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Adam Morton
PhD: Princeton University; Last affiliation: University of British Columbia
  1. Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind.Adam Morton - 1982 - Philosophical Review 91 (2):299.
    I assess Churchland's views on folk psychology and conceptual thinking, with particular emphasis on the connection between these topics.
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  2. Epistemic Emotions.Adam Morton - 2010 - In Peter Goldie (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion. Oxford University Press. pp. 385--399.
    I discuss a large number of emotions that are relevant to performance at epistemic tasks. My central concern is the possibility that it is not the emotions that are most relevant to success of these tasks but associated virtues. I present cases in which it does seem to be the emotions rather than the virtues that are doing the work. I end of the paper by mentioning the connections between desirable and undesirable epistemic emotions.
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  3. Contrastive Knowledge.Adam Morton - 2012 - In Martijn Blaauw (ed.), Contrastivism in Philosophy. New York: Routledge. pp. 101-115.
    The claim of this paper is that the everyday functions of knowledge make most sense if we see knowledge as contrastive. That is, we can best understand how the concept does what it does by thinking in terms of a relation “a knows that p rather than q.” There is always a contrast with an alternative. Contrastive interpretations of knowledge, and objections to them, have become fairly common in recent philosophy. The version defended here is fairly mild in that there (...)
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  4. Contrastive Knowledge.Antti Karjalainen & Adam Morton - 2003 - Philosophical Explorations 6 (2):74 – 89.
    We describe the three place relation of contrastive knowledge, which holds between a person, a target proposition, and a contrasting proposition. The person knows that p rather than that q. We argue for three claims about this relation. (a) Many common sense and philosophical ascriptions of knowledge can be understood in terms of it. (b) Its application is subject to fewer complications than non-contrastive knowledge is. (c) It applies over a wide range of human and nonhuman cases.
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  5. Complex Individuals and Multigrade Relations.Adam Morton - 1975 - Noûs 9 (3):309-318.
    I relate plural quantification, and predicate logic where predicates do not need a fixed number of argument places, to the part-whole relation. For more on these themes see later work by Boolos, Lewis, and Oliver & Smiley.
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  6. Folk Psychology is Not a Predictive Device.Adam Morton - 1996 - Mind 105 (417):119-37.
    I argue that folk psychology does not serve the purpose of facilitating prediction of others' behaviour but if facilitating cooperative action. (See my subsequent book *The Importance of Being Understood*.
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  7. Shared Knowledge From Individual Vice: The Role of Unworthy Epistemic Emotions.Adam Morton - 2014 - Philosophical Inquiries.
    This paper begins with a discussion the role of less-than-admirable epistemic emotions in our respectable, indeed admirable inquiries: nosiness, obsessiveness, wishful thinking, denial, partisanship. The explanation for their desirable effect is Mandevillian: because of the division of epistemic labour individual epistemic vices can lead to shared knowledge. In fact it is sometimes essential to it.
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  8. Decisions, Uncertainty, and the Brain.Adam Morton - 2005 - Mind 114 (455):737-739.
    I consider Glimcher's claim to have given an account of mental functioning that is at once neurological and decision-theoretical. I am skeptical, but remark on some good ideas of Glimcher's.
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  9. Modal Realism: The Poisoned Pawn.Fabrizio Mondadori & Adam Morton - 1976 - Philosophical Review 85 (1):3-20.
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  10. Contrastivity and Indistinguishability.Adam Morton & Antti Karjalainen - 2008 - Social Epistemology 22 (3):271 – 280.
    We give a general description of a class of contrastive constructions, intended to capture what is common to contrastive knowledge, belief, hope, fear, understanding and other cases where one expresses a propositional attitude in terms of “rather than”. The crucial element is the agent's incapacity to distinguish some possibilities from others. Contrastivity requires a course-graining of the set of possible worlds. As a result, contrastivity will usually cut across logical consequence, so that an agent can have an attitude to p (...)
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  11. Emotional Truth: Emotional Accuracy: Adam Morton.Adam Morton - 2002 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 76 (1):265–275.
    This is a reply to de Sousa's 'Emotional Truth', in which he argues that emotions can be objective, as propositional truths are. I say that it is better to distinguish between truth and accuracy, and agree with de Sousa to the extent of arguing that emotions can be more or less accurate, that is, based on the facts as they are.
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  12. Epistemic Virtues, Metavirtues, and Computational Complexity.Adam Morton - 2004 - Noûs 38 (3):481–502.
    I argue that considerations about computational complexity show that all finite agents need characteristics like those that have been called epistemic virtues. The necessity of these virtues follows in part from the nonexistence of shortcuts, or efficient ways of finding shortcuts, to cognitively expensive routines. It follows that agents must possess the capacities – metavirtues –of developing in advance the cognitive virtues they will need when time and memory are at a premium.
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  13. Folk Psychology Does Not Exist.Adam Morton - 2007 - In Daniel D. Hutto & Matthew Ratcliffe (eds.), Folk Psychology Re-Assessed. Kluwer/Springer Press. pp. 211--221.
    I discuss the possibility that there is no intrinsic unity to the capacities which are bundled under the label "folk psychology". Cooperative skills, attributional skills, and predictive skills may be scattered as parts of other non--psychological capacities. I discuss how some forms of social life bring these different skills together. I end with some remarks on how abilities that are not unified in their essential mechanisms may still form a rough practical unity. (Remark: the paper is conjectural. It describes a (...)
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  14. Emotional Truth.Ronald De Sousa & Adam Morton - 2002 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 76:247-275.
    [Ronald de Sousa] Taking literally the concept of emotional truth requires breaking the monopoly on truth of belief-like states. To this end, I look to perceptions for a model of non-propositional states that might be true or false, and to desires for a model of propositional attitudes the norm of which is other than the semantic satisfaction of their propositional object. Those models inspire a conception of generic truth, which can admit of degrees for analogue representations such as emotions; belief-like (...)
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  15. Because He Thought He Had Insulted Him.Adam Morton - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (1):5-15.
    I compare our idioms for quantifying into belief contexts to our idioms for quantifying into intention contexts. The latter is complicated by the fact that there is always a discrepancy between the action as intended and the action as performed. The article contains - this is written long after it appeared - an early version of a tracking or sensitivity analysis of the relation between a thought and its object.
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  16. Reasoning: A Social Picture. By Anthony Simon Laden.Adam Morton - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):843-846.
    review of Laden's *Reasoning: a social picture* praising the aim and expressing puzzlement at the details,.
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  17. Denying the Doctrine and Changing the Subject.Adam Morton - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (15):503-510.
    I discuss Quine's claim that anyone denying what we now take to be a logical truth would be using logical words in a novel way. I trace this to a confusions between outright denial and failure to assert, and assertion of a negation. (This abstract is written from memory decades after the article.).
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  18. Mathematics as Language.Adam Morton - 1996 - In Adam Morton & Stephen P. Stich (eds.), Benacerraf and His Critics. Blackwell. pp. 213--227.
    I discuss ways in which the linguistic form of mathimatics helps us think mathematically.
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  19. The Value of a Person.John Broome & Adam Morton - 1994 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 68 (1):167 - 198.
    (for Adam Morton's half) I argue that if we take the values of persons to be ordered in a way that allows incomparability, then the problems Broome raises have easy solutions. In particular we can maintain that creating people is morally neutral while killing them has a negative value.
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  20. Can Edgington Gibbard Counterfactuals?Adam Morton - 1997 - Mind 106 (421):101-105.
    A criticism of Dorothy Edgington's attempt to make Gibbard's problem for indicative conditionals apply to counterfactuals.
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  21. Cousins of Regret.Adam Morton - forthcoming - In Anna Gottlieb (ed.), the moral psychology of regret.
    I classify emotions in the family of regret, remorse, and so on, in such a way that it is easy to see how there can be further emotions in this family, for which we happened not to have names in English. I describe some of these emotions.
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  22. Should We Colonize Other Planets?Adam Morton - 2018 - Cambridge , UK: Polity.
    A critical exposition of plans to colonize other planets , especially Mars, and their costs. The final chapter links with issues about the value and future of human life. See the extended summary uploaded to this site.
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  23. Good Citizens and Moral Heroes.Adam Morton - 2009 - In Pedro Alexis Tabensky (ed.), The Positive Function of Evil. Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Scale matters in morality, so that different factors occupy us at high and low scales. Different people are needed to be good neighbours in everyday life and moral heroes in crises. There is no reason to believe that the same traits are required for both. So there is no such thing as the all-round good person.
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  24. Inequity/Iniquity: Card on Balancing Injustice and Evil.Adam Morton - 2004 - Hypatia 19 (4):199-203.
    Card argues that we should not give injustice priority over evil. I agree. But I think Card sets us up for some difficult balancings, for example of small evils against middle sized injustices. I suggest some ways of staying off the tightrope.
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  25. If I Were a Dry Well-Made Match.Adam Morton - 1973 - Dialogue 12 (2):322-324.
    I discuss Goodman's claim that when 'all As are Bs' is a law then the counterfactual 'if a were an A, it would be a B' is tue. I give counterexamples, and link the failure of the connection to the contrast between higher level and lower level laws.
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  26. Accomplishing Accomplishment.Adam Morton - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (1):1-8.
    The concepts of knowledge and accomplishment are duals. There are many parallels between them. In this paper I discuss the "AA" thesis, which is dual to the well known KK thesis. The KK thesis claims that if someone knows something, then she knows that she knows it. This is generally thought to be false, and there are powerful reasons for rejecting it. The AA thesis claims that if someone accomplishes something, then she accomplishes that she accomplishes it. I argue that (...)
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  27. Knowing What to Think About: When Epistemology Meets the Theory of Choice.Adam Morton - 2006 - In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Epistemology Futures. Oxford University Press. pp. 111--30.
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  28. Mathematical Modelling and Contrastive Explanation.Adam Morton - 1990 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 20 (Supplement):251-270.
    Mathematical models provide explanations of limited power of specific aspects of phenomena. One way of articulating their limits here, without denying their essential powers, is in terms of contrastive explanation.
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  29. Human Bounds: Rationality for Our Species.Adam Morton - 2010 - Synthese 176 (1):5 - 21.
    Is there such a thing as bounded rationality? I first try to make sense of the question, and then to suggest which of the disambiguated versions might have answers. We need an account of bounded rationality that takes account of detailed contingent facts about the ways in which human beings fail to perform as we might ideally want to. But we should not think in terms of rules or norms which define good responses to an individual's limitations, but rather in (...)
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  30. Folk Psychology.Adam Morton - 2009 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oxford University Press.
    I survey the previous 20 years work on the nature of folk psychology, with particular emphasis on the original debate between theory theorists and simulation theorists, and the positions that have emerged from this debate.
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  31. Comparatives and Degrees.Adam Morton - 1984 - Analysis 44 (1):16 - 20.
    I describe a way of handling comparative adjectives "a is P-er than b", in terms of degrees "a has P to degree d". I defend this approach against attacks due to C J F Williams in an article in the same issue of *Analysis*, by tracing his objections to the assumption that degrees must be linearly ordered. Since this abstract is written years later, I can mention that some of the ideas were taken further in my Hypercomparatives. Synthese 111, 1997, (...)
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  32. 10 The Evolution of Strategic Thinking.Adam Morton - 2000 - In Peter Carruthers & A. Chamberlain (eds.), Evolution and the Human Mind: Modularity, Language and Meta-Cognition. Cambridge University Press. pp. 218.
    I discuss ways in which innate human psychology facilitates the quasi-game-theoretical reasoning required for group life.
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  33. Great Expectations.Adam Morton - 2007 - In Tim Lewens (ed.), Risk: Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
    I distinguish between risks in which most people will do badly from those in which few will, though some will do very badly.
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  34. Saving Epistemology From the Epistemologists: Recent Work in the Theory of Knowledge.Adam Morton - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (4):685-704.
    This is a very selective survey of developments in epistemology, concentrating on work from the past twenty years that is of interest to philosophers of science. The selection is organized around interesting connections between distinct themes. I first connect issues about skepticism to issues about the reliability of belief-acquiring processes. Next I connect discussions of the defeasibility of reasons for belief to accounts of the theory-independence of evidence. Then I connect doubts about Bayesian epistemology to issues about the content of (...)
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  35. Conventional Norms of Reasoning.Adam Morton - 2011 - Dialogue 50 (2):247-260.
    I describe conventions not of correct reasoning but of giving and taking advice about reasoning. This article is asn anticipation of part of the first chapter of my forthcoming *Bounded Thinking*, OUP 2012.
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  36. If You're so Smart Why Are You Ignorant? Epistemic Causal Paradoxes.Adam Morton - 2002 - Analysis 62 (2):110-116.
    I describe epistemic versions of the contrast between causal and conventionally probabilistic decision theory, including an epistemic version of Newcomb's paradox.
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  37. Review of Sosa Knowing Full Well. [REVIEW]Adam Morton - 2011 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 23.
    A review of Ernest Sosa's *Knowing Full Well* focusing on the safety/reliability contrast and the relation between knowledge and action. There are also remarks on the issue of what value knowledge adds to true belief.
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  38. The Presidential Address: Where Demonstratives Meet Vagueness: Possible Languages.Adam Morton - 1999 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1):1 - 18.
    I present three invented languages, in order to support a claim that vagueness and demonstrativity are related. One of them handles vagueness like English handles demonstratives, the second handles demonstratives like English handles vagueness, and the third combines the resources of the first two. The argument depends on the claim that all three can be learned and used by anyone who can speak English.
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  39. The Possible in the Actual.Adam Morton - 1973 - Noûs 7 (4):394-407.
    I give models for modal languages in which all individuals are actual.
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  40. Psychology for Cooperators.Adam Morton - 2001 - In Christopher W. Morris & Arthur Ripstein (eds.), Practical Rationality and Preference: Essays for David Gauthier. Cambridge University Press. pp. 153.
    I discuss what learned and innate routines of self and other attribution agents need to possess if they are to enter into cooperative arrangements as described game theoretically. I conclude that these are not so different from belief desire psychology as described by philosophers of mind.
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  41. Extensional and Non-Truth-Functional Contexts.Adam Morton - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (6):159-164.
    I discuss Frege's argument - later called the slingshot - that if a construction is extensional and preserves logical equivalence then it is truth-functional. I consider some simple apparent counterexamples and conclude that they are not sentence-embedding in the required way.
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  42. Hypercomparatives.Adam Morton - 1997 - Synthese 111 (1):97-114.
    In natural language we rarely use relation-words with more than three argument places. This paper studies one systematic device, rooted in natural language, by which relations of greater adicity can be expressed. It is based on a higher-order relation between 1-place, 2-place, and 4-place relations (and so on) of which the relation between the positive and comparative degrees of a predicate is a special case. Two formal languages are presented in this connection, one of which represents the language of communication (...)
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  43. Colour Appearances and the Colour Solid.Adam Morton - 1987 - In Philosophy and the Visual Arts. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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  44. Emotional Truth. By Ronald de Sousa. (Oxford UP, 2011. Pp. Xviii + 391. Price £38.00.).Adam Morton - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (246):220-222.
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  45. The Variety of Rationality.Adam Morton & David Holdcroft - 1985 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 59 (1):139-176.
    I discuss the connections between rationality and intentional action, emphasising that different kinds of action are rational an intentional in different ways.
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  46. Moral Incompetence.Adam Morton - 2006 - In T. D. J. Chappell (ed.), Values and Virtues: Aristotelianism in Contemporary Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    Moral high-performers have characteristic faults. I describe difficulties in handling moral problems that arise not out of faulty intentions or defective values but because the agents underestimate the complexity of the situation.
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  47. The Architecture of Reason: The Structure and Substance of Rationality. [REVIEW]Adam Morton - 2002 - Philosophy 77 (3):454-471.
    I admire Audi's intentions in discussing the rationality of beliefs, desires, and actions together, and doubt that this can be done internalistically, as he tries.
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  48. Abstracts of Comments: The Saturation of Dyspepsia: Comments on Wilson.Adam Morton - 1978 - Noûs 12 (1):53 -.
    Wilson argued that since for continuants such as people a predicate and a time determine a place, natural language *can* specify just, e,.g. "a is dyspeptic at t" leaving the location of a's dyspepsia unstated. From this he concludes that language *must* leave the location unstated. I query the transition from *may* to *must*.
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  49. Finding the Corkscrew.Adam Morton - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):114-117.
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  50. The Chaology of Mind.Adam Morton - 1988 - Analysis 48 (3):135.
    I explore the possibility that mentality can be characterized as a level in between the functional and the neurological, namely as a physical system exhibiting a specific kind of chaos. The argument is meant to make a case for this kind of characterization rather than giving one in specific detail.
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