Evolutionary discussions regarding the relationship between social status and fertility in the contemporary U.S. typically claim that the relationship is either negative or absent entirely. The published data on recent generations of Americans upon which such statements rest, however, are solid with respect to women but sparse and equivocal for men. In the current study, we investigate education and income in relation to age at first child, childlessness, and number of children for men and women in two samples—one of the (...) general American population and one of graduates of an elite American university. We find that increased education is strongly associated with delayed childbearing in both sexes and is also moderately associated with decreased completed or near-completed fertility. Women in the general population with higher adult income have fewer children, but this relationship does not hold within all educational groups, including our sample with elite educations. Higher-income men, however, do not have fewer children in the general population and in fact have lower childlessness rates. Further, higher income in men is positively associated with fertility among our sample with elite educations as well as within the general population among those with college educations. Such findings undermine simple statements on the relationship between status and fertility. (shrink)
Individual differences in moral views are often explained as the downstream effect of ideological commitments, such as political orientation and religiosity. Recent studies in the U.S. suggest that moral views about recreational drug use are also influenced by attitudes toward sex and that this relationship cannot be explained by ideological commitments. In this study, we investigate student samples from Belgium, The Netherlands, and Japan. We find that, in all samples, sexual attitudes are strongly related to views about recreational drug use, (...) even after controlling for various ideological variables. We discuss our results in light of reproductive strategies as determinants of moral views. (shrink)
Jason Stanley presents a startling and provocative claim about knowledge: that whether or not someone knows a proposition at a given time is in part determined by his or her practical interests, i.e. by how much is at stake for that person at that time. In defending this thesis, Stanley introduces readers to a number of strategies for resolving philosophical paradox, making the book essential not just for specialists in epistemology but for all philosophers interested in philosophical methodology. Since (...) a number of his strategies appeal to linguistic evidence, it will be of great interest to linguists as well. (shrink)
Jason Stanley's "Knowledge and Practical Interests" is a brilliant book, combining insights about knowledge with a careful examination of how recent views in epistemology fit with the best of recent linguistic semantics. Although I am largely convinced by Stanley's objections to epistemic contextualism, I will try in what follows to formulate a version that might have some prospect of escaping his powerful critique.
Los teóricos de la democracia dejaron de lado la pregunta de quién legalmente forma parte del "pueblo" autorizado, pregunta que atraviesa a todas las teoría de la democracia y continuamente vivifica la práctica democrática. Determinar quién constituye el pueblo es un dilema inabordable e incluso imposible de responder democráticamente; no es una pregunta que el pueblo mismo pueda decidir procedimentalmente porque la propia premisa subvierte las premisas de su resolución. Esta paradoja del mandato popular revela que el pueblo para ser (...) mejor comprendido como una demanda política, como un proceso de subjetivación, surge y se desarrolla en distintos contextos democráticos. En Estados Unidos el disputado poder para hablar en beneficio del pueblo deriva de un excedente constitutivo heredado de la era revolucionaria, a partir del hecho de que desde la Revolución el pueblo ha sido por vez primera encarnado por la representación y como exceso de cualquier forma de representación. La autoridad posrevolucionaria del vox populi deriva de esa continuamente reiterada pero nunca realizada referencia a la soberanía del pueblo a partir de la representación, legitimidad a partir de la ley, espíritu a partir de la letra, la palabra a través de la palabra. Este ensayo examina la emergencia histórica de este exceso de democracia en el período revolucionario, y cómo este habilita a una subsecuente historia de "momentos constituyentes", momentos cuando subautorizados -radicales, entidades autocreadas-, se apoderan del manto de la autoridad, cambiando las reglas de la autoridad en ese proceso. Estos pequeños dramas de reclamos de autoridad política para hablar en nombre del pueblo son felices, aun cuando explícitamente rompan con los procedimientos o reglas estatuidas para representar la voz popular. -/- Momentos constituyentes: paradojas y poder popular en los Estados Unidos de América posrevolucionarios [traducción], Revista Argentina de Ciencia Política, N°15, EUDEBA, Buenos Aires, Octubre 2012, pp. 49-74. ISSN: 0329-3092. Introducción de “Constituent Moments: Enacting the People in Postrevolutionary America”, de Jason Frank [Ed.: Duke University Press Books, enero de 2010. ISBN-10: 0822346753; ISBN-13: 978-0822346753]. (shrink)
Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pre theoretical intuitions. we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is infact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which (...) put significant pressure on the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive. Finally, we consider and respond to several potential objections to our approach. (shrink)
Philosophers have long been tempted by the idea that objects and properties are abstractions from the facts. But how is this abstraction supposed to go? If the objects and properties aren't 'already' there, how do the facts give rise to them? Jason Turner develops and defends a novel answer to this question: The facts are arranged in a quasi-geometric 'logical space', and objects and properties arise from different quasi-geometric structures in this space.
Ontological Pluralism is the view that there are different modes, ways, or kinds of being. In this paper, I characterize the view more fully (drawing on some recent work by Kris McDaniel) and then defend the view against a number of arguments. (All of the arguments I can think of against it, anyway.).
Historically, philosophers of biology have tended to sidestep the problem of development by focusing primarily on evolutionary biology and, more recently, on molecular biology and genetics. Quite often too, development has been misunderstood as simply, or even primarily, a matter of gene activation and regulation. Nowadays a growing number of philosophers of science are focusing their analyses on the complexities of development, and in Embryology, Epigenesis and Evolution Jason Scott Robert explores the nature of development against current trends in (...) biological theory and practice and looks at the interrelations between development and evolution , an area of resurgent biological interest. Clearly written, this book should be of interest to students and professionals in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of biology. (shrink)
"As the child of refugees of World War II Europe and a renowned philosopher and scholar of propaganda, Jason Stanley has a deep understanding of how democratic societies can be vulnerable to fascism: Nations don't have to be fascist to suffer from fascist politics. In fact, fascism's roots have been present in the United States for more than a century. Alarmed by the pervasive rise of fascist tactics both at home and around the globe, Stanley focuses here on the (...) structures that unite them, laying out and analyzing the ten pillars of fascist politics--the language and beliefs that separate people into an 'us' and a 'them.' He knits together reflections on history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory with stories from contemporary Hungary, Poland, India, Myanmar, and the United States, among other nations. He makes clear the immense danger of underestimating the cumulative power of these tactics, which include exploiting a mythic version of a nation's past; propaganda that twists the language of democratic ideals against themselves; anti-intellectualism directed against universities and experts; law and order politics predicated on the assumption that members of minority groups are criminals; and fierce attacks on labor groups and welfare. These mechanisms all build on one another, creating and reinforcing divisions and shaping a society vulnerable to the appeals of authoritarian leadership. By uncovering disturbing patterns that are as prevalent today as ever, Stanley reveals that the stuff of politics--charged by rhetoric and myth--can quickly become policy and reality. Only by recognizing fascists politics, he argues, may we resist its most harmful effects and return to democratic ideals."--Jacket. (shrink)
In Liberalism without Perfection, Jonathan Quong develops what is perhaps the most comprehensive defense of the consensus model of public reason – a model which incorporates both a public-reasons-only requirement and an accessibility requirement framed in terms of shared evaluative standards. While the consensus model arguably predominates amongst public reason liberals, it is criticized by convergence theorists who reject both the public-reasons-only requirement and the accessibility requirement. In this paper, I argue that while we have good reason to reject Quong’s (...) call for a public-reasons-only requirement, all public reason liberals should endorse at least some shared evaluative standards and, hence, an accessibility requirement. (shrink)
In Our Best Interest argues that it is permissible to intervene in a person's affairs whenever doing so serves her best interest without wronging others. Jason Hanna makes the case for paternalism, responding to common objections that paternalism is disrespectful or that it violates rights, and arguing that popular anti-paternalist views confront serious problems.
May you sell your vote? May you sell your kidney? May gay men pay surrogates to bear them children? May spouses pay each other to watch the kids, do the dishes, or have sex? Should we allow the rich to genetically engineer gifted, beautiful children? Should we allow betting markets on terrorist attacks and natural disasters? Most people shudder at the thought. To put some goods and services for sale offends human dignity. If everything is commodified , then nothing is (...) sacred. The market corrodes our character. Or so most people say. In Markets without Limits , Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski give markets a fair hearing. The market does not introduce wrongness where there was not any previously. Thus, the authors claim, the question of what rightfully may be bought and sold has a simple answer: if you may do it for free, you may do it for money. Contrary to the conservative consensus, they claim there are no inherent limits to what can be bought and sold, but only restrictions on how we buy and sell. (shrink)
This article examines two questions about scientists’ search for knowledge. First, which search strategies generate discoveries effectively? Second, is it advantageous to diversify search strategies? We argue pace Weisberg and Muldoon, “Epistemic Landscapes and the Division of Cognitive Labor”, that, on the first question, a search strategy that deliberately seeks novel research approaches need not be optimal. On the second question, we argue they have not shown epistemic reasons exist for the division of cognitive labor, identifying the errors that led (...) to their conclusions. Furthermore, we generalize the epistemic landscape model, showing that one should be skeptical about the benefits of social learning in epistemically complex environments. (shrink)
In ‘The Ockhamization of the event sources of sound’ (2013), Roberto Casati, Elvira Di Bona, and Jérôme Dokic argue that ‘ockhamizing’ Casey O’Callaghan’s account of sounds as proper parts of their event sources yields their preferred view: that sounds are identical with their event sources. This article argues that the considerations Casati et al. marshal in favor of their view are actually stronger considerations in favor of a quite different view: a variant on the Lockean conception of sounds as ‘sensible (...) qualities’ that treats sounds as audible properties of their event sources. (shrink)
This volume is the first in English to provide a full, systematic investigation into Aristotle's criticisms of earlier Greek theories of the soul from the perspective of his theory of scientific explanation. Some interpreters of the De Anima have seen Aristotle's criticisms of Presocratic, Platonic, and other views about the soul as unfair or dialectical, but Jason W. Carter argues that Aristotle's criticisms are in fact a justified attempt to test the adequacy of earlier theories in terms of the (...) theory of scientific knowledge he advances in the Posterior Analytics. Carter proposes a new interpretation of Aristotle's confrontations with earlier psychology, showing how his reception of other Greek philosophers shaped his own hylomorphic psychology and led him to adopt a novel dualist theory of the soul–body relation. His book will be important for students and scholars of Aristotle, ancient Greek psychology, and the history of the mind–body problem. (shrink)
According to accuracy-first epistemology, accuracy is the fundamental epistemic good. Epistemic norms — Probabilism, Conditionalization, the Principal Principle, etc. — have their binding force in virtue of helping to secure this good. To make this idea precise, accuracy-firsters invoke Epistemic Decision Theory (EpDT) to determine which epistemic policies are the best means toward the end of accuracy. Hilary Greaves and others have recently challenged the tenability of this programme. Their arguments purport to show that EpDT encourages obviously epistemically irrational behavior. (...) We develop firmer conceptual foundations for EpDT. First, we detail a theory of praxic and epistemic good. Then we show that, in light of their very different good-making features, EpDT will evaluate epistemic states and epistemic acts according to different criteria. So, in general, rational preference over states and acts won’t agree. Finally, we argue that based on direction-of-fit considerations, it’s preferences over the former that matter for normative epistemology, and that EpDT, properly spelt out, arrives at the correct verdicts in a range of putative problem cases. (shrink)
Unspecific evidence calls for imprecise credence. My aim is to vindicate this thought. First, I will pin down what it is that makes one's imprecise credences more or less epistemically valuable. Then I will use this account of epistemic value to delineate a class of reasonable epistemic scoring rules for imprecise credences. Finally, I will show that if we plump for one of these scoring rules as our measure of epistemic value or utility, then a popular family of decision rules (...) recommends imprecise credences. In particular, a range of Hurwicz criteria, which generalise the Maximin decision rule, recommend imprecise credences. If correct, the moral is this: an agent who adopts precise credences, rather than imprecise ones, in the face of unspecific and incomplete evidence, goes wrong by gambling with the epistemic utility of her doxastic state in too risky a fashion. Precise credences represent an overly risky epistemic bet, according to the Hurwicz criteria. (shrink)
With its focus on intellectual virtues and their role in the acquisition and transmission of knowledge and related epistemic goods, virtue epistemology provides a rich set of tools for educational theory and practice. In particular, characteristics under the rubric of "responsibilist" virtue epistemology, like curiosity, open-mindedness, attentiveness, intellectual courage, and intellectual tenacity, can help educators and students define and attain certain worthy but nebulous educational goals like a love of learning, lifelong learning, and critical thinking. This volume is devoted to (...) exploring the intersection between virtue epistemology and education. It assembles leading virtue epistemologists and philosophers of education to address such questions as: Which virtues are most essential to education? How exactly should these virtues be understood? How is the goal of intellectual character growth related to other educational goals, for example, to critical thinking and knowledge-acquisition? What are the "best practices" for achieving this goal? Can growth in intellectual virtues be measured? The chapters are a prime example of "applied epistemology" and promise to be a seminal contribution to an area of research that is rapidly gaining attention within epistemology and beyond. (shrink)
Problem one: why, if God designed the human mind, did it take so long for humans to develop theistic concepts and beliefs? Problem two: why would God use evolution to design the living world when the discovery of evolution would predictably contribute to so much nonbelief in God? Darwin was aware of such questions but failed to see their evidential significance for theism. This paper explores this significance. Problem one introduces something I call natural nonbelief, which is significant because it (...) parallels and corroborates well-known worries about natural evil. Problems one and two, especially when combined, support naturalism over theism, intensify the problem of divine hiddenness, challenge Alvin Plantinga’s views about the naturalness of theism, and advance the discussion about whether the conflict between science and religion is genuine or superficial. (shrink)
After a brief overview of what intellectual virtues are, I offer three arguments for the claim that education should aim at fostering ‘intellectual character virtues’ like curiosity, open-mindedness, intellectual courage, and intellectual honesty. I then go on to discuss several pedagogical and related strategies for achieving this aim.
Michael Bergmann claims that all versions of epistemic internalism face an irresolvable dilemma. We show that there are many plausible versions of internalism that falsify this claim. First, we demonstrate that there are versions of ‘‘weak awareness internalism’’ that, contra Bergmann, do not succumb to the ‘‘Subject’s Perspective Objection’’ horn of the dilemma. Second, we show that there are versions of ‘‘strong awareness internalism’’ that do not fall prey to the dilemma’s ‘‘vicious regress’’ horn. We note along the way that (...) these versions of internalism do not, in avoiding one horn of the dilemma, succumb to the dilemma’s other horn. The upshot is that internalists have many available strategies for avoiding dilemmatic defeat. (shrink)
Ontological nihilism is the radical-sounding thesis that there is nothing at all. This chapter first discusses how the most plausible forms of this thesis aim to be slightly less radical than they sound and what they will have to do in order to succeed in their less radical ambitions. In particular, they will have to paraphrase sentences of best science into ontologically innocent counterparts. The chapter then points out the defects in two less plausible strategies, before going on to argue (...) that strategies that look more promising, including one based on Quine's predicate-functor language, face the same defects. (shrink)
US citizens perceive their society to be one of the most diverse and religiously tolerant in the world today. Yet seemingly intractable religious intolerance and moral conflict abound throughout contemporary US public life - from abortion law battles, same-sex marriage, post-9/11 Islamophobia, public school curriculum controversies, to moral and religious dimensions of the Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street movements, and Tea Party populism. Healthy Conflict in Contemporary American Society develops an approach to democratic discourse and coalition-building across deep (...) moral and religious divisions. Drawing on conflict transformation in peace studies, recent American pragmatist thought, and models of agonistic democracy, Jason Springs argues that, in circumstances riven with conflict between strong religious identities and deep moral and political commitments, productive engagement may depend on thinking creatively about how to constructively utilize conflict and intolerance. The result is an approach oriented by the recognition of conflict as a constituent and life-giving feature of social and political relationships. (shrink)
Some philosophers have argued for what I call the reason-giving requirement for conscientious refusal in reproductive healthcare. According to this requirement, healthcare practitioners who conscientiously object to administering standard forms of treatment must have arguments to back up their conscience, arguments that are purely public in character. I argue that such a requirement, though attractive in some ways, faces an overlooked epistemic problem: it is either too easy or too difficult to satisfy in standard cases. I close by briefly considering (...) whether a version of the reason-giving requirement can be salvaged despite this important difficulty. (shrink)
In this paper, I respond to recent attempts by philosophers to deny the existence of something that is both real and significant: reasonable disagreements between epistemic peers. In their arguments against the possibility of such disagreements, skeptical philosophers typically invoke one or more of the following: indifference reasoning , equal weight principles , and uniqueness theses . I take up each of these in turn, finding ample reason to resist them. The arguments for indifference reasoning and equal weight principles tend (...) to overlook the possibility of a certain kind of agnostic credal state which I call deep agnosticism , the possibility of which derails the arguments. The arguments for uniqueness theses tend to invoke a flawed understanding of the evidential support relation. When these problems and misunderstandings are brought into the light and corrected, the threat to reasonable disagreement vanishes. (shrink)
A longstanding philosophical tradition holds that the primary objects of hearing are sounds rather than sound sources. In this case, we hear sound sources by—or in virtue of—hearing their sounds. This paper argues that, on the contrary, we have good reason to believe that the primary objects of hearing are sound sources, and that the relationship between a sound and its source is much like the relationship between a color and its bearer. Just as we see objects in seeing their (...) colors, so we hear sound sources in hearing their sounds. (shrink)
Sarah Moss argues that degrees of belief, or credences, can amount to knowledge in much the way that full beliefs can. This essay explores a new kind of objective Bayesianism designed to take us some way toward securing such knowledge-constituting credences, or "probabilistic knowledge." Whatever else it takes for an agent's credences to amount to knowledge, their success, or accuracy, must be the product of _cognitive ability_ or _skill_. The brand of Bayesianism developed here helps ensure this ability condition is (...) satisfied. Cognitive ability, in turn, helps make credences valuable in other ways: it helps mitigate their dependence on epistemic luck, for example. What we end up with, at the end of the day, are credences that are particularly good candidates for constituting probabilistic knowledge. What's more, examining the character of these credences teaches us something important about what the pursuit of probabilistic knowledge demands from us. It does _not_ demand that we give hypotheses equal _treatment_, by affording them equal credence. Rather, it demands that we give them equal _consideration_, by affording them an equal chance of being discovered. (shrink)
Practical wisdom is the intellectual virtue that enables a person to make reliably good decisions about how, all-things-considered, to live. As such, it is a lofty and important ideal to strive for. It is precisely this loftiness and importance that gives rise to important questions about wisdom: Can real people develop it? If so, how? What is the nature of wisdom as it manifests itself in real people? I argue that we can make headway answering these questions by modeling wisdom (...) on expert skill. Presenting the main argument for this expert skill model of wisdom is the focus of this paper. More specifically, I’ll argue that wisdom is primarily the same kind of epistemic achievement as expert decision-making skill in areas such as firefighting. Acknowledging this helps us see that, and how, real people can develop wisdom. It also helps to resolve philosophical debates about the nature of wisdom. For example, philosophers, including those who think virtue should be modeled on skills, disagree about the extent to which wise people make decisions using intuitions or principled deliberation and reflection. The expert skill model resolves this debate by showing that wisdom includes substantial intuitive and deliberative and reflective abilities. (shrink)
Complex demonstrative phrases, in English, are phrases such as ‘that woman in the department’ and ‘that car on the corner’. They are of particular interest to philosophers for two related reasons. The first involves the problem of intentionality. If there are phrases that are candidates for “latching directly onto the world,” they are such phrases, and their “simple” counterparts, as in the occurrences of ‘that’ in ‘that is nice’. As a result, philosophers interested in intentionality, from the sense-data theorists to (...) contemporary philosophers of mind, have devoted considerable attention to the question of how a demonstrative thought links to its object. The second reason involves issues in semantics and the philosophy of language. In the course of investigations into the model theory for modal logic in the 1950s and 1960s, philosophers recognized that the simplest way to treat terms was as modally rigid, namely as designating their actual designations relative to any possible world in which they existed, and nothing else in other worlds. It was soon recognized that this semantic property could be elegantly explained by the assumption that the semantics of singular terms reflects the role of singular terms in linking representations directly to the world. If the semantic contribution of a singular term to a thought is simply the object it denotes, and the thought is the object of modal evaluation, then the modal rigidity of the class of terms falls out as a consequence. Demonstrative phrases, both simple and complex, have always been taken to be among the paradigms for this picture of reference, which has come to be known as “the direct reference” model. (shrink)
Just because one has the right to vote does not mean just any vote is right. Citizens should not vote badly. This duty to avoid voting badly is grounded in a general duty not to engage in collectively harmful activities when the personal cost of restraint is low. Good governance is a public good. Bad governance is a public bad. We should not be contributing to public bads when the beneﬁt to ourselves is low. Many democratic theorists agree that we (...) shouldn’t vote badly, but that’s because they think we should vote well. This demands too much of citizens. (shrink)
The value problem in epistemology is rooted in a commonsense intuition to the effect that knowledge is more valuable than true belief. Call this the “guiding intuition.” The guiding intuition generates a problem in light of two additional considerations. The first is that knowledge is (roughly) justified or warranted true belief. The second is that on certain popular accounts of justification or warrant (e.g. reliabilism), its value is apparently instrumental to and hence derivative from the value of true belief. But (...) if knowledge is justified true belief and the value of justification is derivative from that of true belief, how is it that knowledge is more valuable than true belief? (shrink)
Ontological pluralism is the doctrine that there are different ways or modes of being. In contemporary guise, it is the doctrine that a logically perspicuous description of reality will use multiple quantifiers which cannot be thought of as ranging over a single domain. Although thought defeated for some time, recent defenses have shown a number of arguments against the view unsound. However, another worry looms: that despite looking like an attractive alternative, ontological pluralism is really no different than its counterpart, (...) ontological monism. In this paper, after explaining the worry in detail, I argue that considerations dealing with the nature of the logic ontological pluralists ought to endorse, coupled with an attractive philosophical thesis about the relationship between logic and metaphysics, show this worry to be unfounded. (shrink)
Practical wisdom (hereafter simply ‘wisdom’), which is the understanding required to make reliably good decisions about how we ought to live, is something we all have reason to care about. The importance of wisdom gives rise to questions about its nature: what kind of state is wisdom, how can we develop it, and what is a wise person like? These questions about the nature of wisdom give rise to further questions about proper methods for studying wisdom. Is the study of (...) wisdom the proper subject of philosophy or psychology? How, exactly, can we determine what wisdom is and how we can get it? In this chapter, we give an overview of some prominent philosophical answers to these questions. We begin by distinguishing practical wisdom from theoretical wisdom and wisdom as epistemic humility. Once we have a clearer sense of the target, we address questions of method and argue that producing a plausible and complete account of wisdom will require the tools of both philosophy and empirical psychology. We also discuss the implications this has for prominent wisdom research methods in empirical psychology. We then survey prominent philosophical accounts of the nature of wisdom and end with reflections on the prospects for further interdisciplinary research. (shrink)
Alongside a revival of interest in Thomism in philosophy, scholars have realised its relevance when addressing certain contemporary issues in bioethics. This book offers a rigorous interpretation of Aquinas's metaphysics and ethical thought, and highlights its significance to questions in bioethics. Jason T. Eberl applies Aquinas’s views on the seminal topics of human nature and morality to key questions in bioethics at the margins of human life – questions which are currently contested in the academia, politics and the media (...) such as: When does a human person’s life begin? How should we define and clinically determine a person’s death? Is abortion ever morally permissible? How should we resolve the conflict between the potential benefits of embryonic stem cell research and the lives of human embryos? Does cloning involve a misuse of human ingenuity and technology? What forms of treatment are appropriate for irreversibly comatose patients? How should we care for patients who experience unbearable suffering as they approach the end of life? _Thomistic Principles and Bioethics_ presents a significant philosophical viewpoint which will motivate further dialogue amongst religious and secular arenas of inquiry concerning such complex issues of both individual and public concern. (shrink)
This paper examines the claim made by certain virtue epistemologists that intellectual character virtues like fair-mindedness, open-mindedness and intellectual courage merit an important and fundamental role in epistemology. I begin by considering whether these traits merit an important role in the analysis of knowledge. I argue that they do not and that in fact they are unlikely to be of much relevance to any of the traditional problems in epistemology. This presents a serious challenge for virtue epistemology. I go on (...) to examine the work of two other virtue epistemologists in light of this challenge and then sketch an alternative approach that reveals how the intellectual virtues might merit a substantial role in epistemology even if not a role in connection with more traditional epistemological projects. (shrink)
Open-mindedness enjoys widespread recognition as an intellectual virtue. This is evident, among other ways, in its appearance on nearly every list of intellectual virtues in the virtue epistemology literature.1 Despite its popularity, however, it is far from clear what exactly open-mindedness amounts to: that is, what sort of intellectual orientation or activity is essential to it. In fact, there are ways of thinking about open-mindedness that cast serious doubt on its status as an intellectual virtue. Consider the following description, from (...) Robert Roberts and Jay Wood (2007), of a ‘bright college freshman, taking an introductory course in philosophy.’ Given this student’s ‘taste for ideas,’ she .. (shrink)
Why you have the right to resist unjust government The economist Albert O. Hirschman famously argued that citizens of democracies have only three possible responses to injustice or wrongdoing by their governments: we may leave, complain, or comply. But in When All Else Fails, Jason Brennan argues that there is a fourth option. When governments violate our rights, we may resist. We may even have a moral duty to do so. For centuries, almost everyone has believed that we must (...) allow the government and its representatives to act without interference, no matter how they behave. We may complain, protest, sue, or vote officials out, but we can’t fight back. But Brennan makes the case that we have no duty to allow the state or its agents to commit injustice. We have every right to react with acts of “uncivil disobedience.” We may resist arrest for violation of unjust laws. We may disobey orders, sabotage government property, or reveal classified information. We may deceive ignorant, irrational, or malicious voters. We may even use force in self-defense or to defend others. The result is a provocative challenge to long-held beliefs about how citizens may respond when government officials behave unjustly or abuse their power. (shrink)
Event-causal libertarians maintain that an agent’s settling of whether certain states-of-affairs obtain on a particular occasion can be reduced to the causing of events by certain mental events or states, such as certain desires, beliefs and/or intentions. Agent-causal libertarians disagree. A common critique against event-causal libertarian accounts is that the agent’s role of settling matters is left unfilled and the agent “disappears” from such accounts—a problem known as the disappearing agent problem. Recently, Franklin has argued that an “enriched” event-causal account (...) can overcome this problem. Franklin, however, doesn’t consider whether, as Pereboom argues, the agent as decider of “torn decisions” disappears from even enriched accounts. As I show here, Franklin’s enriched account takes some modifying if it is to overcome Pereboom’s torn decision problem—a special case of the disappearing agent problem. However, as I also show, there is a more fundamental problem facing event-causal libertarian accounts. It is implausible that an agent qua event or state simultaneously settles whether and how she intervenes. The upshot is that events and/or states lack an ability essential to completely fulfilling an agent’s role qua settler. This isn’t a problem for agent-causal accounts like the one offered by Steward because in as much as an agent qua substance settles whether her body moves in certain ways on certain occasions she simultaneously settles whether and how she intervenes. As a consequence, event-causal libertarians face a dilemma, or rather several, that agent-causal libertarians do not. This may ultimately be explained by the irreducibility of causation by agents to causation by events. (shrink)