Contextualists and Subject Sensitive Invariantists often cite the knowledge norm of assertion as part of their argument. They claim that the knowledge norms in conjunction with our intuitions about when a subject is properly asserting in low or high stakes contexts provides strong evidence that what counts as knowledge depends on practical factors. In this paper, I present new data to suggest they are mistaken in the way they think about cases involving high and low stakes and I show how (...) insensitive invariantists can explain the data. I exploit recent work done on the distinction between flouting a norm and being blamed for that violation to formulate a rigorous theory of rational expected blameworthiness that allows insensitive invariantists to explain the data cited. (shrink)
According to the perceptual theory of emotions, emotions are perceptions of evaluative properties. The account has recently faced a barrage of criticism recently by critics who point out varies disanalogies between emotion and paradigmatic perceptual experiences. What many theorists fail to note however, is that many of the disanalogies that have been raised to exclude emotions from being perceptual states that represent evaluative properties have also been used to exclude high-level properties from appearing in the content of perception. This suggests (...) that (1) emotions are perceptions of high-level properties and (2) perceptual theorists can marshal the arguments used by proponents of high-level perception to defend the perceptual theory. This paper therefore defends an account of emotion as high-level perception. (shrink)
Sober (1992) has recently evaluated Brandon's (1982, 1990; see also 1985, 1988) use of Salmon's (1971) concept of screening-off in the philosophy of biology. He critiques three particular issues, each of which will be considered in this discussion.
IntroductionSporting skills divide contemporary theorists into two camps. Let us call them the habitualists and the intellectualists. The habitualists hold that thought is the enemy of sporting excellence. In their view, skilled performers need to let their bodies take over; cognitive effort only interferes with skill. The intellectualists retort that sporting performance depends crucially on mental control. As they see it, the exercise of skill is a matter of agency, not brute reflex; the tailoring of action to circumstance requires intelligent (...) conceptual guidance.On the habitualist side are Dreyfus, Beilock and ; intellectualism is defended in various ways by McDowell, Stanley, Sutton, Sutton et al., Montero and Fridland.I think that both sides are right, and that both are wrong. We need to distinguish different aspects of sporting performance. When we do so, we w. (shrink)
It is sometimes claimed that forgiveness involves the cancellation of a moral debt. This way of speaking about forgiveness exploits an analogy between moral forgiveness and economic debt-cancellation. Call the view that moral forgiveness is like economic debt-cancellation the Economic Model of Forgiveness. In this article I articulate and motivate the model, defend it against some recent objections, and pose a new puzzle for this way of thinking about forgiveness.
ABSTRACTP.F. Strawson claimed that forgiveness is such an essential part of our moral practices that we could not extricate it from our form of life even if we so desired. But what is it about forgiveness that would make it such a central feature of our moral experience? In this paper, I suggest that the answer has to do with what I will call the normative significance of forgiveness. Forgiveness is normatively significant in the sense that, in its paradigmatic instances, (...) forgiving alters the operative norms bearing on the interaction between the victim and the wrongdoer in certain characteristic ways. My project here is, first, to clarify the ways that paradigmatic cases of forgiveness alter the norms of interaction between victim and wrongdoer and to argue that it is in this respect that forgiveness is a normatively significant feature of our moral responsibility practices. Second, I show that most extant theories of forgiveness fail to explain the characteristic ways in which forgiving alters norms. Th... (shrink)
I argue for the primacy of the mental from recent physicalists’ endorsements of phenomenal transparency and the non-transparency of the physical. I argue that the conjunction of these views shows that (1) arguments for dualism from introspection are difficult to resist; and (2) a kind of Hempel’s dilemma that removes constraints that block substance dualism. This shows that (1) raises the probability of the primacy of the mental, while (2) lowers the probability of the primacy of the physical. Lastly, I (...) argue that the conjunction of (1) and (2) raise the probability of substance dualism. (shrink)
The exclusion problem is held to show that mental and physical events are identical by claiming that the denial of this identity is incompatible with the causal completeness of physics and the occurrence of mental causation. The problem relies for its motivation on the claim that overdetermination of physical effects by mental and physical causes is objectionable for a variety of reasons. In this paper, I consider four different definitions of? overdetermination? and argue that, on each, overdetermination in all cases (...) of mental causation either does not occur or is unobjectionable, even when mental and physical events are non-identical. I therefore conclude that the exclusion problem cannot be used as a reason to accept that mental and physical events are identical unless some other definition of? overdetermination? is provided. (shrink)
Philosophers writing on forgiveness typically defend the Resentment Theory of Forgiveness, the view that forgiveness is the overcoming of resentment. Rarely is much more said about the nature of resentment or how it is overcome when one forgives. Pamela Hieronymi, however, has advanced detailed accounts both of the nature of resentment and how one overcomes resentment when one forgives. In this paper, I argue that Hieronymi’s account of the nature of forgiveness is committed to two implausible claims about the norms (...) bearing on forgiveness. Her account is highly instructive, however, for it brings into relief how certain intuitive views about the norms of forgiveness should be used to constrain our theories about its nature. I conclude by defending this methodological proposal. (shrink)
In his paper, “The Paradox of Forgiveness“ (this Journal 6 (2009), p. 365-393), Leo Zaibert defends the novel and interesting claim that to forgive is deliberately to refuse to punish. I argue that this is mistaken.
Moral grandstanding is a pervasive feature of public discourse. Many of us can likely recognize that we have engaged in grandstanding at one time or another. While there is nothing new about the phenomenon of grandstanding, we think that it has not received the philosophical attention it deserves. In this essay, we provide an account of moral grandstanding as the use of public discourse for moral self-promotion. We then show that our account, with support from some standard theses of social (...) psychology, explains the characteristic ways that grandstanding is manifested in public moral discourse. We conclude by arguing that there are good reasons to think that moral grandstanding is typically morally bad and should be avoided. (shrink)
At a 2011 meeting of the Society of Christian Philosophers, N. T. Wright offered four reasons for rejecting the existence of soul. This was surprising, as many Christian philosophers had previously taken Wright's defense of a disembodied intermediate state as a defense of a substance dualist view of the soul. In this paper, I offer responses to each of Wright's objections, demonstrating that Wright's arguments fail to undermine substance dualism. In so doing, I expose how popular arguments against dualism fail, (...) such as dualism is merely an unwarranted influence of Greek culture on Christianity, and substance dualism is merely a soul-of-the-gaps hypothesis. Moreover, I demonstrate that Wright himself has offered a powerful reason for adopting substance dualism in his previous works. In conclusion I offer a view that explains why the human soul needs a resurrected body. (shrink)
Conciliatory views about disagreement with one’s epistemic peers lead to a somewhat troubling skeptical conclusion: that often, when we know others disagree, we ought to be (perhaps much) less sure of our beliefs than we typically are. One might attempt to extend this skeptical conclusion by arguing that disagreement with merely possible epistemic agents should be epistemically significant to the same degree as disagreement with actual agents, and that, since for any belief we have, it is possible that someone should (...) disagree in the appropriate way, we ought to be much less sure of all of our beliefs than we typically are. In this paper, I identify what I take to be the main motivation for thinking that actual disagreement is epistemically significant and argue that it does not also motivate the epistemic significance of merely possible disagreement. (shrink)
As every philosopher knows, “the design argument” concludes that God exists from premisses that cite the adaptive complexity of organisms or the lawfulness and orderliness of the whole universe. Since 1859, it has formed the intellectual heart of creationist opposition to the Darwinian hypothesis that organisms evolved their adaptive features by the mindless process of natural selection. Although the design argument developed as a defense of theism, the logic of the argument in fact encompasses a larger set of issues. William (...) Paley saw clearly that we sometimes have an excellent reason to postulate the existence of an intelligent designer. If we find a watch on the heath, we reasonably infer that it was produced by an intelligent watchmaker. This design argument makes perfect sense. Why is it any different to claim that the eye was produced by an intelligent designer? Both critics and defenders of the design argument need to understand what the ground rules are for inferring that an intelligent designer is the unseen cause of an observed effect. (shrink)
This anthology collects some of the most important papers on what is believed to be the major force in evolution, natural selection. An issue of great consequence in the philosophy of biology concerns the levels at which, and the units upon which selection acts. In recent years, biologists and philosophers have published a large number of papers bearing on this subject. The papers selected for inclusion in this book are divided into three main sections covering the history of the subject, (...) explaining its conceptual foundations, and focusing on kin and group selection and higher levels of selection.One of the book's interesting features is that it draws together material from the biological and philosophical literatures. The philosophical literature, having thoroughly absorbed the biological material, now offers conceptual tools suitable for the reworking of the biological arguments. Although a full symbiosis has yet to develop, this anthology offers a unique resource for students in both biology and philosophy.Robert N. Brandon is Professor in the Philosophy Department, Duke University. Richard M. Burian is Professor of Philosophy and Department Chairman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.A Bradford Book. (shrink)
Spiritual formation currently lacks a robust epistemology. Christian theology and philosophy often spend more time devoted to an epistemology of propositions rather than an epistemology of knowing persons. This paper is an attempt to move toward a more robust account of knowing persons in general and God in particular. After working through various aspects of the nature of this type of knowledge this theory is applied to specific issues germane to spiritual formation, such as the justification of understanding spiritual growth (...) on an integrative and holistic (heart and mind) model, the reality of hearing God’s voice, and knowing his activity, as well as how such a theory should change the shape of sermons, evangelism, and apologetics. (shrink)
Leibniz and Kant were the most important figures in German philosophy from the late 17th to the early 19th century. This volume examines the relationships between their philosophies, illuminating fundamental questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophical theology, and assessing Kant's understanding of his philosophical predecessor.
Legal systems often rule that people own objects in their territory. We propose that an early-developing ability to make territory-based inferences of ownership helps children address informational demands presented by ownership. Across 6 experiments (N = 504), we show that these inferences develop between ages 3 and 5 and stem from two aspects of the psychology of ownership. First, we find that a basic ability to infer that people own objects in their territory is already present at age 3 (Experiment (...) 1). Children even make these inferences when the territory owner unintentionally acquired the objects and was unaware of them (Experiments 2 and 3). Second, we find that between ages 3 and 5, children come to consider past events in these judgments. They move from solely considering the current location of an object in territory-based inferences, to also considering and possibly inferring where it originated (Experiments 4 to 6). Together, these findings suggest that territory-based inferences of ownership are unlikely to be constructions of the law. Instead, they may reflect basic intuitions about ownership that operate from early in development. (shrink)
One account of forgiveness claims that to forgive is to forbear punishment. Call this the Punishment-Forbearance Account of forgiveness. In this paper I argue that forbearing punishment is neither necessary nor sufficient for forgiveness.
Why would God make us ask for some good He might supply, and why would it be right for God to withhold that good unless and until we asked for it? We explain why present defences of petitionary prayer are insufficient, but argue that a world in which God makes us ask for some goods and then supplies them in response to our petitions adds value to the world that would not be available in worlds in which God simply supplied (...) such goods without our asking for them. This added value, we argue, is what we call 'partnership with God'. (shrink)
In ‘Listening to Music Together’, Nick Zangwill offers three arguments which aim to establish that listening to music can never be a joint activity. If any of these arguments were sound, then our experiences of music, qua object of aesthetic attention, would be essentially private. In this paper, I argue that Zangwill’s arguments are unsound and I develop an account of shared musical experience that defends three main conclusions. First, joint listening is not merely possible but a common feature of (...) our socially situated experiences of music. Second, when listening with others our experience of the music and our sense of community with our fellow listeners often reciprocally enhance one another. Third, how deeply and intimately we share a musical experience with others depends upon such factors as our respective backgrounds, interests, and levels of expertise. (shrink)
In this paper, we examine how polycystic ovary syndrome is racialized in biomedical research. Drawing from Star’s seminal concept of triangulation, we analyze how the diagnostic criteria for PCOS combine two different biomarkers: body hair and testosterone. Hair and hormones are both haunted by their use in eugenic research, and as clinical measures, they can carry forward powerful narratives of biological difference. PCOS researchers circulate strong claims about racial difference in hirsutism as if they were established knowledge, sometimes calling for (...) race-specific diagnostic thresholds. Tracing the links between race and hirsutism, hirsutism and testosterone, and testosterone and race, we find that these connections are all conceptualized in ambiguous and inconsistent ways. Through triangulation, the uncertainty clouding each link is mitigated by the apparent strength of the chain as a whole. The logic linking race to disease is attenuated, allowing race to persist as a ghost variable. As PCOS is increasingly reframed as a risk factor for other conditions, racial stratification is submerged, implicit but actionable, at every stage of the life course cascade of risk. (shrink)
Artworks frequently are the objects of multiple and apparently conflicting aesthetic judgements. This commonplace of the artworld poses a challenge for realist metaphysics, because to assert conflicting judgements of an artwork seems to amount to asserting p & p. Critical pluralism is an ever-more frequently invoked solution to this impasse. What its varieties share in common is the claim that the disagreement between judgements is only an apparent one. I argue, however, that critical pluralism masquerades either as relativism or anti-realism. (...) I examine a number of pluralist proposals, including one that attempts to reconcile pluralism with critical monism, and argue that they are inadequate to their advertised task. Finally, I sketch a solution employing dialetheic logic that captures both intuitions about these cases: that sometimes, judgements about artworks can truly conflict and jointly be true. (shrink)
Freedom and Necessity in Modern Trinitarian Theology examines the tension between God and the world through a constructive reading of the Trinitarian theologies and Christologies of Sergii Bulgakov, Karl Barth, and Hans Urs von Balthasar. It focuses on what is called 'the problematic of divine freedom and necessity' and the response of the writers. 'Problematic' refers to God being simultaneously radically free and utterly bound to creation. God did not need to create and redeem the world in Christ. It is (...) a contingent free gift. Yet, on the other side of a dialectic, he also has eternally determined himself to be God as Jesus Christ. He must create and redeem the world to be God as he has so determined. In this way the world is given a certain 'free necessity' by him because if there were no world then there would be no Christ. A spectrum of different concepts of freedom and necessity and a theological ideal of a balance between the same are outlined and then used to illumine the writers and to articulate a constructive response to the problematic. Brandon Gallaher shows that the classical Christian understanding of God having a non-necessary relationship to the world and divine freedom being a sheer assertion of God's will must be completely rethought. Gallaher proposes a Trinitarian, Christocentric, and cruciform vision of divine freedom. God is free as eternally self-giving, self-emptying and self-receiving love. The work concludes with a contemporary theology of divine freedom founded on divine election. (shrink)
Sometimes it is wrong to imagine or take pleasure in imagining certain things, and likewise it is sometimes wrong to prompt these things. Some argue that certain fictive imaginings—imaginings of fictional states of affairs—are intrinsically wrong or that taking pleasure in certain fictive imaginings is wrong and so prompting either would also be wrong. These claims sometimes also serve as premises in arguments linking the ethical properties of a fiction to its artistic value. However, even if we grant that it (...) might sometimes be wrong to imagine x or to take pleasure in imagining x, nothing follows about the ethical status of fictively imagining x, with or without pleasure. Prompting some fictive imagining is intrinsically wrong only when the fiction is a means to encourage for export from the fiction to the actual world some belief or attitude that it would be blameworthy to hold. The failure of arguments for the wrongness of certain fictive imaginings and their prompting lies in part in a failure to recognize that imagining x and fictively imagining x are distinct mental acts. This distinction blocks many arguments attempting to forge a link between a work's ethical properties and its artistic properties. (shrink)
In this, the first essay in a two-part series, I begin by distinguishing between three kinds of inquiries about divine forgiveness. I then canvass two approaches to theorizing the nature of divine forgiveness, developing them in various ways, and noting where, in my estimation, there are problems.
According to Peter van Inwagen, C. S. Lewis failed in his attempt to undermine naturalism with his Argument from Reason. According to van Inwagen, Lewis provides no justification for his central premise, that naturalism is inconsistent with holding beliefs for reasons. What is worse, van Inwagen argues that the main premise in Lewis's argument from reason is false. We argue that it is not false. The defender of Lewis's argument can make use of the problem of mental causal drainage, a (...) longstanding issue in philosophy of mind, to show how van Inwagen's objection fails. (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)
Using a unique data set of causal usage drawn from research articles published between 2006–2008 in the American Journal of Sociology and American Sociological Review, this article offers an empirical assessment of causality in American sociology. Testing various aspects of what we consider the conventional wisdom on causality in the discipline, we find that “variablistic” or “covering law” models are not the dominant way of making causal claims, research methods affect but do not determine causal usage, and the use of (...) explicit causal language and the concept of “mechanisms” to make causal claims is limited. Instead, we find that metaphors and metaphoric reasoning are fundamental for causal claims-making in the discipline. On this basis, we define three dominant causal types used in sociology today, which we label the Probabilistic, Initiating and Conditioning types. We theorize this outcome as demonstrating the primary role that cognitive models play in providing inference-rich metaphors that allow sociologists to map causal relationships on to empirical processes. (shrink)
This article distances the classic Patristic teaching of Eastern Orthodoxy on theosis from the pseudo-religious ideology of transhumanism. By appealing to the Silver Age of Russian theologians a century ago, today’s transhumanist vision is dubbed Mangodhood, an idolatrous construction of a technological Tower of Babel. In contrast, the classical Orthodox teaching of deification or theosis relies on the spiritual grace of the true God, rendering the true goal of religion to be Godmanhood.
We argue there is a deep conflict in Paul Moser’s work on divine hiddenness. Moser’s treatment of DH adopts a thesis we call SEEK: DH often results from failing to seek God on His terms. One way in which people err, according to Moser, is by trusting arguments of traditional natural theology to lead to filial knowledge of God. We argue that Moser’s SEEK thesis commits him to the counterfactual ACCESS: had the atheist sought after God in harmony with how (...) God reveals himself, she would have had access to filial knowledge of God. By failing to incorporate arguments or propositional evidence for God’s existence, Moser’s account leaves the doubting seeker without any evidential reason to think that either SEEK or ACCESS is true. Without this rational motivation in place, the doubting seeker is unlikely to seek after God in the way ACCESS describes. We argue that natural theology provides an evidential epistemic aid to motivate persons to seek God the way ACCESS describes. Thus, Moser is mistaken. Such arguments can be evidentially helpful in coming to know God. In conclusion, we explain how our reply naturally fits how we form and maintain trusting interpersonal relationships with others. (shrink)
We are all guilty of it. We call people terrible names in conversation or online. We vilify those with whom we disagree, and make bolder claims than we could defend. We want to be seen as taking the moral high ground not just to make a point, or move a debate forward, but to look a certain way--incensed, or compassionate, or committed to a cause. We exaggerate. In other words, we grandstand. Nowhere is this more evident than in public discourse (...) today, and especially as it plays out across the internet. To philosophers Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke, who have written extensively about moral grandstanding, such one-upmanship is not just annoying, but dangerous. As politics gets more and more polarized, people on both sides of the spectrum move further and further apart when they let grandstanding get in the way of engaging one another. The pollution of our most urgent conversations with self-interest damages the very causes they are meant to forward. Drawing from work in psychology, economics, and political science, and along with contemporary examples spanning the political spectrum, the authors dive deeply into why and how we grandstand. Using the analytic tools of psychology and moral philosophy, they explain what drives us to behave in this way, and what we stand to lose by taking it too far. Most importantly, they show how, by avoiding grandstanding, we can re-build a public square worth participating in. (shrink)
This article revisits one of John Rawls's rare forays into activist politics, his proposal presented to the Harvard faculty, calling for a denunciation of the “2-S” system of student deferments from conscription. In little-studied archival papers, Rawls argued that the draft both exposed “background” structural racial injustice and constituted a burdening of black Americans that violated the norms of fair cooperation. Rather than obscuring racial injustice and focusing exclusively on economic inequality, as Charles Mills has claimed, Rawls rejected the ascendant (...) conservative views that naturalized black poverty or else attributed it to cultural pathologies in black families. Thus Rawls found nothing illicit in taking the position of a disadvantaged racial group as a relevant comparison when applying his ideal theory to nonideal circumstances. However, I contend in this article that Rawls's account of political philosophy as an attempt to find a consensus may be similarly ideological, leading him to displace the reality of conflict through begging descriptions, expressivist formulations, and historical romanticism. (shrink)