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Lei Zhong
Chinese University of Hong Kong
  1. Can Counterfactuals Solve the Exclusion Problem?Lei Zhong - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83 (1):129-147.
    A quite popular approach to solving the Causal Exclusion Problem is to adopt a counterfactual theory of causation. In this paper, I distinguish three versions of the Causal Exclusion Argument. I argue that the counterfactualist approach can block the first two exclusion arguments, because the Causal Inheritance Principle and the Upward Causation Principle upon which the two arguments are based respectively are problematic from the perspective of the counterfactual account of causation. However, I attempt to show that the counterfactualist approach (...)
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  2. Counterfactuals, Regularity and the Autonomy Approach.Lei Zhong - 2012 - Analysis 72 (1):75-85.
    Many philosophers insist that the most plausible solution to the exclusion problem is to adopt the so-called ‘autonomy approach’, which denies either upward or downward causation between mental and physical properties. But the question of whether the autonomy approach is compatible with respectable theories of causation has seldom been discussed in the literature. This paper considers two influential theories of causation, the counterfactual account and the regularity account. I argue that neither the counterfactual theory nor the regularity theory can support (...)
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  3. Why the Counterfactualist Should Still Worry About Downward Causation.Lei Zhong - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (1):159-171.
    In Zhong (Philos Phenomenol Res 83:129–147, 2011; Analysis 72:75–85, 2012), I argued that, contrary to what many people might expect, the counterfactual theory of causation will generate (rather than solve) the exclusion problem. Recently some philosophers raise an incisive objection to this argument. They contend that my argument fails as it equivocates between different notions of a physical realizer (see Christensen and Kallestrup in Analysis 72:513–517, 2012). However, I find that their criticism doesn’t threaten the central idea of my view. (...)
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  4. Sophisticated Exclusion and Sophisticated Causation.Lei Zhong - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (7):341-360.
    The Exclusion Argument, which aims to deny the causal efficacy of irreducible mental properties, is probably the most serious challenge to non-reductive physicalism. Many proposed solutions to the exclusion problem can only reject simplified exclusion arguments, but fail to block a sophisticated version I introduce. In this paper, I attempt to show that we can refute the sophisticated exclusion argument by appeal to a sophisticated understanding of causation, what I call the 'Dual-condition Conception of Causation'. Specifically, I argue that the (...)
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  5.  95
    A Confucian Virtue Theory of Supererogation.Lei Zhong - 2016 - Philosophy East and West 66 (1):328-341.
    Contemporary virtue ethicists have attempted to offer a virtue-based account of right action. However, such an account is faced by a daunting challenge, the ‘supererogation problem’ as it may be called. Since what a virtuous person would characteristically do is often beyond the scope of moral duty, virtue ethics seems to have difficulty in accommodating the distinction between obligation and supererogation. This essay aims to meet this challenge by recommending a Confucian virtue theory of supererogation.
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  6.  60
    Toward a Demystification of Egalitarianism.Yingying Tang & Lei Zhong - 2013 - Philosophical Forum 44 (2):149-163.
    The opponents of egalitarianism insist that distributional equality can never have intrinsic value, because it is hard to find how equal distribution could benefit people intrinsically. In this paper, we attempt to demystify the intrinsic value of distributional equality and suggest a possible direction of vindicating egalitarianism. First, we propose the principle that it is (epistemically) reasonable to regard x as an intrinsic value for a person S if S rationally desires x for its own sake. Second, we argue by (...)
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  7.  63
    Physicalism, Psychism, and Phenomenalism.Lei Zhong - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (11):572-590.
    The dominant way to define physical entities is by appeal to ideal physics (as opposed to current physics). However, it has been worried that physicalism understood in terms of ideal physics would be too liberal to rule out “psychism”, the view that mentality exists at the fundamental metaphysical level. In this article, I argue that whereas physicalism is incompatible with some psychist cases, such as the case of “phenomenalism” in which ideal physics adopts mental concepts to denote fundamental entities, physicalism (...)
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  8.  56
    A Unificationist Vindication of Moral Explanation.Lei Zhong - 2011 - Philosophical Forum 42 (2):131-146.
    There are two putative disanalogies between moral explanations and other sorts of higher-order explanations. First, moral properties epistemically depend on their non-normative base properties. Some might thus argue that the explanatory role of moral properties entirely derive from the role of non-normative base properties. Second, moral explanations seem to be characteristically mediated by our moral beliefs, attitudes, and sensibilities, etc., in a way in which most higher-order explanations are not. It could thus be argued that alleged moral explanations are just (...)
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  9.  74
    An Explanatory Challenge to Moral Reductionism.Lei Zhong - 2012 - Theoria 78 (4):309-325.
    It is generally believed that moral reductionism is immune from notorious problems in moral metaphysics and epistemology, such as the problem of moral explanation – it is at least on this dimension that moral reductionism scores better than moral anti- reductionism. However, in this article I reject this popular view. First, I argue that moral reductionism fails to help vindicate the explanatory efficacy of moral properties because the reductionist solution is either circular or otiose. Second, I attempt to show that (...)
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  10.  90
    Semantic Normativity and Semantic Causality.Lei Zhong - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (3):626-645.
    Semantic normativism, which is the view that semantic properties/concepts are some kind of normative properties/concepts, has become increasingly influential in contemporary meta-semantics. In this paper, I aim to argue that semantic normativism has difficulty accommodating the causal efficacy of semantic properties. In specific, I raise an exclusion problem for semantic normativism, inspired by the exclusion problem in the philosophy of mind. Moreover, I attempt to show that the exclusion problem for semantic normativism is peculiarly troublesome: while we can solve mental-physical (...)
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  11.  70
    Internalism, Emotionism, and the Psychopathy Challenge.Lei Zhong - 2013 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (4):329-337.
    The phenomenon of psychopathy has been regarded as a putative challenge to motivational internalism, which asserts a necessary connection between moral judgment and motivation. An increasingly popular internalist response to the psychopathy challenge is to argue that psychopaths do not make genuine moral judgments because they lack moral emotions (e.g., sympathy and guilt), which are alleged to be causally constitutive of moral judgments. In this paper, I attempt to reject the emotion-based internalist response by appeal to most recent empirical research (...)
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  12.  15
    Exclusion in Morality.Lei Zhong - 2016 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 93 (2):275-290.
    Recently some philosophers (e.g. Shafer-Landau 2003; Wedgwood 2007) suggested an exclusion problem for moral non-naturalism, which is similar to the exclusion problem in philosophy of mind. In this article, the author aims to advance the discussion of exclusion in morality by investigating two influential solutions to the exclusion problem: the autonomy solution and the overdetermination solution. The author attempts to show that the moral non-naturalist can solve the exclusion problem in a way that is different from the approach to solving (...)
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  13.  1
    Prioritarianism Without Consequentialism.Yingying Tang & Lei Zhong - 2018 - Kriterion: Revista de Filosofia 59 (141):943-956.
    ABSTRACT According to prioritarianism, an influential theory of distributive justice, we have a stronger reason to benefit people the worse off these people are. Many authors have adopted a consequentialist version of prioritarianism. On this account, we have a consequentialist reason to benefit the worse off because the state of affairs where the worse off gains a given amount of utility is more valuable than the state of affairs where the better off gains roughly the same amount of utility. In (...)
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  14.  46
    Psychopathy, Emotion, and Moral Judgment.Lei Zhong - 2013 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (4):349-352.
  15. ‘Moral Perception’, by Audi, Robert: Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013, Pp. Xii + 180, $US35.00. [REVIEW]Lei Zhong - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):585-587.
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