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J. David Velleman
New York University
  1. The Possibility of Practical Reason.J. David Velleman - 1996 - Ethics 106 (4):694-726.
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  2. Love as a Moral Emotion.J. David Velleman - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):338-374.
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  3. Color as a Secondary Quality.Paul A. Boghossian & J. David Velleman - 1989 - Mind 98 (January):81-103.
    Should a principle of charity be applied to the interpretation of the colour concepts exercised in visual experience? We think not. We shall argue, for one thing, that the grounds for applying a principle of charity are lacking in the case of colour concepts. More importantly, we shall argue that attempts at giving the experience of colour a charitable interpretation either fail to respect obvious features of that experience or fail to interpret it charitably, after all. Charity to visual experience (...)
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  4. How We Get Along.J. David Velleman - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    In How We Get Along, philosopher David Velleman compares our social interactions to the interactions among improvisational actors on stage. He argues that we play ourselves - not artificially but authentically, by doing what would make sense coming from us as we really are. And, like improvisational actors, we deal with one another in dual capacities: both as characters within the social drama and as players contributing to the shared performance. In this conception of social intercourse, Velleman finds rational grounds (...)
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  5. What Happens When Someone Acts?J. David Velleman - 1992 - Mind 101 (403):461-481.
    What happens when someone acts? A familiar answer goes like this. There is something that the agent wants, and there is an action that he believes conducive to its attainment. His desire for the end, and his belief in the action as a means, justify taking the action, and they jointly cause an intention to take it, which in turn causes the corresponding movements of the agent's body. I think that the standard story is flawed in several respects. The flaw (...)
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  6. How To Share An Intention.J. David Velleman - 1997 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 57 (1):29-50.
    Existing accounts of shared intention do not claim that a single token of intention can be jointly framed and executed by multiple agents; rather, they claim that multiple agents can frame distinct, individual intentions in such a way as to qualify as jointly intending something. In this respect, the existing accounts do not show that intentions can be shared in any literal sense. This article argues that, in failing to show how intentions can be literally shared, these accounts fail to (...)
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  7. Narrative Explanation.J. David Velleman - 2003 - Philosophical Review 112 (1):1-25.
    A story does more than recount events; it recounts events in a way that renders them intelligible, thus conveying not just information but also understanding. We might therefore be tempted to describe narrative as a genre of explanation. When the police invite a suspect to “tell his story,” they are asking him to explain the blood on his shirt or his absence from home on the night of the murder; and whether he is judged to have a “good story” will (...)
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  8. What Good is a Will?J. David Velleman - 2007 - In Anton Leist & Holger Baumann (eds.), Action in Context. de Gruyter/Mouton.
    As a philosopher of action, I might be expected to believe that the will is a good thing. Actually, I believe that the will is a great thing - awesome, in fact. But I'm not thereby committed to its being something good. When I say that the will is awesome, I mean literally that it is a proper object of awe, a response that restrains us from abusing the will and moves us rather to use it respectfully, in a way (...)
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  9. Physicalist Theories of Color.Paul A. Boghossian & J. David Velleman - 1991 - Philosophical Review 100 (January):67-106.
    The dispute between realists about color and anti-realists is actually a dispute about the nature of color properties. The disputants do not disagree over what material objects are like. Rather, they disagree over whether any of the uncontroversial facts about material objects--their powers to cause visual experiences, their dispositions to reflect incident light, their atomic makeup, and so on--amount to their having colors. The disagreement is thus about which properties colors are and, in particular, whether colors are any of the (...)
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  10. How to Endure.J. David Velleman & Thomas Hofweber - 2011 - Philosophical Quarterly 61 (242):37 - 57.
    The terms `endurance' and `perdurance' are commonly thought to denote distinct ways for an object to persist, but it is surprisingly hard to say what these are. The common approach, defining them in terms of temporal parts, is mistaken, because it does not lead to two coherent philosophical alternatives: endurance so understood becomes conceptually incoherent, while perdurance becomes not just true but a conceptual truth. Instead, we propose a different way to articulate the distinction, in terms of identity rather than (...)
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  11. The Self as Narrator.J. David Velleman - 2005 - In Joel Anderson & John Christman (eds.), Autonomy and the Challenges to Liberalism: New Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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  12. Motivation by Ideal.J. David Velleman - 2002 - Philosophical Explorations 5 (2):89-103.
    I offer an account of how ideals motivate us. My account suggests that although emulating an ideal is often rational, it can lead us to do irrational things.
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  13. Distortions of Normativity.Herlinde Pauer-Studer & J. David Velleman - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (3):329-356.
    We discuss some implications of the Holocaust for moral philosophy. Our thesis is that morality became distorted in the Third Reich at the level of its social articulation. We explore this thesis in application to several front-line perpetrators who maintained false moral self-conceptions. We conclude that more than a priori moral reasoning is required to correct such distortions.
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  14. The Voice of Conscience.J. David Velleman - 1999 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99 (1):57–76.
    I reconstruct Kant's derivation of the Categorical Imperative (CI) as an argument that deduces what the voice of conscience must say from how it must sound - that is, from the authority that is metaphorically attributed to conscience in the form of a resounding voice. The idea of imagining the CI as the voice of conscience comes from Freud; and the present reconstruction is part of a larger project that aims to reconcile Kant's moral psychology with Freud's theory of moral (...)
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  15. From Self Psychology to Moral Philosophy.J. David Velleman - 2000 - Philosophical Perspectives 14:349-377.
    I have therefore decided to venture out of the philosophical armchair in order to examine the empirical evidence, as gathered by psychologists aiming to prove or disprove motivational conjectures like mine. By and large, this evidence is indirect in relation to my account of agency, since it is drawn from cases in which the relevant motive has been forced into the open by the manipulations of an experimenter. The resulting evidence doesn’t tend to show the mechanism of agency humming along (...)
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  16. Is Motivation Internal to Value?J. David Velleman - 1998 - In C. Fehige & U. Wessels (eds.), Preferences. Walter de Gruyter.
    The view that something's being good for a person depends on his capacity to care about it – sometimes called internalism about a person’s good – is here derived from the principle that 'ought' implies 'can'. In the course of this derivation, the limits of internalism are discussed, and a distinction is drawn between two senses of the phrase "a person's good".
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  17. A Rational Superego.J. David Velleman - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (4):529 - 558.
    Just when philosophers of science thought they had buried Freud for the last time, he has quietly reappeared in the writings of moral philosophers. Two analytic ethicists, Samuel Scheffler and John Deigh, have independently applied Freud’s theory of the superego to the problem of moral motivation. Scheffler and Deigh concur in thinking that although Freudian theory doesn’t entirely solve the problem, it can nevertheless contribute to a solution.
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  18. Sociality and Solitude.J. David Velleman - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (3):324-335.
    “How can I, who am thinking about the entire, centerless universe, be anything so specific as this: this measly creature existing in a tiny morsel of space and time?” This metaphysically self-deprecating question, posed by Thomas Nagel, holds an insight into the nature of personhood and the ordinary ways we value it, in others and in ourselves. I articulate that insight and apply it to the phenomena of friendship, companionship, sexuality, solitude, and love. Although love comes in many forms, I (...)
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