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1. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1

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2. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Crispin Wright

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3. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Dan Cavedon-Taylor Orcid-ID

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The following is an advertisement for scalar epistemic consequentialism. Benefits include an epistemic consequentialism that (i) is immune from the the no-positive-epistemic-duties objection and (ii) doesn’t require bullet-biting on the rightness of epistemic tradeoffs. The advertisement invites readers to think more carefully about both the definition and logical space of epistemic consequentialism.
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4. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Julio De Rizzo Orcid-ID

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P. van Inwagen famously offered three precise versions of the so-called Consequence Argument for incompatibilism. The third of these essentially employs the notion of an agent’s having a choice with respect to a proposition. In this paper, I offer two intuitively attractive accounts of this notion in terms of the explanatory connective ‘because’ and explore the prospects of the third argument once they are in play. Under either account, the argument fails.
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5. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Chris Dorst, Kevin Dorst

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Given the laws of our universe, the initial conditions and cosmological constants had to be “fine-tuned” to result in life. Is this evidence for design? We argue that we should be uncertain whether an ideal agent would take it to be so—but that given such uncertainty, we should react to fine-tuning by boosting our confidence in design. The degree to which we should do so depends on our credences in controversial metaphysical issues.
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6. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Robert Hartman, Orcid-ID Benjamin Matheson Orcid-ID

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According to the character condition, a person is morally responsible for an action A only if a character trait of hers non-accidentally motivates her performing A. But that condition is untenable according to the out of character objection because people can be morally responsible for acting out of character. We reassess this common objection. Of the seven accounts of acting out of character that we outline, only one is even a prima facie counterexample to the character condition. And it is not obvious that people act out of character in that sense. We argue that whether the out of character objection succeeds ultimately depends on the unnoticed methodological commitment that cases that may not resemble human life provide good data for theorizing about moral responsibility. But even if such cases provide good data, the forcefulness of the objection is at least deflated given that its persuasive power is supposed to come from clear real-life cases.
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7. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Roman Heil Orcid-ID

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According to J=K, only beliefs that qualify as knowledge are epistemically justified. Traditionalists about justification have objected to this view that it predicts that radically deceived subjects do not have justified beliefs, which they take to be counter-intuitive. In response, proponents of J=K have argued that traditionalists mistake being justified with being excused in the relevant cases. To make this response work, Timothy Williamson has offered a dispositional account of excuse which has recently been challenged by Jessica Brown. She has presented cases in which Williamson’s account excuses subjects believing things in an epistemically reckless fashion. To steer clear of Brown’s counterexamples, I argue for a modification of Williamson’s account that employs a more fine-grained notion of the dispositions involved.
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8. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Kevin Reuter, Orcid-ID Michael Messerli, Orcid-ID Luca Barlassina Orcid-ID

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Affect-based theorists and life satisfaction theorists disagree about the nature of happiness, but agree about this methodological principle: a philosophical theory of happiness should be in line with the folk concept HAPPINESS. In this article, we present two empirical studies indicating that it is affect-based theories that get the folk concept HAPPINESS right: competent speakers judge a person to be happy if and only if that person is described as feeling pleasure/good most of the time. Our studies also show that the judgement that a person is feeling pleasure/good most of the time reliably brings about the judgement that they are satisfied with their life, even if that person is described as not satisfied. We suggest that this direct causal relation between the concepts POSITIVE AFFECT and LIFE SATISFACTION might explain why many philosophers have been attracted to life satisfaction theories.
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9. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Catherine Rioux Orcid-ID

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We often form intentions to resist anticipated future temptations. But when confronted with the temptations our resolutions were designed to withstand, we tend to revise our previous evaluative judgments and conclude that we should now succumb—only to then revert to our initial evaluations, once temptation has subsided. Some evaluative judgments made under the sway of temptation are mistaken. But not all of them are. When the belief that one should now succumb is a proper response to relevant considerations that have newly emerged, can acting in line with one’s previous intention nonetheless be practically rational? To answer this question, I draw on recent debates on the nature of higher-order evidence and on what rationally responding to such evidence involves. I propose that agents facing temptation often have evidence of “deliberative unreliability”, which they ought to heed even when it is “misleading” (that is, even when their evaluative judgments are in fact proper responses to the relevant considerations then available). Because evidence of deliberative unreliability can “dispossess” agents of normative reasons for evaluative judgments and actions that they would otherwise have, being continent despite judging that one should now succumb can often be more rational than giving in.
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10. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Thomas Rowe, Orcid-ID David Papineau Orcid-ID

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Defenders of the Everettian version of quantum mechanics generally hold that it makes no difference to what we ought to do. This paper will argue against this stance, by considering the use of lotteries to select the recipients of indivisible goods. On orthodox non-Everettian metaphysics this practice faces the objection that only actual and not probable goods matter to distributive justice. However, this objection loses all force within Everettianism. This result should be of interest to both philosophers of physics and to ethicists.
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issue information

11. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 4

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12. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 4
Peter van Elswyk Orcid-ID

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A traditional problem with the performative hypothesis is that it cannot assign proper truth-conditions to a declarative sentence. This paper shows that the problem is solved by adopting a multidimensional semantics on which sentences have more than just truth-conditions. This is good news for those who want to at least partially revive the hypothesis. The solution also brings into focus a lesson about what issues to consider when drawing the semantics/pragmatics boundary.
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13. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 4
Matthew Rellihan

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I argue that Kroedel's 'Simple Argument' for downward causation fails and that this failure has consequences for any attempt to establish the reality of downward causation by appealing to counterfactual theories thereof. A central premise in Kroedel's argument equivocates. On one reading, it is true but renders the argument invalid; on another, it renders the argument valid but is likely false. I dedicate most of my efforts to establishing the second of these two claims. I show that the purported physical effects of mental properties do not counterfactually depend upon the total realizers of these properties. If counterfactual dependence is necessary for causation, it follows that mental properties are not causes. If counterfactual dependence is merely sufficient for causation, it follows that no appeal to counterfactuals will by itself succeed in showing that mental properties are causes.
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14. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 4
Marcela Herdova

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Alfred Mele presents an influential argument for incompatibilism which compares an agent, Ernie, whose life has been carefully planned by the goddess Diana, to normal deterministic agents. The argument suggests both that Ernie is not free, and that there is no relevant difference between him and normal deterministic agents in respect of free will. In this paper, I suggest that what drives our judgement that Ernie is not free in the Diana case is that his actions are merely an extension of Diana's—he is akin to a tool, which she uses solely for her own purposes, and his behaviour occurs only because of the interest Diana takes in its occurring. This contrasts with normal deterministic universes, in which normal agents are not such tools.
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15. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 4
Torin Alter Orcid-ID

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The supervenience requirement on physicalism says roughly that if physicalism is true then mental properties supervene on fundamental physical properties. After explaining the basis of the requirement, I defend it against objections presented by Lei Zhong (“Physicalism without supervenience,” Philosophical Studies 178 (5), 2021: 1529–44), Barbara Gail Montero (“Must physicalism imply supervenience of the mental on the physical?” Journal of Philosophy 110, 2013: 93–110), and Montero and Christopher Devlin Brown (“Making room for a this-worldly physicalism,” Topoi 37 (3), 2018: 523–32).
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16. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 4
Ori Simchen Orcid-ID

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Performative utterances such as ‘I promise you to φ’, issued under suitable conditions, have been claimed by Austin (1962) to constitute the enactment of something rather than the stating of something. They are thus not to be assessed in terms of truth and falsity. Subsequent theorists have typically contested half of this Austinian view, agreeing that a performative utterance such as ‘I promise you to φ’ is the enactment of a promise, but claiming that it is also a statement to the effect that the promise is issued. I argue that speech-act-theoretically, uttering ‘I promise you to φ’ under suitable conditions is not also the statement that the promise is issued. This is compatible, however, with the fact that semantically, ‘I promise you to φ’ is true just in case my promise to you to φ is issued.
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17. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 4
Toby Napoletano

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It is typically thought that a student deserves—or at least can deserve—a grade in a class. The students who perform well on assessments, who display a high degree of competence, and who complete all of the required work, deserve a good grade. Students who perform poorly on assessments, who fail to understand the course material, and who fail to complete the required work, deserve a bad grade. In this paper, I raise a challenge to this conventional view about grades. In particular, I challenge the idea that grades—understood appropriately—can be objects of desert for class performance. In other words, grades are simply not the kind of thing that can be deserved. The argument is roughly as follows. In general, when some property or quality of ours is measured, where that property or quality is something that makes us deserving of something, the measurement, itself, is not the thing that is or could be deserved. Grades, however, are a measure of student performance, where performance is meant to be the basis on which students deserve their grades. Since they are mere measures of performance, grades are not and could not be deserved on the basis of performance, and so are not possible objects of desert. Rather, they serve as evidence of the desert basis (academic performance, e.g.) that grounds a student's being deserving of other objects (praise or recognition, e.g.). In short, grades, at best, measure how deserving one is, but grades themselves are not deserved.
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18. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 4
Wouter Adriaan Cohen

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I critically discuss two kinds of argument in favour of ontological pluralism and argue that they fail to show that ways of being are explanatorily fruitful.
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19. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 4
Taylor W. Cyr Orcid-ID

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I argue that any account attempting to do away with resultant or circumstantial moral luck is inconsistent with a natural response to the problem of constitutive moral luck. It is plausible to think that we sometimes contribute to the formation of our characters in such a way as to mitigate our constitutive moral luck at later times. But, as I argue here, whether or not we succeed in bringing about changes to our characters is itself a matter of resultant and circumstantial moral luck. I conclude with a dilemma, both horns of which require accepting some form of moral luck.
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issue information

20. Thought: A Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 3

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