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Profile: Steven Hales (Bloomsburg University)
  1. Steven D. Hales, Reply to Licon on Time Travel.
    In this paper I offer a rejoinder to the criticisms raised by Jimmy Alfonso Licon in “No Suicide for Presentists: A Response to Hales.” I argue that Licon's concerns are misplaced, and that his hypothetical presentist time machine neither travels in time nor saves the life of the putative traveler. I conclude that sensible time travel is still forbidden to presentists.
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  2. Steven D. Hales (forthcoming). A Problem for Moral Luck. Philosophical Studies:1-19.
    The present paper poses a new problem for moral luck. Defenders of moral luck uncritically rely on a broader theory of luck known as the control theory or the lack of control theory. However, there are are two other analyses of luck in the literature that dominate discussion in epistemology, namely the probability and modal theories. However, moral luck is nonexistent under the probability and modal accounts, but the control theory cannot explain epistemic luck. While some have posited that “luck” (...)
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  3. Steven D. Hales (2014). Motivations for Relativism as a Solution to Disagreements. Philosophy 89 (1):63-82.
    There are five basic ways to resolve disagreements: keep arguing until capitulation, compromise, locate an ambiguity or contextual factors, accept Pyrrhonian skepticism, and adopt relativism. Relativism is perhaps the most radical and least popular solution to a disagreement, and its defenders generally think the best motivator for relativism is to be found in disputes over predicates of personal taste. I argue that taste predicates do not adequately motivate relativism over the other possible solutions, and argue that relativism looks like the (...)
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  4. Steven D. Hales (2014). Why Every Theory of Luck is Wrong. Noûs 48 (4).
    There are three theories of luck in the literature, each of which tends to appeal to philosophers pursuing different concerns. These are the probability, modal, and control views. I will argue that all three theories are irreparably defective; not only are there counterexamples to each of the three theories of luck, but there are three previously undiscussed classes of counterexamples against them. These are the problems of lucky necessities, skillful luck, and diachronic luck. I conclude that a serious reevaluation of (...)
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  5. Steven D. Hales & Jennifer Adrienne Johnson (2014). Luck Attributions and Cognitive Bias. Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):509-528.
    Philosophers have developed three theories of luck: the probability theory, the modal theory, and the control theory. To help assess these theories, we conducted an empirical investigation of luck attributions. We created eight putative luck scenarios and framed each in either a positive or a negative light. Furthermore, we placed the critical luck event at the beginning, middle, or end of the scenario to see if the location of the event influenced luck attributions. We found that attributions of luckiness were (...)
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  6. Steven D. Hales (2013). This is Philosophy: An Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  7. Steven D. Hales (2012). The Faculty of Intuition. Analytic Philosophy 53 (2):180-207.
    The present paper offers an analogical support for the use of rational intuition, namely, if we regard sense perception as a mental faculty that (in general) delivers justified beliefs, then we should treat intuition in the same manner. I will argue that both the cognitive marks of intuition and the role it traditionally plays in epistemology are strongly analogous to that of perception, and barring specific arguments to the contrary, we should treat rational intuition as a source of prima facie (...)
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  8. Steven D. Hales (ed.) (2011). A Companion to Relativism. Wiley-Blackwell.
    Machine generated contents note: Editor's Introduction -- Part I: Characterizing Relativism -- Part II: Truth and Language -- Part III: Epistemic Relativism -- Part IV: Moral Relativism -- Part V: Relativism in the Philosophy of Science -- Part VI: Logical, Mathematical, and Ontological Relativism.
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  9. Steven D. Hales (2010). No Time Travel for Presentists. Logos and Episteme 1 (2):353-360.
    In the present paper, I offer a new argument to show that presentism about time is incompatible with time travel. Time travel requires leaving the present, which, under presentism, contains all of reality. Therefore to leave the present moment is to leave reality entirely; i.e. to go out of existence. Presentist “time travel” is therefore best seen as a form of suicide, not as a mode of transportation. Eternalists about time do not face the same difficulty, and time travel is (...)
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  10. Steven D. Hales (2009). A Call to the Women's Center. Think 22 (8):25-28.
    ‘Hello, this is the Women’s Center, may I help you?’ ‘Yeah, uh, hi. I don’t really know if I should be calling you, but a friend of mine told me to call. She thought it was a good idea.’ ‘Sure. Let me ask before we go on – are you in a safe place to talk? Are you in any immediate danger?’ ‘I think I can talk. I dunno, I guess I’m not sure. I mean, I don’t think he’s here (...)
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  11. Steven D. Hales (2009). Moral Relativism and Evolutionary Psychology. Synthese 166 (2):431 - 447.
    I argue that evolutionary strategies of kin selection and game-theoretic reciprocity are apt to generate agent-centered and agent- neutral moral intuitions, respectively. Such intuitions are the building blocks of moral theories, resulting in a fundamental schism between agent-centered theories on the one hand and agent-neutral theories on the other. An agent-neutral moral theory is one according to which everyone has the same duties and moral aims, no matter what their personal interests or interpersonal relationships. Agent-centered moral theories deny this and (...)
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  12. Steven D. Hales (2009). What to Do About Incommensurable Doxastic Perspectives. Philosophia Christi 11 (1):209-214.
    The present paper is a response to the criticisms that Mark McLeod-Harrison makes of my book Relativism and the Foundations of Philosophy. If secular, intuition-driven rationalist philosophy yields a belief that p, and Christian, revelation-driven epistemic methods yield a belief that not-p, what should we do? Following Alston, McLeod-Harrison argues that Christian philosophers need do nothing, and remains confident that their way is the best. I argue that this is a serious epistemic mistake, and that relativism about philosophical propositions is (...)
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  13. Otasio Bueno, Henry Jackman, Jonathan M. Weinberg & Steven D. Hales (2008). Book Symposium: Steven D. Hales, Relativism and the Foundations of Philosophy (Mit Press, 2006). International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (2).
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  14. Steven D. Hales (2008). A Proof of the Existence of Fairies. Think 16:45 - 48.
    A modest satire on Kant’s moral argument for the existence of God, using Richard Dawkins’s ’The God Delusion’as a jumping-off point. It is written from the first-person perspective of a garden fairy at Kew Gardens.
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  15. Steven D. Hales (2008). A Relativist's Rejoinder. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (2):271 – 278.
    This article is my author's response in a book symposium on my book Relativism and the Foundations of Philosophy. I reply to criticisms raised by Otavio Bueno, Henry Jackman, and Jonathan Weinberg.
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  16. Steven D. Hales (2008). Review of Hans-Johann Glock, What is Analytic Philosophy?. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (10).
  17. Steven D. Hales (2008). What Philosophy Can Tell You About Your Dog. Open Court.
    Do dogs live in the same world as humans? Is it wrong to think dogs have personalities and emotions? What are dogs thinking and what’s the nature of canine wisdom? This is a book for thoughtful dog-lovers who want to explore the deeper issues raised by dogs and their relationships with humans. Twenty philosophers and dog-lovers reveal their experiences with dogs and give their insights on dog-related themes of metaphysics and ethics.
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  18. Steven D. Hales (ed.) (2008). What Philosophy Can Tell You About Your Cat. Open Court.
    What ethical obligations do people have to cats? Are cats more rational than humans? What can cats teach humans about evolutionary psychology? In this fascinating collection of articles, 18 philosophers try to answer these questions and more as they explore the majesty, mystique, and mystery of the cat. They reveal surprising insights into the feline mind and world and offer delightful anecdotes of cats they have known.
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  19. Steven D. Hales (ed.) (2007). Beer & Philosophy: The Unexamined Beer Isn't Worth Drinking. Blackwell Pub..
    A beer-lovers' book which playfully examines a myriad of philosophical concerns related to beer consumption. Effectively demonstrates how real philosophical issues exist just below the surface of our everyday activities Divided into four sections: The Art of the Beer; The Ethics of Beer: Pleasures, Freedom, and Character; The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Beer; and Beer in the History of Philosophy Uses the context of beer to expose George Berkeley’s views on fermented beverages as a medical cure; to inspect Immanuel Kant’s (...)
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  20. Steven D. Hales (2007). Mill V. Miller, or Higher and Lower Pleasures. In Steven Hales (ed.), Beer & Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell.
    I offer an interpretation of John Stuart Mill's theory of higher and lower pleasures in his Utilitarianism. I argue that the quality of pleasure is best understood as the density of pleasure per unit of delivery. Mill is illustrated with numerous beer examples.
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  21. Steven D. Hales (ed.) (2007). Beer and Philosophy. Blackwell.
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  22. Steven D. Hales & Timothy A. Johnson (2007). Time for Change. Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):497-513.
    Metaphysical theories of change incorporate substantive commitments to theories of persistence. The two most prominent classes of such theories are endurantism and perdurantism. Defenders of endurance-style accounts of change, such as Klein, Hinchliff, and Oderberg, do so through appeal to a priori intuitions about change. We argue that this methodology is understandable but mistaken—an adequate metaphysics of change must accommodate all experiences of change, not merely intuitions about a limited variety of cases. Once we examine additional experiences of change, particularly (...)
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  23. Steven D. Hales (2006). Relativism and the Foundations of Philosophy. MIT Press.
  24. Steven D. Hales (2006). Why the U.S. Is Not the Best Country in the World. The Good Society 15 (2):35-40.
    In this article I consider the common claim that the United States is the best country in the world. I examine the factors of freedom, literacy, health, happiness, and wealth, and conclude that the U.S. is 13th best, and that actually Norway is the best country in the world.
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  25. Steven D. Hales (2005). A Trilemma for Philosophical Knowledge. In Rene van Woudenberg, Sabine Roeser & Ron Rood (eds.), Basic Belief and Basic Knowledge. Ontos-Verlag. 4--131.
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  26. Steven D. Hales (2005). Thinking Tools: You Can Prove a Negative. Think 4 (10):109-112.
    Thinking Tools is a regular feature that introduces tips and pointers on thinking clearly and rigorously.
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  27. Steven D. Hales (2004). Intuition, Revelation, and Relativism. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 12 (3):271 – 295.
    This paper defends the view that philosophical propositions are merely relatively true, i.e. true relative to a doxastic perspective defined at least in part by a non-inferential belief-acquiring method. Here is the strategy: first, the primary way that contemporary philosophers defend their views is through the use of rational intuition, and this method delivers non-inferential, basic beliefs which are then systematized and brought into reflective equilibrium. Second, Christian theologians use exactly the same methodology, only replacing intuition with revelation. Third, intuition (...)
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  28. Steven D. Hales & Timothy A. Johnson (2003). Endurantism, Perdurantism and Special Relativity. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):524–539.
    There are two main theories about the persistence of objects through time: endurantism and perdurantism. Endurantists hold that objects are three-dimensional, have only spatial parts, and wholly exist at each moment of their existence. Perdurantists hold that objects are four-dimensional, have temporal parts, and only partly exist at each moment of their existence. In this paper we argue that endurantism is poorly suited to describe the persistence of objects in a world governed by Special Relativity, and can accommodate a relativistic (...)
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  29. Steven D. Hales (2001). Evidence and the Afterlife. Philosophia 28 (1-4):335-346.
    Several prominent philosophers, including A.J. Ayer and Derek Parfit, have offered the evidentiary requirements for believing human personality can reincarnate, and hence that Cartesian dualism is true. At least one philosopher, Robert Almeder, has argued that there are actual cases which satisfy these requirements. I argue in this paper that even if we grant the empirical data-a large concession-belief in reincarnation is still unjustified. The problem is that without a theoretical account of the alleged cases of reincarnation, the empirical evidence (...)
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  30. Steven D. Hales (2001). Lynch's Metaphysical Pluralism. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (3):699–709.
  31. Steven D. Hales (2001). Review: Lynch's Metaphysical Pluralism. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (3):699 - 709.
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  32. Steven D. Hales (2001). Reincarnation Redux. Philosophia 28 (1-4):359-367.
    This paper is a rejoinder to Robert Almeder's "On Reincarnation: A Reply to Hales". I argue that even if we stipulate the case studies of the reincarnationists to be good data, the explanatory hypothesis of reincarnation is a deus ex machina. Without a comprehensive scientific or philosophical theory of the mind that embeds the reincarnation hypothesis, the view should not be taken seriously. The fact that reincarnation is the first explanation of the case studies that comes to mind says more (...)
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  33. Steven D. Hales (2000). Recent Work on Nietzsche. American Philosophical Quarterly 37 (4):313-333.
    This paper is an overview of the anglophone Nietzsche scholarship of the last 20 years. There are two types of debates raging in Nietzsche scholarship: interpretive disputes over conceptual and philosophical issues arising out of Nietzsche's work, and metainterpretive wrangling over how the philosophical issues should be approached and how Nietzsche's unpublished writings ought to be considered. In the former category, four prominent Nietzschean themes are examined: perspectivism; systematicity, rationality and logic; the revaluation of values; and the self. In the (...)
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  34. Steven D. Hales (2000). The Problem of Intuition. American Philosophical Quarterly 37 (2):135-147.
    Traditional philosophy relies heavily on the use of rational intuition to establish theses and conclusions. This essay takes up the matter of intuition and argues for a stunning conclusion: appeal to rational intuition is epistemically justified only if a form of foundationalism is true. This type of foundationalism is the thesis that there is at least one proposition whose justification depends on nothing other than itself. The article also argues that unless we can establish that some intuitions are justified, philosophy (...)
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  35. Steven D. Hales & Rex Welshon (2000). Nietzsche's Perspectivism. University of Illinois Press.
    In "Nietzsche's Perspectivism", Steven Hales and Rex Welshon offer an analytic approach to Nietzsche's important idea that truth is perspectival. Drawing on Nietzsche's entire published corpus, along with manuscripts he never saw to press, they assess the different perspectivisms at work in Nietzsche's views with regard to truth, logic, causality, knowledge, consciousness, and the self. They also examine Nietzsche's perspectivist ontology of power and the attendant claims that substances and subjects are illusory while forces and alliances of power constitute the (...)
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  36. Steven D. Hales (1999). An Epistemologist Looks at the Hot Hand in Sports. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 26 (1):79-87.
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  37. Steven D. Hales & Rex Welshon (1999). Nietzsche, Perspectivism, and Mental Health. Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology 6 (3):173-177.
    This paper is a response to Ronald Lehrer's "Perspectivism and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy". Lehrer treats Nietzsche as promoting only a modest perspectivism according to which different cognitive strategies triangulate the truth. We argue that Nietzsche's perspectivism is much more radical, and defensible, than Lehrer admits. We also suggest that Nietzsche's bundle theory of the self has important implications for psychotherapy and the concept of mental health. According to this theory, the self is an aggregate of ever-changing drives and affects. The conditions (...)
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  38. Steven D. Hales (1997). A Consistent Relativism. Mind 106 (421):33-52.
    Relativism is one of the most tenacious theories about truth, with a pedigree as old as philosophy itself. Nearly as ancient is the chief criticism of relativism, namely the charge that the theory is self-refuting. This paper develops a logic of relativism that (1) illuminates the classic self-refutation charge and shows how to escape it; (2) makes rigorous the ideas of truth as relative and truth as absolute, and shows the relations between them; (3) develops an intensional logic for relativism; (...)
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  39. Steven D. Hales (1997). Reply to Shogenji on Relativism. Mind 106 (424):749-750.
    In this note I rebut the criticisms Professor Shogenji makes of the analysis of absolute and relative truth I originally presented in "A Consistent Relativism.".
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  40. Steven D. Hales (1996). Abortion and Fathers' Rights. In Robert Almeder & James Humber (eds.), Biomedical Ethics Reviews: Reproduction, Technology, and Rights. 101-119.
    Fathers do not have an absolute obligation to provide for the welfare of their children. If mothers have the right to opt out of future duties towards their children by deciding to have an abortion instead, fathers too should be considered to have the right to avoid similar future duties. I also argue that fathers should be granted a mechanism by which they can exercise such a right. The discussion is initially motivated by showing an apparent inconsistency among three widely (...)
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  41. Steven D. Hales (1996). Nietzsche on Logic. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (4):819-835.
    Nietzsche is infamous for denouncing logic, but despite the importance of logic in contemporary philosophy, there has been very little scholarly attention paid to his criticisms. This paper argues that Nietzsche's antilogic polemics are directed against semantics, which he regards as being committed to a realist metaphysics. It is this metaphysical realism that Nietzsche abhors, not logical syntax or proof theory. Nietzsche is also at pains to critique logicians who naively accept realist semantics. Other interpreters who cast Nietzsche as a (...)
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  42. Steven D. Hales (1995). Epistemic Closure Principles. Southern Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):185-202.
    This paper evaluates a number of closure principles (for both knowledge and justification) that have appeared in the literature. Counterexamples are presented to all but one of these principles, which is conceded to be true but trivially so. It is argued that a consequence of the failure of these closure principles is that certain projects of doxastic logic are doomed, and that doxastic logic is of dubious merit for epistemologists interested in actual knowers in the actual world.
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  43. Steven D. Hales (1995). The Impossibility of Unconditional Love. Public Affairs Quarterly 9 (4):317-320.
    There are two main ways to understand unconditional love. I argue that one is impossible (i.e., no one could love that way) and the other is probably irrational. This has important consequences in a variety of domains. Social policies have been derided on the grounds that they undermine unconditional love, and it has been called "possibly the most valuable aspect of the Christian tradition". The works of Robert Nozick, Elizabeth Anderson, and Richard Taylor on this topic are examined and criticized.
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  44. Steven D. Hales (1995). Was Nietzsche a Consequentialist? International Studies in Philosophy 27 (3):25-34.
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  45. Steven D. Hales (1994). Certainty and Phenomenal States. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (1):57-72.
    If we agree, along with Arnauld, Berkeley, Descartes, Hume, Leibniz, and others that our occurrent phenomenal states serve as sources of epistemic certainty for us, we need some explanation of this fact. Many contemporary writers, most notably Roderick Chisholm, maintain that there is something special about the phenomenal states themselves that allows our certain knowledge of them. I argue that Chisholm's view is both wrong and irreparable, and that the capacity of humans to know these states with certainty has to (...)
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  46. Steven D. Hales (1994). Self-Deception and Belief Attribution. Synthese 101 (2):273-289.
    One of the most common views about self-deception ascribes contradictory beliefs to the self-deceiver. In this paper it is argued that this view (the contradiction strategy) is inconsistent with plausible common-sense principles of belief attribution. Other dubious assumptions made by contradiction strategists are also examined. It is concluded that the contradiction strategy is an inadequate account of self-deception. Two other well-known views — those of Robert Audi and Alfred Mele — are investigated and found wanting. A new theory of self-deception (...)
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  47. Steven D. Hales & Jonathan L. Kvanvig (1994). The Intellectual Virtues and the Life of the Mind. Philosophical Quarterly 44 (175):254.
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  48. Steven D. Hales & Rex Welshon (1994). Truth, Paradox, and Nietzschean Perspectivism. History of Philosophy Quarterly 11 (1):101-119.
    We argue that Nietzsche's interest in truth is more than merely a critical one. He criticizes one historically prominent conception of truth while proposing his own theory, called "perspectivism". However, Nietzsche's truth perspectivism appears to face a self-referential paradox, which is explored in detail. We argue that no commentator has yet solved this puzzle, and then provide our own solution. This solution, which depends upon distinguishing between weak and strong perspectivism while promoting the former, supplies Nietzsche with a consistent truth (...)
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  49. Steven D. Hales & Robert C. Welshon (1994). Truth, Paradox, and Nietzschean Perspectivism. History of Philosophy Quarterly 11 (1):101 - 119.
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