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John Wright
Central Michigan University
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University of Guelph
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  1. Folk Moral Relativism.Hagop Sarkissian, John Park, David Tien, Jennifer Wright & Joshua Knobe - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (4):482-505.
    It has often been suggested that people's ordinary understanding of morality involves a belief in objective moral truths and a rejection of moral relativism. The results of six studies call this claim into question. Participants did offer apparently objectivist moral intuitions when considering individuals from their own culture, but they offered increasingly relativist intuitions considering individuals from increasingly different cultures or ways of life. The authors hypothesize that people do not have a fixed commitment to moral objectivism but instead tend (...)
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  2.  83
    On the Benefits of Philosophy as a Way of Life in a General Introductory Course.Jake Wright - forthcoming - Metaphilosophy.
    Philosophy as a way of life (PWOL) places investigations of value, meaning, and the good life at the center of philosophical investigation, especially of one’s own life. I argue PWOL is compatible with general introductory philosophy courses, further arguing that PWOL-based general introductions have several philosophical and pedagogical benefits. These include the ease with which high impact practices, situated skill development, and students’ ability to ‘think like a disciplinarian’ may be incorporated into such courses, relative to more traditional introductory courses, (...)
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  3. The Truth, but Not Yet: Avoiding Naïve Skepticism Via Explicit Communication of Metadisciplinary Aims.Jake Wright - 2019 - Teaching in Higher Education 24 (3):361-377.
    Introductory students regularly endorse naïve skepticism—unsupported or uncritical doubt about the existence and universality of truth—for a variety of reasons. Though some of the reasons for students’ skepticism can be traced back to the student—for example, a desire to avoid engaging with controversial material or a desire to avoid offense—naïve skepticism is also the result of how introductory courses are taught, deemphasizing truth to promote students’ abilities to develop basic disciplinary skills. While this strategy has a number of pedagogical benefits, (...)
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  4. “Many People Are Saying…”: Applying the Lessons of Naïve Skepticism to the Fight Against Fake News and Other “Total Bullshit”.Jake Wright - 2020 - Postdigital Science and Education 2 (1):113-131.
    ‘Fake news’ has become an increasingly common refrain in public discourse, though the term itself has several uses, at least one of which constitutes Frankfurtian bullshit. After examining what sorts of fake news appeals do and do not count as bullshit, I discuss strategies for overcoming our openness to such bullshit. I do so by drawing a parallel between openness to bullshit and naïve skepticism—one’s willingness to reject the concept of truth on unsupported or ill-considered grounds—and suggest that this parallel (...)
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  5. In Defense of the Progressive Stack: A Strategy for Prioritizing Marginalized Voices During in-Class Discussion.Jake Wright - 2018 - Teaching Philosophy 41 (4):407-428.
    Progressive stacking is a strategy for prioritizing in-class contributions that allows marginalized students to speak before non-marginalized students. I argue that this strategy is both pedagogically and ethically defensible. Pedagogically, it provides benefits to all students (e.g., expanded in-class discourse) while providing special benefits (e.g., increased self-efficacy) to marginalized students, helping to address historic educational inequalities. Ethically, I argue that neither marginalized nor non-marginalized students are wronged by such a policy. First, I present a strategy for self-disclosure that reduces the (...)
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  6. The Folk on Knowing How.John Bengson, Marc A. Moffett & Jennifer C. Wright - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (3):387–401.
    It has been claimed that the attempt to analyze know-how in terms of propositional knowledge over-intellectualizes the mind. Exploiting the methods of so-called “experimental philosophy”, we show that the charge of over-intellectualization is baseless. Contra neo-Ryleans, who analyze know-how in terms of ability, the concrete-case judgments of ordinary folk are most consistent with the view that there exists a set of correct necessary and sufficient conditions for know-how that does not invoke ability, but rather a certain sort of propositional knowledge. (...)
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  7. Hume’s Academic Scepticism: A Reappraisal of His Philosophy of Human Understanding.John P. Wright - 1986 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (3):407-435.
    A philosopher once wrote the following words:If I examine the PTOLOMAIC and COPERNICAN systems, I endeavour only, by my enquiries, to know the real situation of the planets; that is, in other words, I endeavour to give them, in my conception, the same relations, that they bear towards each other in the heavens. To this operation of the mind, therefore, there seems to be always a real, though often an unknown standard, in the nature of things; nor is truth or (...)
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  8. On Intuitional Stability: The Clear, the Strong, and the Paradigmatic.Jennifer Cole Wright - 2010 - Cognition 115 (3):491-503.
    Skepticism about the epistemic value of intuition in theoretical and philosophical inquiry has recently been bolstered by empirical research suggesting that people’s concrete-case intuitions are vulnerable to irrational biases (e.g., the order effect). What is more, skeptics argue that we have no way to ‘‘calibrate” our intuitions against these biases and no way of anticipating intuitional instability. This paper challenges the skeptical position, introducing data from two studies that suggest not only that people’s concrete-case intuitions are often stable, but also (...)
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  9.  70
    The Meta-Ethical Grounding of Our Moral Beliefs: Evidence for Meta-Ethical Pluralism.Jennifer C. Wright, Piper T. Grandjean & Cullen B. McWhite - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (3):336-361.
    Recent scholarship (Goodwin & Darley, 2008) on the meta-ethical debate between objectivism and relativism has found people to be mixed: they are objectivists about some issues, but relativists about others. The studies discussed here sought to explore this further. Study 1 explored whether giving people the ability to identify moral issues for themselves would reveal them to be more globally objectivist. Study 2 explored people's meta-ethical commitments more deeply, asking them to provide verbal explanations for their judgments. This revealed that (...)
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  10.  7
    An Epistemic Foundation for Scientific Realism.John Wright - 2018 - Springer Verlag.
    The book is a defence of scientific realism. Its primary aim is to argue that it is possible to establish scientific realism without Inference to the Best Explanation. The idea that plays the central role in the book is an "Eddington-inference". Arthur Eddington once considered a hypothetical ichthyologist who concluded from the fact that his net contained no fish smaller than the holes in his net that there were in the sea no fish smaller than the holes in his net. (...)
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  11. Asymmetries in Judgments of Responsibility and Intentional Action.Jennifer Cole Wright & John Bengson - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (1):24-50.
    Abstract: Recent experimental research on the 'Knobe effect' suggests, somewhat surprisingly, that there is a bi-directional relation between attributions of intentional action and evaluative considerations. We defend a novel account of this phenomenon that exploits two factors: (i) an intuitive asymmetry in judgments of responsibility (e.g. praise/blame) and (ii) the fact that intentionality commonly connects the evaluative status of actions to the responsibility of actors. We present the results of several new studies that provide empirical evidence in support of this (...)
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  12.  81
    Empirical Research on Folk Moral Objectivism.Thomas Pölzler & Jennifer Cole Wright - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (5).
    Lay persons may have intuitions about morality's objectivity. What do these intuitions look like? And what are their causes and consequences? In recent years, an increasing number of scholars have begun to investigate these questions empirically. This article presents and assesses the resulting area of research as well as its potential philosophical implications. First, we introduce the methods of empirical research on folk moral objectivism. Second, we provide an overview of the findings that have so far been made. Third, we (...)
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  13.  77
    Folk Moral Relativism.Hagop Sarkissian, John J. Park, David Tien, Jennifer Wright & Joshua Knobe - 2014 - In Joshua Knobe & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Experimental Philosophy: Volume 2. New York, NY, USA: pp. 169-192.
    It has often been suggested that people’s ordinary folk understanding of morality involves a rejection of moral relativism and a belief in objective moral truths. The results of six studies call this claim into question. Participants did offer apparently objectivist intuitions when confronted with questions about individuals from their own culture, but they offered increasingly relativist intuitions as they were confronted with questions about individuals from increasingly different cultures or ways of life. In light of these data, the authors hypothesize (...)
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  14. Using Lectio Divina as an in-Class Contemplative Tool.Jake Wright - 2019 - Journal of Contemplative Inquiry 6 (1):71-93.
    This manuscript discusses the author’s experience implementing a secularized version of Lectio Divina, a medieval monastic contemplative reading practice, in an introductory philosophy classroom. Following brief discussion of Lectio Divina’s history and a description of how the practice was modified for the classroom, I discuss three benefits (increased attention to cognitive and noncognitive reactions to the text, willingness to engage with the material in novel ways, and the opportunity to engage in independent disciplinary practice) and three potential challenges (the time (...)
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  15. The Psychology of Epistemic Judgment.Jennifer Nagel & Jessica Wright - forthcoming - In Sarah K. Robins, John Symons & Paco Calvo (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology, 2nd Edition.
    Human social intelligence includes a remarkable power to evaluate what people know and believe, and to assess the quality of well- or ill-formed beliefs. Epistemic evaluations emerge in a great variety of contexts, from moments of deliberate private reflection on tough theoretical questions, to casual social observations about what other people know and think. We seem to be able to draw systematic lines between knowledge and mere belief, to distinguish justified and unjustified beliefs, and to recognize some beliefs as delusional (...)
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  16. Ideas of Custom and Habit in Early Modern Philosophy.John P. Wright - 2011 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 42 (1):18.
  17.  78
    The Sceptical Realism of David Hume.John P. Wright - 1983 - Manchester Up.
    Introduction A brief look at the competing present-day interpretations of Hume's philosophy will leave the uninitiated reader completely baffled. On the one hand , Hume is seen as a philosopher who attempted to analyse concepts with ...
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  18. Deductive Arguments.Jake Wright - manuscript
    This essay presents deductive arguments to an introductory-level audience via a discussion of Aristotle's three types of rhetoric, the goals of and differences between deductive and non-deductive arguments, and the major features of deductive arguments (e.g., validity and soundness).
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  19.  40
    Some Varieties of Humility Worth Wanting.Thomas Nadelhoffer, Jennifer Cole Wright, Matthew Echols, Tyler Perini & Kelly Venezia - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (1):168-200.
    _ Source: _Page Count 32 In this paper we first set the stage with a brief overview of the tangled history of humility in theology and philosophy—beginning with its treatment in the Bible and ending with the more recent work that has been done in contemporary philosophy. Our two-fold goal at this early stage of the paper is to explore some of the different accounts of humility that have traditionally been developed and highlight some of the key debates in the (...)
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  20.  6
    Endogamy, Consanguinity and the Health Implications of Changing Marital Choices in the Uk Pakistani Community.Neil Small, Alan H. Bittles, Emily S. Petherick & John Wright - 2017 - Journal of Biosocial Science 49 (4):435-446.
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  21.  9
    The Sceptical Realism of David Hume.Don Garrett & John P. Wright - 1985 - Philosophical Review 94 (1):131.
  22. Hume's 'a Treatise of Human Nature': An Introduction.John P. Wright - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    David Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature presents the most important account of skepticism in the history of modern philosophy. In this lucid and thorough introduction to the work, John P. Wright examines the development of Hume's ideas in the Treatise, their relation to eighteenth-century theories of the imagination and passions, and the reception they received when Hume published the Treatise. He explains Hume's arguments concerning the inability of reason to establish the basic beliefs which underlie science and morals, as (...)
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  23. Metaphysics and Physiology: Mind, Body, and the Animal Economy in Eighteenth-Century Scotland.John P. Wright - 1990 - In M. A. Stewart (ed.), Studies in the Philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment. Clarendon Press. pp. 251-301.
  24.  26
    Respecting Autonomy Over Time: Policy and Empirical Evidence on Re‐Consent in Longitudinal Biomedical Research.Susan E. Wallace, Elli G. Gourna, Graeme Laurie, Osama Shoush & Jessica Wright - 2016 - Bioethics 30 (3):210-217.
    Re-consent in research, the asking for a new consent if there is a change in protocol or to confirm the expectations of participants in case of change, is an under-explored issue. There is little clarity as to what changes should trigger re-consent and what impact a re-consent exercise has on participants and the research project. This article examines applicable policy statements and literature for the prevailing arguments for and against re-consent in relation to longitudinal cohort studies, tissue banks and biobanks. (...)
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  25.  10
    The Lottery of Life and Moral Desert: An Empirical Investigation.Daniela Goya-Tocchetto, Matthew Echols & Jen Wright - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (8):1112-1127.
    As John Rawls makes clear in A Theory of Justice, there is a popular and influential strand of political thought for which brute luck – that is, being lucky in the so-called “lottery of life” – ought to have no place in a theory of distributive justice. Yet the debate about luck, desert, and fairness in contemporary political philosophy has recently been rekindled by a handful of philosophers who claim that desert should play a bigger role in theories of distributive (...)
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  26.  21
    Rescuing Objectivity: A Contextualist Proposal.Jack Wright - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (4):385-406.
    Ascriptions of objectivity carry significant weight. But they can also cause confusion because wildly different ideas of what it means to be objective are common. Faced with this, some philosophers have argued that objectivity should be eliminated. I will argue, against one such position, that objectivity can be useful even though it is plural. I will then propose a contextualist approach for dealing with objectivity as a way of rescuing what is useful about objectivity while acknowledging its plurality.
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  27.  59
    Tracking Instability in Our Philosophical Judgments: Is It Intuitive?Jennifer Wright - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (4):485-501.
    Skepticism about the epistemic value of intuition in theoretical and philosophical inquiry fueled by the empirical discovery of irrational bias (e.g., the order effect) in people's judgments has recently been challenged by research suggesting that people can introspectively track intuitional instability. The two studies reported here build upon this, the first by demonstrating that people are able to introspectively track instability that was experimentally induced by introducing conflicting expert opinion about certain cases, and the second by demonstrating that it was (...)
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  28. Ideas Of Habit And Custom In Early Modern Philosophy.John P. Wright - 2011 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 42 (1):18-32.
  29. Wayne Waxman’s Hume’s Theory of Consciousness. [REVIEW]John P. Wright - 1995 - Hume Studies 21 (2):344-350.
  30. The Understanding.John P. Wright - 2013 - In James A. Harris (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century. Oxford University Press. pp. 148-70.
    The article discusses the varying conceptions of the faculty of ‘the understanding’ in 18th-century British philosophy and logic. Topics include the distinction between the understanding and the will, the traditional division of three acts of understanding and its critics, the naturalizing of human understanding, conceiving of the limits of human understanding, British innatism and the critique of empiricist conceptions of the understanding, and reconceiving the understanding and the elimination of scepticism. Authors discussed include Richard Price, James Harris, Zachary Mayne, Edward (...)
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  31. Stability and Justification in Hume's Treatise (Review).John P. Wright - 2003 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 41 (4):562-564.
  32.  36
    The Analysis of Data and the Evidential Scope of Neuroimaging Results.Jessey Wright - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1179-1203.
    The sceptical positions philosophers have adopted with respect to neuroimaging data are based on detailed evaluations of subtraction, which is one of many data analysis techniques used with neuroimaging data. These positions are undermined when the epistemic implications of the use of a diversity of data analysis techniques are taken into account. I argue that different data analysis techniques reveal different patterns in the data. Through the use of multiple data analysis techniques, researchers can produce results that are locally robust. (...)
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  33. Hume's Causal Realism: Recovering a Traditional Interpretation.John P. Wright - 2000 - In Rupert J. Read & Kenneth A. Richman (eds.), The New Hume Debate. Routledge. pp. 88--99.
     
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  34. Dr. George Cheyne, Chevalier Ramsay, and Hume's Letter to a Physician.John P. Wright - 2003 - Hume Studies 29 (1):125-141.
    The publication of a new intellectual biography of George Cheyne provides a "propitious" occasion for "a thoroughly skeptical review" of the question which has long exercised Hume scholars, whether Cheyne was the intended recipient of David Hume's fascinating pre-Treatise Letter to a Physician, the letter which describes his own hypochondriacal physical and mental symptoms and gives an account of his early philosophical development. Hume's nineteenth-century biographer, John Hill Burton, argued that Hume was probably writing to Cheyne, while Ernest Mossner claimed (...)
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  35. Personal Identity, Fission and Time Travel.John Wright - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (2):129-142.
    One problem that has formed the focus of much recent discussion on personal identity is the Fission Problem. The aim of this paper is to offer a novel solution to this problem.
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  36. The Cognitive Mechanisms of Intolerance.Jennifer C. Wright, Cullen B. McWhite & Piper T. Grandjean - 2014 - In Joshua Knobe, Tania Lombrozo & Shaun Nichols (eds.), Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy, Volume 1. Oxford.
    The new field of experimental philosophy has emerged as the methods of psychological science have been brought to bear on traditional philosophical issues. Oxford Studies in Experimental Philosophy will be the place to go to see outstanding new work in the field. It will feature papers by philosophers, papers by psychologists, and papers co-authored by people in both disciplines. The series heralds the emergence of a truly interdisciplinary field in which people from different disciplines are working together to address a (...)
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  37. Hysteria and Mechanical Man.John P. Wright - 1980 - Journal of the History of Ideas 41 (2):233.
    In this article I contrast 17th and 18th explanations of hysteria including those of Sydenham and Willis with those given by Plato and pre-modern medicine. I show that beginning in the second decade of the 17th century the locus of the disorder was transferred to the nervous system and it was no longer connected with the womb as in Hippocrates and Galen; hysteria became identified with hypochondria, and was a disease contracted by men as well as women. I discuss the (...)
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  38.  4
    Virtue Measurement: Theory and Applications.Nancy E. Snow, Jennifer Cole Wright & Michael T. Warren - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17.
    Our primary aim in this paper is to sketch the account of virtue that we think most amenable to virtue measurement. Our account integrates Whole Trait Theory from psychology with a broadly neo-Aristotelian approach to virtue. Our account is ‘ecumenical’ in that it has appeal for a wide range of virtue ethicists. According to WTT, a personality trait is composed of a set of situation-specific trait-appropriate responses, which are produced when certain “social-cognitive” mechanisms are triggered by the perception of trait-relevant (...)
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  39.  5
    Commentary On The Character Gap.Jennifer Cole Wright - 2019 - Journal of Philosophical Research 44:213-224.
    The Character Gap by Christian Miller is an excellent discussion of how the empirical research conducted on virtue bears upon the larger question of whether or not people are virtuous, especially when we consider the question through the lens of a philosophically rigorous account of virtue. His conclusion is that overall people are not virtuous—but then, neither are they vicious. In this commentary, I challenge the latter. I explore two alternative ways of conceiving of vice and utilize a range of (...)
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  40. New Books. [REVIEW]J. N. Wright, A. E. Taylor, John Laird, S. R., F. C. S. Schiller, H. F. Hallett, J. L. Russell, S. S., A. C. Ewing, O. de Selincourt, E. J. Thomas & R. J. - 1927 - Mind 36 (144):500-524.
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  41. Psyche and Soma: Physicians and Metaphysicians on the Mind-Body Problem From Antiquity to Enlightenment.John P. Wright & Paul Potter (eds.) - 2000 - Clarendon Press.
    Psyche and Soma is a multi-disciplinary exploration of the history of understanding of the human mind or soul and its relationship to the body, through the course of more than two thousand years. Thirteen specially commissioned chapters, each written by a recognized expert, discuss such figures as the doctors Hippocrates and Galen, the theologians St Paul, Augustine, and Aquinas, and philosophers from Plato to Leibniz.
     
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  42. The Sceptical Realism of David Hume.John P. Wright - 1983 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 47 (1):129-130.
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  43.  23
    A Philosophy of Education for the Post-War World.John J. Wright - 1943 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 19:88.
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  44. The Sceptical Realism of David Hume.John P. Wright - 1983 - Mind 93 (371):446-448.
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  45.  86
    A Solid-State Maxwell Demon.D. P. Sheehan, A. R. Putnam & J. H. Wright - 2002 - Foundations of Physics 32 (10):1557-1595.
    A laboratory-testable, solid-state Maxwell demon is proposed that utilizes the electric field energy of an open-gap p-n junction. Numerical results from a commercial semiconductor device simulator (Silvaco International–Atlas) verify primary results from a 1-D analytic model. Present day fabrication techniques appear adequate for laboratory tests of principle.
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  46.  85
    Teaching Philosophy Graduate Students About Effective Teaching.Melissa Jacquart & Jessey Wright - 2017 - Teaching Philosophy 40 (2):123-160.
    The problem of inadequate professional training for graduate students in teaching and pedagogy has recently come into sharp relief. Pro- viding teacher training for philosophy graduate students through for-credit courses has been recommended as a solution to this problem. This paper provides an overview of the problem, identifies several aims such a course should have, and provides a detailed overview of a course satisfying those aims. By providing a detailed outline of the course, this paper can act as a resource (...)
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  47.  66
    Managing Uncertainty: Obesity Discourses and Physical Education in a Risk Society. [REVIEW]Michael Gard & Jan Wright - 2001 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 20 (6):535-549.
    This paper considers the role of physicaleducation researchers within current publicconcerns about body shape and weight. UsingUlrich Beck's notion of `risk' it examines howcertainty about children, obesity, exercise andhealth is produced in the contexts of `expert'knowledge and recontextualised in the academicand professional physical education literature.It is argued that the unquestioning acceptanceof the obesity discourses in physical educationhelps to construct anxieties about the body,which are detrimental to students and silencesalternative ways of thinking and doing physicaleducation.
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  48. Hume on the Origin of 'Modern Honour' : A Study in Hume's Philosophical Development.John P. Wright - 2012 - In Ruth Savage (ed.), Philosophy and Religion in Enlightenment Britain: New Case Studies. Oxford University Press.
  49. The Sceptical Realism of David Hume.John P. Wright - 1983 - Behaviorism 15 (2):175-178.
     
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  50.  30
    Hume: An Intellectual Biography. [REVIEW]John P. Wright - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (4):823-832.
    This is a review article discussing James Harris’s excellent study of David Hume’s full philosophical career including his epistemology, moral philosophy, politics, economics, religion, and history. Harris argues against a common view that in his later writings Hume is merely working out and developing the ideas of his Treatise of Human Nature. He even argues that Hume’s two Enquiries are substantially new works and not mere recasting of his youthful Treatise. Harris writes that philosophy for Hume is a ‘a style (...)
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