•  22
    Communicability Of Pleasure And Normativity Of Taste In Kant’s Third Critique
    Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics 4 (2): 11-18. 2007.
    Do claims of taste function as validity claims? Our ordinary use of aesthetic notions suggests as much. When I assert that Rodin’s Camille Claudel is ‘beautiful’ I mean my claim to be, in a sense, correct. I expect others to concur and if they do not I think that they are mistaken. But am I justified in attributing an error to the judgment of someone who, unlike me, does not find Rodin’s Camille Claudel beautiful? Not obviously. For it looks, on the other hand, that my assertion “The sculpture o…Read more
  •  12
    Historical Inaccuracy in Fiction
    American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (2): 155-170. 2019.
    I ask whether and when historical inaccuracy in a work of art constitutes an aesthetic flaw. I first consider a few replies derived from others: conceptual impossibility, import-export inconsistency, failure of reference, and imaginative resistance. I argue that while there is a grain of truth to some of these proposals, none of them ultimately succeeds. I proceed to offer an alternative account on which the aesthetic demerits of historical inaccuracies stem from a violation of the conversationa…Read more
  •  42
    In “Neurosentimentalism and Moral Agency”, Philip Gerrans and Jeanette Kennett argue that prominent versions of metaethical sentimentalism and moral realism ignore the importance, for moral agency and moral judgment, of the capacity to experientially project oneself into the past and possible futures – to engage in ‘mental time travel’. They contend that such views are committed to taking subjects with impaired capacities for MTT to be moral judgers, and thus confront a dilemma: either allow tha…Read more
  •  82
  •  35
    Inner Virtue, by Nicolas Bommarito
    Mind 127 (507): 902-911. 2018.
    © Mind AssociationThis article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model...Suppose I told you that the person you consider your best friend often dwells on your faults in his own mind; while he behaves in a warm and affectionate manner when the two of you are together, privately, he ruminates on his advantages over you. He likes to compare himself to you because he finds the comparisons flattering. He does not see you as his …Read more
  •  90
    Just another article on Moore’s paradox, but we don’t believe that
    with Linda A. W. Brakel
    Synthese 196 (12): 5153-5167. 2019.
    We present counterexamples to the widespread assumption that Moorean sentences cannot be rationally asserted. We then explain why Moorean assertions of the sort we discuss do not incur the irrationality charge. Our argument involves an appeal to the dual-process theory of the mind and a contrast between the conditions for ascribing beliefs to oneself and the conditions for making assertions about independently existing states of affairs. We conclude by contrasting beliefs of the sort we discuss …Read more
  •  112
    Some of our largely unchosen first-order reactions, such as disgust, can underwrite morally-laden character traits. This observation is in tension with the plausible idea that virtues and vices are based on reasons. I propose a way to resolve the tension.
  •  329
    A Puzzle About Knowledge in Action
    Logique Et Analyse 56 (223): 287-301. 2013.
    I question the widespread assumption that when we act for reasons we know what our reasons are. I argue that an agent may act in ignorance, or partial ignorance, regarding his or her reasons, and an action involving ignorance of this sort may still qualify as done for reasons. I conclude from here that we need to develop a suitable new model of action for reasons, and I proceed to offer such a model. Briefly, I argue that an action qualifies as done for reasons when the agent performing that act…Read more
  •  327
    Will Retributivism Die and Will Neuroscience Kill It?
    with Jon Tresan
    Cognitive Systems Research 34 54-70. 2015.
    In a widely read essay, “For the Law, Neuroscience Changes Nothing and Everything,” Joshua Greene and Jonathan Cohen argue that the advance of neuroscience will result in the widespread rejection of free will, and with it – of retributivism. They go on to propose that consequentialist reforms are in order, and they predict such reforms will take place. We agree that retributivism should be rejected, and we too are optimistic that rejected it will be. But we don’t think that such a development w…Read more
  •  432
    Wisdom Beyond Rationality: A Reply to Ryan
    with Jon Tresan
    Acta Analytica 28 (2): 229-235. 2013.
    We discuss Sharon Ryan’s Deep Rationality Theory of wisdom, defended recently in her “Wisdom, Knowledge and Rationality.” We argue that (a) Ryan’s use of the term “rationality” needs further elaboration; (b) there is a problem with requiring that the wise person possess justified beliefs but not necessarily knowledge; (c) the conditions of DRT are not all necessary; (d) the conditions are not sufficient. At the end of our discussion, we suggest that there may be a problem with the very assumptio…Read more
  •  190
    I discuss the aesthetic power of painful art. I focus on artworks that occasion pain by “hitting too close to home,” i.e., by presenting narratives meant to be “about us.” I consider various reasons why such works may have aesthetic value for us, but I argue that the main reason has to do with the power of such works to transgress conversational boundaries. The discussion is meant as a contribution to the debate on the paradox of tragedy.
  •  117
  •  103
    The Duties of an Artist
    Film and Philosophy 21 137-59. 2016.
    Casting directors are tasked with selecting a suitable actor for a given role. “Suitable” in this context typically means possessing a combination of physical attributes and acting skills. But are there any moral constraints on the choice? I argue that there are. This is an uncommon supposition, and few even entertain the question. In this essay, I discuss the reasons for this omission and attempt to make up for it.
  •  129
    My purpose in the present paper is two-fold: to provide a theoretical framework for understanding the difference between rightness and virtue; and to systematically account for the role of objective rightness in an individual person's decision making. I argue that a decision to do something virtuous differs from a decision to do what's right not simply, as is often supposed, in being motivated differently but, rather, in being taken from a different point of view. My argument to that effect is t…Read more
  •  148
    I discuss the respective roles of traits and reasons in the explanation of action. I begin by noting that traits and reasons explanations are systematically connected: traits explanations require motivation by reasons. Actions due to psychiatric conditions such as mental disorders cannot be explained by an appeal to traits. Because traits require motivation by reasons, it is often possible to explain one and the same action by an appeal to either the agent's traits or to her reasons. I then ask…Read more