• 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.
    • Facing Death: Four Literary Accounts

      Kolenda, Konstantin; Rice University (1984-01-01)
    • Foot-Notes

      Gilbert, Joseph; The College at Brockport (1971-01-01)
      The major disagreement here is that Foot, contra Kant, denies that moral ends are ends that the agent has a duty to adopt. Though I, in part, agree with Foot, it is difficult to see what is paradoxical about the view that she denies. Foot’s position is the one that appears paradoxical. Her position is that I may have duties within morality, but I cannot have a duty to adopt the ends of morality. On the contrary, morality is inescapable.
    • Free Will and Neuroscience

      Mele, Alfred; Florida State University (2013-06-15)
      Has modern neuroscience shown that free will is an illusion? Those who give an affirmative answer often argue as follows. The overt actions that have been studied in some recent experiments do not have corresponding consciously made decisions or conscious intentions among their causes. Therefore no overt actions have corresponding consciously made decisions or conscious intentions among their causes. This paper challenges this inference, arguing that it is unwarranted.
    • From Real to Reel: Entangled in Nonfiction Film

      Carroll, Noel; School of Visual Arts (1983-01-01)
    • From the Platitudinous to the Absurd

      Hook, Sidney; New York University (1970-01-01)
      Henry Aiken has misrepresented the history of the university, and the historical context of this debate. The university should be depoliticized in order to protect academic freedom.
    • Future Genders? Future Races?

      Haslanger, Sally; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2004-01-01)
      Gender is the social meaning of a person’s sex, and race is the social meaning of a person’s color. This paper reviews some accounts of these social meanings. It is argued that there are important differences between race and gender that count against treating them as parallel.