65th annual Northwest Philosophy Conference
October 4-5, 2013

 

Paper Abstracts

 

Alfano, Mark, "The Friendship Model of Virtue" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 206)

This paper develops the friendship model of virtue. I being by identifying some important features of friendship. Friendship is relational in various ways. You can’t be my friend if I’m not also your friend. You can’t be my friend unless you harbor particular de re attitudes towards me, which I reciprocate; for instance, you have to think of me as your friend, to wish me well for my own sake, to wish me well in virtue of my good character, and so on. Furthermore, the existence of these attitudes must be mutual knowledge, and perhaps even common knowledge, between us. Next, I argue that other virtues may be relational in the same way, concentrating on the trustworthiness and trustingness. Drawing on discussions of trust by Philip Pettit and Victoria McGeer, I show how one person’s being trustworthy may be partially constituted by another person’s being trusting, and vice versa.

Alibrando, Samantha Park, J.M. Fritzman, Sarah Marchland Lomas, and McKenzie Judith Southworth, "Hegel and Language, According to Vernon, McCumber, and Forster" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 213)

We read Hegel on language through critiques of the interpretations given by Jim Vernon, John McCumber, and Michael N. Forster.

Anderson, Jr., Robert M., "How Can a Stone Be Conscious?" (Paper Session #2, Marsh LL5)

Although a number of prominent philosophers have been drawn to panpsychism (Chalmers, 1996; Nagel, 1979; Strawson, 2006), they seem to be reluctant to come to the conclusion that all entities in the universe are fully conscious. They fall back instead on the idea that microexperiences may be the ultimates from which human consciousness is composed. This may be because it seems absurd to believe that electrons and rocks could be fully conscious. In this paper I argue that if Western philosophers could expand their understanding of consciousness to include non-dual consciousness, they might be able to see how a stone could be fully conscious, and how panpsychism might be true.

Ausperk, Ryan, "Compositionality and the Artistic Elements of Photography" (Paper Session #4, Marsh LL21)

Aesthetics and the art community at large have always viewed the photograph as a curious specimen. This is mainly due to the fact that unlike the intentional relationship between the artist and the sculpture, painting, or poem, the photographer’s use of the camera is constituted largely by a mechanical process of causation. With this in mind, the following essay examines the relationship between the aesthetic visual image and the photograph. That is, if the photograph is a legitimate work of art, the following pages attempt to discover what exactly the relation between the photograph and art is. This essay consists of an analysis of both the argument from representation taken from Roger Scruton and the compositionality thesis taken from Patrick Maynard. Ultimately, along with Maynard, I argue that the photograph does exemplify representation in that the artist has control over compositional and artistic features in the process of taking the photograph.

Bagwell, Geoffrey, "Recollection in Plato's Philebus" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 207)

When commentators encounter Socrates’s discussion of recollection in Philebus, they refer readers to the Meno, Phaedo, and Phaedrus with any additional comment. Yet Socrates’ account of recollection in Philebus differs from these other accounts. In Meno, Phaedo, and Phaedrus, Socrates links recollection with the immortality of the soul, but in Philebus Socrates neglects to speak of the soul’s immortality because Philebus mainly concerns the lived experience of the ensouled body. In light of this, what are we to make of his account of recollection in Philebus? The present essay aims chiefly to answer this question. My strategy will be, first, to inspect Socrates’ account of recollection in Philebus, and, second, to examine the context in which this account appears. I will argue that Plato incorporates recollection into his discussion of pleasure in Philebus because recollection is a psychological pleasure that underlines anticipatory pleasure.

Ball-Blakeley, Michael, "Anarchia and Autonomous Functioning in the International Community" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 213)

Michael Blake uses coercion theory to argue that egalitarian distribution of wealth is only necessary within the state, and not between states (or internationally). This is because, he argues, relational inequality is only a concern within a vertically coercive system, and exists as a justification for that system. In this paper, I will accept Blake’s account of coercion theory and will attempt to show that, coupled with other plausible claims that he has made, it generates an obligation on the part of states to create a vertically coercive international structure. And, in accordance with coercion theory itself, this international organization could only be justified if, among other things, it produced an egalitarian distribution of material goods. I will argue, to use two of Blake’s terms, that the type of coercion found in the current international system is neither properly described as vertical or horizontal, but is a particularly troubling combination of the two types of interaction. This quasi-vertical coercion—through which a few powerful states dominate many weaker states—is a form of anarchistic interaction that is parasitic upon state autonomy. I will adapt Blake’s argument that citizens in an anarchistic state have an obligation to create coercive institutions, and will suggest that states have this obligation as well.

Bandini, Chiara, "The Role of Love in Descartes' Meditations" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 206)

In this paper, I present a reading of the Meditations through Descartes’s conception of love and argue that, for Descartes, love supports and facilitates the meditative process by which ideas are rendered clear and distinct in the mind. To ground my position, I first review William Beardsley’s view on the subject, then I offer an alternative interpretation of love—one that seems coherent and consistent with Descartes’s work of the Meditations. Not only does the new position avoid any problems that Beardsley’s interpretation might raise, but it does so in such a way as to support and justify the view that some emotions, most notably love, play a role in the search after truth.

Bartlett, Gary, "Occurrent States" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 201)

Philosophers by and large assume that the distinction between occurrent mental states and standing mental states is (i) unproblematic and (ii) uninteresting. I try to show that it is neither. I argue that the two most common accounts of the o/s distinction (as I call it) – that occurrent states are conscious states, and that occurrent states are manifestations of dispositions – are not sustainable. I then offer my own account of the distinction, which is quite strongly reductionist. In my view, then, a correct account of the o/s distinction is beyond the grasp of both dualist and functionalist theories of mind. This is a significant result, because the o/s distinction is exhaustive: all mental states are either one or the other. Being unable to account for the distinction is thus a fatal problem for a theory of mind.

Bauer, William and Gary Comstock, "Carruthers on Metacognition, and the Unity of Beliefs and Desires in Animals" (Paper Session #1, Marsh LL21)

Do monkeys have metacognition, the second-order capacity to think about their thoughts? In “Metacognition in Animals: A Skeptical Look,” Peter Carruthers (2008) argues that the experimental results do not support an affirmative answer; rather, he says, the animals’ behaviors can all be explained in first-order terms. We argue that Carruthers’ interpretation of folk psychology properly emphasizes the role of beliefs and desires; however, it neglects to reference the psychological unity of beliefs and desires, which is necessary to explain how animals can make judgments in the experiments under consideration.

Baumgaertner, Bert, "Reflective Inequilibrium" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 214)

This paper examines a fundamental limitation of the method of reflective equilibrium when used by creatures that have cognitive faculties like ours. I show how in certain circumstances the method cannot be successfully applied beyond a certain stage of investigation, and then argue that there is good evidence that we inevitably find ourselves in such circumstances, no matter our efforts to avoid them. I then draw on these arguments to give a brief diagnosis of the debate on the instability of intuitions.

Beach, Patrick, "The Nature of Luck" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 101)

In the following I offer a sympathetic critique of the modal account of luck and offer a new account of the nature of luck.

Berk, Kiki, "Naturalism and the Subjectivity of Experience" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 214)

A number of philosophers argue that the subjectivity of experience is a problem for naturalism. Typically these philosophers understand subjectivity in terms of qualia: an experience is subjective just in case there is something it is like to have that experience. In this paper I explore a different way of understanding subjectivity, namely in terms of privacy, and consider whether it is a problem for naturalism. I argue that it is. In brief: Naturalism is best understood as methodological naturalism, the view that science determines which things exist. Since scientific theories “quantify over” only public entities, it follows that naturalism is committed to the existence of only public entities. Thus, if experiences or their qualia are private, their existence is incompatible with naturalism. After discussing this argument, I consider an objection based on the token-token identity theory, according to which token mental states, including experiences, are just token brain states.

Berman, Brad, "Aristotle on Like-Partedness and the Like-Parted Bodies" (Paper Session #2, Warner 5)

This paper offers an interpretation of Aristotle’s treatment of the homoeomerous, or like-parted, bodies. I argue that they are liable to be far more complexly structured than is commonly supposed. While Aristotelian homoeomers have no intrinsic macrostructural properties, they are often essentially marked by microstructural ones. As I show, these microstructural properties allow Aristotle to neatly demarcate the non-elemental homoeomers from the elements. That demarcation, in turn, helps to clarify Aristotle’s conceptions of both homoeomery and what it is to be a bodily element. On Aristotle’s account, I argue, a homoeomerous body, as such, has at least one part that, if separated out, would be of the same specific kind as the whole. Elemental bodies are the limiting case. For Aristotle, an elemental body is only divisible into parts that are of the same specific kind as the whole.

Bero, Stephen, "Recklessness and the Ignorance Excuse" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 213)

Gideon Rosen has argued that confident judgments of moral culpability are virtually never justified. A crucial premise in his argument is the Ignorance Thesis, according to which an agent is not culpable for an act of whose wrongness she is ignorant (unless she was culpable for the ignorance itself). Rosen’s critics have raised a number of objections to the Ignorance Thesis; I focus on one of these, according to which an ignorant agent can be culpable for her act when she knowingly takes a substantial risk that the act is wrong. I argue, first, that the significance of the objection has been overstated—it is not as damaging to the Ignorance Thesis as it may appear. Second, I propose a revision to the Ignorance Thesis that defuses the objection while clearing the way for the Ignorance Thesis to play its assigned role in Rosen’s case for skepticism about moral culpability.

Birondo, Noell, "The Wrong Kind of Reasoning" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 101)

Many discussions in metaethics currently focus on the nature of ethical reasons, and, especially, on the nature of reasons for action; but some discussions have begun to focus instead on the reasons for holding various ethically relevant attitudes. This paper examines a prominent recent discussion of such reasons, one provided by Pamela Hieronymi in her engaging paper, “The Wrong Kind of Reason.” The type of reasoning deployed in Hieronymi’s discussion, and in similar contemporary discussions, contrasts rather sharply with the reasoning deployed on related topics by, for instance, Aristotle. This traditionally influential ethical theorist can account fairly easily for the phenomenon addressed by Hieronymi – what she, following others, calls the “problem” of the wrong kind of reason. The actual problem with such discussions concerns, not the wrong kind of reason, but the wrong kind of reasoning.

Bockover, Mary I., "Emotion, Ethics and Equality" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 213)

In this presentation I will argue that the ‘feeling’ relevant to understanding emotion is an irreducible unity of affect and cognition. These ‘emotionally relevant feelings’ (ERFs) are cognitive but cannot be equated with belief: ERFs entail belief but are not entailed by belief and so must be distinguished on conceptual grounds. Nor do ERFs require the experience of specific bodily sensations and so are not a combination of cognition and affect either. In the West, emotion has historically been misconceived because reason and affect have been treated as independent and often mutually exclusive faculties. I go on to tie my concept of emotion to a new way of thinking about (gender) ethics by showing a feeling is moral only when one feels truly that (e.g.) a wrong exists that dehumanizes a person or group. This intensional affect links us to the humanity of others, and more specifically can give rise to concerns about the parity and fairness, or lack thereof, that can accompany imbalances of power. I will also show that an ethic that focuses on diversity alone cannot adequately account for the good life because it cannot show how ‘equality’ is linked to human flourishing in general. This moral feeling of equality appeals to a deeper ‘universal’ human reality that becomes key to our challenging arbitrary or unjust designations of power and privilege that benefit some (e.g., males) at the expense of others (e.g., females).

Borgheai, Bahram, "Constructive Representationalism" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 206)

Bergson has some specific and innovative way of thinking in mind‐body problem which, though far from dominant views and consequently disdained at the present time, seems helpful to solve recent arising debates. He controversially claims that perception is made in things rather than in brain and more interestingly, by the help of memory, in an active rather than passive way. Moreover, he thinks pure perception and objective reality (or material object) are united, though not identical. In this paper by a specific interpretation and also modifications of his thoughts, some developments over external representationalism will be proposed by which some problems like spectrum inversion and inverted Earth are shown to be resolved. This new attitude over representationalism is titled as ‘constructive representationalism’. Still controversial in far star problem, by attempting to clarify the meaning of object and unification, some steps have been taken in its metaphysical grounds to be helpful in resolving the problem. Finally, due to some significant privileges which it can posses like some clarification in Kant’s epistemology and also a suggestion of getting whole world state as the container of representational content, constructive representationalism is shown to have good potentials to become a considerable thesis.

Bowen, Brandon, "Berkeley on Human Freedom and Moral Responsibility" (Paper Session #2, Warner 28)

In his recent book on George Berkeley, Georges Dicker asserts that Berkeley’s idealism leads to a lack of moral responsibility. On Dicker’s reading of Berkeley, one is unable to effect action which results in a consequence through a causal chain of events due to the idealist nature of the world. One’s will is not linked to action. If one is unable to effect any real change in the world, one could not possibly be held responsible for it. Dicker concludes that according to Berkeley we enjoy neither human freedom nor morally responsible. I argue that this conclusion rests on a misinterpretation of Berkeley’s view of human freedom and the implications of his idealism. Berkeley’s view of human freedom is less about freedom of action and more about the freedom to will. The mind, according to Berkeley, is not material, and is, therefore, not subject to common notions of causation that provide a foundation for the theory of human determinism. Moreover, moral responsibility rests on the will directly, not the ability of the will to effect physical change, though Berkeley does not deny the ability to effect change via the will. Consequently according to Berkeley a person is both free to will and morally responsible, according to Berkeley.

Carey, Brandon, "Counterfactual Epistemic Possibility" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 101)

Some propositions are ruled out by the information we have—they could have been true had things gone differently, but given our information, they cannot in fact be true. Other propositions are left open by the information we have— they might still be true and are thus epistemically possible. Here, I present counterexamples to standards accounts of epistemic possibility in terms of knowledge, entailment, and probability and then present a new view of epistemic possibility based on evidential support for a might-counterfactual relation that avoids these counterexamples.

Cochran, Adrienne, "Mitigate Climate Change: Realign Responsiveness through Daoist Acuity" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 213)

I argue that reversing global overheating requires a genuine engagement with eco-friendly values, and Daoist acuity is one standpoint of authentic response. I explore conducive and nonconductive behaviors for achieving this standpoint, and examine noetic and noematic aspects of acuity

Cockram, Nathan, "Criteria Problems: Reliabilism, Methodism, and Generality" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 214)

The aim of this paper is twofold. First, using a methodological framework adopted from R.M. Chisholm (1973), I demonstrate that Conee and Feldman’s (1998) Generality Problem objection to process reliabilism can be understood as assuming a meta-epistemological position known as ‘Methodism’. Second, I argue that this assumption has significant import for the defender of process reliabilism, insofar as it opens up a new avenue for blocking the Generality Problem objection.

Cohen, Yishai and Travis Timmerman, "Dual Obligations Hybridism" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 213)

Actualism holds that true counterfactuals of freedom concerning what a subject S would freely do in the possible future can partly determine S’s present moral obligations. Possibilism rejects this. We offer a novel view to the actualism/possibilism debate: Dual Obligations Hybridism (DOH). Accordingly, there are two kinds of moral obligations. One obligation is a function of what you should do given what your moral character would have been if you had always done the right thing in the past. The other is a function of what you should do given your actual moral character. First, we highlight three critical difficulties in the actualism/possibilism debate. Second, we articulate DOH, and subsequently show how DOH is immune from all three difficulties. Third, we offer a counterpart to DOH according to which there is only one kind of moral obligation, but there are still two kinds of relevant ‘oughts’.

Comstock, Gary and William Bauer, "Carruthers on Metacognition, and the Unity of Beliefs and Desires in Animals" (Paper Session #1, Marsh LL21)

Do monkeys have metacognition, the second-order capacity to think about their thoughts? In “Metacognition in Animals: A Skeptical Look,” Peter Carruthers (2008) argues that the experimental results do not support an affirmative answer; rather, he says, the animals’ behaviors can all be explained in first-order terms. We argue that Carruthers’ interpretation of folk psychology properly emphasizes the role of beliefs and desires; however, it neglects to reference the psychological unity of beliefs and desires, which is necessary to explain how animals can make judgments in the experiments under consideration.

Curry, Nick, "On the Possibility of a Speech Act Analysis of Criticism" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 101)

With the recent publication of two major books on the topic—Noel Carroll’s On Criticism and James Grant’s The Critical Imagination—philosophical aesthetics has seen a resurgence of interest in the issue of criticism. In this paper, I propose the groundwork for a new way of approaching the issue. Because criticism is, at base, an act of communication, speech act theory seems to have a lot to offer here. My first step in putting speech act theory to work for the philosophy of criticism is to propose a framework for seeing criticism as a unified illocutionary type by distinguishing simple illocutions (John Searle’s famous quintuple of assertives, directives, commissives, expressives, and declarations) from complex illocutions (such as criticism). Then I argue that three common sense standards on which works of criticism are typically judged (the intentionality constraint, the acquaintance requirement, and the suitability requirement) function as sincerity conditions of critical speech acts. Ultimately, this is the beginning of a larger project, but this paper shows that an analysis of criticism as a speech act is a fruitful avenue for further research.

Dávila, Ricardo, "Scientific Sparse Power Properties" (Paper Session #3, Warner 5)

Alexander Bird maintains that power properties are fundamental sparse (natural) properties. He contends that all discourse on powers belongs strictly to the fundamental level of nature investigated by fundamental physics. But must sparse power properties be fundamental? If Jonathan Schaffer is right to suggest that we need not accept the fundamental conception of sparse properties, and that we can instead adopt a scientific conception of those properties, then we are not required to accept Bird’s thesis that sparse power properties are fundamental.

Dembroff, Robin, "I Think, Therefore I Know I Think" (Paper session #1, Marsh LL21)

We know that we think. This statement, while not groundbreaking, poses a puzzle: How do we know that we think? Some suggestions already are on the table. Acquaintance theorists argue that we know this through something like a Cartesian inner-eye that perceives our minds directly, while others, like Fred Dretske, argue that introspection will never deliver this knowledge, and we must instead learn it from parents and teachers. Still others, like some Rationalists, restrict our self-knowledge to knowledge of attitudes that we are committed to or take responsibility for. In this paper, I attempt to avoid a Cartesian inner-eye, skepticism about introspection’s ability to deliver self-knowledge or a vast narrowing of self-knowledge. Instead, I propose a view that takes up the banner of what Dretske calls a “foot-stamping” epistemology—the position that I can know that I think through the same method I use to know what I think. According to my view, which I call the Transposition View [TV], we are able to introspectively gain knowledge that (and what) we think by engaging a capacity to rationally employ certain epistemic concepts while aware of our thoughts. This view maintains that (i) animals with advanced cognitive abilities (most importantly humans) are uniquely capable of self-knowledge, (ii) we can know that (and what) we think through introspection, and (iii) we each have unique and privileged access to self-knowledge, where by ‘unique’ and ‘privileged’ I mean exclusive and authoritative access to the contents of our own thoughts.

Doyle, Casey, "Expression and the Grounds of Self-Knowledge" (Paper Session #1, Warner 22)

In this paper I do three things. First, I link our capacity for non-inferential, non-observational self-knowledge to our capacity for self-expression: true and sincere avowals (self-ascriptions that are expressions of such self-knowledge) express the states they ascribe. Second, focusing on expressive behavior, I defend a perceptual account of knowledge of other minds. Expressions of first-order mental states enable suitably placed observers to perceive that a subject is in that state. Third, I argue that this puts a constraint on theories of self-knowledge, a constraint that a number of recent accounts that draw on the “transparency” of the mental cannot meet.

Doyle, Timothy, "The Mathematical Content of Meno 82b-85b" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 207)

The mathematical reasoning rehearsed by Socrates and Meno’s slave from 82b to 85b of the Meno has been widely misunderstood. The dominant reading of this episode—represented in every major English edition of the dialogue used in classrooms today—gets the mathematical content wrong, and this error obscures the form of the reasoning that Socrates and the slave carry out. Moreover, the error blocks a more detailed account of the way the episode is meant to serve as evidence for the theory of recollection. In this short paper I present an alternative reading of the mathematical content of the episode from 82b to 85b. I argue for an alternative construction of the diagrams, which I apply to reconstruct the mathematical argument rehearsed by Socrates and the slave, illustrating how broader thematic elements from the dialogue are drawn into the passage, and enabling a more detailed analysis of how the episode is meant to stand as evidence for the theory of recollection.

Ferrin, Asia, "On Moral Judgment: Horgan and Timmons' Modified Moral Rationalism vs. Haidt's Social Interactionism " (Paper Session #2, Marsh 101)

In “The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail: A Social Intuitionist Approach to Moral Judgment,” Jonathan Haidt argues that various empirical studies (including his own) challenge what he characterizes as the traditional dominant model of moral judgment: moral rationalism. Haidt claims that in contrast to most philosophical and psychological views of moral judgment, our moral judgment is most often not caused by processes of reasoning, but rather intuitive processes—that is quick, automatic, “gut-reactions.” I focus here on a specific reply to Haidt’s work by Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons in “Morphological Rationalism and the Psychology of Moral Judgment.” Horgan and Timmons grant much of the empirical data that Haidt cites. However, they offer an alternative explanation of moral judgments, one they think both captures the empirical data and allows us to maintain part of our rationalist commitments. Horgan and Timmons call their alternative view “morphological rationalism.” Both papers add insight into our understanding of moral judgment, and Horgan and Timmons are right to be skeptical of Haidt’s account. However, I find that Horgan and Timmons do not achieve their ultimate goal. In the first section of this paper, I describe Haidt’s view and Horgan and Timmons’ alternative account. In the second section, I evaluate three attempts made by Horgan and Timmons’ to show that their account is empirically and normatively preferable to Haidt’s, and I argue that each of these attempts fail, leaving open the question of what drives good moral judgment.

Ferrucci, Anthony, "Is Mass a Problem for Kuhnian Revolution?" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 201)

Here we investigate Thomas Kuhn's depiction of the concept of mass between Newtonian and relativistic physics. We ask whether the shift between the two paradigms consists of major new materials entering a scientific domain or is, instead, a major restructuring or rearrangement of materials already present? Kuhn seems to make a puzzling set of claims regarding how to interpret Einsteinian concepts such as mass. On one hand he argues that the relativistic shift does not necessarily have to involve the introduction of new concepts. However, on the other hand, the relativistic revolution clearly involves a change in worldview. I provide a number of possible ways to interpret this example as well as draw out some possible consequences of each view. I argue each solution faces difficulties if we are to interpret mass in the way Kuhn intends.

Ferst, Barry, "Four Principles of Quranic Morality" (Paper Session #2, Marsh LL21)

Granting that the Qur’an is Mohammed’s recitation of Allah’s word, I uncover four of the many general ethical principles that underlie the specific moral directives found in the Qur’an. I restrict myself to drawing conclusions based only on the scripture’s clearest and linguistically uncontentious verses. Collections of hadith and sunna or books of tafsir (exegesis) will not be consulted as they are not needed to understand straightforward moral directives. Thus circumscribed, the topic is not large. Where relevant, comparison will be made to Judaism and Christianity

Fields III, Archie, "The Many Meanings of Success and the Failures of Fictions" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 201)

I critique Eric Winsberg’s attack on the success-to-truth rule made in his recent book, Science in the Age of Computer Simulation. Winsberg demonstrates that fictions, or deliberate falsehoods included in models (e.g., the artificially large values of viscosity often employed in fluid dynamics simulations), sometimes greatly contribute to the predictive success of the models in which they are employed. Winsberg argues that this constitutes a counterexample to the success-to-truth rule. I respond by arguing that while fictions have a record of predictive success, they fail in other important domains of scientific practice, such as explanation and intervention in real-world systems. Moreover, I argue that scientists take as a goal the elimination of fictions from models when possible, demonstrating that fictions do not play as central a role in the success of models as Winsberg supposes.

Fillion, Nicholas, "Mathematical Models and Epistemic Hierarchies" (Paper Session #2, Warner 22)

Modern physics is hard to imagine without the involvement of computers, or more generally, without appeal to numerical methods. Interesting conceptual problems arise from this interaction, and yet philosophers of science have yet to catch up with these developments. This paper sketches and examines one such problem, a tension between two types of epistemic contexts, one in which exact solutions can be found, and one in which they can’t. Against this background, an investigation of some intriguing computational (a)symmetries is undertaken.

Fischer, Robert William and Eric Gilbertson, "Salvaging Serviceability in Metaphysics" (Paper Session #1, Warner 5)

We defend Lewis’ use of serviceability in his case for modal realism. We consider two challenges: first, that his use fails to meet an explanatory requirement on justification; second, that it conflates pragmatic and epistemic reasons. We show that the explanatory requirement is either implausible or satisfiable, depending on how it’s formulated, and that Lewis can avail himself of pragmatic encroachment on justification to account for the epistemic relevance of pragmatic reasons.

Foreman, Elizabeth, "The Importance of a Good Attitude" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 214)

When it comes to morally evaluating our actions, there are a number of ways to frame an answer to the question, “What’s wrong with that?” In this paper, a sketch of an agent-centered way of understanding and answering this question will be offered. On such a view, what lies at the bottom of judgments of wrongness is a bad attitude; when someone does something wrong, she does something that displays a bad, or inappropriate, attitude. In order to motivate this account, a general Kantian agent-centered ethics is discussed, and the grounding role of attitudes in the evaluation of a problem case (the wanton destruction of natural environments) will put pressure on the Kantian view. In light of this, the advantages of preserving the grounding of the appropriateness of attitudes in facts about their objects, while cutting such an agent-centered ethics away from a Kantian grounding, is explored.

Fritzman, J.M., Samantha Park Alibrando, Sarah Marchland Lomas, and McKenzie Judith Southworth, "Hegel and Language, According to Vernon, McCumber, and Forster" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 213)

We read Hegel on language through critiques of the interpretations given by Jim Vernon, John McCumber, and Michael N. Forster.

Fry, Richard, "Problems in Locke's Account of Animal Inference" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 101)

Locke’s account of non-human animal reasoning claims animals do not have the mental power of comparison in the same way that humans do and that they do not have the power of abstraction at all. I determine the content of these claims and show what Locke’s arguments are for them. I then show that the limitations Locke sets on animal reasoning end up making comparison so different in the two groups as to be entirely different phenomena. The extent of that difference–and the extent to which it is not argued for in Locke–raises problems for the theory.

Gauthier, Jeffrey A., "Prostitution Law and Paternalism" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 106)

Both liberals and feminists have long criticized the paternalistic approach to prostitution found in most jurisdictions in the U.S. In his recent book Prostitution and Liberalism, Peter de Marneffe defends just such an intervention, arguing that the demonstrated harmfulness of a life of prostitution justifies paternalistic policies aimed at reducing the number of women who are involved in it. Although de Marneffe does not endorse the prohibitionist approach typical in the U.S., he argues that the best reasons for alternative approaches to the practice (including some forms of regulated legalization) are necessarily paternalistic. In my paper, I question de Marneffe’s contention that the strongest reasons for state intervention with regard to prostitution are paternalistic in nature. I argue that reasonable state action toward prostitution is best understood not as a paternalistic intervention to remedy some moral or epistemological failure on the part of prostitutes, but rather as an attempt to advance the interests of vulnerable parties more generally concerning what they reasonably desire but could not otherwise ensure. I further argue that such an approach might favor abolitionist over regulatory policies, depending upon how the vulnerable class is defined.

Gehrman, Kristina, "Justice for Huckleberry: An Exercise in Murdoch's Loving Attention" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 206)

Since Jonathan Bennett published a paper about his conscience in 1974, Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn has played a small but notable role in moral theory. Following Bennett, philosophers read Huck as someone who consistently follows his heart and does the right thing in a pinch, all the while believing that what he does is morally wrong. But this reading neglects the two most practically salient aspects of Huck’s character: his youth, and his history of extreme abuse and neglect. In fact, far from consistently following his morally true heart against his morally corrupt principles, Huck is morally passive and thoroughly unreliable, and when the real crisis comes, Huck fails Jim completely. I argue that Huck becomes morally intelligible only when we pay close, compassionate, sustained attention to his developmental status. Thus understood, his case has different implications for moral theory than philosophers like Bennett and Nomy Arpaly have supposed. Above all, Huck’s challenging but rewarding case speaks in favor of Iris Murdoch’s demanding conception of moral insight as a fallible, painstaking, intimate, and above all endless activity of attending to another with justice and love.

Gilbertson, Eric and Robert William Fischer, "Salvaging Serviceability in Metaphysics" (Paper Session #1, Warner 5)

We defend Lewis’ use of serviceability in his case for modal realism. We consider two challenges: first, that his use fails to meet an explanatory requirement on justification; second, that it conflates pragmatic and epistemic reasons. We show that the explanatory requirement is either implausible or satisfiable, depending on how it’s formulated, and that Lewis can avail himself of pragmatic encroachment on justification to account for the epistemic relevance of pragmatic reasons.

Govier, Erica and Ray Jennings, "The Evolutionary Significance of Religious Ritual: Part 1: The Biology of Religious Language" (Paper Session #1, Warner 28)

Religions, certainly those referred to as doctrinal, are a linguistic phenomenon. Whatever its evolutionary ancestry, no portion of the evolution of human religious practices antedates the evolution of our earliest linguistic ancestors from their non-linguistic hominin ancestors (But ritual behaviours do predate this evolution). By the same token, the individual property of being linguistic is itself an evolved biological property of human organisms, ultimately an indirect legacy of our distant ancestors’ accession to bipedalism. Doctrinal religion is itself an evolved biological property of human populations. Now in some academic circles it is usual to distinguish doctrinal religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam from the ritual religions of ancient Rome and Greece. The major claim of part 1 of this essay is that the nature of religious language is such as to defeat that application of the distinction: rather we should distinguish between linguistic or religious ritual and non-linguistic ritual. All religion is ritual. The major question that this paper raises concerns the <falseness> of the contradiction between evolution and religious belief, as religious belief is itself an evolved behaviour, and, like language, continues to evolve.

Hall, Joshua, "Sublime Embodiment: Dancing with Danto" (Paper Session #4, Marsh LL21)

Though Arthur Danto is one of the foremost contemporary philosophers of art, and though he has long been engaged with issues of bodies/embodiment in art and beyond, neither he nor his philosophical interlocutors have devoted significant attention to the art form in which art and embodiment most vividly intersect—dance. Danto recently suggested that three of his major books—1981’s The Transfiguration of the Commonplace, 1997’s After the End of Art, and 2003’s The Abuse of Beauty—“might be considered” as constituting a three-volume “contemporary philosophy of art.” Although none of these three books offer significant analyses of dance, the first and third do contain discussions in which dance is implicated or can be fruitfully brought to bear, and this presentation will focus, for reasons of space, on the third. More specifically, my thesis will be that Danto’s conception of “the sublime” in The Abuse of Beauty resonates with (at least certain forms of) dance.

Hall, Thomas,"On Presentism and Time Travel" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 212)

In this paper I defend the possibility of presentist time travel from two objections. One objection is that the presentist’s model of time leaves nowhere to travel to; the second objection attempts to equate presentist time travel with suicide. After targeting some misplaced scrutiny in the literature, I show how presentists have the resources to endorse the traditional Lewisian account of time travel. In light of this ability, I argue that both of the objections fail.

Hamer, Russell, "Schopenhauer, Monism, and the Problem of Evil" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 214)

Schopenhauer is often referred to as the philosopher of pessimism. Indeed, it is not an unfair charge. Schopenhauer sees our lives as being inextricably tied to suffering and thus that the ultimate end for humanity is to negate the will to live. That is, we are to realize our unfortunate situation and, as a race, allow ourselves to die off. For Schopenhauer, this is the inevitable conclusion from an honest examination of philosophy. If we inquire into the world around us, we will realize that all of life is suffering. Schopenhauer ties this suffering to the will, the thing in itself. The will is a constant striving that at one point Schopenhauer describes as a situation in which we are not seeking after something but instead are being pushed from behind. The will is the noumenal existence of everything, to borrow some of Kant's wordage. Since the will is this striving to live, and to live is to suffer, we are left in a pessimistic state. In this paper I'm going to analyze Schopenhauer's metaphysics. I'm going to look closely at what the will is and argue that Schopenhauer is giving us a kind of substance monism. Having done so we will turn to the problem that leads us towards pessimism, which is the problem of suffering or, the problem of evil. Having explained both his metaphysics and the problem of evil, I hope to demonstrate that there are a number of incongruities between the two. Ultimately I will argue that if we are to take Schopenhauer's metaphysics seriously, then the problem of evil is only an illusion.

Heise, David, "The Benefits of a Philosophy Education: What the Empirical Data Suggests" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 214)

Examine the charter for any public high school or the Mission Statement for any public university and you will find an invariable emphasis on the skills associated with critical thinking, communication, and moral reasoning as the cornerstones of good thinking, life-long education, and democratic citizenship. As such, educators, administrators and law-makers are continually in search of the best ways to instill and retain these skills. Philosophers often contend that including philosophical inquiry as part of an education is a great way to improve critical and analytical reasoning skills. They also tend to argue such skills are transferable to, and valuable in, any discipline or career. This paper examines empirical evidence regarding:
I. The cognitive benefits of incorporating Philosophy into pre-college education
II. The cognitive benefits of incorporating Philosophy into college education.
III. The employment and financial benefits a Philosophy education provides
IV. Other factors relating to a Philosophy education

Hildebrand, Tyler,"Natural Necessary Connections and the Problem of Induction" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 212)

The most promising solution to the classical problem of induction involves two claims: first, observed natural regularities justify the postulate of necessary connections by way of an inference to the best explanation; second, the best theory of necessary connections entails the timeless uniformity of nature. Helen Beebee has challenged the second claim in a recent paper (“Necessary Connections and the Problem of Induction,” Nous 2011). I object to her argument and suggest a way to defend the second claim. Specifically, I argue that necessitarian theories that guarantee the timeless uniformity of nature are better than those that do not: the latter are at odds with a plausible thesis concerning the metaphysics of fundamentality.

Hiller, Avram, "Truthmaking and Causing" (Paper Session #2, Warner 5)

To cause an effect, in typical cases, is to make a positive difference as to whether the effect occurs. On the view advocated in this paper, to make a proposition true, in typical cases, is to make a positive difference as to whether the proposition is true. This paper provides a formalization of a form of truthmaker theory which takes seriously this neglected analogy between truthmaking and causing. For a state of affairs to be a truthmaker for a proposition, the state of affairs must necessitate the truth of the proposition, but also, it must be the case that if the state of affairs were not to obtain (and no other state of affairs which necessitates the truth of the proposition obtains), the proposition would not be true. The result is a form of truthmaker non-maximalism which, for principled reasons, excludes necessary truths and negative existentials from the class of truths which have truthmakers.

Hunt, Shamim, "Magic, Science, and Religion: Exploring Connections Between Augustine and Newton" (Paper Session #3, Warner 5)

In this essay I have tried to merge the three facets of Newton: alchemical, scientific, and theological. As to my knowledge no one has been successfully able to merge the three aspects of Newton as one coherent thought. In this paper I have argued that Newton's thought was the synthesis of these three facets. Newton's goal was to acquire the knowledge of God, and the best way to synthesize Newton's three facets is by considering Newton's thought in the light of the most influential Church Father, Saint Augustine of Hippo. Like Newton, Augustine wanted to know God by knowing the natural world. Augustine claimed that the Bible should always be reinterpreted to fit the current scientific discovery. Secondly, Newton used mathematical knowledge to know the natural world. Similarly, for Augustine, truth, form, wisdom, God, and number are one and the same. World is number and it can be known by the use of mathematics. Since both Augustine and Newton were Neoplatonists, they were influenced by Pythagoras' view of number and mathematics. Both Newton and Augustine wanted to reconcile this ancient wisdom to their faith. They both emphasized the knowledge of numeric harmony in the world to prove the existence of God in the world who brings this harmony to the world. Thirdly, Newton's alchemical work was also not in conflict with Augustine's view of the marvelous properties of matter because Newton's goal was not to prove false gods, but to discover the hidden properties of elements if mixed in a certain way with the goal of knowing what God has put in things for humans to discover. This knowledge did not come from demons for Newton, but from the “inner teacher” that is reason (Logos) or Christ, just as Augustine had argued. And lastly, I explained how Augustine's Trinitarian view of God is not in conflict with Newton's anti-Trinitarian view of God because, like Augustine, Newton sees trinities in things such as his interest in three chemicals for alchemical purposes rather than two chemicals used by Jabir-Ibn-Hayan. Furthermore, like Newton, Augustine was also interested in natural science and the occult properties of metals such as magnets. And Augustine's thought is not in contradiction with itself; he was also a rhetorician who wrote very thoughtfully, spending years on each work. For instance, he spent ten years writing the City of God; it is a very thoughtfully argued work, and it is not in conflict with any of his views in any of his other works. Comparing Augustine's thought with Newton's views on the three subjects-alchemy, theology, and science-makes a lot of sense if one needs to see Newton as a rational person whose thinking was also not in conflict with itself. Like Augustine, Newton had a single aim: to glorify God.

Ibáñez, Belén Pueyo, "Rousseau's Palliative Philosophy: Towards the Destigmatization of Amour-propre" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 201)

The study of emotions has held a prominent position throughout the history of philosophy due to its relevance and implication in the most diverse intellectual discussions, mainly in relation to ethics, society and politics. Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one of the thinkers who most brilliantly connects the study of emotions, particularly of the sentiment of amour-propre, with these fields of interest. The purpose of the present essay is to develop a detailed examination of Rousseau's stance towards this concept — ambiguous very often — to submit it, afterwards, to an exercise of destigmatization with the final goal of accomplishing a constructive reading of some of his main philosophical arguments. Hence, in the following pages I will attempt to offer an interpretation of amour-propre according to which it will be described as a neutral, yet powerful, sentiment of social realization whose consequences, whether positive or negative, will be directly attributed to the individual's moral framework. The role education and the arts play in society as instruments of moral formation will be also briefly analyzed.This study of Rousseau's philosophical theories will thus give rise to a valuable reflection about certain moral issues that have still today a direct impact on our society.

Ilea, Ramona, "Sympathy and Utilitarianism: Enemies or Allies?" (Paper Session #3, Marsh LL5)

Some have argued that utilitarian arguments regarding mass suffering—starvation, factory farming, disasters caused by climate change, genocide, for example—are not effective; though philosophically rigorous, they fail to motivate people to take action. Instead, they argued that we should appeal to people’s natural sympathy. In the first half of this paper, I argue against this view; while sympathy is useful in one-on-one relationships, we should not depend on it to motivate people to take action against mass suffering and death. But this does not mean that utilitarians should completely discount sympathy. As I will show in the second half of the paper, a certain appeal to sympathy can motivate people to take action against mass suffering, making it an appropriate ally to utilitarianism.

Jankunis, Frank, "What Does Constructionism in Biology Have To Tell Us About Environmental Ethics?" (Paper Session #3, Marsh LL21)

Constructionism in biology is the view that the relation between organism and environment is one of mutual construction. In this paper I consider a number of ways in which a constructionist view of organism and environment can inform the structure, content, and future of issues in environmental ethics.

Jennings, Ray and Erica Govier, "The Evolutionary Significance of Religious Ritual: Part 1: The Biology of Religious Language" (Paper Session #1, Warner 28)

Religions, certainly those referred to as doctrinal, are a linguistic phenomenon. Whatever its evolutionary ancestry, no portion of the evolution of human religious practices antedates the evolution of our earliest linguistic ancestors from their non-linguistic hominin ancestors (But ritual behaviours do predate this evolution). By the same token, the individual property of being linguistic is itself an evolved biological property of human organisms, ultimately an indirect legacy of our distant ancestors’ accession to bipedalism. Doctrinal religion is itself an evolved biological property of human populations. Now in some academic circles it is usual to distinguish doctrinal religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam from the ritual religions of ancient Rome and Greece. The major claim of part 1 of this essay is that the nature of religious language is such as to defeat that application of the distinction: rather we should distinguish between linguistic or religious ritual and non-linguistic ritual. All religion is ritual. The major question that this paper raises concerns the <falseness> of the contradiction between evolution and religious belief, as religious belief is itself an evolved behaviour, and, like language, continues to evolve.

Jennings, Ray and Robert Warner, "Humean Causation in Medical Diagnosis" (Paper Session #2, Warner 22)

We argue that for the purposes of diagnostic reasoning at any rate, Hume got some important matters more or less right. He had suggested the right language: that of the biconditional on the one hand, and that of statistical probability on the other. He merely lacked the empirical information and the mathematical instruments to have progressed much further than he did. But we can applaud his larger instincts . In Hume’s general conception, we can discern plausible lines for an understanding of medical diagnosis, which requires non-symmetric functional dependence with bi-directional inferrability. For example, acute myocardial infarction causes changes in the electrocardiogram (ECG), but the converse is obviously not true. However, in general, the presence of acute MI makes it likely that certain ECG changes will be present and the observation of those ECG changes permits the inference that it is likely that an acute MI has occurred. The ontology of a diagnostic theory is determined not only by the underlying physiology, but also by those combined requirements. The language of a diagnostic theory will therefore sometimes enlist arithmetic and statistical functions to define the objects of its hypothesised causal relationships. Parameters such as sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative likelihood ratios exhibited by diagnostic tests exemplify quantitative expressions of the likelihood that diseases of interest are either present or absent, respectively, in the subjects to whom the tests have been applied.

Jones, Todd, "Including Too Much and Too Little—Gricean Mechanisms of Misleading Scientific Disagreement" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 201)

Sometimes scientists give different explanations of the same phenomena without any disagreement about what caused that result. In this talk, I’ll describe one of the main mechanisms that can cause people to mistakenly think accounts compete. Our language contains sociolinguistic rules that specify that we can refer to things using names that signify both more and less comprehensive sets of properties. These discourse rules can get us into trouble by giving us different descriptions of the same models of underlying causal processes. They can also get us into trouble by giving us the same descriptions of different phenomena being explained. We can get into trouble by using permissible but less comprehensive and complete descriptions. We can also get into trouble by using the names of larger more comprehensive sets of properties, when naming less comprehensive sets would be more accurate. My hope is that if we can recognize the types of situations when it’s easy to be fooled into thinking accounts compete, we’ll be better set up to avoid being confused this way.

Kaitz, Ed, "Is American Liberal Democracy Immune to Dictatorship?" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 213)

Recently, well-known author, consultant, advisor, and historian Max Boot weighed in on the Edward Snowden NSA controversy in an essay he penned for the Wall Street Journal. His essay - “What the Snowden Acolytes Won’t Tell You” - is an attempt to convince Americans that a dictatorship “never happens in a democracy as stable and secure as that of the United States.” Mr. Boot argues that while history may be replete with examples of strongmen who have “seized power by force from a weak and illegitimate regime” (Lenin, Mao, Pol Pot, Castro, etc.) stable, liberal democracies rarely if ever “slowly turn . . . into a fascist or communist dictatorship. In the following essay I’d like to show that a fascist or communist dictatorship is indeed possible even in a country like the United States, and if despotism is established here the triumph will probably arrive under the guise of “equality” and be accompanied by a typical disregard for what James Madison called the “defect of better motives” in our human nature. In other words, despite Mr. Boot’s claim, no system is foolproof enough to prevent human nature from gradually unleashing its ever ominous qualities. In the name of social progress our future despots will nevertheless return America to the more ancient and typically authoritarian highway of history. Indeed, America’s future autocrats – like their twentieth century ideological kin – will probably claim a morally pure superiority over their class or racial enemies. In the American setting, the cry will be for Americans to dispense with framework style negative liberty political structures and embrace the more authoritarian positive liberty style of governance. This will be necessary in order to actively rectify perceived inequalities, scapegoat and target their political enemies, and promise in a larger sense to achieve social justice for their supporters. I examine both ancient (Plato, Aristotle) and modern (James Madison, Alexis de Tocqueville, Dr. Chantal Delsol, and Dr. Thomas Sowell) political philosophers in order to help support my argument.

Kaushik, Shyam Krishan, "Revisiting the Concept of Soverignty" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 201)

In legal systems sovereign is the ultimate reference point for upholding or denouncing laws. Therefore, in any debate on the legitimacy of laws or legal order as a whole, sovereignty is commonly accepted touchstone by the parties. However, this common acceptance of the notion of sovereignty as a standard for judging laws or legal order by all the parties arguing in its name does not in any manner ensure that they have a common notion of sovereignty. Inevitable result of an absence of a common notion of sovereignty is that people argue for the legitimacy or illegitimacy of extremely varied types of laws and other authorities – all in the name of sovereign. This paper attempts to critically discuss Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s views on sovereignty. Rousseau considers sovereign as a metaphysical entity with certain characteristics. He also explains the circumstances that create a sovereign. This paper attempts to show that Rousseau’s ideas lead to logical inconsistencies and irreconcilable self contradictions in his theory. There is, therefore, a need to have a fresh look at the notion of sovereignty. This paper attempts to explain the concept of sovereignty in such a manner that the theoretical difficulties, as encountered in Rousseau’s notion, are removed. Or at least so it is hoped. In the process a fresh perspective is developed to explain the creation, the nature and the function of sovereignty, along with its relationship with law. This paper is meant to propose a new idea which should not be mistaken as an exhaustive theory at this stage and in this form. However, it can be a stepping stone to a more exhaustive work in which practical application of the idea can be fully tested and explained.

Kenna, Aaron, "On the Proposed Argument from Analogy in Berkeley's Passivity Argument for the Existence of God" (Paper Session #2, Warner 28)

In chapters 12 and 13 of his recently published Berkeley's Idealism: A Critical Examination (2011), Georges Dicker provides an exposition and critical analysis of George Berkeley's so-called passivity argument for the existence of God found in section 146 of the Good Bishop's A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge. In nuce, Dicker contends the arguments turns crucially on an implicit premise, namely, an argument from analogy, which Berkeley purportedly uses to infer the existence of a divine designer, and thus determines the passivity arguments fails for all the reasons other arguments from analogy to design fail. Though I do assess the merits of his argument, in this paper I show that rather than an argument from analogy Berkeley employs in the passivity argument a likelihood inference: Berkeley infers to the hypothesis (theism contra atheism) that makes the relevant evidence more likely. I conclude that Dicker's criticisms of Berkeley's argument are therefore inadequate.

Knepp, Dennis, "'Hell cannot be below because well water is cold': Chief Moses and C.S. Peirce on Authority vs. Real Objects in 1877" (Paper Session #3, Warner 28)

In his 1877 essay “The Fixation of Belief,” Charles Sanders Peirce argued that the best way to fix beliefs is to appeal to real objects that exist independent of our thoughts about them. In the same year, 1877, Chief Moses kept his people out of Joseph’s War by appealing to real objects that exist independent of our thoughts about them. He rejected both the Dreamer Prophets and the Christians. Instead, Chief Moses based his beliefs on real world objects – which Peirce identifies as the fundamental presupposition of science, the fourth and best method of fixing beliefs. When Christian missionaries told Moses that he must convert or would burn forever underground in Hell with the Devil, he replied that there cannot be a fire underground because well water comes up cold. Moses provides verification of Peirce’s thesis and, furthermore, provides an example for us today of how pursuing the pleasures of this world can keep us out of conflicts caused by appeals to rival authorities. Chief Moses enjoyed the pleasures of this world: whiskey, women, poker, fine clothes, and gambling on horse races. As a result, Moses kept his people out of the 1877 war. He has a message for us today: the path of peace is to reject supernatural appeals to authority and embrace the pleasures of real objects.

Koziolek, Nicholas, "Does Frege Need Indirect Senses?" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 101)

The aim of the essay is, quite simply, to defend a negative answer to the title question. The view defended is that, although Frege did explicitly endorse indirect senses, he had no reason to. He was right to introduce the notion of indirect reference, since it is needed to deal with apparent coun- terexamples to Leibniz’s salva veritate principle, a principle Frege wished to preserve. But indirect senses play no role in explaining away those coun- terexamples. Nor are they required for any other purpose Frege would have recognized. The emended view proposed by Dummett, on which we take ex- pressions in indirect contexts both to refer to and to express their customary senses, is, therefore, the view every Fregean should adopt.

Kukla, Todd, "What Is the Cognitive Ability that Kant's Categories Make Possible?" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 206)

The purpose of Kant’s transcendental deduction in the Critique of Pure Reason is to prove that certain concepts not derived from experience, called categories, apply to and govern the objects of our experience. His proof appeals to our cognitive abilities, and he argues that if the application of these concepts to experience makes cognition of objects possible, then these concepts must apply to any object that we can cognize. However, there is disagreement in the secondary literature on the nature of the ability named by the term ‘cognition’ or ‘Erkenntnis.’ The paper argues that the categories enable the possibility of representing the full scope of spatio-temporal appearances, i.e., past and future appearances, as well as appearances in remote space. The thesis defended is significantly different from the more common interpretation according to which the categories enable the synthesis of sense- data into objects of experience.

Ladstaetter, Klaus, "Minimalism and 'The' Generalization Problem" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 106)

“The” generalization problem for Paul Horwich’s semantic deflationism about truth consists really of two separate, but intimately related problems. The first problem arises for Horwich’s minimal theory of truth, the second one for his minimal theory of the meaning of the predicate ‘true’. In the essay I first expound the problems that emerge for both theories. Subsequently I review Horwich’s suggestions to fix the problems. I conclude that due to some severe objections Horwich’s proposals are unsatisfactory, as they stand.

Lavin, Andrew, "The Enchanted Realm" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 212)

This paper offers a brief analysis of a dialectical structure inherent in the philosophical tradition. When distinctions between categories of description—such as appearance and reality—are made into dichotomies, a dialectic arises between, on the one hand, the realists who insist that the less epistemically sound category exists, and on the other hand the anti-realists who hold that only the more epistemically sound category exists and that correspondence between the two is unintelligible. I apply the structure as a unifying explanatory device for the scholastic period through the 19th century in the western philosophy of perception, and then argue that, though some insight was gained by disenchanting nature, a re-enchantment is possible without the loss of such insights.

Lee, Caleb, "Can the Concept Belief Tell Us What We Ought to Believe?" (Paper Session #3, Warner 28)

While it is generally accepted that one ought to believe p only if p is true, this fact still requires explanation. Nishi Shah and David Velleman jointly argue that this fact can be explained by the hypothesis that it is a conceptual truth about belief that a belief that p is correct only if p is true. I argue that certain aspects of their account serve not only to undermine the support they provide for their hypothesis but also to cast doubt on its plausibility. I conclude by arguing that even if this hypothesis is true, it is unable to explain why the truth norm for belief applies universally.

Loevy, Katharine, "Meaning and Embodiment in Islamic Mysticism: A Feminist Analysis of Dhikr and Shatahat" (Paper Session #2, Marsh LL21)

The debate over gender essentialism may have passed, and the social constructivists have won, but the question of the body and of embodiment continues to animate how feminist and queer theorists attempt to understand the role of discursive mediation in the production of our embodied realities without thereby effacing or thinking away the body. In what follows, I will explore the relationship between embodiment and meaning through an engagement with a different sort of textuality and of embodied practice. Each is drawn from the Islamic mystical tradition: The ritual practices of dhikr and the related discursive phenomenon of the ecstatic utterances or “shatahât.” Practices of dhikr and the shatahât operate through a bidirectional rather than a unidirectional relationship between bodily event and meaning insofar as the discursive mediation at play must wait for that which it mediates. In each case, certain discursively mediated phenomena depend upon the opacity, the indigestibility, or the quasi-independence of certain capacities of the body if the discourses at play are to be rhetorically effective and if the phenomena at stake are to achieve their proper meaning.

Logue, Jessica, "Evaluating and Appreciating Films" (Paper Session #4, Marsh LL21)

In this paper I argue that there is a distinct difference between two kinds of judgments viewers make about films. This difference is between appreciating or liking films vs. evaluating films. To appreciate really concerns one’s enjoyment where in evaluating one puts oneself more in the position of being a critic. This process involves an attempt, a difficult attempt, to be aware of one’s biases, since these biases are commonly what obstruct our ability to evaluate.

Lomas, Sarah Marchland, Samantha Park Alibrando, J.M. Fritzman, and McKenzie Judith Southworth, "Hegel and Language, According to Vernon, McCumber, and Forster" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 213)

We read Hegel on language through critiques of the interpretations given by Jim Vernon, John McCumber, and Michael N. Forster.

Losonsky, Michael, "Leibniz's Theory of Representation " (Paper Session #1, Marsh 206)

Leibniz's theory of ideas plays a fundamental role in his theory of necessity, but at crucial junctures his account is undeveloped. It is clear that Leibniz holds that ideas are representations with semantic content. But what is not clear is, first, what Leibniz considers to be the ontological carriers of content and, second, what determines the specific content of an idea. Although Leibniz does not have an explicit or systematic discussion of these issues, there are passages that in the context of his mature metaphysics that shed some light on these issues. In particular, Leibniz's explanation of the content of an idea in terms of Habitudines will be interpreted in terms of Leibniz's concept of endeavors or appetitions. This means that conceptual relationships, including entailment relations, need to be understood in terms of appetitions.

Lucey, Kenneth G., A New Counter-Example to Modus Ponens" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 106)

The primary purpose of this paper is as follows: It has been understood since Aristotle that the assessment of the truth and falsity of sentences, thoughts or propositions often require consideration of the context of an utterance in order to determine the truth or falsity of that utterance. This essay proposes to show that the context of an argument can also influence the evaluation of an argument as valid or invalid. Obviously Modus Ponens is a valid argument form. Yet in certain contexts, specifically in contexts of self-reference, we seem to encounter an invalid instance of Modus Ponens. This essay explores the intellectual cost of avoiding such a counter-example. One of the main conclusions of this essay is that the primary intellectual cost of preserving the validity of Modus Ponens is that we must rethink some of our intuitions concerning premises involving self-reference and also (possibly) concerning the traditional definition of what it is to be a tautology. A familiar psychological occurrence is that the commonest words begin to look bizarre when we focus upon them for an unusually long time. Another purpose in this note is to invite the reader to sense that sort of strangeness with regard to the concept of validity. My task is to give the standard definition of validity a closer than usual scrutiny, by apply it to an unusual argument, i.e., an apparent counter-example to Modus Ponens.

Masto, Meghan, "Empathy, Autism, Psychopathy, and Right Action" (Paper Session #3, Marsh LL5)

In a recent paper, “Is Empathy Necessary for Morality?” Jesse Prinz answers his title question in the negative, arguing that empathy is unnecessary for moral judgment, moral development, and moral conduct. In a follow-up paper, “Against Empathy,” Prinz goes so far as to claim that empathy is bad for morality. In this paper, I will argue, contra Prinz, that empathy is necessary for morality. In doing so, I appeal to evidence from research on autism and psychopathy. I conclude that empathy is sometimes epistemologically necessary for identifying the right action; that empathy is sometimes psychologically necessary for motivating the agent to perform the right action; and that empathy is sometimes necessary for the agent to be morally praiseworthy for an action.

Matz, Lou, "John Stuart Mill's Religious Challenges" (Paper Session #1, Warner 28)

Mill’s analysis of religion, found in his Three Essays on Religion (1874) that were published posthumously, is regrettably not widely known, yet religion was a paramount issue for Mill since, as a social reformer, he needed to assess the role and value of religion, especially at a time when the grounds for religious belief were being undermined by the progress of the natural and social sciences and the application of the historical critical method to understanding scripture. Mill’s view on religion can be summed up in one sentence: Improve yourself and society and, if it is psychologically necessary to commit yourself to these ends, it is legitimate to hope in supernatural realities as long as they are consistent with reason and moral feelings. In this paper, I will review some of Mill’s principal statements on religion prior to the publication of the Three Essays on Religion, summarize his arguments in the densely argued Essays that lead to his conclusion about religion, and develop the challenges his position creates for both religious believers and rational skeptics, challenges that are still relevant today.

May, Todd, "The Effability of the Normative" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 201)

Ineffability is in the air these days in Continental philosophy, and has been for some time. In many areas of Continental philosophy, it is the very ethos in which thought is conducted. What I argue cuts directly against the orientation of this framework. I am going to claim that the realm of the normative is deeply linguistic, and moreover that this is a good thing. In contrast to the attempt of many thinkers to remove the normative from the conceptual or the linguistic, I would like to show that it is central to normativity to have a linguistic reference, a reference rooted precisely in the sense of conceptual categories that so concern thinkers of the ineffable. My claim will not be that normativity can be reduced to conceptual categories. In fact, I think that some simple examples will show that it cannot. In that sense, I don’t argue that thinkers of the ineffable are mistaken. Rather, it is that an important—indeed crucial—aspect of normativity is neglected when we focus on the ineffable.

Meseroll, Sean, "Hedonism about Happiness" (Paper Session #3, Warner 22)

In this paper I introduce a novel theory of happiness: hedonism about happiness (HH). I first discuss why a hedonistic theory of happiness is a plausible one. So I explicate two popular rival theories of happiness and discuss two cases that favor hedonism. Once this is done I discuss HH in more detail, highlighting what makes it different from other hedonistic theories of happiness. Basically, it, unlike its rivals, does not restrict itself to a particular theory of pleasure; rather, it merely maintains that pleasure—whatever it essentially turns out to be—is the essence of happiness. As I see it, we lack sufficient evidence to determine which theory of pleasure is the right one. It may turn out that we have reached the limits of philosophical reflection and thus require empirical disciplines like psychology and neuroscience to fill in the details.

Meyer, Eric D., "'Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing?': Western Metaphysics and the Thinking of Non-Being from the Sanskrit Rig Veda to Martin Heidegger's 'What Is Metaphysics?'" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 214)

Why is there something and not rather nothing? This, Martin Heidegger stipulates, is the basic question of “Western metaphysics.” And Martin Heidegger’s “metaphysics” texts, What Is Metaphysics? (1929) and Introduction to Metaphysics (1932) might be seen (pace Robert Nozick!) as attempts to answer it. But despite Martin Heidegger’s interest, in What Is Metaphysics?, in “The Question of Nothingness or Non-Being” (Wie steht es um das Nichts?), “Western metaphysics,” in Martin Heidegger’s thinking, is emphatically about The Question of Being (Die Seinsfrage).But although “Western metaphysics” gives the impression that it asks and answers The Question of Being, Martin Heidegger argues, in fact, “Western metaphysics” never answers The Question of Being, because it never really asks the question. Because when Western philosophers from Plato and Aristotle to St. Thomas Aquinas and G.W.F. Hegel purport to ask “The Question of Being,” it isn’t really “Being” (das Sein), but “being-ness” (das Seiende) or “being(s)” (die Seiein-den) they ask about. And when this thinking of “the being-ness of being(s)” in Classic Greek ontology is combined with Aristotelian and Scholastic theology, it defines “Western metaphysics,” in Martin Heideg-ger’s terms, as onto-theo-logy: that is, as the thinking of “God“ or “god“ as a “Being” or (a) “being.” Although Proto-Indo European and East Asian thought is especially inclined to a “thinking of Non-Being,” in which “Nothingness” or “Non-Being” is seen as what Robert Nozick calls “the cosmic natural state,” Western philosophy, from Parmenides and Empedocles onward, is curiously and almost exclusively disposed to “the thinking of Being” as a “something” and not a “nothing”: as super-abundant, substantial, and essential, admitting no defects or flaws of “nothingness “or “non-being”; to the point that, in Aristotle’s Metaphysics, the question, “What is being qua being (ον η ον)?” is seen as essentially equivalent to the question, “What is substance (ουσια)?” In “Western metaphysics,” what Martin Heidegger calls “the being-ness of beings” (das Seiende des Seienden) is substantialized and hypostasized as a metaphysical substance or a meta-physical essence, seen in representation as an eternal presence or eternal present, which eclipses the sense of “Being” as a continuous coming-to-presence (Anwesen) and passing-from-presence (Abwesen) that is its primordial ontological condition. Although Martin Heidegger argues that, in “Western metaphysics,” what’s forgotten by this thinking of the “being-ness of being(s)” is “Being itself” (das Sein selbst); the author here argues that what’s forgotten in “Western metaphysics” is “Nothingness” or “Non-Being,” which is the “cosmic natural state” of a Proto-Indo European or East Asian cosmos in which emptiness (Sanskrit sunyata) establishes the cosmic backdrop for the coming-into-being and passing-away-from-being of “all sentient beings.” By comparing the basic texts of “Western metaphysics” with Proto-Indo European and East Asian texts, then, the author attempts to recover “the thinking of Non-Being” for Western thought, while also answering the question: Why is there something and not rather nothing?

Molas, Andrew, "Discussing the Nature of Dementia and Issues Concerning Advance Directives" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 201)

This paper explores the nature of dementia and examines the issues raised by the implementation of advance directives, more specifically, in situations where a patient previously requests no life-sustaining treatment in the event of developing dementia but then later change their mind once the dementia has set in. Focusing primarily on the "then-now" distinction of the self debate, I explore both Dworkin’s argument that we should honor the patient’s precedent autonomy and uphold the advance directive because it preserves the patient’s critical interests (namely, the interests that give that person’s life its significance), and the argument put forth by those, such as Edwards and Dresser (who is not referenced directly in this paper) who feel that we should honour the patient’s current desires and override the advance directive because the patient’s current desire of being kept alive should be taken seriously and we should not deny them life-sustaining treatment even though they previously refused it. I then offer some suggestions on how to improve the effectiveness of advance directives, so as to reflect the patient’s most up-to-date and authentic desires, as well as provide some suggestions on how psychiatrists should advise caregivers to deal with people with dementia. Finally, it should be noted that this paper does not explore the legal issues raised with advance directives, or their enforceability, as it is meant to focus solely on the ethical dilemmas raised by them.

Muñoz, Oscar E., "Historical Consciousness and Mythologization" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 212)

The reflective process of historicity, the relationship between myth and vital experience is more complex than the one which distinguishes between history as the sphere of the real and myth as the sphere of the imaginary. When we speak today about historical consciousness or historical thought, we include the reflections provided by the philosophy of history, and these have shown in their theoretical multiplicity that there is not a unique way for thinking the matter, whose problematics lead to discrepancies even in the definition of the thinking subject and the object of study. Historical reflection is an interpretative construction of some social life concept, whether it be this a part of the group’s life, or the life of the group taken as a whole, or another wider social unit, and serves an equal social functionality as the myth. Not only the historical narrative fulfills the functions of myths, but the philosophy of history itself is a mythologizing action, by way of generating proposals about the whole of historical thought, and by undertaking an investigation on the origins.

Munroe, Wade E., "Words on Psycholinguistics" (Paper Session #1, Marsh LL5)

I argue that David Kaplan’s analysis of the factors that determine what words (if any) someone has used in a given utterance is inconsistent with models of speech planning in psycholinguistics as informed by data on slips-of-the-tongue. Kaplan explicitly aims to formulate a theory of words that elides the details of the process responsible for speech planning and production and, thus, ignores the relevant, psycholinguistic literature. Kaplan’s reliance on the intentions of speakers in his account leads to two specific problems: (1) his theory will deliver incorrect answers about what words have been said in word intrusion errors (slips in which a different word than the one intended enters the speech planning process), and (2) in certain errors involving sub-word units (e.g., morphemes, phonemes, etc.).

Murphy, Ryan Michael, "Beyond the Dilemma of Desire Satisfaction in Well-being" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 212)

There are many theories about what constitutes the good life and some argue that theories of well-being also ground all moral values. Desire satisfactionism, the claim that what is best for a person is to satisfy desires, has been considered at length. While the views in the contemporary debate among desire satisfaction theories are disparate, I contend that many of their differences result from pursuing different theoretical objectives. Desire satisfactionism, formulated as a theory of well-being is at odds with desire satisfactionism articulated as a welfarist theory. This difference results in a problematic dilemma as welfarist desire satisfactionism inadequately accounts for several cases while desire satisfactionism as a theory of well-being is internally consistent but lacks philosophical significance. Despite this dilemma, the conceptual work in this debate is vital to considerations in the philosophy of action.

Nandi, Gourav Krishna, "Hume's Ideas and Beliefs Concerning Personhood and the Data Dilemma" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 207)

Personhood is often thought to be a feature possessed by those who can make decisions, are worthy of being cared for and have civil and political rights and responsibilities. Are these attributes exclusive to the natural born and naturally maintained humans? If we, in the foreseeable future, are to adapt to the assimilation of individuals with technological enhancements in the society, how should be regard the personhood of an enhanced sentient being that acts like a human? I have used Hume’s distinction of the notion of an idea and a belief to analyze our differences in the perception of personhood in a naturally born human and a transhuman. Using the instance of Julian Savulescu’s intelligent and independent observer and Gene Roddenberry’s created character Data (the android). I claim personhood is an evolving idea that does not depend upon strict characteristics but is similar to the mathematical definition of infinity that is an abstract approximation.

Nelson, Michael, "Things That Might Not Have Been" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 106)

Quantified Modal Logic promises to regiment our modal discourse about everyday objects. But it is “haunted by the myth that whatever exists necessarily exists.” I show how to avoid the myth within the confines of a classical quantificational theory without metaphysical excess.

Noggle, Jr., Robert, "Addiction and Freedom" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 212)

Addiction is puzzling. The addict’s out-of-control behavior appears to be less than completely free. Yet addicts choose on the basis of a desire we all have—the desire for pleasure—and the reasonable belief that drug use produces pleasure. After critiquing several current solutions to this puzzle, I develop a new approach to solving the puzzle of addiction. I begin by noting that when a person notices that acting on an existing desire would be disastrous, that desire normally dissipates rapidly. If we compare the behavior of an addict to that of a non-addicted user of the same drug, it is apparent that addicts continue to want the drug even in situations in which consuming would invite disaster, and in which a non-addict’s would dissipate. I suggest that addiction involves a breakdown in the mechanism that normally quashes desires in situations where pursuing them would invite disaster.

Nye, Howard,"The Butterfly Effect Argument Against Agent-Centered Constraints" (Paper Session #4, Marsh LL5)

In this paper I argue that all plausible theories of agent-centered constraints against causing harm are undermined by the likelihood that our actions will make the world drastically different than it would have been. Theories that impose constraints against intended harming but none against foreseen harming have unacceptable implications for choices between more and less harmful ways of securing greater goods. Theories that impose constraints against “proximally” caused harm but none against “distally” caused harm have similarly unacceptable implications. This leaves as plausible only theories that impose constraints against some distally caused harm. I argue that, given the dramatic distal effects our actions are likely to have, these theories entail that any way we could live our lives involves unjustified killing, and that any version of them that is strong enough to be plausible entails that we are morally required either to allow ourselves to waste away or kill ourselves.

Orosco, José-Antonio,"W.E.B. Du Bois and the Moral Dimensions of American Democracy" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 106)

Many of the early American pragmatists, including John Dewey, Horace Kallen, and Jane Addams conceived of a multicultural America as a culturally pluralistic democracy with different ethnic communities bringing their common cultural values, social practices, moral beliefs, and ideals of excellence and human flourishing into conversation with one another, learning from one another, and articulating a shared conception of civic cooperation within deep democracy. W.E.B. Du Bois’s work is precisely about the cultural contributions of African Americans to US American political life. Starting in 1897, in his essay, “The Conservation of the Races”, Du Bois advances a notion of cultural pluralism that predates the classical pragmatist reflections on the nature of a multicultural United States. Du Bois believes that the unique cultural contribution of African Americans consists of a particular understanding, arrived at through their centuries of experience with subordination and marginalization in white supremacist society, about the nature of power and democratic governance in the United States that has the potential to radically shift the direction of American society. I examine two main points in this line of thought. First, Du Bois thinks that we ought not to abandon the notion of race and become a race neutral or colorblind society and instead preserve the notion of races as communities that may possess unique cultural gifts to contribute to the betterment of American democracy. Second, Du Bois thinks that the unique cultural gifts of African Americans have already altered the United States, not just in terms of cultural forms such as jazz or soul food, but in terms of the ethical foundations of US American democracy. Du Bois believes that in their particular pursuit of equality and liberty, African Americans have created a society that is much more moral and democratic than what the Founders intended. More importantly, Du Bois believes their struggle offers a prophetic vision that portends an even more participatory and deliberative United States.

Osborne, Robert Carry,"An Approach to Naturalizing Norms in Epistemology" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 201)

Epistemic normativity stands as the primary obstacle to the project of naturalizing epistemology. Many standard approaches to naturalizing epistemology—instrumentalism, expressivism, fictionalism, etc.—typically assume that, in some way, genuine epistemic normativity is not possible if it is to be naturalized. Indeed, the continual push toward non-cognitivism in epistemology raises the question of whether naturalism can do justice to anything like a traditional conception of epistemic normativity. In this paper, I attempt to give an account under which something like genuine epistemic normativity can be naturalized. Rather than instrumentalism or expressivism, I will endorse forms of epistemic relativism and normative pragmatism, arguing that epistemic norms are instituted by social practices. Central to my account is Robert Brandom’s conception of deontic scorekeeping, which I apply in giving an account of how epistemic normativity comes about within epistemic communities. I also respond to the common and important objection that epistemic relativism is incoherent or self- undermining.

Owen, Matthew, "Physicalism's Epistemological Incompatability with A Priori Knowledge" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 101)

In this paper I argue that physicalism and a priori knowledge are incompatible due to the necessary physical causation of beliefs entailed by reductive and nonreductive physicalism. In section one, a priori knowledge and the causation necessitated is explicated. In section two, the lesson learned from Gettier is applied to a priori knowledge. In section three, the causal exclusion problem is elucidated. In section four, the unavoidable causal exclusion of the mental by the physical entailed by physicalism is shown to undermine the possibility of a priori knowledge. For a priori beliefs must be caused by nonphysical content (i.e. concepts, and logical entailments) that is the justificatory grounds for such beliefs in order to be non-coincidentally true. Yet, on physicalism the causal history of a priori beliefs must be purely physical. However, the physical causal history of a priori beliefs cannot contain the justificatory grounds for such beliefs. Thus, given physicalism a priori beliefs would be true coincidentally and therefore would not be knowledge. In section four, two attempts to preserve mental causation, Realizer Functionalism and Type Eliminativism, are shown to fall short of preserving the mental causation necessary for a priori knowledge.

Parent, Ted, "On Rasmussen's Modal Cosmological Argument" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 206)

In the following, I discuss Joshua Rasmussen's modal argument for a necessary being. Turri’s criticism of the argument is rejected as uncharitable, but a different objection is then offered. The charge is that Rasmussen’s premises do not suffice to show a necessary being; this can be seen if we presuppose fictionalism about possible worlds. If fictionalism is a live possibility, then Rasumussen's argument may show merely that a necessary being exists in the modal fiction.

Peterson, Jonathan, "Non-Domination and the Distribution of Freedom" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 106)

Republican theorists defend a conception of political freedom as non-domination. On this conception, freedom consists in absence of domination or dependence on the will of others. This paper addresses the question of how republican freedom should be distributed. Philip Pettit has recently defended a principle of equal freedom as non-domination. On his interpretation of the ideal of equal freedom, each person must enjoy a sufficient level of freedom to secure her equal status as a free person. I argue that this sufficientarian principle fails to capture the problematic character of inequalities in freedom above the sufficiency threshold. Moreover, it isn’t adequately sensitive to the egalitarian concerns raised by consideration of the value of freedom for individuals. Both of these considerations support a principle of maximal equal freedom. However, it is likely that any adequate answer to the distribution question will be complex and sensitive to the various domains in which it is to be applied. In this paper, I begin the task of working out such a distributive principle.

Powell, John W., "In and Out of Language" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 213)

Prompted by Wittgenstein’s lessons that philosophically interesting entities may be different things in different examples, I take up the question, what is in language and what is outside language? This is a cross-examination, then, of a philosophically tempting line of thought that we know what language is and we know what is in language separate from examples. Examples not dictated by that temptation or by the picture behind it help show the temptation is suspect. But essentialism is not the only thing at stake–there’s a plague on several houses at work here, including the usual suspects thought to be alternatives to essentialism: constructionism and deconstructionism, views that language is natural or is conventional, as well as the idea that a linguistic turn will help us make progress in philosophy. Language as philosophers have conceived it begins under cross-examination to look like a mythological beast.

Pressman, Michael, "The Compatability of Foreward-Looking and Backward-Looking Accounts of Tort Law" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 214)

When a judge decides a case in tort law, the results are twofold: First, the dispute between the litigants is resolved, and second, a (perhaps small) change is made to the law of torts that will affect the future behavior of individuals who live their lives in the shadow of the law. What is clear is that the judiciary knows that what it says will simultaneously have backward-looking and forward-looking results. What is less clear is how judges do decide and should decide tort cases, and this question is the subject of heated academic debate. The debate has historically been dominated by economic theorists and corrective justice theorists. Economic theorists think that tort is and should be forward-looking, and that it aims to maximize economic efficiency. Corrective justice theorists think that tort is and should be backward-looking and that its goal is to repair wrongful losses. This article argues that this debate is rife with confusion, and that a forward-looking account of tort in fact is compatible with a backward-looking account. Further, we would do well to shift our focus to an important question obscured by this confusion: how to understand the notion of “wrongful conduct.”

Rajczi, Alex, "What Is the Conservative Point of View about Distributive Justice?" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 106)

This paper describes the theory of distributive justice that is held by most American conservatives and Republicans. I show that this viewpoint explains conservative objections to certain social safety net programs, and I argue that the theory is at least plausible. The paper then draws several meta-philosophical lessons. First, the conservative point of view, which is held by perhaps 50% of the population, is not well-represented in contemporary philosophical discussions. Second, some philosophers may think that the conservative point of view is rebutted by certain contemporary arguments in political philosophy, such as Rawls’s arguments for justice as fairness, but in fact this is not the case. Third, if progressive political philosophers want to make a case for progressive policies, then they will have to explore new philosophical and factual issues that philosophers presently ignore.

Raven, Michael, "Fundamentality without Foundations" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 106)

Two hallmarks of fundamentality are independence (the fundamental depends on nothing else) and ineliminability (the fundamental must be included in an ultimate account of reality). The common foundational model conflates them: to be ineliminable just is to be the terminal endpoint of a well-founded chain of dependence. But this model prohibits fundamentality without foundations, thereby conflicting with our openness to the possibility of infinite descent. I propose a new model which reconciles the conflict by allowing fundamentality without foundations. The new persistence model disentangles ineliminability from independence: to be ineliminable just is to persist in an explanation of the facts. I develop persistence using the explanatory notion of (metaphysical) ground, further illustrating ground’s fruitfulness. I briefly discuss some of this model’s prospects, including how it undermines Jonathan Schaffer’s recent modal argument for priority monism.

Rellihan, Matthew, "Consciousness, Content, and Cambridge Change" (Paper Session #2, Marsh LL5)

There’s a general consensus in the philosophy of mind that however hard it is to account for intentionality within a broadly naturalistic view of the world, it’s harder still to account for consciousness. Recently, however, a number of naturalistically inclined philosophers have argued that this situation is not as hopeless as it would seem, for we might at least make some headway on the second problem by reducing it to the first. According to representationalism, a thesis defended by Fred Dretske, William Lycan, Michael Tye and a variety of others, the phenomenal character of conscious experience—that elusive ‘what-it’s-likeness’ that Nagel found so perplexing—is just a certain sort of intentional content. If true, this would mean that consciousness is no more mysterious than intentionality more generally. I argue that this reduction of the phenomenal to the intentional is, at best, a Pyrrhic victory. This is because all of the naturalistic theories of intentionality currently on offer allow for the content of a mental state to undergo a mere Cambridge change. That is, they allow for modifications to a state’s intentional content to occur merely by bringing about changes to its counterfactual causal relations and without requiring the state itself to suffer any real change. But consciousness is manifestly not like this. Phenomenal properties are real rather than mere Cambridge properties, and changes to phenomenal consciousness are real rather than mere Cambridge changes. Thus, if phenomenal character really is just a certain sort of intentional content, it’s not anything like the sort of intentional content described by our best current theories. If representationalism succeeds in making consciousness less mysterious, it’s only by making intentionality substantially more so.

Rempel, Morgan, "Stoic Philosophy and Alcoholics Anonymous: The Enduring Wisdom of the Serenity Prayer" (Paper Session #4, Marsh LL5)

One of the things that recommends the comparison of Alcoholics Anonymous and Stoic philosophy is that like A.A., Stoicism offers real-world guidance for the art of living. More precisely, it provides practical guidance for living a flourishing, purposeful life of enduring serenity. As my paper demonstrates, a version of A.A.’s basic goal of “peace, patience, and contentment” was articulated by Stoic philosophers centuries ago. My hope is that the parallel examination of several key aspects of these two traditions will serve as a reminder both of Stoicism’s practical message of personal transformation and empowerment, and the enduring, therapeutic wisdom at the heart of Alcoholics Anonymous and the Serenity Prayer.

Rizzieri, Aaron, "Theodicy's Limited Prospects" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 207)

I distinguish between knowledge of what God’s reasons for allowing gross suffering could plausibly be, and knowledge of what God’s reasons actually are, and defend an attendant principle of ‘DISTRUST’ in order to demonstrate that even a successful theodicy would not fully undermine the evidential argument from evil against theism. My purpose is to establish some plausible limitations on how successful a theodicy can be.

Robus, Olin, "Empiricism and van Fraassen's Principle Zero" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 212)

Bas van Fraassen argues in The Empirical Stance that empiricism is a ‘Stance’, where this notion takes on a technical meaning. He is responding to objections from self-referential paradox that are aimed at empiricism. If successful, he shows that empiricism need not be justified in terms of commitment to some metaphysical foundation. van Fraassen seeks to provide a picture of philosophical practice consistent with an anti-foundationalist empiricism. With the introduction of stances, room is made for philosophical positions which can contravene the Standard Picture, yet are not irrationally held. This paper aims to retrace and make explicit the structure and assumptions of van Fraassen’s original argument. While van Fraassen focuses on empiricism, the consequences of his argument may extend much farther, potentially undermining the legitimacy of the Standard Picture. However, there are some fundamental ambiguities that obscure the issue. After reviewing his argument, these ambiguities are clarified and their consequences explored. I conclude by observing that whether the Standard Picture is merely incomplete or instead incorrect remains an important and open question.

Rodell, Maja, "The Vulnerable Epoché" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 206)

Epistemological skepticism, from Descartes’ evil genius to contemporary brains in a vat, is often pursued independently of ethical consideration. This is contrary to the ancient skeptics who pursued such questions for the sake of the good. The object of this paper will be to revive the ethical burden of skepticism. Using experiences of vulnerability as my starting point, I will explore how Sextus Empiricus and Edmund Husserl employ the epoché in response to these experiences and therein, I will make a case for 1) an ethical skepticism and, 2) for the ethical­epistemic points of access burgeoned vis­à­vis the phenomenological epoché.

Rothenfluch, Sruthi, "A Defense of Virtue Responsibilism" (Paper Session #1, Warner 22)

Duncan Pritchard has recently argued that a certain brand of virtue epistemology, known as ‘virtue responsibilism’ cannot account for knowledge acquired through the use of tacit reasoning processes. I defend virtue responsiblism by showing that Pritchard’s charge is founded on a mischaracterization of the view. Contra Pritchard, responsibilists do not demand that agents have complete access to the grounds for their belief in order to know. A closer examination of prominent accounts of virtue responsiblism, including Zagzebski’s and Hookway’s, reveals that the accessibility requirement is much weaker than Pritchard presumes. Zagzebski maintains that it is only intellectually virtuous motivations, which drive the agent to adopt truth-conducive procedures and habits, that must be accessible, rendering the agent responsible for her belief. Hookway further writes that agents may display virtue not by actively monitoring or accessing each step of her deliberation, but by allowing deeply embedded intellectual traits to tacitly guide or shape her process of inquiry. I conclude therefore that virtue responsibilists can accommodate knowledge acquired through non-reflectively accessible cognitive operations.

Rottschaefer, William, "Ditching Moral Responsibility" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 213)

In his Against Moral Responsibility Bruce Waller argues that the moral responsibility system can and ought to be abandoned and that it be replaced with a take-charge responsibility system. Taking the perspective of a friendly critic who embraces Waller’s scientific naturalism, I argue that Waller has failed to establish his argument against moral responsibility.

Saint, Michelle, "Storytelling Is a Form of Care" (Paper Session #3, Marsh LL5)

I begin with the question, what sort of relationship holds between a storyteller and her listener while engaged in the social activity of storytelling? The answer I provide is that it is a relationship of care. By analyzing particular cases of storytelling, I show that the interaction between a storyteller and her listener fits a model of care. I start with what I take as a paradigmatic case, that of a mother telling stories to her child. I then move to what I take to be the most challenging case for my claim, an author writing a novel that will be read years later. Lastly, I consider an assortment of objections.

Sampson, Eric and Jesse Steinberg, "A Modal Argument for Moral Realism" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 206)

We offer a modal argument for the conclusion that there is at least one moral truth. The argument is simple: On one common conception of morality, some putative moral truths are such that, if they are true, then they are necessarily true. Since at least one of these putative moral truths is possibly true—that is, there is a world at which at least one of these putative moral truths is true—at least one of these putative moral truths is necessarily true. So, at least one of these putative moral truths is actually true. Thus, there is at least one moral truth. After answering a host of objections, we show how the conclusion of our modal argument can serve as the foundation for an argument for moral realism (or something in the neighborhood).

Schultz, Evan, "Poetic and Political Pleasures in Plato's Republic" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 207)

I use Plato’s political views from Book VIII of the Republic to support the claim that Plato’s primary concern in Book X’s critique of poetry is the perilousness of pleasure (when it is valued for its own sake). Accordingly, I argue that Plato specifically identifies the corrosive nature of pleasure both in the city’s transition from an oligarchic to a democratic constitution, and in the damage to a soul via the effects of poetry. Since Plato recognizes pleasure as a central catalyst in both forms of degeneration, I claim that the fall of the city in Book VIII serves as a model that can assist in understanding the significance of what Plato suggests can happen to those influenced by poetry in Book X.

Shannon, Daniel E., "Nietzsche's Eternal Return of the Same: Its Antecedents and Consequences" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 207)

Many commentators contend that Nietzsche teaches the eternal return of the same and also proposes an edification philosophy that promotes the cause of ‘higher individuals’ to change the dispositions and moral values of humankind. This paper contends that the two doctrines are inconsistent. It looks to Nietzsche’s treatment of ‘eternal return’ in the Gay Science, and how this teaching appears in his analysis of antecedent philosophies. The paper attempts to show that Nietzsche accepts from Epicureanism that matter is always the same but that different configurations of it are nonetheless possible. He doubts that the ‘same’ repeats ad nauseum. This is a position proposed by David Hume in his revival of Academic Skepticism and endorsement of ‘common sense’ moral values. Nietzsche rejects this position. Only a return to Epicureanism opens the path for ‘higher spirits’ to move forward into the modern era.

Shea IV, George W., "Foucault and the Possibility of Anti-Foundationalist Critique" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 201)

The place of normative principles as a basis for critique in anti-foundationalist critical social theory has been intensely debated since the rise of post-structuralism and is still currently contested amongst thinkers such as Charles Taylor (1984), Thomas McCarthy (1990), Amy Allen (2003), and Paul Rekret (2013). While detractors criticize anti-foundationalism as an absurd relativism and as generating a political impasse, they fail to examine anti-foundationalism from the perspective of the set of problematics with which it is engaged, which ultimately obscures the very objectives and advantages of anti-foundationalism. Particularly, such critics fail to take seriously Foucault’s insistence on employing a genealogical, as opposed to metaphysical, approach to history. So as to highlight its advantages, this paper situates Foucault’s anti-foundationalist conception of critique, “the art of voluntary insubordination,” within the context of his claim that the “politics of truth” is the locus of political activity. Specifically, I argue that because Foucault claims discourses of truth induce effects of normalization on subjects, and are thereby a form of exclusion and domination, he therefore refuses to employ a normative principle as a basis for critique, which, as another discourse of truth, would only induce new forms of normalization. Instead, Foucault aims political resistance at “the politics of truth,” the very apparatus of the production of truth that induces effects of power. Thus, critique, as political refusal, focuses on altering the conditions of the production of truth that normalize and exclude subjects. In the end, this paper, by closely examining Foucault’s conception of critique, demonstrates that his anti-foundationalism is ultimately an advantageous strategy for altering practices of coercion and domination, which simultaneously evades reintroducing those practices itself.

Slagle, Jim, "On the Compatibalism of Evolution with Theism" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 207)

It is often held that evolution is incompatible with the theistic doctrine that God had a hand in the creation of various forms of life and human beings. In this paper I explore three avenues this incompatibility might take. First, the randomness of evolution is strictly incompatible with the claim that God was somehow involved. Second, the sufficiency of natural processes to account for the effect renders any appeal to God gratuitous. Third, naturalism is, in effect, the default position, and we should not posit God unless it is necessary. I argue that none of these objections can be maintained, and that evolution is compatible with the theistic doctrine of creation.

Southworth, McKenzie Judith, Samantha Park Alibrando, J.M. Fritzman, and Sarah Marchland Lomas, "Hegel and Language, According to Vernon, McCumber, and Forster" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 213)

We read Hegel on language through critiques of the interpretations given by Jim Vernon, John McCumber, and Michael N. Forster.

Spencer, Albert, "A Somaesthetic, and More Pragmatic, Reading of Plato's Dialogues" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 207)

In Body Consciousness, Richard Shusterman presents somaesthetics as a pragmatic reconstruction of the body and art as means of philosophical inquiry. He rightfully claims that the body and art have been at best neglected and at worst denigrated throughout the history of Western philosophy and develops a compelling critical framework by combining various Eastern philosophies with 20th Century philosophers who emphasized the importance of the body and art, specifically John Dewey. Shusterman blames Plato for the bias that "the body distracts us from reality" is "dangerous politically" and "appeals to the baser parts of the soul" (4 & 114). While this interpretation coheres with our received view of Plato's philosophy, not all readers share Shusterman's interpretation. Louis A. Ruprecht, Jr. contends that Plato's most infamous comments on body and art should not be interpreted literally because of Plato's emphasis on the importance of eros to philosophy. Gary Alan Scott argues that Plato's choice of the genera of dialogue further complicates how we should interpret Plato's "arguments," specifically about art. Most importantly, Dewey had a deep affinity for Plato and claimed that "Nothing could be more helpful to present philosophizing than a 'Back to Plato' movement" (LW.5.154). Furthermore, comments in the recently rediscovered manuscript Unmodern Philosophy & Modern Philosophy (2012) as well as scattered throughout his corpus suggest that Dewey sees the divorce between body and soul as occurring, not with Plato, but later during the Hellenistic period. Thus, attending to Plato's use of the artistic genera of the dialogues to dramatize philosophy by embodying the practice of philosophy reveals how the body and art have always been central to the "love of wisdom" and allows for a somaesthetic, and more pragmatic, reading of the dialogues.

Spring, Jeffrey, "David Miller's Nationalist Account of Global Justice" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 106)

David Miller’s significant theoretical work constitutes one of the leading rights-based theories of global justice. To properly clarify and assess the central role he assigns to human rights, however, it is necessary to situate this aspect of his work within his comprehensive writings on justice including his anti-cosmopolitanism, his defense of sufficiency not equality as what global justice demands, and his ethics of nationality. His position on each of these substantive issues directly informs his rights- based approach. In the following paper I critically survey David Miller’s nationalist account of global justice, focusing especially on his rights-based approach. Miller’s otherwise compelling account of human rights as setting the global minimum is in tension with his liberal nationalism. He assumes national boundaries signify morally appropriate lines according to which individuals assign loyalties, stake out identities, and determine obligations of justice. For Miller, while some of these obligations cross-national and state boundaries, such boundaries constitute the lens through which obligations of global justice are determined. I argue that Miller’s nationalism unduly restricts theory of global justice.

St. Clare, Kameron, "Happiness as Resistance: Moral Obligations of the Oppressed" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 213)

This paper seeks to address the moral obligations of certain oppressed persons. In it, I argue that while the victims of oppression do have a moral duty to resist their oppressors, in some cases the obligation is met by achieving a state of happiness – that happiness is itself a form of resistance. Furthermore, it discusses some of the objections which may be levied against the main position defended in this paper.

Steinberg, Jesse and Eric Sampson, "A Modal Argument for Moral Realism" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 206)

We offer a modal argument for the conclusion that there is at least one moral truth. The argument is simple: On one common conception of morality, some putative moral truths are such that, if they are true, then they are necessarily true. Since at least one of these putative moral truths is possibly true—that is, there is a world at which at least one of these putative moral truths is true—at least one of these putative moral truths is necessarily true. So, at least one of these putative moral truths is actually true. Thus, there is at least one moral truth. After answering a host of objections, we show how the conclusion of our modal argument can serve as the foundation for an argument for moral realism (or something in the neighborhood).

Stotts, Megan Henricks, "Alternatives, Recalcitrance, and Linguistic Conventions" (Paper Session #1, Marsh LL5)

Ruth Garrett Millikan argues that linguistic conventions are patterns of activity that are reproduced due to weight of precedent. Unpacking what she says about weight of precedent reveals that when there is a superior alternative to a conventional pattern of activity, Millikan requires that the conventional behavior be recalcitrant in the sense that the participants would not switch to the superior alternative if they found out about it. I argue that this recalcitrance requirement is vulnerable to counterexamples, and that it creates major difficulties for a theorist who wants to be able to determine whether someone’s behavior is conventional. Furthermore, the only positive consideration in favor of the recalcitrance requirement seems to be that it makes conventions stable, and I argue that stability should not be written into the definition of a convention. I conclude that the recalcitrance requirement should not be part of the correct account of linguistic conventions.

Sumpter, Sami, "Elective and Non-Elective Poverty: Comparative Reltionships to Debt and Agency" (Paper Session #3, Warner 22)

In this paper, I strive to more closely understand the relationship between poverty and the moral issues of debt and agency. To do so, I have differentiated two poverty-based phenomena, which I term elective and non-elective poverty, which I examine from both religious and secular philosophical perspectives. Most broadly, the distinction between these two types of poverty works as follows: Elective poverty is the kind that occurs when one takes a vow of poverty or asceticism; non-elective poverty is the kind that occurs when one does not have sufficient money to afford basic necessities. In particular, I am interested in how each of these types of poverty differs in their relationships to debt and the ensuing implications for individual agency. Ultimately, I will use this examination to conclude that the distinction between elective and non-elective poverty provides justification for broader social efforts to reduce non-elective poverty.

Tebben, Nicholas, "Deontology and Freedom of Belief: A Reply to Steup" (Paper Session #3, Warner 28)

Matthias Steup has recently developed a compatibilist account of freedom of belief. He argues that beliefs with “good” causal histories, paradigmatically those that are directly shaped by our evidence, are freely undertaken, whereas those with “bad” causal histories, for example, those reflecting blatant irrationality, are not. Now, the reason that freedom of belief is important, if it is, is that only actions that are undertaken freely are subject to deontic evaluation, and the most prominent strain in epistemic theorizing understands epistemic justification in deontic terms. I argue that the compatibilist account of doxastic freedom, at least as developed by Steup, does not allow for the deontic evaluation of beliefs. Valid deontic standards are such that both compliance with, and violation of, those standards is possible. But compatibilist accounts of doxastic freedom leave no room for violation of deontic standards: every belief that we would classify as unjustified has a “bad” causal history, and so is, by Steup’s standards, unfree.

Timmerman, Travis and Yishai Cohen, "Dual Obligations Hybridism" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 213)

Actualism holds that true counterfactuals of freedom concerning what a subject S would freely do in the possible future can partly determine S’s present moral obligations. Possibilism rejects this. We offer a novel view to the actualism/possibilism debate: Dual Obligations Hybridism (DOH). Accordingly, there are two kinds of moral obligations. One obligation is a function of what you should do given what your moral character would have been if you had always done the right thing in the past. The other is a function of what you should do given your actual moral character. First, we highlight three critical difficulties in the actualism/possibilism debate. Second, we articulate DOH, and subsequently show how DOH is immune from all three difficulties. Third, we offer a counterpart to DOH according to which there is only one kind of moral obligation, but there are still two kinds of relevant ‘oughts’.

Tse, Pierson, "Species Egalitarianism and Respect for Nature" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 101)

Species egalitarianism is the view that all living things have equal moral standing, and thus command equal respect. There is considerable debate over whether or not species egalitarianism is true. I argue that the truth of the matter is not something that can be proven empirically. However, since respect for nature requires the belief in species egalitarianism, I argue that one should support species egalitarianism. I comment on possible objections to my view and maintain that if long-term sustainability is our desired goal, the only way to reach it is to adopt belief in species egalitarianism.

Varela, José Edgar González, "Modal Anti-Realism Revitalized" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 206)

In a previous paper we outlined a fully integrated theory of the cognitive role of belief in absolute necessity (box-belief). Here we advertise the potential of this theory to revitalize a particular kind of cognitivist anti-realistic conceptions of necessity: the class of anti-realistic positions that are knowledge-embracing. Among such anti-realistic positions, the characteristic views of the intended class are: that some of our box beliefs are both warranted and true, and that this makes for box-knowledge. In particular, we contend (on the basis of our theory of cognitive role) that knowledge-embracing anti-realism about necessity, properly construed, is underpinned exhaustively by anti-realism about logical consequence and/or content: it is necessary and sufficient to be (such) an anti-realist about necessity that one should be anti-realistic about either logical consequence or content.

Vincent, Sarah, "On the Myth of the Mental (Illness)" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 212)

Thomas Szasz is a well-known anti-realist about mental illness. With new research indicating that as much as 25% of the population has been diagnosed with a mental illness, there is perhaps good reason to take the challenge implicit in Szasz and be critical about our concept “mental illness.” In this paper, I will sketch Szasz’s two most provocative papers, detailing his reasons for arguing that mental illness does in fact not exist. I will proceed to highlight both where I think Szasz’s argument is productive and where I think it is both empirically and philosophically dubious. I will, however, conclude that his argument is best left behind, as an antiquated take on a burgeoning field of medicine. But to avoid stopping short, I will propose what I think is a more promising alternative to Szasz’s view that there is a myth around mental illness that still takes seriously some of his concerns. There is a myth indeed, but it surrounds the “mental” rather than the “illness.” With new developments in embodied cognition, I will ask us to revisit the question of mental illness from this perspective, to correctly diagnose the problematic myth that must be confronted by the psychiatric community, and to explore what the myth of the mental means for mental illness.

Waller, Sara, "Animal Consciousness, Non-Propositional Thought, and Zen Buddhism" (Paper Session #3, Marsh 101)

Mental states that are free of beliefs and desires are intrinsic to the illuminated trance prescribed by Zen Buddhist practice. Meditators strive to minimize thoughts, expectations and emotions, and attachment to them. Koans serve to end analytic thought by presenting unsolvable puzzles. Experimental evidence suggests that (many) non-human animals experience beliefs and desires that are non-propositional. Are these animals technically closer to satori than humans because they are free of the tangles of language, or are their desires even more pressing? This paper explores the role of language in chaining us to, or freeing us from, attachment to beliefs and desires.

Walsh, Kate Padget, "Toward an Ethics of Debt" (Paper Session #2, Marsh 214)

The 2008 mortgage crisis has brought to light many ethically questionable lending and borrowing practices. As we continue to learn about what caused this crisis, it has become urgent that we think more carefully about conditions under which can loans be ethically offered and accepted, but also about when is might be morally permissible to default on debt. I examine two standard philosophical approaches to assessing the ethics of debt and default. Both approaches, I argue, are impoverished because they focus only on individual borrowers and lenders. Both approaches thus overlook the real importance of broader social and economic factors that directly caused the crisis. Only by taking a wider view of the matter can we fully understand the moral dimensions of debt and default today.

Walsh, Ryan, "A Hard Problem for Schroeder's Analysis of Perceptual Knowledge" (Paper Session #1, Marsh 212)

Recently Mark Schroeder has offered an analysis of knowledge that is in the tradition of so-called defeasibility analyses of knowledge. On his view knowledge is a matter of believing on the basis of epistemic reasons which are both subjectively and objectively good enough. Here I show that Schroeder’s Analysis implies that agents know too much – it implies that they have perceptual knowledge when, intuitively, they have been Gettiered. I also note that there is a widely held view that would solve this problem, but that Schroeder cannot adopt it. Finally, I suggest that the problem spreads beyond perceptual knowledge to the cases of memory knowledge, introspective knowledge, and others beside.

Warner, Robert and Ray Jennings, "Humean Causation in Medical Diagnosis" (Paper Session #2, Warner 22)

We argue that for the purposes of diagnostic reasoning at any rate, Hume got some important matters more or less right. He had suggested the right language: that of the biconditional on the one hand, and that of statistical probability on the other. He merely lacked the empirical information and the mathematical instruments to have progressed much further than he did. But we can applaud his larger instincts . In Hume’s general conception, we can discern plausible lines for an understanding of medical diagnosis, which requires non-symmetric functional dependence with bi-directional inferrability. For example, acute myocardial infarction causes changes in the electrocardiogram (ECG), but the converse is obviously not true. However, in general, the presence of acute MI makes it likely that certain ECG changes will be present and the observation of those ECG changes permits the inference that it is likely that an acute MI has occurred. The ontology of a diagnostic theory is determined not only by the underlying physiology, but also by those combined requirements. The language of a diagnostic theory will therefore sometimes enlist arithmetic and statistical functions to define the objects of its hypothesised causal relationships. Parameters such as sensitivity, specificity and positive and negative likelihood ratios exhibited by diagnostic tests exemplify quantitative expressions of the likelihood that diseases of interest are either present or absent, respectively, in the subjects to whom the tests have been applied.

Welty, Ivan, "Moral Agency in Augustine and Kant" (Paper Session #4, Marsh LL5)

R. J. O'Connell long ago observed a "Kantian tone" in Augustine's conception of eternal law in the first book of De libero arbitrio. In this paper I show that the resemblance extends to Augustine's entire account of moral agency, and also indicate some significant differences.

Wiitala, Michael Oliver, "The Forms and Explanatory Priority in Plato's Euthyphro" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 207)

Throughout his dialogues, Plato repeatedly has his protagonists claim that if there were no forms, meaningful discourse would be impossible. Meaningful discourse necessarily presupposes that it is possible to define things accurately and to explain why things are the way they are. And the structure of explanation, according to Plato, presupposes the forms. This paper considers the way in which Plato presents the structure of explanation in the Euthyphro. I contend that Plato articulates that structure in terms of what I call “priority in explanation,” during Socrates’ argument against Euthyphro’s second definition of piety as “what all the gods love.” Furthermore, I suggest that Plato articulates priority in explanation in the theory of forms as it is variously expressed throughout the dialogues.

Wilburn, Ron, "The Prussian and the Hawk" (Paper Session #3, Marsh LL21)

I argue herein against the common belief that Kantian-style moral theory is necessarily hostile to the ends of enlightened environmentalism. My argument: Kantians can acknowledge our obligations toward nature once they recognize the value that ecological aesthetics has as a proving ground for moral judgment. Treating this as an empirical claim, I supplement it with Maurice Mendaum’s notion of “fittingness” and purport to test it via appeal to the phenomenological expertise of some of the best nature writing of the 20th century. What emerges is a broadly Kantian defense of ecologically responsible action that supplements others which have appeared more commonly in the literature.

Winterbottom, Jon, "Inherited Duties and Reparations: Reconsidering the Chain-Harm Argument" (Paper Session #4, Marsh 106)

A recent strategy to defend reparations claims for historical injustices against the non-identity problem proposes that there is an intergenerational chain connecting harms suffered by original victims of historical injustices with harms to their currently existing descendents. This chain-harm argument depends upon the idea that the wrongdoer’s failure to compensate the original victim (or subsequent victims) causes harm to the child of the victim, harm for which the wrongdoer is taken to owe (further) compensation. Unfortunately, current defenses of the strategy fail adequately to defend the idea that the harm the child suffers is wrongful and hence that that the wrongdoer owes the child compensation. In this paper I attempt to remedy this defect by appealing to the idea that under certain circumstances wrongdoers inherit duties toward third parties. In particular, I argue that the wrongdoer’s failure to compensate the original victim likely prevents the victim from fulfilling her parental duty and, as such, the wrongdoer inherits this duty. Under such circumstances, the wrongdoer’s failure to compensate the original victim therefore also constitutes a harmful breach of an inherited duty that the wrongdoer owes the victim’s child, and hence it constitutes a wrongful harm to the child. My approach also avoids a distinct problem for the chain-harm argument raised by one of its original proponents, George Sher.

Yudanin, Michael, "Mathematical Knowledge as a Challenge to the Materialism of Self-Reference" (Paper Session #1, Warner 5)

If we are to derive self-consciousness from self-reference, as Sebastian Rödl does in his book "Self-consciousness," the only basis for arguing for the materiality of the self would be establishing the material nature of self-reference. This can be done by demonstrating that the ways of knowing on which self-reference relies necessarily have material components. If, however, we can find a way of knowing that can underlie self-reference yet is not material, the materiality of the self on this account will become problematic. Mathematical knowledge seems to be such a case: it enables self-reference perfectly well without being essentially material. The paper evaluates the arguments for the materiality of mathematical knowledge and concludes that it can be seen as non-material in the sense that Rödl’s materialism requires, despite being a way of knowledge that enables self-reference.

Zwick, Martin, "Is the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature False?" (Paper Session #3, Marsh LL21)

This paper assesses the main argument of Thomas Nagel’s recent book, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. The paper agrees with Nagel that, as an approach to the relation between mind and matter and the mystery of subjective experience, neutral monism is more likely to be true than either materialism or idealism. It disagrees with Nagel by favoring a version of neutral monism based on emergence rather than on a reductive pan-psychism. However, the paper invokes a reductive view when applied to information (as opposed to psyche), and posits a hierarchy of types of information that span the domains of matter, life, and mind. Subjective experience is emergent, but also continuous with informational phenomena at lower levels.

 

Conference Contact Info

Address:
David Boersema
Department of Philosophy,2043 College Way
Pacific University,Forest Grove OR 97116
Phone:
503-352-2150
Fax: 503-352-2775
Email: boersema@pacificu.edu