the existence of justified belief. How closely the two views are related depends on the relationship between knowledge and justification: if knowledge entails justified belief, as many theorists say, then justification skepticism entails knowledge skepticism (but not vice versa). Either form of skepticism can be limited in scope. Global (or radical) skepticism challenges the epistemic credentials of all beliefs, saying that (...)
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  5. Steven Luper (2014). Persimals. Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1):140-162.
    What sort of thing, fundamentally, are you and I? For convenience, I use the term persimal to refer to the kind of thing we are, whatever that kind turns out to be. Accordingly, the question is, what are persimals? One possible answer is that persimalhood consists in being a human animal, but many theorists, including Derek Parfit and Jeff McMahan, not to mention John Locke, reject this idea in favor of a radically different view, according to which persimalhood consists in (...)
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  6. Steven Luper (2013). Exhausting Life. Journal of Ethics 17 (1-2):99-119.
    Can we render death harmless to us by perfecting life, as the ancient Epicureans and Stoics seemed to think? It might seem so, for after we perfect life—assuming we can—persisting would not make life any better. Dying earlier rather than later would shorten life, but a longer perfect life is no better than a shorter perfect life, so dying would take nothing of value from us. However, after sketching what perfecting life might entail, I will argue that it is not (...)
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  7. Steven Luper (2012). Contrastivism and Skepticism. International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 2 (1):51-58.
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  8. S. Luper (2011). Epistemology Modalized, by Kelly Becker. Mind 120 (478):507-511.
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  9. Steven Luper (2011). Cartesian Skepticism. In Duncan Pritchard & Sven Bernecker (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Epistemology. Routledge. 414--424.
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  10. Steven Luper (2011). Epicurus' Death is Nothing to Us Argument. In Michael Bruce & Steven Barbone (eds.), Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell.
  11. Steven Luper (2011). Living Up to Death. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 18 (4):603-606.
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  12. Steven Luper (2011). Review of Bernard Schumacher, Death and Mortality in Contemporary Philosophy. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2011 (1).
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  13. Steven Luper (2011). Surviving Death – Mark Johnston. Philosophical Quarterly 61 (245):884-887.
    This is a review of Johnston's book Surviving Death.
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  14. Steven Luper & Nicolas Bommarito (2011). Two Arguments for the Harmlessness of Death. In Michael Bruce Steven Barbone (ed.), Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. 99--101.
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  15. Steven Luper (2010). Annihilation: The Sense and Significance of Death – Christopher Belshaw. Philosophical Quarterly 60 (238):218-220.
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  16. Steven Luper (2009). Review of Ben Bradley, Well-Being and Death. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (7).
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  17. Steven Luper (2009). The Philosophy of Death. Cambridge University Press.
    Introduction -- Life -- Death -- Challenges -- Mortal harm -- The timing puzzle -- Killing -- Suicide and euthanasia -- Abortion.
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  18. Steven Luper, Death. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    First, what constitutes a person's death? It is clear enough that people die when their lives end, but less clear what constitutes the ending of a person's life.
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  19. Steven Luper, The Epistemic Closure Principle. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Most of us think we can always enlarge our knowledge base by accepting things that are entailed by (or logically implied by) things we know. The set of things we know is closed under entailment (or under deduction or logical implication), which means that we know that a given claim is true upon recognizing, and accepting thereby, that it follows from what we know. However, some theorists deny that knowledge is closed under entailment, and the issue remains controversial. The arguments (...)
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  20. Steven Luper (2007). Mortal Harm. Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):239–251.
    The harm thesis says that death may harm the individual who dies. The posthumous harm thesis says that posthumous events may harm those who die. Epicurus rejects both theses, claiming that there is no subject who is harmed, no clear harm which is received, and no clear time when any harm is received. Feldman rescues the harm thesis with solutions to Epicurus' three puzzles based on his own version of the deprivation account of harm. But many critics, among them Lamont, (...)
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  21. Steven Luper (2007). Moore's Missing Principle. Philosophical Papers 36 (1):151-161.
    Philosophical Papers 36.1 (2007): 151-161.
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  22. Steven Luper (2007). Re-Reading: G.E. Moore, "Certainty" in His 'Philosophical Papers'. Philosophical Papers 36 (1).
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  23. Steven Luper (2007). The Easy Argument. Acta Analytica 22 (4):321 - 331.
    Suppose Ted is in an ordinary house in good viewing conditions and believes red, his table is red, entirely because he sees his table and its color; he also believes not-white, it is false that his table is white and illuminated by a red light, because not-white is entailed by red. The following three claims about this table case clash, but each seems plausible: 1. Ted’s epistemic position is strong enough for him to know red. 2. Ted cannot know not-white (...)
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  24. S. Luper (2006). Restorative Rigging and the Safe Indication Account. Synthese 153 (1):161 - 170.
    Typical Gettieresque scenarios involve a subject, S, using a method, M, of believing something, p, where, normally, M is a reliable indicator of the truth of p, yet, in S’s circumstances, M is not reliable: M is deleteriously rigged. A different sort of scenario involves rigging that restores the reliability of a method M that is deleteriously rigged: M is restoratively rigged. Some theorists criticize (among others) the safe indication account of knowledge defended by Luper, Sosa, and Williamson on the (...)
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  25. Steven Luper (2006). Dretske on Knowledge Closure. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (3):379 – 394.
    In early essays and in more recent work, Fred Dretske argues against the closure of perception, perceptual knowledge, and knowledge itself. In this essay I review his case and suggest that, in a useful sense, perception is closed, and that, while perceptual knowledge is not closed under entailment, perceptually based knowledge is closed, and so is knowledge itself. On my approach, which emphasizes the safe indication account of knowledge, we can both perceive, and know, that sceptical scenarios (such as being (...)
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  26. Steven Luper (2005). Past Desires and the Dead. Philosophical Studies 126 (3):331 - 345.
    I examine an argument that appears to take us from Parfit’s [Reasons and Persons, Oxford: Clarendon Press (1984)] thesis that we have no reason to fulfil desires we no longer care about to the conclusion that the effect of posthumous events on our desires is a matter of indifference (the post-mortem thesis). I suspect that many of Parfit’s readers, including Vorobej [Philosophical Studies 90 (1998) 305], think that he is committed to (something like) this reasoning, and that Parfit must therefore (...)
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  27. Steven Luper (2005). Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing, by Bede Rundle. Disputatio.
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  28. Steven Luper (2004). Epistemic Relativism. Philosophical Issues 14 (1):271–295.
    Epistemic relativism rejects the idea that claims can be assessed from a universally applicable, objective standpoint. It is greatly disdained because it suggests that the real ‘basis’ for our views is something fleeting, such as ‘‘the techniques of mass persuasion’’ (Thomas Kuhn 1970) or the determination of intellectuals to achieve ‘‘solidarity’’ (Rorty 1984) or ‘‘keep the conversation going’’ (Rorty 1979). But epistemic relativism, like skepticism, is far easier to despise than to convincingly refute, for two main reasons. First, its definition (...)
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  29. Steven Luper (2004). Posthumous Harm. American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (1):63 - 72.
    According to Epicurus (1966a,b), neither death, nor anything that occurs later, can harm those who die, because people who die are not made to suffer as a result of either. In response, many philosophers (e.g., Nagel 1970, Feinberg 1984, and Pitcher 1984) have argued that Epicurus is wrong on both counts. They have defended the mortem thesis: death may harm those who die. They have also defended the post-mortem thesis: posthumous events may harm people who die. Their arguments for this (...)
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  30. S. Luper (ed.) (2003). The Skeptics. Ashgate Publishing.
    Presented throughout in an accessible style, this book will prove particularly useful for students, researchers and general readers of philosophy who are ...
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  31. Steven Luper (ed.) (2003). Essential Knowledge: Readings in Epistemology. Longman.
     
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  32. Steven Luper (2003). 29. Indtscernability Skepticism1. In , Essential Knowledge: Readings in Epistemology. Longman. 285.
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  33. Steven Luper (1999). Natural Resources, Gadgets and Artificial Life. Environmental Values 8 (1):27 - 54.
    I classify different sorts of natural resources and suggest how these resources may be acquired. I also argue that inventions, whether gadgets or artificial life forms, should not be privately owned. Gadgets and life-forms are not created (although the term 'invention' suggests otherwise); they are discovered, and hence have much in common with more familiar natural resources such as sunlight that ought not to be privately owned. Nonetheless, inventors of gadgets, like discoverers of certain more familiar resources, sometimes should be (...)
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  34. S. Luper & C. Brown (eds.) (1994). Drugs, Morality, and the Law. Garland.
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  35. Steven Luper (1992). The Absurdity of Life. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52:1-17.
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  36. Steven Luper (ed.) (1987). The Possibility of Knowledge: Nozick and His Critics. Rowman & Littlefield.