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David W. Johnson
Boston College
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  1. Computers and Intractability. A Guide to the Theory of NP-Completeness.Michael R. Garey & David S. Johnson - 1983 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 48 (2):498-500.
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  2. A Reconsideration of an Argument against Compatibilism.Thomas J. McKay & David Johnson - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (2):113-122.
  3.  50
    Phenomenology and the Impersonal Subject: Between Self and No-Self.David W. Johnson - 2023 - Philosophy East and West 73 (2):286-306.
    This paper attempts to reconcile two ideas that seem fundamentally opposed to one another: the reality of the self and the doctrine of no-self. Buddhism offers a form of spiritual equanimity that turns on the denial of a self. Nonetheless, there seem to be good reasons to hold onto the reality of the self. The existence of a self enables us to account for praise and blame, the hopes for oneself that motivate actions, and attachments to the selves of others (...)
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  4. God’s Prime Directive: Non-Interference and Why There Is No (Viable) Free Will Defense.David Kyle Johnson - 2022 - Religions 13 (9).
    In a recent book and article, James Sterba has argued that there is no free will defense. It is the purpose of this article to show that, in the most technical sense, he is wrong. There is a version of the free will defense that can solve what Sterba (rightly) takes to be the most interesting and severe version of the logical problem of moral evil. However, I will also argue that, in effect (or, we might say, in practice), Sterba (...)
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  5.  8
    Watsuji on nature: Japanese philosophy in the wake of Heidegger.David W. Johnson - 2019 - Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press.
    "In the first study of its kind, David W. Johnson's "Watsuji on Nature" reconstructs the astonishing philosophy of nature of Watsuji Tetsurō (1889-1960), situating it in relation both to his reception of the thought of Heidegger and to his renewal of core ontological positions in classical Confucian and Buddhist philosophy. Johnson shows that for Watsuji we have our being in the lived experience of nature, one in which nature and culture compose a tightly interwoven texture called "fūdo". By fully unfolding (...)
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  6. The Relevance (and Irrelevance) of Questions of Personhood (and Mindedness) to the Abortion Debate.David Kyle Johnson - 2019 - Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 1 (2):121‒53.
    Disagreements about abortion are often assumed to reduce to disagreements about fetal personhood (and mindedness). If one believes a fetus is a person (or has a mind), then they are “pro-life.” If one believes a fetus is not a person (or is not minded), they are “pro-choice.” The issue, however, is much more complicated. Not only is it not dichotomous—most everyone believes that abortion is permissible in some circumstances (e.g. to save the mother’s life) and not others (e.g. at nine (...)
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  7. Natural Evil and the Simulation Hypothesis.David Kyle Johnson - 2011 - Philo 14 (2):161-175.
    Some theists maintain that they need not answer the threat posed to theistic belief by natural evil; they have reason enough to believe that God exists and it renders impotent any threat that natural evil poses to theism. Explicating how God and natural evil coexist is not necessary since they already know both exist. I will argue that, even granting theists the knowledge they claim, this does not leave them in an agreeable position. It commits the theist to a very (...)
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  8. Inference to the Best Explanation and Rejecting the Resurrection.David Kyle Johnson - 2021 - Socio-Historical Examination of Religion and Ministry 3 (1):26-51.
    Christian apologists, like Willian Lane Craig and Stephen T. Davis, argue that belief in Jesus’ resurrection is reasonable because it provides the best explanation of the available evidence. In this article, I refute that thesis. To do so, I lay out how the logic of inference to the best explanation (IBE) operates, including what good explanations must be and do by definition, and then apply IBE to the issue at hand. Multiple explanations—including (what I will call) The Resurrection Hypothesis, The (...)
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  9.  23
    Ethical Ambiguity in Science.David R. Johnson & Elaine Howard Ecklund - 2016 - Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (4):989-1005.
    Drawing on 171 in-depth interviews with physicists at universities in the United States and the UK, this study examines the narratives of 48 physicists to explain the concept of ethical ambiguity: the border where legitimate and illegitimate conduct is blurred. Researchers generally assume that scientists agree on what constitutes both egregious and more routine forms of misconduct in science. The results of this study show that scientists perceive many scenarios as ethically gray, rather than black and white. Three orientations to (...)
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  10. God, fatalism, and temporal ontology.David Kyle Johnson - 2009 - Religious Studies 45 (4):435-454.
    Theological incompatibility arguments suggest God's comprehensive foreknowledge is incompatible with human free will. Logical incompatibility arguments suggest a complete set of truths about the future is logically incompatible with human free will. Of the two, most think theological incompatibility is the more severe problem; but hardly anyone thinks either kind of argument presents a real threat to free will. I will argue, however, that sound theological and logical incompatibility arguments exist and that, in fact, logical incompatibly is the more severe (...)
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  11.  3
    Circles of Learning: Cooperation in the Classroom.David W. Johnson - 1984
    Cooperative learning processes have been rediscovered and are being used throughout the country on every level. The basic elements of cooperative goal structure are positive interdependence, individual accountability, face-to-face interaction, and cooperative skills. The teacher's role in structuring cooperative learning situations involves clearly specifying lesson objectives, placing students in productive learning groups and providing appropriate materials, clearly explaining the cooperative goal structure, monitoring students, and evaluating performance. For cooperative learning groups to be productive, students must be able to engage in (...)
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  12. A Refutation of Skeptical Theism.David Kyle Johnson - 2013 - Sophia 52 (3):425-445.
    Skeptical theists argue that no seemingly unjustified evil (SUE) could ever lower the probability of God's existence at all. Why? Because God might have justifying reasons for allowing such evils (JuffREs) that are undetectable. However, skeptical theists are unclear regarding whether or not God's existence is relevant to the existence of JuffREs, and whether or not God's existence is relevant to their detectability. But I will argue that, no matter how the skeptical theist answers these questions, it is undeniable that (...)
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  13.  49
    God as the True Self.David M. Johnson - 1999 - Ancient Philosophy 19 (1):1-19.
  14.  22
    Hume, Holism, and Miracles.David Johnson - 1999 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
    David Johnson seeks to overthrow one of the widely accepted tenets of Anglo-American philosophy—that of the success of the Humean case against the rational credibility of reports of miracles. In a manner unattempted in any other single work, he meticulously examines all the main variants of Humean reasoning on the topic of miracles: Hume's own argument and its reconstructions by John Stuart Mill, J. L. Mackie, Antony Flew, Jordan Howard Sobel, and others. Hume's view, set forth in his essay "Of (...)
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  15.  78
    The Failure of the Multiverse Hypothesis as a Solution to the Problem of No Best World.David Kyle Johnson - 2014 - Sophia 53 (4):447-465.
    The multiverse hypothesis is growing in popularity among theistic philosophers because some view it as the preferable way to solve certain difficulties presented by theistic belief. In this paper, I am concerned specifically with its application to Rowe’s problem of no best world, which suggests that God’s existence is impossible given the fact that the world God actualizes must be unsurpassable, yet for any given possible world, there is one greater. I will argue that, as a solution to the problem (...)
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  16.  1
    Plato and Xenophon: comparative studies.Gabriel Danzig, Donald Morrison & David M. Johnson (eds.) - 2018 - Boston: Brill.
    Plato and Xenophon: Comparative Studies contains a wide variety of comparative studies of the writings of Plato and Xenophon, from philosophical, literary, and historical perspectives.
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  17.  84
    "At What Cost Do We 'Rent'?".David B. Johnson - 2023 - In Between Ethics: Navigating the Ethical Space in Business. Dubuque: Kendall-Hunt Publishing.
    To Aaron Pacitti and Michael Cauvel–whose journal article, “Rent-Seeking Behavior and Economic Justice: A Classroom Exercise” broadly argues that “understanding the [complexities] of rent-seeking behavior helps fill the gap between economics and politics”–the varieties of rent are wide and, therefore, can only be described in their category-specific positions. I will discuss three of these categories in more detail below, but for now, I propose that a useful working grasp of economic rent involves “the amount paid to the owner of a (...)
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  18.  17
    God as the True Self.David M. Johnson - 1999 - Ancient Philosophy 19 (1):1-19.
  19.  94
    Retiring the Argument from Reason.David Kyle Johnson - 2018 - Philosophia Christi 20 (2):541-563.
    In C. S. Lewis’s Christian Apologetics: Pro and Con, I took the con in a debate with Victor Reppert about the soundness of Lewis’s famous “argument from reason.” Reppert then extended his argument in an article for Philosophia Christi; this article is my reply. I show that Reppert’s argument fails for three reasons. (1) It “loads the die” by falsely assuming that naturalism, by definition, can't include mental causation "on the basic level." (I provide multiple examples of naturalist theories of (...)
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  20.  76
    What is Done, Is Done.David B. Johnson - 2023 - In Between Ethics: Navigating the Ethical Space in Business. Dubuque: Kendall-Hunt Publishing.
    An interruption. Rethinking the first three chapters of this book, I have come to suspect that, not unlike Iris Murdoch and Emmanuel Levinas, the way I imagine ‘ethics’ floats on an idea that any ethical substantive position or ethical theory is always shaped through our existential condition and our embodied encounter with others. To Murdoch, existence is the disposition for our responses to the ways in which we perceive reality, and yet, although these responses are always part of who we (...)
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  21.  21
    Valencies of the lanthanides.David A. Johnson & Peter G. Nelson - 2017 - Foundations of Chemistry 20 (1):15-27.
    The valencies of the lanthanides vary more than was once thought. In addition to valencies associated with a half-full shell, there are valencies associated with a quarter- and three-quarter-full shell. This can be explained on the basis of Slater’s theory of many-electron atoms. The same theory explains the variation in complexing constants in the trivalent state. Valency in metallic and organometallic compounds is also discussed.
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  22.  49
    Hume, holism, and miracles.David Johnson - 1999 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
    David Johnson seeks to overthrow one of the widely accepted tenets of Anglo-American philosophy -- that of the success of the Humean case against the rational ...
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  23. Do souls exist?David Kyle Johnson - 2013 - Think 12 (35):61-75.
    ‘The soul hypothesis’ enjoys near unanimous support in the general population. Among philosophers and scientists, however, belief in the soul is far less common. The purpose of this essay to explain why many philosophers and scientists reject the soul hypothesis and to consider what the non-existence of the soul would entail.
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  24.  24
    The Moral Limits of the Market: Science Commercialization and Religious Traditions.Jared L. Peifer, David R. Johnson & Elaine Howard Ecklund - 2019 - Journal of Business Ethics 157 (1):183-197.
    Entrepreneurs of contested commodities often face stakeholders engaged in market excluding boundary work driven by ethical considerations. For example, the conversion of academic scientific knowledge into technologies that can be owned and sold is a growing global trend and key stakeholders have different ethical responses to this contested commodity. Commercialization of science can be viewed as a good thing because people believe it bolsters economic growth and broadly benefits society. Others view it as bad because they believe it discourages basic (...)
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  25. A critique of the minimalist program.David Johnson & Shalom Lappin - 1997 - Linguistics and Philosophy 20 (3):273-333.
  26. Hume, Holism, and Miracles.David Johnson - 2001 - Philosophy 76 (296):312-316.
  27. The future of the cognitive revolution.David Martel Johnson & Christina E. Erneling (eds.) - 1997 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    The basic idea of the particular way of understanding mental phenomena that has inspired the "cognitive revolution" is that, as a result of certain relatively recent intellectual and technological innovations, informed theorists now possess a more powerfully insightful comparison or model for mind than was available to any thinkers in the past. The model in question is that of software, or the list of rules for input, output, and internal transformations by which we determine and control the workings of a (...)
     
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  28.  48
    Can abstractions be causes?David M. Johnson - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (1):63-77.
    The Empiricist or Lockean view says natural kinds do not exist objectively in nature but are practical categories reflecting use of words. The Modern, Ostensive view says they do exist, and one can refer to such a kind by ostention and recursion, assuming his designation of it is related causally to the kind itself. However, this leads to a problem: Kinds are abstract repeatables, and it seems impossible that abstractions could have causal force. In defence of the Modern view, I (...)
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  29.  17
    Perception, Expression, and the Continuity of Being: Some Intersections between Nishida and Gadamer.David W. Johnson - 2014 - Asian Philosophy 24 (1):48-66.
    Gadamer’s notion of dialogical truth relies on the claim that self and world “belong together” as aspects of a single, unitary phenomenon, one which is made manifest in language. This view has difficulty, however, accounting for that which is untruthful. To get past this obstacle I suggest that we turn to Nishida’s work, which shows how we can bring self and world together into a kind of harmony such that the cultivation of perception makes possible truthful expression.
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  30.  21
    Acting-Intuition and the Achievement of Perception: Merleau-Ponty with Nishida.David W. Johnson - 2017 - Philosophy East and West 67 (3):693-709.
    This essay draws on Nishida’s ontology to shed light on some problems with Merleau-Ponty’s view of truth, a view that has difficulty accounting for the expression in language of that which is distorted, mistaken, or untruthful. To get past these difficulties, it is suggested that we turn to the more dynamic and developmental vision of the continuity of being found in Nishida’s work.
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  31. Does free will exist?David Kyle Johnson - 2016 - Think 15 (42):53-70.
    In, I suggested that, while the non-existence of the soul does threaten free will, the threat it possess is inconsequential. Free will faces so many other hurdles that, if those were overcome, the soul's non-existence would be a non-threat. In this paper, I establish this; and to do so, I define the common libertarian notion of free will, and show how neuroscience, determinism, indeterminism, theological belief, axioms in logic, and even Einstein's theory of relativity each entail that libertarian free will (...)
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  32.  20
    The Limits of Language: Philosophical Hermeneutics and the Task of Comparative Philosophy.David W. Johnson - 2020 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 34 (3):378-389.
    Despite the importance of linguistic disclosure for philosophical hermeneutics there has been a conspicuous lack of attention to the question of how linguistic disclosure actually works. I examine the mechanics of disclosure by drawing on Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics as well as Ricoeur’s concept of translation and his theory of metaphor. My claim is that the background horizon of the unsaid that differs between languages enables each to disclose different things. This situation underscores the importance of engaging in East-West comparative philosophy, (...)
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  33.  30
    The Postmodern Sublime.David B. Johnson - 2012 - In Timothy M. Costelloe (ed.), The Sublime: From Antiquity to the Present. Cambridge University Press. pp. 118.
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  34.  56
    Watsuji’s topology of the self.David W. Johnson - 2016 - Asian Philosophy 26 (3):216-240.
    This essay critically develops Watsuji’s nondual ontology of the self. Watsuji shows that the self is constituted by its relational contact with others and by its immersion in a wider geo-cultural environment. Yet Watsuji himself had difficulty in smoothly bringing together and integrating these notions. By showing how these domains work together to constitute the self, I bring into view the unity at the ground of Watsuji’s thought and the implications of this account for key ideas in Heidegger’s philosophy and (...)
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  35.  14
    Is the Market Perceived to be Civilizing or Destructive? Scientists’ Universalism Values and Their Attitudes Towards Patents.Jared L. Peifer, David R. Johnson & Elaine Howard Ecklund - 2020 - Journal of Business Ethics 170 (2):253-267.
    Is the market civilizing or destructive? The increased salience of science commercialization is forcing scientists to address this question. Benefiting from the sociology of morality literature’s increased attention to specific kinds of morality and engaging with economic sociology’s moral markets literature, we generate competing hypotheses about scientists’ value-driven attitudes toward patenting. The Civilizing Market thesis suggests scientists who prioritize universalism will tend to support patenting. The Destructive Market thesis, by contrast, suggests universalism will be correlated with opposition to patenting. We (...)
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  36.  15
    Confirmation Bias.David Kyle Johnson - 2018 - In Robert Arp, Steven Barbone & Michael Bruce (eds.), Bad Arguments. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 317–320.
    This chapter focuses on one of the common fallacies in Western philosophy, “confirmation bias”. Confirmation bias is the human tendency only to look for evidence that confirms what one wants to believe or what one already thinks is true. Usually people are not too keen to look for evidence against what they want to believe is true. The human propensity for self‐delusion is strong. When one is confronted with sufficient evidence against some belief that one holds, what one should do (...)
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  37.  27
    Self in Nature, Nature in the Lifeworld: A Reinterpretation of Watsuji's Concept of Fūdo.David W. Johnson - 2019 - Philosophy East and West 68 (4):1134-1154.
    Watsuji Tetsurō’s concept of fūdo (風土) is intended to capture the way in which nature and culture are interwoven in a setting that is partly constitutive of and partly constituted by a group of people inhabiting a particular place. This essay offers a careful examination of the sense in which the self both constitutes and is constituted by the fūdo, or geo-cultural climate, in which it is emplaced. It concludes with a brief survey of the prospects and problems posed by (...)
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  38. On Angels, Demons, and Ghosts: Is Justified Belief in Spiritual Entities Possible?David Kyle Johnson - 2022 - Religions 13 (603).
    Belief in the existence of spiritual entities is an integral part of many people’s religious worldview. Angels appear, demons possess, ghosts haunt. But is belief that such entities exist justified? If not, are there conditions in which it would be? I will begin by showing why, once one clearly understands how to infer the best explanation, it is obvious that neither stories nor personal encounters can provide sufficient evidence to justify belief in spiritual entities. After responding to objections to similar (...)
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  39.  3
    Availability Error.David Kyle Johnson - 2018 - In Robert Arp, Steven Barbone & Michael Bruce (eds.), Bad Arguments. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 128–132.
    One commits the availability error when one pays attention to, or is compelled by, the readily available evidence – the evidence that is obvious, memorable, or psychologically compelling – instead of taking into account all the evidence or the reliable evidence. This chapter focuses on one of the common fallacies in Western philosophy called availability error. The availability error contributes to confirmation bias, the tendency to only pay attention to the evidence that confirms what we believe and ignore the evidence (...)
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  40.  5
    Mystery, Therefore Magic.David Kyle Johnson - 2018 - In Robert Arp, Steven Barbone & Michael Bruce (eds.), Bad Arguments. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 189–192.
    This chapter focuses on one of the common fallacies in Western philosophy called 'mystery, therefore magic fallacy' (MTM). One commits the (MTM) when one takes the fact that one cannot find a “natural” or “rational” explanation for some event or thing as a reason to favor or to accept a magical, supernatural, or fantastic explanation for that event or thing. This fallacy gets its name from the fact that we instinctually avoid it every time we watch a good magic show. (...)
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  41.  65
    The Failure of Plantinga’s Solution to the Logical Problem of Natural Evil.David Kyle Johnson - 2012 - Philo 15 (2):145-157.
  42.  38
    Age Differences in Age Perceptions and Developmental Transitions.William J. Chopik, Ryan H. Bremner, David J. Johnson & Hannah L. Giasson - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  43.  8
    Reply to Laÿna Droz’s Review of Watsuji on Nature: Japanese Philosophy in the Wake of Heidegger.David W. Johnson - 2023 - Journal of Japanese Philosophy 9 (1):167-188.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: I would like to begin by thanking the Journal of Japanese Philosophy for making space in these pages for a review of my monograph Watsuji on Nature: Japanese Philosophy in the Wake of Heidegger. Although book reviews do not usually receive a reply from the author—much less one as lengthy as the article that follows—one seemed necessary in this instance because my ideas, unfortunately, have been seriously mis-represented (...)
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  44.  45
    Grammar formalisms viewed as evolving algebras.David E. Johnson & Lawrence S. Moss - 1994 - Linguistics and Philosophy 17 (6):537 - 560.
    We consider the use ofevolving algebra methods of specifying grammars for natural languages. We are especially interested in distributed evolving algebras. We provide the motivation for doing this, and we give a reconstruction of some classic grammar formalisms in directly dynamic terms. Finally, we consider some technical questions arising from the use of direct dynamism in grammar formalisms.
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  45.  59
    Induction and modality.David Johnson - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (3):399-430.
  46.  18
    Kant's Dog.David E. Johnson - 2004 - Diacritics 34 (1):19-39.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Kant's DogDavid E. Johnson (bio)In a certain way, it is always too late to pose the question of time.—Jacques Derrida, Margins of PhilosophyIt is well known that Kant was notorious in Königsberg for his strict adherence to routine; he was so regular, Ernst Cassirer reports, that the citizens of Königsberg were able to set their clocks by his movements.1 The most public articulation of this regularity was his daily (...)
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  47.  18
    The task of relevance: Aurobindo's synthesis of religion and politics.David L. Johnson - 1973 - Philosophy East and West 23 (4):507-515.
  48.  37
    Skeptical Theism Remains Refuted: a Reply to Perrine.David Kyle Johnson - 2017 - Sophia 56 (2):367-371.
    In my 2013 article ‘A Refutation of Skeptical Theism,’ I argued that observing seemingly unjustified evils always reduces the probability of God’s existence. When figuring the relevant probabilities, I used a basic probability calculus that simply distributes the probability of falsified hypotheses equally. In 2015, Timothy Perrine argued that, since Bayes Theorem doesn’t always equally distribute the probability of falsified hypotheses, my argument is undermined unless I can also show that my thesis follows on a Bayesian analysis. It is the (...)
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  49.  4
    Aristippus at the Crossroads: The Politics of Pleasure in Xenophon’s Memorabilia.David M. S. Johnson - 2009 - Polis 26 (2):204-222.
    In two passages from Xenophon's Memorabilia, Socrates refutes Aristippus, first by a rather brutal brand of Realpolitik , then by refusing to answer Aristippus' questions about the good and the beautiful . This article argues that the nasty politics that emerge in Memorabilia 2.1 are not Socratic, but rather the natural consequence of Aristippean hedonism. Political considerations of another sort drive Socrates' tactics in Memorabilia 3.8, where his evasive manoeuvres are driven by his desire to avoid a direct confrontation with (...)
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  50.  19
    Aristippus at the Crossroads: The Politics of Pleasure in Xenophon’s Memorabilia.David M. S. Johnson - 2009 - Polis 26 (2):204-222.
    In two passages from Xenophon’s Memorabilia, Socrates refutes Aristippus, first by a rather brutal brand of Realpolitik, then by refusing to answer Aristippus’ questions about the good and the beautiful. This article argues that the nasty politics that emerge in Memorabilia 2.1 are not Socratic, but rather the natural consequence of Aristippean hedonism. Political considerations of another sort drive Socrates’ tactics in Memorabilia 3.8, where his evasive manoeuvres are driven by his desire to avoid a direct confrontation with hedonism. ocrates’ (...)
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