Results for 'Neil Sinclair'

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  1. Metaethics, Teleosemantics and the Function of Moral Judgements.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):639-662.
    This paper applies the theory of teleosemantics to the issue of moral content. Two versions of teleosemantics are distinguished: input-based and output-based. It is argued that applying either to the case of moral judgements generates the conclusion that such judgements have both descriptive (belief-like) and directive (desire-like) content, intimately entwined. This conclusion directly validates neither descriptivism nor expressivism, but the application of teleosemantics to moral content does leave the descriptivist with explanatory challenges which the expressivist does not face. Since teleosemantics (...)
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  2. Promotionalism, Motivationalism and Reasons to Perform Physically Impossible Actions.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):647-659.
    In this paper I grant the Humean premise that some reasons for action are grounded in the desires of the agents whose reasons they are. I then consider the question of the relation between the reasons and the desires that ground them. According to promotionalism , a desire that p grounds a reason to φ insofar as A’s φing helps promote p . According to motivationalism a desire that p grounds a reason to φ insofar as it explains why, in (...)
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  3. Expressivism and the Value of Truth.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):877-883.
    This paper is a reply to Michael Lynch's "Truth, Value and Epistemic Expressivism" in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research for 2009. It argues that Lynch's argument against expressivism fails because of an ambiguity in the employed notion of an 'epistemically disengaged standpoint'.
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  4. Reasons, Inescapability and Persuasion.Neil Sinclair - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2823-2844.
    This paper outlines a new metasemantic theory of moral reason statements, focused on explaining how the reasons thus stated can be inescapable. The motivation for the theory is in part that it can explain this and other phenomena concerning moral reasons. The account also suggests a general recipe for explanations of conceptual features of moral reason statements. (Published with Open Access.).
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  5. Moral Realism, Face-Values and Presumptions.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Analytic Philosophy 53 (2):158-179.
    Many philosophers argue that the face-value of moral practice provides presumptive support to moral realism. This paper analyses such arguments into three steps. (1) Moral practice has a certain face-value, (2) only realism can vindicate this face value, and (3) the face-value needs vindicating. Two potential problems with such arguments are discussed. The first is taking the relevant face-value to involve explicitly realist commitments; the second is underestimating the power of non-realist strategies to vindicate that face-value. Case studies of each (...)
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  6.  60
    Reasons Internalism and the Function of Normative Reasons.Neil Sinclair - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (2):209-229.
    What is the connection between reasons and motives? According to Reasons Internalism there is a non-trivial conceptual connection between normative reasons and the possibility of rationally accessing relevant motivation. Reasons Internalism is attractive insofar as it captures the thought that reasons are for reasoning with and repulsive insofar as it fails to generate sufficient critical distance between reasons and motives. Rather than directly adjudicate this dispute, I extract from it two generally accepted desiderata on theories of normative reasons and argue (...)
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  7. Moral Expressivism and Sentential Negation.Neil Sinclair - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (3):385-411.
    This paper advances three necessary conditions on a successful account of sentential negation. First, the ability to explain the constancy of sentential meaning across negated and unnegated contexts (the Fregean Condition). Second, the ability to explain why sentences and their negations are inconsistent, and inconsistent in virtue of the meaning of negation (the Semantic Condition). Third, the ability of the account to generalize regardless of the topic of the negated sentence (the Generality Condition). The paper discusses three accounts of negation (...)
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  8. The Moral Belief Problem.Neil Sinclair - 2006 - Ratio 19 (2):249–260.
    The moral belief problem is that of reconciling expressivism in ethics with both minimalism in the philosophy of language and the syntactic discipline of moral sentences. It is argued that the problem can be solved by distinguishing minimal and robust senses of belief, where a minimal belief is any state of mind expressed by sincere assertoric use of a syntactically disciplined sentence and a robust belief is a minimal belief with some additional property R. Two attempts to specify R are (...)
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  9. Conceptual Role Semantics and the Reference of Moral Concepts.Neil Sinclair - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy (1):95-121.
    This paper examines the prospects for a conceptual or functional role theory of moral concepts. It is argued that such an account is well-placed to explain both the irreducibility and practicality of moral concepts. Several versions of conceptual role semantics for moral concepts are distinguished, depending on whether the concept-constitutive conceptual roles are wide or narrow normative or non-normative and purely doxastic or conative. It is argued that the most plausible version of conceptual role semantics for moral concepts involves only (...)
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  10. Recent Work in Expressivism.Neil Sinclair - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):136-147.
    This paper is a concise survey of recent expressivist theories of discourse, focusing on the ethical case. For each topic discussed recent trends are summarised and suggestions for further reading provided. Issues covered include: the nature of the moral attitude; ‘hybrid’ views according to which moral judgements express both beliefs and attitudes; the quasi-realist programmes of Simon Blackburn and Allan Gibbard; the problem of creeping minimalism; the nature of the ‘expression’ relation; the Frege-Geach problem; the problem of wishful thinking; the (...)
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  11. Expressivist Explanations.Neil Sinclair - 2012 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 9 (2):147-177.
    In this paper I argue that the common practice of employing moral predicates as explaining phrases can be accommodated on an expressivist account of moral practice. This account does not treat moral explanations as in any way second-rate or derivative, since it subsumes moral explanations under the general theory of program explanations (as defended by Jackson and Pettit). It follows that the phenomenon of moral explanations cannot be used to adjudicate the debate between expressivism and its rivals.
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  12. Free Thinking for Expressivists.Neil Sinclair - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (2):263-287.
    This paper elaborates and defends an expressivist account of the claims of mind-independence embedded in ordinary moral thought. In response to objections from Zangwill and Jenkins it is argued that the expressivist 'internal reading' of such claims is compatible with their conceptual status and that the only 'external reading' available doesn't commit expressivisists to any sort of subjectivism. In the process a 'commitment-theoretic' account of the semantics of conditionals and negations is defended.
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  13. The Explanationist Argument for Moral Realism.Neil Sinclair - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):1-24.
    In this paper I argue that the explanationist argument in favour of moral realism fails. According to this argument, the ability of putative moral properties to feature in good explanations provides strong evidence for, or entails, the metaphysical claims of moral realism. Some have rejected this argument by denying that moral explanations are ever good explanations. My criticism is different. I argue that even if we accept that moral explanations are (sometimes) good explanations the metaphysical claims of realism do not (...)
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  14. On the Connection Between Normative Reasons and the Possibility of Acting for Those Reasons.Neil Sinclair - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (5):1211-1223.
    According to Bernard Williams, if it is true that A has a normative reason to Φ then it must be possible that A should Φ for that reason. This claim is important both because it restricts the range of reasons which agents can have and because it has been used as a premise in an argument for so-called ‘internalist’ theories of reasons. In this paper I rebut an apparent counterexamples to Williams’ claim: Schroeder’s example of Nate. I argue that this (...)
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  15. On Standing One's Ground.Neil Sinclair - 2014 - Analysis 74 (3):422-431.
    I provide a positive expressivist account of the permissibility of ‘standing one’s ground’ in some cases of moral conflict, based in part on an illustrative analogy with political disputes. This account suffices to undermine Enoch’s recent argument against expressivism.
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  16. Propositional Clothing and Belief.Neil Sinclair - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):342-362.
    Moral discourse is propositionally clothed, that is, it exhibits those features – such as the ability of its sentences to intelligibly embed in conditionals and other unasserted contexts – that have been taken by some philosophers to be constitutive of discourses that express propositions. If there is nothing more to a mental state being a belief than it being characteristically expressed by sentences that are propositionally clothed then the version of expressivism which accepts that moral discourse is propositionally clothed (‘quasi-realism’) (...)
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  17. Expressivism and the Practicality of Moral Convictions.Neil Sinclair - 2007 - Journal of Value Inquiry 41 (2-4):201-220.
    Many expressivists have employed a claim about the practicality of morality in support of their view that moral convictions are not purely descriptive mental states. In this paper I argue that all extant arguments of this form fail. I distinguish several versions of such arguments and argue that in each case either the sense of practicality the argument employs is too weak, in which case there is no reason to think that descriptive states cannot be practical or the sense of (...)
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  18. Two Kinds of Naturalism in Ethics.Neil Sinclair - 2006 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (4):417 - 439.
    What are the conditions on a successful naturalistic account of moral properties? In this paper I discuss one such condition: the possibility of moral concepts playing a role in good empirical theories on a par with those of the natural and social sciences. I argue that Peter Railton’s influential account of moral rightness fails to meet this condition, and thus is only viable in the hands of a naturalist who doesn’t insist on it. This conclusion generalises to all versions of (...)
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  19. Review: Kinds of Reasons – Maria Alvarez. [REVIEW]Neil Sinclair - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (245):873-875.
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  20. Review: Reasons From Within: Desires and Values – Alan H. Goldman. [REVIEW]Neil Sinclair - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (243):427-429.
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  21. A Distinction Between Science and Philosophy.N. Sinclair - 2011 - Essays in Philosophy 12 (2):241-252.
    Ever since Kant published his Critique of Pure Reason, most philosophers have taken the distinction between science and philosophy to depend upon the existence of a class of truths especially amenable to philosophical investigation. In recent times, Quine’s arguments against the analytic-synthetic distinction have cast doubt over the existence of such a class of special philosophical truths and consequently many now doubt that there is a sharp distinction between science and philosophy. In this paper, I present a perfectly sharp distinction (...)
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  22. Defending Moral Mind-Independence: The Expressivist's Precarious Turn.Lisa Warenski - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):861-69.
    A central feature of ordinary moral thought is that moral judgment is mind-independent in the following sense: judging something to be morally wrong does not thereby make it morally wrong. To deny this would be to accept a form of subjectivism. Neil Sinclair (2008) makes a novel attempt to show how expressivism is simultaneously committed to (1) an understanding of moral judgments as expressions of attitudes and (2) the rejection of subjectivism. In this paper, I discuss Sinclair’s (...)
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  23. We're All Folk: An Interview with Neil Levy About Experimental Philosophy and Conceptual Analysis.Neil Levy & Yasuko Kitano - 2011 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 19:87-98.
    The following is a transcript of the interview I (Yasuko Kitano) conducted with Neil Levy (The Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, CAPPE) on the 23rd in July 2009, while he was in Tokyo to give a series of lectures on neuroethics at The University of Tokyo Center for Philosophy. I edited his words for publication with his approval.
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  24. Ksenologia i ksenotopografia Bernharda Waldenfelsa wobec podstawowych założeń światotwórczych literatury fantastycznej (Orson Scott Card, Neil Gaiman, George R. R. Martin).Krzysztof M. Maj - 2014 - Hybris. Revista de Filosofía (27):072-095.
    XENOLOGY AND XENOTOPOGRAPHY OF BERNHARD WALDENFELS The paper strives to adapt Bernhard Waldenfels’ xenology and so called ‘xenotopography’ for the philosophico-literary studies in fantastic world-building with a special concern of the ‘portal-quest’ model of fantasy and SF. Following Waldenfel’s remarks on the nature of post- Husserlian diastasis of our world [Heimwelt] and otherworld [Fremdwelt] and acknowledging the consequences of allocating one’s attitude towards the otherness in the symbolical borderland [‘sphere of intermonde’] in between, it is examined whether such a model (...)
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  25. Précis of Neil Levy’s Consciousness and Moral Responsibility.Gregg Caruso - 2015 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 22 (7-8):7-15.
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  26.  27
    Milton Friedman: Economics in Theory and Practice, by Abraham Hirsch and Neil de Marchi, University of Michigan Press, 1990, VIII+325 Pages. [REVIEW]Philippe Mongin - 1992 - Economics and Philosophy 8 (1):183-191.
    A review of A. Hisch and N. de Marchi's thorough historical study on Milton Friedman's life-long work as an economist (and more specifically as a monetary economist) and as an economic methodologist (in his famous essay "The Methodology of Positive Economics".
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  27. Edward N. O'Neil.: Teles (The Cynic Teacher). (Society of Biblical Literature, Texts and Translations Number 11, Graeco-Roman Religion No. 3.) Pp. Xxv + 97. Missoula, Montana: Scholars Press, 1977. Paper. [REVIEW]John Glucker - 1980 - The Classical Review 30 (01):150-151.
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  28.  48
    Physicists in Conflict by Neil A. Porter. [REVIEW]Val Dusek - 2001 - Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 92:369-370.
    Review of work on several debates, including Galileo vs. the Church, Bohr vs Einstein, Hoyle vs. Big Bang theory, Oppenheimer vs. Teller, N-rays, magnetic monopoles.
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  29.  7
    Neil Spurway , Theology, Evolution and the Mind. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009.Aku Visala - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 4 (4):208-214.
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  30. On the Luck Objection to Libertarianism.David Widerker - 2015 - In Carlos Moya, Andrei Buckareff & Sergi Rosell (eds.), Agency, Freedom, and Moral Responsibility. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 94-115.
    Abstract -/- Libertarians typically believe that we are morally responsible for the choices (or decisions) we make only if those choices are free, and our choices are free only if they are neither caused nor nomically necessitated by antecedent events. Recently, there have been a number of attempts by philosophers to refute libertarianism by arguing that because a libertarianly free decision (choice) is both causally and nomically undetermined, which decision an agent makes in a deliberative situation is a matter of (...)
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  31. Against Harmony.Ian Rumfitt - forthcoming - In Bob Hale, Crispin Wright & Alexander Miller (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Blackwell.
    Many prominent writers on the philosophy of logic, including Michael Dummett, Dag Prawitz, Neil Tennant, have held that the introduction and elimination rules of a logical connective must be ‘in harmony ’ if the connective is to possess a sense. This Harmony Thesis has been used to justify the choice of logic: in particular, supposed violations of it by the classical rules for negation have been the basis for arguments for switching from classical to intuitionistic logic. The Thesis has (...)
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  32.  15
    Claim-Making and Parallel Universes: The Legal Pluralism of Church, State and Empire in Europe.Poul F. Kjaer - 2018 - In Gareth Davies & Matej Avbelj (eds.), Research Handbook on Legal Pluralism and EU Law. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. pp. 11 - 21.
    When Neil MacCormick, in the wake of the launch of the Maastricht Treaty on European Union, went “beyond the Sovereign State” in 1993, he fundamentally challenged the heretofore dominant paradigm of legal ordering in the European context which considered law to be singular, unified and confined within sovereign nation states. The original insight of MacCormick might, however, be pushed even further, as a historical re-construction reveals that legal pluralism is not only a trademark of recent historical times, marked by (...)
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  33.  54
    "Utilité de la théologie naturelle pour la connaissance de Dieu aujourd’hui" [Usefulness of Natural Theology for God's Knowledge Today].Philippe Gagnon - 2017 - Connaître : Cahiers de l'Association Foi Et Culture Scientifique (48):83-92.
    In this public debate with Philippe Deterre (research director in immunology at the CNRS) – held at l'Enclos Rey in Paris' 15th district during the biennial Conference of the Réseau Blaise Pascal in March 2017 –, I defended the usefulness of natural theology. I first clarify theology's nature and understanding, then I speak about a tradition that upheld the public and exterior knowledge of God, and make an effort to show the presence of a theme reminiscent of natural theology behind (...)
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  34. Book Review of Levy, N., "Consciousness and Moral Responsibility". [REVIEW]Travis Timmerman & Sean Clancy - 2015 - The Philosophers' Magazine 68 (1):109-111.
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  35. Gabriel Vacariu (AUGUST 2018 - 2014) The UNBELIEVABLE Similarities Between the Ideas of Some People (2011-2016) and My Ideas (2002-2008) in Physics (Quantum Mechanics, Cosmology), Cognitive Neuroscience, Philosophy of Mind, and Philosophy.Gabriel Vacariu - manuscript
    Some preliminary comments Introduction: The EDWs perspective in my article from 2005 and my book from 2008 -/- I. PHYSICS, COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY (‘REBORN DINOSAURS’ ) • (2016) Did Sean Carroll’s ideas (California Institute of Technology, USA) (within the wrong framework, the “universe”) plagiarize my ideas (2002-2010) (within the EDWs framework) on quantum mechanics, the relationship between Einstein relativity and quantum mechanics, life, the mind-brain problem, etc.? • (2016) The unbelievable similarities between Frank Wilczek’s ideas (Nobel Prize in Physics) and (...)
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  36. The Humean Theory of Motivation Reformulated and Defended.Neil Sinhababu - 2009 - Philosophical Review 118 (4):465-500.
    This essay defends a strong version of the Humean theory of motivation on which desire is necessary both for motivation and for reasoning that changes our desires. Those who hold that moral judgments are beliefs with intrinsic motivational force need to oppose this view, and many of them have proposed counterexamples to it. Using a novel account of desire, this essay handles the proposed counterexamples in a way that shows the superiority of the Humean theory. The essay addresses the classic (...)
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  37. The Desire‐Belief Account of Intention Explains Everything.Neil Sinhababu - 2013 - Noûs 47 (4):680-696.
    I argue that one intends that ϕ if one has a desire that ϕ and an appropriately related means-end belief. Opponents, including Setiya and Bratman, charge that this view can't explain three things. First, intentional action is accompanied by knowledge of what we are doing. Second, we can choose our reasons for action. Third, forming an intention settles a deliberative question about what to do, disposing us to cease deliberating about it. I show how the desire- belief view can explain (...)
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  38. The Factual Belief Fallacy.Neil Van Leeuwen - forthcoming - Contemporary Pragmatism (eds. T. Coleman & J. Jong).
    This paper explains a fallacy that often arises in theorizing about human minds. I call it the Factual Belief Fallacy. The Fallacy, roughly, involves drawing conclusions about human psychology that improperly ignore the large backgrounds of mostly accurate factual beliefs people have. The Factual Belief Fallacy has led to significant mistakes in both philosophy of mind and cognitive science of religion. Avoiding it helps us better see the difference between factual belief and religious credence; seeing that difference in turn enables (...)
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  39. Ethical Reductionism.Neil Sinhababu - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):32-52.
    Ethical reductionism is the best version of naturalistic moral realism. Reductionists regard moral properties as identical to properties appearing in successful scientific theories. Nonreductionists, including many of the Cornell Realists, argue that moral properties instead supervene on scientific properties without identity. I respond to two arguments for nonreductionism. First, nonreductionists argue that the multiple realizability of moral properties defeats reductionism. Multiple realizability can be addressed in ethics by identifying moral properties uniquely or disjunctively with properties of the special sciences. Second, (...)
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  40. In Defense of Partisanship.Neil Sinhababu - forthcoming - In David Killoren, Emily Crookston & Jonathan Trerise (eds.), Ethics in Politics: New Papers on the Rights and Obligations of Political Agents. Routledge.
    This essay explains why partisanship is justified in contemporary America and environments with similar voting systems and coalition structures. It explains how political parties operate, how helping a party succeed can be a goal of genuine ethical significance, and how trusting one party while mistrusting another can be a reliable route to true belief about important political issues.
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  41. Possible Girls.Neil Sinhababu - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2):254–260.
    I argue that if David Lewis’ modal realism is true, modal realists from different possible worlds can fall in love with each other. I offer a method for uniquely picking out possible people who are in love with us and not with our counterparts. Impossible lovers and trans-world love letters are considered. Anticipating objections, I argue that we can stand in the right kinds of relations to merely possible people to be in love with them and that ending a trans-world (...)
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  42. The Epistemic Argument for Hedonism.Neil Sinhababu - manuscript
    I defend hedonism about moral value by first presenting an argument for moral skepticism, and then showing that phenomenal introspection gives us a unique way to defeat the skeptical argument and establish pleasure's goodness.
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  43. Religious Credence is Not Factual Belief.Neil Van Leeuwen - 2014 - Cognition 133 (3):698-715.
    I argue that psychology and epistemology should posit distinct cognitive attitudes of religious credence and factual belief, which have different etiologies and different cognitive and behavioral effects. I support this claim by presenting a range of empirical evidence that religious cognitive attitudes tend to lack properties characteristic of factual belief, just as attitudes like hypothesis, fictional imagining, and assumption for the sake of argument generally lack such properties. Furthermore, religious credences have distinctive properties of their own. To summarize: factual beliefs (...)
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  44. Skepticism About Moral Responsibility.Gregg D. Caruso - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018):1-81.
    Skepticism about moral responsibility, or what is more commonly referred to as moral responsibility skepticism, refers to a family of views that all take seriously the possibility that human beings are never morally responsible for their actions in a particular but pervasive sense. This sense is typically set apart by the notion of basic desert and is defined in terms of the control in action needed for an agent to be truly deserving of blame and praise. Some moral responsibility skeptics (...)
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  45. Consciousness and Morality.Joshua Shepherd & Neil Levy - forthcoming - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford University Press.
    It is well known that the nature of consciousness is elusive, and that attempts to understand it generate problems in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, psychology, and neuroscience. Less appreciated are the important – even if still elusive – connections between consciousness and issues in ethics. In this chapter we consider three such connections. First, we consider the relevance of consciousness for questions surrounding an entity’s moral status. Second, we consider the relevance of consciousness for questions surrounding moral responsibility for action. (...)
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  46. The Backward Clock, Truth-Tracking, and Safety.John N. Williams & Neil Sinhababu - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (1):46-55.
    We present Backward Clock, an original counterexample to Robert Nozick’s truth-tracking analysis of propositional knowledge, which works differently from other putative counterexamples and avoids objections to which they are vulnerable. We then argue that four ways of analysing knowledge in terms of safety, including Duncan Pritchard’s, cannot withstand Backward Clock either.
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  47. Scalar Consequentialism the Right Way.Neil Sinhababu - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    The rightness and wrongness of actions fits on a continuous scale. This fits the way we evaluate actions chosen among a diverse range of options, even though English speakers don’t use the words “righter” and “wronger”. I outline and defend a version of scalar consequentialism, according to which rightness is a matter of degree, determined by how good the consequences are. Linguistic resources are available to let us truly describe actions simply as right. Some deontological theories face problems in accounting (...)
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  48. Distinguishing Belief and Imagination.Neil Sinhababu - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (2):152-165.
    Some philosophers (including Urmson, Humberstone, Shah, and Velleman) hold that believing that p distinctively involves applying a norm according to which the truth of p is a criterion for the success or correctness of the attitude. On this view, imagining and assuming differ from believing in that no such norm is applied. I argue against this view with counterexamples showing that applying the norm of truth is neither necessary nor sufficient for distinguishing believing from imagining and assuming. Then I argue (...)
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  49. Divine Fine-Tuning Vs. Electrons in Love.Neil Sinhababu - 2017 - American Philosophical Quarterly 54 (1).
    I present a novel objection to fine-tuning arguments for God's existence: the metaphysical possibility of different psychophysical laws allows any values of the physical constants to support intelligent life forms, like protons and electrons that are in love.
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  50.  33
    The Case Against Powers.Walter Ott - forthcoming - In Stathis Psillos, Benjamin Hill & Henrik Lagerlund (eds.), Causal Powers in Science: Blending Historical and Conceptual Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
    Powers ontologies are currently enjoying a resurgence. This would be dispiriting news for the moderns; in their eyes, to imbue bodies with powers is to slide back into the scholastic slime from which they helped philosophy crawl. I focus on Descartes’s ‘little souls’ argument, which points to a genuine and, I think persisting, defect in powers theories. The problem is that an Aristotelian power is intrinsic to whatever has it. Once this move is accepted, it becomes very hard to see (...)
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