•  6
    Help! Virtue Profiles and Horses for Courses
    with David Lumsden
    Australasian Philosophical Review. forthcoming.
    Glen Pettigrove addresses the proportionality principle in ethics, the principle that “our actions, attitudes, or emotions should be proportional to the degree of value present in the object or events to which they are responding” [p. 1]. He argues this is inconsistent with some familiar features of common-sense morality. In response, he brings virtuous character into the picture, a move we support but wish to modify. We show that certain helping actions should be guided by whether one has the…Read more
  •  31
    A comprehensive bibliography of truth from 1873 to 1939. (I do not intend to publish this manuscript; rather, I post it as a resource for others with an interest in theories of truth during the early analytic period.)
  •  158
    What Is It Like To Be Immortal?
    Diametros 16 (62): 65-77. 2019.
    The idea of an eternal and immortal life like the one we lead now seems quite appealing because (i) it will be sufficiently like our own earth-bound life and (ii) we will have the same kinds of desires we have now to want to live an eternal life. This paper will challenge the view that we have a conception of what the conscious experience of an immortal is like, regardless of whether we might want to live it. Given that for us to conceive of an immortal life we must project onto it our own view …Read more
  •  105
    Casting Light Upon The Great Endarkenment
    with David Lumsden
    Metaphilosophy 50 (5): 729-742. 2019.
    While the Enlightenment promoted thinking for oneself independent of religious authority, the ‘Endarkenment’ (Millgram 2015) concerns deference to a new authority: the specialist, a hyperspecializer. Non-specialists need to defer to such authorities as they are unable to understand their reasoning. Millgram describes how humans are capable of being serial hyperspecializers, able to move from one specialism to another. We support the basic thrust of Millgram’s position, and seek to articulate ho…Read more
  •  37
    The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell (review)
    Disputatio 1 (19): 282-286. 2005.
    In this brief article, I review Nicholas Griffin's edited anthology The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell.
  •  8
    Paradoxes: Their Roots, Range and Resolution (review)
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 78 (3): 514-517. 2004.
  •  59
    The Anthropocentrism of the Cosmic Perspective Argument
    with Seth Sivinski
    Ethics and the Environment 24 (1): 1-19. 2019.
    New developments in cosmology make it unlikely that life on Earth is unique. The Cosmic Perspective Argument states that given these developments we should not be concerned with the Earth’s environmental degradation. In this paper, we argue that although scaling our analysis upwards into the cosmos provides the Cosmic Perspective with its strength, when we apply the Cosmic Perspective downwards, the view appears to be terribly flawed. After examining the Cosmic Perspective at an individual level…Read more
  •  124
    How Many Accounts of Act Individuation Are There?
    Dissertation, University of Utah. 2008.
    The problem of act individuation is a debate about the identity conditions of human acts. The fundamental question about act individuation is: how do we distinguish between actions? Three views of act individuation have dominated the literature. First, Donald Davidson and G.E.M. Anscombe have argued that a number of different descriptions refer to a single act. Second, Alvin Goldman and Jaegwon Kim have argued that each description designates a distinct act. Finally, Irving Thalberg and Jud…Read more
  •  34
    Is there a Commonsense Semantic Conception of Truth?
    Philosophia 46 (2): 487-500. 2018.
    Alfred Tarski’s refinement of an account of truth into a formal system that turns on the acceptance of Convention-T has had a lasting impact on philosophical logic, especially work concerning truth, meaning, and other semantic notions. In a series of studies completed from the 1930s to the 1960s, Arne Næss collected and analysed intuitive responses from non-philosophers to questions concerning truth, synonymy, certainty, and probability. Among the formulations of truth studied by Næss were pract…Read more
  •  208
    The Objectivity of Truth, A Core Truism?
    Synthese 1-17. forthcoming.
    It is often claimed by theorists of truth that truth is objective. Upon reflection, however, this familiar principle can be understood in multiple ways. With this in mind, we have conducted empirical studies designed to elicit people’s responses to questions about the objectivity of truth. These studies suggest the following: (1) overall, individuals tend to endorse claims that are consistent with the objectivity of truth; (2) individuals’ conceptions of the objectivity of truth can be important…Read more
  •  23
    Truth is a pervasive feature of ordinary language, deserving of systematic study, and few theorists of truth have endeavoured to chronicle the tousled conceptual terrain forming the non-philosopher’s ordinary view. Joseph Ulatowski recasts the philosophical treatment of truth in light of historical and recent work in experimental philosophy. He argues that the commonsense view of truth is deeply fragmented along two axes, across different linguistic discourses and among different demographics. C…Read more
  •  118
    One Self per Customer? From Disunified Agency to Disunified Self
    with David Lumsden
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (3): 314-335. 2017.
    The notion of an agent and the notion of a self are connected, for agency is one role played by the self. Millgram argues for a disunity thesis of agency on the basis of extreme incommensurability across some major life events. We propose a similar negative thesis about the self, that it is composed of relatively independent threads reflecting the different roles and different mind-sets of the person's life. Our understanding of those threads is based on theories of the narrative construction of…Read more
  •  41
    Rationality and Logic (review)
    Polish Journal of Philosophy 2 (2): 148-152. 2008.
    In this brief article, I review the main argument's of Robert Hanna's <em>Rationality and Logic</em>.
  •  42
    On Katherine Dimitriou’s “Drowning Man”
    Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (2): 25-28. 2012.
    Ms. Dimitriou's motivist view has a simple upshot: for at least some cases, our moral assessment of an action should depend on the motives behind it (Dimitriou, passim). This may be contrasted with the antimotivist position, the view that argues motives should not figure into our moral assessment of an action. She presents two provocative cases where an agent’s motive “infects” the concomitant action. One example involves racist thinking and the other a form of sexual self-gratification. Given t…Read more
  •  69
    The Duplicity of Online Behavior
    In Berrin Beasley & Mitchell Haney (eds.), Social Media and Living Well, Lexington Books. pp. 31-43. 2015.
    People commonly believe that any form of deception, no matter how innocuous it is and no matter whether the deceiving person intended it otherwise, is always morally wrong. In this paper, I will argue that deceiving in real-time is morally distinguishable from deceiving on-line because online actions aren’t as fine-grained as actions occurring in real-time. Our failure to detect the fine-grained characteristics of another avatar leads us to believe that that avatar intended to do a moral harm. O…Read more
  •  139
    Minimalism about truth: special issue introduction
    Synthese 195 (3): 927-933. 2018.
    The theme of this special issue is minimalism about truth, a conception which has attracted extensive support since the landmark publication of Paul Horwich's Truth (1990). Many well-esteemed philosophers have challenged Horwich's alethic minimalism, an especially austere version of deflationary truth theory. In part, this is at least because his brand of minimalism about truth also intersects with several different literatures: paradox, implicit definition, bivalence, normativity, propositional…Read more
  •  96
    The Inaccuracy of Partial Truth in Yablovian If-Thenism
    Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (2): 206-211. 2017.
    Yablo has argued for an alternative form of if-thenism that is more conducive with his figurative fictionalism. This commentary sets out to challenge whether the remainder, ρ, tends to be an inaccurate representation of the conditions that are supposed to complete the enthymeme from φ to Ψ. Whilst by some accounts the inaccuracies shouldn't set off any alarm bells, the truth of ρ is too inexact. The content of ρ, a partial truth, must display a sensitivity to the contextual background conditions…Read more
  •  43
    Many of Tarski’s better known papers are either about or include lengthy discussions of how to properly define various concepts: truth, logical consequence, semantic concepts, or definability. In general, these papers identify two primary conditions for successful definitions: formal correctness and material adequacy. Material adequacy requires that the concept expressed by the formal definition capture the intuitive content of truth. Our primary interest in this paper is to better understand Ta…Read more
  •  191
    Intuitions and individual differences: The Knobe effect revisited
    with Shaun Nichols
    Mind and Language 22 (4). 2007.
    Recent work by Joshua Knobe indicates that people’s intuition about whether an action was intentional depends on whether the outcome is good or bad. This paper argues that part of the explanation for this effect is that there are stable individual differences in how ‘intentional’ is interpreted. That is, in Knobe’s cases, different people interpret the term in different ways. This interpretive diversity of ‘intentional’ opens up a new avenue to help explain Knobe’s results. Furthermore, the pape…Read more
  •  125
    Breaking the Language Barrier: Using Translations for Teaching Introductory Philosophy
    with Carmen Adel
    American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy 3 33-52. 2017.
    Some students who possess the same cognitive skill set as their counterparts but who neither speak nor write English fluently have to contend with an unnecessary barrier to academic success. While an administrative top-down approach has been in progress for many years to address this issue, enhancement of student performance begins in the classroom. Thus, we argue that instructors ought to implement a more organic bottom-up approach. If it is possible for instructors to make class content availa…Read more
  •  428
    Ordinary Truth in Tarski and Næss
    In Adrian Kuzniar & Joanna Odrowąż-Sypniewska (eds.), Uncovering Facts and Values, Brill. pp. 67-90. 2016.
    Alfred Tarski seems to endorse a partial conception of truth, the T-schema, which he believes might be clarified by the application of empirical methods, specifically citing the experimental results of Arne Næss (1938a). The aim of this paper is to argue that Næss’ empirical work confirmed Tarski’s semantic conception of truth, among others. In the first part, I lay out the case for believing that Tarski’s T-schema, while not the formal and generalizable Convention-T, provides a partial account …Read more
  •  37
    Social Dexterity in Inquity and Argumentation: An Apologia of Socrates
    with Robert Colter
    American Association of Philosophy Teachers Studies in Pedagogy 2 6-27. 2016.
    While Euthyphro and Apology are widely taught, they do not offer a complete picture of the variety of ways in which Socrates interacts with his interlocutors in Plato’s dialogues. Perhaps the most important point we wish to bring home is that most, if not all, of Socrates’ discussions are carefully calibrated according to a certain social awareness. Through careful analysis of sections of the dialogues, we argue that aspects of discussions between Socrates and his interlocutors should serve as l…Read more
  •  239
    A conscientious resolution of the action paradox on Buridan's bridge'
    Southwest Philosophical Studies 25 85-93. 2003.
    The aim of this paper is to offer a critical assessment of Buridan's proposed solution to the bridge-keeper paradox. First, I will outline his proposed solution to the paradox, and, second, carefully analyse each issue mentioned in the proposed solution. Finally, I will attempt to conclude that Burden has implicitly accepted a three-valued logic that does not allow him to conclude that Plato ought not do anything.
  •  84
    Thinking about the Liar, Fast and Slow
    In Bradley Armour-Garb (ed.), Reflections on the Liar, Oxford University Press. pp. 39-70. 2017.
    The liar paradox is widely conceived as a problem for logic and semantics. On the basis of empirical studies presented here, we suggest that there is an underappreciated psychological dimension to the liar paradox and related problems, conceived as a problem for human thinkers. Specific findings suggest that how one interprets the liar sentence and similar paradoxes can vary in relation to one’s capacity for logical and reflective thought, acceptance of certain logical principles, and degree of …Read more
  •  45
    Review of Nicholas Rescher's Paradoxes
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 78 (3): 514-517. 2004.
    In this brief article, I review Nicholas Rescher's Paradoxes.
  •  28
    ‘Scaffolded learning’ describes a cluster of instructional techniques designed to move students from a novice position toward greater understanding, such that they become independent learners. Our Socratic Model of Scaffolded Learning includes two phases not normally included in discussions of scaffolded learning, the preparatory and problematizing phases. Our article will illuminate this blind spot by arguing that these crucial preliminary elements ought to be considered an integral part of a s…Read more
  •  116
    Act Individuation: An Experimental Approach
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 3 (2): 249-262. 2012.
    Accounts of act individuation have attempted to capture peoples’ pre-theoretic intuitions. Donald Davidson has argued that a multitude of action descriptions designate only one act, while Alvin Goldman has averred that each action description refers to a distinct act. Following on recent empirical studies, I subject these accounts of act individuation to experimentation. The data indicate that people distinguish between actions differently depending upon the moral valence of the outcomes. Thus, …Read more
  •  93
    Truth, Correspondence, and Gender
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (4): 621-638. 2013.
    Philosophical theorizing about truth manifests a desire to conform to the ordinary or folk notion of truth. This practice often involves attempts to accommodate some form of correspondence. We discuss this accommodation project in light of two empirical projects intended to describe the content of the ordinary conception of truth. One, due to Arne Naess, claims that the ordinary conception of truth is not correspondence. Our more recent study is consistent with Naess’ result. Our findings sugges…Read more