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Displaying: 1-20 of 35 documents


1. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Robert Hambourger

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The author discusses solutions to Moore’s Paradox by Moore and Wittgenstein and then offers one of his own: ‘I believe that P’ and ‘not-P’ can both be true but nonetheless are not epistemically compatible; that is, it is logically impossible simultaneously to have sufficient evidence to justify assertions of each. The author then argues that similar transgressions are committed by other “paradoxical” utterances whose paradoxicality cannot be explained by the Moore or Wittgenstein solutions and also that this provides a technique that can be useful in studying the epistemic requirements for justified assertion.

2. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10 > Issue: Supplement
David N. James

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After distinguishing professional ethic s from legal and aesthetic norms I argue that a version of rule-utilitarianism is best able to account for professional ethics. The alleged relativism of role-specific duties is a badly posed issue, I argue, since how morality comes to one critically depends upon one's occupation. Alternative theories of the foundations of professional ethics are criticized, both consent theories and the views of those who object to the legalism implicit in a rule-based theory. A mixed theory of virtue is defended to include the most important aspects of an ethic of virtue in the overall rule-utilitarian framework.


3. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Lawrence Alexander

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John Rawls’ Difference Principle, which requires that primary goods--income, wealth, and opportunities--be distributed so as to maximize the primary goods of the least advantaged class, has both a libertarian and a welfarist interpretation. The welfarist interpretation, which fits somewhat more easily with Rawls’ method for deriving principles of justice--rational contractors choosing principles behind the veil of ignorance--and with Rawls’ contention that there is a natural affirmative duty to aid others and to help establish and maintain just institutions, is the orthodox interpretation. But there is scattered, fragmentary evidence for the libertarian interpretation as well. In this article I examine a recent version of the libertarian interpretation put forward by Jeffrey Reiman and discuss its implications as a standard for justice in cooperative arrangements.
4. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Lee C. Rice

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I argue that Spinoza’s account of appetition, and its application to human sexuality, is more original than many commentators suggest; and that it offers resolutions to several puzzles in the philosophy of sex. The paper first situates these puzzles in contemporary debates, offers a detailed analysis of Spinoza’s remarks on love in general and sexual love in particular, and concludes with some of the normative consequences which Spinoza attempts to derive from these.
5. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Michael W. Howard

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This paper sets out to account for conflicting interpretations of Rawls’ theory of justice by Marxian critics, by uncovering an unresolved contradiction in the theory between individualist and communitarian values. The contradiction comes to light particularly in the more egalitarian interpretation of Rawls, and can only be overcome by incorporating a fuller theory of the good than that with which Rawls has provided us. It may not be possible to do this without giving up the claim that the theory of justice articulates the considered judgments of all thoughtful persons in our society, irrespective of class or ideology.
6. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Jeffery L. Geller

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This paper presents Freud’s argument that the clinical process of psychoanalysis must continually combat the patient’s resistance to the analyst’s interpretations. It also presents systematically Wittgenstein’s counterargument. Wittgenstein contends that psychoanalytic interpretations are enormously attractive and that their “charm” predisposes the patient to accept them. He traces their charm to six sources, each of which is discussed.
7. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Sheldon Wein

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This paper provides a systematic statement of Ronald Dworkin’s political (as opposed to legal) philosophy. Dworkin’s defence of democratic institutions constrained by civil rights is shown to be linked to his defence of the economic market constrained by economic welfare rights. The theory is defended against attacks from H.L.A. Hart and L. Haworth. The possibility that the theory can be given a Kantian grounding is explored.
8. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
John O. Nelson

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In this paper I attempt to show, first, that doxastic theories of seeing must be rejected on at least two counts: paradoxically, they commit us on the one hand to pyrrhonic skepticism and on the other they fail to account for cases of defeasibility that a theory of perceiving ought to account for. So much for the “why”. As for the “how” I attempt to show that a non-doxastic conception of seeing can be formulated, with the aid of theoretic interpretations of the perceiving of brute animals, which succeeds in overcoming the above two failings of doxastic theories.
9. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
T.F. Morris

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This article shows that Plato is discussing Pauline predication and Pauline self-predication in the Phaedo. The key is the recognition that the “something else” of Phaedo 103e2-5 cannot be a sensible object because any such object which participates in Form ‘X’ can sometimes appear not to be x. It is argued that Plato has not written in a straightforward manner, but rather has written a series of riddles for the reader to solve. Thus this dialogue is an example of the playful use of the written word discussed at Phaedrus 275ff.
10. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Steven L. Ross

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Conrad’s Lord Jim presents not only a paradigmatic case of weakness of will, but an equally paradigmatic case of the enormous difficulties that attend fitting weakness of will into our other moral attitudes, particularly those relating to moral worth and moral shame. Conrad’s general conception of character and morality is deeply Aristotelian in many respects, somewhat Kantian in others. The essay traces out the intuitive strengths and philosophical difficulties that both an Aristotelian and a Kantian conception will have before the problem of weakness of will, and argues that the ambiguity in Conrad’s treatment of Jim’s case is the reflection of the clash between these two equally compelling, incompatible conceptions of the self and moral worth.
11. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Robert J. Levy

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I survey the difficulties of several probabilistic views of non-deductive argument and of inductive probability and propose to explicate non-deductive reasoning in terms of rational preference. Following a critical examination of Popper’s allegedly deductive theory of rational preference, I draw upon the work of Popper and Rescher to present my view which includes: (i) the conjecturing of a set of alternative answers to or theories or hypotheses about the questions prompting the inquiry and (ii) the “reduction” of this set via plausibilistic principles of rational preference.

12. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10 > Issue: Supplement
Thomas McClintock

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Part I (Skepticism) contains analyses of the basic varieties of ethical skepticism and culminates in the idea that the refutation of ethical skepticism--or, what is the same thing, the discovery of the rational basis of morality--consists of a proof of the factual thesis that there exists in human beings a common underivative moral self that consists of an innate normative-practical source (or principle-spring) of human moral judgment and behavior. Part 2 (The Basis of Morality) develops the methodology for establishing this factual thesis and develops as well an argument employing this methodology that actually establishes it. This argument is to the effect that nature through the process of evolution-by-natural-selection built into us humans the following principle as the rational basis of morality: We ought to act only in those ways whose universal performance is both possible and consistent with the rational self-interest of every member of our species.


13. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Lawrence Alexander

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In this paper I describe cases of moral blackmail as cases where A is told by B that if A does not commit an otherwise immoral act, B will commit an immoral act of equal or greater gravity. I describe cases of moral dilemma as cases where A must commit an otherwise immoral act to avert a natural disaster of equal or greater gravity. I then argue that cases of moral blackmail are structurally identical to cases of moral dilemma in all respects but one: In cases of moral blackmail, A is predicting the free actions of a moral agent (B), whereas in cases of moral dilemma, A is predicting natural events. I conclude that cases of moral blackmail are more problematic than otherwise similar cases of moral dilemma for this reason alone.
14. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Joe F. Jones III

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This paper argues that G.R.G. Mure’s use of ‘commensurate universal’ to translate ‘katholou’ is mistaken in An. Post. A24, and that throughout this chapter whenever the word ‘katholou’ appears it is to be translated ‘universal’ simpliciter. Establishing this requires a short commentary on Aristotle’s use of the word ‘katholou’, which apparently he coined, and used none too carefully.
15. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Frederic L. Bender

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It is argued that, despite the neglect which Heidegger’s writings on science have generally received, the “fundamental ontology” of Being and Time reveals certain structures of experience crucial for our understanding of science; and that, as these insights cast considerable doubt upon the validity of the empiricist/positivist conception of science, Heidegger deserves considerably better treatment as an incipient philosopher of science than has been the case thus far. His arguments for the distortive effects of the alleged “change over” from praxis to theoria, for the circularity of all human understanding (including scientific understanding), for the necessity of interpreting scientific method in terms of the hermeneutic circle, and for viewing scientific “crises” in ontological terms, are examined and evaluated. The article concludes with some reflections on the later Heidegger’s views on the limits of his earlier idea of science.
16. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Marilyn Fischer

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In this paper I argue against Fried’s thesis that a wrong must be intended by the violator in order for a person’s negative rights to be violated. With Fried’s requirement these rights become in a sense derivative from wrongs. This makes the relation between one’s negative rights and one’s moral integrity, upon which Fried wants to base rights, indirect and inappropriately weak. If rights are based on one’s status as a freely choosing, rational, moral personality, then whether one’s rights are violated should be determined by inspecting one’s own loss of integrity or function, not by examining the assailant’s intentions.
17. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
David B. Annis

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Informed consent to therapy is the legal doctrine which imposes on a physician the duty to explain the nature and risks of a proposed treatment so the patient can make an informed decision whether to undergo the treatment. The doctrine has spawned tremendous controversy in the legal and medical professions.In this paper I examine the doctrine of informed consent as developed by the courts. The thrust of my criticism is that as the doctrine has been developed, it significantly undercuts individual autonomy. Several modifications are suggested which would provide more support for autonomy interests.
18. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Richard Parker

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A coherent theory of relations was a critical part of Russell’s metaphysics. In Appearance and Reality Bradley posed a problem that sits squarely in the way of any doctrine of “external” relations. Russell, determined to advance such a doctrine, tried several times to find a way around the paradox and apparently believed he had succeeded by making use of one of his inventions, the theory of logical types.Gilbert Ryle and Alan Donagan have advanced an argument that I read, over the objections of its authors, as a special case of Bradley’s. In this paper I argue that the ad hoc solution suggested by Donagan to the special problem is one that Russell had already indicated a willingness to accept but that the general problem of the paradox remains.What finally prevents Russell from solving the paradox is a combination of his refusal to abandon the claim that relations are constituents of facts and the necessity of distinguishing a relational fact from its converse. Following some hints that Russell left, I do some reconstruction, showing how the theory of types would (and should) have been applied had Russell followed through on his own insights. The result, I suggest, is a truly Russellian theory that escapes Bradley’s paradox.
19. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Fred Wilson

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This paper argues that, contrary to most interpretations, e.g., those of Reid, Popkin and Passmore, Hume is not a sceptic with regard to reason. The argument of Treatise I, IV. i, of course, has a sceptical conclusion with regard to reason, and a somewhat similar point is made by Cleanthes in the Dialogues. This paper argues that the argument of Treatise I, IV. i is parallel to similar arguments in Bentham and Laplace. The latter are, as far as they go, sound, and so is Hume’s. But the limitations of all mean that they cannot sustain a general argument against reason. Hume the historian is quite aware of these limitations. So is Hume the philosopher. A careful examination of the other references in the Treatise to the argument of I, IV. i reveals that Hume not only rejects but constructs a sound case against accepting the sceptical conclusion, arguing that reason can indeed show the sceptic’s argument to be unreasonable. A close reading of the Dialogues shows that Hume there also draws the same conclusion. The thrust of the paper is to go some way towards showing that it is a myth that Hume is a pyrrhonian sceptic.
20. Philosophy Research Archives: Volume > 10
Gregory Mellema

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In this paper it is argued that educational aims be approached as states of affairs susceptible of analysis in terms of means and ends. An educator’s various aims, in this way, can be classified according to the means-end relationship they bear to one another. This approach, which stands squarely in the tradition of Aristotle and enjoys little support among contemporary educational theorists, is defended from objections by R.S. Peters, a popular and influential proponent of an alternative approach.