• The Nature of Mass Art

      Carroll, Noel; University of Wisconsin, Madison (1992-01-01)
      The purpose of this paper is to provide a conceptual analysis of the notion of mass art. That is, my aim is to produce a philosophical theory that isolates the common structural and functional features that enable us to group assorted films, TV programs, photography, ads, songs and so on under the single rubric of mass art.
    • The Ontological Argument and Objects of Thought

      Wierenga, Edward; University of Rochester (2011-01-01)
      Is there anything new to be said about Anselm's ontological argument? Recent work by Lynne Baker and Gareth Matthews raises some interesting and important questions about the argument. First, Anselm's argument is set in the context of a prayer to God, whose existence Anselm seeks to prove. Is that peculiar or paradoxical? Does it imply that Anselm's prayer is insincere? Baker and Matthews have offered a novel interpretation of Anselm's argument, designed to solve a crucial problem with it. Does their interpretation succeed in solving that problem? This paper addresses both of these questions.
    • The Philosophy of Mind and Some Ethical Implications

      Shaffer, Jerome A.; University of Connecticut (1971-01-01)
      Materialism is the view that the only things in existence are material – matter in motion. Materialists hold that mental events are either identical to bodily events, or that mental events are particular kinds of behavior exhibited by particular material objects. These theories face several serious problems, involving spatial location, privileged access, and other phenomena. Moreover, these theories cannot explain why it is wrong to cause pain in another person. It is not obvious why it is wrong to cause another person to exhibit pain behavior, nor is it obviously wrong to cause physical events to occur in another person’s brain. These ethical implications of behaviorism and the identity theory constitute serious disadvantages for those theories. Consequently, what we have here is an argument for dualism.
    • The Philosophy of Pluralism

      Perelman, Chaim; University of Brussels, Belgium (1978-01-01)
    • The Plurality of Consciousness

      Lycan, William G.; University of North Carolina (2002-01-01)
      There are many, distinct phenomena that have gone under the name “consciousness,” and there are many corresponding problems that have all been labeled “the problem of consciousness.” This paper distinguishes several of these distinct problems of consciousness, and proposes solutions to each of them.
    • The Polarity Fallacy

      Singer, Marcus G. (1990-01-01)
      There are multifarious ways in which two terms can be “polar,” and this sometimes leads to confusion and fallacious reasoning. This paper identifies a fallacy of reasoning that arises from one such confusion.
    • The Precarious Sovereignty of Rights

      Bedau, Hugo Adam (1997-01-01)
      This paper argues that the typical theory of human rights is both defective and misleading. It is misleading insofar as the rights that these theories generate are not the powerful moral swords and shields that their advocates take them to be. It is defective insofar as it fails to confront the chief sources of trouble for theories of rights. In sum, rights do not have the finality in human affairs that is often claimed for them.
    • The Prevalence of Humbug

      Black, Max; Cornell University (1982-01-01)
    • The Rational and the Reasonable

      Perelman, Chaim; University of Brussels, Belgium (1979-01-01)
    • The Rational Physician

      Hirsch, Eli; Brandeis University (2000-01-01)
      In recent years, some professors of medicine have applied the results of decision theory to the practice of medicine. This paper argues that this agenda is deeply flawed and potentially unethical.
    • The Role of Slippery Slope Arguments in Public Policy Debates

      Mayo, David J. (1990-01-01)
      The goal of this paper is to explore the nature and role of slippery slope arguments in public debates. The thesis of the paper is that slippery slope arguments often function in public policy debate as the natural response of competing ideologies to developments which represent corruption or erosion of their competing visions of the good.
    • The Sartrean Self: Ambivalent or Paradoxical

      Stack, George J.; The College at Brockport (1983-01-01)
    • The Scientific Enterprise and Social Conscience

      Edel, Abraham; City University of New York (1970-01-01)
      The scientific enterprise is constantly changing, and the moral conscience of society changes as well. The moral obligations of scientists to society change with both of these changes. Four such changes are especially relevant here. Over time, society has come to accept the idea of intervening to change the course of nature. Both science and society have begun to believe that there are no principled barriers to progress in science. Within society, there has emerged an “ecological mode of thought.” Finally, the relationship between theory and practice has changed. All four of these changes profoundly affect the ethics of science in society today.
    • The Scope of Motivation and the Basis of Practical Reason

      Audi, Robert; University of Nebraska, Lincoln (1999-01-01)
      This paper explores the relationship between motivation, desire, pleasure and value. I argue that the motivational grounds of action are the kinds of desires that tend, in rational persons, to be produced both by experience of the good, and by beliefs that something one can do would be good.
    • The Search for the Semantic Grail

      Perry, John; Stanford University (2003-01-01)
      One factor that has engendered skepticism about semantic content is the idea that there can be content only if there is exactly one thing that performs all the functions that have been associated with content. This paper argues that there is no such thing as content in this unified sense. Rather, what exists is a structure of related contents. Instead of a single grail, there is more of a semantic tea service.
    • The Self in the Age of Cognitive Science: Decoupling the Self from the Personal Level

      Rupert, Robert D.; University of Colorado, Boulder (2018-01-01)
      Philosophers of mind commonly draw a distinction between the personal level – the distinctive realm of conscious experience and reasoned deliberation – and the subpersonal level, the domain of mindless mechanism and brute cause and effect. Moreover, they tend to view cognitive science through the lens of this distinction. Facts about the personal level are given a priori, by introspection, or by common sense; the job of cognitive science is merely to investigate the mechanistic basis of these facts. I argue that this view misrepresents the structure of cognitive-scientific enquiry. Taken at face value, cognitive science makes no commitment to the existence of a distinctive level at which persons or selves appear. Thus, in the age of cognitive science, we should not expect to find the self in an ontologically distinct realm. Instead, we should expect to locate it in cognitive-scientific models themselves. In closing, I indicate likely results of this approach.
    • The Solitary Dancer: A Problem in Aesthetics

      Sparshott, Francis; Victoria College, University of Toronto (1981-01-01)
    • The Strengths and Limits of the Theory of Retributive Punishment

      Baier, Kurt; University of Pittsburgh (1977-01-01)
      In textbooks on punishment one usually finds four major "theories" or "justifications" of punishment: (1) the retributive, (2) the deterrence, (3) the reform or rehabilitation, and ( 4) the incapacitation or social defense, theories.1 They are usually offered as rival theories of the proper (primary) purpose or function of punishment.2 And it is generally assumed that the general practice of punishing people and individual acts of punishment are morally justified if and only if, and to the extent that, they serve that purpose or perform that function.
    • The ‘Faith’ of an Atheist

      Antony, Louise; The Ohio State University (2002-01-01)
      For many religious believers, belief in God is as fundamental as my belief in my own body. That is because the believer thinks that belief in God is a necessary condition for living a meaningful life. This paper argues that belief in God is not necessary for living a meaningful life. Morality, meaning, and love are all independent of God. All that is required for a meaningful life is a sustaining belief that humankind is worth something. This kind of faith is available to an atheist.
    • Tired of Capitalism? How about Something Better?

      Schweickart, David; Loyola University of Chicago (2013-05-01)
      Capitalism causes staggering inequality, rising unemployment, growing poverty, and the degradation of democracy. But is there any viable alternative? Is there a form of socialism that would preserve the strengths of competitive capitalism, yet mitigate its worst evils? This paper argues that there is such an alternative -- economic democracy. An economic democracy keeps competitive markets for goods and services, but dispenses with labor markets and capital markets. It replaces labor markets with worker ownership, and capital markets with democratic control of investment. These mechanisms will preserve the principal advantages of capitalism, while mitigating its worst evils.