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02 Do Demonstratives Have Senses?

Frege held that referring expressions in general, and demonstratives and indexicals in particular, contribute more than just their reference to what is expressed by utterances of sentences containing them. Heck first attempts to get clear about what the essence of the Fregean view is, arguing that it rests upon a certain conception of linguistic communication that is ultimately indefensible. On the other hand, however, he argues that understanding a demonstrative (or indexical) utterance requires one to think of the object denoted in an appropriate way. This fact makes it difficult to reconcile the view that referring expressions are "directly referential" with any view that seeks (as Grice's does) to ground meaning in facts about communication.

Richard G., Jr. Heck vol. 2 June 2002
39 Epistemic Diversity and Editor Decisions: A Statistical Matthew Effect

This paper offers a new angle on the common idea that the process of science does not support epistemic diversity. Under minimal assumptions on the nature of journal editing, we prove that editorial procedures, even when impartial in themselves, disadvantage less prominent research programs. This purely statistical bias in article selection further skews existing differences in the success rate and hence attractiveness of research programs, and exacerbates the reputation difference between the programs. After a discussion of the modeling assumptions, the paper ends with a number of recommendations that may help promote scientific diversity through editorial decision making.

Remco Heesen; Jan-Willem Romeijn vol. 19 2019
02 Beyond Phenomenal Naiveté

The naive realist takes a veridical visual experience to be an immediate relation to external entities. Is this how such an experience is phenomenally, by its phenomenal character? Only if there can be phenomenal error, since a hallucinatory experience phenomenally matching such a veridical experience would then be phenomenally but not in fact such a relation. Fortunately, such phenomenal error can be avoided: the phenomenal character of a visual experience involves immediate awareness of a sort of picture of external entities, as on a representative theory of perception. The attraction of naive realism results from an erroneous projection of the immediacy of the subject's awareness of this picture onto the external entities pictured.

Benj Hellie vol. 6 May 2006
07 The Role of Authority

The most influential account of authority – Joseph Raz's service conception – is an account of the role of authority, in that it is an account of its point or function. However, authority does not have a characteristic role to play, and even if it did, the ability to play a role is not, by itself, sufficient to establish authority. The aim of this essay is to shift our focus from roles that authority plays to roles that people play – which we can also call roles of authority – such as chef, teacher, and parent. To justify authority, we need to justify the practices in which roles of authority play a part.

Scott Hershovitz vol. 11 March 2011
07 Justifying Standing to Give Reasons: Hypocrisy, Minding Your Own Business, and Knowing One's Place

What justifies practices of “standing”? Numerous everyday practices exhibit the normativity of standing: forbidding certain interventions and permitting ignoring them. The normativity of standing is grounded in facts about the person intervening and not on the validity of her intervention. When valid, directives are reasons to do as directed. When interventions take the form of directives, standing practices may permit excluding those directives from one’s practical deliberations, regardless of their validity or normative weight. Standing practices are, therefore, puzzling – forbidding giving (genuine) reasons and, if given, permitting disregarding such reasons. What justifies standing practices are the values that they protect, including privacy, autonomy, independence, valuable relationships, and equal respect. These values count in favor of standing’s duty against certain interventions and, when these duties of non-intervention are breached, the values underpinning those duties count in favor of standing’s permission to discount or exclude those interventions from one’s practical deliberations – the normative weight of those interventions notwithstanding.

Ori J. Herstein vol. 20 2020
15 Can Primitive Laws Explain?

One reason to posit governing laws is to explain the uniformity of nature. Explanatory power can be purchased by accepting new primitives, and scientists invoke laws in their explanations without providing any supporting metaphysics. For these reasons, one might suspect that we can treat laws as wholly unanalyzable primitives. (John Carroll’s Laws of Nature (1994) and Tim Maudlin’s The Metaphysics Within Physics (2007) offer recent defenses of primitivism about laws.) Whatever defects primitive laws might have, explanatory weakness should not be one of them. However, in this essay I’ll argue that wholly primitive laws cannot explain the uniformity of nature. The basic argument is based on the following idea: though a primitive law that P makes P likely, the primitive status of the law provides no reason to think that P must describe (or otherwise give rise to) a natural regularity. After identifying the problem for primitive laws, I consider an extension of the objection to all theories of governing laws and suggest that it may be avoided by a version of the Dretske/Tooley/Armstrong theory according to which laws are relations between universals.

Tyler Hildebrand vol. 13 July 2013
17 Assurance and Warrant

Previous assurance-theoretic treatments of testimony have not adequately explained how testimonial warrant depends specifically on the speaker’s mode of address – making it natural to suspect that the interpersonal element is not epistemic but merely psychological or action-theoretic. I aim to fill that explanatory gap: to specify exactly how a testifier’s assurance can create genuine epistemic warrant. In doing so I explain (a) how the illocutionary norm governing the speech act proscribes not lies but a species of bullshit, in an extension of Harry Frankfurt’s sense, (b) how that norm makes testimony fully second-personal, in Stephen Darwall’s sense, or bipolar, in Michael Thompson’s sense, and (c) how that species of second-personality or bipolarity is more fundamental than the practical species that Darwall and Thompson discuss. One attraction of this new Assurance View of testimony is that it allows us to reconceptualize the natures of normativity and responsibility more generally, viewing the assurance as implicating us in normative relations of recognition, and therefore of justice, that are not yet moralized with reactive attitudes.

Edward S. Hinchman vol. 14 June 2014
12 Aristotle on Self-Knowledge and Friendship

In Nicomachean Ethics 10.7, Aristotle says that the contemplative wise person living the happiest and most self-sufficient life will need other people less than a person living a life of practical virtue. This seems to be in tension with Aristotle’s emphasis elsewhere on the political nature of human beings. I analyze in detail Aristotle’s most elaborate defense of the need for friends in the happy life in Nicomachean Ethics 9.9 to see whether and how he resolves the need for friends with the self-sufficiency of the happy life. The virtue-friendship described in the chapter does turn out to be more compatible with the self-contained unity of a happy life than other sorts of friendship, because collaboration in virtuous activities integrates the friend into one’s activities. This is true even for contemplative friendship, where, as Aristotle suggests in the ornate final argument of 9.9, the friends collaboratively contemplate human nature and take pleasure in the goodness of human life. The unity achieved in this kind of friendship is an imitation of God’s self-contemplative and self contained unity. Nonetheless, I conclude, there is no evidence that Aristotle did not think that friendship was conditioned on human failings and so that friends would be less necessary for those leading the most excellent contemplative lives.

Zena Hitz vol. 11 September 2011
12 Time and Tense in Perceptual Experience

We can not just see, hear or feel how things are at a time, but we also have perceptual experiences as of things moving or changing. I argue that such temporal experiences have a content that is tenseless, i.e. best characterized in terms of notions such as 'before' and 'after' (rather than, say, 'past', 'present' and 'future'), and that such experiences are essentially of the nature of a process that takes up time, viz., the same time as the process that is being experienced. Both claims have been made before, though usually separately from each other, and I don't believe the connection between them has been sufficiently recognized.

Christoph Hoerl vol. 9 December 2009
10 Aquinas on Free Will and Intellectual Determinism

From the early reception of Thomas Aquinas up to the present, many have interpreted his theory of liberum arbitrium (which for Aquinas is free will specifically as the power to choose among alternatives) to imply intellectual determinism: we do not control our choices, because we do not control the practical judgments that cause our choices. In this paper we argue instead that he rejects determinism in general and intellectual determinism in particular, which would effectively destroy liberum arbitrium as he conceives of it. We clarify that for Aquinas moral responsibility presupposes liberum arbitrium and thus the ability to do otherwise, although the ability to do otherwise applies differently to praise and blame. His argument against intellectual determinism is not straightforward, but we construct it by analogy to his arguments against other deterministic threats (e.g., the one posed by divine foreknowledge). The non-determinism of the intellect’s causality with respect to the will results from his claims that practical reasoning is defeasible and that the reasons for actions are not contrastive reasons.

Tobias Hoffmann; Cyrille Michon vol. 17 May 2017
02 Infinitesimal Chances

It is natural to think that questions in the metaphysics of chance are independent of the mathematical representation of chance in probability theory. After all, chance is a feature of events that comes in degrees and the mathematical representation of chance concerns these degrees but leaves the nature of chance open. The mathematical representation of chance could thus, un-controversially, be taken to be what it is commonly taken to be: a probability measure satisfying Kolmogorov’s axioms. The metaphysical questions about chance seem to be left open by all this. I argue that this is a mistake. The employment of real numbers as measures of chance in standard probability theory brings with it commitments in the metaphysics of (objective) chance that are not only substantial but also mistaken. To measure chance properly we need to employ extensions of the real numbers that contain infinitesimals: positive numbers that are infinitely small. But simply using infinitesimals alone is not enough, as a number of arguments show. Instead we need to put three ideas together: infinitesimals, the non-locality of chance and flexibility in measurement. Only those three together give us a coherent picture of chance and its mathematical representation.

Thomas Hofweber vol. 14 February 2014
01 Innocent Statements and Their Metaphysically Loaded Counterparts

One puzzling feature of talk about properties, propositions and natural numbers is that statements that are explicitly about them can be introduced apparently without change of truth conditions from statements that don't mention them at all. Thus it seems that the existence of numbers, properties and propositions can be established`from nothing'. This metaphysical puzzle is tied to a series of syntactic and semantic puzzles about the relationship between ordinary, metaphysically innocent statements and their metaphysically loaded counterparts, statements that explicitly mention numbers, properties and propositions, but nonetheless appear to be equivalent to the former. I argue that the standard solutions to the metaphysical puzzles make a mistaken assumption about the semantics of the loaded counterparts. Instead I propose a solution to the syntactic and semantic puzzles, and argue that this solution also gives us a new solution to the metaphysical puzzle. I argue that instead of containing more semantically singular terms that aim to refer to extra entities, the loaded counterparts are focus constructions. Their syntactic structure is in the service of presenting information with a focus, but not to refer to new entities. This will allow us to spell out Frege's metaphor of content carving.

Thomas Hofweber vol. 7 February 2007
03 The Act of Choice

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 libertarian account, but they do not. Instead it is argued that all three features can be accommodated within a compatibilist account, where choice is needed because of agents' inabilities to arrive at judgements about what is best. Choice differs though from random picking: in choosing, agents frequently (though not always) deploy abilities that enable them to make good choices. In such cases, judgements about what is best will frequently follow the choice. Finally, choice is distinguished from agency and, on the basis of the distinction, the claim that choice is an action is made good.

Richard Holton vol. 6 September 2006
25 Constraint and Freedom in the Common Law

This paper contributes to our formal understanding of the common law — especially the nature of the reasoning involved, but also its point, or justification, in terms of social coordination. I present two apparently distinct models of constraint by precedent in the common law, establish their equivalence, and argue for a perspective according to which courts are best thought of, not as creating and modifying rules, but as generating a social priority ordering on reasons through a procedure that is piecemeal, distributed, and responsive to particular circumstances.

John Horty vol. 15 September 2015
03 Reasons as Defaults

The goal of this paper is to frame a theory of reasons--what they are, how they support actions or conclusions--using the tools of default logic. After sketching the basic account of reasons as provided by defaults, I show how it can be elaborated to deal with two more complicated issues: first, situations in which the priority relation among defaults, and so reasons as well, is itself established through default reasoning; second, the treatment of undercutting defeat and exclusionary reasons. Finally, and by way of application, I show how the resulting account can shed some light on Jonathan Dancy's argument from reason holism to a form of extreme particularism in moral theory.

John F. Horty vol. 7 April 2007
43 Spinoza on Intentionality, Materialism, and Mind-Body Relations

The paper examines a relatively neglected element of Spinoza's theory of mind-body relations: the intentional relation between human minds and bodies, which for Spinoza constitutes their “union”. Prima facie textual evidence suggests, and many readers agree, that because for Spinoza human minds are essentially ideas of bodies, Spinoza is also committed to an ontological and explanatory dependence of certain properties of human minds on properties of bodies, and thus to a version of materialism. The paper argues that such dependence would contradict Spinoza's key epistemological commitments, including the explanatory closure of mental and physical realms, and Spinoza’s claim that all knowledge is knowledge of a thing's causes. The paper argues that Spinoza's dual-reality theory of representation allows us to interpret the intentional relation between human minds and bodies in a way that does not commit Spinoza to a problematic dependence of minds on bodies. This is possible if we take Spinoza's references to properties of bodies in his account of the human mind as references to objectively real bodies (i.e. bodies-as-represented), that is as references to the immanent representational content of human minds.

Karolina Hübner vol. 19 2019
11 Nietzsche on Nihilism: A Unifying Thread

Nihilism is one of Nietzsche’s foremost philosophical concerns. But characterizing it proves elusive. Nihilists, antecedently, might seem to be those who have lost their sense that anything matters and fallen into existential despair. But for Nietzsche, Christianity itself is also a thoroughly nihilistic outlook, and it involves no such despair. Or take another example: It might seem that nihilists are life-negating, condemning the world and wanting, in some sense, to escape it. But what of the “last man,” utterly satisfied with the comforts of this world? This broad condition of nihilism comes in markedly different psychological guises, ranging from fervor, to contentment, to despair. What ties them together? Nihilism, on the view I elaborate here, centrally involves one’s being unmoored from the most important values, namely those values that confer a higher meaning on existence. Yet not just any values will do here, even among those (such as the values of Christianity) purporting to confer such a meaning. The values in question need (at least by Nietzsche’s lights) to be the right values, conferring the right meaning—values celebrating existence, not condemning it, and celebrating its higher aspects, not mere animal contentment and satisfaction. The unifying thread of Nietzschean nihilism, on my reading, in fact turns out to be structurally similar to the familiar idea of it that we get in a number of other 19th century thinkers and authors. Nihilism, for them, is a crisis involving coming unmoored from the most important values that give meaning to human life. Where Nietzsche differs from them is not in his account of what nihilism fundamentally is, but rather in his evaluative outlook, and the most important values he sees nihilists as having come unmoored from.

Andrew Huddleston vol. 19 2019
03 A Kantian Rationale for Desire-Based Justification

This paper demonstrates that a rationale for a circumscribed form of desire-based justification can be developed out of a contemporary Kantian account as a natural extension of that account. It maintains that certain of Christine Korsgaard's recent arguments establish only that desires must have certain features antithetical to instrumentalism in order to justify. Other arguments purport to establish the standard (stronger) result: that because desires do not have these features, they cannot justify. Her arguments for this strong result, it contends, cannot be reconciled with central commitments in her epistemology and philosophy of mind. The consistent implementation of these commitments opens up a surprising space within what is still readily recognizable as a Kantian ethics--the space for desire-based justification.

Paul Hurley vol. 1 July 2001