Favorite Philosophy of the Year 2015


A reader asks:

Was wondering if you could write a post asking for people’s favorite philosophy articles/books of the year.

Sure!

People, what were your favorite philosophy articles or books published in or around 2015?

Done.

Now it’s your turn, people…

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Dan Korman
5 years ago

John Bengson’s “The Intellectual Given”!

Here’s the abstract: Intuition is sometimes derided as an abstruse or esoteric phenomenon akin to crystal-ball gazing. Such derision appears to be fuelled primarily by the suggestion, evidently endorsed by traditional rationalists such as Plato and Descartes, that intuition is a kind of direct, immediate apprehension akin to perception. This paper suggests that although the perceptual analogy has often been dismissed as encouraging a theoretically useless metaphor, a quasi-perceptualist view of intuition may enable rationalists to begin to meet the challenge of supplying a theoretically satisfying treatment of their favoured epistemic source. It is argued, first, that intuitions and perceptual experiences are at a certain level of abstraction the same type of mental state, presentations, which are distinct from beliefs, hunches, inclinations, attractions, and seemings. The notion of a presentation is given a positive explication, which identifies its characteristic features, accounts for several of its substantive psychological roles, and systematically locates it in a threefold division among types of contentful states. Subsequently, it is argued that presentations, intuitive no less than sensory, are by their nature poised to play a distinctive epistemic role. Specifically, in the case of intuition, we encounter an intellectual state that is so structured as to provide justification without requiring justification in turn—something which may, thus, be thought of as ‘given’.Report

Francisco Melgar Wong
Francisco Melgar Wong
5 years ago

Book:
Scott Soames, “The Analytic Tradition in Philosophy: The Founding Giants” (Princeton)
Paper:
David Liebesman, “Predication as Ascription”. Mind, Vol. 124. 494. April 2015, p. 517- 569.Report

Josh May
5 years ago

I’ve especially enjoyed:
Laurie Paul “What You Can’t Expect When You’re Expecting” Res Philosophica
Katia Vavova “Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism” Phil Compass
Shaun Nichols _Bound_ OUP
John Doris _Talking to Ourselves_ OUPReport

Richard Chappell
5 years ago

If it’s not too cheeky for me to nominate a paper by my wife (it really is a crazy fun paper, though!) …

Helen Yetter-Chappell’s ‘Idealism Without God’ – http://philpapers.org/rec/YETIWG
ABSTRACT:
I develop a nontheistic (quasi-)Berkeleyan idealism. The basic strategy is to peel away the attributes of God that aren’t essential for role he plays in idealist metaphysics. God’s omnibenevolence, his desires, intentions, beliefs, his very status as an agent … aren’t relevant to the work he does. When we peel all these things away, we’re left with a view on which reality is a vast unity of consciousness, weaving together sensory experiences of colors, shapes, sounds, sizes, etc. into the trees, electrons, black holes, and central nervous systems that fill the world around us. This phenomenal unity is governed by laws analogous to those posited by materialists, governing the unfolding of reality. I argue that if reality is fundamentally phenomenal in this way, we can give a unique account of perception that robustly captures direct realist intuitions of reality forming the “constituents” of our experiences: In perception, our finite unities of consciousness come to literally overlap with the unity of consciousness that is reality. I assess the unique virtues and challenges such a view faces, paying particular attention to the question of whether idealism entails a profligacy of physical laws.Report

Justin Snedegar
Justin Snedegar
5 years ago

Benjamin Lennertz, “Quantificational Credences” (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/p/phimp/3521354.0015.009/–quantificational-credences?view=image)

Abstract:
In addition to full beliefs, agents have attitudes of varying confidence, or credences. For instance, I do not believe that the Boston Red Sox will win the American League East this year, but I am at least a little bit confident that they will – i.e. I have a positive credence that they will. It is also common to think that agents have conditional credences. For instance, I am very confident – i.e. have a conditional credence of very-likely strength – that the Red Sox will win the AL East this year given that their pitching staff stays healthy. There are good reasons to think that conditional credences are neither credences nor some combination of credences. In this paper, I show that similar reasons support thinking that agents have what we can call quantificational credences – attitudes like, thinking that each AL East team with a healthy pitching staff is at least a little bit likely to win the division – which are neither credences, conditional credences, nor some combination thereof. I provide a framework for assessing the rationality of credal states which involve quantificational credences. And I give a general picture of credal states that explains the similarities and differences between ordinary, conditional, and quantificational credences.Report

Nick
Nick
5 years ago

Roy Sorensen, “Fictional Theism,” Analysis
http://philpapers.org/rec/SORFT

Creationists believe that C. K. Chesterton created Father Brown in his detective stories. Since creating implies a creation, Father Brown exists. Atheists object that the same reasoning could prove the existence of God. But creationists such as Jonathan Schaffer insist atheists do believe that God exists. Serious metaphysics rarely concerns existence. The disagreement between the theist and the atheist is about the nature of God, not His existence. Schaffer underestimates the religious imagination. There could be a religion that explicitly regarded God as a fictional character. The tenets of this, presently hypothetical, religion are developed in a dialogue.Report

PeterJ
5 years ago

Bernardo Kastrup – ‘Why Materialism is Baloney’
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Materialism-Is-Baloney-everything/dp/1782793623

It’s not actually a masterpiece, I would say, and I would even argue with some of it, but the title does it for me and it is at least a good poke in the eye for its targeted fashionable dogma.Report

GP
GP
5 years ago

Michelle Ciurria, “Responsibility Ain’t Just in the Head,” Journal of the APA.Report

Daniel
Daniel
5 years ago

Anton Ford, ‘The Arithmetic of Intention’, American Philosophical Quarterly 52/2.

The neo-Aristotelian character of recent work on philosophy of action by Anscombe, Thompson, Ford, Lavin, etc. has already been much remarked. I appreciate the way that Ford brings out a neglected neo-Fregean side of this school. His treatment of Intention §5 particularly helpful; he suggests it is not a seemingly circular definition of action, but a signal that action is a formal concept.Report

Travis Timmerman
5 years ago

Here are the first four that come to mind in no particular order.

(1) Jeff McMahan – The Moral Problem of Predation

http://jeffersonmcmahan.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/The-Moral-Problem-of-Predation1.pdf

(2) Ben Bradley – Existential Terror

http://philpapers.org/rec/BRAET-4

(3) Elizabeth Harman – Morally Permissible Moral Mistakes

http://philpapers.org/rec/HARMPM-2

(4) John Martin Fischer and Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin – Immortality and Boredom

http://philpapers.org/rec/FISIABReport

Jacob Archambault
5 years ago

1) Mahrad Almotahari and Adam Hosein. “Is anything just plain good?” Philosophical Studies 172: 1485-1508.

2) Charles McCarty. “Structuralism and Isomorphism” Philosophia Mathematica 23: 1-10.

3) David Ebrey. “Why are there no conditionals in Aristotle’s logic?” Journal of the History of Philosophy 53: 185-205.Report

Jacob Archambault
Reply to  Jacob Archambault
5 years ago

I also should have mentioned the following:

4) A. J. Cotnoir and Douglas Edwards. “From truth pluralism to ontological pluralism and back again” Journal of Philosophy 112: 113-140.Report

JH
JH
5 years ago

I agree with some of the other recommendations, particularly the papers by Bradley, Harman, and McMahan. I would add: Jason Brennan and Peter Jaworski’s “Markets Without Symbolic Limits” in Ethics 125(4) and Seth Lazar, “Risky Killing and the Ethics of War” also in Ethics 126(1).Report