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Patrick Todd
University of Edinburgh
  1. Strawson, Moral Responsibility, and the "Order of Explanation": An Intervention.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Ethics 127 (1):208-240.
    P.F. Strawson’s (1962) “Freedom and Resentment” has provoked a wide range of responses, both positive and negative, and an equally wide range of interpretations. In particular, beginning with Gary Watson, some have seen Strawson as suggesting a point about the “order of explanation” concerning moral responsibility: it is not that it is appropriate to hold agents responsible because they are morally responsible, rather, it is ... well, something else. Such claims are often developed in different ways, but one thing remains (...)
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  2. Future Contingents Are All False! On Behalf of a Russellian Open Future.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Mind 125 (499):775-798.
    There is a familiar debate between Russell and Strawson concerning bivalence and ‘the present King of France’. According to the Strawsonian view, ‘The present King of France is bald’ is neither true nor false, whereas, on the Russellian view, that proposition is simply false. In this paper, I develop what I take to be a crucial connection between this debate and a different domain where bivalence has been at stake: future contingents. On the familiar ‘Aristotelian’ view, future contingent propositions are (...)
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  3. Does God Have the Moral Standing to Blame?Patrick Todd - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (1):33-55.
    In this paper, I introduce a problem to the philosophy of religion – the problem of divine moral standing – and explain how this problem is distinct from (albeit related to) the more familiar problem of evil (with which it is often conflated). In short, the problem is this: in virtue of how God would be (or, on some given conception, is) “involved in” our actions, how is it that God has the moral standing to blame us for performing those (...)
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  4. A Unified Account of the Moral Standing to Blame.Patrick Todd - 2017 - Noûs.
    Recently, philosophers have turned their attention to the question, not when a given agent is blameworthy for what she does, but when a further agent has the moral standing to blame her for what she does. Philosophers have proposed at least four conditions on having “moral standing”: -/- 1. One’s blame would not be “hypocritical”. 2. One is not oneself “involved in” the target agent’s wrongdoing. 3. One must be warranted in believing that the target is indeed blameworthy for the (...)
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  5.  91
    The Problem of Future Contingents: Scoping Out a Solution.Patrick Todd - forthcoming - Synthese:1-22.
    Various philosophers have long since been attracted to the doctrine that future contingent propositions systematically fail to be true - what is sometimes called the doctrine of the open future. However, open futurists have always struggled to articulate how their view interacts with standard principles of classical logic - most notably, with the Law of Excluded Middle (LEM). For consider the following two claims: (a) Trump will be impeached tomorrow; (b) Trump will not be impeached tomorrow. According to the kind (...)
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  6. Manipulation Arguments and the Freedom to Do Otherwise.Patrick Todd - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):395-407.
    I provide a manipulation-style argument against classical compatibilism—the claim that freedom to do otherwise is consistent with determinism. My question is simple: if Diana really gave Ernie free will, why isn't she worried that he won't use it precisely as she would like? Diana's non-nervousness, I argue, indicates Ernie's non-freedom. Arguably, the intuition that Ernie lacks freedom to do otherwise is stronger than the direct intuition that he is simply not responsible; this result highlights the importance of the denial of (...)
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  7. The Replication Argument for Incompatibilism.Patrick Todd - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    In this paper, I articulate an argument for incompatibilism about moral responsibility and determinism. My argument comes in the form of an extend story, modeled loosely on Peter van Inwagen's "rollback argument" scenario. I thus call it "the replication argument." As I aim to bring out, though the argument is inspired by so-called "manipulation" and "original design" arguments, the argument is not a version of either such argument -- and plausibly has advantages over both. The result, I believe, is a (...)
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  8. Future Contingents and the Logic of Temporal Omniscience.Patrick Todd & Brian Rabern - manuscript
    At least since Aristotle’s famous 'sea-battle' passages in On Interpretation 9, some substantial minority of philosophers has been attracted to the doctrine of the open future--the doctrine that future contingent statements are not true. But, prima facie, such views seem inconsistent with the following intuition: if something has happened, then (looking back) it was the case that it would happen. How can it be that, looking forwards, it isn’t true that there will be a sea battle, while also being true (...)
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  9. Geachianism.Patrick Todd - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 3:222-251.
    The plane was going to crash, but it didn't. Johnny was going to bleed to death, but he didn't. Geach sees here a changing future. In this paper, I develop Geach's primary argument for the (almost universally rejected) thesis that the future is mutable (an argument from the nature of prevention), respond to the most serious objections such a view faces, and consider how Geach's view bears on traditional debates concerning divine foreknowledge and human freedom. As I hope to show, (...)
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  10. On Behalf of a Mutable Future.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2077-2095.
    Everyone agrees that we can’t change the past. But what about the future? Though the thought that we can change the future is familiar from popular discourse, it enjoys virtually no support from philosophers, contemporary or otherwise. In this paper, I argue that the thesis that the future is mutable has far more going for it than anyone has yet realized. The view, I hope to show, gains support from the nature of prevention, can provide a new way of responding (...)
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  11. Introduction.Patrick Todd & John Martin Fischer - 2015 - In John Martin Fischer & Patrick Todd (eds.), Freedom, Fatalism, and Foreknowledge. Oxford University Press. pp. 01-38.
    This Introduction has three sections, on "logical fatalism," "theological fatalism," and the problem of future contingents, respectively. In the first two sections, we focus on the crucial idea of "dependence" and the role it plays it fatalistic arguments. Arguably, the primary response to the problems of logical and theological fatalism invokes the claim that the relevant past truths or divine beliefs depend on what we do, and therefore needn't be held fixed when evaluating what we can do. We call the (...)
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  12. Manipulation.Patrick Todd - 2013 - International Encyclopedia of Ethics.
    At the most general level, "manipulation" refers one of many ways of influencing behavior, along with (but to be distinguished from) other such ways, such as coercion and rational persuasion. Like these other ways of influencing behavior, manipulation is of crucial importance in various ethical contexts. First, there are important questions concerning the moral status of manipulation itself; manipulation seems to be mor- ally problematic in ways in which (say) rational persuasion does not. Why is this so? Furthermore, the notion (...)
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