The Tanner Lectures on Human Values, founded July 1, 1978, at Clare Hall, Cambridge University, was established by the American scholar, industrialist, and philanthropist Obert Clark Tanner. Lectureships are awarded to outstanding scholars or leaders in broadly defined fields of human values and transcend ethnic, national, religious, or ideological distinctions. Volume 32 features lectures given during the academic year 2011–2012 at the University of Michigan; Princeton University; Stanford University; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Utah; and Yale University. (...) This volume includes the following lectures:_ John Broome_, “The Public and Private Morality of Climate Change”_John Broome is the Whites Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford and a fellow of Corpus Christi College in Oxford. He has written six books. John M. Cooper_, “Ancient Philosophies as Ways of Life”_John Cooper is the Henry Putnam University Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University. His books include _Pursuits of Wisdom: Six Ways of Ancient Philosophy from Socrates to Plotinus _and _Panentheism: The Other God of the Philosophers_. Stephen Greenblatt_, “Shakespeare and the End of Life History”_Stephen Greenblatt is the John Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. He is the author of several books, including the 2012 Pulitzer Prize–winning _The Swerve: How the World Became Modern _and _Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare_. Lisa Jardine_, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: C. P. Snow and J. Bronowski” and “Science and Government: C. P. Snow and the Corridors of Power”_Lisa Jardine is a professor of Renaissance studies at University College London, where she is the director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Research in the Humanities and the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters. She has published more than fifty scholarly articles and seventeen books, including _Going Dutch: How England Plundered Holland’s Glory_. Samuel Scheffler_, “The Afterlife”_Samuel Scheffler is University Professor and a professor of philosophy and law at New York University. He has published four books in the areas of moral and political philosophy, including _Equality and Tradition_. Abraham Verghese_, “Two Souls Intertwined” Abraham Verghese is a professor of medicine and senior associate chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford University. He has published widely across disciplines, including _My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story _and the novel _Cutting for Stone_. He is perhaps best known for his deep interest in bedside medicine and work in the medical humanities. (shrink)
Questions central to the ontology of art include the following: what sort of things are works of art? Do all works of art belong to any one basic ontological category? Do all or only some works have multiple instances? Do works have parts or constituents, and if so, what is their relation to the work as a whole? How are particular works of art individuated? Are they created or discovered? Can they be destroyed? Explicit and extensive treatments of these topics (...) written prior to the 19th century have yet to be found. This does not mean, however, that there is nothing relevant to these ontological questions in early writings on beauty, the arts, and related matters. For example, Aristotle's claims about the functions and elements of tragedy can be mined for ideas about the nature of literary works more generally. And what can be made of the hint, in Metaphysics Eta, 6, that the unity of The Iliad is a matter of a set of words made “one” by being connected together? Rather than attempting to make conjectures about such difficult exegetical topics, this entry focuses primarily on contributions made by authors who explicitly address themselves at length to some of the aforementioned questions pertaining to the ontology of works of art, either in general or with reference to such major art forms as music, literature, painting, architecture, and sculpture. One further note about the scope of this entry is in order. Instructive surveys of the subfield of aesthetics known as the ontology of art are fairly plentiful; see Nicholas Wolterstorff, Gregory Currie, Joseph Margolis, Stephen Davies, Amie Thomasson, Guy Rohrbaugh, Theodore Gracyk, Robert Stecker, and Carl Matheson and Ben Caplan. Surveys of the history of the field have not, however, been forthcoming, and the comments on this topic that crop up in the literature are sketchy and sometimes quite misleading. One shortcoming has been a marked tendency to focus on contributions from the last two decades of the 20th century, the one salient exception being due attention paid to works by Roman Ingarden. The present entry has been designed with this shortcoming in mind. A schematic mapping of questions and positions is provided and reference is made to neglected, earlier contributions to the ontology of art. (shrink)
The M → W thesis that a meaningful life must be a worthwhile life follows from an appealing approach to the axiology of life. Yet one of the most prominent voices in the recent philosophy of life literature, Thaddeus Metz, has raised multiple objections to that thesis. With a view to preserving the appeal of the axiological approach from which it follows, I here defend the M → W thesis from Metz’s objections. My defense yields some interesting insights about both (...) a meaningful life and a worthwhile life: a meaningful life should be firmly distinguished from a life with meaning, the value of a meaningful life must outweigh whatever disvalue the life has, a worthwhile life at a given time needn’t be a life worth continuing at that time, and the M → W thesis doesn’t preclude the possibility of something being part of what constitutes the meaningfulness of a life without also being part of what constitutes the worthwhileness of the life. (shrink)
Discovering someone disagrees with you is a common occurrence. The question of epistemic significance of disagreement concerns how discovering that another disagrees with you affects the rationality of your beliefs on that topic. This book examines the answers that have been proposed to this question, and presents and defends its own answer.
In this paper, I will connect some of the philosophical research on non-doxastic accounts of faith to some psychological research on grit. In doing so I hope to advance the debate on both the nature and value of faith by connecting some philosophical insights with some empirical grounding. In particular, I will use Duckworth’s research to show that seeing faith as grit both captures the philosophical motivations for non-doxastic accounts of faith and comes with empirical backing that such faith is (...) voluntary and can be both valuable and rational. (shrink)
Conciliatory views of disagreement maintain that discovering a particular type of disagreement requires that one make doxastic conciliation. In this paper I give a more formal characterization of such a view. After explaining and motivating this view as the correct view regarding the epistemic significance of disagreement, I proceed to defend it from several objections concerning higher-order evidence made by Thomas Kelly.
We sometimes seek expert guidance when we don’t know what to think or do about a problem. In challenging cases concerning medical ethics, we may seek a clinical ethics consultation for guidance. The assumption is that the bioethicist, as an expert on ethical issues, has knowledge and skills that can help us better think about the problem and improve our understanding of what to do regarding the issue. The widespread practice of ethics consultations raises these questions and more: -/- • (...) What would it take to be a moral expert? • Is anyone a moral expert, and if so, how could a non-expert identify one? • Is it in any way problematic to accept and follow the advice of a moral expert as opposed to coming to moral conclusions on your own? • What should we think and do when moral experts disagree about a practical ethical issue? -/- In what follows, we address these theoretical and practical questions about moral expertise. (shrink)
A work of music is repeatable in the following sense: it can be multiply performed or played in different places at the same time, and each such datable, locatable performance or playing is an occurrence of it: an item in which the work itself is somehow present, and which thereby makes the work manifest to an audience. As I see it, the central challenge in the ontology of musical works is to come up with an ontological proposal (i.e. an account (...) of what sort of thing a work of music is) which enables us to explain what such repeatability consists in, whilst doing maximal justice to the way in which we conceive of musical works in our reflective critical and appreciative practice. To this end, many have found it tempting to defend some version or other of the type-token theory : the thesis that a work is a type and its occurrences are its tokens. Much of the early debate prompted by the publication of Jerrold Levinson's seminal 'What a Musical Work Is' in 1980 has taken the type-token theory for granted, choosing to focus on how musical works, qua types, are individuated. (A key question here has been whether we should hold, with the sonicist , that works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike; or whether we should agree with Levinson's contextualist thesis that exact sound-alikes are distinct, if composed in distinct musico-historical contexts.) More recently, however, the type-token theory itself has been put under pressure, and alternatives have been suggested. So, e.g. Gregory Currie and David Davies have held versions of the thesis that musical works (and artworks generally) are acts of composition, whilst Guy Rohrbaugh has recommended that we think more innovatively about our metaphysical categories, and treat musical works (along with all repeatable artworks) as historical individuals . Historical individuals, like particular substances, come into and go out of existence, could have been somewhat different than they are, and can change through time; but such items, unlike particular substances, are nonetheless capable of having occurrences. In the last few years, ontologists of music have also stepped back to consider the very nature of their enterprise. In particular, a debate has ensued concerning the cogency of ontological proposals (such as those of Nelson Goodman, Nicholas Wolterstorff and Julian Dodd) that are substantially revisionary of our folk concept of a work of music. Amie Thomasson, David Davies and Andrew Kania occupy, to a greater or lesser degree, the descriptivist standpoint, according to which such revisionary ontologies are misconceived. The debate between revisionists and descriptivists in the ontology of music – if prosecuted against the backdrop of an awareness of developments in meta-ontology more generally – is a particularly fertile area in the philosophy of music at present. Author Recommends Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects . 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980. This seminal study nicely introduces and motivates the type-token theory, and in the course of doing so, helpfully, although perhaps contentiously, distinguishes types from both sets and properties. Wollheim's treatment was to a large part responsible for stimulating the subsequent debate as to the ontological nature of musical works. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is.' Journal of Philosophy 77 (1980); reprinted in his Music, Art and Metaphysics , 63–88. This paper has, perhaps, been the most influential account of the nature of musical works, post-Wollheim. Presuming the type-token theory to be correct, Levinson elaborates it by claiming musical works to be, not sound structures (i.e. structured patterns of sound-types), but a species of types he calls indicated structures . According to Levinson, a work of music is not to be identified with its sound structure, S ; it is, in fact, a compound of S and a performance-means structure, PM , as indicated (typically, via a score) by its composer on a certain occasion : something that we can represent as S/PM -as-indicated-by- X -at- t . Such indicated structures, Levinson argues, fit the bill for being what works of music are, because they come into being with their indication (i.e. their composition), are individuated in terms of the musico-historical context in which they were composed, and have their specified performance-means (i.e. their instrumentation) essentially. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. Part I of this book sees Wolterstorff defend a Platonistic version of the type-token theory (although Wolterstorff calls them 'kinds' rather than 'types'). According to Wolterstorff, considerations about the existence conditions of types commit us to the thesis that works of music, qua types, are entities that cannot come into or go out of existence. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. In this article, Kivy ingeniously (and wittily) defends a variety of Platonism about works of music against the animadversions of Levinson. Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Here Currie introduces and defends the thesis that works of music (and, indeed, all artworks) are compositional action-types. The book also contains some well-aimed criticisms of Levinson's account. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. In this book, Dodd defends the type-token theory, but argues that no version of it can escape the Platonisic consequence that musical works exist at all times (and hence, are discovered, rather than created, by their composers). Dodd also defends another controversial thesis, this time concerning musical works' individuation. According to Dodd, and pace Levinson and others, sonicism is correct: works that sound exactly alike are identical. Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals.' European Journal of Philosophy 11 (2003): 177–205. In this essay, Rohrbaugh makes some pointed criticisms of the type-token theory of repeatable artworks in the course of arguing that such works should be viewed, not as types, but as historical individuals (see above). Rohrbaugh suggests that treating musical works as historical individuals best captures our intuitions about such works' temporal and modal characteristics, and, in the course of elaborating his position, he makes some meta-ontological claims that see him endorsing a non-revisionary, descriptivist approach to the ontology of art. As Rohrbaugh sees it, ontologies of art are 'beholden to our artistic practices' (179), and 'aesthetics should not be beholden to the metaphysics on offer, but rather should drive new work in metaphysics' (197). Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology,' Journal of Philosophy 100 (2003): 203–220. This paper sees Ridley outlining a sceptical attitude towards the project of formulating ontological proposals. In his view, a 'serious philosophical engagement with music is orthogonal to, and may well in fact be impeded by, the pursuit of ontological issues' (203). Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics.' JAAC 63 (2005:221–9). Thomasson defends descriptivism in the ontology of art by arguing that such a position is a consequence of the only defensible solution to a problem in the theory of reference: the so-called 'qua' problem concerning how the reference of a term can be fixed. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Davies' position is characterised by two theses: one methodological, the other ontological. The methodological claim is that the ontology of art faces a pragmatic constraint : roughly speaking, the ontology of art is answerable to the epistemology of art. The ontological claim is that the rigorous enforcement of the pragmatic constraint commits us to the thesis that all artworks are compositional action-tokens. Online Materials http://www.blackwell-compass.com/subject/philosophy/article_view?article_id=phco_articles_bpL173 Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–34. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118557784/abstract Thomasson, Amie. 'Debates about the Ontology of Art: What are We Doing Here?' Philosophy Compass 1/3 (2006): 245–55. doi: [DOI link] http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122517227/abstract Davies, David. 'Works and Performances in the Performing Arts.' forthcoming in Philosophy Compass . doi: [DOI link] http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/music/ Kania, Andrew. 'The Philosophy of Music.' Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . Sample Mini-Syllabus Week 1: The Type/Token Theory Introduced Wollheim, Richard. Art and its Objects , §§4–8, 21–3, 35–7. Kivy, Peter. Introduction to a Philosophy of Music , chapter 11. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 1. Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Week 2: The Type/Token Theory and Platonism in Music Wolterstorff, Nicholas. Works and Worlds of Art , chapter 2. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapters 2–5. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: A Kind of Defence.' Grazer Philosophische Studien 19 (1983): 109–29. Kivy, Peter. 'Platonism in Music: Another Kind of Defence.' American Philosophical Quarterly 24 (1987): 245–52. Predelli, Stefano. 'Against Musical Platonism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 35 (1995): 338–50. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Can a Musical Work be Created?' British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (2004): 113–34. Week 3: Musical Works as Indicated Structures Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is'. Levinson, Jerrold. 'What a Musical Work Is, Again', in his Music, Art and Metaphysics . Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1990. 215–63. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works as Eternal Types.' British Journal of Aesthetics 40 (2000). Davies, Stephen. Musical Works and Performances: A Philosophical Account , chapter 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Howell, Robert. 'Types, Indicated and Initiated.' British Journal of Aesthetics 42 (2002): 105–27. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Fine Individuation.' British Journal of Aesthetics 47 (2007): 113–37. Week 4: Musical Work as Historical Individuals Rohrbaugh, Guy. 'Artworks as Historical Individuals'. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 6. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending Musical Perdurantism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (2006): 59–69. Caplan, Ben and Carl Matheson. 'Defending "Defending Musical Perdurantism".' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 331–37. Week 5: Musical Works as Compositional Actions Currie, Gregory. An Ontology of Art . New York: St, Martin's Press, 1989. Davies, David. Art as Performance . Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. Dodd, Julian. Works of Music: An Essay in Ontology , chapter 7. Week 6: Meta-ontology of Music: What are we Doing When we do the Ontology of Music? Ridley, Aaron. 'Against Musical Ontology'. Thomasson, Amie. 'The Ontology of Art and Knowledge in Aesthetics'. Thomasson, Amie. Ordinary Objects , chapter 11. OUP, 2007. Davies, David. 'The Primacy of Practice in the Ontology of Art.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (2009): 159–72. Kania, Andrew. 'Piece for the End of Time: In Defence of Musical Ontology,' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 65–79. Kania, Andrew. 'The Methodology of Musical Ontology: Descriptivism and its Implications.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 426–44. Cameron, Ross. 'There are No Things That are Musical Works.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48 (2008): 295–314. Dodd, Julian. 'Musical Works: Ontology and Meta-Ontology.' Philosophy Compass 3/6 (2008): 1113–1134. doi: [DOI link] Focus Questions 1. Are musical works literally created by their composers? 2. Critically examine Levinson's thesis that musical works are 'indicated structures'. 3. What, if anything, is wrong with the thesis that musical works are identical just in case they sound exactly alike? 4. Should we immediately be sceptical of ontological proposals for works of music that are substantially revisionary of the way in which we ordinarily think of them? (shrink)
The purpose of this paper is to bring together work on disagreement in both epistemology and argumentation theory in a way that will advance the relevant debates. While these literatures can intersect in many ways, I will explore how some of views pertaining to deep disagreements in argumentation theory can act as an objection to a prominent view of the epistemology of disagreement—the Equal Weight View. To do so, I will explain the Equal Weight View of peer disagreement and show (...) how it entails that deep disagreements between epistemic peers are rationally resolvable. I will then examine a challenge to the Equal Weight View that claims that this consequence is untenable. Having motivated the challenge, I show that there is a viable response to make on behalf of the Equal Weight View. I conclude by considering and responding to several objections to this response. (shrink)
I argue that life’s meaning is not only a distinct, gradational final value of individual lives, but also an “extradimensional” final value: the realization of meaning in life brings final value along an additional evaluative dimension, much as the realization of depth in solids or width in plane geometric figures brings magnitude along an additional spatial dimension. I go on to consider the extent to which Metz’s (2013) fundamentality theory respects the principle that life’s meaning is an extradimensional final value, (...) and consequently suggest that the theory may stand in need of further refinement and supplementation. (shrink)
The Uniqueness Thesis, or rational uniqueness, claims that a body of evidence severely constrains one’s doxastic options. In particular, it claims that for any body of evidence E and proposition P, E justifies at most one doxastic attitude toward P. In this paper I defend this formulation of the uniqueness thesis and examine the case for its truth. I begin by clarifying my formulation of the Uniqueness Thesis and examining its close relationship to evidentialism. I proceed to give some motivation (...) for this strong epistemic claim and to defend it from several recent objections in the literature. In particular I look at objections to the Uniqueness Thesis coming from considerations of rational disagreement (can’t reasonable people disagree?), the breadth of doxastic attitudes(can’t what is justified by the evidence encompass more than one doxastic attitude?), borderline cases and caution (can’t it be rational to be cautious and suspend judgment even when the evidence slightly supports belief?), vagueness (doesn’t the vagueness of justification spell trouble for the Uniqueness Thesis?), and degrees of belief (doesn’t a finegrained doxastic picture present additional problems for the Uniqueness Thesis?). (shrink)
An introduction to the debate of the epistemic significance of peer disagreement. This article examines the epistemic significance of peer disagreement. It pursues the following questions: (1) How does discovering that an epistemic equal disagrees with you affect your epistemic justification for holding that belief? (e.g., does the evidence of it give you a defeater for you belief?) and (2) Can you rationally maintain your belief in the face of such disagreement? This article explains and motivates each of the central (...) positions, including steadfast views and conciliatory views of peer disagreement, while at the same time raising challenges for each of them. It concludes by speculating about new directions that the debate will take. (shrink)
Rüdiger Bittner argues that regret is not useful and so it is always unreasonable to feel and express it. In this paper, I argue that regret is often reasonable because regret has a communicative function: it communicates where we stand with respect to things we have done and outcomes that we have caused. So, I not only argue that Bittner’s argument is unsuccessful, I also shed light on the nature and purpose of regret.
Pereboom’s Four-Case Argument was once considered to be the most powerful of the manipulation arguments against compatibilism. However, because of Demetriou’s :595–617, 2010) response, Pereboom has significantly weakened his argument. Manipulation arguments in general have also been challenged by King : 65–83, 2013). In this paper, I argue that the Four-Case Argument resists both these challenges. One upshot is that Pereboom doesn’t need weaken his argument. Another is that compatibilists still need a response the Four-Case Argument. And another is that (...) we get a much better understanding of the Four-Case Argument, and of manipulation arguments more generally, than is currently available in the literature. (shrink)
Much of the literature on the epistemology of disagreement focuses on the rational responses to disagreement, and to disagreement with an epistemic peer in particular. The Equal Weight View claims that in cases of peer disagreement each dissenting peer opinion is to be given equal weight and, in a case of two opposing equally-weighted opinions, each party should adopt the attitude which ‘splits the difference’. The Equal Weight View has been taken by both its critics and its proponents to have (...) quite drastic skeptical ramifications given contingent empirical facts that we are aware of regarding disagreements in philosophy, religion, science, and politics. In this paper,we begin by clarifying the central claims of the Equal Weight View (Section 2) and then examine two routes from the Equal Weight View to skepticism about such matters that have been explored in the literature. The first claims that our awareness of peers or experts who disagree with us about such issues requires that we abandon our beliefs on these issues (Section 3). The second claims that our awareness of merely possible peers or experts who disagree with us requires us to abandon our beliefs (Section 4). We find both routes from the Equal Weight View to a form of skepticism defective. However, there are nearby considerations, explored in Sections 5 and 6,which (for better or worse) do lead to at least some skeptical consequences for the Equal WeightView, albeit for different reasons. (shrink)
Compatibilists disagree over whether there are historical conditions on moral responsibility. Historicists claim there are, whilst structuralists deny this. Historicists motivate their position by claiming to avoid the counter-intuitive implications of structuralism. I do two things in this paper. First, I argue that historicism has just as counter-intuitive implications as structuralism when faced with thought experiments inspired by those found in the personal identity literature. Hence, historicism is not automatically preferable to structuralism. Second, I argue that structuralism is much more (...) plausible once we accept that personal identity is irrelevant to moral responsibility. This paves the way for a new structuralist account that makes clear what it takes to be the diachronic ownership condition (which is normally taken to be personal identity) and the locus of moral responsibility (which is normally taken to be ‘whole’ person), and helps to alleviate the intuitive unease many have with respect to structuralism. (shrink)
Conciliatory views of disagreement are an intuitive class of views on the epistemic significance of disagreement. Such views claim that making conciliation is often required upon discovering that another disagrees with you. One of the chief objections to these views of the epistemic significance of disagreement is that they are self-defeating. Since, there are disagreements about the epistemic significance of disagreement, such views can be turned on themselves, and this has been thought to be problematic. In this paper, I examine (...) several different incarnations of this objection and defend conciliatory views of disagreement from each of them, while making a modification regarding how such views should be understood. (shrink)
In this paper, I propose and defend a structural ownership condition on moral responsibility. According to the condition I propose, an agent owns a mental item if and only if it is part of or is partly grounded by a coherent set of psychological states. As I discuss, other theorists have proposed or alluded to conditions like psychological coherence, but each proposal is unsatisfactory in some way. My account appeals to narrative explanation to elucidate the relevant sense of psychological coherence.
To forestall scepticism about meaning in life as a distinct final value, I sketch a preliminary characterization of meaning as superlative final value in life. I then make the case that this characterization helps us better appreciate a neglected substantive account of meaning, namely, Richard Taylor's creativity account. After laying out the creativity account, I argue that it is not just very compelling, but more compelling under the superlativeness characterization than the most prominent of the recent substantive accounts.
In this paper, I explain a challenge to the Equal Weight View coming from the psychology of group inquiry, and evaluate its merits. I argue that while the evidence from the psychology of group inquiry does not give us a reason to reject the Equal Weight View, it does require making some clarifications regarding what the view does and does not entail, as well as a revisiting the ethics of belief.
In this article, I propose, defend, and apply a principle for applied ethics. According to this principle, we should exercise moral caution, at least when we can. More formally, the principle claims that if you should believe or suspend judgment that doing an action is a serious moral wrong, while knowing that not doing that action is not morally wrong, then you should not do that action. After motivating this principle, I argue that it has significant application in applied ethics. (...) The application to applied ethics comes by way of the epistemic significance of disagreement. Though such a principle has perhaps a number of applications in applied ethics, my focus here is limited to the question of whether it is morally permissible to eat animals for pleasure. (shrink)
While puzzles concerning the epistemic significance of disagreement are typically motivated by looking at the widespread and persistent disagreements we are aware of, almost all of the literature on the epistemic significance of disagreement has focused on cases idealized peer disagreement. This fact might itself be puzzling since it doesn’t seem that we ever encounter disagreements that meet the relevant idealized conditions. In this paper I hope to somewhat rectify this matter. I begin by closely examining what an idealized case (...) of peer disagreement looks like and what the Equal Weight View (EWV) of disagreement claims about the epistemic significance of such disagreements. After briefly defending the verdicts of the EWV in idealized disagreements I proceed to unpack the implications of stripping away the idealized conditions. In doing I show both why it is important to focus on idealized cases of peer disagreement and what we can learn from such cases that applies to the everyday cases of disagreement of which we are very familiar. (shrink)
What, if anything, is problematic about the involvement of celebrities in democratic politics? While a number of theorists have criticized celebrity involvement in politics (Meyer 2002; Mills 1957; Postman 1987) none so far have examined this issue using the tools of social epistemology, the study of the effects of social interactions, practices and institutions on knowledge and belief acquisition. This paper will draw on these resources to investigate the issue of celebrity involvement in politics, specifically as this involvement relates to (...) democratic theory and its implications for democratic practice. We will argue that an important and underexplored form of power, which we will call epistemic power, can explain one important way in which celebrity involvement in politics is problematic. This is because unchecked uses and unwarranted allocations of epistemic power, which celebrities tend to enjoy, threaten the legitimacy of existing democracies and raise important questions regarding core commitments of deliberative, epistemic, and plebiscitary models of democratic theory. We will finish by suggesting directions that democratic theorists could pursue when attempting to address some of these problems. (shrink)
Accounts of heavenly freedom typically attempt to reconcile the claim that the redeemed have free will with the claim that the redeemed cannot sin. In this paper, I first argue that Pawl and Timpe :396–417, 2009) tracing account of heavenly freedom—according to which the redeemed in heaven have only ‘derivative’ free will—is untenable. I then sketch an alternative account of heavenly freedom, one which eschews derivative free will. On this account, the redeemed are able to sin in heaven.
The generality problem is perhaps the most notorious problem for process reliabilism. Several recent responses to the generality problem have claimed that the problem has been unfairly leveled against reliabilists. In particular, these responses have claimed that the generality problem is either (i) just as much of a problem for evidentialists, or (ii) if it is not, then a parallel solution is available to reliabilists. Along these lines, Juan Comesaña has recently proposed solution to the generality problem—well-founded reliabilism. According to (...) Comesaña, the solution to the generality problem lies in solving the basing problem, such that any solution to the basing problem will give a solution to the generality problem. Comesaña utilizes Conee and Feldman’s evidentialist account of basing (Conee and Feldman’s well-foundedness principle) in forming his version of reliabilism. In this paper I show that Comesaña’s proposed solution to the generality problem is inadequate. Well-founded reliabilism both fails to solve the generality problem and subjects reliabilism to new damning verdicts. In addition, I show that evidentialism does not face any parallel problems, so the generality problem remains a reason to prefer evidentialism to reliabilism. (shrink)
The critique of psychologism -- Phenomenology and other 'eidetic sciences' -- Phenomenology and transcendental philosophy -- The transcendental reduction -- The structure of intentionality -- Intuition, evidence, and truth -- Categorial intuition and ideation (eidetic seeing) -- Time-consciousness -- The ego and selfhood -- Intersubjectivity -- The crisis of the sciences and the idea of the 'lifeworld' -- Conclusion: mastering Husserl.
The Equal Weight View is a view about the epistemic significance of disagreement that is thought to have significant skeptical consequences. In this paper I do two things: (i) apply the Equal Weight View to cases of religious disagreement, and (ii) evaluate some consequences of that application for the rationality of religious beliefs. With regard to (i), I argue that the Equal Weight View implies that awareness of the current state of disagreement over religious propositions, such as God exists or (...) God doesn’t exist, gives us a defeater for any non-skeptical attitude toward such propositions. With regard to (ii), I examine what this entails about the rationality of religious beliefs. In particular, I examine how troubling the theist should find these consequences, and argue that they are not as troubling as is typically thought. -/- . (shrink)
Epistemic injustice occurs when someone is wronged in their capacity as a knower. More and more attention is being paid to the epistemic injustices that exist in our scientific practices. In a recent paper, Fabien Medvecky argues that science communication is fundamentally epistemically unjust. In what follows we briefly explain his argument before raising several challenges to it.
Manipulation arguments aim to show that compatibilism is false. Usually, they aim to undermine compatibilism by first eliciting the intuition that a manipulated agent is not morally responsible. Patrick Todd's (2012) Moral Standing Manipulation Argument instead aims to first elicit the intuition that a manipulator cannot blame her victim. Todd then argues that the best explanation for why a manipulator cannot blame her victim is that incompatibilism is true. In this paper, I present three lines of defence against this argument (...) for those who agree a manipulator cannot blame her victim. (shrink)
In response to the problem of Hell, Buckareff and Plug (Relig Stud 41:39–54, 2005; Relig Stud 45:63–72, 2009) have recently proposed and defended an ‘escapist’ conception of Hell. In short, they propose that the problem of Hell does not arise because God places an open-door policy on Hell. In this paper, I expose a fundamental problem with this conception of Hell—namely, that if there’s an open door policy on Hell, then there should be one on Heaven too. I argue that (...) a coherent conception of Heaven cannot have such a policy. Hence, escapism is not an adequate response to the problem of Hell. (shrink)
In this paper I examine the case for epistemic relativism focusing on an argument for epistemic relativism formulated (though not endorsed) by Paul Boghossian. Before examining Boghossian’s argument, however, I first examine some preliminary considerations for and against epistemic relativism.
Recently Trent Dougherty has claimed that there is a tension between skeptical theism and common sense epistemology—that the more plausible one of these views is, the less plausible the other is. In this paper I explain Dougherty’s argument and develop an account of defeaters which removes the alleged tension between skeptical theism and common sense epistemology.
Conjoined with the claim that there is a moral right to privacy, each of the major contemporary accounts of privacy implies a duty of ignorance for those against whom the right is held. In this paper I consider and respond to a compelling argument that challenges these accounts (or the claim about a right to privacy) in the light of this implication. A crucial premise of the argument is that we cannot ever be morally obligated to become ignorant of information (...) we currently know. The plausibility of this premise, I suggest, derives from the thought that there are no epistemically ways in which we can cause ourselves to become ignorant of what we already know. Drawing on some recent work in the epistemology and psychology of self-deception and forgetting, I seek to undermine this thought, and thus provide a defense against the challenging argument, by arguing that there are indeed such ways. (shrink)
It is hard to gauge the significance of Jacques Rancière’s conception of politics for contemporary political theory without addressing his attempt to break with the Habermasian linguistic-pragmatic paradigm and to set up an alternative model of political speech (“dissensus”) which “has the rationality of disagreement as its very own rationality.” But Rancière’s departure from Habermas’s theory of communicative action is subtle and difficult to assess. In this essay we aim to explicate and examine their disagreement. In doing so we also (...) seek to measure the distance between the two thinkers. We argue that Rancière’s critique of Habermas is cogent and represents an innovative and provocative contribution to the theory of democracy. (shrink)
Discovering someone disagrees with you is a common occurrence. The question of epistemic significance of disagreement concerns how discovering that another disagrees with you affects the rationality of your beliefs on that topic. This book examines the answers that have been proposed to this question, and presents and defends its own answer.
Most seem to presume that what is threatening about manipulation arguments is the ‘no difference’ premise – that is, the claim that there are no responsibility-relevant differences between a manipulated agent and her merely causally determined counterpart. This presumption underlies three recent replies to manipulation arguments from Kearns (2012), King (2013), and Schlosser (2015). But these replies fail to appreciate the true threat from manipulation arguments – namely, the manipulation cases that are allegedly counterexamples to the leading compatibilist conditions on (...) moral responsibility. This paper argues that if there is a counterexample to all the leading compatibilist conditions on moral responsibility then this is sufficient to undermine compatibilism. (shrink)
Despite their differences, the three most prominent accounts of informational privacy on the contemporary scene—the Control Theory, the Limited Access Theory, and the Narrow Ignorance Theory—all hold that an individual’s informational privacy is at least partly a function of a kind of inability of others to know personal facts about her. This common commitment, I argue, renders the accounts vulnerable to compelling counterexamples. I articulate a new account of informational privacy—the Broad Ignorance Theory—that avoids the commitment by rendering an individual’s (...) informational privacy exclusively a function of others’ ignorance ofpersonal facts about her. I then go on to answer four objections to the Broad Ignorance Theory: that it paradoxically renders private what is in the public domain, that it fails to explain the oddity of attributions of informational privacy to individuals unable to control whether others know various personal facts about them, that it conflates informational privacy and secrecy, and that it conflicts with intuitions about informational privacy losses stemming from false or unjustified beliefs. In the final section of the paper I consider the plausibility of expanding the Broad Ignorance Theory into an account of privacy in general. (shrink)
As an evaluative view in the philosophy of life, nihilism maintains that no lives are, all things considered, worth living. Prominent defenders of the view hold that, even so, it can be all-things-considered better for us to continue living than for us to cease living, thus endorsing a 'soft' nihilism that appears more palatable than its 'hard' counterpart. In support of an intuitive assumption about what nihilism implies, I argue that soft nihilism is incoherent.