Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Vol. 65, No. 1, July 2002. (Philosophical Abstracts)

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research: Vol. 65, No. 1, July 2002. (Philosophical Abstracts)

Article excerpt

Free Will and Scientiphicalism, PETER UNGER

It has been agreed for decades that not only does determinism pose a big problem for our choosing from available alternatives, but its denial seems to pose a bit of a problem, too. It is argued here that only determinism, and not its denial, means no real choice for us. But, what explains the appeal of the thought that, where things are not fully determined, to that extent they are just a matter of chance? It is the dominance of metaphysical suppositions that, together, comprise scientiphicalism: Wholly composed of such mindless physical parts as electrons, you are a being whose powers are all physical powers, physically deriving from the powers of your parts and their physical arrangements. Scientiphicalism conflicts with your having real choice. Some fairly conservative alternatives to scientiphicalism may allow for choice. Two are briefly discussed: On the further-fetched, you are a Cartesian mental being, a nonphysical being in powerful interaction with physical things. On the more conservative approach, you are wholly composed of physical parts, but some of your powers are radically emergent, including your power to choose. Finally, it is argued that, if you choose, you must be, to some extent, exempt from natural laws.--Correspondence to: peter.unger@nyu.edu

Humean and Anti-Humean Internalism About Moral Judgements, MARK VAN ROOJEN

Motivational internalism about moral judgments is the plausible view that accepting a moral judgment is necessarily connected to motivation. However, it conflicts with the Humean theory that motives must be constituted by desires. Simple versions of internaliam run into problems with people who do not desire to do what they believe right. This has long been urged by David Brink. Hence, many internalists have adopted more subtle defeasible views, on which only rational agents will have a desire to act. The author argues that more complex versions run into problems with serf-effacing values of the sort Parfit highlights in another context. Such values can only be attained indirectly. After proposing a general account of motivation suited to the internalist thesis, the author argues that anti-Humeanism is better suited to accommodating the internalist insight.--Correspondence to: msv@unlserve.unl.edu

The Standard Meter by Any Name is Still a Meter Long, HEATHER J. …

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