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Ron Mallon [50]Ronald Mallon [2]Ronald Jerry Mallon [1]
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Ron Mallon
Washington University in St. Louis
Ronald Mallon
Washington University in St. Louis
  1. Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style.Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2004 - Cognition 92 (3):1-12.
    Theories of reference have been central to analytic philosophy, and two views, the descriptivist view of reference and the causal-historical view of reference, have dominated the field. In this research tradition, theories of reference are assessed by consulting one’s intuitions about the reference of terms in hypothetical situations. However, recent work in cultural psychology (e.g., Nisbett et al. 2001) has shown systematic cognitive differences between East Asians and Westerners, and some work indicates that this extends to intuitions about philosophical cases (...)
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  2. Against Arguments From Reference.Ron Mallon, Edouard Machery, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):332 - 356.
    It is common in various quarters of philosophy to derive philosophically significant conclusions from theories of reference. In this paper, we argue that philosophers should give up on such 'arguments from reference.' Intuitions play a central role in establishing theories of reference, and recent cross-cultural work suggests that intuitions about reference vary across cultures and between individuals within a culture (Machery et al. 2004). We argue that accommodating this variation within a theory of reference undermines arguments from reference.
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  3.  88
    Moral Dilemmas and Moral Rules.Shaun Nichols & Ron Mallon - 2006 - Cognition 100 (3):530-542.
    Recent work shows an important asymmetry in lay intuitions about moral dilemmas. Most people think it is permissible to divert a train so that it will kill one innocent person instead of five, but most people think that it is not permissible to push a stranger in front of a train to save five innocents. We argue that recent emotion-based explanations of this asymmetry have neglected the contribution that rules make to reasoning about moral dilemmas. In two experiments, we find (...)
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  4. Accentuate the Negative.Joshua Alexander, Ronald Mallon & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (2):297-314.
    Our interest in this paper is to drive a wedge of contention between two different programs that fall under the umbrella of “experimental philosophy”. In particular, we argue that experimental philosophy’s “negative program” presents almost as significant a challenge to its “positive program” as it does to more traditional analytic philosophy.
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  5. If Folk Intuitions Vary, Then What?Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen P. Stich - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (3):618-635.
    We have recently presented evidence for cross-cultural variation in semantic intuitions and explored the implications of such variation for philosophical arguments that appeal to some theory of reference as a premise. Devitt (2011) and Ichikawa and colleagues (forthcoming) offer critical discussions of the experiment and the conclusions that can be drawn from it. In this response, we reiterate and clarify what we are really arguing for, and we show that most of Devitt’s and Ichikawa and colleagues’ criticisms fail to address (...)
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  6. Knobe Vs Machery: Testing the Trade-Off Hypothesis.Ron Mallon - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (2):247-255.
    Recent work by Joshua Knobe has established that people are far more likely to describe bad but foreseen side effects as intentionally performed than good but foreseen side effects (this is sometimes called the 'Knobe effect' or the 'side-effect effect.' Edouard Machery has proposed a novel explanation for this asymmetry: it results from construing the bad side effect as a cost that must be incurred to receive a benefit. In this paper, I argue that Machery's 'trade-off hypothesis' is wrong. I (...)
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  7. ‘Race': Normative, Not Metaphysical or Semantic.Ron Mallon - 2006 - Ethics 116 (3):525-551.
    In recent years, there has been a flurry of work on the metaphysics of race. While it is now widely accepted that races do not share robust, bio-behavioral essences, opinions differ over what, if anything, race is. Recent work has been divided between three apparently quite different answers. A variety of theorists argue for racial skepticism, the view that races do not exist at all.[iv] A second group defends racial constructionism, holding that races are in some way socially constructed.[v],[vi] And (...)
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  8.  54
    Semantic Intuitions: Reply to Lam.Edouard Machery, Max Deutsch, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols, Justin Sytsma & Stephen P. Stich - 2010 - Cognition 117 (3):363-366.
  9. Passing, Traveling and Reality: Social Constructionism and the Metaphysics of Race.Ron Mallon - 2004 - Noûs 38 (4):644–673.
    Among race theorists, the view that race is a social construction is widespread. While the term ‘ social construction’ is sometimes intended to mean merely that race does not constitute a robust, biological natural kind, it often labels the stronger position that race is real, but not a biological kind. For example, Charles Mills writes that, ‘‘the task of those working on race is to put race in quotes, ‘race’, while still insisting that nevertheless, it exists ’’. It is to (...)
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  10.  65
    Ambiguous Reference.Shaun Nichols, N. Ángel Pinillos & Ron Mallon - 2016 - Mind 125 (497):145-175.
    One of the central debates in the philosophy of language is that between defenders of the causal-historical and descriptivist theories of reference. Most philosophers involved in the debate support one or the other of the theories. Building on recent experimental work in semantics, we argue that there is a sense in which both theories are correct. In particular, we defend the view that natural kind terms can sometimes take on a causal-historical reading and at other times take on a descriptivist (...)
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  11. A Field Guide to Social Construction.Ron Mallon - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (1):93–108.
    forthcoming in Philosophy Compass [penultimate draft .pdf file] A survey of the contemporary social constructionist landscape.
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  12.  76
    Innateness as Closed Process Invariance.Ron Mallon & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (3):323-344.
    Controversies over the innateness of cognitive processes, mechanisms, and structures play a persistent role in driving research in philosophy as well as the cognitive sciences, but the appropriate way to understand the category of the innate remains subject to dispute. One venerable approach in philosophy and cognitive science merely contrasts innate features with those that are learned. In fact, Jerry Fodor has recently suggested that this remains our best handle on innateness.
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  13.  89
    Intention, Temporal Order, and Moral Judgments.Walter Sinnott-armstrong, Ron Mallon, Tom Mccoy & Jay G. Hull - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (1):90–106.
    The traditional philosophical doctrine of double effect claims that agents’ intentions affect whether acts are morally wrong. Our behavioral study reveals that agents’ intentions do affect whether acts are judged morally wrong, whereas the temporal order of good and bad effects affects whether acts are classified as killings. This finding suggests that the moral judgments are not based on the classifications. Our results also undermine recent claims that prior moral judgments determine whether agents are seen as causing effects intentionally rather (...)
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  14. The Odd Couple: The Compatibility of Social Construction and Evolutionary Psychology.Stephen P. Stich & Ron Mallon - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):133-154.
    Evolutionary psychology and social constructionism are widely regarded as fundamentally irreconcilable approaches to the social sciences. Focusing on the study of the emotions, we argue that this appearance is mistaken. Much of what appears to be an empirical disagreement between evolutionary psychologists and social constructionists over the universality or locality of emotional phenomena is actually generated by an implicit philosophical dispute resulting from the adoption of different theories of meaning and reference. We argue that once this philosophical dispute is recognized, (...)
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  15.  88
    Transgressors, Victims, and Cry Babies: Is Basic Moral Judgment Spared in Autism?Alan M. Leslie & Ron Mallon - 2006 - Social Neuroscience 1:270283.
    Human social intelligence comprises a wide range of complex cognitive and affective processes that appear to be selectively impaired in autistic spectrum disorders. The study of these neuro- developmental disorders and the study of canonical social intelligence have advanced rapidly over the last twenty years by investigating the two together. Specifically, studies of autism have provided important insights into the nature of ‘theory of mind’ abilities, their normal development and underlying neural systems. At the same time, the idea of impaired (...)
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  16.  49
    Dual Processes and Moral Rules.Ron Mallon & Shaun Nichols - 2011 - Emotion Review 3 (3):284-285.
    Recent work proclaims a dominant role for automatic, intuitive, and emotional processes in producing ordinary moral judgment, despite the fact that we have little direct evidence about moral judgment “in the wild.” Indirect support comes via an assumption of dual-process theory: that conscious, reasoning processes are resource intensive. We argue that reasoning that employs consciously available moral rules undermines this assumption, but this has not been appreciated because of a failure to distinguish between explanation and justification. We conclude that it (...)
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  17.  77
    Race and Racial Cognition.Daniel Kelly, Edouard Machery & Ron Mallon - 2010 - In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
    A core question of contemporary social morality concerns how we ought to handle racial categorization. By this we mean, for instance, classifying or thinking of a person as Black, Korean, Latino, White, etc.² While it is widely FN:2 agreed that racial categorization played a crucial role in past racial oppression, there remains disagreement among philosophers and social theorists about the ideal role for racial categorization in future endeavors. At one extreme of this disagreement are short-term eliminativists who want to do (...)
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  18. Racial Cognition and Normative Racial Theory.Daniel Kelly, Edouard Machery & Ron Mallon - 2010 - In John Doris (ed.), Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press. pp. 432--471.
  19.  42
    ‘Race': Normative, Not Metaphysical or Semantic.Daniel Kelly, Edouard Machery & Ron Mallon - 2006 - Ethics 116 (3):525-551.
    A core question of contemporary social morality concerns how we ought to handle racial categorization. By this we mean, for instance, classifying or thinking of a person as Black, Korean, Latino, White, etc.2 While it is widely agreed that racial categorization played a crucial role in past racial oppression, there remains disagreement among philosophers and social theorists about the ideal role for racial categorization in future endeavors. At one extreme of this disagreement are short-term eliminativists who want to do away (...)
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  20. Social Construction, Social Roles, and Stability.Ron Mallon - 2003 - In F. Schmitt (ed.), Socializing Metaphysics : The Nature of Social Reality. Rowman & Littlefield, 65-91. pp. 327--54.
  21.  30
    Constructing Race: Racialization, Causal Effects, or Both?Ron Mallon - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (5):1039-1056.
    Social constructionism about race is a common view, but there remain questions about what exactly constitutes constructed race. Some hold that our concepts and conceptual practices construct race, and some hold that the causal consequences of these concepts and conceptual practices also play a role. But there is a third option, which is that the causal effects of our concepts and conceptual practices constitute race, but not the concepts and conceptual practices themselves. This paper reconsiders an argument for the reality (...)
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  22.  72
    Human Categories Beyond Non-Essentialism.Ron Mallon - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (2):146–168.
    In recent years, numerous articles and books in the humanities and the social sciences have been devoted to understanding the ascription of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, mental illness, and other ‘human kind’ concepts to persons. What may be more surprising given the enormous volume of this research and the diversity of its sources is that much of it shares a common commitment to understanding the categories picked out by these concepts in an non- essentialist way. For example, Iris Marion (...)
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  23. 18 The Baby in the Lab-Coat: Why Child Development is Not an Adequate Model for Understanding the Development of Science.Luc Faucher, Ron Mallon, Daniel Nazer, Shaun Nichols, Aaron Ruby, Stephen Stich & Jonathan Weinberg - 2002 - In Peter Carruthers, Stephen P. Stich & Michael Siegal (eds.), The Cognitive Basis of Science. Cambridge University Press.
    Alison Gopnik and her collaborators have recently proposed a bold and intriguing hypothesis about the relationship between scientific cognition and cognitive development in childhood. According to this view, the processes underlying cognitive development in infants and children and the processes underlying scientific cognition are _identical_. We argue that Gopnik’s bold hypothesis is untenable because it, along with much of cognitive science, neglects the many important ways in which human minds are designed to operate within a social environment. This leads to (...)
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  24.  80
    Was Race Thinking Invented in the Modern West?Ron Mallon - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):77-88.
    The idea that genuinely racial thinking is a modern invention is widespread in the humanities and social sciences. However, it is not always clear exactly what the content of such a conceptual break is supposed to be. One suggestion is that with the scientific revolution emerged a conception of human groups that possessed essences that were thought to explain group-typical features of individuals as well the accumulated products of cultures or civilizations. However, recent work by cognitive and evolutionary psychologists suggests (...)
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  25.  17
    Living with Innateness (and Environmental Dependence Too).Jonathan M. Weinberg & Ron Mallon - 2008 - Philosophical Psychology 21 (3):415 – 424.
    Griffiths and Machery contend that the concept of innateness should be dispensed with in the sciences. We contend that, once that concept is properly understood as what we have called 'closed process invariance', it is still of significant use in the sciences, especially cognitive science.
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  26. Evolution of Morality.Edouard Machery & Ron Mallon - 2010 - In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press. pp. 3.
     
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  27. Competence: What's In? What's Out? Who Knows?Joshua Alexander, Ronald Mallon & Jonathan Weinberg - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):329-330.
    Knobe's argument rests on a way of distinguishing performance errors from the competencies that delimit our cognitive architecture. We argue that other sorts of evidence than those that he appeals to are needed to illuminate the boundaries of our folk capacities in ways that would support his conclusions.
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  28.  5
    Semantics, Cross-Cultural Style.Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Shaun Nichols & Stephen Stich - 2004 - O Gnition 92:B1--B12.
    Theories of reference have been central to analytic philosophy, and two views, the descriptivist view of reference and the causal-historical view of reference, have dominated the field. In this research tradition, theories of reference are assessed by consulting one's intuitions about the reference of terms in hypothetical situations. However, recent work in cultural psychology has shown systematic differences between East Asians and Westerners, and some work indicates that this extends to intuitions about philosophical cases. In light of these findings on (...)
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  29. Causal Realism and the Laws of Nature.Richard Corry, Robert N. Brandon, H. Frederik Nijhout, Richard Dawid, Ron Mallon, Jonathan M. Weinberg & Hong Yu Wong - 2006 - In Borchert (ed.), Philosophy of Science. Macmillan. pp. 261-276.
    This paper proposes a revision of our understanding of causation that is designed to address what Hartry Field has suggested is the central problem in the metaphysics of causation today: reconciling Bertrand Russell’s arguments that the concept of causation can play no role in the advanced sciences with Nancy Cartwright’s arguments that causal concepts are essential to a scientific understanding of the world. The paper shows that Russell’s main argument is, ironically, very similar to an argument that Cartwright has put (...)
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  30. 1. Moral Rules and Moral Reasoning.Ron Mallon & Shaun Nichols - 2010 - In John Doris (ed.), Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press. pp. 297.
     
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  31.  79
    Sources of Racialism.Ron Mallon - 2010 - Journal of Social Philosophy 41 (3):272-292.
  32.  39
    Arguments From Reference and the Worry About Dependence.Ron Mallon - 2007 - In Peter A. French & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.), Philosophy and the Empirical. Blackwell. pp. 160-183.
    This paper raises concern with the use of theories of reference in philosophical discourse and then to consider the possibility of empirically validating this concern by reference to a novel sort of “quantitative” empirical approach suggested recently by Shaun Nichols (forthcoming). The concern is whether the particular theories of reference or reference relations employed in particular philosophical discussions are actually chosen with a view to entailing or accommodating a desired philosophical outcome. I argue that such dependent selections of assumptions about (...)
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  33.  27
    Socializing Metaphysics: The Nature of Social Reality.Frederick F. Schmitt, Gary Ebbs, Margaret Gilbert, Sally Haslanger, Kevin Kimble, Ron Mallon, Seumas Miller, Philip Pettit, Abraham Sesshu Roth, John Searle, Raimo Tuomela & Edward Witherspoon - 2003 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    Socializing Metaphysics supplies diverse answers to the basic questions of social metaphysics, from a broad array of voices. It will interest all philosophers and social scientists concerned with mind, action, or the foundations of social theory.
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  34.  68
    Social Construction and Achieving Reference.Ron Mallon - 2017 - Noûs 51 (1):113-131.
    One influential view is that at least some putatively natural human kinds are actually social constructions, understood as some real kind of thing that is produced or sustained by our social and conceptual practices. Category constructionists share two commitments: they hold that human category terms like “race” and “sex” and “homosexuality” and “perversion” actually refer to constructed categories, and they hold that these categories are widely but mistakenly taken to be natural kinds. But it is far from clear that these (...)
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  35.  20
    The Role of Psychology in the Study of Culture.Daniel Kelly, Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Kelby Mason & Stephen P. Stich - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):355-355.
    Although we are enthusiastic about a Darwinian approach to culture, we argue that the overview presented in the target article does not sufficiently emphasize the crucial explanatory role that psychology plays in the study of culture. We use a number of examples to illustrate the variety of ways by which appeal to psychological factors can help explain cultural phenomena.
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  36.  2
    Was Race Thinking Invented in the Modern West?Ron Mallon - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):77-88.
    The idea that genuinely racial thinking is a modern invention is widespread in the humanities and social sciences. However, it is not always clear exactly what the content of such a conceptual break is supposed to be. One suggestion is that with the scientific revolution emerged a conception of human groups that possessed essences that were thought to explain group-typical features of individuals as well the accumulated products of cultures or civilizations. However, recent work by cognitive and evolutionary psychologists suggests (...)
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  37.  85
    Naturalistic Approaches to Social Construction.Ron Mallon - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Social “construction,” “constructionism” and “constructivism” are terms in wide use in the humanities and social sciences, and are applied to a diverse range of objects including the emotions, gender, race, sex, homo- and hetero-sexuality, mental illness, technology, quarks, facts, reality, and truth. This sort of terminology plays a number of different roles in different discourses, only some of which are philosophically interesting, and fewer of which admit of a “naturalistic” approach—an approach that treats science as a central and successful (if (...)
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  38. Is The'trade-Off Hypothesis' Worth Trading For?Ron Mallon - 2008 - Mind and Language 23 (2):247-255.
     
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  39.  43
    Making Race Out of Nothing : Psychologically Constrained Social Roles.Ron Mallon & Daniel Kelly - 2012 - In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford University Press.
    Race is one of the most common variables in the social sciences, used to draw correlations between racial groups and numerous other important variables such as education, healthcare outcomes, aptitude tests, wealth, employment and so forth. But where concern with race once reflected the view that races were biologically real, many, if not most, contemporary social scientists have abandoned the idea that racial categories demarcate substantial, intrinsic biological differences between people. This, in turn, raises an important question about the significance (...)
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  40.  30
    Performance, Self-Explanation, and Agency.Ron Mallon - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2777-2798.
    Social constructionist explanations of human thought and behavior hold that our representations produce and regulate the categories, thoughts, and behaviors of those they represent. Performative versions of constructionist accounts explain these thoughts and behaviors as part of an intentional, strategic performance that is elicited and regulated by our representations of ourselves. This paper has four aims. First, I sketch a causal model of performative social constructionist claims. Second, I articulate a puzzling feature of performative claims that makes them seem especially (...)
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  41.  16
    Political Liberalism, Cultural Membership, and the Family.Ron Mallon - 1999 - Social Theory and Practice 25 (2):271-297.
  42.  68
    Reviving Rawls's Linguistic Analogy Inside and Out.Ron Mallon - 2008 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (ed.), Moral Psychology, Volume 2.
    Marc Hauser, Liane Young, and Fiery Cushman’s paper is an excellent contribution to a now resurgent attempt (Dwyer, 1999; Harman, 1999; Mikhail, 2000) to explore and understand moral psychology by way of an analogy with Noam Chomsky’s pathbreaking work in linguistics, famously suggested by John Rawls (1971). And anyone who reads their paper ought to be convinced that research into our innate moral endowment is a plausible and worthwhile research program. I thus begin by agreeing that even if the linguistic (...)
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  43.  52
    Rules.Ron Mallon & Shaun Nichols - 2010 - In John Michael Doris (ed.), The Moral Psychology Handbook. Oxford University Press.
    Is it wrong to torture prisoners of war for fun? Is it wrong to yank on someone’s hair with no provocation? Is it wrong to push an innocent person in front of a train in order to save five innocent people tied to the tracks? If you are like most people, you answered "yes" to each of these questions. A venerable account of human moral judgment, influential in both philosophy and psychology, holds that these judgments are underpinned by internally represented (...)
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  44.  54
    Transgressors, Victims, and Cry Babies: Is Basic Moral Judgment Spared in Autism?Ron Mallon, Alan M. Leslie & Jennifer DiCorcia - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    of (from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) forthcoming in Social Neuroscience. [nearly final draft in .pdf] An empirical investigation of moral judgment in autism.
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  45.  47
    Differences Between Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Belief Ascription: A Problem with Block's Argument for Holism.Ron Mallon - manuscript
    instead he argues for a conditional: "if there is such a thing as narrow content, it is holistic," where holism is taken to be "the doctrine that any _substantial_ difference in W-beliefs, whether between two people or between one person at two times, requires a difference in the meaning or content of W" (153, 152).
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  46.  26
    Ought We to Abandon a Domain-General Treatment of "Ought"?[I].Ron Mallon - manuscript
    Leda Cosmides and John Tooby have some advice for moral philosophers and deontic logicians trying to understand deontic notions like ought: give up trying to provide a univocal, domain-general treatment. The domain-specific character of human cognition means that such a research program is probably fruitless and probably pointless. It is probably fruitless, since a univocal account of the meaning of "ought" will not capture the multiple inferential patterns of deontic reasoning exhibited in different contexts (and similarly for lots of other (...)
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  47. Dialogical Models of Explanation.Ron Mallon - manuscript
    Explanation-Aware Computing: Papers from the 2007 AAAI Workshop, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Technical Report WS-07-06, Menlo Park California, AAAI Press, 2007, 1-9.
     
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  48.  21
    The Role of Psychology in the Study of Culture.Dan Kelly, Edouard Machery, Ron Mallon, Kelby Mason & Steve Stich - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):355-355.
    Although we are enthusiastic about a Darwinian approach to culture, we argue that the overview presented in the target article does not sufficiently emphasize the crucial explanatory role that psychology plays in the study of culture. We use a number of examples to illustrate the variety of ways by which appeal to psychological factors can help explain cultural phenomena. (Published Online November 9 2006).
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  49. How Necessary is the Past?Ron Mallon - manuscript
    [ draft, later version under review ] Joe Campbell has identified an apparent flaw in van Inwagen’s Consequence Argument. It apparently derives a metaphysically necessary conclusion from what Campbell argues is a contingent premise: that the past is in some sense necessary. I criticise Campbell’s examples attempting to show that this is not the case (in the requisite sense) and suggest some directions along which an incompatibilist could reconstruct her argument so as to remain immune to Campbell’s worries.
     
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  50. The Substraction Argument for the Possibility of Free Mass.Ron Mallon & Tom Stoneham - manuscript
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
     
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