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Profile: Tomis Kapitan (Northern Illinois University)
  1. Tomis Kapitan (2002). A Master Argument for Incompatibilism? In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press 127--157.
    The past 25 years have witnessed a vigorous discussion of an argument directed against the compatibilist approach to free will and responsibility. This reasoning, variously called the “consequence argument,” the “incompatibility argument,” and the “unavoidability argument,” may be expressed informally as follows: If determinism is true then whatever happens is a consequence of past events and laws over which we have no control and which we are unable to prevent. But whatever is a consequence of what’s beyond our control is (...)
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  2.  12
    H. N. Castaneda, J. G. Hart & T. Kapitan (eds.) (1999). The Phenomeno-Logic of the I: Essays on Self-Consciousness. Indiana University Press.
    This unique volume will appeal to those interested in the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence as well as students of Castaneda and Latin American philosophy.
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  3.  56
    Tomis Kapitan (2000). Autonomy and Manipulated Freedom. Philosopical Perspectives 14 (s14):81-104.
    In recent years, compatibilism has been the target of two powerful challenges. According to the consequence argument, if everything we do and think is a consequence of factors beyond our control (past events and the laws of nature), and the consequences of what is beyond our control are themselves beyond our control, then no one has control over what they do or think and no one is responsible for anything. Hence, determinism rules out responsibility. A different challenge--here called the manipulation (...)
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  4.  58
    Tomis Kapitan (1990). Action, Uncertainty, and Divine Impotence. Analysis 50 (2):127 - 133.
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  5.  60
    Tomis Kapitan (1986). Deliberation and the Presumption of Open Alternatives. Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (April):230-51.
    By deliberation we understand practical reasoning with an end in view of choosing some course of action. Integral to it is the agent's sense of alternative possibilities, that is, of two or more courses of action he presumes are open for him to undertake or not. Such acts may not actually be open in the sense that the deliberator would do them were he to so intend, but it is evident that he assumes each to be so. One deliberates only (...)
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  6.  53
    Tomis Kapitan (1991). Agency and Omniscience. Religious Studies 27 (1):105-120.
    It is said that faith in a divine agent is partly an attitude of trust; believers typically find assurance in the conception of a divine being's will, and cherish confidence in its capacity to implement its intentions and plans. Yet, there would be little point in trusting in the will of any being without assuming its ability to both act and know, and perhaps it is only by assuming divine omniscience that one can retain the confidence in the efficacy and (...)
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  7.  3
    Tomis Kapitan (1996). Direct Reference. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (4):953-956.
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  8.  4
    Tomis Kapitan (2009). Evaluating Religion. In Jonathan L. Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion: Volume 2. OUP Oxford
    This paper examines the nature of religion. A definition of religion is proposed, and a major rival interpretation -- that of John Hick -- is examined and rejected. It is then explained how religions can be evaluated.
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  9.  32
    Tomis Kapitan (1992). Peirce and the Autonomy of Abductive Reasoning. Erkenntnis 37 (1):1 - 26.
    Essential to Peirce's distinction among three kinds of reasoning, deduction, induction and abduction, is the claim that each is correlated to a unique species of validity irreducible to that of the others. In particular, abductive validity cannot be analyzed in either deductive or inductive terms, a consequence of considerable importance for the logical and epistemological scrutiny of scientific methods. But when the full structure of abductive argumentation — as viewed by the mature Peirce — is clarified, every inferential step in (...)
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  10.  4
    T. Kapitan (1996). Incompatibilism and Ambiguity in the Practical Modalities. Analysis 56 (2):102-110.
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  11.  86
    Tomis Kapitan (1996). Incompatibilism and Ambiguity in the Practical Modalities. Analysis 56 (2):102-110.
  12. Tomis Kapitan (2003). The Terrorism of 'Terrorism'. In James Sterba (ed.), Terrorism and International Justice. Oxford University Press 47--66.
     
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  13.  4
    T. Kapitan (1992). I and You, He* and She. Analysis 52 (2):125-128.
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  14.  59
    Tomis Kapitan (1991). Ability and Cognition: A Defense of Compatibilism. Philosophical Studies 63 (August):231-43.
    The use of predicate and sentential operators to express the practical modalities -- ability, control, openness, etc. -- has given new life to a fatalistic argument against determinist theories of responsible agency. A familiar version employs the following principle: the consequences of what is unavoidable (beyond one's control) are themselves unavoidable. Accordingly, if determinism is true, whatever happens is the consequence of events in the remote past, or, of such events together with the laws of nature. But laws and the (...)
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  15.  29
    Tomis Kapitan (2006). Self-Determination and International Order. The Monist 89 (2):356-370.
  16.  83
    Tomis Kapitan (1999). The Ubiquity of Self-Awareness. Grazer Philosophische Studien 57:17-43.
    Two claims have been prominent in recent discussion of self-consciousness. One is that first-person reference or first-person thinking is irreducible {Irreducibility Thesis), and the other is that awareness of self accompanies at least all those conscious states through which one refers to something. The latter {Ubiquity Thesis) has long been associated with philosophers like Fichte, Brentano and Sartre, but recently variants have been defended by D. Henrich and M. Frank. Facing criticism from three arguments which nevertheless cannot decisively refute the (...)
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  17.  19
    Tomis Kapitan (1990). In What Way Is Abductive Inference Creative? Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 26 (4):499 - 512.
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  18. Tomis Kapitan, On Depicting Indexical Reference.
    According to Hector-Neri Castañeda, indexical reference is our most basic means of identifying the objects and events we experience and think about. Its tokens reveal our own part in the process by denoting what are "referred to as items present in experience" (Castañeda 1981, 285-6). If you hear me say, "Take that box over there and set it next to this box here," you learn something about my orientation towards the referents in a way that is not conveyed by, "Take (...)
     
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  19.  31
    Tomis Kapitan (1996). Modal Principles in the Metaphysics of Free Will. Philosophical Perspectives 10:419-45.
    Discussions of free will have frequently centered on principles concerning ability, control, unavoidability and other practical modalities. Some assert the closure of the latter over various propositional operations and relations, for example, that the consequences of what is beyond one's control are themselves beyond one's control.1 This principle has been featured in the unavoidability argument for incompatibilism: if everything we do is determined by factors which are not under our control, then, by the principle, we are unable to act and (...)
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  20.  40
    Tomis Kapitan (2006). Self-Determination and International Order. The Monist 89 (2):356 - 370.
    Towards the end of the first world war, a “principle of self-determination” was proposed as a foundation for international order. In the words of its chief advocate, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, it specified that the “settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship” is to be made “upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned and not upon the basis of the material interest or advantage (...)
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  21.  1
    Tomis Kapitan (1994). The Incompatibility of Omniscience and Intentional Action: A Reply to David P. Hunt: Tomis Kapitan. Religious Studies 30 (1):55-66.
    In ‘Omniprescient Agency’ David P. Hunt challenges an argument against the possibility of an omniscient agent. The argument – my own in ‘Agency and Omniscience’ – assumes that an agent is a being capable of intentional action, where, minimally, an action is intentional only if it is caused, in part, by the agent's intending. The latter, I claimed, is governed by a psychological principle of ‘least effort’, namely, that no one intends without antecedently feeling that deliberate effort is needed to (...)
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  22.  22
    Tomis Kapitan (1982). On the Concept of Material Consequence. History and Philosophy of Logic 3 (2):193-211.
    Everyday reasoning is replete with arguments which, though not logically valid, nonetheless harbor a measure of credibility in their own right. Here the claim that such arguments force us to acknowledge material validity, in addition to logical validity, is advanced, and criteria that attempt to unpack this concept are examined in detail. Of special concern is the effort to model these criteria on explications of logical validity that rely on notions of substitutivity and logical form. It is argued, however, that (...)
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  23.  57
    Tomis Kapitan, Can Terrorism Be Justified?
    My concern today is with the last of these questions. But, it is virtually impossible to say anything intelligent about this matter unless some effort is made to delineate the phenomenon under scrutiny. So I will begin by addressing the first question, and this requires that something be said about the semantics and pragmatics of the terms, ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist’.
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  24.  36
    T. Kapitan (2011). Free Will as an Open Scientific Problem, by Mark Balaguer. Mind 120 (479):848-852.
  25.  56
    Tomis Kapitan (2006). Indexicality and Self-Awareness. In Uriah Kriegel & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Self-Representational Approaches to Consciousness. MIT Press 379--408.
    Self-awareness is commonly expressed by means of indexical expressions, primarily, first- person pronouns like.
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  26.  13
    Tomis Kapitan (1994). The Incompatibility of Omniscience and Intentional Action: A Reply to David P. Hunt. Religious Studies 30 (1):55 - 66.
    In "Omniprescient Agency" (Religious Studies 28, 1992) David P. Hunt challenges an argument against the possibility of an omniscient agent. The argument—my own in "Agency and Omniscience" (Religious Studies 27, 1991)—assumes that an agent is a being capable of intentional action, where, minimally, an action is intentional only if it is caused, in part, by the agent's intending. The latter, I claimed, is governed by a psychological principle of "least effort," viz., that no one intends without antecedently feeling that (i) (...)
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  27.  9
    Tomis Kapitan (1985). Reliability and Indirect Justification. The Monist 68 (2):277-287.
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  28.  27
    Tomis Kapitan (1997). Acting and the Open Future: A Brief Rejoinder to David Hunt. Religious Studies 33 (3):287-292.
    I have argued that since (i) intentional agency requires intention-acquisition, (ii) intentionacquisition implies a sense of an open future, and (iii) a sense of an open future is incompatible with complete foreknowledge, then (iv) no agent can be omniscient. Alternatively, an omniscient being is omniimpotent.i David Hunt continues to oppose this reasoning, most recently, in Religious Studies 32 (March 1996). It is increasingly clear that the debate turns on larger issues concerning necessity and knowledge, but let me here offer a (...)
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  29.  12
    Tomis Kapitan (2007). Sohail H. Hashmi and Stephen Lee: Ethics and Weapons of Mass Destruction. Faith and Philosophy 24 (1):109-112.
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  30.  17
    Tomis Kapitan (1989). Doxastic Freedom: A Compatibilist Alternative. American Philosophical Quarterlly 26 (1):31-41.
  31. How Powerful Are We & Tomis Kapitän (1991). Against Supererogation, SUSAN C. HALE. American Philosophical Quarterly 28 (4).
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  32.  39
    Tomis Kapitan (2001). Indexical Identification: A Perspectival Account. Philosophical Psychology 14 (3):293 – 312.
    It is widely agreed that the references of indexical expressions are fixed partly by their relations to contextual parameters such as the author, time, and place of the utterance. Because of this, indexicals are sometimes described as token-reflexive or utterance-reflexive in their semantics. But when we inquire into how indexicals help us to identify items within experience, we find that while utterance-reflexivity is essential to an interpretation of indexical tokens, it is not a factor in a speaker's identificatory use of (...)
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  33.  2
    Tomis Kapitan (2015). Tough Choices Still. Religious Studies 51 (3):421-429.
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  34. Tomis Kapitan, Time, Necessity, and Ability.
    I will discuss the so-called “Master Argument” attributed to Diodorus Cronos in the light of some contemporary speculations on indexicals. In one version, this argument goes as follows: Premise 1. The past, relative to any time t, is necessary. Premise 2. The impossible cannot follow from the possible. Therefore.
     
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  35. Tomis Kapitan (2007). The Phenomenology of Freedom. Journal of Mind and Behavior 28 (3/4):189.
    John Searle describes our sense of freedom as an experience of a “gap” between an intentional action and its psychological antecedents, specifically, our reasons.. Since the gap is itself understood as a lack of causation, then no agent can accept the antecedent determination of voluntary action except at the price of “practical inconsistency.” I argue that despite Searle’s insightful discussion, the sense of freedom is not an experience of a gap as he describes it but, instead, is a higher-order attitude (...)
     
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  36.  30
    Tomis Kapitan, Terror.
    Any intelligent discussion of terrorism must demarcate its subject matter, for the term ‘terrorism’ is differently understood and where there is no accord on its meaning there is little chance for agreement on its application or normative status. The best course is to sketch a morally neutral definition that classifies as ‘terrorist’ as many widely-agreed upon cases as possible. Definitions that explicitly render terrorism illegitimate make classification contentious, and it is more informative to base moral assessment on an examination of (...)
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  37. Thomas Kapitan (1999). Free Will Problem. In Robert Audi (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy. Cambridge University Press
     
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  38.  12
    Tomis Kapitan (1984). Can God Make Up His Mind? International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 15 (1/2):37 - 47.
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  39.  28
    Tomis Kapitan (1999). Quasi-Indexical Attitudes. Sorites 11:24-40.
    Indexicals are inevitably autobiographical, even when we are not talking about ourselves. For example, if you hear me say, "That portrait right there is beautiful," you can surmise not only that I ascribe beauty to an object of my immediate awareness but also something about my spatial relation to it. Again, if I praise you directly within earshot of others by using the words, "You did that very well!," my concern need not be to cause them to think the exact (...)
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  40.  24
    Tomis Kapitan, Self-Determination.
    Disputes over territory are among the most contentious in human affairs. Throughout the world, societies view control over land and resources as necessary to ensure their survival and to further their particular life-style, and the very passion with which claims over a region are asserted and defended suggests that difficult normative issues lurk nearby. Questions about rights to territory vary. It is one thing to ask who owns a particular parcel of land, another who has the right to reside within (...)
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  41.  14
    T. Kapitan (2002). Oratio Obliqua, Oratio Recta: An Essay on Metarepresentation. Philosophical Review 111 (3):459-462.
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  42. Tomis Kapitan, A Brief Dialogue on the Desirability of Immortality.
    Adrian. In the Apology, Socrates said that since death involves one of two alternatives, either nonexistence or transition to a better place, then it is not to be feared. Now I think he was absolutely wrong about this for the simple reason that non-existence is a frightful alternative. For those of us who love life, who want to continue living—and admittedly, that's most people in the world—the prospect of ceasing to exist is a cause of legitimate fear.
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  43.  25
    Tomis Kapitan, Reason and Flexibility in Islam.
    The role of reason, and its embodiment in philosophical-scientific theorizing, is always a troubling one for religious traditions. The deep emotional needs that religion strives to satisfy seem ever linked to an attitudes of acceptance, belief, or trust, yet, in its theoretical employment, reason functions as a critic as much as it does a creator, and in the special fields of metaphysics and epistemology its critical arrows are sometimes aimed at long-standing cherished beliefs. Understandably, the mere approach to these beliefs (...)
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  44.  23
    Tomis Kapitan (1992). I and You, He and She. Analysis 52 (2):125 - 128.
    In 'You and She*' (ANALYSIS 51.3, June 1991) C.J.F. Williams notes the importance of reflexive pronouns in attributions of propositional attitudes, and claims to improve upon an earlier account of Hector-Neri Castaneda's in [1]. However, to the extent which his remarks are accurate, they reveal nothing that Castaneda hasn't already said, while insofar as they are new, they obliterate distinctions vital to Castaneda's theory. Castaneda called these pronouns quasi-indicators and noted that they function as linguistic devices used for attributing indexical (...)
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  45.  20
    Tomis Kapitan (1976). Perfection and Modality: Charles Hartshorne's Ontological Proof. [REVIEW] International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (2):379 - 385.
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  46.  2
    Tomis Kapitan (1976). Books in Review. International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (2):386.
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  47.  16
    Tomis Kapitan, Europe's Responsibility.
    My topic today is Europe’s responsibility for the creation and resolution the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one of the most bitter and explosive political struggles in the world today. In the past 60 years, it has consumed thousands of lives, billions of dollars, and endless hours of debate. It is not localized; it is at the heart of on-going tensions between the West and the Islamic world, and it is directly related to the current American aggression in southern Asia. The fate of (...)
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  48.  19
    Tomis Kapitan (1985). Lucey's Agnosticism: The Believer's Reply. [REVIEW] International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 18 (1/2):87 - 90.
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  49.  16
    Tomis Kapitan (1995). Intentions and Self-Referential Content. Philosophical Papers 24 (3):151-166.
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  50.  10
    Tomis Kapitan (1989). Devine on Defining Religion. Faith and Philosophy 6 (2):207-214.
    Philip E. Devine has presented insightful proposals for defining religion in his essay “On the Definition of Religion” (Faith and Philosophy, July 1986). But despite his illuminating discussion, particularly the treatment of borderline cases, his account fails to distinguish religion as a process or goal-oriented activity from religion as a body of doctrine, and is mistaken (or perhaps unclear) in its proposal that religion per se is committed to the existence of superhuman agents. These deficiencies are exposed herein, and a (...)
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