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Robert Allen [22]Robert F. Allen [2]
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Robert Allen
Wayne State University (PhD)
  1. Absolutism Vs. Relativism in Contemporary Ontology.Robert F. Allen - 1998 - Journal of Philosophical Research 23:343-352.
    In this paper, I examine Emest Sosa’s defense of Conceptual Relativism: the view that what exists is a function of human thought. My examination reveals that his defense entails an ontology that is indistinguishable from that of the altemative he labels less “sensible,” viz., Absolutism: the view that reality exists independently of our thinking. I conclude by defending Absolutism against Sosa’s objections.
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  2.  22
    An Aid to Venn Diagrams.Robert Allen - 1997 - American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Teaching Philosophy 96 (Spring 1997):104-105.
    The following technique has proven effective in helping beginning logic students locate the sections of a three-circled Venn Diagram in which they are to represent a categorical sentence. Very often theses students are unable to identify the parts of the diagram they are to shade or bar.
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  3.  21
    Analogical Reasoning in St. Anselm's Concordia: Free Will, Grace, and Cooperation.Robert Allen - manuscript
    St. Anselm is a master of philosophical prose. His writings on God, truth, and free will are models of clarity born of unflagging concern for argumentative precision. He is especially adept at using analogies to cinch his readers' understanding of these recondite matters. Who could forget the light shed upon the concept of existence by the Painter Analogy in the Ontological Argument or how his River Analogy illumines the unification of the Holy Trinity? Such intellectual insights could only be gifts (...)
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  4.  5
    Analogical Reasoning in Saint Anselm's De Concordia: Grace, Free Will, and Cooperation.Robert Allen - manuscript
    St. Anselm is a master of philosophical prose. His writings on God, truth, and free will are models of clarity born of unflagging concern for argumentative precision. He is especially adept at using analogies to cinch his readers' understanding of these recondite matters. Who could forget the light shed upon the concept of existence by the Painter Analogy in the Ontological Argument or how his River Analogy illumines the unification of the Holy Trinity? Such intellectual insights could only be gifts (...)
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  5.  35
    Castle’s Choice: Manipulation, Subversion, and Autonomy.Robert Allen - manuscript
    Causal Determinism (CD) entails that all of a person’s choices and actions are nomically related to events in the distant past, the approximate, but lawful, consequences of those occurrences. Assuming that history cannot be undone nor those (natural) relations altered, that whatever results from what is inescapable is itself inescapable, and the contrariety of inevitability and freedom, it follows that we are completely devoid of liberty: our choices are not freely made; our actions are not freely performed. Instead of disputing (...)
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  6.  56
    Choose Your Illusion: Philosophy, Self-Deception, and Free Choice.Robert Allen - manuscript
    Illusionism treats the almost universally held belief in our ability to make free choices as an erroneous, though beneficent, idea. According to this view, it is sadly true, though virtually impossible to believe, that none of a person’s choices are avoidable and ‘up to him’: any claim to the effect that they are being naïveté or, in the case of those who know better, pretense. Indeed, the implications of this skepticism are so disturbing, pace Spinoza, that it must not be (...)
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  7.  55
    Determinism and Frankfurt Cases.Robert Allen - manuscript
    The indirect argument (IA) for incompatibilism is based on the principle that an action to which there is no alternative is unfree, which we shall call ‘PA’. According to PA, to freely perform an action A, it must not be the case that one has ‘no choice’ but to perform A. The libertarian and hard determinist advocates of PA must deny that free will would exist in a deterministic world, since no agent in such a world would perform an action (...)
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  8.  28
    Dispositions, Rule-Following, and Infinity.Robert Allen - manuscript
    The going-on problem (GOP) is the central concern of Wittgenstein's later philosophy. It informs not only his epistemology and philosophy of mind, but also his views on mathematics, universals, and religion. In section I, I frame this issue as a matter of accounting for intentionality. Here I follow Saul Kripke's lead. My departure therefrom follows: first, a criticism of Wittgenstein's “straight” conventionalism and, secondly, a defense of a solution Kripke rejects. I proceed under the assumption, borne out in the end, (...)
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  9.  7
    Defeating the Whole Purpose: A Critique of Ned Markosian's Agent-Causal Compatibilism.Robert Allen - manuscript
    Positions taken in the current debate over free will can be seen as responses to the following conditional: -/- If every action is caused solely by another event and a cause necessitates its effect, then there is no action to which there is an alternative (C). -/- The Libertarian, who believes that alternatives are a requirement of free will, responds by denying the right conjunct of C’s antecedent, maintaining that some actions are caused, either mediately or immediately, by events whose (...)
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  10.  50
    Freedom and Reason: An Anselmian Critique of Susan Wolf's Compatiblism.Robert Allen - 2013 - Saint Anselm Journal 9 (1):01-13.
    Susan Wolf’s compatibilism is unique for being ‘asymmetrical. While holding that blameworthiness entails being able to avoid acting wrongly, she maintains that our freedom consists in single-mindedly pursuing Truth and Goodness. Comparing and contrasting her position to Saint Anselm’s seminal, libertarian approach to the same subject elicits serious questions, highlighting its drawbacks. How could freedom entail the inability to do certain things? In what sense are reasons causes? What sense can be made of a double standard for assignments of responsibility? (...)
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  11.  41
    Gradations of Volition: An Essay in Honor of Father Joseph Owens CSsR.Robert Allen - manuscript
    I demonstrate here that St. Anselm”s understanding of free will fits neatly into an Aristotelian conceptual framework. Aristotle”s four causes are first aligned with Anselm”s four senses of “will”. The volitional hierarchy Anselm”s definition of free will entails is then detailed, culminating in its reconciliation with Eudaimonism. The summum bonum turns out to be the apex of that series of actualizations or perfections. I conclude by explicating Anselm’s teleological understanding of sin by reference to his analog of Aristotle’s essence-accident distinction.
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  12.  14
    Gradations of Volition in St. Anselm's Philosophical Psychology: An Essay in Honor of Father Joseph Owens, C.Ss.R.Robert Allen - manuscript
    I demonstrate here that St. Anselm’s account of free will fits neatly into an Aristotelian conceptual framework. Aristotle’s four causes are first aligned with Anselm’s four senses of ‘will’. The volitional hierarchy Anselm’s definition of free will entails is then detailed, culminating in its reconciliation with Eudemonism. The Beatific Vision, as summum bonum, is shown to be the apex of that series of perfections. I conclude by explicating Anselm’s teleological understanding of sin by reference to his semantic recapitulation of Aristotle’s (...)
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  13.  13
    Gradations of Volition in St. Anselm's Philosophical Psychology: An Essay in Honor of Father Joseph Owens, C.Ss.R.Robert Allen - manuscript
    I demonstrate here that St. Anselm’s account of free will fits neatly into an Aristotelian conceptual framework. Aristotle’s four causes are first aligned with Anselm’s four senses of ‘will’. The volitional hierarchy Anselm’s definition of free will entails is then detailed, culminating in its reconciliation with Eudemonism. The Beatific Vision, as summum bonum, is shown to be the apex of that series of perfections. I conclude by explicating Anselm’s teleological understanding of sin by reference to his semantic recapitulation of Aristotle’s (...)
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  14.  7
    Gradations of Volition in St. Anselm's Philosophical Psychology: An Essay in Honor of Father Joseph Owens, C.Ss.R.Robert Allen - manuscript
    I demonstrate here that St. Anselm’s account of free will fits neatly into an Aristotelian conceptual framework. Aristotle’s four causes are first aligned with Anselm’s four senses of ‘will’. The volitional hierarchy Anselm’s definition of free will entails is then detailed, culminating in its reconciliation with Eudemonism. The Beatific Vision, as summum bonum, is shown to be the apex of that series of perfections. I conclude by explicating Anselm’s teleological understanding of sin by reference to his semantic recapitulation of Aristotle’s (...)
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  15.  51
    John Perry’s Neo-Humean Compatibilism: Initiative and Free Agency.Robert Allen - manuscript
    John Perry has recently developed a form of Compatibilism that respects the Principle of Alternatives (PA), according to which free agency requires having the ability to do more than one thing. Eschewing so-called Frankfurt counterexamples to this intuitively plausible principle, long the bête noire of those who would like to believe in free agency and Determinism, Perry argues that there is an important sense in which we can act differently than we do. It signifies the “natural” property of having a (...)
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  16.  82
    Language Games: Wittgenstien's Later Philosophy.Robert Allen - 1991 - Dissertation, Wayne State University
    This dissertation is a discussion of Wittgenstein's later philosophy. In it, Wittgenstein's answer to the "going on problem" will be presented: I will give his reply to the skeptic who denies that rule-following is possible. Chapter One will describe this problem. Chapter Two will give Wittgenstein's answer to it. Chapter Three will show how Wittgenstein used this answer to give the standards of mathematics. Chapter Four will compare Wittgenstein's answer to the going on problem to Plato's. Chapter Five will describe (...)
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  17.  41
    Language Games: Wittgenstein's Later Philosophy.Robert Allen - 1991 - Dissertation, Wayne State University
    This dissertation is a discussion of Wittgenstein's later philosophy. In it, Wittgenstein's answer to the "going on problem" will be presented: I will give his reply to the skeptic who denies that rule-following is possible. Chapter One will describe this problem. Chapter Two will give Wittgenstein's answer to it. Chapter Three will show how Wittgenstein used this answer to give the standards of mathematics. Chapter Four will compare Wittgenstein's answer to the going on problem to Plato's. Chapter Five will describe (...)
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  18.  45
    Power and Agency. [REVIEW]Robert Allen - manuscript
    E.J. Lowe attempts to meld elements of volitionalism and agent causalism in his recent essay on philosophy of action, Personal Agency. United in the belief that our mental states are inefficacious when it comes to producing volitions, agent causalists disagree over just how to formulate an alternative understanding of mental agency. We exercise self-control so as to appropriate objects of reactive attitudes by being the ultimate sources of our behavior- here they concur. But the precise nature of the relation between (...)
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  19.  29
    Representation and Possibility.Robert Allen - manuscript
    The representationist maintains that an experience represents a state of affairs. To elaborate, a stimulus of one’s sensorium produces, according to her, a “phenomenal composite” made up of “phenomenal properties” that are the typical effects of certain mind-independent features of the world, which are thereby represented. It is such features, via their phenomenal representatives, of which the subject of an experience would become aware were she to engage in introspection. So, one might ask, what state of affairs would be represented (...)
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  20. Representation and Possibility.Robert Allen - manuscript
    The representationist maintains that an experience represents a state of affairs. To elaborate, a stimulus of one’s sensorium produces, according to her, a “phenomenal composite” made up of “phenomenal properties” that are the typical effects of certain mind-independent features of the world, which are thereby represented. It is such features, via their phenomenal representatives, of which the subject of an experience would become aware were she to engage in introspection. So, one might ask, what state of affairs would be represented (...)
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  21.  38
    The Aristotelian Alternative to Humean Bundles and Lockean Bare Particulars: Lowe and Loux on Material Substance .Robert Allen - manuscript
    Must we choose between reducing material substances to collections of properties, a’ la Berkeley and Hume or positing bare particulars, in the manner of Locke? Having repudiated the notion that a substance could simply be a collection of properties existing on their own, is there a viable alternative to the Lockean notion of a substratum, a being essentially devoid of character? E.J. Lowe and Michael Loux would answer here in the affirmative. Both recommend hylomorphism as an upgrade on the metaphysics (...)
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  22.  8
    The Occurrence/Occurring Distinction.Robert Allen - manuscript
    It has been contended that an event as a whole does not occur but, rather, is only occurring when any one of its temporal parts occurs1 I shall consider here the mereological implications of drawing a distinction between the time of an event’s occurrence- its duration- and the times of its occurring- the duration of any one of its proper temporal parts. In particular, I intend to see whether it allows one to avoid having co-located events in one’s ontology.
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  23.  41
    The Subject is Qualia.Robert F. Allen - manuscript
    Things strike me in a variety ways. F and F# sound slightly different, ripe and unripe tomatoes neither look nor taste nor smell the same, and silk feels smoother than corduroy. In each case, I distinguish an experience of something on the basis of what it is like to be its subject. That is to say, in philosophical parlance, if not quite the vernacular, its “quale,” leads me to categorize it and, thus, respond appropriately to its stimulus. The function of (...)
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  24.  42
    Working Backwards with Copi's Inference Rules.Robert Allen - 1996 - American Philosophical Association Journal on Teaching Philosophy 95 (Spring):103-104.
    In their Introduction to Logic, Copi and Cohen suggest that students construct a formal proof by "working backwards from the conclusion by looking for some statement or statements from which it can be deduced and then trying to deduce those intermediate statements from the premises. What follows is an elaboration of this suggestion. I describe an almost mechanical procedure for determining from which statement(s) the conclusion can be deduced and the rules by which the required inferences can be made. This (...)
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