•  38
    Trust, Reliance and the Internet
    Analyse & Kritik 26 (1): 108-121. 2004.
    Trusting someone in an intuitive, rich sense of the term involves not just relying on that person, but manifesting reliance on them in the expectation that this manifestation of reliance will increase their reason and motive to prove reliable. Can trust between people be formed on the basis of Internet contact alone? Forming the required expectation in regard to another person, and so trusting them on some matter, may be due to believing that they are trustworthy; to believing that they seek est…Read more
  •  49
    Functional explanation and virtual selection
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (2): 291-302. 1996.
    Invoking its social function can explain why we find a certain functional trait or institution only if we can identify a mechanism whereby the playing of the function connects with the explanandum. That is the main claim in the missing-mechanism critique of functionalism. Is it correct? Yes, if functional explanation is meant to make sense of the actual presence of the trait or institution. No, if it is meant to make sense of why the trait or institution is resilient: why we can rely on it to su…Read more
  •  258
    Political realism meets civic republicanism
    Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 20 (3): 331-347. 2017.
    The paper offers five desiderata on a realist normative theory of politics: that it should avoid moralism, deontologism, transcendentalism, utopianism, and vanguardism. These desiderata argue for a theory that begins from values rooted in a people’s experience; that avoids prescribing a collective deontological constraint; that makes the comparison of imperfect regimes possible; that takes feasibility and sustainability into account; and that makes room for the claims of democracy. The paper arg…Read more
  •  137
    The recent debates about the nature of social freedom, understood in a broadly negative way, have generated three main views of the topic: these represent freedom respectively as non-limitation, non-interference and non-domination. The participants in these debates often go different ways, however, because they address different topics under common names, not because they hold different intuitions on common topics. Social freedom is sometimes understood as option-freedom, sometimes as agency-fre…Read more
  •  55
    Parmenides and Sartre
    Philosophical Studies (Dublin) 17 (n/a): 161-184. 1968.
    As the first ontologist, Parmenides has a special place in the history of philosophy, not only because of his originality, but also because of the greatness of his particular attempt in the philosophy of being. His stature is such that any later attempt in the inquiry into being must measure itself against his achievement. His famous philosophical poem, which we have in fragments, is a permanent challenge to later philosophers. Thus Plato could describe Parmenides as ‘a man to be respected and a…Read more
  • Democracia y evaluaciones compartidas
    Isonomía. Revista de Teoría y Filosofía Del Derecho 23 51-58. 2005.
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    Judging Justice: An Introduction to Contemporary Political Philosophy
    Philosophical Quarterly 31 (125): 377-378. 1981.
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    Response to Commentaries on Made with Words
    Hobbes Studies 22 (2): 208-218. 2009.
    This reply argues five points, in response to the commentaries on my book, “Made with Words”. First, that Hobbes's theory of language may have supported his materialism, as his materialism supported the theory of language. Second, that for Hobbes legal penalties as such do not take from freedom, only legal obligations. Third, that his emphasis on maker's knowledge explains his theory of a priori demonstrable knowledge and, in particular, the importance he gives to definitions. Fourth, that Hobbe…Read more
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    On People’s Terms. A Reply to Four Critiques
    Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 5 (2). 2015.
    Download.
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    There are three major issues which crop up in the discussion of metaphor among philosophers of language. They are: whether metaphor is cognitive, whether it is descriptive, and whether it is innovative. Those who deny that metaphor is cognitive are a group more often imagined than encountered, but if they existed they would consign the study of metaphor to affective stylistics, stressing the ornamentative and related effects which the phenomenon is likely to have.‘ Those who admit that metaphor …Read more
  •  19
    Democracy’s Discontent
    Journal of Philosophy 95 (2): 73-96. 1998.
  •  191
    Republican Theory and Criminal Punishment
    Utilitas 9 (1): 59. 1997.
    Suppose we embrace the republican ideal of freedom as non-domination: freedom as immunity to arbitrary interference. In that case those acts that call uncontroversially for criminalization will usually be objectionable on three grounds: the offender assumes a dominating position in relation to the victim, the offender reduces the range or ease of undominated choice on the part of the victim, and the offender raises a spectre of domination for others like the victim. And in that case, so it appea…Read more
  •  17
    Inference and information
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4): 727. 1987.
  •  74
    Rawls’s political ontology
    Politics, Philosophy and Economics 4 (2): 157-174. 2005.
    The background thesis is that an implicit ontology of the people and the relation between the people and the state often shapes how we think in normative terms about politics. This article attempts to defend that thesis in relation to Rawls. The argument is that the rejection of an image of the people as a group agent connects with his objection to utilitarianism and the rejection of an image of the people as a mere aggregate connects with his objection to libertarianism. Rawls, it is argued, ho…Read more
  •  25
    5 Neuroscience and Agent-Control
    In Don Ross, David Spurrett, Harold Kincaid & G. Lynn Stephens (eds.), Distributed Cognition and the Will: Individual Volition and Social Context, Mit Press. pp. 77. 2007.
  •  108
    Three conceptions of democratic control
    Constellations 15 (1): 46-55. 2008.
    The idea of control or power is central to the notion of democracy, since the ideal is one of giving kratos to the demos: giving maximal or at least significant control over government to the people. But it turns out that the notion of kratos or control is definable in various ways and that as the notion is differently understood, so the ideal of democracy is differently interpreted. In this little reflection, I distinguish between three different notions of popular control, arguing that only on…Read more
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    This groundbreaking book revisits the writings of classic theorists in an effort re-evaluate the importance and influence the psychology of esteem has on the economy. The authors explore ways the economy of esteem may be reshaped to improve overall social outcomes and offer new ways of thinking about how society works and may be made to work.
  •  5
    Why and how philosophy matters
    In Robert E. Goodin & Charles Tilly (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Contextual Political Analysis, Oxford University Press. pp. 35. 2006.
  •  119
    Groups with minds of their own
    In Alvin I. Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology: Essential Readings, Oxford University Press. 2003.
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    This innovative approach to freedom starts from an account of what we mean by describing someone, in a psychological vein, as a free subject. Pettit develops an argument as to what it is that makes someone free in that basic sense; and then goes on to derive the implications of the approach for issues of freedom in political theory. Freedom in the subject is equated with the person's being fit to be held responsible and to be authorized as a partner in interaction. This book is unique among cont…Read more
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    democratic approach which sets it in contrast to liberal democratic theories. This is pursued by contrasting the different interpretations of the ideal of equal respect..