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

(Non-)Responsibility for the Past: Against Leeway Compatibilism
Yishai Cohen, University of Southern Maine
 According to leeway compatibilism, free will requires the ability to do otherwise, and that ability is compatible with causal determinism, the view that any (intrinsic) complete state of the world at any time, in conjunction with the laws of nature, entails the (intrinsic) complete state of the world at any other time. Leeway compatibilists (multiple pasts compatibilists and local miracle compatibilists) maintain that we have a weak/non-causal power over either the remote past or the immediate past. We argue that if leeway compatibilism is true, then it is possible to be morally responsible for a past event that we did not causally affect in any way. But this is impossible, so leeway compatibilism is false.

A Constructivist Account of the Personal—Subpersonal Distinction
Mason Westfall, University of Toronto
 The distinction between personal and subpersonal goings is a crucial one for theorizing about the mind. I argue that we should be constructivists about this distinction. The distinction between the personal and the subpersonal is constituted by our folk psychological capacities. Those states and processes that correspond to the posits of folk psychology are personal, those that do not, aren’t. My argument for this view is that it is the only view that can accommodate the diversity in the psychological kinds that make up the personal level.

A Contractualist Approach to Moral Uncertainty
Michael Bukoski, Florida State University
 Moral uncertaintism is the view that uncertainty about fundamental moral facts or principles makes a difference to what one morally ought to do. The view faces a regress problem: because people can also be uncertain about which moral uncertainty principles are correct, it leads to an infinite regress of higher-order principles and no determinate result about what one ought to do. I argue that if we reject the typical view of moral uncertainty principles as neutral between all moral theories and instead conceive of them as part of plausible first-order moral theories, justified alongside other moral principles, we can do justice to our intuitions about how moral uncertainty makes a moral difference while avoiding the regress problem. In particular, I show how moral uncertainty principles of a particular character can be justified within the framework of Scanlon’s (1998) contractualist moral theory, as among the principles that cannot be reasonably rejected.

A Dilemma for the Causal Theorist
Prasanta S. Bandyopadhyay, Montana State University
 Pearl, on the one hand, and Spirtes, Glymour, and Scheines, on the other, independently propose two causal accounts about scientific inference, including accounts regarding Simpson’s paradox (SP). In published papers, we posed a counterexample to them regarding SP, involving marbles (large, small, red, and blue) distributed in two bags. It is a counterexample to the causal accounts because it is a case of SP that does not invoke any causal intuition. Relevant mostly to Pearl’s account, we pose a dilemma: either (i) his account is too narrow, since it fails to address a non-causal case of SP, or (ii) his account is too wide. The latter happens because his causal account can address a non-causal case of the paradox with his “back-door criterion.” Thus, we discover a need for the Socratic method based on the counterexample technique, against the causal theorists’ stance in philosophy.

A Human Right to What Kind of Health?
Kathryn Muyskens, Nanyang Technological University
 Ideally, the human right to health ought to defend people against standard threats to the level of health needed for a minimally decent human life. It is important for universal human rights to avoid being culturally parochial—both to gain acceptance globally and to aid effectiveness in creating positive change. Thus, it is important that not only the right to health avoid parochialism, but also the operating conception of health. Until now, it has mostly been assumed that the kind of health the right to health is concerned with is clearly understood and universal. Few have questioned what the nature of health is in this context. In this paper, I argue that the health that is protected in the human right ought to be understood pluralistically, so as to capture the range of values and interpretations of health that are found in different cultures and societies.

A Medieval Alternative to Frege’s Force-Content Distinction (and Why We Might Prefer It to Frege)
Boaz Schuman, University of Toronto
 Gottlob Frege is frequently credited with the distinction between force and content. This distinction is commonly taken to explain the difference between unasserted and asserted sentences that express the same thing. Compare, e.g., the unasserted parts of a conditional, such as S1) If donkeys fly, then donkeys have wings with their asserted counterparts: S2) Donkeys fly S3) Donkeys have wings. However the medieval logician John Buridan was acutely aware of this difference, well before Frege. But Buridan’s semantics differ significantly from Frege’s. For Buridan, sentences (propositiones) always have force; when they appear in conditionals like (S1), they cease to be sentences at all. Here, I show how this approach allows Buridan (i) to get the force of the force-content distinction without relying, as Frege does, on realism about abstract propositional content; and (ii) to avoid two puzzles—noted by Peter Geach—for the Fregean distinction.

A Novel Case for A-Theoretic Anti-Realism about Passage
Nihel Jhou, Taiwan National University
 Fabrice Correia and Sven Rosenkranz (2020) recently employs two tense-logical operators to show that (a) the spotlight theory precludes (FROZEN), the hypothesis that a particular time is always PRESENT, and that (b) this is sufficient to secure the reality of temporal passage. In this paper, I present a novel counterexample to (b): (Single Flash), the hypothesis that the property of PRESENTNESS is temporarily possessed by a particular time then “gone forever.” In light of the two tense-logical operators, I further show that the moving spotlight theory can not only rule out (Single Flash) but also provide the minimum sense of temporal passage.

A Valuable Approach to Complexity: Interest-Driven Model Choice in Paleoclimatology
Monica Morrison, Indiana University Bloomington
Meghan Page, Loyola University Maryland
 This paper develops a novel way that values play a role in climate science through a discussion of paleo-reconstructions of the mass-extinction event at the Permian Triassic Boundary (PTB). The PTB extinction is of growing interest to current scientists because it is thought to be caused by a significant increase in CO2 levels which triggered a warming event. However, there is no “best” approach to modeling conditions at the PTB. Scientist must choose between complex models that represent numerous small-scale processes for a short period, or low-resolution, simplified models that reconstruct a few particular large-scale processes for longer periods. Which approach scientists choose is connected to information they deem most valuable for understanding a rapidly changing climate. Although these modeling choices are driven by subjective values, they ultimately contribute to the objectivity of climate science by generating a diversity approaches needed to understand complex phenomena such as climate change.

Actions across Time
Mary Clayton Coleman, Illinois Wesleyan University
 Several philosophers have recently argued that there are constitutive standards of intentional action. Constitutivism is an attractive position in metaethics, because if there were constitutive standards of action, then at least some claims about which actions are good would be true simply in virtue of the nature of action, rather than in virtue of the existence of truthmakers which seem metaphysically and epistemically problematic. However, the instrumental principle seems to be the only principle that is constitutive of action, so constitutivism seems, at best, a woefully incomplete account of which actions are good. Call this the incompleteness objection. To act is to bring about a change or sustain a state of affairs, and changes and sustainings necessarily take time, so actions necessarily take time. This simple connection between actions and time provides a powerful response to the incompleteness objection.

Address, Public Action and Second-Person Thought
Bryan Chambliss, Susquehanna University
 The Argument from Addressing contends that because the distinctive function of second-person language is to address its object, and thoughts cannot address, there cannot be distinctively second-person thoughts. Salje (2019) replies by arguing that addressing someone is fundamentally about directing their attention in a particular way, whether or not one uses language to do this. Thus, under the right circumstances, even a thought that is not linguistically expressed might address its object. While this response undercuts the argument from addressing itself, critical reflection upon Salje’s account exposes a deeper problem-whether or not there is a notion of address apt for understanding second-person thought, addressing someone involves performing a public action. But, one could have a thought without performing a public action, thus, there cannot be distinctively second-person thoughts. After developing this Argument from Public Action, I consider some replies, clarifying both what it does, and doesn’t, ultimately establish.

Against Enkratic Symmetry
David Alexander, Iowa State University
 In this paper I argue that we need to sharply distinguish two forms of epistemic akrasia: commissive and omissive akrasia. Commissive epistemic akrasia involves holding a doxastic attitude that one regards as rationally prohibited. Omissive epistemic akrasia involves failing to hold a doxastic attitude that one regards as required. Although standard examples of akrasia involve a mix of both forms, I offer “pure” examples which show how they can come apart. This is important, I argue, because the most compelling reasons for thinking that commissive akrasia is irrational do not apply to omissive akrasia. Commissive akrasia involves a mind divided against itself; omissive akrasia does not. I conclude by showing how this distinction can help make sense of the puzzle as to whether one can make rational mistakes about one’s rational requirements.

Against Fregean Quantification
Brian Rabern, University of Edinburgh
 There are two dominant approaches to quantification: the Fregean and the Tarskian. While the Tarskian approach is standard, deep conceptual objections have been pressed against its employment of variables as syntactic and semantic units. Because they do not explicitly rely on variables, Fregean approaches are held to avoid these worries. The apparent result is that the Fregean can deliver something that the Tarskian is unable to, namely a compositional semantic treatment of quantification centered on truth and reference. We argue that the Fregean approach faces the same choice: abandon compositionality or abandon the centrality of truth and reference. Indeed, we argue that developing a fully compositional semantics in the tradition of Frege leads to a typographic variant of the most radical of Tarskian views: variabilism, the view that names should be modeled as Tarskian variables. We conclude with the consequences of this result for Frege’s distinction between sense and reference.

Against Substrate-Based Explanations of Auditory Verbal Hallucination
Shivam Patel, University of Pittsburgh
 Auditory verbal hallucination (AVH) is the experience of hearing voices that are not present. The literature on AVH has seen significant discussion concerning the nature of the substrate of AVH: the normal mental state type that undergoes aberrant processing, where “normal mental state type” designates a type of mental state that is for the most part present in the normal population. Some authors have claimed that the substrate of AVH is inner speech, others that it is auditory imagery, and still others have offered thought as the substrate. This paper has three goals: first, to show that there is no substrate of AVH; second, to present an alternative explanation of AVH in terms of illusion that does not appeal to a substrate; and third, to diagnose why theorists of AVH have found it attractive to posit a substrate of AVH.

Agency and Authorship: Towards a Socially Situated, Interactionist View
Federica Berdini, Université de Montréal
 This paper relates cases of socially displaced and distorted agency—i.e., agency exercised in conditions of oppression—to Christine Korsgaard’s constitutivist authorship view of agency. In light of a potential problem that these cases pose to Korsgaard’s view, I suggest amending it in an interactionist and socially situated way by incorporating Anscombe’s characterization of intentional action (and relying on a Wittgensteinian interpretation thereof).

Agentive Awareness and Anorexia Nervosa
Amanda Evans, University of Texas at Austin
 In this paper I apply an integrated model for agentive awareness to a hard case in the psychopathology literature. Although there has been ample discussion of psychopathology in the philosophical debate concerning the sense of agency, the disorders that receive the most attention are those that demonstrate a subject’s lack of agentive awareness. Here, I have chosen to focus on a case where the subject’s sense of agency is in some respects confabulatory—i.e., where agentive awareness is excessive. The case is anorexia nervosa, and in particular the components of anorexic symptomology that lead the anorexic to deny that she is anorexic. I offer a satisfying explanation for this phenomenon by applying a model for agentive awareness that makes use of both low-level and high-level states, following Tim Bayne and Elisabeth Pacherie (2007). My proposal thus strengthens the case for the integrated model over its rivals.

Alethic Pluralism and Logical Form
Chase B. Wrenn, The University of Alabama
 According to alethic pluralism, truth is a different property in different areas of discourse. Pluralist theories of truth face the longstanding problem of mixed compounds, such as “Tabby is a beautiful cat” (Tappolet 1997). If truth is correspondence in cat-discourse, and its coherence in beauty-discourse, what is it in beautiful-cat-discourse? Will Gamester (2019) has proposed a radically pluralist approach to the problem, on which there is a distinct truth-property relevant to each possible logical form, and he has challenged monists to identify shortcomings of that view. This paper identifies four: (1) There is nothing distinctively pluralist about the theory. (2) The theory puts implausible syntactic constraints on the metalanguage in which truth is analyzed. (3) To avoid #2, the theory would entail that each true sentence has indefinitely many truth-properties. (4) The theory entails that truth-functional equivalents can have different truth-properties.

Alternative Possibilities and the Reverse Frankfurt Case
David Storrs-Fox, New York University
 According to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), someone is blameworthy or praiseworthy for doing something only if she was able to do otherwise. The strongest intuitive support for PAP comes from examples where some factor causes someone to do something and renders her unable not to do it. Harry Frankfurt’s famous counterexamples to PAP separate the causing from the ability-removing. In his examples (he claims), some factor renders a person unable not to do something without causing her to do it. Frankfurt claims that the person remains blameworthy in his examples, so PAP is false. However, Frankfurt’s examples remain controversial and PAP popular. This paper seeks to undermine PAP’s support by reversing Frankfurt’s trick. In my cases, some factor causes the agent to do something without making her unable to do otherwise. Still, the factor renders her blameless in a way that parallels the examples that seem to support PAP. It is false that the agent in my examples is blameless because unable to do otherwise: she’s able to do otherwise. The similarity between my examples and the PAP-supporting examples justifies the same conclusion about the latter. If I am right, my cases remove the strongest support for PAP.

An Adaptive Theory of Microaggressions
Christina Friedlaender, University of Memphis
 For such a seemingly pervasive phenomenon, the concept of a microaggression has only come into relief within the last fifty years. Following Michelle Alexander’s adaptive theory of oppression (2010), I argue for an adaptive theory of microaggressions, explaining why they have suddenly become a more remarkable feature of our social environment. Microaggressions, as a mechanism of structural oppression, represent an adaptation from overt to covert oppressive behavior, and, as form of social practice, can be adaptive in their own right. Focusing on a fundamental shift between Chester Pierce’s original theory of microaggressions (1970) and current analyses of the phenomenon, I argue that microaggressions have become increasingly attributionally ambiguous, and this constitutes an insidious adaptation of the phenomenon, one that makes it increasingly harder for targets to perceive and respond to microaggressions.

An Alternative for the Temporal Neutrality Thesis
Dong-yong Choi, University of Kansas
 According to the temporal neutrality thesis, which part of an agent’s life receives benefits/harms does not have significance in determining the prudential rationality of her actions and attitudes. In this paper, I argue against the temporal neutrality thesis and suggest an alternative for it. First, I introduce Derek Parfit’s surgery case. I argue that the temporal neutrality thesis is problematic because it is permissible for an agent to prefer past pain to future suffering, even if the past pain is stronger than the future suffering. Second, I suggest an alternative for the temporal neutrality thesis: the care thesis. According to the care thesis, the fact that an agent cares for herself at time T1 more than at time T2 has prudential significance in determining the rationality of her actions and attitudes. I show that the care thesis can explain why it is permissible for an agent to prefer past pain to future suffering.

Ancient Greek Hermeneutics
Carlo DaVia, Fordham University
 The term “hermeneutics” is derived from the ancient Greek hermēneutikos . However, the extent to which the term reflects the existence of an ancient Greek discipline of hermeneutics remains far from clear. Most scholars agree that the ancient Greeks had little, if any, theory of hermeneutics—at least by comparison to us moderns. Glen Most, for example, contends that “they lacked our hermeneutics to an astonishing degree.” In this paper I want to argue that if the Greeks did develop theories of hermeneutics, we are barking up the wrong linguistic tree. The Greeks had another word, used far earlier and far more pervasively, to describe their coming to understand words and deeds whose meaning was not obvious and so required interpretation. The Greek word is sunesis. Defending this view will require providing a novel reading of Aristotle’s important discussion of the term in Nicomachean Ethics VI.11.

Any Philosophical Canon Is Practically Self-Undermining
Landon Elkind, University of Alberta
 There has recently been much-needed critical discussion of the current Anglo-American philosophical canons, but not as much consideration of their nature and purposes. I discuss what a philosophical canon is and argue that it is constituted by enforcement. I then consider what purposes a philosophical canon can have for various stakeholders. Building on Luca Castagnoli’s work on self-refutation in ancient philosophy, I clarify various notions of being practically self-undermining. I then argue that even on an inclusive view of what the purposes of a philosophical canon are, any philosophical canon is self-undermining. There is no plausible account of the purposes of a philosophical canon that is not undermined by having one, whatever its makeup.

Archery and Liezi’s Conception of Virtues
Masashi Kasaki, Nagoya University
 Shooting in archery represents action with a goal, and archery provides a model of rational agency in the pursuit of a goal. Most, if not all, conceptions of virtue emphasize that rational agency is important for the pursuit of the goal of life. Nonetheless, the conceptions of virtue are different in certain important respects, resulting in the use of different examples or stories of archery. Daoist philosophers, most prominently Liezi and Zhuangzi, use stories of archery to tell a markedly different conception of virtue. In particular, the text of the Liezi contains three long stories of archery that jointly suggest that Liezi has a distinctive and complex conception of virtue, according to which a virtuous person should minimize rational agency in many circumstances. This paper is an attempt to elucidate Liezi’s conception of virtue in the light of the use of the stories of archery.

Aristotle’s Theory of Slavery and the Question of the Scope of Deliberation
Matthew Homan, Christopher Newport University
 Since lacking the deliberative faculty is a defining feature of Aristotle’s natural slave, understanding the nature of deliberation is a prerequisite to understanding Aristotle’s theory of slavery. In recent literature on Aristotle’s moral psychology, however, there is ongoing debate about the scope of deliberation. On one interpretation (which I call “restricted”), deliberation is restricted to means; on the other (which I call “inclusive”), deliberation is possible about ends as well as means. How we answer this question of deliberation’s scope makes a significant difference for our understanding of Aristotle’s theory of natural slavery. I argue that the inclusive interpretation of deliberation fits much better with key aspects of Aristotle’s theory of slavery than its restricted counterpart. An upshot of my arguments concerning Aristotle’s theory of slavery is to provide indirect support for the inclusive interpretation of deliberation.

Avicenna’s Flying Man in Einstein’s Elevator
Faeze Fazeli, University of Notre Dame
Mousa Mohammadian, University of Notre Dame
 We read Avicenna’s Flying Man Thought Experiment (FMTE) by employing the epistemological distinction between the outside observer and the inside observer in thought experiments, suggested by Einstein in his well-known elevator thought experiment. This allows us to make a distinction between these questions: Q1. What does the outside observer (i.e., us) understand from FMTE? Q2. What does the inside observer (i.e., the Flying Man (FM)) apprehend in FMTE? Looking at these questions through the lens of Avicenna’s essence-existence distinction, we show that most commentators, who hold that FMTE is establishing a kind of self-awareness for FM, are only responding to Q1. Arguing that FM apprehends his existence with no essence, we show that our interpretation explains two discontents about FM’s (alleged) self-awareness, namely, Avicenna’s failure to determine a faculty for FM’s self-aware and FMTE’s requiring direct acquaintance with an immaterial particular (i.e., FM’s self) which is inconsistent with Avicenna’s epistemology.

Becoming Art
Patrick Grafton-Cardwell, University of Massachusetts Amherst
 I argue that artwork is a phase sortal. That is, something can go from not being an artwork to being an artwork without any substantial change. This follows from the Aesthetic Engagement Theory of art in combination with an observation about sortal change via appropriation. I show how this view has consequences for our ontology of art, our response to puzzles of material constitution, and our understanding of the nature of artistic activity.

Being Realistic about Metaethics
Charles Oswald, Western Michigan University
 This paper investigates the intersection of metaethics and metaontology. In it, I assess the efficacy of the metaontological dimensions of T.M. Scanlon’s reasons fundamentalism. Ultimately, Scanlon intends to secure the existence of robustly normative facts by insisting the substantive conditions for existence vary “depending on the thing that is claimed to exist” (2014, pp. 25). Though provocative, Scanlon expounds little on what this claim amounts to, thereby generating controversy on how to best interpret it. Entering this dialogue, I argue that Scanlon’s metaontological remarks are most plausibly understood through the lens of Amie Thomasson’s “easy” approach to ontology. Following this, however, I argue the commitments associated with Thomasson’s framework requires Scanlon to understand normativity in pragmatic terms. If successful, the upshot of this discussion is that pursuing metaontological strategies in metaethics requires us to attend more closely to the extant accounts on offer.

Berkeley’s A Priori Argument for God’s Existence
Stephen H. Daniel, Texas A&M University
 Berkeley’s appeal to a posteriori arguments for God’s existence support belief only in a God who is finite. By appealing to an a priori argument for God’s existence, Berkeley emphasizes God’s infinity. In that argument, God is not the efficient cause of particular finite things in the world, for such an explanation does not provide a justification or rationale for why the totality of finite things would exist in the first place. Instead, he is the creator of the total unity of all there is, the whole of creation. We thus should not focus not on the specific things that God creates, for that requires that we think that God knows each finite thing as distinct from every other. Rather, we should recognize that God creates all things as a complex, infinite totality of finite perceivings, each one of which exists in virtue of the distinctions and relations it expresses.

Beyond the Voting Debate
Brookes Brown, Clemson University
 In this paper I defend a novel account of the ethics of voting. Proponents of voting typically contend that citizens have a duty to take up the act; opponents that citizens have no particular moral reason to go to the polls—and indeed that doing so can be irrational. Against both views, I contend that voting should be treated as one member of a special class of civic works of which citizens must do their part. It follows that while voting is morally significant, many citizens can satisfy their civic obligations without going to the polls. In contrast with classic proponents and opponents of a duty to vote, this account holds out the promise of developing a unified approach to civic ethics that is attentive to real-world conditions and to the specific features of citizens’ lives.

Beyond Transparency: Techniques for Resisting the Racial Injustice of Predictive Policing
Bonnie Sheehey, Montana State University
 This paper responds to recent work highlighting the problematic racial politics of predictive policing technologies. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s account of ethics as counter-conduct, I develop a set of ethical techniques for resisting the racial injustice at work in predictive policing. This framework has the advantage, I argue, of not reducing the ethical issues of predictive policing solely to epistemic concerns of opacity. What I suggest is that we think about the ethics of technology less as an epistemic problem than as a problem for action or practice. By thinking of ethics in terms of resistant practices, we can begin to consider a notion of responsibility that holds us and the technologies we bind ourselves to accountable for the harms created by this bond.

Biased Evaluative Terms
Sara Bernstein, University of Notre Dame
 The topic of this paper is biased evaluative terms, roughly, terms whose apparently positive surface meanings are at odds with their implicitly biased content. For example: in 2008, Joseph Biden called Barack Obama “an African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” Being articulate is not bad, but it would not be said of a non-African-American leader in the same context. I demarcate the linguistic phenomenon of such biased evaluative terms (BETs), distinguishing them from similar concepts such as backhanded compliments, euphemisms, slurs, insults, epithets, dog-whistles, and Gricean implicature. I divide BETs into several non-exhaustive categories: counterstereotypical, counternormative, and diminutive BETs. I discuss their moral status. Recognizing the occurrence of BETs is illuminating in a variety of social contexts, from political speeches to academic letters of recommendation, I suggest. Finally, I present some challenges to the evaluability of BETs, including epistemic barriers and intersectional social identities.

Blame’s Conflict (and How We Shall Live With It)
Shawn Tinghao Wang, University of California, San Diego
 Blame’s Conflict is the phenomenon that one is faced with conflicting normative considerations with respect to whether to blame an individual, occurring frequently in the form of a tension between some backward-looking consideration and some forward-looking consideration. For example, should one feel resentment or anger (covert blame) when one knows that such attitudes are counterproductive? Srinivasan (2018) suggests that Blame’s Conflict occurs because of a tension between the aptness of blame and the productivity of blame. After arguing that Srinivasan’s approach is unsatisfying or at least incomplete, I articulate and defend a new proposal, the Pluralist Functionalist Approach. I contend that the pluralist functionalist approach provides an appealing explanation of the phenomenon of Blame’s Conflict, particularly because it offers principled guidance on how we should decide what we ought to feel and do in Blame’s Conflict, by examining the higher-order function of blame.

Bundle Theory and Weak Discernibility
Seungil Lee, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
 Bundle Theory is the view that every concrete particular is fully constituted by the universals it instantiates. The theory is often criticized for not being able to accommodate the possibility of distinct indiscernibles. One bundle theoretic solution to this criticism utilizes the fact that qualitatively identical objects may still be weakly discernible in that they stand in some irreflexive relation to one another. In order for this solution to be effective, however, it should be established that weak discernibility not only necessitates but explains numerical diversity. My central claim is that weak discernibility does explain diversity. I first argue that it is wrong to think that weak discernibility “presupposes” numerical diversity, as some have maintained. Then I present a positive argument for my central claim based on the idea that it is impossible for certain kinds of indiscernibles to be perfectly co-located.

Causality, (un)Fairness, and Race in Machine Learning
Alexander Tolbert, University of Pennsylvania
 Many of the issues now arising in the literature on algorithmic fairness arose decades earlier in the context of psychometrics. However, the insights from this older literature seem to have been neglected. Psychometrics is a mature field, with many of its own problems and controversies. In our view, its primary advantage over work in machine learning is that it self-consciously conceives of its task as involving inference about latent features of an individual, and not merely predictions about the future course of their lives. That richer conceptual structure allows distinctions to be articulated that are missing from the machine learning literature on algorithmic fairness. We explore how an old dilemma from psychometrics reconfigures the landscape of algorithmic fairness and argue that there can be no answer to the social justice critique of machine learning until it adopts a more causal orientation.

Climate Change and Bad Epistemic Neighborhoods
Säde Hormio, University of Helsinki
 If you are raised or live in a bad epistemic neighborhood, it can reduce your culpability when it comes to ignorance about some normatively important issue. Some authors worry that this might lead to a responsibility gap: if individual agents are off the hook, there might be collectively caused harms that no one is responsible for, like the failure to understand that urgent action is required on climate change. I argue that when assessing culpable ignorance, we should look at the agents who influence a given epistemic community. Institutions and other collective agents can be responsible for an individual’s ignorance through creating misinformation, like manufacturing doubt around climate change science. I also argue that the individuals who have become complicit in a harm at least partly due to being deceived are warranted to hold those collective agents that misled them as accountable for their complicity in the harm.

Collective Authority in Hate Speech
Michael Barnes, University of Oklahoma
 The concept of authority plays a large role in the philosophical literature on subordinating speech. Like many others, I believe the uptake given by the hearers of a speech act plays a significant role in constituting the authority of a speech act. Rae Langton, for example, considers accommodation—a default adjustment where hearers take on presuppositions—to be an important mechanism for how informal authority is accrued by speakers of hate speech. While insightful, I argue the mechanisms of accommodation Langton describes are not able to explain the authority of hate speech—at least not the bulk of it. In this paper I consider the limits of her conception of accommodation in order to clarify the hearer’s role in helping the speaker. I claim the necessary mechanisms are much more active and social than Langton suggests. And I sketch a conception of collective speech acts to fill in this gap.

Confession of a Causal Decision Theorist
Adam Elga, Princeton University
 First question: Suppose that you care only about speaking the truth, and are exceedingly confident that some particular deterministic theory is true. If someone asks you whether that theory is true, are you rationally required to answer “yes”? Second question: Suppose that you face a Newcomb problem. Are you rationally required to take two boxes? Those of us attracted to causal decision theory are under pressure to answer “yes” to both questions. However, it has been shown that many existing decision theories are inconsistent with doing so (Ahmed 2014). A simple proof shows that the same goes for an even wider class of theories: all “suppositional” decision theories. The moral is that causal decision theorists must either answer “no” to one of the above questions, or else abandon suppositional decision theories.

Confirmation, Decision, and Climate Science: A Bayesian Approach
Prasanta S. Bandyopadhyay, Montana State University
Kevin Beiser, Montana State University
 We propose Bayesian accounts of confirmation and decision and apply them to climate modeling. Skeptics (such as Wendy Parker) concerning climate model ensembles’ predictive significance contend that there are shortcomings in the predictions of simulation ensembles, thus failing to provide guidance for action. Parker argues that the agreement of models in an ensemble on a predictive hypothesis, H, should not, merely because of this, significantly increase our confidence in H. We demonstrate that her argument does not hold generally, but holds only in a specific case. Working within this restriction, we argue that we can, in fact, obtain increased confidence in H, given some plausible assumptions. When probabilistic forecasting is imprecise, we can sometimes determine a unique choice if we prescribe guidance for action.

Conscience, Practical Deliberation and Moral Judgment in Fichte’s Ethics
Martina Favaretto, Indiana University Bloomington
 What is the relation between conscience and practical deliberation in Fichte’s System of Ethics? One interpretation, which has long been the standard one, holds that conscience plays a first-order material role by telling us what we should do. An alternative, recently put forward, called the “Formal Function View,” claims that conscience plays just the second-order formal role of testing our convictions. In this paper, I evaluate both positions and I argue that there are good reasons for rejecting both of them. We should reject the standard interpretation because of 1) its being subjected to the threat of arbitrariness and 2) its being committed to there being a material duty of belief. We should reject the “Formal Function View” because it fails to provide an adequate reading of what it means for conscience to be concerned with asking the question “Am I convinced that X is my duty?”

Consciousness and Vital Acts in Medieval Cognitive Theory
Andre Martin, McGill University
 In this paper I explain some of the basic motivations behind the medieval debate over the activity/passivity of the soul in cognition in order to draw out a developing notion of “consciousness” and its distinctness in medieval thought. In particular, I focus on the developing notion of the soul’s distinct “vital acts” in certain 13th/14th century thinkers (especially Peter John Olivi) who defend active accounts of cognition. As I show, behind these accounts, vital acts of cognition are distinct for at least two reasons: (i) the cognitive subject is, in a stronger sense than for purely corporeal objects, a “self-cause,” and, most importantly, (ii) cognition involves “attention,” “experience,” and a “special union” between its subject and object, or, in other words, conscious awareness.

Consent and Presupposition
Jonathan Ichikawa, University of British Columbia
 I argue that “consent” language conventionally presupposes that one is reacting to someone else’s behest. The question of consent arises only when someone has asked or instructed one to do something; the language is inapt when one is choosing more independently. This has implications for the language surrounding so-called “affirmative consent” models for sexual ethics, and provides a new kind of support for feminist critiques of consent theory.

Countering Justification Holism in the Epistemology of Logic
Frederik J. Andersen, University of St. Andrews
 E-sentences (entailment-sentences) are metalinguistic sentences like [A -> B, A ⊨ B], [⊨ not(A & notA)], and [(A & notA) ⊨ B]. This type of sentence is found at the heart of the epistemology of logic as their truth-values tell us what follows from what. Justification holism says that beliefs regarding E-sentences can only be justified in the context of a logical theory, e.g., classical, intuitionistic, paraconsistent, etc. Thus, beliefs concerning E-sentences cannot be atomistically justified as isolated claims about logical consequence, independently of theory choice. At present there is a developing interest in and endorsement of justification holism due to the revival of an abductivist approach to the epistemology of logic. This paper presents an argument against holism by proving the existence of a foundational E-sentence which we can be justified in believing independently of theory choice.

Dangerous Speech
Jeffrey Howard, University College London
 A prevailing view holds that the right to freedom of expression broadly protects the advocacy of wrongdoing, such as speech encouraging terrorism. This paper rejects that view, contending that there is an enforceable moral duty to refrain from speech that endangers others by inciting the violation of their rights—a duty that limits the right to free speech itself. The real debate to be had is whether this duty ought to be enforced, all-things-considered. The paper argues that many familiar claims about free speech—e.g., concerning chilling effects or risks of political abuse—are rendered more plausible once reconstructed as objections to the enforcement of speakers’ duties, rather than justifications for speakers’ rights. Only by attending to proportionality and necessity constraints on the use of force—familiar from the ethics of defensive harm—can we determine whether dangerous speech should be legally restricted.

Decision Theory Unlimited
Zachary Goodsell, University of Southern California
 Various authors have observed that if there is some infinite sequence of prospects such that each is twice as good for you as the last, then your preferences violate a well-motivated generalisation of the Independence principle of von Neumann and Morgenstern, called Countable Independence. I show that rejecting Countable Independence is sufficient for maintaining the rational coherence of such preferences. I construct a model that witness this consistency, and agrees with the judgements of standard expected utility theory in the cases where expected utility is defined. I argue that, plausibly, they are accurate pictures of the structure of rational preference. The models provided also complete the project of Colyvan, Easwaren, Bartha, and others to decision-theoretically evaluate certain problematic variations of the Saint Petersburg Game.

Deeds and Dilemmas: Defending the Deeds Account of Justification for Genuine Moral Dilemmas
Sherri Conklin, University of California, Santa Barbara
 In this paper, I provide my reader with reasons to consider an alternative to the most common formulation of the deeds or objective theory of moral justification (DAJ). Specifically, I argue that the most common explanation for the DAJ is inadequate for those committed to the possibility of genuine moral dilemmas. The DAJ is tailored for handling moral justification in cases where an agent performs a pro tanto wrong action in the course of performing a pro tanto right action but is poorly suited to explaining how an agent could ever be justified for acting in the face of a conflict between two absolute duties. While some philosophers reject the possibility of genuine moral dilemmas, many find moral dilemmas compelling. I will argue that we can keep the DAJ alive even when we are forced to reject a critical premise.

Diachronic Fine-Tuning and Statistical Independence
Thomas Metcalf, Spring Hill College
 I argue that whether the physical laws and constants of the universe permit life at some moment x is statistically independent, given atheism, of whether they permit life at some distinct moment y. First, I review the contemporary scientific evidence that the universe’s physical laws and constants might permit or fail to permit life at distinct moments. Second, I explain the relevant concept of statistical independence. Third, I argue that we should presume nomically and metaphysically independent events to be statistically independent until we have a good reason to deny this independence, and that moment-to-moment life-permission is apparently nomically and metaphysically independent. Last, I suggest that the statistical independence of life-permitting moments may allow for an extremely powerful new version of the Fine-Tuning Argument, one that is importantly different from previous design arguments.

Do High-Level Properties Make a Difference to Perceptual Phenomenology?
Madeleine Ransom, Indiana University Bloomington and University of British Columbia Okanagan
 Suppose we can come to represent high-level properties in the contents of perceptual experience. This would seem to have a dramatic impact on perceptual epistemology, suggesting that our perceptual experience can provide immediate or foundational justification to a much wider range of beliefs than previously supposed. However, two recent challenges have been made to this picture. The first is that high-level properties, while part of the contents of perceptual experience, do not impact its phenomenal character (Prinz 2013). The second is that (learned) high-level properties do not form part of the presentational phenomenology of perceptual experience (Chudnoff 2018). Both views raise problems for the claim that our perceptual beliefs concerning high-level properties are immediately justified. Here I argue that categorical perception—an empirical phenomenon that has been extensively studied in perceptual psychology—instead favours the view that high-level properties exert an effect on phenomenal character.

Do I Really Have to Say ‘Feed Two Birds with One Scone’?
Jasmine Gunkel, University of Southern California
 Many found PETA’s Anti-Animal Language campaign both hysterical and deeply misguided. PETA claimed Anti-Animal is wrong, and drew parallels with sexist, homophobic, ableist, and racist language. They suggest we use expressions like “feed two birds with one scone” instead of “kill two birds with one stone.” I argue there are serious problems with their analogy, and that even though some select Anti-Animal Language shouldn’t be used for consequential reasons, there is a much stronger case against sexist, homophobic, ableist, and racist language. It is deeply important to most human beings, unlike with other animals, to have our moral status acknowledged, so using language that attacks or disregards our moral status is wrong apart from effects such language might have on societal attitudes. This has implications beyond PETA’s campaign, giving us general insight into the wrong of Prejudicial Language, and how to do animal activism without harming vulnerable people.

Does Logical Closure Spark Joy? How Gilbert Harman’s Clutter Argument Makes a Mess of Logical Closure
Amelia Kahn, University of Texas at Austin
 Gilbert Harman argues in Change in View that we ought to reject logical closure, the idea that we ought to believe all the logical consequences of our beliefs. Doing so (or even trying to), he says, would cause us to clutter our minds with trivialities that are “worse than useless” to believe. This argument, which I’ll call the Clutter Argument, has been met with widespread sympathy and relatively little criticism or outright rejection. However, when we heed Harman’s call to examine actual human epistemic practice, it is not clear that the norms that would lead us to meet logical closure do in fact require us to clutter up our minds (that is, squander our limited time and memory on useless trivialities). In this paper I explicate Harman’s Clutter Argument and argue that the Clutter Argument fails when we consider the way we actually believe consequences of our beliefs.

Egalitarian Anarchism
Adam Lovett, New York University
 I develop an egalitarian version of philosophical anarchism. According to this view, we have reason to avoid treating some people as superiors and others as inferiors. But, when influence over the law is very unequally distributed, obeying it can count as treating some people as superiors and others as inferiors. It counts as treating those with more influence as superiors and those with less as inferiors. So, in such cases, we have reason to avoid obeying the law. But in many places, including the United States, influence over the law is very unequally distributed. So in many places, including the United States, we have reason to avoid obeying the law.

Elusive Reasons and the Motivational Constraint
Benjamin Rossi, Tulane University
 The Motivational Constraint says that a consideration is a normative reason for an agent to act only if it is logically possible for the agent to act for that reason, or at least to be moved so to act. Because it is entailed by a number of prominent views about normative reasons, its truth or falsehood has important implications. Mark Schroeder (2007) and Julia Markovits (2014) have criticized the Motivational Constraint for its inconsistency with so-called “elusive reasons.” Elusive reasons are normative reasons that an agent cannot act for. Neil Sinclair (2016) has offered a novel strategy for reconciling the Motivational Constraint with elusive reasons. In this paper, I argue that the crucial assumption underlying this strategy is implausible. Furthermore, I argue for the existence of a type of elusive reason not heretofore discussed in the literature, and show how Sinclair’s strategy also fails to reconcile this reason with the Motivational Constraint.

Empathy for Opponents
Hannah Read, Duke University
 Critics of empathy have charged that empathy is intrinsically biased. It occurs between just two people, and its key function is arguably to align the feelings, thoughts, and responses of those who are already in close relationships. This paper argues that it is precisely because of its ability to connect people in this way that empathy is needed for one particular moral task that has been overlooked in moral philosophical discussions: promoting positive relationships between people who are deeply opposed and divided on issues of social, political, and moral importance. I call these polarized opponents. Empathy performs this task by helping polarized opponents find common ground, or a set of shared beliefs, attitudes, values, and/or experiences. Contra critics, I therefore maintain that empathy is an important part of any well-rounded moral toolkit.

Epistemic Responsibility without Transparency or Voluntarism
Blake McAllister, Hillsdale College
 Internalism with respect to epistemic justification is sometimes motivated vis-à-vis externalism by the conviction that we are strictly responsible for adhering to internalist but not externalist norms. Strict Responsibility: S is strictly responsible for meeting some norm if and only if the fact that S’s authentic doxastic attitude fails to satisfy that norm can always be attributed, at least in part, to some defect in S’s cognitive machinery or processing. A standard externalist reply admits that we are not strictly responsible for meeting externalist norms but accuses internalism of the same offense. On the traditional line of thought, our responsibility for satisfying internalist norms stems from our supposed reflective control over meeting them—that is, we are always in a position to know what those norms require of us and to correct any incongruencies. Objectors point out that our minds, and thus the demands of internalist norms, are not as transparent to us as this traditional line of thought supposes, nor do we have the kind of voluntary control over our beliefs needed to correct violations when noticed. Thus, a central motivation for internalism is undercut. I argue that there is a different, non-reflective form of control that allows us to maintain strict responsibility for adhering to internalist, but not externalist, norms. It also avoids any reliance on normative transparency or doxastic voluntarism. Thus, the motivation for internalism remains. The key is that we can be responsive to evidence without being reflectively aware that we have it or of what it requires from us. For example, while driving we have a perceptual experience as of tail lights: we immediately believe that the car in front of us is braking. We do not reflect on the fact that we have this experience, then consult an epistemic principle concerning which attitude to form, then choose to form it. The experience itself directly guides our cognition, apart from any conscious reflection on its normative significance. This raises the possibility that we be cognitively disposed so as to guarantee adherence to an epistemic norm. That is, if the norm states: S should believe p if and only if condition C B (p) obtains; S should disbelieve p if and only if condition C D (p) obtains; and S should withhold assent towards p if and only if condition C W (p) obtains. Then S can be disposed to (automatically and without reflection) believe, disbelieve, and withhold assent towards p if and only if conditions C B (p), C D (p), and C W (p) obtain, respectively. Moreover, if the requisite cognitive dispositions are possible for and proper to the ideal human intellect, then the lack of such dispositions represents a genuine deficiency. It would follow that any violation of the norm can be attributed to a defect in the subject, guaranteeing strict responsibility. In such a situation, we have dispositional control over meeting that norm. Humans have dispositional control over internalist but not externalist norms. This is because our fundamental cognitive dispositions are only triggered by states of affairs that are directly accessible to our automatic processing systems—namely, the existence of internal mental states. On internalist norms, the normatively relevant conditions are entirely parsed out in terms of internal mental states. Thus, we can be disposed to automatically form the right attitudes when the relevant internal conditions obtain. On the other hand, externalist norms make external conditions normatively relevant. The problem is that there are no internal states that perfectly track these external conditions—i.e., that exist if and only if those external conditions obtain. The internal states that trigger belief in a normal situation (e.g., the appearance of a tree being caused by the tree) can also obtain in abnormal situations (e.g., the appearance of a tree being caused by an evil demon). There just aren’t any internal mental states that we possess at all and only times when our beliefs are, for instance, reliably formed. Thus, we lack dispositional control over satisfying externalist norms. In this way, we can be held strictly responsible for meeting internalist but not externalist norms without supposing any kind of reflective transparency or doxastic voluntarism. This allows those who would link justification and responsibility to maintain a central motivation for internalism.

Epistemically Useful Physical Computation
Timothy Schmitz, University of California, Irvine
 Piccinini gives a Usability Constraint to restrict models of physical computation to those which could be reliably built and used by finite observers. This constraint implicitly appeals to an understanding of what physical systems’ finite observers can build that derives from a classical computational account of what operations can be performed, rather than one emerging from a particular physical theory. However, what is physically computable depends on a model of computation relative to a particular physical theory. Thus, our understanding of what is buildable in a physical theory should arise from that physical theory. However, attempts to derive a notion of buildability directly from a physical theory succumb to a bootstrapping problem, leaving with a choice of what physically possible states and operations to permit for use in computation. This leaves the classical understanding used by Piccinini as a strong option, though just one option among many.

Essence, Contingentism, and Actualism
Mallory Webber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
 This paper is concerned with a particular constellation of views; Teitel (2019) argues that (1) a Finean reduction of modality to essence (roughly, the view that for any de re necessity, it’s necessary in virtue of being essential to some plurality); (2) contingentism (the view that possibly, something could have failed to exist); and (3) S5-ism (the view that metaphysical modality obeys the modal logic of S5) are incompatible. But a further commitment to actualism (roughly, the view that everything is actual; there are no non-actual but possible things) seems to have much to bear on such a question. Contra Teitel, I’ll argue that one needn’t give up on modal logic being S5 while maintaining reductionist views and contingentism so long as one brings in the actualist commitment that essential propositions are always essential to actual individuals.

Experiencing Nature Through Art
Monika Kirloskar-Steinbach, Universität Konstanz
 The Indian poet-philosopher Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) believed that some aspects of modern social life alienated human beings from nature. If art triangulated the relationship between individuals, societal conventions and nature adequately, it could, in his view, rectify this alienation, whether in colonial India or elsewhere. After examining possible parallels between an ecosophical and Tagorean perspective, the paper will study whether the latter can answer some of the ecofeminist challenges levelled against the former.

For No Particular Reason
Nathan Hauthaler, Stanford University
 I argue against the Dogma of Reasoned Action: the claim that any intentional action is done for a reason for action. I argue from a basic type of counterexample of intentional action done for no particular reason. The aim is threefold: first, to make a case for phenomena of Unreasoned Action; secondly, to indicate problematic upshots from it, both for accounts embracing Reasoned Action and for ones thought not beholden to it; thirdly, to indicate fortuitous upshots from a rejection of Reasoned Action. The overarching aim is to highlight the formidable and as yet unmet burden of proof resting with defenders of the Dogma.

Frege’s Theorem and the Potentially Infinite
William Stafford, University of California, Irvine
 Is a logicist bound to the claim that as a matter of analytic truth there is an actual infinity of objects? If Hume’s Principle is analytic then in the standard setting the answer appears to be yes. Hodes’s work pointed to a way out by offering a modal picture in which only a potential infinity was posited. However, this project was abandoned due to apparent failures of cross-world predication. We re-explore this idea and discover that in the setting of the potential infinite one can interpret first-order Peano arithmetic, but not second-order Peano arithmetic. We conclude that in order for the logicist to weaken the metaphysically loaded claim of necessary actual infinities, they must also weaken the mathematics they recover.

Freud and Derrida on the (Im)Possibility of Psychoanalysis
Michael Clifford, Mississippi State University
 This paper examines the problems of interpretation and translation in psychoanalysis. These problems can be traced to various metaphors of “depth” and verticality which tend to structure the entire conceptual framework of psychoanalysis. While these metaphors are crucial to the methodology of psychoanalysis, they also are among the major obstacles to successful interpretation of psychical phenomena. Freud’s understanding of metaphor in psychoanalytic interpretation assumes certain originary postulates. Derrida argues that the attempt by psychoanalysis to identify such postulates is a futile task and will remain so as long as it works from a conventional notion of metaphor. After an examination of the structural problems peculiar to psychoanalytic interpretation, I will offer an understanding of metaphor, influenced by but going beyond Derrida’s critique of metaphor in philosophical texts, which, while remaining compatible with Freud’s overall project, avoids appealing to originary postulates.

Full Moral Responsibility for Action and Moral Responsibility for Character
Robert Hartman, Tulane University
 I offer an account of being fully morally responsible for an action that requires being morally responsible for the character that motivates and explains the action. I motivate this view by showing the way it provides a unified explanation for why people are often at least partially excused when they act out-of-character, act from youthful character, and act from character acquired as a result of a brain tumor, neuroscientific indoctrination, or bad formative circumstances. In brief, these are conditions in which people tend not to be morally responsible for the character that motivates and explains the action, and, to be fully morally responsible for an action, the person must be morally responsible for the character that motivates and explains the action. I end by showing that this account is committed to the possibility of resultant moral luck, and provide a reason to think that this commitment is not problematic.

Gaslighting in Axiology
Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini, Rutgers-Newark
 Most contemporary work on gaslighting characterizes it as a form of epistemic harm involving the calling into question of individuals’ perceptually or memorially justified beliefs. I begin by arguing that the concept of gaslighting is more broadly applicable: what is distinctive about gaslighting is that a gaslighter compels his victim to choose between rejecting his testimony and doubting her own basic epistemic competence. I then argue that it is part of an individual’s basic epistemic competence to form reliable beliefs about what contributes to her wellbeing. It follows that there can be cases of gaslighting involving individuals’ axiological beliefs. I consider two sorts of cases in this category: first, cases in which it is claimed that the lives of disabled individuals are worse than the lives of others; second, cases in which it is claimed that gay and lesbian relationships cannot realize goods comparable to those realized by heterosexual relationships.

Gathering Evidence as an Epistemic Obligation
Carolina Flores, Rutgers University
Elise Woodard, University of Michigan
 Despite the importance of evidence-gathering for getting at the truth and avoiding falsehood, the view that there are epistemic (as opposed to practical, or inquiry-based) norms on evidence-gathering has found few defenders. Against this trend, we argue that there are purely epistemic obligations to gather evidence. We focus on a range of cases in which subjects are criticizable for their beliefs because they are distracted, avoidant, lazy, or sheltered, and thus fail to gather easily accessible evidence that would defeat those beliefs. We argue that, to fully account for our reaction to these cases, appeal to epistemic vices or to violations of practical or moral norms won’t do: we need to appeal to an evidence-gathering norm. Finally, we argue that such a norm bears the standard hallmarks of epistemic normativity. With an epistemic norm on evidence-gathering, we can defend epistemology against charges on which it looks myopic.

General Triviality for Counterfactuals
Paolo Santorio, University of Maryland
 On an influential line of thinking tracing back to Ramsey, conditionals are closely linked to the attitude of supposition. When applied to counterfactuals, this view suggests a subjunctive version of the so-called Ramsey test: the probability of a counterfactual “If A, would C” ought to be equivalent to the probability of C, under the subjunctive supposition that A. I present a collapse result for any view that endorses the subjunctive version of the Ramsey test. Starting from plausible assumptions, the result shows that one’s rational credence in a “would”-counterfactual and in the corresponding “might”-counterfactual have to be identical. This raises a challenge for all standard truth-conditional accounts.

Genericity Generalized
Alnica Visser, University of Pittsburgh
 In his recent Between Logic and the World, in the course of presenting his theory of generics, Bernhard Nickel argues for a theory of characteristicness, or “genericity,” which states that a property is characteristic for a kind iff its presence among the members of that kind is explicable by some theory that recognizes the existence of that kind, according to its chosen explanatory strategies. I argue that this notion of genericity is excessively narrow, excluding properties characteristic for kinds unrecognized in theoretical domains. In particular, Nickel’s theory excludes the properties of anthropic kinds, such as lilies and cedars, members of which have properties that may be similarly exploited in various human practices despite having divergent geneses. I argue for a generalization of Nickel’s view of genericity where explicability of presence is only one sort of genericity, with others, such as practicability, possible too.

Good ‘Cat’, Bad ‘Act’
Tim Juvshik, University of Massachusetts Amherst
 A widespread intuition is that words, musical works, and flags are intentionally produced and that they’re abstract types that can have incorrect tokens. But some philosophers think intention-dependence isn’t necessary; tokens just need to have certain relevant intrinsic features. I show how there’s an unappreciated puzzle that arises from these two views: if tokens aren’t intention-dependent and types can admit of correct and incorrect tokens, then some driftwood that washes up and forms what seems like the word “cat” may simultaneously be a misspelling of “act” and innumerable other misspelt words. I consider various ways of avoiding this counterintuitive result and argue that requiring the intention-dependence of tokens is the best option.

Good Prospects for a Modal Account of Ability
Sophie Kikkert, London School of Economics
 Most accounts of ability are modal: they explain what it takes to have an ability in terms of how an agent acts across relevant possible worlds. Kenny (1976) objects to the view that ability can be represented within the framework of possible world semantics, since it fails to behave according to some of the formal rules that govern the possibility operator. I reconstruct this objection as a quadrilemma and show that, instead of accepting Kenny’s conclusion, there are three ways to safeguard a modal account: one might adopt a non-normal logic for the possibility operator; find fault with Kenny’s counterexamples; or use a more complex operator to represent ability. I distinguish between two notions of ability and reflect on their relation to possibility before arguing that the most compelling response to the quadrilemma reconsiders which operator most accurately represents the “thick” sense of ability that Kenny has in mind.

Gravitational Force for (Structural) Realists
Eli Lichtenstein, University of Michigan
 The transition from Newtonian gravitational theory to general relativity presents a challenge for scientific realism: Newton’s claims about a “force” of gravity seem not to be even “approximately” true, given relativistic accounts of gravity in terms of spacetime curvature. I work to resolve this problem, on realists’ behalf, by developing a novel physical interpretation of general relativity. I claim that gravity is still plausibly construed as a force, which causes inertial motion, whereas the gravitational field is just the concrete but purely intelligible “pattern” of this motion. This case motivates a version of scientific realism that I call dynamic structuralism, synthesizing standard realist, empiricist, and neo-Kantian emphases on “structure.” Physics describes the impact of unobservable causal powers, or natural forces, in terms of purely intelligible “patterns” that order the observable phenomena they produce. These dynamic structures are concrete, not abstract, but unobservable because constituted by mathematical relations between physical properties.

Groups with Desires of their Own?
Jared Peterson, State University of New York at Oswego
 A number of philosophers hold that some groups are agents in their own right who token attitudes irreducible to the attitudes of the members that compose them. Such philosophers have focused the bulk of their attention on defenses of non-summative beliefs, or beliefs that cannot be reduced to the beliefs of individuals in these groups. There has, however, been much less discussion concerning whether we should countenance non-summative desires. In this paper, I explore this question. I argue that the most obvious way of defending the latter—a way involving modifying arguments already offered in the literature with respect to group belief—is problematic. By defending this claim, I advance the view that group desire is autonomous from group belief. I proceed to consider alternative means of defending these states, finding them wanting as well. I conclude by discussing what can further be done to advance the debate about group desire.

Harm, Deontological Principles and the Counterfactual Comparative Account
Justin Klocksiem, New Mexico State University
 Harm and benefit play important roles in many ethical theories and principles, and the nature of harm has recently been the topic of vigorous debate. In this literature, the counterfactual comparative account has emerged as a main contender. But critics claim that CCA cannot explain the role played by harm and benefit in our moral universe. For example, we have strong moral reason to refrain from inflicting harm on others, and this reason seems stronger than the corresponding moral reason we might have to provide positive benefits to others. Because CCA treats harm and benefit symmetrically, it seems that CCA is incompatible with these theses. I argue that CCA is not incompatible with these deontological principles, and that these arguments rely on unwarranted assumptions about implications of CCA on the severity and justifiability of harm.

Hedonism and Life Comparisons
Joe Nelson, Duke University
 Opponents of welfare hedonism thought experiments involving comparisons between hypothetical lives (“life comparisons”). These arguments are widely taken to cast serious doubt on the view. Hedonists usually try to defend against them one-by-one, by drawing attention to their particular shortcomings. But rather than proceed piecemeal, hedonists can undermine all such arguments at once. Two features of anti-hedonist life comparison arguments make this possible. First, these arguments share a common structure and rely on a common assumption: that our intuitions about the relevant comparisons are adequately responsive to the truth about basic (non-instrumental) prudential value. Second, the relationship of pleasure and pain to other plausible sources of basic prudential value makes available at least one equally credible, pro-hedonist alternative explanation of our intuitions. Given the availability of such an alternative, we are not justified in believing that anti-hedonist life comparison arguments by themselves give us any reason to reject welfare hedonism. Opponents of welfare hedonism thought experiments involving comparisons between hypothetical lives (“life comparisons”). These arguments are widely taken to cast serious doubt on the view. Hedonists usually try to defend against them one-by-one, by drawing attention to their particular shortcomings. But rather than proceed piecemeal, hedonists can undermine all such arguments at once. Two features of anti-hedonist life comparison arguments make this possible. First, these arguments share a common structure and rely on a common assumption: that our intuitions about the relevant comparisons are adequately responsive to the truth about basic (non-instrumental) prudential value. Second, the relationship of pleasure and pain to other plausible sources of basic prudential value makes available at least one equally credible, pro-hedonist alternative explanation of our intuitions. Given the availability of such an alternative, we are not justified in believing that anti-hedonist life comparison arguments by themselves give us any reason to reject welfare hedonism.

Hegel’s Account of Social Freedom
Caroline Bowman, New York University
 This paper examines Fred Neuhouser’s account of what I call Hegel’s “Social Freedom Thesis”: the claim that an agent’s identifying with social roles constitutes a kind of freedom. I argue that Neuhouser fails to reconstruct a satisfying argument for the Social Freedom Thesis because he fails to vindicate Hegel’s strong claim that a social world that allows for SI is necessary for an agent to be fully free. I argue that Neuhouser’s account can be supplemented by appealing to the Kantian roots of Hegel’s theory of freedom. According to this line of thought, SI constitutes a type of freedom because it allows an agent to overcome the heteronomy of her own desires. This is because, for Hegel (as for Kant), to overcome the threat of external constraint by one’s desires, one must act according to duty. But for Hegel (departing from Kant), acting according to duty in a determinate way requires occupying concrete social roles.

How to Be an Ethical Anti-Objectivist
Max Hayward, Bowling Green State University
 Objectivity is the central problem of ethics. Not just in theory, but in life (Nagel, 1986). Nagel’s claim is widely accepted: that if we cannot substantiate the claim that ethics is somehow objective, then something vital would be lost—not just a theoretical desideratum, but something crucial underpinning our entire practical lives as ethical agents. The purpose of the paper is to argue that this is wrong. It might disappoint philosophers if ethics turned out not be objective. But it would not undermine the basis of our practice. Non-objective ethical norms would both deserve our respect and have legitimate claim to govern our lives and direct our actions. My goal is not to demonstrate that some non-objectivist account of ethics is correct. For all that I say, the metaphysical, epistemological, and psychological claims of objectivists might actually be correct. Rather, my thesis is a conditional—or better, the denial of a conditional. Many objectivists motivate their positive views with the claim that if ethics is not objective, then it lacks some sort of normative authority. This is what I deny.

Ideological and Institutional Roots of Epistemic Injustice: On the Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide
Imge Oranli, Arizona State University
 This paper explores genocide denialism by using the epistemic injustice framework. I focus on the Turkish denial of the Armenian genocide and demonstrate that the ideology operative in the genocidal act and its institutional representation are significant for understanding the nature of epistemic harms caused by denialism. I argue that the supremacist founding ideology of Turkism and Turkish institutions create an environment, where the testimonies of Armenians are not given credibility. My argument centers on a criticism that has been leveled against Miranda Fricker’s treatment of epistemic injustice. The criticism is issued by Charles W. Mills, who suggests that Fricker’s account lacks a proper understanding of the ideological basis of epistemic failures of individuals. Building on this criticism, I develop my argument by focusing first on Fricker’s account of testimonial injustice. Secondly, I engage with Mills’ criticism against Fricker, and explore Turkism as the ideological root of genocide denialism.

If Panpsychism, then Digital AI Are Phenomenally Scrambled
Marcus Arvan, University of Tampa
Corey Maley, University of Kansas
 This article argues that if panpsychism is true, then digital artificial intelligence (AI) cannot produce coherent macro-phenomenal conscious experiences. Section 1 briefly surveys research indicating that neural function and phenomenal consciousness are both analog, dealing with physical and phenomenal magnitudes. Section 2 then infers that if panpsychism is true, human brains must manipulate that analog information in a manner that renders them phenomenally coherent. Section 3 then argues that insofar as digital programming abstracts away from fundamental physical-phenomenal magnitudes, digital programming does not function in a manner capable of rendering phenomenally conscious experiences coherent. Finally, Section 4 argues that it follows that if panpsychism is true, Giulio Tononi’s Integrated Information Theory (IIT) theory of consciousness is incorrect: macro-consciousness is not informational integration simplicter, but rather the right kind of (analog) information integration.

Ignorance, Excuses, and Modality: Why the Standard View Gets Ignorance Wrong
Oscar Piedrahita, University of California, Irvine
 The goal of this paper is to question the Standard View of ignorance for which ignorance is equivalent to lack of knowledge. I argue that the relevant concepts of ignorance and non-ignorance that are relevant in discussions of moral responsibility are, unlike knowledge, non-modal notions. In addition to putting pressure on the Standard View, this claim can be used to solve an apparent tension between the Standard View of ignorance and the widely held view that non-culpable ignorance excuses an agent who acts from ignorance. The tension is solved once we have a principled reason to reject the Standard View and see why and how the epistemic condition for moral responsibility is not equivalent to knowledge.

Immigration, Samaritan Duties, and Future Generations
Alexander Motchoulski, University of Arizona
 This paper defends samaritan-grounded duties to admit immigrants against two objections: that (1) admitting immigrants comes at the unreasonable cost of restricting individual rights to freedom of association; and (2) there are alternative sufficiently effective means of assisting immigrants that, if undertaken, would preempt samaritan-grounded duties to admit immigrants. I argue that once we take into account future generations, the number of individuals assisted by permitting immigration is several times greater than might be initially thought. As a consequence, neither objection holds. This increase in number makes restrictions on the right to freedom of association reasonably costly in order to assist immigrants and their future generations. I further argue that there is no alternative means for assisting future generations that is sufficiently effective relative to admitting immigrants. Before replying to (1) and (2), I discuss the non-identity problem, and argue that we bear samaritan duties to future individuals.

In Defense of Motive-cum-Act Utilitarianism
Austen McDougal, Stanford University
 Robert Adams and Derek Parfit have argued that motive utilitarianism conflicts with act utilitarianism because right motives sometimes lead agents to perform wrong acts. Attempts to reject their arguments can be divided into two kinds, those that assume psychological determinism (i.e., that the motives of an agent causally determine which acts she will perform) and those that deny it. While defenders of the Adams-Parfit line have pointed out shortcomings in such attempts, I argue that these shortcomings can be shored up. If psychological determinism is true, the apparently right act is not really right despite being available; rather than relying on incompatibilism, this response simply points out that the act requires certain suboptimal preconditions. Meanwhile, if psychological determinism is false, the fact that right motives sometimes lead—in a non-deterministic sense—to wrong acts is no more troublesome than the commonplace fact that right acts sometimes leads to wrong acts.

Interpersonal Causation in Aristotle’s Theory of Rule
Zoli Filotas, University of South Dakota
 Although we are accustomed to thinking narrowly of “rule” (ἀρχή or ἀρχεῖν) as a political concept in Aristotle, he often treats it as an interpersonal relationship. In fact, he sees it as a near-universal phenomenon that some people rule others even in communities of equals. Taking my lead from the lexicon in Metaphysics Δ, I argue that Aristotle defines a ruler as a person whose decision (προαίρεσις) establishes the goal (the οὗ ἕνεκα, the goal-for-the-sake-of-which) that animates the soul of a subordinate person, just as the master-artisan (ἀρχιτέκτων) provides the goal for subordinate workers.

Intrinsic Local Distances: A Mixed Solution to Weyl’s Tile Argument
Lu Chen, University of Massachusetts Amherst
 Weyl’s tile argument purports to show that there are no natural distance functions in atomistic space that approximate Euclidean geometry. I advance a response to this argument that relies on a new account of distance in atomistic space, called “the mixed account,” according to which local distances are primitive and other distances are derived from them. Under this account, atomistic space can approximate Euclidean space very well. To motivate this account as a genuine solution to Weyl’s tile argument, I argue that this account is as good as the standard account of distance in continuous space.

Is Intersectionality A Concept That Divides Women Along Racial Lines?
Youjin Kong, Oregon State University
 What exactly does it mean for feminist theory to be intersectional? This paper develops an original account of intersectional feminist theory by addressing some of the main critiques of intersectionality. The critiques take intersectionality to fragment women along lines of race, class, sexuality, and other identity categories. Underlying the interpretation of intersectionality as fragmentation, I argue, is the static view that identity has a fixed singular meaning. By exploring how Asian/American women experience Asian identity in diverse ways, I will show that the critiques cannot hold when examining the actual, everyday lives of multiply oppressed women, where these women navigate power dynamics and the relation between power and identity. In so doing, I will advance and elaborate on my account of intersectional feminist theory as a non-ideal theory—a theory that foregrounds the actual lived experiences of women and others who exist at the intersecting axes of multiple oppressions.

Is There an Imperfect Duty to Be a Digital Minimalist?
Tim Aylsworth, Florida International University
Clinton Castro, Florida International University
 The harms associated with wireless mobile devices (e.g., smartphones) are well documented. They have been linked to anxiety, depression, diminished attention span, sleep disturbance, and decreased relationship satisfaction. Perhaps what is most worrying from a moral perspective, however, is the effect these devices can have on our autonomy. In this paper, we argue that there is an obligation to foster and safeguard autonomy in ourselves, and we suggest that wireless mobile devices pose a serious threat to our capacity to fulfill this obligation. We defend the existence of an imperfect duty to be a “digital minimalist.” That is, we have a moral obligation to be intentional about how and to what extent we use these devices. The empirical findings already justify prudential reasons in favor of digital minimalism, but the moral duty is distinct from and independent of prudential considerations.

Joint Attention: The Window into Other Minds?
Rory Harder, University of Toronto
 Joint attention occurs when two (or more) people attend together to some object. Psychologists have studied it in recent decades as a fundamental form of human social cognition, and even more recently philosophers have attempted to explain its nature. In this paper, I first argue that joint attention is philosophically puzzling: in certain basic cases, the participants must have immediate justification for taking their perspectives to be of the same object. Second, I propose a general account of joint attention, and apply it to explain the special epistemic status of basic cases. In analogy with how perceptual phenomenology simply presents an objective reality, the resulting view is that what it’s like to jointly attend provides direct access to intersubjective reality.

Judgment & Sanction in Aristotle
Carissa Phillips-Garrett, Loyola Marymount University
 In Nicomachean Ethics Book III, Aristotle begins by claiming that praise and blame are connected to voluntary action, to excuse, and to pity. Despite the importance blame plays throughout his account of action, he does not define what blame is or what practices constitute blame. I defend the claim here that Aristotelian blame is justified when it is fair to hold a member of the moral community accountable for her actions, Aristotelian blame necessarily involves both judgment and sanction for the purposes of holding wrongdoers morally accountable. I argue that Aristotle’s account of anger is a type of negative reactive attitude that necessarily accompanies a judgment of blameworthiness, and thus is itself part of what constitutes blame. Since a function of blame for Aristotle is holding wrongdoers responsible, Aristotelian blame does not merely ascribe or judge, but actively sanctions and holds wrongdoers responsible.

Kant on Empirical Self-Consciousness
Janum Sethi, University of Michigan
 Kant distinguishes between consciousness of oneself as a subject and consciousness of oneself as an object, which he calls transcendental and empirical apperception, respectively. Of the two, it is empirical apperception that enables consciousness of any substantive features of oneself; what it amounts to, however, continues to puzzle interpreters. I argue that the key to understanding empirical apperception is Kant’s overlooked claim that each type of apperception corresponds to a distinct type of unity of apperception, i.e., a distinct way in which representations can be related for a subject. Whereas transcendental unity of apperception requires that representations be actively combined by the understanding, empirical unity of apperception obtains when representations are passively combined by the reproductive imagination. In light of this, I develop a novel account according to which Kant’s two types of apperception correspond to a subject’s consciousness of two essential aspects of herself: namely, her spontaneity and receptivity.

Kantian Spontaneity and Fictional Form
Maya Kronfeld, Princeton University
 This paper explains how fictional renderings of consciousness can help to clarify and move beyond some of the key impasses in philosophical empiricism, especially those animated in the transition from Hume to Kant (self as mere bundle of sensation, limits of atomistic explanation, limits of passive receptivity, importance of spontaneity). In the process, I propose an analogy between narrative form and the formal structures of the mind. While “stream-of-consciousness” fiction is often recruited to enforce empiricist paradigms of the mind, I argue that fiction, by its very form, discloses what Kant called the mind’s spontaneity—that active power we all have to shape, organize and synthesize the stream of sensory impressions that comes at us. Contra current trends in literary cognitivism, I suggest that exclusive focus on mental content neglects equally literary form and what Kant called “the form of the mind”—and does so for interrelated reasons.

Kinesthetic Earworms and the Epistemology of Chinese Mind-Body Practice
Steven Geisz, University of Tampa
 The notion of a musical earworm—that is, a bit of “involuntary musical imagery” or a “song running through one’s mind”—can help us understand how body movements and postures can be interestingly cognitive or epistemic. Musical earworms are often more than mere sequences of auditory images: they are multimodal and can include thoughts and behavioral dispositions that track a song’s content and broader significance. I argue that there are kinesthetic equivalents of earworms that are sometimes created by performing ritualized, contemplative, mind-body practices. These “kinesthetic earworms” (or, more properly but less memorably, “semi-voluntary kinesthetic imaginings”) are multimodal and contentful in much the same way that musical earworms are, and they constitute (or at least give rise to) knowledge that straddles the knowing-how/knowing-that distinction. As a case study, I examine a cluster of Chinese mind-body practices that involve repeated circular movements: taijiquan silk-reeling practice, Daoist microcosmic orbit meditation, and “taiji ruler” qigong.

KK, Knowledge, Knowability
Weng Kin San, University of Southern California
 According to KK, knowing entails knowing that one knows. According to K~K, not knowing entails knowing that one does not know. Consider weak variants of those principles. According to WEAK-KK, knowing entails the possibility of knowing that one knows. According to WEAK-K~K, not knowing entails the possibility of knowing that one does not know. Although WEAK-KK and WEAK-K~K appear weak, they in fact jointly entail KK and K~K. This surprising result has important and wide-ranging implications.

Knowledge Entitlements
Alicia Patterson, Georgetown University
 As we know from feminist and critical race social epistemology, trustworthiness is usually bound-up in issues of race, gender, and class. Being seen as trustworthy depends upon being seen as credible in the right domain, and oftentimes, privacy depends on being seen as trustworthy; there is a relationship between epistemic injustice and privacy. I argue there is a privacy-based harm that is unique to marginalized groups; a phenomenon I call “knowledge entitlements,” whereby people feel entitled to non-contextually relevant information about marginalized groups as a result of epistemic injustice. For example: asking a Latinx American they recently met about their visa or immigration status. The privacy violations caused by knowledge entitlement unique involve multidimensional harms: a) harm connected to feeling entitled to violate someone’s privacy; b) the harm of being subject to epistemic injustice; and c) the exertion of power which constitutes an attempt to subordinate and a form of oppression.

Legality and Performativity: On the Discursive Limits of Law
J. Reese Faust, University of Memphis
 Using the Supreme Court case Worcester v. Georgia, this paper explores the limits of legal authority as speech-acts, arguing that legally-sanctioned or protected activity is only what can actually be performed under this authority. I claim that legal speech does not “act” beyond the utterance of its licensed speakers; and that absent the coercive force of a state, legal speech is only ever constative. To support this claim, I critique Andrei Marmor’s “quasi-conventionalist” account of law as an authoritative fiction, arguing it cannot fully capture how law is interpreted outside the courtroom or the legislature. Instead, I argue that Judith Butler’s notion of performativity gives a more complete account of legality. Butler understands law in terms of the power relations that constitute embodied individuals as subject to legal authority, such that “legality” refers to performative conventions that can(not) be performed by certain individuals in the eyes of the law.

Lotteries, Dice, and Multiverse Cosmology
Matthew Parker, University of Western Ontario
 The unsolved cosmological Measure Problem is to define the correct probability distribution for self-location in the infinite multiverse of eternal inflation. Norton argues that the correct inductive logic for this context is not a probability distribution but is the same logic that applies to an infinite lottery satisfying “label independence”: True statements about the chances remain true when the labels of the outcomes are permuted arbitrarily. Consequently, he argues, observed properties of our local world cannot confirm or disconfirm an infinite multiverse theory. I argue that an array of dice provides a better model for the multiverse, where chances are determined by local dynamics rather than label independence over worlds. If Norton were correct, then in actual die rolls we should regard an outcome of six as “as likely as not,” contrary to successful practice. This suggests that either there is no infinite multiverse or label independence fails.

Luck reduction and the function of communicative intentions
Joshua Armstrong, University of California, Los Angeles
 This paper explores questions about the function of communicative intentions. It has long been presumed that communicative intentions function to enable the very possibility of successful interpersonal communication or the possibility of securing determinate semantic values for context-dependent uses of expressions. In contrast, I develop a view according to which communicative intentions function as specific and environmentally attuned devices of luck reduction. In developing this proposal, I focus on the demands of successfully communicating with a wide range of novel expression types and on varying one’s communicative policies at different times with different partners. The end result is an account according to which communicative intentions are real and theoretically important, but not the sine qua non of semantics/ pragmatics they have often been made out to be.

Machine Learning
Tina Eliassi-Rad, Northeastern University
 Tom Mitchell in his 1997 Machine Learning textbook defined the well-posed learning problem as follows: “A computer program is said to learn from experience E with respect to some task T and some performance measure P, if its performance on T, as measured by P, improves with experience E.” When it comes to fair machine learning, much has been written about the problems surrounding experience (a.k.a. data) and performance measures (i.e., various notions of fairness). However (except for a few papers), the task itself has not been questioned. The most popular task thus far has been risk assessment. We know this task definition comes with impossibility results. In addition, the task of risk assessment seems to enable efficiency instead of fairness. I will discuss the pitfalls of risk assessment and why we need to be more critical about the task at which the machine learning algorithm is trying to improve.

Manifesting Morality: Affective Experience and Character Cultivation in Kant’s Moral Philosophy
Nikolas Hamm, McGill University
 Underlying this paper is the belief that Kant intended his moral philosophy to be practically applicable. Thus, beyond moral theory, Kant also elucidated a pragmatic system of moral cultivation. To this end, Kant claims that character is crucial, indicating one who consistently acts from self-legislated moral maxims and transforms moral recognition into moral action. What is needed, though, is an account of how one may undergo such a transformation of character. In this paper I explore the role of affective experience in the cultivation of moral character, focusing on experiences of moral sublimity and of natural beauty. In short, these sorts of experiences lead the agent to recognize that they possess the capacity to set ends of their own, and that their cognitive capacities are harmonious with the world. Both such experiences are necessary components of successful intentional moral action, and hence crucial for becoming a truly moral being.

Measuring the Past: Proxy Measurement in Paleoclimatology
Joseph Wilson, University of Colorado Boulder
 Historical climate scientists depend on so-called “proxies” to provide measurements of climatological events and processes in the past. In this paper I argue that the standard view espoused by groups like NOAA and the IPCC does not adequately distinguish proxy measurement from non-proxy measurement. While climate scientists consider proxy and non-proxy measurement to differ in whether they are indirect or direct, respectively, I argue that directness cannot do the necessary work. Rather, I argue that proxy measurement fundamentally differs from standard, non-proxy measurement in how confounding causal factors are accommodated.

Mental Filing
Rachel Goodman, University of Illinois at Chicago
Aidan Gray, University of Illinois at Chicago
 We offer an interpretation of the mental-files framework that cashes out the metaphor of files, information being contained in files, and so forth. The guiding question is whether, once we move beyond metaphors, there is any theoretical role for files? We claim not. We replace the file-metaphor with two theses: the semantic thesis that there are irreducibly relational representational facts (facts about the coordination of representations) and the metasemantic thesis that processes tied to information-relations ground those facts. In its canonical statement, the “file”-theory makes reference to a certain kind of relational representational feature, and a certain kind of mental activity. Mental-files need not come into it. In short, we posit mental-filing without mental-files. Our interpretation avoids awkward problems that arise on the standard interpretation and clarifies the explanatory commitments of the theory.

Merleau-Ponty and Epistemological Disjunctivism
Peter Antich, Trinity College Connecticut
 Several recent interpretations have located in Merleau-Ponty a position closely akin to McDowell’s and Pritchard’s epistemological disjunctivism. Berendzen has argued that one can actually find an epistemological disjunctivism in Merleau-Ponty. Jensen has argued that Merleau-Ponty shares with the disjuncivist at least the view that there is an intrinsic difference between perception and illusion and a rejection of the Cartesian view of the mind as fully transparent to itself. I argue, on the contrary, that while Merleau-Ponty does advocate a form of disjunctivism, it is a distinctively phenomenological form of disjunctivism, that cannot be assimilated to the epistemological disjunctivism of McDowell or Pritchard. In brief, Merleau-Ponty would claim that epistemological disjunctivism aims to provide us with a kind of knowledge of the world that we simply cannot have, and further, makes it impossible to get into view the interiority characteristic of consciousness. Carefully analyzing the difference between Merleau-Ponty’s and McDowell’s views will allow us to recognize the distinctive epistemological option made available by Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology.

Merleau-Ponty on Hallucination and Skepticism
Rebecca Harrison, University of California, Riverside
 In the Phenomenology of Perception, Merleau-Ponty claims that hallucination is not a part of perception. However, both hallucination and perception are supposed to be part of an even more primordial structure that characterizes the relationship between the subject and the world. Moreover, rather than motivating skeptical concerns, hallucination is supposed to “verify” our genuine connection to the world in perception. In this paper, I will investigate Merleau-Ponty’s account of hallucination, the role of the “intentional arc” in both hallucination and perception, and Merleau-Ponty’s response to two varieties of skepticism that the argument from hallucination is supposed to motivate. Although cases of perceptual error such as illusion and hallucination show that any individual perceptual experience is dubitable, for Merleau-Ponty, it is impossible for us to doubt that we are in contact with the external world in general.

Mind the Gap: Navigating the Harm of Hermeneutical Injustice
Arianna Falbo, Brown University
 On Fricker’s (2006, 2007, 2016, 2017) analysis, hermeneutical injustice results from lacunae in the stock hermeneutical resources used to interpret socially significant experiences. While there is much dispute concerning various aspects of Fricker’s analysis, this requirement on hermeneutical injustice, namely, that it involves a gap or absence in our hermeneutical repertoire, enjoys a nearly platitudinous status in the literature. I argue that this is misguided. In particular, this requirement on hermeneutical injustice fails to capture a species of hermeneutical injustice that results not from a lack of hermeneutical resources, but from the overabundance of distorting resources that obscure, block, or even preempt intra and inter-subjective understanding altogether. Focusing on cases of hermeneutical injustice without lacunae sheds light on the overly individualized nature of Fricker’s analysis and thereby motivates the need to think more ecologically or structurally about the phenomena of hermeneutical injustice, and epistemic injustice more broadly.

Modeling Mental Qualities
Andrew Lee, Rice University
 This paper develops a formal framework for modeling mental qualities that is more powerful than existing models. The core idea is to represent mental qualities using regions (rather than points) in multidimensional spaces. The principal motivation is that the framework can capture the precision structure of mental qualities. As an example of precision, consider the phenomenal contrast between seeing an object as crimson (e.g., in foveal vision) versus seeing an object as merely red (e.g., in peripheral vision). I begin by explaining why precision poses a problem for standard models of mental qualities. Then I explain how my new framework provides a unified way of representing similarity, magnitude, and precision, how different formal constraints within the framework correspond to different classes of theories about the space and structure of imprecise qualities, how the framework differentiates two distinct dimensions of phenomenal similarity, how empirical methods can be used to construct models for particular domains of mental qualities, and how the framework can be used to model the intransitivity of perceptual discrimination. An upshot is that the structure of the mental qualities of conscious experiences is fundamentally different from the structure of the physical qualities of external objects.

Moral Agency in Gandhi’s Thought
Samiksha Goyal, Monash University
 Akeel Bilgrami portrays Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as a philosopher, a moral philosopher in particular. An understanding of Gandhi’s moral ideas—moral truth and non-violence—requires the postulation of a strong notion of moral agency. To that end, Bilgrami introduces two kindred notions: the moral exemplar and the non-individuated individual. I make two responses to Bilgrami’s approach. First, Bilgrami’s concept of the moral exemplar fails to relate sufficiently to Gandhi’s idea of moral truth; it does not explain how an agent forms a moral judgement. In contrast, I propose that Gandhi’s concept of moral truth be so understood that a conception of moral exemplar follows. Second, Bilgrami uses a rather restricted concept of the non-individuated individual to address the specific problem of alienation. I suggest that the concept can be expanded to capture Gandhi’s general idea of moral agency which Gandhi needs to anchor his ideas of moral truth and non-violence.

Moral Gratitude
Romy Eskens, Stockholms Universitet
 It is widely assumed by philosophers that gratitude is always owed to the benefactor by the beneficiary, and hence that gratitude is fundamentally interpersonal. This, after all, is what we ordinarily have in mind when we say that we are grateful to someone. I argue that this presumption is mistaken: gratitude is sometimes owed by moral agents in general. Just as there are actions so bad that they concern the moral community as a whole and call for resentment in everyone, so there are actions so good that they concern us all and call for gratitude in everyone. Once we recognize the existence of this impersonal kind of gratitude, which I call “moral gratitude,” alongside gratitude of the interpersonal kind, we can see that the relevance of gratitude stretches beyond the interpersonal into the domain of public morality.

Moses Mendelssohn’s Original Modal Proof for the Existence of God
Noam Hoffer, Ben Gurion University
 In his 1785 book Morning Hours, Moses Mendelssohn presents a proof for the existence of God from the grounding of possibility. Although Mendelssohn claims that this proof is original, it has not received much attention in the secondary literature. In this paper, I will analyze this proof and present its historical context. I will show that although it resembles Leibniz’s proof from eternal truths and Kant’s pre-critical possibility proof, it has unique characteristics which can be regarded as responses to deficiencies Mendelssohn identified in these earlier proofs. I argue that by analyzing the semantics of judgments about dispositions, Mendelssohn provides a novel explanation for the basic premise shared by these proofs, namely that possibility is grounded in actuality. Additionally, this analysis simplifies the inference to a unique infinite mind grounding all possibility. Thus the proof is worth studying both for historical reasons and for its original account of modal concepts.

Motivated Reasoning and Epistemic Injustice
Jonathan Ellis, University of California, Santa Cruz
 In recent years, motivated reasoning has received significant attention across a wide variety of areas of philosophy. Not much attention, however, has been given to the social practices in which people attribute motivated reasoning to others, attributions that play a fundamental role in our social lives. When we judge someone for engaging in motivated reasoning, we often form other beliefs about them as well—about their cognitive tendencies, their credibility, and sometimes even their moral character. I argue that these attributions and inferences are less reliable and less justified than has been appreciated. When they are unjustified, they constitute a kind of epistemic injustice. Their consequences are substantial and similar in their reverberating structure to the consequences of epistemic injustices stemming from social prejudice and stereotypes. Most importantly perhaps, I will argue that these two sets of epistemic injustice interact, and ultimately sustain and reinforce one another.

Music, Convention, and Sound Symbolism
Hannah Kim, Stanford University
 Can wordless instrumental music represent emotional or narrative content? Formalists answer in the negative; narrativists answer in the positive. In this paper, I appeal to musical conventions and linguistics research on sound symbolism to blunt the formalists’ attack on narrativism. Argument from Disagreement points to listeners’ (alleged) lack of consensus as evidence that music cannot represent content. But the argument overlooks the role convention plays in our current practices; if convention is enough to suggest content, then music, like language, might also represent content. The similarity between music and language becomes even more apparent when we reject the assumption that words have determinate “dictionary meaning” (compositional semantics) and that language is an arbitrary system (Saussure). Ordinary language philosophy’s emphasis on use shows how music can be meaningful, and research on sound symbolism suggests that a psychological network of sound-meaning relations governs our understanding of both words and music.

New and Improvable Lives
Joe Horton, University College London
 According to what we can call weak utilitarianism (WU), at least when it neither costs you too much nor violates any moral constraints, you should maximize the sum of well-being. This view has considerable explanatory power. But it also has two implications that seem to me implausible. First, it implies that, other things equal, it is wrong to harm yourself, or even to deny yourself benefits. Second, it implies that, other things equal, given the opportunity to create new happy people, it is wrong not to. These implications could be avoided by accepting a complaints-based alternative to WU. However, complaints-based views face two decisive problems, originally noticed by Jacob Ross. My aim in this essay is to develop a view that avoids these problems while retaining the advantages of complaints-based views.

Nietzsche’s Critique of Guilt
Avery Snelson, University of California, Riverside
 In a number of contexts Nietzsche professes to want to free humanity of guilt, to rid the world of guilt, and to liberate humans from the cruel and inane idea that we deserve to suffer for who we are or what we do, which he argues is a product of bad conscience. He also argues, on independent grounds, that we are not ultimately responsible for who we are or what we do because we do not possess causa sui free will. Combining these related threads of argument, one arrives at what would seem to be an uncontroversial conclusion: Nietzsche does not think guilt is an apt response to wrongdoing, and he thinks we ought to overcome the feeling of guilt altogether. I argue against this popularly held view, by offering a comparative analysis of three kinds of guilt Nietzsche discusses in his works.

Norm-Shifting Through Slurs
Mihaela Popa-Wyatt, Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
 This paper explains how social norms are changed by oppressive speech. McGowan has argued that norm shifting is an effect of any move within a norm governed activity. Thus, moves in a conversational game change the norms of that game. McGowan also argues that individual acts can be parallel moves in multiple games at once. This paper identifies and explains a phenomenon called a carry-over effect. I argue that parallel moves are insufficient to account for carry-over effects. The solution is a hierarchy of games. Specifically, a conversational game is embedded in a larger social game. Each game has a separate but related set of roles for participants and targets. I show how this provides a solution to the problem of carry-over effects. In particular, I argue that the idea of invited inference explains the incorrect reasoning that audience members employ in order to export conversational roles to social roles.

On Plantation Politics: Citizenship and Antislavery Resistance in Frederick Douglass’s My Bondage and My Freedom
Philip Yaure, Columbia University
 I develop an interpretation of Frederick Douglass’s antebellum political thought on what citizenship consists in. For Douglass, persons constitute themselves as citizens of a polity by enacting commitments to the fundamental principles of that polity. Douglass holds that the fundamental principle of the American polity is a commitment to resist tyranny and oppression. So American citizenship consists in the enactment of a commitment to resist tyranny and oppression, through acts of resistance that cultivate bonds of solidarity. Douglass’s account bears emancipatory potential because it grounds citizenship not in facts about one’s place of birth or in a state’s power of conferral, but rather in the political agency of persons—especially those subject to and resisting oppression. Citizenship, for Douglass, is not something given to us by a polity, but something that we seize for ourselves through action in concert with others.

Openness and Complicity in Communication
Steven Woodworth, Stanford University
 When a speaker tells an interlocutor that p, her communicative intention is in an important respect open to her interlocutor, where, to use Richard Moran’s phrase, “that openness is part of the intention itself.” In this talk I consider Moran’s proposal that one’s communicative intention is open to her interlocutor when it is “essentially avowable.” Examining a number of cases, I argue that an overemphasis on avowability distorts our understanding of openness in speech and communication. I conclude with a sketch of an alternative way for theorizing such openness. In distinction to other theorists, I highlight a form of complicity between speaker and audience where communication is open, though not thereby overt, direct, or public.

Pandemics and Russian Roulette: Should We Pay More to Save the Greater Number?
Jacob Nebel, University of Southern California
 When we can either save a greater or a lesser number of people from some harm, such as death, we ought to save the greater. And we should be willing to sacrifice more resources to save a greater number from death. One virtue of utilitarianism, for all its vices, is that it is consistent with this judgment. At least, it is in general. This paper discusses a kind of case in which utilitarianism and other additively separable theories of social welfare evaluation (e.g., prioritarianism) are inconsistent with the principle that we should be willing to pay more to save more lives. The case is a moral analogue of Zeckhauser’s paradox in decision theory, which has received relatively little philosophical attention. I consider and reject some responses based on recent proposed solutions to Zeckhauser’s paradox, and a new response based on the value of equality. I suggest that perhaps we should not pay more to save the greater number in these cases after all.

Parts, Wholes, and the Logic of ‘Is One of’
Jonathan Payton, University of Calgary
 According to the thesis “Composition Entails Identity” (CEI), wholes are identical to their parts. Thus, if some atoms compose some bricks, which in turn compose a wall, then the atoms and the bricks are both identical to the wall, and hence identical to each other. But seems impossible. Two pluralities are identical just in case anything included in one is included in the other; thus, if the atoms are the bricks, anything included among the atoms is included among the bricks, and vice-versa. But it seems that, if “the atoms” denotes anything, it denotes some things such that all and only the atoms are among them, and so it can’t also denote the bricks, which are such that all and only the bricks are among them. To solve this problem, we must rethink some commonly-held assumptions about the semantics of plural expressions, especially plural descriptions.

Permissivism and Paradox
John Bunke, University of Toronto
Julia Smith, University of Toronto
 Permissivism about rationality is the claim that it is possible for incompatible beliefs to be rational, given a single body of evidence. Impermissivism is the denial of this claim. A primary argument that has been raised against permissivism is what we call “the inconsistency argument.” In this paper, we formulate a precise version of the inconsistency argument, which has the form of a reductio ad absurdum against permissivism. We argue that permissivists ought to reject one of the auxiliary principles used to derive the contradiction, a principle that we call “the conjunction principle.” We then argue that this move is independently motivated by the fact that rejecting the conjunction principle generates elegant resolutions of both the lottery and preface paradoxes.

Personal Identity and the Normativity of Reason in Hume’s “Conclusion”
Taro Okamura, University of Alberta
 In the concluding part of Book One of the Treatise, the section entitled “Conclusion of this Book,” Hume confronts radical skepticism about our use of reason. The naturalist interpretations claim that Hume resolves this scepticism and justifies a certain piece of reasoning by appealing to natural psychological propensities. However, the naturalistic epistemic norms have been criticized as groundless. In this paper, I aim to supplement the naturalist interpretations by proposing that Hume has a “constitutivist” ground for the normativity of reason. I specifically focus on specific psychological items, that is, indirect passions, to which few commentators have attended in this context. I suggest that one’s having this passion-involving personal identity provides a ground for her use of reasoning accompanied by natural propensities.

Philosophy and Me
Naomi Zack, City University of New York
 With weak resistance to this momento mori philosophical genre, I try to explain how I have not been a “normal” philosopher. I sketch my undergraduate and graduate academic life at New York University and Columbia University where I received my PhD in 1970. I then left academia and philosophy for 20 years, returning to teach at the University at Albany, SUNY, the University of Oregon, and now Lehman College, CUNY. My project of “Philosophizing the Unphilosophical” began with my work on race and mixed race. Further subjects were feminism and disaster, followed by political philosophy and issues of injustice. I am now reconceiving the historical arc of conceptions of democracy, which now tilts toward equality in society. I have also been writing about the American tragedy of COVID-19 and I hope to have an update of my reflections on that by the time I give this talk.

Plato after Marburg: Rethinking Forms and Ideas through the Inspiration of Hermann Cohen
Lucas Fain, Boston University
 Whereas standard readings of Plato’s Republic (and Plato’s corpus in general) treat the terms “form” (εἶδος) and “Idea” (ἰδέα) as synonyms rooted in shared etymologies, this paper critically retrieves a terminological distinction made by Hermann Cohen, founder of the Marburg School of neo-Kantianism, in order to show how the Republic elaborates two competing notions of philosophy on the basis of two distinct interpretations of the relation between forms and Ideas—two distinct terms with separate meanings. This insight also has important implications for the political teaching of the Republic. By distinguishing two doctrines of Ideas, it is possible to distill not only two different conceptions of philosophy, but also the errant politics of philosopher-kings in contrast with a Socratic defense of democracy.

Plato vis-a-vis Prodicus
Harold Parker, Santa Clara University
 I argue that the figure of Prodicus is characterized in Plato’s dialogues by four elements: (i) his role as a Sophist, (ii) his expertise at distinguishing between near synonyms, (iii) his status as an object of mockery, and (iv) his unusual closeness to Socrates. When we evaluate these four features together, we are forced to ascribe to Plato an attitude of ambivalence (i.e., simultaneously positive and negative) with regard to Prodicus. Next, I argue that Plato’s ambivalence toward Prodicus has to do with his qualified appropriation of the specific skill of Prodicus at distinguishing near synonyms as well as the larger genus of expertise concerning the correctness of names.

Political Authority and Unjust Wars
Massimo Renzo, King’s College London
 Just war theory is dominated by two positions. According to the orthodox view, provided that jus in bello principles are respected, combatants have an equal right to fight, regardless of the justice of their cause. According to “revisionists,” whenever combatants lack reasons to believe that the war they are ordered to fight is just, their duty is to disobey. I argue that when members of a legitimate state acting in good faith are ordered to fight, they acquire a pro-tanto obligation to obey which does not depend for its validity on the justice of the cause being pursued. However, when the war is unjust, this obligation may be overridden, under certain conditions, by the obligation not to contribute to the unjustified killing of innocents. This is because (contra Raz) the force of the duty to obey the law is best understood in terms of “presumptive,” rather than “exclusionary” reasons for action.

Political Campaign Promises and their Obligations
Steven Norris, University of California, Irvine
 Political campaign promises play a role in our political lives that parallels the role played by ordinary promises in our everyday lives. In this paper I identify several features of campaign promises that distinguish them from the paradigm cases of promises typically considered in the ethical literature on promising. These features provide reasons for thinking campaign promises are an altogether distinct phenomena from ordinary promises. Despite these distinguishing features, I argue campaign promises can be considered instances of genuine promises. Doing so, however, presents a potential conflict between promissory norms and political norms. This conflict is avoided if we understand the recipients of campaign promises to be collective agents.

Political Etiquette
Ronni Gura Sadovsky, Trinity University
 Social norms forbidding rape jokes, blackface, and flag-burning exemplify a peculiar form of etiquette, which I call political etiquette. Whereas compliance with ordinary etiquette expresses respect for the other individuals involved in a social encounter, compliance with political etiquette expresses respect for social groups. I propose that we understand political etiquette as comprising a gestural idiom whereby we indicate our commitment to treating vulnerable social groups respectfully. Because we have a standing obligation to assure all members of our community that they can expect respectful treatment, we have a powerful moral reason to conform with all existing political etiquette norms whose target social groups lack such assurance, even when the conduct required by these norms is not antecedently morally valuable. Alongside our moral reasons to comply with existing political etiquette norms, we also have moral reasons to fortify good political etiquette norms and to reform or erode bad ones.

Post-Truth and Valuing the Truth
Jim Hutchinson, University of Toronto
 Cultural commentators claim that people do not value the truth enough anymore, and that this lies behind the tendencies that characterizes our “post-truth” era. My goal here is to understand this diagnosis in a way that makes it plausible. An adequate account of how desires impact belief and of what it is to value the truth reveals that it is, indeed, plausible. The serious question that remains is whether or not we should value the truth in the kind of way that would counteract the post-truth tendencies.

Practical Hope
Catherine Rioux, University of Toronto
 I argue that hope is the paradigmatic attitude of agents who persevere in low-odds pursuits. I explain why hope can make a distinctive contribution to both the motivation and practical rationality of persevering agents. On my view, hope for success in projects that we care about involves the belief that an outcome is possible, a desire for that outcome, and one’s prioritization of the concern with choosing a course of action which might go very well over that of choosing a course of action which is certain to go fairly well. The hopeful adopt a “risk-inclined” weighting of the concerns over action because they direct their attention toward the hoped-for outcome’s goodness and away from the low odds. This “risk-inclined attentional pattern,” as a necessary condition for practical hope, allows us to explain why hope can rationalize perseverance on a theory of practical rationality more permissive than standard expected utility.

Prestige Bias: An Obstacle Against the Building of an International Philosophical Community
Helen De Cruz, Saint Louis University
 If we can conceive of philosophy as a kind of plumbing (as Mary Midgley held), i.e., as vital cognitive and epistemic infrastructure that underlies our policies and societies, it is important that philosophy at western philosophy departments become more global, so as to face global challenges (climate change, electoral polarization, wealth inequality) better. Unfortunately, even now with events going online, prestige bias is a factor that hinders this. A focus on having prestigious folk in one’s volumes or at one’s conferences leads western, well-funded departments to mostly be in conversation with each other, excluding participants particularly from the global south in such collaborations. I examine how prestige bias, together with other obstacles such as linguistic barriers, and funding, collude to prevent philosophy from being more global, not only in what is being taught but also in its collaborations. I end by providing some possible ways to mitigate this problem.

Privacy When You Least Expect It: On Police Searches and Expectations of Privacy.
Raff Donelson, Pennsylvania State University
 The American Constitution protects people against “unreasonable searches” by police. To operationalize this protection, we must have a workable definition of a search. American courts hold that “searches” are intrusions on whatever a person reasonably expects to be private. It follows from this definition that nothing police do can count as “searching” a person’s property if the person does not expect privacy with respect to that property. The classic objection to this definition is that the government could manufacture lowered expectations of privacy by terrorizing people or threatening constant surveillance. In this essay, I advance the debate by exposing some problems for the classic objection and by offering new objections to the “expectations of privacy” definition of a search.

Proxies Aren’t Intentional, They’re Intentional
Gabbrielle Johnson, Claremont McKenna College
 Often machine learning programs utilize seemingly innocuous features as proxies for social sensitive attributes, posing various challenges for the creation of ethical algorithms. I argue that to address this problem, we must first settle the question of what it means for an algorithm that only has access to seemingly neutral features to be using those features as “proxies” for, and so to be making decisions on the basis of, protected class features. I argue against theories of proxy discrimination that rely on overly intellectual views of the intentions of the agents involved or on overly deflationary views that reduce proxies to mere statistical correlation. Instead, using insights from philosophy of language and mind, I adopt an anti-individualist account of “contentful proxy use.” On this view, proxies represent socially sensitive features when and only when they constitutively depend on discriminatory practices against members of marginalized groups.

Rainbow’s End: Phenomenal Structure and the Character and Content of Conscious Experience
Brandon Ashby, Independent Scholar
 There are three main positions regarding the relationship between phenomenality and intentionality: separatism, representationalism, and phenomenal intentionalism. I articulate a new node in the debate, phenomenal schematics: phenomenal structure places formal and semantic constraints on the possible intentional contents of our experiences, and these constraints hold with a priori necessity. According to phenomenal schematics, the phenomenal structure of our experiences is akin to the grammatical properties of words (or the rules of composition governing the representational elements in diagrams, maps, and models). Unlike words, however, phenomenal characters possess their “grammatical properties” essentially. This is a point that has not received clear expression in the literature to date. It shows us that separatism is false; it is, however, broadly compatible with non-separatist views and enables those views to offer more detailed specifications of the relationship between phenomenality and intentionality.

Rational Aversion to Information
Sven Neth, University of California, Berkeley
 Suppose you are offered free information. Should you take it? There are compelling arguments that the answer is “yes.” Good (1966) argued that the decision-theoretic principle of expected utility maximization implies that the expected value of information is always positive. This means that, in expectation, more information will always lead to better decisions. Thus, you should always take free information. After reconstructing Good’s argument, I will argue that, besides expected utility maximization, Good also presupposes that you are certain that you will update on any new information by conditionalization. I argue that, for real-life agents, this assumption is plausibly false. Further, I show that, if we relax this assumption, the expected value of information can be negative. Thus, even if you are an expected utility maximizer, the expected value of information is not always positive.

Rational Choice for Incomplete Preferences Depends on Why They’re Incomplete
David Gottlieb, Stanford University
 When an agent has incomplete preferences, how should they choose? Several recent articles have addressed this question, in the context of choice under uncertainty. However, the discussion so far has not focused on why the agent’s preferences are incomplete. An agent’s preferences can be incomplete in at least two ways, with different implications for rational choice. They can be epistemically incomplete, meaning they are left open because of informational or computational obstacles to deciding which outcome is better for the agent. Or they can be voluntaristically incomplete, meaning that it’s up to the agent to decide which of some outcomes is better for the agent, and it’s so far undecided. These “whys” point to something missing from the decision theory treatment: the rational dynamics of preference. Epistemic and voluntaristic incompleteness represent different possibilities for filling gaps in preference, with correspondingly different implications for both synchronic and diachronic rational choice.

Reconceptualizing Solidarity as Power from Below
Robin Zheng, Yale-NUS College
 I propose a new concept of solidarity, which I call “solidarity from below,” that highlights an aspect of solidarity that is widely recognized in popular uses of the term, but which has hitherto been neglected in the philosophical literature. Solidarity from below is the collective ability of the powerless masses to organize themselves for transformative social change. I situate this concept with respect to four distinct but intertwined questions that have motivated extant theorizing about solidarity. I explain what it means to conceptualize solidarity from below as a form of power, rather than as a feeling, disposition, duty, or scheme of social arrangements. Finally, I suggest that the moral-relational aspects of solidarity emerge secondarily from the process of collective power, and not the other way around.

Regrettable Beliefs
Mica Rapstine, University of Houston
 There is a vigorous debate underway concerning whether “upstream” epistemic failures like those involved in motivated reasoning tell the complete story of what makes morally troubling belief bad qua belief. Defenders of moral encroachment hold that moral factors associated with a belief can raise the bar for evidence required to justify that belief. Here I critically engage a moral encroachment proposal recently introduced by Rima Basu. While I raise issues for Basu’s view, I take her to provide a significant challenge for which evidentialists have yet to give an adequate response. This challenge concerns (1) the possibility of a believer who exhibits no upstream flaws but nevertheless ends up with an intuitively racist belief, and (2) the appearance that apology is apt in cases where the evidentialist’s standards are met. I appeal to a notion of regret for the purposes of providing an evidentialism-friendly interpretation of (1) and (2).

Relational Autonomy and Ameliorative Inquiry
Emily McGill, Coastal Carolina University
 This paper suggests that the contemporary feminist debate on relational autonomy is best understood as an attempt at ameliorative inquiry—the concept of autonomy is defined in order to secure political and theoretical advantages. Most theorists adopt some sort of constructionist, or relational, account precisely because of the political and theoretical advantages relational accounts are meant to offer. But there are also significant drawbacks to this approach. I argue that there are reasons to be skeptical of ameliorative inquiries into the concept of autonomy: first, the goals of inquiry have not been made explicit and may not be shared; second, because ameliorative inquiries are guided by unclear and unshared goals, the debate will continue to pull feminists in conflicting directions; and finally, the normative and aspirational nature of ameliorative inquiry unacceptably threatens the exclusion of some women from the category of autonomous agents.

Relative Significance Controversies in Evolutionary Biology
Katie Deaven, University of Wisconsin-Madison
 Scientists engage in relative significance controversies when they investigate the importance of a cause in producing a phenomenon of interest. Some philosophers have questioned the epistemic value of engaging in these controversies. In this paper, I present a taxonomy outlining the conditions under which questions of causal importance may arise. I then show how engaging in these different kinds of controversies may inform scientist’s research. Using the group selection controversy, I illustrate how these controversies help scientists form predictions about new instances of the phenomenon of interest, refine our understanding of causes of the phenomenon of interest, and improve upon explanations of causal structures.

Remembering, Non-Epistemically
Arieh Schwartz, University of California, Davis
 This paper suggests that there exist occurrent, conscious, non-epistemic instances of remembering. This paper adapts the sorts of examples Dretske used to illustrate non-epistemic seeing, to motivate positing non-epistemic remembering. Experimental research concerning iconic memory, semantic dementia, and the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon illustrates a variety of potential instances, as do a number of hypothetical examples.

Representation without Objects: Olfaction and Affordance Semantics
Clint Hurshman, University of Kansas
 Ann-Sophie Barwich (2018) uses studies of olfaction to challenge received, stimulus-centered views of natural representation, and she explains the mysteries of olfaction by arguing that there is no clean separation between perception and cognition. The experiments Barwich cites, however, have faced criticism. In this paper, I provide a different argument in support of Barwich’s conclusion that stimulus-centered views are inadequate. Barwich’s analysis suggests a general reevaluation of object-centered views of semantics, and I argue from a teleosemantic view that all natural representation is representation not of independent objects, but of affordances, possibilities for action that arise from the interaction of the agent with the objects. I show that even systems as sophisticated as human language are predicated on dispositions and are therefore hedonic at bottom. As a result, although Barwich’s appeals to experimental evidence are contentious, she is correct to challenge received views of intentionality using olfaction as a model.

Representationalism and the Veridicality of Afterimage Experiences
René Jagnow, University of Georgia
 Representationalists about perceptual experience hold that the phenomenal character of a perceptual experience can be exhaustively characterized in terms of its representational content. Some critics have argued that experiences of afterimages present counterexamples to this thesis. In response, authors such as Tye, Shroer, and Philips have developed sophisticated representationalist accounts of afterimage experiences. In spite of their differences, all of these authors hold that afterimage experiences have non-veridical contents. In this paper, I argue that this assumption is false and that afterimage experiences represent afterimages as what they are, namely artifacts of the eye.

Rules of Disengagement: A Kantian Account of the Relationship Between Former Friends
Ingrid Albrecht, Lawrence University
 The category of “former friends” is common, yet the nature of this relationship type remains unclear. Aristotle himself poses, but does not answer, the question of what constitute appropriate relations between former friends. I posit that Aristotle’s lack of an answer to this question indicates a deficiency in his account. Kant’s theory of friendship, in contrast, has the resources to address the question of what special duties exist post-friendship. I contend that for Kant, realizing an inherent value of friendship—namely, its unique opportunity for self-disclosure—requires recognizing that former friends are owed a special regard. I provide a Kantian account of the obligations between former friends in three different circumstances: when the friendship has faded but friends still share a general outlook; when the friendship has become damaging for the friends but not due to viciousness; and, when the friendship ruptures due to vicious behaviors.

Seeing and Visual Reference
Kevin Lande, York University
 A standard view holds that what one sees are the particular things that one’s visual state represents. One sees all and only the referents of one’s visual states. I argue that seeing and visual reference can come apart. The phenomenon of perceptual completion involves capacities to visually refer to and characterize particular parts of a scene that one does not see. I argue that what we see is a subset of the particulars that we visually represent. It is visual reference in general, and not seeing in particular, that matters to evaluating the accuracy of visual representations. Nevertheless, seeing is fundamental to our abilities to visually represent that which we do not see. Reflecting on the ways in which seeing and visual reference come apart reveals the distinctive roles of these two relations while also affording insights into the cases where they overlap.

Seeking a Foundation for Morality in Second-Personal Address
Paul Schofield, Bates College
 Second-personal voluntarism is the view that the notion of a demand, issued from one person to another, serves as foundational material for morality. Associated with Fichte in the past, and Darwall in the present, the view aspires to cast person-to-person address, wherein one commands another to perform an action or to refrain, as fundamental to moral theory. The attraction of this position is its promise to account for morality’s second-personal character, wherein obligations are owed to specific persons. Nevertheless, the position has met with considerable skepticism from those who doubt that concrete person-to-person confrontation could ever serve as a basis for abstract moral norms. In this paper, I aim to vindicate second-personal voluntarism in the face of this skepticism, arguing that the notion of a demand does important foundational work in the account even once concrete demands are abstracted away.

Sellarsian Alethic Pluralism
Tom Kaspers, University of St. Andrews
 Wilfrid Sellars is one of the very view pragmatists that do not shy away from (inflated readings of) correspondence and representation. In this talk I shall explore Sellars’s account of representation. I shall argue that Sellars thinks of representing as a special kind of projecting. Sellars thinks that we need to accept correspondence to reality as “ideal truth,” which figures as an Archimedean point, and as the limit of our theoretical and conceptual development. I will show that without the positing of this Archimedean point, we cannot give a proper account of theoretical progress. I will then argue that Sellars thinks of correspondence not as truth—since he believes that truth is “semantical assertibility”—but as what determines truth for “matter-of-factual” statements. Sellars argues that different kinds of statements call for different truth-determiners. I will show that this view is very similar to Douglas Edwards’s “determination pluralism.”

Sexual Orientation Categories
Matthew Salett Andler, Lafayette College
 There are a variety of ways in which a society might distinguish individuals with respect to sexuality: queer or straight, polyamorous or monogamous, kinky or vanilla, submissive or dominant. On my usage, a taxonomy of orientation categories marks the fundamental divisions that a society makes with respect to sexuality. For example, a society might primarily distinguish individuals on the basis of whether or not they’re attracted to Madonna. Such a society has a taxonomy of orientation categories that includes the category Madonna-oriented. Now, there wouldn’t be much of an improvement with respect to coordinated activity if individuals came to possess a concept such that they were disposed to differentiate between individuals who are attracted to Madonna and individuals who are not. In contrast, consider an orientation category that includes all and only women who are attracted to women, or an orientation category that includes all and only individuals who are attracted to women. It’s plausible that coordinated activity is well-served by concepts of these categories. This idea motivates the central question of this paper. What taxonomy of sexual orientation categories ought we to use? It might be the case, as Esa Díaz-León argues, that lesbian and gay politics ought to use categories such as homosexual, heterosexual, and bisexual. Or perhaps, as Robin Dembroff argues, in order to avoid trans-exclusion, we ought to use categories such as female-oriented, male-oriented, woman-oriented, and genderqueer-oriented. Here, I endorse an explicitly ameliorative approach to concept choice. In particular, I hold that we ought to use concepts of sexual orientation categories that satisfy the following ameliorative desiderata: (i) ascribe sexual orientations to non-cisheterosexual individuals, and (ii) be conducive to the aims of LGBTQ+ social movements. In this paper, I argue that the aforementioned ameliorative desiderata provide reason to reject the socially dominant taxonomy of orientation categories, as well as the taxonomy proposed by Dembroff. In light of these results, philosophers working on the social ontology of sexuality are pressed to develop alternative taxonomies of orientation categories. Regarding the socially dominant taxonomy, Dembroff demonstrates that many non-cisheterosexual individuals aren’t straightforwardly heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. For example, consider Josephine, a female woman who is exclusively attracted to female men. On the socially dominant taxonomy, Josephine’s orientation isn’t heterosexual (as she’s not exclusively attracted to male men), homosexual (as she’s not exclusively attracted to female women), or bisexual (as she’s not exclusively attracted to female women and male men). Along these lines, Dembroff provides a powerful argument that the socially dominant taxonomy only ascribes orientations to individuals whose sex attractions and gender attractions “match” according to the standards of cisheterosexuality. Accordingly, the socially dominant taxonomy fails to satisfy ameliorative desideratum (i). And it ought to be rejected. In response to this issue, Dembroff endorses a taxonomy that includes categories such as female-oriented, male-oriented, intersex-oriented, woman-oriented, genderqueer-oriented, and man-oriented. Here, I argue that Dembroff’s taxonomy fails to satisfy ameliorative desideratum (ii). On this point, consider the category homosexual. Members of the category homosexual are disproportionately affected by adoption discrimination, suicide risk, as well as injustices related to the treatment and prevention of HIV and AIDS. On account of the distinctive social experiences and political interests of homosexual individuals, contemporary LGBTQ+ social movements have reason to make use of the category homosexual. For another example, consider the category asexual. Members of the category asexual tend to be treated as pathological. This is due to a particular feature of the dominant ideology, often referred to as the “sexual assumption.” On account of the distinctive social experiences and political interests of asexual individuals—e.g., the elimination of the sexual assumption—contemporary LGBTQ+ social movements have reason to appeal to the category asexual. In short, LGBTQ+ social movements have reason to differentiate among asexual, homosexual, and bisexual individuals because the social experiences and political interests of non-cisheterosexual individuals vary along the axes of these orientations. This situation invites future research. While categories such as female-oriented and man-oriented ascribe orientations to non-cisheterosexual individuals, I worry that the categories aren’t otherwise conducive to the normatively important aims of LGBTQ+ social movements. In light of the political utility of categories such as homosexual and bisexual, I recommend that philosophers engineer revisionary versions of the categories which are capable of ascribing orientations to non-cisheterosexual individuals.

Shame, Vulnerability, and Change
Jing Hu, Concordia University
 Shame is frequently viewed as a destructive emotion, but it can also be understood in terms of change and growth. This paper highlights the problematic values that cause pervasive and frequent shame and the importance of resisting and changing these values. Using Confucian insights, I situate shame in an interactive process between the individual’s values and that of their society, thus, being vulnerable to shame represents both one’s connection to a community and an openness to others’ negative feedback. This process is an important arena where personal values interact with communal ones. The Confucian tradition, I argue, affords individuals a degree of autonomy in internalization through urging them to cultivate and maintain a keen sense shame. My discussion also offers resources for understanding the various aspects of this interactive process—how individuals with similar experiences of shame may, through channeling their experiences, transform current social values and propel moral progress.

Sheep’s Clothing: Modern Policing as Dressed Up Slave Patrols
Tina Botts, California State University, Fresno
 The “slave patrol” was an early forerunner of modern American law enforcement. Guided by a research methodology grounded in philosophical and legal hermeneutics (that is, taking into consideration history, legal history, legislative history, sociocultural context, and the idea of law as ideology), the paper will conduct an investigation into the legislative history of fugitive slave laws, the sociocultural context in which fugitive slave laws were enacted and the direct links between early slave patrols and contemporary American policing practices and culture. After demonstrating the clear links between slave patrols and modern policing practices, the argument will be made that contemporary law enforcement is inextricably linked to the oppression of African Americans (and African American males in particular) and is, accordingly, an instrument of oppression and irredeemably flawed.

Sleep (Deprivation) and Subjectivity: A Feminist Philosopher Reads Advice to Parents
Cressida Heyes, University of Alberta
 For parents of young children, especially mothers of new babies, interrupted sleep and lack of sleep are one of the most pressing parenting challenges. A large and relentlessly growing literature of expert advice and self-help aims to guide this population on how to get their children to sleep. In this paper I draw on this literature and on my own interviews with mothers of young children and “sleep coaches” to offer a feminist philosophical reading of the idealized relational subjects it tacitly defends. I reference the work of Jessica Benjamin to argue that in constructing anxieties and norms about loss of self, attachment, self-regulation, time, exhaustion, and intimate life, the genre of advice to parents about children’s sleep can be interpreted as a reflection of contemporary democratic capitalism’s ambivalence about individuation, work, and dependence.

Socrates’ Strategy with Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic
Mason Marshall, Pepperdine University
 In Plato’s Republic, how does Socrates hope to improve Thrasymachus, supposing that Socrates tries to? Most commentators have held that Socrates means to administer a kind psychotherapy by shaming him. I argue that Socrates’ strategy is more complex than this and that it involves not only Thrasymachus but also Glaucon and Adeimantus. It involves the two of them in the following sense: Socrates orchestrates the conversation so that Glaucon and Adeimantus do the very thing that Thrasymachus wants most to do and fails to do—namely, force Socrates into the position of answering questions instead of asking them. Thrasymachus will realize that Glaucon and Adeimantus have outpaced him, and Socrates means for him to learn from it. For reasons I explain, it is supposed to bring him closer to virtue.

Socratic Therapy for the Glutton
Freya Mobus, Loyola University Chicago
 A glutton comes to Socrates for advice. Which diagnosis and treatment can he expect? Most interpreters of Socrates would probably say that he can expect to be diagnosed as ignorant and to be treated with philosophical conversations and arguments. I will propose that Socrates would dig a little deeper and that depending on the resulting diagnosis, he might propose treatments other than philosophical conversations. I will explore how Socrates understands hunger and will argue that, in the Lysis and the Gorgias, hunger involves both experiencing a painful bodily lack and anticipating the pleasure of filling that lack. I will argue that while acting on excessive hunger is always an intellectual failure, simply being excessively hungry is not. Some gluttons are constantly hungry because they constantly experience painful bodily lacks. These gluttons cannot be cured through philosophical conversations and arguments about diet; they also need what Socrates calls discipline and restraint.

Some Hallucination Is Experience of the Past
Michael Barkasi, York University
 A sensory experience is an hallucination only if the subject is not in the normal sort of concurrent causal interaction with the object of experience. It’s standardly further inferred that the object of hallucination doesn’t actually exist. But this inference does not follow. The lack of normal concurrent causal interaction does not imply that there does not exist a thing that is hallucinated. It might be a past-perceived object. In this paper I argue this claim holds for at least some interesting cases of hallucination. Hallucinations generated by misleading cues (e.g., seeing subjective contours), hallucinations of Charles Bonnet Syndrome patients, and dreams are experience of past-perceived bits of the world. The crux of my argument turns on the idea that hallucinations in these cases are generated by sensory activities facilitated by the same sort of neural pattern completion which enables episodic memory.

Spinoza and Philosophical Etiology
Jason Yonover, Johns Hopkins University
 In this paper I demonstrate that and clarify why Spinoza has a philosophically attractive tendency to what I call philosophical etiology . Philosophical etiology is the practice of providing an account on a second-order level of how some first-order view comes to be thought true. A few of Spinoza’s philosophical etiologies of particular misled views have received very helpful attention in recent years, but as yet the literature is lacking a systematic understanding of how and for what reason Spinoza pursues such second-order diagnosis generally. In the first part of the paper, I introduce the discussion and terms. In the second part, I consider in detail an example case of Spinoza’s philosophical etiology, concerning belief in freedom of the will. And in the third and final part, I clarify that Spinoza’s second-order account giving in cases like this one plays a central role in his larger project.

Subsuming ‘Determining’ Under ‘Reflecting’: Kant’s Power of Judgment, Reconsidered
Nicholas Dunn, McGill University
 In this paper I argue that the power of judgment (Urteilskraft) emerges in the third Critique as an essentially reflective capacity of the mind. A mainstream view attempts to unify the first and third Critiques by taking reflecting judgment to consist solely in the activity of providing empirical concepts for determining judgments (Longuenesse 1998; Allison 2001). I show that this view cannot be squared with judgment’s autonomy and independence as a higher cognitive faculty. Instead, I claim that determining and reflecting judgment are not two co-equal species of one and the same power; rather, reflecting judgment enjoys a priority over determining judgment in exclusively characterizing this power of the mind. Accordingly, determining judgments are a product of the co-operation of reflecting judgment and the understanding, the faculty of rules.

Suppressing Spacetime Emergence
Joshua Norton, University of California, Irvine
 One of the primary tasks in building a quantum theory of gravity is discovering how to save spatiotemporal phenomena using a theory which, putatively, does not include spacetime. Some have taken this task a step further and argue for the actual emergence of spacetime from a non-spatiotemporal ontology. However, in many cases, the posited conditions for emergence are rather thin—too thin in fact to guarantee spacetime’s emergence. In this paper, I argue against the account of spacetime emergence presented in Huggett and Wüthrich (2013) as well as the functionalism of Wüthrich and Lam (2018). Though this paper explicitly addresses spacetime emergence, many of the following arguments are applicable to other accounts where objects are claimed to emerge in the low-energy regime.

Suspending Is Not Believing
Luis Rosa, Universität zu Köln
 Suspended judgment is usually characterized as an attitude of neutrality. Even though this is a relatively common way of describing what suspended judgment is about, there are different theories about what more exactly is involved in the attitude of suspending judgment. One view says that suspended judgment essentially involves a judgment or belief concerning the subject’s own epistemic position with respect to the target proposition. In this paper, I argue against this view. The first objection stems from the fact that suspension can be a rational response to the evidence even when the relevant kind of judgment isn’t. The second one stems from the fact that this view doesn’t properly account for the phenomenon of conditional suspended judgment.

Taking a Position in Deliberation
Andrew MacDonald, University of California, Riverside
 This paper considers the nature of the starting points of deliberation by questioning what is involved in taking a position in the rational space of deciding what to do. Three standard answer are considered, each of which is determined to have shortcomings. In the end a new model is proposed. According to this conception, taking a position in deliberation involves an act of withdrawal from the kind of rational commitment that, under normal circumstances, would generally lead directly to action. The initial position we take in deliberation expresses our rational response to a set of concrete circumstances. If this is in order, the starting points of deliberation are best conceived as of a piece with that larger “self-correcting enterprise” Wilfrid Sellars once identified with rationality.

The Cancelability of Free Choice Permission
Melissa Fusco, Columbia University
 I argue that the time-honored “I don’t know which”-riders on on Free Choice sentences, traditionally taken to confine the effect to the farther side of the semantics-pragmatics divide, are in fact sensitive to scope. Therefore, such sluices do not show cancellation on Free Choice antecedents in which disjunction scopes narrower than the modal. If successful, this argument clears the runway for a natural-language inspired logic-it would be a very revisionary one-which validates the inference pattern <>(p or q) |= <>p & <>q.

The Collapse of (Compatriotic) Associative Duties
Owen Clifton, Queen’s University
 To justify the view that states are both required to be especially responsive to the needs and interests of their own citizens and permitted to restrict immigration on that basis, some argue that compatriots, like family members and friends, owe each other “associative duties.” I argue that, on the account of associative duties to which these arguments typically appeal, associative duties collapse, if not into agent-centered prerogatives, then into some other type of moral duty. It follows that the appeal to associative duties loses its distinctive promise as a justification for the requirements that states be especially responsive to the needs and interests of their own. It also follows that, as justifications for immigration restrictions, appeals to compatriotic associative duties are at best incomplete and at worst question-begging.

The Conditions of Care Exploitation
Lavender McKittrick-Sweitzer, Ohio State University
 Care exploitation pervades our lives. Consider the public-school teachers that care about helping children achieve their goals by providing them with a proper education and are expected to do so by parents, administrators, or legislators—even with abysmal pay and little appreciation. Perhaps the most common case of care exploitation is the expectation of a mother to make great (and disproportionate) sacrifices in her life for the well-being of her child, which mothers often meet because they bear a caring orientation towards their child. Despite willingly assenting, there is something morally problematic about their treatment. I argue that an injustice has been perpetrated against them, and the unique wrong of care exploitation is the failure to respect one’s dignity by taking advantage of their vulnerability of caring about. In this work I articulate the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions of care exploitation and their relationships to one another.

The Content of Visualization: A Phenomenological Remark on the Two Main Rival Theories
Babak M. Khoshroo, University of Oklahoma
 How exactly visual perception and visualization are similar to each other has been debated for quite a long time in the literature. Two opposing views have been proposed: (a) visualization is imagining seeing; and (b) visualization is like entertaining a representational content. I am going to examine these views from the perspective of the intentional content of visualization. I will argue that a long-standing (phenomenological) criticism leveled against (a) is also applicable to (b) in a different form. Accordingly, I will argue that based on how they have mainly been defended so far both the views are on a par with each other phenomenologically. It seems that to evaluate these rival views we need a clarification: whether we consider them as two phenomenological claims on the intentional content of visualization or two claims about the nature of visualization.

The Daodejing and Contemporary Critical Ecology
Eric Nelson, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
 The Daodejing is popularly thought to speak to ecology. Such interpretations persist even as they are criticized by Daoist scholars. While the Daodejing was composed across different contexts for diverse purposes, the text continues to address questions of how to individually and socially live and interact with human and inhuman life and the natural world. Expanding on my book Daoism and Environmental Philosophy, I will reexamine the extent to which the nurturing ethos expressed in the Daodejing is indicative for addressing the contemporary environmental crisis. I consider how early Daoist conceptions and practices of emptying (xu 虛), stilling (jing 靜), and making plain (su 素), responsive attunement (wuwei 無為), and nourishing life (yangsheng 養生 ) can be reimagined in critical ecological models that indicate different more nurturing ways of dwelling and becoming with our environment and the myriad things (wanwu 萬物), in their respective ways of becoming (ziran 自然).

The Eudemian Ethics on Becoming Virtuous
Bjorn Wastvedt, University of Arizona
 At the outset of Aristotle’s Eudemian Ethics (EE), we read that “we must examine what living well consists in and how it is achieved (pws kteton)” (EE I.1, 1214a15). The rest of the treatise does examine the first of these in detail. However, Aristotle seems to have omitted an answer to the more practical question regarding pws kteton. Experience with Nicomachean Ethics (NE) II suggests that we treat this omission as problematic. But if take the EE as a starting point, we see that a consistently theoretical focus in the EE leads Aristotle to concentrate on other issues each time he has an opportunity to expound practicalities. First, I consider his approach to the topic of acquiring virtue in EE I and EE II. I then explain how his treatments of pleasure, habituation, and skill in the EE do not require an explanation of the acquisition of virtue.

The Freedom of Computer-Generated Speech
Julia Uhr, University of Colorado Boulder
 From anti-competitive search engines to racist Twitter bots, computer-generated messages are becoming an appealing target for government regulation, but the acceptability of government regulation hinges, in many cases, on whether the computer-generated messages at issue are speech within the meaning of the freedom of speech, a question that has not yet been subject to systematic philosophical inquiry. This paper will argue that the Spence test, previously applied to cases of symbolic speech and expression, provides a general definition of speech that can serve as a fruitful starting point for discussions of computer-generated speech.

The Invention and Evolution of Correlated Conventions
Daniel Herrmann, University of California, Irvine
 An important feature of many conventions is that the agents use an asymmetry to coordinate their behavior. We call these correlated conventions. However, a puzzle arises: since any asymmetry works as well as any other, what are the relevant asymmetries on which a given population founds its correlated conventions? In order to gain traction on this question we need an account of both the invention and evolution of correlated conventions. Invention has remained largely unexplored in the literature. In this paper we provide a simple model of the origin and subsequent dynamics of correlated conventions. This model can serve as a base for future investigation in this direction.

The Limits of the Pragmatic Account of Moral Categoricity
Teresa Bruno-Niño, Syracuse University
 End-relational views about the meaning of normative terms hold that normative language is relative to ends, desires, goals, and similar phenomena. One of their main challenges is to explain seemingly objectivist features of normative language that are not friendly to relativization to ends. Categoricity is one of those features. A claim is categorical when it applies to the subject inescapably, that is, regardless of her ends. Stephen Finlay has developed the most sophisticated end-relational account to date. Finlay argues that the semantics of normative language is end-relational and its seemingly problematic features are explained by pragmatics. I argue that Finlay’s pragmatic account cannot explain first-personal cases of normative language. His view faces two significant problems, what I call the efficiency and the unity problem. Roughly, his view cannot explain why agents use categorical claims in first-personal cases and it cannot provide a unified account of all utterances of categorical language.

The Moral Case Against Dogmatism
Marilie Coetsee, University of Richmond
 Though philosophers have become increasingly concerned with the epistemic significance of peer disagreement, they have not paid much attention to the practical considerations that bear on so many of our everyday social and political disagreements. It this paper, I argue that considerations related to the social costs of these sorts of practical disagreements may give parties’ to these disagreements added reasons to reconsider their beliefs and (so) not be dogmatic. In Section I, I motivate the idea that this is sometimes the case with intuitive examples. In Section II, I demarcate when it is the case, by distinguishing cases in which parties to a practical disagreement should reconsider their beliefs from cases where they need only make adjustments to action (by, e.g., agreeing to a reasonable compromise). In Section III, I more carefully examine the mechanics by which practical considerations give rise to reasons for parties to reconsider their beliefs.

The Myth of Occurrence-Based Semantics
Bryan Pickel, University of Edinburgh
Brian Rabern, University of Edinburgh
 The principle of compositionality requires that the meaning of a complex remains the same after substitution of synonymous expressions. Apparent counterexamples to compositionality seem to force a theoretical choice: either apparent synonyms are not synonyms or synonyms do not syntactically occur where they appear to occur. Some theorists have instead looked to Frege’s doctrine of “reference shift” according to which the meaning of an expression is sensitive to its linguistic context. This doctrine is alleged to retain the relevant claims about synonymy and substitution while respecting the compositionality principle. Thus, Salmon (2006) and Glanzberg and King (forthcoming) offer an occurrence-based alternative for variable-binding, and Pagin and Westerståhl (2010) argue that an occurrence-based semantics delivers an elegant compositional account of quotation. We argue that the idea that there is a Frege-inspired occurrence-based semantics which provides an alternative to the standard expression-based semantics is a myth.

The Naturalness of Negative Properties: A Case for Category-Relativism
Thiago de Melo, Syracuse University
 I raise a new puzzle against standard Lewisian theories of naturalness: whereas such theories allow for only one ordering of properties, considerations on the similarity and dissimilarity made by negative properties force us into admitting more than one. For example, the set-theoretic property of having no members characterizes the empty set, carving a joint that distinguishes it from all the other sets. Thus, I will argue, it must be at least minimally natural. And yet, this property is also had by people, artifacts and atoms, without making such things any more similar to each other than they would have been otherwise. Thus, I argue, it can’t be natural at all. I then develop a theory that permits many orderings. In this theory, naturalness is a relation between properties and categories of objects. I conclude by suggesting that category-relative naturalness will be useful elsewhere.

The Need for Epistemic First-Person Authority
Matthew Turyn, Georgia State University
 In this paper, I argue that feminist philosophers should adopt epistemic first-person authority (FPA), the view that one’s authority over one’s gender stems from one’s having privileged epistemic access to one’s gender, as a desideratum for a theory of gender. On the usually adopted ethical view of FPA, our obligations to accept others’ sincere avowals of their gender identities stem from our obligations to others as autonomous agents. While we have such obligations, I argue that our obligations with respect to gender go further: specifically, we have an epistemic obligation to believe that what another person has said about their gender identity is true. Further, adopting epistemic FPA affords us grounds to draw substantive metaphysical conclusions on the basis of testimony by trans and nonbinary individuals. By adopting this desideratum, our theories can be such that it is irrational to disbelieve a person who sincerely avows their own gender identity.

The Not-So-Rational Racist: Articulating an Unspoken Epistemic Duty
Briana Toole, Claremont McKenna College
 Scholars working at the intersection of ethics and epistemology argue that in some cases the epistemic status of a belief may depend on its moral features. Call this the moral encroachment thesis. As an illustration of such a case, Rima Basu (2019) introduces the notion of the “rational racist.” The rational racist, she argues, is guilty of no epistemic failing—he forms his racist beliefs in accordance with the evidence. And yet, he ought not believe as he does because his belief violates certain moral constraints on belief. Against moral encroachment, I propose that the rational racist is, in fact, guilty of an epistemic failure. I will first propose an, as of yet, unarticulated epistemic duty. I then use the case of the rational racist to draw out this duty. Using this newly formulated epistemic duty, I will show that the rational racist is not so rational after all.

The Paradox of Exquisite Attachment
Nalini Bhushan, Smith College
 Is pain an existential condition from which we need to escape? The famous project of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics is arguably to figure out strategies to exclude pain in the pursuit of a truly flourishing life. And yet, while the need to exclude rather than include pain strikes one as in many respects self-evident (who would not choose to be pain-free, given half the chance?), it is recognized by some in the Indian philosophical tradition that a separation from pain is also a separation from what it means to be human. If this is so, one who aspires to a truly flourishing and meaningful life needs to find a way to include rather than exclude pain. Inspired by Arindam Chakrabarti’s writings, I explore a manner of inclusion that takes seriously the role of art and aesthetics in answering the deepest philosophical questions about meaning.

The Primacy of Relationships for Well-Being
Matthew Shea, University of Scranton
 An important question about human well-being is the comparative value of basic prudential goods such as pleasure, knowledge, friendship, beauty, and achievement. Are these goods equally valuable, incomparable, or are some of them more valuable than others? I suggest the Primacy of Relationships Thesis: personal relationships have greater prudential value than all the other basic goods and contribute the most to the total well-being of a life. I sketch five arguments for this position, including the claim that relationships are a necessary precondition for the realization of other goods, the claim that relationships enhance the value of all other goods, the idea that relationships are a “package deal” that encompass other distinct goods, and appeals to philosophical consensus and common human experience to show that most of us assign relationships a special value and prioritize them over other goods in life.

The Priority of Reciprocity: The Development of the Categories in Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism
Matthew Delhey, University of Toronto
 In this paper, I argue that while all the works of Schelling’s early period agree that Kant’s table of categories is in need of deeper unification, the System of Transcendental Idealism (1800) marks an important evolution in Schelling’s thinking about the Kantian categories. It does so by developing two ideas merely implicit in the earlier essays: first, the elevation of the category of reciprocity, and not just the whole class of the relational categories as the most important element of theoretical philosophy and, second, the synthetic method, which, as fully developed in the System, presents the deduction of the categories as a particular episode in what Schelling calls the history of self-consciousness. Taken together, these two aspects of Schelling’s early thought can be seen to merit what Owen Ware has identified as the leitmotif for the first post-Kantians, namely the priority of reciprocity.

The Problems of Access: A Crip Rejoinder via the Phenomenology of Spatial Belonging
Corinne Lajoie, Pennsylvania State University
 This essay draws on the phenomenology of spatial belonging from a disability studies perspective and investigates the relation between access, space, and belonging. My aim is to denaturalize the taken-for-granted meaning of access and interrogate its role and lived meaning in ableist social worlds, with a particular focus on spaces of higher education. Specifically, I suggest that legalistic (or bureaucratic) approaches to access in higher education need “cripping” by a disability framework. Currently, these approaches (1) miss the intersubjective sociality of being-(disabled)-in-the-world; (2) they prioritize a narrow conception of access focused on “physical” access and “physical” space (a typology I contest); (3) they approach access as frozen in time or as a “one-time fix,” rather than as a relational and temporally dynamic process (4); and, finally, they privatize disability knowledge by devaluing a person’s lived knowledge of their own disabled bodymind. I present two of these critiques in this presentation.

The Relevance of Belief: Subjective Norms under Empirical and Moral Uncertainty
Nicholas Makins, London School of Economics
 Do an agent’s beliefs govern what they ought to do? If so, which are the relevant sorts of belief and what role does this leave for the facts? This paper is intended to answer questions such as these. It concerns the role of subjective norms, which dictate how agents should act under different types of uncertainty. When agents are uncertain or mistaken in their beliefs, objective and subjective norms may offer conflicting prescriptions. We must therefore establish whether the correct moral norms are objective or subjective. I will argue that moral norms should be sensitive to one’s empirical beliefs, but not one’s moral beliefs. This objectivism under moral uncertainty entails that morality is not always action-guiding, since uncertain agents cannot knowingly follow objective norms. In order to make choices under moral uncertainty, therefore, we must look to action-guiding, subjective norms of rationality, which can accommodate agents’ moral beliefs and desires.

The Story of One Male Asian American Philosopher
Anand Vaidya, San José State University
 In this talk I will discuss how the inclusion of Asian philosophers in the normal philosophy curriculum might change what Asian Americans work on, or how they do philosophy. For example, might inclusion of Ambedkar’s work on caste in India within political philosophy courses lead some Indian Americans to study political philosophy and caste both in the context of India and America? Or: might the inclusion of 20th century Indian philosophers, such as B. K. Matilal or D. Krishna, lead some Indian Americans to study epistemology or philosophy of mind with a wider range of thinkers. My discussion is about a potential path. Many Asians have no direct interest in anything any Asian philosopher ever said, which is perfectly acceptable. Nevertheless, one might wonder whether inclusion of Asian philosophers might have an impact on what some Asians end up studying in philosophy or how they do philosophy.

The Transitivity of De Jure Coreference: A Case Against Pinillos
Chulmin Yoon, Ohio State University
 De jure coreference in a discourse is understood as explicit coreference such that speakers are required to recognize coreference in order to understand the discourse. Often, de jure coreference is understood as an equivalence relation, so in particular it is thought of as a transitive relation. However, Ángel Pinillos (2011) provides interesting examples that apparently challenge the transitivity of de jure coreference. In this paper, I argue for two claims. First, it is far from clear that the relevant terms in Pinillos’s examples satisfy his own conditions for de jure coreference. Given that his own conditions capture essential features of de jure coreference, his examples do not successfully show the non-transitivity of de jure coreference. Second, I present an alternative account of his examples, which shows which expression the third term in those examples is de jure coreferential with.

The Use-Mention Distinction in Logic and Theology: Aquinas, Pico, and Garcia on the Words of Consecration
Milo Crimi, University of California, Los Angeles
 In March of 1487, Pope Innocent VIII condemned thirteen theses of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s 900 Conclusions. Pico’s defense—his Apology—failed: Innocent proceeded to condemn the whole book. In October of 1489, Peter Garcia drove the final nail by producing a comprehensive and detailed rebuttal to Pico. One of Pico’s condemned theses concerns the Eucharistic words of consecration “Hoc est corpus meum” (“This is my body”). Pico applies the late medieval logical theory of supposition (suppositio) to this theological problem, contradicting Thomas Aquinas’ own view on the matter. According to Aquinas, the words are taken significatively (significative)—that is, the priest uses them. According to Pico, the words are taken materially (materialiter)—that is, the priest mentions them. Garcia, attempting to undermine Pico’s defense, reinterprets Aquinas’ view: the words are taken both significatively and materially—that is, they exhibit a form of mixed quotation.

Theon’s Revenge and Commonsense Ontology
William Kilborn, University of York
Bridger Landle, University of York
 In a forthcoming article, Chad Carmichael introduces and defends a commonsense solution to the famous paradox of Dion and Theon. Carmichael’s verdict on the paradox is: (i) the person, Dion, exists before and after Dion’s accident; (ii) Dion’s foot exists before, but not after the accident (since it is annihilated as a result of the accident); and (iii) alleged material objects such as Theon, a foot-complement of Dion, do not (ever) exist, as per commonsense. As we argue, the solution is also noteworthy in that its success or failure would seem to have significant implications for commonsense ontologies. In response, we present a series of revenge cases against Carmichael’s solution. One lesson we take away is that Carmichael’s original solution is both unmotivated and false. Importantly, it is seen that any “purely” commonsense view of ontology is false. Therefore, any purportedly commonsense view of ontology must reject some commonsense intuition.

There Are More to Representations than Their Contents
Jordan Dopkins, University of California, Santa Cruz
 An overwhelming majority of the philosophical literature on representations is about representational contents. In what follows, I identify two other components of representations: representational vehicles and representational targets. Then, I offer three reasons why philosophers should shift some of their focus from representational contents to representational vehicles and representational targets. Philosophers should shift some of their focus (1) if they desire a complete theory (or theories) of representations, (2) because it will benefit explanations involving representations, and (3) because it will benefit theories of representational contents.

There Is No Pragmatic Encroachment
Keshav Singh, Syracuse University
 This paper argues that there is no pragmatic encroachment on epistemic justification. Pragmatic encroachers motivate their view using a conception of belief on which part of what it is to believe p is to rely on p in one’s reasoning. To succeed in this, they need a very strong version of this reliance-involving conception of belief, according to which relying on p in one’s reasoning means acting on the assumption that p is true and thereby discounting the possibility that it is not. However, this strong version is too strong, because unless one is fully certain that p, one is never justified in completely discounting the possibility that p is false. It is argued that the strong version should be rejected in favor of a more modest version of the reliance-involving conception. This modest version, however, provides no support for pragmatic encroachment. The case for pragmatic encroachment is thereby undermined.

There Is Something to the Authority Thesis
Benjamin Winokur, York University
 Many philosophers accept an Authority Thesis: that, ordinarily, self-ascriptions of our current mental states are or ought to be met with a certain sort of deference by their hearers. The putative authority of self-ascriptions is often treated as an important constraint for philosophical theorizing about the self-knowledge we have of our mental states. Recently, however, Wolfgang Barz (2018) has argued that there is no adequate specification of the Authority Thesis. This, he argues, is because available specifications turn out to be either (1) philosophically interesting but false, or (2) true but philosophically uninteresting. If Barz is right, philosophical theorizing about self-knowledge should not be constrained by observations about the so-called authority of self-ascriptions. In this paper I argue, contra Barz, that there are plausible, philosophically interesting specifications of the Authority Thesis. Some of these are authority theses that he rejects. Others are charitable reconstructions of authority theses from the literature.

Thinking While Asian
Dien Ho, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
 Students with recent immigrant roots disproportionately choose educational trajectories in STEM. In addition to the perception that STEM represents the “path of least racism,” many students assume the responsibility of contributing to their families’ financial wellbeing. In this talk, I share my experience teaching at a pre-professional healthcare university with a large percentage of 1st and 2nd-generation Asian immigrant students. Many of them seek advice on how to negotiate the social and familial pressure to pursue STEM against their interests in the humanities. The reply “follow your heart” might be inappropriate when familial obligations and perceived bigotry are legitimate deterrents. By recognizing the grand tradition of one immigrant generation trying to improve the lot for the next, we strive not merely for financial freedom but freedom in general. As such, we ought to consider how we can spend our lives to best dismantle the barriers that limit our life choices.

Thomas Reid & the Priority Thesis: A Defence Against Turri
Benjamin Formanek, University of Western Ontario
 Central to Thomas Reid’s philosophy of language lies his account of signs and signification. According to Reid, signs are those things that give rise to thoughts or otherwise indicate other entities to our minds, and language consists of all those signs which humans use in order to communicate. Language, and by extension the signs which constitute it, can be either natural or artificial. Reid argues that without natural language, artificial language could never have been invented. This conclusion is called the priority thesis, and in this paper I defend it from criticisms offered by John Turri in his paper “Reid on the Priority of Natural Language.” I argue that Turri’s two main objections rely on a conflation between signs generally, and signs within a language. Once this conceptual distinction is taken seriously, Reid will have been shown to be unscathed by Turri’s objections.

Toward Model-Theoretic Logicism
Paul Anh Tran-Hoang, Lone Star College-University Park
 Zilber’s conjecture has played an important role in the development of model theory over the past 30 years. There is a popular sentiment among logicians and mathematicians that the conjecture provides a sense in which mathematical structures can be recovered from logic alone. In support of this sentiment, this paper argues that the notion of strong minimality, which figures centrally in Zilber’s conjecture, is a logical concept. This is philosophically significant because it lays the groundwork for a new approach to establishing logicism, i.e., the thesis that some substantial parts of mathematics are reducible to logic.

Transitioning from Toxiculture to Symbioculture: On the Reemergence of Small-Scale Farming
Andrew F. Smith, Drexel University
 Symbioculture is a polycultural post-carbon system of agroecological food production and distribution. More broadly, it is a food culture premised on enhancing affinity with the land and living community by functioning within the trophic networks of proximate ecosystems. Symbioculture stands opposed to toxiculture, an agroindustrial food culture that poisons relationships: with the land, our communities, and the beings who we eat. Transitioning from toxiculture, which currently dominates the global food network, to symbioculture hereby facilitates multiple forms of wellbeing: from a healthy gut microbiome; to the symbiotic functions of fungi, manure, compost, and local bioturbation; to flourishing local food networks and cooperatives; to enhanced adaptation to and mitigation of global-scale anthropogenic geochemical and climactic disruptions. This transition is also key to creating sustainable food networks the world over.

Transnational Capital and Feudal Privilege: Open Borders as a Tool for Non-Domination
Michael Ball-Blakely, University of Washington
 I argue that under transnational capitalism asymmetrically open borders are required as a tool for non-domination. The current system, where borders are selectively closed for labor and open for capital, leads to the domination of the least-advantaged. They become a reserve army of labor, held in abeyance and pursued there, incentivized to come here, or ignored depending on the needs of capital. They are dominated so that they can be exploited. With this, I argue that Joseph Carens’ feudal privilege argument accurately describes closed borders under transnational capitalism. While Carens described feudalism as simply the privileged forcibly preventing the less privileged from exiting arbitrary positions of inequality, feudalism also requires an economic relationship. Movement is restricted so the lower caste can be exploited. This is what we find in current immigration control. The remedy requires breaking the caste system and permitting movement from low- and middle- into high-income countries.

Tropes of Mereology: A Theory of Facts and Truth-Making
Aviv Hoffmann, Hebrew University
 Consider a thesis about truth-making: every fact makes the corresponding proposition true. This seems obviously true. Note, however, that it is not at all clear what the fact-proposition correspondence is. Surely, the fact that Sophia is sad corresponds to the proposition that Sophia is sad. But can we say in general which proposition corresponds to each fact? Since not every proposition and fact is expressed by a sentence, we cannot simply say that the proposition that thus-and-so corresponds to the fact that thus-and-so. This paper has two aims: first, to offer a metaphysical theory that says what the possible facts are; and second, to assign a possible fact as a truth-maker to every possibly true proposition. It will turn out that the seemingly straightforward thesis articulated above is false. For example, the disjunctive fact that Sophia is sad or Helene is sad is not a truth-maker for the corresponding proposition.

Trouble for Reducing Essence
Taylor-Grey Miller, University of Texas at Austin
 Recent work in the theory of essence has focused on whether one can reduce constitutive essence to consequential essence. Many have followed Fine and Rosen in claiming that the best way to do so employs ground theoretic principles. On this view, constitutive essence is to be defined in terms of consequential essence and partial ground. I defend this proposal against counterexamples raised against it in the recent literature. I argue that the problematic cases are all cases of generalizations that are zero-grounded. So, by amending the reductive account to include not just partial but also zero-ground the reductionist can sidestep these worries. In so doing, however, the reductive account faces deeper worries. It makes it impossible to specify essences for the logical connectives and impoverishes the constitutive essences of ordinary objects. I argue that these problems generalize beyond the ground theoretic approach. Reduction in any terms will fail.

True Love is Reciprocal: Thomas Aquinas on the Love of Friendship
James Kintz, St. Joseph’s College of Maine
 One of the most important topics that Thomas Aquinas discusses in his extensive corpus is the love of friendship, which is a unique form of love aimed at persons. Yet Aquinas’s teachings on this are perplexing, for he claims that this love always produces union between lover and beloved, and that it is a necessarily mutual love. This implies that one’s love depends on reciprocation from the beloved, which seems implausible given our normal conception of love for others. The standard interpretation maintains that it is enough that one desires union and mutuality for such love to obtain, but I reject this reading and argue that achieving union and mutuality is essential to this form of love. This novel interpretation ultimately reveals that the love of friendship is an intrinsically interpersonal, shared act. On this account, such love cannot be achieved by an I, but only by a We.

Untimely Perceptions: Freud, Husserl, and Traumatic Awakenings
Molly Kelly, Emory University
 In his Project for a Scientific Psychology, Sigmund Freud offers readers an example of Nachträglichkeit, or a “deferred action” in which a repressed memory “has only become a trauma after the event” (1954, 413). While the notion of Nachträglichkeit has proven indispensable for philosophers challenging the presumed linearity of traumatic remembrance, more can be said of Freud’s work and its implications for phenomenological understandings of perception. From a phenomenological standpoint, Nachträglichkeit raises important questions about the temporality of perceptual processes: why are some perceptions inaccessible to consciousness, and how is it possible for a past perception to be retroactively rendered traumatic? Working at the intersections of phenomenology, psychoanalysis, and trauma studies, this paper investigates the untimeliness of traumatic perception. Ultimately, I hold that despite their numerous departures, reading these thinkers together proves useful in developing a nuanced account of traumatic perception while also challenging the limits of a phenomenological metapsychology

Virtue Signaling and Moral Progress
Evan Westra, York University
 “Virtue signaling” is the practice of using moral talk to in order to enhance social standing. Many find this kind of behavior irritating. However, some philosophers have gone further, arguing that virtue signaling actively undermines the proper functioning of public moral discourse and impedes moral progress. Against this view, I argue that widespread virtue signaling is not a social ill, and that it can actually serve as an invaluable instrument for moral change, especially in cases where moral argument alone does not suffice. Specifically, virtue signaling can change the broader public’s social expectations, which can in turn motivate the adoption of new, positive social norms. I also argue that the reputation-seeking motives underlying virtue signaling impose important costs and constraints on virtue signalers’ behavior, which serve to keep the worst excesses of virtue signaling in check.

Virtue without Character: Why Virtues Are Not Psychological Traits
Charles Starkey, Clemson University
 In Lawrence of Arabia, Prince Faisal is asked about treatment of prisoners and Lawrence’s reputed “horror of bloodshed.” Faisal responds “That is exactly so. With Major Lawrence, mercy is a passion. With me, it is merely good manners. You may judge which motive is the more reliable.” Suppose it is the less admirable motive that most reliably guides correct behavior. Then the mental state behind at least some virtuous acts is arguably secondary, or even irrelevant, to correct behavior. And if this is the case, where does virtue truly rest—in certain mental states, or in the consequences that are likely to follow those mental states? I argue that recent work in virtue epistemology decisively supports the latter view, so that no psychological feature is a necessary component of the virtues. The arguments that substantiate this have a surprising but I believe undeniable implication: virtues are not character traits.

Vocal Music in Hegel’s Aesthetics
Brian Johnson, Purdue University
 In Hegel’s Lectures on Fine Art, music has a unique part to play as “the point of transition between the abstract spatial sensuality of painting and the abstract spirituality of poetry.” Dialectically, Hegel places music right before poetry, and this raises a question concerning the status of vocal music. Some critics have cited his apparent privileging of poetry over music as a weakness in his view, a sign that he was unable to appreciate music in its absolute profundity. I believe such critics are mistaken. In this essay, I will give a brief account of the role of music in Hegel’s system order to account for how vocal music fits. Along the way, I will raise doubts about Julian Johnson’s claim concerning Hegel’s account of music: “the logocentricity of thought militates against any real understanding of instrumental music.”

W.E.B. Du Bois’s Constructivist Theory of Justice
Elvira Basevich, University of Massachusetts Lowell
 W.E.B. Du Bois’s constructivist theory of justice holds, first, the circumstances of justice in Anglo-European modern states are characterized by a dialectical interplay between reasonable deliberative agents and illiberal rogues; what is more, the latter tend to dominate public institutions and conversation. Second, under such peculiar circumstances a robust ideal of autonomy grounds the value of deliberative openness, an attitude of public moral regard for others which is necessary to construct the terms of political rule in a dysfunctional public sphere. Finally, though autonomous democratic deliberation is the essential vehicle for the construction and the advance of shared practical commitments, that is, an ideal of justice, reasonable deliberative agents have a pragmatic political obligation to forge ties of deliberative reciprocity with likeminded fellows.

Was Kant an Explanatory Realist?
Aaron Wells, University of Notre Dame
 Many contemporary metaphysicians suppose that the main job of explanation is to inform us about metaphysical or real grounding relations. In this sense, they endorse explanatory realism. And in turn, a number of recent readings regard Kant as an explanatory realist. In this talk I first clarify what it might mean to ascribe explanatory realism to Kant. I then argue—on the basis of three examples of the explanatory functions of pure theoretical reason in empirical science—that Kant was not an explanatory realist, and defend reading these examples as genuine cases of explanation. I conclude by drawing some implications for how we should understand Kant’s conception of the real use of our capacity for theoretical reason.

What Are Side Effects?
Austin Due, University of Toronto
 Side effects (SEs) are common in medicine, yet have generally received little attention as such from philosophers of science. Those who have discussed SEs have invoked them to criticize some components of evidence-based medicine’s (EBM) research, practice, and theory. What is lacking in the philosophical literature. however, is a more comprehensive and analytic account of medical SEs. This is especially the case given the rise in polypharmaceutical interventions on a rapidly growing and aging population. Here I argue for SEs in medicine as unintended foreseen or unforeseen outcomes of a medical intervention or interventions, and motivate an account that fulfills three desiderata: (i) SEs as unintended effects even when foreseen or predicted, especially in the case of treatment effects that are coextensive; (ii) SEs as kinds of things distinct from other outcomes of medical interventions like placebo and nocebo effects; and (iii) a causal model of SEs in polypharmaceutical interventions.

What Does It Mean to Choose a Life? The Structure of the argument in Phil. 20-22
Georgia Mouroutsou, University of Western Ontario
 This paper concerns the examination of the three lives (Phil. 20c7-22b9). Researchers have debated everything from the content to the form of the argument. My analysis claims to accurately reconstruct the entire argument and, on this basis, to offer a new solution to the puzzles that have arisen. I analyze the structure of the text, then compare it with another argument about ontological mixture that I understand as an indirect proof given through an examination (Soph. 251d-253a3), and show that here too we encounter an indirect proof about mixture in life. The choice is about fundamental possibilities and is not a selection we face in our everyday life before joining the hedonist party or refraining from doing so. This analysis makes clear that the rejection of a life of unmixed pleasure as the first reductio ad absurdum should not be considered as a knock-down argument against hedonism.

What Does it Mean to Make Reparations?
Susan Stark, Bates College
 The enslavement of Africans and African Americans is a foundational wrong in the United States. The question of whether the U.S. must pay reparations to Black and brown Americans for these wrongs has recently been reinvigorated. Much writing on reparations focuses on the questions of whether making reparations is required and whether demands for reparations are justified. Answering these questions is of fundamental import. But it is also necessary to answer another, somewhat overlooked, question, that of what it means to make reparations. This matters because when we ask whether reparations are required, we are really asking: are reparations, understood in this particular way, required? I consider three common conceptions of reparations, finding important insights in each, but also finding them lacking as foundational understandings. I defend an alternative view of what it means to make reparations, which focuses on correcting imbalances of power created and perpetuated by the wrongdoing.

What Does the Moral Fetishist Fetishize?
Nathan Howard, Texas A&M University
 Philosophers are divided about whether desires to do what’s right as such are sufficient for vice, following arguments from Bernard Williams and Michael Smith, or necessary for virtue, following more recent arguments from Paulina Sliwa and Zoe Johnson King. That a single desire is susceptible to such contrary associations is evidence that we’ve misunderstood it. This paper shows that dividing the set of cases thought to anchor the debate between these two camps into cases of instrumental or non-instrumental motivation by rightness resolves the debate while preserving the best insights from each camp. The paper then motivates and defends this distinction by appealing to recent work in virtue theory on virtuous ends.

What It Would Take to Be Enlightened
Leigh Duffy, State University of New York Buffalo
 In this paper, I consider an alternative answer to the question of personal identity from the eastern tradition of yoga philosophy. I argue that for this view to be correct, and in order for a subject to come to have knowledge of the truth proposed by this view, certain philosophical intuitions would have to be challenged: that mental states are intentional states and that propositional knowledge can only be attained through either a priori or else empirical means. The purpose of this paper is not to argue that those philosophical intuitions are false because the yoga philosophy is true, nor is it to argue that the yoga view is false because of these common philosophical intuitions. However, I encourage the reader/listener to consider the strength of some of our most common philosophical intuitions.

What Makes Hume An External World Skeptic?
Graham Clay, University of Notre Dame
 What would it take for Hume to be an external world skeptic? Is Hume’s position on knowledge sufficient to force him to deny that we can acquire knowledge of (non-logical) propositions about the external world? After all, Hume is extremely restrictive about what can be known because he requires knowledge to be immune to error. In this paper, I will argue that if Hume were a skeptic, then he must also deny a particular kind of view about what is immediately present to the mind. I will argue that direct realisms—views that maintain that mind-independent (i.e., ontologically distinct) things are immediately present to the mind—combine with Hume’s position on knowledge to entail the negation of skepticism. So, despite his position on knowledge, Hume could still consistently reject skepticism, if he were to endorse direct realism.

What’s Best for Children? A Response to the Objective List Theorist
Qiannan Li, University of Minnesota
 Subjective theories of well-being have been criticized for not making good sense of children’s well-being for two related reasons—the “objective component problem” and the “problematic transition problem.” Objective list theories have consequently been regarded as a more promising approach to children’s well-being. In this paper, I will first argue that objective list theories also face the “problematic transition problem.” I then argue that a dispositionalized value fulfillment theory (one that includes a firm disposition to live a good life as a significant signatory value for living a well-lived life) does at least as well at solving the above two problems compared with objective list theories. I conclude that objective list theories have no advantage over subjective theories of well-being when it comes to accounting for children’s well-being.

What’s the Matter with Decision Making Capacity?
Benjamin Schwan, Case Western Reserve University
 Decision Making Capacity (DMC) matters. It matters to whether a patient’s decision should determine her treatment. But why exactly it matters in this way isn’t so clear. The standard story appeals to autonomy—DMC matters because autonomy matters. But appeals to autonomy invoke two distinct concerns: concern for authenticity—i.e., concern that an individual’s life goes in a way that’s consistent with her deep commitments; and concern for sovereignty—i.e., concern that an individual exercises control over that which is properly hers to control. Here, I show that neither can alone explain why DMC matters. Instead, I argue that DMC matters because it indicates a harmony between concern for authenticity and concern for sovereignty—a capacitated patient’s decisions are more likely conform with her deep commitments than a similarly situated, incapacitated patient. This account vindicates the standard story but also shows that DMC is an inappropriate gatekeeper for autonomy concerns.

Who Cares About Shmagency? A Contextual Response to the Shmagency Objection
Gerald Taylor, Georgetown University
 Constitutivism is the view that the characteristic justificatory force of normative reasons derives from a deep connection that they bear to the constitutive features of agency. The notion that agency is inescapable plays an important defensive role for constitutivists in that it purports to establish the normative authority of normative reasons, providing a foundation for responding to the now standard shmagency objection. Critics of constitutivism often respond by claiming that the inescapability of agency is not normative significant, and that invoking the notion that it is offers the constitutivist no help. Against such critics, I argue in this paper that by adopting a more thoroughly contextual understanding of the inescapability of agency, constitutivists can generate the resources needed to resist the shmagency objection.