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2016 Central Division abstracts of colloquium and accepted symposium papers
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Abstracts are arranged alphabetically by author. To find a particular abstract, use your browser's search-in-page function (control- or command-f).  

Kant's Racism (X-G, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Lucy Allais (University of the Witwatersrand/University of California, San Diego)

After a long period of comparative neglect, in the last few decades growing numbers of philosophers have been paying attention to the startling contrast presented between Kant's universal moral theory, with its inspiring enlightenment ideas of human autonomy, equality and dignity (arguably part of the foundation of contemporary human rights culture) and Kant's racism. Charles Mills has argued that the way to make Kant consistent is by attributing to him a threshold notion of moral personhood, according to which some races do not qualify for consideration under the categorical imperative. I argue that does not fit with the way reason features in Kant's practical philosophy or with his notion of rights. I suggest that Kant cannot be made consistent on race, and that rather than trying to make him so, we should use the example of Kant's racism to tell us something about the nature of racism. I argue that Kant's own moral philosophy and moral psychology in fact give some materials for thinking about his racism, and about racism. In particular, I argue that Kant's political philosophy, his account of the evil in human nature, and his account of the nature of moral reason give an explanation of why we are very prone to self-deception and dehuman izing others.

A Note on Dispositional Modalities, Constant Domains, and the (4) Axiom (III-N, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Jacob Archambault (Fordham University)

This paper explores the role played by quantifier scope in dispositionalist accounts of modality for determining which modal axioms dispositionalism should entail. After introducing two varieties of dispositionalism, strong and weak dispositionalism, I show that the most common form of dispositionalism entails (4) only if it entails (5) as well. The entailment, however, follows not from the notion of a power, but from certain antecedent decisions concerning the scope of quantification—decisions that render the theory itself materially inadequate. The upshot of this result is that it shows that constant domain dispositionalism is untenable.

Why Agent-Causal Libertarians Should Not Be Physicalists (V-L, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Joel Archer (Saint Louis University)

Agent-causal libertarians think that free actions consist essentially in a causal relation that obtains between agents (substances) and particular events. Although this view initially offers an intuitive metaphysics of agency, I argue that it is incompatible with a popular philosophical position known as realization physicalism—the thesis that all mental events are realized by physical events. The argument I offer formally parallels Peter van Inwagen's famous Consequence Argument. If agents have any choice regarding their actions, then they must also have some choice regarding the corresponding physical realizers of the agent-causal events. Realization physicalism, I argue, cannot satisfy this requirement. Therefore, the argument, if successful, provides motivation either to abandon realization physicalism or to reject agent-causal libertarianism.

Making Sense of Kant's Moral Respect: A Case for Non-Pathological Feeling (I-H, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Anastasia Artemyev Berg (University of Chicago)

Kant's account of the feeling of moral respect poses an apparently insoluble puzzle: on the one hand moral action is autonomous and thus must not be determined by feeling. On the other, the feeling of moral respect is necessary for moral action. I consider two interpretations of moral respect, apparently exhaustive of the range of possible interpretations. Both interpretations fail. I conclude that we must reject the premise they hold in common: that moral respect is a mere feeling like any other. Instead, we must acknowledge a radical distinction between ordinary, pathological feeling, and another case of feeling, which seems from a philosophical perspective utterly paradoxical, non-pathological one. This conclusion opens the way for a novel, radical interpretive path into Kant's practical philosophy. Non-pathological feeling offers us a key to resist the claim that Kant's critical philosophy is committed to the strict dualism of reason and sensibility.

Replies to Friedman on the Possibility of a Credal-Theoretic Account of Agnosticism/Suspended Belief (X-K, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Mike Ashfield (University of Southern California)

Jane Friedman contends that no satisfactory credal-theoretic account of the agnosticism or suspension of judgment can be given. Firstly, she argues that credal-reductivism cannot satisfy two plausible constraints on rational agnosticism: the ABSENCE of EVIDENCE NORM (AEN) and a closure principle, which I'll call CLOSURE-F. I offer a counterexample to AEN, show that CLOSURE-F faces two serious objections, and argue that even on a more plausible reading of AEN, no reductio is in the offing. Even if we ignore these problems, AEN itself forestalls the reductio. So the argument against credal-reductivism is plausibly unsound, and at best invalid. Secondly, Friedman argues that suspension is a question-directed attitude, and as such, takes a question rather than a proposition as its mental content. This implies that since credences are propositional attitudes, it's impossible to give any credal-theoretic account of a question-directed attitude like suspension. I provide a counterexample to this impossibility claim.

A Structural Explanation of Speech Injustice (V-H, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Saray Ayala (San Francisco State University)

Implicit bias has recently gained much attention in scholarly attempts to understand and explain different forms of social injustice by identifying causally relevant mental states in individuals' minds. Here I question the explanatory power of implicit bias in a particular type of injustice, testimonial injustice, and more generally in what I call speech injustice. Testimonial injustice occurs when the audience deflates a speaker's credibility due to the speaker's perceived social identity (Fricker, 2007). I identify two drawbacks of a widely accepted explanation attributing testimonial injustice to prejudices (e.g. implicit bias) in the mind of the hearer, and argue that further understanding of this phenomenon can be gained from a structural explanation that appeals to discursive conventions and interlocutors' positions in the communicative exchange.

The Essential Indexicality of Intentional Action: A Reply to Cappelen and Dever (V-I, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Matthew Babb (University of Southern California)

Cappelen and Dever 2013 challenge the widely accepted idea that some key aspect of intentional action is essentially indexical, in that no explanation of an intentional action will be complete if it doesn't make indexical reference. They argue that the classical arguments for this coming from Perry 1979 and Lewis 1979 are in fact arguments for a different phenomenon: the opacity of explanatory contexts. I agree with Cappelen and Dever that neither what Perry nor Lewis says about the ineliminability of indexical terms from explanations of intentional action amounts to an argument for this indexicality being essential. But this shouldn't lead us to be skeptics. In this paper I present a different argument for the essential indexicality of intentional actions. The key premise of this argument is that the contents of intentions are essentially indexical. I provide evidence for this premise and show how it avoids Cappelen and Dever's criticisms.

Deconstructing Error-Statistics: A Close Look at Questions Concerning Evidence (VIII-I, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Prasanta S. Bandyopadhyay (Montana State University)

We propose an account of evidence to address how data and hypotheses are related. Deborah Mayo has advanced a contrasting account of evidence based on her error-statistical account of severity. We raise two objections: (i) the probability of the conjunction objection, and (ii) the commitment to the truth of a theory objection. The first objection involves the link between passing severe tests of several local hypotheses and passing a severe test of their parent theory, while the second involves the link between a theory's passing severe tests and its acceptance. Those error-statistical errors arise from the failure to address crucial questions regarding evidence. On an evidential account, such questions are properly addressed, and the objections disappear.

Constructional Injustice (X-N, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Jonathan Barker (University of Virginia)

For Sally Haslanger, social entities, which she calls 'social structures,' are real and objective parts of the world. On Haslanger's view, social structures are akin to artifacts like statues and paintings—they are created by us, but nevertheless quite real. Drawing on this Haslangerian background, I identify a distinctive form of injustice that occurs when members of a disadvantaged social group are systematically blocked from contributing to the creation or construction of social structures. I call this phenomenon 'constructional injustice.' I distinguish two ways in which constructional injustice is harmful to its victims. First, I argue, victims of constructional injustice are prevented from exercising the important capacity of 'ontological creativity', the capacity to create what there is. Second, I argue that when constructional injustice is widespread, social reality may be engineered to systematically serve the interests of the privileged and marginalize the interests of the disadvantaged.

Spinoza and the Feeling of Freedom (V-M, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Galen Barry (University of Virginia)

The feeling of freedom refers to the immediate representation of freedom that we experience when we act. Many philosophers in the medieval and early modern periods—for example, Descartes, Clarke, Suarez, and Ockham—take the feeling of freedom as evidence that we possess libertarian free will. I argue that on Spinoza's account the feeling of freedom is nothing but a vacillation of the mind which we then project onto the will during action. The vacillation is the result of associating too many kinds of actions with our emotional states. When we act, the mind alternates back and forth between the kinds of actions it can perform. This vacillation is then treated not as the subjective feature of the mind that it really us, but instead as an objective feature of our actions, namely the power to do otherwise.

Skepticism About Dispositional Conceptions of Evil (VIII-M, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Peter Brian Barry (Saginaw Valley State University)

Dispositional conceptions of evil personhood dominate the philosophical literature on evil. Very roughly, such conceptions imply that someone is an evil person just in case she is disposed to perform evil actions. More complicated and nuanced dispositional conceptions are available, but all dispositional conceptions are fatally flawed. Their fatal flaw consists in the fact that dispositional conceptions are terminally unable to provide an adequate account of evil character. I suggest a strategy for constructing an adequate conception of evil personhood, albeit one that calls for rejecting dispositional conceptions.

Carruthers on Metacognition, and the Unity of Beliefs and Desires in Animals (VII-H, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Gary Comstock (North Carolina State University)
William Bauer (North Carolina State University)

Do monkeys have metacognition, the second-order capacity to think about their thoughts? In "Metacognition in Animals: A Skeptical Look," Peter Carruthers (2008) argues that the experimental results do not support an affirmative answer; rather, he says, the animals' behaviors can all be explained in first-order terms. We argue that Carruthers' interpretation of folk psychology properly emphasizes the role of beliefs and desires; however, it neglects to reference the psychological unity of beliefs and desires. The addition of unity to Carruthers's account strengthens his claim for a first-order explanation of the animals' behaviors.

Accountability and Intervening Agency (VII-J, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Saba Bazargan (University of California, San Diego)

Suppose one person does something that's not in itself wrongful but which foreseeably enables another person to cause some wrongful harm H. For example, suppose a bulldozer operator (P1) negligently leaves the keys to the vehicle in the ignition, thereby enabling a vandal (P2) to steal the bulldozer which causes property damage (H). This is an example of intervening agency. I argue that P2's conduct is more objectionable than P1's. This is because P2 commits two wrongs: she not only causes H but also ensures that that P1 has caused H. That is, P2 wrongs not only the victim of H but also wrongs P1. The upshot is that intervening agency still has an important role to play in assessing the conduct of wrongdoers even if intervening agency does not in and of itself diminish responsibility.

Believing Epistemic Contradictions (V-N, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Robert Beddor (Rutgers University)
Simon Goldstein (Rutgers University)

Here's a puzzle: (i) An agent can believe it is raining without being certain it is raining. But (ii) if an agent isn't certain it is raining, then she believes it might not be raining. However, (iii) nobody believes: it is raining and might not be raining. First we will see that no current theory of epistemic modals and belief predicts all of (i-iii). Then we will give a new theory of belief that can predict all of (i-iii). To believe p is to assign a high credence to the result of updating one's information with p. But all it takes to update one's information with might p is to not be certain of p. The upshot is that any agent who is not certain of p violates closure. She believes p. She believes might not p. But she does not believe [p and might not p].

The Virtues of Unfulfilled Desire (III-O, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby (Baylor College of Medicine )

Much work on desire focuses on the importance of desire satisfaction. Michael Smith, for example, has argued that to want something is to be in a non-cognitive state that motivates one to act in a way that makes it likely to bring about the wanted thing. What I examine in this paper is the idea that there is value in having a desire per se, apart from or prior to its satisfaction. This opens up two interesting possibilities: (1) that there may be some cases where more value is generated from the desire being unsatisfied or prolonged rather than satisfied, and (2) that there may be reasons to continue to desire something even though it will not obtain—which may involve self-deception. The goal of this paper is to elucidate the nature of value produced by desiring so as to outline a foundation for examination of such interesting cases.

The Form of Descartes's Method of Doubt (VII-I, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Patrick Brissey (Grand Canyon University)

Descartes's method of doubt in the Meditationes has been the subject of fine-tuned debate among Cartesian scholars. The main focus, however, has been on the content of his doubts, the skeptical scenarios and the objects doubted. In this paper, I provide an alternative approach. I propose that Descartes's 1641 doubts were part of a broader procedure, what I call the form of his method of doubt, a thesis that, I argue, provides formal continuity between the Meditationes and the most mature strata of the Regulae.

Empirical Realism and the Great Outdoors: A Critique of Meillassoux (X-H, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

G. Anthony Bruno (University of Toronto)

In After Finitude, Meillassoux seeks knowledge of reality independent of experience, blaming Kant for the 'correlationist' fusion of thinking and being that proscribes independent access to either. For Meillassoux, this blocks an account of the meaning of ancestral statements about reality prior to humans. I examine three charges on which Meillassoux's argument depends: (1) Kant distorts ancestral statements' meaning; (2) Kant fallaciously infers causality's necessity in experience; (3) Kant's revolution isn't Copernican because his realism cannot grasp 'the great outdoors'. I reject these charges. (1) imposes a Cartesian reading, which explains Meillassoux's false assumption that, for Kant, objects don't exist without subjects. (2) misreads Kant, who infers causality from our inability to experience without it. (3) casts Kant's revolution as subjective, ignoring his perspectival portrayal of it. Viewing the transcendental turn through this portrayal, we can see why empirical realism grasps nothing less than the great outdoors.

Changing a Mere Event into an Action (V-L, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Devon Bryson (University of Tennessee)

Randolph Clarke deploys a key premise— "changing a non-actional event into an action cannot itself make the difference in whether an intention that refers demonstratively to that event figures in an explanation of it"—in his attempt to undermine Carl Ginet's noncausal account of reasons-explanation. After exploring why Clarke relies on this premise, I argue that the premise is subject to counterexample and therefore false. In this way, I will undermine Clarke's attack on Ginet's account and re-open the question as to whether Ginet's sufficient conditions provide a plausible account of reasons-explanation. I conclude by gesturing at an alternative objection, illuminated by the failure of Clarke's premise, to Ginet's noncausalism. This provides a new direction for opponents of noncausalism to explore, guided by fundamental features of actions that distinguish them from mere events.

Authorization and Address in Group Testimony (V-H, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Donald Bungum (Saint Louis University)

Recently, there has been much interest in the epistemology of groups, and philosophers have worked to understand the nature and justification of group beliefs. Less attention, however, has paid to the nature of group testimony, and this is unfortunate not only because testimony is an important social function of epistemically oriented groups but also because there is no obvious way to apply existing views of individual testimony to group testimony. In this paper, I provide an account of what makes an individual's assertion count as an instance of group testimony. I first articulate a view of address on a group's behalf, and I argue that an individual's assertion counts as the testimony of a group when an authorized individual addresses an audience through the relevant joint intentions. I then show how my view of group testimony enables a novel reply to Jennifer Lackey's CREATIONIST TEACHER case.

Will Do Better (III-J, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Fabrizio Cariani (Northwestern University)
Paolo Santorio (University of Leeds)

Our topic is the semantics for statements about the future in English. In particular, we focus on simple sentences involving the English auxiliary "will": (1) Cynthia will pass her exam. Sentences like (1) are uniquely interesting. An account of their meaning faces challenges from diverse philosophical domains, including semantics, epistemology, and metaphysics. We aim to propose a new theory of will that improves on all existing accounts at meeting these challenges. Following current work in linguistic semantics, we hold that "will" is a modal. But "will" differs from standard modals like "must" or "may", which have universal or existential quantificational force. The best analogy for "will" is the selection function meaning that Stalnaker uses in his semantics of conditionals: "will" selects a unique world among those included in a background domain of worlds (modal base). Roughly, "will" selects 'the world instantiating the one actual complete course of history', among the ones that are compatible with history up to now. The approximate truth conditions of (1) are: (2) In the actual complete course of history, Cynthia passes her exam. Hence our semantics presupposes that there is a 'unique' actual course of history, which is selected by "will". At the same time, we allow that it might be indeterminate which world will selects. The resulting view (i) yields a plausible semantics and logic for "will", (ii) generates contents for "will"-statements towards which we can be rationally uncertain, and (iii) is compatible with (though doesn't require) the claim that the future is open.

Energeia and Being-in-time (V-K, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Silvia Carli (Skidmore College)

Aristotle defines time as "the number of movement (kinēsis) with respect to before and after" (Phys. 4.11.219b2). The relation between sub-lunar substances—which have within themselves a principle of motion and rest—and time, therefore, appears unproblematic. Sensible substances, however, also perform perfect activities (energeiai) and in the passages in which he most clearly outlines the nature of such activities, the philosopher leaves the issue of their temporality unresolved. As a result, scholars have speculated about different ways of understanding it. This paper argues, however, that the Aristotelian corpus does offer precise indications on this issue. The Physics distinguishes between two modalities of being in time: being-in-time in virtue of one's nature and being-in-time accidentally. The case is made that energeiai belong to the class of things that are in time accidentally and that this way of understanding their relation to time fits their distinctive nature and is faithful to the phenomena.

Our Fundamental Physical Space: An Essay on the Metaphysics of the Wave Function (III-M, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Eddy Keming Chen (Rutgers University)

The mathematical structure of quantum mechanics has given rise to an interesting ongoing debate about how our ordinary 3-dimensional space is related to the 3N-dimensional configuration space on which the wave function is defined. Which of the two spaces is our (more) fundamental physical space? In this essay, I review the debate between the 3N-Fundamentalists (wave function realists) and the 3D-Fundamentalists (primitive ontologists). Instead of framing the debate as putting different weights on different kinds of evidence, I shall evaluate them on how they are overall supported on the basis of: (1) the dynamical structure of the quantum theory, (2) our perceptual evidence of the 3D-space, and (3) mathematical symmetries in the wave function. Against the predominant views in the literature, I argue that the two positions are more or less equally supported by (1) and (2) individually and collectively. I suggest, then, that we investigate which view leads to a deeper understanding of the physical world. In fact, given the deeper topological explanation from the unordered configuration space to the Symmetrization Postulate, we have reasons counting in favor of 3D-Fundamentalism. I therefore conclude that our current overall evidence favors the view that our fundamental quantum space is 3-dimensional rather than 3N-dimensional, and I suggest future lines of research where the evidential balance can be restored or reversed. (As a bonus, I will provide an answer to David Albert's question to the 3D-Fundamentalists (primitive ontologists): what is their criterion for the fundamental physical space?)

The Right to Self-Development: An Addition to the Child's Right to an Open Future (IV-K, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Jason Chen (Saint Louis University)

Joel Feinberg argues in his oft-cited paper "The Child's Right to an Open Future" that children possess a certain class of autonomy rights, called "rights-in-trust." In this paper, I will show that the child's right to an open future suffers a number of issues due to the fact that it is framed in the language of autonomy. These issues ultimately suggest that the right, as Feinberg has formulated it, is insufficient. That said, since I believe Feinberg was going in the right direction, I will attempt to augment his argument by adding to the child's right to an open future an additional right, which I shall refer to as the right to self-development.

Carruthers on Metacognition, and the Unity of Beliefs and Desires in Animals (VII-H, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Gary Comstock (North Carolina State University)
William Bauer (North Carolina State University)

Do monkeys have metacognition, the second-order capacity to think about their thoughts? In "Metacognition in Animals: A Skeptical Look," Peter Carruthers (2008) argues that the experimental results do not support an affirmative answer; rather, he says, the animals' behaviors can all be explained in first-order terms. We argue that Carruthers's interpretation of folk psychology properly emphasizes the role of beliefs and desires; however, it neglects to reference the psychological unity of beliefs and desires. The addition of unity to Carruthers's account strengthens his claim for a first-order explanation of the animals' behaviors.

Intrinsic Properties of Properties (X-M, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Sam Cowling (Denison University)

Do properties have intrinsic properties of their own? If so, which second-order properties are intrinsic? In this paper, we begin by setting out two competing views about second-order intrinsicality: generalism, according to which the intrinsic-extrinsic distinction cuts across all orders of properties and applies to the properties of properties as well as the properties of objects, and objectualism, according to which intrinsicality is a feature exclusive to the properties of objects. We then introduce the Problem of Accidental Intrinsic Properties of Properties and use it as a case study for the significance of second-order intrinsicality. We conclude by briefly examining how this problem bears against certain views regarding the metaphysics of quantitative properties.

Fraternity and the Service Conception of Authority (X-J, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Steven Coyne (University of Toronto)

Philosophers who study authority have directed relatively little attention to the relations between those who are subject to the same authority. For example, people who are governed by the same legislature can call one another 'fellow citizen'. In this paper, I investigate the moral content of such fraternal relations. Suppose that two people—say, Ana and Brian—are both subject to Colleen's authority. From this alone, can we draw any conclusions about the moral content of the fraternal relation between Ana and Brian? In part 1 of this paper, I will argue that these facts, coupled with another assumption that Colleen's authority is exercised in a coordinate manner, establish that the relation between Ana and Brian must have some minimal moral content, and I call this affirmative answer the Fraternity Thesis. In part 2 of this paper, I argue that the Fraternity Thesis challenges Raz's Service Conception of authority.

Impossible Intrinsic Middles in Ockham's Theory of Consequences (V-N, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Milo Crimi (University of California, Los Angeles)

Ockham's discussion of consequences occurs in book III, part 3 of his Summary of Logic. There Ockham distinguishes between consequences that hold through an extrinsic middle and those that hold immediately through an intrinsic middle and mediately through an extrinsic middle. Marilyn Adams raises the concern that any consequence might be said to hold through an impossible intrinsic middle, since anything follows from the impossible. The apparently bad consequences 'Socrates is a human; therefore, a dog is a donkey' and 'Socrates is a human; therefore Plato is not a human' would then hold through the impossible intrinsic middles 'A dog is a human' and 'Socrates is not a human' respectively. Here I show that a proper understanding of Ockham's distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic middles, and what it means for a consequence to hold through such middles, resolves this problem.

Relativism without Faultless Disagreement? (VII-M, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Michael Da Silva (University of Toronto)

This piece critically examines J. David Velleman's recent claims about the incommensurability of certain moral concepts, which he uses to challenge non-relativists and ground his own form of relativism without faultless disagreement. Velleman suggests communities' incommensurable understandings of action-types makes moral evaluation of those action-types impossible; this, in turn, makes moral disagreement on those actions impossible. This piece proposes a translation procedure for both action-types and their related moral concepts. If this procedure succeeds, then the claimed incommensurability may not persist. This will raise a doubt about one attempt to ground moral relativism without faultless disagreement.

Paternalism, Pap Smears, and the Pill: Physician Limits on Patient Access to Contraception (IV-K, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

J. B. Delston (University of Missouri-St. Louis)

Recently, discussions have arisen surrounding the availability of birth control in the U.S. and the various groups trying to restrict women's access to it, including politicians, employers, courts, and health insurance companies. However, another group with more direct control over women's health has quietly been much more effective at preventing women's access to contraception: doctors. Obstetrician/Gynecologists routinely deny their patients access to contraception ostensibly in the name of health by withholding birth control until patients undergo yearly pap smears. I argue this practice is unjustified. After providing background, I discuss the harms of routine pap smears and withholding birth control. However, I also argue that even if it did not physically harm women—even if doctors violate patients' choices to preserve patients' interests—the practice is still unjustified. Withholding birth control to coerce women is medical malpractice, paternalistic, violates autonomy, and is contrary to consent.

Natural Selection as a Mechanism: Process vs. Product Regularity (IV-M, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Lane DesAutels (University of Notre Dame)

In this paper, I explore whether natural selection is aptly understood as a mechanism of the sort characterized by Machamer, Darden, and Craver (2000). According to an influential critique by Skipper and Millstein (2005), natural selection fails to operate regularly enough to qualify as such a mechanism. To undermine this critique, I distinguish between process vs. product regularity and argue that, once this distinction is appreciated, we can see that Skipper and Millstein have only shown natural selection to be product irregular, not process irregular. However, product irregularity alone should not be seen to threaten a process's status as an MDC mechanism.

Moral Gambling: Solving the Problem of Moral Luck (V-J, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Mihailis Diamantis (New York University)

The problem of moral luck arises from an apparent conflict between two common moral intuitions: 1) we are responsible for events only to the extent they are under our control, and 2) blamers may appropriately condition blame on circumstances beyond wrongdoers' control. The conflict arises only if a hidden third premise is assumed—that for each level of blameworthiness, there is precisely one appropriate level of blame. Once the premise is exposed and modified, the problem of moral luck disappears. A different picture of the relationship between blameworthiness and appropriate blame emerges according to which, when they act wrongly, wrongdoers take a moral gamble. They are not gambling with their objective moral status. But they do make themselsves vulnerable to a range of blaming responses on the part of the moral community, any of which may be or become appropriate in light of events beyond their control.

Idle Material in Spinoza's Ethics (V-M, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Torin Doppelt (Queen's University)

In many current interpretations of Spinoza's system, the second axiom of the first part, 1ax2, has become an important, and sometimes pivotal, element—supporting assumptions about Spinoza's endorsement of the PSR (Principle of Sufficient Reason), and related connections between his metaphysics, epistemology, and the general method of the Ethics. It remains an open question whether or not there are implicit uses of this axiom hidden among the demonstrations. On the basis of the foregoing, I think we ought to revisit the status of 1ax2. Concomitantly, we ought also to question its use by scholars. In this paper I will provide evidence to bolster these claims, and will also attempt to uncover the true status of 1ax2. I contend that the issue of what to make of the fact of unused material in the Ethics generally, and 1ax2 particularly, is understudied, but of much importance for the interpretation of Spinoza's system.

Paradoxes of Higher-Order Evidence (III-I, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Kevin Dorst (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Higher-order evidence is evidence about what one's evidence supports. The debate has centered around how one should respond to misleading higher-order evidence, as when one's first-order evidence supports p, but one's higher-order evidence supports that it's not likely on one's evidence that p. Level-bridgers hold that one should adjust one's first-order credence in response to one's higher-order evidence. Level-splitters deny this—instead, they say one should maintain one's confidence in both 'p' and 'my evidence doesn't support p.' It is widely known that level-splitting is committed to some prima facie puzzling results, but in this paper I argue that they are more problematic than has been recognized: the "puzzles" are paradoxes. My first point is we can generalize the level-splitter's standard cases to arrive at new, much more extreme versions of the puzzling results. I then argue that these extreme results both (i) do not seem to be coherent when read on their intended interpretations, and (ii) lead to contradictions when combined with orthodox assumptions from epistemic utility theory. This gives us strong reason to resist the conception of (higher-order) evidence that motivates level-splitting, and to begin the search for a systematic level-bridging theory.

The Value of Knowledge and the Form of the Good (X-I, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

David Ebrey (Northwestern University)

Scholars are widely agreed that the sun analogy in the Republic does not say anything relevant to ethics, despite Socrates clearly indicating that nothing is more ethically relevant than the form of the good. The key to its ethical relevance is Socrates' claim, typically not mentioned by scholars, that the form of the good is not only the cause of truth, but also of our power to know. I argue that Socrates thinks that we must be similar to the forms in order to know them, and that this is why he thinks the same thing causes both the objects of knowledge and our power to know. He thinks that the form of the good, in particular, causes our power to know, because he thinks that this is the best part of us. The ethical upshot is that we should pursue and cultivate our knowledge of the forms.

On Russell's "Vagueness" (III-H, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Landon D. C. Elkind (University of Iowa)

I argue that Bertrand Russell's 'Vagueness' has wrongly endured long-standing criticisms in the secondary literature on metaphysical vagueness. I divide the most common criticisms of Russell into three 'myths', as I call them. I then indicate why none of these myths is justified by the light of a close reading of Russell's piece. The upshot of dispelling the myths is inviting work on representationalism, the view that 'metaphysical' vagueness is merely a feature of representations.

Abstract Creationism and Authorial Intention (X-L, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

David Friedell (Barnard College, Columbia University)

Abstract creationism about fictional characters is the view that fictional characters are abstract objects that authors create. I defend this view against criticisms from Stuart Brock that hitherto have not been adequately countered. The discussion reveals surprising ways fictional characters depend on authorial intention. I conclude also that we should change what we take to be the connection between intentions and artifacts more generally, both abstract and concrete.

The 'Autism Objection' to Pretense Treatments of Mathematics (X-L, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Richard Fry (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville)

Some think that cognitive neuroscience gives us good reason to accept the 'autism objection' to pretense treatments of mathematics. I clarify the objection by showing how framing it in terms of autism is unhelpful. I then argue that the cognitive-neuroscience data appealed to in litigating the objection are misapplied, both because the argument does not respect real differences amongst autistic individuals and also because the data do not support the inferences required to advance the objection.

A Holistic Response to the Problem of Evil (VIII-M, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Jonathan Fuqua (Purdue University)

The four standard theistic responses to the evidential problem of evil are theodicy, Reformed epistemology, natural theology, and skeptical theism. It's somewhat common for theists to combine Reformed epistemology and skeptical theism or natural theology and theodicy. An insufficiently appreciated possibility is that of combining all four of these positions into a more holistic response. The chief hurdle to doing this is that it seems that skeptical theism isn't compatible with either natural theology or theodicy. This first appearance, however, is misleading. In this paper I show (or sketch) how one can combine all four of the standard theistic responses to the evidential problem of evil so as to yield a holistic response to the problem of evil. That said, the focus will be on reconciling skeptical theism with natural theology and theodicy.

Space in Tropes(X-M, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Daniel Giberman (University of Texas at Arlington)

Motivated in part by ontological parsimony, some philosophers hold that material objects are identical to spacetime regions. Others hold that character-conferring properties of material objects are nothing more than (non-spatiotemporal) regions that objects occupy. In both cases, parsimony benefits from the subsumption of an erstwhile fundamental item under the category of region. I argue that parsimony is best served by an ontology of fundamental property instances or tropes. The resulting view subsumes objects, properties, and regions under the single category of (appropriately related) tropes. It is acknowledged that parsimony is not the only factor relevant to theory choice, or even the most important. But it is nonetheless a widely respected factor, making trope theory worthy of serious attention.

Believing Epistemic Contradictions (V-N, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Robert Beddor (Rutgers University)
Simon Goldstein (Rutgers University)

Here's a puzzle: (i) An agent can believe it is raining without being certain it is raining. But (ii) if an agent isn't certain it is raining, then she believes it might not be raining. However, (iii) nobody believes: it is raining and might not be raining. First we will see that no current theory of epistemic modals and belief predict all of (i-iii). Then we will give a new theory of belief that can predict all of (i-iii). To believe p is to assign a high credence to the result of updating one's information with p. But all it takes to update one's information with might p is to not be certain of p. The upshot is that any agent who is not certain of p violates closure. She believes p. She believes might not p. But she does not believe [p and might not p].

An Epistemic Norm for Implicature (VII-O, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Adam Green (Saint Louis University)

Timothy Williamson and others have made a strong case for the claim that knowledge is the norm of assertion. Reasons to think that assertion has an epistemic norm also, interestingly, provide a reason to think that conversational implicature has a norm as well. This norm, it is argued, cannot be knowledge. In addition to highlighting an under-explored topic at the intersection of epistemology and linguistics, the discussion of conversational implicature puts dialectical pressure on the knowledge norm of assertion account. The fact that knowledge is not the norm of conversational implicature forces one either to claim that there is one epistemic norm for the conveying of information and that it is not knowledge or else to embrace a heterogenous picture of communicative norms generally that undercuts some of the grounds for thinking that the norm of assertion should be presumed to be a simple norm as Williamson argues.

Chemical Kinds and History: A Challenge to Modal Conventionalism (VIII-L, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Mary Gwin (Oklahoma State University)

One consequence of Alan Sidelle's (1989, 2009) conventionalism is that our linguistic conventions not only carve nature at the joints, but determine the joints at which we do the carving. This consequence comes from a metaphysical commitment that our linguistic conventions allow us to "rope off" portions of reality. While this might seem harmless on the face of it, this commitment is especially problematic for chemical kinds. While Sidelle offers a way to generate necessary truths from non-modal facts plus a priori principles, chemical kinds pose a challenge for his version of conventionalism. In this paper, I discuss Sidelle's view and criticize it using Hendry's (2004) historical and semantic argument that Lavoisier was able to determinately refer to oxygen prior to the IUPAC decision to define 'element' by the number of protons in the nucleus. Conventions may rope off some macroscopic portions of reality, but microstructures provide limits.

Freedom and Structural Domination: Pettit and Rousseau (III-F, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Rafeeq Hasan (Amherst College)

According to the republican ideal of freedom as non-domination, an agent is free if she does not have to depend on the arbitrary authority of more powerful agents to pursue her ends. Yet many modern forms of domination are not the direct result of the particular wills of socially powerful agents. Rather, domination is structural. It is the indirect outcome of uncoordinated actions by a plurality of discrete agents. In this paper I consider whether Philip Pettit's republican political philosophy can make sense of structural domination. I argue that Pettit cannot, because his view poses a causal rather than expressive link between freedom and political institutions. For an adequate republican theory of structural domination one must turn from contemporary republicanism to one of its historical antecedents, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, particularly to his conception of freedom as a structure of reciprocal willing.

Conventionalism(s) in Plato's Cratylus (V-K, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Christopher Healow (University of California, Davis)

Traditionally, Hermogenes of Plato's Cratylus has been thought to hold an extreme form of linguistic conventionalism that recognizes no distinction between the establishment and employment of names. Recently some scholars have denied that this reading is appropriate, arguing instead that Hermogenes holds a more moderate position and does recognize such a distinction. This latter reading has a drawback not held by the traditional account; it has special difficulty accounting for the notorious passage, Cratylus385b2-d1. Thus, interpreters of the Cratylus face a dilemma: (i) accept the traditional interpretation that explains the presence of the problematic passage, or (ii) accept an alternative, which doesn't. In this paper I argue that the dilemma is illusory. If we view Hermogenes' position as evolving, and accept that two different conventionalist views are present, then we can recover an interpretation where Hermogenes recognizes the distinction between baptism and use, but which also explains the role of 385b2-d1.

Epistemic Norms, Criticizability, and Impropriety (VII-O, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Ryan Hebert (University of Calgary)

In recent years, epistemologists have become interested in the norms governing action, assertion, belief, and deliberation. While a great many different norms have been proposed, criticized, and defended, the dialectic seems to be driven by a core methodological commit, namely to the bridge principle stating that an agent is deserves blame/criticism for φing only if φing is improper/wrong for them. My aim is for this paper is twofold. First, I argue for centrality of the bridge principle in the epistemic norms dialectic. Second, I argue that the bridge principle is false. The main implication of my argument that much of the existing literature rests upon a fallacy.

Attention as Selection for Action: A Challenge (V-I, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Aaron Henry (University of Toronto)

This paper raises a challenge for Wayne Wu's (2011a; 2014) account of attention as selection for action. According to Wu's account, action poses a selection problem that only attention can solve. The need to solve this problem, and hence to attend, is what, on Wu's view, distinguishes action from reflex. My challenge to Wu is a dilemma concerning the agential status of attention. Either attenion is an action or a reflex. If attention is an action, then a vicious regress results. If it is a reflex, then there is no role for the agent to play in action. In either case, action is revealed to be impossible. Although Wu's account can be developed in a way that avoids this dilemma, the resulting view has trouble explaining how attending can itself be an action.

Does the Machine Need a Ghost? The Role of Phenomenal Consciousness in Kantian Moral Agency (III-G, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Kendy M. Hess (College of the Holy Cross)

Does Kantian moral agency require phenomenal consciousness? Many philosophers have argued that collectives are moral agents but none (to my knowledge) have argued that they are conscious. Can they be moral agents in the absence of consciousness? I present two claims. First, I argue for the positive claim that certain collectives—"corporate agents"—can fulfill the role of the Kantian agent by acting on universalizable principles and treating "humanity" as an end in itself. More importantly, they can give principles to themselves, treat their own "humanity" as an end itself, and act out of respect for the law. I close by briefly exploring the negative claim that there is no necessary part left for phenomenal consciousness to play.

Inverted Commas and the Metaphysics of Reference: a Critique of the "Russellian Orthodoxy" (VII-L, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Michael R. Hicks (Miami University)

Bertrand Russell famously explained the difference between semantic atomicity and semantic complexity as the difference between reference and denotation, where the latter was to be underwritten by the notorious cognitive relation of acquaintance. Contemporary orthodox Russellians follow Russell in connecting atomicity with reference, but repudiate the cognitive underpinnings Russell insisted on. A more classical Russellianism would allow for a liberalized notion of acquaintance that maintained the cognitive significance of Russell's semantic thought. Focusing on an example in Arthur Sullivan's recent defense of the Russellian Orthodoxy, I argue that we need a more classical Russellianism.

Towards a More Concrete Interpretation of Spinoza's Scientia Intuitiva (I-I, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Matthew Homan (Christopher Newport University)

The two principal texts for an interpretation of scientia intuitiva in Spinoza's Ethics are the definition of intuitive knowledge and the fourth proportional example—both from 2p40s2. The definition is notoriously opaque, and while the fourth proportional example illustrates well some of the distinctive formal features of intuitive knowledge, it is unhelpful as regards content, since the numerical terms of the example do not relate easily to the terms of Spinoza's ontology in which the definition of intuitive knowledge is cast. In this paper, I attempt to address this problem by formulating an alternative to Spinoza's fourth proportional example in terms of the isoperimetric problem. The geometric, rather than numerical, terms of the isoperimetric example translate more easily into the terms of Spinoza's ontology; on its basis, a more concrete, satisfactory interpretation of intuitive knowledge is possible, and a clearer understanding of how intuitive knowledge applies to real contents emerges.

Thinking Parts and Human Animals (V-G, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Kathleen Howe (University of Chicago)

Parfit claims that we are the thinking parts of human animals. He does so to defend the Lockean distinction between us persons and the human animals with which we coexist. Animalists contend that this distinction commits Lockeans to there being two thinkers present in each of our cases—not just the person but, equally, the human animal. But if, as Parfit claims, persons are the thinking parts of human animals, in the case of each such animal, there is only, strictly speaking, one thinker, i.e., the person. In this paper, I argue that Parfit is not entitled to this. In insisting that thinking is something persons do essentially and independently of the animals of which they are supposed parts, he deprives himself of any way of showing how such persons are in fact such parts. So he cannot meet the animalists' objection. His Lockeanism stands in the way.

Vaguely Vague or Higher-Order Vague? (IV-I, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Ivan Hu (University of Texas at Austin)

Sorensen (1985) exploits the vagueness of 'small' to argue that 'vague' is vague, by constructing a series of 'n-small' predicates, where x is n-small iff x is small or xn-small' is vague, so is 'n+1-small'; therefore, '106-small' is vague). Hyde (1994) argues this demonstrates that all vague predicates are higher-order vague. Objectors claim Hyde's argument is either unsound, because it misidentifies the true source of vagueness in Sorensen's Sorites (Deas 1989, Hull 2005); invalid, because it undergeneralizes (Tye 1994); or circular, because it presupposes the existence of higher-order vagueness (Varzi 2003, 2005). This paper amplifies the Sorensen-Hyde vs. Tye-Deas-Hull-Varzi debate by clarifying the relations between vague vagueness and higher-order vagueness. I show how the latter is derivable from the former (but not vice versa). This completes Hyde's argument and overcomes the objections by Deas, Hull, Tye, and Varzi.

Aristotle on Accidental Causation (V-K, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Tyler Huismann (University of Colorado, Boulder)

There are two prevalent approaches to elaborating Aristotle's notion of an accidental cause, one based on explanation, the other based on frequency. In §1, I use passages from Aristotle's Metaphysics and Physics to argue that these two approaches suffer from a common flaw, and in §2, I suggest a new analysis. The main finding of the paper is that the new analysis shows that, for Aristotle, the notion of an accidental cause illustrates exactly what it is for something to be a cause.

Plato on Soul Leading (X-I, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Tushar Irani (Wesleyan University)

This paper focuses on the art of psuchagōgia or "soul leading" that Plato believes is constitutive of the art of rhetoric at 270c ff. in the Phaedrus. Plato claims in this passage that expertise in rhetoric (which for him just is philosophy) requires knowledge of the nature of the soul, but many scholars have questioned what this knowledge amounts to. I argue that we can get a handle on this question by turning to Socrates' second speech in the Phaedrus—not to his well-known chariot allegory, but to his proof at 245c-246a that the soul is a self-moving thing. This is crucial to the psychagogic knowledge of the expert rhetorician, since once it's accepted that the soul is a self-moving thing, the question then arises which part of the (human) soul most represents this fundamental element in us. And the rest of the palinode then makes it clear that it is the charioteer of the soul, the rational part in us, that enables us to realise our nature. So it's mainly (though not exclusively) the rational part of his or her audience that the philosopher must aim to cultivate in engaging with others in discourse.

Is Right Realizable? Kant's Rechtslehre and the Ethical Community (IV-L, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Andrew Israelsen (Purdue University)

In The Metaphysics of Morals, Kant grounds the possibility of any civil society upon the maintenance and protection of peoples' external freedom, through an a priori argument and an analytically entailed policy of physical coercion that supports the possibility of free external action through suppressing actions that would violate it. This project is potentially worrisome insofar as it seems that Kant is implicitly committed to the view that any state that fails to maintain external freedom in all particulars has thereby failed to maintain the 'Universal Principle of Right,' signaling the de jure dissolution of the state. In this paper I argue that Kant's Rechtslehre provides too shaky a foundation for any actual state, for any state that failed to embody the principle of justice would be eo ipso dissolved. Without an antecedent moral aim, the state conceived merely as a mechanism of justice has no goal that could unify it beyond the maintenance of external freedom, thus leaving it without appeal when the most effective means of maintaining freedom are subject to serious doubt and disagreement. In an attempt to find a way to both meet Kant's demands regarding the relative purity of the principle of Right, as well as ease the tension in his account, I appeal to the possibility of the conceiving of the state as implicitly grounded upon the ideal of (and corresponding hope for) the 'ethical community', as presented in Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone.

Definite Descriptions and the Alleged East-West Variation in Intuitions about Reference (VII-L, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Yu Izumi (University of Maryland, College Park)
Masashi Kasaki (University of Calgary)
Yan Zhou (Kyoto University)
Sobei Oda (Kyoto University)

Machery et al. (2004) presented data suggesting the existence of cross-cultural variation in intuitions about the referents of proper names. In this paper, we examine a previously overlooked confound in the subsequent studies that attempted to replicate the results of Machery et al.'s (2004) study using East Asian languages. These studies crucially relied on the uses of articleless, 'bare' noun phrases in Chinese and Japanese, which are known to be multiply ambiguous in the linguistic literature. We argue that it becomes questionable whether the extant studies using East Asian languages revealed genuine cross-cultural variation when the probes are reevaluated based on a proper linguistic understanding of Chinese and Japanese bare noun phrases. We also present an experiment that uses no ambiguous bare noun phrases and suggest that the intuitions of Japanese speakers concerning the referents of proper names are analogous to those of native English speakers.

Useful Knowledge-Ascriptions (I-G, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Alexander Jackson (Boise State University)

Epistemologists have been exercised by the variability of our knowledge-attributions. Cases involving shifting practical interests seem to support a 'shifty' theory of knowledge. But which shifty theory—contextualism, Interest-Relative Invariantism (IRI) or truth-relativism? I attack this question by investigating the most useful way for computationally limited agents to think and talk, in three stages. The first stage notes that it is computationally efficient to make decisions based on full occurrent beliefs where possible, but to switch to using an occurrent partial belief when necessary. The second stage considers how it is useful for such agents to ascribe knowledge. It would not be useful to do so in the way IRI or contextualism mandate. The third stage investigates which theories legitimize the ordinary and useful ways of thinking and talking about knowledge. Truth-relativism is a candidate, but so is Kit Fine's "non-factualism" about a subject-matter (Fine 2001).

Two Modal Concepts of Ground (VII-K, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Matthias Jenny (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

In this paper, I argue that grounding claims are equivocal between two kinds of grounding. I then go on to define two modal relations, e-grounding and c-grounding, which I propose to be good candidates for the two kinds of grounding uncovered. It follows, contrary to what is commonly held, that an idealogical commitment to grounding doesn't go beyond a commitment to modal ideology.

What Is It Like to Feel the Present? (V-G, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Nihel Jhou (University of Miami)

Some radical B-theorists claim that there is no phenomenology of presentness. For instance, Le Poidevin (2007) claims to perceive something as present is simply to perceive it. However, very few would deny that we see motion or that we hear succession of notes. Whatever account one may have for the content or the metaphysical/causal grounds of such experience, it is hard to deny that the phenomenology of such perceptual experience presents to us as if one event precedes another. This paper aims to vindicate the presentness phenomenology by linking it with the motion phenomenology. I argue, while part of what it is like to feel motion is the phenomenology of something preceding something else, part of what it is like to feel the present is essentially the phenomenology of something preceding nothing.

Aggregation, Relevant Claims, and Borderline Cases (V-J, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Tyler John (National Institutes of Health)

Many claim that both a) we ought to save a large number from a moderate harm rather than saving one from a very serious harm, and b) we ought to save one from a very serious harm rather than a multitude from a very minor harm, no matter how large this multitude. Alex Voorhoeve defends this conjunct with a principle he calls "Aggregate Relevant Claims". According to this principle, when we are choosing between helping alternative groups of individuals who have a claim on us, we should only consider claims that are relevant, and should choose the alternative that satisfies the most strength-weighted, relevant claims. I argue that the view has unforeseen, counter-intuitive implications in a case I call the "Marginal Case". I explore whether these implications can be avoided given certain assumptions about the nature of vagueness, and conclude with a skeptical answer.

Definite Descriptions and the Alleged East-West Variation in Intuitions about Reference (VII-L, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Yu Izumi (University of Maryland, College Park)
Masashi Kasaki (University of Calgary)
Yan Zhou (Kyoto University)
Sobei Oda (Kyoto University)

Machery et al. (2004) presented data suggesting the existence of cross-cultural variation in intuitions about the referents of proper names. In this paper, we examine a previously overlooked confound in the subsequent studies that attempted to replicate the results of Machery et al.'s (2004) study using East Asian languages. These studies crucially relied on the uses of articleless, 'bare' noun phrases in Chinese and Japanese, which are known to be multiply ambiguous in the linguistic literature. We argue that it becomes questionable whether the extant studies using East Asian languages revealed genuine cross-cultural variation when the probes are reevaluated based on a proper linguistic understanding of Chinese and Japanese bare noun phrases. We also present an experiment that uses no ambiguous bare noun phrases and suggest that the intuitions of Japanese speakers concerning the referents of proper names are analogous to those of native English speakers.

Interventionist Compatiblism and Multiple Realizability: Zhong on Exclusion (I-F, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Douglas Keaton (Flagler College)

In "Sophisticated Exclusion and Sophisticated Causation" Lei Zhong argues that compatiblists who adopt an interventionist account of causation cannot successfully overcome a sophisticated version of the problem of causal exclusion, and that such philosophers would be well advised to adopt Zhong's alternative to compatiblism. In this paper I will argue that Zhong's argument hangs from a questionable assumption about the nature of multiple realizability. If the assumption is not adopted, Zhong's argument fails. Zhong's work thus does the valuable service of forcing us to address the questionable assumption head on. I show that the assumption ought to be rejected.

Freedom as Non-Domination in Behavioral and Biomedical Research (IV-K, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Aidan Kestigian (Carnegie Mellon University)

In the biomedical and behavioral sciences, it is widely recognized that research involving human participants must respect the autonomy of research subjects. For example, researchers must respect subjects' autonomy by allowing them to willingly consent to participate in research. Recently, medical ethicists have argued that the understanding of autonomy outlined in U.S. federal research policy is flawed because it fails to recognize that oppression can diminish autonomy. Instead, critics propose a revision of federal policy and argue that biomedical research should be directed so as to alleviate oppression in healthcare. This paper argues that Philip Pettit's understanding of freedom as non-domination can better justify the view that oppression is detrimental to a research subject's ability to consent to research and the view that researchers have an obligation to assist in alleviating oppression. To conclude, I argue that this view of freedom should extend to research in the behavioral sciences.

A Solution to the HI-LO puzzle (VIII-I, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Brian Kim (Oklahoma State University)

The HI-LO game poses a puzzle for standard decision theory and game theory. While it is clear that human players will and should play HI, many have argued that standard accounts of rational choice theory cannot explain why HI is the uniquely rational choice. I first articulate what is required to provide an adequate solution and then propose my own.

Explaining Political Authority (X-J, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Christopher S. King (Miami University)

This paper argues that hypothetical consent theory (HCT) is superior to actual consent theory (ACT) as an explanation of political authority. Indeed, it is superior as an explanation of authority for the familiar reason that even if political authority exists, persons do not typically consent to it. More surprisingly, perhaps, HCT turns out to be more theoretically powerful than ACT with respect to political authority for roughly the same reasons one might ordinarily think that ACT is theoretically powerful in cases of actual but non-political consent. This is because the cost to others of failing to meet reasonable public expectations serves as grounds for the creation and particularization of duties in both cases.

Spinoza's Activities (III-D, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Matthew J. Kisner (University of South Carolina)

Spinoza's philosophy revolves around a basic set of concepts that he regards as denoting some kind of activity: striving, power, virtue, freedom, perfection, among others. According to a standard view, these kinds of activity are equivalent or, at least, coextensive. Steven Nadler writes, "a number of terms in Spinoza are co-extensive and refer to the same ideal human condition. We can set up the following equation for Spinoza: virtue = knowledge = activity = freedom = power = perfection." In contrast, this paper's thesis is that Spinoza employs two basic notions of activity: striving and being an adequate cause. While these notions are related, they are not equivalent or cocoextensive because a thing can strive without being an adequate cause—in other words, the sole cause—of an effect. The paper also examines two consequences of this thesis. Firstly, attending to this distinction shows that Spinoza understands the activity of virtue, perfection and human freedom as striving, rather than being an adequate cause. It follows that these ethical goals do not require being a sole cause and, thus, do not require being causally independent and self-sufficient, contrary to a common reading. Secondly, attending to the distinction broadens our understanding of Spinoza's conception of activity. In light of Spinoza's definition of 'act' (3D2), scholars sometimes treat Spinozistic activity as equivalent to being an adequate cause and, thus, to being causally independent. Recognizing striving as a kind of activity shows that things can be active while also being causally dependent, since Spinoza holds that things strive when they are passively affected. Thus, activity and passivity, for Spinoza, are not mutually exclusive. Both of these consequences highlight that Spinoza's ethics leaves an important positive role for human dependence, passivity and cooperation in the activity of a good life.

Belief in Indeterministic Choice: Resolution and Tension for Compatibilist Accounts of Free Will Beliefs (V-L, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Andrew Kissel (Ohio State University)

In recent years there has been increased interest among compatibilist philosophers of free will to explain why libertarian free will seems to be the default belief of the folk. In his 2015 book, Bound: Essays on Free Will and Responsibility, Sean Nichols provides an explanation of the folk belief based on the underlying folk belief in indeterministic choice. The explanation relies on probabilistic reasoning without relying on a direct experience of indeterminism when choosing. His story is appealing because it provides an explanation by which the formation of the folk belief in indeterministic choice has a rational basis using materials the compatibilist can accept.

Connective Meanings in Beall and Restall's Logical Pluralism (III-N, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Teresa Kouri (Ohio State University)

Beall and Restall (2006) spell out and defend a version of logical pluralism. A feature of this particular pluralism is that all connectives in admissible logics mean the same thing. This means, for example, that negations in classical, intuitionistic and relevant logic are the same. The problem I will address in this paper is that Beall and Restall have not provided a conception of the meaning of a logical connective on which this is true. I will show that, as they describe it, negation in intuitionistic logic and negation in relevant logic cannot mean the same thing.

Priority Monism and the Notion of Dependence (VII-K, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

David Mark Kovacs (Cornell University)

In a series of papers, Jonathan Schaffer has defended priority monism, the thesis that all other objects depend on the cosmos. The goal of this paper is to use the debate over priority monism as a case study about the relevant notion of dependence. I present three arguments for priority monism and point out that each relies on a linking principle that ties dependence to some other metaphysical relation. While each linking principle could turn out to be false, we shouldn't be open to the possibility that all are false. Thus, there should be a link between ontological dependence and the other metaphysical relations that is tight enough to establish the prima facie relevance of the latter to the former, but not so tight as to leave no room for somewhat revisionary views. I will propose a particular way of meeting these desiderata, the aggregative cluster concept view.

Defending the Easy Road to Nominalism (X-L, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Jordan Kroll (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

One of the primary arguments for platonism about mathematical entities is an indispensability argument: sentences that refer to or quantify over mathematical entities are an indispensable part of our best scientific theories, and hence we should accept mathematics and the ontological commitments that it carries. 'Easy road' nominalists reply by accepting that mathematics plays an indispensable role in our best scientific theories while denying that this gives us any reason to posit the existence of mathematical entities. In this paper I defend easy road nominalism against two objections from Mark Colyvan. First, he argues that easy road nominalists have not done enough to show that the use of mathematical discourse as a representational aid is nominalistically acceptable. Second, he argues that mathematics plays an explanatory role in science, and this gives us reason to accept the existence of mathematical entities. I argue that neither objection succeeds.

Nudges and Bumps (VII-N, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Victor Kumar (University of Toronto)

Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein's work on "nudges" offers an important tool for policy makers. Nudges influence people's behavior in positive ways but without coercion and without introducing incentives or disincentives. As I argue, they operate by exploiting heuristics and biases that underlie judgment and decision-making. However, nudges are for this reason manipulative. They circumvent rational agency. I use recent empirical work in learning theory to articulate an alternative to nudges, what I call "bumps." Bumps influence people's behavior in positive ways by targeting rational learning mechanisms. Because they operate through rational agency bumps are not problematically manipulative in the way that nudges seem to be.

Perception Beyond Object Perception—a Case for Expanding our Standard Account of Perception in Bodily Awareness (IV-J, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Lana Kühle (Illinois State University)

As a conscious, embodied being, my consciousness includes a bodily awareness. Specifically, I'm aware of my body as the very subject of experience, viz. bodily self-awareness. This bodily self-awareness is difficult to account for. Commonly, bodily awareness is understood as a kind of perceptual awareness—a form of object perception. However, such a view cannot account for our bodily self-awareness so long as perception is understood as a relation that holds between a perceiver and an object. The problem is this: if bodily awareness is perceptual in this sense, then it can only involve object awareness, and cannot account for our bodily selfawareness. The solution, I argue, lies in expanding our conception of perception. I suggest that there is a form of perception that I term 'bodily self-perception', and I explain its features and how it constitutes the best account of our bodily self-awareness.

Action, Reflection, and Practical Readiness (VIII-K, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Kelson Law (University of Pittsburgh)

Should one who currently lacks the virtuous motivation do what the virtuous person would do? The classical Confucian, Mencius, appears to give us conflicting answers that mirror a genuine dilemma of moral life. While Mencius seems to urge his interlocutors, once they know that something is right or wrong to do, to act or convert right away (1A7, 3B8), he also appears to be opposed to such immediate actions, when he cautions his disciple that being too eager in one's moral cultivation may in fact set one back (2A2). I will suggest that Mencius does not discourage us from imitating the outward deeds of the virtuous so much as reminding us also to do the inner, day-to-day work of moral reflection. And his anecdotes in 1A7 and 3B8 are not only compatible with what he preaches in 2A2, but illustrations of this very practice of reflection.

Testimony, Evidence and Interpersonal Reasons (V-H, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Nick Leonard (Northwestern University)

According to one view testimony, testimonial beliefs are justified or warranted because a speaker's testimony that p gives her audience evidence that p is true. Let us call this the Evidential View of Testimony (EVT).

EVT: Testimonial justification is evidential in nature.

Recently the EVT has been called into question. The general line of thought has been that the epistemic importance of the interpersonal relationship that obtains in a testimonial exchange has gone unrecognized and that, consequently, proponents of the EVT have failed to appreciate that testimonial justification is actually non-evidential in nature. Let us call this the Interpersonal View of Testimony (IVT).

IVT: Because of the interpersonal relations that obtain in a testimonial exchange, testimonial justification is non-evidential in nature.

The goal of this paper is to argue against IVT. Section 1 argues that the IVT should be rejected since it places overly restrictive conditions on what it takes to participate in a testimonial exchange. Section 2 argues that the IVT is also unmotivated. Section 3 concludes by summing up the implications of the arguments made above.

The Leverage Approach for Sufficientarianism (X-N, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Zi Lin (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Sufficientarianism regarding distributive justice is in general the view that it matters for justice that people obtain enough of certain goods. The leverage approach, as is proposed by George Sher in his recent book Equality for Inegalitarians, is a unique sufficientarian answer to the question of what level of resources and opportunities counts as enough. In short, the leverage approach argues that, with regard to resources and opportunities, justice requires that the state provide each citizen with enough of them as leverage to obtain more resources and opportunities without inordinate difficulty or sacrifice. While this is a promising way for sufficientarians to answer the what-counts-as-enough question, I will put forward several problems facing the leverage approach.

Race, Medicine and Genetic Suspectibility: Diagnosing Disease in the "Postracial" Genomics Age (VIII-L, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Jordan Liz (University of Memphis)

According to the Human Genome Project, all humans are 99.9% similar in our genetic makeup. Initially, this conclusion seemed decisive in finally debunking the myth of biological races. Nevertheless, contemporary genetics purports that racial classifications correspond to real biological distinctions and that some races are genetically more susceptible to certain diseases: African American women to breast cancer, African American men to prostate cancer and Mexicans to type-2 diabetes. These claims entail that, independent of social conditions, some races are more likely to be diagnosed with a certain disease given their race's genetic make-up. In this paper, I will attempt to articulate the conception of race underlying these discussions in the genomic and biomedical literature. The aim is to determine what geneticists mean by the term "race," and, in particular, what are the assumptions being made about racial kinds that allows them to make claims about a race's propensity towards disease.

Morgenbesser's Coin (IV-O, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Yael Loewenstein (University of Arizona)

Before flipping a fair, indeterministic coin, Susan offers Lucky the chance to bet on heads. Lucky declines. The coin lands heads. Consider the following counterfactual.

(M) If Lucky had bet heads he would have won.

Intuitively (M) seems true. Much has been made of the assumed truth of (M). For instance, it has been used as evidence against the traditional possible-worlds account of counterfactuals by some, and in support of a modification of the Lewisian framework by others. Here I challenge the "common intuition" about (M), and argue that there is reason to think that (M) is actually false. First, I discuss the ordinary way to reason about (M) and argue that there is an alternative way to reason about the case which is at least as reasonable and which leads to the conclusion that (M) is false. Second, I argue that there is independent reason to prefer the latter method of reasoning to the common method: when we apply the common method of reasoning to other counterfactuals that are unquestionably false, we erroneously arrive at the conclusion that they too are true.

Bentham on the Place of Empathy in Morality (VIII-N, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Getty Lustila (Boston University)

Many philosophers and psychologists have argued that empathy is necessary for morality. Nonetheless, it is widely recognized that our ability to empathize with others is inescapably partial and that this partiality can undermine our commitment to impartial moral standards. The ethical tradition that has most stressed the problematic nature of empathy is utilitarianism. However, the relationship between utilitarianism and empathy is more complicated than it might initially seem. In the Principles of Morals and Legislation, Jeremy Bentham argues that empathy (what he calls "sympathy") plays two important roles in our moral lives. First, empathy is necessary for a certain kind of moral motivation: the motivation not to harm others. Second, empathy is necessary to secure our sense of obligation to the principle of utility. I suggest that these considerations should lead us to rethink our understanding of utilitarianism as a species of moral rationalism.

Do Propositions Represent? (VII-L, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

John Mackay (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

I argue that although propositions may be represented by sentences and thoughts, they are not themselves representations. The argument is based on the idea that all representations have content. I consider various options for what content could be represented by a proposition, and argue that they are unsatisfactory.

Immanent Universals and Spatial Location (X-M, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

John Mahlan (University of Virginia)

According to the doctrine of immanent universals, there are universals, and these universals are located wherever their instances are located. Consider two objects a and b. Both instantiate the property F. Let F be an immanent universal. Then F shares a location with each of a and b. But metaphysicians have long found this doctrine strange. Recently, both Douglas Ehring and E. J. Lowe have argued that the doctrine leads to a contradiction. In this paper, I sketch a theory of location due to Josh Parsons and show how it can be used to defend the doctrine of immanent universals from the arguments offered by Ehring and Lowe.

Knowledge of Possibility (VIII-G, Saturday, 9:00 A.m.)

Matthew Mandelkern (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

I review some data involving epistemic modals embedded under factive attitude verbs. These data are not predicted by the best current theories of epistemic modals when combined with a standard Hintikka semantics for 'knows'. I argue that these data motivate adopting the new semantic framework for factive attitude verbs advocated in Yalcin (2012). That framework gives us the technical tools to make the right predictions. In order to have a predictive theory, though, we need an intuitive characterization of the formalism used in that framework; the goal of this paper is to give such a characterization. This project is of interest in itself; it also has surprisingly broad upshots. The characterization that, I argue, we must adopt in order to capture the pertinent facts has two striking consequences: first, it vindicates a kind of contextualism about knowledge attributions; second, it motivates positing a certain kind of articulated structure to the way we represent belief and knowledge states in natural language.

Intending Is Believing: In Defense of Strong Cognitivism About Practical Reason (V-I, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Berislav Marusic (Brandeis University)
John Schwenkler (Florida State University)

We contend that intentions are beliefs—beliefs that are formed in light of, and made rational by, practical reasons. To intend to do something is neither more nor less than to believe, on the basis of practical reasoning, that one will do it. We first offer three arguments for this thesis: that it explains why we express intentions as we do; that it explains why intentions serve a belief-like role in planning; and that it helps resolve certain puzzles about practical reasoning. We then consider three objections: that beliefs are based on evidence, whereas intentions are based on practical reasons; that it is possible to intend to do things that one does not believe one will do; and that this position cannot support a principled intending/foreseeing distinction. We conclude with some general remarks.

Epistemic Closure in Classical Statistics (VIII-I, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Conor Mayo-Wilson (University of Washington)

Epistemic closure (EC) is the thesis that knowledge is closed under known logical entailment. It is generally accepted that many counterfactual and relevant alternative theories of knowledge do not satisfy epistemic closure, but no realistic scientific counterexamples to EC have been discussed. In this paper, I argue that violations of EC are more widespread in scientific practice than initially recognized. In particular, Nozick's theory routinely violates EC when several independent statistical hypotheses are tested simultaneously.

Nested Hierarchies and the Structure of Ecology (IV-M, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

David McElhoes (Arizona State University)

The domain of ecology is traditionally conceived of as a hierarchy: atoms at the bottom level, the biosphere at the top, and everything else of interest to ecologists falling somewhere in between. Potochnik and McGill (2012) have recently raised metaphysical objections to this traditional conception. In defense of tradition, I argue that they have misinterpreted the notion of a "nested" hierarchy as it is used within contemporary ecology, and that the standard understanding of nested hierarchies can be used to motivate a novel view of hierarchical organization which avoids their metaphysical objections.

Shape Phenomenology and Shape Perception (IV-J, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Boyd Millar (Independent Scholar)

The reports of individuals who have had their vision restored as adults after becoming blind early in life suggest that they are often unable to recognize even simple shapes by vision alone. It is often assumed that the empirical literature on sight restoration tells us something important about the relationship between visual and tactile representations of shape. But this assumption is mistaken if the initial visual experiences of newly sighted individuals do not represent the shapes of objects. I maintain that the initial visual experiences of at least some newly sighted individuals do not represent shape but do instantiate the phenomenal properties characteristic of shape experience. Consequently, the empirical literature on sight restoration tells us something important about the relationship between perceptual phenomenology and perceptual content—it tells us that perceptual content is not determined by or "built into" perceptual phenomenology.

Bi-Polarity and Double Negation: Wittgenstein's Objection to Russell's Theory of Judgment (V-N, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Miquel Miralbes del Pino (Brown University)

It is widely acknowledged that Russell abandoned his unpublished "Theory of Knowledge" manuscript in 1913 because of an objection by Wittgenstein. However, there is no consensus on what precisely the objection is. In this paper, I offer a new account of that objection. The main thesis is that, by generating a theory of propositions out of a theory of judgment, Russell cannot explain the relation between p and not-not-p. For Wittgenstein, that is not a mere problem for inference, but a symptom of a poor theory of propositions.

Five Views of Suspended Judgment (X-K, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Peter Murphy (University of Indianapolis)

What is the nature of suspended judgment? I offer reasons against four views of suspended judgment: the view that suspended judgment is identical to neither believing nor disbelieving; the view that it is identical to evenly dividing one's confidence; the view that it is identical to a state of maximally mushy confidence; and the view that it is identical to a special kind of mental omission. I argue instead that suspended judgment is this special kind of mental omission, but that it needs to have distinctive causes.

A Truth-Conditional Indeterminacy Solution to the Liar Paradox (VIII-H, Saturday, 9:00 A.m.)

Jay M. Newhard (East Carolina University)

This paper presents the truth-conditional indeterminacy solution to the Liar Paradox, an informal, fully general solution to the Liar Paradox based on a regress in the truth conditions for certain propositions, including the proposition expressed by a Liar Sentence, and the proposition expressed by a Truth-Teller Sentence. According to this solution, the truth conditions of the proposition expressed by a Liar Sentence are unsettled in that whether its truth conditions are met depends on an infinite regress of conditions. Consequently, the alethic evaluation of the proposition expressed by a Liar Sentence is incomplete, and there is genuine metaphysical indeterminacy as to whether it bears truth. The Liar Paradox is solved insofar as it is shown how contradiction is avoided in the standard paradoxical reasoning for various versions of the Liar Paradox, including numerous revenge cases.

Implicit Psychology and Death's Harm (V-G, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Howard Nye (University of Alberta)

Michael Tooley has claimed that, to persist over time, a welfare subject must possess the concept of a continuing self. Since infants lack this concept, he concludes that death cannot deprive them of a future they would have had. More modestly, Jeff McMahan has argued that infants and animals have interests in survival, but because they lack the most important connections to their futures these interests are relatively weak. In this paper I contend that Tooley and McMahan are mistaken about which psychological relations matter for an individual's persistence. I argue that continuities among affective and implicit psychological states are more important than abstract beliefs and intentions. Psychological research makes this directly plausible, and it explains important intuitions. Since infants and animals have substantial implicit continuities with their futures, I conclude that the harm they suffer in death is comparable to that suffered by human adults with similar goods in prospect.

Definite Descriptions and the Alleged East-West Variation in Intuitions about Reference (VII-L, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Yu Izumi (University of Maryland, College Park)
Masashi Kasaki (University of Calgary)
Yan Zhou (Kyoto University)
Sobei Oda (Kyoto University)

Machery et al. (2004) presented data suggesting the existence of cross-cultural variation in intuitions about the referents of proper names. In this paper, we examine a previously overlooked confound in the subsequent studies that attempted to replicate the results of Machery et al.'s (2004) study using East Asian languages. These studies crucially relied on the uses of articleless, 'bare' noun phrases in Chinese and Japanese, which are known to be multiply ambiguous in the linguistic literature. We argue that it becomes questionable whether the extant studies using East Asian languages revealed genuine cross-cultural variation when the probes are reevaluated based on a proper linguistic understanding of Chinese and Japanese bare noun phrases. We also present an experiment that uses no ambiguous bare noun phrases and suggest that the intuitions of Japanese speakers concerning the referents of proper names are analogous to those of native English speakers.

A Puzzle about Kinds and Kind Terms (VIII-L, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Ted Parent (Virginia Tech)

'The kind Dinosaur' denotes a kind. Yet many generics are thought to denote kinds also, like the subject-terms in 'Dinosaurs are extinct', 'Liquor causes cirrhosis', and 'The mosquito carries malaria'. This view may be an adequate view for the linguist's purposes—however, it raises a puzzle for the ontologist. The problem is that what is often claimed about kinds is never claimed about dinosaurs, liquor, and the mosquito. Thus, kinds are sometimes said to be abstract objects, immanent universals, nominal essences, etc. But the mosquito is an insect—it is not an abstract object, nor an immanent universal, nor a nominal essence. I consider several proposals about resolving the puzzle, including some non-standard paraphrases of the target sentences. However, the conclusion is that none of the proposals are adequate. The ontologist is thus hard pressed to make sense of kind-denoting generics.

Negative Actions and Causal Powers (I-F, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Jonathan Payton (University of Toronto)

Philosophers of action tend to be skeptical about 'negative actions', such as intentional omissions and refrainments; they tend to think these things are not exercises of agency. In this paper I argue against this trend, focusing on recent work by Maria Alvarez and Helen Steward. They both think of agency as a causal power one can exercise over one's body, and they think this view rules out negative actions. I trace this scepticism to two sources. The first is a more specific conception of agency as a power to causes changes or movements in one's body. The second source of scepticism is an epistemological worry, that we are hardly ever justified in positing exercises of powers to cause one's body not to move or change. I argue that both of these sources of scepticism can be resisted, and hence that Alvarez's and Steward's theories pose no problem for negative actions.

Counteressential Conditionals (IV-O, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Kenneth L. Pearce (Valparaiso University)

Making sense of our reasoning in disputes about necessary truths requires admitting non-vacuous counterpossibles. One class of these is the counteressentials, which ask us to make contrary to fact (and therefore contrary to possibility) suppositions about essences. A popular strategy in accounting for non-vacuous counterpossibles is to extend the standard possible worlds semantics for subjunctive conditionals by the addition of impossible worlds. A conditional A []-> C is then taken to be true if all of the nearest A worlds (whether possible or impossible) are C worlds. I argue that this approach fails as applied to counteressentials due to the obscurity of the nearness relation and due to its failure to take seriously the relationship between counteressentials and grounding. I propose an alternative covering law semantics for counteressentials which makes central use of the notion of grounding.

Quantificational Structure and the Substantivity of Ontological Disputes (IV-N, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Callie Phillips (University of Notre Dame)

In this paper I propose a way for those who think ontological disputes are substantive, yet are skeptical about quantificational structure, to defend their view from arguments that purport to show first-order ontological disputes are merely verbal, and in this sense non-substantive. The proposal takes advantage of the relativity of candidate meanings for a term to a semantic goal. By introducing quantifiers with a semantic goal that makes no appeal to joint-carving or quantificational structure, metaphysicians can ensure that they are not engaged in a merely verbal dispute brought about the use of different quantifiers to state their positions.

Social Cooperation and Economic Rights: A Rawlsian Route to Social Democracy (III-L, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Jeppe von Platz (Suffolk University)

The central idea of Rawls's theory of justice is the idea of democratic society as a fair system of cooperation between free and equal citizens. The moral powers of democratic citizens are the capacities presupposed by this ideal. Rawls identifies two such powers, the capacity for a conception of the good and the capacity for a sense of justice. I argue that the idea of democratic citizenship presupposes also a third moral power: the capacity for working. Since the basic rights are the rights necessary for the development and exercise of the moral powers of citizenship; and since the capacity for working is such a moral power; and since access to work, education, and healthcare are necessary for the development and exercise of the capacity for working; access to work, education, and healthcare are basic rights.

Psychological Resistance to Full Information: An Objection to Subjectivist-Externalist Accounts of Reasons (I-J, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Carolyn Plunkett (The Graduate Center, CUNY)

According to leading "full information" accounts of reasons, A has a reason to φ when a fully informed version of herself, A+, would recommend that A φ in her actual circumstances given A's desires, concerns, cares, and the like. A+ and A are supposed to share the same personal characteristics, differing only in access to information. Using an example, I argue that full information accounts lead to results that undermine the theory's normative commitments. They are committed to the idea that personal continuity grounds A+'s normative authority over A's reasons; it is why A ought to heed A+'s recommendations. Yet, I provide reason to doubt that A+ and A are continuous persons. As a result, A+'s recommendations lack their purported normative force. In closing, I suggest that a moderate version of A+ should be adopted, in accordance with internalism about reasons, to produce a more satisfying subjectivist account of reasons.

What Is an Artwork? Ernst Cassirer's Dialogical Philosophy of Art (X-H, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Anne Pollok (University of South Carolina)

Although Ernst Cassirer never dedicated a full volume of his monumental Philosophy of Symbolic Forms (1923-29) to art, this particular form of human expression and interaction still looms large in his late writings in the 1930s and early 1940s. Art, as I interpret Cassirer's main claims there, is a language that forms its subject-'matter' not to convey an understanding of the world, but to create "a manifestation of inner life" (Essay on Man, 169) that reveals the depth of our mutual experience of the world. This 'inner life' is not a private experience by either artist or audience, but a social act, a dialogue.

Reid vs. Hume on the Objects of Belief (VIII-N, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Lewis Powell (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

David Hume articulated an account of belief on which the objects of existential beliefs were not propositions, but ideas of objects. Thomas Reid took issue with this account, on the grounds that the objects of all beliefs should be propositionally or predicatively structured, given that they can be assessed as true or false. In this paper, I defend Hume from Reid's objection, first by appealing to our understanding of certain "believes in" locutions to make sense of Hume's basic picture, and then offering considerations about non-propositional judgments that undermine the challenge raised by truth-assessability of beliefs.

Being Sure and Being Confident That You Won't Lose Confidence (X-K, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Alexander R. Pruss (Baylor University)

There is an important sense in which one can be sure without being certain, i.e., without assigning unit probability. I will offer an explication of this sense of sureness, connecting it with the level of credence that a rational agent would need to have to be confident that she won't ever lose her confidence. A simple formal result then gives us an explicit formula connecting the threshold α for credence needed for confidence with the threshold needed for being sure: one needs 1-(1-α)2 to be sure. I then suggest that stepping between α and 1-(1-α)2 gives a procedure that generates an interesting hierarchy of credential thresholds.

Spinoza's Argument for a Bodily Imagination (I-I, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Nastassja Pugliese (University of Georgia)

Imagination is characterized by Spinoza as the first kind of knowledge, and as such, it is a mode of thought. However, imagination is also seen as a complex activity involving various kinds of events and some of these, such as delirium and visual imagery, arise from the constitution of the body and not from the mind (E2p49sch, Ep 17). A standard interpretation of Spinoza's theory of imagination holds that imagination is a mental event caused by the interaction of an individual with external bodies. In this paper, I will argue that the standard interpretation fails to explain the extended counterpart of the imaginative activity. I will show that the thesis of causal independence of attributes necessitates an account of the extended causes of imagination by arguing that the explanatory barrier and the inaccessibility of extension are consequences that seem to, but do not follow from Spinoza's theory of attributes.

The Meta-Semantic Dilemma for Two-Dimensional Semantics (IV-N, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Gabriel Oak Rabin (New York University Abu Dhabi)

I argue that Two-Dimensional Semantics, as developed in the work of David Chalmers and Frank Jackson (Chalmers [2006b,a], Jackson [1998, 2010]) founders on a dilemma. The theory claims that, when evaluated at the actual world, primary/A-intensions coincide with secondary/C-intensions (the coincidence thesis). It also claims that primary/A-intensions are narrow contents (the narrow content thesis). Both claims cannot be true. If primary/A-intensions coincide with secondary/C-intensions, then primary/A-intensions must be meta-linguistic. If they are meta-linguistic, they are not fit to play the role of narrow content. Two-Dimensional Semanticists must give up one of these two foundational theses.

Phenomenal Size (IV-J, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Brentyn Ramm (Australian National University)

Perceptual objectivism is the popular thesis that typical perceptual experience presents mind-independent properties of the world. One challenge to this view is that there is a sense in which a closer tree looks larger than a further tree even when they are the same objective size. Objectivists account for this by positing that experience presents 'perspectival properties' (Noe, 2004) such as the angle subtended at the eye (Tye, 2000). I draw upon empirical evidence (e.g., Thouless,1931) and phenomenological demonstrations to argue that the experienced size of distant objects is intermediate between perspectival size and objective size. Hence objectivism about size experience fails to account for further things looking smaller in terms of objective properties in the environment. This finding is a point in favour of perceptual subjectivism about phenomenal size.

Hateful Exclusions: The Limits of Shiffrin's Autonomy Defence of Free Speech (X-N, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Nicole Ramsoomair (McGill University)

In this paper, I argue that hate speech should not receive foundational protection under Seanna Shiffrin's recent "thinker-based approach." Protection on her account extends to many forms of speech due to a connection between speech and an individual's development of autonomous thought. However, Shiffrin questions whether there is protection for corporate and commercial speech. The latter have a tendency to interfere with autonomous thought processes, and do not clearly serve its development. I argue that this argument is not limited to commercial and corporate speech alone. Extending fundamental protection to hate speech can be questioned for the same reasons. I justify my argument using tools from feminist scholarship—that of Susan J. Brison, Rae Langton and Miranda Fricker—to show how hate speech harms agents qua thinkers and therefore should be taken to be extrinsic to the concerns that underlie free speech protections on Shiffrin's account.

Aesthetic Expertise, High-Level Perceptual Content and Non-inferential Justification (IV-O, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Madeleine Ransom (University of British Columbia)

Are aesthetic judgments non-inferentially justified by perceptual experience? Recently it has been argued they are not (Dorsch 2013): first, non-inferentialism cannot successfully explain our practice of referring to lower level properties to support our aesthetic judgments when challenged; second, it cannot account for the limits of our aesthetic curiosity. Here I argue that non-inferentialism can successfully meet these objections. First, our aesthetic judgments may be justified both non-inferentially via aesthetic perception and inferentially by pointing to non-aesthetic properties. Second, drawing on Frank Sibley, I propose that our critical practices and limited aesthetic curiosity may be explained non-epistemically in terms of the exercise of the counterfactual imagination. This also offers a new way to think of aesthetic expertise.

Bodily Desires and the Disembodied Soul in the Phaedo (X-I, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Douglass Reed (University of Virginia)

In this paper I investigate two issues in Plato's Phaedo: whether in the dialogue bodily desires belong only to the soul, and how to understand the punishment of disembodied souls in the afterlife. By considering the two passages in the dialogue where Socrates explicitly discusses disembodied souls (80e1-81e3 and 107d4-114d1), I show that there is good reason to think that they can have bodily desires. Hence, I argue, bodily desires must belong to the soul, not the body. Moreover, I argue that by ascribing bodily desires to the soul, we can make sense of punishment of disembodied souls. Because souls in the afterlife are disembodied, their bodily desires are necessarily frustrated. So, the more intense the soul's bodily desires, the more severe the suffering—and punishment—it will face upon being disembodied in the afterlife.

A Kantian Approch to Debt (IV-L, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Tim Reed (Independent Scholar)

This paper develops a Kantian approach to debt. While it seems initially that Kant believes incurring debt to be morally wrong, I argue that an alternative reading of Kant actually finds that financial debt can be both rightful and ethically permissible. This reading is supported by drawing a distinction between pecuniary (financial) debts and debts of gratitude, and I indicate the conditions necessary for anyone to incur rightful and ethical financial debts. I articulate four instances when incurring financial debt is either wrongful or ethically impermissible, and conclude by questioning whether states should allow unsecured debt when it comes to meeting basic needs.

Intersubjectivity in Spinoza's Summum Bonum (V-M, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Peter Rosa (Loyola University Chicago)

Donald Rutherford's account of Spinoza's conception of the summum bonum heavily focuses on acquiescentia, the feeling of contentment that accompanies virtue. However, Rutherford's reading largely passes over the political aspect of Spinoza's notion of the summum bonum. In this essay, I argue that Spinoza's summum bonum has a necessary intersubjective component grounded in his metaphysical account of human persons in the Ethics. Spinoza's understanding of virtue as preserving oneself in being is a dictate of reason. Rational agents must interact with external objects in the world. Therefore, it is virtuous to use external objects in order to preserve oneself in being. However, those external objects which are most similar to human persons are most advantageous for achieving virtue. Other human beings who are also guided by reason are most similar to the person striving for virtue. It follows that interacting with other human beings is most advantageous for achieving virtue.

The Copernican Principle and Arguments from Evil (VIII-M, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Samuel Ruhmkorff (Simon's Rock College)

The physicist Richard Gott defends the Copernican principle, according to which, in the absence of other information, you should think it very likely that you are not in a special position among observers along any measurable dimension. I apply the Copernican principle to the distribution of evil in the universe. I conclude that if there is intelligent extraterrestrial life, it is very likely there are evils in the universe significantly worse than the worst evils on Earth and goods in the universe significantly better than the best goods on Earth. I then contend that evidence for intelligent extraterrestrial life strengthens four important versions of the argument from evil because these versions are made more compelling by a broadening of the range of value we take to be instantiated in the universe.

Kant on Self-Opacity and Self-Conceit (I-H, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Francey Russell (University of Chicago)

In this paper, I analyze two ideas in Kant's practical philosophy: moral self-opacity and reason's propensity for self-conceit. I argue that moral self-opacity should be understood by way of his concept of self-conceit (Selbstdünkel). I show that for Kant, reason's propensity for self-conceit can corrupt the very effort to know oneself introspectively. Thanks to this propensity, we cannot be introspectively certain about our own reasons and motives for action. I close with the suggestion that overcoming self-conceit—even if only temporarily—involves the feeling of respect for the reason of others.

Will Do Better (III-J, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Fabrizio Cariani (Northwestern University)
Paolo Santorio (University of Leeds)

Our topic is the semantics for statements about the future in English. In particular, we focus on simple sentences involving the English auxiliary "will":

(1) Cynthia will pass her exam.

Sentences like (1) are uniquely interesting. An account of their meaning faces challenges from diverse philosophical domains, including semantics, epistemology, and metaphysics. We aim to propose a new theory of "will" that improves on all existing accounts at meeting these challenges. Following current work in linguistic semantics, we hold that "will" is a modal. But "will" differs from standard modals like "must" or "may", which have universal or existential quantificational force. The best analogy for "will" is the selection function meaning that Stalnaker uses in his semantics of conditionals: "will" selects a unique world among those included in a background domain of worlds (modal base). Roughly, "will" selects 'the world instantiating the one actual complete course of history', among the ones that are compatible with history up to now. The approximate truth conditions of (1) are: (2) In the actual complete course of history, Cynthia passes her exam. Hence our semantics presupposes that there is a 'unique' actual course of history, which is selected by "will". At the same time, we allow that it might be indeterminate which world will selects. The resulting view (i) yields a plausible semantics and logic for "will", (ii) generates contents for "will"-statements towards which we can be rationally uncertain, and (iii) is compatible with (though doesn't require) the claim that the future is open.

Pereboom, Pain, and Punishment (VIII-J, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Nicholas Sars (Tulane University of New Orleans)

If retributive punishment is a repayment for wrongdoing, then it is a repayment that has a high burden of justification, given the historical connection between punishment and pain. Two challenges to the retributivist are to justify (a) why harm has to be given and (b) why it must be given to somebody in particular. A common move made by retributivists is to appeal to the concept of desert. The claim is that, say, a murder warrants X amount of pain in repayment, and the murderer is the one that deserves it. Derk Pereboom has given a sustained argument against the concept of desert, and he claims that in so doing he also undermines the means by which retributivists justify the handing out of pain in return for wrongdoing. In this paper I will answer Pereboom's challenge by proposing a justification of retributivism that does not invoke the concept of desert.

Intending Is Believing: In Defense of Strong Cognitivism About Practical Reason (V-I, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Berislav Marusic (Brandeis University)
John Schwenkler (Florida State University)

We contend that intentions are beliefs—beliefs that are formed in light of, and made rational by, practical reasons. To intend to do something is neither more nor less than to believe, on the basis of practical reasoning, that one will do it. We first offer three arguments for this thesis: that it explains why we express intentions as we do; that it explains why intentions serve a belief-like role in planning; and that it helps resolve certain puzzles about practical reasoning. We then consider three objections: that beliefs are based on evidence, whereas intentions are based on practical reasons; that it is possible to intend to do things that one does not believe one will do; and that this position cannot support a principled intending/foreseeing distinction. We conclude with some general remarks.

The Function of Emotions (VII-H, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Daniel Shargel (Lawrence Technological University)

The leading theories of the emotions disagree about their function. Are emotions for evaluating features of our environment? Are they for preparing us to act? Perhaps also for diminishing our cognitive load? I will argue that none of these proposals are able to explain certain critical emotional features. Some of them are able to explain why bodily manipulations alter emotional states, but none give a satisfactory explanation for why emotions that are elicited in response to one object have global motivational effects. I will argue that the solution is to understand emotions as having the function of integrating three systems that support action: the systems that govern our motivations, bodily mobilization, and social displays.

No Fundamental Determinables (VII-K, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Jannai Shields (University of Rochester)

It is commonly thought that if there are such things as determinables, they are less fundamental than their determinates. However, in her paper "Fundamental Determinables", Jessica Wilson argues for three things: (1) there are determinable properties, (2) the reasons typically given for thinking that determinables are less fundamental than their determinates fail to establish this fact, and (3) at least some determinables are fundamental. My focus is (2). The reasons typically given for thinking that determinanbles are less fundamental than their determinates are reasons for thinking that determinables are "grounded in" their determinates. Wilson's approach is to argue that none of these reasons are adequate. But, her argument against what I call the Fixing View of grounding does not succeed, leaving open the possibility that determinates ground determinables in this fixing sense. Thus, we still have good reason to think that determinables are not part of any fundamental base.

Moral Judgments and Wishful Thinking (VII-M, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Adam Shmidt (Boston University)

Cian Dorr (2002) argues that if noncognitivism about moral judgments is true, it must always be irrational to infer factual conclusions from arguments containing any moral judgments as premises. According to him, on a noncognitivist account of what is involved in accepting moral premises, to infer any factual conclusions would be wishful thinking: irrationally modifying our views about the world to make them conform to our feelings and wishes. Since it is often intuitively rational to infer factual conclusions from arguments containing moral premises, Dorr considers his challenge to constitute a reductio of noncognitivism. I argue that Dorr's challenge is unsuccessful. Wishful thinking is irrational because feelings and desires are not generally reliable evidence. However, I contend that the fact that an agent has certain feelings and desires may give her sufficient reason to adopt some factual beliefs, specifically, beliefs about other moral agents' feelings and desires.

Naturalized Metaphysics and the Ontological Status of Species (III-K, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Matthew H. Slater (Bucknell University)

In this paper, I begin exploring the connection between two debates at the intersection of metaphysics and the philosophy of science. First, we have the longstanding debate over the ontological status of biological species: are they individuals, natural kinds, or what (Ruse 1987)? Second, we have the more recent contention over "naturalized metaphysics". What is it? What should it be? Can it be vindicated as intellectually superior to its complement within metaphysics more generally? I consider three case studies in the former debate to suggest that attempts to employ naturalistic considerations as epistemic trump cards are likely to be unsuccessful and diagnose why this is and what it means for the prospects of naturalized metaphysics.

A Common Root for Arrogance and Self-degradation: Self-conceit in Kant's Moral Theory (I-H, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Catherine Mathie Smith (Cornell University)

The moral feeling "respect" plays an essential role in Immanuel Kant's philosophy: it allows human beings to experience the motivation to do what is morally right, simply because it is right. According to Kant's explanation of how respect arises, it is called up when our contemplation of the moral law strikes down what he calls our "self-conceit." Many commentators have understood self-conceit to be arrogance: an innate tendency humans have to think they are more important than others and the moral law. However, in this paper I argue that self-conceit can be read in another way, according to which it is a bivalent tendency which can develop into either arrogance or self-degradation, depending on circumstances. I also argue that self-conceit should be read in this way if Kant's theory is going to be able to assert that respect can arise to combat every case of immorality.

Reflection and Responsibility for the Self (VIII-K, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Etye Steinberg (University of Toronto)

According to a common suggestion, responsibility for the self requires a capacity for reflecting on one's existing mental states. One is responsible for oneself insofar as one can critically evaluate one's existing desires. It is in affirming some motivating desire that one identifies with it and makes it one's own, and in this sense makes oneself and is responsible for oneself.

I argue that reflection, conceived as self-aware critical evaluation of one's existing desires is not necessary for being responsible for oneself. Instead, I argue that responsibility for the self requires reflection that consists in evaluating the reasons for action one faces (i.e. object-directed reflection). I further argue that responsibility for the self requires not merely having value commitments, but rather a capacity for object-reflectively forming such value commitments.

Arnauld on Divine Simplicity and God's Practical Rationality (I-I, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Eric Stencil (Utah Valley University)

In the 1680's and 1690's, Antoine Arnauld and Nicolas Malebranche engaged in a public and private polemic concerning the nature of ideas and the nature of God and God's modus operandi. Most of the scholarship on this debate focuses on Malebranche's philosophical system and Arnauld's objections to it. Arnauld's positive contributions have received considerably less attention. Yet, there is much we can learn about Arnauld's views from their exchange. In this paper, I focus on Arnauld's conception of God defended in the correspondence and engage a recent debate between Denis Moreau and Steven Nadler concerning Arnauld's conceptions of divine simplicity and God's practical rationality. With respect to the former, I argue, contra Nadler, that Arnauld defends a conception of divine simplicity that allows conceptual distinctions between God's attributes. With respect to the latter, I argue, contra Moreau, that Arnauld's God transcends practical rationality altogether.

A Formal Model of Biological Lineages (IV-M, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Beckett Sterner (University of Michigan)

Kevin de Queiroz's general lineage concept defines biological species as segments of lineages over time that are formed by one or more connected subpopulations. Lineages are chains of ancestor-descendant relationships capable of evolving indefinitely over time. However, de Queiroz does not provide a universal analysis of ancestor-descendant relationships, leaving important ambiguities the existence of species outside simple cases of sexual reproduction. I develop a universal and formal definition of lineages using the concepts of material overlap and scaffolding that does not depend on this traditional notion of ancestors and descendants.

The Politics of Ethical Expertise (X-J, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Matt K. Stichter (Washington State University)

This paper examines the social and political controversies surrounding ethical expertise. One of the main concerns is that being credited with expert status can confer power and authority that is distinct from the possession of expertise itself. There are concerns that acknowledging experts in ethics is incompatible with a commitment to democracy and pluralism. Furthermore, there are concerns that people would defer judgment to the experts in ways that would undermine autonomy and critical reflection. In response, I argue that there is a conception of what it means to be an expert in ethics that can handle these concerns, but that it differs from the kind of ethical expert we could rely on to act well in practice. When we look to an expert in order to get advice about what to do, what we want is really along the lines of an "expert coach" rather than an "expert player.

Well-Being, Preference Satisfaction, and Disability (III-O, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Ian Stoner (University of Minnesota)

I introduce an adequacy test for theories of well-being, based on the widespread acceptance of the claim that relationships and personal projects make out-sized contributions to human well-being. The proxy test: given two groups with similar prospects for close relationships and rewarding projects, a theory of well-being should entail that members of those groups have similar prospects for well-being. Preference satisfaction theories fail the proxy test, because they predict lower prospects for well-being of some disabled people who are at no disadvantage with respect to relationships and projects. The interpretation I favor—that preference-satisfaction theories are tracking some value other than well-being—has the advantage of explaining a puzzle in survey data: why are many people with disabilities unwilling to trade any time to cure their impairment, when they are willing to invest resources mitigating it?

Blame without Relationships: A Challenge for Scanlon (VII-J, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Nathan Stout (Tulane University)

Recently, T. M. Scanlon has proposed a theory of blame which construes blame as occurring within the context of particular kinds of relationships that individuals have with one another. The view captures a unique feature of our practices of blaming and, as a result, has garnered a great deal of attention among philosophers interested in blame, but it has received criticism on a number of fronts as well. Some have criticized Scanlon's reliance on the notion of a "moral relationship" (a notion to be explicated below), others have criticized the view on the grounds that it denies the necessity of the various so-called blaming emotions, and still others have criticized the view for its perceived failure to account for other features of our blaming practices. In this short discussion, however, I will pose a different challenge to the Scanlonian theory which is based on the intuition that it is sometimes the case that we blame individuals precisely because we have no relationship with them. I will begin in part one by giving a short explication of the central features of Scanlon's view and will then proceed to offer a thought experiment that, I think, gives decisive reason to reject Scanlon's view.

Punishment and Democratic Rights (VIII-J, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Steven Swartzer (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

This paper sketches a novel argument against the common practice in the U. S. of suspending convicted criminals' democratic rights. The argument begins with the common observation that citizens of color lose their political rights because of criminal offense at disproportionately high rates. I contend that at least part of what makes this objectionable is that, by further diminishing the political power of marginalized groups, this form of punishment threatens to reproduce patterns of domination and subordination, when they occur. This presents strong moral reasons against the use of criminal disenfranchisement in societies like ours, in which racial injustice is already pervasive (as are other types of injustice). I then attempt to connect these reasons to standard penological concerns, by arguing that the threat of reproducing injustice raises important concerns about this practice that arise from within the deterrence, rehabilitation, and retributivist perspectives.

Nietzsche, Revaluation, and the Concept of Prejudice (X-H, Saturday, 2:45 p.m.)

Joseph Swenson (Hamline University)

Nietzsche frequently claims that his attempts to revalue traditional values mark his most original contributions to philosophy. But he is also highly elusive about what it means to 'revalue a value.' In contrast to many contemporary interpretations of revaluation, I argue that Nietzsche's ambitions are not primarily theoretical, but are rather experimental and therapeutic. Revaluation, on this reading, is not primarily an attempt to replace our old traditional values with some new set of uniquely 'Nietzschean' theories or values. Rather, the originality of Nietzsche's project is best traced back to his more subtle and experimental attempts to reassess the implicit background "prejudices [Vorurteile]" of the Western tradition against which he claims our explicit traditional values and theories show up to us as binding and meaningful. I focus specifically on Nietzsche's revaluation of the 'prejudice' of value dualism as one particularly radical example of his reassessment of our traditional tacit evaluative commitments.

Body on Body Causation in Descartes (VII-I, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Michael Szlachta (University of Toronto)

Descartes's derivation of the laws of nature from God's immutability and his claim that extension is the principal attribute of body make it seem as if we should attribute the changes in motion which come about as the result of a collision between two bodies to the causality of God alone. I defend the view that God's role in Cartesian physics is to preserve the quantity of motion and rest in the material universe, but bodies are causally responsible for particular changes in motion in other bodies. In addition to responding to two arguments against there being bodily causality in Cartesian physics, I show that attributing causality to bodies is consistent with what Descartes says about God's creation of the world in Principles of Philosophy II 42.

Conciliationism and Easy Bootstrapping (I-G, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Eyal Tal (University of Arizona)

Conciliatory views of disagreement are exposed to a belief-laundering accusation. If rationality requires conciliation of an agent who is facing a disagreeing peer, then two initially irrational peers can conciliate with each other to reach fully rational views. This, some say, seems like an illegitimately easy path to rational belief acquisition. Those who have weighed in on the issue tend to offer defenses of Conciliationism that, in effect, make it so that only rational agents reach a fully rational credence when they conciliate. I will argue that going this direction leads to a dead end for conciliationists. If Conciliationism provides fully rational doxastic states only to its already rational adherents, then it has the bizarre result that an agent in a disagreement must conciliate only when she has done everything right (rationally) in her belief formation, and her peer has not.

The Relevance of Moral Uncertainty (V-J, Friday, 9:00 a.m.)

Christian Tarsney (University of Maryland)

In two recent papers, Brian Weatherson and Elizabeth Harman offer closely related arguments for the normative irrelevance of moral uncertainty. What an agent ought to do, they claim, is in every important sense independent of her moral beliefs, and is fully determined by application of the true moral theory to her non-moral beliefs and/or empirical facts. I raise three objections to this view. First, it conflicts with the enkratic principle, which is among the most plausible principles of subjective rationality. Second, a natural line of reasoning leads from "externalist" normative standards of the sort advocated by Weatherson and Harman to subjective, "internalist" standards, and neither author's arguments do anything to block this reasoning. Third, their arguments depend on first-order moral claims about virtue and blameworthiness that are either inadmissible to the normative certainty debate, or at best make their conclusions dependent on open questions of normative ethics.

Bloodguilt: Kant, Vengeance, and the Iron Necessity of Justice (IV-L, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Krista Thomason (Swarthmore College)

Philosophical discussions of Kant's retributivism inevitably make reference to the passage where Kant claims that "bloodguilt" will cling to the inhabitants of the dissolving society if they fail to execute the last murderer (6:333). Critics and Kantians alike agree that "bloodguilt" is used hyperbolically to drive home Kant's commitment to retributivism and capital punishment. But bloodguilt appears in other places besides the Doctrine of Right and these other passage cast doubt on the traditional interpretation. In this paper, I argue for a different interpretation of the bloodguilt passage in light of Kant's other remarks. For Kant, we conceptualize justice as transcendent to make sense of its demandingness and bloodguilt is one of the ways that we make sense of justice's demands. Kant thinks we should maintain this conception of justice because it helps moral agents avoid temptations to vengeance and helps keep society from implementing unjust punishments.

Thomson and Goodness: A Defense of Moorean Moral Philosophy (VII-M, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Miles Tucker (University of Massachusetts Amherst)

Judith Jarvis Thomson has claimed that Moorean moral philosophy goes wrong because "there is no such thing as goodness." I claim that her argument cannot succeed. Thomson's target is generic goodness—the kind of goodness a thing has if it is good in any way. But Moore's system is not built upon this notion, despite Thomson's surprising claims to the contrary. Rather, Moore's concern was intrinsic goodness. Thus Thomson's argument misses its mark. Still, Thomson's defenders may point out that many accounts of intrinsic goodness seem to appeal to the notion of generic goodness—including, some say, Moore's own account. I defuse this new worry; I show how we may dispense with generic goodness without losing intrinsic goodness. Further, I claim, Moore never connected these notions. I conclude that neither form of Thomson's challenge gives us reason to abandon Moore's system.

Friendship and Epistemic Partiality (VII-O, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Sungwoo Um (Duke University)

We often seem to be epistemically partial in forming beliefs about our friends who are near and dear to us. Simon Keller and Sarah Stroud argue, independently, that good friendship not only often accompanies (as it happens) such differential epistemic practices, but also demand them, at least sometimes, i.e., that sometimes good friendship demands some sort of epistemic partiality that is objectionable from an epistemic point of view. In this paper, my aim is to closely examine the relationship between friendship and epistemic partiality. First, I argue that what good friendship involves as its constituent part is not epistemic partiality per se, but what I call friendly hope, which is the source of the former. Second, I address the worry that friendship can be an epistemic vice, since, even assuming that it does not demand epistemically objectionable partiality, it frequently gives rise to such partiality. I argue that the sort of epistemic partiality from friendship is not as epistemically objectionable as it first appears. In arguing that, I adopt some of Jason Kawall's points about friends' differential epistemic tendency, but I also show how my account can explain what his does not. I conclude that friendship as such is neutral from an epistemic point of view.

Reviving Gueroult's Descartes (VII-I, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Stephen I. Wagner (St. John's University/College of St. Benedict)

In the history of commentary on Descartes's Meditations, the conflicting approaches of Ferdinand Alquié and Martial Gueroult provide us with a contrast of models for interpreting Descartes' text. Recently, Tad Schmaltz has offered an enlightening discussion and evaluation of their views, in his "PanzerCartesianer: The Descartes of Martial Gueroult's Descartes selon l'ordre des raisons," Journal of the History of Philosophy(1): 1-13. Schmaltz urges, convincingly, that "Alquié's Descartes" has become most prominent in both French and Anglo-American thought about the Meditations. I will argue that there are good reasons to revive "Gueroult's Descartes." A helpful revival will require some revision of Gueroult's model of the "order of reasons" in the Meditations. But Gueroult's approach, particularly with regard to the issues that Schmaltz raises, now offers us the most promising direction for a new, thoroughgoing clarification of Descartes's text.

The Sufficiency Proviso: A Case for Moderate Libertarianism (III-E, Thursday, 12:10 p.m.)

Fabian Wendt (Bielefeld University)

A libertarian theory of justice holds that persons are self-owners and have the Hohfeldian moral power to justly acquire property rights in initially unowned external resources. Justice, then, basically consists in respect for these property rights. Different variants of libertarianism can be distinguished according to their stance on the Lockean proviso. The proviso requires, in Locke's words, to leave 'enough and as good' for others, and thus specifies limits on the acquisition of property. Left-libertarians accept an egalitarian interpretation of the proviso, 'right-libertarians' either reject any kind of proviso or accept rather weak versions of it. In between there is room for moderate interpretations of the proviso, and in particular for a sufficientarian interpretation: a 'sufficiency proviso.' The resulting theory of justice can be called 'moderate libertarianism.' In this article I make a case for moderate libertarianism, so understood. I argue that moderate libertarianism has advantages over both left- and right-libertarianism because it better coheres with the most plausible rationale for endorsing a libertarian theory of justice in the first place.

Theory of Mind Development and the Pragmatics of Belief Discourse (VII-H, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Evan Westra (University of Maryland, College Park)

In this paper, I propose that while even very young children may possess the concept of belief, they still face a substantial learning challenge when it comes to applying that concept in conversational interactions. This is because the input that novice speakers receive for belief discourse is both sparse and pragmatically complex. As a result, young children do not initially expect the contents of people's heads to be a topic for conversation—they have to learn this through experiences with the pragmatics of belief discourse. I argue that once we recognize that this learning problem for novice speakers exists, a number of seemingly contradictory findings in the literature on theory of mind development can be explained.

Autonomy and Authenticity: Why Did the Butler Do It? (VIII-K, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Justin White (University of California, Riverside)

Using Mr. Stevens from Kazuo Ishiguro's Remains of the Day, I examine autonomy and authenticity as two distinct ways our actions and our lives can (or can fail to) be our own. In analytic philosophy of agency, autonomy has been the key concept, taking its more recent starting point from Harry Frankfurt's contrast between "movements of a person's body that are mere happenings in his history and those that are his own activities." The task has been to explain what makes certain movements uniquely mine. In the phenomenological tradition, Heidegger's concept of Eigentlichkeit(usually translated authenticity) describes another way some actions are uniquely ours. In Mr. Stevens, autonomy and authenticity come apart in worrisome ways, with a sort of hyper-autonomy threatening his ability to take ownership for his life.

Hume on Our Impression of Necessary Connection: Representation or Mere Feeling? (VIII-N, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Aaron Wilson (University of Miami)

Both in the Treatise and in the first Enquiry, Hume argues that our idea of necessary connection derives from an impression of a "determination" of the mind to pass from one object to its usual attendant. But on the standard reading, Hume does not hold that this impression (impression*) is an impression of a particular instance of genuine connection: e.g., Stroud (1977), Kail (2007), Allison (2008). However, aside from passages at which Hume seems to deny that the idea can be traced to any genuine connection, many of which can be reasonably interpreted differently, the grounds on which to deny that impression* represents an instance of necessary connection are unclear. In this paper I motivate a reading on which (1) impression* represents the determination of the mind and (2) the determination involves a genuine connection. Hume might thus hold that impression* represents a genuine instance of necessary connection.

What's So Private About Private Property? (VII-N, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Blake Wilson (Binghamton University)

In this paper, I trace how recent philosophical and jurisprudential developments in property theory subject privacy claims concerning bodies, homes and resources to public demands in the form of eminent domain, and conclude that privacy interests in the body and home should trump those demands. The privacy component of private property—implicated by the right to exclude and the corresponding duty not to interfere—is an underdeveloped topic in political theory, particularly in terms of ownership rights over bodies on the one hand, and rights over natural resources on the other. Private property is not merely property that is not public: it reflects its owner's freely-chosen plans and intentions, and, when embodied in homes and other forms of personal property, deserves legal immunity from eminent domain and similar expropriative measures.

Can Objectivists Account for Subjective Reasons? (I-J, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Daniel Wodak (Princeton University)

To explain the unity of normativity, we need either an objectivist account of subjective reasons or a subjectivist account of objective reasons. In this paper I argue that extant attempts to provide the former face three novel objections. I end by considering whether this should make us give up objectivism.

Against Rational Exclusion (I-F, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Aaron Wolf (Syracuse University)

T. M. Scanlon's redundancy argument against the idea that values give normative reasons is, at bottom, a case of exclusion analogous to Jaegwon Kim's causal exclusion argument. I argue that Scanlon's rational exclusion principle is untenable because it leads to a regress in which reasons drain away.

Business Corporations Should Not Have Moral Rights of Free Expression (VII-N, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

A. T. Wright (University of Georgia)

First, (1) while business corporations conceived as "real entities" are capable of a thin form of agency conceptually sufficient to support moral rights, I argue that business corporations nonetheless fail to clear important substantive hurdles imposed by prominent Interest or Choice theories of rights. Business corporations viewed as real entities lack the interest in security that forms the substantive foundation for moral rights on Interest theories; moreover, business corporations lack innate powers of choice that form the foundation for rights on Choice theories. Second, (2) I argue that business corporations legally define the roles of management and ownership in a way that fatally undermines the implicit joint commitment necessary to derive corporate rights of free expression from non-operative member rights. One cannot transfer "innate" rights such as the right of free expression; hence, any exercise of such a right on behalf of another person must be limited in scope.

Practicality, Normativity, and the Incoherence Argument (I-J, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Tung-Ying Wu (University of Missouri)

Michael Smith's incoherence argument is problematic. The argument claims that an agent who believes doing x is right but does not desire to do x, suffers practical irrationality even though an ideal agent does not desire S to do x. I show that one of the argument's premises is unsupported because an agent's incoherent set of beliefs does not in any way signal practical irrationality. Then I offer a modified variant of the incoherence argument. It has three merits: (a) it avoids the problem; (b) it successfully defends its claim; (c) it does not make rationality impose an unrealistic standard. However, it comes with a cost for Smith. He either abandons his non-relative view on normative reasons, or sticks with his own problematic variant of the incoherence argument.

Mathematical Induction, Grounding, and Causal Explanations (IV-N, Thursday, 2:20 p.m.)

Tomasz Wysocki (Washington University in St. Louis)

Lange (2009) offers an argument that, according to him, "does not show merely that some proofs by mathematical induction are not explanatory. It shows that none are [...]" (p. 210). My aim is to show that his argument doesn't succeed. First, I discuss the argument in detail. Then, using examples from logic and computer science, I show that there are inductive proofs that constitute counterexamples to this argument. Lastly, by drawing a comparison between inductive proofs and some scientific and metaphysical explanations, I argue that these proofs are actually explanatory—that sometimes inductive proofs explain their conclusion, because they point to dependence relations between mathematical objects.

What's Wrong with Differential Punishment? (VIII-J, Saturday, 9:00 a.m.)

Benjamin S. Yost (Providence College)

Roughly half of the incarcerated drug offenders in the US are black, even though blacks make up 13% of the population, and whites and blacks use and sell drugs at the same rate. Those who endorse a noncomparativist conception of retributive justice see nothing wrong here, so long as the punishment is proportional to the crime. Respectarians agree with noncomparativists, but add that differential punishment can be unjust when it is disrespectfully imposed. On the other hand, those endorsing a comparative egalitarian conception of retributive justice object to differential punishment as such, which, they say, involves a comparative wrong: inequality. After discussing these positions, I argue that differential punishment constitutes a different kind of comparative wrong. It violates retributive justice because it contributes to structural oppression. I also show that the wrongness of structural oppression, and the implicit bias that enables it, cannot be accounted for by noncomparativism, comparativism, or respectarianism.

Expanding the Moral Repertoire: Oughts, Ideals, and Appraisals (VII-J, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Robin Zheng (Newnham College, University of Cambridge)

Philosophers have overwhelmingly focused on blame, resentment (along with other reactive attitudes), and punishment. However, I argue for the existence of other important forms of moral criticism that have hitherto gone overlooked. I introduce a new category of what I call "non-appraising responses" as opposed to "appraisal-based" responses like blame and resentment, and provide both moral-theoretical and psychological arguments for this distinction. I argue that two distinct domains of morality (Ought vs. Ideal), along with two distinct psychological systems of motivation (Approach vs. Avoidance), call for these different types of moral criticism. Non-appraising responses set aside the appraisal function of blame in favor of its communicative and exhortative functions. This makes them appropriate responses to an agent's failing on a particular occasion to carry out some action that would contribute to carrying out an imperfect duty, unlike blame, which is only appropriate for wholesale violations of imperfect and perfect duties.

Definite Descriptions and the Alleged East-West Variation in Intuitions about Reference (VII-L, Friday, 2:00 p.m.)

Yu Izumi (University of Maryland, College Park)
Masashi Kasaki (University of Calgary)
Yan Zhou (Kyoto University)
Sobei Oda (Kyoto University)

Machery et al. (2004) presented data suggesting the existence of cross-cultural variation in intuitions about the referents of proper names. In this paper, we examine a previously overlooked confound in the subsequent studies that attempted to replicate the results of Machery et al.'s (2004) study using East Asian languages. These studies crucially relied on the uses of articleless, 'bare' noun phrases in Chinese and Japanese, which are known to be multiply ambiguous in the linguistic literature. We argue that it becomes questionable whether the extant studies using East Asian languages revealed genuine cross-cultural variation when the probes are reevaluated based on a proper linguistic understanding of Chinese and Japanese bare noun phrases. We also present an experiment that uses no ambiguous bare noun phrases and suggest that the intuitions of Japanese speakers concerning the referents of proper names are analogous to those of native English speakers.

Knowledge without Questions (I-G, Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.)

Peter van Elswyk (Rutgers University)

On one variety of epistemic contextualism, attributing knowledge requires the elimination of alternatives. But where do these alternatives come from? Critics of contextualism claim that this question needs a satisfying answer. In a series of articles, Jonathan Schaffer has responded that alternatives are supplied by the question under discussion. To know is to know the answer to a question. This paper assesses Schaffer's answer. It is shown that the question under discussion cannot be what supplies alternatives. The critic might then conclude that contextualism is in trouble. But this paper concludes that the critic is mistaken too. Lacking an account of where alternatives come from is no strike against the epistemic contextualist because lacking such an account is an instance of a broader metasemantic problem for context-sensitive expressions whose meaning involves alternative sets.

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