Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy: Vol. 90, No. 1, January 2015

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy: Vol. 90, No. 1, January 2015

Article excerpt

Why Isn't There More Progress in Philosophy? DAVID J. CHALMERS

Is there progress in philosophy? A glass-half-full view is that there is some progress in philosophy. A glass-half-empty view is that there is not as much as we would like. The paper articulates a version of the glass-halfempty view, argues for it, and then addresses the crucial question of what explains it.

The Identity of Indiscemibles, MICHAEL WREEN

A number of distinctions are needed to assess the Identity of Indiscemibles. The first concerns its purported status as true or, more strongly, necessarily true. The second concerns the nature of the properties the principle ranges over. One way to divide up properties is in terms of those that entail the existence of a particular object, those that entail the existence of an object but no particular object, and those that don't entail the existence of an object at all. A second way to divide up properties is in terms of "indicative" and "counterfactual" properties. Combining these three distinctions yields twelve different versions of the Identity of Indiscemibles. In the long ran, however, four more are needed to do the principle justice. Therefore, sixteen different versions of the principle need to be assessed, and this paper does that. Particular attention is paid to methodology and to constraints on the generation of properties needed to support various versions of the principle. Bottom-up reasoning is found sufficient to vindicate the great majority of them, but there does not appear to be a good bottom-up or top-down argument for the two most interesting and important versions of the Identity of Indiscemibles, and there is some reason to think both false. An open mind needs to be kept, however, since definitively establishing or refuting them probably requires a relatively complete and plausible metaphysics.

How We Decide in Moral Situations, DAVID KASPAR

The role normative ethics has in guiding action is unclear. Moral theorists once hoped that they could devise a decision procedure that would enable agents to solve difficult moral problems. Repeated attacks by antitheorists seemingly dashed this hope. Although the dispute between moral theorists and antitheorists rages no longer, no decisive victor has emerged. This paper argues that in order to determine how we ought to make moral decisions, we must first examine how we decide in moral situations. Intuitionism correctly captures the essence of the moral element in such situations, finding itself located somewhere between moral theory and antitheory. In order that intuitionism may constitute an improvement over predecessors in normative ethics, we must proceed with awareness of the limits imposed by the still dominant framework of modern moral theory. …

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