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Karl Schafer [44]Karl-Hermann Schäfer [1]
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Karl Schafer
University of Texas at Austin
  1. Kant on Method.Karl Schafer - forthcoming - In Andrew Stephenson & Anil Gomes (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Kant. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In this article I offer an opinionated overview of the central elements of Kant’s philosophical methodology during the critical period. I begin with a brief characterization of how Kant conceives of the aims of human inquiry – focusing on the idea that inquiry ideally aims at not just cognition (Erkenntnis), but also the more demanding cognitive achievements that Kant labels insight (Einsehen) and comprehension (Begreifen). Then I explore the implications of this picture for philosophy — emphasizing Kant’s distinction between critical (...)
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  2. Rationality as the Capacity for Understanding.Karl Schafer - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):639-663.
    In this essay, I develop and defend a virtue-theoretic conception of rationality as a capacity whose function is understanding, as opposed to mere truth or correctness. I focus on two main potential advantages of this view. First, its ability to explain the rationality of forms of explanatory reasoning, and second, its ability to offer a more unified account of theoretical and practical rationality.
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  3. A System of Rational Faculties: Additive or Transformative?Karl Schafer - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):918-936.
    In this essay, I focus on two questions. First, what is Kant's understanding of the sense in which our faculties form a unified system? And, second, what are the implications of this for the metaphysical relationships between the faculties within this system? To consider these questions, I begin with a brief discussion of Longuenesse's groundbreaking work on the teleological unity of the understanding as the faculty for judgment. In doing so, I argue for a generalization of Longuenesse's account along two (...)
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  4. Perception and the Rational Force of Desire.Karl Schafer - 2013 - Journal of Philosophy 110 (5):258-281.
    [A]ny theory of practical rationality must explain— or explain away—the following: Rational: In many cases, what it is rational (in some sense) for one to do or intend to do depends on what one desires. [...] I argue that in order to capture the rational significance of desire, we need to consider both its content and its force, on analogy to the rational significance of both the force and content of beliefs and perceptual experiences. This will open up a new (...)
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  5. Kant: Constitutivism as Capacities-First Philosophy.Karl Schafer - 2019 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (2):177-193.
    Over the last two decades, Kant’s name has become closely associated with the “constitutivist” program within metaethics. But is Kant best read as pursuing a constitutivist approach to meta- normative questions? And if so, in what sense? In this essay, I’ll argue that we can best answer these questions by considering them in the context of a broader issue – namely, how Kant understands the proper methodology for philosophy in general. The result of this investigation will be that, while Kant (...)
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  6. Evolution and Normative Scepticism.Karl Schafer - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):471-488.
    It is increasingly common to suggest that the combination of evolutionary theory and normative realism leads inevitably to a general scepticism about our ability to reliably form normative beliefs. In what follows, I argue that this is not the case. In particular, I consider several possible arguments from evolutionary theory and normative realism to normative scepticism and explain where they go wrong. I then offer a more general diagnosis of the tendency to accept such arguments and why this tendency should (...)
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  7. Faultless Disagreement and Aesthetic Realism.Karl Schafer - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):265-286.
    It has recently been argued that certain areas of discourse, such as discourse about matters of taste, involve a phenomenon of ‘‘ faultless disagreement ’’ that rules out giving a standard realist or contextualist semantics for them. Thus, it is argued, we are left with no choice but to consider more adventurous semantic alternatives for these areas, such as a semantic account that involves relativizing truth to perspectives or contexts of assessment. I argue that the sort of faultless disagreement present (...)
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  8. Transcendental Philosophy As Capacities‐First Philosophy.Karl Schafer - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (3):661-686.
    In this essay, I propose a novel way of thinking about Kant’s philosophical methodology during the critical period. According to this interpretation, the critical Kant can generally be understood as operating within a “capacities‐first” philosophical framework – that is, within a framework in which our basic rational or cognitive capacities play both an explanatorily and epistemically fundamental role in philosophy – or, at least, in the sort of philosophy that limited creatures like us are capable of. In discussing this idea, (...)
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  9.  58
    Constitutivism About Reasons: Autonomy and Understanding.Karl Schafer - 2018 - In Francois Schroeter & Karen Jones (eds.), The Many Moral Rationalisms. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Contemporary forms of Kantian constitutivism generally begin with a conception of agency on which the constitutive aim of agency is some form of autonomy or self-unification. This chapter argues for a re-orientation of the Kantian constitutivist project towards views that begin with a conception of rationality on which both theoretical and practical rationality aim at forms of understanding. In a slogan, then, understanding-first as opposed to autonomy-first constitutivism. Such a view gives the constitutivist new resources for explaining many classes of (...)
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  10. Constructivism and Three Forms of Perspective‐Dependence in Metaethics.Karl Schafer - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):68-101.
    Discusses how to develop the idea that the normative truth is perspective-dependent with a broadly constructivist approach to metaethics - arguing in favor of developing this idea in terms of the idea that the normative truth is dependent upon the perspective of the assessor.
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  11. Doxastic Planning and Epistemic Internalism.Karl Schafer - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2571-2591.
    In the following I discuss the debate between epistemological internalists and externalists from an unfamiliar meta-epistemological perspective. In doing so, I focus on the question of whether rationality is best captured in externalist or internalist terms. Using a conception of epistemic judgments as “doxastic plans,” I characterize one important subspecies of judgments about epistemic rationality—focusing on the distinctive rational/functional role these judgments play in regulating how we form beliefs. Then I show why any judgment that plays this role should be (...)
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  12. Realism and Constructivism in Kantian Metaethics 1 : Realism and Constructivism in a Kantian Context.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (10):690-701.
    Metaethical constructivism is one of the main movements within contemporary metaethics – especially among those with Kantian inclinations. But both the philosophical coherence and the Kantian pedigree of constructivism are hotly contested. In the first half of this article, I first explore the sense in which Kant's own views might be described as constructivist and then use the resulting understanding as a guide to how we might think about Kantian constructivism today. Along the way, I hope to suggest that a (...)
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  13. A Brief History of Rationality: Reason, Reasonableness, Rationality, and Reasons.Karl Schafer - 2018 - Manuscrito 41 (4):501-529.
    In this paper, I present a brief (and more than a little potted) history of the concepts of reason, rationality, reasonableness, and reasons in modern European philosophy and consider whether this history might support the "Anscombean" conclusion that, "The concepts of rationality and reasons ought to jettisoned if this is psychologically possible; because they are survivals, or derivatives from survivals, from an earlier conception of psychology and philosophy which no longer generally survives, and are only harmful without it.".
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  14. A Kantian Virtue Epistemology: Rational Capacities and Transcendental Arguments.Karl Schafer - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 13):3113-3136.
    In this paper, I’ll sketch an approach to epistemology that draws its inspiration from two aspects of Kant’s philosophical project. In particular, I want to explore how we might develop a Kantian conception of rationality that combines a virtue-theoretical perspective on the nature of rationality with a role for transcendental arguments in defining the demands this conception of rationality places upon us as thinkers. In discussing these connections, I’ll proceed as follows. First, I’ll describe the sorts of epistemological questions I’ll (...)
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  15.  78
    The Artificial Virtues of Thought: Correctness and Cognition in Hume.Karl Schafer - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    In this essay, I discuss two familiar objections to Hume's account of cognition, focusing on his ability to give a satisfactory account of the more normative dimensions of thought and language use. In doing so, I argue that Hume’s implicit account of these issues is far richer than is normally assumed. In particular, I show that Hume’s account of convention-driven artificial virtues like justice also applies to the proper use of conventional public languages. I then use this connection between Hume’s (...)
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  16.  93
    How Common is Peer Disagreement? On Self‐Trust and Rational Symmetry.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (1):25-46.
    In this paper I offer an argument for a view about the epistemology of peer disagreement, which I call the “Rational Symmetry View”. I argue that this view follows from a natural conception of the epistemology of testimony, together with a basic entitlement to trust our own faculties for belief formation. I then discuss some objections to this view, focusing on its relationship to other well-known views in the literature. The upshot of this discussion is that, if the Rational Symmetry (...)
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  17.  49
    The Scenic Route? On Errol Lord’s The Importance of Being Rational.Karl Schafer - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (2):469-475.
    Errol Lord’s The Importance of Being Rational is a beautiful presentation of how one might defend a reasons-first approach to rationality. I’m going to focus these comments on some of the larger systematic ambitions of the book. In doing so, my hope is to draw Lord out concerning the larger project of which the book is a part and to raise some more general questions about the project of defining rationality in terms of reasons. In doing so, my focus with (...)
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  18.  60
    Curious Virtues in Hume's Epistemology.Karl Schafer - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14:1-20.
    Discusses Hume's considered view of what "good" belief-formation consists in. In doing so, attributes to Hume a sentimentalist picture of epistemic virtue in which the passion of curiosity plays a foundational role.
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  19.  18
    The Modesty of the Moral Point of View.Karl Schafer - 2016 - In Errol Lord & Barry Maguire (eds.), Weighing Reasons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In recent years, several philosophers - including Joshua Gert, Douglas Portmore, and Elizabeth Harman - have argued that there is a sense in which morality itself does not treat moral reasons as consistently overriding.2 My aim in the present essay is to develop and extend this idea from a somewhat different perspective. In doing so, I offer an alternative way of formalizing the idea that morality is modest about the weight of moral reasons in this way, thereby making more explicit (...)
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  20. Knowledge and Two Forms of Non‐Accidental Truth.Karl Schafer - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (2):373-393.
    Argues that there are two distinct senses in which knowledge is incompatible with accidental truth - each of which can be traced to a distinct role played by everyday knowledge attributions.
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  21. Realism and Constructivism in Kantian Metaethics 2 : The Kantian Conception of Rationality and Rationalist Constructivism.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (10):702-713.
    In the second half of this essay, I discuss the robust conception of rationality that lies at the heart of the Kantian version of Rationalist Constructivism – offering some reasons to prefer this conception to the more minimal accounts of rationality associated with Humean views. I then go on to discuss some of the potential metaethical advantages of the resulting form of constructivism.
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  22. Metaethical Quietism.Douglas Kremm & Karl Schafer - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 643-658.
    A brief exploration of the nature of, and motivations for, contemporary forms of metaethical quietism. Also outlines some of the prominent objections to such positions and discusses some of the limitations of these objections from the quietist's perspective.
     
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  23. Hume's Unified Theory of Mental Representation.Karl Schafer - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (4):978-1005.
    On its face, Hume's account of mental representation involves at least two elements. On the one hand, Hume often seems to write as though the representational properties of an idea are fixed solely by what it is a copy or image of. But, on the other, Hume's treatment of abstract ideas makes it clear that the representational properties of a Humean idea sometimes depend, not just on what it is copied from, but also on the manner in which the mind (...)
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  24.  86
    Assessor Relativism and the Problem of Moral Disagreement.Karl Schafer - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):602-620.
    I consider sophisticated forms of relativism and their effectiveness at responding to the skeptical argument from moral disagreement. In order to do so, I argue that the relativist must do justice to our intuitions about the depth of moral disagreement, while also explaining why it can be rational to be relatively insensitive to such disagreements. I argue that the relativist can provide an account with these features, at least in some form, but that there remain serious questions about the viability (...)
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  25.  35
    Kant on Reason as the Capacity for Comprehension.Karl Schafer - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-19.
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  26. Practical Cognition and Knowledge of Things-in-Themselves.Karl Schafer - forthcoming - In Evan Tiffany & Dai Heide (eds.), Kantian Freedom. Oxford University Press.
    Famously, in the second Critique , Kant claims that our consciousness of the moral law provides us with sufficient grounds to attribute freedom to ourselves as noumena or things-in-themselves. In this way, while we have no rational basis to make substantive assertions about things-in-themselves from a theoretical point of view, it is rational (in some sense) for us to believe that we are noumenally free from a practical one.
     
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  27. The Beach of Skepticism: Kant and Hume on the Practice of Philosophy and the Proper Bounds of Skepticism.Karl Schafer - forthcoming - In Peter Thielke (ed.), Cambridge Critical Guide to Kant’s Prolegomena. Cambridge: Cambridge. pp. 111-132.
    The focus of this chapter will be Kant’s understanding of Hume, and its impact on Kant’s critical philosophy. Contrary to the traditional reading of this relationship, which focuses on Kant’s (admittedly real) dissatisfaction with Hume’s account of causation, my discussion will focus on broader issues of philosophical methodology. Following a number of recent interpreters, I will argue that Kant sees Hume as raising, in a particularly forceful fashion, a ‘demarcation challenge’ concerning how to distinguish the legitimate use of reason in (...)
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  28. The Rationalism in Anil Gupta’s Empiricism and Experience.Karl Schafer - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (1):1-15.
    In these comments I briefly discuss three aspects of the empiricist account of the epistemic role of experience that Anil Gupta develops in his Empiricism and Experience. First, I discuss the motivations Gupta offers for the claim that the given in experience should be regarded as reliable. Second, I discuss two different ways of conceiving of the epistemic significance of the phenomenology of experience. And third, I discuss whether Gupta's account is able to deliver the anti-skeptical results he intends it (...)
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  29.  35
    Intuitions and Objects in Allais’s Manifest Reality.Karl Schafer - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (7):1675-1686.
    Manifest reality is easily one of the best books in a long time on Kant’s transcendental idealism. So there is a great deal in Allais’s discussion to celebrate. But I want to focus here on two aspects of her views that I am not yet sure about: First, Allais’s understanding of the relationship between concepts and intuitions. And second, her characterization of the manner in which intuitions are object-dependent. I’ll close by making some general remarks about the significance of this (...)
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  30. Practical Reasoning and Practical Reasons in Hume.Karl Schafer - 2008 - Hume Studies 34 (2):189-208.
    Can desires and actions be evaluated as responsive or unresponsive to reasons, in ways that extend beyond the instrumental implications of one's (other) desires? And does there exist any form of inference or reasoning that is practical in nature? Hume is generally supposed to have given an unambiguously negative reply to both of these questions. In particular, he is often taken to have held that no desire, passion, or action may ever be said to be opposed to reasons, except (perhaps) (...)
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  31.  55
    The Unity of Normative Judgement: On Ridge’s Impassioned Belief.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Analysis 75 (3):460-471.
  32.  68
    Epistemic Planning, Epistemic Internalism, and Luminosity.Karl Schafer - 2018 - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Metaepistemology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In in this paper, I make use of an “doxastic planning model” of epistemic evaluation to argue for a form of epistemic internalism. In doing so, I begin by responding to a recent argument of Schoenfield’s against my previous attempt to develop such an argument. In doing so, I distinguish a variety of ways that argument might be understood, and discuss how both internalists and externalists might make use of the ideas within it. Then I argue that, despite these complexities, (...)
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  33.  59
    Evolutionary Debunking Arguments, Explanatory Structure, and Anti-Realism.Karl Schafer - 2017 - In Karsten Stueber & Remy Debes (eds.), Ethical Sentimentalism: New Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 66-85.
    In this essay, I distinguish two different epistemological strategies an anti-realist might pursue in developing an "evolutionary debunking" of moral realism. Then I argue that a moral realist can resist both of these strategies by calling into question the epistemological presuppositions on which they rest. Nonetheless, I conclude that these arguments point to a legitimate source of dissatisfaction about many forms of moral realism. I conclude by discussing the way forward that these conclusions indicate.
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  34. Hume on Practical Reason: Against the Normative Authority of Reason.Karl Schafer - forthcoming - In Paul Russell (ed.), Oxford Handbook of David Hume. Oxford University Press.
    In broad outlines, the first of these claims that beliefs and other cognitive states, on their own, can never motivate a new desire, intention, or action. Rather, on this view, what motivates us to desire, intend, or act is always the cooperation of some desire (or other conative state) with such cognitive states. Thus, on HTM, practical motivation is always the product of two fundamentally distinct categories of mental states operating in conjunction with one another.
     
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  35. Humean Nature: How Desire Explains Action, Thought, and Feeling, by Neil Sinhababu.Karl Schafer - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):919-928.
    Humean Nature: How Desire Explains Action, Thought, and Feeling, by Neil Sinhababu. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. ix + 224.
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  36.  83
    Hard Problems Between Minds and Bodies.Karl Schafer - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (1):224-232.
  37.  38
    Hume's True Scepticism, by Donald Ainslie: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, Pp. Xiv + 286, £40. [REVIEW]Karl Schafer - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):600-603.
  38.  16
    Editors' Introduction for Volume 42.Ann Levey, Karl Schafer & Amy M. Schmitter - 2019 - Hume Studies 42 (1):3-7.
    The new editorial team, Ann Levey, Karl Schafer and Amy Schmitter, are very pleased to present this special double-issue of Hume Studies. It contains a wide variety of articles on subjects old and new, as well as an assortment of book reviews, commissioned by the new book review editor, David Landy of San Francisco State University. We are grateful to the many people who have helped us get this volume and our tenure as editors underway, including the preceding editors-in-chief, Angela (...)
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  39.  67
    Review: Allison, Henry A., Custom and Reason in Hume: A Kantian Reading of the First Book of the Treatise[REVIEW]Karl Schafer - 2009 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (2).
  40. Oxford Handbook of David Hume.Karl Schafer - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
  41.  24
    Review of Leibowtiz and Sinclair (Eds.) Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. [REVIEW]Karl Schafer - 2017 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2017.
  42.  22
    Reflecting Subjects: Passion, Sympathy, and Society in Hume's Philosophy by Jacqueline Taylor.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Hume Studies 41 (2):289-293.
    Reflecting Subjects is an important and timely book, both as a piece of Hume interpretation and as a work of philosophy more generally. Let me begin with the first. It has increasingly become a commonplace in Hume interpretation that the passionate and social dimensions of human life play an unusually fundamental role in Hume's philosophy. But we are only beginning to appreciate the significance of this side of Hume in a systematic way. It is precisely here that Taylor focuses her (...)
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  43.  1
    Editors' Note to Volume 45, Special Book Issue.Ann Levey, Karl Schafer & Amy Schmitter - 2019 - Hume Studies 45 (1):1-2.
    This volume of Hume Studies is a special double-issue devoted to discussions of four recent books on Hume: Hume: an Intellectual Biography, by James Harris; Imagined Causes: Hume's Conception of Objects, by Stefanie Rocknak; Hume's True Scepticism, by Donald Ainslie; and Reflecting Subjects: Passion, Sympathy, and Society in Hume's Philosophy, by Jacqueline Taylor. The latter three discussions began as Author-Meets-Critics sessions at the 43rd International Hume Conference in Sydney, Australia, and the present volume keeps the AMC format: each discussion starts (...)
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  44.  22
    Review of Charles R. Pigden (Ed.), Hume on Motivation and Virtue[REVIEW]Karl Schafer - 2010 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (5).
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