This paper uses a schema for infinite regress arguments to provide a solution to the problem of the infinite regress of justification. The solution turns on the falsity of two claims: that a belief is justified only if some belief is a reason for it, and that the reason relation is transitive.
The fact that A has relied on B to do something is often taken to be a relevant factor in judging that B has a moral or legal obligation to do that thing. This paper investigates the relation between reliance and obligation. Specifically, the question is whether reliance and moral obligation are connected by some relation of conditionality. I consider four such relations - necessary condition, sufficient condition, necessary part of a sufficient condition, and independent necessary part of a sufficient (...) condition. I argue that only the third one connects reliance and moral obligation, and that it does so in a trivial way. There are nevertheless two justifications for the prominence given to reliance in morality and law. First, reliance appears to be a sufficient condition of states of affairs involving concepts related to obligation. Second, reliance is a fairly reliable indicator of obligation. (shrink)
The following four theses all have some intuitive appeal: (I) There are valid norms. (II) A norm is valid only if justified by a valid norm. (III) Justification, on the class of norms, has an irreflexive proper ancestral. (IV) There is no infinite sequence of valid norms each of which is justified by its successor. However, at least one must be false, for (I)--(III) together entail the denial of (IV). There is thus a conflict between intuition and logical possibility. This (...) paper, after distinguishing various conceptions of a norm, of validity and of justification, argues for the following position. (I) is true. (II) is false for legislative justification and true for epistemic justification. (III) is true for legislative and false for epistemic justification. (IV) is true for legislative justification; for epistemic justification (IV) is true or false depending on the conception taken of a norm. Our intuition in favour of (II) must therefore be abandoned where justification is conceived legislatively. Our intuition in favour of (III) must be abandoned, and our intuition in favour of (IV) qualified, where justification is conceived epistemically. (shrink)
This paper argues for two models of agreement which develop the idea that there is an agreement where one party gives a conditional undertaking and the other responds with an unconditional undertaking. The models accommodate plausible justifications for making and complying with agreements.
Ethical theories and theories of the person constrain each other, in that a proposition about the person may be a reason for or against an ethical proposition, and conversely. An important class of such propositions about the person concern the boundaries of the person. These boundaries enclose a person 's defining properties, which constitute his identity. A person 's identity may partly determine and partly be determined by his ethical judgments. An equilibrium between one's identity and one's ethical judgments is (...) the counterpart, at the personal level, of the philosophical ideal of reflective equilibrium between a theory of the person and an ethical theory. (shrink)
This is a philosophical study of concepts that lie at the foundation of antitrust - a body of law and policy designed to promote or protect economic competition. Topics covered are: the nature of competition; the relation between competition and welfare; the distinction between per se rules and rules of reason; agreements; concerted practices; and the spectrum from independent action to collusion. Although there are many legal and economic books on antitrust, this is the first book devoted to the philosophical (...) scrutiny of the concepts that underpin it. No prior knowledge of philosophy is presupposed. The book is primarily directed at students, theorists and practitioners of antitrust, but will also be useful to lawyers, economists, philosophers, political scientists and others who have an interest in the discipline. (shrink)
Reliance is ubiquitous, and is important socially, normatively and philosophically. This paper offers an account of reliance as a four-place relation among agent A, A’s action of φing, A’s goal P, and the object of reliance Q. I propose, amplify and defend this analysis of action in reliance: A, in φing, relies, for P, on Q if and only if: A φs; A’s goal is P; A by φing achieves P only if q; A believes that ; A believes that (...) q; and because. (shrink)
A popular view is that we create our own identities and values. An attractive version of this is the thesis that the creation of values follows from the creation of identities. The thesis is best supported by a conception of identity in terms of projects and a conception of values that are internal to projects: in creating my projects, I create values internal to them; so I create those values. This paper argues that the thesis faces a dilemma: it is (...) either true but uninteresting or interesting by false. The dilemma persists whether the values in question are conceived as purpose-relative, as moral, or as both purpose-relative and moral. (shrink)
Reliance is ubiquitous, and is important socially, normatively and philosophically. This paper offers an account of reliance as a four-place relation among agent A, A’s action of φing, A’s goal P, and the object of reliance Q. I propose, amplify and defend this analysis of action in reliance: A, in φing, relies, for P, on Q if and only if: (1) A φs; (2) A’s goal is P; (3) A by φing achieves P only if q; (4) A believes that (...) (3); (5) A believes that q; and (6) (1) because. (shrink)
Philosophers have been attracted by the theory that an agreement consists of undertakings by the parties. But the theory faces objections from three sides: unconditional undertakings by both parties are insufficient for an agreement; if the parties give interconditional undertakings, both comply if neither does anything; and, if one party gives an unconditional undertaking and the other a conditional one, a condition of interdependence is breached. The options are to live with the breach, to produce an undertaking-based theory that avoids (...) the objections, or to analyse an agreement otherwise than in terms of undertakings. I consider each option and advocate the third: a better theory is that two people have an agreement where one makes an offer to the other that the other accepts. (shrink)