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Amir Saemi
Institute For Research In Fundamental Sciences (IPM)
  1. The Form of Practical Knowledge and Implicit Cognition: A Critique of Kantian Constitutivism.Amir Saemi - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (4):733-747.
    Moral realism faces two worries: How can we have knowledge of moral norms if they are independent of us, and why should we care about them if they are independent of rational activities they govern? Kantian constitutivism tackles both worries simultaneously by claiming that practical norms are constitutive principles of practical reason. In particular, on Stephen Engstrom’s account, willing involves making a practical judgment. To will well, and thus to have practical knowledge (i.e., knowledge of what is good), the content (...)
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  2.  83
    Aiming at the Good.Amir Saemi - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (2):197-219.
    This paper shows how we can plausibly extend the guise of the good thesis in a way that avoids intellectualist challenge, allows animals to be included, and is consistent with the possibility of performing action under the cognition of their badness. The paper also presents some independent arguments for the plausibility of this interpretation of the thesis. To this aim, a teleological conception of practical attitudes as well as a cognitivist account of arational desires is offered.
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  3.  93
    The Guise of the Good and the Problem of Over-Intellectualism.Amir Saemi - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (3):489-501.
    I will argue that Raz’s defense of the doctrine of the guise of the good rests on a over-intellectualized account of action. Raz holds that attributing evaluative beliefs to agents is justified on explanatory grounds. I argue that this account fails to do justice to the first-personal character of action explanation. Moreover, I will argue that Raz’s account of action has its root in his restrictive and over-intellectualized understanding of normative explanation. I will suggest that we can have a more (...)
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  4.  51
    On John Laird’s “Value and Obligation”.Amir Saemi - 2014 - Ethics 125 (1):235-237,.
    Unjustly forgotten, Laird’s “value and obligation”, I shall argue, is of great relevance to contemporary moral philosophy. To this aim, I will explore three main theses of Laird’s paper which are as follows: (T1) We can’t understand judgments of value and obligation in terms of mere feelings and desires. (T2) Desire must be guided by cognition of some value. (T3) Judgments of rightness and obligation must be grounded in judgments of value.
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  5.  23
    Book Reviews: Action Reconceptualized: Human Agency and Its Sources by David Chan, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. [REVIEW]Amir Saemi - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:1-2.
    David K. Chan provides an account of various mental entities that interact with each other to produce human action. Once we have a theory of human action, Chan states, we will be in a better position to examine how to evaluate human actions from a moral perspective. I will address only two sets of claims that I don't find convincing. The first concerns Chan's idea that we need to introduce a new category of non-intentional action (besides intentional and unintentional) to (...)
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  6.  18
    The problem of arbitrary requirements: an abrahamic perspective.Sara Aronowitz, Marilie Coetsee & Amir Saemi - 2021 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 89 (3):221-242.
    Some religious requirements seem genuinely arbitrary in the sense that there seem to be no sufficient explanation of why those requirements with those contents should pertain. This paper aims to understand exactly what it might mean for a religious requirement to be genuinely arbitrary and to discern whether and how a religious practitioner could ever be rational in obeying such a requirement. We lay out four accounts of what such arbitrariness could consist in, and show how each account provides a (...)
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  7. Intention and Permissibility.Amir Saemi - 2009 - Ethical Perspectives 16 (1):81-101.
    There are two kinds of view in the literature concerning the relevance of intention to permissibility. While subjectivism assumes that an agent acts permissibly if he or she believes that the conduct is necessary for a moral purpose, for objectivism the de facto presence of an objective reason to justify one’s deeds is what matters. Recently, Scanlon and Hanser defend a moderate version of objectivism and subjectivism, respectively. Although I have a degree of sympathy toward both views, I will argue (...)
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  8.  68
    On Korsgaard’s Argument for Kant’s Moral Law.Amir Saemi - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    Kant’s formula of universal law says that it is morally impermissible to act on maxims which lead to a contradiction, when universalized. Korsgaard famously argues that we should understand the contradiction involved in Kant’s formula of universal law test as practical contradiction. In her later works, Korsgaard provides an argument for the truth of Kant’s moral law from the principles that are, on her view, constitutive of human agency, including the principle of publicity, the principle of universality and the hypothetical (...)
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  9.  3
    Revelation, Moral Skepticism, and the Mu'tazilites.Amir Saemi - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (2):283-305.
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  10.  81
    Self‐Knowledge and the Guise of the Good.Amir Saemi - 2017 - Analytic Philosophy 58 (3):272-281.
    According to the Doctrine of the Guise of the Good, actions are taken to be good by their agents. Kieran Setiya, however, has formulated a new objection to the DGG based on the distinction between the notions of normative reasons and motivating reasons. Only the latter, Setiya claims, is required for intentional agency. However, I will argue that Setiya’s objection fails because it rests on the implausible assumption that motivating reasons are determined solely in terms of the content of the (...)
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  11.  7
    Salvific Luck in Islamic Theology.Amir Saemi & Scott A. Davison - 2020 - Journal of Analytic Theology 8 (1):120-130.
    One of the major arguments for theological voluntarism offered by the Ash’arites involves the claim that that some of the factors upon which our salvation or condemnation depend are beyond our control. We will call this “the problem of salvific luck.” According to the Ash’arites, the fact that God does save and condemn human beings on the basis of factors beyond their control casts doubt on any non-voluntarist conception of divine justice. A common way to respond to this Ash’arite argument (...)
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  12.  57
    Targeting Human Shields.Amir Saemi & Philip Atkins - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):328-348.
    In this paper, we are concerned with the morality of killing human shields. Many moral philosophers seem to believe that knowingly killing human shields necessarily involves intentionally targeting human shields. If we assume that the distinction between intention and foresight is morally significant, then this view would entail that it is generally harder to justify a military operation in which human shields are knowingly killed than a military operation in which the same number of casualties result as a merely foreseen (...)
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  13.  61
    The Intention Principle and the Doctrine of Double Effect.Amir Saemi - 2019 - Analysis 79 (1):91-99.
    It is commonly believed that the Doctrine of Double Effect is identical with, or presupposes, the Intention Principle according to which an act can be impermissible if done with a wrongful intention. A main line of objections to the DDE, then, stems from the worry that the Intention Principle implausibly interiorizes the wrongness of an action. I will argue, first, that the DDE does not presuppose the Intention Principle, and, second, that intuitions brought against the Intention Principle do not warrant (...)
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  14. The Morally Difficult Notion of Heaven.Amir Saemi - 2018 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 92 (3):429-444.
    I will argue that Avicenna’s and Aquinas’s faith-based virtue ethics are crucially different from Aristotle’s virtue ethics, in that their ethics hinges on the theological notion of heaven, which is constitutively independent of the ethical life of the agent. As a result, their faith-based virtue ethics is objectionable. Moreover, I will also argue that the notion of heaven that Avicenna and Aquinas deploy in their moral philosophy is problematic; for it can rationally permit believers to commit morally horrendous actions. Finally, (...)
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