Preprints are made available only from January to March and only for purposes of discussion at the meeting.

‘Philosophy of Action’ Is Not a Philosophy of Acts
Ben Sheredos, University of California, San Diego
 Philosophy of action’s traditional focus on such worthy concerns as personal freedom, agency, and responsibility must be modulated if we are to understand the nature of acts (doings) in general. While some species of acts have a clear relation to these traditional concerns, others (e.g., what O’Shaughnessy called “subintentional acts”) do not. An overriding focus on these traditional concerns prevents the philosophy of action from analyzing all species of acts, thereby precludes an adequate understanding the genus of acts, and consequently undermines even the traditional philosopher of action’s aims.

A Comparative Investigation of Chinese and Korean Neo-Confucian Philosophies of Qi/Ki (Vital Energy)
Jung-Yeup Kim, Kent State University
 In this paper, I focus on detecting the similarities and differences between the positions of Zhang Zai—a Chinese neo-Confucian philosopher of qi, and Sŏ Kyŏngdŏk—a Korean neo-Confucian philosopher of ki. Furthermore, I investigate if there are any unique Korean features to Sŏ Kyŏngdŏk’s position. This will involve inquiring into what these unique Korean features may be.

A Critical Descriptive Project and Genders as Objective Types
Amanda Huminski, The Graduate Center, CUNY
 Sally Haslanger stipulates that the concepts woman and man should be defined in terms of social position. Haslanger contextualizes her definition as a critical analytic project, and intends her definitions “not to capture what we do mean, but how we might usefully revise what we mean for certain theoretical and political purposes.” The critical analytic project is different from both a conceptual inquiry, which defines the concepts standardly evoked by the terms ‘woman’ and ‘man,’ and a descriptive inquiry, which refines those concepts via empirical investigations of their extension. In this paper, I suggest that there is a fourth type of project that fits into this picture, what I call a critical descriptive project, which would aim to examine the extension of the definitions offered by a critical analytic project like Haslanger’s.

A Critical Problem with the Corporeality of the Stoic Principles
Jason Rheins, Loyola University Chicago
 In this paper I discuss the interpretive thesis that the Stoics regarded their two fundamental physical principles, God and matter, as bodies. This might seem obvious, since the Stoics are corporealists who claimed that only bodies are beings (onta). Furthermore, the overwhelming weight of textual evidence proves that their principles were bodies. For the Stoics, body is defined by having extension in three dimensions and resistance to penetration by another body (antitupia). Unfortunately, if matter is everywhere interpenetrated by another body/principle, God, then any meaningful sense of impenetrability is nullified. That only leaves extension in three dimensions, but the non-existing incorporeals of place and void also have extension. Since both matter and place/void lack qualities and powers, the Stoics’ distinction between matter and place/void is dissolved, threatening their central ontological distinction between bodies and incorporeals (e.g., place). The stoic principles were bodies, but this is ultimately an untenable position.

A Good Duck Is Monogamous and Boys Don’t Cry: Normative Generics and Social Kind Terms
Samia Hesni, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 Generic statements are commonly expressed using the bare plural—“tigers are striped”—or the indefinite singular—“a tiger is striped.” Notoriously, some generic statements can be expressed using the bare plural locution, but not using the indefinite singular. It is well-established that bare plural generics and indefinite singular generics pattern differently. I explore this phenomenon as it applies to normative generic statements. Consider the sentence pair: (1) Boys don’t cry. (2) #A boy doesn’t cry. Sentence (1) is felicitous—it expresses a general normative statement about boys crying—while (2) isn’t. I propose that we should look to a metalinguistic theory of generics to understand the felicity of normative indefinite singular generics. That is, a normative indefinite singular generic is a proposal about what to include in the extension of the generic term (e.g., woman, man, or real boy).

A Haunted Inheritance: Historical Atrocities, Guilt, and Communities of Memory
Kara Barnette, Westminster College of Salt Lake City
 In this paper, I argue that communities maintain a level of guilt even generations after an historical atrocity. In particular, I distinguish between a form of guilt, which I call “haunting guilt,” and what Sandra Bartky dubs “guilt of privilege.” They are similar, in that neither form of guilt depends on overt acts of wrongdoing; rather, both are based on one’s identity. However, unlike guilt of privilege, haunting guilt relates someone to a specific past atrocity. Drawing upon Josiah Royce’s account of communities of memory, I argue that haunting guilt leads to attempts at rewriting the past that prevent communities from expanding or moving forward.

A Kantian Hybrid Theory of Art Criticism: A Particularist Appeal to the Generalists
Emine Hande Tuna, University of Alberta
 Noël Carroll proposes a successful generalist theory of art criticism, which essentially involves evaluations of artworks on the basis of their success value, at the expense of rendering evaluations of reception value irrelevant to criticism. In this paper, I argue for a hybrid account of art criticism, which incorporates Carroll’s objective model but puts Carroll-type evaluations in the service of evaluations of artworks’ reception value. I argue that this hybrid model is entailed by Kant’s theory of taste. Hence, I do not only present an alternative theory of metacriticism, which has the merit of reinstating the centrality of reception value in art critics’ evaluations, but also demonstrate that, contrary to a common conception, Kant’s theory can house a fruitful account of art criticism. The benefit of this hybrid account is that, despite being essentially particularist, it should be appealing even to hard-to-satisfy generalists like Carroll himself.

A Kuhnian Critique of Hume on Miracles: Miracles and Paradigm-conflicting Scientific Anomalies
Joshua Kulmac Butler, Loyola Marymount University
 Hume’s rejection of miracles has been attacked from many angles. Some have argued that his account does not align with a proper understanding of science. However, hardly anyone has brought Thomas Kuhn to bear on this topic. In this paper I show how what I call “paradigm-conflicting scientific anomalies” are analogous to miracles in the relevant respects. “Paradigm-conflicting scientific anomalies” cannot be explained by the current paradigm in much the same way as miracles cannot be explained by the laws of nature. Nevertheless, we are sometimes rationally justified in believing testimony in favor of this sort of anomaly. And because miracles are analogous to these anomalies in the relevant ways, we are sometimes justified in believing testimony in favor of miracles—understood as violations of the laws of nature. Thus Hume’s rejection of miracles is mistaken.

A Lived Body Not My Own: Shared Affect and the Constitution of Eating Disorders
Michele Merritt, Arkansas State University
 I argue that the most common assumption about eating disorders—namely, that they are subjective and internal phenomena—is flawed. By examining the emotions that underpin some of the most common eating disorders, it becomes evident that 1. those affective modalities are best thought to be social in nature, and 2. the phenomenology surrounding the experience of eating disorders indicates that those suffering from such afflictions are plagued just as much by an inability to effectively communicate through the body as they are by obsessions with body image or eating.

A New Theory of Robust Measurement
Vadim Keyser, California State University, Sacramento
 A common technique in scientific practice is to use different forms of derivations, models, and information-gathering to identify phenomena (objects, events, and processes). This is commonly referred to as “robustness analysis.” Philosophical views about robustness analysis have focused on models, experiment, and evidence. But there is another distinct but overlapping scientific process, essential to our initial interaction with a scientific system: the measurement process. A new technical account of robustness analysis with respect to the measurement process (RAMP) is presented. This account of robust measurement focuses on the systematic comparison between independent measurement processes. RAMP solves two philosophical problems. The first is a problem about reliable measurement: How do we differentiate pseudo-robust results from robust results? The second is an epistemological problem of how we know whether two modes of measurement are independent.

A Principle for Utility Discounting Under Risk
Kian Mintz-Woo, Karl-Franzens-Universitat Graz
 Utility discounting in intertemporal economic modelling has been viewed as problematic, both for descriptive and normative reasons. However, positive utility discount rates can be defended normatively; in particular, it is rational for future utility to be discounted to take into account model-independent outcomes when decision-making under risk. A principle for utility discount rates is suggested which is rooted in probability discounting. Utility discounting is defended against objections from Derek Parfit and John Broome.

A Priori and Necessary Versus a Priori That Necessary
Eric Hiddleston, Wayne State University
 This paper has two main aims. The first is to illustrate a somewhat subtle distinction between sentences that are a priori and necessary (Apriori S and Necessary S) versus sentences that have the stronger property of being a priori that necessary (Apriori Necessary S). The second aim is to suggest that drawing this distinction undermines a priori arguments for psycho-physical dualism.

A Puzzle about Desire
Jared Peterson, Northwestern University
 This paper develops a novel puzzle about desire, consisting of three independently plausible but jointly inconsistent propositions: (1) All desires are dispositional states, (2) We can have privileged access to at least some of our desires, and (3) We cannot have privileged access to any dispositional state. Proponents of the view that all desires are dispositional states might think the most promising way out of this puzzle is to deny (3). More specifically, they might appeal to recently popular transparency accounts of self-knowledge in defense of the view that we can have privileged access to dispositional states. I argue, however, that such attempts fail because these transparency accounts of self-knowledge cannot secure privileged access to dispositional desires. I then offer a more promising solution to the puzzle, one that involves the rejection of (1), the claim that all desires are dispositional states, on the grounds that some desires possess phenomenology.

A Remote Cabin and the Rights of People Seeds
Scott Woodcock, University of Victoria
 John Martin Fischer has published a trilogy of papers discussing Judith Jarvis Thomson’s ground-breaking “A Defense of Abortion” (ADA). Fischer claims that neither the unconscious violinist nor the people-seeds thought experiment is persuasive, and he concludes that Thomson’s arguments are incomplete in the sense that they require further support to secure the permissibility of abortion in their respective contexts of pregnancy resulting from rape and voluntary intercourse with contraceptive failure. My aim in this paper is to identify three ways in which Fischer fails to faithfully capture the force of arguments in ADA. I also suggest that these failings are indicative of a general under-appreciation of how the arguments in ADA support a feminist strategy for resisting anti-abortionist arguments based on the right to life or responsibility for life-saving resources.

A Subterranean Adventure: Nietzsche’s Critique of Freedom and Responsible Agency
Shelley Hulbert, University of Calgary
 It is well known that Nietzsche thinks the foundation of morality is unstable, but what he proposes to do about this is widely debated. In part, he clearly thinks that morality, as it is commonly understood, rests on false views of human freedom and responsible agency. Thus he means to destabilize the very foundation of morality—the traditional presuppositions, indeed, the prejudices upon which we, as philosophers have taken for granted for way too long. Nietzsche’s critique is thus unsettling—intentionally so. It is grounded in the attempt to undo a deep misinterpretation of human beings and their powers. In the first section I identify what these “deep misinterpretations” are, and what Nietzsche takes their effect to be. In the second section I consider Nietzsche’s reorientation of these core concepts, culminating in Nietzsche’s normative ideal of a freely responsible agent—the “sovereign individual.”

Abstracting Structural Explanation
Daniel Wilkenfeld, University of California, Berkeley
 In the literature on explanation, philosophers have proposed different conceptions of structural explanations. Specifically, explanations that have involved higher order causes, systematic constraints, and competition that restricts the possible combinations of individuals, have all been dubbed “structural” at some point or other. In this paper, we argue that all these different models are variants on the same basic idea. Some explanations involve abstracting from a subject as an individual to seeing that individual as a node in a network of explanatory relations. This way of looking at structural explanations is not wholly novel, but rather combines the literature on structural explanation with relevant insights from the philosophy of mathematics. The general idea is that the very same object can be viewed either as an individual token, subject to explanatory forces at one level of description, or as a node in a higher-order structure, subject to different explanatory forces.

Adam Smith on the Natural Authority of Conscience
Albert Shin, Villanova University
 Conscience is often characterized as having authority over us, in that we ought to obey it regardless of our desires. According to Joseph Butler, conscience has authority in virtue of its very position and function as the judging faculty. Given Smith’s near identical discussion of the authority of conscience in Theory of Moral Sentiments (TMS) 3.1.3, some have interpreted Adam Smith to hold a similar view. In this paper, I argue that such similarities are only superficial, and that instead, Smith grounds conscience’s authority on the sentiment of respect. To defend this claim, I will bring to light an implicit distinction between natural and derived authority in both TMS and Wealth of Nations.

Against Fundamental Indeterminacy
David E. Taylor, University of Minnesota
 I present an argument showing that fundamental indeterminacy is incoherent. By “fundamental indeterminacy” I mean metaphysical indeterminacy in how fundamental properties are distributed over fundamental objects. This result has potential consequences for the prospects of metaphysical indeterminacy generally: the possibility of metaphysical indeterminacy arguably depends on that of fundamental indeterminacy (Barnes 2014); fundamental indeterminacy accounts for some of the more theoretically powerful instances of metaphysical indeterminacy; and many paradigmatic cases of metaphysical indeterminacy (e.g., quantum phenomena) seem to involve fundamental indeterminacy specifically. My argument against fundamental indeterminacy resembles Gareth Evans’s (1978) argument against indeterminate identity in interesting ways.

Against Ill Will
Janice Moskalik, University of Washington
 In this paper, I argue that attitudes of ill will—those attitudes that include a desire that bad things befall another or that another deserves harsh treatment—are never morally permissible, even as blaming attitudes. I challenge the notion that we can justifiably blame with ill will on the basis that to hold such attitudes toward another constitutes a fundamental failure of respect for persons. I argue that retributivist views that rely on respect to defend blaming with ill will are mistaken, as affording moral agents proper respect in fact precludes reacting with ill will toward wrongdoers. Appropriate blame—even for the worst sorts of wrongs—always entails at least some goodwill toward the wrongdoer. So this is a reformative project, in a sense, since many will intuitively think that attitudes of ill will must be permissible when reacting to the worst sorts of wrongs.

Against Objectivism about Moral Obligation
Jonathan Spelman, University of Colorado Boulder
 Although we can often move from the fact that an agent ‘should’ or ‘ought’ to perform a certain action to the conclusion that he or she is ‘morally obligated’ to perform that action, we cannot always do so. Nevertheless, many philosophers are more than willing to use our intuitions about what we ‘should’ or ‘ought’ to do to draw conclusions about what we are ‘morally obligated’ to do. This, I argue, is a mistake. If we pay closer attention to our intuitions about what we are ‘morally obligated’ to do, we will see that objectivism about moral obligation, the view that agents are morally obligated to do what is best with respect to what matters morally, is false.

Against the Proper Subset View about Human Rights
Jiewuh Song, Seoul National University
 I argue against the proper subset view about human rights, i.e., the view that human rights norms are a proper subset of norms of justice, and in this sense “less demanding” than norms of justice. The proper subset view, I argue, proceeds on implausible understandings of (i) what kinds of international political action human rights claims make appropriate, (ii) the constraints on human rights content that feasibility concerns can generate, and (iii) the demands of international toleration. I then sketch an attractive alternative to the proper subset view. On the historical progress account, human rights are (i) a partial articulation of a general normative ideal of universal, mutually justifiable human relations; (ii) that is heavily influenced by historical developments. On this account, it is neither surprising nor normatively troubling that human rights norms come to approximate norms of justice.

Aging and Opportunity
Monique Lanoix, Saint Paul University
 Norman Daniels has declared that aging “poses the largest public health issue of the century” (2013, 1). He has taken up this challenge by putting forward the prudential lifespan account (PLA) which relies on two key concepts, opportunity and normal species functioning. I show that opportunity is ill-defined and I review Schlomi Segall’s (2007) critique of the PLA in order to achieve a clearer understanding of opportunity as it applies to aging individuals. My goal is to put forward a more precise notion of opportunity as it applies to older persons and in doing this to offer a critique of the subject of justice as it is implicitly characterised in the PLA. I suggest that the inherent ambiguity of opportunity as it used employed by Daniels in the PLA points to a deeper problem which is the implicit understanding of the citizen as a subject of justice in the PLA.

Alternatives and Truthmakers in Conditional Semantics
Paolo Santorio, University of Leeds
 I start from a classical puzzle in the semantics of conditionals, i.e., the puzzle of conditionals with disjunctive antecedents like “If Alice or Bob came, the party would be fun.” The puzzle is usually assumed to have a pragmatic solution, but I show (via arguments from downward entailing contexts, probability operators, and conditional logic) that it forces us to reconsider conditional semantics. I suggest a semantics for conditionals that is hyperintensional and, similarly to several nonstandard accounts, uses a notion of a truthmaker. But, differently from other truthmaker accounts, this notion of a truthmaker is cognitive rather than metaphysical and is defined exclusively by syntactic means. The key idea is that conditionals are alternative-sensitive, similarly to (e.g.,) “only:” they manipulate alternatives to the linguistic material that is pronounced. Alternative-sensitivity produces a kind of hyperintensionality, but one that is mundane, independently needed, and widespread throughout language.

An Impossibility Result for the Best System Analysis
Sungwon Woo, University of Maryland
 I show an impossibility result for the Best System Analysis (BSA) of laws of nature. According the BSA, laws are regularities in the best system maximizing scientific virtues of simplicity, strength, and accuracy. Drawing on the famous impossibility theorem in social choice theory, I will argue that there cannot exist a coherent procedure of determining the best system. I will show that the conditions of this impossibility result cannot be abandoned in the case of system choice. Some escapes from the similar impossibility result have been suggested in the literature on scientific theory choice, but I show that they are not available for system choice mainly due to the epistemological and metaphysical gaps between theory choice and system choice. The impossibility result will be a serious challenge to the BSA as a philosophical analysis.

Appropriate Slurs
Ralph DiFranco, University of Connecticut
 Much of the recent literature on slurs is devoted to explaining their tendency to provoke offense in listeners. One theory, known as Prohibitionism, holds that slurs are offensive because they are socially prohibited words, yet this view does not address the normative question of whether all such prohibitions are appropriate and morally justified. The aim of this paper is to show that the use of a slur is permissible (i) if it targets an obnoxious group, (ii) if it targets a powerful majority group and is a means for a vulnerable minority to bolster their self-conception and cultural identity, and (iii) if it is a vehicle for a morally permissible form of humor.

Aquinas’s Theory of the Mental Word and the Metaphysics of Immanent and Transient Activities
Stephen Zylstra, University of Toronto
 On Aquinas’s mature theory of cognition, an act of thinking produces a concept, or “mental word,” by which the intellect understands things. Many later medieval philosophers reject this distinction between concepts and acts of thinking. While recent scholarship has tended to see the debate as motivated fundamentally by epistemological concerns, I draw attention to an essential but neglected metaphysical component. It concerns the nature of so-called immanent and transient activities. Immanent activities are those that “remain within” the agent that performs them. Transient activities are those whereby the agent brings about a change in something external to itself. Aquinas’s critics argue in various ways that, since intellection is an immanent activity, it is impossible for it to produce anything. Although Aquinas offers a novel interpretation of immanent activity as a kind of internal production, it is not sufficiently well-developed to be able to deflect their criticisms.

Are We Even Fooling Ourselves: Self-deception and Weakness of Will in Kant’s Moral Philosophy
Dane Muckler, Saint Louis University
 Kant regards ‘frailty’ (weakness of will) the least degree blameworthy manifestation of radical evil. Commentators have struggled to understand how Kant can think that a weakness leads to willful disobedience. The problem is complicated by Kant’s understanding of the moral agent, as an autonomous lawgiver who clearly grasps the moral implications of her choices and actions. Henry Allison has explained all radical evil in terms of self-deception. I argue that self-deception cannot satisfactorily explain how weakness of will is possible, and it cannot explain the distinction Kant draws between weakness of will and wickedness. I explain the possibility of weakness of will in terms of self-delusion—a refusal to obey the moral law brought about through a mistaken understanding. I show how this conception of weakness of will better fits with Kant’s overall conception of radical evil.

Arguments from Evil and Evidence for Pro-theism
Benjamin H. Arbour, University of Bristol
Myron A. Penner, Trinity Western University and Ryerson University
 Philosophers of religion have been paying increased attention to the axiological implications of the existence of God. Rather than focussing on the epistemic requirements for rational belief in theism or atheism, these philosophers address questions related to the difference that God’s existence would make to the value of a world. Following Guy Kahane, we identify pro-theism as the belief that God’s existence would be good in that God’s existence increases the value of a world, whereas anti-theism is the belief that God’s existence would decrease the value of a world. In this paper, we develop an argument for pro-theism that takes into account the structure of certain arguments from evil. More specifically, we argue that if one accepts a crucial premise in certain arguments from evil—namely, that certain observed features of the world are deficiencies that count as evidence against God’s existence—then one ought to be a pro-theist.

Aristotelian Sunaisthesis: A Synoptic View of Life
Allison Murphy, University of Notre Dame
 In explaining why a flourishing and self-sufficient individual values friends, Aristotle twice uses the term “sunaisthesis.” Behind Aristotle’s diction lies a richly developed view of an evaluative perception that grasps an object-as-good, not simply the mere existence of the object. I develop an account of “sunaisthesis” as a synoptic perception that grasps something as both good and one’s own, and show how Aristotle thinks this is the sort of perception the good person has of her own flourishing life. Life activities of perception and thought are the good person’s own insofar as they are actualized expressions of her own existence and thereby identified with her very self. These same activities are good insofar as they constitute orderly expressions of the good person’s nature. Ultimately the one aspect of life is unintelligible apart from the other: in grasping that she exists, the good person appreciates her life as good.

Aristotle’s Conception of the Political Life as an Imitation of the Divine
Jesse Gold, Independent Scholar
Margaret Scharle, Reed College
 There are two aspects of god that all beings on the scala naturae attempt to imitate—both god’s activity of contemplation and god’s condition of being in need of nothing. While scholars have recognized that the scala naturae is calibrated by increasingly godlike activity, they have failed to notice the increasingly godlike condition exhibited by beings in their increasing authority over their own movements and over other substances. As god exercises authority over all members of the cosmos by being their end as aim, so humans exhibit authority over other things by reorienting their natures to take the human good as their end. The Nicomachean Ethics and Politics demonstrate that humans practice the art of politics to imitate god’s ideal condition by using law to stabilize their authority over lower-level things. When imitating god’s ideal condition, humans are free to imitate god’s ideal activity of contemplation.

Aristotle’s Thumos as Dunamis and Pathos
Victor Saenz, Rice University
 It is traditionally assumed that Aristotle’s ‘thumos‘—often translated spirit—is akin to Plato notion of the same in Republic: a complex of motivations including anger, competitive exertion, the will to fight, and a keen awareness of one’s honor. Giles Pearson (2012) has recently argued that Aristotle’s thumos simply means ‘orge,’ often tranlsated ‘anger.’ I offer fresh arguments for the orthodox interpretation. I first sketch Pearson’s arguments and object he fails to distinguish between thumos as a power (dunamis) and thumos as an affection (pathos) manifested by the power. Second, I turn to EN.II.5, which show us the power/manifestation distinction in thumos, and strongly suggests that thumos must have manifestations beyond orge. Third, I argue that thumos enables the kinds of confidence (tharsos) which allow us to fight when required and other sources of confidence have waned. Finally, I argue that thumos also involves a keen awareness of one’s honor.

Art and Community: Indeterminacy and Aesthetic Reflection
Jane Kneller, Colorado State University
 The paper will draw an analogy between the role that aesthetic reflective judgment plays in individual moral development, on the one hand, and the role that art can play in the development of a cohesive, culturally diverse community. Drawing on a broadly Kantian analysis of aesthetic reflective judgment, I argue that the open-ended, playful activity of aesthetic reflection promotes a kind of open-mindedness in individuals that is necessary (not sufficient) for moral development. I go on to sketch ways in which the similar indeterminacy of artistic practice and reception could be used as a model for promoting the bonds of community in a culturally divided, pluralist society.

Art and Ethics: The Ethical Significance of the Capacities Engaged by Aesthetic Judgment
Ivan Gaskell, Bard College
 This paper examines some consequences of the transfer of culturally charged material items between societies with different cultural values that accompanied European expansion in the sixteenth through twentieth centuries. Many such things entered ethnography collections. I claim that when an object moves from one society to another, one or more of three attitudes is in play, each involving aesthetic judgment: (1) supersession: new users interpret it solely on their own terms; (2) assumption: new users discern familiar characteristics that they value, and that they assume earlier users also valued; (3) translation: new users attempt to learn the terms of use, interpretation, and value of earlier users believing that this will bring them advantages. I examine some of the epistemological, aesthetic, and ethical ramifications of each of these attitudes for European communities and for communities that encountered Europeans.

Articulation and Self-knowledge
Eli Alshanetsky, Stanford University
 Articulating a thought can sometimes take time and effort. On those occasions when it is difficult, we need to chisel away at imprecise formulations, in exploratory ways, until we uncover a formulation that satisfyingly expresses what we were originally thinking. I investigate such cases by introducing a new puzzle—albeit one that will remind you of Meno’s famous puzzle about inquiry. The problem is that, in the difficult cases of articulation, coming to know what you’re thinking seems to require gaining knowledge of the words that would express your thought. Yet, at the same time, having the latter knowledge itself seems to require already knowing what you’re thinking.

Artifactual Theory of Words
Nurbay Irmak, Boğaziçi University
 Words are indispensible linguistic tools for beings like us. However, there is not much philosophical work done about the question what words are. This paper develops a novel ontology for words. I argue that a) words are abstract artifacts that are created to fulfill various kinds of purposes, and b) words are abstract in the sense that they are not located in space but they have a beginning and may have an end in time given that certain conditions are met. What follows from a) and b) is that words, from an ontological point of view, are more like musical works, fictional characters or computer programs, than numbers or sets.

Assertion Reconsidered
Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini, Rutgers University
 Stalnaker (1978, 2004, 2009, 2014) argues that it is a requirement on rational communication that a speaker’s assertion express the same propositional content in every world compatible with the common ground of her conversation. This uniformity principle plays a central role in his pragmatic theory, motivating his well-known claim that an assertion’s content is often (or, in more recent work, always) its diagonal proposition. I argue that Stalnaker’s uniformity principle is false: it conflicts with intuitive truth-value judgments about sentences describing certain cases in which a speaker’s audience lacks information about what she has in mind at the time of her assertion.

Attention and Perceptual Justification
Adrienne Prettyman, Bryn Mawr College
 A recent debate concerns what Smithies (2015) has called the Cognition Thesis: that attention to an object is necessary for forming justified beliefs about that object on the basis of perception. Cases of visual crowding in psychology challenge the cognition thesis (Block 2013; Silins and Siegel 2014). Crowding allegedly shows that we can have perceptually justified beliefs about an object to which we can’t attend. In this paper, I offer a new defense of the cognition thesis based on research on global attention (Treisman 2006). My view puts us in a position to defend the cognition thesis against the objection from visual crowding in a way that is consistent with the view that attention is necessary for conscious perception.

Attention and the Structure of Action
Mark Fortney, University of Toronto
 Despite a recent surge of philosophical interest in attention, there remain deep and enduring disagreements about what sort of thing attention really is. Wayne Wu (2014), in response to this problem, has helpfully proposed that we should identify a merely sufficient condition for attention that everyone could agree on (he discusses, in particular, a sufficient condition for perceptual attention). On his view, “perceptually selecting” an object to guide the performance of an experimental task is sufficient for perceptual attention to that object. I argue that this sufficient condition leads to dramatically over-counting instances of attention, and that this problem is not unique to Wu’s account—I trace it to the accounts of psychologists Alan Allport (1987) and Odmar Neumann (1987). Then I show how we can restrict his sufficient condition to generate the right results (and argue that this restriction has independent motivation as well).

Awareness Luck
Heather Gert, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
 Thomas Nagel famously observes an apparent contradiction in our moral thinking. Although most of us share the general intuition that a person is morally responsible for what she does only insofar as she is in control, when faced with specific instances we sometimes assign moral responsibility knowing full well that the agent did not have this type of control. Nagel introduces four types of moral luck, four ways in which luck can affect an individual’s moral responsibility: luck in consequences, luck in circumstances, luck in how one is constituted, and luck in how one is determined by antecedent circumstances. In this paper I argue for a fifth type of moral luck: awareness luck. How aware a person tends to be of the morally relevant aspects of the situations in which she finds herself is a fifth type of moral luck.

Barker and Dowe: No Paradox for Multi-located Universals
Christopher Gibilisco, University of Nebraska−Lincoln
 Steven Barker and Phil Dowe (2003) argue that multi-location leads to two paradoxes in the cases of both particulars and immanent universals. Although several philosophers have defended multilocated particulars from these paradoxes, no one has argued that universals avoid these two paradoxes. In this paper, I shall take up this defense and argue that Barker and Dowe’s argument fails to show that multi-located universals lead to paradox, as their argument relies on misconceptions about immanent realism. I conclude that immanent universals should be found innocent on both charges of paradox.

Belief, Intention, and Deliberation
Greg Antill, University of California, Los Angeles
 One of the central challenges in the philosophy of action involves explaining the relationship between an intention to perform an action and the predictive belief that you will perform that action. In this paper, I survey the two general schools of thought about the relationship—the cognitivist and inferrentialist positions—and the pressures that have pushed philosophers toward each view. I then advocate a third view about the relationship, one which I think can accommodate the competing pressures for both sides and one which, I hope to show, also presents an independently attractive picture of the relationship between belief and intention. The position I argue for is a partial hybrid—the same deliberative process can give rise to two distinct mental states, an intention and belief, with the same propositional contents, but which involve different attitudes.

Blameworthiness and Blame: Reflections on Scanlon and Smith
Katie Stockdale, Dalhousie University
 The purpose of this paper is to move beyond the standard moral treatment of blame to consider how blame manifests and functions in response to moral wrongs that are bound up with social and political injustices. For example, when new instances of police violence towards black citizens in America emerge, blame calls our attention not only to the wrongness of the action, but also systemic racial injustice. I consider T.M. Scanlon’s relationship-impairment account of blame, and Angela Smith’s view of blame as moral protest. I argue that these philosophers’ understanding of the centrality of relationships to blame must be revised to include social and political relationships. I then explore ways in which a revised moral protest account plausibly extends to social and political contexts, and reflect on the connection between moral and political protest.

Bootstrapping, Easy Knowledge, and Perceptual Justification
Julia Smith, University of Toronto
 How do we come to know that a particular source of knowledge is reliable? Not through relying on information provided by the source itself. Concluding that a source is reliable by using information provided by that source is a form of bootstrapping, and it is, in general, considered to be a violation of the norms of good reasoning. I argue against a recent attempt to show that bootstrapping is a general problem, afflicting many different sources of belief (Weisberg 2010). I argue that bootstrapping cases involving perceptual experiences are unique cases in which we can come to know that perceptual experiences are accurate through information provided by our senses.

Bridging the Gap Between Well-being Research and Policy
Alicia Hall, Mississippi State University
 Recent years have shown an increase in calls to use empirical research on well-being to inform and guide policy. If we are to develop empirically informed well-being policy, then we need to think carefully about how to conceptualize and operationalize well-being for this purpose. In this paper, I argue that, in its current form, the conception known as “subjective well-being” is not consistent with the goals of designing well-being policy. Measures of subjective well-being are heavily reliant on self-reports of current life satisfaction, which provide little insight into how people’s lives could be improved. As a result, current measures of subjective well-being are of limited utility in offering guidance for well-being policy. Our aim in conceptualizing well-being for policy purposes should be to provide a way of understanding what I will call “well-being amenable to intervention,” and for this, we need to develop a procedural account of well-being.

Can Conversion Be Rational?
John Schwenkler, Florida State University
 I begin with a model of (religious or secular) conversion as a kind of transformative experience, in the sense recently discussed by L.A. Paul. More specifically, conversion involves a form of doxastic transformation—a transformation, that is, of one’s current beliefs into a new set of doxastic attitudes which, from one’s current perspective, appears incredible or unmotivated. Two questions then arise: (1) Can the process by which such a conversion is effected ever be rational, or must doxastic transformation always proceed by extra-rational means? (2) Can the decision to undergo, or put oneself in a position where one knows one is likely to undergo, such a transformation ever be rational? I argue that the answer to the first question is ‘Yes’, then explore various ways of addressing the second.

Can There Be a Right of Return? Overcoming the Feasibility Objection
Andy Lamey, University of California, San Diego
 Calls to recognize a right of return are a recurring feature of international crises involving refugees. Insofar as philosophers have considered such a right their verdict has often been negative. In particular, a recurring objection has been that it is not feasible for entire refugee populations to return home, so return fails to achieve the status of right. We can call this the feasibility objection. It is undone by its failure to acknowledge a distinction between two different kinds of feasibility constraints. “Hard” constraints include logical, nomological and biological considerations. “Soft” constraints include political, cultural and institutional factors. A necessary condition of a moral entitlement achieving the status of a right is that it be feasible in the hard sense. Crucially, however, a right need not always be feasible in the soft sense. We can have rights that it is not currently possible to implement politically.

Cancellability and Its Discontents
Arthur Sullivan, Memorial University of Newfoundland
 This paper explores one among many debates concerning how to distinguish semantic content from pragmatic implicature. Specifically, it is focused on one of Grice’s (1975) proposed criteria—namely, cancellability. I discuss four different lines of criticism of the cancellabilty test. I will specify a working hypothesis about cancellability, and argue that it survives these challenges relatively unscathed. The cancellability test is still a significant, useful, and reliable indicator at the S/P interface.

Cartesian Prejudice and Critique of Gender in Poulain de la Barre
Amy Schmitter, University of Alberta
 The 17th century author François Poulain de la Barre used the Cartesian notion of “prejudice” in an anti-essentializing philosophy of women’s education that examines how the tastes, talents, and interests of individuals, as well as the expectations about women (and men), are shaped by prejudices ingrained in social habits. ‘Prejudice’ here maintains the Cartesian sense of a self-imposed cognitive impairment, but also takes on the sense of social-political bias against less powerful, marginalized groups. Because Poulain emphasizes that prejudice requires social, not merely individual remedies, he shows how powerful the Cartesian notion of prejudice can be for feminist methodology.

Charles Mills’s Radical Black Liberalism and the Category of Moral Personhood
Elvira Basevich, The Graduate Center, CUNY
 In his recent account of “radical black liberalism,” Charles Mills appropriates the category of the moral person from John Rawls and employs it as a normative basis for countering white supremacy. I argue that the category of moral personhood is too weak to accomplish the latter task and advance a tripartite basis for the critique of white supremacy, where the category of moral personhood is relegated to one’s legal standing within the state as a rights bearer. I additionally appeal to non-alienated black labor and the social basis for self-respect in civil society. These two additional components substantially contribute to countering white supremacy in a way that the category of the moral person alone cannot, since it is largely a legalistic concept. I thus aim to contextualize the category of the moral person as part of a broader account of freedom’s realization in the state and in civil society.

Circumscribing the Viciousness in Circularity
Everett Fulmer, Saint Louis University
 It is now commonly agreed that some forms of circularity are benign or even virtuous. This has led to a common strategy for defending oneself from charges of vicious circularity—one shows there to be a structural similarity between one’s own circle and a circle of an accepted non-vicious sort. Both Sosa and Greco, for example, defend the non-viciousness of the circularity involved in their anti-skeptical responses in this manner. I argue, however, that this is a losing tactic. The reason is that the structure or syntax of a circle underdetermines whether the circle is vicious, virtuous, or benign. What makes a particular circle vicious is neither syntax nor semantics but pragmatics.

Closure and Epistemic Modals
Justin Bledin, Johns Hopkins University
Tamar Lando, Columbia University
 According to a popular closure principle for epistemic justification, if one is justified in believing that each premise in X is true and one comes to believe that p is true on the basis of competently deducing p from X—while retaining justified beliefs in the premises—then one is justified in believing that p is true. This principle is prima facie compelling; it seems to capture the sense in which competent deduction is an epistemically secure means to extend belief. Nevertheless, we argue that when closure is applied to our ordinary everyday concept of belief, even the single-premise version of this principle fails. Our counterexamples involve the epistemic possibility operator M. Though one can competently deduce ~Mp from ~p in deliberation, there are cases in which one can justifiably believe that ~p is true but would be unjustified in believing that ~Mp is true.

Cognitive Phenomenology in the Opening Arguments of The Science of Logic
Peter Yong, University of California, San Diego
 This paper sets forth a novel interpretation of the opening arguments of the Science of Logic by showing how Hegel’s method is grounded in cognitive phenomenology. The opening arguments are often portrayed as involving a contradiction in maintaining both that the Logic must begin with relationless immediacy and that the determinations described in the Logic are derivable from one another (and thus related). This problem can be avoided by noting that Hegel does not, in fact, begin the Logic with relationless immediacy. Rather he begins with the phenomenon of pure thinking (which today would be called the what-it’s-like of thinking) and introduces relationless immediacy only as a putative characterization of its content. The opening arguments of the Logic then show how this putative characterization is not an adequate one. The paper concludes by sketching some further advantages that a phenomenological interpretation enjoys over traditional readings.

Collective Moral Responsibility or Collective Virtue?
Matthew Baddorf, University of Rochester
 Advocates of non-reductive collective moral responsibility tend to develop their views partly in order to help implement social change. By recognizing the moral responsibility of collectives, we are supposed to be able to give robust moral evaluations of groups, to explain why individuals in bad groups ought to want reform, and to justify our formal and informal sanctions of groups, thus facilitating improvement. I argue that collective virtue theory can accomplish these goals better than collective moral responsibility theory can, while avoiding significant problems for collective moral responsibility. Thus, an important motivation for collective moral responsibility is undercut.

Commonsense, Skeptical Theism, and Closure of Inquiry
Jonathan Rutledge, University of Oklahoma
 Commonsense epistemologists endorse principles of justification akin to the following—PC: if it seems to S that p, then S is prima facie justified in believing p. Skeptical theists (ST) claim that an evil’s seeming gratuitous is not indicative, for humans, of its actual gratuitousness. Immediately, a tension arises between these two theses, for if it seems to S that this is a gratuitous evil, then given PC, they are prima facie justified in so believing, contrary to ST. A literature has developed disputing the possibility of being on-balance justified in believing ST and remaining on-balance justified in believing that there are gratuitous evils. I argue that commonsense epistemology and skeptical theism are compatible, but only if ST is construed as a closure of inquiry undercutting defeater, a possibility which has remained unnoticed by the disputants involved.

Communicating Scientific Results to Policy-makers
S. Andrew Schroeder, Claremont McKenna College
 The data scientists collect is typically far too extensive and complex to be of use to policy-makers on its own. Accordingly, scientists must summarize that data for presentation to policy-makers. But for any given data set, there are countless ways it could be summarized and presented. How should scientists choose among the different possible summaries and modes of presentation? In this paper, I argue that the existing solutions to this problem are inadequate or incomplete, and I pursue a suggestion put forward by several philosophers: that looking to the bioethical literature on informed consent can point us towards a solution to this problem of scientific communication. I pursue the comparison in detail, arguing that it is appropriate, and use insights from the bioethical literature to clarify the norms that scientists should follow, when communicating complex results to policy-makers.

Comparativism and Absolutism about Quantities: Two Unsuccessful Arguments
John T. Roberts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 Quantities are quantitative properties, i.e., properties a thing can have in various degrees, such as mass, length, or velocity. Comparativism is the view that only ratios among quantity-values have physical and ontological significance; the fact that something bears a mass-ratio of 100 to the standard kilogram is a real state of affairs, but its possessing a particular, monadic mass-value is not (or is at best a derivative state of affairs). Absolutism holds that on the contrary, particular values of quantities are real monadic properties, and that e.g., mass-values are more fundamental than mass-ratios. Recently Shamik Dasgupta has argued that Occam’s Razor favors comparativism, and David John Baker has argued that modern physics favors absolutism. I argue here that both of their arguments fail.

Composition and Personal Ontology
Andrew Brenner, University of Notre Dame
 Mereological nihilism is the thesis that composition never occurs. One important objection to nihilism is that I exist, and that I’m a composite object, so there are composite objects. It is acknowledged on all sides that the “I exist” objection to nihilism fails if we endorse a particular sort of substance dualism according to which we are immaterial simple things. It is generally thought, however, that we have little reason to endorse this sort of dualism, and many reasons not to endorse this sort of dualism. In this paper I argue that every popular extant argument against substance dualism can, with little modification, be turned into an argument against composition. This doesn’t show us that we should be dualists. It does show us that one should not reject nihilism because one rejects substance dualism, insofar as the grounds which are generally thought to defeat dualism also provide support for nihilism.

Consciousness Last
David Rosenthal, The Graduate Center, CUNY
 Much recent work on the mind begins with the conscious cases of mental states, taking as primary what our first-person, subjective access seems to tell us about those states. I argue that this has significantly distorted our understanding of mind. I begin by arguing that consciousness is not an intrinsic aspect of qualitative mental properties, but that those properties occur altogether independently of being conscious. I then show that relying on consciousness distorts the nature of all mental states, first for the case of qualitative mental states and then for intentional states. We must reject a conception of consciousness on which it’s the primary way we know about mental states. Consciousness is instead simply one mental property among others, a property we must explain, and not treat as our primary tool to explain or to get knowledge about other mental properties—not treat in effect as an unexplained explainer.

Credentials for Moral Expertise
Eric Vogelstein, Duquesne University
 According to the “credentials problem,” moral non-experts are unable to identify moral experts, even if such experts exist, because non-experts cannot independently check the accuracy of a putative moral expert’s judgments, and thus cannot assess the reliability of such a person’s moral judgment in general. I argue that the credentials problem fails. An independent check of an expert’s judgments (in any domain of expertise) is unnecessary given that we know that the person arrives at her judgments via a sufficiently sound method (which can be known without checking the truth of her individual judgments). And there is a sound method for arriving at true moral judgments that can be identified by moral non-experts—a method in which a certain set of moral philosophers will be adept. Moral non-experts, then, can identify moral philosophers as moral experts, given that those philosophers meet certain other conditions.

Cultural evolutionary explanation and the social sciences
Catherine Driscoll, North Carolina State University
 Fracchia and Lewontin (1999, 2005) have argued that cultural evolutionary theory (CET) is intended to replace the standard social sciences, and that this cannot work because CET explanations are impoverished as explanations for most historical human cultural traits, events and institutions: CET is “greedily reductionist”. I argue instead that CET explanations do not function as replacements for standard social science explanations. Far from being greedily reductionist, CET explanations play a series of roles in connecting and unifying social science with evolutionary biology. These include explaining the origin of cultural capacities; determining the relationships between cultures; and assisting psychological study of social learning. In the main cases where CET is genuinely aimed at individual cultural traits these tend to either be gene-culture models or aimed at traits which are ancient or nearly universal and where consequently explanations in terms of transient social institutions and processes would not be properly explanatory.

Demonstratives Are Free Variables
Ethan Nowak, University of California, Berkeley
 One of the characteristic features of demonstratives is that the same demonstrative expression can be used to pick out different objects on different occasions. The standard explanation of this fact is to say that demonstratives are context-sensitive devices of direct reference. While some philosophers have challenged the standard picture by raising questions about the thesis of direct reference, as far as I know, no one doubts that an adequate semantics for demonstratives will involve sensitivity to the context of utterance. I propose an alternative on which demonstratives are treated as free variables, sensitive not to the context, but to a pragmatically-determined assignment function.

Desert’s Moral Significance Reconsidered
Nathan Hanna, Drexel University
 Many philosophers think that when someone deserves something, it’s intrinsically good that she get it or there’s a pro tanto non-instrumental reason to bring about her getting it. Call this the standard view. Assumptions about desert are central to debates about punishment. Many retributivists assume the standard view. In previous work, I’ve argued against the standard view to raise a problem for retributivism. My argument appealed to certain desert claims and related claims about reasons and value that I assumed most people would find intuitively plausible. But I’d rather not assume that. So I gathered data on people’s intuitions about desert, value, and reasons. In this paper, I report my findings and discuss their implications for the standard view and for retributivism. The results support my earlier argument.

Dialecticism about Philosophical Appeals to Intuition
Joshua Smart, University of Missouri
 Some philosophers just want to watch the chair burn. Of late, the primary fuel for this furniture fire has been experimental data purported to show that we have good reason to doubt philosophers’ claims about intuition—the distinctive evidential source of armchair philosophy. The supposed upshot is that radical overhaul or even abandonment of the traditional project is in order. This is too quick. The move from experimental results to overhaul/abandonment relies on a mistaken understanding about the evidential role of intuitions. On my alternative, dialecticism, appeals to intuition are to intuitions of individual interlocutors in an attempt to show them that the theories in question are subjectively irrational for them. No mere possibility, dialecticism provides the best interpretation of some features of philosophical practice. Subjective rationality seems too weak a goal to some, so I conclude by sketching a role for dialecticism in a broader philosophical methodology.

Does Death Restriction-harm Us?
Eric Yang, Claremont McKenna College
 Recently, Stephan Blatti has argued that a “deprivationist view” (DV) of death’s harm is incomplete, and he presents a view such that the kind of distinctive harm that death brings to an individual involves the restriction of that individual’s autonomy. Let us label such an account—one that includes both deprivation and restriction as comprising death’s harm—as a “deprivationist-restrictionist view” (or “DRV”). Blatti favors DRV because it avoids several worries that beset DV. In this paper, I present several objections to DRV; in particular, I raise some problems for the claim that death restriction-harms us and show that even DRV does not avoid the worries of DV.

Doing Right and Feeling Right: Cultivation of Character in Kant’s Ethics
Tobias Fuchs, Brown University
 Kant holds that only actions done from the motive of duty alone have moral worth. He also tells us that we have to cultivate the natural dispositions of our sensible characters. I argue that this cultivation produces agents who perform right actions (at least partly) from feelings and inclinations, so not from the motive of duty alone. This means that their actions will not have moral worth.

Doubt for Dawid’s Non-empirical Theory Assessment
Cristin Chall, University of South Carolina
 Dawid proposes an account of non-empirical theory assessment which is meant to compliment traditional theory assessments. I will argue that his meta-inductive argument does not provide support for this account. Dawid’s non-empirical theory assessment is meant to explain the activities of scientists who go long periods without empirical confirmation for their theories. Dawid provides three arguments, the no alternatives argument, the unexpected explanatory connections argument, and the meta-inductive argument from the success of other theories in a research program, to support his account of non-empirical theory assessment. However, I argue that the meta-inductive argument provides the same sort of restriction that is already assumed in Dawid’s adoption of scientific underdetermination, so it doesn’t provide the support that Dawid claims. Each of the arguments is mutually dependent on the others, so showing that one fails is sufficient to cast doubt on Dawid’s entire account.

Doxastic Blame
Lindsay Rettler, Ohio State University
 Blame is a common phenomenon. We blame others and ourselves for our actions quite regularly. But we also sometimes blame people for their beliefs. Many people agree that moral blame has a characteristic force that distinguishes it from other types of assessment. In this paper, I argue that doxastic blame has a similar characteristic force. If this is correct, then the best theory of doxastic blame must explain this feature. I survey several prominent accounts of moral blame for action, including those of Strawson and Scanlon, and argue that both can be extended to account for doxastic blame.

Drifting to Bermuda: On the Limits of Rational Reflection in Ethics
Max Hayward, Columbia University
 Sharon Street argues that rational scrutiny could not get us to the moral truth. According to her larger argument, most of our moral beliefs are “likely to be false.” Rational scrutiny cannot take us from falsehood to truth. A growing consensus holds that her larger argument fails. It’s plausible that our starting views contain truth and falsehood. Many claim reflective equilibrium could get us to truth if many of our starting points are true. I argue there is no reason to think that reflective equilibrium, even from reasonably on-track starting points, will take us to truth. There is no particular relation the moral truths must bear to each other. Moral principles rarely entail logical contradictions. They can be incoherent in the sense of implying practical conflicts. And principles can look bad from the perspective of one another. But these are not reasons to think that they are not true.

Effective Bargaining Makes It Better
Sharon Rowe, Kapi’olani Community College
 The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, the faculty union for the University of Hawaii system has used collective bargaining to address issues surrounding adjunct hires. Several provisions worked into successive contracts provide strategies that other institutions might find useful. These include a contract provision to convert temporary positions to tenure track positions and salary minima for those in temporary positions; and limited term contracts and the right of first refusal for long-term lecturers. Our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is only a tool and its effectiveness depends upon knowledge of its provisions and a willingness to use them to advocate for oneself and others. This presentation will consider specific articles and provisions within our current contract that support and protect adjunct hires, as well as some of the obstacles that have historically limited its effectiveness to more substantively to change the basic work life conditions of UH system adjunct faculty.

Efficiency and Future Generations
John Broome, Oxford University and Stanford University
 A choice between different economic policies often makes a difference to which particular people will exist in the future. This is the nonidentity effect. The Pareto criterion is difficult to apply when there is a nonidentity effect, since it depends on comparing how well off a person is in one option with how well off she is in another. The economists’ standard notion of efficiency is defined in terms of the Pareto criterion. Since much of economics is concerned with efficiency, this poses a serious problem for the economics of the long term, such as the economics of climate change. I shall consider what useful notion of efficiency can replace the standard one, and what will be the effect on the conclusions of standard economics.

Empathy and the Limits of Thought Experiments
Erick Ramirez, Santa Clara University
 I criticize what I call perspectival thought experiments. These experiments require subjects to mentally simulate a perspective before making judgments from within it. Examples include Judith Thomson’s violinist case, Philippa Foot’s trolley problem, and Bernard Williams “Jim” case. I argue that advances in the philosophical and psychological study of empathy suggest that the simulative capacities required by perspectival thought experiments are impossible. These thought experiments require agents to consciously simulate unconscious features of subjectivity. To complete these experiments subjects must deploy theory-theoretical frameworks to predict what they think they would (or ought to) do. These outputs, however, systematically mislead subjects and are highly error-prone. They are of negligible probative value and this bodes poorly for their continued use. I end with two suggestions. First, many thought experiments are not perspectival. Second, I argue that simulation problems can be surmounted by off-loading simulations onto virtual environments into which philosophers place subjects.

Empathy and the Reactive Attitudes
Jonathan Vanderhoek, University of Texas at Austin
 There is a growing pessimism about whether empathy supports sound moral judgment. In this essay I push back against this pessimism. Using a Strawsonian account of the reactive attitudes as a model for moral judgment, I illustrate three ways in which empathizing provides support. First, empathizing helps us to appreciate how others’ attitudes or actions express ill will, goodwill, or indifferent disregard towards another. This appreciation supports the making of moral judgments that respond to the moral worth of others’ attitudes and actions. In a similar way, empathizing can lead us to appreciate that our judgments are premised on a mistaken conception of the other’s attitude or action. This can help us to disqualify and dispel inappropriate moral judgments. Finally, empathizing helps us to appreciate others’ moral judgments in virtue of helping us to appreciate the evaluative attitudes involved in those judgments.

Empirical Tests for Perceptual Content: Is Adaptation an Exclusively Perceptual Phenomenon?”
Ryan Ogilvie, University of Maryland
 Ned Block (2014) proposes that the presence of adaptation effects offers a viable empirical test for distinguishing perceptual from cognitive content. Very roughly, the proposal is that where one finds adaptation effects, one finds perceptual content. This implies that adaptation is exclusively perceptual. I argue that Block’s reasons for thinking this are not convincing. Nevertheless, Block’s discussion raises an important question: Are adaptation effects exclusively a manifestation of perceptual mechanisms, or are they in fact characteristic of a broad range of neuronal processes? In this paper, I offer tentative evidence for the latter of these options, and I argue that that adaptation effects alone will therefore not suffice as a test for perceptual content.

Enduring Through Gunk
Matt Leonard, University of Southern California
 This paper explores a number of endurantist packages under the assumption that time is gunky. Though a number of endurantist packages accommodate gunky time just fine, I argue that one of the most well-known endurantist packages does not. However, even though the well-known endurantist package is under threat, there are two natural modifications we might make to this view. This leaves us with two new endurantist packages both of which interact in interesting ways with the problem of temporary intrinsics and questions concerning the metaphysics of shapes.

Epistemic Arguments and Explanatory Targets
Bénédicte Veillet, University of Michigan-Flint
 The epistemic arguments against physicalism have long drawn our attention to what David Chalmers calls “our epistemic situation with regard to consciousness” (2007, 168). But recent discussion of these arguments suggests that it is unclear exactly what aspects of our epistemic situation physicalists are challenged to explain. Explanatory targets seemingly shift—for instance from Mary’s new beliefs to the fact that her new beliefs are significant. In the paper, I highlight the fact that the explanatory targets of epistemic arguments are more numerous even than anyone acknowledges. They fall into three prima facie distinct categories: 1) epistemic features of beliefs (e.g., Mary’s new belief is significant), 2) higher-order judgments (Mary judges that her new belief is significant), 3) epistemic feelings (Mary’s new belief feels significant to her). I then consider two implications of acknowledging this range of possible explanatory targets for epistemic arguments more generally.

Eschatology and the Elements
Ted Toadvine, University of Oregon
 The Enlightenment fantasy of human mastery over nature exerts its final sway in the contemporary obsession with the total destruction of the world at human hands. While speculative fiction stages our fantasies of this destruction, environmentalists stoke our doomsday fears to justify worldwide management in the name of “sustainability.” In response, Jean-Luc Nancy exhorts us to stop dreaming of and justifying total destruction in the name of apocalypse or apotheosis, suggesting instead that we attend to what remains indestructible: the “there is’ of existence itself, which is neither for us nor because of us. This resistance is manifest even in the geomateriality of stone, which may be “worldless” in human terms, but nevertheless is a world and a sense independently of us. The elements mark an absolute limit of destruction that opens another sense of the world here and now, with implications for our ethical responsibilities to the future.

Essentialist Explanation
Martin Glazier, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 Consider the unit circle; it is centered at the origin. But why it is centered at the origin? Here is one permissible answer: it is in the nature of the unit circle to be so centered. Such “essentialist” explanation is ubiquitous in philosophy but, I argue, cannot be understood in terms of more familiar notions such as causal or grounding explanation. Essentialist explanation is also ultimate: when one gives such an explanation, there is a sense in which nothing more can be said by way of explanation. I propose an account of this ultimacy. Not only is this account natural, it is supported by an independently plausible principle that I call the inessentiality of essence. I close by suggesting that the inessentiality of essence is the key to understanding the satisfying character of essentialist explanation.

Ethics, Taste, and Transformation in the Work of David Hume
Marcus Weakley, Claremont Graduate University
 In this paper, I argue that in Hume’s account there is a way to break through established forms of belief, sentiment, and custom that constitute one’s way of life and, to some extent at least, transform them. The process of undertaking certain activities—practices that increase the right kinds of sensitivity, sentiment, and critical reflection—not only facilitate the awareness of one’s specific customs, beliefs, sentiments of vice and virtue, and even experiences of pleasure and pain, but also offer a way to transform them. I argue that active and retroactive education is a possible method of interpersonal and intrapersonal change through the critical delivery system of custom, and the sentiment, aesthetics, and beliefs that provide its motivation.

Evidence and Mechanistic Reasoning: A Matter of Inductive Risk
Sarah Wieten, University of Durham
 I argue that philosophers concerned with causality and mechanisms have not yet captured what Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) supporters are implicitly worried about when they generally prohibit the use of causal knowledge: the amount of risk of error (because of confounders) that is acceptable in causal stories differs from situation to situation. I argue that it is this tolerance of inductive risk which separates the list of situations in which supporters of EBM are perfectly happy to make use of causal knowledge from the situations in which use of causal knowledge is considered dangerous. However, given that it is unclear that randomization deals with all confounders, known and unknown, in the way that EBM assumes, it can still be argued that there is no strong difference between the cases in which EBM accepts causal knowledge as able to be acted upon and when it does not.

Evil and God’s Toxin Puzzle
John Pittard, Yale University
 I show that Kavka’s toxin puzzle raises a problem for the “Responsibility Theodicy,” which holds that the reason God typically does not intervene to stop the evil effects of our actions is that such intervention would undermine the possibility of our being responsible for overcoming and averting evil. This theodicy seems to require that God be able to do what the agent in Kavka’s toxin story cannot do: stick by a plan to do some action at a future time even though when that time comes, there will be no good reason for performing that action (and very good reason not to). I assess various approaches to solving this problem. Along the way, I develop an iterated version of Kavka’s toxin case that raises questions which are interesting in their own right.

Evolutionary Psychology of Confucian Shame
Bongrae Seok, Alvernia University
 For many Western psychologists and philosophers, shame is a maladaptive, underdeveloped, culturally primitive, and morally immature emotion that is in the process of extinction for the sake of a more mature and responsible sense of morality. In this paper, however, I will argue that shame has been successfully evolved into a unique form of moral emotion. By focusing on different forms of shame and their adaptive features, I will provide an evolutionary interpretation of Confucian moral shame. Shame can be an active and positive moral emotion in a society where external attribution is a dominant form of behavioral explanation and, in its idealized forms, it can become an adaptive moral emotion.

Exact Necessitation
Jon Litland, University of Texas at Austin
 A truthmaker for a proposition P is exact if it contains nothing irrelevant to P. In recent work Kit Fine has shown how to characterize the truthmakers for several types of propositions. In this paper I extend Fine’s truthmaker theory and give an abstract characterization of the exact truthmakers for necessitated propositions.

Exploitation and Mutual Advantage
Daniel Halliday, University of Melbourne
 One challenge facing moral condemnations of exploitation is the strong possibility that allegedly exploitative exchanges are mutually advantageous—beneficial to all participating parties. While it’s true that condemning an act becomes harder when a mutual advantage criterion is satisfied, little attention has focused on how exploitation might satisfy such a criterion. I argue that current philosophical orthodoxy has been too quick to accept a framework containing an incorrect mutual advantage criterion. Specifically, exploitation is widely treated as a “micro level” event, motivating the selection of a “no transaction” baseline against which mutual advantage is measured. We should reject this micro level claim, and hence reject the standard baseline. This has further implications for how we should construe the important relationship between exploitation and the vulnerability of an exploited party. In defending these claims, I draw on examples of types of market exchange not often discussed in recent exploitation literature.

Fair Play, Presumptive Benefit, and the Equality Constraint
Joseph Frigault, Boston University
 In recent decades the notion of political obligation, understood as a special moral obligation to obey the law, has received heavy criticism. Some of the most resilient defenses of political obligation have been grounded in the so-called argument from fair play. After introducing the basic argument and identifying the version I find most promising, advanced by George Klosko, I consider one prominent objection to it made by A. John Simmons. I argue that despite ultimately missing its mark, Simmons’s objection helps shed new light on the argument from fair play by revealing a hitherto un-expressed fact about the conditions of its proper application which I call the equality constraint.

Faith, Commitment, and Disagreement
Lara Buchak, University of California, Berkeley
 I have argued that faith requires committing to a risky act without examining further evidence, and I have defended the claim that not looking for further evidence can sometimes be rational. In this paper, I focus on the commitment itself, since on my view faith requires that one maintain one’s commitment even in the face of counterevidence. I show why maintaining such a commitment can be rational over time, even if it is not rational at some particular times. Thus, one important role of faith is to allow us to carry out long-term, risky projects. I close by showing that this point has applications to how we ought to respond to peer disagreement.

False Reasons, Fine Explanations
Jonathan Drake, University of Texas at Austin
 Central to the theory of reasons is the question of whether, in order for an agent A to perform an action F for the reason that r, it must be the case that r. The Factive View of acting for reasons answers in the affirmative, while the Nonfactive View answers in the negative. According to one chief argument against the Nonfactive View, the view is inconsistent with two axioms of action theory. The first is that any reason for acting can be used to explain the action it is done for; the second is that only something that is the case can explain something. According to critics of the Nonfactive View, the conjunction of these two axioms and the Nonfactive View amounts to an inconsistent triad; and, given the much greater plausibility of the two axioms, we should reject the Nonfactive View. I demonstrate that this widely received argument fails.

Fictionalism on Models and Fictional Models in Science
Chuang Liu, University of Florida
 This paper defends an approach to modeling and models in science that is against model fictionalism of a recent stripe (a “new fictionalism” that takes models to be abstract entities that are analogous to works of fiction). It further argues that there is a version of fictionalism on models to which my approach is neutral, and that it only makes sense to adopt it if one adopts a special sort of antirealism (e.g., constructive empiricism). The other option is to stay away from fictionalism and embrace realism directly.

Finalism in Spinoza’s Physics?
Norman Whitman, Rhodes College
 Despite Baruch Spinoza’s assertions that his philosophy has no final causes, Alan Gabbey presents a compelling case that Spinoza’s physics may rely on a subtle form of finalism. According to Gabbey, Spinoza presents a confused understanding of simple bodies that requires, what Gabbey calls, the Principle of Least Modal Mutation (PLMM) to make sense of their motion. Rather than simple bodies being efficient causes of motion, the PLMM shows that simple bodies require an extrinsic principle to harmonize their motions. In opposition to Gabbey, I will show how Spinoza’s understanding of simple bodies does not entail an extrinsic principle of organization but rather requires a dynamic and immanent understanding of bodily action. I will present how Spinoza deploys the concept of simple bodies to explain the immanent causal process whereby bodies produce one another in a non-teleological manner.

Formal Intuition and the Pure Synthesis of Apprehension
Chen Liang, University of Illinois at Chicago
 I aim in this paper to clarify the notion of “formal intuition,” introduced in a footnote to §26 of the second version of the “Transcendental Deduction.” I will begin with an examination of a recent treatment of this footnote by Michael Friedman. I argue that the footnote does not discuss the all-encompassing unity of space. I shall then present my reading of the footnote, according to which the notion of “pure synthesis of apprehension,” which appears in the A-Deduction but disappears in B, is the key concept to a proper understanding of the notion of “formal intuition.” I argue that formal intuitions are intuited pure forms, which are the products of the pure synthesis of apprehension, exercised by the transcendental power of productive imagination. I will end my paper with the implication of this reading of the footnote for the interpretation of the structure of the B-Deduction.

Frege’s (Larger) Other Puzzle
Eric Snyder, Ohio State University
 This paper offers a new solution to what Thomas Hofweber (2005) calls “Frege’s Other Puzzle.” Number expressions like ‘four’ appear to serve different semantic functions. For example, ‘four’ appears to be functioning referentially in (ib) but non-referentially in (ia). (i) a. Jupiter has four moons. b. The number of Jupiter’s moons is four. Yet (ia,b) are semantically equivalent on Frege’s (1884) famous analysis. But how can (ia,b) be equivalent if ‘four’ serves different semantic functions in those examples? According to certain recent versions of “the Adjectival Strategy,” ‘four’ in both (ia,b) is a quantificational determiner, similar to ‘some’ or ‘no.’ As such, it cannot refer to a number. However, these views give rise to a different version of the same puzzle, what I call “Frege’s Larger Other Puzzle.” The key to solving both versions, I submit, is to recognize that ‘four’ in both (ia,b) is really a polymorphic adjective.

From Moral Disagreement to Non-cognitivism?
Richard Rowland, La Trobe University
 In this paper I give a new argument from claims about moral disagreement to non-cognitivism. Here is my argument in a nutshell: (minimally rational) beliefs track the truth; (minimally rational) moral judgments do not track the truth. And our responses to certain kinds of moral disagreements show us that (minimally rational) moral judgments do not track the truth. So moral judgments are not beliefs.

Fundamental Non-qualitative Properties
Byron Simmons, Syracuse University
 Some properties such as being a raven and being a writing desk are intuitively qualitative. Other properties such as being identical to Hugin and being located in Lewis Carroll’s study are intuitively non-qualitative. Two otherwise exactly similar individuals might share all their qualitative properties and relations but differ in their non-qualitative properties. I argue that the class of non-qualitative properties and relations is broader than it is often thought to be. When properly construed, it includes not only properties and relations that somehow make reference to particular individuals; it also includes other more general properties and relations such as identity, composition, set membership, and various peculiarly ontological properties. And since some of these more general properties seem to make for objective similarity, we have reason to believe that there are fundamental non-qualitative properties.

Gender, Identity, and Radfem Propaganda
Rachel McKinnon, College of Charleston
 In this paper I explore the ways that trans-exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) utilize propaganda in their attacks on trans women, and in pursuing their political and ideological goals with respect to trans women. Central to many uses of propaganda against such groups is the creation, maintenance, and use of stereotypes: false or misleading representations of groups. I argue that understanding TERF behavior in terms of propaganda is illuminating. We simultaneously gain a greater understanding of TERF rhetorical tactics, and we acquire an important case study in understanding the nature of propaganda itself and how it functions. I finish by exploring some of the epistemic effects of propaganda on various groups (TERFs themselves, trans women, and the broader public, in particular).

Gettier Cases, Epistemic Ignorance, and Implicit Ambivalence
Christopher Cloos, University of California, Santa Barbara
 Leading experimental philosopher Joshua Knobe recently challenged philosophers to explore the metaphilosophical implications of a growing consensus concerning Gettier cases. Experimental results show that lay people across cultures judge that protagonists in Gettier cases have justified true beliefs but lack knowledge. In this paper, I take up Knobe’s challenge in relation to Gettier cases as thought experiments. Using cases from a recent study by Jennifer Nagel, Valerie San Juan, and Raymond Mar (2013) I argue for a hypothesis explaining the data regarding Gettier cases. After explicating Nagel, San Juan, and Mar’s hypothesis explaining the data, I offer an alternative hypothesis that better explains the data. This hypothesis identifies epistemic ignorance and implicit ambivalence as the elements of cognition responsible, in part, for generating the similarity of cross-cultural intuitions concerning Gettier cases. The upshots are new experimental designs to test and aspects of the analysis of knowledge to explore.

Getting Expressivism out of the Woods
Sarah Raskoff, University of Arizona
 In a recent paper, Jack Woods argues that a central tenet of expressivism—which he calls the parity thesis—is false. The parity thesis states that moral assertions express non-cognitive attitudes like disapproval in exactly the same way that ordinary, descriptive assertions express beliefs. Most contemporary defenders of expressivism seem not only to accept the parity thesis but also to reply on it to distinguish their view from implausible versions of subjectivism. Woods argues that Moore’s paradox causes trouble for the expression relation at work in the parity thesis. I show that the solution to Moore’s argument that underlies Woods’s argument is at best incomplete, and propose an alternative solution to the paradox that avoids this problem. My solution explains the absurdity of Moorean assertions in terms of the absurdity of Moorean beliefs. The rest of the paper considers the ramifications of adopting this solution to Moore’s paradox.

Gradability and Multidimensionality in Aesthetic Adjectives
Mark Phelan, Lawrence University
 Must aesthetic adjectives, such as ‘beautiful’ and ‘sublime,’ be interpreted relative to a comparison class (e.g., “beautiful for a Kinkade”) or do they admit of absolute values and independent interpretation? Recent research suggests that some aesthetic adjectives—‘beautiful’ and ‘elegant’—behave like relative adjectives according to some diagnostics, but like absolute adjectives according to others. I argue that ‘beautiful’ and ‘elegant’ return confusing results because they are anomalous multidimensional aesthetic adjectives. Other central aesthetic adjectives (I focus on ‘sublime,’ ‘poetic,’ and ‘tragic’) pattern straightforwardly with absolute adjectives. For this reason ‘beautiful’ and ‘elegant’ constitute poor samples against which to draft an account of the semantics of aesthetic adjectives. Ultimately, the balance of evidence suggests that aesthetic adjectives are absolute gradable adjectives.

Grounding and the Luck Argument Against Libertarianism
Jonah Nagashima, University of California, Riverside
 Libertarians about free will think that some people act freely, and since free will is incompatible with determinism, free will requires indeterminism. According to luck objections to libertarianism, this thesis is self-undermining. If indeterminism is true, then whether or not you perform any given action is a matter of luck, and luck precludes free will. Neal Tognazzini has recently argued that this objection is best cashed out via metaphysical grounding—free actions require grounding in some relevant past state. In reply, I raise two objections. First, I argue that Tognazzini’s demand for grounds is unmotivated: the intuitive demands that free actions require explanation (metaphysical and otherwise) can be captured by weaker claims that don’t undermine libertarianism. Second, I argue that Tognazzini’s argument cannot utilize grounding to show how determinism precludes luck. So, waiving the first objection, Tognazzini’s argument has only limited utility; only impossibilists about free will can utilize it.

Hanson on Conceptual Art and the Acquaintance Principle
Ben Wolfson, Independent Scholar
 In “Conceptual Art and the Acquaintance Principle,” Louise Hanson argues that there exist works of conceptual art which may be judged or evaluated merely on the basis of their descriptions, even though to be acquainted with the works requires seeing the physical objects associated with them: for instance, the actual drawing of de Kooning’s that Rauschberg erased for “Erased de Kooning Drawing.” I argue that two of her main arguments in support of this conclusion are fatally flawed, and that her position as a whole places the would-be judger of conceptual works in an untenable position, in which she judges in ignorance of the work, and is not even decided about what the work she judges is.

Harder, Better, Faster, and Stronger: Epistemic Standards and Moral Beliefs
Nicole Dular, Syracuse University
 This paper considers one way in which moral epistemology is special compared to non-moral epistemology by looking to a neglected aspect of moral epistemology: epistemic standards. I argue that moral beliefs typically enjoy a higher epistemic standard than non-moral beliefs, which roughly means that moral beliefs typically require more justification than non-moral beliefs in order to be fully justified. After first locating a judgment that moral beliefs are typically less justified than analogous non-moral beliefs by looking to a series of cases, I consider two rival accounts that would explain this judgment, the “Morality is Hard” view and the “More Defeaters” view. Finding the “Morality is Hard” view lacking explanatory power and the “More Defeaters” view not being a genuine rival to my “Higher Standards” view, I argue that the best explanation of the initial judgment of differences in justification is that moral beliefs typically have a higher epistemic standard.

Hegel and Formal Idealism
Manish Oza, University of Toronto
 I offer an account of Hegel’s criticism of Kantian idealism in “Faith and Knowledge.” Kant held that the matter we receive in intuition is not categorially ordered: we have to combine representations to give them categorial form. But there are many logically possible ways to combine representations. The matter we receive should be such as to guide us to combine it correctly. Hegel argues that Kant’s dualism of intuition and the categories cannot meet this demand. The manifold of intuition does not determine any of the possible combinations as correct. And it is unclear how the categories can have sensory conditions for correct application. The Schematism does not solve this problem: it shows how the categories are responsive to time-determinations, but not to the matter of sensation. Our spontaneity is only guided by the form that we contribute, and not by what we receive. Thus Kant’s idealism becomes subjectivism.

Hegel’s Idealism and the Imagination as the ‘End of Art’
Gerad Gentry, University of South Carolina
 Robert Pippin offers a compelling read of Hegel’s infamous “end of art thesis.” Within his interpretation, however, we are advised to see the “end of art” thesis as merely a “failure of imagination” on Hegel’s part. In this paper, I argue that although art does have continued significance as Pippin argues, Hegel’s system necessitates his remarks on the end of art. Importantly, I argue that it is through the transcendence of art that the worth of art is reconciled into the highest mode of thought through the activity of the imagination. Hegel’s chief aim was not to give some definitive thesis about the arts, but rather to show that reason itself is fundamentally artistic. It is through the supposed “end of art” that Hegel raises art to the highest possible worth of any standpoint within his “system.” Art’s end is the birth of artistic thought.

Hegelian Spirits in Sellarsian Bottles
Willem deVries, University of New Hampshire
 Though Wilfrid Sellars portrayed himself as an analytic Kantian, I argue that he is at least as much an analytic Hegelian. Sellars is closer to Hegel than to Kant in several regards: (1) Sellars recognizes that the normativity essential to intentionality is an essentially social phenomenon and cannot be done justice to individualistically. (2) He refuses to begin with dualistic assumptions. (3) He recognizes the possibility (and reality) not just of conceptual change, but of categorial change, which entails the rejection of givenness. (4) Sellars is not a quietist, but is metaphysically ambitious and rigorously realistic—that is, he is opposed to any form of subjective idealism.

Heidegger’s Hesitance to Touch the Body: Implications of Bodily Particularities for Being
Christine Wieseler, University of South Florida
 Heidegger states, “the bodily [das Leibliche] is the most difficult [to understand] and (…) I was unable to say more at that time” (ZS, 292). I take the fact that Heidegger does finally address the problematic of the body in regard to Dasein in the Zollikon Seminars to be indicative of his recognition that such an account was needed. While he asserts that the body makes bodiliness possible, Heidegger does not consider the possibility that bodily particularities could have ontological significance. I will explicate passages that elucidate the bodiliness of Dasein as being-in-the-world in order to demonstrate the importance of the body for a Heideggerian account of being. I argue that if we assume that the body is central for being-in-the-world, then because bodies are always interpreted in light of their particularities, bodily particularities must be considered in order to understand being.

Hemispherectomies and Independently Conscious Brain Hemispheres
James Blackmon, San Francisco State University
 I argue that if minds supervene on the intrinsic physical properties of things like brains, then neurotypical human brains host many minds at once. Support comes from science-nonfiction realities that seem to have received little attention from philosophers. Some patients are functioning (albeit impaired) and phenomenally conscious by every medical account despite the fact that an entire brain hemisphere has been detached. I will argue that some such surviving minds existed before the medical procedure, instantiated by the then-intact hemisphere that was due to survive the loss of its complement. If so, then the argument generalizes: In addition to the traditionally acknowledged mind instantiated by both hemispheres of a neurotypical brain, there is that mind which would survive the loss of the right hemisphere, and that which would survive the loss of the left. Some important ethical implications are raised.

Herder and the Principle of Harmonious Individuality
C. Booher, California State University, Fullerton
 Johann Gottfried Herder develops and defends an ethical principle that I call the principle of harmonious individuality. This principle holds that every person has an ethical task to make themselves harmoniously developed, unique individual. I first detail the contours of his conception of individuality and examine his argument for it. Specifically, the view arises from his conception of human soul, the complexity of human physiology, and the effect of a person’s place in the world on their development. These arguments do not ground a normative conception of individuality, but such arguments are needed in order for Herder’s view to have the normative import he seeks to give it. I contend that the normative basis of Herder’s account can be grasped through an examination of his account of genius. I conclude by noting the ways in which Herder’s views contributed to the ethics of individuality in later German thinkers.

How (and How Not) to Be a Luck Prioritarian
Blake Hereth, University of Washington
 Shlomi Segall defends a variation of luck prioritarianism which endorses the following broad thesis: “Fairness requires giving priority to improving the health of an individual if she has invested more rather than less effort in looking after her health, and of those who have invested equal effort, priority should be given to those who are worse off (health-wise).” Against Segall, I first show that fairness does not require prioritizing those who have invested more rather than less effort. In fact, in some cases, fairness requires not prioritizing those who have put forth more effort. Second, I argue that Segall’s account is incomplete because it omits inclusion of the plausible principle that those who are now health-conscious ought to be prioritized over those who merely were health-conscious, even if both are equally badly off and even if the net effort invested by both is equal.

How Irrelevant Influences Work
Josh White, Purdue University
 I argue that epistemically irrelevant factors impact our beliefs by affecting the way things seem to us. Focusing on those cases in which one believes something because of the influence of one’s community, I show that there are in fact multiple strands of influence involved in such cases, including testimony, the instillation of epistemic standards, and the exertion of social pressure. Seemings are well-suited to serve as the basis of beliefs influenced by irrelevant factors because they provide the most plausible way to draw these various strands of influence together. For this reason, any adequate treatment of the problem posed by irrelevant influences must account for the role that seemings play in the formation of the beliefs that are the product of those influences.

How Science Can Inform Metaphysics: Insights from Biological Practice
C. Kenneth Waters, University of Calgary
 This paper introduces a new approach for scientific metaphysics. Instead of drawing metaphysical conclusions by interpreting the most basic theories that emerge from scientific practices, this approach draws metaphysical conclusions by analyzing the practices themselves. This shift opens the door to drawing metaphysical conclusions from a broad range of sciences. This paper analyzes conceptual practice in genetics to argue that reality at the scale investigated by geneticists lacks a general structure. It expands this conclusion to motivate the no general structure thesis, which states that the world lacks a general structure that spans different scales. The no general structure thesis is a form of realism and it says something general and important about the world. It can inform science as well as philosophy of science, and it provides a basic perspective for societies that are looking to science to solve complex problems in our changing world.

How to Embed an Epistemic Modal: Attitude Problems and Other Defects of Character
Alex Silk, University of Birmingham
 This paper develops an improved contextualist account of embedded epistemic modals. I focus on three prominent objections to contextualism from embedding: first, that contextualism mischaracterizes subjects’ states of mind; second, that contextualism fails to predict how epistemic modals are obligatorily linked to the subject in attitude ascriptions; and third, that contextualism fails to explain the persisting anomalousness of “epistemic contradictions” (Yalcin 2007) in suppositional contexts. Previous contextualist accounts have inadequately appreciated the force of these objections. Yet contextualism has more resources at its disposal than is often thought. I argue that we can derive the seemingly problematic embedding phenomena from a particular contextualist interpretation of a standard semantics for modals, independently attested mechanisms of local interpretation, and typical features of discourse contexts. I conclude by briefly examining how the proposed contextualist account compares with certain relativist accounts.

How We Know That We Think: A Simple Response to Dretske’s Challenge
Antonia Peacocke, University of California, Berkeley
 When Dretske (2012a, 2012b) argued that there is no distinctive first-personal way in which each of us knows that she thinks (i.e., makes judgments), he failed to consider one crucial proposal: that our knowledge that we think is grounded in mental action awareness. Here I present an original argument—the first ever offered in the literature on mental action—in favor of the existence of a non-conceptual, contrastive form of such mental action awareness. I then explain how knowledge that one thinks can be grounded in such awareness. Our warrant for judging that we think depends on our awareness of what we are doing combined with the connective insight that doing that sort of thing (i.e., judging) is thinking. Having such connective insight is necessary for having the concept THINK. When one judges intentionally under the description of thinking, one’s action awareness is also one’s awareness that one thinks.

Human Exceptionalism and the Freedom of the World
Marie-Eve Morin, University of Alberta
 In The Experience of Freedom, Nancy undertakes a radical desubjectivization of freedom that sees him affirming not only the ‘freedom of the world’ but the freedom of each thing, including the stone. In this paper, I examine this freedom in light of Nancy’s claim that it leads neither to animism nor to anthropomorphism. I then turn to ‘our’ responsibility for this freedom, focusing on the role of the human in what Nancy calls ‘the creation of the world’. Ultimately, I ask whether Nancy’s philosophy still falls prey to human exceptionalism in the guise of a latent anthropocentrism.

Human Nature, Normativity, and Aristotelian Constructivism
Max Parish, University of Oklahoma
 Neo-Aristotelian ethical naturalism claims ethics is grounded in human nature. The view continues to be haunted by the normativity objection, the claim that human nature is not normative, and so cannot ground ethical claims. Whether one thinks human nature is normative depends on the metanormative theory to which one is committed. One might therefore expect Aristotelians and their critics to be working out their disagreements at the metanormative level. Alas, it has not been so. I propose to change that. I begin developing a version of Aristotelian Constructivism (AC). It enables neo-Aristotelians to explain human nature’s significant bearing on ethics while avoiding the normativity objection. The key lies in AC’s explanatory structure—a structure it shares with other mainstream constructivist theories. The upshot is that human nature explains the content of basic normative facts and judgments but not their normative status.

Husserl and Wittgenstein: The World’s Justifiability and the Logical Model
Stefano Vincini, University of Memphis
 The goal of the paper is to sketch an answer to the question of whether it is possible to justify one’s own belief in the existence of the world. Specifically, I will pursue the model of justification by which a proposition is justified by other propositions, and, correspondingly, a belief is justified by other beliefs. The paper is divided into three sections. In the first, I will elaborate the question of whether the belief in the world’s existence is justifiable and I will present a “Wittgensteinian” negative answer. In the second, I will suggest that the propositions produced by Husserl’s phenomenological reduction do not presuppose the world’s existence. In the third, I will propose a non-circular way to infer the world’s existence. The epistemic nexus between premises and conclusion becomes visible by appropriating the non-naïf conception of reality entailed by transcendental idealism.

In Defense of Proper Functionalism: Cognitive Science Takes on Swampman
Kenneth Boyce, University of Missouri
Andrew Moon, Rutgers University
 According to proper functionalism, a belief is warranted only if it is formed by cognitive faculties that are properly functioning according to a good, truth-aimed design plan. A formidable challenge to proper functionalism is the Swampman objection, which states that there are possible scenarios involving creatures who have warranted beliefs but whose cognitive faculties are not properly functioning. In this paper, we draw lessons from cognitive science to argue not only that the Swampman objection fails, but also that proper function is a necessary condition for knowledge. [Word Count: 87]

Inductive Risk Without Type I or Type II Error: Ethical Values in Endocrine Disruption Terminology Choice
Jack Powers, University of Minnesota
 Philosophers think of inductive risk narrowly as the risk of making mistakes about the truth of hypotheses, i.e., type I or type II error. This paper will argue for an expanded conception of inductive risk as the risk of engaging in a scientific practice that is incongruous with the set of values meant to regulate that practice. The concept of induction implicit in traditional arguments from inductive risk supports this expanded conception. Using endocrine disruption terminology as an example, I will highlight the relevance of social, moral, and political values to the scientific practice of language choice. In so doing, I will demonstrate the possibility of inductive risk in the absence of type I or type II error.

Information Structure and the Challenge of Higher Order Discourse
Megan Hyska, University of Texas at Austin
 In her influential “Information Structure: Towards an Integrated Formal Theory of Pragmatics” (1996, 2012), Craige Roberts offers a modeling apparatus that makes predictions about an utterance’s relevance. In this paper I present a class of utterances about which Roberts’s model makes systematically false predictions. This is the class of “higher order utterances,” which is to say utterances that are about the discourse itself. I will confront several possible attempts to defend Roberts’s model and to assimilate higher order utterances to another class of problematic utterances that Roberts has acknowledged. I will argue that these attempts are unsuccessful; higher order utterances pose a genuine and unique challenge to the project of modeling information structure.

Intentionalism, Transparency, and Imaginative Phenomenology
Margherita Arcangeli, Université de Genève
Uriah Kriegel, Institut Jean Nicod
 It is hard to deny that imagination has a phenomenology: when we imagine an octopus, there is something it is like for us to do so. It is an open question, however, whether what it is like to imagine an octopus is (i) fully fixed by the fact that an octopus is what one imagines, or (ii) is constituted partly by the fact that imagining is what one is doing. If (i), then the phenomenal character of an imaginative experience is exhausted by the experience’s content. If (ii), then the experience’s mode or attitude contributes to its phenomenal character as well. In this paper, we offer an epistemological argument for (ii). We argue that proponents of (i) are naturally led to a psychologically unrealistic model of how one comes to know that one is imagining (rather than seeing, for example) an octopus.

Introspection as Attention
Wayne Wu, Carnegie Mellon University
 We do not understand introspection as a psychological capacity. This is troubling given that introspection is widely deployed to provide data for theories of consciousness and mind. This talk provides a model of introspection of consciousness that begins with a common idea: introspection involves attention. I leverage psychological, computational, and neural understanding of attention to provide a philosophically and empirically grounded model of what introspective attention is. The attentional model is compatible with most (all?) views about the metaphysics of perceptual consciousness and illuminates three properties commonly ascribed to introspection: that it is necessarily first-personal; that it is reliable (privileged); and that it is direct. The model naturally explains the first two properties and suggests that introspection entails transparency. If introspection is direct, it is transparently direct. I conclude by outlining the scope and limits of introspective reliability in accessing properties of phenomenal consciousness.

Is Beth Preston a Technological Determinist? Innovation and Material Culture
Hector MacIntyre, Independent Scholar
 In §1 I recount Beth Preston’s sociogeneric approach to the study of material cultural propagation. Drawing on her pluralism about function, she argues that proper functional use patterns explain the reproduction of these items, but that this has the consequence that individuals themselves can be seen as products of technology—a consequence I argue commits her to technological determinism. Preston pre-empts a criticism of this nature through her theory of innovation, which draws on deviant system-functional uses that upset standard use patterns, as I discuss in §2. Individuals can deviate in small ways that add up to large changes. In §3 I challenge this account of innovation by attacking the notion of improvisation she develops in support of it. It is more accurate to depict these deviant uses as fairly random utilizations of item affordances rather than even the minutely novel shifts and incremental departures Preston posits.

Is Cultural Evolution Mechanistic?
Bryon Cunningham, California State University, Fullerton
 Current theories of cultural evolution employ a variety of strategies to explain cultural transmission and variation. This complicates any attempt to assess competing theories of cultural evolution, due to the absence of a common standard of explanatory validity. We attempt to remedy this to some extent, by comparing the explanatory strategies of current theories of cultural evolution to a general model of scientific explanation, according to which explanatory validity increases as it approaches the ideal of mechanistic explanation. Put simply: Is cultural evolution mechanistic?

Is Mind-wandering Disunified or Unguided? A Critique of Carruthers’s The Centered Mind
Zac Irving, University of Toronto
 Although mind-wandering occupies up to half of our waking thoughts, it is seldom discussed in philosophy. I discuss two of the only philosophical theories of mind-wandering: Carruthers and my own. I define mind-wandering as unguided attention. Roughly speaking, an individual’s attention is guided when she would feel pulled back, were she distracted. In contrast, a wandering attention drifts from topic to topic unchecked. Carruthers defines mind-wandering as disunified thinking: that is, when our mind wanders, our thoughts do not serve common overarching goal. Unlike theories in the empirical literature, Carruthers and I can solve what I call the “Puzzle of the Purposeful Wanderer:” mind-wandering seems essentially passive, yet it is under the influence of our goals in a way that seems active. Yet my theory avoids an unhappy consequence of Carruthers’s, which threatens to undermine the systematic study of mind-wandering.

Is Phenomenal Force Sufficient for Immediate Perceptual Justification?
Lu Teng, Cornell University
 Dogmatism claims that perceptual experiences provide us with immediate justification for external world beliefs in virtue of having a distinctive phenomenal character—namely phenomenal force. By holding this view, dogmatism seems to also embrace the view that for any experience (e.g. perceptual, memorial, or imaginative, etc.), if it has phenomenal force, then it provides us with immediate justification for external world beliefs. This paper rejects dogmatism by looking into the epistemology of imagination. Some empirical studies show that imaginations can have phenomenal force; however, some of them fail to provide us with immediate justification. These imaginations constitute counterexamples to dogmatism. I also consider and reply to an objection to my argument, namely “Why is it wrong to treat such imaginations as hallucinations, which seem to provide us with immediate justification for external world beliefs?”

It’s Not Easy Being Egalitarian
Michael Weber, Bowling Green State University
 The Leveling Down Objection suggests that an egalitarian must concede that a state of affairs can be made better in some respect (namely, in terms of equality) simply by worsening the condition of the better-off so that they are no better off than the worse-off in the original state. This is not a knock-down objection to egalitarianism; however, if true, it does make it hard to be an egalitarian. Unsurprisingly, attempts have been made to make it easier to be an egalitarian. Tom Christiano argues that the egalitarian, properly understood, is not in fact forced to make the concession. Both Ingmar Persson and Campbell Brown argue that prioritarianism—a central alternative to egalitarianism—is also subject to the Leveling Down Objection. I argue, however, that both of these attempts to make it easier to be an egalitarian ultimately fail. Thus, it remains hard to be an egalitarian.

Jaspers, Narrativity, and the Structure of Authentic Dasein
Jeffrey Byrnes, Grand Valley State University
 Some commentators have attempted to locate an ethics in Being and Time by reading Heidegger’s account of authenticity as normatively inclined toward a unified narrative structure. Anti-narrativists, such as Bernard Williams, have been critical of any narrative view, claiming that one could never take up the perspective necessary to impart a unified narrative structure upon one’s own life. And Heidegger scholars, such as Taylor Carman, have rejected a narrative reading of Being and Time saying that Heidegger explicitly recognized that death ruled out the possibility of interpreting Dasein as a unified narrative. I argue that the anti-narrativists have rightly alighted upon the problem, but they fail to appreciate the way in which the transition to Division Two of Being and Time is a response to this very problem. Restoring this connection offers a poignant account of Dasein’s temporality.

Just Saying: Paradox and Contradiction in the Zhuangzi
Jay L. Garfield, Yale-NUS College, National University of Singapore, Yale University, Smith College
 In chapter 2 of the Zhuangzi, two paradoxes are developed. One involves an argument to the effect that no argument can establish any thesis, including the argument that establishes that no argument can establish any thesis. The second involves the claim that we both can and cannot know that nothing we say means anything at all. I explore these paradoxes in the context of other passages in chapter 2.

Justification with Awareness
Dugald Owen, Fort Lewis College
 This paper explores the structure of reasons required by strict adherence to the epistemic internalist’s guiding intuition: For a belief to be justified for a person, that person must (1) be aware of a reason for it; (2) believe that the reason is true and (3) that it supports the belief; and (4) be justified in holding the beliefs required by (2) and (3). Opponents of internalism have argued that the fourth condition, a recursive demand requiring reasons for reasons, apparently to infinity, renders internalism untenable. I show how to satisfy the four conditions without a disastrous regress and argue that the resulting structure, though formally coherentist, differs significantly from traditional forms of coherentism and further captures what is correct in foundationalist and infinitist theories of justification. Through a satisfactory account of the structure of justifying reasons, epistemic internalism is vindicated.

Kant, Eugenics, and Human Nature
Alan Buchanan McLuckie, Stanford University
 Martin Gunderson (2007) has recently argued that Kant’s theory of rational moral agency provides us with compelling reasons to support genetic engineering. Although the value Kant places on rationality as an essential capacity of human nature might suggest his endorsement of attempts to shape human nature through eugenic interventions, I contend that there is in fact much in Kant’s writings to support anti-eugenic thought. My paper focuses on what I will call Kant’s “argument from Nature” against eugenic thinking. This argument is primarily concerned with whether and how we ought to determine in advance what sorts of people there should be. I show that Kant’s explicit, albeit underdeveloped, position is that we ought not to engage in artificial engineering that attempts to ennoble the human species, even if we were able to eliminate the so-called degenerative, undesirable qualities from the human species.

Killing Naked Non-state Combatants: Insights from Islamic Just War Theory
Hadassa Noorda, New York University
 Drones are increasingly used to kill non-state combatants. Often, non-state combatants are killed in their daily lives, unarmed and wearing civilian clothing. They are not contributing to the war at the moment of the attack; instead, they are “naked soldiers.” The question is whether a supposed terrorist, insurgent, or rebel should be killed while living her daily life, not wearing a distinctive dress or carrying weapons. To answer this question, I address a largely underexposed part of the historical roots of the principles of war: Islamic Just War Theory. Islamic Just War Theory sets out rules for responding to threats by non-uniformed combatants.

Knots in the Dao: Paradox and Contradiction in the Daodejing
Graham Priest, The Graduate Center, CUNY
 Knots in the Dao: Paradox and Contradiction in the Daodejing Graham Priest, CUNY Graduate Center and the University of Melbourne In this talk, I argue that the Daodejing (at least as interpreted by Wang Bi) is a dialetheic text. That is, the fundamental principles which it endorses entail that the world is one where some important contradictions are true. This provides a simple and natural interpretation of a number of passages in the text. In a connected talk, Jay Garfield will argue the same about the Zhuangzi.

Knowledge as Ability: A Constructive Critique
Emily Bingeman, Dalhousie University
 Although feminist epistemology has been around for close to thirty years now, there is still confusion about what it is and how it fits into the larger landscape of epistemology. A common misconception is that feminist epistemologists are working on problems that are peripheral to those of mainstream epistemology. This seems to be evidenced by the fact that mainstream epistemologists often ignore the work of feminist epistemologists. The recent trend of “value-driven” epistemology provides an example of this tendency. Most of its prominent proponents seem to ignore the feminist literature almost entirely. In this paper, I argue that the conceptual tools developed by feminist epistemologists would be particularly relevant to this new value-driven approach. I use John Greco’s knowledge as achievement account as a case study in order to show how the value-driven approach would be benefitted by paying attention to insights from feminist epistemology.

Knowledge in Action
Markos Valaris, University of New South Wales
 My aim in this paper is to raise some questions about what it means for the mind to be involved in bodily action. Schematically, most work on agency and action assumes that the bodily movements in which our actions consist are, as such, mindless, and express mentality or intelligence only insofar as they are guided from the outside by suitable mental states. I believe that this picture is problematic, and that reflection on the nature of skills and know-how shows why. My argument proceeds in two stages. First, I give an argument in favour of “intellectualism”—that is, the view that knowledge how has propositional content. In the second stage, I argue that if intellectualism is to be developed into a phenomenologically and empirically acceptable account of skilled agency, it will have to reject this picture of the mind’s involvement in physical action.

Leibniz on Spontaneity and Grace
Joseph Anderson, Central Michigan University
 There is something puzzling about the notion of grace in relation to Leibniz’s mature take on substance. Spontaneity is a part of Leibniz’s doctrine of pre-established harmony that claims that all of a substance’s changes are brought about by an internal principle. If grace is just a part of the monad’s unfolding of its own powers, then it seems to be nothing special, nothing supernatural, and, in fact, the same sort of thing as a creature’s resistance to grace or original limitation that the creature “brings with it.” Leibniz has clearly indicated, though, that original limitation and resistance to grace is due to the creature while the impartation of grace is particularly due to the influence of God. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether and how Leibniz conceived of grace as something added to a creature in the last decade of his life.

Making Uncanny: The Normative Effect of Telling a Genealogy
Torsten Menge, Georgetown University
 What is the critical import of telling a genealogy? I argue that telling materialist genealogies (of which Foucault’s studies are a paradigm example) can have an uncanny effect: It can disrupt our familiarity with the everyday world by revealing to us the embodied norms that structure our everyday activities. Once we recognize that our situation is structured by normative demands, we cannot simply let ourselves be carried along by found norms. Genealogies thus call on us to take responsibility for these norms and to practically transform the space in which we act. Telling a genealogy does not just provide the strategic knowledge necessary to enact a transformation, as Colin Koopman to suggest, nor does it simply hold us to an already existing normative requirement to resist practices because they are morally wrong, as critics like Taylor, Fraser or Habermas claim.

Medieval Women Didn’t Do Philosophy of Religion: So Why am I Still Talking?
Christina VanDyke, Calvin College
 Female mystics and contemplatives in the Middle Ages didn’t think of themselves as engaging in philosophy per se, and what they wrote often tends not to fit neatly into our contemporary conceptions of even just philosophical theology. Nevertheless, I argue, if you take a step back and think of philosophy as the love of wisdom, perennially addressing the issues that human beings have wondered about “Since the dawn of time,” it turns out that medieval women have a wealth of things to say about classic philosophical debates involving self-knowledge, love, human nature, ethics, God, and the meaning of life. What’s more, these women engaged with and influenced intellectual, theological, and cultural movements across (what’s now modern-day) Europe, particularly from the 13th-15th centuries. I discuss Hildegard of Bingen, Gertrude of Helfta, Catherine of Sienna, and Julian of Norwich as just a few of the medieval women well worth contemporary philosophical attention.

Mental Language and Ockham’s Bias in Favor of Personal Supposition
Milo Crimi, University of California, Los Angeles
 In the third book of his Summary of Logic, William of Ockham infamously claims that the third mode of equivocation—that is, the sort of equivocation exhibited by a term that may have more than one type of supposition—occurs not only in written and spoken language, but in mental language as well. Modern commentators have raised several criticisms of Ockham on this point. Here I wish to respond to just one of these criticisms: Ockham appears to endorse a rule that implies a bias in favor of personal supposition. I will argue that the alleged problem raised for Ockham’s theory of mental language is just as problematic for his theory of conventional language, but that in practice Ockham does not seem to endorse the rule.

Method, Habit, and the Unity of Scientia in Descartes’s Regulae
Tarek Dika, University of Michigan
 For many commentators, Descartes begins Regulae ad directionem ingenii by (1) affirming the unity of science, and then (2) searching for a method by which to discover it. I will refer to this as the “Standard Interpretation,” shared by John Schuster and Daniel Garber. The basic problem with the Standard Interpretation is that it offers no satisfying explanation of why Descartes affirmed the unity of science in the Regulae in the first place. Garber offers no explanation of it, and Schuster accounts for it in ways that can now be definitively refuted based on evidence from the recently discovered Cambridge Manuscript. To remedy this explanatory gap, I turn the Standard Interpretation on its head and argue that Descartes’s affirmation of the unity of science flows from his antecedent commitment to a single method by which they may all be learned.

Modeling Sex/Gender
Helen Daly, Colorado College
 Members of our society often assume sex/gender divides all people into two exclusive and jointly exhaustive categories: male and female. We reject that binary picture when we realize that not all people fit neatly into one group or the other. But how else might we conceptualize sex/gender? Here I consider four “models.” Each correctly captures some features of sex/gender, and so each is appropriate for some purposes, but the first three models are inadequate when tough questions arise, like whether trans women should be admitted as students at a women’s college. My model is designed for those critical, challenging circumstances.

Moderate Bayesianism Is Incompatible with Equal Treatment
Olav Vassend, University of Wisconsin-Madison
 Equal Treatment, recently articulated and defended by Susanna Rinard, holds that beliefs are rational or irrational in exactly the same way that actions are. According to Bayesian expected utility theory an action is rational if and only if it maximizes expected utility. Thus, Bayesians who embrace Equal Treatment are led to the view that a belief is rational if and only if it maximizes expected utility. I show that, under a widely accepted condition, this view is inconsistent with almost all forms of Bayesianism. In fact, any form of Bayesianism consistent with Equal Treatment must endorse Extreme Permissivism.

Moderate Internalism Defended from the New Evil Demon Problem
Kolja Keller, University of Rochester
 Andrew Moon argues that a version of the new evil demon problem is a worry for moderate internalists. On his version, a demon destroys all unaccessed mental states for a duplicate, resulting in internally indistinguishable experiences with differing unaccessed mental states. Since moderate internalists rely on the intuition that internal indistinguishability makes for equal justification but also use unaccessed mental states in their account of justification, this is a problem. I argue that this problem can be dissolved since the demon described can only succeed in destroying the supervenience basis of the unaccessed mental states and inadvertently becomes part of the mind of the duplicate.

Moral Concerns about Responsibility Denial and the Quarantine of Dangerous Criminals
John Lemos, Coe College
 Derk Pereboom, Gregg Caruso, and Bruce Waller claim that human beings lack the kind of free will that makes us morally responsible in the basic desert sense. They maintain that the harsh treatment of convicted criminals could only be justified if we had such a kind of responsibility. Thus, they argue for the reform of the penal system, and they only support the detention of criminals who pose a threat to the rest of the population. In doing so they invoke the model of quarantine. I argue that such a view too easily lends support to policies that would encourage the detention of innocent people for crimes they did not commit.

Moral Pickles, Moral Dilemmas, and the Obligation Preface Paradox
Daniel Immerman, University of Notre Dame
 This paper argues for the possibility of a moral pickle. A moral pickle is a set of states of affairs such that you ought to bring about each and cannot bring about all. My argument arises from an analog of the preface paradox that I call the “obligation preface paradox.” It has significant implications for the philosophical discussion of moral dilemmas. Moral dilemmas are a species of moral pickle involving only two obligations. In other words, a moral dilemma is a set of two states of affairs such that you ought to bring about each and cannot bring about both. As yet, there isn’t a debate about the possibility of moral pickles over and above the possibility of moral dilemmas. But as I show, there is good reason to think that moral pickles are possible while at the same time moral dilemmas are not.

Motivational Ought Implies Can
Aaron Wolf, Syracuse University
 The doctrine that ought implies can (OIC) invites a lot of objections. Some of them are widely accepted. The framework of normative reasons gives us a new way to think about OIC, and recent literature considers whether this can advance the debate. But few appear to have recognized a crucial difference between classical OIC and the reasons version: reasons introduce an extra argument place to the ought-relation. Once we see this, we are in a better position to move things forward. Most of the common objections to OIC are aimed at the possibility of the action to be done. In this paper I’ll argue that if we re-cast OIC with the possibility of being moved by the considerations that give reasons instead, we get a plausible view in the spirit of the original which dodges the usual slate of objections.

Names Are Not Predicates
Heidi Savage, State University of New York at Geneseo
 There are at least three kinds of cases offered as evidence that proper names ought to be treated as predicates: attribution cases, quantifier cases, and disambiguation cases. None of these cases conclusively shows that names are predicates. In fact, all of these constructions can be given alternative paraphrases that eliminate the predicative features of certain uses of names. The semantics of these paraphrases do not involve having names function as predicates in any way whatsoever. In attribution cases, the names within them function as comparatives. In the second two kinds of cases, they specify the domain rather than functioning as predicates. Given that both paraphrases can be given plausible semantic treatments that have significant advantages over their competitors, there is no longer any reason to focus on predicative views of proper names.

Negative Counterfactual Logic
Matthias Jenny, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 I defend negative counterfactual logic, which claims that all would-counterfactuals with impossible antecedents are uniformly false. This contradicts the standard assumption that such counterfactuals are uniformly true. Linguistic evidence for negative counterfactual logic comes from two sources. First, we have might-counterpossibles, i.e., might-counterfactuals with impossible antecedents, that are linguistically more appropriate than their would-counterparts, even though positive counterfactual logic would predict the reverse to be the case. Second, we have a close connection between would-counterfactuals and possibility claims that is better predicted by negative than by positive counterfactual logic.

Neo-Aristotelian Naturalism and the Dilemma of Natural Normativity
Parisa Moosavi, University of Toronto
 Neo-Aristotelian metaethical naturalism aims to naturalize ethical normativity by showing that it is continuous with natural organismic normativity, a form of normativity allegedly already present in nature among living organisms. Opponents of this view argue that evolutionary biology has refuted the neo-Aristotelian account of organismic normativity, while its proponents respond that evolutionary biology is irrelevant in assessing their view. In this paper, I examine the evolutionary challenge to neo-Aristotelian naturalism as a question of naturalistic credentials. I argue that neo-Aristotelian naturalists face a dilemma: either they take the biological account of organisms seriously and have trouble accounting for organismic normativity, or in seeking a normative account of organisms they risk losing their naturalistic credentials. I suggest that a potential solution to the dilemma lies in retracting from the conviction that biology is irrelevant, and looking at certain recent interpretations of evolution that are more congenial to the neo-Aristotelian project.

Neo-Confucian Oneness and Aspects
Donald L.M. Baxter, University of Connecticut
 The neo-Confucians hold that oneself is identical with the universe and everything in it. I present a theory of qualitative self-differing in order to make literal sense of this view. I motivate the theory by examining the sort of internal conflicts that led Plato to divide the self into parts, while emphasizing the unity of the self found in Sartre and Descartes. One is the same self on both sides of the conflicts. Rather than numerically distinct parts; one has numerically identical but qualitatively differing “aspects.” I argue that Leibniz’s Law applies only to complete entities such as individuals, not to incomplete entities such as aspects. Given an interpretation of neo-Confucian oneness in terms of the theory of aspects, oneself and everything else are aspects of the One—the universe itself.

Non-comparative Fairness, Pluralism, and an Impossibility Result for Unweighted Lotteries
Gerard Vong, Harvard University
 The central current philosophical debate over using lotteries to distribute benefits is between unweighted and weighted approaches. Unweighted lotteries always give all potential beneficiaries an equal chance of benefiting, whereas weighted lotteries sometimes give claimants an unequal chance of benefiting. In Section I, I argue that the current debate between unweighted and weighted lottery theorists is misguided as there is an important but overlooked set of cases in which it is impossible to give potential beneficiaries equal chances of benefiting. Therefore a lottery theorist must adopt a weighted lottery if they are to account for all cases. This impossibility result, I contend, gives us decisive reason to reject the received unweighted lottery view defended by Broome and others. In Section II, I diagnose why Broome’s solely comparative view of fairness commits him to the implications discussed earlier and provide a new argument for a non-comparative, absolute type of fairness.

Non-deviant Conditional Presuppositions
Matthew Mandelkern, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 The Proviso Problem is the problem of accounting for the discrepancy between the predictions of nearly every extant theory of semantic presupposition versus observations about what speakers of certain conditionals, disjunctions, and conjunctions are felt to take for granted. I argue that the Proviso Problem is a much more serious problem than is recognized in the current literature. After briefly explaining the problem and the standard response to it, I give a number of examples regarding which the standard response makes the wrong predictions. I conclude that the standard response is inadequate. Unless a more satisfactory response can be given, then, we must abandon the theories in question. I conclude by sketching a new theory of semantic presupposition which avoids from the start making the problematic predictions which lead to the Proviso Problem.

Not as a Means: Killing as a Side Effect in Self-defense
Kerah Gordon-Solmon, Queen’s University
 A person who keeps her car well maintained and always drives cautiously and alertly decides to drive to the movies. Freak circumstances cause the car to go out of control. It has veered in the direction of a pedestrian whom it will kill unless she, or a third party, blows it up with a grenade. Whether the driver is liable to be thusly killed is the most polarizing question in philosophical debates about the ethics of self-defense. But existent debates frequently conflate the questions of whether the driver is liable to be killed and how, or by what means the driver is potentially liable to be killed. I hypothesize separating these questions illuminates the source of widely shared intuitions about the case. I argue, drawing on Frances Kamm’s account of subordination, that there’s a moral asymmetry among different means of side-effect killing, which has important ramifications here.

Novelty Versus Replicability: Virtues and Vices in the Reward System of Science
Felipe Romero, Washington University in St. Louis
 Philosophers and scientists have defended replicability as the gold standard of scientific findings (Fisher 1926; Popper [1959] 2002; Heisenberg 1975), but bibliometric evidence across fields consistently shows that replication is rarely practiced. This problem has received little attention from philosophers (Longino 2015). In this paper I study this problem from a social epistemological perspective. I show how the interplay between the reward system of science, statistical inference procedures, and publication practices makes it expected to see very few replications. This interplay creates a tension between novelty and replicability, which threatens the replicability ideal, and leads us to re-evaluate philosophical theories of division of cognitive labor that defend a positive functional role of priority rule in scientific practice (Kitcher 1990; Strevens 2003, 2011).

Nudging Doesn’t Threaten Rationality
Tim Houk, University of California, Davis
 In this paper, I defend the practice of nudging against a particular moral concern. Some have argued that nudging is morally objectionable because it somehow threatens or undermines the rationality of the nudged agents. Promoting rational choice is good and preventing or thwarting rational choice is bad because it violates autonomy or prevents informed consent. So nudging appears to be bad. However, I argue nudging does not threaten rationality. I evaluate what effect nudging has on our deliberative process and our resulting decisions and argue that the effect of nudging is typically unproblematic.

On Microaggressions: Cumulative Harm and Individual Responsibility
Christina Warne-Friedlaender, University of Memphis
 Microaggressions are unintentional forms of discriminatory behavior, but are distinct from mere disrespect. In order for an act to constitute a microaggression, the target must be a member of a systematically oppressed group. As such, microaggressions occur within a larger framework of structural oppression. Unlike regular aggressions, the individual perpetrator is often unaware of their behavior and the harm in any particular case is usually minimal. In this paper, I argue that microaggressions present a unique case for how we understand cumulative harm, blame allocation, and responsibility within structural oppression. I first provide a framework for identifying microaggressions and their harm. I then raise two problems in allocating blame for the cumulative harm of microaggressions. Lastly, I argue that given the problems in allocating blame for such harm, we, as perpetrators of individual microaggressions, have a responsibility to respond to the cumulative harm to which we have individually contributed.

On the Confinement of Animals
David Killoren, Northwestern University
Robert Streiffer, University of Wisconsin-Madison
 At any given time, humans confine billions of (non-human, sentient) animals on farms and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), in zoos, in research laboratories, in game preserves and national parks, in animal sanctuaries, and in our own homes. What are the moral implications of the human confinement of animals? We distinguish two conceptions of confinement. Both involve external obstacles that divide an area into an accessible subregion and an inaccessible subregion. But the comparative conception focuses on the size relations between the two subregions whereas the agential conception focuses on the purposes for which the external obstacles are being used. Ethical issues surrounding comparative confinement have recently been discussed by Robert Streiffer, but agential confinement remains unexplored. We argue that agential confinement of non-human animals is morally problematic, for Kantians as well as utilitarians, in a way that comparative confinement is not.

On the Limited Significance of Coercion in Theorizing the Nature of the State
Joshua Keton, The Graduate Center, CUNY
 A central concern of political, legal, and social theorists in the modern period has been to explore and ground morality and justice in terms of freedom and autonomy. One obvious threat to a person’s exercise of their freedom and autonomy is coercion—being forced by others to act contrary to one’s own will. As a result, the concept of coercion has been a central focus of many political, legal, and social theorists. I argue that once we have analyzed coercion properly we will see that coercion is both dramatically more widespread than we had first assumed. This has the effect of making it the case that the “political” as it has been demarcated by some is much less contained than those theorists suspect, with radical implications for the need to extend principles of justice to areas of life which have normally been thought to be exempt.

On the Reasonability of Reasoning with the Unreasonable
Marilie Coetsee, Rutgers University
 Rawls argues that unreasonable citizens’ reasons need not be considered as candidate bases of justification for democratic legislation, and characterizes unreasonable citizens as (a) rejecting reciprocity (the need to offer fair terms of social cooperation that others can accept) and (b) rejecting the burdens of judgment (the idea that there are complications to reasoning that prevent even conscientious citizens from coming to share sectarian views rooted in particular comprehensive doctrines). I argue that the exclusion of unreasonable citizens’ reasons from the courts of public justification is not defensible when citizens are unreasonable just by virtue of rejecting the burdens of judgment. Given how drastic the consequences of exclusion are, and how innocent the rejection of the burdens of judgment may be, exclusion seems intuitively unreasonable. What’s more, the Rawlsian critera for reasonability can themselves be seen as recommending against such exclusion.

Ontological Expressivism
Vera Flocke, New York University
 This paper presents ontological expressivism, which is a new version of ontological anti-realism. Ethical expressivism, which is the view that ethical claims express non-cognitive mental states, is well-known. The core thesis of ontological expressivism is analogous: Ontological Expressivism: Ontological claims express non-cognitive states of mind. Ontological existence claims are statements such as “there are no numbers.” Ontological expressivism says of these statements that they do not serve to describe aspects of the world, but express states of mind that are in important respects desire-like. The focus of the paper is on explaining ontological expressivism, and on distinguishing pure and hybrid versions of the view. According to pure ontological expressivism, ontological existence claims express purely noncognitive states of mind. But according to hybrid ontological expressivism, ontological existence claims express both cognitive and noncognitive states of mind, or perhaps a mental state with both cognitive and noncognitive components.

Ontologizing Practices and Engineering Kinds
Catherine Kendig, Missouri Western State University
 I introduce a metaphysical view of natural kinds based in empirical practice. Focusing on scientific practice entails shifting philosophical investigation of the naturalness of natural kinds to how they are used, discovered, or made. This shifts metaphysical inquiry of natural kinds from the mind independent contents of the world to the human-dependent activities of partitioning, conceptualizing, comparing, and categorizing—that is, to ontologizing practices. Two case studies: 1) metabolic engineering in synthetic biology as kinding in practice and 2) multi-lineages approaches to the biological classification of species provide illustrations of practice approaches to natural kinding. These bring philosophical study of current scientific disciplines to bear on natural kinds as traditionally conceived of within metaphysics. Focusing on these practices reveals the nature of kindhood through the different knowledge-producing activities of kinding and processes involved in natural kind use, generation, and discovery.

Organic Unity of Color
Susan Hahn, University of Alberta
 Goethe’s Theory of Colors anticipates the principle of unity, a fundamental principle at the core of contemporary color theories, which tells us why we see certain color combinations as unified appearances, not others: “Red is not a shade of green.” The tendency is to read Goethe as a strict empiricist. I argue he put at the core of his theory a special class of colors, which posed an epistemological problem that couldn’t be solved using empirical methods: How do we grasp unity among physiological colors that undergo change in time: “Why can’t we see reddish-green afterimages?” Ephemeral colors pointed him to a higher sense of unity, one involving opposition, which took him beyond the empirical facts. I argue he took over from his earlier botanical studies an organic method involving organic laws that allowed him to understand unity among temporal colors on the analogy of living organisms.

Originating at the Edge of Essence: A Skeptical Puzzle (and a Solution)
Eric Guindon, University of Connecticut
Jonathan Vertanen, Yale University
 We generally take ourselves to know that while an ordinary artifact like a ship or a shoe could not have originated from a radically different arrangement of parts, it could have originated from any arrangement that is only minutely different. But in that case it will be possible for those artifacts to originate in such a way that they couldn’t have originated from every minutely different arrangement. This threatens our apparent modal knowledge, as we would believe falsely in those nearby worlds that the objects might still have originated from any slightly different arrangement. We propose a solution that resolves the skeptical worries: given a plenitudinous ontology in which some objects are more eligible to serve as referents, our beliefs in those worlds will be true, since they will be about objects that are all well within the bounds of their essence.

Panpsychism, Neuroscience, and the Dynamics of Consciousness
Philip Woodward, Valparaiso University
 Panpsychism is the view that the ultimate physical constituents of reality (the “UPCs”) instantiate phenomenal properties, and that the phenomenal states of macroscopic entities (such as ourselves) are constituted by these properties. I raise a challenge for panpsychism from the explanatory connection between the dynamics of consciousness and the dynamics of the brain. Neuroscience has discovered that phenomenal properties of certain types are correlated with (more or less) localizable activation-patterns in the brain. For panpsychism (or at least for its currently best-developed version), accounting for the explanatory relationship between neural-functional dynamics and phenomenal dynamics means explaining how there can be top-down influence, by multiply-realizable, macro-level phenomena, on the ways that the micro-phenomenal properties of individual UPCs engage in bonding/blending behavior with other micro-phenomenal properties. There is no happy way for panpsychists to discharge this explanatory burden; they are forced to choose between brute arbitrariness and ad-hockery.

Pascal on the Good Life: When Happiness Fails, Try Stoicism
Daniel Collette, University of South Florida
 In the past century, Pascal scholarship has typically understood his moral philosophy in terms of three ontological orders: body, mind, and charity. I reject this reading for an account that better represents more recent scholarship pertaining to the philosophical influences that shaped Pascal’s thought: Augustine, Montaigne, and Epictetus. Pascal provides a city of God, where true happiness and good are obtained by loving God and its opposite, the city of man, where they are not. Pascal further subdivides the city of man: those who seek God while learning to control their passions and those who revel in misery, indulging in concupiscence. However, as a Jansenist, Pascal believes that people cannot choose the object of their love independently of God’s effective grace. For the non-elect, then, Neostoicism predisposes one towards the good life and makes life bearable for the one stuck in the city of man.

Phenomena Demarcation in Neuroscience
Caroline Stone, Washington University in St. Louis
 It is an open question as to how neuroscientists can determine when different experiments are actually investigating the same phenomenon. This question is answered by demarcating phenomenon, determining under what conditions it will occur. Demarcation is a difficult due to the instability of neural mechanisms, which are contextually dependent and vary depending on the experimental protocol. This causes a tension between: (1) a need for general phenomena entailing multiple mechanisms, and (2) a need to differentiate between causal mechanisms that are contextually dependent. I give a method of prototype demarcation that overcomes these difficulties by demarcating phenomena based on mechanistic similarities between a paradigm example of a phenomenon and possible instantiations of the phenomenon. Prototype demarcation relies on a family of interrelated mechanistic features that encompass the scope of a phenomenon instead of a set of necessary conditions that depend on stable characteristics that do not exist in neuroscientific phenomena.

Philosophy Without Belief
Zachary Barnett, Brown University
 Should we believe our controversial philosophical views? Recently, several authors have argued from broadly Conciliationist premises that we should not. If they are right, we philosophers face a dilemma: If we believe our views, we are irrational. If we do not, we are not sincere in holding them. This paper offers a way out, proposing an attitude we can rationally take toward our views that can support sincerity of the appropriate sort. We should arrive at our views via a certain sort of “insulated” reasoning—that is, reasoning that involves setting aside certain higher-order worries, such as those provided by disagreement—when we investigate philosophical questions.

Physicalism, Conceivability Arguments, and Semantic Necessity
Martha Gibson, University of Wisconsin-Madison
 Cartesian conceivability arguments have long been used to argue that physicalism is false. David Chalmers uses them to show that the synthetic necessities in science (e.g., ‘water is H2O’) are, at bottom, semantic, but mind/body identities are not. The result, according to Chalmers, is that physicalism alone will have to postulate a special kind of necessity (de re); its postulation would be an ad hoc attempt to save physicalism. I argue that if the identity statements given by physicalists cannot be semantic necessities, then neither can the identity statements needed to state dualism. Thus, if either physicalism or dualism is true, there are de re necessities that are non-semantic. If physicalism requires something ad hoc, so does dualism. More generally, it is shown that Chalmers illicitly uses a deflationary notion of necessity (semantic) to draw conclusions about an inflationary (de re) notion of the nature of conscious states.

Placental Mediation: On Mimesis, Immunity and Hospitality
Marjolein Oele, University of San Francisco
 The placenta’s location and function offer a unique vantage point to assess issues of identity, difference, and hospitality. The placenta engages in a unique kind of mimetic relationship that problematizes Sloterdijk’s claim that the placenta is the child’s “placental double.” In its double commitment to both mother and child, the placenta also renews our understanding of hospitality. While Irigaray argues that the placenta is the natural “third” mediating between mother and child, this paper argues that placentology moves us to consider the radical co-constitution of identities through each other.

Plato’s Socrates, Sophistic Antithesis, and Scepticism
Dougal Blyth, University of Auckland
 In some Platonic dialogues Socrates apparently shares significant characteristics with contemporary sophists, especially a technique of antithetical argumentation. Given that these sophists anticipated later Academic philosophers in both arguing antithetically and a resultant form of skepticism, then, together with Socrates’s repeated claims to ignorance, Plato’s depiction of him arguing antithetically suggests later Academics could plausibly appeal to Plato for evidence that Socrates and he were skeptics, as in fact they seem to have done.

Plato’s Theory of Punishment in the Laws
Matthew Adams, University of Virginia
 I argue that, according to Plato, the degree to which a criminal should be punished is determined by the best means of reforming the criminal that is also sufficient to deter. I then defend a two-step solution to the feature of the text that has most puzzled commentators: the alleged tension between Plato’s philosophical theory of punishment and the content of his penal code. First, on my interpretation—because of the broad role that deterrence must play—this tension is, to a degree, merely apparent. Second, the actual tension can be explained by appreciating that a perfect implementation of Plato’s philosophical theory would require legislators born adequate in nature (875c4-5). However, Plato argues that there is no one adequate in nature and the rule of law is preferable to the rule of men with ordinary virtue. Therefore, his penal law cannot perfectly reflect his philosophical theory of punishment.

Post-Hegelian Reflections on the Work of Romantic Lyric
Richard Eldridge, Swarthmore College
 Building on a close reading of paragraphs 394-5 of Hegel’s Phenomenology (Individuality Which Takes Itself to be Real in and for Itself), I develop an account of the work done by and in Romantic Lyric. According to this account, lyric functions through the use of specific literary devices as a vehicle for the heightening of attention and the animation of interest in life, against the threat of the petrification of subjectivity. I go on to draw implications for contemporary literary studies from this account.

Praise, Blame, and Demandingness
Rick Morris, University of California, Davis
 Consequentialism has been challenged on the grounds that it is too demanding. I will respond to the problem of demandingness differently from previous accounts. In the first part of the paper, I argue that consequentialism requires us to distinguish the justification of an act P from the justification of an act Q, where Q is an act of praise or blame. In the second part of the paper, I confront the problem of demandingness. I do not attempt to rule out the objection; instead, I argue that if certain plausible empirical claims about moral motivation are true, we morally ought not to blame people for failing to meet certain very demanding obligations. With this theory, we create a space in consequentialism for intuitions questioning the plausibility of demanding obligations. I conclude the paper by showing that this account may also give us a theoretical niche for intuitions about supererogation.

Profile of an Angry Inquirer
Mary Carman, University of the Witwatersrand
 If we accept that anger can be a morally important emotion, and if we accept that emotions affect our thinking, can we make sense of the idea that someone’s anger can contribute valuably to a process of inquiry, independent of other value it may have? By drawing on work in psychology on the effects of anger on decision-making, I argue: yes, we can make sense of anger’s contributing valuably to a process of inquiry. Not all of the effects of anger on our thinking are negative, and there are ways to mediate the effects that are. We therefore see that the profile of the good angry inquirer is of someone who has a strong sense of certainty and control, and is able to capitalize on that to initiate and motivate questioning, and take risks. But she is also self-aware and able to step back, take time, and reassess her outputs.

Public Reason as Epistemic Humility
Cory M. Davia, University of California, San Diego
 Public reason projects attempt to justify state coercion from each citizen’s perspective. This approach to political philosophy is often justified by a commitment to state neutrality about the good: the state must not appeal to controversial conceptions of the good in justifying its coercive actions. Political perfectionists reject this neutrality requirement and attempt to justify state coercion in terms of what is in fact good, rather than in terms of what is good from each citizen’s perspective. In this paper, I appeal to uncontroversial claims about the epistemology of disagreement in order to show how even philosophers who reject state neutrality should still go in for public reason.

Punishing the Oppressed and Valid Objections to Blame
Andy Engen, Illinois Wesleyan University
 Expressivist theories justify punishment as an expression or communication of condemnation from the community toward criminals. According to these theories, we are justified in treating people in ways that would otherwise be morally problematic when this treatment expresses appropriate blame. In this paper I question whether expressivist theories can justify punishment under conditions where states are complicit in the wrongdoing of citizens. In particular, I focus on the punishment of those, such as the ghetto poor, who commit crimes under conditions of oppression. Under these conditions, the punished can reasonably object that their punishment does not express appropriate blame. Nevertheless, it seems that such punishment is justified because letting crime go unpunished would have disastrous consequences. One might claim that this dilemma gives us reason to reject expressivism, but I consider some ways that expressivists might defend their views in light of it.

Realization as Grounding (with a Big-‘G’)
Justin Tiehen, University of Puget Sound
 Jessica Wilson has recently argued against the existence of a single, unified relation of Grounding (Grounding with a big-‘G’ as she calls it). In this paper, I defend Grounding from Wilson’s critique by arguing that the realization relation, familiar from discussions of how to formulate physicalism, should be identified with Grounding. More specifically, I argue that Wilson’s own subset account of realization is inadequate as it stands, but that something in its general vicinity is defensible if realization is reconceived as Grounding.

Reasons for and Reasons Against
Justin Snedegar, University of St. Andrews
 According to a popular approach to normativity, what an agent ought to do is determined by competition between the pro tanto reasons bearing on the options open to her. This picture encourages a metaphor according to which reasons are like weighted counters that go on the pans of a scale, each pan corresponding to an option. But this metaphor leaves no room for a distinct category of reasons against an option, as opposed to reasons for it. I believe this has led many philosophers to make a mistake: identifying reasons against an option simply as reasons for not performing the option. I argue that this view is in tension with each of three plausible principles governing the relationships between reasons—roughly, when one reason entails another—and sketch an alternative picture according to which reasons for and reasons against are distinct.

Reconceiving Faultless Disagreement: A Defense of Absolutism about ‘Tasty’
Jeremy Wyatt, Yonsei University
 In this paper, I explain how absolutists about taste predicates can effectively respond to one of the most prominent challenges confronting the view. The challenge is that absolutists, in contrast to their relativist counterparts, seem unable to accommodate the possibility that speakers can disagree about a taste-related matter though neither is at fault. To dispose of this challenge, I argue, absolutists should draw upon an independently motivated distinction between two pertinent notions of fault—being mistaken and being blameworthy. Thereby, they can maintain that while at least one party in a typical taste-related disagreement is at fault in the former sense, in many such disagreements, neither party is at fault in the latter sense. Moreover, I suggest that resolving the problem of faultless disagreement in this way compels absolutists, contrary to received wisdom, to take the disagreement in the disputes at issue to be conative rather than doxastic.

Reconciliation and the Refugee Crisis
George Fourlas, Hampshire College
 As of early 2014, over 50 million people have been forced from their homes by conflict and this number is rapidly increasing each month. Humanitarian workers almost unanimously agree that the refugee crisis has yet to be adequately addressed. I explore how the refugee crisis ought to be addressed in terms of state and community obligations. I defend a thick notion of the Cosmopolitan right to hospitality from the perspective of restorative/transitional justice or the ethics and politics of reconciliation. Ultimately, I argue that both states and communities have an obligation to assist and integrate victims, and thus help transform communities. This obligation to refugees is rooted in the practical reality of conflict as a cyclical phenomena—violence begets violence—and thus all peoples are obliged to care for those fleeing violence, because to do otherwise is to risk allowing that violence to fester and spread.

Regress for Accessibilism?
Michael Hatcher, University of Southern California
 Accessibilism is the view that epistemic justification is determined by what is accessible to the subject. Some have argued that accessibilism generates vicious regress. According to this objection, accessibilism absurdly implies that an infinite hierarchy of sets of facts, each more complex than the last, must be accessible to the subject if she is ever to be justified. In this paper, I open up a new avenue of response to the regress objection. I argue that accessibilism, as commonly formulated, is ambiguous: “what is accessible to the subject” may either refer to the very things accessible to the subject, or instead to the facts about which things are accessible to the subject. I show that only the ‘very things’ disambiguation generates regress. I also briefly suggest that the ‘facts about’ disambiguation makes better sense of the intuitive motivations for accessibilism on offer.

Reporting Bad Beliefs
Renee Bolinger, University of Southern California
 Pragmatic accounts of slurs are characterized by commitment to the equivalence thesis: that slurs are semantically equivalent to their neutral counterparts. I present the three most common objections to pragma approaches stemming from this thesis: the equivalence problem, (that it makes “all (NCs) are (slurs)” a conceptual truth; the substitution problem, that the view falsely predicts slurs may be substituted into intensional contexts salva veritae; and the conversational problem, that reports omitting slurs fail are intuitively incomplete and thus indicate that slurs differ from NCs in semantic content. I show that pragmatic theorists have adequate responses to each objection. The substitution problem relies on principles she is free to deny, while the equivalence objection is question begging. Finally, the conversational problem relies on delicate data that does not clearly support a semantic interpretation.

Rescuing Equality from the Demand for Justification
Jesse Spafford, The Graduate Center, CUNY
 This poster responds to an objection raised by Brennan (forthcoming) to a style of argument employed by defenders of egalitarianism such as Cohen (2009). Brennan notes that egalitarians frequently demand justification for deviations from an egalitarian baseline—but fail to ever provide justification for that baseline itself. The poster argues that this asymmetry is not a problem for Cohen (and others), as equality need not be justified in the same way that inequality must. First, it posits six principles governing the application of explanation, which it then argues are isomorphic to those principles that govern the application of justification. It then posits a seventh principle of explanation, namely, that difference in outcome demands explanation in a way that identical outcomes do not. Finally, it induces that there is an isomorphic principle with respect to justification such that unequal life outcomes demand justification in a way that equal ones do not.

Resilience and the Nature of Grief
Michael Cholbi, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
 In a much-discussed paper, Dan Moller argues that the surprising resilience individuals show in the face of grief is regrettable inasmuch as our apparent ability to adapt to the loss of our loved ones suggests a blindness to the value of our loved ones and our relationships. Moller’s conclusion may be correct, but his discussion errs in its representation of grief. More specifically, his discussion overlooks how (a) the suffering associated with grief occurs within a larger arc of narratively structured emotional responses that constitute bereavement, and (b) is not simply a backward-looking emotion, but a forward-looking disposition aimed at re-establishing a sense of self that nonetheless maintains one’s attachment with the deceased. Grief cannot be modeled on a simple stimulus-response model of emotion, and so conclusions regarding whether our resilience should be regretted that appeal to that model cannot be validly inferred from the evidence Moller cites.

Responsibility, Voluntary Control, and Intentional Action
Kyle Fritz, Florida State University
 It is commonly accepted that agents can be directly morally responsible only for what is under their voluntary control or for what they choose. This is typically the thesis ascribed to a view called volitionism. Yet very little attention has been paid to what voluntary control is, and thus to what the volitionist thesis actually amounts to. In this paper, I argue that attempts to cash out the notion of voluntary control, which is so vital to typical formulations of the volitionist thesis, are problematic for volitionists. A much more natural reading of volitionism is in terms of intentional actions. While this reading is not without its drawbacks, it offers a much clearer starting point in the debate between volitionists and their rivals.

Rethinking Demandingness: Why Satisficing Consequentialism and Scalar Consequentialism Are Not Less Demanding Than Maximizing Consequentialism
Spencer Case, University of Colorado Boulder
 To object to a moral theory on the grounds that it is too demanding is apparently to say that its requirements are implausibly stringent. This suggests a response: Modify the theory so that its demands are no longer as stringent. A maximizing consequentialist may do this by placing the standard of requirement below maximization—thereby arriving at “satisficing consequentialism”—or by eliminating the idea of requirement from the theory altogether—thereby arriving at “scalar consequentialism.” Suppose, however, that a normative system’s demandingness is a matter of whether it entails that we have all-things-considered reason to undertake burdensome actions. If this is the right account of demandingness, as I shall argue, then modifying consequentialism in either of the ways described will not on its own alleviate demandingness. Satisficing consequentialism and scalar consequentialism are only less demanding than maximizing consequentialism when they are supplemented with additional meta-ethical assumptions.

Rethinking Sovereignty Through Transnational Surrogacy
Fanny Soderback, Siena College
 This paper takes issue with the feminist-liberal view that surrogacy is a means of liberation for women, suggesting that the recent exploitation of women in India through transnational surrogacy forces feminists to rethink women’s liberation so as to include a critical analysis of class/caste and race. Through a critical reading of Christine Sistare’s essay “Reproductive Freedom and Women’s Freedom: Surrogacy and Autonomy,” I challenge three of her central claims, namely that surrogacy is a viable path to economic independence for women; that anti-surrogacy discourse is bound to paternalize and victimize women; and that women have an absolute right to hire surrogates to protect their own reproductive rights. I argue that a feminist analysis of transnational surrogacy must take into account the lived experience of surrogate mothers rather than depending on an abstract notion of sovereign selfhood.

Role Assignment: Explaining the Variable Offense of Slurs
Mihaela Popa-Wyatt, LOGOS Barcelona
 Slurring is a kind of hate speech. Slurs have several effects. A slur makes the target simultaneously feel humiliated, dehumanised, disempowered, and silenced. They also have great power to offend other audience members. An important feature of slurs is that they vary greatly in the strength of these effects. In this short paper we explain this phenomenon. The core of the explanation is that a slurring act is a pair of speech-acts. One act is propositional and the other act is performative. The propositional act designates the target as a member of a group. The performative act assigns a role to the target, which draws on bigoted stereotypes of the group. We describe this speech-act view and show how it explains these variable effects of slurring uses.

Seeing as and Seeing That: A Fresh Look at Hanson’s Account of Observation
Raja Rosenhagen, University of Pittsburgh
 Hanson’s account of scientific observation comprises three ideas: (1) All epistemically significant seeing is seeing as. (2) Necessarily, every seeing as is partly defined in terms of seeing that. (3) What something is seen as affects the organization of the elements of one’s visual field: how they cohere, or pull together. While (1) serves to restrict the scope of the account, (2) and (3) point to two senses in which Hanson takes experience to be theory-laden. I make a couple of remarks on (1) and (3), but my main focus in this paper lies on (2). If understood properly, I argue, it can be defended against objections, e.g., from playful thinking and illusions. Moreover, I show that thinking about the relation between seeing as and seeing that yields interesting results, e.g., that the idea that all our beliefs about a certain kind of object could be mistaken is flawed.

Semicompatibilism: No Ability to Do Otherwise Required
Taylor Cyr, University of California, Riverside
 In this paper, I argue that it is open to semicompatibilists to maintain that no ability to do otherwise is required for moral responsibility. This is significant for two reasons. First, it undermines Christopher Evan Franklin’s recent claim that everyone thinks that an ability to do otherwise is necessary for free will and moral responsibility. Second, it reveals an important difference between John Martin Fischer’s semicompatibilism and Kadri Vihvelin’s version of classical compatibilism, which shows that the dispute between them is not merely (or even largely) a verbal dispute.

Simplicity and Dependence in Frege’s Systems
Jim Hutchinson, University of California, Berkeley
 In this paper, I offer an interpretation of two connected claims that Frege makes about science: the prescription that scientific systems must be as “simple” as possible and his claim that scientific proofs must follow relations of “dependence” among truths. I argue that the interpretation of dependence as metaphysical “grounding” fails, and that despite Frege’s approving references to him, it is not Leibniz, but Kant that Frege is following on these points. Looking to Kant, we see that simplicity is a requirement to minimize primitive truths that is grounded in the nature of reason, not justified by additional values that are so promoted, such as certainty. Dependence must be understood in terms of simplicity: as the relation among truths X and Y when there is an adequate, maximally simple system in which X is proved from Y.

Situationism and the Problem of Moral Improvement
Matthew Taylor, Florida State University
 Over the last decade, philosophers have expressed increasing interest at the intersection of moral theory and social psychology. Some philosophers, known as situationists, have thought that evidence from social psychology raises problems for Aristotelian virtue ethics. In this paper, I will present what I take to be the most serious issue raised by the evidence—the problem of moral improvement. This problem has been repeatedly alluded to in the literature on situationism, but it has not been clearly articulated. After presenting the problem in more detail, I provide what I take to be the most promising solution to the problem of moral improvement.

Skillful Coping and the Routine of Surviving: Isasi-Diaz on the Importance of Identity to Everyday Knowledge
Lori Gallegos, Stony Brook University
 Hubert Dreyfus and Ada María Isasi-Díaz both look to the everyday as the paradigmatic space in which we act as knowers. This essay compares the ways that Dreyfus and Isasi-Díaz conceptualize the everyday and the knowing that happens within it. Whereas, for Dreyfus, everyday knowledge is understood as ‘skillful coping,’ or the intuitive exercise of deeply engrained expertise, Isasi-Díaz argues that for the impoverished Latinas in New York City who are the focus of her work, knowledge involves struggling to navigate obstacles and setbacks that are characteristic of everyday life for the oppressed. I argue that Isasi-Díaz’s recognition of the influence of social location on how we know poses an important challenge to Dreyfus’ work on the knowledge of the everyday. Comparing Dreyfus and Isasi-Díaz’s work allows me to highlight one of the ways that Latina/o philosophy can contribute to work on problems typically seen to be universal in scope.

Social Creationism and Social Groups
Katherine Ritchie, City College of New York
 Abstract: Social groups seem to be things that are created by us. Here I consider whether Social Creationism—the view that social practices, interactions, intentions and beliefs can create objects—holds for social groups. I examine two categories of social groups—Feature Groups (e.g., racial and gender groups) and Organized Group (e.g., teams and committees). I argue that these categories of social groups have distinct natures and creation conditions. Feature Groups, I argue, are social kinds. Whether they are created depends on one’s view of kinds. Even if they are created, however, it is in a “cheap” and easy way that follows from ascribing properties to already existent individuals. I argue that Organized Groups are structured wholes. Further, I argue that they are entities that are social created in a robust sense. We should be Social Creationists.

Solving the Puzzle of Aesthetic Assertion
Andrew Morgan, University of Virginia
 It feels infelicitous for a speaker to make unqualified aesthetic assertions about objects they have never experienced. However, if we accept the plausible idea that aesthetic knowledge may sometimes be acquired by testimony alone, we are left with a puzzle. This is because knowledge is typically considered to be sufficient for a speaker’s assertions to be counted felicitous. What makes aesthetic assertions different? In this essay I solve the puzzle by arguing that aesthetic “assertions” aren’t really assertions after all. Because they are governed by different felicity conditions, they constitute a distinct type of speech act. This speech act allows speakers to share with one another both their beliefs, and the affective reactions they have experienced in response to particular aesthetic objects. I conclude by showing the advantages my view has over Jon Robson’s recent Creative Signalling Account.

Some Constraints on Contextualism about Modals
Daniel Skibra, Northwestern University
 The prevailing view about modals is a contextualist view, on which the interpretation of a modal is secured through context’s supplying values to parameters on the interpretation of the expression. The parameters it posits allow for the setting of values that are sufficient for determining meaning on the flavor-dimension of a modal’s meaning. The present paper disputes this feature. It finds the traditional implementation of contextualist views unable to account for a simple but important generalization, and looks to rectify this. I conclude that contextualist views can accommodate the generalization provided they relax some assumptions about the role of context in determining the meaning of modals.

Sometimes Trust, Sometimes Verify: The Case for Pluralism about Testimony
Caleb Cohoe, Metropolitan State University of Denver
 I argue that the unitary accounts of testimony offered by most epistemologists, whether reductionist or anti-reductionist, cannot properly accommodate the diverse ways in which trust is exercised. Pluralism more accurately reflects the uncertainty and conflicting factors present in our use of testimony, factors that include social and pragmatic facts about the relationships and roles of speakers and hearers as well as epistemic factors such as reliability, track record, etc. Sometimes these factors clearly license strong trust or undermine it. In many mixed cases, however, we are forced to balance considerations in favor of trust with doubts, either pragmatic and social ones concerning the motivations and roles of speakers, or epistemic ones, about their competency in the relevant domain. Pluralists appropriately recognize the complexity of trust and testimony and accurately capture the difficulties involved in making good use of what others tell us.

Special Powers: How Agents Determine the Bounds of Action
Carla Bagnoli, Università degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia and Universitetet i Oslo
Andrea Borghini, College of the Holy Cross
 In this paper, we consider the case in which actions change metaphysical and normative status because of the agent’s acquisition of special powers. By studying two different sorts of examples—kosher butchery and moral expertise—we contend that the shift in metaphysical and normative status of expert agency ultimately depends on the agent’s special powers; we call it “the special powers claim,” and we offer a tentative account of how such powers are conferred or generated. We then focus on the claim that special powers are conferred by membership in the community of experts, and we identify some issues that arise about the basis of this membership; we call this cluster of issues “the special powers problem,” and we focus especially on how we acquire and lose special status, which entitles to special powers. Finally, we discuss two objections to our account of special powers: dogmatism and unfairness.

Spinoza and the Linguistic Nature of Impossibility
Galen Barry, Old Dominion University
 Spinoza distinguishes between two kinds or sources of impossibility: things which are impossible due to the order of nature and things which are impossible due to themselves. The paper focuses on the latter. I argue that Spinoza endorses what I call the Expression Thesis. It states that (i) words have a greater expressive power than that of either images or the intellect and that (ii) impossibilities can be expressed only in language. Impossibility is nothing but a merely linguistic being which lacks all cognitive content. I explain why Spinoza needs a theory of per se impossibilities and then examine four passages which support the Expression Thesis. I then offer two Spinozistic motivations for the Expression Thesis. The first comes from Spinoza’s claim that all our ideas are true in God’s mind. The second motivation comes from his theory that we think about non-existents by thinking of their possible causes.

Stardust: How Our Cosmic Insignificance Is More or Less Guaranteed
Joshua Glasgow, Sonoma State University
 Many look up at the stars and think that because we are so small and our lives are so fleeting, we do not matter much. Against this, some maintain that that this common worry is misplaced, because size and duration do not themselves matter. Here I argue, first, that size and duration, and causal power too, do impact cosmic significance. More generally I argue, second, that whatever property we might plausibly identify as that which makes something significant, it will mean that we are cosmically insignificant, because the very nature of the question of cosmic significance means that we’re not going to have much of it.

Supersession, Reparations, and Restitution
Caleb Harrison, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 Jeremy Waldron proposes and defends what he calls the Supersession Thesis. According to the Supersession Thesis, circumstances might be such that the demands of justice in the present can in some sense override the demands of justice made by cases of historical injustice. Particularly, Waldron argues that the claims to reparations held by some aboriginal groups are likely to have been superseded by the changes in circumstances since their lands were wrongfully appropriated by European settlers hundreds of years ago. However, in making his claim, Waldron appears to run together reparative claims and restitutive claims. I argue that Waldron’s Supersession Thesis is best applied to restitutive claims, and would only in extreme circumstances apply to reparative claims, which are actually quite robust to changes in circumstance.

Terror, Tactics, and Preferences: Why We Don’t Need Intentions to Describe the Doctrine of Double Effect Cases
Aness Webster, University of Southern California
 To motivate the Doctrine of Double Effect (DDE), writers provide pairs of cases where the only alleged moral difference between the agents is that one intends to bring about some bad outcome whereas the other merely foresees it. Since the descriptions of these cases appeal to agents’ intentions and lack thereof, they may appear to corroborate particular accounts of intention. Since there don’t seem to be differences in desire-belief combinations of agents, one may reject a Desire-Belief account of intention. One might even conclude that intentions do not supervene on any other mental states. I resist these conclusions by showing that we can capture a moral difference between the agents in the DDE cases in terms of their preference orderings. I also argue that we should not be so quick to think that intentions are playing an important role in our moral theorising about these cases.

The Direct Argument for Subjunctives
Simon Goldstein, Rutgers University
 The inference from p or q to the indicative conditional if not p, then q is called the "direct argument." If it is valid, the indicative and material conditionals are logically equivalent. In this paper, I develop an analogue of the direct argument for nested subjunctive conditionals. Let > denote the subjunctive conditional. Call the inference from r > (p or q) to r > (not p > q) the "subjunctive direct argument" (SDA). First, I provide two collapse theorems for (SDA). (SDA) entails the logical equivalence of the subjunctive and material conditional, given the validity of (Vacuity): that p entails T > p. The same collapse also follows from (Disjunction Introduction): the principle that p entails p or q. Second, I provide a semantics that validates the subjunctive direct argument without collapse. To do so, I extend the dynamic account of subjunctive conditionals developed in von Fintel (1999), Gillies (2007), and Starr (2014), and add a new semantics for disjunction. On this semantics, p or q is only true in a context when p and q are both unsettled in that context. The resulting framework validates (SDA) while invalidating (Vacuity) and (Disjunction Introduction).
The Edenic Theory of Reference
Elmar Unnsteinsson, University College Dublin
 I argue for a theory of the optimal function of referring to an object with a linguistic expression, called the edenic theory of reference. First, I define linguistic reference in terms of communicative intentions. Roughly, to refer with an expression is to speaker mean a singular proposition, intending the hearer to use the expression as evidence for which object is intended. Secondly, I propose a doxastic optimality constraint on acts of referring, stating that the speaker must not have any false beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the object. Lastly, I develop two arguments for the constraint. One, that such false beliefs constitutively corrupt the evidence provided by the utterance. Two, that it is part of pragmatic competence and shows up in criticisms we make of each other as speakers and hearers. In uttering a singular term one represents oneself as not having any confused beliefs about the object.

The Effect of Adjunct Compensation on Student Learning: Teaching Philosophy Between the Incommensurable Paradigms of Justice and Care
Alexandra Bradner, Eastern Kentucky University
 Adjunct instructors face an irresolvable conflict between two incommensurable moral paradigms—justice and care: should they deliver the course for which they are being paid—and do the job that’s fair—or should they deliver the course that will maximize student learning—and do the job that’s needed? I will begin by detailing the reasons why and ways in which adjunct instructors cut corners when teaching at institutions that fail to pay living wages. I will explain how these short cuts affect student learning by comparing course outcomes among wealthy and underfunded institutions. Finally, I will present the results of an x-phi study designed to identify the compensation level at which philosophers would release an instructor from her professional responsibilities, offering a course with: multiple papers, teacher conferences, remediation on demand, and the maximal number of readings. At what point would unfair treatment release an instructor from her professional responsibilities?

The Evidential Value of P-values
Tomasz Wysocki, Washington University in St. Louis
 Machery (2012) argues that p-values can’t measure evidence. He presents a paradox: it’s possible to have two experiments with the following characteristic. When evidence is measured with p-values, one experiment provides more evidence for the null hypothesis and against the alternative hypothesis than the other experiment. When evidence is measured with power, both experiments provide the same amount of evidence. The measures conflict. First, I discuss the paradox in detail, and show how Machery uses this paradox to argue against the evidential interpretation of p-values. Subsequently, I present two ways of defending this interpretation. According to the first way, there’s nothing paradoxical about the fact that p-values and power sometimes yield inconsistent verdicts. According to the second way, it’s possible to interpret only p-values, but not power, as measuring the strength of evidence. If either way succeeds, the p-paradox doesn’t give a reason to abandon the evidential interpretation of p-values.

The Flaw of the Flawless: A Critique of the Realist Interpretation of Xunzi’s Doctrine of Zhengming
Kuan-Hung CHEN, University of Hawaii at Manoa
 This essay reexamines Xunzi’s doctrine of “zhengming”, commonly translated as “rectification of names,” in the light of investigating the role of language in interpersonal knowledge. This approach is based on a statement of Confucius: “a person who does not understand language has no way of knowing people” (The Analects 20.3). Rejecting a popular “realist reading” of the doctrine of zhengming set forth by Eno, Schwartz, and Goldin. I identify that their reading is based on a representational model of the theory of meaning. Since this representational model resembles a particular branch of modern language theory rather than the classical Confucian understanding of language, I argue that following this realist reading not only misses the point that Xunzi would like to make, but also leads the readers to a choke point.

The Importance of Logically Complex Actions
Andrew Flynn, University of California, Los Angeles
 This paper attempts to bridge the divide between action theorists who take their primary inspiration from Donald Davidson and those who take their primary inspiration from G.E.M. Anscombe, through a consideration of “logically complex” actions. These actions involve means taken to logically complex ends, such as “having-beer-or-wine-with-dinner.” I argue that, given certain views about the progressive nature and means-end structure of actions championed by Anscombians, such actions exist. This, I argue, is a neutral point: it does not hinge on any controversial theses that separate Anscombians from Davidsonians. However, this is a nontrivial observation, because many Davidsonians have adopted less plausible positive positions than they are in fact entitled to because of a failure to consider the possibility of logically complex actions. I argue this through case studies of work by Kieran Setiya, Michael Bratman, Hugh McCann, and Richard Holton.

The Intrapersonal Paradox of Deontology
Christa Johnson, Ohio State University
 In response to the paradox of deontology, many have argued that the agent-relativity of deontological constraints accounts for why an agent may not kill one person in order to prevent five others from killing. Constraints provide reasons for particular agents not to kill, not reasons to minimize overall killings. However, this response leads to the worry that agents ought to kill one if it would prevent their own future five killings. Although responses to the original paradox are prevalent in the literature, this intrapersonal paradox is often passed over. In this paper, I consider two different approaches to the intrapersonal challenge. I first reject the view that agents are indeed morally permitted to violate constraints in order to minimize their overall violations. I then defend the view that deontological constraints are both agent- and time-relative and show how this wards off paradox.

The Material Conditions of Freedom
Suzanne Love, University of Pittsburgh
 I develop a novel Kantian account that reconciles freedom with a duty to provide the poor with a basic core of material resources. Through our establishment and enforcement of a regime of ownership and exchange, we structure a system where certain actions and conditions have particular material consequences. The material consequences individuals face, including extreme poverty, result from this choice. The basic resources the extremely poor lack are required for agency: if individuals lack access to sufficient basic resources, their ability to reason and deliberate will be impaired or destroyed. I argue that the choice to subject individuals to extreme poverty thus reflects a choice to impair or destroy their agency. The innate right to freedom protects individuals’ ability to reason from the choices of others. So, to choose to structure society so that individuals lack access to basic resources is to violate those individuals’ innate right to freedom.

The Mathematical Route to Causal Understanding
Michael Strevens, New York University
 Causal understanding is a matter of grasping facts about causal difference-making, and in particular, grasping the reasons why some properties of the web are difference-makers and some are not. Mathematical reasoning frequently plays a role in our coming to grasp these reasons, and in some causal explanations, deep mathematical theorems may do almost all the work. In these cases—such as the explanation why a person cannot complete a traverse of the bridges of Königsberg without crossing at least one bridge twice—our understanding seems to hinge more on our appreciation of mathematical than of physical facts. We have the sense that mathematics gives us physical understanding. But this is quite compatible with the explanation in question being causal in exactly the same way as more unremarkable causal explanations.

The Meaning of ‘Gender’
James Giles, Roskilde Universitet
 Despite the immediacy of our awareness of being a male or female, the question of what constitutes such features is surrounded by difficulties. One problem has to do with the fact that in English we have two words, namely, ‘sex’ or ‘gender,’ that have senses that are used interchangeably but which some people feel refer to different phenomena, or at least which they feel should refer to different phenomena. Well-known definitions by Kessler and McKenna and Money and Ehrhardt and attempts to re-define gender by Unger and Lips are examined and shown to contain problems, the latter being based on a misunderstanding of Beauvoir. Defending Docter’s definition of gender identity it is argued that argued that neither gender identity nor role can be used to define gender. It is concluded that ‘gender,’ like the word ‘sex’ (in the sense discussed), refers to the property of biological sex.

The Metaphysics of Conserving Causation in Avicenna
Emann Allebban, McGill University
 Avicenna’s argument from contingency for a Necessarily Existent being rests on a very particular theory of metaphysical causation, the importance of which has thus far been overlooked. He argues that every contingent being requires not just a cause of its coming-to-be, but a cause of its existence for as long as it exists. I reconstruct this premise from key passages in Avicenna’s three main philosophical summa and argue that this theory of causation is embedded within, and seems to presume, a broader emanational account of creation that follows from particular physical and metaphysical premises. I examine Avicenna’s account of conserving causes within the natural and celestial realms and its reception by post-classical philosopher Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (d.1209). Razi casts a questioning gaze on the validity of Avicenna’s arguments, flushing to the surface underlying Aristotelian ontological commitments in Avicenna’s causal theory.

The Metaphysics of Goodness in the Ethics of Aristotle
Samuel Baker, University of South Alabama
 In the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle makes important use of the following two notions of goodness: (1) good of a kind, e.g., a good sculptor or a good human, and (2) good for something, e.g., good for fish or good for Alexander the Great. Yet does he make use of absolute goodness, that is, goodness as an intrinsic and not merely relational property? Many scholars seem to think not. Moreover, some neo-Aristotelians have even argued that goodness of a kind and goodness for something are the only sorts of goodness that should be acknowledged. Mostly limiting myself to evidence within the Nicomachean Ethics, I argue that Aristotle is committed not only to things being absolutely good but also to a metaphysics of absolute goodness where God is the cause of all other absolute goods in virtue of being the absolutely best thing.

The Metaphysics of Kantian Intuitions: An Anti-Cartesian Interpretation
James Messina, University of Wisconsin-Madison
 What are Kantian intuitions? According to a natural interpretation, the objects of Kantian intuitings are appearances, while intuitings themselves exist in individual human minds. Intuitings that exist in different human minds—e.g., Ringo’s and Paul’s—can be of one-and-the-same appearance, e.g., the table. Intuitings in different minds are not parts of any single, encompassing intuiting. I call this the Cartesian interpretation of intuitions. I first document the occurrence of the Cartesian Interpretation in two representative phenomenalist readings of Kant. I then critique their reliance on the Cartesian Interpretation on philosophical and historical grounds. Finally, I offer an alternative interpretation which draws its inspiration from Malebranche. On my Malebrachian interpretation, Kant holds that there are intuitings that (1) do not exist in individual human minds, (2) stand in a one-one relation with their objects, and (3) contain within them as parts other intuitings.

The Moral and Political Limits of Disgust
Joshua May, The University of Alabama at Birmingham
 Empirical research now suggests that at best disgust sometimes slightly amplifies one’s existing negative moral judgment. I argue that this works via self-interpretation: one can unconsciously take this emotion as evidence that one thinks an act is worse than one would otherwise think. Disgust largely remains an effect of some moral judgments, not a cause, which makes it dialectically unhelpful in moral and political arguments that seek to convince others. When opponents of abortion use repulsive images to make their case, they convince few, even if they rally their base. When champions of animal rights show graphic depictions of the tortious conditions of animals in factory farms, they convince only those previously ignorant of the severity of such conditions. While appeals to disgust can garner quick and powerful reactions, changes in moral judgment (indeed moral progress) is slow but steady and follows from vivid comprehension of morally relevant information.

The Moral Virtue of Open-mindedness
Yujia Song, Purdue University
 Given open-mindedness is hailed as an important intellectual virtue, one may wonder whether it can also contribute to our moral life. Indeed, charges of closed-mindedness as if it’s a moral defect are not uncommon—think about the parents who refuse to accept their child’s decision to stay single or the person who constantly criticizes her new immigrant neighbors. This paper is an attempt to make sense of open-mindedness as a moral virtue. I begin by considering two accounts that aim to do just that, and offer criticisms as to why they are unsatisfactory. The main problem with these accounts is that they derive the moral value of open-mindedness entirely from the epistemic role it might play in moral thought. A richer and more interesting account of open-mindedness as a moral virtue, I suggest, locates an independent source—independent from its epistemic contribution—for the moral value of open-mindedness.

The Rational Tension in Forgiveness
Luke Russell, University of Sydney
 Kolnai and Derrida have claimed that forgiveness is paradoxical. While their claim is overstated, there is a real puzzle concerning the rationality of forgiveness: How can forgiveness ever be justified from the victim’s perspective? Forgiveness requires that the victim judge that the perpetrator culpably wronged her, and this judgment seems to justify her resenting the perpetrator. When the victim has forgiven, though, she still makes the judgment that prima facie justifies her resentment, but she no longer resents. Not resenting when one judges that one has reason to resent seems to be irrational. In this paper I consider and reject the responses to this irrationality puzzle that have been offered by Butler, Kolnai, Griswold, Heironymi, Zaibert, and Allais. I claim that in many cases there is no rational tension in forgiveness, but that an important kind of rational tension that is present in some cases of forgiveness has been overlooked.

The Reasons Intentions Give
Benjamin Schwan, University of Wisconsin−Madison
 There’s a tension among different ways in which we naturally think about intentions and their relation to practical reason. In some cases, forming an intention to do something seems to generate a reason to do it. In others, intentions seem reasons-impotent. In this paper, I examine this tension, and provide an account of the reasons intentions give. Ultimately, I argue that there are two ways in which agents like us can be reasons-responsive—we can respond well to the reasons we have given our beliefs and desires, and we can respond well to the reasons we have given the contents of a particular bout of deliberation. Intentions, on my view, change what reasons we have in the former sense via their typical effects on our other attitudes, and change what reasons we have in the latter sense by helping to determine what kinds of considerations occur to us in deliberation.

The Transmission View of Testimony and the Problem of Conflicting Justification
Nick Leonard, Northwestern University
 According to the Transmission View of Testimony (TVT), if a hearer justifiably believes that p on the basis of a speaker’s say-so, then the hearer’s belief is justified by the speaker’s justification for believing that p (e.g., Burge (1993, 1997), McDowell (1994), Owens (2000, 2006), Schmitt (2006), Faulkner (2011) and Wright (2014, 2015, forthcoming)). Despite its widespread appeal, the aim of this paper is to raise what I take to be a novel and decisive objection to the TVT. In Section 1 I develop and defend what I shall call the Problem of Conflicting Justification and then, in Section 2, I respond to what strikes me as the most plausible response for proponents of the TVT to make.

The Vagaries of Action and the Verities of Meaning
Paulo Faria, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
 Judgments about the validity of at least some elementary inferential patterns are a priori if anything is. Yet a number of empirical conditions must in each case be satisfied in order for a particular inference to instantiate a particular inferential pattern. We may on occasion be entitled to presuppose that such conditions are satisfied (and the entitlement may even be a priori), yet only experience could tell us whether that was indeed the case. Hence a peculiar liability of our capacity to recognize logical form: whenever content is (no matter to what extent) context-dependent, logical form is apt to evade recognition. That fact has rightly been perceived as a source of incompatibility between anti-individualism and first-person authority. I argue that, whatever the truth about anti-individualism, empirical assumptions will often underlie judgments about the logical form of inferences, thus making such judgments defeasible in the face of contrary empirical evidence.

The Wrongness of Killing for Fun: Fact, Opinion, or Certainty
Martin Benjamin, Michigan State University
 In a contribution to a New York Times series on philosophy, Justin P. McBrayer laments that the public schools are teaching children, “that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun.” Truth and falsity, children are taught, apply only to factual claims, and moral claims are not factual. So there are no moral truths; and we cannot be certain it’s wrong to kill people for fun. I argue that the entire discussion is misconceived. Extending Wittgenstein’s conception of certainty to ethics, I show that truth and falsity are irrelevant to our being rightly and objectively certain that it’s wrong to kill people for fun. This and similar certainties are among the non-propositional, fixed points of any reasonable ethical framework. They “stand fast,” constituting the “scaffolding” or “inherited background” within which we engage in moral reasoning and inquiry.

Theories of Truth and Generalized Quantification
James R. Shaw, University of Pittsburgh
 Generalized quantifiers are quantifiers that express properties of one or more sets. Overwhelming empirical evidence suggests not only that natural language makes use of the expressive power of generalized quantification, but that all natural language quantifiers are generalized quantifiers of a specific type: what are known as restricted quantifiers. I discuss how Kripke’s theory of truth, and theories that make ancillary use of his logical apparatus, resist the incorporation of such quantifiers. I suggest that this resistance is grounds for concern, noting how some methods for coping with the problem can come into tension with common theoretical aims. Along the way, I raise the question of whether the costs accruing to these theories are worth paying, given that some rival theories can accommodate natural language quantification unproblematically.

Thought Experiments in Economics
Margaret Schabas, University of British Columbia
 Economists are strongly wedded to the use of models and rarely use thought experiments. Prior to the 1940s, however, the two tools were both equally uncommon. To motivate this claim, I will posit several criteria for distinguishing models from thought experiments, based on the kind of counterfactuals employed, the appeal to experimentation, and the broader theoretical context. In that sense, the talk will spill readily into a discussion of the distinction between models and thought experiments in general. I will briefly review two cases of genuine thought experiments in economics (Hume on the neutrality of money and Ricardo on mechanization), and argue that other candidates (Malthus, Menger, and Fogel), are not thought experiments, contrary to the received view (Harro Maas, Julian Reiss). My primary aim is to delimit the definition of a thought experiment and put a halt to the proliferation of the term.

Time Passes, But Not at Any Rate
Alexander Jackson, Boise State University
 ‘Time passes’ is a generic claim. What it is for time to pass is for amounts of time to pass between pairs of times. For example, four hours passed from 8am until noon today. Those four hours passed—not with respect to the passage of those four hours, nor with respect to anything else, but simply passed. Because particular periods of time do not pass with respect to anything, they do not pass at some rate. I briefly explore what an A-theory will look like if it incorporates this view of time’s passing. In particular, such an A-theory will take the facts about time’s passage to be fundamental cross-temporal relations.

Toward Critical Confucianism: Women as a Method
Heisook Kim, Ewha Womans University
 The challenge contemporary Confucian philosophers have to meet is concerned with the existence of autonomous individuals and the equality of women and men in the Confucian context. As Confucianism is strongly focused on family or family-like networks and a unified order within a given community, the pursuit of individuality in the Confucian tradition is often considered a kind of egoism. Critical Confucianism I advocate is an attempt to make Confucianism more viable in the contemporary world by grafting the concepts of individual and gender equality on its theoretical framework. Women’s perspective is significant in this regard to critically expose the nature of Confucian worldviews and modify them in accordance with the democratic ideals of equality and human freedom. I examine the mode in which the individuality of a person emerges in a Confucian culture and explore the way to establish women subjectivity.

Toward Functionalism about Collective Belief
Keith Harris, University of Missouri
 It is widely accepted that collectives may, in some sense, hold beliefs. But just what is this sense? Existing accounts of collective belief, notably those that reduce such belief to the beliefs of the collective’s members and those that equate collective belief with some form of joint-acceptance, are subject to serious objection. In light of the objections raised against existing accounts of collective belief, I propose a novel account that treats the notion of collective action as central for the purposes of understanding collective belief. The “functionalist” account of collective belief introduced here skirts the objections that thwart previous attempts to model collective belief while also supporting a broad range of attributions of belief to group entities.

Transcendental Idealism Revisited?
Jules Salomone, The Graduate Center, CUNY
 First supported by Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason, I argue that transcendental idealism not only was defended further in his third Critique but also needed to be so in the face of Jacobi’s objections. I first contend that Jacobi’s objections are more far-reaching than usually considered by arguing that Jacobi shows that both affection and transcendental affection are indispensable to Kant’s defense of transcendental idealism. I subsequently show that Desmond Hogan’s argument to the effect that Kant offers a defense of (transcendental) affection lacks full generality. For Hogan’s argument is premised on Kant’s endorsement of a libertarian conception of freedom, it only proves that if subjects are to have reliable knowledge of others’ free acts, they must be (transcendentally) affected by the relevant features of such acts. Affection by non-subjectively caused phenomena consequently lacks support. I finally argue that only the third Critique offers such support.

True Beings of Reason in Spinoza
Matthew Homan, Christopher Newport University
 In the “Cogitata Metaphysica,” Spinoza defines beings of reason as object-less modes of thinking, whereas elsewhere Spinoza treats genetic conceptions of figures as both true ideas and beings of reason. This paper addresses the problem of how a mode of thinking could be both true—in which case it agrees with its object—and a being of reason—in which case it should lack an object. In the first and second parts of the paper, I outline Spinoza’s discussions of beings of reason and genetic ideas of figures, highlighting the tension between them. In the third, I propose a resolution that turns on a distinction between different senses of “being of reason.” In the fourth, I discuss a potential problem for the proposal stemming from Spinoza’s conception of truth. In closing, I outline what I consider the two interpretive options for making sense of true beings of reason in Spinoza.

Understanding Russell’s Response to Newman
Thomas Pashby, University of Southern California
 Russell’s nonchalant response to Newman’s apparently devastating critique of his structural realism presents a puzzle: if Russell conceded the point (as most have assumed) why did he not alter his theory or address the problem in print? I argue that Newman had merely pointed out an ambiguity in the formulation of Russell’s theory in Analysis of Matter, and Russell already had the resources to avoid the problem through his contention that some relations are perceived. This concession gives his criterion of structural equivalence enough empirical purchase to avoid Newman’s triviality objection without the need to make stronger claims of knowledge of external relations than are present in Analysis of Matter. This provides a precise criterion of structural equivalence that explains exactly how the structural realist may escape Newman’s objection by taking relations in intension.

Undocumented Immigrants and the Right to Independence
Micah Jones, Independent Scholar
Douglas MacKay, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 In this paper, we explore a morally troubling feature of the lives of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. context: their subjection to the will of others. We argue that this form of subjection constitutes a distinct wrong: the wrong of domination. People have a right to independence, that is, a right to be their own masters, and not be subject to the will of others. We argue further that the U.S. government possesses a duty to respect and fulfill the right to independence of all people within its jurisdiction—including undocumented immigrants. This duty does not imply that undocumented immigrants have a right to stay in the U.S., or that the U.S. government wrongs them by deporting them. But, it does imply that the U.S. government must allow undocumented immigrants to access many of the protections and services available to citizens.

Unpromotable Goods
Vida Yao, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
 Philosophers such as Elizabeth Anderson and Christine Swanton have challenged the idea that promotion is the ideal, right relationship to goodness: either the distinct relationships covered by the term are too different from one another to be easily captured by this one term without distortion, or the idea of promotion itself is too limited. I further challenge what Swanton calls the “hegemony of promotion.” I will argue that not only does promotion distort the ways in which it is right to relate to value, and perhaps distorts our understanding of those values as well, I will argue that there are goods that are unpromotable, not only because to promote them would be to have the wrong sort of relationship to them, or that to promote them wouldn’t be intelligible, but because should they be promoted, they would—in an important sense—lose their value.

Vindicating the Philosophical Life in Plato’s Gorgias
Tushar Irani, Wesleyan University
 This paper argues that a case for the philosophical life is outlined in Plato’s Gorgias in Socrates’s examination of Callicles’s hedonism. Many scholars find Callicles’s advocacy of the life of pleasure here unwarranted, since nothing he says about the life of the superior man whom he champions in his great speech implies such a hedonist position. On the reading I propose, what this position underscores is the unreflective nature of Callicles’s conception of the good life, an attitude that is key to his notion of the superior man, since he believes that such an individual must exhibit a certain unreflectiveness about matters of value to live well. Although Callicles does not come to endorse the life of philosophy, in refuting his hedonism Socrates gets him to see the need to examine the goodness of his desires. And that, I suggest, opens up the need for philosophy in the good life.

Virtue and the Acquisition of Habit: A Phenomenological Perspective
Donald Landes, Université Laval
 Aristotle placed habitual being at the foundation of his virtue theory, whereas Kant saw in habit a threat to any genuinely moral action. In this paper, I explore the middle ground suggested by this opposition between “pure repetition” (rote habit) and “pure creation” (free application of principles, detached from character and situation). After considering insights from contemporary virtue ethicists, particularly McDowell and Annas, I argue that an adequate understanding of learning virtue requires a phenomenological account of how we experience the virtuous person as virtuous. By introducing the work of Merleau-Ponty, I argue that we must understand learning (and thus learning virtue) as an ongoing practice of “creative repetition” that occurs through what I call here “intentional communication.” In the acquisition of virtue, we grasp the sense of a virtue and take up its style, and we thus remain forever in the process of learning and practicing the virtues.

Well-being and Disability
Jason Raibley, California State University, Long Beach
 Since the 1980s, it has been known that (e.g.) quadraplegics and burn victims report normal levels of life-satisfaction and negative affect. Some attribute this surprising finding to hedonic adaptation or a tendency to revert to a hedonic set-point. Whatever the explanation, theories of welfare such as hedonism and life-satisfactionism would then seem to imply that (e.g.) the loss of one’s limbs is not significantly harmful. Here, it is argued that an understanding of well-being centered on robust agential functioning can illuminate these findings. This theory can explain the respects in which disabilities are harmful—even when they do not impact subjective well-being—without questioning the validity of self-reports. It is also compatible with the notion that well-being within disability or illness is achievable, but requires the alignment of values with agential capacities. The flexibility of the approach is illustrated via a discussion of bodily integrity identity disorder.

Well-being: It’s All in the Head
Andrew Forcehimes, Vanderbilt University
Luke Semrau, Vanderbilt University
 Describe a good life. Contrast it with one identical in mental respects, but absent a connection to reality. Then observe that mental state theories of well-being implausibly hold both lives in equal esteem. Conclude that such views are false. Here we argue this objection fails. There are two ways reality may be thought to matter for well-being. We want to contribute to reality, and we want our experience of the world to be veridical. Yet, if one accepts that reality matters in either of these ways, one must posit differences in well-being where no such differences exist.

What Corporations Can Teach Us about Music
David Friedell, Barnard College
 This paper presents a new creationist theory of music—that is, a theory of musical works on which they are abstract objects that composers create. Musical creationists face a challenge: it’s difficult to discern what musical works are once we follow Jerrold Levinson in denying that they are eternal sound structures. Extant creationist accounts have tried to meet this challenge, but they are unattractive. I show that thinking about corporations can guide us in discerning the nature of musical works. I present a natural and intuitive account of corporations and then offer a similar theory of musical works. My theory has two key advantages: it extends to many different kinds of abstract artifacts, and it elegantly account for the ways in which abstract artifacts change.

What Explains the Spin-statistics Connection?
Jonathan Bain, New York University
 The spin-statistics connection plays an essential role in explanations of non-relativistic phenomena associated with both field-theoretic and non-field-theoretic systems (for instance, it explains the electronic structure of solids and the behavior of Bose-Einstein condensates and superconductors). However, it is only derivable within the context of relativistic quantum field theory (RQFT) in the form of the Spin-Statistics Theorem, and there are multiple, mutually incompatible ways of deriving it. This essay attempts to determine the sense in which the spin—statistics connection can be said to be an essential property in RQFT, and how it is that an essential property of one type of theory can figure into fundamental explanations offered by other, inherently distinct theories.

What Is Denial?
Adrian Bardon, Wake Forest University
 There is a great deal of recent literature from social psychology, political science, and philosophy on the phenomenon of denial. ‘Denial’ refers to the unconscious use of motivated cognition in order to resolve cognitive/emotional dissonance—i.e., the anxiety that results from a mismatch between what one wants to believe and the available evidence. This phenomenon is implicated in a wide range of issues of public concern. Ideological disputes often—or, indeed, characteristically—involve dissonance, motivated cognition, and denial. Understanding ideology therefore requires an examination of the relationship between belief and emotion.

What Is It to Share Contraceptive Responsibility?
Emmalon Davis, Indiana University Bloomington
 There are three stages at which procreative outcomes can be prevented or altered: (1) prior to conception, (2) during pregnancy, and (3) after birth. Daniel Engster (2010) has ably argued that plans to prevent or alter undesirable procreative outcomes at stages (2) and (3)—through abortion and adoption—introduce financial, physical, and emotional hardships to which women are disproportionately vulnerable. In this paper, I suggest that plans to prevent or alter procreative outcomes at stage (1)—through contraception use—also unfairly burden women. Specifically, I argue that contraception has been “feminized,” that the feminization of contraception is costly to women, and that these costs are often overlooked in discussions of procreative responsibility. In conclusion, I propose several ways that men and women might share contraceptive responsibility more equitably.

What Was Aristotle’s Theory of Universals?
John Mahlan, University of Virginia
 Aristotle was not a nominalist: “Of things there are, some are universal and others particular.” For Aristotle, a universal is something that by its nature is predicable of many things. Unfortunately, this definition does not tell us what Aristotle thinks universals are. What sorts of things are such that they can be predicated of many things? Throughout the twentieth century, it was common to hold that Aristotelian universals were sets. But in this paper I argue for an alternative according to which Aristotelian universals are mereological sums of their instances. There is evidence for this view, among other places, in Metaphysics 5.25 and 5.26. I go on to sketch some of the formal features of the relevant parthood relation, arguing that it is not classical because it violates the Weak Supplementation Principle, which says no object can have just one proper part.

What’s the Matter with Huck Finn?
Hrishikesh Joshi, Princeton University
 This paper explores some key commitments of the idea that it can be rational to do what you believe you ought not to do. I suggest that there is a prima facie tension between this idea and certain plausible coherence constraints on rational agency. I propose a way to resolve this tension. While akratic agents are always irrational, they are not always practically irrational, as many authors assume. Rather, “inverse” akratics like Huck Finn fail in a distinctively theoretical way. What explains why akratic agents are always either theoretically or practically irrational? I suggest that this is true because an agent’s total evidence determines both the beliefs and the intentions it’s rational for her to have. Moreover, an agent’s evidence does so in a way such that it’s never rational for the agent to at once believe that she ought to F and lack the intention to F.

What’s Wrong with Robot “Friends” for Lonely Seniors?
Alexis Elder, Southern Connecticut State University
 So-called “sociable robots” are used to alleviate loneliness in geriatric patients. But their ability to do so derives from their apparent responsiveness and emotional appeal. This introduces the threat of a false appearance of friendship, especially to patients suffering from cognitive impairments. Caregivers, I argue, run the risk of selling these patients a false bill of goods, leaving them worse off than they think they are. At the same time, the material benefits of alleviating loneliness should not be overlooked. A theory about social groups as objects of value, and an analogy between false friends and counterfeit currency, are leveraged to explain when and where sociable robot usage is ethically suspect, without ruling out too much.

Statesman 258e-259d Reconsidered
Huw Duffy, Stanford University
 I argue, contrary to recent commentators, that there is a valid, non-question-begging argument at Statesman 258e-259d that the slave-master, the household manager, the politikos (‘political expert’ or ‘statesman’) and the king are identical. I give a detailed reconstruction of the argument. The key premise that the household and the city do not differ with respect to ruling has been criticized at length by Aristotle. Using the Statesman’s weaving model of politics, I sketch the distinctive conception of political rule that justifies this premise and use it to explain the meaning of the fourfold identity of slave master, household manager, politikos, and king. In the Statesman, political rule combines opposing natural character types into a harmonious social fabric through the apparently domestic work of marriage and education.