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  • 1.
    Grill, Kalle
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Asymmetric population axiology: deliberative neutrality delivered2017In: Philosophical Studies, ISSN 0031-8116, E-ISSN 1573-0883, Vol. 174, no 1, p. 219-236Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two related asymmetries have been discussed in relation to the ethics of creating new lives: First, we seem to have strong moral reason to avoid creating lives that are not worth living, but no moral reason to create lives that are worth living. Second, we seem to have strong moral reason to improve the wellbeing of existing lives, but, again, no moral reason to create lives that are worth living. Both asymmetries have proven very difficult to account for in any coherent moral framework. I propose an impersonal population axiology to underpin the asymmetries, which sidesteps the problematic issue of whether or not people can be harmed or benefited by creation or non-creation. This axiology yields perfect asymmetry from a deliberative perspective, in terms of expected value. The axiology also yields substantial asymmetry for large and realistic populations in terms of their actual value, beyond deliberative relevance.

  • 2.
    Huvenes, Torfinn Thomesen
    Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and IdeasUniversity of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Epistemic modals and credal disagreement2015In: Philosophical Studies, ISSN 0031-8116, E-ISSN 1573-0883, Vol. 172, no 4, p. 987-1011Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Considerations involving disagreement, as well as related considerations involving correction and retraction, have played an important role in recent debates about epistemic modals. For instance, it has been argued that contextualist views about epistemic modals have problems when it comes to explaining cases of disagreement. In response to these challenges, I explore the idea that the relevant cases of disagreement may involve credal disagreement. In a case of credal disagreement, the parties have different degrees of belief or credences. There does not have to be a difference in outright beliefs in order for the parties to disagree. I argue that the idea of credal disagreement allows us to make sense of otherwise problematic cases of disagreement involving epistemic modals. I also discuss how these ideas can be extended to cases of correction and retraction.

  • 3.
    Jeppsson, Sofia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    The agential perspective: a hard-line reply to the four-case manipulation argument2019In: Philosophical Studies, ISSN 0031-8116, E-ISSN 1573-0883Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One of the most influential arguments against compatibilism is Derk Pereboom’s four-case manipulation argument. Professor Plum, the main character of the thought experiment, is manipulated into doing what he does; he therefore supposedly lacks moral responsibility for his action. Since he is arguably analogous to an ordinary agent under determinism, Pereboom concludes that ordinary determined agents lack moral responsibility as well. I offer a hard-line reply to this argument, that is, a reply which denies that this kind of manipulation is responsibility undermining. I point out that fully fleshed-out manipulated characters in fiction can seem morally responsible for what they do. This is plausibly because we identify with such characters, and therefore focus on their options and the reasons for which they act rather than the manipulation. I further argue that we ought to focus this way when interacting with other agents. We have no reason to trust the incompatibilist intuitions that arise when we regard manipulated agents from a much more detached perspective.

  • 4.
    Stokke, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Metaphors and Martinis: a response to Jessica Keiser2017In: Philosophical Studies, ISSN 0031-8116, E-ISSN 1573-0883, Vol. 174, no 4, p. 853-859Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This note responds to criticism put forth by Jessica Keiser against a theory of lying as Stalnakerian assertion. According to this account, to lie is to say something one believes to be false and thereby propose that it become common ground. Keiser objects that this view wrongly counts particular kinds of non-literal speech as instances of lying. In particular, Keiser argues that the view invariably counts metaphors and certain uses of definite descriptions as lies. It is argued here that both these claims are false.

  • 5.
    Sundström, Pär
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    On representationalism, common-factorism, and whether consciousness is here and now2018In: Philosophical Studies, ISSN 0031-8116, E-ISSN 1573-0883Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A strong form of representationalism says that every conscious property of every mental state can be identified with some part of the state’s representational properties. A weaker representationalism says that some conscious property of some mental state can be identified with some part of the state’s representational properties. David Papineau has recently argued that all such theories are incorrect since (a) they construe consciousness as consisting (partly or wholly) in ‘‘relations to propositions or other abstract objects outside space and time’’, whereas (b) consciousness is ‘‘concrete’’ and ‘‘here and now’’. Papineau defends instead a kind of ‘‘qualia theory’’ according to which all conscious properties are intrinsic non-relational properties of subjects. He argues that this theory bypasses the difficulties he identifies for representationalism. Similar worries about representationalism, and similar ideas to the effect that some qualia theory, adverbial theory, or sense-datum theory fares better with respect to these worries are relatively wide-spread. I argue that Papineau’s theory does not bypass the difficulties he identifies for representationalism. In fact, Papineau’s theory arguably has no advantage at all over representationalism with regard to these issues. The features that concern Papineau about representationalist views do not derive—or do not derive solely—from the representationalism of these views. They (also) derive from a common-factorism of these views. And this common-factorism is embraced by Papineau as well as by most theories of consciousness and perception.

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