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Eric Wiland
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Below is the program for the next SLACRR. You can learn more and register at the website. I hope to see you in St. Louis this May! SLACRR 2014 Program - May 18-20, 2014 Keynote Address John Broome (Oxford) -... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2014 at PEA Soup
Tick tock... Abstracts for the next St. Louis Conference on Reasons and Rationality are due January 4. SLACRR 5 May 18 – 20, 2014 Moonrise Hotel in St Louis, MO Keynote Speaker: John Broome (Oxford), author of Rationality Through Reasoning... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2013 at PEA Soup
The Slate piece (which is indeed particularly good!) was written by Rebecca Schuman, wife of my departmental colleague Waldemar Rohloff. Rebecca is now also an adjunct in the Honors College here at UMSL.
"There is something outrageous about philosophers (or other scholars) that try to get away with systematically ignoring existing scholarship and alternative views." If so, it's a recent phenomenon. Think of the 10 best works in the history of philosophy. Now identify how many of them avoid this outrageous behavior. I think attending to existing scholarship and alternative views is a good-making feature. But it isn't necessary, nor is failure to do so ipso facto outrageous.
I'm pleased to announce a call for abstracts for the next St. Louis Conference on Reasons and Rationality, sponsored by UMSL and Washington University. Many PEA Soupers have participated the past four years. May 18 – 20, 2014 Moonrise Hotel... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2013 at PEA Soup
Nice post, Mark. I'd also like to hear your thoughts about whether abstracts submitted to workshops should be anonymized for referees. (This has come up locally.) I am starting to think it's a good idea.
St. Louis Conference on Reasons and Rationality, May 19-21, 2013 Keynote: Michael Smith (Princeton) Chrisoula Andreou (Utah): Temptations, Resolutions, and Regret Chair: Rima Basu (USC) Matthew Hanser (UCSB): Doing Another’s Bidding Chair: Jennifer Morton (CCNY) Michael Huemer (Colorado): An Ontological... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2013 at PEA Soup
This is the final call for abstracts for the next St. Louis Conference on Reasons and Rationality, sponsored by UMSL and Washington University. Many PEA Soupers have participated the past three years. May 19 – 21, 2013 Moonrise Hotel in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2012 at PEA Soup
Great question. I'm hazy on the details, but the Gospel story of Jesus at 12 years old teaching the rabbis(?) seems to be a coherent example of a moral prodigy. And there are lots of fictional stories about worlds in which the adults have lost their moral bearings, but the young protagonist sees the moral truths.
I'm pleased to announce a call for abstracts for the next St. Louis Conference on Reasons and Rationality, sponsored by UMSL and Washington University. Many PEA Soupers have participated the past three years. May 19 – 21, 2013 Moonrise Hotel... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2012 at PEA Soup
"Her point is that, contrary to Kant, morality is conditional on desire in a way that etiquette is not. " This isn't true. Foot's point was that the oughts of both etiquette and ethics _apply_ to a person independently of that person's desires, but that one is _motivated_ to comply with both sorts of "oughts" only if one has the relevant desires. Foot in no way contrasted etiquette and ethics in that paper.
Thanks, all, for your ideas so far. My primary worry is whether the very idea of an Ethical AutoCorrect is coherent. If I want to type the word 'the', and I type T, E, then H, my computer displays the word 'the'. Have I typed the word 'the'? I think I have. Further, I think I have typed the word 'the' intentionally. But if I want to do what's right, and so I decide to swim to save my drowning wife, but swimming elsewhere to save two drowning children instead would really be right, I don't think that EAC can make me save two drowning children intentionally. Perhaps it can make my body save the two drowning children, but it cannot make me do so intentionally. (And if I don't save them intentionally, my saving them is not right.) I would like to be able to explain why using AutoCorrect does not make nonsense of the claim that I type the word 'the' intentionally, but using Ethical AutoCorrect makes nonsense of the claim that I saved the drowning children intentionally, and of the claim that I acted rightly.
Toggle Commented Feb 3, 2012 on Ethical AutoCorrect at PEA Soup
What Richard says sounds right to me. But even if we suppose it is, I still might wonder whether a) the whole idea is coherent (it sounds like Santiago and gwern think it is), and b) whether one should switch on Ethical AutoCorrect. That is, I acknowledge it's better to act rightly without using Ethical AutoCorrect than to act using it. But those might not be the relevant options. I suspect that the worse one's own unaided ethical judgment, the more likely it is that one should use Ethical AutoCorrect (if the very idea is coherent).
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2012 on Ethical AutoCorrect at PEA Soup
This is why I said above that we are to imagine that Ethical AutoCorrect does not AutoCorrect your decision about whether to continue using it. Otherwise, Brunero's second point would kick in. (He's teaching a seminar right now, so he can't respond immediately. Ha!)
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2012 on Ethical AutoCorrect at PEA Soup
David, That's an important distinction. I was thinking of something more like EAC(1). I want to understand better why you (and others) think that using EAC(1) would not yield action arrived at through deliberation of the right kind. Because I aim to do only what's morally right, I turn on EAC. I am unsure whether to throw the trolley switch. I do my best, but I make the incorrect decision. EAC fixes that for me. So my action turns out right, and it does so because I aim to do only what's right. Isn't this good enough?
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2012 on Ethical AutoCorrect at PEA Soup
Jamie: What's different is that Google Morals gives you the correct answer about what to do. What you actually do after that is still up to you. Ethical AutoCorrect doesn't give you the correct answer about what to do, but alters what you do (if that's coherent), in much the same way that AutoCorrect alters what you write: on the fly. After you do it, of course, you can see how your decision was AutoCorrected. You do choose whether to have Ethical AutoCorrect on or off, and you can change whether it is. So, we are to imagine that Ethical AutoCorrect does not AutoCorrect your decision about whether to continue using it! But I suspect that some people might think that using Google Morals is ok, because with each decision you choose whether to accept its specific advice, while not thinking that using Ethical AutoCorrect is ok, because it changes what you are doing without your decision-to-decision endorsement of the details of its wisdom.
Toggle Commented Feb 2, 2012 on Ethical AutoCorrect at PEA Soup
I concur that there is no need for the APA to organize three money-losing regional conferences each year. Perhaps regional conferences made sense before a world of affordable air travel and the Internet, but now they do not. At most one annual conference in the spring or summer would be far preferable. Zero might be even better.
At first, my intuition was different from Doug's. But after thinking about it for a bit, I share Doug's intuition. (Since my intuitions tend to be unusual, Doug probably won't feel much comfort.) But if there is some action description that aggregates the specific acts x,y, and z, such that in normal circumstances to A just is to x,y, and z, then I think you do have some reason to A. E.g, if A-ing is having the prix fixe menu, wherein the appetizer is fantastic but the last two courses are awful. That the appetizer is fantastic is indeed some reason to have the tasting menu. But if the three acts are completely independent of another, e.g. x=scratch an itch, y=watch American Idol, and z=talk to my neighbor...then I have no reason to do x&y&z...in fact, I'm not even sure I understand what such a reason could be.
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2011 on Reasons and Conjunctive Acts at PEA Soup
From an earlier comment: "The primary ethical issue concerns forcing candidates, simply at a preliminary stage, to shell out somewhere between $3500-$4500 to go to the APA..." I confess I haven't been to the Eastern in a while, but I believe this overstates things. If you are in the U.S., you should be able to find a flight for under $500, possibly half that. You are not forced to use the APA's hotel, so you should be able to lodge for under $500; if you are ambitious, you share a room, as I did then. You will need clothes for the APA, but you will need them in the rest of your career too, so it isn't fair to saddle the APA with that expense. No matter where you are, you need to eat. So unless your situation is unusual, I think you are 'forced' to spend at most 1/3 of that. The most significant costs are psychical, not financial, and I don't think we should overlook those. Top research departments can avoid first-round interviews without suffering much. But I imagine that departments who are unable to hire one of the top 5 candidates applying for the position really benefit from the opportunity to meet a dozen candidates early in the process, so that they can make informed decisions down the road. (I have no view about whether Skype replicates these benefits.)
@Anne: Yes, "some of the various" is preferable to "the various". The man in Anscombe's example knows immediately that he's moving his arm up and down because he's pumping water, and this knowledge partially constitutes the intentionality of his pumping water. The man does not necessarily also know he is thereby, e.g. casting a peculiar shadow. @Jimmy: Yes, I like your characterization of Anscombe's view as "So reasons are never causes *qua* reasons." But for her it's clear some reasons are indeed causes; see "Why is it that in revenge and gratitude, pity and remorse, the past event (or present situation) is a reason for action, not just a mental cause?" (Intention, sec. 14). This is not just a borderline case. But I mostly want only to dispel the notion that Anscombe thought that reasons are not causes. For her, at least sometimes they are.
I'm not sure why many think Anscombe is an anti-causalist. She explicitly endorsed Aquinas's view that a person's practical knowledge is the cause of the action it understands. And it's quite compatible with everything she says to think that some reasons for action are causes. She clearly thinks that there's a certain kind of mental causality at work in cases of intentional action. But Lindquist is also correct to note that Anscombe thought that cause-talk is not very helpful in thinking about the subject matter of Intention, and that intentional action is best understood via other entry points. Here's one way to think about the contrast: Davidson understood intentional action primarily in terms of what causes it, while Anscombe understand intentional action primarily in terms of the way an agent knows how the various true descriptions of her action are related to each other.
Skimming the comments already posted, I don't think anyone has mentioned the following point, which to me seems highly relevant. We all (should) already know the extent to which women are underrepresented in American philosophy departments. We all (should) also already know the extent to which black men are underrepresented in four year American colleges; most black college students are women. If philosophy fails to attract women, and most black students are women, it should be no surprise that philosophy also fails to attract black students generally. (Will now STFU and listen...)
And Eric Marcus (Auburn) will be giving comments on Reisner's paper!
Toggle Commented Mar 30, 2011 on SLACRR 2 Program at PEA Soup
Eric Wiland is now following David Sobel
Oct 15, 2010
David, I think the case could go in a number of different directions. Here's just one case: suppose God is a consequentialist, and commands Philip to V, on the grounds that V-ing maximizes good consequences. Suppose that Philip does not self-identify as a consequentialist, but instead as a divine command theorist. Finally, suppose Philip does not believe that God is a consequentialist. Philip Vs simply because God told him to. I don't think Philip is a consequentialist who has failed to admit this to himself, not even if this takes place again and again. Philip is not a consequentialist at all. It is trickier to describe a case where Philip does believe that God is a consequentialist, but that the rules for God are different from the rules for man. (Cf. Rawls in "Two Concepts..")
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2010 on Am I a Consequentialist? at PEA Soup