19 found
Order:
See also
Toby Handfield
Monash University
  1. Unfinkable Dispositions.Toby Handfield - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):297 - 308.
    This paper develops two ideas with respect to dispositional properties: (1) Adapting a suggestion of Sungho Choi, it appears the conceptual distinction between dispositional and categorical properties can be drawn in terms of susceptibility to finks and antidotes. Dispositional, but not categorical properties, are not susceptible to intrinsic finks, nor are they remediable by intrinsic antidotes. (2) If correct, this suggests the possibility that some dispositions—those which lack any causal basis—may be insusceptible to any fink or antidote. Since finks and (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   17 citations  
  2. A Good Exit: What to Do About the End of Our Species?Toby Handfield - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (3):272-297.
    We know that Homo sapiens will not exist forever. Given this, how should our species end? What are the reasons, if any, to delay our extinction? In this paper, I show that the pre-eminent reasons which favour prolonging the existence of the species are partial: they will arise from the particular attachments and projects of the final few generations. While there may also be impartial reasons to prolong the species, these reasons are liable, with time, to reverse their valence: we (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. Dispositions, Rules and Finks.Toby Handfield & Alexander Bird - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (2):285 - 298.
    This paper discusses the prospects of a dispositional solution to the Kripke–Wittgenstein rule-following puzzle. Recent attempts to employ dispositional approaches to this puzzle have appealed to the ideas of finks and antidotes—interfering dispositions and conditions—to explain why the rule-following disposition is not always manifested. We argue that this approach fails: agents cannot be supposed to have straightforward dispositions to follow a rule which are in some fashion masked by other, contrary dispositions of the agent, because in all cases, at least (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   13 citations  
  4. Rational Choice and the Transitivity of Betterness.Toby Handfield - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (1):584-604.
    If A is better than B and B is better than C, then A is better than C, right? Larry Temkin and Stuart Rachels say: No! Betterness is nontransitive, they claim. In this paper, I discuss the central type of argument advanced by Temkin and Rachels for this radical idea, and argue that, given this view very likely has sceptical implications for practical reason, we would do well to identify alternative responses. I propose one such response, which employs the idea (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  5. Decision Theory for Agents with Incomplete Preferences.Adam Bales, Daniel Cohen & Toby Handfield - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):453-70.
    Orthodox decision theory gives no advice to agents who hold two goods to be incommensurate in value because such agents will have incomplete preferences. According to standard treatments, rationality requires complete preferences, so such agents are irrational. Experience shows, however, that incomplete preferences are ubiquitous in ordinary life. In this paper, we aim to do two things: (1) show that there is a good case for revising decision theory so as to allow it to apply non-vacuously to agents with incomplete (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  6. The Metaphysics of Causal Models: Where's the Biff?Toby Handfield, Charles R. Twardy, Kevin B. Korb & Graham Oppy - 2008 - Erkenntnis 68 (2):149-68.
    This paper presents an attempt to integrate theories of causal processes—of the kind developed by Wesley Salmon and Phil Dowe—into a theory of causal models using Bayesian networks. We suggest that arcs in causal models must correspond to possible causal processes. Moreover, we suggest that when processes are rendered physically impossible by what occurs on distinct paths, the original model must be restricted by removing the relevant arc. These two techniques suffice to explain cases of late preëmption and other cases (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  7. Essentially Comparative Value Does Not Threaten Transitivity.Toby Handfield - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):3-12.
    The essentially comparative conception of value entails that the value of a state of affairs does not depend solely upon features intrinsic to the state of affairs, but also upon extrinsic features, such as the set of feasible alternatives. It has been argued that this conception of value gives us reason to abandon the transitivity of the better than relation. This paper shows that the support for intransitivity derived from this conception of value is very limited. On its most plausible (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  8.  50
    Climate Change, Cooperation, and Moral Bioenhancement.Toby Handfield, Pei-hua Huang & Robert Mark Simpson - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (2):742-747.
    The human faculty of moral judgment is not well suited to address problems, like climate change, that are global in scope and remote in time. Advocates of ‘moral bioenhancement’ have proposed that we should investigate the use of medical technologies to make human beings more trusting and altruistic, and hence more willing to cooperate in efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change. We survey recent accounts of the proximate and ultimate causes of human cooperation in order to assess the (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  9. Chance and Context.Toby Handfield & Alastair Wilson - 2014 - In Alastair Wilson (ed.), Chance and Temporal Asymmetry. Oxford University Press.
    The most familiar philosophical conception of objective chance renders determinism incompatible with non-trivial chances. This conception – associated in particular with the work of David Lewis – is not a good fit with our use of the word ‘chance’ and its cognates in ordinary discourse. In this paper we show how a generalized framework for chance can reconcile determinism with non-trivial chances, and provide for a more charitable interpretation of ordinary chance-talk. According to our proposal, variation in an admissible ‘evidence (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  10. Humean Dispositionalism.Toby Handfield - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):113-126.
    Humean metaphysics is characterized by a rejection of necessary connections between distinct existences. Dispositionalists claim that there are basic causal powers. The existence of such properties is widely held to be incompatible with the Humean rejection of necessary connections. In this paper I present a novel theory of causal powers that vindicates the dispositionalist claim that causal powers are basic, without embracing brute necessary connections. The key assumptions of the theory are that there are natural types of causal processes, and (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  11. Lange on Essentialism, Counterfactuals, and Explanation.Toby Handfield - 2005 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (1):81 – 85.
    Marc Lange objects to scientific essentialists that they can give no better account of the counterfactual invariance of laws than Humeans. While conceding this point succeeds ad hominem against some essentialists, I show that it does not undermine essentialism in general. Moreover, Lange's alternative account of the relation between laws and counterfactuals is - with minor modification - compatible with essentialism.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  12. Rational Capacities, Resolve, and Weakness of Will.Daniel Cohen & Toby Handfield - 2010 - Mind 119 (476):907 - 932.
    In this paper we present an account of practical rationality and weakness of will in terms of rational capacities. We show how our account rectifies various shortcomings in Michael Smith's related theory. In particular, our account is capable of accommodating cases of weak-willed behaviour that are not `akratic', or otherwise contrary to the agent's better judgement. Our account differs from Smith's primarily by incorporating resolve: a third rational capacity for resolute maintenance of one's intentions. We discuss further two ways to (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  13. Dispositions, Manifestations, and Causal Structure.Toby Handfield - 2010 - In Anna Marmodoro (ed.), The Metaphysics of Powers: Their Grounding and Their Manifestations. Routledge.
    This paper examines the idea that there might be natural kinds of causal processes, with characteristic diachronic structure, in much the same way that various chemical elements form natural kinds, with characteristic synchronic structure. This claim -- if compatible with empirical science -- has the potential to shed light on a metaphysics of essentially dispositional properties, championed by writers such as Bird and Ellis.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  14. The Metaphysics of Dispositions and Causes.Toby Handfield - 2009 - In Dispositions and Causes. Clarendon Press. pp. 1--30.
    This article gives a general overview of recent metaphysical work on dispositional properties and causal relations. It serves as an introduction to the edited volume, Dispositions and Causes.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  15. Counterlegals and Necessary Laws.Toby Handfield - 2004 - Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216):402 - 419.
    Necessitarian accounts of the laws of nature meet an apparent difficulty: for them, counterlegal conditionals, despite appearing to be substantive, seem to come out as vacuous. I argue that the necessitarian may use the presuppositions of counterlegal discourse to explain this. If the typical presupposition that necessitarianism is false is made explicit in counterlegal utterances, we obtain sentences such as 'If it turns out that the laws of nature are contingent, then if the laws had been otherwise, then such and (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  16. Using Peer Instruction to Teach Philosophy, Logic, and Critical Thinking.Sam Butchart, Toby Handfield & Greg Restall - 2009 - Teaching Philosophy 32 (1):1-40.
    Peer Instruction is a simple and effective technique you can use to make lectures more interactive, more engaging, and more effective learning experiences. Although well known in science and mathematics, the technique appears to be little known in the humanities. In this paper, we explain how Peer Instruction can be applied in philosophy lectures. We report the results from our own experience of using Peer Instruction in undergraduate courses in philosophy, formal logic, and critical thinking. We have consistently found it (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  17. Understanding the Political Defensive Privilege.Patrick Emerton & Toby Handfield - 2014 - In Cecile Fabre & Seth Lazar (eds.), The Morality of Defensive War. Oxford University Press. pp. 40-65.
    Nations are understood to have a right to go to war, not only in defense of individual rights, but in defense of their own political standing in a given territory. This paper argues that the political defensive privilege cannot be satisfactorily explained, either on liberal cosmopolitan grounds or on pluralistic grounds. In particular, it is argued that pluralistic accounts require giving implausibly strong weight to the value of political communities, overwhelming the standing of individuals. Liberal cosmopolitans, it is argued, underestimate (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  18. Is the Risk–Liability Theory Compatible with Negligence Law?Toby Handfield & Trevor Pisciotta - 2005 - Legal Theory 11 (4):387-404.
    David McCarthy has recently suggested that our compensation and liability practices may be interpreted as reflecting a fundamental norm to hold people liable for imposing risk of harm on others. Independently, closely related ideas have been criticised by Stephen R. Perry and Arthur Ripstein as incompatible with central features of negligence law. We aim to show that these objections are unsuccessful against McCarthy’s Risk–liability theory, and that such an approach is a promising means both for understanding the moral basis of (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  19. Nozick, Prohibition, and No-Fault Motor Insurance.Toby Handfield - 2003 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (2):201–208.
    Is a Nozickian theory of rights compatible with a no-fault motor insurance scheme? I say, Yes. The argument turns on an explication of the basis on which a Nozickian justifies the prohibition of merely risky activities.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark