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Brent G. Kyle
United States Air Force Academy
  1.  83
    The Expansion View of Thick Concepts.Brent G. Kyle - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper proposes a new Separabilist account of thick concepts, called the Expansion View (or EV). According to EV, thick concepts are expanded contents of thin terms. An expanded content is, roughly, the semantic content of a predicate along with modifiers. Although EV is a form of Separabilism, it is distinct from the only kind of Separabilism discussed in the literature, and it has many features that Inseparabilists want from an account of thick concepts. EV can also give non-cognitivists a (...)
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  2. How Are Thick Terms Evaluative?Brent G. Kyle - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13:1-20.
    Ethicists are typically willing to grant that thick terms (e.g. ‘courageous’ and ‘murder’) are somehow associated with evaluations. But they tend to disagree about what exactly this relationship is. Does a thick term’s evaluation come by way of its semantic content? Or is the evaluation pragmatically associated with the thick term (e.g. via conversational implicature)? In this paper, I argue that thick terms are semantically associated with evaluations. In particular, I argue that many thick concepts (if not all) conceptually entail (...)
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  3. Thick Concepts.Brent G. Kyle - 2016 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A term expresses a thick concept if it expresses a specific evaluative concept that is also substantially descriptive. It is a matter of debate how this rough account should be unpacked, but examples can help to convey the basic idea. Thick concepts are often illustrated with virtue concepts like courageous and generous, action concepts like murder and betray, epistemic concepts like dogmatic and wise, and aesthetic concepts like gaudy and brilliant. These concepts seem to be evaluative, unlike purely descriptive concepts (...)
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  4. Courage, Cowardice, and Maher’s Misstep.Brent G. Kyle - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (4):565-587.
    Could a Nazi soldier or terrorist be courageous? The Courage Problem asks us to answer this sort of question, and then to explain why people are reluctant to give this answer. The present paper sheds new light on the Courage Problem by examining a controversy sparked by Bill Maher, who claimed that the 9/11 terrorists’ acts were ‘not cowardly.’ It is shown that Maher's controversy is fundamentally related to the Courage Problem. Then, a unified solution to both problems is provided. (...)
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  5. Knowledge as a Thick Concept: Explaining Why the Gettier Problem Arises.Brent G. Kyle - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (1):1-27.
    The Gettier problem has stymied epistemologists. But, whether or not this problem is resolvable, we still must face an important question: Why does the Gettier problem arise in the first place? So far, philosophers have seen it as either a problem peculiar to the concept of knowledge, or else an instance of a general problem about conceptual analysis. But I would like to steer a middle course. I argue that the Gettier problem arises because knowledge is a thick concept, and (...)
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  6. Hiddenness, Holiness, and Impurity.Brent G. Kyle - 2017 - Religious Studies 53 (2):239-259.
    John Schellenberg has advanced the hiddenness argument against God’s existence, based on the idea that an all-loving God would seek personal relationships. This article develops a reply to Schellenberg’s argument by examining the notion of moral impurity, as understood by Paul the Apostle. Paul conceptualized moral impurity as a causal state that transfers from person to person, like a contagious disease. He also believed that moral impurity precludes divine–human relationship. The goal of this article is to develop these ideas into (...)
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  7. Review of 'The Lewd, the Rude, and the Nasty: A Study of Thick Concepts in Ethics' by Pekka Väyrynen. [REVIEW]Brent G. Kyle - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):576-582.
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  8. The New and Old Ignorance Puzzles: How Badly Do We Need Closure?Brent G. Kyle - 2015 - Synthese 192 (5):1495-1525.
    Skeptical puzzles and arguments often employ knowledge-closure principles . Epistemologists widely believe that an adequate reply to the skeptic should explain why her reasoning is appealing albeit misleading; but it’s unclear what would explain the appeal of the skeptic’s closure principle, if not for its truth. In this paper, I aim to challenge the widespread commitment to knowledge-closure. But I proceed by first examining a new puzzle about failing to know—what I call the New Ignorance Puzzle . This puzzle resembles (...)
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  9.  22
    Review of 'Thick Evaluation' by Simon Kirchin. [REVIEW]Brent G. Kyle - forthcoming - Mind:fzy055.
    Review of Thick Evaluation, by KirchinSimon. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xi + 198.
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  10. Punishing and Atoning: A New Critique of Penal Substitution.Brent G. Kyle - 2013 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 74 (2):201-218.
    The doctrine of penal substitution claims that it was good (or required) for God to punish in response to human sin, and that Christ received this punishment in our stead. I argue that this doctrine’s central factual claim—that Christ was punished by God—is mistaken. In order to punish someone, one must at least believe the recipient is responsible for an offense. But God surely did not believe the innocent Christ was responsible for an offense, let alone the offense of human (...)
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  11.  48
    Knowledge as a Thick Concept: New Light on the Gettier and Value Problems.Brent G. Kyle - 2011 - Dissertation, Cornell University
    I argue that knowledge is a particular kind of concept known as a thick concept. Examples of thick concepts include courage, generosity, loyalty, brutality, and so forth. These concepts are commonly said to combine both evaluation and description, and one of the main goals of this dissertation is to provide a new account of how a thick concept combines these elements. It is argued that thick concepts are semantically evaluative, and that they combine evaluation and description in a way similar (...)
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