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David Sobel [56]David M. Sobel [15]David S. Sobel [1]
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David Sobel
Syracuse University
  1. Full Information Accounts of Well-Being.David Sobel - 1994 - Ethics 104 (4):784-810.
  2. Backing Away From Libertarian Self-Ownership.David Sobel - 2012 - Ethics 123 (1):32-60.
    Libertarian self-ownership views have traditionally maintained that we enjoy very powerful deontological protections against any infringement upon our property. This stringency yields very counter-intuitive results when we consider trivial infringements such as very mildly toxic pollution or trivial risks such having planes fly overhead. Maintaining that other people's rights against all infringements are very powerful threatens to undermine our liberty, as Nozick saw. In this paper I consider the most sophisticated attempts to rectify this problem within a libertarian self-ownership framework. (...)
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  3. Subjectivism and Idealization.David Sobel - 2009 - Ethics 119 (2):336-352.
  4. The Impotence of the Demandingness Objection.David Sobel - 2007 - Philosophers' Imprint 7:1-17.
    Consequentialism, many philosophers have claimed, asks too much of us to be a plausible ethical theory. Indeed, the theory's severe demandingness is often claimed to be its chief flaw. My thesis is that as we come to better understand this objection, we see that, even if it signals or tracks the existence of a real problem for Consequentialism, it cannot itself be a fundamental problem with the view. The objection cannot itself provide good reason to break with Consequentialism, because it (...)
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  5.  12
    From Valuing to Value: A Defense of Subjectivism.David Sobel - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    David Sobel defends subjectivism about well-being and reasons for action: the idea that normativity flows from what an agent cares about, that something is valuable because it is valued. In these essays Sobel explores the tensions between subjective views of reasons and morality, and concludes that they do not undermine subjectivism.
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  6. Morality and Virtue: An Assessment of Some Recent Work in Virtue Ethics.David Copp & David Sobel - 2004 - Ethics 114 (3):514-554.
    This essay focuses on three recent books on morality and virtue, Michael Slote's 'Morals from Motives', Rosalind Hursthouse's 'On Virtue Ethics', and Philippa Foot's 'Natural Goodness'. Slote proposes an "agent-based" ethical theory according to which the ethical status of acts is derivative from assessments of virtue. Following Foot's lead, Hursthouse aims to vindicate an ethical naturalism that explains human goodness on the basis of views about human nature. Both Hursthouse and Slote take virtue to be morally basic in a way (...)
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  7.  91
    A Robust Hybrid Theory of Well-Being.Steven Wall & David Sobel - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (9):2829-2851.
    This paper articulates and defends a novel hybrid account of well-being. We will call our view a Robust Hybrid. We call it robust because it grants a broad and not subservient role to both objective and subjective values. In this paper we assume, we think plausibly but without argument, that there is a significant objective component to well-being. Here we clarify what it takes for an account of well-being to have a subjective component. Roughly, we argue, it must allow that (...)
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  8. Against Direction of Fit Accounts of Belief and Desire.David Sobel & Copp - 2001 - Analysis 61 (1):44-53.
    The authors argue against direction of fit accounts of the distinction between belief and desire.
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  9. Pain for Objectivists: The Case of Matters of Mere Taste.David Sobel - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (4):437 - 457.
    Can we adequately account for our reasons of mere taste without holding that our desires ground such reasons? Recently, Scanlon and Parfit have argued that we can, pointing to pleasure and pain as the grounds of such reasons. In this paper I take issue with each of their accounts. I conclude that we do not yet have a plausible rival to a desire-based understanding of the grounds of such reasons.
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  10.  21
    Causal Learning Mechanisms in Very Young Children: Two-, Three-, and Four-Year-Olds Infer Causal Relations From Patterns of Variation and Covariation.Clark Glymour, Alison Gopnik, David M. Sobel & Laura E. Schulz - unknown
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  11. Varieties of Hedonism.David Sobel - 2002 - Journal of Social Philosophy 33 (2):240–256.
  12. Subjective Accounts of Reasons for Action.David Sobel - 2001 - Ethics 111 (3):461-492.
  13. Explanation, Internalism, and Reasons for Action.David Sobel - 2001 - Social Philosophy and Policy 18 (2):218.
  14. Well-Being as the Object of Moral Consideration.David Sobel - 1998 - Economics and Philosophy 14 (2):249.
    The proposal I offer attempts to remedy the inadequacies of exclusive focus on well-being for moral purposes. The proposal is this: We should allow the agent to decide for herself where she wants to throw the weight that is her due in moral reflection, with the proviso that she understands the way that her weight will be aggregated with others in reaching a moral outcome. I will call this the "autonomy principle." The autonomy principle, I claim, provides the consequentialist's best (...)
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  15. Advice for Non-Analytical Naturalists.Janice Dowell, J. L. & David Sobel - 2017 - In Simon Kirchin (ed.), Reading Parfit. Routledge. pp. 153-171.
    We argue that Parfit's "Triviality Objection" against some naturalistic views of normativity is not compelling. We think that once one accepts, as one should, that identity statements can be informative in virtue of their pragmatics and not only in virtue of their semantics, Parfit's case against naturalism can be overcome.
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  16. Parfit's Case Against Subjectivism.David Sobel - 2011 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, volume 6. Oxford University Press.
    I argue that Parfit's On What Matters does not make a compelling case against subjective accounts of reasons for action.
     
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  17. Self-Ownership and the Conflation Problem.David Sobel - forthcoming - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics.
    Libertarian self-ownership views in the tradition of Locke, Nozick, and the left-libertarians have supposed that we enjoy very powerful deontological protections against infringing upon our property. Such a conception makes sense when we are focused on property that is very important to its owner, such as a person’s kidney. However, this stringency of our property rights is harder to credit when we consider more trivial infringements such as very mildly toxic pollution or trivial risks such having planes fly overhead. Maintaining (...)
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  18.  7
    Knowledge Matters: How Children Evaluate the Reliability of Testimony as a Process of Rational Inference.David M. Sobel & Tamar Kushnir - 2013 - Psychological Review 120 (4):779-797.
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  19. Do the Desires of Rational Agents Converge?David Sobel - 1999 - Analysis 59 (3):137–147.
  20.  20
    Parfit's Case Against Subjectivism 1.David Sobel - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6.
    Derek Parfit, in On What Matters, argues that all subjective accounts of normative reasons for action are false. This chapter focuses on his “Agony Argument.” The first premise of the Agony Argument is that we necessarily have current reasons to avoid our own future agony. Its second premise is that subjective accounts cannot vindicate this fact. So, the argument concludes, subjective accounts must be rejected. This chapter accepts the first premise of this argument and that it is valid. The main (...)
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  21.  13
    Young Children Are Reality-Prone When Thinking About Stories.Deena Skolnick Weisberg, Paul Bloom, David M. Sobel & Joshua Goodstein - 2013 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 13 (3-4):383-407.
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  22.  66
    Bayes and Blickets: Effects of Knowledge on Causal Induction in Children and Adults.Thomas L. Griffiths, David M. Sobel, Joshua B. Tenenbaum & Alison Gopnik - 2011 - Cognitive Science 35 (8):1407-1455.
    People are adept at inferring novel causal relations, even from only a few observations. Prior knowledge about the probability of encountering causal relations of various types and the nature of the mechanisms relating causes and effects plays a crucial role in these inferences. We test a formal account of how this knowledge can be used and acquired, based on analyzing causal induction as Bayesian inference. Five studies explored the predictions of this account with adults and 4-year-olds, using tasks in which (...)
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  23.  67
    The Case for Stance Dependent Reasons.David Sobel - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 15 (2).
    Many philosophers maintain that neither one’s reasons for action nor well-being are ever grounded in facts about what we desire or favor. Yet our reasons to eat a flavor of ice cream we like rather than one we do not seem an obvious counter-example. I argue that there is no getting around such examples and that therefore a fully stance independent account of the grounding of our reasons is implausible. At least in matters of mere taste our “stance” plays a (...)
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  24. Desires, Motives, and Reasons: Scanlon’s Rationalistic Moral Psychology.David Copp & David Sobel - 2002 - Social Theory and Practice 28 (2):243-76.
  25.  94
    Is Subjectivism Incoherent?David Sobel - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):531-538.
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  26.  77
    On the Subjectivity of Welfare.David Sobel - 1997 - Ethics 107 (3):501-508.
  27. Subjectivism and Blame.David Sobel - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (5):pp. 149-170.
    My favorite thing about this paper is that I think I usefully explicate and then mess with Bernard Williams's attempt to explain how his internalism is compatible with our ordinary practices of blame. There are a surprising number of things wrong with Williams's position. Of course that leaves my own favored subjectivism in a pickle, but still...
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  28.  9
    Reach Tracking Reveals Dissociable Processes Underlying Cognitive Control.Christopher D. Erb, Jeff Moher, David M. Sobel & Joo-Hyun Song - 2016 - Cognition 152:114-126.
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  29. Causal Learning in Children: Causal Maps and Bayes Nets.Alison Gopnik, Clark Glymour, David M. Sobel & Laura E. Schultz - unknown
    We outline a cognitive and computational account of causal learning in children. We propose that children employ specialized cognitive systems that allow them to recover an accurate “causal map” of the world: an abstract, coherent representation of the causal relations among events. This kind of knowledge can be perspicuously represented by the formalism of directed graphical causal models, or “Bayes nets”. Human causal learning and inference may involve computations similar to those for learnig causal Bayes nets and for predicting with (...)
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  30. Pleasure as a Mental State.David Sobel - 1999 - Utilitas 11 (2):230.
    Shelly Kagan and Leonard Katz have offered versions of hedonism that aspire to occupy a middle position between the view that pleasure is a unitary sensation and the view that pleasure is, as Sidgwick put it, desirable consciousness. Thus they hope to offer a hedonistic account of well-being that does not mistakenly suppose that pleasure is a special kind of tingle, yet to offer a sharp alternative to desire-based accounts. I argue that they have not identified a coherent middle position.
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  31. Disagreeing About How to Disagree.Kate Manne & David Sobel - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):823-34.
    David Enoch, in Taking Morality Seriously, argues for a broad normative asymmetry between how we should behave when disagreeing about facts and how we should behave when disagreeing due to differing preferences. Enoch claims that moral disputes have the earmarks of a factual dispute rather than a preference dispute and that this makes more plausible a realist understanding of morality. We try to clarify what such claims would have to look like to be compelling and we resist his main conclusions.
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  32. The Point of Self-Ownership.David Sobel - 2018 - In David Schmidtz & Carmen Pavel (eds.), Oxford Handbook on Freedom. Oxford University Press. pp. 124-40.
    I examine what the point of self-ownership might best be thought to be.
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  33. Reasons for Action.David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.) - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    What are our reasons for acting? Morality purports to give us these reasons, and so do norms of prudence and the laws of society. The theory of practical reason assesses the authority of these potentially competing claims, and for this reason philosophers with a wide range of interests have converged on the topic of reasons for action. This volume contains eleven essays on practical reason by leading and emerging philosophers. Topics include the differences between practical and theoretical rationality, practical conditionals (...)
     
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  34.  5
    Of Blickets, Butterflies, and Baby Dinosaurs: Children’s Diagnostic Reasoning Across Domains.Deena Skolnick Weisberg, Elysia Choi & David M. Sobel - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
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  35.  24
    Subjectivism and Blame.David Sobel - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (Supplement):149-170.
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  36. Parfit's Case Against Subjectivism.David Sobel - 2011 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 6. Oxford University Press.
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  37. The Limits of the Explanatory Power of Developmentalism.David Sobel - 2010 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (4):517-527.
    Richard Kraut's neo-Aristotelian account of well-being, Developmentalism, aspires to explain not only which things are good for us but why those things are good for us. The key move in attempting to make good on this second aspiration involves his claim that our ordinary intuitions about what is good for a person can be successfully explained and systematized by the idea that what benefi ts a living thing develops properly that living thing's potentialities, capacities, and faculties. I argue that Kraut's (...)
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  38.  9
    Cognitive Control in Action: Tracking the Dynamics of Rule Switching in 5- to 8-Year-Olds and Adults.Christopher D. Erb, Jeff Moher, Joo-Hyun Song & David M. Sobel - 2017 - Cognition 164:163-173.
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  39. Introduction.David Sobel & Steven Wall - 2009 - In David Sobel & Steven Wall (eds.), Reasons for Action. Cambridge University Press.
  40.  16
    Enabling Conditions and Children’s Understanding of Pretense.David M. Sobel - 2009 - Cognition 113 (2):177-188.
  41.  8
    Interactions Between Causal and Statistical Learning.David M. Sobel & Natasha Z. Kirkham - 2007 - In Alison Gopnik & Laura Schulz (eds.), Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy, and Computation. Oxford University Press. pp. 139--153.
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  42.  11
    Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, Volume 1.David Sobel, Peter Vallentyne & Steven Wall (eds.) - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    This is the inaugural volume of Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy. Since its revival in the 1970s political philosophy has been a vibrant field in philosophy, one that intersects with jurisprudence, normative economics, political theory in political science departments, and just war theory. OSPP aims to publish some of the best contemporary work in political philosophy and these closely related subfields.
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  43.  9
    Children’s Developing Understanding of the Relation Between Variable Causal Efficacy and Mechanistic Complexity.Christopher D. Erb, David W. Buchanan & David M. Sobel - 2013 - Cognition 129 (3):494-500.
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  44. The Ethics of Eating Meat.David Sobel - 2017 - Philosophic Exchange 46 (1).
    I explore the ethical issues involved in eating meat.
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  45.  44
    Reply to Robertson.David Sobel - 2003 - Philosophical Papers 32 (2):185-191.
    Philosophical Papers Vol.32(2) 2003: 185-191.
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  46. "Understanding the Demandingness Objection".David Sobel - forthcoming - In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    This paper examines possible interpretations of the Demandingness Objection as it is supposed to work against Consequentialist ethical theories.
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  47.  3
    Developmental Trajectories in Diagnostic Reasoning: Understanding Data Are Confounded Develops Independently of Choosing Informative Interventions to Resolve Confounded Data.April Moeller, Beate Sodian & David M. Sobel - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychology 13.
    Two facets of diagnostic reasoning related to scientific thinking are recognizing the difference between confounded and unconfounded evidence and selecting appropriate interventions that could provide learners the evidence necessary to make an appropriate causal conclusion. The present study investigates both these abilities in 3- to 6-year-old children. We found both competence and developmental progress in the capacity to recognize that evidence is confounded. Similarly, children performed above chance in some tasks testing for the selection of a controlled test of a (...)
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  48. How to Be a Subjectivist.David Sobel - forthcoming - In Ruth Chang & Kurt Sylvan (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Practical Reason. Routledge.
    Subjectivism, desires, reasons, well-being, ethics.
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  49.  56
    Sumner on Welfare.David Sobel - 1998 - Dialogue 37 (3):571-.
    In this paper I criticize the way Sumner marks the subjective/objective divide and the way he argues for subjective views of well-being.
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  50. Review of Mark Schroeder, Slaves of the Passions[REVIEW]David Sobel - 2009 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (4).
    I assess Schroeder's book Slaves of the Passions and isolate some grounds for concerns about the overall position.
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