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Dan Baras
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  1. Modal Security.Justin Clarke-Doane & Dan Baras - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):162-183.
    Modal Security is an increasingly discussed proposed necessary condition on undermining defeat. Modal Security says, roughly, that if evidence undermines (rather than rebuts) one’s belief, then one gets reason to doubt the belief's safety or sensitivity. The primary interest of the principle is that it seems to entail that influential epistemological arguments, including Evolutionary Debunking Arguments against moral realism and the Benacerraf-Field Challenge for mathematical realism, are unsound. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine Modal Security in detail. (...)
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  2. Our Reliability is in Principle Explainable.Dan Baras - 2017 - Episteme 14 (2):197-211.
    Non-skeptical robust realists about normativity, mathematics, or any other domain of non- causal truths are committed to a correlation between their beliefs and non- causal, mind-independent facts. Hartry Field and others have argued that if realists cannot explain this striking correlation, that is a strong reason to reject their theory. Some consider this argument, known as the Benacerraf–Field argument, as the strongest challenge to robust realism about mathematics, normativity, and even logic. In this article I offer two closely related accounts (...)
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  3. Calling for explanation: the case of the thermodynamic past state.Dan Baras & Orly Shenker - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-20.
    Philosophers of physics have long debated whether the Past State of low entropy of our universe calls for explanation. What is meant by “calls for explanation”? In this article we analyze this notion, distinguishing between several possible meanings that may be attached to it. Taking the debate around the Past State as a case study, we show how our analysis of what “calling for explanation” might mean can contribute to clarifying the debate and perhaps to settling it, thus demonstrating the (...)
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  4. A Reliability Challenge to Theistic Platonism.Dan Baras - 2017 - Analysis 77 (3):479-487.
    Many philosophers believe that when a theory is committed to an apparently unexplainable massive correlation, that fact counts significantly against the theory. Philosophical theories that imply that we have knowledge of non-causal mind-independent facts are especially prone to this objection. Prominent examples of such theories are mathematical Platonism, robust normative realism and modal realism. It is sometimes thought that theists can easily respond to this sort of challenge and that theism therefore has an epistemic advantage over atheism. In this paper, (...)
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  5. Why Do Certain States of Affairs Call Out for Explanation? A Critique of Two Horwichian Accounts.Dan Baras - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (5):1405-1419.
    Motivated by examples, many philosophers believe that there is a significant distinction between states of affairs that are striking and therefore call for explanation and states of affairs that are not striking. This idea underlies several influential debates in metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, normative theory, philosophy of modality, and philosophy of science but is not fully elaborated or explored. This paper aims to address this lack of clear explanation first by clarifying the epistemological issue at hand. Then it introduces an (...)
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  6.  99
    A Strike Against a Striking Principle.Dan Baras - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1501-1514.
    Several authors believe that there are certain facts that are striking and cry out for explanation—for instance, a coin that is tossed many times and lands in the alternating sequence HTHTHTHTHTHT…. According to this view, we have prima facie reason to believe that such facts are not the result of chance. I call this view the striking principle. Based on this principle, some have argued for far-reaching conclusions, such as that our universe was created by intelligent design, that there are (...)
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  7. How Close Are Impossible Worlds? A Critique of Brogaard and Salerno’s Account of Counterpossibles.Dan Baras - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (3):315-329.
    Several theorists have been attracted to the idea that in order to account for counterpossibles, i.e. counterfactuals with impossible antecedents, we must appeal to impossible worlds. However, few have attempted to provide a detailed impossible worlds account of counterpossibles. Berit Brogaard and Joe Salerno’s ‘Remarks on Counterpossibles’ is one of the few attempts to fill in this theoretical gap. In this article, I critically examine their account. I prove a number of unanticipated implications of their account that end up implying (...)
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  8. The Explanatory Challenge: Moral Realism Is No Better Than Theism.Dan Baras - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (1):368-389.
    Many of the arguments for and against robust moral realism parallel arguments for and against theism. In this article, I consider one of the shared challenges: the explanatory challenge. The article begins with a presentation of Harman's formulation of the explanatory challenge as applied to moral realism and theism. I then examine two responses offered by robust moral realists to the explanatory challenge, one by Russ Shafer-Landau and another by David Enoch. Shafer-Landau argues that the moral realist can plausibly respond (...)
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  9. A Moral Argument Against Absolute Authority of the Torah.Dan Baras - forthcoming - Sophia:1-23.
    In this article, I will argue against the Orthodox Jewish view that the Torah should be treated as an absolute authority. I begin with an explanation of what it means to treat something as an absolute authority. I then review examples of norms in the Torah that seem clearly immoral. Next, I explore reasons that people may have for accepting a person, text, or tradition as an absolute authority in general. I argue that none of these reasons can justify absolute (...)
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  10.  60
    Calling for Explanation.Dan Baras - manuscript
    The assumption that certain facts can’t be mere coincidences—that they call for explanation—underlies influential debates in metaethics, metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of science. Despite its prevalence and importance as a fundamental assumption in so many debates across fields of study, the premise is rarely questioned, and the distinction between facts that call for explanation and those that do not has thus far received little careful attention. My book aims to fill this gap by both mapping out clearly the (...)
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  11. Calling for Explanation: An Extraordinary Account.Dan Baras - manuscript
    Are there any facts that call for explanation? According to one possible view, all facts call for explanation; according to another, none do. This paper is concerned with an intermediate view according to which some facts call for explanation and others do not. Such a view requires explaining what makes some facts call for explanation and not others. In this paper, I explore a neglected proposal, inspired by the work of George Schlesinger, according to which facts call for explanation when (...)
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  12. How Can Necessary Facts Call for Explanation?Dan Baras - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    While there has been much discussion about what makes some mathematical proofs more explanatory than others, and what are mathematical coincidences, in this article I explore the distinct phenomenon of mathematical facts that call for explanation. The existence of mathematical facts that call for explanation stands in tension with virtually all existing accounts of “calling for explanation”, which imply that necessary facts cannot call for explanation. In this paper I explore what theoretical revisions are needed in order to accommodate this (...)
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  13. No need to get up from the armchair.Dan Baras - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3):575-590.
    Several authors believe that metaethicists ought to leave their comfortable armchairs and engage with serious empirical research. This paper provides partial support for the opposing view, that metaethics is rightly conducted from the armchair. It does so by focusing on debunking arguments against robust moral realism. Specifically, the article discusses arguments based on the possibility that if robust realism is correct, then our beliefs are most likely insensitive to the relevant truths. These arguments seem at first glance to be dependent (...)
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  14.  67
    Oxford Studies in Metaethics Volume 7, Edited by R. Shafer-Landau. [REVIEW]Dan Baras - 2015 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 12 (3):359-362.
    This review article focuses on David Copp's article 'Experiments, Intuitions, and Methodology in Moral and Political Theory'. Copp argues that recent developments in moral psychology challenge the common method in ethics, which infers moral truths from moral intuitions, as these intuitions are shown to likely be unreliable. Copp responds to the worry by arguing that even if moral intuitions cannot be trusted to indicate objective moral truths, the common method remains valuable for other reasons. In this article I raise several (...)
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  15. Review Of: Graham Oppy. 2018. Atheism and Agnosticism. Cambridge University Press. [REVIEW]Dan Baras - 2019 - Reading Religion 1:1.
  16.  71
    Review - The New Intuitionism. [REVIEW]Dan Baras - 2012 - Metapsychology Online Reviews 16 (49).
    In this review article I focus on Walter-Sinnott-Armstrong's critique of moral intuitionism. Sinnott-Armstrong argues that recent discoveries by empirical psychologists undermine the plausibility of moral intuitionism. In response, I list a number of potential ways in which moral intuitionists might defend their view.
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