In this paper, I solve a puzzle generated by three conflicting claims about the relationship between faith, belief, and control: according to the Identity Thesis, faith is a type of belief, and according to Fideistic Voluntarism, we sometimes have control over whether or not we have faith, but according to Doxastic Involuntarism, we never have control over what we believe. To solve the puzzle, I argue that the Identity Thesis is true, but that either Fideistic Voluntarism or Doxastic Voluntarism is (...) false, depending on how we understand "control." I distinguish two notions of control: direct intention-based control and indirect reflective control. I argue that though we have direct intention-based control over neither belief nor faith, we have indirect reflective control over each of them. Moreover, indirect reflective control helps explain how we can be held accountable for each. (shrink)
In this paper I articulate a view of doxastic control that helps defend the legitimacy of our practice of blaming people for their beliefs. I distinguish between three types of doxastic control: intention-based, reason-based, and influence-based. First I argue that, although we lack direct intention-based control over our beliefs, such control is not necessary for legitimate doxastic blame. Second, I suggest that we distinguish two types of reason-responsiveness: sensitivity to reasons and appreciation of reasons. I argue that while both capacities (...) are necessary for satisfying the control condition, neither is sufficient. Finally, I defend an influence-based view of doxastic control according to which we have the capacity to execute intentions to engage in reflection that causally influences our beliefs in positive epistemic ways. This capacity is both necessary and sufficient for satisfying the control condition for legitimate doxastic blame. I end by defending the view from two objections: that reflection is not necessary for meeting the control condition, and that it is not sufficient. (shrink)
Professor Lindsay [Class. Rev. XLII. , p. 20] has drawn attention to a Celtic paralle to Aquilo, the Black Wind . A less remote parallel was found by Salmasius [Plin. Exerc. in Solinum , p. 1258D] in the gloss melatnboros uulturnus, on which he makes the following comment: ‘Glossae nostrae nondum editae: ‘ Septenirio, ΚЄρκίίας, Circius, Χωρupbs, Chaurus. Eaedem Glossae Volturnum Graece exponunt. An Volturnum quasi Volturinum idest nigrum dictum earum putauit auctor? Sed haec expositio conuenit Aquiloni, qui est (...) μέλαςβορέαςƋς, unde et Aquilo id est aquilus uentus, casco uocabulo niger. ’He adds that the wind Volturnus was really so called because it blew towards Rome from Volturnum. (shrink)
Originally published in 1945, this book presents the content of the Girton College Founders' Memorial Lecture for that year, which was delivered by A. D. Lindsay. This book will be of value to anyone with an interest in philosophy and the relationship between intelligence and morality.
Mereological nihilism is the view that no objects have proper parts. Despite how counter‐intuitive it is, it is taken quite seriously, largely because it solves a number of puzzles in the metaphysics of material objects – or so its proponents claim. In this article, I show that for every puzzle that mereological nihilism solves, there is a similar puzzle that (a) it doesn’t solve, and (b) every other solution to the original puzzle does solve. Since the solutions to the new (...) puzzles apply just as well to the old puzzles, the old puzzles provide no motivation to be a mereological nihilist. (shrink)
In recent years, many philosophers of religion have turned their attention to the topic of faith. Given the ubiquity of the word “faith” both in and out of religious contexts, many of them have chosen to begin their forays by offering an analysis of faith. But it seems that there are many kinds of faith: religious faith, non‐religious faith, interpersonal faith, and propositional faith, to name a few. In this article, I discuss analyses of faith that have been offered and (...) point out the dimensions along which they differ. (shrink)
In this paper, I articulate and argue for a new truthmaker view of ontological commitment, which I call the “General Truthmaker View”: when one affirms a sentence, one is ontologically committed to there being something that makes true the proposition expressed by the sentence. This view comes apart from Quinean orthodoxy in that we are not ontologically committed to the things over which we quantify, and it comes apart from extant truthmaker views of ontological commitment in that we are not (...) ontologically committed to the truthmakers of our sentences. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a new theory of grounding. The theory has it that grounding is a job description that is realized by different properties in different contexts. Those properties play the grounding role contingently, and grounding is the property that plays the grounding role essentially. On this theory, grounding is monistic, but ‘grounding’ refers to different relations in different contexts. First, I argue against Kit Fine’s monist univocalism. Next, I argue against Jessica Wilson’s pluralist multivocalism. Finally, I introduce (...) monist multivocalism, explicate three versions of it (of which the above is one), and show its advantages. (shrink)
The puzzle of petitionary prayer: if we ask for the best thing, God was already going to do it, and if we ask for something that's not the best, God's not going to grant our request. In this paper, we give a new solution to the puzzle.
An organization's management control system can play an important role in influencing ethical behavior among employees. In this paper a theoretical framework of control is developed by linking various ethics related control mechanisms reported in the literature to the primary components of a management control system. In addition, the findings of a survey of the Financial Post's Top 1 000 Canadian industrial and service companies are reported. The survey investigated organizations' use of ethical codes of conduct, whistleblowing systems, ethics committees, (...) judiciary boards, employee training in ethics, and ethics focused corporate governance and reward systems. The findings indicate that ethics related control mechanisms, particularly codes of conduct, are being used by a good number of organizations. However, closer analysis of the data suggests that many companies may only be paying lip service to the importance of promoting ethical behavior. (shrink)
In this paper, I show how a solution to Lewis’ problem of temporary intrinsics is also a response to McTaggart’s argument that the A-series is incoherent. There are three strategies Lewis considers for solving the problem of temporary intrinsics: perdurantism, presentism, and property-indexing. William Lane Craig (Analysis 58(2):122–127, 1998) has examined how the three strategies fare with respect to McTaggart’s argument. The only viable solution Lewis considers to the problem of temporary intrinsics that also succeeds against McTaggart, Craig claims, is (...) presentism. This gives us prima facie reason to be presentists. But there is a strategy Craig does not consider-indexing, or relativizing, the copula. In this paper, I show that to the degree that indexing the copula solves the problem of temporary intrinsics, it also shows the invalidity of McTaggart’s argument. The upshot: the copula-indexer needn’t affirm the unreality of time, nor need she embrace presentism. (shrink)
Prior to passage of the Oregon Death with Dignity Act, opponents of assistance in dying argued that legalization would have serious harmful consequences. Specifically, they argued that the quality and availability of palliative care would decline, that the harms of legalization would affect certain vulnerable groups disproportionately, that legal assisted dying could not be confined to the competent terminally ill who voluntarily request assistance, and that the practice would result in frequent abuses. Data from Oregon's decade-long experience decisively refute the (...) first three predictions. As to abuses, the record is not quite as clear, but if an appropriate framework for analysis is utilized, the most reasonable conclusion is that the risks of abuse do not outweigh the benefits of legalization. To the extent projected harmful consequences are relevant to the debate over legalization, Oregon's experience argues in favor of legalization of assistance in dying. (shrink)
Over a whole range of challenges, the world is essentially undergoverned. New institutions are needed that recognize how much the world has changed and that mobilize those states most capable of meeting the dangers we confront.
: There is a concern that genetic engineering will exacerbate existing social divisions and inequalities, especially if only the wealthy can afford genetic enhancements. Accordingly, many argue that justice requires the imposition of constraints on genetic engineering. However, it would be unwise to decide at this time what limits should be imposed in the future. Decision makers currently lack both the theoretical tools and the factual foundation for making sound judgments about the requirements of justice in a genetically transformed society. (...) Moreover, focusing on the uncertain inequities of the future may result in failure to give priority to more pressing inequities of the present. Especially in a country that recently has enacted tax legislation that will widen existing wealth disparities, concern about the distant threat of a genetic aristocracy appears misplaced. (shrink)
This paper examines a concrete political controversy in order to shed light on a broad philosophical issue. The controversy is with regard to who owns cultural antiquities ? the nations (often in the developing world) on whose soil they originated, or the museums of developed nations that have, through a variety of means, come into possession of them. Despite their opposing views, both sides accept the claim that ownership can be derived from prior facts about cultural identity. Moreover, when their (...) claims are articulated, each side?s arguments shed contrasting light on a broader question of property: are some things intrinsically common; that is, do some things have properties that undermine claims of private ownership? Following the logic inherent in arguments made on both sides, this paper defends an affirmative answer to these questions, and, in so doing, suggests that we need to broaden our perspective on publics goods generally. (shrink)
ABSTRACTPhillip Hansen’s Reconsidering C. B. Macpherson: From Possessive Individualism to Democratic Theory and Beyond has many virtues, principal among them the fact that it casts Macpherson’s thought in what to many will be the unfamiliar light of Continental critical theory. Doing so could broaden Macpherson’s audience to include those working within this tradition. What is less clear is whether casting Macpherson’s thought in this light will yield any new insights into his historical interpretations or his democratic theory. I argue that (...) there may be reasons to doubt that it will. (shrink)
There has been a recent flurry of work comparing and contrasting the respective methodologies of David Hume and his contemporary Thomas Reid. Both writers are explicit in their commitments to a Newtonian methodology. Yet they diverge radically on the issue of human liberty. In this paper I want to unpack the methodological commitments underlying the two different accounts of liberty. How is it that two avowed Newtonians end up diametrically opposed to one another with respect to such a fundamental aspect (...) of human mentality? (shrink)
Maria Alvarez has argued that Thomas Reid’s account of action gives rise to a sceptical worry concerning one’s awareness of one’s own actions. Against this, I argue that Alvarez overstates the sceptical consequences of Reid’s admission that there is room for doubt about the actual causes of bodily movements; rather than generating a serious epistemological problem for his theory, it can be given a more plausible reading that serves to defuse the sceptical worry.
The concept of energy, the premier concept of physics and indeed of all science, is here investigated from the standpoint of its early historical origin and the philosophical implications thereof. The fundamental assumption is made that the root of the concept is the notion of invariance or constancy in the midst of change. Salient points in the development of this idea are presented from ancient times up to the publication of Lagrange'sMécanique Analytique (1788).
There is an extensive body of philosophical, educational, and popular literature explaining Socratic pedagogy’s epistemological and educational ambitions. However, there is virtually no literature clarifying the relationship between Socratic method and doxastic responsibility. This article fills that gap in the literature by arguing that the Socratic method models many of the features of an ideally doxastically responsible agent. It ties a robust notion of doxastic responsibility to the Socratic method by showing how using defeaters to undermine participants’ knowledge claims can (...) facilitate responsible belief. It then argues that more robust notions of doxastic responsibility can be augmented by constructs found in the American Philosophical Association’s Delphi Report. Finally, it shows how considering challenges and modifying beliefs accordingly are objectives of the Socratic method and crucial elements of what it means to be a responsible believer. (shrink)
In our commonplace understanding of property, the “right to exclude” is seen as its central and defining feature: to own is to exclude. This paper examines the cost, to conceptual and normative clarity, of this understanding. First, I argue that the right not to be excluded is a crucial if overlooked element not simply of liberal understandings of ownership, but even of the right to exclude itself. Second, I argue that our neglect of the right not to be excluded severely (...) undermines the clarity and precision with which matters of ownership are debated within both contemporary politics and political philosophy. (shrink)
Even if there is a common morality, many would argue that it provides little guidance in resolving moral disputes, because universally accepted norms are both general in content and few in number. However, if we supplement common morality with commonly accepted factual beliefs and culture-specific norms and utilize coherentist reasoning, we can limit the range of acceptable answers to disputed issues. Moreover, in the arena of public policy, where one must take into account both legal and moral norms, the constraints (...) on acceptable answers will narrow the extent of reasonable disagreement even further. A consideration of the debate over legalization of assisted dying supports this claim. (shrink)
The heart of this thesis is an examination into the relevant differences between Nietzsche’s perspectivism and standpoint theory. Briefly, both standpoint theory and perspectivism have been subjected to various charges that dissolve into two major ones, which are worthy of additional scrutiny: the charges of essentialism and incoherence. My overall argument in thesis is that standpoint theory, in spite of recent feminist defense, is still susceptible to these charges, and this proves counterproductive to its aims of combatting marginalization. Moreover, I (...) argue that Nietzsche’s perspectivism provides a corrective to the short comings of standpoint theory. (shrink)