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Jimmy Alfonso Licon
George Mason University
  1. The Epistemology of Moral Praise and Moral Criticism.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - forthcoming - Episteme.
    Are strangers sincere in their moral praise and criticism? Here we apply signaling theory to argue ceteris paribus moral criticism is more likely sincere than praise; the former tends to be a higher-fidelity signal (in Western societies). To offer an example: emotions are often self-validating as a signal because they’re hard to fake. This epistemic insight matters: moral praise and criticism influence moral reputations, and affect whether others will cooperate with us. Though much of this applies to generic praise and (...)
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  2. Sceptical Thoughts on Philosophical Expertise.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (3):449-458.
    My topic is two-fold: a reductive account of expertise as an epistemic phenomenon, and applying the reductive account to the question of whether or not philosophers enjoy expertise. I conclude, on the basis of the reductive account, that even though philosophers enjoy something akin to second-order expertise (i.e. they are often experts on the positions of other philosophers, current trends in the philosophical literature, the history of philosophy, conceptual analysis and so on), they nevertheless lack first-order philosophical expertise (i.e. expertise (...)
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  3.  81
    Some Moral Benefits of Ignorance.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-18.
    When moral philosophers study ignorance, their efforts are almost exclusively confined to its exculpatory and blameworthy aspects. Unfortunately, though, this trend overlooks that certain kinds of propositional ignorance, namely of the personal costs and benefits of altruistic actions, can indirectly incentivize those actions. Humans require cooperation from others to survive, and that can be facilitated by a good reputation. One avenue to a good reputation is helping others, sticking to moral principles, and so forth, without calculating the personal costs of (...)
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  4.  57
    Another Argument for Animalism: The Argument From Causal Powers.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2012 - Prolegomena 11 (2):169-180.
  5.  26
    Aspirational Theism and Gratuitous Suffering.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    Philosophers have long wondered whether God exists; and yet, they have ignored the question of whether we should hope that He exists – call this stance aspirational theism. In this article, I argue that we have a weighty pro tanto reason to adopt this stance: theism offers a metaphysical guarantee against gratuitous suffering (i.e. God would not permit gratuitous suffering). On the other hand, few atheist alternatives offer such a guarantee – and even then, there are reasons to worry that (...)
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  6.  52
    Properly Functioning Brains and Personal Identity: An Argument for Neural Animalism.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2013 - SATS 14 (1):63-69.
  7.  91
    You 'Re an Animal, Plain and Simple'.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2014 - Think 13 (36):61-70.
    In this essay, I argue that we are merely biological organisms. This view (animalism) explains everyday practices like watching ourselves in the mirror. The claim that we are psychological in nature cannot explain something as trivial as watching ourselves in the mirror. Thus, we should accept animalism.
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  8. The Immorality of Procreation.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2012 - Think 11 (32):85-91.
    In this paper, I argue the practice of procreation is immoral regardless of the consequences of human presence such as climate change and overpopulation; the lack of consent, interests and moral desert on the part of nonexistent individuals means someone could potentially suffer in the absence of moral justification. Procreation is only morally justified if there is some method for acquiring informed consent from a non-existent person; but that is impossible; therefore, procreation is immoral.
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  9.  57
    On Merely Modal Epistemic Peers: Challenging the Equal-Weight View.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2013 - Philosophia 41 (3):809-823.
    There is a controversy, within social epistemology, over how to handle disagreement among epistemic peers. Call this the problem of peer disagreement. There is a solution, i.e. the equal-weight view, which says that disagreement among epistemic peers is a reason for each peer to lower the credence they place in their respective positions. However, this solution is susceptible to a serious challenge. Call it the merely modal peers challenge. Throughout parts of modal space, which resemble the actual world almost completely, (...)
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  10.  83
    Still No Suicide for Presentists: Why Hales’ Response Fails.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2012 - Logos and Episteme (1):149-155.
    In this paper, I defend my original objection to Hales’ suicide machine argument against Hales’ response. I argue Hales’ criticisms are either misplaced or underestimate the strength of my objection; if the constraints of the original objection are respected, my original objection blocks Hales’ reply. To be thorough, I restate an improved version of the objection to the suicide machine argument. I conclude that Hales fails to motivate a reasonable worry as to the supposed suicidal nature of presentist time travel.
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  11.  27
    Dissecting the Suicide Machine Argument: Insights From the Hales – Licon Debate.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2013 - Logos and Episteme 4 (3):339-352.
    I assess the debate over the Suicide Machine Argument. There are several lessons to be learned from this debate. First, there is a fruitful distinction to be made,between tensed and tenseless versions of presentism, despite the temptation to suppose that presentism is a tensed theory of time. Second, once we’ve made the distinction between different kinds of presentism, it is clear that Licon’s objection protects the tenseless version of presentism from the Suicide Machine Argument; however, the argument is still effective (...)
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  12. No Suicide for Presentists: A Response to Hales.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (3):455-464.
    Steven Hales constructs a novel argument against the possibility of presentist time travel called the suicide machine argument. Hales argues that if presentism were true, then time travel would result in the annihilation of the time traveler. But such a consequence is not time travel, therefore presentism cannot allow for the possibility of time travel. This paper argues that in order for the suicide machine argument to succeed, it must make (at least) one of two assumptions, each of which beg (...)
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  13. The Fine-Tuning Argument and the Problem of Poor Design.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (2):411-426.
    My purpose, in this paper, is to defend the claim that the fine-tuning argument suffers from the poor design worry. Simply put, the worry is this: if God created the universe, specifically with the purpose of bringing about moral agents, we would antecedently predict that the universe and the laws of nature, taken as a whole, would be well-equipped to do just that. However, in light of how rare a life-permitting universe is, compared to all the ways the universe might (...)
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  14.  43
    Modest Meta‐Philosophical Skepticism.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2019 - Ratio 32 (2):93-103.
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  15.  35
    The Time Shuffling Machine and Metaphysical Fatalism.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2015 - Think 14 (41):57-68.
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  16.  6
    Skeptical Hypotheses and Moral Skepticism.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (3).
    May argues that moral skepticism is less plausible than perceptual skepticism if it’s formulated using epistemic closure. In this paper, I argue we should be skeptical of the implausibility thesis. Moral skepticism can be formulated using closure if we combine moral nihilism with a properly formulated evolutionary scenario. Further, I argue that pace May, the phenomenon of ‘imaginative resistance’ isn’t an issue for the moral skeptic; she has an evolutionary explanation of the phenomenon. Thus, we should be skeptical of the (...)
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  17.  13
    Santa Claus and the Problem of Evil.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2017 - Philosophy Now 123:24-25.
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  18.  15
    The Counterpart Argument for Modal Scepticism.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2013 - Logos and Episteme 4 (1):21-29.
    Surely, it is possible that you believe falsely about this-or-that modal matter. In light of the various ways the world could be arranged, it is plausible thatthere is a nearby possible world, which would be almost identical to the actual world, if it were actualized, where you and your modal counterpart disagree over modal belief p. You might be tempted to think that your modal belief is true, while hers is not. It is not clear why this is so; after (...)
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  19.  3
    Sceptical Theism and the Problem of Epistemic Evil: Why Sceptical Theism is Philosophically Costly.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2013 - Balkan Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):175-180.
    Sceptical theism is supposed, by a number of philosophers, to undercut the evidential basis for the evidential problem of evil. In this paper, I argue that even ifsceptical theism succeeds, its success comes with a hefty epistemic price: it threatens to undermine a good deal of what we supposedly know. Call this the problem of epistemic evil. Thus, sceptical theism has a costly philosophical price of admission. In light of this, it seems that the evidential problem of evil is harder (...)
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  20.  2
    Why Disdain Replicated Art? Metaphysics and Art in ‘The Elephant in the Brain’.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (2):605-617.
    Why disdain replicated art? If art is valuable because it evokes experiences of beauty, they should be comparable. In chapter 11 of the Elephant in the Brain, Simler and Hanson argue we actually care about the extrinsic properties of art—e.g. who made it—to signal our intelligence and taste. Here I defend a different explanation for the evidence cited by S&H: the extrinsic properties of art are central to what constitutes art, play a bigger role fixing the value of art than (...)
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  21.  7
    Moral Manipulation & The Problem of Evil.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2013 - Philosophy Now 99:17-19.
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  22.  2
    Properly Functioning Brains and Personal Identity.Jimmy Alfonso Licon - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 23:77-81.
    Surely, I persist through time; thus, I must be identical to something that persists through time. But, what is identical to me, which persists through time? First, I argue that we should take reductive materialism and the Lockean view of personal identity seriously. But, these positions appear in tension. Second, I argue a plausible way to reconcile them is to embrace a novel kind of animalism that I call neural animalism. This says that I am identical to my properly functioning (...)
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