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Michael Zhao
University of Notre Dame
  1. Intervention and the Probabilities of Indicative Conditionals.Michael Zhao - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (9):477-503.
    A few purported counterexamples to the Adams thesis have cropped up in the literature in the last few decades. I propose a theory that accounts for them, in a way that makes the connections between indicative conditionals and counterfactuals clearer.
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  2. Guilt Without Perceived Wrongdoing.Michael Zhao - 2020 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 48 (3):285-314.
    According to the received account of guilt in the philosophical literature, one cannot feel guilt unless one takes oneself to have done something morally wrong. But ordinary people feel guilt in many cases in which they do not take themselves to have done anything morally wrong. In this paper, I focus on one kind of guilt without perceived wrongdoing, guilt about being merely causally responsible for a bad state-of-affairs. I go on to present a novel account of guilt that explains (...)
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    Ignore Risk; Maximize Expected Moral Value.Michael Zhao - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Many philosophers assume that, when making moral decisions under uncertainty, we should choose the option that has the greatest expected moral value, regardless of how risky it is. But their arguments for maximizing expected moral value do not support it over rival, risk-averse approaches. In this paper, I present a novel argument for maximizing expected value: when we think about larger series of decisions that each decision is a part of, all but the most risk-averse agents would prefer that we (...)
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  4. Meaning, Moral Realism, and the Importance of Morality.Michael Zhao - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):653-666.
    Many philosophers have suspected that the normative importance of morality depends on moral realism. In this paper, I defend a version of this suspicion: I argue that if teleological forms of moral realism, those that posit an objective purpose to human life, are true, then we gain a distinctive kind of reason to do what is morally required. I argue for this by showing that if these forms of realism are true, then doing what is morally required can provide a (...)
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