2017 Philosophy Publications and Grants

Hurley, Paul. "Why Consequentialism's 'Compelling Idea' Is Not." Social Theory and Practice, vol. 43, 2017, pp. 29-54.

Abstract: Many consequentialists take their theory to be anchored by a deeply intuitive idea, the "Compelling Idea" that it is always permissible to promote the best outcome. I demonstrate that this Idea is not, in fact, intuitive at all either in its agent-neutral or its evaluator-relative form. There are deeply intuitive ideas concerning the relationship of deontic to telic evaluation, but the Compelling Idea is at best a controversial interpretation of such ideas, not itself one of them. Because there is no Compelling Idea at the heart of consequentialism, there is no initial burden of proof to be discharged nor any air of paradox to be cleared away by its opponents.

Kind, Amy. "Imagination." Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Taylor and Francis, 2017.

Abstract: Imagination is a speculative mental state that allows us to consider situations apart from the here and now. Historically, imagination played an important role in the works of many of the major philosophical figures in the Western tradition – from Aristotle to Descartes to Hume to Kant. By the middle of the twentieth century, in the wake of the behavioristic mindset that had dominated both psychology and philosophy in the early part of the century, imagination had largely faded from philosophical view and received scant attention from the 1960s through the 1980s. But imagination returned to the limelight in the late twentieth century, as it was given increasing prominence in both aesthetics and philosophy of mind. In aesthetics, interest in imagination derives in large part from its role in our engagement with works of art, music, and literature. For example, some philosophers have called upon imagination to capture the essence of fiction, while others have called upon it to explain how listeners understand the expressive nature of musical works. Yet others have seen imagination as centrally involved in ontological questions about art; in particular, they take works of art to be best understood as in some sense imaginary objects. In philosophy of mind, imagination plays an especially important role in discussions of mindreading, that is, our ability to understand the mental states of others. While theory theorists claim that we do this by calling upon a folk theory of mind, simulation theorists claim that we mindread by simulating the mental states of others – with simulation typically cashed out in terms of imagination. More generally, philosophers of mind who are interested in questions of cognitive architecture tend to be especially interested in imagination and its relationship to belief and desire. In fact, imagination has come to play an important role in a wide variety of philosophical contexts in addition to aesthetics and philosophy of mind. It has traditionally been central to discussions of thought experimentation and modal epistemology, where an analogy is often drawn between the way perception justifies beliefs about actuality and the way imagination seems to justify beliefs about possibility. Imagination has also been invoked to explain pretence, dreaming, empathy, delusion, and our ability to engage in counterfactual reasoning.

Kind, Amy. "Imagination Is a Powerful Tool: Why Is Philosophy Afraid of It?" Aeon, Sept. 1, 2017.

Kind, Amy. "Imaginative Vividness.” Journal of the American Philosophical Association, vol. 3, issue 1, 2017, pp. 32-50.

Abstract: How are we to understand the phenomenology of imagining? Attempts to answer this question often invoke descriptors concerning the "vivacity" or "vividness" of our imaginative states. Not only are particular imaginings often phenomenologically compared and contrasted with other imaginings on grounds of how vivid they are, but such imaginings are also often compared and contrasted with perceptions and memories on similar grounds. Yet however natural it may be to use "vividness" and cognate terms in discussions of imagination, it does not take much reflection to see that these terms are ill understood. In this paper, I review both some relevant empirical literature as well as the philosophical literature attempt to get a handle on what it could mean, in an imaginative context, to talk of vividness. As I suggest, this notion ultimately proves to be so problematic as to be philosophically untenable.

Kind, Amy. Review of Arrival, directed by Denis Villeneueve. The Philosophers’ Magazine, issue 77, 2017, pp. 108-109.

External Grant: Kind, Amy. RSSS Visiting Fellow, Australian National University, July–August 2017.

Funding from ANU to serve as a visiting fellow in the Department of Philosophy for six weeks.

Bowman, Brady, James Kreines, Terry Pinkard, and Clinton Tolley. "The Metaphysics of Reason and Hegel's Logic: A Book Symposium on James Kreines’ Reason in the World." Hegel-Studien, vol. 50, 2017, pp. 129-173.

Abstract: In Reason in the World: Hegel’s Metaphysics and its Philosophical Appeal, Kreines defends an account of Hegel’s Science of Logic as systematically organized by its concern with metaphysical issues. But engagement with Kant’s argument about the necessary contradictions of such metaphysics, from the Transcendental Dialectic of Kant’s first Critique, leads Hegel in an unusual direction, away from any form of metaphysical foundationalism, including forms of metaphysical monism often associated with Hegel. Here Bowman, Pinkard and Tolley discuss these arguments, raising questions and worries concerning topics including Kant’s arguments in the first Critique, the nature of Hegel’s dialectic, the engagement between Kant and Hegel concerning teleology, and Hegel’s account of the absolute idea; Kreines responds in defense of his account.

Kreines, James. “From Objectivity to the Absolute Idea in Hegel's Logic.” The Oxford Handbook of Hegel, edited by Dean Moyar, Oxford University Press, 2017, pp. 310-338.

Abstract: The topic of this chapter is the difficult conclusion of Hegel's Science of Logic, concerning what Hegel calls 'Objectivity' and the 'Absolute Idea'. It is argued that there are two keys to finding Hegel's argument and its philosophical strengths. First, Hegel takes a kind of metaphysics as basic to philosophy. Second, Hegel aims to support an ambitious metaphysics, but not (as is sometimes thought) a form of metaphysical monism; rather, Hegel argues that there is something with absolute metaphysical priority, but this is something that must be realized in something with less metaphysical priority. This is what Hegel means by the frequent refrain that the absolute cannot be a beginning, but must come at the end. The advantages of this metaphysical interpretive approach are compared with competing advantages of others, including an approach by means of a comparison with the deductions from the Transcendental Analytic of Kant's first Critique.

Kreines, James. “Kant on the Laws of Nature: Restrictive Inflationism and its Philosophical Advantages.” The Monist, vol. 100, issue 3, 2017, pp. 326-341.

Abstract: Kant has a distinctive account of the particular laws of nature, such as the laws concerning what causes what. His account is a surprising package-view: restrictive inflationism. It includes a simple inflationary account of what particular laws of nature are: they are ways in which the natures of different kinds of things necessitate what the things do. And it restricts our knowledge: outside of a special kind of exceptional case, we cannot achieve knowledge, but can only increasingly approximate knowledge of the particular laws of nature. I argue that this unusual combination brings some surprising philosophical advantages from which we can learn about otherwise hidden features of the philosophical terrain underlying continuing debates about the laws of nature.

Kreines, James. “The Limit of Metatheory and the Interpretation of Hegel’s System.” Verifiche: Rivista di Scienze Umane, XLVI, no. 1, 2017, pp. 39-61.

Abstract: Hegel aims to defend a system of philosophy. So interpreters should consider what is required to interpret this specifically as a system. Once we are clear about this, I argue, we can see what would be involved in reading Hegel's philosophy as a kind of metatheory. This allows discerning the strongest way of developing a reading of Hegel's philosophy as a metatheory. But it also brings out reasons to avoid even the strongest version of that approach, or reasons to read Hegel's philosophy as metaphysics rather than metatheory.

Locke, Dustin. "The Epistemic Significance of Moral Disagreement.” The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics, edited by David Plunkett and Tristram McPherson. Routledge, 2017, pp. 499 – 518.

Locke, Dustin. "Implicature and Non-Local Pragmatic Encroachment.” Synthese, vol. 194, issue 2, 2017, pp. 631 – 654.

Abstract: This paper offers a novel conversational implicature account of the pragmatic sensitivity of knowledge attributions. Developing an account I first suggested elsewhere and independently proposed by Lutz, this paper explores the idea that the relevant implicatures are generated by a constitutive relationship between believing a proposition and a disposition to treat that proposition as true in practical deliberation. I argue that while this view has a certain advantage over standard implicature accounts of pragmatic sensitivity, it comes with a significant concession to proponents of pragmatic encroachment. On the account offered here, knowledge attributions have locally-pragmatically-sensitive implicatures because they have non-locally-pragmatically-sensitive entailments. The view thus represents a unique and powerful hybrid of these two approaches to the pragmatic sensitivity of knowledge attributions.

Martin, Adrienne. "How to Betray Your Android." The Philosopher's Magazine, issue 76, 2017, pp. 35-41.

Abstract: You can betray your android only if they are a person. That's one idea I want to explore here: that betrayal is something to which only persons are vulnerable. Or, to flip it around, if you see someone or something as vulnerable to betrayal, then you see them as a person. More broadly, I want to push the importance of a conception of persons as the participants in interpersonal relationships.

Obdrzalek, Suzanne. “Aristophanic Tragedy in Plato's Symposium." Plato's Symposium: A Critical Guide, edited by Pierre Destrée and Zina Giannopoulou, Cambridge University Press, 2017, pp. 70-87.

Abstract: In this paper, I offer a new interpretation of Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symposium. Though Plato deliberately draws attention to the significance of Aristophanes' speech in relation to Diotima's (205d-e, 211d), it has received relatively little philosophical attention. Critics who discuss it typically treat it as a comic fable, of little philosophical significance (e.g. Dover 1966, Rowe 1998), or uncover in it an account of love that recognizes the unique value of human individuals as love-objects (e.g. Dover 1966, Nussbaum 1986). Against the first set of interpreters, I maintain that Aristophanes' speech is of the utmost philosophical significance; in it, he sets forth a view of eros as the desire for completion, which is the starting-point for Diotima's subsequent analysis. Against the second set, I argue that Aristophanes' speech contains a profoundly pessimistic account of eros. Far from being an appreciative response to the individuality of the beloved, eros, for Aristophanes, is an irrational and unsatisfiable urge. It is only when Aristophanes' analysis of eros as originating in lack is wedded to Agathon's emphasis on beauty that eros becomes rational and capable of resolution: in the ascent it is the initiate's responsiveness to the beauty of a particular beloved that enables him to eventually love beauty itself.

Schroeder, S. Andrew. "Consequentializing and Its Consequences." Philosophical Studies, vol. 174, issue 6, 2017, pp. 1475-1497.

Abstract: Recently, a number of philosophers have argued that we can and should ''consequentialize'' non-consequentialist moral theories, putting them into a consequentialist framework. I argue that these philosophers, usually treated as a group, in fact offer three separate arguments, two of which are incompatible. I show that none represent significant threats to a committed non-consequentialist, and that the literature has suffered due to a failure to distinguish these arguments. I conclude by showing that the failure of the consequentializers' arguments has implications for disciplines, such as economics, logic, decision theory, and linguistics, which sometimes use a consequentialist structure to represent non-consequentialist ethical theories.

Schroeder, S. Andrew. "The Public vs. Private Value of Health, and Their Relationship.” Review of Valuing Health: Well-Being, Freedom, and Suffering, by Daniel Hausman, Journal of Economic Methodology, vol. 24, issue 3, 2017, pp. 349-355.

Schroeder, S. Andrew. "Using Democratic Values in Science: an Objection and (Partial) Response." Philosophy of Science, vol. 84, issue 5, 2017, pp. 1044-1054.

Abstract: Many philosophers of science have argued that social and ethical values have a significant role to play in core parts of the scientific process. This naturally suggests the following question: when such value choices need to be made, which or whose values should be used? A common answer to this question turns to democratic values--the values of the public or its representatives. I argue that this imposes a morally significant burden on certain scientists, effectively requiring them to advocate for policy positions they strongly disagree with. I conclude by discussing under what conditions this burden might be justified.

Schroeder, S. Andrew. "Value Choices in Summary Measures of Population Health." Public Health Ethics, vol. 10, issue 2, 2017, pp. 176-187.

Abstract: Summary measures of health, such as the QALY and DALY, have long been known to incorporate a number of value choices. In this paper, though, I show that the value choices in the construction of such measures extend far beyond what is generally recognized. In showing this, I hope both to improve the understanding of those measures by epidemiologists, health economists, and policy-makers, and also to contribute to the general debate about the extent to which such measures should be adjusted to reflect ethical values.

External Grant: Schroeder, S. Andrew. Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellowship at Princeton University Center for Human Values, 2017–18.

Residential fellowship including 50% salary support and research expenses, to support research on the ethics of science and on the philosophy of disability.


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