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Richard Holton [62]Richard James Holton [1]
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Profile: Richard Holton (Cambridge University)
  1. Willing, Wanting, Waiting.Richard Holton - 2009 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Richard Holton provides a unified account of intention, choice, weakness of will, strength of will, temptation, addiction, and freedom of the will. Drawing on recent psychological research, he argues that, rather than being the pinnacle of rationality, the central components of the will are there to compensate for our inability to make or maintain sound judgments. Choice is understood as the capacity to form intentions even in the absence of judgments of what action is best. Weakness of will is understood (...)
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  2. Intention and Weakness of Will.Richard Holton - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (5):241.
    Philosophical orthodoxy identifies weakness of will with akrasia: the weak willed person is someone who intentionally acts against their better judgement. It is argued that this is a mistake. Weakness of will consists in a quite different failing, namely an over-ready revision of one's intentions. Building on the work of Bratman, an account of such over-ready revision is given. A number of examples are then adduced showing how weakness of will, so understood, differs from akrasia.
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  3. Deciding to Trust, Coming to Believe.Richard Holton - 1994 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):63 – 76.
    Can we decide to trust? Sometimes, yes. And when we do, we need not believe that our trust will be vindicated. This paper is motivated by the need to incorporate these facts into an account of trust. Trust involves reliance; and in addition it requires the taking of a reactive attitude to that reliance. I explain how the states involved here differ from belief. And I explore the limits of our ability to trust. I then turn to the idea of (...)
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  4. What in the World is Weakness of Will?Joshua May & Richard Holton - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (3):341–360.
    At least since the middle of the twentieth century, philosophers have tended to identify weakness of will with akrasia—i.e. acting, or having a disposition to act, contrary to one‘s judgments about what is best for one to do. However, there has been some recent debate about whether this captures the ordinary notion of weakness of will. Richard Holton (1999, 2009) claims that it doesn’t, while Alfred Mele (2010) argues that, to a certain extent, it does. As Mele recognizes, the question (...)
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  5. Norms and the Knobe Effect.Richard Holton - 2010 - Analysis 70 (3):1-8.
  6. Partial Belief, Partial Intention.Richard Holton - 2008 - Mind 117 (465):27-58.
    Is a belief that one will succeed necessary for an intention? It is argued that the question has traditionally been badly posed, framed as it is in terms of all-out belief. We need instead to ask about the relation between intention and partial belief. An account of partial belief that is more psychologically realistic than the standard credence account is developed. A notion of partial intention is then developed, standing to all-out intention much as partial belief stands to all-out belief. (...)
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  7. Intention as a Model for Belief.Richard Holton - forthcoming - In Manuel Vargas & Gideon Yaffe (eds.), Rational and Social Agency: Essays on the Philosophy of Michael Bratman. Oxford University Press.
    This paper argues that a popular account of intentions can be extended to beliefs. Beliefs are stable all-out states that allow for planning and coordination in a way that is tractable for cognitively limited creatures like human beings. Scepticism is expressed that there is really anything like credences as standardly understood.
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  8. How is Strength of Will Possible?Richard Holton - 2003 - In Christine Tappolet & Sarah Stroud (eds.), Weakness of Will and Practical Irrationality. Oxford University Press. pp. 39-67.
    Most recent accounts of will-power have tried to explain it as reducible to the operation of beliefs and desires. In opposition to such accounts, this paper argues for a distinct faculty of will-power. Considerations from philosophy and from social psychology are used in support.
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  9. Rational Resolve.Richard Holton - 2004 - Philosophical Review 113 (4):507-535.
    Empirical findings suggest that temptation causes agents not only to change their desires, but also to revise their beliefs, in ways that are not necessarily irrational. But if this is so, how can it be rational to maintain a resolution to resist? For in maintaining a resolution it appears that one will be acting against what one now believes to be best. This paper proposes a two-tier account according to which it can be rational neither to reconsider the question of (...)
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  10. What is the Role of the Self in Self-Deception?Richard Holton - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (1):53-69.
    The orthodox answer to my question is this: in a case of self-deception, the self acts to deceive itself. That is, the self is the author of its own deception. I want to explore an opposing idea here: that the self is rather the subject matter of the deception. That is, I want to explore the idea that self-deception is more concerned with the self’s deception about the self, than with the self’s deception by the self. The expression would thus (...)
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  11. The Addict in Us All.Brendan Dill & Richard Holton - 2014 - Frontiers in Psychiatry 5 (139):01-20.
    In this paper, we contend that the psychology of addiction is similar to the psychology of ordinary, non-addictive temptation in important respects, and explore the ways in which these parallels can illuminate both addiction and ordinary action. The incentive salience account of addiction proposed by Robinson and Berridge (1993; 2001; 2008) entails that addictive desires are not in their nature different from many of the desires had by non-addicts; what is different is rather the way that addictive desires are acquired, (...)
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  12.  72
    Principles and Particularisms.Richard Holton - 2002 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 67 (1):191-209.
    Should particularists about ethics claim that moral principles are never true? Or should they rather claim that any finite set of principles will not be sufficient to capture ethics? This paper explores and defends the possibility of embracing the second of these claims whilst rejecting the first, a position termed principled particularism. The main argument that particularists present for their position - the argument that holds that any moral conclusion can be superceded by further considerations - is quite compatible with (...)
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  13.  78
    Self-Control in the Modern Provocation Defence.Richard Holton & Stephen Shute - 2007 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 27 (1):49-73.
    Most recent discussion of the provocation defence has focused on the objective test, and little attention has been paid to the subjective test. However, the subjective test provides a substantial constraint: the killing must result from a provocation that undermines the defendant's self-control. The idea of loss of self-control has been developed in both the philosophical and psychological literatures. Understanding the subjective test in the light of the conception developed there makes for a far more coherent interpretation of the provocation (...)
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  14.  92
    Addiction Between Compulsion and Choice.Richard Holton & Kent Berridge - forthcoming - In Neil Levy (ed.), Addiction and Self-Control. Oxford University Press.
    We aim to find a middle path between disease models of addiction, and those that treat addictive choices as choices like any other. We develop an account of the disease element by focussing on the idea that dopamine works primarily to lay down dispositional intrinsic desires. Addictive substances artifically boost the dopamine signal, and thereby lay down intrinsic desires for the substances that persist through withdrawal, and in the face of beliefs that they are worthless. The result is cravings that (...)
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  15. Determinism, Self-Efficacy, and the Phenomenology of Free Will.Richard Holton - 2009 - Inquiry : An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (4):412-428.
    Some recent studies have suggested that belief in determinism tends to undermine moral motivation: subjects who are given determinist texts to read become more likely to cheat or engage in vindictive behaviour. One possible explanation is that people are natural incompatibilists, so that convincing them of determinism undermines their belief that they are morally responsible. I suggest a different explanation, and in doing so try to shed some light on the phenomenology of free will. I contend that one aspect of (...)
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  16. The Act of Choice.Richard Holton - 2006 - Philosophers' Imprint 6:1-15.
    Choice is one of the central elements in the experience of free will, but it has not received a good account from either compatibilists or libertarians. This paper develops an account of choice based around three features: (i) choice is an action; (ii) choice is not determined by one's prior beliefs and desires; (iii) once the question of what to do has arisen, choice is typically both necessary and sufficient for moving to action. These features might appear to support a (...)
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  17.  7
    The Good/Bad Asymmetry.Richard Holton - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (1):26-32.
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  18. Inverse Akrasia and Weakness of Will.Richard Holton - manuscript
    The standard account of weakness of will identifies it with akrasia, that is, with action against one's best judgment. Elsewhere I have argued that weakness of will is better understood as over-readily giving up on one's resolutions. Many cases of weak willed action will not be akratic: in over-readily abandoning a resolution an agent may well do something that they judge at the time to be best. Indeed, in so far as temptation typically gives rise to judgment shift -- to (...)
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  19. Some Telling Examples: A Reply to Tsohatzidis.Richard Holton - 1997 - Journal of Pragmatics 28:625-628.
    In a recent paper Savas Tsohatzidis has provided a number of putative counterexamples to the well-attested Kartunnen-Vendler (K-V) thesis that the use of 'tell' with a wh-complement requires that the speaker spoke truthfully. His counterexamples are sentences like: (1) Old John told us who he saw in the fog, but it turned out that he was mistaken. I argue that such examples do not serve to refute the K-V thesis. Rather, they are examples of a more general phenomenon that I (...)
     
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  20. Empathy and Animal Ethics.Richard Holton & Rae Langton - 1998 - In Dale Jamieson (ed.), Singer and His Critics. Oxford University Press.
    In responding to the challenge that we cannot know that animals feel pain, Peter Singer says: We can never directly experience the pain of another being, whether that being is human or not. When I see my daughter fall and scrape her knee, I know that she feels pain because of the way she behaves—she cries, she tells me her knee hurts, she rubs the sore spot, and so on. I know that I myself behave in a somewhat similar—if more (...)
     
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  21. Disentangling the Will.Richard Holton - 2010 - In Al Mele, Kathleen Vohs & Roy Baumeister (eds.), Free Will and Consciousness: How Might They Work? Oxford University Press. pp. 82.
    It is argued that there are at least three things bundled up in the idea of free will: the capacity manifested by agents whenever they act freely; the property possessed by those actions for which an agent in morally responsible; and the ability to do otherwise. This paper attempts some disentangling.
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  22.  13
    I—Facts, Factives, and Contrafactives.Richard Holton - 2017 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 91 (1):245-266.
    Frege begins his discussion of factives in ‘On Sense and Reference’ with an example of a purported contrafactive, that is, a verb that entails, or presupposes, the falsity of the complement sentence. But the verb he cites, ‘wähnen’, is now obsolete, and native speakers are sceptical about whether it really was a contrafactive. Despite the profusion of factive verbs, there are no clear examples of contrafactive propositional attitude verbs in English, French or German. This paper attempts to give an explanation (...)
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  23. The Exception Proves the Rule.Richard Holton - 2010 - Journal of Political Philosophy 18 (4):369-388.
    When faced with a rule that they take to be true, and a recalcitrant example, people are apt to say: “The exception proves the rule”. When pressed on what they mean by this though, things are often less than clear. A common response is to dredge up some once-heard etymology: ‘proves’ here, it is often said, means ‘tests’. But this response—its frequent appearance even in some reference works notwithstanding1—makes no sense of the way in which the expression is used. To (...)
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  24. Leapfrogging and Scope: Reply to Pickles.Richard Holton - 1995 - Mind 104 (415):583-584.
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  25. Facts, Factives and Contra-Factives.Richard Holton - manuscript
    Frege begins his discussion of factives in 'On Sense and Reference' with an example of a purported contra-factive, i.e. a verb that entails the falsity of the complement sentence. But the verb he cites, 'waehnen', is now obsolete, and native speakers are sceptical about whether it really was a contra-factive. Despite the profusion of factive verbs, there are no clear examples of contra-factive propositional attitude verbs in English, French or German (or indeed any other Indo-European languages). This paper attempts to (...)
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  26.  57
    Comments on Ralph Wedgwood’s The Nature of Normativity.Richard Holton - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (3):449-457.
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  27. Attitude Ascriptions and Intermediate Scope.Richard Holton - 1994 - Mind 103 (410):123-130.
    Quantification into a belief ascription has often been taken to indicate that the believer knows who (or what) their belief is about. Here it is shown, by means of some iterated ascriptions, that this cannot be the correct interpretation of such quantification. In conclusion it is suggested that it should rather be interpreted as indicating that the belief has its source in the object denoted by the quantifier.
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  28.  65
    Reason, Value and the Muggletonians.Richard Holton - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (3):484 – 487.
    Michael Smith has argued that to value an action is to believe that if one were fully rational one would desire that one perform it. I offer the Muggletonians as a counter-example. The Muggletonians, a 17th century English sect, believed that reason was the path of the Devil. They believed that their fully rational selves - rational in just Smith's sense - would have blasphemed against God; and that their rational selves would have wanted their actual selves to do likewise. (...)
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  29. Ramsey on Saying and Whistling: A Discordant Note.Richard Holton & Huw Price - 2003 - Noûs 37 (2):325–341.
    In 'General Propositions and Causality' Ramsey rejects his earlier view that universal generalizations are infinite conjunctions, arguing that they are not genuine propositions at all. We argue that his new position is unstable. The issues about infinity that lead Ramsey to the new view are essentially those underlying Wittgenstein's rule-following considerations. If they show that generalizations are not genuine propositions, they show that there are no genuine propositions. The connection raises interesting historical questions about the direction of influence between Ramsey (...)
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  30. Primitive Self-Ascription: Lewis on the De Se.Richard Holton - forthcoming - In Barry Loewer & Jonathan Schaffer (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to David Lewis. Blackwell.
    There are two parts to Lewis's account of the de se. First there is the idea that the objects of de se thought (and, by extension of de dicto thought too) are properties, not propositions. This is the idea that is center-stage in Lewis's discussion. Second there is the idea that the relation that thinkers bear to these properties is that of self-ascription. It is crucial to LewisÕs account that this is understood as a fundamental, unanalyzable, notion: self-ascription of a (...)
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  31.  41
    Sources and Leapfrogging: Reply to Pickles.Richard Holton - 1995 - Mind 104 (415):583 - 584.
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  32.  40
    Particularism and Moral Theory.Garrett Cullity & Richard Holton - 2002 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 76:169-209.
    [Garrett Cullity] Weak particularism about reasons is the view that the normative valency of some descriptive considerations varies, while others have an invariant normative valency. A defence of this view needs to respond to arguments that a consideration cannot count in favour of any action unless it counts in favour of every action. But it cannot resort to a global holism about reasons, if it claims that there are some examples of invariant valency. This paper argues for weak particularism, and (...)
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  33.  97
    David Lewis's Philosophy of Language.Richard Holton - 2003 - Mind and Language 18 (3):286–295.
    Lewis never saw philosophy of language as foundational in the way that many have. One of the most distinctive features of his work is the robust confidence that questions in metaphysics or mind can be addressed head on, and not through the lens of language.
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  34.  88
    Response-Dependence and Infallibility.Richard Holton - 1992 - Analysis 52 (3):180 - 184.
  35.  33
    Crime as Prime.Richard Holton - 2015 - The Law and Ethics of Human Rights 9 (2):181-193.
    Journal Name: The Law & Ethics of Human Rights Issue: Ahead of print.
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  36.  4
    II—Richard Holton: Principles and Particularisms.Richard Holton - 2002 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 76 (1):191-209.
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  37.  53
    Intentions, Response-Dependence, and Immunity From Error.Richard Holton - 1991 - In P. Menzies (ed.), Response Dependent Concepts. ANU Working Papers in Philosophy 1.
    You are, I suspect, exceedingly good at knowing what you intend to do. In saying this I pay you no special compliment. Knowing what one intends is the normal state to be in. And this cries out for some explanation. How is it that we are so authoritative about our own intentions? There are two different approaches that one can take in answering this question. The first credits us with special perceptual powers which we use when we examine our own (...)
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  38.  68
    From Determinism to Resignation, and How to Stop It.Richard Holton - 2013 - In Andy Clark, Julian Kiverstein & Tillman Vierkant (eds.), Decomposing the Will. Oxford University Press.
    A few philosophers have held that determinism should lead to an attitude of resignation: since what will be will be, there is no point trying to influence the future. That argument has rightly been seen as mistaken. But a plausible parallel argument leads from the thesis of predictability---the thesis that it can be known what will happen---to an attitude of resignation. So if predictability is true, our normal practical attitudes may well be deeply mistaken. Fortunately, whilst determinism is a plausible (...)
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  39.  1
    Particularism and Moral Theory: Principles and Particularisms: Richard Holton.Richard Holton - 2002 - Supplement to the Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 76 (1):191-209.
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  40. Freedom, Coercion and Discursive Control.Richard Holton - 2007 - In Michael Smith, Robert Goodin & Geoffrey Geoffrey (eds.), Common Minds. Oxford University Press. pp. 104.
    If moral and political philosophy is to be of any use, it had better be concerned with real people. The focus need not be exclusively on people as they are; but it should surely not extend beyond how they would be under laws as they might be. It is one of the strengths of Philip Pettit’s work that it is concerned with real people and the ways that they think: with the commonplace mind. In this paper I examine Pettit’s recent (...)
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  41.  93
    Response to 'Free Will as Advanced Action Control for Human Social Life and Culture' by Roy F. Baumeister, A. William Crescioni and Jessica L. Alquist. [REVIEW]Richard Holton - 2011 - Neuroethics 4 (1):13-16.
  42.  18
    Addiction, Self‐Signalling and the Deep Self.Richard Holton - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (3):300-313.
    Addicts may simply deny that they are addicted; or they may use self-signalling to try to provide evidence that giving up is not worthwhile. I provide an account that shows how easy it is to provide apparent evidence either that the addiction is so bad that it cannot be escaped; or that there is no real addiction, and hence nothing to escape. I suggest that the most effective way of avoiding this is to avoid self-signalling altogether.
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  43.  82
    Positivism and the Internal Point of View.Richard Holton - 1998 - Law and Philosophy 17 (s 5-6):597-625.
    Can one consistently (i) be a positivist, and (ii) think that the internal attitude to the law is a moral attitude? Two objections are raised in the literature. The first is that the combination is straight-out contradictory. The second is that if the internal attitude is a moral attitude, those who take it cannot be positivists. Arguments from Shiner, Goldsworthy and Raz are examined. It is concluded that neither objection works. The arguments are based on scope errors, conflations of what (...)
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  44.  38
    Modeling Legal Rules.Richard Holton - 2011 - In Andrei Marmor & Scott Soames (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of Language in the Law. Oxford University Press.
    Building on earlier work, this paper develops a model of legal rules that admit of exceptions but are nonetheless governed by classical logic. The account is defended against alternative accounts that construe legal rules as generics, or as default rules.
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  45.  78
    Review of Daniel Wegner, The Illusion of Conscious Will[REVIEW]Richard Holton - 2004 - Mind 113 (449):218-221.
  46.  1
    Rational Resolve.Richard Holton - 2004 - Philosophical Review 113 (4):507-535.
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  47.  67
    Minimalism About Truth.Richard Holton - 1993 - In B. Garrett & K. Mulligan (eds.), Themes from Wittgenstein. ANU Working Papers in Philosophy 4.
    My main task here is first to distinguish, and then to map out possibilities. I won’t be concerned to argue for a certain position as much as to argue that various combinations of positions are consistent. In particular, I want to argue that a commitment to minimalism about truth does not bring an automatic commitment to what has been called a minimalist theory of truth-aptitude: the claim that every assertoric sentence which is used in a systematic way will be either (...)
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  48.  22
    The Case for Open Access.Richard Holton - 2014 - The Philosophers' Magazine 65:10-13.
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  49.  2
    Minimalism and Truth-Value Gaps.Richard Holton - 2000 - Philosophical Studies 97 (2):137-168.
  50.  12
    Memory, Persons and Dementia.Richard Holton - 2016 - Studies in Christian Ethics 29 (3):256-260.
    Memory is a complex phenomenon, so the loss of memory that occurs in dementia is equally complex. Accounts that deny personhood to dementia sufferers typically fail to accommodate that complexity.
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