Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 55, No. 220, July 2005

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 55, No. 220, July 2005

Article excerpt

Poverty and Rights, JAMES W. NICKEL

The author of this paper defends economic and social rights as human rights and as a feasible approach to addressing world poverty. He proposes a modest conception of economic and social rights that includes rights to subsistence, basic health care, and basic education. The second part of the paper defends these three rights. It begins by sketching a pluralistic justificatory framework that starts with abstract norms pertaining to life, leading a life, avoiding severely cruel treatment, and avoiding severe unfairness. It is then argued that economic and social rights are not excessively burdensome on their addressees and that they are feasible worldwide in the appropriate sense. Severe poverty violates economic and social rights and accordingly generates high-priority duties of many parties to work toward its elimination.

Demons and the Isolation Argument, SCOTT HENDRICKS

Justifying a belief gives reason to think that the belief is true. So our concept of justification contains a "truth connection." This paper canvasses a number of proposals for analyzing this. In the end, two competing conceptions of the truth connection remain: the first, that justifying a belief makes the belief objectively probable; the second, that justifying a belief makes the belief probable in a world which would make true our other beliefs. The author of this article discusses reasons for embracing and rejecting these two versions of the truth connection. Ultimately, the two versions appear to represent distinct but equally plausible conceptions of justification. The paper concludes by rejecting the proposal that these truth connections respectively capture internalist and externalist conceptions of justification.

Defeaters and Higher-Level Requirement, MICHAEL BERGMANN

Internalists tend to impose on justification higher-level requirements, according to which a belief is justified only if the subject has a higher-level belief (that is, a belief about the epistemic credentials of a belief). This article offers an error theory that explains the appeal of this requirement: analytically, a belief is not justified if we have a defeater for it, but contingently it is often the case that to avoid haying defeaters our belief must satisfy a higher-level requirement. The author of this essay responds to the objection that externalists who endorse this error theory will be forced to accept a radical form of skepticism.

Explanatory Epiphenomenalism, NEIL CAMPBELL

The author of this paper proposes a new form of epiphenomenalism, "explanatory epiphenomenalism," the view that the identification of A's mental properties does not provide a causal explanation of A's behavior. This view is arrived at by showing that although anomalous monism does not entail type epiphenomenalism (despite what many of Davidson's critics have suggested), it does (when coupled with some additional claims) lead to the conclusion that the identification of A's reasons does not causally explain A's behavior. …

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