Robert M. Kelly

Bakersfield College
  •  972
    Libet and Freedom in a Mind-Haunted World
    American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 9 (1): 42-44. 2018.
    Saigle, Dubljevic, and Racine (2018) claim that Libet-style experiments are insufficient to challenge that agents have free will. They support this with evidence from experimen- tal psychology that the folk concept of freedom is consis- tent with monism, that our minds are identical to our brains. However, recent literature suggests that evidence from experimental psychology is less than determinate in this regard, and that folk intuitions are too unrefined as to provide guidance on metaphysical…Read more
  •  381
    The Right-Based Criticism of the Doctrine of Double Effect
    International Journal of Applied Philosophy 34 (2): 215-233. 2020.
    If people have stringent moral rights, then the doctrine of double effect is false or unimportant, at least when it comes to making acts permissible or wrong. There are strong and weak versions of the doctrine of double effect. The strong version asserts that an act is morally right if and only if the agent does not intentionally infringe a moral norm and the act brings about a desirable result (perhaps the best state of affairs available to the agent or a promotion of the common good). The weak…Read more
  •  342
    Benefits of Realist Ontologies to Systems Engineering
    with Eric Merrell, David Kasmier, Barry Smith, Marc Brittain, Ronald Ankner, Evan Maki, Curtis W. Heisey, and Kevin Bush
    8th International Workshop on Ontologies and Conceptual Modelling (OntoCom). 2021.
    Applied ontologies have been used more and more frequently to enhance systems engineering. In this paper, we argue that adopting principles of ontological realism can increase the benefits that ontologies have already been shown to provide to the systems engineering process. Moreover, adopting Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), an ISO standard for top-level ontologies from which more domain specific ontologies are constructed, can lead to benefits in four distinct areas of systems engineering: (1) int…Read more
  •  279
    Rights and consent in mixed martial arts
    Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 47 (1): 105-120. 2019.
    MMA fighting in a competition is not necessarily wrong and is often, as far as we can tell, permissible. Our argument has two premises. First, if an act does not infringe on anyone’s moral right or violate another side-constraint, then it is morally permissible. Second, MMA-violence does not infringe on anyone’s moral right or violate another side-constraint. The first premise rested on two assumptions. First, if a person does a wrong act, then he wrongs someone. Second, if one person wrongs a s…Read more
  •  166
    In “Ontologies Relevant to behaviour change interventions: A Method for their Development” Wright, et al. outline a step by step process for building ontologies of behaviour modification – what the authors call the Refined Ontology Developmental Method (RODM) – and demonstrate its use in the development of the Behaviour Change Intervention Ontology (BCIO). RODM is based on the principles of good ontology building used by the Open Biomedical Ontology (OBO) Foundry in addition to those outlined in…Read more
  •  158
    Towards a dispositionalist (and unifying) account of addiction
    Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 44 (1): 21-40. 2022.
    Addiction theorists have often utilized the metaphor of the blind men and the elephant to illustrate the complex nature of addiction and the varied methodological approaches to studying it. A common purported upshot is skeptical in nature: due to these complexities, it is not possible to offer a unifying account of addiction. I think that this is a mistake. The elephant is real–there is a _there_ there. Here, I defend a dispositionalist account of addiction as _the systematic disposition to fail…Read more
  •  140
    In the present review we focus on what we take to be some remaining issues with the Behaviour Change Intervention Ontology (BCIO). We are in full agreement with the authors’ endorsement of the principles of best practice for ontology development In particular, we agree that an ontology should be “logically consistent and having a clear structures [sic], preferably a well-organised hierarchical structure,” and that “Maximising the new ontology’s interoperability with existing ontologies by reusin…Read more
  •  132
    Ontology of plays for autonomous teaming and collaboration
    with David Kasmier, Eric Merrell, Barry Smith, Curtis Heisey, Donald Evan Maki, Marc Brittain, Ronald Ankner, and Kevin Bush
    Proceedings of the 14th Seminar on Ontology Research in Brazil (ONTOBRAS 2021), CEUR 3050, 9-22. forthcoming.
    We propose a domain-level ontology of plays for the facilitation of play-based collaborative autonomy among unmanned and manned-unmanned aircraft teams in the Army’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) mission domain. We define a play as a type of plan that prescribes some pattern of intentional acts that are intended to reliably result in some goal in some competitive context, and which specifies one or more roles that are realized by those prescribed intentional acts. The ontology is well suited to…Read more
  •  123
    Independently of whether an object of experience becomes a candidate for being a part of the self or a part of the external world, it is always given to us as just an object of experience. The observer-observed relation can be seen as a type of relation with many instances, both between the self and different objects of experience and between any given object of experience and different selves. The self is situated in a spatial grid, where the latter can be characterised as an array of relations…Read more
  •  113
    Responsibility-Foundation: Still Needed and Still Missing
    Science, Religion and Culture. forthcoming.
    Responsibility is impossible because there is no responsibility-maker and there needs to be one if people are morally responsible. The two most plausible candidates, psychology and decision, fail. A person is not responsible for an unchosen psychology or a psychology that was chosen when the person is not responsible for the choice. This can be seen in intuitions about instantly-created and manipulated people. This result is further supported by the notion that, in general, the right, the good, …Read more
  •  51
    Remembering Past Lives
    In Helen De Cruz & Ryan Nichols (eds.), Advances in Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy, Bloomsbury. pp. 169-196. 2016.
    The aim of this chapter is to address the role of memory in past-life convictions. Although it is commonly accepted in the modern media - and popular western culture more generally - that people believe they have lived before because the memory contains detailed verifiable facts, little is known about how people actually reason about the veracity of their previous existence. To our knowledge, the current project is the most extensive research that probes the role of memory in past life convictio…Read more
  • How an Addiction Ontology Can Unify Competing Conceptualizations of Addiction
    with Robert West and Janna Hastings
    In Nick Heather, Matt Field, Anthony Moss & Sally Satel (eds.), Evaluating the Brain Disease Model of Addiction, . forthcoming.
    Disagreement about the nature of ‘addiction’, such as whether it is a brain disease, arises in part because the label is applied to a wide range of phenomena. This creates conceptual and definitional confusions and misunderstandings, often leading to researchers talking past one another. Ontologies have been successfully implemented in other fields to help solve these problems by creating unifying frameworks that can accommodate divergence while clarifying the basis for it. We argue that ontolog…Read more