In this paper we raise three questions of clarification about Alfred Mele's fine recent book, Free Will and Luck. Our questions concern the following topics: (i) Mele's combination of 'luck' and 'Frankfurt-style' objections to libertarianism, (ii) Mele's stipulations about 'compatibilism' and the relation between questions about free action and questions about moral responsibility, and (iii) Mele's treatment of the Consequence Argument.
The question of whether externalism about mental content is compatible with privileged access is a question of ongoing concern within philosophy of mind. Some philosophers think that Tyler Burge's early work on what he calls "basic self-knowledge" shows that externalism and privileged access are compatible. I critically assess this claim, arguing that Burge's work does not establish the compatbility thesis.
Recently, new life has been breathed into the ancient philosophical topic of skepticism. The subject of some of the best and most provocative work in contemporary philosophy, skepticism has been addressed not only by top epistemologists but also by several of the world's finest philosophers who are most known for their work in other areas of the discipline. Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader brings together the most important recent contributions to the discussion of skepticism. Covering major approaches to the skeptical problem, (...) it features essays by Anthony Brueckner, Keith DeRose, Fred Dretske, Graeme Forbes, Christopher Hill, David Lewis, Thomas Nagel, Robert Nozick, Hilary Putnam, Ernest Sosa, Gail Stine, Barry Stroud, Peter Unger, and Ted Warfield. The book opens with a thorough introduction that outlines the skeptical problem, explains the dominant responses to skepticism, and discusses the strengths, weaknesses, and unresolved issues of each response, providing undergraduate students and nonphilosophers with the background and context necessary to understand the essays. Skepticism: A Contemporary Reader serves as an ideal text for courses in epistemology and skepticism and will also appeal to professional philosophers and interested general readers. (shrink)
The logical fatalist holds that the past truth of future tense propositions is incompatible with libertarian freedom. The theological fatalist holds that the combination of God’s past beliefs with His essential omniscience is incompatible with libertarian freedom. There is an ongoing dispute over the relation between these two kinds of fatalism: some philosophers believe that the problems are equivalent while others believe that the theological problem is more difficult. We offer a diagnosis of this dispute showing that one’s view of (...) the modal status of God’s existence and God’s rdation to free creatures should determine one’s position on the relation between the two fatalisms. (shrink)
Many critics of libertarian freedom have charged that freedom is incompatible with indeterminism. We show that the strongest argument that has been provided for this claim is invalid. The invalidity of the argument in question, however, implies the invalidity of the standard Consequence argument for the incompatibility of freedom and determinism. We show how to repair the Consequence argument and argue that no similar improvement will revive the worry about the compatibility of indeterminism and freedom.
In a recent article in this journal (Adams and Aizawa 1992), Fred Adams and Ken Aizawa argued that Jerry Fodor's proposed naturalistic sufficient condition for meaning is unsatisfactory. In this paper, I respond to Adams and Aizawa, noting that (1) they have overestimated the importance of their “pathologies” objection, perhaps as a consequence of misunderstanding Fodor's asymmetric dependency condition, (2) they have misunderstood Fodor's asymmetric dependency condition in formulating their Twin Earth objection, and (3) they have, in addition to under (...) describing their “clear counterexample” to Fodor's proposal, in fact identified a satisfactory Fodorian rejoiner to their objection. I conclude that Fodor's proposal is, for all Adams and Aizawa have shown, adequate as a naturalistic theory of content. (shrink)
I argue that externalism about mental content is consistent with the thesis that individuals need not investigate their environment to come to know the contents of their thoughts. In particular, externalism is consistent with the thesis that we come to know the contents of our thoughts on the basis of introspection.