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Dale Miller
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Thanks, Brad. I don't think that approach would work for my current application, but I'll keep in the drawer for another occasion. (Although 'intervention' always makes me picture paratroopers.)
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on What's My Method? at PEA Soup
Thanks Clement, that is helpful. And Andrew, I take your point, and my usual experience is much the same as yours. However, I think there's a general danger about putting things that way in a grant application, inasmuch as the funders might well wonder what you needed the grant for if you have already worked the arguments out. And there's a a particular problem for me in this case, which is that at this point I'm not entirely sure yet what my arguments will be. I have what I might call an inkling; I suspect it may turn out to be quite important whether the "reluctant florist" is operating as a corporation. I hope that turns out to be true, because it will let me say what I hope are some useful things about Mill's failure to understand corporations properly. But perhaps on further investigation this line of thought will turn out to be a non-starter. So at this point I can say more about my questions than my arguments.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on What's My Method? at PEA Soup
Testing
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on What's My Method? at PEA Soup
I'm applying for an intramural grant to work on a perfectly ordinary, non X-phi, piece of philosophy. (I want to think about the claim that someone like a florist might make that being required to provide services to a same-sex... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at PEA Soup
Jerry Gaus, at Arizona, has a political theory Ph.D. from Pitt. BL COMMENT: I didn't know that, that's surprising, since Jerry Gaus is a very good philosopher indeed.
Just because one sees searches for the titles of papers which one has submitted to journals doesn't mean that one's work isn't getting a blind review. Reviewers may be Googling after their reviews have already been submitted. I've done this, when I was confident that I wouldn't be reviewing a revised version of the paper.
I started to post a link to my CV, but then I saw you specified "unjustly" neglected. :-) So how about John Skorupski, "The Ethical Character of Liberal Law"?
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2014 on Overlooked Papers at PEA Soup
Thanks for the steer, Kristina; that was very interesting.
Doug and David, For what their worth, I think that Mill might have a couple of responses to Doug's point. First, he may well think that the better educated would tend to be more disinterested. At the very least, he seems to assume that the people who have the genuinely finest minds are also the least selfish. He wouldn't have thought that more years of schooling, even (especially!) at Oxbridge, necessarily produced genuinely fine minds, but he seems to think that those who have such minds would be included among those who got plural votes. He doesn't seem to argue for this convergence of the "moral" and "intellectual" elites at all; perhaps he was just generalizing from Harriet! Second, I think he would also believe that there is more harmony than conflict between people's interests, and so in a polity in which most people pursue their self-interest, it's better from the standpoint of advancing the public good to give more power to those with a better understanding of where their interests really lie. I'm curious what others think of David's worry about the relation between education and political astuteness. Is that concern widely shared?
Aaron: Thanks, that is all interesting and plausible. You might be interested in how Mill addresses your first concern, about the "strains of commitment": To have no voice in what are partly his own concerns, is a thing which nobody willingly submits to; but when what is partly his concern is also partly another's, and he feels the other to understand the subject better than himself, that the other's opinion should be counted for more than his own, accords with his expectations, and with the course of things which in all other affairs of life he is accustomed to acquiesce in. It is only necessary that this superior influence should be assigned on grounds which he can comprehend, and of which he is able to perceive the justice.
Many of you will know that John Stuart Mill advocates a scheme whereby college graduates, and the more educated more generally, would get more votes. Like some universities, he even accepts work experience in leiu of formal education: If every... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2014 at PEA Soup
14
I'll try to get you up for a talk (I'm in Hamburg April-mid July), although I'm not sure where they are in making up the program of speakers.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2014 on Konstanz Reasoning Conference at PEA Soup
And I leave Germany on the 24th, sigh.
Toggle Commented Jan 16, 2014 on Konstanz Reasoning Conference at PEA Soup
Never pass up a chance to pee.
What's so puzzling is that it sounds like the chair and colleague were saying not only that the book wouldn't help the junior faculty member's tenure case but that it would hinder it. This suggests that they were not merely thinking that it wouldn't count as new research but that it would in some way detract from the other publications. Perhaps they meant only that spending time on the book would be better spent writing more papers, but it almost sounds like they thought that incorporating the papers into the book would be an ethical violation, and that is indeed strange.
Interesting stuff. Can I ask for clarification on a couple of points? First, I'd be interested to hear more about the "theoretical cost" that you think must be paid if we reject the claim that moral blame is of a piece with the other sorts of evaluation that you describe. Second, could you say more about why, if we do accept this claim, it's inevitable that "there will be some kinds of inability to do otherwise which do nothing at all to excuse behavior that violates moral standards"? Putting on my (unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and unaccountably itchy) Kantian hat, for instance, I might respond to your case 3a by simply denying that the factors you cite could make you incapable of picking me up. So I would be denying that there are sources of inability that fail to excuse in that case, on the grounds that there are no sources of inability at all.
Toggle Commented Dec 20, 2013 on Moral Responsibility and PAP at PEA Soup
My department's last APA interviews were in '98; that's the search in which I was hired. After that we switched to phone interviews. We're doing three searches this year. In a rare stroke of good timing, I chose this time to go on sabbatical, so I'm not directly involved. However, our deadlines are not until 3 January. On at least one previous occasion, we did phone interviews and maybe even campus visits prior to the APA; in that year, we were trying to make an offer before an anticipated hiring freeze. So in short, yes, now that we're no longer interviewing at the APA we frequently depart from the traditional timetable.
How does "bad talk" work on this view? It seems like the obvious answer is that to call something bad is to say it promotes something that is relevantly disvalued or "aversed." (I'm not sure that that's a word, but I'm using it so that 'aversed' is to 'aversion' as 'desired' is to 'desire'.) In that case, if something is itself relevantly aversed, then isn't it Bad for its own sake in virtue of promoting itself?
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2013 on For S***'s Sake! at PEA Soup
Suppose there is no bystander. Would it be wrong for one of the five workmen to move the switch by shooting IT, thereby killing the lone workman? You (Thomas) seem to be saying yes, but I'm not sure that I have any intuition about this case at all. If I do, it's certainly not one to which I'd be prepared to say that any acceptable moral theory must conform.
This is a very small point, but if you decide to go with the voluntary donations model then you might want to make the suggestion to readers in addition to those who submit articles. And, in that case, you might want to think about offering those who contribute enough some small reward for doing so. The Stanford Encyclopedia lets those who donate a certain amount access articles in a format that is nicer for printing. I've been a "Friend of the SEP" for the last few years, and while this isn't my primary reason for doing so, it may very well tip the balance in terms of my willing to kick in.
I don't lose many rounds of "who can read Mill most charitably," although David and Piers may be putting me to the test here. Or maybe not; I'm not sure how far apart the three of us are here (or how far away I am from the two of you, at any rate). I'm completely on board with the first of the points that David raises in his last post; we know that the conservative influence on Mill was strongest at this point in his life, through figures like Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Carlyle. But I just don't see any way to read this passage on which it's not fundamentally inconsistent with his later views in On Liberty, and I'm not sure whether David and/or Piers is trying to suggest that this could be done. ". . . making every man his own guide & sovereign master,& letting him think for himself & do exactly as he judges best for himself, giving other men leave to persuade him if they can by evidence, but forbidding him to give way to authority; and still less allowing them to constrain him more than the existence & tolerable security of every man's person and property renders indispensably necessary." That's really quite a nice summary of the "one simple principle." Although despite my earlier joke, I don't think that I'm being uncharitable to Mill in suggesting that over the course of many years there was a fundamental change in his thinking on this point.
Toggle Commented Oct 20, 2013 on Say what? at PEA Soup
An understandable mistake in view of my poor record of participation here! You're more sanguine than I am about the possibility of reconciling this passage with On Liberty (not that I'm especially disturbed by the thought that Mill's views changed over time, even radically). Notice that Mill incorporates the idea of being open to persuasion by others within the description of the liberalism that he's criticizing, so I don't think that the criticism is only meant to apply to the excessively individualist attitude that one has nothing to learn from anyone else. Also, right before the passage that I quoted, Mill describes the speculative Tories as being "duly sensible that it is good for man to be ruled; to submit both his body & mind to the guidance of a higher intelligence & virtue." Surely 'ruled' here implies the use of coercion.
Toggle Commented Oct 18, 2013 on Say what? at PEA Soup
Always the non-conformist, I let my "special month" slip by without a post. I'd had been planning to contribute something about what Strawson's account of the reactive attitudes can do for consequentialists (a lot, I think, despite his being read... Continue reading
Posted Oct 18, 2013 at PEA Soup
While this is something of a special case, with narrow application, I'd be inclined to say that some moral principles can be empirically refuted if they entail that we ought to do things that as a matter of empirical fact we cannot do.
Berit Brogaard raises an interesting point here, which is that the unconsulted co-author is probably due some portion of the royalties of the volume.