Subjects -> PHILOSOPHY (Total: 762 journals)
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 Philosophical StudiesJournal Prestige (SJR): 1.929 Citation Impact (citeScore): 1Number of Followers: 22      Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles) ISSN (Print) 1573-0883 - ISSN (Online) 0031-8116 Published by Springer-Verlag  [2467 journals]
• Intentional action and knowledge-centered theories of control

Abstract: Abstract Intentional action is, in some sense, non-accidental, and one common way action theorists have attempted to explain this is with reference to control. The idea, in short, is that intentional action implicates control, and control precludes accidentality. But in virtue of what, exactly, would exercising control over an action suffice to make it non-accidental in whatever sense is required for the action to be intentional' One interesting and prima facie plausible idea that we wish to explore in this paper is that control is non-accidental in virtue of requiring knowledge—either knowledge-that or knowledge-how (e.g., Beddor and Pavese 2021; cf., Setiya 2008; 2012 and Habgood-Coote 2018). We review in detail some key recent work defending such knowledge-centric theories of control, and we show that none of these accounts holds water. We conclude with some discussion about how control opposes the sort of luck intentional action excludes without doing so by requiring knowledge (that- or how).
PubDate: 2023-01-20

• Responsibility, Free Will, and the Concept of Basic Desert

Abstract: Abstract Many philosophers characterize a particularly important sense of free will and responsibility by referring to basically deserved blame. But what is basically deserved blame' The aim of this paper is to identify the appraisal entailed by basic desert claims. It presents three desiderata for an account of desert appraisals and it argues that important recent theories fail to meet them. Then, the paper presents and defends a promising alternative. The basic idea is that claims about basically deserved blame entail that the targets have forfeited their claims that others not blame them and that there is positive reason to blame them. The paper shows how this view frames the discussion about skepticism about free will and responsibility.
PubDate: 2023-01-18

• The possibility of undistinguishedness

Abstract: Abstract It is natural to assume that every value bearer must be good, bad, or neutral. This paper argues that this assumption is false if value incomparability is possible. More precisely, if value incommensurability is possible, then there is a fourth category of absolute value, in addition to the good, the bad, and the neutral.
PubDate: 2023-01-17

• External world scepticism and self scepticism

Abstract: Abstract A general trend in recent philosophical and empirical work aims to undermine various traditional claims regarding the distinctive nature of self-knowledge. So far, however, this work has not seriously threatened the Cartesian claim that (at least some) self-knowledge is immune to the sort of sceptical problem that seems to afflict our knowledge of the external world. In this paper I carry this trend further by arguing that the Cartesian claim is false. This is done by showing that a familiar sceptical argument that targets my knowledge of the external world can be adapted to target my belief that I exist, along with any of my self-knowledge that I know entails my own existence. Thus, my self-knowledge and my knowledge of the external world are subject to the same sort of sceptical problem.
PubDate: 2023-01-07

• Plural harm: plural problems

Abstract: Abstract The counterfactual comparative account of harm faces problems in cases that involve overdetermination and preemption. An influential strategy for dealing with these problems, drawing on a suggestion made by Derek Parfit, is to appeal to plural harm—several events together harming someone. We argue that the most well-known version of this strategy, due to Neil Feit, as well as Magnus Jedenheim Edling’s more recent version, is fatally flawed. We also present some general reasons for doubting that the overdetermination and preemption problems for the counterfactual comparative account can be satisfactorily solved by appealing to plural harm.
PubDate: 2023-01-04

Abstract: Abstract The essay contributes to the philosophical literature on emotions by advancing a detailed analysis of jadedness and by investigating whether jadedness can be subject to the various standards that are often thought to apply to our emotional states. The essay argues that jadedness is the affective experience of weariness, lack of care, and mild disdain with some object, and that it crucially involves the realisation that such an object was previously, but is no longer, significant to us. On the basis of such a characterisation, jadedness is shown to be an affective call to restructure our commitments and values in a manner that we no longer assign any kind of significance to its object. Precisely because of its potential to affect our lives in such a fashion, jadedness is shown to carry philosophical, psychological, and even social importance.
PubDate: 2023-01-04

• Welfare comparisons within and across species

Abstract: Abstract One of the biggest problems in applications of animal welfare science is our ability to make comparisons between different individuals, both within and across species. Although welfare science provides methods for measuring the welfare of individual animals, there’s no established method for comparing measures between individuals. In this paper I diagnose this problem as one of underdetermination—there are multiple conclusions given the data, arising from two sources of variation that we cannot distinguish: variation in the underlying target variable (welfare experience) and in the relationship of measured indicators to the target. I then describe some of the possible methods of making comparisons, based on the use of similarity assumptions that will have greater or lesser justification in different circumstances, and the alternative methods we may use when direct comparisons are not possible. In the end, all our available options for making welfare comparisons are imperfect, and we need to make explicit context-specific decisions about which will be best for the task at hand while acknowledging their potential limitations. Future developments in our understanding of the biology of sentience will help strengthen our methods of making comparisons.
PubDate: 2023-01-02

• Practical knowledge without practical expertise: the social cognitive
extension via outsourcing

Abstract: Abstract Practical knowledge is discussed in close relation to practical expertise. For both anti-intellectualists and intellectualists, the knowledge of how to φ is widely assumed to entail the practical expertise in φ-ing. This paper refutes this assumption. I argue that non-experts can know how to φ via other experts’ knowledge of φ-ing. Know-how can be ‘outsourced’. I defend the outsourceability of know-how, and I refute the objections that reduce outsourced know-how to the knowledge of how to ask for help, of how to get things done, or of external contents. Interestingly, outsourcing differs from social cooperation, collective agency, testimonial transmission, and many other notions in social-epistemological debates. Thus, outsourcing provides not only a hitherto unconsidered form of know-how but also a novel way for knowledge to be social. Furthermore, outsourcing plausibly involves a ‘social’ cognitive extension that does not rest on EMT or HEC. Given the outsourceability of know-how, we must reconsider the nature of know-how and expertise, as well as the relation between non-experts and experts.
PubDate: 2023-01-02

• Perceptual warrant and internal access

Abstract: Abstract Perceptual beliefs that categorize objects can be justified by demonstrating basic properties (eg shapes) of the objects. In these justifications, perceptual justifiers have different contents to the beliefs they justify. I argue that the justifications are not inferential. Subjects are unlikely to have bodies of beliefs adequate to inferentially justify the beliefs they actually form on the strength of their object recognition abilities, especially when recognition depends on stimulus-dependent retrieval of visual memories. Instead, I argue, the justifications exploit a partial awareness that subjects have of states and processes involved in object recognition. As such, they show that subjects have a degree of internal access to the principles of externalistic perceptual warrant, and to the features of perceptual states that give them justificatory force on externalistic accounts. The justifications themselves are evidential, but in order for them to have any justificatory force, they have to be placed in an externalistic framework for perceptual justification. I conclude that this form of justification shows that subjects have a degree of insight into why their perceptual experiences justify their beliefs.
PubDate: 2023-01-01

• On being able to intend

Abstract: Abstract What is it to be able to intend to do something' At the end of her ground-breaking book, Agents’ Abilities, Romy Jaster identifies this question as a topic for future research. This article tackles the question from within the framework Jaster assembled for understanding abilities. The discussion takes place in two different spheres: intentions formed in acts of deciding, and intentions not so formed. The gradability of abilities has an important place in Jaster’s framework, and it is explained how abilities to acquire intentions of these two kinds -- including both general and specific abilities—can come in degrees, as she conceives of degrees of ability. Although Jaster “sympathize[s] with the idea that having an ability to intend to [A] is a matter of intending to [A] in a sufficient proportion of the relevant possible situations in which there is an overriding reason to intend to [A],” an alternative to this idea is developed.
PubDate: 2023-01-01

• Work and social alienation

Abstract: Abstract In this paper, I offer an account of social alienation, a genre of alienation engendered by contemporary work that has gone largely overlooked in the ethics of labor. Social alienation consists in a corruption of workers’ relations to their social life and the people that make it up. When one is socially alienated, one’s sociality and close relations exist as a mere afterthought or break from work, while labor is the central activity of one’s life. While one might think that existing solutions to alienated labor would resolve this social alienation, I suggest that such solutions at best leave the problem intact and may in fact contribute to it by giving labor the place of priority in workers’ lives. Resolving social alienation, I suggest, requires rethinking the amount of time we commit to work, the rigidity of the work schedule, and most crucially, the value that we attribute to work as the primary source of purpose in our lives.
PubDate: 2023-01-01

• Assertion remains strong

Abstract: Abstract Assertion is widely regarded as an act associated with an epistemic position. To assert is to represent oneself as occupying this position and/or to be required to occupy this position. Within this approach, the most common view is that assertion is strong: the associated position is knowledge or certainty. But recent challenges to this common view present new data that are argued to be better explained by assertion being weak. Old data widely taken to support assertion being strong has also been challenged. This paper examines such challenges and finds them wanting. Far from diminishing the case for strong assertion, carefully considering new and old data reveals that assertion is as strong as ever.
PubDate: 2023-01-01

• Emotion and attention

Abstract: Abstract This paper first demonstrates that recognition of the diversity of ways that emotional responses modulate ongoing attention generates what I call the puzzle of emotional attention, which turns on the fact that distinct emotions (e.g., fear, happiness, disgust, admiration etc.) have different attentional profiles. The puzzle concerns why this is the case, such that a solution consists in explaining why distinct emotions have the distinct attentional profiles they do. It then provides an account of the functional roles of different emotions, as tied to their evaluative themes, which explains and further elucidates the distinctive attentional profiles of different emotions, so solving the puzzle of emotional attention. Following that, it outlines how such attentional profiles are reflected in the character of emotional experience and its attentional phenomenology. The resulting picture is a more detailed account of the connections between emotion and attention than is currently on offer in the philosophical literature.
PubDate: 2023-01-01

• Supervenience, expressivism and theistic ethics

Abstract: Abstract Expressivism is supposed to have an advantage over moral realism, in that it can explain why it is a conceptual truth that the moral supervenes on the natural, even though the natural does not entail the moral. I develop an analogy between expressivism and a version of theistic moral realism, and argue that this version of theistic moral realism shares any advantage that expressivism might have. It may be that the alleged advantage that expressivism has over moral realism is overstated. Nevertheless, possible analogies between expressivism and theistic moral realism have received very little attention in the past, and are worth considering for their own sake.
PubDate: 2023-01-01

• Consequentialism and our best selves

Abstract: Abstract I develop and defend a maximizing theory of moral motivation: I claim that consequentialists should recommend only those desires, emotions, and dispositions that will make the outcome best. I advance a conservative account of the motives that are possible for us; I say that a motive is an alternative if and only if it is in our psychological control. The resulting theory is less demanding than its competitors. It also permits us to maintain many of the motivations that we value most, including our love for those most important to us. I conclude that we are closer to meeting morality’s demands on our character than has been appreciated.
PubDate: 2023-01-01

• Moral criticism, hypocrisy, and pragmatics

Abstract: Abstract A good chunk of the recent discussion of hypocrisy concerned the hypocritical “moral address” where, in the simplest case, a person criticises another for $$\phi$$ -ing having engaged in $$\phi$$ -ing himself, and where the critic’s reasons are overtly moral. The debate has conceptual and normative sides to it. We ask both what hypocrisy is, and why it is wrong. In this paper I focus on the conceptual explication of hypocrisy by examining the pragmatic features of the situation where accusations of hypocrisy are made. After rejecting several extant views, I defend the idea that moral criticisms are best understood as moves in an agonistic or hostile conversation, and that charges of hypocrisy are attempts to prevent the hypocrite from gaining an upper hand in a situation of conflict. I finish by linking this idea to frame-theoretic analysis and evolutionary psychology.
PubDate: 2023-01-01

• Williamson on conditionals and testimony

Abstract: Abstract In Suppose and Tell, Williamson makes a new case for the material conditional account. He tries to explain away apparently countervailing data by arguing that these have been misinterpreted because researchers have overlooked the role of heuristics in the processing of conditionals. Cases involving the receipt of apparently conflicting conditionals play an important dialectical role in Williamson’s book: they are supposed to provide evidence for the material conditional account as well as for the defeasibility of a key procedure underlying our everyday assessments of conditionals. We argue that they can serve neither of these purposes and that Williamson overestimates the reach of heuristics. We specifically challenge Williamson’s assumption that, in the kind of cases centrally at issue in his book, the recipient of conflicting conditionals will typically accept those at face value, even granting Williamson that conditionals can be freely passed among speakers under normal conditions of testimony.
PubDate: 2023-01-01

• Was evolution worth it'

Abstract: Abstract The evolutionary process involved the suffering of quadrillions of sentient beings over millions of years. I argue that when we take this into account, then it is likely that when the first humans appeared, the world was already at an enormous axiological deficit, and that even on favorable assumptions about humanity, it is doubtful that we have overturned this deficit or ever will. Even if there’s no such deficit or we can overturn it, it remains the case that everything of value associated with humanity was made possible by our evolutionary history and all that animal suffering. It can seem indecent to regard all that past suffering as having been worth it simply because it was a causal precondition for our existence. But when we consider the realistic alternatives to the way evolution in fact unfolded, there is nevertheless a conditional case for regarding past sentient suffering as a kind of necessary evil.
PubDate: 2023-01-01

• Valuable ignorance: delayed epistemic gratification

Abstract: Abstract A long line of epistemologists including Sosa (Epistemic explanations: a theory of telic normativity, and what it explains. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2021), Feldman (The ethics of belief. Philos and Phenomenol Res 60:667–695, 2002), and Chisholm (Theory of knowledge, 2nd edn. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, 2007) have argued that, at least for a certain class of questions that we take up, we should (or should aim to) close inquiry iff by closing inquiry we would meet a unique epistemic standard. I argue that no epistemic norm of this general form is true: there is not a single epistemic standard that demarcates the boundary between inquiries we are forbidden and obligated to close. In short, such norms are false because they are insensitive to the potentially ambitious epistemic goals that agents may permissibly bring to bear on an inquiry. Focusing particularly on knowledge-oriented versions of the norm, I argue that beliefless ignorance has a positive role to play in epistemic life by licensing prolonged inquiry into questions that we especially care about.
PubDate: 2022-12-04

• Reasons for action: making a difference to the security of outcomes

Abstract: Abstract In this paper, we present a new account of teleological reasons, i.e. reasons to perform a particular action because of the outcomes it promotes. Our account gives the desired verdict in a number of difficult cases, including cases of overdetermination and non-threshold cases like Parfit’s famous Drops of water. The key to our account is to look more closely at the metaphysics of causation. According to Touborg (The dual nature of causation, 2018), it is a necessary condition for causation that a cause increases the security of its effect. Building on this idea, we suggest, roughly, that you have a teleological reason to act in a certain way when doing so increases the security of some good outcome. This represents a middle way between the proposal that you have a reason to act in a certain way just in case this would cause a good outcome and the proposal that you have a reason to act in a certain way just in case this could cause a good outcome.
PubDate: 2022-12-03

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