Philosophical Studies

http://link.springer.com/journal/11098

List of Papers (Total 215)

Two theories of group agency

Two theories dominate the current debate on group agency: functionalism, as endorsed by Bryce Huebner and Brian Epstein, and interpretivism, as defended by Deborah Tollefsen, and Christian List and Philip Pettit. In this paper, I will give a new argument to favour functionalism over interpretivism. I discuss a class of cases which the former, but not the latter, can accommodate...

Should we be dogmatically conciliatory?

A common complaint about conciliatory approaches to disagreement is that they are self-defeating or incoherent because they ‘call for their own rejection’. This complaint seems to be rather influential but it isn’t clear whether conciliatory views call for their own rejection or what, if anything, this tells us about the coherence of such views. We shall look at two ways of...

The transparent failure of norms to keep up standards of belief

We argue that the most plausible characterisation of the norm of truth—it is permissible to believe that p if and only if p is true—is unable to explain Transparency in doxastic deliberation, a task for which it is claimed to be equipped. In addition, the failure of the norm to do this work undermines the most plausible account of how the norm guides belief formation at all...

Epistemic perceptualism, skill and the regress problem

A novel solution is offered for how emotional experiences can function as sources of immediate prima facie justification for evaluative beliefs, and in such a way that suffices to halt a justificatory regress. Key to this solution is the recognition of two distinct kinds of emotional skill (what I call generative emotional skill and doxastic emotional skill) and how these must be...

Conspiracy theories, impostor syndrome, and distrust

Conspiracy theorists believe that powerful agents are conspiring to achieve their nefarious aims and also to orchestrate a cover-up. People who suffer from impostor syndrome believe that they are not talented enough for the professional positions they find themselves in, and that they risk being revealed as inadequate. These are quite different outlooks on reality, and there is...

Enkrasia or evidentialism? Learning to love mismatch

I formulate a resilient paradox about epistemic rationality, discuss and reject various solutions, and sketch a way out. The paradox exemplifies a tension between a wide range of views of epistemic justification, on the one hand, and enkratic requirements on rationality, on the other. According to the enkratic requirements, certain mismatched doxastic states are irrational, such...

Aboutness and ontology: a modest approach to truthmakers

Truthmaker theory has been used to argue for substantial conclusions about the categorial structure of the world, in particular that states of affairs are needed to play the role of truthmakers. In this paper, I argue that closely considering the role of aboutness in truthmaking, that is considering what truthbearers are about, yields the result that there is no good truthmaker...

On the fragmentalist interpretation of special relativity

Fragmentalism was first introduced by Kit Fine in his ‘Tense and Reality’ (Modality and tense: philosophical papers, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 261–320, 2005). According to fragmentalism, reality is an inherently perspectival place that exhibits a fragmented structure. The current paper defends the fragmentalist interpretation of the special theory of relativity, which...

Joint know-how

When two agents engage in a joint action, such as rowing together, they exercise joint know-how. But what is the relationship between the joint know-how of the two agents and the know-how each agent possesses individually? I construct an “active mutual enablement” (AME) account of this relationship, according to which joint know-how arises when each agent knows how to predict...

The fitting attitudes analysis of value: an explanatory challenge

This paper is concerned with the implication from value to fittingness. I shall argue that those committed to this implication face a serious explanatory challenge. This argument is not intended as a knock-down argument against FA but it will, I think, show that those who endorse the theory incur a particular explanatory burden: to explain how counterfactual (dis)favouring of...

Implicit attitudes and the ability argument

According to one picture of the mind, decisions and actions are largely the result of automatic cognitive processing beyond our ability to control. This picture is in tension with a foundational principle in ethics that moral responsibility for behavior requires the ability to control it. The discovery of implicit attitudes contributes to this tension. According to the ability...

The demon that makes us go mental: mentalism defended

Facts about justification are not brute facts. They are epistemic facts that depend upon more fundamental non-epistemic facts. Internalists about justification often argue for mentalism, which claims that facts about justification supervene upon one’s non-factive mental states, using Lehrer and Cohen’s (Synthese 55(2):191–207, 1983) New Evil Demon Problem. The New Evil Demon...

Normalcy, justification, and the easy-defeat problem

Recent years have seen the rise of a new family of non-probabilistic accounts of epistemic justification. According to these views—we may call them Normalcy Views—a belief in P is justified only if, given the evidence, there exists no normal world in which S falsely beliefs that P. This paper aims to raise some trouble for this new approach to justification by arguing that...

How race travels: relating local and global ontologies of race

This article develops a framework for addressing racial ontologies in transnational perspective. In contrast to simple contextualist accounts, it is argued that a globally engaged metaphysics of race needs to address transnational continuities of racial ontologies. In contrast to unificationist accounts that aim for one globally unified ontology, it is argued that questions about...

It only takes two to tango: against grounding morality in interaction

Most Kantian constructivists try to ground universal duties of interpersonal morality in certain interactions between individuals, such as communication, argumentation, shared action or the second-person standpoint. The goal of this paper is to present these, which I refer to as arguments from the second-person perspective, with a dilemma: either the specific kind of interaction...

Non-branching personal persistence

Given reductionism about people, personal persistence must fundamentally consist in some kind of impersonal continuity relation. Typically, these continuity relations can hold from one to many. And, if they can, the analysis of personal persistence must include a non-branching clause to avoid non-transitive identities or multiple occupancy. It is far from obvious, however, what...

Talking our way to systematicity

Do we think in a language-like format? Taking the marker of language-like formats to be the property of unconstrained systematicity, this paper considers the following master argument for the claim that we do: (1) language is unconstrainedly systematic, (2) if language is unconstrainedly systematic then so is thought, (3) so thought is unconstrainedly systematic. It is easy to...

On representationalism, common-factorism, and whether consciousness is here and now

A strong form of representationalism says that every conscious property of every mental state can be identified with some part of the state’s representational properties. A weaker representationalism says that some conscious property of some mental state can be identified with some part of the state’s representational properties. David Papineau has recently argued that all such...

Why not be a desertist?

Many philosophers believe that luck egalitarianism captures “desert-like” intuitions about justice. Some even think that luck egalitariansm distributes goods in accordance with desert. In this paper, we argue that this is wrong. Desertism conflicts with luck egalitarianism in three important contexts, and, in these contexts, desertism renders the proper moral judgment. First...

How high the sky? Rumfitt on the (putative) indeterminacy of the set-theoretic universe

This comment focuses on Chapter 9 of The Boundary Stones of Thought and the argument, due to William Tait, that Ian Rumfitt there sustains for the indeterminacy of set. I argue that Michael Dummett’s argument, based on the notion of indefinite extensibility and set aside by Rumfitt, provides a more powerful basis for the same conclusion. In addition, I outline two difficulties...