• Contra - The Moral Point of View

      Aiken, Henry D.; Brandeis University (1980-01-01)
    • Coping with Cognitive Limitations: Problems of Rationality in a Complex World

      Rescher, Nicholas (1997-01-01)
      In cognitive and practical contexts alike, even the most rational of problem-solutions can misfire in situations of incomplete information. The prevailing state of our information will -- and should -- decisively affect the determination of what is the best thing to do or think. Accordingly, reason faces the predicament of acknowledging that it must call on us to do that which, for aught we know, may in the end prove totally inappropriate.
    • Cosmopolitanism, Universalism and Particularism in an Age of Nationalism and Multiculturalism

      Nielsen, Kai; University of Calgary and Concordia University (1999-01-01)
      The objectivity of morality is achieved by the coherentist method of appealing to considered convictions in wide reflective equilibrium. This method yields a conception of morality that is at once universalistic and particularistic. It follows that morality must be cosmopolitan, but also accept a liberal nationalism, at least under certain circumstances. This paper concludes by applying these ideas to the issues of Quebec nationalism and the status of African-Americans in the United States.
    • "Crafting Natures": Aristotle on Animal Design

      Leunissen, Mariska; University of North Carolina (2011-03-01)
      It is a commonplace in Aristotelian scholarship that the forms of living beings and the animal species to which they give rise are “fixed.” However, Aristotle’s biological works often stress the flexibility of nature during the development of animals. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to delineate the range of flexibility that Aristotle takes natures to have in the design of animals; and second, to draw out the implications of this for Aristotle’s embryology and theory of natural teleology.
    • Culture or Commerce: On the Liberation of Expression

      Held, Virginia; City University of New York (1988-01-01)
    • Dance Writing and the Fear of Generalization

      Copeland, Roger; Oberlin College (1988-01-01)
    • Dangerous Beauties

      Muelder Eaton, Marcia; University of Minnesota (2000-01-01)
      In this paper I argue that many sound ecological practices have a chance of success only if we follow sound aesthetic practices. If we want to produce and maintain sustainable landscapes, we must work to connect aesthetic preferences to what is ecologically sound. We must work against what I shall call “dangerous beauties.”
    • Determinism and Inevitability

      Danto, Arthur C.; Columbia University (1971-01-01)
      Monroe Beardsley’s analysis of historical inevitability is simply an analysis of determinism. Thus, he has not specified what, in excess of determinism, is implied by assertions of historical inevitability.
    • Diabolical Mysticism, Death, and Skepticism

      Hirsch, Eli; Brandeis University (2009-01-01)
      According to one view, death is bad for the one who dies. The challenge for this view is to explain exactly why and when death is bad for the one who dies. According to an alternative view, death is not actually bad for the one who dies. There is a third alternative, according to which the thought of one’s own death elicits an experience that reveals the horror of one’s own death in a way that is ineffable. This paper explores this third alternative.
    • Do Social Events Defy Scientific Prediction?

      Morrison, Paula G.; The College at Brockport (1972-01-01)
      If Professor Macintyre is correct, then there is not, and cannot be, any such thing as a scientific explanation or prediction of anything social, and hence there can never be any social science. This paper responds to Professor Macintyre’s argument, and rejects his position.
    • Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

      Kornblith, Hilary; University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2019-01-01)
      We arrive at most of our beliefs unreflectively. As we navigate the world, beliefs about our surroundings are, inevitably, simply produced in us. Similarly, the vast majority of our actions are unreflective. We don’t have to think about every little thing we do; we simply act. But we also, at times, stop to reflect: Is this what I should believe? Is this what I should do? What does such reflective activity achieve? Some philosophers have suggested that reflecting about what we should believe is necessary if our beliefs are to be justified. In the case of action, some philosophers have suggested that reflecting about what one should do is necessary for freedom of the will. One might think that there are more humble benefits as well. Beliefs which are the product of reflective activity are more likely to be true than beliefs unreflectively arrived at; actions reflectively produced are more likely to be successful in achieving their goals than unreflective actions. This is just, it seems, good common sense. This paper challenges both common sense views about the benefits of reflection as well as a good deal of recent philosophical thinking. It would be silly to think that reflection is never valuable, but I will argue that both common sense, and much philosophical thought about the nature and importance of reflection, have vastly overestimated its value.
    • Dreams and Skeptics

      Sosa, Ernest; Brown University and Rutgers University (2005-11-01)
      This paper compares the relative merits of perceptual beliefs and introspective beliefs in the context of dream arguments for skepticism. It is argued that introspective beliefs are not epistemically privileged over perceptual beliefs.
    • Empiricism and Multiculturalism

      Winkler, Kenneth P.; Wellesley College (2004-01-01)
      This paper relates the work of the great British empiricists – Locke, Berkeley, and Hume – to issues of multiculturalism. It is argued that these philosophers can help to provide us with some of the tools we need to craft an appropriate response to the diversity of cultures.
    • Equity and Efficiency in Health Care

      Gorovitz, Samuel; University of Maryland (1979-01-01)
    • Ethical and Epistemic Dilemmas of Behaviorism and the Identity Thesis

      Stack, George J.; The College at Brockport (1971-01-01)
      Jerome Shaffer’s argument against behaviorism and the identity theory assume that the wrongness of causing pain is constituted entirely by that effect. However, the intrinsic wrongness of such actions lies in the intentions of the agent, not in the physical responses of the victim.
    • Euthanasia - A Christian View

      Hare, R. M.; Oxford University (1975-01-01)
    • Evolution and Morality

      Ruse, Michael; University of Guelph (1984-01-01)
    • Evolution and Optimality: Feathers, Bowling Balls, and the Thesis of Adaptationism

      Sober, Elliott; University of Wisconsin, Madison (1996-01-01)
      This paper discusses the thesis of adaptationism in evolutionary biology. It is argued that there is a serious scientific question here whose answer is not yet in hand. The truth or falsity of adaptationism is a substantive question about the history of life that must be decided on a trait by trait basis.
    • Evolutionary Theory and Morality: Why the Science Doesn't Settle the Philosophical Questions

      FitzPatrick, William J.; University of Rochester (2014-01-01)
      Four decades ago, E.O. Wilson famously declared that “the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized." One still finds Wilson’s idea echoed frequently in popular science writing today. While I’m not going to deny that evolutionary biology and other sciences have important things to tell us about morality, I think there is a lot of confusion about what exactly they can tell us, and how much they can tell us. My aim here is first to make some distinctions and sort out some issues, and then to examine one overreaching claim in particular, about the explanation of our moral beliefs by appeal to evolutionary causal influences. That is a claim used by some philosophers to argue that evolutionary biology somehow forces on us either a skeptical or a purely subjectivist understanding of morality. I will explain why I think this is misguided and is a poor use of science in philosophy.
    • Existential Inertia

      Audi, Paul; University of Rochester (2019-01-01)
      To all appearances, the basic building blocks of reality tend to keep existing unless something intervenes to destroy them. In other words, basic things seem to have existential inertia. But why might this be? This paper considers a number of arguments for and against existential inertia. It discusses arguments inspired by Aquinas, Descartes, and Spinoza, as well as considerations deriving from Occam’s Razor, entropy, and certain views about the nature of time and change.