•  4706
    My concern today is with the last of these questions. But, it is virtually impossible to say anything intelligent about this matter unless some effort is made to delineate the phenomenon under scrutiny. So I will begin by addressing the first question, and this requires that something be said about the semantics and pragmatics of the terms, ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist’.
  •  352
    Any intelligent discussion of terrorism must demarcate its subject matter, for the term ‘terrorism’ is differently understood and where there is no accord on its meaning there is little chance for agreement on its application or normative status. The best course is to sketch a morally neutral definition that classifies as ‘terrorist’ as many widely-agreed upon cases as possible. Definitions that explicitly render terrorism illegitimate make classification contentious, and it is more informative …Read more
  •  224
    Evaluating Religion
    In Jonathan L. Kvanvig (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion: Volume 2, Oxford University Press. 2009.
    This paper examines the nature of religion. A definition of religion is proposed, and a major rival interpretation -- that of John Hick -- is examined and rejected. It is then explained how religions can be evaluated.
  •  121
    Self-Determination and International Order
    The Monist 89 (2): 356-370. 2006.
    Towards the end of the first world war, a “principle of self-determination” was proposed as a foundation for international order. In the words of its chief advocate, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, it specified that the “settlement of every question, whether of territory, of sovereignty, of economic arrangement, or of political relationship” is to be made “upon the basis of the free acceptance of that settlement by the people immediately concerned and not upon the basis of the material interest o…Read more
  •  112
    Disputes over territory are among the most contentious in human affairs. Throughout the world, societies view control over land and resources as necessary to ensure their survival and to further their particular life-style, and the very passion with which claims over a region are asserted and defended suggests that difficult normative issues lurk nearby. Questions about rights to territory vary. It is one thing to ask who owns a particular parcel of land, another who has the right to reside with…Read more
  •  112
    Deliberation and the Presumption of Open Alternatives
    Philosophical Quarterly 36 (143): 230. 1986.
    By deliberation we understand practical reasoning with an end in view of choosing some course of action. Integral to it is the agent's sense of alternative possibilities, that is, of two or more courses of action he presumes are open for him to undertake or not. Such acts may not actually be open in the sense that the deliberator would do them were he to so intend, but it is evident that he assumes each to be so. One deliberates only by taking it for granted that both performing and refraining f…Read more
  •  108
    The Ubiquity of Self-Awareness
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 57 (1): 17-43. 1999.
    Two claims have been prominent in recent discussion of self-consciousness. One is that first-person reference or first-person thinking is irreducible {Irreducibility Thesis), and the other is that awareness of self accompanies at least all those conscious states through which one refers to something. The latter {Ubiquity Thesis) has long been associated with philosophers like Fichte, Brentano and Sartre, but recently variants have been defended by D. Henrich and M. Frank. Facing criticism from t…Read more
  •  102
    Agency and omniscience
    Religious Studies 27 (1): 105-120. 1991.
    It is said that faith in a divine agent is partly an attitude of trust; believers typically find assurance in the conception of a divine being's will, and cherish confidence in its capacity to implement its intentions and plans. Yet, there would be little point in trusting in the will of any being without assuming its ability to both act and know, and perhaps it is only by assuming divine omniscience that one can retain the confidence in the efficacy and direction of divine agency that has long …Read more
  •  95
    The role of reason, and its embodiment in philosophical-scientific theorizing, is always a troubling one for religious traditions. The deep emotional needs that religion strives to satisfy seem ever linked to an attitudes of acceptance, belief, or trust, yet, in its theoretical employment, reason functions as a critic as much as it does a creator, and in the special fields of metaphysics and epistemology its critical arrows are sometimes aimed at long-standing cherished beliefs. Understandably, …Read more
  •  92
    Autonomy and manipulated freedom
    Philosopical Perspectives 14 (s14): 81-104. 2000.
    In recent years, compatibilism has been the target of two powerful challenges. According to the consequence argument, if everything we do and think is a consequence of factors beyond our control (past events and the laws of nature), and the consequences of what is beyond our control are themselves beyond our control, then no one has control over what they do or think and no one is responsible for anything. Hence, determinism rules out responsibility. A different challenge--here called the manipu…Read more
  •  78
    Ability and cognition: A defense of compatibilism
    Philosophical Studies 63 (August): 231-43. 1991.
    The use of predicate and sentential operators to express the practical modalities -- ability, control, openness, etc. -- has given new life to a fatalistic argument against determinist theories of responsible agency. A familiar version employs the following principle: the consequences of what is unavoidable (beyond one's control) are themselves unavoidable. Accordingly, if determinism is true, whatever happens is the consequence of events in the remote past, or, of such events together with the …Read more
  •  76
    Indexicality and self-awareness
    In Uriah Kriegel & Kenneth Williford (eds.), Self-Representational Approaches to Consciousness, Mit Press. pp. 379--408. 2006.
    Self-awareness is commonly expressed by means of indexical expressions, primarily, first- person pronouns like
  •  71
    I and you, he* and she
    Analysis 52 (2): 125-128. 1992.
    In 'You and She*' (ANALYSIS 51.3, June 1991) C.J.F. Williams notes the importance of reflexive pronouns in attributions of propositional attitudes, and claims to improve upon an earlier account of Hector-Neri Castaneda's in [1]. However, to the extent which his remarks are accurate, they reveal nothing that Castaneda hasn't already said, while insofar as they are new, they obliterate distinctions vital to Castaneda's theory. Castaneda called these pronouns quasi-indicators and noted that they fu…Read more
  •  67
    Indexical identification: A perspectival account
    Philosophical Psychology 14 (3). 2001.
    It is widely agreed that the references of indexical expressions are fixed partly by their relations to contextual parameters such as the author, time, and place of the utterance. Because of this, indexicals are sometimes described as token-reflexive or utterance-reflexive in their semantics. But when we inquire into how indexicals help us to identify items within experience, we find that while utterance-reflexivity is essential to an interpretation of indexical tokens, it is not a factor in a s…Read more
  •  62
    The Phenomeno-Logic of the I: Essays on Self-Consciousness (edited book)
    with H. N. Castaneda and J. G. Hart
    Indiana University Press. 1999.
    This unique volume will appeal to those interested in the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence as well as students of Castaneda and Latin American philosophy.
  •  56
    Direct Reference (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (4): 953-956. 1996.
  •  49
    Essential to Peirce's distinction among three kinds of reasoning, deduction, induction and abduction, is the claim that each is correlated to a unique species of validity irreducible to that of the others. In particular, abductive validity cannot be analyzed in either deductive or inductive terms, a consequence of considerable importance for the logical and epistemological scrutiny of scientific methods. But when the full structure of abductive argumentation — as viewed by the mature Peirce — is…Read more
  •  46
    Oratio Obliqua, Oratio Recta: An Essay on Metarepresentation
    Philosophical Review 111 (3): 459-462. 2002.
    François Recanati describes a metarepresentation as a representation of linguistic and mental representations. Two levels of content are involved, that of a metarepresentation dS, and that of the object representation S. According to Recanati’s “iconicity thesis,” dS contains S semantically as well as syntactically, so that one cannot entertain dS without also entertaining S. Iconicity “suggests” the doctrine of semantic innocence, whereby an embedded object-representation has the same content i…Read more
  •  45
    Keeping a happy face on exportation
    Philosophical Studies 70 (3). 1993.
    A familiar means of enhancing the descriptive power of attitudinal reports is the distinction between de re and de dicto readings of ascriptions or, alternatively, between internal and external occurrences of terms and phrases used in ascribing attitudes.i While there is little agreement about the philosophical significance or viability of these contrasts, supporters of cognitive theories of content -- those which take the that-clause of an ascription to express something to which the subject be…Read more
  •  44
    Acting and the open future: A brief rejoinder to David hunt
    Religious Studies 33 (3): 287-292. 1997.
    I have argued that since (i) intentional agency requires intention-acquisition, (ii) intentionacquisition implies a sense of an open future, and (iii) a sense of an open future is incompatible with complete foreknowledge, then (iv) no agent can be omniscient. Alternatively, an omniscient being is omniimpotent.i David Hunt continues to oppose this reasoning, most recently, in Religious Studies 32 (March 1996). It is increasingly clear that the debate turns on larger issues concerning necessity an…Read more
  •  43
    Modal principles in the metaphysics of free will
    Philosophical Perspectives 10 419-45. 1996.
    Discussions of free will have frequently centered on principles concerning ability, control, unavoidability and other practical modalities. Some assert the closure of the latter over various propositional operations and relations, for example, that the consequences of what is beyond one's control are themselves beyond one's control.1 This principle has been featured in the unavoidability argument for incompatibilism: if everything we do is determined by factors which are not under our control, t…Read more
  •  43
    On the concept of material consequence
    History and Philosophy of Logic 3 (2): 193-211. 1982.
    Everyday reasoning is replete with arguments which, though not logically valid, nonetheless harbor a measure of credibility in their own right. Here the claim that such arguments force us to acknowledge material validity, in addition to logical validity, is advanced, and criteria that attempt to unpack this concept are examined in detail. Of special concern is the effort to model these criteria on explications of logical validity that rely on notions of substitutivity and logical form. It is arg…Read more
  •  42
    Review Essay: Thinking, Language and Experience (review)
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1): 203. 1992.
  •  41
    In "Omniprescient Agency" (Religious Studies 28, 1992) David P. Hunt challenges an argument against the possibility of an omniscient agent. The argument—my own in "Agency and Omniscience" (Religious Studies 27, 1991)—assumes that an agent is a being capable of intentional action, where, minimally, an action is intentional only if it is caused, in part, by the agent's intending. The latter, I claimed, is governed by a psychological principle of "least effort," viz., that no one intends without an…Read more
  •  40
    Lucey's Agnosticism: The Believer's Reply (review)
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 18 (1/2). 1985.
  •  35
    I will discuss the so-called “Master Argument” attributed to Diodorus Cronos in the light of some contemporary speculations on indexicals. In one version, this argument goes as follows: Premise 1. The past, relative to any time t, is necessary. Premise 2. The impossible cannot follow from the possible. Therefore.