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RATIO: Vol. 32, No. 2, June 2019.

Modest Meta-philosophical Skepticism, JIMMY ALFONSO LICON

Intractable disagreement among philosophers is ubiquitous. An implication of such disagreement is that many philosophers hold false philosophical beliefs (that is, at most only one party to a dispute can be right). Suppose that we distribute philosophers along a spectrum arranged from philosophers with mostly true philosophical beliefs on one end (high-reliability), to those with mostly false philosophical beliefs on the other (low-reliability), and everyone else somewhere in between (call this the reliability spectrum). It is hard to see how philosophers could accurately locate themselves on the reliability spectrum; they are prima facie as well positioned as their peers with respect to philosophical matters (call this the placement problem). In this paper, it is argued that the reliability spectrum and placement problem lend support to modest metaphilosophical skepticism: we have a pro tanto (but not an all-things-considered) reason to withhold ascent to philosophical claims.

The Weight of Facts: A Puzzle about Perception, Reasons, and Deliberation, ANDREA GIANANTI

How should we understand the epistemic role of perception? According to epistemological disjunctivism (ED), a subject's perceptual knowledge that p is to be explained in terms of the subject believing that p for a factive and reflectively accessible reason. The author of this paper argues that ED raises far-reaching questions for rationality and deliberation. The author illustrates those questions by setting up a puzzle about belief-suspension and argues that ED does not have the resources to make sense of the rationality of belief-suspension in cases in which suspending is clearly rational. The conclusion that the author draws from the puzzle is mainly negative: the epistemic contribution of perception cannot be explained in terms of a warrant-conferring relation between perception and belief. However, toward the end, the author sketches a positive picture of the epistemic role of perception in terms of a direct explanatory relation between perception and knowledge.

Demarcating Depression, IAN TULLY

How to draw the line between depression-as-disorder and nonpathological depressive symptoms continues to be a contested issue in psychiatry. Relatively few philosophers have waded into this debate, but the tools of philosophical analysis are quite relevant to it. In this paper, the author defends a particular answer to this question, the contextual approach. On this view, depression is a disorder if and only if it is a disproportionate response to a justifying cause or else is unconnected to any justifying cause. The author presents four objections to this approach and then defends it from them. Along the way, he explains why it matters whether we get this question right.

Secondary Self-deception, MAIYA JORDAN

According to doxastic accounts of self-deception, self-deception that p yields belief that p. For doxastic accounts, the self-deceiver really believes what he, in self-deception, professes to believe. In this paper, it is argued that doxastic accounts are contradicted by a phenomenon that often accompanies self-deception. This phenomenon--which the author terms "secondary deception"--consists in the self-deceiver's defending his professed (deceit-induced) belief to an audience by lying to that audience. The author proceeds to sketch an alternative, nondoxastic account of how we should understand self-deception in terms of the self-deceiver's misrepresentation of himself as believing that p.

From an Axiological Standpoint, MILES TUCKER

This paper maintains that intrinsic value is the fundamental concept of axiology. Many contemporary philosophers disagree; they say the proper object of value theory is final value. The author examines three accounts of the nature of final value: the first claims that final value is noninstrumental value; the second claims that final value is the value a thing has as an end; the third claims that final value is ultimate or nonderivative value. In each case, the author argues that the concept of final value described is either identical with the classical notion of intrinsic value or is not a plausible candidate for the primary concept of axiology.

Regarding a Risk-Pooling System of Compensation, FEI SONG

The author proposes and defends a distinct and novel approach to compensation for risk impositions, calling it the risk-pooling system of compensation. This system suggests that when X performs an action that imposes a risk of harm to Y, then X is liable to Y, and is therefore obliged to make an ex ante compensation that is roughly equivalent to the expected cost of potential harm to a social-risk pool. If and when Y suffers harm as a result of the risk imposed by X, Y then receives an ex post compensation roughly equivalent to the cost of actual harm suffered. This system of compensation creates a social buffer between the risk-imposer--the one who has the duty to pay compensation into the pool--and the victim--the one who has the right to receive compensation from the social pool. The author contends that the risk-pooling system is an improvement over its alternatives due to its capacity to produce the best social utilities, particularly, in terms of reducing information costs, obtaining optimal deterrence in the society, and creating incentives for people to be engaged in social activities.

Excuses, Exemptions, and Derivative Norms, CAMERON BOULT

Distinguishing between excuses and exemptions advances our understanding of a standard range of problem cases in debates about epistemic norms. But it leaves open a problem of accounting for blameless norm violation in "prospective agents." By shifting focus in our theory of excuses from rational excellence to norms governing the dispositions of agents, we can account for a fuller range of normative phenomena at play in debates about epistemic norms.
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Article Details
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Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Article Type:Abstract
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2019
Previous Article:PHRONESIS: Vol. 64, No. 1, March 2019.
Next Article:2019 Rescher Medal.

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