Results for 'William A. Roche'

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  1. A Weaker Condition for Transitivity in Probabilistic Support.William A. Roche - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):111-118.
    Probabilistic support is not transitive. There are cases in which x probabilistically supports y , i.e., Pr( y | x ) > Pr( y ), y , in turn, probabilistically supports z , and yet it is not the case that x probabilistically supports z . Tomoji Shogenji, though, establishes a condition for transitivity in probabilistic support, that is, a condition such that, for any x , y , and z , if Pr( y | x ) > Pr( y (...)
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  2. A Reply to Cling’s “The Epistemic Regress Problem”.William A. Roche - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (2):263-276.
    Andrew Cling presents a new version of the epistemic regress problem, and argues that intuitionist foundationalism, social contextualism, holistic coherentism, and infinitism fail to solve it. Cling’s discussion is quite instructive, and deserving of careful consideration. But, I argue, Cling’s discussion is not in all respects decisive. I argue that Cling’s dilemma argument against holistic coherentism fails.
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  3. Can A Coherentist Be An Externalist?William A. Roche - 2006 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):269-280.
    It is standard practice, when distinguishing between the foundationalist and the coherentist, to construe the coherentist as an internalist. The coherentist, the construal goes, says that justification is solely a matter of coherence, and that coherence, in turn, is solely a matter of internal relations between beliefs. The coherentist, so construed, is an internalist (in the sense I have in mind) in that the coherentist, so construed, says that whether a belief is justified hinges solely on what the subject is (...)
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  4. Coherentism, Truth, and Witness Agreement.William A. Roche - 2010 - Acta Analytica 25 (2):243-257.
    Coherentists on epistemic justification claim that all justification is inferential, and that beliefs, when justified, get their justification together (not in isolation) as members of a coherent belief system. Some recent work in formal epistemology shows that “individual credibility” is needed for “witness agreement” to increase the probability of truth and generate a high probability of truth. It can seem that, from this result in formal epistemology, it follows that coherentist justification is not truth-conducive, that it is not the case (...)
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  5. Is Explanatoriness a Guide to Confirmation? A Reply to Climenhaga.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):581-590.
    We argued that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in the following sense: Let H be a hypothesis, O an observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then our claim is that Pr = Pr. We defended this screening-off thesis by discussing an example concerning smoking and cancer. Climenhaga argues that SOT is mistaken because it delivers the wrong verdict about a slightly different smoking-and-cancer case. He also considers a variant of SOT, called (...)
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  6. Explanatoriness and Evidence: A Reply to McCain and Poston.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):193-199.
    We argue elsewhere that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant . Let H be some hypothesis, O some observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then O screens-off E from H: Pr = Pr. This thesis, hereafter “SOT” , is defended by appeal to a representative case. The case concerns smoking and lung cancer. McCain and Poston grant that SOT holds in cases, like our case concerning smoking and lung cancer, that involve frequency (...)
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  7.  65
    Confirmation, Increase in Probability, and Partial Discrimination: A Reply to Zalabardo.William Roche - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (1):1-7.
    There is a plethora of confirmation measures in the literature. Zalabardo considers four such measures: PD, PR, LD, and LR. He argues for LR and against each of PD, PR, and LD. First, he argues that PR is the better of the two probability measures. Next, he argues that LR is the better of the two likelihood measures. Finally, he argues that LR is superior to PR. I set aside LD and focus on the trio of PD, PR, and LR. (...)
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  8. A Condition for Transitivity in High Probability.William Roche - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3):435-444.
    There are many scientific and everyday cases where each of Pr and Pr is high and it seems that Pr is high. But high probability is not transitive and so it might be in such cases that each of Pr and Pr is high and in fact Pr is not high. There is no issue in the special case where the following condition, which I call “C1”, holds: H 1 entails H 2. This condition is sufficient for transitivity in high (...)
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  9. Coherence and Probability: A Probabilistic Account of Coherence.Roche William - 2013 - In M. Araszkiewicz & J. Savelka (eds.), Coherence: Insights from philosophy, jurisprudence and artificial intelligence. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 59-91.
    I develop a probabilistic account of coherence, and argue that at least in certain respects it is preferable to (at least some of) the main extant probabilistic accounts of coherence: (i) Igor Douven and Wouter Meijs’s account, (ii) Branden Fitelson’s account, (iii) Erik Olsson’s account, and (iv) Tomoji Shogenji’s account. Further, I relate the account to an important, but little discussed, problem for standard varieties of coherentism, viz., the “Problem of Justified Inconsistent Beliefs.”.
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  10.  81
    A Note on Confirmation and Matthew Properties.Roche William - 2014 - Logic and Philosophy of Science 12:91-101.
    There are numerous (Bayesian) confirmation measures in the literature. Festa provides a formal characterization of a certain class of such measures. He calls the members of this class “incremental measures”. Festa then introduces six rather interesting properties called “Matthew properties” and puts forward two theses, hereafter “T1” and “T2”, concerning which of the various extant incremental measures have which of the various Matthew properties. Festa’s discussion is potentially helpful with the problem of measure sensitivity. I argue, that, while Festa’s discussion (...)
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  11. Is There a Place in Bayesian Confirmation Theory for the Reverse Matthew Effect?William Roche - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1631-1648.
    Bayesian confirmation theory is rife with confirmation measures. Many of them differ from each other in important respects. It turns out, though, that all the standard confirmation measures in the literature run counter to the so-called “Reverse Matthew Effect” (“RME” for short). Suppose, to illustrate, that H1 and H2 are equally successful in predicting E in that p(E | H1)/p(E) = p(E | H2)/p(E) > 1. Suppose, further, that initially H1 is less probable than H2 in that p(H1) < p(H2). (...)
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  12. Is Evidence of Evidence Evidence? Screening-Off Vs. No-Defeaters.Roche William - 2018 - Episteme 15 (4):451-462.
    I argue elsewhere (Roche 2014) that evidence of evidence is evidence under screening-off. Tal and Comesaña (2017) argue that my appeal to screening-off is subject to two objections. They then propose an evidence of evidence thesis involving the notion of a defeater. There is much to learn from their very careful discussion. I argue, though, that their objections fail and that their evidence of evidence thesis is open to counterexample.
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  13. Dwindling Confirmation.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (1):114-137.
    We show that as a chain of confirmation becomes longer, confirmation dwindles under screening-off. For example, if E confirms H1, H1 confirms H2, and H1 screens off E from H2, then the degree to which E confirms H2 is less than the degree to which E confirms H1. Although there are many measures of confirmation, our result holds on any measure that satisfies the Weak Law of Likelihood. We apply our result to testimony cases, relate it to the Data-Processing Inequality (...)
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  14. Confirmation, Transitivity, and Moore: The Screening-Off Approach.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (3):1-21.
    It is well known that the probabilistic relation of confirmation is not transitive in that even if E confirms H1 and H1 confirms H2, E may not confirm H2. In this paper we distinguish four senses of confirmation and examine additional conditions under which confirmation in different senses becomes transitive. We conduct this examination both in the general case where H1 confirms H2 and in the special case where H1 also logically entails H2. Based on these analyses, we argue that (...)
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  15. Dretske on Self-Knowledge and Contrastive Focus: How to Understand Dretske’s Theory, and Why It Matters.Michael Roche & William Roche - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (5):975-992.
    Dretske’s theory of self-knowledge is interesting but peculiar and can seem implausible. He denies that we can know by introspection that we have thoughts, feelings, and experiences. But he allows that we can know by introspection what we think, feel, and experience. We consider two puzzles. The first puzzle, PUZZLE 1, is interpretive. Is there a way of understanding Dretske’s theory on which the knowledge affirmed by its positive side is different than the knowledge denied by its negative side? The (...)
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  16. Evidence of Evidence is Evidence Under Screening-Off.William Roche - 2014 - Episteme 11 (1):119-124.
    An important question in the current debate on the epistemic significance of peer disagreement is whether evidence of evidence is evidence. Fitelson argues that, at least on some renderings of the thesis that evidence of evidence is evidence, there are cases where evidence of evidence is not evidence. I introduce a condition and show that under this condition evidence of evidence is evidence.
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  17. Transitivity and Intransitivity in Evidential Support: Some Further Results.William Roche - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (2):259-268.
    Igor Douven establishes several new intransitivity results concerning evidential support. I add to Douven’s very instructive discussion by establishing two further intransitivity results and a transitivity result.
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  18. Coherence, Probability and Explanation.William Roche & Michael Schippers - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (4):821-828.
    Recently there have been several attempts in formal epistemology to develop an adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. There is much to recommend probabilistic measures of coherence. They are quantitative and render formally precise a notion—coherence—notorious for its elusiveness. Further, some of them do very well, intuitively, on a variety of test cases. Siebel, however, argues that there can be no adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. Take some set of propositions A, some probabilistic measure of coherence, and a probability distribution such (...)
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  19. Evidential Support, Transitivity, and Screening-Off.William Roche - 2015 - Review of Symbolic Logic 8 (4):785-806.
    Is evidential support transitive? The answer is negative when evidential support is understood as confirmation so that X evidentially supports Y if and only if p(Y | X) > p(Y). I call evidential support so understood “support” (for short) and set out three alternative ways of understanding evidential support: support-t (support plus a sufficiently high probability), support-t* (support plus a substantial degree of support), and support-tt* (support plus both a sufficiently high probability and a substantial degree of support). I also (...)
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  20. Information and Inaccuracy.William Roche & Tomoji Shogenji - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (2):577-604.
    This article proposes a new interpretation of mutual information. We examine three extant interpretations of MI by reduction in doubt, by reduction in uncertainty, and by divergence. We argue that the first two are inconsistent with the epistemic value of information assumed in many applications of MI: the greater is the amount of information we acquire, the better is our epistemic position, other things being equal. The third interpretation is consistent with EVI, but it is faced with the problem of (...)
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  21. On the Truth-Conduciveness of Coherence.William Roche - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):647-665.
    I argue that coherence is truth-conducive in that coherence implies an increase in the probability of truth. Central to my argument is a certain principle for transitivity in probabilistic support. I then address a question concerning the truth-conduciveness of coherence as it relates to (something else I argue for) the truth-conduciveness of consistency, and consider how the truth-conduciveness of coherence bears on coherentist theories of justification.
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  22. Witness Agreement and the Truth-Conduciveness of Coherentist Justification.William Roche - 2012 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):151-169.
    Some recent work in formal epistemology shows that “witness agreement” by itself implies neither an increase in the probability of truth nor a high probability of truth—the witnesses need to have some “individual credibility.” It can seem that, from this formal epistemological result, it follows that coherentist justification (i.e., doxastic coherence) is not truth-conducive. I argue that this does not follow. Central to my argument is the thesis that, though coherentists deny that there can be noninferential justification, coherentists do not (...)
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  23. The Perils of Parsimony.William Roche - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (9):485-505.
    It is widely thought in philosophy and elsewhere that parsimony is a theoretical virtue in that if T1 is more parsimonious than T2, then T1 is preferable to T2, other things being equal. This thesis admits of many distinct precisifications. I focus on a relatively weak precisification on which preferability is a matter of probability, and argue that it is false. This is problematic for various alternative precisifications, and even for Inference to the Best Explanation as standardly understood.
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  24. Review of Declan Smithies and Daniel Stoljar’s (Eds.) Introspection and Consciousness (2012, Oxford University Press). [REVIEW]Michael Roche & William Roche - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly 66 (262):203-208.
    This is an excellent collection of essays on introspection and consciousness. There are fifteen essays in total (all new except for Sydney Shoemaker’s essay). There is also an introduction where the editors explain the impetus for the collection and provide a helpful overview. The essays contain a wealth of new and challenging material sure to excite specialists and shape future research. Below we extract a skeptical argument from Fred Dretske’s essay and relate the remaining essays to that argument. Due to (...)
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  25. Coherentism and Inconsistency.William Roche - 2011 - Southwest Philosophy Review 27 (1):185-193.
    If a subject’s belief system is inconsistent, does it follow that the subject’s beliefs (all of them) are unjustified? It seems not. But, coherentist theories of justification (at least some of them) imply otherwise, and so, it seems, are open to counterexample. This is the “Problem of Justified Inconsistent Beliefs”. I examine two main versions of the Problem of Justified Inconsistent Beliefs, and argue that coherentists can give at least a promising line of response to each of them.
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  26. Explanation = Unification? A New Criticism of Friedman’s Theory and a Reply to an Old One.Roche William & Sober Elliott - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):391-413.
    According to Michael Friedman’s theory of explanation, a law X explains laws Y1, Y2, …, Yn precisely when X unifies the Y’s, where unification is understood in terms of reducing the number of independently acceptable laws. Philip Kitcher criticized Friedman’s theory but did not analyze the concept of independent acceptability. Here we show that Kitcher’s objection can be met by modifying an element in Friedman’s account. In addition, we argue that there are serious objections to the use that Friedman makes (...)
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  27. Authority Without Privilege: How to Be a Dretskean Conciliatory Skeptic on Self-Knowledge.Michael Roche & William Roche - 2021 - Synthese 198 (2):1071-1087.
    Dretske is a “conciliatory skeptic” on self-knowledge. Take some subject S such that S thinks that P and S knows that she has thoughts. Dretske’s theory can be put as follows: S has a privileged way of knowing what she thinks, but she has no privileged way of knowing that she thinks it. There is much to be said on behalf of conciliatory skepticism and Dretske’s defense of it. We aim to show, however, that Dretske’s defense fails, in that if (...)
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  28. Confirmation, Increase in Probability, and the Likelihood Ratio Measure: A Reply to Glass and McCartney.William Roche - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (4):491-513.
    Bayesian confirmation theory is rife with confirmation measures. Zalabardo focuses on the probability difference measure, the probability ratio measure, the likelihood difference measure, and the likelihood ratio measure. He argues that the likelihood ratio measure is adequate, but each of the other three measures is not. He argues for this by setting out three adequacy conditions on confirmation measures and arguing in effect that all of them are met by the likelihood ratio measure but not by any of the other (...)
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  29.  78
    Review of Ted Poston's Reason and Explanation: A Defense of Explanatory Coherentism (2014, Palgrave Macmillan). [REVIEW]Roche William - 2015 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:1-7.
    Ted Poston's book Reason and Explanation: A Defense of Explanatory Coherentism is a book worthy of careful study. Poston develops and defends an explanationist theory of (epistemic) justification on which justification is a matter of explanatory coherence which in turn is a matter of conservativeness, explanatory power, and simplicity. He argues that his theory is consistent with Bayesianism. He argues, moreover, that his theory is needed as a supplement to Bayesianism. There are seven chapters. I provide a chapter-by-chapter summary along (...)
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  30.  90
    Hypotheses That Attribute False Beliefs: A Two‐Part Epistemology.William Roche & Elliott Sober - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Is there some general reason to expect organisms that have beliefs to have false beliefs? And after you observe that an organism occasionally occupies a given neural state that you think encodes a perceptual belief, how do you evaluate hypotheses about the semantic content that that state has, where some of those hypotheses attribute beliefs that are sometimes false while others attribute beliefs that are always true? To address the first of these questions, we discuss evolution by natural selection and (...)
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  31. Is Coherentism Inconsistent?Roche William - 2011 - Southwest Philosophical Studies 33:84-90.
    Can a perceptual experience justify (epistemically) a belief? More generally, can a nonbelief justify a belief? Coherentists answer in the negative: Only a belief can justify a belief. A perceptual experience can cause a belief but cannot justify a belief. Coherentists eschew all noninferential justification—justification independent of evidential support from beliefs—and, with it, the idea that justification has a foundation. Instead, justification is holistic in structure. Beliefs are justified together, not in isolation, as members of a coherent belief system. The (...)
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  32. Disjunction and Distality: The Hard Problem for Purely Probabilistic Causal Theories of Mental Content.William Roche - forthcoming - Synthese:1-34.
    The disjunction problem and the distality problem each presents a challenge that any theory of mental content must address. Here we consider their bearing on purely probabilistic causal (ppc) theories. In addition to considering these problems separately, we consider a third challenge – that a theory must solve both. We call this “the hard problem.” We consider 8 basic ppc theories along with 240 hybrids of them, and show that some can handle the disjunction problem and some can handle the (...)
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  33. Inference to the Best Explanation and the Screening-Off Challenge.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2019 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 38:121-142.
    We argue in Roche and Sober (2013) that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in that Pr(H | O&EXPL) = Pr(H | O), where H is a hypothesis, O is an observation, and EXPL is the proposition that if H and O were true, then H would explain O. This is a “screening-off” thesis. Here we clarify that thesis, reply to criticisms advanced by Lange (2017), consider alternative formulations of Inference to the Best Explanation, discuss a strengthened screening-off thesis, and consider (...)
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  34. Foundationalism with Infinite Regresses of Probabilistic Support.William Roche - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3899-3917.
    There is a long-standing debate in epistemology on the structure of justification. Some recent work in formal epistemology promises to shed some new light on that debate. I have in mind here some recent work by David Atkinson and Jeanne Peijnenburg, hereafter “A&P”, on infinite regresses of probabilistic support. A&P show that there are probability distributions defined over an infinite set of propositions {\ such that \ is probabilistically supported by \ for all i and \ has a high probability. (...)
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  35. Discrimination-Conduciveness and Observation Selection Effects.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19:1-26.
    We conceptualize observation selection effects (OSEs) by considering how a shift from one process of observation to another affects discrimination-conduciveness, by which we mean the degree to which possible observations discriminate between hypotheses, given the observation process at work. OSEs in this sense come in degrees and are causal, where the cause is the shift in process, and the effect is a change in degree of discrimination-conduciveness. We contrast our understanding of OSEs with others that have appeared in the literature. (...)
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  36. “Seeing Snakes: On Knowledge, Delusion and the Drug Experience.”.G. T. Roche - 2010 - In Dale Jacquette (ed.), Cannabis - Philosophy for Everyone: What were we just talking about? pp. 35-49.
    Advocates of psychedelic drugs argue that they can induce experiences that are of great spiritual and philosophical value, and that they have the potential to ‘expand consciousness.’ But can drugs, as William James (1842-1910), Aldous Huxley (1894- 1963), and Timothy Leary (1920- 1996) argue, allow us to see beyond the horizon of ordinary perception — that is, see things as they really are? To put the philosophical question more generally, can an artificial change (by the means of drugs, electrical (...)
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  37. Eternity, Boredom, and One’s Part-Whole-Reality Conception.William A. Lauinger - 2014 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 88 (1):1-28.
    Bernard Williams famously argued that eternal life is undesirable for a human because it would inevitably grow intolerably boring. I will argue against Williams and those who share his view. To make my case, I will provide an account of what staves off boredom in our current, earthly-mortal lives, and then I will draw on this account while advancing reasons for thinking that eternal life is desirable, given certain conditions. Though my response to Williams will partly overlap with some prior (...)
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  38. Ought We to Do What We Ought to Be Made to Do?William A. Edmundson - forthcoming - In Georgios Pavlakos Veronica Rodriguez-Blanco (ed.), Practical Normativity. Essays on Reasons and Intentions in Law and Practical Reason. Cambridge University Press.
    The late Jerry Cohen struggled to reconcile his egalitarian political principles with his personal style of life. His efforts were inconclusive, but instructive. This comment locates the core of Cohen’s discomfort in an abstract principle that connects what we morally ought to be compelled to do and what we have a duty to do anyway. The connection the principle states is more general and much tighter than Cohen and others, e.g. Thomas Nagel, have seen. Our principles of justice always put (...)
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  39. Observation: Theory-Laden, Theory-Neutral or Theory-Free?William A. Rottschaefer - 1976 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 14 (4):499-509.
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  40. Michael DePaul and William Ramsey, Eds., Rethinking Intuition: The Psychology of Intuition and its Role in Philosophical Inquiry. [REVIEW]William A. Martin - 2000 - Philosophy in Review 20 (2):96-98.
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  41. Getting It Together: Psychological Unity and Deflationary Accounts of Animal Metacognition.Gary Comstock & William A. Bauer - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (4):431-451.
    Experimenters claim some nonhuman mammals have metacognition. If correct, the results indicate some animal minds are more complex than ordinarily presumed. However, some philosophers argue for a deflationary reading of metacognition experiments, suggesting that the results can be explained in first-order terms. We agree with the deflationary interpretation of the data but we argue that the metacognition research forces the need to recognize a heretofore underappreciated feature in the theory of animal minds, which we call Unity. The disparate mental states (...)
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  42.  32
    Willard A. Young, Fallacies of Creationism Reviewed By.William A. Rottschaefer - 1986 - Philosophy in Review 6 (8):411-412.
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  43. The Role of Demonstration in Moral Theology.William A. Wallace - 1963 - Washington: Thomist Press.
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  44. Distributive Justice and Distributed Obligations.A. Edmundson William - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (1):1-19.
    _ Source: _Page Count 19 Collectivities can have obligations beyond the aggregate of pre-existing obligations of their members. Certain such collective obligations _distribute_, i.e., become members’ obligations to do their fair share. In _incremental good_ cases, i.e., those in which a member’s fair share would go part way toward fulfilling the collectivity’s obligation, each member has an unconditional obligation to contribute.States are involuntary collectivities that bear moral obligations. Certain states, _democratic legal states_, are collectivities whose obligations can distribute. Many existing (...)
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  45. The Property Question.William A. Edmundson - manuscript
    The “property question” is the constitutional question whether a society’s basic resources are to be publicly or privately owned; that is, whether these basic resources are to be available to private owners, perhaps subject to tax and regulation, or whether instead they are to be retained in joint public ownership, and managed by democratic processes. James Madison’s approach represents a case in which prior holdings are taken for granted, and the property question itself is kept off of the political agenda. (...)
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  46. Why Legal Theory is Political Philosophy.William A. Edmundson - 2013 - Legal Theory 19 (4):331-346.
    The concept of law is not a theorist's invention but one that people use every day. Thus one measure of the adequacy of a theory of law is its degree of fidelity to the concept as it is understood by those who use it. That means as far as possible. There are important truisms about the law that have an evaluative cast. The theorist has either to say what would make those evaluative truisms true or to defend her choice to (...)
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  47. Commentary Advantages and Disadvantages of Using the Brown and Perry Database.William A. Sodeman - 1995 - Business and Society 34 (2):216-221.
    Responds to the article by Brad Brown and Susan Perry in the August 1995 issue of `Business & Society' periodical on the measure of corporate social responsibility (CSP).
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  48. Social Investing: The Role of Corporate Social Performance in Investment Decisions.William A. Sodeman - 1994 - Business and Society 33 (2):222-223.
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  49.  62
    How to Make Naturalism Safe for Supernaturalism: An Evaluation of Willem Drees's Supernaturalistic Naturalism.William A. Rottschaefer - 2001 - Zygon 36 (3):407-453.
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  50.  52
    Robert Richards, Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior Reviewed By.William A. Rottschaefer - 1988 - Philosophy in Review 8 (7):285-287.
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