Ralf M. Bader
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Conditions, modifiers and holism

Weighing Reasons, Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

This paper provides a framework for understanding two ways in which reasons can vary across contexts, namely through the effects of (i) conditions which take the form of enablers and disablers and which determine whether a consideration constitutes a reason at all, as well as (ii) modifiers which take the form of intensifiers and attenuators and which affect the weight of a reason. Making sense of these forms of context-dependence requires one to develop a fine-grained account of the way in which the weights of reasons are determined. In particular, one needs to distinguish that in virtue of which something is a reason (the source of the reason) from that which makes it the case that it is a reason (that which necessitates the reason). It will be shown that such a distinction is metaphysically robust and can be drawn in a non-arbitrary and non-pragmatic manner. Moreover, it will be established that the features of the context that condition or modify a reason cannot be included in the specification of the reason. On the basis of this account of conditions and modifiers, it will be shown that, despite context-dependence, intrinsicality as well as restricted forms of non-trivial separability can be preserved, thereby establishing that the additive theory of weighing reasons can be rendered consistent with these forms of context-dependence.


Kant's theory of the highest good

The Highest Good in Aristotle and Kant,
Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

This paper provides an interpretation of the account of the highest good that Kant puts forward in the Critique of Practical Reason. The paper addresses in particular the questions (i) why happiness is included in the highest good, (ii) in what way we are meant to bring our dispositions into complete conformity with the moral law, (iii) why happiness should be distributed in proportion to virtue, (iv) in what sense the highest good is something that we are meant to bring about, and (v) why the validity or bindingness of the moral law presupposes the possibility of the highest good.


Kantian axiology and the dualism of practical reason

Oxford Handbook of Value Theory, Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

This paper provides an account of the Kantian theory of value, showing how the fundamentally heterogeneous values of morality and prudence can be integrated into a complete ordering by appealing to the conditionality of the value of happiness, which allows us to explain how the claims of prudence can be silenced by the claims of morality, thereby solving the Sidgwickian problem of the dualism of practical reason. Moreover, it establishes that the Kantian understanding of silencing is the only way of rendering dualism coherent, given that the question as to what one ought to do, considering all the normative demands to which one is subject, requires either that these demands be commensurable, which presupposes monism, or that these demands never conflict, which can only be ensured in principle by means of conditional value structures.


Towards a hyperintensional theory of intrinsicality

Journal of Philosophy, 110: 10 (2013), pp. 525-563

The distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties is an elusive distinction that has resisted precise formulation. This paper argues in favour of a hyperintensional analysis of intrinsicality that appeals to 'in virtue of' claims. It will be shown that accounts of intrinsicality that appeal to combinatorial and duplication principles do not yield satisfactory results, even when they are supplemented with a notion of 'naturalness'. We need to appeal to 'in virtue of' claims rather than to 'naturalness' in order (i) to allow for cases whereby a property is possessed both intrinsically and extrinsically, (ii) to adequately classify modal properties when these are given a counterpart-theoretic analysis, and (iii) to retain the idea that the set of intrinsic properties and the set of pure extrinsic properties are closed under Boolean operations. Moreover, the paper will argue in favour of treating the intrinsically/extrinsically distinction as more basic than the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction and explaining the latter in terms of the former.


Kant and the Categories of Freedom

British Journal for the History of Philosophy, 17: 4 (2009), pp. 799-820

This paper provides an account of Kant's categories of freedom, explaining how they fit together and what role they are supposed to play. My interpretation places particular emphasis on the structural features that the table of the categories of freedom shares with the table of judgements and the table of categories laid out by Kant in the Critique of Pure Reason. In this way we can identify two interpretative constraints, namely (i) that the categories falling under each heading must form a synthetic unity whereby the third one derives from the combination of the other two. and (ii) that the first two categories falling under each heading must be morally undetermined and sensibly conditioned, while the third category is sensibly unconditioned and determined only by the moral law.


The non-transitivity of the contingent and
occasional identity relations

Philosophical Studies, 157: 1 (2012), pp. 141-152

This paper establishes that the occasional identity relation and the contingent identity relation are both non-transitive and as such are not properly classified as identity relations. This will be achieved by appealing to cases where multiple fissions and fusions occur simultaneously. These cases show that the contingent and occasional identity relations do not even satisfy the time-indexed and world-indexed versions of the transitivity requirement and hence are non-transitive relations.


The role of Kant's Refutation of Idealism

Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, 94: 1 (2012), pp. 53-73

This paper assesses the role of the Refutation of Idealism within the Critique of Pure Reason, as well as its relation to the treatment of idealism in the First Edition and to transcendental idealism more generally. It is argued that the Refutation is consistent with the Fourth Paralogism and that it can be considered as an extension of the Transcendental Deduction. While the Deduction, considered on its own, constitutes a 'regressive argument', the Refutation allows us to turn the Transcendental Analytic into a 'progressive argument' that proceeds by the synthetic method.


Supervenience and infinitary property-forming operations

Philosophical Studies, 160: 3 (2012), pp. 415-423

This paper provides an account of the closure conditions that apply to sets of subvening and supervening properties, showing that the criterion that determines under which property-forming operations a particular family of properties is closed is applicable both to the finitary and to the infinitary case. In particular, it is established that, contra Glanzberg, infinitary operations do not give rise to any additional difficulties beyond those that arise in the finitary case.


The framework for utopia

The Cambridge Companion to Nozick's 'Anarchy, State, and Utopia',
Cambridge University Press (2011), pp. 255-288

This paper analyses Nozick's possible-worlds model of utopia. It identifies and examines three arguments in favour of the minimal state: (1) the minimal state is the real-world analogue of the possible-worlds model and can hence be considered to be inspiring; (2) the minimal state is the common ground of all possible utopian conceptions and can hence be universally endorsed; and (3) the minimal state is the best or at least a very good means for approximating or achieving utopia. While constituting fascinating lines of inquiry, all arguments are found to be wanting and unable to yield the conclusions that Nozick intended to establish. Nonetheless, they establish interesting and important results, in particular the result that the minimal state is the maximal institutional structure that is in principle compatible with the complete satisfaction of the maximal non-arbitrary set of preferences that are in principle co-satisfiable, as well as the corollary that in utopia any state will exert at most the functions of a minimal state.


Multiple-domain supervenience for non-classical mereologies

Varieties of Dependence, Philosophia (2013), pp. 347-368

This paper develops co-ordinated multiple-domain supervenience relations to model determination and dependence relations between complex entities and their constituents by appealing to R-related pairs and by making use of associated isomorphisms. Supervenience relations are devised for order-sensitive and repetition-sensitive mereologies, for mereological systems that make room for many-many composition relations, as well as for hierarchical mereologies that incorporate compositional and hylomorphic structure. Finally, mappings are provided for theories that consider wholes to be prior to their parts.


Self-knowledge in § 7 of the Transcendental Aesthetic

Proceedings of the XIth International Kant Kongress,
de Gruyter (2013), Vol. 2, pp. 531-540

Kant's claim that time is a subjective form of intuition was first proposed in his Inaugural Dissertation. This view was immediately criticised by Schultz, Lambert and Mendelssohn. Their criticisms are based on the claim that representations change which implies that change is real. From the reality of change they then argue to the reality of time, which undermines its supposed status as a subjective form of intuition that only applies to appearances. Kant took these criticisms very seriously and attempted to reply to them in § 7 of the Transcendental Aesthetic. This paper provides a critical assessment of the objections raised by Schultz, Lambert and Mendelssohn as well as of Kant's diagnosis and response. In particular, it shows how Kant can consistently hold that knowledge of our mental states is restricted to knowledge of appearances.


The Transcendental Structure of the World

Ph.D. dissertation, University of St Andrews, 2010

This dissertation provides a systematic account of the metaphysics of transcendental idealism. The key claim that is advanced is that in order to be realists we have to be transcendental idealists.



Review of M. Peterson: The Dimensions of Consequentialism
Dialectica

Review of G. A. Cohen: Finding Oneself in the Other
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Review of S. A. Davison: On the Intrinsic Value of Everything
Journal of Moral Philosophy

Review of V. Hoffmann-Kolss: The Metaphysics of Extrinsic Properties
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Review of K. Koslicki: The Structure of Objects
Metascience