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Fritz McDonald
Oakland University
  1. Linguistics, Psychology, and the Ontology of Language.Fritz J. McDonald - 2009 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):291-301.
    Noam Chomsky’s well-known claim that linguistics is a “branch of cognitive psychology” has generated a great deal of dissent—not from linguists or psychologists, but from philosophers. Jerrold Katz, Scott Soames, Michael Devitt, and Kim Sterelny have presented a number of arguments, intended to show that this Chomskian hypothesis is incorrect. On both sides of this debate, two distinct issues are often conflated: (1) the ontological status of language and (2) the relation between psychology and linguistics. The ontological issue is, I (...)
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  2. Minimalism and Expressivism.Fritz J. McDonald - 2012 - Ethics in Progress 3:9-30.
    There has been a great deal of discussion in the recent philosophical literature of the relationship between the minimalist theory of truth and the expressivist metaethical theory. One group of philosophers contends that minimalism and expressivism are compatible, the other group contends that such theories are incompatible. Following Simon Blackburn (manuscript), I will call the former position ‘compatibilism’ and the latter position ‘incompatiblism.’ Even those compatibilist philosophers who hold that there is no conflict or tension between these two theories—minimalism and (...)
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  3. Beyond Objectivism and Subjectivism.Fritz J. McDonald - 2016 - In Piotr Makowski, Mateusz Bonecki & Krzysztof Nowak-Posadzy (eds.), Praxiology and the Reasons for Action. Transaction Publishers.
    Subjectivism about reasons is the view that a person has a reason to perform act A if she has some motivation to do A, or would have motivation to do A in certain circumstances. In On What Matters, Derek Parfit presents a series of arguments against subjectivism about reasons. In Parfit’s view, if subjectivism were true, nothing would actually matter. Parfit contends that there are only two positions regarding reasons: objectivism and subjectivism. I will argue for an inclusive position on (...)
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  4.  99
    Wittgenstein and the Methodology of Semantics.Fritz J. McDonald - 2015 - In Ranjan Panda (ed.), Language, Mind and Reality: A Reflection on Philosophical Thoughts of R. C. Pradhan. Overseas Press.
    R.C. Pradhan claims in Language, Reality, and Transcendence that, in Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Philosophical Investigations, “[i]n no case is Wittgenstein interested in the empirical facts regarding language, as for him philosophy does not undertake any scientific study of language” (Pradhan 2009, xiv). I consider Ludwig Wittgenstein’s purportedly anti-scientific and anti-empirical approach to language in light of advances by philosophers and linguists in the latter half of the 20th century. I distinguish between various ways of understanding Wittgenstein’s stance against (...)
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  5. Agency and Responsibility.Fritz J. McDonald - 2010 - Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (2):199-207.
    According to Christine Korsgaard, Kantian hypothetical and categorical imperative principles are constitutive principles of agency. By acting in a way that is guided by these imperatives, an individual makes herself into an agent. There is hence, on her theory, an inextricable link between the nature of agency and the practical issue of why we should be rational and moral. The benefits of such an account would be great: in Korsgaard’s view, an account that bases morality on the nature of agency (...)
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  6. Review of Heidi M. Ravven, The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will. [REVIEW]Fritz J. McDonald - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (2):251-252.
    The Self Beyond Itself is a defense of an incompatibilist, hard determinist view of free will. Free will is here defined in a very strong sense, as the existence of actions that do not result from any causes other than the agent herself. The question of how to define free will, especially whether it consists in the ability to do otherwise, and what the ability to do otherwise amounts to, is not given much consideration in this book.Ravven frames her work (...)
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  7. Why Language Exists.Fritz J. McDonald - 2012 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 12 (1):1-12.
    There are words. There are sentences. There are languages. Commonsense linguistic realism is the conjunction of the three preceding claims. Linguists and philosophers including Noam Chomsky (1986, 2000), Georges Rey (2006, 2008), and Barry C. Smith (2006) have presented skeptical doubts regarding the existence of linguistic entities. These doubts provide no good reason to deny commonsense linguistic realism. Some skeptical doubts are in fact not directed at the metaphysical thesis of commonsense linguistic realism but rather only at non-metaphysical methodological concerns. (...)
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  8.  5
    Peter Singer , Does Anything Really Matter? Essays on Parfit on Objectivity. Reviewed By.Fritz J. McDonald - 2018 - Philosophy in Review 38 (2):80-82.
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  9. New Waves in Metaethics By Michael Brady * New Waves in Truth By Cory D. Wright and Nikolaj J.L.L. Pedersen.Fritz J. McDonald - 2013 - Analysis 73 (2):400-402.
    Review of New Waves in Metaethics, edited by Michael Brady; and New Waves in Truth, edited by Cory D. Wright and Nikolaj J.L.L. Pedersen.
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  10.  61
    Review: On What Matters. [REVIEW]Fritz J. McDonald - 2012 - Metapsychology Online Reviews 16.
  11.  79
    Cooperation and Its Evolution.Fritz J. McDonald - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1253-1255.
    Review of Cooperation and its Evolution, edited by Kim Sterelny, Richard Joyce, Brett Calcott, and Ben Fraser.
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  12. Christine M. Korsgaard, the Constitution of Agency. [REVIEW]Fritz J. McDonald - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (2):235-236.
    Review of Christine Korsgaard, The Constitution of Agency.
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  13. A Deflationary Metaphysics of Morality.Fritz J. McDonald - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (3):285-298.
    The metaphysical dispute between moral realists and antirealists is cast in terms of properties: the realist holds that moral properties exist, the antirealist denies this claim. There is a longstanding philosophical dispute over the nature of properties, and the obscurity of properties may make the realist/antirealist dispute even more obscure. In the spirit of deflationary theories of truth, we can turn to a deflationary theory of properties in order to clarify this issue. One might reasonably worry that such an account (...)
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  14.  94
    Review of Korsgaard's The Constitution of Agency (2008, OUP). [REVIEW]Fritz J. McDonald - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice.
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    Book Review. [REVIEW]Fritz J. McDonald - 2006 - Journal of Value Inquiry 40 (4):485-488.
    Review of The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory, edited by David Copp.
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  16.  28
    Metafizički minimalizam.Fritz J. McDonald - 2011 - Prolegomena 10 (1):39-52.
    Properties and facts play a central role within metaphysics, yet there is no widely accepted account of what constitutes a property or a fact. Traditional conceptions of these metaphysical notions raise serious philosophical puzzles, making the existence of each seem dubious. Drawing on the minimalist theory of truth, I argue in favor of a minimalist conception of properties and facts. A minimalist theory of properties and facts explains these matters in terms of the acceptance of trivial schemas. To make the (...)
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    Truth and Realism – Patrick Greenough and Michael P. Lynch.Fritz J. McDonald - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230):178–180.
    Review of Truth and Realism, edited by Patrick Greenough and Michael Lynch.
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    Does Moral Discourse Require Robust Truth?Fritz J. McDonald - 2009 - Logos Architekton 3.
    It has been argued by several philosophers that a deflationary conception of truth, unlike more robust conceptions of truth, cannot properly account for the nature of moral discourse. This is due to what I will call the “quick route problem”: There is a quick route from any deflationary theory of truth and certain obvious features of moral practice to the attribution of truth to moral utterances. The standard responses to the quick route problem are either to urge accepting a conception (...)
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  19.  17
    Metaphysical Minimalism.Fritz J. McDonald - 2011 - Prolegomena 10 (1):39-52.
    Properties and facts play a central role within metaphysics, yet there is no widely accepted account of what constitutes a property or a fact. Traditional conceptions of these metaphysical notions raise serious philosophical puzzles, making the existence of each seem dubious. Drawing on the minimalist theory of truth, I argue in favor of a minimalist conception of properties and facts. A minimalist theory of properties and facts explains these matters in terms of the acceptance of trivial schemas. To make the (...)
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