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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

A Puzzle For Modal Realism, Daniel Graham Marshall Nov 2016

A Puzzle For Modal Realism, Daniel Graham Marshall

Staff Publications

Modal realists face a puzzle. For modal realism to be justified, modal realists need to be able to give a successful reduction of modality. A simple argument, however, appears to show that the reduction they propose fails. In order to defend the claim that modal realism is justified, modal realists therefore need to either show that this argument fails, or show that modal realists can give another reduction of modality that is successful. I argue that modal realists cannot do either of these things and that, as a result, modal realism is unjustified and should be rejected.


Deliberators Must Be Imperfect, Derek Clayton Baker Sep 2016

Deliberators Must Be Imperfect, Derek Clayton Baker

Staff Publications

This paper argues that, with certain provisos, predicting one's future actions is incompatible with rationally deliberating about whether to perform those actions. It follows that fully rational omniscient agents are impossible, since an omniscient being could never rationally deliberate about what to do (omniscient beings, the paper argues, will always meet the relevant provisos). Consequently, theories that explain practical reasons in terms of the choices of a perfectly rational omniscient agent must fail. The paper considers several ways of defending the possibility of an omniscient agent, and concludes that while some of these may work, they are inconsistent with ...


How Do Reasons Accrue?, Gopal Shyam Nair Apr 2016

How Do Reasons Accrue?, Gopal Shyam Nair

Staff Publications

Reasons can interact in a variety of ways to determine what we ought to do. For example, I might face a choice of whether to work on this paper or socialize with friends. And it might be that the only relevant reason to work on this paper is that I have a deadline coming up soon and that the only relevant reason to socialize is that it is relaxing. In this case, whether I ought to work on the paper or ought to stay at home is determined by which of these reasons is stronger


Conflicting Reasons, Unconflicting ‘Ought’S, Gopal Shyam Nair Mar 2016

Conflicting Reasons, Unconflicting ‘Ought’S, Gopal Shyam Nair

Staff Publications

One of the popular albeit controversial ideas in the last century of moral philosophy is that what we ought to do is explained by our reasons. And one of the central features of reasons that accounts for their popularity among normative theorists is that they can conflict. But I argue that the fact that reasons conflict actually also poses two closely related problems for this popular idea in moral philosophy. The first problem is a generalization of a problem in deontic logic concerning the existence of conflicting obligations. The second problem arises from a tension between the fact that reasons ...


The Logic Of Reasons, Gopal Shyam Nair, John Horty Jan 2016

The Logic Of Reasons, Gopal Shyam Nair, John Horty

Staff Publications

Reasons figure large in our ordinary talk of deliberating about or justifying actions or conclusions. Suppose, for example, you want to convince a friend to dine with you at Obelisk tonight. Typically, you will offer reasons—there is a new chef, the reviews have been excellent. Or suppose you want to explain why you believe raccoons have been in the backyard. You will offer your evidence, again, typically, in the form of reasons—the garbage was broken into, those tracks look like raccoon prints.


Authorship, Paisley Livingston Jan 2016

Authorship, Paisley Livingston

Staff Publications - Department of Philosophy

What is authorship? How are answers to that question related to ideas aboutthe understanding, interpretation, or appreciation of literary works? In what follows I provide a selective survey of the voluminous literature on thesedivisive questions, offer criticisms of some influential theories, and present an alternative.