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Samuel C. Rickless [33]Samuel Charles Rickless [1]
  1. Samuel C. Rickless, A Synthetic Approach to Legal Adjudication.
    When faced with a dispute concerning how a given legal provision (whether constitutional or statutory) applies to a particular set of facts, how should a judge proceed? It is commonplace to say that, in the first instance, she should look to the meanings of the words that constitute the provision itself. If she is lucky, then the relevant meanings are clear; and if the facts are not in dispute, then the resolution is obvious. Unfortunately.
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  2. Samuel C. Rickless, Locke on the Freedom to Will.
    In Book II, Chapter xxi of An essay concerning human understanding, Locke claims that a mind's will is its power 'to order the consideration of any Idea, or the forbearing to consider it; or to prefer the motion of any part of the body to its rest, and vice versa in any particular instance' (Il. xxi. 5).l To exercise this power (that is, to will), Locke says, is to perform an act of volition (or: willing), volitions being actions of the (...)
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  3. Samuel C. Rickless, Qualities.
    One of the more interesting philosophical debates in the seventeenth century concerned the nature and explanation of qualities. In order to understand this debate, it is important to place it in its proper historical-philosophical context.
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  4. Samuel C. Rickless, The Failure of Pragmatic Descriptivism.
    There are two major semantic theories of proper names: Semantic Descriptivism and Direct Reference. According to Semantic Descriptivism, the semantic content of a proper name N for a speaker S is identical to the semantic content of a definite description “the F” that the speaker associates with the name. According to Direct Reference, the semantic content of a proper name is identical to its referent. As is well known, Semantic Descriptivism suffers from a number of drawbacks first pointed out by (...)
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  5. Samuel C. Rickless (forthcoming). Religious Arguments and the Duty of Civility. Public Affairs Quarterly.
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  6. Samuel C. Rickless (2014). Locke. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  7. Samuel C. Rickless (2014). The Contrast‐Insensitivity of Knowledge Ascriptions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (3):533-555.
  8. Samuel C. Rickless (2014). Why Tolerate Religion? Philosophical Review 123 (2):238-241.
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  9. Dana Kay Nelkin & Samuel C. Rickless (2013). So Close, Yet So Far: Why Solutions to the Closeness Problem for the Doctrine of Double Effect Fall Short. Noûs 48 (3).
    According to the classical Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE), there is a morally significant difference between intending harm and merely foreseeing harm. Versions of DDE have been defended in a variety of creative ways, but there is one difficulty, the so-called “closeness problem”, that continues to bedevil all of them. The problem is that an agent's intention can always be identified in such a fine-grained way as to eliminate an intention to harm from almost any situation, including those that have (...)
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  10. Dana Kay Nelkin & Samuel C. Rickless (2013). Three Cheers for Double Effect. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):125-158.
    The doctrine of double effect, together with other moral principles that appeal to the intentions of moral agents, has come under attack from many directions in recent years, as have a variety of rationales that have been given in favor of it. In this paper, our aim is to develop, defend, and provide a new theoretical rationale for a secular version of the doctrine. Following Quinn (1989), we distinguish between Harmful Direct Agency and Harmful Indirect Agency. We propose the following (...)
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  11. Samuel C. Rickless (2012). Hume's Theory of Pity and Malice. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (2):324 - 344.
    (2013). Hume's Theory of Pity and Malice. British Journal for the History of Philosophy: Vol. 21, No. 2, pp. 324-344. doi: 10.1080/09608788.2012.692664.
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  12. Samuel C. Rickless (2012). The Relation Between Anti-Abstractionism and Idealism in Berkeley's Metaphysics. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (4):723 - 740.
    George Berkeley maintains both anti-abstractionism (that abstract ideas are impossible) and idealism (that physical objects and their qualities are mind-dependent). Some scholars (including Atherton, Bolton, and Pappas) have argued, in different ways, that Berkeley uses anti-abstractionism as a premise in a simple argument for idealism. In this paper, I argue that the relation between anti-abstractionism and idealism in Berkeley's metaphysics is more complex than these scholars acknowledge. Berkeley distinguishes between two kinds of abstraction, singling abstraction and generalizing abstraction. He then (...)
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  13. Samuel C. Rickless (2012). Why and How to Fill an Unfilled Proposition. Theoria 78 (1):6-25.
    There are two major semantic theories of proper names: Semantic Descriptivism and Direct Reference. According to Semantic Descriptivism, the semantic content of a proper name N for a speaker S is identical to the semantic content of a definite description “the F” that the speaker associates with the name. According to Direct Reference, the semantic content of a proper name is identical to its referent. Semantic Descriptivism suffers from a number of drawbacks first pointed out by Donnellan (1970) and Kripke (...)
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  14. Samuel C. Rickless (2011). The Moral Status of Enabling Harm. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):66-86.
    According to the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, it is more difficult to justify doing harm than it is to justify allowing harm. Enabling harm consists in withdrawing an obstacle that would, if left in place, prevent a pre-existing causal sequence from leading to foreseen harm. There has been a lively debate concerning the moral status of enabling harm. According to some (e.g. McMahan, Vihvelin and Tomkow), many cases of enabling harm are morally indistinguishable from doing harm. Others (e.g. Foot, (...)
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  15. Samuel C. Rickless (2010). Plato's Definition(s) of Sophistry. Ancient Philosophy 30 (2):289-298.
  16. Samuel C. Rickless (2010). Plato, Metaphysics and the Forms. Ancient Philosophy 30 (2):428-432.
  17. Samuel C. Rickless (2009). A Metaphysics for the Mob: The Philosophy of George Berkeley. [REVIEW] Philosophical Review 118 (2):244-247.
  18. Samuel C. Rickless (2009). Marc A. Hight. Idea and Ontology: An Essay in Early Modern Metaphysics of Ideas. [REVIEW] Berkeley Studies 20:22-33.
    Marc A. Hight has given us a well-researched, well-written, analytically rigorous and thoughtprovoking book about the development of idea ontology in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The book covers a great deal of material, some in significant depth, some not. The figures discussed include Descartes, Malebranche, Arnauld, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, and Hume. Some might think it a tall order for anyone to grapple with the central works of these figures on a subject as fundamental as the nature of ideas. (...)
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  19. Samuel C. Rickless (2008). Is Locke's Theory of Knowledge Inconsistent? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):83-104.
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  20. Samuel C. Rickless, Plato's Parmenides. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The Parmenides is, quite possibly, the most enigmatic of Plato's dialogues. The dialogue recounts an almost certainly fictitious conversation between a venerable Parmenides (the Eleatic Monist) and a youthful Socrates, followed by a dizzying array of interconnected arguments presented by Parmenides to a young and compliant interlocutor named “Aristotle” (not the philosopher, but rather a man who became one of the Thirty Tyrants after Athens' surrender to Sparta at the conclusion of the Peloponnesian War). Most commentators agree that Socrates articulates (...)
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  21. Jonathan Cohen & Samuel C. Rickless (2007). Binding Arguments and Hidden Variables. Analysis 67 (1):65–71.
    o (2000), 243). In particular, the idea is that binding interactions between the relevant expressions and natural lan- guage quantifiers are best explained by the hypothesis that those expressions harbor hidden but bindable variables. Recently, however, Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore have rejected such binding arguments for the presence of hid- den variables on the grounds that they overgeneralize — that, if sound, such arguments would establish the presence of hidden variables in all sorts of ex- pressions where it is (...)
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  22. Samuel C. Rickless (2007). Locke's Polemic Against Nativism. In Lex Newman (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding". Cambridge University Press.
    In the 17th century, there was a lively debate in the intellectual circles with which Locke was familiar, revolving around the question whether the human mind is furnished with innate ideas. Although a few scholars declared that there is no good reason to believe, and good reason not to believe, in the existence of innate ideas, the vast majority took for granted that God, in his infinite goodness and wisdom, has inscribed in human minds innate principles that constitute the foundation (...)
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  23. Samuel C. Rickless (2007). The Right to Privacy Unveiled. San Diego Law Review 44 (1):773-799.
    The vast majority of philosophers and legal theorists who have thought about the issue agree that there is such a thing as a moral right to privacy. However, there is little or no theoretical consensus about the nature of this right. According to reductionists, the right to privacy amounts to nothing more than a cluster of property rights and rights over the person, and therefore plays no autonomous explanatory role in moral theory (Thomson 1975, Davis 1959). Among non-reductionists, there are (...)
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  24. Samuel Charles Rickless (2007). Plato's Forms in Transition: A Reading of the Parmenides. Cambridge University Press.
    There is a mystery at the heart of Plato’s Parmenides. In the first part, Parmenides criticizes what is widely regarded as Plato’s mature theory of Forms, and in the second, he promises to explain how the Forms can be saved from these criticisms. Ever since the dialogue was written, scholars have struggled to determine how the two parts of the work fit together. Did Plato mean us to abandon, keep, or modify the theory of Forms, on the strength of Parmenides’ (...)
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  25. Samuel C. Rickless (2005). The Cartesian Fallacy Fallacy. Noûs 39 (2):309–336.
    In this paper, I provide what I believe to be Descartes's own solution to the problem of the Cartesian Circle. As I argue, Descartes thinks he can have certain knowledge of the premises of the Third Meditation proof of God's existence and veracity (i.e., the 3M-Proof) without presupposing God's existence. The key, as Broughton (1984) once argued, is that the premises of the 3M-Proof are knowable by the natural light. The major objection to this "natural light" gambit is that Descartes (...)
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  26. Samuel C. Rickless (2004). From the Good Will to the Formula of Universal Law. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 68 (3):554–577.
    In the First Section of the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant argues that a good-willed person “under subjective limitations and hindrances” (G 397) is required “never to act except in such a way that [she] could also will that [her] maxim should become a universal law” (G 402).2 This requirement has come to be known as the Formula of Universal Law (FUL) version of the Categorical Imperative, an “ought” statement expressing a command of reason that “represent[s] an action (...)
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  27. Dana K. Nelkin & Samuel C. Rickless (2002). Warfield's New Argument for Incompatibilism. Analysis 62 (2):104-107.
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  28. Dana K. Nelkin & Samuel C. Rickless (2001). How to Solve Blum's Paradox. Analysis 61 (269):91-94.
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  29. Samuel C. Rickless (2000). Commentary:Miranda, Dickerson,and the Problem of Actual Innocence. Criminal Justice Ethics 19 (2):2-55.
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  30. Samuel C. Rickless (1998). How Parmenides Saved the Theory of Forms. Philosophical Review 107 (4):501-554.
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  31. Samuel C. Rickless (1998). Socrates' Moral Intellectualism. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (4):355–367.
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  32. Samuel C. Rickless (1998). The Semantic Function of Chained Pronouns. Analysis 58 (4):297–304.
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  33. Samuel C. Rickless (1997). Locke on Primary and Secondary Qualities. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 78 (3):297-319.
    In this paper, I argue that Book II, Chapter viii of Locke' Essay is a unified, self-consistent whole, and that the appearance of inconsistency is due largely to anachronistic misreadings and misunderstandings. The key to the distinction between primary and secondary qualities is that the former are, while the latter are not, real properties, i.e., properties that exist in bodies independently of being perceived. Once the distinction is properly understood, it becomes clear that Locke's arguments for it are simple, valid (...)
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  34. Samuel C. Rickless (1997). The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing. Philosophical Review 106 (4):555-575.
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