• Found a video of an exchange I had with Michael Bratman on the web
    To see the video (which will open up in a new window) click this picture :

    (I tried to get this video to start right before my question; in case on your browser it starts at the beginning, my question starts shortly after 01h40m.)

    You will also find there the rest of Professor Michael E. Bratman's exciting 2016 Pufendorf Lectures, which I had the honor to attend (as well as the Metaphysics & Collectivity Mini-workshop). Prof. Bratman presented his new (unpublished) interesting argument which aims at establishing a special kind of rational pressure towards self-governance. I came up with another argument to the same effect, which is based on game-theoretic reasoning where the present self and the future self are thought of as different players, and suggests that the equilibrium would support self-governance to a certain extent. At this point it is not clear whether my argument competes with Bratman's or rather complements it. Anyway, I've learnt a lot from this visit at Lund university, enjoyed the company of many participants, the food, and the alcohol... 
    Posted Feb 27, 2017, 7:29 AM by shalomation
  • One Thought Too Few: Where De Dicto Moral Motivation is Necessary


    De dicto moral motivation is typically characterized by the agent’s conceiving of her goal in thin normative terms such as to do what is right. I argue that lacking an effective de dicto moral motivation (at least in a certain broad sense of this term) would put the agent in a bad position for responding in the morally-best manner (relative to her epistemic state) in a certain type of situations. Two central features of the relevant type of situations are (1) the appropriateness of the agent’s uncertainty concerning her underived moral values, and (2) the practical, moral importance of resolving this uncertainty. I argue that in some situations that are marked by these two features the most virtuous response is deciding to conduct a deep moral inquiry for a de dicto moral purpose. In such situations lacking de dicto moral motivation would amount to a moral shortcoming. I show the implications for Michael Smith’s (1994) argument against Motivational Judgment Externalism and for Brian Weatherson’s (2014) argument against avoiding moral recklessness: both arguments rely on a depreciating view of de dicto moral motivation, and both fail; or so I argue.

    Please quote only from the published version, available for free viewing at:  http://rdcu.be/mOUK

    Or for download at:

    Posted Feb 17, 2020, 10:43 AM by shalomation
  • Is it virtuous to defer in the cases of transformative experience which L.A. Paul discusses?
    I had the honor of addressing this question recently at The Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas in Tel Aviv University, as a commentator on L. A. Paul’s lecture “Preference Capture”. My power point is attache below (If you don't see it, it is accessible via the complete post page  - click on the title of this post).

    I also started a different paper related to Paul's writings; for a 4 page abstract click here.
    Posted Feb 17, 2020, 10:46 AM by shalomation
  • Deciding Correctly, Even When the Evaluative Standard is Unknown.

    Deciding Correctly, Even When the Evaluative Standard is Unknown. (My MA Thesis)

    Many, if not all of us, try to make correct practical decisions in life. Sometimes we attempt this even when we are not able to explicitly specify the authoritative standard for the evaluation of the possible options-of choice. And even when we can define the evaluative standard that we have in mind, deliberation may lead us to question this standard, or adopt a different one. In an extreme case, deliberation may bring a person to question, or even lose, all of his adopted evaluative standards (goals, values, ideology), at least on the conscious level and for the moment.

       This paper characterizes a type of deliberation that may lead to the above extreme result, called "reflective deliberation". Reflective deliberation is aimed at deciding according to the standard by which it would be correct to evaluate. What can determine the most fundamental evaluative standards by which it would be correct to evaluate? Perhaps some kind of direct intuitive normative knowledge can help. But what if the person has no such intuitive normative knowledge?

       The main problem that is discussed in the paper is: how can a correct practical decision be reached in reflective deliberation when the person doesn't have any intuitive normative knowledge that may help. A possible solution is offered, according to which the correct decision in such cases would be to follow a particular second-order strategy. The uniqueness of this solution is its independence from any particular (alleged) intuitive normative knowledge, other than what is included in the concept of a correct decision as a goal towards which reflective deliberation is directed. In addition, two alternative possible solutions are discussed in the paper. One is to perform an authentic existentialist choice of one's most fundamental values. Another possible solution, opposite in spirit, is to obtain psychological therapy that is aimed at exposing one's emotional complex.

    A copy of my MA Thesis is attached below (If you don't see it, it is accessible via the complete post page  - click on the title of this post). I still like it, even though today I would have written it differently.

    Posted Feb 17, 2020, 10:47 AM by shalomation
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