Results for 'Brian Reese'

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  1. How can a line segment with extension be composed of extensionless points?Brian Reese, Michael Vazquez & Scott Weinstein - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-28.
    We provide a new interpretation of Zeno’s Paradox of Measure that begins by giving a substantive account, drawn from Aristotle’s text, of the fact that points lack magnitude. The main elements of this account are (1) the Axiom of Archimedes which states that there are no infinitesimal magnitudes, and (2) the principle that all assignments of magnitude, or lack thereof, must be grounded in the magnitude of line segments, the primary objects to which the notion of linear magnitude applies. Armed (...)
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    Losing the Forest for the Tree: Why All Thomists Should (Not) Be River Forest Thomists.Philip-Neri Reese, O. P. - 2024 - Religions 15 (5):1-11.
    One of the most influential and controversial schools of 20th century Thomism—especially in North America—is the “River Forest School” or “River Forest Thomism”. And one of the most influential and controversial theses associated with that school is the thesis that metaphysics cannot be established as a distinct and autonomous science unless one has already proven the existence of a positively immaterial being. The purpose of this paper is to show that River Forest Thomism cannot and should not be reduced to (...)
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  3. The Ant Trap: Rebuilding the Foundations of the Social Sciences.Brian Epstein - 2015 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    We live in a world of crowds and corporations, artworks and artifacts, legislatures and languages, money and markets. These are all social objects — they are made, at least in part, by people and by communities. But what exactly are these things? How are they made, and what is the role of people in making them? In The Ant Trap, Brian Epstein rewrites our understanding of the nature of the social world and the foundations of the social sciences. Epstein (...)
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  4. Running risks morally.Brian Weatherson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):141-163.
    I defend normative externalism from the objection that it cannot account for the wrongfulness of moral recklessness. The defence is fairly simple—there is no wrong of moral recklessness. There is an intuitive argument by analogy that there should be a wrong of moral recklessness, and the bulk of the paper consists of a response to this analogy. A central part of my response is that if people were motivated to avoid moral recklessness, they would have to have an unpleasant sort (...)
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  5. Can we do without pragmatic encroachment.Brian Weatherson - 2005 - Philosophical Perspectives 19 (1):417–443.
    I consider the problem of how to derive what an agent believes from their credence function and utility function. I argue the best solution of this problem is pragmatic, i.e. it is sensitive to the kinds of choices actually facing the agent. I further argue that this explains why our notion of justified belief appears to be pragmatic, as is argued e.g. by Fantl and McGrath. The notion of epistemic justification is not really a pragmatic notion, but it is being (...)
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  6. Deontology and Descartes’s Demon.Brian Weatherson - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (9):540-569.
    In his Principles of Philosophy, Descartes says, Finally, it is so manifest that we possess a free will, capable of giving or withholding its assent, that this truth must be reckoned among the first and most common notions which are born with us.
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  7. Addiction, Identity, Morality.Brian D. Earp, Joshua August Skorburg, Jim A. C. Everett & Julian Savulescu - 2019 - AJOB Empirical Bioethics 10 (2):136-153.
    Background: Recent literature on addiction and judgments about the characteristics of agents has focused on the implications of adopting a ‘brain disease’ versus ‘moral weakness’ model of addiction. Typically, such judgments have to do with what capacities an agent has (e.g., the ability to abstain from substance use). Much less work, however, has been conducted on the relationship between addiction and judgments about an agent’s identity, including whether or to what extent an individual is seen as the same person after (...)
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  8. What good are counterexamples?Brian Weatherson - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 115 (1):1-31.
    Intuitively, Gettier cases are instances of justified true beliefs that are not cases of knowledge. Should we therefore conclude that knowledge is not justified true belief? Only if we have reason to trust intuition here. But intuitions are unreliable in a wide range of cases. And it can be argued that the Gettier intuitions have a greater resemblance to unreliable intuitions than to reliable intuitions. Whats distinctive about the faulty intuitions, I argue, is that respecting them would mean abandoning a (...)
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  9. Moral Neuroenhancement.Brian D. Earp, Thomas Douglas & Julian Savulescu - 2017 - In L. Syd M. Johnson & Karen S. Rommelfanger (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Neuroethics. Routledge.
    In this chapter, we introduce the notion of “moral neuroenhancement,” offering a novel definition as well as spelling out three conditions under which we expect that such neuroenhancement would be most likely to be permissible (or even desirable). Furthermore, we draw a distinction between first-order moral capacities, which we suggest are less promising targets for neurointervention, and second-order moral capacities, which we suggest are more promising. We conclude by discussing concerns that moral neuroenhancement might restrict freedom or otherwise “misfire,” and (...)
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  10. Transitivity, Majority Rule, and the Repugnant Conclusion.Brian Hedden - manuscript
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  11. Presentism and the objection from being-supervenience.Brian Kierland & Bradley Monton - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):485-497.
    In this paper, we show that presentism -- the view that the way things are is the way things presently are -- is not undermined by the objection from being-supervenience. This objection claims, roughly, that presentism has trouble accounting for the truth-value of past-tense claims. Our demonstration amounts to the articulation and defence of a novel version of presentism. This is brute past presentism, according to which the truth-value of past-tense claims is determined by the past understood as a fundamental (...)
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  12. Molyneux’s Question and the History of Philosophy.Brian Glenney & Gabriele Ferretti (eds.) - 2020 - New York, USA: Routledge.
    In 1688 the Irish scientist and politician William Molyneux sent a letter to the philosopher John Locke. In it, he asked him a question: could someone who was born blind, and able to distinguish a globe and a cube by touch, be able to immediately distinguish and name these shapes by sight if given the ability to see? -/- The philosophical puzzle offered in Molyneux’s letter fascinated not only Locke, but major thinkers such as Leibniz, Berkeley, Diderot, Reid, and numerous (...)
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  13. Intellectual Skill and the Rylean Regress.Brian Weatherson - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):370-386.
    Intelligent activity requires the use of various intellectual skills. While these skills are connected to knowledge, they should not be identified with knowledge. There are realistic examples where the skills in question come apart from knowledge. That is, there are realistic cases of knowledge without skill, and of skill without knowledge. Whether a person is intelligent depends, in part, on whether they have these skills. Whether a particular action is intelligent depends, in part, on whether it was produced by an (...)
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  14. Psychophysical Harmony: A New Argument for Theism.Brian Cutter & Dustin Crummett - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
    This paper develops a new argument from consciousness to theism: the argument from psychophysical harmony. Roughly, psychophysical harmony consists in the fact that phenomenal states are correlated with physical states and with one another in strikingly fortunate ways. For example, phenomenal states are correlated with behavior and functioning that is justified or rationalized by those very phenomenal states, and phenomenal states are correlated with verbal reports and judgments that are made true by those very phenomenal states. We argue that psychophysical (...)
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  15. Knowledge, Bets, and Interests.Brian Weatherson - 2012 - In Jessica Brown & Mikkel Gerken (eds.), Knowledge Ascriptions. Oxford University Press. pp. 75--103.
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  16. Moral intuitionism and disagreement.Brian Besong - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2767-2789.
    According to moral intuitionism, at least some moral seeming states are justification-conferring. The primary defense of this view currently comes from advocates of the standard account, who take the justification-conferring power of a moral seeming to be determined by its phenomenological credentials alone. However, the standard account is vulnerable to a problem. In brief, the standard account implies that moral knowledge is seriously undermined by those commonplace moral disagreements in which both agents have equally good phenomenological credentials supporting their disputed (...)
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  17. Conditionals and indexical relativism.Brian Weatherson - 2009 - Synthese 166 (2):333-357.
    I set out and defend a view on indicative conditionals that I call “indexical relativism ”. The core of the view is that which proposition is expressed by an utterance of a conditional is a function of the speaker’s context and the assessor’s context. This implies a kind of relativism, namely that a single utterance may be correctly assessed as true by one assessor and false by another.
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  18. On statistical criteria of algorithmic fairness.Brian Hedden - 2021 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 49 (2):209-231.
    Predictive algorithms are playing an increasingly prominent role in society, being used to predict recidivism, loan repayment, job performance, and so on. With this increasing influence has come an increasing concern with the ways in which they might be unfair or biased against individuals in virtue of their race, gender, or, more generally, their group membership. Many purported criteria of algorithmic fairness concern statistical relationships between the algorithm’s predictions and the actual outcomes, for instance requiring that the rate of false (...)
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  19. The Bayesian and the Dogmatist.Brian Weatherson - 2007 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 107 (1pt2):169-185.
    Dogmatism is sometimes thought to be incompatible with Bayesian models of rational learning. I show that the best model for updating imprecise credences is compatible with dogmatism.
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  20. Anchoring versus Grounding: Reply to Schaffer.Brian Epstein - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):768-781.
    In his insightful and challenging paper, Jonathan Schaffer argues against a distinction I make in The Ant Trap (Epstein 2015) and related articles. I argue that in addition to the widely discussed “grounding” relation, there is a different kind of metaphysical determination I name “anchoring.” Grounding and anchoring are distinct, and both need to be a part of full explanations of how facts are metaphysically determined. Schaffer argues instead that anchoring is a species of grounding. The crux of his argument (...)
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  21. Games, Beliefs and Credences.Brian Weatherson - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):209-236.
    In previous work I’ve defended an interest-relative theory of belief. This paper continues the defence. It has four aims. -/- 1. To offer a new kind of reason for being unsatis ed with the simple Lockean reduction of belief to credence. 2. To defend the legitimacy of appealing to credences in a theory of belief. 3. To illustrate the importance of theoretical, as well as practical, interests in an interest-relative account of belief. 4. To revise my account to cover propositions (...)
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  22. You, Robot.Brian Fiala, Adam Arico & Shaun Nichols - 2014 - In Edouard Machery (ed.), Current Controversies in Experimental Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 31-47.
    How do people think about the mental states of robots? Experimental philosophers have developed various models aiming to specify the factors that drive people's attributions of mental states to robots. Here we report on a new experiment involving robots, the results of which tell against competing models. We advocate a view on which attributions of mental states to robots are driven by the same dual-process architecture that subserves attributions of mental states more generally. In support of this view, we leverage (...)
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  23. Multidimensional Concepts and Disparate Scale Types.Brian Hedden & Jacob M. Nebel - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    Multidimensional concepts are everywhere, and they are important. Examples include moral value, welfare, scientific confirmation, democracy, and biodiversity. How, if at all, can we aggregate the underlying dimensions of a multidimensional concept F to yield verdicts about which things are Fer than which overall? Social choice theory can be used to model and investigate this aggregation problem. Here, we focus on a particularly thorny problem made salient by this social choice-theoretic framework: the underlying dimensions of a given concept might be (...)
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  24. Minimizing Inaccuracy for Self-Locating Beliefs.Brian Kierland & Bradley Monton - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (2):384-395.
    One's inaccuracy for a proposition is defined as the squared difference between the truth value (1 or 0) of the proposition and the credence (or subjective probability, or degree of belief) assigned to the proposition. One should have the epistemic goal of minimizing the expected inaccuracies of one's credences. We show that the method of minimizing expected inaccuracy can be used to solve certain probability problems involving information loss and self-locating beliefs (where a self-locating belief of a temporal part of (...)
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  25. Pragmatic infallibilism.Brian Kim - 2023 - Asian Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):1-22.
    Infallibilism leads to skepticism, and fallibilism is plagued by the threshold problem. Within this narrative, the pragmatic turn in epistemology has been marketed as a way for fallibilists to address the threshold problem. In contrast, pragmatic versions of infallibilism have been left unexplored. However, I propose that going pragmatic offers the infallibilist a way to address its main problem, the skeptical problem. Pragmatic infallibilism, however, is committed to a shifty view of epistemic certainty, where the strength of a subject’s epistemic (...)
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  26. Binding bound variables in epistemic contexts.Brian Rabern - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (5-6):533-563.
    ABSTRACT Quine insisted that the satisfaction of an open modalised formula by an object depends on how that object is described. Kripke's ‘objectual’ interpretation of quantified modal logic, whereby variables are rigid, is commonly thought to avoid these Quinean worries. Yet there remain residual Quinean worries for epistemic modality. Theorists have recently been toying with assignment-shifting treatments of epistemic contexts. On such views an epistemic operator ends up binding all the variables in its scope. One might worry that this yields (...)
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  27. How Many Kinds of Glue Hold the Social World Together.Brian Epstein - 2014 - In Mattia Gallotti & John Michael (eds.), Social Ontology and Social Cognition.
    In recent years, theorists have debated how we introduce new social objects and kinds into the world. Searle, for instance, proposes that they are introduced by collective acceptance of a constitutive rule; Millikan and Elder that they are the products of reproduction processes; Thomasson that they result from creator intentions and subsequent intentional reproduction; and so on. In this chapter, I argue against the idea that there is a single generic method or set of requirements for doing so. Instead, there (...)
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  28. Disagreements, Philosophical and Otherwise.Brian Weatherson - 2013 - In Jennifer Lackey & David Christensen (eds.), The Epistemology of Disagreement: New Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 54.
    Conciliatory theories of disagreement face a revenge problem; they cannot be coherently believed by one who thinks they have peers who are not conciliationists. I argue that this is a deep problem for conciliationism.
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  29. Experimental Philosophical Bioethics and Normative Inference.Brian D. Earp, Jonathan Lewis, Vilius Dranseika & Ivar R. Hannikainen - 2021 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 42 (3-4):91-111.
    This paper explores an emerging sub-field of both empirical bioethics and experimental philosophy, which has been called “experimental philosophical bioethics” (bioxphi). As an empirical discipline, bioxphi adopts the methods of experimental moral psychology and cognitive science; it does so to make sense of the eliciting factors and underlying cognitive processes that shape people’s moral judgments, particularly about real-world matters of bioethical concern. Yet, as a normative discipline situated within the broader field of bioethics, it also aims to contribute to substantive (...)
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  30. Racial Justice Requires Ending the War on Drugs.Brian D. Earp, Jonathan Lewis, Carl L. Hart & Walter Veit - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (4):4-19.
    Historically, laws and policies to criminalize drug use or possession were rooted in explicit racism, and they continue to wreak havoc on certain racialized communities. We are a group of bioethicists, drug experts, legal scholars, criminal justice researchers, sociologists, psychologists, and other allied professionals who have come together in support of a policy proposal that is evidence-based and ethically recommended. We call for the immediate decriminalization of all so-called recreational drugs and, ultimately, for their timely and appropriate legal regulation. We (...)
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  31. The Role of Naturalness in Lewis's Theory of Meaning.Brian Weatherson - 2013 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 1 (10).
    Many writers have held that in his later work, David Lewis adopted a theory of predicate meaning such that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is (mostly) consistent with the way the predicate is used. That orthodox interpretation is shared by both supporters and critics of Lewis's theory of meaning, but it has recently been strongly criticised by Wolfgang Schwarz. In this paper, I accept many of Schwarze's criticisms of the orthodox interpretation, and add some (...)
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  32. Many many problems.Brian Weatherson - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (213):481–501.
    Recently four different papers have suggested that the supervaluational solution to the Problem of the Many is flawed. Stephen Schiffer (1998, 2000a, 2000b) has argued that the theory cannot account for reports of speech involving vague singular terms. Vann McGee and Brian McLaughlin (2000) say that theory cannot, yet, account for vague singular beliefs. Neil McKinnon (2002) has argued that we cannot provide a plausible theory of when precisifications are acceptable, which the supervaluational theory needs. And Roy Sorensen (2000) (...)
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  33. The Ordinary Concept of True Love.Brian Earp, Daniel Do & Joshua Knobe - 2024 - In Christopher Grau & Aaron Smuts (eds.), "Introduction" for the Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Love. NYC: Oxford University Press.
    When we say that what two people feel for each other is 'true love,' we seem to be doing more than simply clarifying that it is in fact love they feel, as opposed to something else. That is, an experience or relationship might be a genuine or actual instance of love without necessarily being an instance of true love. But what criteria do people use to determine whether something counts as true love? This chapter explores three hypotheses. The first holds (...)
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  34. Pure Quotation in Linguistic Context.Brian Rabern - 2023 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 52 (2):393-413.
    A common framing has it that any adequate treatment of quotation has to abandon one of the following three principles: (i) The quoted expression is a syntactic constituent of the quote phrase; (ii) If two expressions are derived by applying the same syntactic rule to a sequence of synonymous expressions, then they are synonymous; (iii) The language contains synonymous but distinct expressions. In the following, a formal syntax and semantics will be provided for a quotational language which adheres to all (...)
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  35. Defending interest-relative invariantism.Brian Weatherson - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (4):591-609.
    I defend interest-relative invariantism from a number of recent attacks. One common thread to my response is that interest-relative invariantism is a muchweaker thesis than is often acknowledged, and a number of the attacks only challenge very specific, and I think implausible, versions of it. Another is that a number of the attacks fail to acknowledge how many things we have independent reason to believe knowledge is sensitive to. Whether there is a defeater for someone's knowledge can be sensitive to (...)
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  36. How to Be a Bayesian Dogmatist.Brian T. Miller - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):766-780.
    ABSTRACTRational agents have consistent beliefs. Bayesianism is a theory of consistency for partial belief states. Rational agents also respond appropriately to experience. Dogmatism is a theory of how to respond appropriately to experience. Hence, Dogmatism and Bayesianism are theories of two very different aspects of rationality. It's surprising, then, that in recent years it has become common to claim that Dogmatism and Bayesianism are jointly inconsistent: how can two independently consistent theories with distinct subject matter be jointly inconsistent? In this (...)
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  37. Intrinsic properties and combinatorial principles.Brian Weatherson - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):365-380.
    Three objections have recently been levelled at the analysis of intrinsicness offered by Rae Langton and David Lewis. While these objections do seem telling against the particular theory Langton and Lewis offer, they do not threaten the broader strategy Langton and Lewis adopt: defining intrinsicness in terms of combinatorial features of properties. I show how to amend their theory to overcome the objections without abandoning the strategy.
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  38. Social Objects Without Intentions.Brian Epstein - 2013 - In Anita Konzelmann Ziv & Hans Bernhard Schmid (eds.), Institutions, Emotions, and Group Agents: Contributions to Social Ontology. pp. 53-68.
    It is often seen as a truism that social objects and facts are the product of human intentions. I argue that the role of intentions in social ontology is commonly overestimated. I introduce a distinction that is implicit in much discussion of social ontology, but is often overlooked: between a social entity’s “grounds” and its “anchors.” For both, I argue that intentions, either individual or collective, are less essential than many theorists have assumed. Instead, I propose a more worldly – (...)
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  39. Centrality and marginalisation.Brian Weatherson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):517-533.
    A contribution to a symposium on Herman Cappelen's Philosophy without Intuitions.
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  40. Dimensions of Value.Brian Hedden & Daniel Muñoz - 2024 - Noûs 58 (2):291-305.
    Value pluralists believe in multiple dimensions of value. What does betterness along a dimension have to do with being better overall? Any systematic answer begins with the Strong Pareto principle: one thing is overall better than another if it is better along one dimension and at least as good along all others. We defend Strong Pareto from recent counterexamples and use our discussion to develop a novel view of dimensions of value, one which puts Strong Pareto on firmer footing. We (...)
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  41. Time-Slice Rationality.Brian Hedden - 2015 - Mind 124 (494):449-491.
    I advocate Time-Slice Rationality, the thesis that the relationship between two time-slices of the same person is not importantly different, for purposes of rational evaluation, from the relationship between time-slices of distinct persons. The locus of rationality, so to speak, is the time-slice rather than the temporally extended agent. This claim is motivated by consideration of puzzle cases for personal identity over time and by a very moderate form of internalism about rationality. Time-Slice Rationality conflicts with two proposed principles of (...)
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  42. What are social groups? Their metaphysics and how to classify them.Brian Epstein - 2017 - Synthese 196 (12):4899-4932.
    This paper presents a systematic approach for analyzing and explaining the nature of social groups. I argue against prominent views that attempt to unify all social groups or to divide them into simple typologies. Instead I argue that social groups are enormously diverse, but show how we can investigate their natures nonetheless. I analyze social groups from a bottom-up perspective, constructing profiles of the metaphysical features of groups of specific kinds. We can characterize any given kind of social group with (...)
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  43. Female genital mutilation (FGM) and male circumcision: Should there be a separate ethical discourse?Brian D. Earp - 2014 - Practical Ethics.
    It is sometimes argued that the non-therapeutic, non-consensual alteration of children‘s genitals should be discussed in two separate ethical discourses: one for girls (in which such alterations should be termed 'female genital mutilation' or FGM), and one for boys (in which such alterations should be termed 'male circumcision‘). In this article, I call into question the moral and empirical basis for such a distinction, and argue that all children - whether female, male, or indeed intersex - should be free from (...)
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  44. Do Judgments Screen Evidence?Brian Weatherson - manuscript
    Suppose a rational agent S has some evidence E that bears on p, and on that basis makes a judgment about p. For simplicity, we’ll normally assume that she judges that p, though we’re also interested in cases where the agent makes other judgments, such as that p is probable, or that p is well-supported by the evidence. We’ll also assume, again for simplicity, that the agent knows that E is the basis for her judgment. Finally, we’ll assume that the (...)
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  45. Repugnant Accuracy.Brian Talbot - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):540-563.
    Accuracy‐first epistemology is an approach to formal epistemology which takes accuracy to be a measure of epistemic utility and attempts to vindicate norms of epistemic rationality by showing how conformity with them is beneficial. If accuracy‐first epistemology can actually vindicate any epistemic norms, it must adopt a plausible account of epistemic value. Any such account must avoid the epistemic version of Derek Parfit's “repugnant conclusion.” I argue that the only plausible way of doing so is to say that accurate credences (...)
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  46. The AI Ensoulment Hypothesis.Brian Cutter - forthcoming - Faith and Philosophy.
    According to the AI ensoulment hypothesis, some future AI systems will be endowed with immaterial souls. I argue that we should have at least a middling credence in the AI ensoulment hypothesis, conditional on our eventual creation of AGI and the truth of substance dualism in the human case. I offer two arguments. The first relies on an analogy between aliens and AI. The second rests on the conjecture that ensoulment occurs whenever a physical system is “fit to possess” a (...)
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  47. What is Individualism in Social Ontology? Ontological Individualism vs. Anchor Individualism.Brian Epstein - 2014 - In Finn Collin & Julie Zahle (eds.), Rethinking the Individualism/Holism Debate: Essays in the Philosophy of Social Science.
    Individualists about social ontology hold that social facts are “built out of” facts about individuals. In this paper, I argue that there are two distinct kinds of individualism about social ontology, two different ways individual people might be the metaphysical “builders” of the social world. The familiar kind is ontological individualism. This is the thesis that social facts supervene on, or are exhaustively grounded by, facts about individual people. What I call anchor individualism is the alternative thesis that facts about (...)
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  48. Should we respond to evil with indifference?Brian Weatherson - 2005 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (3):613–635.
    In a recent article, Adam Elga outlines a strategy for “Defeating Dr Evil with Self-Locating Belief”. The strategy relies on an indifference principle that is not up to the task. In general, there are two things to dislike about indifference principles: adopting one normally means confusing risk for uncertainty, and they tend to lead to incoherent views in some ‘paradoxical’ situations. I argue that both kinds of objection can be levelled against Elga’s indifference principle. There are also some difficulties with (...)
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  49. За игрой в карты с чертиком Визинга.Brian Rabern & Landon Rabern - 2023 - Kvant 2023 (10):2-6.
    We analyze a solitaire game in which a demon rearranges some cards after each move. The graph edge coloring theorems of K˝onig (1931) and Vizing (1964) follow from the winning strategies developed.
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  50. Descriptions which have grown capital letters.Brian Rabern - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (3):292-319.
    Almost entirely ignored in the linguistic theorising on names and descriptions is a hybrid form of expression which, like definite descriptions, begin with 'the' but which, like proper names, are capitalised and seem to lack descriptive content. These are expressions such as the following, 'the Holy Roman Empire', 'the Mississippi River', or 'the Space Needle'. Such capitalised descriptions are ubiquitous in natural language, but to which linguistic categories do they belong? Are they simply proper names? Or are they definite descriptions (...)
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