Promises

Edited by Allen Habib (University of Calgary)
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  1. added 2020-06-07
    Nietzsche on the Origin of Conscience and Obligation.Avery Snelson - 2019 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 50 (2):310-331.
    The second essay of Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morality (GM) offers a naturalistic and developmental account of the emergence of conscience, a faculty uniquely responsive to remembering and honoring obligations. This article attempts to solve an interpretive puzzle that is invited by the second essay's explanation of nonmoral obligation, prior to the capacity to feel guilt. Ostensibly, Nietzsche argues that the conscience and our concept of obligation originated within contractual (“creditor-debtor”) relations, when creditors punished delinquent debtors (GM II:5). However, this interpretation, (...)
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  2. added 2020-04-20
    Moral Risk and Communicating Consent.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2019 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 47 (2):179-207.
    In addition to protecting agents’ autonomy, consent plays a crucial social role: it enables agents to secure partners in valuable interactions that would be prohibitively morally risk otherwise. To do this, consent must be observable: agents must be able to track the facts about whether they have received a consent-based permission. I argue that this morally justifies a consent-practice on which communicating that one consents is sufficient for consent, but also generates robust constraints on what sorts of behaviors can be (...)
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  3. added 2020-03-25
    Matters of Trust as Matters of Attachment Security.Andrew Kirton - forthcoming - International Journal of Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    I argue for an account of the vulnerability of trust, as a product of our need for secure social attachments to individuals and to a group. This account seeks to explain why it is true that, when we trust or distrust someone, we are susceptible to being betrayed by them, rather than merely disappointed or frustrated in our goals. What we are concerned about in matters of trust is, at the basic level, whether we matter, in a non-instrumental way, to (...)
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  4. added 2020-03-17
    Permissible Promise-Making Under Uncertainty.Alida Liberman - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (4):468-486.
    I outline four conditions on permissible promise-making: the promise must be for a morally permissible end, must not be deceptive, must be in good faith, and must involve a realistic assessment of oneself. I then address whether promises that you are uncertain you can keep can meet these four criteria, with a focus on campaign promises as an illustrative example. I argue that uncertain promises can meet the first two criteria, but that whether they can meet the second two depends (...)
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  5. added 2019-10-29
    The Paradox of Duties to Oneself.Daniel Muñoz - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):691-702.
    Philosophers have long argued that duties to oneself are paradoxical, as they seem to entail an incoherent power to release oneself from obligations. I argue that self-release is possible, both as a matter of deontic logic and of metaethics.
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  6. added 2019-10-01
    Почему эвиденциалисты должны верить обещаниям (Why Evidentialists Must Believe in Promises).Pavel Butakov - 2019 - Phiosophy. Journal of the Higher School of Economics 3 (3):172-200.
    I argue that evidentialist ethics of belief requires believing in every promise, because any promise always has sufficient evidence. In order to combine evidentialism with ethics of belief, I distinguish two belief-like propositional attitudes. The first is categorical belief, which I call “opinion,” the second is quantitative belief, which I call “credence.” I accept doxastic voluntarism about opinions, and doxastic involuntarism about credences. Opinion has two values—affirmative and negative—and the subject has control over which one to choose. Credence can have (...)
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  7. added 2019-08-20
    Joint Practical Deliberation.Brendan de Kenessey - 2017 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Joint practical deliberation is the activity of deciding together what to do. In this dissertation, I argue that several speech acts that we can use to alter our moral obligations – promises, offers, requests, demands, commands, and agreements – are moves within joint practical deliberation. -/- The dissertation begins by investigating joint practical deliberation. The resulting account implies that joint deliberation is more flexible than we usually recognize, in two ways. First, we can make joint decisions not only about what (...)
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  8. added 2019-03-10
    Variable Objects and Truthmaking.Friederike Moltmann - 2020 - In Mircea Dumitru (ed.), Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality. Themes from Kit Fine. Oxford University Press.
    This paper will focus on a philosophically significant construction whose semantics brings together two important notions in Kit Fine’s philosophy, the notion of truthmaking and the notion of a variable embodiment, or its extension, namely what I call a ‘variable object’. This is the construction of definite NPs like 'the number of people that can fit into the bus', 'the book John needs to write', and 'the gifted mathematician John claims to be'. Such NPs are analysed as standing for variable (...)
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  9. added 2019-03-10
    Right in Some Respects: Reasons as Evidence.Daniel Whiting - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2191-2208.
    What is a normative reason for acting? In this paper, I introduce and defend a novel answer to this question. The starting-point is the view that reasons are right-makers. By exploring difficulties facing it, I arrive at an alternative, according to which reasons are evidence of respects in which it is right to perform an act, for example, that it keeps a promise. This is similar to the proposal that reasons for a person to act are evidence that she ought (...)
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  10. added 2019-03-06
    Could Ross’s Pluralist Deontology Solve the Conflicting Duties Problem?Cecilia Tohaneanu - forthcoming - Revue Roumaine de Philosophie 59.
    No matter how it is viewed, as a plausible version of anti-utilitarianism or of non-consequentialist, or even as a plausible version of deontology, the theory of prima facie duties certainly makes W. D. Ross one of the most important moral philosopher of the twentieth-century. By outlining his pluralistic deontology, this paper attempts to argue for a positive answer to the question of whether Ross’s theory can offer a solution to the issue of conflicting duties. If such a solution is convincing, (...)
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  11. added 2019-03-06
    The Identity-Enactment Account of Associative Duties.Saba Bazargan-Forward - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2351-2370.
    Associative duties are agent-centered duties to give defeasible moral priority to our special ties. Our strongest associative duties are to close friends and family. According to reductionists, our associative duties are just special duties—i.e., duties arising from what I have done to others, or what others have done to me. These include duties to abide by promises and contracts, compensate our benefactors in ways expressing gratitude, and aid those whom we have made especially vulnerable to our conduct. I argue, though, (...)
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  12. added 2019-03-06
    The Second-Person Standpoint in Law and Morality.Herlinde Pauer-Studer - 2014 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 90 (1):1-3.
    The papers of this special issue are the outcome of a two-­‐day conference entitled “The Second-­‐Person Standpoint in Law and Morality,” that took place at the University of Vienna in March 2013 and was organized by the ERC Advanced Research Grant “Distortions of Normativity.” -/- The aim of the conference was to explore and discuss Stephen Darwall’s innovative and influential second-­‐personal account of foundational moral concepts such as „obligation“, „responsibility“, and „rights“, as developed in his book The Second-­‐Person Standpoint: Morality, (...)
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  13. added 2019-03-06
    Moral Judgments as Descriptions of Institutional Facts.Rafael Ferber - 1994 - In Analyomen / Analyomen: Proceedings of the 1st Conference. De Gruyter. pp. 719-729.
    This is the abbreviated and slightly revised English version of my paper “Moralische Urteile als Beschreibungen institutioneller Tatsachen. Unterwegs zu einer Theorie moralischer Urteile“, in: Archiv für Rechts- und Sozialphilosophie 79, 1993, 372-392. It deals with the question of what a moral judgment is. On the one hand, a satisfactory theory of moral judgments must take into account the descriptive character of moral judgments and the realistic language of morals. On the other hand, it must also meet the non-descriptive character (...)
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  14. added 2018-09-16
    Promises as Proposals in Joint Practical Deliberation.Brendan de Kenessey - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper argues that promises are proposals in joint practical deliberation, the activity of deciding together what to do. More precisely: to promise to ϕ is to propose (in a particular way) to decide together with your addressee(s) that you will ϕ. I defend this deliberative theory by showing that the activity of joint practical deliberation naturally gives rise to a speech act with exactly the same properties as promises. A certain kind of proposal to make a joint decision regarding (...)
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  15. added 2018-06-21
    Avant-propos : Contrats de partenariat public privé (2018) par Pascal Mukonde Musulay ISBN 978-2-88931-244-3.Ignace Haaz - 2018 - Globethics African Law Series No. 5.
    Le présent ouvrage fait suite aux deux précédents volumes de l’auteur : (2015) Droit des affaires en Afrique subsaharienne et économie planétaire, et (2016) : Démocratie électorale en Afrique subsaharienne Entre droit, pouvoir et argent, publiés par les Éditions Globethics. Bien que Pascal Mukonde convoque le thème du contrat du point de vue strictement juridique et dans le contexte du droit africain en RD. Congo, sur une ligne de recherche systématique (p.75), nous souhaitons mentionner comme préliminaire, la place de l’éthique (...)
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  16. added 2018-06-12
    Immoral Promises.F. E. Guerra-Pujol - manuscript
    The proposition that “promises ought to be kept is one of the most important normative ideas or value judgements in our daily lives. But what about “illegal promises”? That is to say, what about promises that are, legally or morally speaking, malum in se or inherently wrongful, such as voluntary exchanges that are inherently immoral or wrongful, like bribes, blackmail, murder, etc.? In short, what moral obligations, if any, do such promises impose? Although many of the greatest thinkers in Western (...)
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  17. added 2018-06-12
    Hume On Is and Ought: Logic, Promises and the Duke of Wellington.Charles Pigden - forthcoming - In Paul Russell (ed.), Oxford Handbook on David Hume. Oxford University Press.
    Hume seems to contend that you can’t get an ought from an is. Searle professed to prove otherwise, deriving a conclusion about obligations from a premise about promises. Since (as Schurz and I have shown) you can’t derive a substantive ought from an is by logic alone, Searle is best construed as claiming that there are analytic bridge principles linking premises about promises to conclusions about obligations. But we can no more derive a moral obligation to pay up from the (...)
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  18. added 2018-06-12
    What Is Conventionalism About Moral Rights and Duties?Katharina Nieswandt - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):15-28.
    ABSTRACTA powerful objection against moral conventionalism says that it gives the wrong reasons for individual rights and duties. The reason why I must not break my promise to you, for example, should lie in the damage to you—rather than to the practice of promising or to all other participants in that practice. Common targets of this objection include the theories of Hobbes, Gauthier, Hooker, Binmore, and Rawls. I argue that the conventionalism of these theories is superficial; genuinely conventionalist theories are (...)
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  19. added 2018-06-12
    Berislav Marušić, Evidence and Agency: Norms of Belief for Promising and Resolving. [REVIEW]Katia Vavova - 2018 - Ethics 128 (3):687-695.
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  20. added 2018-06-12
    Promises and Conflicting Obligations.David Owens - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (1):93-108.
    This paper addresses two questions. First can a binding promise conflict with other binding promises and thereby generate conflicting obligations? Second can binding promises conflict with other non-promissory obligations, so that we are obliged to keep so-called ‘wicked promises’? The answer to both questions is ‘yes’. The discussion examines both ‘natural right’ and ‘social practice’ approaches to promissory obligation and I conclude that neither can explain why we should be unable to make binding promises that conflict with our prior obligations. (...)
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  21. added 2018-06-12
    Lying by Promising. A Study on Insincere Illocutionary Acts.Neri Marsili - 2016 - International Review of Pragmatics 8 (2):271-313.
    This paper is divided into two parts. In the first part, I extend the traditional definition of lying to illocutionary acts executed by means of explicit performatives, focusing on promising. This is achieved in two steps. First, I discuss how the utterance of a sentence containing an explicit performative such as “I promise that Φ ” can count as an assertion of its content Φ . Second, I develop a general account of insincerity meant to explain under which conditions a (...)
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  22. added 2018-06-12
    Fickle Consent.Tom Dougherty - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):25-40.
    Why is consent revocable? In other words, why must we respect someone's present dissent at the expense of her past consent? This essay argues against act-based explanations and in favor of a rule-based explanation. A rule prioritizing present consent will serve our interests the best, in light of our interests in having flexibility over our consent and in minimizing the possibility of error in people's judgments about whether we consent.
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  23. added 2018-06-12
    Promising Without Speaking.Chad Nilep - 2013 - In Adam Hodges (ed.), Discourses of War and Peace. Oxford University Press. pp. 145-167.
    This chapter argues that political promises do not have to be made by individual politicians. Rather, multiparty discourses may be attributed to political leaders, a process labeled metaphorical promising. It analyzes Yukio Hatoyama's brief (2009-2010) reign as Prime Minister of Japan. Hatoyama was forced to resign amid charges that he had failed to remove a US military base from Futenma, Okinawa. Although Japanese newspapers accused him of breaking promises to move the base, Hatoyama had never explicitly promised to do so. (...)
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  24. added 2018-06-12
    Promises to Keep: Speech Acts and the Value of Reflective Knowledge.John Turri - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (3):583-590.
    This paper offers a new account of reflective knowledge’s value, building on recent work on the epistemic norms of speech acts. Reflective knowledge is valuable because it licenses us to make guarantees and promises.
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  25. added 2018-01-30
    You Don't Say! Lying, Asserting and Insincerity.Neri Marsili - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Sheffield
    This thesis addresses philosophical problems concerning improper assertions. The first part considers the issue of defining lying: here, against a standard view, I argue that a lie need not intend to deceive the hearer. I define lying as an insincere assertion, and then resort to speech act theory to develop a detailed account of what an assertion is, and what can make it insincere. Even a sincere assertion, however, can be improper (e.g., it can be false, or unwarranted): in the (...)
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  26. added 2017-08-25
    A Complainant-Oriented Approach to Unconscionability and Contract Law.Nicolas Cornell - 2016 - University of Pennsylvania Law Review 164:1131-1175.
    This Article draws attention to a conceptual point that has been overlooked in recent discussions about the theoretical foundations of contract law. I argue that, rather than enforcing the obligations of promises, contract law concerns complaints against promissory wrongs. This conceptual distinction is easy to miss. If one assumes that complaints arise whenever an obligation has been violated, then the distinction does not seem meaningful. I show, however, that an obligation can be breached without giving rise to a valid complaint. (...)
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  27. added 2017-08-25
    The Puzzle of the Beneficiary's Bargain.Nicolas Cornell - 2015 - Tulane Law Review 90:75-128.
    This Article describes a jurisprudential puzzle—what I call the puzzle of the beneficiary’s bargain—and contends that adequately resolving this puzzle will require significant revisions to basic premises of contract law. The puzzle arises when one party enters into two contracts requiring the same performance, and the promisee of the second contract is the third-party beneficiary of the first. For example, a taxi driver contracts with a woman to transport her parents from the airport next week, and then the driver separately (...)
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  28. added 2017-08-22
    Two Problems for Accepting as Intending.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2018 - Ethics 128 (3):626-641.
    It’s possible to accept or to reject a promise. According to a new proposal by Abraham Roth, accepting a promise involves intending that the promisee perform the promised action. According to Roth, this view is supported by rational symmetries between promissory acceptance and intention. Here, I show how these symmetries actually generate two problems for the view.
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  29. added 2017-01-29
    Promising to Try.Jason D’Cruz & Justin Kalef - 2015 - Ethics 125 (3):797-806.
    We maintain that in many contexts promising to try is expressive of responsibility as a promiser. This morally significant application of promising to try speaks in favor of the view that responsible promisers favor evidentialism about promises. Contra Berislav Marušić, we contend that responsible promisers typically withdraw from promising to act and instead promise to try, in circumstances in which they recognize that there is a significant chance that they will not succeed.
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  30. added 2016-11-04
    Intention, Expectation, and Promissory Obligation.Abraham Sesshu Roth - 2016 - Ethics 127 (1):88-115.
    Accepting a promise is normatively significant in that it helps to secure promissory obligation. But what is it for B to accept A’s promise to φ? It is in part for B to intend A’s φ-ing. Thinking of acceptance in this way allows us to appeal to the distinctive role of intentions in practical reasoning and action to better understand the agency exercised by the promisee. The proposal also accounts for rational constraints on acceptance, and the so-called directedness of promissory (...)
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  31. added 2016-09-27
    Making Sense of Categorical Imperatives.Bernd Lahno - 2006 - Analyse & Kritik 28 (1):71-82.
    Naturalism, as Binmore understands the term, is characterized by a scientific stance on moral behavior. Binmore claims that a naturalistic account of morality necessarily goes with the conviction “that only hypothetical imperatives make any sense”. In this paper it is argued that this claim is mistaken. First, as Hume’s theory of promising shows, naturalism in the sense of Binmore is very well compatible with acknowledging the importance of categorical imperatives in moral practice. Moreover, second, if Binmore’s own theory of moral (...)
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  32. added 2016-08-29
    Le devoir m'appelle? Reinach et Williams sur les limites de l'obligation.Basil Vassilicos - 2016 - Philosophie 128 (1):50.
    In this paper, I show where Adolf Reinach comes down on the question of conflicts of obligation. The aim is to look at whether Reinach’s phenomenological realism of obligation holds its own against positions developed by Bernard Williams concerning the nature and import of obligations, and their capacity or incapacity to impinge upon each other and other moral and non-moral concerns. It is shown that even if Reinach turns out to succumb to pitfalls Williams identifies, he nonetheless verges upon agreement (...)
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  33. added 2016-03-06
    The Normative Force of Promising.Jack Woods - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 6:77-101.
    Why do promises give rise to reasons? I consider a quadruple of possibilities which I think will not work, then sketch the explanation of the normativity of promising I find more plausible—that it is constitutive of the practice of promising that promise-breaking implies liability for blame and that we take liability for blame to be a bad thing. This effects a reduction of the normativity of promising to conventionalism about liability together with instrumental normativity and desire-based reasons. This is important (...)
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  34. added 2015-10-26
    A Promise Acceptance Model of Organ Donation.Alida Liberman - 2015 - Social Theory and Practice 41 (1):131-148.
    I aim to understand how the act of becoming an organ donor impacts whether it is permissible for a family veto to override an individual’s wish to donate. I argue that a Consent Model does not capture the right understanding of donor autonomy. I then assess a Gift Model and a Promise Model, arguing that both fail to capture important data about the ability to revoke one’s donor status. I then propose a Promise Acceptance Model, which construes becoming an organ (...)
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  35. added 2014-04-02
    What is Wrong with Promising to Supererogate.Claire Benn - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):55-61.
    There has been some debate as to whether or not it is possible to keep a promise, and thus fulfil a duty, to supererogate. In this paper, I argue, in agreement with Jason Kawall, that such promises cannot be kept. However, I disagree with Kawall’s diagnosis of the problem and provide an alternative account. In the first section, I examine the debate between Kawall and David Heyd, who rejects Kawall’s claim that promises to supererogate cannot be kept. I disagree with (...)
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  36. added 2014-03-31
    A Paradox of Promising.Holly M. Smith - 1997 - Philosophical Review 106 (2):153-196.
    For centuries it has been a mainstay of European and American moral thought that keeping promises—and the allied activity of upholding contracts—is one of the most important requirements of morality. On some historically powerful views the obligation to uphold promises or contracts not only regulates private relationships, but also provides the moral foundation for our duty to support and obey legitimate governments. Some theorists believe that the concept of keeping promises has gradually moved to center stage in European moral thought. (...)
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  37. added 2014-03-24
    A Plethora of Promises — or None at All.Michael Cholbi - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (3):261-272.
    Utilitarians are supposed to have difficulty accounting for our obligation to keep promises. But utilitarians also face difficulties concerning our obligation to make promises. Consider any situation in which the options available to me are acts A, B, C… n, and A is utility maximizing. Call A+ the course of action consisting of A plus my promising to perform A. Since there appear to be a wide range of instances in which A+ has greater net utility then A, utilitarianism obligates (...)
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  38. added 2014-03-20
    Commitment, Reasons, and the Will.Ruth Chang - 2013 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 74-113.
    This paper argues that there is a particular kind of ‘internal’ commitment typically made in the context of romantic love relationships that has striking meta-normative implications for how we understand the role of the will in practical normativity. Internal commitments cannot plausibly explain the reasons we have in committed relationships on the usual model – as triggering reasons that are already there, in the way that making a promise triggers a reason via a pre-existing norm of the form ‘If you (...)
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  39. added 2014-03-20
    Promising and Supererogation.Jason Kawall - 2005 - Philosophia 32 (1-4):389-398.
    A paradox involving promises to perform supererogatory actions is developed. Several attempts to resolve the problem, focusing in particular on changing our understanding of supererogatory actions, are explored. It is concluded that none of the proposed solutions are viable; the problem lies in promises with certain contents, not in our understanding of supererogation.
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  40. added 2014-03-19
    On Promising to Supererogate: A Response to Heyd.Jason Kawall - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (2):153-156.
    In my “Promising and Supererogation” I argue that one cannot fulfill promises to perform supererogatory actions (such as “I hereby promise to perform one supererogatory action every month”). In a response to my paper, David Heyd argues that there is an alternative solution to the problem I raise. While I agree with much that Heyd says about the examples he discusses, his proposed solution involves a crucial alteration of the problem; his proposed solution does not solve the problem I present.
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  41. added 2014-03-09
    On the Rationalist Solution to Gregory Kavka's Toxin Puzzle.Ken Levy - 2009 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 90 (2):267-289.
    Gregory Kavka's 'Toxin Puzzle' suggests that I cannot intend to perform a counter-preferential action A even if I have a strong self-interested reason to form this intention. The 'Rationalist Solution,' however, suggests that I can form this intention. For even though it is counter-preferential, A-ing is actually rational given that the intention behind it is rational. Two arguments are offered for this proposition that the rationality of the intention to A transfers to A-ing itself: the 'Self-Promise Argument' and David Gauthier's (...)
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  42. added 2014-01-28
    Truthfulness Without Truth.Allan Hazlett - manuscript
    What is the relationship between the value of sincerity and the value of truth? You might assume that the value of sincerity and the value of truth (more exactly: true belief) are part of an evaluative package, such that they stand or fall together. In this spirit, Bernard Williams (2002) offers an account of the “virtues of truth,” which include sincerity and accuracy. My goal in this paper is to undermine the assumption that the value of sincerity is tied to (...)
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  43. added 2013-04-29
    Reply to John Searle's Conjunctive Conditions for Non-Defective Promising.Kim S. Mendoza - manuscript
    John Searle’s Speech Act Theory enumerates necessary and sufficient conditions for a non-defective act of promising in producing sincere promises. This paper seeks to demonstrate the conjunctive insufficiency of the foregoing conditions due to the inadequacy of the sincerity condition to guarantee predicated acts being fulfillable. Being the definitive condition which contains the psychological state distinct in promises as illocutionary acts, that is the expression of intention (S intends to A), I purport that not all sincere promises are non-defective. To (...)
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  44. added 2011-06-27
    What Romance Could Not Be.Neil Delaney - 2010 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (3):589-598.
    This essay makes a number of distinctions between the motives of love and of duty, and argues that ideally they act in concert so as to generate constancy in loving relations. The essay revolves around a case in which a husband or wife is tempted to infidelity. It is argued that resistance to the temptation is optimally grounded in love for the spouse rather than simply in a duty to resist initiated perhaps through promise or vow. This is not, however, (...)
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  45. added 2011-05-06
    Promises and Trust.Daniel Friedrich & Nicholas Southwood - 2011 - In Hanoch Sheinman (ed.), Promises and Agreements: Philosophical Essays. Oxford University Press.
    In this article we develop and defend what we call the “Trust View” of promissory obligation, according to which making a promise involves inviting another individual to trust one to do something. In inviting her trust, and having the invitation accepted (or at least not rejected), one incurs an obligation to her not to betray the trust that one has invited. The distinctive wrong involved in breaking a promise is a matter of violating this obligation. We begin by explicating the (...)
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  46. added 2010-06-14
    Forgiving Grave Wrongs.Alisa L. Carse & Lynne Tirrell - 2010 - In Christopher Allers & Marieke Smit (eds.), Forgiveness In Perspective. Rodopi Press.
    We introduce what we call the Emergent Model of forgiving, which is a process-based relational model conceptualizing forgiving as moral and normative repair in the wake of grave wrongs. In cases of grave wrongs, which shatter the victim’s life, the Classical Model of transactional forgiveness falls short of illuminating how genuine forgiveness can be achieved. In a climate of persistent threat and distrust, expressions of remorse, rituals and gestures of apology, and acts of reparation are unable to secure the moral (...)
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