I consider a familiar argument for two-boxing in Newcomb's Problem and find it defective because it involves a type of divergence from standard Baysian reasoning, which, though sometimes justified, conflicts with the stipulations of the Newcomb scenario. In an appendix, I also find fault with a different argument for two-boxing that has been presented by Graham Priest.
My subject is the theory of blame recently propounded by George Sher in his book, In Praise of Blame. I argue that although Sher has succeeded in capturing a number of genuine features of the concept of blame, there is an important element that he has omitted, which is the fact that necessarily, when A blames B for something and expresses this to B, A will realise that B is likely to find this unpleasant. The inclusion of the latter element (...) renders the question of whether any agent ever deserves blame a more open one than Sher allows. (shrink)
I answer an argument from Charles Travis to the conclusion that minimalism about truth cannot cope with the context sensitivity of words. To do this, I construct a thought experiment involving a community whose language does not manifest context sensitivity, but whose statements do seem to be subject to truth in a minimalist sense.
This book argues that moral desert should be excluded as a consideration in normative and applied ethics, as it is likely that no-one ever morally deserves anything for their actions and, if they do, it is in most cases impossible to know what. I also explain how moral deliberation in relation to punishment, distributive justice and personal morality can proceed without appeals to moral desert.
This is a response to a paper by N.M.L. Nathan in which he argues that the attempt to provide a global justification of our entire set of beliefs necessarily leads to an infinite regress, in contrast with cases of local uncertainty, which he thinks can be resolved without regress. I argue that if he is right about the local uncertainty case, then he should not fear a regress in the global case, as the two situations are more similar than he (...) supposes. (shrink)