Search results for 'Wilfgang Huemer' (try it on Scholar)

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  1. Michael Huemer (2002). Is Benevolent Egoism Coherent? Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 3 (2):259 - 288.score: 60.0
    Michael Huemer argues that there is a tension between two principles putatively essential to Rand's ethics: the principle of egoism, which states that the only reason for doing (or not doing) anything is that it will serve (or frustrate) one's own interests; and the principle that one must not sacrifice others. Huemer considers several arguments that Rand offers for the second principle but finds that each involves either implausible empirical assumptions or assumptions that conflict with egoism. Huemer (...)
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  2. Michael Huemer (ed.) (2002). Epistemology: Contemporary Readings. Routledge.score: 60.0
    This comprehensive anthology draws together classic and contemporary readings by leading philosophers on epistemology. Ideal for any philosophy student, it will prove essential reading for epistemology courses, and is designed to complement Robert Audi's textbook Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge, 1998). Themes covered include, perception, memory, inductive inference, reason and the a priori, the architecture of knowledge, skepticism, the analysis of knowledge, testimony. Each section begins with an introductory essay, guiding students into the topic. Includes articles by: Russell, Hume, Berkeley, (...)
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  3. Michael Huemer (2007). Reply to Fred Seddon, "Recent Writings on Ethics" (Spring 2007): On Behalf of Ethical Intuitionism. Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 9 (1):181 - 184.score: 60.0
    This is a response by the author of Ethical Intuitionism to criticisms raised by Fred Seddon (Jars, Spring 2007). Among other things, Huemer observes that his attack on ethical reductionism does not depend upon excluding relational properties from consideration at the start; that he does not claim that all philosophers are intuitionists; and that Objectivism is susceptible to the general arguments he discusses against the possibility of deriving an "ought" from an "is".
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  4. Michael Huemer (2004). Rejoinder to Michael Young: Egoism and Prudent Predation. Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 5 (2):457 - 468.score: 60.0
    Huemer responds to Michael Young's argument that an ethical egoist should not embrace prudent predation because accepting a principle of prudent predation has serious negative consequences over and above the consequences of individual predatory acts. In addition, he addresses the advantages Young claims for an agent-relative conception of value over an agent-neutral one. He finds that the agent-relative conception does not clearly have any of the advantages Young names, and that some paradigmatic uses of the concept of value are (...)
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  5. Michael Huemer (2005). Reply to Ari Armstrong's "A Direct Realist's Challenge to Skepticism" (Spring 2004): How to Be a Perceptual Realist. Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 7 (1):229 - 237.score: 60.0
    In response to Ari Armstrong's essay, "A Direct Realist's Challenge to Skepticism," Huemer defends his views on two issues concerning the nature of perception, against the Objectivist position: First, he argues that perceptual experiences have propositional but nonconceptual content; second, he argues that in perceptual illusions, the senses misrepresent their objects. He finds that the Objectivist view that perception cannot misrepresent because it lacks propositional content not only is absurd but opens the door to philosophical skepticism.
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  6. Michael Huemer, The Duty to Disregard the Law.score: 30.0
    In the practice of jury nullification, a jury votes to acquit a defendant in disregard of the factual evidence, on the grounds that a conviction would result in injustice, either because the law itself is unjust or because its application in the particular case would be unjust. The practice is widely condemned by courts, which strenuously attempt to prevent it. Nevertheless, the arguments against jury nullification are surprisingly weak. I argue that, pursuant to the general ethical duty to avoid causing (...)
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  7. Michael Huemer, Is Wealth Redistribution a Rights Violation?score: 30.0
    I argue that taxation for redistributive purposes is a property rights violation, responding to arguments (due to Nagel, Murphy, Sunstein, and Holmes) claiming that individuals lack ownership of their pretax incomes.
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  8. Michael Huemer, Devil’s Advocates: On the Ethics of Unjust Legal Advocacy.score: 30.0
    I argue that it is morally wrong for a lawyer to pursue a legal outcome that he knows to be unjust, such as the acquittal of a guilty client or the triumph of the wrong side in a lawsuit.
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  9. Michael Huemer (2008). Revisionary Intuitionism. Social Philosophy and Policy 25 (1):368-392.score: 30.0
    I argue that, given evidence of the factors that tend to distort our intuitions, ethical intuitionists should disown a wide range of common moral intuitions, and that they should typically give preference to abstract, formal intuitions over more substantive ethical intuitions. In place of the common sense morality with which intuitionism has traditionally allied, the suggested approach may lead to a highly revisionary normative ethics.
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  10. Michael Huemer, A Liberal Realist Answer to Debunking Skepticism: The Empirical Case for Realism.score: 30.0
    Debunking skeptics claim that our moral beliefs are formed by processes unsuited to identifying objective facts, such as emotions inculcated by our genes and culture; therefore, they say, even if there are objective moral facts, we probably don’t know them. I argue that the debunking skeptics cannot explain the pervasive trend toward liberalization of values over human history, and that the best explanation is the realist’s: humanity is becoming increasingly liberal because liberalism is the objectively correct moral stance.
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  11. Michael Huemer (2000). Direct Realism and the Brain-in-a-Vat Argument. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):397-413.score: 30.0
  12. Michael Huemer, A Proof of Free Will.score: 30.0
    The _minimal free will thesis_ (MFT) holds that at least some of the time, someone has more than one course of action that he can perform. (1) This is the least that must be true in order for it to be said that there is free will. It may be disputed whether the truth of MFT is _sufficient_ for us to 'have free will,' (2) but there is no doubt that the main philosophical challenge to the belief in free will (...)
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  13. Michael Huemer (2009). When is Parsimony a Virtue? Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):216-236.score: 30.0
    Parsimony is a virtue of empirical theories. Is it also a virtue of philosophical theories? I review four contemporary accounts of the virtue of parsimony in empirical theorizing, and consider how each might apply to two prominent appeals to parsimony in the philosophical literature, those made on behalf of physicalism and on behalf of nominalism. None of the accounts of the virtue of parsimony extends naturally to either of these philosophical cases. This suggests that in typical philosophical contexts, ontological simplicity (...)
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  14. Michael Huemer (2007). Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.score: 30.0
    I defend the principle of Phenomenal Conservatism, on which appearances of all kinds generate at least some justification for belief. I argue that there is no reason for privileging introspection or intuition over perceptual experience as a source of justified belief; that those who deny Phenomenal Conservatism are in a self-defeating position, in that their view cannot be both true and justified; and that thedemand for a metajustification for Phenomenal Conservatism either is an easily met demand, or is an unfair (...)
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  15. Michael Huemer, Why People Are Irrational About Politics.score: 30.0
    I look for explanations for the phenomenon of widespread, strong, and persistent disagreements about political issues. The best explanation is provided by the hypothesis that most people are irrational about politics and not, for example, that political issues are particularly difficult or that we lack sufficient evidence for resolving them. I discuss how this irrationality works and why people are especially irrational about politics.
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  16. Michael Huemer, Against Equality.score: 30.0
    The form of egalitarianism I am concerned with holds that equality in the distribution of welfare across persons is intrinsically good . In other words, it is good for people to be equally well-off, and bad for some to be better off than others, apart from consideration of any further consequences of such equality or..
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  17. Michael Huemer (2008). In Defence of Repugnance. Mind 117 (468):899-933.score: 30.0
    I defend the 'Repugnant' Conclusion that for any possible population of happy people, a population containing a sufficient number of people with lives barely worth living would be better. Four lines of argument converge on this conclusion, and the conclusion has a simple, natural theoretical explanation. The opposition to the Repugnant Conclusion rests on a bare appeal to intuition. This intuition is open to charges of being influenced by multiple distorting factors. Several theories of population ethics have been devised to (...)
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  18. Michael Huemer (2004). America's Unjust Drug War. In Bill Masters (ed.), The New Prohibition. Accurate Press.score: 30.0
    Should the recreational use of drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and LSD, be prohibited by law? Prohibitionists answer yes. They usually argue that drug use is extremely harmful both to drug users and to society in general, and possibly even immoral, and they believe that these facts provide sufficient reasons for prohibition. Legalizers answer no. They usually give one or more of three arguments: First, some argue that drug use is not as harmful as prohibitionists believe, and even that (...)
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  19. Michael Huemer (2011). Phenomenal Conservatism and Self-Defeat: A Reply to DePoe. Philosophical Studies 156 (1):1-13.score: 30.0
    John DePoe has criticized the self-defeat argument for Phenomenal Conservatism. He argues that acquaintance, rather than appearance, may form the basis for non-inferentially justified beliefs, and that Phenomenal Conservatism conflicts with a central motivation for internalism. I explain how Phenomenal Conservatism and the self-defeat argument may survive these challenges.
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  20. Michael Huemer (2001). Skepticism and the Veil of Perception. Lanham: Rowman &Amp; Littlefield.score: 30.0
    This book develops and defends a version of direct realism: the thesis that perception gives us direct awareness, and non-inferential knowledge, of the external...
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  21. Michael Huemer (2011). Does Probability Theory Refute Coherentism? Journal of Philosophy 108 (1):35-54.score: 30.0
    Recent results in probability theory have cast doubt on the coherence theory of justification, allegedly showing that coherence cannot produce justification for beliefs in the absence of foundational justification, and that there can be no measure of coherence on which coherence is generally truth-conducive. I argue that the coherentist can reject some of the assumptions on which these theorems depend. Coherence can then be held to produce justification on its own, and truth-conducive measures of coherence can be constructed.
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  22. Michael Huemer (2006). Phenomenal Conservatism and the Internalist Intuition. American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (2):147-158.score: 30.0
    Externalist theories of justification create the possibility of cases in which everything appears to one relevantly similar with respect to two propositions, yet one proposition is justified while the other is not. Internalists find this difficult to accept, because it seems irrational in such a case to affirm one proposition and not the other. The underlying internalist intuition supports a specific internalist theory, Phenomenal Conservatism, on which epistemic justification is conferred by appearances.
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  23. Michael Huemer (2007). Epistemic Possibility. Synthese 156 (1):119 - 142.score: 30.0
    Seven proposed accounts of epistemic possibility are criticized, and a new account is proposed, making use of the notion of having justification for dismissing a proposition. The new account explains intuitions about otherwise puzzling cases, upholds plausible general principles about epistemic possibility, and explains the practical import of epistemic modality judgements. It is suggested that judgements about epistemic possibility function to assess which propositions are worthy of further inquiry.
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  24. Michael Huemer, An Examination of Aristotle's Ethics.score: 30.0
    At the beginning of the Nichomachean Ethics , Aristotle announces his intention to discover what is the good, or the chief good (book I, chapter 2). In the rest of the work, however, there follow such a multitude of answers to this question endorsed by Aristotle, that at its conclusion one may understandably wonder what the upshot of Aristotle's ethics was. One might wonder whether the good, as Aristotle saw it, was that at which all things in fact aim (as (...)
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  25. Michael Huemer (2009). Apology of a Modest Intuitionist. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):222-236.score: 30.0
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  26. Michael Huemer, Quantum Mechanics for Philosophers.score: 30.0
    You pass an electron through an inhomogeneous magnetic field (this is produced by a type of magnet, but don’t worry about the details). The field causes the electron to swerve. It is found that all electrons swerve by the same amount, and half of them swerve up, while the other half swerve down. See a video illustration of this.
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  27. Michael Huemer, Why I Am Not an Objectivist.score: 30.0
    3.1. Why logic is a priori. 3.2. Why mathematics is a priori. 3.3. Why ethics is a priori. 3.4. The nature of a priori knowledge - Acquired through the faculty of reason; knowledge of universals. 4. Universals 4.1. What are they? - "universal" & "particular" defined 4.2. The (real) problem of universals - "nominalism" & "realism" defined; why these are the only two possible positions. 4.3. Rand the realist - why Rand must be a realist, whether she knows it or (...)
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  28. Michael Huemer (1999). The Problem of Memory Knowledge. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (4):346–357.score: 30.0
    both the initial justification for adopting it and the justification for retaining it provided by seeming memories. This view captures our intuitions about justification in several cases, while none of the alternative views can.
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  29. Michael Huemer (2000). Van Inwagen's Consequence Argument. Philosophical Review 109 (4):525-544.score: 30.0
    Peter van Inwagen’s argument for incompatibilism uses a sentential operator, “N”, which can be read as “No one has any choice about the fact that . . . .” I show that, given van Inwagen’s understanding of the notion of having a choice, the argument is invalid. However, a different interpretation of “N” can be given, such that the argument is clearly valid, the premises remain highly plausible, and the conclusion implies that free will is incompatible with determinism.
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  30. Michael Huemer (2009). Précis of Ethical Intuitionism. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (1):192-196.score: 30.0
    I summarize the main conclusions of my 2005 book, Ethical Intuitionism, for the book symposium in this issue.
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  31. Michael Huemer, Critique of "the Objectivist Ethics&Quot;.score: 30.0
    The following responds to "The Objectivist Ethics" by Ayn Rand. I assume the reader is familiar with it. I begin with a general overview of what is wrong with it. I follow this with a set of more detailed comments, which make a paragraph-by-paragraph examination of her statements in the essay. The latter also elaborates further some of the points made in the overview.
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  32. Michael Huemer (2013). Epistemological Asymmetries Between Belief and Experience. Philosophical Studies 162 (3):741-748.score: 30.0
  33. Michael Huemer (1997). Probability and Coherence Justification. Southern Journal of Philosophy 35 (4):463-472.score: 30.0
    In The Structure of Empirical Knowledge , Laurence BonJour argues that coherence among a set of empirical beliefs can provide justification for those beliefs, in the sense of rendering them likely to be true. He also repudiates all forms of foundationalism for empirical beliefs, including what he calls "weak foundationalism" (the weakest form of foundationalism he can find). In the following, I will argue that coherence cannot provide any justification for our beliefs in the manner BonJour suggests unless some form (...)
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  34. Michael Huemer (2001). The Problem of Defeasible Justification. Erkenntnis 54 (3):375-397.score: 30.0
    The problem of induction and the problem of Cartesian/brain-in-the-vat skepticism have much in common. Both are instances of a general problem of defeasible justification . I use the term "defeasible justification" to refer to a relation between a piece of evidence.
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  35. Michael Huemer (2011). The Puzzle of Metacoherence. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):1-21.score: 30.0
    Moore’s paradox supports the principle of “metacoherence”, i.e., that if one categorically believes that P, one is committed to accepting that one knows that P. The principle raises puzzles about how, when one has justification for P, one also has justification for the claim that one knows P. I reject a skeptical answer as well as a bootstrapping answer, and I suggest that we typically have independent justification for the claim that we know P.
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  36. Michael Huemer, Reason, Objectivity, and Goodness.score: 30.0
    This paper will focus on my conception of the nature of morality, which I call intuitionism. My conception is inspired in large part by earlier intuitionists (Moore, Ross, and Prichard), though I do not claim they would all agree exactly with everything I say.
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  37. Michael Huemer, Student Evaluations: A Critical Review.score: 30.0
    Informal student evaluations of faculty were started in the 1960's by enterprising college students.(1) Since then, their use has spread so that now they are administered in almost all American colleges and universities and are probably the main source of information used for evaluating faculty teaching performance.(2) There is an enormous literature on the subject of student evaluations of faculty (SEF).(3) The following is a summary of some developments in that literature that should be of special interest to faculty, with (...)
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  38. Michael Huemer, The Objectivist Theory of Free Will.score: 30.0
    Imagine we are at a murder trial. Randy Smith is accused of killing his Aunt Millie. The defense admits that on the night of the murder, Smith had an argument with his Aunt, that he took a pistol out of his jacket and shot her. She died of the gunshot wound. Smith knew that the gun was loaded, that Millie was directly in front of it, and that he was pulling the trigger. He was not insane at the time, there (...)
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  39. Michael Huemer, A Guide to Writing.score: 30.0
    This is not a comprehensive style guide; rather, it focuses on the most common problems I have found in student writing. Sections A and B give general tips on how to write a paper (esp. a philosophy paper). Sections C-F list common errors.
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  40. Michael Huemer (2009). A Paradox for Weak Deontology. Utilitas 21 (4):464-477.score: 30.0
    Deontological ethicists generally agree that there is a way of harming others such that it is wrong to harm others in that way for the sake of producing a comparable but greater benefit for others. Given plausible assumptions about this type of harm, this principle yields the paradoxical result that it may be wrong to do A, wrong to do B, but permissible to do (A and B).
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  41. Michael Huemer (2003). Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Social Theory and Practice 29 (2):297-324.score: 30.0
    Individuals have a prima facie right to own firearms. This right is significant in view both of the role that such ownership plays in the lives of firearms enthusiasts and of the self-defense value of firearms. Nor is this right overridden by the social harms of private gun ownership. These harms have been greatly exaggerated and are probably considerably smaller than the benefits of private gun ownership. And I argue that the harms would have to be at least several times (...)
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  42. Michael Huemer (2009). Values and Morals: Outline of a Skeptical Realism. Philosophical Issues 19 (1):113-130.score: 30.0
    I propose a skeptical form of moral realism, according to which, while there are objective values, many of the evaluative properties appealed to in common sense moral thinking, particularly “thick” evaluative properties, may be illusory. I suggest that “immorality” may be an example of a thick evaluative term that denotes no real property.
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  43. Michael Huemer, Sense-Data. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.score: 30.0
    Sense data are the alleged mind-dependent objects that we are directly aware of in perception, and that have exactly the properties they appear to have. For instance, sense data theorists say that, upon viewing a tomato in normal conditions, one forms an image of the tomato in one's mind. This image is red and round. The mental image is an example of a “sense datum.” Many philosophers have rejected the notion of sense data, either because they believe that perception gives (...)
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  44. Michael Huemer, The Philosophical Complaint Against Emergence.score: 30.0
    In _The Mind and its Place in Nature_ , C.D. Broad tries to show, as he says (p. 59), that "there is no doubt" that the Theory of Emergence is a logically possible view with a good deal in its favor. And in his history of British Emergentism, McLaughlin states that emergentism is perfectly internally coherent, although he doesn't think it has any empirical evidence in its favor at present. I am inclined to agree with the assessment that emergentism is (...)
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  45. Michael Huemer, On the Need for Social Coercion.score: 30.0
    The problem I am concerned with is very general: Why do we need a coercive institution in our society to control our behavior? This question is a little different from "Why do we need a government?" in two ways: First, because "coercive institution" is a broader term than "government"; probably not every coercive institution that controlled people's behavior would be called a government, though every government is a coercive institution (that is, an institution exercising coercion as one of its main (...)
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  46. Michael Huemer (2003). Non-Egalitarianism. Philosophical Studies 114 (1-2):147 - 171.score: 30.0
    Equality of welfare among persons has no intrinsic value. This follows from three axiological principles: (i) a principle of the indifference of the distribution of utility across time within an individual’s life, (ii) a strong supervenience principle for value, and (iii) a principle of the additivity of value across disjoint time periods. (iii) is the most likely target for attack by the egalitarian; but the rejection of (iii) creates decision-theoretic paradoxes.
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  47. Michael Huemer (2010). Lexical Priority and the Problem of Risk. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3):332-351.score: 30.0
    Some theories of practical reasons incorporate a lexical priority structure, according to which some practical reasons have infinitely greater weight than others. This includes absolute deontological theories and axiological theories that take some goods to be categorically superior to others. These theories face problems involving cases in which there is a non-extreme probability that a given reason applies. In view of such cases, lexical-priority theories are in danger of becoming irrelevant to decision-making, becoming absurdly demanding, or generating paradoxical cases in (...)
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  48. Michael Huemer (2000). Naturalism and the Problem of Moral Knowledge. Southern Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):575-597.score: 30.0
    Ethical naturalists interpret moral knowledge as analogous to scientific knowledge and not dependent on intuition. For their account to succeed, moral truths must explain observable phenomena, and these explanations (i) must be better than any explanations framed in non-moral terms, (ii) must not rely on ad hoc posits about the causal powers of moral properties, and (iii) must not presuppose the existence of an independent means of awareness of moral truths. No moral explanations satisfy these criteria.
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  49. Michael Huemer & Ben Kovitz (2003). Causation as Simultaneous and Continuous. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):556–565.score: 30.0
    We propose that all actual causes are simultaneous with their direct effects, as illustrated by both everyday examples and the laws of physics. We contrast this view with the sequential conception of causation, according to which causes must occur prior to their effects. The key difference between the two views of causation lies in differing assumptions about the mathematical structure of time.
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