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  1. Pro‐Tanto Versus Absolute Rights.Danny Frederick - 2014 - Philosophical Forum 45 (4):375-394.
    Judith Jarvis Thomson and others contend that rights are pro-tanto rather than absolute, that is, that rights may permissibly be infringed in some circumstances. Alan Gewirth maintains that there are some rights that are absolute because infringing them would amount to unspeakable evil. However, there seem to be possible circumstances in which it would be permissible to infringe even those rights. Specificationists, such as Gerald Gaus, Russ Shafer-Landau, Hillel Steiner and Kit Wellman, argue that all rights are absolute because they (...)
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  2.  82
    Why Neil Levy is Wrong to Endorse No-Platforming.Danny Frederick - 2020 - In Against the Philosophical Tide. Yeovil: Critias Publishing. pp. 175-177.
    Neil Levy defends no-platforming people who espouse dangerous or unacceptable views. I reject his notion of higher-order evidence as authoritarian and dogmatic. I argue that no-platforming frustrates the growth of knowledge.
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  3.  36
    Critique of Brian Earp's Writing Tips for Philosophers.Danny Frederick - 2021 - Think 20 (58):81-87.
    I criticize Brian Earp's ‘Some Writing Tips for Philosophy’. Earp's article is useful for someone who wishes to do well in analytic philosophy as currently practised but it also casts doubt on why such analytic philosophy would be of interest to someone who wants to learn something new. In addition to its good tips, Earp's article contains two bad tips which, if followed, will tend to produce a paper that says next to nothing. I list the two faulty tips, show (...)
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  4. Popper and Free Will.Danny Frederick - 2010 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 3 (1):21-38.
    Determinism seems incompatible with free will. However, even indeterminism seems incompatible with free will, since it seems to make free actions random. Popper contends that free agents are not bound by physical laws, even indeterministic ones, and that undetermined actions are not random if they are influenced by abstract entities. I argue that Popper could strengthen his account by drawing upon his theories of propensities and of limited rationality; but that even then his account would not fully explain why free (...)
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  5. Popper, Rationality and the Possibility of Social Science.Danny Frederick - 2013 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 28 (1):61-75.
    Social science employs teleological explanations which depend upon the rationality principle, according to which people exhibit instrumental rationality. Popper points out that people also exhibit critical rationality, the tendency to stand back from, and to question or criticise, their views. I explain how our critical rationality impugns the explanatory value of the rationality principle and thereby threatens the very possibility of social science. I discuss the relationship between instrumental and critical rationality and show how we can reconcile our critical rationality (...)
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  6. A Critique of Lester's Account of Liberty.Danny Frederick - 2013 - Libertarian Papers 5:45-66.
    In Escape from Leviathan, Jan Lester sets out a conception of liberty as absence of imposed cost which, he says, advances no moral claim and does not premise an assignm..
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  7. Doxastic Voluntarism: A Sceptical Defence.Danny Frederick - 2013 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 3 (1):24-44.
    Doxastic voluntarism maintains that we have voluntary control over our beliefs. It is generally denied by contemporary philosophers. I argue that doxastic voluntarism is true: normally, and insofar as we are rational, we are able to suspend belief and, provided we have a natural inclination to believe, we are able to rescind that suspension, and thus to choose to believe. I show that the arguments that have been offered against doxastic voluntarism fail; and that, if the denial of doxastic voluntarism (...)
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  8. Ethical Intuitionism: A Structural Critique.Danny Frederick - 2016 - Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (3):631-47.
    Ethical intuitionists regard moral knowledge as deriving from moral intuition, moral observation, moral emotion and inference. However, moral intuitions, observations and emotions are cultural artefacts which often differ starkly between cultures. Intuitionists attribute uncongenial moral intuitions, observations or emotions to bias or to intellectual or moral failings; but that leads to sectarian ad hominen attacks. Intuitionists try to avoid that by restricting epistemically genuine intuitions, observations or emotions to those which are widely agreed. That does not avoid the problem. It (...)
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  9. The Possibility of Contractual Slavery.Danny Frederick - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):47-64.
    In contrast to eminent historical philosophers, almost all contemporary philosophers maintain that slavery is impermissible. In the enthusiasm of the Enlightenment, a number of arguments gained currency which were intended to show that contractual slavery is not merely impermissible but impossible. Those arguments are influential today in moral, legal and political philosophy, even in discussions that go beyond the issue of contractual slavery. I explain what slavery is, giving historical and other illustrations. I examine the arguments for the impossibility of (...)
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  10. Unmotivated Intentional Action.Danny Frederick - 2010 - Philosophical Frontiers 5 (1):21-30.
    In opposition to the tenet of contemporary action theory that an intentional action must be done for a reason, I argue that some intentional actions are unmotivated. I provide examples of arbitrary and habitual actions that are done for no reason at all. I consider and rebut an objection to the examples of unmotivated habitual action. I explain how my contention differs from recent challenges to the tenet by Hursthouse, Stocker and Pollard.
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  11.  90
    Voluntary Slavery.Danny Frederick - 2014 - Las Torres de Lucca: Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política 3 (4):115-137.
    The permissibility of actions depends upon facts about the flourishing and separateness of persons. Persons differ from other creatures in having the task of discovering for themselves, by conjecture and refutation, what sort of life will fulfil them. Compulsory slavery impermissibly prevents some persons from pursuing this task. However, many people may conjecture that they are natural slaves. Some of these conjectures may turn out to be correct. In consequence, voluntary slavery, in which one person welcomes the duty to fulfil (...)
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  12. P. F. Strawson on Predication.Danny Frederick - 2011 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):39-57.
    Strawson offers three accounts of singular predication: a grammatical, a category and a mediating account. I argue that the grammatical and mediating accounts are refuted by a host of counter-examples and that the latter is worse than useless. In later works Strawson defends only the category account. This account entails that singular terms cannot be predicates; it excludes non-denoting singular terms from being logical subjects, except by means of an ad hoc analogy; it depends upon a notion of identification that (...)
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  13. Two Concepts Of Rationality.Danny Frederick - 2010 - Libertarian Papers 2:1-21.
    The dominant tradition in Western philosophy sees rationality as dictating. Thus rationality may require that we believe the best explanation and simple conceptual truths and that we infer in accordance with evident rules of inference. I argue that, given what we know about the growth of knowledge, this authoritarian concept of rationality leads to absurdities and should be abandoned. I then outline a libertarian concept of rationality, derived from Popper, which eschews the dictates and which sees a rational agent as (...)
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  14. Moral Laws, Laws of Nature and Dispositions.Danny Frederick - 2014 - Prolegomena: Journal of Philosophy 13 (2):303-14.
    It appears that light may be thrown on the nature of moral principles if they are construed as moral laws analogous to ceteris-paribus laws of nature. Luke Robinson objects that the analogy either cannot explain how moral principles are necessary or cannot explain how obligations can be pro-tanto; and that a dispositional account of moral obligation has explanatory superiority over one in terms of moral laws. I explain the analogy, construing laws of nature as necessary relationships after the fashion of (...)
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  15. Deduction and Novelty Again.Danny Frederick - 2014 - The Reasoner 8 (5):51-52.
    It is commonly claimed that the conclusion of a valid deductive argument is contained in its premises and says nothing new. In 'Deduction and Novelty,' in The Reasoner 5 (4), pp. 56-57, I refuted that claim. In The Reasoner, 8 (3), pp. 24-25, David McBride criticised my refutation. I show that McBride’s arguments are unsound.
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  16.  52
    Freedom: Positive, Negative, Expressive.Danny Frederick - 2016 - Reason Papers 38 (2):39-63.
    I apply Karl Popper’s conception of critical rationality to the question of personal fulfilment. I show that such fulfilment normally depends upon the person achieving positive freedom, and that positive freedom requires negative freedom, including freedom of expression. If the state has legitimacy, its central duty must be the enforcement of those rules that provide the best prospects for personal fulfilment for the people under its jurisdiction. The state is therefore morally debarred from suppressing freedom of expression. I consider and (...)
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  17. Pro-Tanto Obligations and Ceteris-Paribus Rules.Danny Frederick - 2015 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 12 (3):255-266.
    I summarize a conception of morality as containing a set of rules which hold ceteris paribus and which impose pro-tanto obligations. I explain two ways in which moral rules are ceteris-paribus, according to whether an exception is duty-voiding or duty-overriding. I defend the claim that moral rules are ceteris-paribus against two qualms suggested by Luke Robinson’s discussion of moral rules and against the worry that such rules are uninformative. I show that Robinson’s argument that moral rules cannot ground pro-tanto obligations (...)
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  18.  98
    Book Review: Robert Audi, 'Moral Perception'. [REVIEW]Danny Frederick - 2015 - Reason Papers 37 (1):164-69.
    I summarise Robert Audi's 'Moral Perception.' I concede that there is such a thing as moral perception. However, moral perceptions are culturally-relative, which refutes Audi’s claims that moral perception may ground moral knowledge and that it provides inter-subjectively accessible grounds which make ethical objectivity possible. Audi's attempt to avoid the refutation tends to convert rational disputes into ad hominem ones. I illustrate that with the example of the ethics of prostitution.
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  19.  27
    The Good Bishop and the Explanation of Political Authority.Danny Frederick - 2016 - De Ethica 3 (2):23-35.
    A central problem of political philosophy is that of explaining how a state could have the moral authority to enforce laws, promulgate laws which citizens are thereby obliged to obey, give new duties to citizens and levy taxes. Many rival solutions to this problem of political authority have been offered by contemporary and recent philosophers but none has obtained wide acceptance. The current debate takes no cognisance of George Berkeley’s ‘Passive Obedience’, in which he defends the exceptionless duty of not (...)
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  20. A Puzzle About Natural Laws and the Existence of God.Danny Frederick - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 73 (3):269-283.
    The existence of natural laws, whether deterministic or indeterministic, and whether exceptionless or ceteris paribus, seems puzzling because it implies that mindless bits of matter behave in a consistent and co-ordinated way. I explain this puzzle by showing that a number of attempted solutions fail. The puzzle could be resolved if it were assumed that natural laws are a manifestation of God’s activity. This argument from natural law to God’s existence differs from its traditional counterparts in that, whereas the latter (...)
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  21. Deduction and Novelty.Danny Frederick - 2011 - The Reasoner 5 (4):56-57.
    It is often claimed that the conclusion of a deductively valid argument is contained in its premises. Popper refuted this claim when he showed that an empirical theory can be expected always to have logical consequences that transcend the current understanding of the theory. This implies that no formalisation of an empirical theory will enable the derivation of all its logical consequences. I call this result ‘Popper-incompleteness.’ This result appears to be consistent with the view of deductive reasoning as a (...)
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  22. Pornography and Freedom.Danny Frederick - 2011 - Kritike 5 (2):84-95.
    I defend pornography as an important aspect of freedom of expression, which is essential for autonomy, self-development, the growth of knowledge and human flourishing. I rebut the allegations that pornography depraves and corrupts, degrades women, is harmful to children, exposes third parties to risk of offence or assault, and violates women ’s civil rights and liberties. I contend that suppressing pornography would have a range of unintended evil consequences, including loss of beneficial technology, creeping censorship, black markets, corruption and extensive (...)
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  23.  78
    Critique of an Argument for the Reality of Purpose.Danny Frederick - 2012 - Prolegomena 11 (1):25-34.
    Schueler has argued, against the eliminativist, that human purposive action cannot be an illusion because the concept of purpose is not theoretical. He argues that the concept is known directly to be instantiated, through self-awareness; and that to maintain that the concept is theoretical involves an infinite regress. I show that Schueler’s argument fails because all our concepts are theoretical in the sense that we may be mistaken in applying them to our experience. As a consequence, it is conceivable that (...)
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  24. Why Universal Welfare Rights Are Impossible and What It Means.Danny Frederick - 2010 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 9 (4):428-445.
    Cranston argued that scarcity makes universal welfare rights impossible. After showing that this argument cannot be avoided by denying scarcity, I consider four challenges to the argument which accept the possibility of conflicts between the duties implied by rights. The first denies the agglomeration principle; the second embraces conflicts of duties; the third affirms the violability of all rights-based duties; and the fourth denies that duties to compensate are overriding. I argue that all four challenges to the scarcity argument are (...)
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  25. A Competitive Market in Human Organs.Danny Frederick - 2010 - Libertarian Papers 2:1-21.
    I offer consequentialist and deontological arguments for a competitive market in human organs, from live as well as dead donors. I consider the objections that a market in organs will frustrate altruism, coerce the desperate, expose under-informed agents to unacceptable risks, exacerbate inequality, degrade those who participate in it, involve a kind of slavery, impose invidious costs, and impair third-party choice sets. I show that each of these objections is without merit and that, in consequence, the opposition to markets in (...)
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  26. A Clarificatory Note About Popper on Essentialism.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    In many of his publications, Karl Popper was highly critical of essentialism. In recent decades there has been a revival of essentialism in philosophy. However, modern essentialism, unlike its traditional version, is not undermined by Popper’s arguments against essentialism. To some extent Popper recognised that, in that he proposed an essentialist theory.
     
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  27.  42
    Any Dispute May Be Resolved By Argument But Rational People May Disagree About Anything.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Two common claims in philosophy are that deep disagreements cannot, in principle, be resolved by argument and that normal disagreements will be resolved by argument. In each claim it is assumed that the parties to the disagreement are rational. I argue that both claims are false. The first fails to take account of refutations. The second fails to recognise the role of conjectures in the dynamics of the growth of knowledge. There is no disagreement such that it is impossible for (...)
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  28. Adversus Homo Economicus: Critique of Lester’s Account of Instrumental Rationality.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    In Chapter 2 of Escape from Leviathan, Jan Lester defends two hypotheses: that instrumental rationality requires agents to maximise the satisfaction of their wants and that all agents actually meet this requirement. In addition, he argues that all agents are self-interested (though not necessarily egoistic) and he offers an account of categorical moral desires which entails that no agent ever does what he genuinely feels to be morally wrong. I show that Lester’s two hypotheses are false because they cannot accommodate (...)
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  29.  37
    Are Institutions Created by Collective Acceptance?Danny Frederick - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (3):443-455.
    John Searle, in several articles and books, has contended that institutions incorporating status functions with deontic powers are created by collective acceptance. I argue that collective acceptance can create new status functions with deontic powers only if other status functions with deontic powers already exist, so that collective acceptance can create new institutions only if other institutions are presupposed. So, the claim that institutions depend upon collective acceptance involves a vicious infinite regress. I provide an example to show how an (...)
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  30.  4
    Are Institutions Created by Collective Acceptance?Danny Frederick - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (3):443-455.
    John Searle, in several articles and books, has contended that institutions incorporating status functions with deontic powers are created by collective acceptance. I argue that collective acceptance can create new status functions with deontic powers only if other status functions with deontic powers already exist, so that collective acceptance can create new institutions only if other institutions are presupposed. So, the claim that institutions depend upon collective acceptance involves a vicious infinite regress. I provide an example to show how an (...)
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  31.  25
    Are Institutions Created by Collective Acceptance?Danny Frederick - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 54 (3):443-455.
    John Searle, in several articles and books, has contended that institutions incorporating status functions with deontic powers are created by collective acceptance. I argue that collective acceptance can create new status functions with deontic powers only if other status functions with deontic powers already exist, so that collective acceptance can create new institutions only if other institutions are presupposed. So, the claim that institutions depend upon collective acceptance involves a vicious infinite regress. I provide an example to show how an (...)
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  32.  90
    A Regimented and Concise Exposition of Karl Popper’s Critical Rationalist Epistemology.Danny Frederick - 2019 - Cosmos + Taxis 6 (6-7):49-54.
    A very brief outline of Popper's methodology.
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  33.  16
    A Regimented and Concise Exposition of Karl Popper’s Critical Rationalist Epistemology (Version 2).Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Criticisms of Karl Popper’s critical rationalist epistemology are often confused and misleading. In part that is due to Popper’s somewhat lax use of language, in which technical terms are used in more than one sense. I attempt to clarify Popper’s views by regimenting his terminology. The result is offered as a clear and concise exposition of the main points of Popper’s epistemology. This is an updated version of a paper that was published in Cosmos + Taxis 6 (6+7): 49-54 (2019).
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  34.  38
    A Spurious Paradox.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Niko Kolodny and John MacFarlane claim that a situation involving some trapped miners involves a deontic paradox the resolution of which requires rejecting the logical law of modus ponens. I show that the appearance of paradox results from confusion and that the miners case supplies no cogent reason for impugning modus ponens.
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  35.  29
    Are There Any Good Reasons?Danny Frederick - manuscript
    David Miller argues that there are no good reasons, either sufficient or insufficient. I show that most of his arguments are invalid or unsound. Several of his arguments depend upon the false claim that every deductively valid argument is circular. I accept one of Miller's arguments for the conclusion that there are no good reasons which are less-than-sufficient. I accept one of his arguments to the conclusion that there are no probative sufficient reasons. But I explain how there are epistemic (...)
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  36.  33
    Against the Philosophical Tide: Essays in Popperian Critical Rationalism.Danny Frederick - 2020 - Yeovil, UK.: Critias Publishing.
    This is a collection of nineteen essays in the tradition of critical rationalism (as advocated by Karl Popper). All but one of the essays is previously unpublished and the one previously published paper has undergone significant revisions. The first four essays tackle topics in the philosophy of science, the first being an exposition of Popper's views, the others discussing falsifiability, truth, the aim of science, and ceteris-paribus law-statements. Five essays follow concerned with Reason, reasoning and reasons, in which faulty conceptions (...)
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  37. Confusion About the Right to Life.Danny Frederick - 2011 - The Reasoner 5 (1):4-5.
    I defend the consistency of affirming the right to life while rejecting universal healthcare and liveable income programmes. I also defend the rationality of accepting inconsistency.
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  38.  27
    Entrepreneurship: Alertness, Judgment and Conjecture.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    I criticise, from a critical rationalist perspective, Israel Kirzner's notion of entrepreneurial alertness and Matthew McCaffrey's endorsement of Joseph Salerno's rival account of entrepreneurial judgment.
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  39.  21
    Criticism, Justification, and Learning.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Open versus closed minds and the transformation of universities from places of education into places of indoctrination. A one-page summary.
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  40.  58
    What is Wrong with Ceteris-Paribus Law-Statements?Danny Frederick -
    It is often contended that the special sciences, and even fundamental physics, make use of ceteris-paribus law-statements. Yet there are general concerns that such law-statements are vacuous or untestable or unscientific. I consider two main kinds of ceteris-paribus law-statement. I argue that neither kind is vacuous, that one of the kinds is untestable, that both kinds may count as scientific to the extent that they form parts of conjunctions that imply novel falsifiable statements which survive testing, but that one kind (...)
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  41.  73
    Defective Equilibrium.Danny Frederick - 2016 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 23 (4):443-59.
    I argue that the conception of reflective equilibrium that is generally accepted in contemporary philosophy is defective and should be replaced with a conception of fruitful reflective disequilibrium which prohibits ad hoc manoeuvres, encourages new approaches, and eschews all justification in favour of continuous improvement. I suggest how the conception of fruitful disequilibrium can be applied more effectively to moral enquiry, to encourage genuine progress in moral knowledge, if we make moral theory empirically testable by adopting a meta-ethical postulate which (...)
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  42.  49
    Risk, Ignorance, and What We Ought to Do.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    I consider cases in which risk or ignorance create barriers to our discovery of what we ought to do. I argue that neither expected utility theory, nor the maximin principle, nor a timid gambling temperament, is relevant to discovering what we ought to do in one-off or infrequently recurring types of decisions involving risk, or to decisions involving ignorance. I argue, contra Kolodny and MacFarlane, that the miners case does not require us to give up any classical logical principle in (...)
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  43.  12
    Danecdotes: Reminiscences and Reflections Concerning a Largely Wasted Life.Danny Frederick - 2020 - Charleston, SC: Independently published.
    This book tells part of the story of my life in a succession of anecdotes, or ‘Danecdotes,’ as a friend called them. It generally focuses on the unusual and thereby offers material for reflection. I often include some more or less philosophical reflections within the anecdotes; and such reflections often raise further questions too. The book may be considered as a contribution to ‘the philosophy of everyday life.’ The anecdotes are autobiographical and are presented in approximately chronological order. However, the (...)
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  44.  22
    Falsificationism and the Pragmatic Problem of Induction.Danny Frederick - 2020 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 27 (4):494-503.
    I explain how Karl Popper resolved the problem of induction but not the pragmatic problem of induction. I show that Popper’s solution to the pragmatic problem of induction is inconsistent with his solution to the problem of induction. I explain how Popper’s falsificationist epistemology can solve the pragmatic problem of induction in the same negative way that it solves the problem of induction.
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  45.  60
    Falsifiability and the Duhem Problem.Danny Frederick - 2020 - In Against the Philosophical Tide. Yeovil: Critias Publishing. pp. 15-19.
    It is often claimed that the Duhem problem shows that the notion of falsifiability is inapplicable to scientific theories. I explain why the claim is false.
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  46.  19
    Freedom, Indeterminism, and Fallibilism.Danny Frederick - 2020 - Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.
    This book uses the concepts of freedom, indeterminism, and fallibilism to solve, in a unified way, problems of free will, knowledge, reasoning, rationality, personhood, ethics and politics. Presenting an overarching theory of human freedom, Frederick argues for an account of free will as the capacity for undetermined acts. Knowledge, rationality, and reasoning, both theoretical and practical, as well as personhood, morality and political authority, are all shown to be dependent at their roots on indeterminism and fallibility, and to be connected (...)
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  47.  42
    Flaws in Dummett’s Syntactical Account of Singular Terms.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Dummett defines a ‘predicate’ as that which combines with one or more singular terms to form a sentence. His account of ‘singular term’ is syntactical, involving three necessary conditions. He discusses a fourth, ‘Aristotelian’, criterion before propounding a criterion of predicate quantification which he claims to be superior to it. He tentatively proposes that the three necessary conditions plus the criterion of predicate quantification yield sufficient conditions for being a singular term. I show that Dummett’s necessary conditions fail with regard (...)
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  48. Free Will and Probability.Danny Frederick - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (1):60-77.
    The chance objection to incompatibilist accounts of free action maintains that undetermined actions are not under the agent's control. Some attempts to circumvent this objection locate chance in events posterior to the action. Indeterministic-causation theories locate chance in events prior to the action. However, neither type of response gives an account of free action which avoids the chance objection. Chance must be located at the act of will if actions are to be both undetermined and under the agent's control. This (...)
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  49.  79
    Gettier’s Classic Irrelevance.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Edmund Gettier’s three-page article is generally regarded as a classic of epistemology. I argue that Gettier cases depend upon three false assumptions and are irrelevant to the theory of knowledge. I suggest that we follow Karl Popper in abandoning subject-centred epistemologies in favour of theories of objective knowledge.
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  50.  38
    Haack's Defective Discussion of Popper and the Courts.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    Susan Haack criticises the US courts' use of Karl Popper's epistemology in discriminating acceptable scientific testimony. She claims that acceptable testimony should be reliable and that Popper's epistemology is useless in discriminating reliability. She says that Popper's views have been found acceptable only because they have been misunderstood and she indicates an alternative epistemology which she says can discriminate reliable theories. However, her account of Popper's views is a gross and gratuitous misrepresentation. Her alternative epistemology cannot do what she claims (...)
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