•  111
    The Politics of Doing Philosophy in Africa: A Conversation
    South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (4): 538-550. 2015.
    The background to the present discussion is the prevalence of political and personal criticisms in philosophical discussions about Africa. As philosophers in South Africa—both white and black—continue to philosophise seriously about Africa, responses to their work sometimes take the form of political and personal criticisms of, if not attacks on, the philosopher exploring and defending considerations about the African continent. One of us (TM) has been the target of such critiques in light of hi…Read more
  •  101
    Religious conversion, self‐deception, and Pascal's wager
    Journal of the History of Philosophy 36 (2): 167-188. 1998.
    Religious Conversion, Serf- Deception, and Pascal's Wager WARD E.JONES BLAISE PASCAL'S Pens~es is a sustained attempt to convert, to lead its reader to form the belief in the articles of faith. Pascal does not hope to convert by a direct presentation of evidence or argument, but rather attempts to induce in the reader a desire for belief in the articles of faith. He hopes that this desire will lead the reader to put herself in a situation in which she will form the belief. Pascal, in other words…Read more
  •  88
    Underdetermination and the explanation of theory-acceptance: A response to Samir Okasha
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (3). 2000.
    After a thorough examination of the claim that "the underdetermination of theory by evidence forces us to seek sociological explanations of scientists' cognitive choices", Samir Okasha concludes that the only significant problem with this argument is that the thesis of underdetermination is not adequately supported. Against Okasha, I argue (1) that there is a very good reason to question the inference from the underdetermination of a theory to a sociological account of that theory's acceptance, …Read more
  •  83
    A Lover’s Shame
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5): 615-630. 2012.
    Shame is one of the more painful consequences of loving someone; my beloved’s doing something immoral can cause me to be ashamed of her. The guiding thought behind this paper is that explaining this phenomenon can tell us something about what it means to love. The phenomenon of beloved-induced shame has been largely neglected by philosophers working on shame, most of whom conceive of shame as being a reflexive attitude. Bennett Helm has recently suggested that in order to account for beloved-ind…Read more
  •  77
    Why Do We Value Knowledge?
    American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (4). 1997.
  •  71
    It has often been claimed that ourbelieving some proposition is dependent uponour not being committed to a non-epistemicexplanation of why we believe that proposition.Very roughly, I cannot believe that p andalso accept a non-epistemic explanation of mybelieving that p. Those who have assertedsuch a claim have drawn from it a range ofimplications: doxastic involuntarism, theunacceptability of Humean naturalism, doxasticfreedom, restrictions upon the effectiveness ofpractical (Pascalian) argument…Read more
  •  51
    Being moved by a way the world is not
    Synthese 178 (1): 131-141. 2011.
    At the end of Lecture 3 of The Empirical Stance, Bas van Fraassen suggests that we see the change of view involved in scientific revolutions as being, at least in part, emotional. In this paper, I explore one plausible way of cashing out this suggestion. Someone's emotional approval of a description of the world, I argue, thereby shows that she takes herself to have reason to take that description seriously. This is true even if she is convinced— as a scientific community is when it considers al…Read more
  •  50
    Higher Education, Academic Communities, and the Intellectual Virtues
    Educational Theory 62 (6): 695-711. 2012.
    Because higher education brings members of academic communities in direct contact with students, the reflective higher education student is in an excellent position for developing two important intellectual virtues: confidence and humility. However, academic communities differ as to whether their members reach consensus, and their teaching practices reflect this difference. In this essay, Ward Jones argues that both consensus‐reaching and non‐consensus‐reaching communities can encourage the deve…Read more
  •  47
    Associated with Bayesianism is the claim that insofar as thereis anything like scientific theory-commitment, it is not a doxastic commitment to the truth of the theory or any proposition involving the theory, but is rather an essentiallypractical commitment to behaving in accordance with a theory. While there are a number of a priori reasons to think that this should be true, there is stronga posteriori reason to think that it is not in fact true of current scientific practice.After outlining a …Read more
  •  44
    Dissident versus loyalist: Which scientists should we trust? (review)
    Journal of Value Inquiry 36 (4): 511-520. 2002.
  •  44
    The function and content of amusement
    South African Journal of Philosophy 25 (2): 126-137. 2006.
    Once we establish that the fundamental subject matter of the study of humour is a mental state – which I will call finding funny – then it immediately follows that we need to find the content and function of this mental state. The main contender for the content of finding funny is the incongruous (the incongruity thesis ); the main contenders for the function of finding funny are grounded either in its generally being an enjoyable state (the gratification thesis ) or its tendency to lead to bias…Read more
  •  33
    The Art of Dying
    Philosophical Papers 41 (3): 435-454. 2012.
    Abstract In this paper, I explore what Jean Améry calls the ?aesthetic view of death?. I address the following three questions. To what extent, and how, do we take an aesthetic view of death? Why do we take an aesthetic view of death? Third, for those whose deaths are impending and have some choice over how they die?most prominently the elderly and the terminally ill?what would it mean for them to take an aesthetic view of their own impending deaths, and, in particular, what would it mean for th…Read more
  •  29
    Philosophers, their context, and their responsibilities
    Metaphilosophy 37 (5): 623-645. 2006.
  •  28
    Venerating Death
    Philosophical Papers 44 (1): 61-81. 2015.
    In this paper, I am concerned with elucidating and expanding our attitudes toward our own death. As it is, our common attitudes toward our death are the following: we fear our premature death, and we dread our inevitable death. These attitudes are rational, but I want to argue that our attitudes toward death should be more complicated than this. A condition upon our value, our preciousness, as creatures is that we are vulnerable, and our vulnerability is, at bottom, a vulnerability to death. A c…Read more
  •  28
    Wisdom as an Aim of Higher Education
    Journal of Value Inquiry 49 (1-2): 1-15. 2015.
    IntroductionA central concern of theoretical speculation about education is the kind of epistemic states that education can and should aim to achieve. One such epistemic state, long neglected in both education theory and philosophy, is wisdom. Might wisdom be something that educators should aim for? And might it be something that their students can achieve? My answer will be a qualified yes.One qualification derives from the fact that in the present paper I will only be concerned with the potent…Read more
  •  27
    South Africa
    with Alexis Tabensky
    The Philosophers' Magazine 45 40-44. 2009.
  •  22
    Belonging to the Ultra-Faithful: A Response to Eze
    Philosophical Papers 30 (3): 215-222. 2001.
  •  21
    Philosophers and the Poor
    Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 57 (125): 99-123. 2010.
    This is a programmatic paper, calling for the renewal and modernisation of the therapeutic approach to philosophy found in Epicureans, Stoics, and Skeptics; and, in particular, for an application of the therapeutic approach to the life of poverty. The general assumption behind a therapeutic approach to philosophy is that it is possible for someone to be exposed to philosophical work which leads her to an improved understanding of herself and her situation, and for her life to be improved by this…Read more
  •  19
    Can we infer naturalism from scepticism?
    Philosophical Quarterly 50 (201): 433-451. 2000.
  •  15
    Reprint of an article first appearing in the South African Journal of Philosophy (2015).
  •  14
    The• Goods and the Motivation of Believing
    In Pritchard, Haddock & MIllar (eds.), Epistemic Value, Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 139--62. 2009.
  •  12
    Pragmatic Believing and its Explanation
    Critica 36 (108): 3-36. 2004.
    Most explanations of beliefs are epistemically or pragmatically rationalizing. The distinction between these two types involves the explainer's differing expectations of how the believer will behave in the face of counter-evidence. This feature suggests that rationalizing explanations portray beliefs as either a consequence of the believer's following a norm, or part of a sub-intentional goal-oriented system. Which properly characterizes pragmatic believing? If there were pragmatic norms for bel…Read more
  •  12
    Elizabeth Costello and the Biography of the Moral Philosopher
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 69 (2): 209-220. 2011.
  •  9
    Review of Steven Luper (ed.), The Skeptics (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2004 (11). 2004.
  •  3
    Introduction
    South African Journal of Philosophy 30 (4): 405-407. 2011.