Results for 'Thomas Byrne'

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Thomas Byrne
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  1. Might Anything Be Plain Good?Thomas Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3335-3346.
    G.E. Moore said that rightness was obviously a matter of maximising plain goodness. Peter Geach and Judith Thomson disagree. They have both argued that ‘good’ is not a predicative adjective, but only ever an attributive adjective: just like ‘big.’ And just as there is no such thing as plain bigness but only ever big for or as a so-and-so, there is also no such thing as plain goodness. They conclude that Moore’s goodness is thus a nonsense. However attention has been (...)
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  2. MAKING Metaphysics.Thomas Byrne - forthcoming - Philosophers' Imprint.
    We can cause windows to break and we can break windows; we can cause villages to flood and we can flood villages; and we can cause chocolate to melt and we can melt chocolate. Each time these can come apart: if, for example, A merely instructs B to break the window, then A causes the window to break without breaking it herself. Each instance of A breaking/flooding/melting/burning/killing/etc. something, is an instance of what I call MAKING. I argue that MAKING is (...)
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  3. Reidianism in Contemporary English-Speaking Religious Epistemology.Peter Byrne - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 3 (2):267 - 284.
    This paper explores the main contours of recent work in English-speaking philosophy of religion on the justification of religious belief. It sets out the main characteristics of the religious epistemologies of such writers as Alston, Plantinga, and Swinburne. It poses and seeks to answer the question of how far any or all of these epistemologies are indebted or similar to the epistemology of the Scottish Enlightenment thinker Thomas Reid. It concludes that while there are some links to Reid in (...)
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  4.  44
    The Adversary System: Who Needs It?Edmund Byrne - 1986 - In M. Davis and F. A. Elliston (ed.), Ethics and the Legal Profession. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus. pp. 204-215.
    -/- [Posted here is article as originally published (same title) in ALSA Forum VI (1982) pp. 1-17 plus rebuttal by Thomas D. Barton, pp. 18-22].
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  5. Are women adult human females?Alex Byrne - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3783-3803.
    Are women (simply) adult human females? Dictionaries suggest that they are. However, philosophers who have explicitly considered the question invariably answer no. This paper argues that they are wrong. The orthodox view is that the category *woman* is a social category, like the categories *widow* and *police officer*, although exactly what this social category consists in is a matter of considerable disagreement. In any event, orthodoxy has it that *woman* is definitely not a biological category, like the categories *amphibian* or (...)
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  6. Rich or Thin?Susanna Siegel & Alex Byrne - 2017 - In Bence Nanay (ed.), Current Controversies in Philosophy of Perception. New York, USA: Routledge.
    Siegel and Byrne debate whether perceptual experiences present rich properties or exclusively thin properties.
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  7. Perception and Ordinary Objects.Alex Byrne - 2019 - In Javier Cumpa & Bill Brewer (eds.), The Nature of Ordinary Objects. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    The paper argues -- against the standard view in metaphysics -- that the existence of ordinary objects like tomatoes is (near-enough) established by the fact that such things are apparently encountered in perception.
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  8. Transparency, Belief, Intention.Alex Byrne - 2011 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 85:201-21.
    This paper elaborates and defends a familiar ‘transparent’ account of knowledge of one's own beliefs, inspired by some remarks of Gareth Evans, and makes a case that the account can be extended to mental states in general, in particular to knowledge of one's intentions.
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  9. Comment on Yli-Vakkuri and Hawthorne, Narrow Content.Alex Byrne - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    This comment concentrates on Y&H’s preferred framework for discussing the issue of broad vs. narrow content, arguing that it is not well-suited to the task; once a more traditional framework is adopted, Y&H’s case against internalism is strengthened. The comment ends by briefly mentioning an appealing internalist picture that their otherwise comprehensive critique does not address.
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  10. The Epistemic Significance of Experience.Alex Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173:947-67.
    According to orthodoxy, perceptual beliefs are caused by perceptual experiences. The paper argues that this view makes it impossible to explain how experiences can be epistemically significant. A rival account, on which experiences in the “good case” are ways of knowing, is set out and defended.
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  11. Recollection, Perception, Imagination.Alex Byrne - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148:15 - 26.
    Remembering a cat sleeping (specifically, recollecting the way the cat looked), perceiving (specifically, seeing) a cat sleeping, and imagining (specifically, visualizing) a cat sleeping are of course importantly different. Nonetheless, from the first-person perspective they are palpably alike. The paper addresses two questions: Q1. What are these similarities (and differences)? Q2. How does one tell that one is recalling (and so not perceiving or imagining)?
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  12. Knowing What I See.Alex Byrne - 2012 - In Declan Smithies & Daniel Stoljar (eds.), Introspection and Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    How do I know that I see a cat? A curiously under-asked question. The paper tries to answer it.
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  13. Commentary on Lawrence Blum's "I'm Not a Racist, But...": The Moral Quandary of Race. [REVIEW]Edmund F. Byrne - 2004 - Social Philosophy Today 19:239-241.
    A complimentary assessment of Blum's award-winning book about racism and its affects. Well written as it is, it needs to be supplemented with a definition of racial injustice, and also to analyze racism not only on the level of individual morality but from a human rights perspective that discredits political and economic motives for racism (e.g., by drawing on Hannah Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism).
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  14. Knowing What I Want.Alex Byrne - 2011 - In JeeLoo Liu & John Perry (eds.), Consciousness and the Self: New Essays. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    How do you know what you want? The question is neglected by epistemologists. This paper attempts an answer.
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  15. Color Relationalism and Relativism.Alex Byrne & David R. Hilbert - 2017 - Topics in Cognitive Science 9 (1):172-192.
    This paper critically examines color relationalism and color relativism, two theories of color that are allegedly supported by variation in normal human color vision. We mostly discuss color relationalism, defended at length in Jonathan Cohen's The Red and the Real, and argue that the theory has insuperable problems.
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  16. The U.S. Military-Industrial Complex is Circumstantially Unethical.Edmund F. Byrne - 2010 - Journal of Business Ethics 95 (2):153 - 165.
    Business ethicists should examine not only business practices but whether a particular type of business is even prima facie ethical. To illustrate how this might be done I here examine the contemporary U.S. defense industry. In the past the U.S. military has engaged in missions that arguably satisfied the just war self-defense rationale, thereby implying that its suppliers of equipment and services were ethical as well. Some recent U.S. military missions, however, arguably fail the self-defense rationale. At issue, then, is (...)
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  17. Do Colours Look Like Dispositions? Reply to Langsam and Others.Alex Byrne - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 51 (203):238-245.
    Dispositional theories of colour have been attacked by McGinn and others on the ground that ‘Colours do not look like dispositions’. Langsam has argued that on the contrary they do, in ‘Why Colours Do Look Like Dispositions’, The Philosophical Quarterly, 50 , pp. 68–75. I make three claims. First, neither side has made its case. Secondly, it is true, at least on one interpretation, that colours do not look like dispositions. Thirdly, this does not show that dispositionalism about colours is (...)
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  18. Perception and Evidence.Alex Byrne - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170:101-113.
    Critical discussion of Susanna Schellenberg's account of hallucination and perceptual evidence.
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  19. Skepticism About the Internal World.Alex Byrne - 2015 - In Gideon Rosen, Alex Byrne, Joshua Cohen & Seana Valentine Shiffrin (eds.), The Norton Introduction to Philosophy. W. W. Norton.
    Skepticism about the internal world is actually more troubling than skepticism about the external world.
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  20. Assessing Arms Makers' Corporate Social Responsibility.Edmund F. Byrne - 2007 - Journal of Business Ethics 74 (3):201 - 217.
    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a focal point for research aimed at extending business ethics to extra-corporate issues; and as a result many companies now seek to at least appear dedicated to one or another version of CSR. This has not affected the arms industry, however. For, this industry has not been discussed in CSR literature, perhaps because few CSR scholars have questioned this industry's privileged status as an instrument of national sovereignty. But major changes in the organization of (...)
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  21. Appropriating Resources: Land Claims, Law, and Illicit Business.Edmund F. Byrne - 2012 - Journal of Business Ethics 106 (4):453-466.
    Business ethicists should examine ethical issues that impinge on the perimeters of their specialized studies (Byrne 2011 ). This article addresses one peripheral issue that cries out for such consideration: the international resource privilege (IRP). After explaining briefly what the IRP involves I argue that it is unethical and should not be supported in international law. My argument is based on others’ findings as to the consequences of current IRP transactions and of their ethically indefensible historical precedents. In particular (...)
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  22. Business Ethics Should Study Illicit Businesses: To Advance Respect for Human Rights.Edmund F. Byrne - 2011 - Journal of Business Ethics 103 (4):497-509.
    Business ethics should include illicit businesses as targets of investigation. For, though such businesses violate human rights they have been largely ignored by business ethicists. It is time to surmount this indifference in view of recent international efforts to define illicit businesses for regulatory purposes. Standing in the way, however, is a meta-ethical question as to whether any business can be declared unqualifiedly immoral. In support of an affirmative answer I address a number of counter-indications by comparing approaches to organized (...)
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  23. Interpretivism.Alex Byrne - 1998 - European Review of Philosophy 3:199-223.
    In the writings of Daniel Dennett and Donald Davidson we find something like the following bold conjecture: it is an a priori truth that there is no gap between our best judgements of a subject's beliefs and desires and the truth about the subject's beliefs and desires. Under ideal conditions a subject's belief-box and desire-box become transparent.
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  24. Sensory Qualities, Sensible Qualities, Sensational Qualities.Alex Byrne - 2011 - In Brian McLaughlin, Ansgar Beckermann & Sven Walter (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Philosophers of mind have distinguished (and sometimes conflated) various qualities. This article tries to sort things out.
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  25. Making Drones to Kill Civilians: Is It Ethical?Edmund Byrne - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 147 (1):81-93.
    A drone industry has emerged in the US, initially funded almost exclusively for military applications. There are now also other uses both governmental and commercial. Many military drones are still being made, however, especially for surveillance and targeted killings. Regarding the latter, this essay calls into question their legality and morality. It recognizes that the issues are complex and controversial, but less so as to the killing of non-combatant civilians. The government using drones for targeted killings maintains secrecy and appeals (...)
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  26. McDowell and Wright on Anti-Scepticism Etc.Alex Byrne - 2014 - In Dylan Dodd & Elia Zardini (eds.), Scepticism and Perceptual Justification. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    On the assumption that we may learn from our elders and betters, this paper approaches some fundamental questions in perceptual epistemology through a dispute between McDowell and Wright about external world scepticism.
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  27. Business Ethics: A Helpful Hybrid in Search of Integrity.Edmund F. Byrne - 2002 - Journal of Business Ethics 37 (2):121 - 133.
    What sort of connection is there between business ethics and philosophy? The answer given here: a weak one, but it may be getting stronger. Comparatively few business ethics articles are structurally dependent on mainstream academic philosophy or on such sub-specialities thereof as normative ethics, moral theory, and social and political philosophy. Examining articles recently published in the Journal of Business Ethics that declare some dependence, the author finds that such declarations often constitute only a pro forma gesture which could be (...)
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  28. In Lieu of a Sovereignty Shield, Multinational Corporations Should Be Responsible for the Harm They Cause.Edmund F. Byrne - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 124 (4):609-621.
    Some progress has been made in recent decades to articulate corporate social responsibility (CSR) and, more recently, to associate CSR with international enforcement of human rights. This progress continues to be hampered, however, by the ability of a multinational corporation (MNC) that violates human rights not only to shift liability from itself to a nation-state but even to win compensation from that nation-state for loss of profits due to restrictions on its business activities. In the process, the nation-state’s sovereignty is (...)
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  29.  97
    Hill on Mind.Alex Byrne - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173:831-39.
    Hill's views on visual experience are critically examined.
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  30. Hmm… Hill on the Paradox of Pain.Alex Byrne - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161:489-96.
    Critical discussion of Chris Hill's perceptual theory of pain.
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  31.  80
    Leave No Oil Reserves Behind, Including Iraq's.Edmund F. Byrne - 2006 - Radical Philosophy Today 2006:39-54.
    Just war theory needs to become a real-time critique of government war propaganda in order to facilitate peace advocacy ante bellum. This involves countering asserted justificatory reasons with demonstrable facts that reveal other motives, thereby yielding reflective understanding which can be collectivized via electronic media. As a case in point, I compare here the publicly declared reasons for the U.S./U.K. invasion of Iraq in 2003 with reasons discussed internally months and even years before in government and think-tank documents. These sources (...)
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  32. Review Article: Just War Theory and Peace Studies. [REVIEW]Edmund F. Byrne - 2009 - Teaching Philosophy 32 (3):297-304.
    Scholarly critiques of the just war tradition have grown in number and sophistication in recent years to the point that available publications now provide the basis for a more philosophically challenging Peace Studies course. Focusing on just a few works published in the past several years, this review explores how professional philosophers are reclaiming the terrain long dominated by the approach of political scientist Michael Walzer. On center stage are British philosopher David Rodin’s critique of the self-defensejustification for war and (...)
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  33. Towards Enforceable Bans on Illicit Businesses: From Moral Relativism to Human Rights.Edmund F. Byrne - 2014 - Journal of Business Ethics 119 (1):119-130.
    Many scholars and activists favor banning illicit businesses, especially given that such businesses constitute a large part of the global economy. But these businesses are commonly operated as if they are subject only to the ethical norms their management chooses to recognize, and as a result they sometimes harm innocent people. This can happen in part because there are no effective legal constraints on illicit businesses, and in part because it seems theoretically impossible to dispose definitively of arguments that support (...)
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  34. The 2003 U.S. Invasion of Iraq: Militarism in the Service of Geopolitics.Edmund Byrne - 2005 - In Justice and Violence: Political Violence, Pacifism and Cultural Transformation. Aldershot UK and Burlington VT: Aldershot. pp. 193-216.
    Not the publicly asserted reasons (humanitarianism and self-defense) but cooptation of oil reserves was the objective behind the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. This underlying motive utterly fails to satisfy just war jus ad bellum conditions. This prioritization of petroleum is well documented and is consistent with decades old US policy towards the Middle East, especially as codified by Anthony Cordesman in 1998 and US DoD's Strategic Assessment 1999 and then adopted by Bush II. This fraudulent use of military (...)
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  35. The Post-9/11 State of Emergency: Reality Versus Rhetoric.Edmund F. Byrne - 2004 - Social Philosophy Today 19:193-215.
    After the 9/11 attacks the U.S. administration went beyond emergency response towards imperialism, but cloaked its agenda in the rhetoric of fighting ‘terrorists’ and ‘terrorism.’ After distinguishing between emergency thinking and emergency planning, I question the administration’s “war on terrorism” rhetoric in three stages. First, upon examining the post-9/11 antiterrorism discourse I find that it splits into two agendas: domestic, protect our infrastructure; and foreign, select military targets. Second, I review approaches to emergency planning already in place. Third, after reviewing (...)
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  36. Review Essay of Dorit Bar-On’s Speaking My Mind. [REVIEW]Alex Byrne - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 83:705-17.
    “Avowals” are utterances that “ascribe [current] states of mind”; for instance utterances of ‘I have a terrible headache’ and ‘I’m finding this painting utterly puzzling’ (Bar-On 2004: 1). And avowals, “when compared to ordinary empirical reports…appear to enjoy distinctive security” (1), which Bar-On elaborates as follows: A subject who avows being tired, or scared of something, or thinking that p, is normally presumed to have the last word on the relevant matters; we would not presume to criticize her self-ascription or (...)
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  37.  64
    Privacy.Edmund Byrne - 1998 - In Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 649-659.
    Privacy involves a zone of inaccessibility in a particular context. In social discourse it pertains to activities that are not public, the latter being by definition knowable by outsiders. The public domain so called is the opposite of secrecy and somewhat less so of confidentiality. The private sphere is respected in law and morality, now in terms of a right to privacy. In law some violations of privacy are torts. Philosophers tend to associate privacy with personhood. Professional relationships are prima (...)
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  38. Transparency as Inference: Reply to Alex Byrne.Markos Valaris - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (2pt2):319-324.
    In his essay ‘Transparency, Belief, Intention’, Alex Byrne (2011) argues that transparency—our ability to form beliefs about some of our intentional mental states by considering their subject matter, rather than on the basis of special psychological evidence—involves inferring ‘from world to mind’. In this reply I argue that this cannot be correct. I articulate an intuitive necessary condition for a pattern of belief to count as a rule of inference, and I show that the pattern involved in transparency does (...)
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  39.  90
    Building Community Into Property.Edmund F. Byrne - 1988 - Journal of Business Ethics 7 (3):171 - 183.
    American business's fascination with both laborsaving devices and low wage environments is causing not only structural unemployment and dissipation of the nation's industrial base but also the deterioration of abandoned host communities. According to individualist understandings of the right of private property, this deterioration is beyond sanction except insofar as it affects the property rights of others. But corporate stockholders and managers should not be considered the only owners of property the value of which is due in part to the (...)
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  40.  83
    Public Goods and the Paying Public.Edmund F. Byrne - 1995 - Journal of Business Ethics 14 (2):117 - 123.
    This paper proposes a way to undercut anarchist objections to taxation without endorsing an authoritarian justification of government coercion. The argument involves public goods, as understood by economists and others. But I do not analyse options of autonomous prisoners and the like; for, however useful otherwise, these abstractions underestimate the real-world task of sorting out the prerogatives of and limits on ownership. Proceeding more contextually, I come to recommend a shareholder addendum to the doctrine of public goods. This recommendation involves (...)
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  41.  64
    Displaced Workers: America's Unpaid Debt.Edmund F. Byrne - 1985 - Journal of Business Ethics 4 (1):31 - 41.
    The U.S. doctrine of employment-at-will, modified legislatively for protected groups, is being less harshly applied to managerial personnel. Comparable compensation is not otherwise available in the U.S. to workers displaced by technology. Nine pairs of arguments are presented to show how fundamentally management and labor disagree about a company's responsibility for its former employees. These arguments, born of years of labor-management debate, are kaleidoscopic claims about which side has what power. Ultimately, however, not even both together can solve without creative (...)
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  42.  46
    Review of Elizabeth H. Wolgast, The Grammar of Justice. [REVIEW]Edmund Byrne - 1991 - Noûs 25 (1):137-139.
    Book under review consists of a set of articles by Wolgast that contibute in various ways to her contention that human beings arrive at a theory of justice quasi-empirically insofar as a particular group encounters and seeks to surmount experiences of gross injustice. Via such experiences they develop a community-oriented sense of justice; but they do not thereby create a reliable basis for communitarian ethics.
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  43.  70
    Communication and Knowledge: Rejoinder to Byrne and Thau.Richard Heck - 1996 - Mind 105 (417):151 - 156.
    A reply to Byrne and Thau's criticisms of "The Sense of Communiction".
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  44. Perceptual Experience and Degrees of Belief.Thomas Raleigh & Filippo Vindrola - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    According to the recent Perceptual Confidence view, perceptual experiences possess not only a representational content, but also a degree of confidence in that content. The motivations for this view are partly phenomenological and partly epistemic. We discuss both the phenomenological and epistemic motivations for the view, and the resulting account of the interface between perceptual experiences and degrees of belief. We conclude that, in their present state of development, orthodox accounts of perceptual experience are still to be favoured over the (...)
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  45. Saving safety from counterexamples.Thomas Grundmann - 2018 - Synthese 197 (12):5161-5185.
    In this paper I will offer a comprehensive defense of the safety account of knowledge against counterexamples that have been recently put forward. In Sect. 2, I will discuss different versions of safety, arguing that a specific variant of method-relativized safety is the most plausible. I will then use this specific version of safety to respond to counterexamples in the recent literature. In Sect. 3, I will address alleged examples of safe beliefs that still constitute Gettier cases. In Sect. 4, (...)
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  46. Arms Industry.Edmund Byrne - 2017 - Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics.
    A summary assessment of the dimensions and concentrations of military equipment manufacture primarily in the United States and western Europe and the extent of availability of this equipment to buyers throughout the world. Treaty-based limitations are also listed.
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  47. After “Mental Illness” What? A Philosophical Endorsement of Statutory Reform.Edmund Byrne - 1980 - Bowling Green Studies in Applied Philosophy 2:122-131.
    This article argues in favor of modifying the medical model of severe psychiatric disturbances that underlies calling them "mental illness." The key reason for this proposal is that numerous specialists other than physicians as well as non-specialists contribute to the process of assisting a person recover from what the author suggests might better be called "extraordinary functional disability." There is little uniformity in existing definitions under state laws, but all involve three types of intervention: civil commitment; civil determination of legal (...)
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  48.  74
    "After Tocqueville – the Curious Adventures of Bernard-Henri Lévy and Don Watson". [REVIEW]D. N. Byrne - 2013 - Australian Review of Public Affairs - Drawing Board 2013:1-5.
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  49.  86
    Review of Langdon Winner, Autonomous Technology: Technics-Out-of-Control as a Theme in Political Thought. [REVIEW]Edmund Byrne - 1979 - Nature and System 1:283-286.
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  50.  79
    Business-Inflicted Social Harm.Edmund F. Byrne - 1998 - In Yeager Hudson (ed.), Technology, Morality and Social Policy. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press. pp. 55-73.
    Businesses cause social harm, meaning harm to society at large and not just to those with whom a business is contractually linked. Evidence introduced: normative claims that businesses should be "socially responsible"; positive claims that they contribute to social well-being; and negative claims that they are sometimes military-like, causing extensive harm for which no one is held personally responsible. The latter point to corporate survivalism, which acknowledges no mandatory civil responsibilities. Neither law nor social pressure has yet counteracted this mind (...)
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