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Essays on the Active Powers of Man

john Bell, and G.G.J. & J. Robinson (1788)

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  1. Causes as Proximate Events: Thomas Brown and the Positivist Interpretation of Hume on Causality.Cristina Paoletti - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):37-44.
    A neglected episode in the intellectual history of the Scottish Enlightenment, Thomas Brown’s philosophy has been recently reassessed and reconnected with the emergence of the Positivist interpretation of David Hume. In fact, aiming to defend Hume’s philosophy from the common charges of atheism and scepticism, Brown popularised an interpretation of Humean texts which was later to become the standard view on Hume. In this essay, I aim to identify Brown’s historical sources and connect his reading of Hume with the medical (...)
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  • Reid on the First Principles of Morals.Terence Cuneo - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (S1):102-121.
    What role do the first principles of morals play in Reid's moral theory? Reid has an official line regarding their role, which identifies these principles as foundational propositions that evidentially ground other moral propositions. I claim that, by Reid's own lights, this line of thought is mistaken. There is, however, another line of thought in Reid, one which identifies the first principles of morals as constitutive of moral thought. I explore this interpretation, arguing that it is a fruitful way of (...)
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  • Is Self-Fulfillment Essential for Romantic Love? The Self-Other Tension in Romantic Love.Aaron Ben-Ze’ev - 2019 - Revista de Filosofia Aurora 31 (54).
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  • The Disappearing Agent Objection to Event-Causal Libertarianism.Derk Pereboom - 2012 - Philosophical Studies (1):1-11.
    The question I raise is whether Mark Balaguer’s event-causal libertarianism can withstand the disappearing agent objection. The concern is that with the causal role of the events antecedent to a decision already given, nothing settles whether the decision occurs, and so the agent does not settle whether the decision occurs. Thus it would seem that in this view the agent will not have the control in making decisions required for moral responsibility. I examine whether Balaguer’s position has the resources to (...)
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  • The Argument for Panpsychism From Experience of Causation.Hedda Hassel Mørch - forthcoming - In William Seager (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. Routledge.
    In recent literature, panpsychism has been defended by appeal to two main arguments: first, an argument from philosophy of mind, according to which panpsychism is the only view which successfully integrates consciousness into the physical world (Strawson 2006; Chalmers 2013); second, an argument from categorical properties, according to which panpsychism offers the only positive account of the categorical or intrinsic nature of physical reality (Seager 2006; Adams 2007; Alter and Nagasawa 2012). Historically, however, panpsychism has also been defended by appeal (...)
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  • Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence.Jonas Olson - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Jonas Olson presents a critical survey of moral error theory, the view that there are no moral facts and so all moral claims are false. Part I explores the historical context of the debate; Part II assesses J. L. Mackie's famous arguments; Part III defends error theory against challenges and considers its implications for our moral thinking.
  • Agent-Causal Theories.Timothy O'Connor - 2011 - In Robert Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will: Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 309-328.
    This essay will canvass recent philosophical discussion of accounts of human (free) agency that deploy a notion of agent causation . Historically, many accounts have only hinted at the nature of agent causation by way of contrast with the causality exhibited by impersonal physical systems. Likewise, the numerous criticisms of agent causal theories have tended to be highly general, often amounting to no more that the bare assertion that the idea of agent causation is obscure or mysterious. But in the (...)
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  • Enkinaesthesia: Proto-Moral Value in Action-Enquiry and Interaction.Susan A. J. Stuart - 2018 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 17 (2):411-431.
    It is now generally accepted that human beings are naturally, possibly even essentially, intersubjective. This chapter offers a robust defence of an enhanced and extended intersubjectivity, criticising the paucity of individuating notions of agency and emphasising the community and reciprocity of our affective co-existence with other living organisms and things. I refer to this modified intersubjectivity, which most closely expresses the implicit intricacy of our pre-reflective neuro-muscular experiential entanglement, as ‘enkinaesthesia’. The community and reciprocity of this entanglement is characterised as (...)
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  • Deliberation and Reason.Richard Baron - 2010 - Matador.
    The topic of this book is the thinking in which we engage when we reflectively decide what to do, and when we reflectively reach conclusions as to the correct answers to questions. The main objective is to identify a way of looking at ourselves and at our deliberations that is adequate to our lives. It must accommodate both our conception of ourselves as free, rational and self-directed subjects, and our feeling that we deliberate freely. It must also identify a place (...)
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  • Thomas Reid Today.Esther Engels Kroeker - 2015 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 13 (2):95-114.
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  • Honestum is as Honestum Does: Reid, Hume – and Mandeville?!Jeffrey Edwards - 2014 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 12 (1):121-143.
    How are we to understand Thomas Reid in relation to Bernard de Mandeville? I answer this question by considering two components of the assessment of Hume's theory of morals that Reid provides in his Essays on the Active Powers of Man: first, Reid's claim that Hume's system of morals cannot accommodate the Stoic conception of moral worth ; second, Reid's charge that Hume's account of morally meritorious action leads to an inflated and incoherent version of Epicurean virtue theory. I thus (...)
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  • Honestum is as Honestum Does: Reid, Hume – and Mandeville?!Jeffrey Edwards - 2014 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 12 (1):121-143.
    How are we to understand Thomas Reid in relation to Bernard de Mandeville? I answer this question by considering two components of the assessment of Hume's theory of morals that Reid provides in his Essays on the Active Powers of Man: first, Reid's claim that Hume's system of morals cannot accommodate the Stoic conception of moral worth (honestum); second, Reid's charge that Hume's account of morally meritorious action leads to an inflated and incoherent version of Epicurean virtue theory. I thus (...)
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  • Response to Keith Lehrer: Thomas Reid on Common Sense and Morals.Esther Kroeker - 2013 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 11 (2):131-143.
    This paper is a response to Keith Lehrer's ‘Reid on Common Sense and Morals.’ I start by defending the general claim that it is appropriate to call Reid a moral realist. I continue by discussing three aspects of Reid's account of moral ideas. First, our first moral conceptions are non-propositional mental states that are essential ingredients of moral perception. Our first moral conceptions are not gross, indistinct and egocentric but are uninformed mental states that might be about others. Second, moral (...)
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  • Adam Smith and the Theory of Punishment.Richard Stalley - 2012 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (1):69-89.
    A distinctive theory of punishment plays a central role in Smith's moral and legal theory. According to this theory, we regard the punishment of a crime as deserved only to the extent that an impartial spectator would go along with the actual or supposed resentment of the victim. The first part of this paper argues that Smith's theory deserves serious consideration and relates it to other theories such as utilitarianism and more orthodox forms of retributivism. The second part considers the (...)
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  • William C. Davis' Thomas Reid's Ethics: Moral Epistemology on Legal Foundations. [REVIEW]Terence Cuneo - 2008 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 6 (1):91-104.
    Hume bequeathed to rational intuitionists a problem concerning moral judgment and the will – a problem of sufficient severity that it is still cited as one of the major reasons why intuitionism is untenable. 1 Stated in general terms, the problem concerns how an intuitionist moral theory can account for the intimate connection between moral judgment and moral motivation. One reason that this is still considered to be a problem for intuitionists is that it is widely assumed that the early (...)
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  • Self-Knowledge, Choice Blindness, and Confabulation.Hayley F. Webster - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    There are two kinds of epistemic theories about self-knowledge: the traditional account, and the inferentialist account. According to the traditional view of self-knowledge, we have privileged access to our propositional attitudes. “Privileged access” means that one can gain knowledge of one’s own propositional attitudes directly via an exclusive, first-personal method called introspection. On the other hand, the inferentialist view of self-knowledge postulates that we don’t have privileged access to our propositional attitudes and must infer or self-attribute them instead. In this (...)
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  • Free Will as a Psychological Accomplishment.Eddy Nahmias - 2016 - In David Schmidtz & Carmen Pavel (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Freedom. Oxford University Press.
    I offer analyses of free will in terms of a complex set of psychological capacities agents possess to varying degrees and have varying degrees of opportunities to exercise effectively, focusing on the under-appreciated but essential capacities for imagination. For an agent to have free will is for her to possess the psychological capacities to make decisions—to imagine alternatives for action, to select among them, and to control her actions accordingly—such that she is the author of her actions and can deserve (...)
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  • How Hume Became a Sceptic (2005).McRobert Jennifer - manuscript
  • Contempt, Community, and the Interruption of Sense.Bryan Lueck - 2017 - Critical Horizons 18 (2):154-167.
    In the early modern period, contempt emerged as a persistent theme in moral philosophy. Most of the moral philosophers of the period shared two basic commitments in their thinking about contempt. First, they argued that we understand the value of others in the morally appropriate way when we understand them from the perspective of the morally relevant community. And second, they argued that we are naturally inclined to judge others as contemptible, and that we must therefore interrupt that natural movement (...)
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  • V—Forgiveness and Weak Agency.Laurent Jaffro - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (1):107-125.
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  • Panpsychism and Causation: A New Argument and a Solution to the Combination Problem.Hedda Hassel Mørch - 2014 - Dissertation, Oslo
    Panpsychism is the view that every concrete and unified thing has some form of phenomenal consciousness or experience. It is an age-old doctrine, which, to the surprise of many, has recently taken on new life. In philosophy of mind, it has been put forth as a simple and radical solution to the mind–body problem (Chalmers 1996, 2003;Strawson 2006; Nagel 1979, 2012). In metaphysics and philosophy of science, it has been put forth as a solution to the problem of accounting for (...)
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  • Habitual Agency.David Owens - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup2):93-108.
    It is often maintained that practical freedom is a capacity to act on our view of what we ought to do and in particular on our view of what it would be best to do. Here, I discuss an important exception to that claim, namely habitual agency. Acting out of habit is widely regarded as a form of reflex or even as compulsive behaviour but much habitual agency is both intentional and free. Still it is true that, in so far (...)
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  • Essays Concerning Hume's Natural Philosophy.Matias Slavov - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Jyväskylä
    The subject of this essay-based dissertation is Hume’s natural philosophy. The dissertation consists of four separate essays and an introduction. These essays do not only treat Hume’s views on the topic of natural philosophy, but his views are placed into a broader context of history of philosophy and science, physics in particular. The introductory section outlines the historical context, shows how the individual essays are connected, expounds what kind of research methodology has been used, and encapsulates the research contributions of (...)
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  • Sentido común "común" y sentido común "sensato". Una reivindicación de Thomas Reid.José Hernández Prado - 1996 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 11:35-50.
    Este artículo trata de mostrar que Thomas Reid defendió no ya un sentido común “común”, sino uno “sensato”. Adicionalmente, se propone que la filosofía del sentido común de Reid es sumamente importante de entre las de su tipo.
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  • Free Will and Agency at its Best.Gideon Yaffe - 2000 - Philosopical Perspectives 14 (s14):203-230.
  • Making Sense of the Libertarian’s Semantic Claim About Agential Phenomenology.Andrew Sims - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (1):16-32.
    Libertarians about free will sometimes argue for their position on the grounds that our phenomenology of action is such that determinism would need to be false for it to be veridical. Many, however, have thought that it would be impossible for us to have an experience that is in contradiction with determinism, since this would require us to have perceptual experience of metaphysical facts. In this paper I show how the libertarian claim is possible. In particular, if experience depicts the (...)
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  • Am I You?Matthias Haase - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (3):358-371.
    It has been suggested that a rational being stands in what is called a “second-personal relation” to herself. According to philosophers like S. Darwall and Ch. Korsgaard, being a rational agent is to interact with oneself, to make demands on oneself. The thesis of the paper is that this view rests on a logical confusion. Transitive verbs like “asking”, “making a demand” or “obligating” can occur with the reflexive pronoun, but it is a mistake to assume that the reflexive and (...)
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  • Hume's Motivational Distinction Between Natural and Artificial Virtues.James Fieser - 1997 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 5 (2):373 – 388.
  • Mencius's Vertical Faculties and Moral Nativism.Bongrae Seok - 2008 - Asian Philosophy 18 (1):51 – 68.
    This paper compares and contrasts Mencius's moral philosophy with recent development in cognitive science regarding mental capacity to understand moral rules and principles. Several cognitive scientists argue that the human mind has innate cognitive and emotive foundations of morality. In this paper, Mencius's moral theory is interpreted from the perspective of faculty psychology and cognitive modularity, a theoretical hypothesis in cognitive science in which the mind is understood as a system of specialized mental components. Specifically, Mencius's Four Beginnings (the basic (...)
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  • The You Turn.Naomi Eilan - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (3):265-278.
    This introductory paper sets out a framework for approaching some of the claims about the second person made by the papers collected in the special edition of Philosophical Explorations on The Second Person . It does so by putting centre stage the notion of a ‘bipolar second person relation’, and examining ways of giving it substance suggested by the authors of these papers. In particular, it focuses on claims made in these papers about the existence and/or nature of second person (...)
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  • XV—Intelligent Capacities.Victoria McGeer - forthcoming - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.
    In The Concept of Mind, Gilbert Ryle argued that a more sophisticated understanding of the dispositional nature of ‘intelligent capacities’ could bolster philosophical resistance to the tempting view that the human mind is possessed of metaphysically ‘occult’ powers and properties. This temptation is powerful in the context of accounting for the special qualities of responsible agency. Incompatibilists indulge the temptation; compatibilists resist it, using a variety of strategies. One recent strategy, reminiscent of Ryle’s, is to exploit a more sophisticated understanding (...)
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  • From the Ultimate God to the Virtual God: Post-Ontotheological Perspectives on the Divine in Heidegger, Badiou, and Meillassoux.Jussi Backman - 2014 - Meta:113-142.
    The Heideggerian account of the ontotheological constitution of Western metaphysics has been extremely influential for contemporary philosophy of religion and for philosophical perspectives on theology and the divine. This paper introduces and contrasts two central strategies for approaching the question of the divine in a non- or post-ontotheological manner. The first and more established approach is that of post-Heideggerian hermeneutics and deconstruction, inspired by Heidegger’s suggestion of a “theology without the word ‘being’” and by his later notions of an “ultimate (...)
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  • New Realism as Positive Realism.Maurizio Ferraris - 2014 - Meta: Research in Hermeneutics, Phenomenology, and Practical Philosophy:172-213.
    In this essay I try to give some overall statements in order to show that new realism is to be understood as a kind of positive philosophy. Against constructivism, I argue that there is a prevalence of the objects themselves on our understanding of them because reality offers a resistance to our attempt to grasp it depending on its level of dependence from our own understanding, which is different in the case of natural objects, ideal object and social object. This (...)
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  • Peirce on the Passions: The Role of Instinct, Emotion, and Sentiment in Inquiry and Action.Robert J. Beeson - unknown
    One of the least explored areas of C.S. Peirce's wide range of work is his contributions to psychology and the philosophy of mind. This dissertation examines the corpus of this work, especially as it relates to the subjects of mind, habit, instinct, sentiment, emotion, perception, consciousness, cognition, and community. The argument is that Peirce's contributions to these areas of investigation were both highly original and heavily influenced by the main intellectual currents of his time. An effort has been made to (...)
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  • Dualist and Agent-Causal Theories.Timothy O'Connor - 2001 - In Robert H. Kane (ed.), Oxford Handbook on Free Will. Oxford University Press.
    I Introduction This essay will canvass recent philosophical accounts of human agency that deploy a notion of 'self' (or 'agent') causation. Some of these accounts try to explicate this notion, whereas others only hint at its nature by way of contrast with the causality exhibited by impersonal physical systems. In these latter theories, the authors' main argumentative burden is that the apparent fundamental differences between personal and impersonal causal activity strongly suggest mind-body dualism. I begin by noting two distinct, yet (...)
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  • Thomas Reid's Philosophy of Mind: Consciousness and Intentionality.Rebecca Copenhaver - 2006 - Philosophy Compass 1 (3):279-289.
    Thomas Reid’s epistemological ambitions are decisively at the center of his work. However, if we take such ambitions to be the whole story, we are apt to overlook the theory of mind that Reid develops and deploys against the theory of ideas. Reid’s philosophy of mind is sophisticated and strikingly contemporary, and has, until recently, been lost in the shadow of his other philosophical accomplishments. Here I survey some aspects of Reid’s theory of mind that I find most interesting. I (...)
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  • The Moral Fixed Points: New Directions for Moral Nonnaturalism.Terence Cuneo & Russ Shafer-Landau - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):399-443.
    Our project in this essay is to showcase nonnaturalistic moral realism’s resources for responding to metaphysical and epistemological objections by taking the view in some new directions. The central thesis we will argue for is that there is a battery of substantive moral propositions that are also nonnaturalistic conceptual truths. We call these propositions the moral fixed points. We will argue that they must find a place in any system of moral norms that applies to beings like us, in worlds (...)
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  • The Idea of Utility in Adam Smith's The Theory of Moral Sentiments.F. Rosen - 2000 - History of European Ideas 26 (2):79-103.
  • Thomas Reid’s Newtonian Theism: His Differences with the Classical Arguments of Richard Bentley and William Whiston.Robert Callergård - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (2):109-119.
    Reid was a Newtonian and a Theist, but did he found his Theism on Newton’s physics? In opposition to commonplace assumptions about the role of Theism in Reid’s philosophy, my answer is no. Reid prefers to found his Theism on a priori reasons, rather than on physics. Reid’s understanding of physics as an empirical science stops it from contributing in any clear and efficient way to issues of natural theology. In addition, Reid is highly sceptical of our ability to discover (...)
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  • The Place of Behaviour in Psychological Experiments.Don Mixon - 1986 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 16 (1):123–137.
  • Dispositions and Ergativity.John Maier - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):381-395.
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