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Profile: Michael Huemer (University of Colorado, Boulder)
  1. Dialogues on Ethical Vegetarianism, Part 4.Michael Huemer - manuscript
    A four-part series of dialogues between two philosophy students, M and V. The question: is it wrong to eat meat? M and V review the standard arguments plus a few new ones. Part 4 discusses what products one should renounce, the value of abstract theory, why people who accept the arguments often fail to change their behavior, and how vegans should react to non-vegans.
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  2. Dialogues on Ethical Vegetarianism, Part 3.Michael Huemer - manuscript
    A four-part series of dialogues between two philosophy students, M and V. The question: is it wrong to eat meat? M and V review the standard arguments plus a few new ones. Part 3 discusses the idea that creatures have different degrees of consciousness, the sense that certain animal welfare positions "sound crazy", and the role of empathy in moral judgment.
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  3. Dialogues on Ethical Vegetarianism, Part 2.Michael Huemer - manuscript
    A four-part series of dialogues between two philosophy students, M and V. The question: is it wrong to eat meat? M and V review the standard arguments plus a few new ones. Part 2 discusses miscellaneous defenses of meat-eating. These include the claim that the consumer is not responsible for wrongs committed by farm workers, that a single individual cannot have any effect on the meat industry, that farm animals are better off living on factory farms than never existing at (...)
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  4. Dialogues on Ethical Vegetarianism, Part 1.Michael Huemer - manuscript
    A four-part series of dialogues between two philosophy students, M and V. The question: is it wrong to eat meat? M and V review the standard arguments plus a few new ones. Part 1 discusses the suffering caused by factory farming, and how one's intelligence affects the badness of suffering.
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  5. There Is No Pure Empirical Reasoning.Michael Huemer - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (3):592-613.
    The justificatory force of empirical reasoning always depends upon the existence of some synthetic, a priori justification. The reasoner must begin with justified, substantive constraints on both the prior probability of the conclusion and certain conditional probabilities; otherwise, all possible degrees of belief in the conclusion are left open given the premises. Such constraints cannot in general be empirically justified, on pain of infinite regress. Nor does subjective Bayesianism offer a way out for the empiricist. Despite often-cited convergence theorems, subjective (...)
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  6. The Right to Move Versus the Right to Exclude: A Principled Defense of Open Borders.Michael Huemer - manuscript
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  7. Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism.Michael Huemer - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):30–55.
    I defend the principle of Phenomenal Conservatism, on which appearances of all kinds generate at least some justification for belief. I argue that there is no reason for privileging introspection or intuition over perceptual experience as a source of justified belief; that those who deny Phenomenal Conservatism are in a self-defeating position, in that their view cannot be both true and justified; and that thedemand for a metajustification for Phenomenal Conservatism either is an easily met demand, or is an unfair (...)
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  8. A Liberal Realist Answer to Debunking Skeptics: The Empirical Case for Realism.Michael Huemer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1983-2010.
    Debunking skeptics claim that our moral beliefs are formed by processes unsuited to identifying objective facts, such as emotions inculcated by our genes and culture; therefore, they say, even if there are objective moral facts, we probably don’t know them. I argue that the debunking skeptics cannot explain the pervasive trend toward liberalization of values over human history, and that the best explanation is the realist’s: humanity is becoming increasingly liberal because liberalism is the objectively correct moral stance.
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  9. Is Wealth Redistribution a Rights Violation?Michael Huemer - manuscript
    I argue that taxation for redistributive purposes is a property rights violation, responding to arguments (due to Nagel, Murphy, Sunstein, and Holmes) claiming that individuals lack ownership of their pretax incomes.
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  10. The Duty to Disregard the Law.Michael Huemer - manuscript
    In the practice of jury nullification, a jury votes to acquit a defendant in disregard of the factual evidence, on the grounds that a conviction would result in injustice, either because the law itself is unjust or because its application in the particular case would be unjust. The practice is widely condemned by courts, which strenuously attempt to prevent it. Nevertheless, the arguments against jury nullification are surprisingly weak. I argue that, pursuant to the general ethical duty to avoid causing (...)
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  11. In Praise of the Lawless Jury.Michael Huemer - manuscript
    Jury nullification is justified by the principle that individuals are prima facie ethically obligated to avoid causing unjust harms. Safeguarding justice against unjust laws and punishments of the government is the central function of the jury.
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  12. Devil’s Advocates: On the Ethics of Unjust Legal Advocacy.Michael Huemer - manuscript
    I argue that it is morally wrong for a lawyer to pursue a legal outcome that he knows to be unjust, such as the acquittal of a guilty client or the triumph of the wrong side in a lawsuit.
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  13.  73
    Mental Files and Belief: A Cognitive Theory of How Children Represent Belief and its Intensionality.Josef Perner, Michael Huemer & Brian Leahy - 2015 - Cognition 145:77-88.
    We provide a cognitive analysis of how children represent belief using mental files. We explain why children who pass the false belief test are not aware of the intensionality of belief. Fifty-one 3½- to 7-year old children were familiarized with a dual object, e.g., a ball that rattles and is described as a rattle. They observed how a puppet agent witnessed the ball being put into box 1. In the agent’s absence the ball was taken from box 1, the child (...)
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