100 found
Order:
  1. Free Will and Illusion.Saul Smilansky - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
    Saul Smilansky presents an original new approach to the problem of free will, which lies at the heart of morality and self-understanding. He maintains that the key to the problem is the role played by illusion. Smilansky boldly claims that we could not live adequately with a complete awareness of the truth about human freedom and that illusion lies at the center of the human condition.
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   68 citations  
  2. Free Will and Illusion.Saul Smilansky - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (1):222-229.
    No categories
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   58 citations  
  3. Free Will and Illusion.Saul Smilansky - 2001 - Mind 110 (437):271-274.
    No categories
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   62 citations  
  4.  60
    A Hostage Situation.Saul Smilansky - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (8):447-466.
    Moral life sometimes involves life-and-death decisions, and philosophers often consider them by examining intuitions about ideal cases. Contemporary philosophical discourse on such matters has been dominated by Trolley-type cases, which typically present us with the need to make decisions on whether to sacrifice one person in order to save a larger number of similar others. Such cases lead to a distinct view of moral dilemmas and of moral life generally. The case I present here, “Hostage Situation,” is quite unlike them (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  5. Compatibilism: The Argument From Shallowness.Saul Smilansky - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 115 (3):257-282.
    The compatibility question lies at the center of the free will problem. Compatibilists think that determinism is compatible with moral responsibility and the concomitant notions, while incompatibilists think that it is not. The topic of this paper is a particular form of charge against compatibilism: that it is shallow. This is not the typical sort of argument against compatibilism: most of the debate has attempted to discredit compatibilism completely. The Argument From Shallowness maintains that the compatibilists do have a case. (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   21 citations  
  6.  78
    Pereboom on Punishment: Funishment, Innocence, Motivation, and Other Difficulties.Saul Smilansky - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (3):591-603.
    In Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life, Derk Pereboom proposes an optimistic model of life that follows on the rejection of both libertarian and compatibilist beliefs in free will, moral responsibility, and desert. I criticize his views, focusing on punishment. Pereboom responds to my earlier argument that hard determinism must seek to revise the practice of punishment in the direction of funishment, whereby the incarcerated are very generously compensated for the deprivations of incarceration. I claimed that funishment is a (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  7. Hard Determinism and Punishment: A Practical Reductio. [REVIEW]Saul Smilansky - 2011 - Law and Philosophy 30 (3):353-367.
    How can hard determinism deal with the need to punish, when coupled with the obligation to be just? I argue that even though hard determinists might find it morally permissible to incarcerate wrongdoers apart from lawful society, they are committed to the punishment’s taking a very different form from common practice in contemporary Western societies. Hard determinists are in fact committed to what I will call funishment, instead of punishment. But, by its nature funishment is a practical reductio of hard (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  8. Determinism and Prepunishment: The Radical Nature of Compatibilism.Saul Smilansky - 2007 - Analysis 67 (4):347–349.
    I shall argue that compatibilism cannot resist in a principled way the temptation to prepunish people. Compatibilism thus emerges as a much more radical view than it is typically presented and perceived, and is seen to be at odds with fundamental moral intuitions.
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   17 citations  
  9. Free Will, Fundamental Dualism,and the Centrality of Illusion.Saul Smilansky - 2002 - In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 489-505.
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   23 citations  
  10.  61
    10 Moral Paradoxes.Saul Smilansky - 2007 - Wiley-Blackwell.
    Presenting ten diverse and original moral paradoxes, this cutting edge work of philosophical ethics makes a focused, concrete case for the centrality of paradoxes within morality. Explores what these paradoxes can teach us about morality and the human condition Considers a broad range of subjects, from familiar topics to rarely posed questions, among them "Fortunate Misfortune", "Beneficial Retirement" and "Preferring Not To Have Been Born" Asks whether the existence of moral paradox is a good or a bad thing Presents analytic (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  11.  91
    Free Will and Respect for Persons.Saul Smilansky - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):248-261.
  12. Free Will: From Nature to Illusion.Saul Smilansky - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (1):71-95.
    Sir Peter Strawson’s ‘Freedom and Resentment’ was a landmark in the philosophical understanding of the free will problem. Building upon it, I attempt to defend a novel position, which purports to provide, in outline, the next step forward. The position presented is based on the descriptively central and normatively crucial role of illusion in the issue of free will. Illusion, I claim, is the vital but neglected key to the free will problem. The proposed position, which may be called ‘Illusionism’, (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   12 citations  
  13.  79
    The Paradox of Moral Complaint.Saul Smilansky - 2006 - Utilitas 18 (3):284-290.
    When may someone complain, morally? And what, if any, is the relationship between legitimate moral complaint and one's own behaviour? I point out a perplexity about a certain class of moral complaints. Two very different conceptions of moral complaint seem to be operating, and they often have contrary implications. Moreover, both seem intuitively compelling. This is theoretically and practically troubling, but has not been sufficiently noticed. The Paradox of Moral Complaint seems to point to an inherent difficulty in our reflective (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  14.  72
    A Problem About the Morality of Some Common Forms of Prayer.Saul Smilansky - 2012 - Ratio 25 (2):207-215.
    At a time of acute danger, people commonly petition God for help for themselves or their loved ones; such as praying that an avalanche heading in one's direction be diverted, or that an organ donor be found for one's dying child. Such prayer seems natural and, indeed, for believers, reasonable and acceptable. It seems perverse to condemn such typical prayer, as wrong. But once we closely examine what is actually happening in such situations, we shall see that frequently prayer of (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  15. Terrorism, Justification, and Illusion.Saul Smilansky - 2004 - Ethics 114 (4):790-805.
    Bernard Williams once said that doing moral philosophy could be hazardous because there, presumably unlike in other areas of philosophy, we may run the risk of misleading people on important matters.1 This risk seems to be particularly present when considering the topic of terrorism. I would like to discuss what seems to be a most striking feature of contemporary terrorism, a feature that, as far as I know, has not been noted. This has implications concerning the way that we should (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
  16.  95
    Choice-Egalitarianism and the Paradox of the Baseline.Saul Smilansky - 2003 - Analysis 63 (2):146–151.
    Choice-egalitarianism (CE) is, broadly, a version of egalitarianism that gives free choice a pivotal role in justifying any inequality. The basic idea is this: we can morally evaluate equality and inequality in many respects, which we can call factors. Factors might be income, primary goods, wellbeing, how well someone’s life proceeds, and so on. But whatever the relevant factor may be, the baseline for egalitarianism is equality: we start, normatively, by assuming that everyone should receive the baseline, unless not receiving (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  17.  89
    More Prepunishment for Compatibilists: A Reply to Beebee.Saul Smilansky - 2008 - Analysis 68 (3):260-263.
    Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  18. The Time to Punish.Saul Smilansky - 1994 - Analysis 54 (1):50 - 53.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   13 citations  
  19. Prepunishment for Compatibilists: A Reply to Kearns.Saul Smilansky - 2008 - Analysis 68 (3):254-257.
    I have argued recently that compatibilism cannot resist in a principled way the temptation to prepunish people, and that it thus emerges as a much more radical view than is typically presented and perceived; and is at odds with fundamental moral intuitions (Smilansky 2007a). Stephen Kearns (2008) has replied, arguing that ‘Smilansky has not shown that compatibilism cannot resist prepunishment. Prepunishment is so bizarre that it can be resisted by just about anybody’. I would like to examine his challenging arguments.
    Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  20. Control, Desert and the Difference Between Distributive and Retributive Justice.Saul Smilansky - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (3):511-524.
    Why is it that we think today so very differently about distributive and retributive justice? Why is the notion of desert so neglected in our thinking about distributive justice, while it remains fundamental in almost every account of retributive justice? I wish to take up this relatively neglected issue, and put forth two proposals of my own, based upon the way control functions in the two spheres.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  21.  99
    Is There a Moral Obligation to Have Children?Saul Smilansky - 1995 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 12 (1):41-53.
    ABSTRACT I argue, counter‐intuitively, that under certain conditions many people are under some moral requirement to attempt to bring children into being . There is only rarely a strict obligation to have children, but more moderate, inclining moral considerations in favour of having children, have a place in our moral world. I begin by considering a large number of arguments in favour and against the possibility of an obligation to have children. Then I examine when the weight of one set (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  22. Free Will and Moral Responsibility: The Trap, the Appreciation of Agency, and the Bubble. [REVIEW]Saul Smilansky - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (2):211-239.
    In Part I, I reflect in some detail upon the free will problem and about the way its understanding has radically changed. First I outline the four questions that go into making the free will problem. Second, I consider four paradigmatic shifts that have occurred in our understanding of this problem. Then I go on to reflect upon this complex and multi-level situation. In Part II of this essay, I explore the major alternative positions, and defend my views, in new (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  23.  88
    A Moral Problem About Prayer.Saul Smilansky - 2014 - Think 13 (36):105-113.
    At a time of acute danger, people commonly petition God for help for themselves or their loved ones. Such prayer seems natural and, indeed, for believers, reasonable and acceptable. But once we closely examine what is actually happening in such situations, we see that frequently such prayer is not morally innocuous. I present a number of examples which illustrate the difficulty, and argue that even assuming the benevolence of the deity does not suffice to make such prayer legitimate.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  24.  39
    Fischer’s Way: The Next Level. [REVIEW]Saul Smilansky - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (2):147-155.
    I present an analogy between analytic philosophy and a particular sort of computer game, and analyze some aspects of John Martin Fischer's My Way in the light of this analogy. I set out the different levels of the free will question, and explore how well Fischer does on them. On the compatibility level, he succeeds, in my view, in confronting the "metaphysical challenge" and the "manipulation challenge", but does less well with the "moral arbitrariness challenge". The compatibilist perspective captures only (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  25.  5
    Fischer’s Way: The Next Level.Saul Smilansky - 2008 - Journal of Ethics 12 (2):147-155.
    I present an analogy between analytic philosophy and a particular sort of computer game, and analyze some aspects of John Martin Fischer's My Way in the light of this analogy. I set out the different levels of the free will question, and explore how well Fischer does on them. On the compatibility level, he succeeds, in my view, in confronting the "metaphysical challenge" and the "manipulation challenge", but does less well with the "moral arbitrariness challenge". The compatibilist perspective captures only (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  26.  45
    Morally, Should We Prefer Never to Have Existed?Saul Smilansky - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):655-666.
    We can morally compare possible alternative states of affairs, judging that various actual historical occurrences were bad, overall?the Holocaust, World War I, and slavery, for example. We should prefer that such events had not occurred, and regret that they had occurred. But the vast majority of people who now exist would not have existed had it not been for those historical events. A ?package deal? is involved here: those events, together with oneself; or, the absence of the historical calamity, and (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  27.  42
    A Difficulty Concerning Compensation.Saul Smilansky - 2013 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 10 (3):329-337.
    We sometimes harm people legitimately, by standing in front of them in the queue at the cinema and buying the last available ticket, for instance, or by acting in self-defense. If we harm them illegitimately, however, we ostensibly have a moral obligation to compensate them for the harm done. And the more we harm them, the greater the compensation that, prima facie, we need to offer. But if the harm increases further, at some point we will need to offer less (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  28.  23
    The Moral Evaluation of Past Tragedies: A New Puzzle.Saul Smilansky - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (2):188-201.
    The past is full of terrible tragedies, including slavery, World War I, and the Holocaust. Morality would clearly appear to support the preference that the victims of those calamities would have lived free and peaceful lives. And yet, a puzzle or even a paradox appears to be lurking here. Moral evaluation can be either personal or impersonal, yet neither one of these two perspectives, nor any other prevalent moral evaluation of events, appears to yield the morally expected conclusion. To the (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  29. Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence – David Benatar.Saul Smilansky - 2008 - Philosophical Quarterly 58 (232):569–571.
  30.  86
    Utilitarianism and the 'Punishment' of the Innocent: The General Problem.Saul Smilansky - 1990 - Analysis 50 (4):256 - 261.
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  31.  98
    The Ethical Advantages of Hard Determinism.Saul Smilansky - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (2):355-363.
  32.  52
    Parfit on Free Will, Desert, and the Fairness of Punishment.Saul Smilansky - 2016 - The Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):139-148.
    In his recent monumental book On What Matters, Derek Parfit argues for a hard determinist view that rejects free will-based moral responsibility and desert. This rejection of desert is necessary for his main aim in the book, the overall reconciliation of normative ethics. In Appendix E of his book, however, Parfit claims that it is possible to mete out fair punishment. Parfit’s position on punishment here seems to be inconsistent with his hard determinism. I argue that Parfit is mistaken here, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  33.  4
    IV- Free Will: From Nature To Illusion.Saul Smilansky - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (1):71-95.
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  34.  42
    On Practicing What We Preach.Saul Smilansky - 1994 - American Philosophical Quarterly 31 (1):73 - 79.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   8 citations  
  35.  66
    Preferring Not to Have Been Born.Saul Smilansky - 1997 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 75 (2):241 – 247.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  36.  62
    Should I Be Grateful to You for Not Harming Me?Saul Smilansky - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (3):585 - 597.
    Getting people not to harm others is a central goal of morality. But while it is commonly perceived that those who benefit others merit gratitude, those who do not harm others are not ordinarily thought to merit anything. I attempt to argue against this, claiming that all the arguments against gratitude to the non-maleficent are unsuccessful. Finally, I explore the difference it would make if we thought that we owe gratitude to those who do not harm us.
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  37.  12
    Free Will as a Case of “Crazy Ethics”.Saul Smilansky - 2013 - In Gregg Caruso (ed.), Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Lexington Books. pp. 103.
  38.  82
    Can Deontologists Be Moderate?Saul Smilansky - 2003 - Utilitas 15 (1):71.
    There is a widespread view according to which deontology can be construed as a flexible, reasonable view, able to incorporate consequentialist considerations when it seems compelling to do so. According to this view, deontologists can be moderate, and their presentation as die-hard fanatics, even if true to some historical figures, is basically a slanderous and misleading philosophical straw man. I argue that deontologists, properly understood, are not moderate. In the way deontology is typically understood, a deontology, as such, conceptually needs (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  39.  66
    On Not Being Sorry About The Morally Bad.Saul Smilansky - 2005 - Philosophy 80 (2):261-265.
    Bad things often happen, and morally good people ought to be sorry that they happen. People are sometimes morally permitted not to do anything about such bad things, not to have to struggle to prevent them from occurring. But what could be more obvious to a good person than that one ought to be sorry about the occurrence of bad things? Even more so, it would seem, if the bad things occur in one’s vicinity, or one is involved with them. (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  40.  56
    When Does Morality Win?Saul Smilansky - 2010 - Ratio 23 (1):102-110.
    I describe a case involving two countries at war, Benevolentia and Malevoran. Malevoran is an unjust aggressor, which does not follow the requirements of the prevailing morality of warfare. The leadership and army of Benevolentia closely follow those requirements, and as a direct result Benevolentia loses. I claim that this is a reductio of the prevailing morality of warfare: in the victory of Malevoran over Benevolentia morality has lost. I draw some tentative conclusions concerning the morality of warfare, and urge (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  41.  23
    Fortunate Misfortune.Saul Smilansky - 1994 - Ratio 7 (2):153-163.
  42.  65
    The Connection Between Responsibility and Desert: The Crucial Distinction.Saul Smilansky - 1996 - Mind 105 (419):485-486.
    In Smilansky (1996) I proposed an outline of a theory of responsibility and desert, which I claimed both (a) enables us to see responsibility as a condition for desert even in the major apparent counter-examples such as those proposed in Feldman (1995); and (b) represents the ordinary way of seeing the connection between responsibility and desert better than previous formulations. Behind this proposal lies a crucial distinction between two ways in which responsibility can be a condition for desert. From Feldman’s (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  43. Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Susan Blackmore, Thomas W. Clark, Mark Hallett, John-Dylan Haynes, Ted Honderich, Neil Levy, Thomas Nadelhoffer, Shaun Nichols, Michael Pauen, Derk Pereboom, Susan Pockett, Maureen Sie, Saul Smilansky, Galen Strawson, Daniela Goya Tocchetto, Manuel Vargas, Benjamin Vilhauer & Bruce Waller - 2013 - Lexington Books.
    Exploring the Illusion of Free Will and Moral Responsibility is an edited collection of new essays by an internationally recognized line-up of contributors. It is aimed at readers who wish to explore the philosophical and scientific arguments for free will skepticism and their implications.
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  44.  83
    Egalitarian Justice and the Importance of the Free Will Problem.Saul Smilansky - 1997 - Philosophia 25 (1-4):153-161.
  45.  39
    Punishing the Dead.Saul Smilansky - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (2):169-177.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  46.  24
    The Paradox of Beneficial Retirement.Saul Smilansky - 2005 - Ratio 18 (3):332–337.
    Morally, when should one retire from one’s job? The surprising answer may be ‘now’. It is commonly assumed that for a person who has acquired professional training at some personal effort, is employed in a task that society considers useful, and is working hard at it, no moral problem arises about whether that person should continue working. I argue that this may be a mistake: within many professions and pursuits, each one among the majority of those positive, productive, hard working (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  47.  54
    Why Moral Paradoxes Matter? “Teflon Immorality” and the Perversity of Life.Saul Smilansky - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):229-243.
    “Teflon immorality’’ (or TI) is immorality that goes on unchecked—the wrongdoing is not stopped and its perpetrators, beyond the reach of punishment or other sanction, often persist in their immoral ways. The idea that the immoral prosper has been recognized as morally (and legally) disturbing presumably for as long as humanity has been reflective, and can be found already in the Bible. The reasons behind a great deal of successful immorality are important practically, but uninteresting philosophically. Sometimes, however, we face (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  48.  93
    Moral Demands, Moral Pragmatics, and Being Good.Saul Smilansky - 2010 - Utilitas 22 (3):303-308.
    I point out an odd consequence of the role that broadly pragmatic considerations regularly play in determining moral demands. As a result of the way in which moral demands are formed, it turns out that people will frequently become morally good in a strange and rather dubious way. Because human beings are not very good, we will lower our moral demands and, as a result, most people will turn out, in an important sense, to be morally good. Our relative badness, (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  49.  52
    Some Thoughts on Terrorism, Moral Complaint, and the Self-Reflexive and Relational Nature of Morality.Saul Smilansky - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (1):65-74.
    The contemporary discussion of terrorism has been dominated by deontological and consequentialist arguments. Building upon my previous work on a paradox concerning moral complaint, I try to broaden the perspectives through which we view the issues. The direction that seems to me as most promising is a self-reflexive, conditional, and, to some extent, relational emphasis. What one is permitted to do to others would depend not so much on some absolute code constraning actions or on the estimate of what would (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  50.  64
    Does the Free Will Debate Rest on a Mistake?Saul Smilansky - 1993 - Philosophical Papers 22 (3):173-88.
1 — 50 / 100