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Essays and Reviews: 1959-2002

Princeton: Princeton University Press (2014)

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  1. Linguistic Experiments and Ordinary Language Philosophy.Nat Hansen & Emmanuel Chemla - 2015 - Ratio 28 (4):422-445.
    J.L. Austin is regarded as having an especially acute ear for fine distinctions of meaning overlooked by other philosophers. Austin employs an informal experimental approach to gathering evidence in support of these fine distinctions in meaning, an approach that has become a standard technique for investigating meaning in both philosophy and linguistics. In this paper, we subject Austin's methods to formal experimental investigation. His methods produce mixed results: We find support for his most famous distinction, drawn on the basis of (...)
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  • Justice at the Margins: The Social Contract and the Challenge of Marginal Cases.Nathan Bauer & David Svolba - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (1):51-67.
    Attempts to justify the special moral status of human beings over other animals face a well-known objection: the challenge of marginal cases. If we attempt to ground this special status in the unique rationality of humans, then it becomes difficult to see why nonrational humans should be treated any differently than other, nonhuman animals. We respond to this challenge by turning to the social contract tradition. In particular, we identify an important role for the concept of recognition in attempts to (...)
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  • Is Philosophy a Humanistic Discipline?Carlo Cellucci - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):259-269.
    According to Bernard Williams, philosophy is a humanistic discipline essentially different from the sciences. While the sciences describe the world as it is in itself, independent of perspective, philosophy tries to make sense of ourselves and of our activities. Only the humanistic disciplines, in particular philosophy, can do this, the sciences have nothing to say about it. In this note I point out some limitations of Williams’ view and outline an alternative view.
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  • István Hont and Political Theory.Paul Sagar - 2018 - European Journal of Political Theory 17 (4):476-500.
    This article explores the relevance of the work of Cambridge historian of political thought István Hont to contemporary political theory. Specifically, it suggests that Hont’s work can be of great help to the recent realist revival in political theory, in particular via its lending support to the account favoured by Bernard Williams, which has been a major source for recent realist work. The article seeks to make explicit the main political theoretic implications of Hont’s historically-focused work, which in their original (...)
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  • Patriotism and Character: Some Aristotelian Observations.Noell Birondo - 2020 - In Mitja Sardoč (ed.), Handbook of Patriotism. Cham: Springer.
    This chapter defends an Aristotelian account of patriotism that differs from, and improves upon, the ‘extreme’ account of Aristotelian patriotism defended by Alasdair MacIntyre in a famous lecture. The virtue of patriotism is modeled on Aristotle’s account of the virtue of friendship; and the resulting account of patriotism falls between MacIntyre’s extreme patriotism and Marcia Baron’s moderate patriotism. The chapter illustrates how this plausible Aristotelian account of patriotism can avoid the dilemma that Baron has pressed against MacIntyre’s extreme account. It (...)
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  • Experimental Ordinary Language Philosophy: A Cross-Linguistic Study of Defeasible Default Inferences.Eugen Fischer, Paul E. Engelhardt, Joachim Horvath & Hiroshi Ohtani - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1029-1070.
    This paper provides new tools for philosophical argument analysis and fresh empirical foundations for ‘critical’ ordinary language philosophy. Language comprehension routinely involves stereotypical inferences with contextual defeaters. J.L. Austin’s Sense and Sensibilia first mooted the idea that contextually inappropriate stereotypical inferences from verbal case-descriptions drive some philosophical paradoxes; these engender philosophical problems that can be resolved by exposing the underlying fallacies. We build on psycholinguistic research on salience effects to explain when and why even perfectly competent speakers cannot help making (...)
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  • Bernard Williams on Regarding One's Own Action Purely Externally.Jake Wojtowicz - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):49-66.
    I explore what BernardWilliams means by regarding one’s action ‘purely externally, as one might regard anyone else’s action’, and how it links to regret and agent-regret. I suggest some ways that we might understand the external view: as a failure to recognize what one has done, in terms of Williams’s distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic luck, and as akin to Thomas Nagel’s distinction between an internal and external view. I argue that none of these captures what Williams was getting at (...)
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  • Personal Identity and Cosmopolitan Philosophy.Christian Coseru - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (7):1749-1760.
    Jonardon Ganeri’s The Self: Naturalism, Consciousness, and the First-Person Stance is a trailblazing study in cross-cultural philosophy of mind. Its liberal conception of naturalism makes room for a rich analytic taxonomy of conceptions of personal identity that go well beyond the standard models of Cartesianism, Physicalism, and Reductionism. But this naturalistically respectable model of the self must contend with the fact that the findings of the cognitive sciences are also compatible with ontological antirealism about the self. And while the book (...)
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  • Nietzsche as a Critic of Genealogical Debunking: Making Room for Naturalism Without Subversion.Matthieu Queloz & Damian Cueni - 2019 - The Monist 102 (3):277-297.
    This paper argues that Nietzsche is a critic of just the kind of genealogical debunking he is popularly associated with. We begin by showing that interpretations of Nietzsche which see him as engaging in genealogical debunking turn him into an advocate of nihilism, for on his own premises, any truthful genealogical inquiry into our values is going to uncover what most of his contemporaries deem objectionable origins and thus license global genealogical debunking. To escape nihilism and make room for naturalism (...)
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  • From Paradigm-Based Explanation to Pragmatic Genealogy.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):683-714.
    Why would philosophers interested in the points or functions of our conceptual practices bother with genealogical explanations if they can focus directly on paradigmatic examples of the practices we now have?? To answer this question, I compare the method of pragmatic genealogy advocated by Edward Craig, Bernard Williams, and Miranda Fricker—a method whose singular combination of fictionalising and historicising has met with suspicion—with the simpler method of paradigm-based explanation. Fricker herself has recently moved towards paradigm-based explanation, arguing that it is (...)
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  • How Genealogies Can Affect the Space of Reasons.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2005-2027.
    Can genealogical explanations affect the space of reasons? Those who think so commonly face two objections. The first objection maintains that attempts to derive reasons from claims about the genesis of something commit the genetic fallacy—they conflate genesis and justification. One way for genealogies to side-step this objection is to focus on the functional origins of practices—to show that, given certain facts about us and our environment, certain conceptual practices are rational because apt responses. But this invites a second objection, (...)
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  • Ethics, Morality and the Case for Realist Political Theory.Edward Hall & Matt Sleat - 2017 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (3):278-295.
    A common trait of all realistic political theories is the rejection of a conception of political theory as applied moral philosophy and an attempt to preserve some form of distinctively political thinking. Yet the reasons for favouring such an account of political theory can vary, a point that has often been overlooked in recent discussions by realism’s friends and critics alike. While a picture of realism as first-and-foremost an attempt to develop a more practical political theory which does not reduce (...)
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  • Review Article: Forget Populism?Andy Scerri - 2019 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-24.
    Contemporary ‘crisis studies’ seek to advance democracy by emphasizing the threats that technocracy and populism pose to a specific form of it, liberal- democracy. Crisis studies argue that, since the 1970s, technocratic policymak- ing has deepened economic inequality. This has fostered citizenly anger, which populists exploit. Four well-known iterations of this argument are evaluated using a political realist lens. Political realism emphasizes the histor- ical context of politics, actors’ possible motives, and a normative orientation derived from the political order itself, (...)
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  • Occasions for Making Sense of Sport: Celebrating Morgan’s View.Graham McFee - 2018 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 12 (4):435-452.