American Philosophical Quarterly

ISSNs: 0003-0481, 2152-1123

22 found

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  1. Systematicity and Skepticism.Aaron Segal - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 64 (1):1-18.
    The fact that philosophy is systematic—that philosophical issues are thoroughly interconnected—was a commonplace among nineteenth century idealists, then neglected by analytic philosophers throughout much of the twentieth century, and has now finally started to get some renewed attention. But other than calling attention to the fact, few philosophers have tried to say what it consists in, or what its implications are. -/- I argue that the systematicity of philosophy has disastrous epistemological implications. In particular, it implies philosophical skepticism: philosophers are (...)
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  2. Is Discrimination Harmful?Andreas Bengtson - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (3):293-300.
    According to a prominent view, discrimination is wrong, when it is, because it makes people worse off. In this paper, I argue that this harm-based account runs into trouble because it cannot point to a harm, without making controversial metaphysical commitments, in cases of discrimination in which the discriminatory act kills the discriminatee. That is, the harm-based account suffers from a problem of death. I then show that the two main alternative accounts of the wrongness of discrimination—the mental-state-based account and (...)
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  3.  43
    The Subjective Ought and the Accessibility of Moral Truths.Frederick Choo - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (3):245-253.
    Many philosophers think that descriptive uncertainty is relevant to what we subjectively ought to do. This leads to a further question: is what we subjectively ought to do sensitive to our moral uncertainty as well? Includers say yes—what we subjectively ought to do is sensitive to both descriptive uncertainty and moral uncertainty. Excluders say no—only descriptive uncertainty matters to what we subjectively ought to do (i.e., moral uncertainty is irrelevant). Excluders argue that common motivations for the subjective ought only give (...)
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  4.  26
    Moral Responsibility Must Look Back.Daniel Coren - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (3):255-263.
    I argue that to remove all backward-looking grounds and justification from the practice, as some theorists recommend, is to remove (not revise) moral responsibility. The most paradigmatic cases of moral responsibility must feature desert and retributive elements. So, moral responsibility must be (at least partially) backward-looking. When we hold people responsible, one reason we do so is that we believe that they deserve punishment or reward simply in virtue of the action for which we hold them responsible. None of this (...)
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  5.  3
    Allowing and the Failure to Act.Steven J. Jensen - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (3):279-291.
    This article aims to defend the thesis—originally defended by Alan Donagan but rejected by Philippa Foot and most others—that the doing/allowing distinction is based upon the difference between acting and failing to act. The paper restricts its focus to the second aspect of this thesis: that every allowing is most fundamentally a failure to act. Foot rejects the thesis because of cases of ‘enabling harm’—such as removing a respirator—in which the agent allows some harm by way of doing something. The (...)
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  6. Are Phenomenal Theories of Thought Chauvinistic?Preston Lennon - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (3):199-213.
    The phenomenal view of thought holds that thinking is an experience with phenomenal character that determines what the thought is about. This paper develops and responds to the objection that the phenomenal view is chauvinistic: it withholds thoughts from creatures that in fact have them. I develop four chauvinism objections to the phenomenal view—one from introspection, one from interpersonal differences, one from thought experiments, and one from the unconscious thought paradigm in psychology—and show that the phenomenal view can resist all (...)
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  7.  66
    Testimonial Injustice and the Ideology Which Produces It.Dan Lowe - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (3):215-231.
    Recently, some scholars have argued that testimonial injustice may not only be due to prejudice toward the speaker, but also prejudice toward the content of what the speaker says. I argue that such accounts do not merely expand our picture of epistemic injustice, but give us reason to radically revise our approach to reducing testimonial injustice. The dominant conception of this project focuses on reducing speaker prejudice. But even if one were to successfully do so, the frequency of content prejudice (...)
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  8.  26
    Epistemic Partialism and Taking Our Friends Seriously.Cathy Mason - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (3):233-243.
    Two doxastically significant demands of friendship have been discussed in recent literature, a demand to be epistemically partial and a demand to take our friends seriously. Though less discussed than epistemic partialism, I suggest that the demand to take our friends seriously is motivated by similar cases and considerations, and can avoid key objections to epistemic partialism that have been raised. I further suggest that it does justice to what we care about in friendship, and thus is to be preferred.
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  9.  10
    The Nature and Norms of Vigilance.Samuel Murray - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (3):265-278.
    Many people have long-term commitments that require coordination and cooperation with others. To achieve this, we construct plans to settle when, how, and for how long to pursue certain goals rather than others. This raises an interesting cognitive problem, namely that individuals can, at any given moment, manage significantly less information than they will need to accomplish their goals. Call this the Problem of Scarce Information. The solution requires a special self-regulatory system that strategically manages the varying informational demands of (...)
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  10.  43
    Against an Argument for Objective Probabilities of Undetermined Choices.Daniele Conti - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (2):127–137.
    According to libertarianism about free will, at least some of the choices we make are free and undetermined. Many libertarians also accept the thesis that, before we make an undetermined choice, there is a nontrivial objective probability that we will make that choice. In the literature on free will, the ascription of objective probabilities is sometimes justified via an “Argument from Motivation,” which adverts to the fact that typically, in situations of choice, we are more motivated to choose some options (...)
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  11.  49
    Thomson 50 Years Later.Elliott R. Crozat - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (2):177-197.
    Approximately 50 years have passed since Judith Jarvis Thomson wrote A Defense of Abortion (1971). Her article has significantly shaped the philosophical literature on abortion. In this paper, I will summarize some of the interesting and important work done on the topic since Thomson's article. I will highlight Thomson as a defender of the claim that abortion is morally permissible and Don Marquis as an influential opponent of that claim. I will start by articulating Thomson's case, focusing on the violinist (...)
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  12. Agentive Modals and Agentive Modality: A Cautionary Tale.Timothy Kearl & Robert H. Wallace - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (2):139–155.
    In this paper, we consider recent attempts to metaphysically explain agentive modality in terms of conditionals. We suggest that the best recent accounts face counterexamples, and more worryingly, they take some agentive modality for granted. In particular, the ability to perform basic actions features as a primitive in these theories. While it is perfectly acceptable for a semantics of agentive modal claims to take some modality for granted in getting the extension of action claims correct, a metaphysical explanation of agentive (...)
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  13.  21
    Binary Properties as the Basis of Equality.Nethanel Lipshitz - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (2):157-163.
    “Basic equality” is the thesis that all (or nearly all) human beings are equal in moral status. Widespread interpersonal differences among humans make the task of justifying basic equality notoriously difficult. One strategy for circumventing this difficulty is to identify some morally significant binary (“all-or-nothing”) property that all humans have. This strategy seems promising: if the basis of equality is binary, then those who have it have it equally. However, skeptics have argued against this strategy on the grounds that a (...)
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  14.  58
    Evidence and Emotions.Artūrs Logins - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (2):99-108.
    This paper explores one way in which the view that emotions can be epistemically justified stands in tension with two common views in epistemology; namely, that doxastic justification entails propositional justification, and that propositional justification is entirely determined by the (inferential) support relations between one's evidence and a given proposition. A tentative solution to the tension is provided.
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  15.  37
    Eliciting and Assessing our Moral Risk Preferences.Shang Long Yeo - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (2):109-126.
    Suppose an agent is choosing between rescuing more people with a lower probability of success, and rescuing fewer with a higher probability of success. How should they choose? Our moral judgments about such cases are not well-studied, unlike the closely analogous non-moral preferences over monetary gambles. In this paper, I present an empirical study which aims to elicit the moral analogues of our risk preferences, and to assess whether one kind of evidence—concerning how they depend on outcome probabilities—can debunk them. (...)
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  16.  30
    On Relativizing the Sensitivity Condition to Belief-Formation Methods.Bin Zhao - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (2):165-175.
    According to the sensitivity account of knowledge, S knows that p only if S's belief in p is sensitive in the sense that S would not believe that p if p were false. It is widely accepted that the sensitivity condition should be relativized to belief-formation methods to avoid putative counterexamples. A remaining issue for the account is how belief-formation methods should be individuated. In this paper, I argue that while a coarse-grained individuation is still susceptible to counterexamples, a fine-grained (...)
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  17. Interthematic Polarization.Finnur Dellsén - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (1):45-58.
    In recent epistemology, belief polarization is generally defined as a process by which a disagreement on a single proposition becomes more extreme over time. Outside of the philosophical literature, however, ‘polarization’ is often used for a different epistemic phenomenon, namely the process by which people’s beliefs on unrelated topics become increasingly correlated over time. This paper argues that the latter type of polarization, here labeled interthematic polarization, is often rational from each individual’s point of view. This suggests that belief polarization (...)
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  18. The Anti-Conceptual Engineering Argument and the Problem of Implementation.Steffen Koch - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (1):73-85.
    Conceptual engineering concerns the assessment and improvement of our concepts. But how can proposals to engineer concepts be implemented in the real world? This is known as the implementation challenge to conceptual engineering. In this paper, I am concerned with the meta-philosophical implications of the implementation challenge. Specifically, must we overcome the implementation challenge prior to undertaking conceptual engineering? Some critics have recently answered this question affirmatively. I intend to show that they are mistaken. I argue as follows. First, successful (...)
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  19. Fine-Tuning Should Make Us More Confident that Other Universes Exist.Bradford Saad - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (1):29-44.
    This paper defends the view that discovering that our universe is fine-tuned should make us more confident that other universes exist. My defense exploits a distinction between ideal and non-ideal evidential support. I use that distinction in concert with a simple model to disarm the most influential objection—the this-universe objection—to the view that fine-tuning supports the existence of other universes. However, the simple model fails to capture some important features of our epistemic situation with respect to fine-tuning. To capture these (...)
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  20. Aesthetic Testimony and Aesthetic Concepts.Andrea Sauchelli - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (1):59-72.
    I propose a new account of the limits of aesthetic testimony. One of this new account's main claims is that, among the kinds of aesthetic cognitive achievements, it is useful to distinguish aesthetic understanding. In particular, I suggest that the aesthetic understanding of X involves an understanding of why X is aesthetically valuable. In turn, aesthetic understanding is essentially connected to the deployment of aesthetic concepts. Given the fine-grained structure of some of these concepts, certain forms of testimony are not (...)
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  21.  50
    Living in the Moment is for Oysters.George Sher - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (1):19-28.
    The idea that we should simply live in the moment, and should not concern ourselves about the future or the past, has long been a staple of popular philosophy. In this paper, I first attempt to clarify the doctrine and then examine the case for accepting it. My conclusions are, first, that a number of its implications seem quite unpalatable; second, that the main advantages that living in the moment are said to yield are greatly overstated; and, third, that to (...)
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  22.  38
    On Translating the Sensitivity Condition to the Possible Worlds Idiom in Different Ways.Bin Zhao - 2024 - American Philosophical Quarterly 61 (1):87-98.
    The sensitivity account of knowledge is a modal epistemology, according to which S knows that p only if S's belief in p is sensitive in the sense that S would not believe that p if p were false. There are different ways to state the sensitivity condition by means of a possible worlds heuristic. The sensitivity account is thus rendered into different versions. This paper examines cases of knowledge and cases of luckily true beliefs (e.g., the Gettier cases) and argues (...)
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