Results for 'possibility'

998 found
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  1. Conceivability, Possibility, and the Mind-Body Problem.Katalin Balog - 1999 - Philosophical Review 108 (4):497-528.
    This paper was chosen by The Philosopher’s Annual as one of the ten best articles appearing in print in 2000. Reprinted in Volume XXIII of The Philosopher’s Annual. In his very influential book David Chalmers argues that if physicalism is true then every positive truth is a priori entailed by the full physical description – this is called “the a priori entailment thesis – but ascriptions of phenomenal consciousness are not so entailed and he concludes that Physicalism is false. As (...)
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  2. Possible Worlds and the Objective World.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):389-422.
    David Lewis holds that a single possible world can provide more than one way things could be. But what are possible worlds good for if they come apart from ways things could be? We can make sense of this if we go in for a metaphysical understanding of what the world is. The world does not include everything that is the case—only the genuine facts. Understood this way, Lewis's “cheap haecceitism” amounts to a kind of metaphysical anti-haecceitism: it says there (...)
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  3. Concrete Possible Worlds.Phillip Bricker - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 111--134.
    In this chapter, I survey what I call Lewisian approaches to modality: approaches that analyze modality in terms of concrete possible worlds and their parts. I take the following four theses to be characteristic of Lewisian approaches to modality. (1) There is no primitive modality. (2) There exists a plurality of concrete possible worlds. (3) Actuality is an indexical concept. (4) Modality de re is to be analyzed in terms of counterparts, not transworld identity. After an introductory section in which (...)
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  4. The Possibility of Practical Reason.J. David Velleman - 1996 - Ethics 106 (4):694-726.
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  5. Possible Patterns.Jeffrey Sanford Russell & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 11.
    “There are no gaps in logical space,” David Lewis writes, giving voice to sentiment shared by many philosophers. But different natural ways of trying to make this sentiment precise turn out to conflict with one another. One is a *pattern* idea: “Any pattern of instantiation is metaphysically possible.” Another is a *cut and paste* idea: “For any objects in any worlds, there exists a world that contains any number of duplicates of all of those objects.” We use resources from model (...)
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  6. Possibly False Knowledge.Alex Worsnip - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (5):225-246.
    Many epistemologists call themselves ‘fallibilists’. But many philosophers of language hold that the meaning of epistemic usages of ‘possible’ ensures a close knowledge- possibility link : a subject’s utterance of ‘it’s possible that not-p’ is true only if the subject does not know that p. This seems to suggest that whatever the core insight behind fallibilism is, it can’t be that a subject could have knowledge which is, for them, possibly false. I argue that, on the contrary, subjects can (...)
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  7. The Possibility of Parity.Ruth Chang - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):659-688.
    This paper argues for the existence of a fourth positive generic value relation that can hold between two items beyond ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’: namely ‘on a par’.
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  8.  81
    The Possibility of Epistemic Nudging.Thomas Grundmann - forthcoming - Social Epistemology:1-11.
    Typically, nudging is a technique for steering the choices of people without giving reasons or using enforcement. In benevolent cases, it is used when people are insufficiently responsive to reason. The nudger triggers automatic cognitive mechanisms—sometimes even biases—in smart ways in order to push irrational people in the right direction. Interestingly, this technique can also be applied to doxastic attitudes. Someone who is doxastically unresponsive to evidence can be nudged into forming true beliefs or doxastic attitudes that are propositionally justified. (...)
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  9.  98
    The Possibility of Judgment Aggregation on Agendas with Subjunctive Implications.Franz Dietrich - 2010 - Journal of Economic Theory 145 (2):603-638.
    The new …eld of judgment aggregation aims to …nd collective judgments on logically interconnected propositions. Recent impossibility results establish limitations on the possibility to vote independently on the propositions. I show that, fortunately, the impossibility results do not apply to a wide class of realistic agendas once propositions like “if a then b” are adequately modelled, namely as subjunctive implications rather than material implications. For these agendas, consistent and complete collective judgments can be reached through appropriate quota rules (which (...)
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  10. Possibility Spaces and the Notion of Novelty: From Music to Biology.Maël Montévil - 2019 - Synthese 196 (11):4555-4581.
    We provide a new perspective on the relation between the space of description of an object and the appearance of novelties. One of the aims of this perspective is to facilitate the interaction between mathematics and historical sciences. The definition of novelties is paradoxical: if one can define in advance the possibles, then they are not genuinely new. By analyzing the situation in set theory, we show that defining generic (i.e., shared) and specific (i.e., individual) properties of elements of a (...)
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  11. Possible World Semantics and True-True Counterfactuals.Lee Walters - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (3):322-346.
    The standard semantics for counterfactuals ensures that any counterfactual with a true antecedent and true consequent is itself true. There have been many recent attempts to amend the standard semantics to avoid this result. I show that these proposals invalidate a number of further principles of the standard logic of counterfactuals. The case against the automatic truth of counterfactuals with true components does not extend to these further principles, however, so it is not clear that rejecting the latter should be (...)
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  12. The Possibility of an Ongoing Moral Catastrophe.Evan G. Williams - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):971-982.
    This article gives two arguments for believing that our society is unknowingly guilty of serious, large-scale wrongdoing. First is an inductive argument: most other societies, in history and in the world today, have been unknowingly guilty of serious wrongdoing, so ours probably is too. Second is a disjunctive argument: there are a large number of distinct ways in which our practices could turn out to be horribly wrong, so even if no particular hypothesized moral mistake strikes us as very likely, (...)
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  13. Possible Worlds for Modal Primitivists.Louis deRosset - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (1):109-131.
    Among the most remarkable developments in metaphysics since the 1950’s is the explosion of philosophical interest in possible worlds. This paper proposes an explanation of what possible worlds are, and argues that this proposal, the interpreted models conception, should be attractive to anyone who thinks that modal facts are primitive, and so not to be explained in terms of some non-modal notion of “possible world.” I articulate three constraints on any acceptable primitivist explanation of the nature of possible worlds, and (...)
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  14.  57
    Possibility Precedes Actuality.Tuomas E. Tahko - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    This paper is inspired by and develops on E. J. Lowe’s work, who writes in his book The Possibility of Metaphysics that ‘metaphysical possibility is an inescapable determinant of actuality’ (1998: 9). Metaphysics deals with possibilities – metaphysical possibilities – but is not able to determine what is actual without the help of empirical research. Accordingly, a delimitation of the space of possibilities is required. The resulting – controversial – picture is that we generally need to know whether (...)
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  15. The Possibility of Morality.Phil Brown - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):627-636.
    Despite much discussion over the existence of moral facts, metaethicists have largely ignored the related question of their possibility. This paper addresses the issue from the moral error theorist’s perspective, and shows how the arguments that error theorists have produced against the existence of moral facts at this world, if sound, also show that moral facts are impossible, at least at worlds non-morally identical to our own and, on some versions of the error theory, at any world. So error (...)
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  16. The Possibility of Onion Worlds: Rebutting an Argument for Structural Universals.J. Robert G. Williams - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):193 – 203.
    Some argue that theories of universals should incorporate structural universals, in order to allow for the metaphysical possibility of worlds of 'infinite descending complexity' ('onion worlds'). I argue that the possibility of such worlds does not establish the need for structural universals. So long as we admit the metaphysical possibility of emergent universals, there is an attractive alternative description of such cases.
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  17. Possibility and Imagination.Alex Byrne - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):125–144.
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  18. Epistemically Possible Worlds and Propositions.Bruno Whittle - 2009 - Noûs 43 (2):265-285.
    Metaphysically possible worlds have many uses. Epistemically possible worlds promise to be similarly useful, especially in connection with propositions and propositional attitudes. However, I argue that there is a serious threat to the natural accounts of epistemically possible worlds, from a version of Russell’s paradox. I contrast this threat with David Kaplan’s problem for metaphysical possible world semantics: Kaplan’s problem can be straightforwardly rebutted, the problems I raise cannot. I argue that although there may be coherent accounts of epistemically possible (...)
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  19. How-Possibly Explanation in Biology: Lessons From Wilhelm His’s ‘Simple Experiments’ Models.Christopher Pearson - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (4).
    A common view of how-possibly explanations in biology treats them as explanatorily incomplete. In addition to this interpretation of how-possibly explanation, I argue that there is another interpretation, one which features what I term “explanatory strategies.” This strategy-centered interpretation of how-possibly explanation centers on there being a different explanatory context within which how-possibly explanations are offered. I contend that, in conditions where this strategy context is recognized, how-possibly explanations can be understood as complete explanations. I defend this alternative interpretation by (...)
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  20. Possible Worlds Semantics.Daniel Nolan - 2012 - In Gillian Russell & Delia Fara (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Language. New York, USA: Routledge Press. pp. 242-252.
    This chapter provides an introduction to possible worlds semantics in both logic and the philosophy of language, including a discussion of some of the advantages and challenges for possible worlds semantics.
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  21. Possible Girls.Neil Sinhababu - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (2):254–260.
    I argue that if David Lewis’ modal realism is true, modal realists from different possible worlds can fall in love with each other. I offer a method for uniquely picking out possible people who are in love with us and not with our counterparts. Impossible lovers and trans-world love letters are considered. Anticipating objections, I argue that we can stand in the right kinds of relations to merely possible people to be in love with them and that ending a trans-world (...)
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  22. Conceivability and Possibility: Some Dilemmas for Humeans.Francesco Berto & Tom Schoonen - 2018 - Synthese 195 (6):2697-2715.
    The Humean view that conceivability entails possibility can be criticized via input from cognitive psychology. A mainstream view here has it that there are two candidate codings for mental representations (one of them being, according to some, reducible to the other): the linguistic and the pictorial, the difference between the two consisting in the degree of arbitrariness of the representation relation. If the conceivability of P at issue for Humeans involves the having of a linguistic mental representation, then it (...)
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  23. Information, Possible Worlds and the Cooptation of Scepticism.Luciano Floridi - 2010 - Synthese 175 (1):63 - 88.
    The article investigates the sceptical challenge from an informationtheoretic perspective. Its main goal is to articulate and defend the view that either informational scepticism is radical, but then it is epistemologically innocuous because redundant; or it is moderate, but then epistemologically beneficial because useful. In order to pursue this cooptation strategy, the article is divided into seven sections. Section 1 sets up the problem. Section 2 introduces Borei numbers as a convenient way to refer uniformly to (the data that individuate) (...)
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  24. Possible Worlds and the Beauty of God.Mark Ian Thomas Robson - 2010 - Religious Studies.
    In this paper I explore the relationship between the idea of possible worlds and the notion of the beauty of God. I argue that there is a clear contradiction between the idea that God is utterly and completely beautiful on the one hand and the notion that He contains within himself all possible worlds on the other. Since some of the possible worlds residing in the mind of the deity are ugly, their presence seems to compromise God's complete and utter (...)
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  25. On the Possibility of Wholesale Moral Error.Farbod Akhlaghi - 2021 - Ratio 34 (3):236-247.
    The moral error theory, it seems, could be true. The mere possibility of its truth might also seem inconsequential. But it is not. For, I argue, there is a sense in which the moral error theory is possible that generates an argument against both non‐cognitivism and moral naturalism. I argue that it is an epistemic possibility that morality is subject to some form of wholesale error of the kind that would make the moral error theory true. Denying this (...)
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  26. The Possibilities of History.Daniel Nolan - 2016 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 10 (3):441-456.
    _ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 441 - 456 Several kinds of historical alternatives are distinguished. Different kinds of historical alternatives are valuable to the practice of history for different reasons. Important uses for historical alternatives include representing different sides of historical disputes; distributing chances of different outcomes over alternatives; and offering explanations of why various alternatives did _not_ in fact happen. Consideration of counterfactuals about what would have happened had things been different in particular ways plays particularly useful (...)
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  27.  82
    Physical Possibility and Determinate Number Theory.Sharon Berry - manuscript
    It's currently fashionable to take Putnamian model theoretic worries seriously for mathematics, but not for discussions of ordinary physical objects and the sciences. But I will argue that (under certain mild assumptions) merely securing determinate reference to physical possibility suffices to rule out nonstandard models of our talk of numbers. So anyone who accepts realist reference to physical possibility should not reject reference to the standard model of the natural numbers on Putnamian model theoretic grounds.
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  28. Logically Possible Machines.Eric Steinhart - 2002 - Minds and Machines 12 (2):259-280.
    I use modal logic and transfinite set-theory to define metaphysical foundations for a general theory of computation. A possible universe is a certain kind of situation; a situation is a set of facts. An algorithm is a certain kind of inductively defined property. A machine is a series of situations that instantiates an algorithm in a certain way. There are finite as well as transfinite algorithms and machines of any degree of complexity (e.g., Turing and super-Turing machines and more). There (...)
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  29. The Possibility of Collective Moral Obligations.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2020 - In The Routledge Handbook on Collective Responsibility. New York: pp. 258-273.
    Our moral obligations can sometimes be collective in nature: They can jointly attach to two or more agents in that neither agent has that obligation on their own, but they – in some sense – share it or have it in common. In order for two or more agents to jointly hold an obligation to address some joint necessity problem they must have joint ability to address that problem. Joint ability is highly context-dependent and particularly sensitive to shared (or even (...)
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  30. The Possibility of Aesthetic Realism.Philip Pettit - 1983 - In Eva Schaper (ed.), Pleasure, preference and value. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 17-38.
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  31. Technology and Epistemic Possibility.Isaac Record - 2013 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie (2):1-18.
    My aim in this paper is to give a philosophical analysis of the relationship between contingently available technology and the knowledge that it makes possible. My concern is with what specific subjects can know in practice, given their particular conditions, especially available technology, rather than what can be known “in principle” by a hypothetical entity like Laplace’s Demon. The argument has two parts. In the first, I’ll construct a novel account of epistemic possibility that incorporates two pragmatic conditions: responsibility (...)
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  32. Metaphysical and Absolute Possibility.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):1861-1872.
    It is widely alleged that metaphysical possibility is “absolute” possibility Conceivability and possibility, Clarendon, Oxford, 2002, p 16; Stalnaker, in: Stalnaker Ways a world might be: metaphysical and anti-metaphysical essays, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003, pp 201–215; Williamson in Can J Philos 46:453–492, 2016). Kripke calls metaphysical necessity “necessity in the highest degree”. Van Inwagen claims that if P is metaphysically possible, then it is possible “tout court. Possible simpliciter. Possible period…. possib without qualification.” And Stalnaker writes, (...)
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  33. Perceptual Knowledge of Nonactual Possibilities.Margot Strohminger - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):363-375.
    It is widely assumed that sense perception cannot deliver knowledge of nonactual (metaphysical) possibilities. We are not supposed to be able to know that a proposition p is necessary or that p is possible (if p is false) by sense perception. This paper aims to establish that the role of sense perception is not so limited. It argues that we can know lots of modal facts by perception. While the most straightforward examples concern possibility and contingency, others concern necessity (...)
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  34.  62
    The Possibility of Epistemic Nudging: Reply to My Critics.Thomas Grundmann - 2021 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (12):28-35.
    In “The Possibility of Epistemic Nudging” (2021), I address a phenomenon that is widely neglected in the current literature on nudges: intentional doxastic nudging, i.e. people’s intentional influence over other people’s beliefs, rather than over their choices. I argue that, at least in brute cases, nudging is not giving reasons, but rather bypasses reasoning altogether. More specifically, nudging utilizes psychological heuristics and the nudged person’s biases in smart ways. The goal of my paper is to defend the claim that (...)
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  35. On the Possibility of Hallucinations.Farid Masrour - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):737-768.
    Many take the possibility of hallucinations to imply that a relationalist account, according to which perceptual experiences are constituted by direct relations to ordinary mind-independent objects, is false. The common reaction among relationalists is to adopt a disjunctivist view that denies that hallucinations have the same nature as perceptual experiences. This paper proposes a non-disjunctivist response to the argument from hallucination by arguing that the alleged empirical and a priori evidence in support of the possibility of hallucinations is (...)
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  36. A Possible-Worlds Solution to the Puzzle of Petitionary Prayer.Ryan Matthew Parker & Bradley Rettler - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 9 (1):179--186.
    The puzzle of petitionary prayer: if we ask for the best thing, God was already going to do it, and if we ask for something that's not the best, God's not going to grant our request. In this paper, we give a new solution to the puzzle.
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  37. Omissions as Possibilities.Sara Bernstein - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (1):1-23.
    I present and develop the view that omissions are de re possibilities of actual events. Omissions do not literally fail to occur; rather, they possibly occur. An omission is a tripartite metaphysical entity composed of an actual event, a possible event, and a contextually specified counterpart relation between them. This view resolves ontological, causal, and semantic puzzles about omissions, and also accounts for important data about moral responsibility for outcomes resulting from omissions.
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  38. Population Axiology and the Possibility of a Fourth Category of Absolute Value.Johan E. Gustafsson - 2020 - Economics and Philosophy 36 (1):81-110.
    Critical-Range Utilitarianism is a variant of Total Utilitarianism which can avoid both the Repugnant Conclusion and the Sadistic Conclusion in population ethics. Yet Standard Critical-Range Utilitarianism entails the Weak Sadistic Conclusion, that is, it entails that each population consisting of lives at a bad well-being level is not worse than some population consisting of lives at a good well-being level. In this paper, I defend a version of Critical-Range Utilitarianism which does not entail the Weak Sadistic Conclusion. This is made (...)
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  39. Williamsonian Modal Epistemology, Possibility-Based.Barbara Vetter - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):766-795.
    Williamsonian modal epistemology is characterized by two commitments: realism about modality, and anti-exceptionalism about our modal knowledge. Williamson’s own counterfactual-based modal epistemology is the best known implementation of WME, but not the only option that is available. I sketch and defend an alternative implementation which takes our knowledge of metaphysical modality to arise, not from knowledge of counterfactuals, but from our knowledge of ordinary possibility statements of the form ‘x can F’. I defend this view against a criticism indicated (...)
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  40.  87
    Judgment Aggregation: (Im)Possibility Theorems.Franz Dietrich - 2006 - Journal of Economic Theory 1 (126):286-298.
    The aggregation of individual judgments over interrelated propositions is a newly arising field of social choice theory. I introduce several independence conditions on judgment aggregation rules, each of which protects against a specific type of manipulation by agenda setters or voters. I derive impossibility theorems whereby these independence conditions are incompatible with certain minimal requirements. Unlike earlier impossibility results, the main result here holds for any (non-trivial) agenda. However, independence conditions arguably undermine the logical structure of judgment aggregation. I therefore (...)
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  41. Necessity, Possibility and Determinism in Stoic Thought.Vanessa de Harven - 2016 - In Max Cresswel, Edwin Mares & Adriane Rini (eds.), Logical Modalities from Aristotle to Carnap: The Story of Necessity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 70-90.
    At the heart of the Stoic theory of modality is a strict commitment to bivalence, even for future contingents. A commitment to both future truth and contingency has often been thought paradoxical. This paper argues that the Stoic retreat from necessity is successful. it maintains that the Stoics recognized three distinct senses of necessity and possibility: logical, metaphysical and providential. Logical necessity consists of truths that are knowable a priori. Metaphysical necessity consists of truths that are knowable a posteriori, (...)
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  42.  53
    The Possibility of Epistemic Nudging: Reply to Grundmann.Jonathan Matheson & Valerie Joly Chock - 2021 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (8):36-42.
    In “The Possibility of Epistemic Nudging” (2021), Thomas Grundmann examines nudging as applied to doxastic attitudes. Grundmann argues that given the right presuppositions about knowledge, justified beliefs, and the relevant belief-forming processes, doxastic nudging can result in justified beliefs and even knowledge in the nudgee. In this short response we will raise some critical concerns for Grundmann’s project as well as open up a path for epistemic nudges (nudges that result in justified beliefs or knowledge) that Grundmann too quickly (...)
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  43. The Possibilities of Incarnation: Some Radical Molinist Suggestions.Thomas P. Flint - 2001 - Religious Studies 37 (3):307-320.
    The traditional doctrine of the Incarnation maintains that God became man. But was it necessary that God become the particular man He in fact became? Could some man or woman other than the man born in Bethlehem roughly two thousand years ago have been assumed by the Son to effect our salvation? This essay addresses such questions from the perspective of one embracing Molina's picture of divine providence. After showing how Molina thought his theory of middle knowledge helps alleviate a (...)
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  44.  67
    Possibility in a Single World.Mark Ressler - manuscript
    In response to suspicions concerning the use of possible worlds in philosophy, this brief paper proposes an analysis of possibility that requires only a single world, using a combination of temporal logic and a potentiality operator.
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  45. Moral Responsibility Without Alternative Possibilities?Carlos J. Moya - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (9):475-486.
    This paper is a critical comment on an article of David Widerker which also appeared in the Journal of Philosophy. In this article, Wideker held, against positions previously defended by him, that in was possible to design effective counterexamples, in the line initiated by Harry Frankfurt in 1969, to the so-called “Principle of Alternative Possibilities”. The core of my criticism of Widerker is to deny that agents, in his putative counterexamples, are morally responsible for their decisions, owing to the fact (...)
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  46. Is Humane Slaughter Possible?Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2020 - Animals 10 (5):799.
    One of the biggest ethical issues in animal agriculture is that of the welfare of animals at the end of their lives, during the process of slaughter. Much work in animal welfare science is focussed on finding humane ways to transport and slaughter animals, to minimise the harm done during this process. In this paper, we take a philosophical look at what it means to perform slaughter humanely, beyond simply reducing pain and suffering during the slaughter process. In particular, we (...)
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  47. Priority, Not Equality, for Possible People.Jacob M. Nebel - 2017 - Ethics 127 (4):896-911.
    How should we choose between uncertain prospects in which different possible people might exist at different levels of wellbeing? Alex Voorhoeve and Marc Fleurbaey offer an egalitarian answer to this question. I give some reasons to reject their answer and then sketch an alternative, which I call person-affecting prioritarianism.
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  48. Possibility and Permission? Intellectual Character, Inquiry, and the Ethics of Belief.Guy Axtell - 2014 - In Pihlstrom S. & Rydenfelt H. (eds.), William James on Religion. (Palgrave McMillan “Philosophers in Depth” Series.
    This chapter examines the modifications William James made to his account of the ethics of belief from his early ‘subjective method’ to his later heightened concerns with personal doxastic responsibility and with an empirically-driven comparative research program he termed a ‘science of religions’. There are clearly tensions in James’ writings on the ethics of belief both across his career and even within Varieties itself, tensions which some critics think spoil his defense of what he calls religious ‘faith ventures’ or ‘overbeliefs’. (...)
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  49.  98
    The Possibility of Conceptual Clarity in Philosophy.Michael A. Bishop - 1992 - American Philosophical Quarterly 29 (3):267 - 277.
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  50. Conceivability, Possibility and the Resurrection of Material Beings.Thomas Atkinson - 2016 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 80 (2):115-132.
    In his 1998 postscript to ‘The Possibility of Resurrection’ Peter van Inwagen argues that the scenario he describes by which God might resurrect a human organism, even though probably not true, is still conceivable and, consequently, ‘serves to establish a possibility’, namely, the metaphysical possibility of the resurrection of material beings. Van Inwagen, however, has also argued in favour of ‘modal scepticism’ [van Inwagen in, God, knowledge and mystery: essays in philosophical theology, Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1995b, (...)
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