Results for 'Ben Levinstein'

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Ben Levinstein
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  1. Accuracy Uncomposed: Against Calibrationism.Ben Levinstein - 2017 - Episteme 14 (1):59-69.
    Pettigrew offers new axiomatic constraints on legitimate measures of inaccuracy. His axiom called ‘Decomposition’ stipulates that legitimate measures of inaccuracy evaluate a credence function in part based on its level of calibration at a world. I argue that if calibration is valuable, as Pettigrew claims, then this fact is an explanandum for accuracy-rst epistemologists, not an explanans, for three reasons. First, the intuitive case for the importance of calibration isn’t as strong as Pettigrew believes. Second, calibration is a perniciously global (...)
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  2. Deference Done Better.Kevin Dorst, Benjamin A. Levinstein, Bernhard Salow, Brooke E. Husic & Branden Fitelson - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):99-150.
    There are many things—call them ‘experts’—that you should defer to in forming your opinions. The trouble is, many experts are modest: they’re less than certain that they are worthy of deference. When this happens, the standard theories of deference break down: the most popular (“Reflection”-style) principles collapse to inconsistency, while their most popular (“New-Reflection”-style) variants allow you to defer to someone while regarding them as an anti-expert. We propose a middle way: deferring to someone involves preferring to make any decision (...)
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  3. Permissive Rationality and Sensitivity.Benjamin Levinstein - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 94 (2):342-370.
    Permissivism about rationality is the view that there is sometimes more than one rational response to a given body of evidence. In this paper I discuss the relationship between permissivism, deference to rationality, and peer disagreement. I begin by arguing that—contrary to popular opinion—permissivism supports at least a moderate version of conciliationism. I then formulate a worry for permissivism. I show that, given a plausible principle of rational deference, permissive rationality seems to become unstable and to collapse into unique rationality. (...)
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  4. A Pragmatist’s Guide to Epistemic Utility.Benjamin Anders Levinstein - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):613-638.
    We use a theorem from M. J. Schervish to explore the relationship between accuracy and practical success. If an agent is pragmatically rational, she will quantify the expected loss of her credence with a strictly proper scoring rule. Which scoring rule is right for her will depend on the sorts of decisions she expects to face. We relate this pragmatic conception of inaccuracy to the purely epistemic one popular among epistemic utility theorists.
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  5. An Objection of Varying Importance to Epistemic Utility Theory.Benjamin Levinstein - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2919-2931.
    Some propositions are more epistemically important than others. Further, how important a proposition is is often a contingent matter—some propositions count more in some worlds than in others. Epistemic Utility Theory cannot accommodate this fact, at least not in any standard way. For EUT to be successful, legitimate measures of epistemic utility must be proper, i.e., every probability function must assign itself maximum expected utility. Once we vary the importance of propositions across worlds, however, normal measures of epistemic utility become (...)
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  6.  78
    Act Consequentialism Without Free Rides.Preston Greene & Benjamin A. Levinstein - 2020 - Philosophical Perspectives 34 (1):88-116.
    Consequentialist theories determine rightness solely based on real or expected consequences. Although such theories are popular, they often have difficulty with generalizing intuitions, which demand concern for questions like “What if everybody did that?” Rule consequentialism attempts to incorporate these intuitions by shifting the locus of evaluation from the consequences of acts to those of rules. However, detailed rule-consequentialist theories seem ad hoc or arbitrary compared to act consequentialist ones. We claim that generalizing can be better incorporated into consequentialism by (...)
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  7. Thinking, Guessing, and Believing.Ben Holguín - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint:1-34.
    This paper defends the view, put roughly, that to think that p is to guess that p is the answer to the question at hand, and that to think that p rationally is for one’s guess to that question to be in a certain sense non-arbitrary. Some theses that will be argued for along the way include: that thinking is question-sensitive and, correspondingly, that ‘thinks’ is context-sensitive; that it can be rational to think that p while having arbitrarily low credence (...)
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  8.  73
    Knowledge by Constraint.Ben Holguín - 2021 - Philosophical Perspectives 35 (1):1-28.
    This paper considers some puzzling knowledge ascriptions and argues that they present prima facie counterexamples to credence, belief, and justification conditions on knowledge, as well as to many of the standard meta-semantic assumptions about the context-sensitivity of ‘know’. It argues that these ascriptions provide new evidence in favor of contextualist theories of knowledge—in particular those that take the interpretation of ‘know’ to be sensitive to the mechanisms of constraint.
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  9. A New Defense of Hedonism About Well-Being.Ben Bramble - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3.
    According to hedonism about well-being, lives can go well or poorly for us just in virtue of our ability to feel pleasure and pain. Hedonism has had many advocates historically, but has relatively few nowadays. This is mainly due to three highly influential objections to it: The Philosophy of Swine, The Experience Machine, and The Resonance Constraint. In this paper, I attempt to revive hedonism. I begin by giving a precise new definition of it. I then argue that the right (...)
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  10. The Passing of Temporal Well-Being.Ben Bramble - 2017 - Routledge.
    The philosophical study of well-being concerns what makes lives good for their subjects. It is now standard among philosophers to distinguish between two kinds of well-being: - lifetime well-being, i.e., how good a person's life was for him or her considered as a whole, and - temporal well-being, i.e., how well off someone was, or how they fared, at a particular moment in time or over a period of time longer than a moment but shorter than a whole life, say, (...)
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  11. Knowledge in the Face of Conspiracy Conditionals.Ben Holguín - 2020 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (3):737-771.
    A plausible principle about the felicitous use of indicative conditionals says that there is something strange about asserting an indicative conditional when you know whether its antecedent is true. But in most contexts there is nothing strange at all about asserting indicative conditionals like ‘If Oswald didn’t shoot Kennedy, then someone else did’. This paper argues that the only compelling explanation of these facts requires the resources of contextualism about knowledge.
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  12. Autonomy and Adaptive Preferences.Ben Colburn - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (1):52-71.
    Adaptive preference formation is the unconscious altering of our preferences in light of the options we have available. Jon Elster has argued that this is bad because it undermines our autonomy. I agree, but think that Elster's explanation of why is lacking. So, I draw on a richer account of autonomy to give the following answer. Preferences formed through adaptation are characterized by covert influence (that is, explanations of which an agent herself is necessarily unaware), and covert influence undermines our (...)
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  13. The Roots of Racial Categorization.Ben Phillips - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-25.
    I examine the origins of ordinary racial thinking. In doing so, I argue against the thesis that it is the byproduct of a unique module (e.g. a folk-biology module). Instead, I defend a pluralistic thesis according to which different forms of racial thinking are driven by distinct mechanisms, each with their own etiology. I begin with the belief that visible features are diagnostic of race. I argue that the mechanisms responsible for face recognition have an important, albeit delimited, role to (...)
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  14. Mental Maps.Ben Blumson - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):413-434.
    It's often hypothesized that the structure of mental representation is map-like rather than language-like. The possibility arises as a counterexample to the argument from the best explanation of productivity and systematicity to the language of thought hypothesis—the hypothesis that mental structure is compositional and recursive. In this paper, I argue that the analogy with maps does not undermine the argument, because maps and language have the same kind of compositional and recursive structure.
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  15. Act Utilitarianism.Ben Eggleston - 2014 - In Ben Eggleston & Dale E. Miller (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 125-145.
    An overview (about 8,000 words) of act utilitarianism, covering the basic idea of the theory, historical examples, how it differs from rule utilitarianism and motive utilitarianism, supporting arguments, and standard objections. A closing section provides a brief introduction to indirect utilitarianism (i.e., a Hare- or Railton-style view distinguishing between a decision procedure and a criterion of rightness).
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  16.  80
    The Right Not to Know and the Obligation to Know.Ben Davies - 2020 - Journal of Medical Ethics 46 (5):300-303.
    There is significant controversy over whether patients have a ‘right not to know’ information relevant to their health. Some arguments for limiting such a right appeal to potential burdens on others that a patient’s avoidable ignorance might generate. This paper develops this argument by extending it to cases where refusal of relevant information may generate greater demands on a publicly funded healthcare system. In such cases, patients may have an ‘obligation to know’. However, we cannot infer from the fact that (...)
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  17. Consequentialism About Meaning in Life.Ben Bramble - 2015 - Utilitas 27 (4):445-459.
    What is it for a life to be meaningful? In this article, I defend what I call Consequentialism about Meaning in Life, the view that one's life is meaningful at time t just in case one's surviving at t would be good in some way, and one's life was meaningful considered as a whole just in case the world was made better in some way for one's having existed.
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  18. Eating Meat and Not Vaccinating: In Defense of the Analogy.Ben Jones - 2021 - Bioethics 35 (2):135-142.
    The devastating impact of the COVID‐19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic is prompting renewed scrutiny of practices that heighten the risk of infectious disease. One such practice is refusing available vaccines known to be effective at preventing dangerous communicable diseases. For reasons of preventing individual harm, avoiding complicity in collective harm, and fairness, there is a growing consensus among ethicists that individuals have a duty to get vaccinated. I argue that these same grounds establish an analogous duty to avoid buying and (...)
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  19. Lying and Knowing.Ben Holguín - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5351-5371.
    This paper defends the simple view that in asserting that p, one lies iff one knows that p is false. Along the way it draws some morals about deception, knowledge, Gettier cases, belief, assertion, and the relationship between first- and higher-order norms.
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  20. Entitativity and Implicit Measures of Social Cognition.Ben Phillips - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    I argue that in addressing worries about the validity and reliability of implicit measures of social cognition, theorists should draw on research concerning “entitativity perception.” In brief, an aggregate of people is perceived as highly “entitative” when its members exhibit a certain sort of unity. For example, think of the difference between the aggregate of people waiting in line at a bank versus a tight-knit group of friends: the latter seems more “groupy” than the former. I start by arguing that (...)
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  21. The Experience Machine.Ben Bramble - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (3):136-145.
    In this paper, I reconstruct Robert Nozick's experience machine objection to hedonism about well-being. I then explain and briefly discuss the most important recent criticisms that have been made of it. Finally, I question the conventional wisdom that the experience machine, while it neatly disposes of hedonism, poses no problem for desire-based theories of well-being.
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  22. Seeing Seeing.Ben Phillips - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):24-43.
    I argue that we can visually perceive others as seeing agents. I start by characterizing perceptual processes as those that are causally controlled by proximal stimuli. I then distinguish between various forms of visual perspective-taking, before presenting evidence that most of them come in perceptual varieties. In doing so, I clarify and defend the view that some forms of visual perspective-taking are “automatic”—a view that has been marshalled in support of dual-process accounts of mindreading.
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  23. Is Death Bad for a Cow?Ben Bradley - 2015 - In The Ethics of Killing Animals. pp. 51-64.
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  24.  40
    From Sufficient Health to Sufficient Responsibility.Ben Davies & Julian Savulescu - 2020 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 17 (3):423-433.
    The idea of using responsibility in the allocation of healthcare resources has been criticized for, among other things, too readily abandoning people who are responsible for being very badly off. One response to this problem is that while responsibility can play a role in resource allocation, it cannot do so if it will leave those who are responsible below a “sufficiency” threshold. This paper considers first whether a view can be both distinctively sufficientarian and allow responsibility to play a role (...)
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  25.  57
    Introduction.Ben Eggleston & Dale E. Miller - 2014 - In Ben Eggleston & Dale E. Miller (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1-15.
    The introduction (about 6,000 words) to _The Cambridge Companion to Utilitarianism_, in three sections: utilitarianism’s place in recent and contemporary moral philosophy (including the opinions of critics such as Rawls and Scanlon), a brief history of the view (again, including the opinions of critics, such as Marx and Nietzsche), and an overview of the chapters of the book.
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  26. 'They're Not True Humans': Beliefs About Moral Character Drive Denials of Humanity.Ben Phillips - forthcoming - Cognitive Science.
    A puzzling feature of paradigmatic cases of dehumanization is that the perpetrators often attribute uniquely human traits to their victims. This has become known as the “paradox of dehumanization.” We address the paradox by arguing that the perpetrators think of their victims as human in one sense, while denying that they are human in another sense. We do so by providing evidence that people harbor a dual character concept of humanity. Research has found that dual character concepts have two independent (...)
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  27. Two Conceptions of Similarity.Ben Blumson - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (270):21-37.
    There are at least two traditional conceptions of numerical degree of similarity. According to the first, the degree of dissimilarity between two particulars is their distance apart in a metric space. According to the second, the degree of similarity between two particulars is a function of the number of (sparse) properties they have in common and not in common. This paper argues that these two conceptions are logically independent, but philosophically inconsonant.
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  28. Rejecting The Publicity Condition: The Inevitability of Esoteric Morality.Ben Eggleston - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (250):29-57.
    It is often thought that some version of what is generally called the publicity condition is a reasonable requirement to impose on moral theories. In this article, after formulating and distinguishing three versions of the publicity condition, I argue that the arguments typically used to defend them are unsuccessful and, moreover, that even in its most plausible version, the publicity condition ought to be rejected as both question-begging and unreasonably demanding.
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  29. Whole-Life Welfarism.Ben Bramble - 2014 - American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (1):63-74.
    In this paper, I set out and defend a new theory of value, whole-life welfarism. According to this theory, something is good only if it makes somebody better off in some way in his life considered as a whole. By focusing on lifetime, rather than momentary, well-being, a welfarist can solve two of the most vexing puzzles in value theory, The Badness of Death and The Problem of Additive Aggregation.
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  30. Indicative Conditionals Without Iterative Epistemology.Ben Holguín - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper argues that two widely accepted principles about the indicative conditional jointly presuppose the falsity of one of the most prominent arguments against epistemological iteration principles. The first principle about the indicative conditional, which has close ties both to the Ramsey test and the “or-to-if” inference, says that knowing a material conditional suffices for knowing the corresponding indicative. The second principle says that conditional contradictions cannot be true when their antecedents are epistemically possible. Taken together, these principles entail that (...)
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  31. The Agential Point of View.Ben Sorgiovanni - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (2):549-572.
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  32. Metaphysical Necessity Dualism.Ben White - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1779-1798.
    A popular response to the Exclusion Argument for physicalism maintains that mental events depend on their physical bases in such a way that the causation of a physical effect by a mental event and its physical base needn’t generate any problematic form of causal overdetermination, even if mental events are numerically distinct from and irreducible to their physical bases. This paper presents and defends a form of dualism that implements this response by using a dispositional essentialist view of properties to (...)
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  33. Two Ways to Kill a Patient.Ben Bronner - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (1):44-63.
    According to the Standard View, a doctor who withdraws life-sustaining treatment does not kill the patient but rather allows the patient to die—an important distinction, according to some. I argue that killing can be understood in either of two ways, and given the relevant understanding, the Standard View is insulated from typical criticisms. I conclude by noting several problems for the Standard View that remain to be fully addressed.
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  34. Distance and Dissimilarity.Ben Blumson - 2018 - Philosophical Papers 48 (2):211-239.
    This paper considers whether an analogy between distance and dissimilarlity supports the thesis that degree of dissimilarity is distance in a metric space. A straightforward way to justify the thesis would be to define degree of dissimilarity as a function of number of properties in common and not in common. But, infamously, this approach has problems with infinity. An alternative approach would be to prove representation and uniqueness theorems, according to which if comparative dissimilarity meets certain qualitative conditions, then it (...)
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  35.  92
    Procreation, Carbon Tax, and Poverty: An Act-Consequentialist Climate-Change Agenda.Ben Eggleston - 2020 - In Dale E. Miller & Ben Eggleston (eds.), Moral Theory and Climate Change: Ethical Perspectives on a Warming Planet. London, UK: pp. 58–77.
    A book chapter (about 9,000 words, plus references) presenting an act-consequentialist approach to the ethics of climate change. It begins with an overview of act consequentialism, including a description of the view’s principle of rightness (an act is right if and only if it maximizes the good) and a conception of the good focusing on the well-being of sentient creatures and rejecting temporal discounting. Objections to act consequentialism, and replies, are also considered. Next, the chapter briefly suggests that act consequentialism (...)
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  36. The Logical Contingency of Identity.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (2):5-10.
    I show that intuitive and logical considerations do not justify introducing Leibniz’s Law of the Indiscernibility of Identicals in more than a limited form, as applying to atomic formulas. Once this is accepted, it follows that Leibniz’s Law generalises to all formulas of the first-order Predicate Calculus but not to modal formulas. Among other things, identity turns out to be logically contingent.
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  37. Unknown Pleasures.Ben Bramble - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1333-1344.
    According to attitudinal theories of pleasure and pain, what makes a given sensation count as a pleasure or a pain is just the attitudes of the experiencing agent toward it. In a previous article, I objected to such theories on the grounds that they cannot account for pleasures and pains whose subjects are entirely unaware of them at the time of experience. Recently, Chris Heathwood and Fred Feldman, the two leading contemporary defenders of attitudinal theories, have responded to this objection, (...)
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  38. Painlessly Killing Predators.Ben Bramble - 2021 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 38 (2):217-225.
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  39. Machine Morality, Moral Progress, and the Looming Environmental Disaster.Ben Kenward & Thomas Sinclair - forthcoming - Cognitive Computation and Systems.
    The creation of artificial moral systems requires us to make difficult choices about which of varying human value sets should be instantiated. The industry-standard approach is to seek and encode moral consensus. Here we argue, based on evidence from empirical psychology, that encoding current moral consensus risks reinforcing current norms, and thus inhibiting moral progress. However, so do efforts to encode progressive norms. Machine ethics is thus caught between a rock and a hard place. The problem is particularly acute when (...)
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  40.  52
    Shared Intentionality and the Representation of Groups; or, How to Build a Socially Adept Robot.Ben Phillips - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    Pietraszewski provides a compelling case that representations of certain interaction- types are the “cognitive primitives” that allow all tokens of group-in-conflict to be represented within the mind. Here, I argue that the folk concept GROUP encodes shared intentions and goals as more central than these interaction-types, and that providing a computational theory of social groups will be more difficult than Pietraszewski envisages.
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  41. Political Activism and Research Ethics.Ben Jones - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (2):233-248.
    Those who care about and engage in politics frequently fall victim to cognitive bias. Concerns that such bias impacts scholarship recently have prompted debates—notably, in philosophy and psychology—on the proper relationship between research and politics. One proposal emerging from these debates is that researchers studying politics have a professional duty to avoid political activism because it risks biasing their work. While sympathetic to the motivations behind this proposal, I suggest several reasons to reject a blanket duty to avoid activism: (1) (...)
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  42. The Role of Pleasure in Well-Being.Ben Bramble - 2015 - In Guy Fletcher (ed.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Well-Being. Routledge.
    What is the role of pleasure in determining a person’s well-being? I start by considering the nature of pleasure (i.e., what pleasure is). I then consider what factors, if any, can affect how much a given pleasure adds to a person’s lifetime well-being other than its degree of pleasurableness (i.e., how pleasurable it is). Finally, I consider whether it is plausible that there is any other way to add to somebody’s lifetime well-being than by giving him some pleasure or helping (...)
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  43. Anti-Perfectionisms and Autonomy.Ben Colburn - 2010 - Analysis 70 (2):247-256.
    I provide support for a liberal political philosophy that is fully committed to the state promotion of autonomy, and which also counts Anti-perfectionism amongst its other commitments. I do so by defending it against the serious charge that it is prima facie self-contradictory. After all, Anti-perfectionism appears to demand that the state refrain from promoting any value – it looks as though that must preclude the promotion of autonomy, if the latter is conceived of as a value. I argue that (...)
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  44.  49
    Institutional Responsibility is Prior to Personal Responsibility in a Pandemic.Ben Davies & Julian Savulescu - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-20.
    On 26 January 2021, while announcing that the country had reached the mark of 100,000 deaths within 28 days of COVID-19, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he took “full responsibility for everything that the Government has done” as part of British efforts to tackle the pandemic. The force of this statement was undermined, however, by what followed: -/- What I can tell you is that we truly did everything we could, and continue to do everything that we can, (...)
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  45. Fact, Fiction, and Fantasy.Ben Blumson - 2015 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 39 (1):46-57.
    This paper argues: (1) All knowledge from fiction is from imagination (2) All knowledge from imagination is modal knowledge (3) So, all knowledge from fiction is modal knowledge Moreover, some knowledge is from fiction, so (1)-(3) are non-vacuously true.
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  46. The Evolution and Development of Visual Perspective Taking.Ben Phillips - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (2):183-204.
    I outline three conceptions of seeing that a creature might possess: ‘the headlamp conception,’ which involves an understanding of the causal connections between gazing at an object, certain mental states, and behavior; ‘the stage lights conception,’ which involves an understanding of the selective nature of visual attention; and seeing-as. I argue that infants and various nonhumans possess the headlamp conception. There is also evidence that chimpanzees and 3-year-old children have some grasp of seeing-as. However, due to a dearth of studies, (...)
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  47. Can We Interpret Kant as a Compatibilist About Determinism and Moral Responsibility?Ben Vilhauer - 2004 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 12 (4):719 – 730.
    In this paper, I discuss Hud Hudson's compatibilistic interpretation of Kant's theory of free will, which is based on Davidson's anomalous monism. I sketch an alternative interpretation of my own, an incompatibilistic interpretation according to which agents qua noumena are responsible for the particular causal laws which determine the actions of agents qua phenomena. Hudson's interpretation should be attractive to philosophers who value Kant's epistemology and ethics, but insist on a deflationary reading of things in themselves. It is in an (...)
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  48. Defining Depiction.Ben Blumson - 2009 - British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (2):143-157.
    It is a platitude that whereas language is mediated by convention, depiction is mediated by resemblance. But this platitude may be attacked on the grounds that resemblance is either insufficient for or incidental to depictive representation. I defend common sense from this attack by using Grice's analysis of meaning to specify the non-incidental role of resemblance in depictive representation.
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  49. A Note on the Definition of Physicalism.Ben Blumson & Weng Hong Tang - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):10-18.
    Physicalism is incompatible with what is known as the possibility of zombies, that is, the possibility of a world physically like ours, but in which there are no conscious experiences. But it is compatible with what is known as the possibility of ghosts, that is, the possibility of a world which is physically like ours, but in which there are additional nonphysical entities. In this paper we argue that a revision to the traditional definition of physicalism designed to accommodate the (...)
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  50. On Susan Wolf’s “Good-for-Nothings".Ben Bramble - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):1071-1081.
    According to welfarism about value, something is good simpliciter just in case it is good for some being or beings. In her recent Presidential Address to the American Philosophical Association, “Good-For-Nothings”, Susan Wolf argues against welfarism by appeal to great works of art, literature, music, and philosophy. Wolf provides three main arguments against this view, which I call The Superfluity Argument, The Explanation of Benefit Argument, and The Welfarist’s Mistake. In this paper, I reconstruct these arguments and explain where, in (...)
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