today

CMCReturns - Learn more about our Fall return to campus

2020 Philosophy Publications and Grants

*Indicates student co-author

Basu, Rima. "The Specter of Normative Conflict: Does Fairness Require Inaccuracy?An Introduction to Implicit Bias: Knowledge, Justice, and the Social Mind, edited by Erin Beeghly and Alex Madva. Routledge, 2020, pp. 191-210.

Abstract: A challenge we face in a world that has been shaped by, and continues to be shaped by, racist attitudes and institutions is that the evidence is often stacked in favor of racist beliefs. As a result, we may find ourselves facing the following conflict: what if the evidence we have supports something we morally shouldn't believe? For example, it is morally wrong to assume, solely on the basis of someone's skin color, that they're a staff member. But, what if you're in a context where, because of historical patterns of discrimination, someone's skin color is a very good indicator that they're a staff member? When this sort of normative conflict looms, a conflict between moral considerations on the one hand and what you epistemically ought to believe given the evidence on the other, what should we do? It might be unfair to assume that they're a staff member, but to ignore the evidence would mean risking inaccurate beliefs. Some, notably Tamar Gendler (2011), have suggested that we simply face a tragic irresolvable dilemma. In this chapter, I consider how these cases of conflict arise and I canvass the viability of suggested resolutions of the conflict. In the end, I argue that there's actually no conflict here. Moral considerations can change how we epistemically should respond to the evidence.

Hurley, Paul. "Consequentializing." The Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism, edited by Douglas Portmore. Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 25-45.

Abstract: The strategy of consequentializing features that are intuitively relevant to the deontic evaluation of actions by building them into the telic evaluation of outcomes is almost as old as consequentialism itself. But the recent rejection by many consequentialists of the traditional commitment to an agent-neutral constraint on the relevant evaluation of outcomes has ushered in new consequentializing arguments for consequentialism and new consequentialist arguments for consequentializing. While the former fail, the latter ground the case for consequentializing in deeply entrenched and widely held commitments. These commitments to outcome-centered accounts of reasons, actions, and attitudes dictate that any plausible alternative account of what agents rationally and morally ought to do must be a form of consequentialism, hence must have a consequentialized form. Such outcome-centered commitments, however, all run afoul of commonsense in similar ways, and a pervasive strategy for mitigating this counter-intuitiveness trades upon a conflation of two distinct senses in which we speak of actions as bringing about outcomes.


Hurley, Paul. “Davidson's Debt to Anscombe.” Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review, vol. 59, 2020, pp. 219-233.

Abstract: Robert Myers' interpretation of Davidson's practical philosophy gets Davidson right in many fundamental respects. He rightly argues that Davidson avoids inconsistencies among internalism, ethical objectivity, and the belief-desire theory by modifying central elements of the Humean belief-desire theory, and that Davidson's alternative legitimizes the extension of his interpretation and triangulation arguments into the practical sphere. But at a crucial fork in the interpretive road Myers loses his way. Davidson follows Anscombe down a different path, one that takes individual desires to be constituted in part by evaluative judgements.


Hurley, Paul. Review of Taking Utilitarianism Seriously, by Christopher Woodard. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, June 25, 2020.

Johnson, Gabbrielle M. "The Psychology of Bias." An Introduction to Implicit Bias: Knowledge, Justice, and the Social Mind, edited by Erin Beeghly and Alex Madva. Routledge, 2020, pp. 20-40.

Abstract: What's going on in the head of someone with an implicit bias? Psychological and philosophical attempts to answer this question have centered on one of two distinct data patterns displayed in studies of individuals with implicit biases: divergence and rational responsiveness. However, explanations focused on these different patterns provide different, often conflicting answers to the question. In this chapter, I provide a literature review that addresses these tensions in data, method, and theory in depth. I begin by surveying the empirical data concerning patterns of divergence and rational responsiveness. Next, I review the psychological theories that attempt to explain these patterns. Finally, I suggest that tensions in the psychological study of implicit bias highlight the possibility that implicit bias is, in fact, a heterogeneous phenomenon, and thus, future work on implicit bias will likely need to abandon the idea that all implicit biases are underwritten by the same sorts of states and process.


Johnson, Gabbrielle. "The Psychology of Bias: From Data to Theory." The Brains Blog, July 27, 2020.


Johnson, Gabbrielle M. “The Structure of Bias.” Mind, vol. 129, issue 516, 2020, pp. 1193-1236.

Abstract: What is a bias? Standard philosophical views of both implicit and explicit bias focus this question on the representations one harbors, e.g., stereotypes or implicit attitudes, rather than the ways in which those representations (or other mental states) are manipulated. I call this approach representationalism. In this paper, I argue that representationalism taken as a general theory of psychological social bias is a mistake because it conceptualizes bias in ways that do not fully capture the phenomenon. Crucially, this view fails to capture a heretofore neglected possibility of bias, one that influences an individual's beliefs about or actions toward others, but is, nevertheless, nowhere represented in that individual's cognitive repertoire. In place of representationalism, I develop a functional account of psychological social bias that characterizes it as a mental entity that takes propositional mental states as inputs and returns propositional mental states as outputs in a way that instantiates social-kind inductions. This functional characterization leaves open which mental states and processes bridge the gap between the inputs and outputs, ultimately highlighting the diversity of candidates that can serve this role.

Kind, Amy. “Empathy, Imagination, and the Law.” Virtue, Emotion and Imagination in Law and Legal Reasoning, edited by Amalia Amaya and Maksymilian Del Mar. Bloomsbury, 2020, pp. 179-197.

Abstract: Two different pictures of a judge's role - the umpire model and the empathy model - have recently received considerable attention in both the popular press and the legal scholarship. While this attention has helped us to begin to refine our sense of the two different pictures, we have not yet achieved an adequate understanding of either of these models or how they relate to one another. This chapter aims to achieve greater clarity by consideration of six different lessons on these issues. I start with three lessons that are relatively straightforward and, in many ways, have already been fairly well learned. I then turn to three lessons that are less straightforward and, it seems, have yet to receive adequate consideration. Ultimately, we will see not only that these two models are not as starkly opposed as might initially appear but also that we would do best to move past this debate altogether. Rather than continuing to focus on empathy, we should instead look to imagination as a key virtue of judicial decision-making. As I will argue, a focus on imagination allows us to satisfy many of the motivations lying behind both the umpire model and the empathy model.


Kind, Amy. "Imaginative Experience.” Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness, edited by Uriah Kriegel. Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 124-141.

Abstract: Questions about the phenomenal character of our imaginative experience, about how it is and is not like the phenomenal character of perceptual experience, about how it is and is not like the phenomenal character of other mental activities - have a long history in philosophical discussions of imagination. Philosophers have also long asked parallel questions about the nature of imagination. But in this essay, our focus will not be on what imagination is but rather on what it is like. Rather than exploring the various accounts of imagination on offer in the philosophical literature, we will instead be exploring the various accounts of imaginative experience on offer in that literature. In particular, our focus will be on three different sorts of accounts that have played an especially prominent role in philosophical thinking about these issues, what I call the impoverishment view, the will-dependence view, and the nonexistence view. While I believe there are important insights to be drawn from each of these views, each seems to me to be importantly flawed in various ways. As I will suggest, close examination reveals that none of them gives us an adequate account of the character of imaginative experience. Ultimately, in the final section of this paper, I briefly explore what their failure teaches us about the project of giving an account of imaginative experience.


Kind, Amy. "Philosophical Perspectives on Imagination in the Western Tradition.” The Cambridge Handbook of Imagination, edited by Anna Abraham. Cambridge University Press, 2020, pp. 64-79.

Abstract: Philosophers in the Western tradition have both theorized about imagination and used imagination in their theorizing about other matters. In this chapter, I first provide a brief overview of philosophical theorizing about imagination with a special focus on its relation to other mental states such as belief and perception. I then turn to a discussion of the methodological role that imagination has played in philosophy. I here focus on the imaginability principle, i.e., the claim that the imaginability of a given scenario entails that such a scenario is in some sense possible. Relying on this kind of principle, philosophers have used imagination to justify theories in domains such as philosophy of mind, metaphysics and ethics.


Kind, Amy. Philosophy of Mind: The Basics. Routledge Press, 2020.

Abstract: Philosophy of Mind: The Basics is a concise and engaging introduction to the fundamental philosophical questions and theories about the mind. The author Amy Kind, a leading expert in the field, examines central issues concerning the nature of consciousness, thought, and emotion. The book addresses key questions such as: What is the nature of the mind? What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Can machines have minds? How will future technology impact the mind? With a glossary of key terms and suggestions for further reading, Philosophy of Mind: The Basics is an ideal starting point for anyone seeking a lively and accessible introduction to the rich and complex study of philosophy of mind.


Kind, Amy. Review of Knowing Other Minds, edited by Anita Avramides and Matthew Parrott. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, September 8, 2020.


Kind, Amy. Review of The Life of Imagination, by Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei. British Journal of Aesthetics, vol. 60, issue 2, 2020, pp. 234-237.


Kind, Amy. "The Skill of Imagination.” Routledge Handbook of Skill and Expertise, edited by Ellen Fridland and Carlotta Pavese. Routledge, 2020, pp. 335-346.

Abstract: We often talk of people as being more or less imaginative than one another – as being better or worse at imagining - and we also compare various feats of imagination to one another in terms of how easy or hard they are. Facts such as these might be taken to suggest that imagination is often implicitly understood as a skill. This implicit understanding, however, has rarely (if ever) been made explicit in the philosophical literature. Such is the task of this chapter. I first attempt to flesh out several conditions for an activity to count as a skill. I then attempt to show how imagination can meet such conditions. The chapter concludes with an attempt to answer various worries that might be raised to the claim that imagination should be thought of as a skill.


Kind, Amy. "Unlimited Imagination." The Philosopher's Magazine, issue 88, 2020, pp. 83-89.


Kind, Amy. "What Imagination Teaches.” Becoming Someone New: Essays on Transformative Experience, Choice, and Change, edited by Enoch Lambert and John Schwenkler. Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 133-146.

Abstract: In "What Experience Teaches," David Lewis famously argued that "having an experience is the best way or perhaps the only way, of coming to know what that experience is like"; when an experience is of a sufficiently new sort, mere science lessons are not enough. Developing this Lewisian line, L.A. Paul has suggested that some experiences are epistemically transformative. Until an individual has such an experience it remains epistemically inaccessible to her. No amount of book-learning, or testimony from others, will be enough to give her this access - nor will be she be able to achieve it by way of imaginative projection. It's this last claim that I will question in this paper. Can imagination teach us about fundamentally new kinds of experiences, experiences that are radically unlike any of the experiences that we've had before? As I argue in this paper, this question should be answered in the affirmative.

Kreines, James. “Aristotelian Priority, Metaphysical Definitions of God and Hegel on Pure Thought as Absolute.” Hegel Bulletin, vol. 41, issue 1, 2020, pp. 19-39.

Abstract: This paper advances a philosophical interpretation of Hegel's Logic as defending a metaphysics, which includes an absolute, itself comparable to God in other systems of metaphysics of interest to Hegel, including Aristotle's and Spinoza's. Two problems are raised which can seem to block the prospects for such a metaphysically inflationary interpretation. The key to resolving these problems is consideration of the kinds of metaphysical priority that Hegel sees in Aristotle. This allows us to build a philosophical model of Hegel's absolute, and to demonstrate how the model fits the argument of Hegel's Logic. Application of this model provides a philosophical explanation of the senses in which Hegel's metaphysics is idealist; he argues that thought is absolute and comparable to God in other systems of metaphysics: thought is both self-determining and metaphysically prior to being.


Krienes, James. "Hegel: The Reality and Priority of Immanent Teleology." Teleology: A History, edited by Jeffrey K. McDonough. Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 219-248.

Abstract: Hegel defends teleological explanation in biology, and argues that this defense has great importance for philosophy more generally. Hegel is here engaging with the crucial challenge he sees in Kant's argument that the concept of natural teleology is limited to a regulative status, so that even in the case of life can we cannot know whether anything natural is also teleological. In many ways, Hegel's rejoinder follows his interpretation of Aristotle. But Hegel's argument is new, insofar as he shows how commitments driving the best skeptical argument about natural teleology--Kant's--can be used to support the conclusion that living beings are, and can be known by us to be, explicable in teleological terms. I argue that Hegel's case has real philosophical strengths, and is not simply rendered obsolete by subsequent progress in biology or the philosophy of science. And we can approach in these terms Hegel's broader metaphysics, or the metaphysics of "the concept.”


Kreines, James. “Hegel’s Swimming Argument: Metaphilosophy and the Unlimiting of Philosophy.” 5 Minute Hegel: A Digital Congratulation on His 250th Birthday, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, August 27, 2020.


Kreines, James. “Hegel’s Systematic Ambitions.” Cambridge Core Blog, July 24, 2020.


Kreines, James. “Systematicity and Philosophical Interpretation: Hegel, Pippin, and Changing Debates.” Australasian Philosophical Review, vol. 2, issue 4, 2018, pp. 393-402. [Article assigned to a back-dated volume in 2020]

Abstract: This paper argues that Robert Pippin's work is an indispensable starting point for any engagement today with Hegel and German Idealism. His approach is unmatched when it comes to refusing to skip over or look away from the need to recover philosophical arguments, while actually finding arguments that could support the kind of unified philosophical system for which Hegel and the German Idealists aim. But the very success of Pippin's work has also opened new possibilities for a competing kind of approach, emphasizing a metaphilosophical priority of metaphysics, to attempt a similar combination of virtues, creating in turn new challenges for Pippin's approach.

Korman, Daniel Z., and Dustin Locke. “Against Minimalist Responses to Moral Debunking Arguments.” Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. 15, 2020.


Korman, Daniel Z., and Dustin Locke. “Evolutionary Debunking and Moral Relativism.” The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Relativism, edited by Martin Kusch. Routledge, 2020, pp. 190-199.

Abstract: Our aim here is to explore the prospects of a relativist response to moral debunking arguments. We begin by clarifying the relativist thesis under consideration, and we explain why relativists seem well-positioned to resist the arguments in a way that avoids the drawbacks of existing responses. We then show that appearances are deceiving. At bottom, the relativist response is no less question-begging than standard realists responses, and--when we turn our attention to the strongest formulation of the debunking argument--the virtues of relativism turn out to be vices


Locke, Dustin. “The Normative Significance of Cognitive Science Reconsidered.” 2020. The Philosophical Quarterly, vol. 70, issue 280, 2020, pp. 502-523.

Abstract: Josh Greene famously argued that his cognitive-scientific results undermine deontological moral theorizing. Greene is wrong about this: at best, his research has revealed that at least some characteristically deontological moral judgments are sensitive to factors that we deem morally irrelevant. This alone is not enough to undermine those judgments. However, cognitive science could someday tell us more: it could tell us that in forming those judgments, we treat certain factors as reasons to believe as we do. If we independently deem such factors to be morally irrelevant, such a result would undermine those judgments and any moral theorizing built upon them. This paper attempts to bring charity, clarity, and epistemological sophistication to Greene's argument and those like it.

Martin, Adrienne. "Interpersonal Hope." The Moral Psychology of Hope, edited by Claudia Bloeser and Titus Stahl. Rowman and Littlefield, 2020, pp. 229-248

Abstract: The subject of this chapter is what I call interpersonal hope, or hope invested by one person in another. Although the philosophical literature on hope is fairly sizable, specifically interpersonal hope does not bulk large. I aim to demonstrate that it is a fruitful subject matter, yielding insights about both agency and interpersonal relations. I will argue that this hope, and hopes like it, should be conceptualized in terms of socially extended agency--when we invest hope in each other, in a distinctive way I will identify, what we hope for is to extend our agency through each other. I will argue that conceptualizing interpersonal hope in these terms sheds light on the nature of hope in general (that is, not only hope invested in people, but hope wherever and however we inhabit it), and also provides a framework for understanding several emotional attitudes--let-down, pride in another, pride in oneself, trust, betrayal, and gratitude--that bear an intuitive but elusive connection to more frequently theorized Strawsonian "reactive attitudes" like resentment and indignation. I conclude by describing three kinds of constraint on good interpersonal hope, which is not, I argue, an intrinsically moral or virtuous phenomenon.

Rajczi, Alex et al. “Ethical Controversies in Triage.” Allocation of Critical Resources under Crisis Standards of Care, report by the University of California Critical Care Bioethics Working Group. University of California, 2020, pp. 48-61.


Rajczi, Alex et al. “Guiding Ethical Principles.” Allocation of Critical Resources under Crisis Standards of Care, report by the University of California Critical Care Bioethics Working Group. University of California, 2020, pp. 8-10.

Eyal, Nir, Samia A. Hurst, Christopher J.L. Murray, S. Andrew Schroeder, and Daniel Wikler. "Introduction: Philosophy and the Global Burden of Disease Study." Measuring the Global Burden of Disease: Philosophical Dimensions, edited by Nir Eyal, Samia A. Hurst, Christopher J.L. Murray, S. Andrew Schroeder, and Daniel Wikler. Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 3-10.

Abstract: This introductory chapter provides a brief history of philosophers' involvement with the Global Burden of Disease Study, from its origins in the 1990s through the present, showing how the researchers leading the GBD have consistently sought out the advice of philosophers, and how their input has shaped several important aspects of the study. It then goes on to summarize some of the key conclusions defended in the volume's remaining chapters, on philosophical issues raised by the GBD as a whole, on whether studies like the GBD should aim to measure health or well-being, on the GBD's use of causation, on values built into the GBD's measures, and on the uses of GBD data.


Eyal, Nir, Samia A. Hurst, Christopher J.L. Murray, S. Andrew Schroeder, and Daniel Wikler, eds. Measuring the Global Burden of Disease: Philosophical Dimensions. Oxford University Press, 2020.

Abstract: The Global Burden of Disease Study is one of the largest-scale research collaborations in global health, producing critical data for researchers, policy-makers, and health workers about more than 350 diseases, injuries, and risk factors. Such an undertaking is, of course, extremely complex from an empirical perspective. But it also raises complex ethical and philosophical questions. In this volume, a group of leading philosophers, economists, epidemiologists, and policy scholars identify and discuss these philosophical questions. Better appreciating the philosophical dimensions of a study like the GBD can make possible a more sophisticated interpretation of its results, and it can improve epidemiological studies in the future, so that they are better suited to produce results that help us to improve global health.


Murray, Christopher J.L., and S. Andrew Schroeder. "Ethical Dimensions of the Global Burden of Disease." Measuring the Global Burden of Disease: Philosophical Dimensions, edited by Nir Eyal, Samia A. Hurst, Christopher J.L. Murray, S. Andrew Schroeder, and Daniel Wikler. Oxford University Press, 2020, pp. 24-50.

Abstract: This chapter suggests that descriptive epidemiological studies like the Global Burden of Disease Study can usefully be divided into four tasks: describing individuals' health states over time, assessing their health states under a range of counterfactual scenarios, summarizing the information collected, and then packaging it for presentation. The authors show that each of these tasks raises important and challenging ethical questions. They comment on some of the philosophical issues involved in measuring health states, attributing causes to health outcomes, choosing the counterfactual against which to assess causes, aggregating and summarizing complex information across multiple domains, discounting, age-weighting, handling fetal deaths, measuring health inequalities, representing uncertainty, and assessing personal responsibility for health outcomes.


Schroeder, S.A. "How Many Have Died?Issues in Science and Technology, November 5, 2020.

Abstract: I look at the two main approaches used to count COVID-19 deaths and show how each of those approaches can appear to both overcount COVID deaths (including deaths it should exclude) and undercount COVID deaths (excluding deaths it should include). I trace this to the fact - well-known to philosophers - that causal attribution is interest-relative. Which deaths we should attribute to COVID (as opposed to other causes) will depend on our particular interests and values. Contrary to what many journalists and researchers report, there is therefore no such thing as the "true" COVID death toll. Understanding this can help us to become more sophisticated consumers of COVID information. I conclude by suggesting that scientists, by reflecting on society's varied interests and values, are in a position to construct measures of COVID-caused mortality that are potentially as useful, or more useful, than the measures we currently have.