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Profile: Patrick Todd (University of Edinburgh)
  1. A Unified Account of the Moral Standing to Blame.Patrick Todd - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Recently, philosophers have turned their attention to the question, not when a given agent is blameworthy for what she does, but when a further agent has the moral standing to blame her for what she does. Philosophers have proposed at least four conditions on having “moral standing”: -/- 1. One’s blame would not be “hypocritical”. 2. One is not oneself “involved in” the target agent’s wrongdoing. 3. One must be warranted in believing that the target is indeed blameworthy for the (...)
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  2. Future Contingents and the Logic of Temporal Omniscience.Patrick Todd & Brian Rabern - manuscript
    At least since Aristotle’s famous ‘sea-battle’ passages in On Interpretation 9, some substantial minority of philosophers has been attracted to the doctrine of the open future—the doctrine that future contingent statements are never true. Such views, however, seem inconsistent with what John MacFarlane has called the determinacy intuition—the intuition, roughly, that if something has happened, then (looking backwards) it was the case that it would happen. This tension forms, in large part, what might be called the problem of future contingents. (...)
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  3. Strawson, Moral Responsibility, and the "Order of Explanation": An Intervention.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Ethics 127 (1):208-240.
    P.F. Strawson’s (1962) “Freedom and Resentment” has provoked a wide range of responses, both positive and negative, and an equally wide range of interpretations. In particular, beginning with Gary Watson, some have seen Strawson as suggesting a point about the “order of explanation” concerning moral responsibility: it is not that it is appropriate to hold agents responsible because they are morally responsible, rather, it is ... well, something else. Such claims are often developed in different ways, but one thing remains (...)
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  4. Future Contingents Are All False! On Behalf of a Russellian Open Future.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):775-798.
    There is a familiar debate between Russell and Strawson concerning bivalence and ‘the present King of France’. According to the Strawsonian view, ‘The present King of France is bald’ is neither true nor false, whereas, on the Russellian view, that proposition is simply false. In this paper, I develop what I take to be a crucial connection between this debate and a different domain where bivalence has been at stake: future contingents. On the familiar ‘Aristotelian’ view, future contingent propositions are (...)
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  5. On Behalf of a Mutable Future.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2077-2095.
    Everyone agrees that we can’t change the past. But what about the future? Though the thought that we can change the future is familiar from popular discourse, it enjoys virtually no support from philosophers, contemporary or otherwise. In this paper, I argue that the thesis that the future is mutable has far more going for it than anyone has yet realized. The view, I hope to show, gains support from the nature of prevention, can provide a new way of responding (...)
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  6. Soft Facts and Ontological Dependence.Patrick Todd - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):829-844.
    In the literature on free will, fatalism, and determinism, a distinction is commonly made between temporally intrinsic (‘hard’) and temporally relational (‘soft’) facts at times; determinism, for instance, is the thesis that the temporally intrinsic state of the world at some given past time, together with the laws, entails a unique future (relative to that time). Further, it is commonly supposed by incompatibilists that only the ‘hard facts’ about the past are fixed and beyond our control, whereas the ‘soft facts’ (...)
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  7. Manipulation Arguments and the Freedom to Do Otherwise.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (3).
    I provide a manipulation-style argument against classical compatibilism—the claim that freedom to do otherwise is consistent with determinism. My question is simple: if Diana really gave Ernie free will, why isn't she worried that he won't use it precisely as she would like? Diana's non-nervousness, I argue, indicates Ernie's non-freedom. Arguably, the intuition that Ernie lacks freedom to do otherwise is stronger than the direct intuition that he is simply not responsible; this result highlights the importance of the denial of (...)
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  8. Prepunishment and Explanatory Dependence: A New Argument for Incompatibilism About Foreknowledge and Freedom.Patrick Todd - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (4):619-639.
    The most promising way of responding to arguments for the incompatibility of divine foreknowledge and human freedom (in one way or another) invokes a claim about the order of explanation: God knew (or believed) that you would perform a given action because you would, in fact, perform it, and not the other way around. Once we see this result, many suppose, we'll see that divine foreknowledge ultimately poses no threat to human freedom. This essay argues that matters are not so (...)
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  9. Geachianism.Patrick Todd - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 3:222-251.
    The plane was going to crash, but it didn't. Johnny was going to bleed to death, but he didn't. Geach sees here a changing future. In this paper, I develop Geach's primary argument for the (almost universally rejected) thesis that the future is mutable (an argument from the nature of prevention), respond to the most serious objections such a view faces, and consider how Geach's view bears on traditional debates concerning divine foreknowledge and human freedom. As I hope to show, (...)
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  10. Defending (a Modified Version of) the Zygote Argument.Patrick Todd - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):189-203.
    Think of the last thing someone did to you to seriously harm or offend you. And now imagine, so far as you can, becoming fully aware of the fact that his or her action was the causally inevitable result of a plan set into motion before he or she was ever even born, a plan that had no chance of failing. Should you continue to regard him or her as being morally responsible—blameworthy, in this case—for what he or she did? (...)
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  11. A New Approach to Manipulation Arguments.Patrick Todd - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 152 (1):127-133.
    There are several argumentative strategies for advancing the thesis that moral responsibility is incompatible with causal determinism. One prominent such strategy is to argue that agents who meet compatibilist conditions for moral responsibility can nevertheless be subject to responsibility-undermining manipulation. In this paper, I argue that incompatibilists advancing manipulation arguments against compatibilism have been shouldering an unnecessarily heavy dialectical burden. Traditional manipulation arguments present cases in which manipulated agents meet all compatibilist conditions for moral responsibility, but are (allegedly) not responsible (...)
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  12. Introduction.Patrick Todd & John Martin Fischer - 2015 - In John Martin Fischer & Patrick Todd (eds.), Freedom, Fatalism, and Foreknowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 01-38.
    This Introduction has three sections, on "logical fatalism," "theological fatalism," and the problem of future contingents, respectively. In the first two sections, we focus on the crucial idea of "dependence" and the role it plays it fatalistic arguments. Arguably, the primary response to the problems of logical and theological fatalism invokes the claim that the relevant past truths or divine beliefs depend on what we do, and therefore needn't be held fixed when evaluating what we can do. We call the (...)
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  13.  91
    Engaging with Pike: God, Freedom, and Time.John Martin Fischer, Patrick Todd & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2009 - Philosophical Papers 38 (2):247-270.
    Nelson Pike’s article, “Divine Omniscience and Voluntary Action,” is one of the most influential pieces in contemporary Philosophy of Religion. Published over forty years ago, it has elicited many different kinds of replies. We shall set forth some of the main lines of reply to Pike’s article, starting with some of the “early” replies. We then explore some issues that arise from relatively recent work in the philosophy of time; it is fascinating to note that views suggested by recent work (...)
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  14.  79
    Freedom, Fatalism, and Foreknowledge.John Martin Fischer & Patrick Todd (eds.) - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    We typically think we have free will. But how could we have free will, if for anything we do, it was already true in the distant past that we would do that thing? Or how could we have free will, if God already knows in advance all the details of our lives? Such issues raise the specter of "fatalism". This book collects sixteen previously published articles on fatalism, truths about the future, and the relationship between divine foreknowledge and human freedom, (...)
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  15.  32
    The Truth About Foreknowledge.Patrick Todd & John Martin Fischer - 2013 - Faith and Philosophy 30 (3):286-301.
    In this paper we critically evaluate Trenton Merricks’s recent attempt to provide a “new” way of defending compatibilism about divine foreknowledge and human freedom. We take issue with Merricks’s claim that his approach is fundamentally different from Ockhamism. We also seek to highlight the implausibility of Merricks’s rejection of the assumption of the fixity of the past, and we also develop a critique of the Merricks’s crucial notion of “dependence.”.
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  16.  53
    Against Limited Foreknowledge.Patrick Todd - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (2):523-538.
    Theological fatalists contend that if God knows everything, then no human action is free, and that since God does know everything, no human action is free. One reply to such arguments that has become popular recently— a way favored by William Hasker and Peter van Inwagen—agrees that if God knows everything, no human action is free. The distinctive response of these philosophers is simply to say that therefore God does not know everything. On this view, what the fatalist arguments in (...)
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  17.  94
    A Problem for Guidance Control.Patrick Todd & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (233):685-692.
    Central to Fischer and Ravizza's theory of moral responsibility is the concept of guidance control, which involves two conditions: (1) moderate reasons-responsiveness, and (2) mechanism ownership. We raise a worry for Fischer and Ravizza's account of (1). If an agent acts contrary to reasons which he could not recognize, this should lead us to conclude that he is not morally responsible for his behaviour; but according to Fischer and Ravizza's account, he satisfies the conditions for guidance control and is therefore (...)
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  18.  96
    Manipulation.Patrick Todd - 2013 - International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
    At the most general level, "manipulation" refers one of many ways of influencing behavior, along with (but to be distinguished from) other such ways, such as coercion and rational persuasion. Like these other ways of influencing behavior, manipulation is of crucial importance in various ethical contexts. First, there are important questions concerning the moral status of manipulation itself; manipulation seems to be mor- ally problematic in ways in which (say) rational persuasion does not. Why is this so? Furthermore, the notion (...)
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  19.  90
    Manipulation and Moral Standing: An Argument for Incompatibilism.Patrick Todd - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12 (7).
    A prominent recent strategy for advancing the thesis that moral responsibility is incompatible with causal determinism has been to argue that agents who meet compatibilist conditions for responsibility could nevertheless be subject to certain sorts of deterministic manipulation, so that an agent could meet the compatibilist’s conditions for responsibility, but also be living a life the precise details of which someone else determined that she should live. According to the incompatibilist, however, once we became aware that agents had been manipulated (...)
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  20.  85
    The Greatest Possible Being Needn't Be Anything Impossible.Patrick Todd - 2015 - Religious Studies 51 (4):531-542.
    There are various argumentative strategies for advancing the claim that God does not exist. One such strategy is this. First, one notes that God is meant to have a certain divine attribute (such as omniscience). One then argues that having the relevant attribute is impossible. One concludes that God doesn't exist. For instance, Dennis Whitcomb's recent paper, ‘Grounding and omniscience’, proceeds in exactly this way. As Whitcomb says, ‘I'm going to argue that omniscience is impossible and that therefore there is (...)
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  21.  73
    Fatalism.Patrick Todd - 2014 - Oxford Bibliographies Online.
    In contemporary philosophy, arguments for “fatalism” are arguments for the conclusion that no human actions are free. Such arguments typically come in two varieties: logical and theological. Arguments for logical fatalism proceed, roughly, from truths about future actions to the conclusion that those actions are unavoidable, and hence unfree. Arguments for theological fatalism, on the other hand, proceed, roughly, from divine beliefs about future actions to the conclusion that those actions are unavoidable, and hence unfree. What is characteristic of any (...)
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  22.  28
    Review of T. Ryan Byerly, The Mechanics of Divine Foreknowledge and Providence: A Time-Ordering Account. [REVIEW]Patrick Todd - 2015 - Sophia 54 (3):391-393.
  23. The Truth About Freedom: A Reply to Merricks.John Fischer & Patrick Todd - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (3):97-115.
    In his recent essay in the Philosophical Review, "Truth and Freedom," Trenton Merricks contends that the basic argument for the incompatibility of God's foreknowledge and human freedom is question-begging. He relies on a "truism" to the effect that truth depends on the world and not the other way around. The present essay argues that mere invocation of this truism does not establish that the basic argument for incompatibilism is question-begging. Further, it seeks to clarify important elements of the debate, including (...)
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  24.  31
    Review: K. E. Boxer, Rethinking Responsibility. [REVIEW]Patrick Todd - 2014 - Ethics 125 (1):244-249,.
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  25.  1
    Manipulation Arguments and the Freedom to Do Otherwise.Patrick Todd - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    I provide a manipulation-style argument against classical compatibilism—the claim that freedom to do otherwise is consistent with determinism. My question is simple: if Diana really gave Ernie free will, why isn't she worried that he won't use it precisely as she would like? Diana's non-nervousness, I argue, indicates Ernie's non-freedom. Arguably, the intuition that Ernie lacks freedom to do otherwise is stronger than the direct intuition that he is simply not responsible; this result highlights the importance of the denial of (...)
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  26.  1
    Boxer, K. E.Rethinking Responsibility.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. 176. $49.50.Patrick Todd - 2014 - Ethics 125 (1):244-249.
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