|Ralf M. Bader|
Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics (forthcoming)
The first part of this paper uses considerations of sequential choice to argue that suboptimal beneficence is impermissible. The second part shows how the prohibition on suboptimal beneficence follows from an agent-relative theory that understands permissible actions in terms of a dominance principle defined over both the agent-relative and the agent-neutral ordering. This theory incorporates agent-relative prerogatives that ensure that agents are not required to do what is impartially best, yet rules out suboptimal beneficence. The third part shows that the prohibition on suboptimal beneficence is in tension with dynamic consistency, since it leads to violations of expansion consistency condition beta. If an agent makes use of myopic choice principles (which are purely forward-looking) or sophisticated choice principles (that make use of backwards induction), then there can be cases in which he can, by means of a sequence of permissible choices, bring about an outcome that is deemed to be impermissible from the outset. This problem is addressed by developing global choice principles that ensure dynamic consistency.
Oxford Handbook of Population Ethics (forthcoming)
This paper argues that impersonal versions of utilitarianism involve an objectionable axiology that does not take personal good seriously. Rather than attributing ethical significance to personal good, they only consider it to be ethically relevant. As a result, they end up sub-ordinating and sacrificing personal good for the sake of impersonal good and thereby treat persons as mere containers of impersonal good. This gives rise to particularly troubling implications in variable-population cases. The paper then evaluates the prospects for person-affecting versions of utilitarianism. It argues that same-number person-affecting utilitarianism is the only version of utilitarianism that neither involves an objectionable axiology nor requires problematic metaphysical commitments.
Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, 4 (2018), pp. 141-166
This paper argues in support of moralised conceptions of liberty on the grounds that distinguishing between liberty and license allows us to develop a theoretically fruitful notion of freedom that is intrinsically normatively significant and that can play a substantive role in political philosophy. Section 2 argues that the contrast between liberty and license is to be understood in terms of a moralisation of the z-parameter, whereby the domain of this parameter consists of permissible courses of actions. Section 3 defuses the prisoner objection, which is frequently taken to be one of the primary reasons for rejecting moralised accounts. Section 4 argues that only moralised conceptions of liberty can underwrite the presumption of liberty by providing us with a notion of freedom that is intrinsically normatively significant.
Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 96: 3 (2018), pp. 498-507
This paper addresses the problem of opaque sweetening and argues that one should use stochastic dominance in comparing lotteries even when dealing with incomplete orderings that allow for non-comparable outcomes.
European Journal of Philosophy, 26 (2018), pp. 1153-1158
One of the central commitments of Kant's modal theory is the claim that existence is not a determination/real predicate. This paper criticises interpretations, such as Stang's, that consider existence to be a synthetic yet non-real predicate, on the grounds that it does not divide the extension of any concept, in order to circumvent the inconsistent triad identified by Shaffer. Instead, it argues that one has to deny that existence is a synthetic predicate and that an alternative account is required for explaining the syntheticity of existential judgements.
Oxford Handbook of Freedom,
Oxford University Press (2018), pp. 59-75
This paper is concerned with rights-based conceptions of liberty, elucidating how exactly rights-based accounts moralise liberty, identifying two ways in which rights enter into the analysis of freedom, namely (i) by determining which courses of action an agent can be free or unfree to perform, and (ii) by determining which obstacles classify as constraints on freedom. It distinguishes moralised negative conceptions of liberty from positive conceptions of liberty, thereby showing that moralising liberty is not tantamount to adopting a positive conception. Moreover, it contrasts rights-based conceptions with the moral responsibility view, showing that the latter does not constitute a viable alternative and that a rights-based approach is the only acceptable way in which liberty can be moralised.
Oxford Studies in Metaethics, 11 (2017), pp. 106-134
The supervenience argument threatens to rule out the existence of irreducibly normative properties by establishing that for every normative property there is a corresponding non-normative property that is necessarily co-extensive with it. This paper identifies a hyperintensional analogue of the supervenience argument that threatens non-reductionism even within a hyperintensional setting by establishing that for every normative property there is a corresponding non-normative property that has the very same grounds and is, accordingly, hyperintensionally equivalent. It is argued that non-reductionism can nevertheless be salvaged by distinguishing the different grounding relations that are involved in grounding the normative property and the corresponding non-normative property. Non-reductionist versions of moral realism thus turn out to be committed to there being irreducibly different grounding relations.
Kant's 'Critique of Pure Reason' - A Critical Guide,
Cambridge University Press (2017), pp. 205-222
This paper analyses Kant's Refutation of Idealism in the B-edition of the Critique of Pure Reason by examining the conditions that must be satisfied for inner states to be objectively determined in time, focusing in particular on the question to what extent their temporal ordering is parasitic on an objective ordering of outer states. Such a dependence of the ordering of inner states on that of outer states would show, contrary to the problematic idealist, that one's existence (understood in terms of one's mental states) cannot be objectively determined in time unless there is an external world.
Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy, 3 (2017), pp. 101-131
By providing an interpretation of Nozick's justification of the state in Anarchy, State, and Utopia, this paper identifies and illustrates a form of justification that is distinct from traditional hypothetical, teleological and historical justifications.
Kant and the Philosophy of Mind,
Oxford University Press (2017), pp. 124-137
This paper explains how outer appearances end up in time, despite the fact that time is only the form of inner and not outer sense, on the basis that they are objects of representations of which we become aware in a temporal manner by means of an act of reflexive awareness. This temporalising function of inner sense, which is due to the fact that time is the form of awareness and which involves the application of the indexical 'now', is to be distinguished from the subjective temporal ordering that results from the reappropriation of mental states by means of inner intuition. Both of these functions pertain to sensibility and are, in turn, to be distinguished from time determination, which is performed by the understanding. There is thus a three-fold progression that begins with 1. the temporalising of appearances as a result of reflexive awareness (subjective simultaneity), continues with 2. the subjective ordering of representings that occurs as part of the reappropriation of mental states (subjective succession), and that culminates in 3. an objective ordering identified by means of time determination (objective simultaneity and succession)
Philosophical Perspectives, 30: 1 (2016), pp. 7-20
This paper argues that counterpart-theoretic accounts of modality that allow for many-one counterpart relations, and thereby make room for contingent identities, are not able to preserve the transitivity of identity. It will be shown that the translation scheme of counterpart theorists breaks down and that they have to abandon the claim that objects can be contingently identical in virtue of sharing a counterpart. Moreover, modifications of counterpart theory that preserve the transitivity of identity are shown to require jettisoning the idea that the counterpart relation is a similarity relation and greatly reduce the explanatory power of counterpart theory.
Weighing Reasons, Oxford University Press (2016), pp. 27-55
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.
The Highest Good in Aristotle and Kant,
Oxford University Press (2015), pp. 183-213
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.
Oxford Handbook of Value Theory,
Oxford University Press (2015), pp. 175-201
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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. The 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.
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.
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Journal of Philosophy
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Journal of Moral Philosophy
Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews