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Stump, Eleonore, , . Knowledge, Freedom, and the Problem of Evil
1983, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14(1): 49-58
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Added by: Emily Paul, Contributed by:

Introduction: The free-will defense successfully rebuts the claim that the presence of evil in the world is logically incompatible with God’s existence. But many people, theists as well as atheists, feel that the free-will defense leaves some of the most important questions about evil unanswered. If there is a God, the nature and quantity of evil in the world still remain a puzzle; and even if they do not support a conclusive argument, they still seem to provide strong evidence against the probability of God’s existence. In particular, natural evils such as diseases, congenital defects, earthquakes, and droughts, need to be given some plausible explanation which shows their existence to be compatible with God’s goodness. It is the problem of evil in this sense which Swinburne addresses in Chapter 11 of The Existence of God. In what follows, I will describe Swinburne’s solution and give reasons for thinking it unacceptable.

Comment: This paper is a great way to motivate the ‘what about natural evils?’ response to the problem of evil. It does this by responding to Swinburne, so it could be good to first set Swinburne’s chapter and then see whether can students can organically anticipate some of Stump’s lines of argument.

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Tollefsen, Sondra, , Bacharach, Deborah. We Did It: From Mere Contributors to Coauthors
2010, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (1):23-32.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir

Abstract: The diversity and increasing number of recent artistic collaborations raise new and substantive philosophical questions about the nature of authorship. In the past, the problems surrounding the authorship of collaboratively produced art were tackled primarily by film theorists, who defended the conservative view that films were on a par with other artworks, having a single author. Fortunately, this is starting to change. Recently, a number of theorists, including Berys Gaut, Paisley Livingston, and C. Paul Sellors, have argued, contra auteur theory, that films (and many other artworks) are the product of multiple authors.1 Livingston and Sellors draw on recent theories of collective intentionality, specifically theories of shared intention, in order to develop their theories of coauthorship. Although we agree entirely with this anti?individualistic movement, we think there are problems with the accounts of coauthorship on offer. Some of the accounts are too weak, failing to distinguish between mere contributors and genuine coauthors, while others rely on a theory of shared intention that does not adequately account for the range and complexity of artistic collaborations present in contemporary art. Fortunately, there is an alternative theory of collective intentionality that has yet to be considered as a point of departure in developing an account of coauthorship: Margaret Gilbert’s plural subject theory. We argue that her theory provides for an account of coauthorship that successfully distinguishes between mere contributors and coauthors. It also makes sense of a number of actual cases of collaboratively produced art in which intuitively the group, rather than any set of individuals, is the author. In Section I, we rehearse Gaut’s arguments against auteur theory and explain why Gaut’s account of multiple authorship is problematically overpermissive. In Section II, we consider Livingston and Sellors’s attempts to develop an account of coauthorship that relies on the theories of shared intentions by Michael Bratman and John Searle, respectively. Both accounts are ultimately problematic in different ways. In Section III, we turn to Margaret Gilbert’s plural subject theory. At the heart of Gilbert’s theory is the notion of a joint commitment. We develop a theory of coauthorship that appeals to the notion of a joint commitment, and then we show how it helps us to distinguish between mere contributors and genuine coauthors. We also present a number of actual cases of collaboratively produced art and show how Gilbert’s plural subject theory can accommodate these cases in a way that other accounts of coauthorship cannot.

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Wiseman, Rachael, , . Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Anscombe’s Intention
2016, Routledge.
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Added by: Andrea Blomqvist, Contributed by: Will Hornett

Publisher’s Note: G. E. M. Anscombe’s Intention is a classic of twentieth-century philosophy. The work has been enormously influential despite being a dense and largely misunderstood text. It is a standard reference point for anyone engaging with philosophy of action and philosophy of psychology.

In this Routledge Philosophy GuideBook, Rachael Wiseman situates Intention in relation to Anscombe’s moral philosophy and philosophy of mind considers the influence of Aquinas, Aristotle, Frege, and Wittgenstein on the method and content of Intention adopts a structure for assessing the text that shows how Anscombe unifies the three aspects of the concept of intention considers the influence and implications of the piece whilst distinguishing it from subsequent work in the philosophy of action

Ideal for anyone wanting to understand and gain a perspective on Elizabeth Anscombe’s seminal work, this guide is an essential introduction, useful in the study of the philosophy of action, ethics, philosophy of psychology and related areas.

Comment: Wiseman’s guidebook is essential reading for a course directly on Anscombe’s work and chapters or sections could be set alongside pieces by Anscombe. Early chapters could also be set for First Year introductory readings on Anscombe’s approach to the philosophy of action and her place in the history of philosophy.

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Wolf, Susan, , . Asymmetrical freedom
1980, Journal of Philosophy 77(3): 151-166.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by:

Diversifying Syllabi: Thesis: interesting and sophisticated position compatibilist position in the debate about free will and determinism. Slogan: To be free is to be determined by the Good. The claim is that if we do the right thing for the right reasons, then we are free – in the sense that is required by moral responsibility – even if we are determined. But if we do the wrong thing, then we are free and morally responsible only if we are not determined (i.e. if we could have done otherwise).

Comment: This text offers an interesting discussion of the issue of free will and determinism, and its relation to moral responsibility. It is best used in teaching metaphysics and moral philosophy classes on those topics. It offers some review of the debate, but is not general enough to be used as an introduction. It can also be used in more specific classes in ethics, focusing on moral luck or blameworthiness.

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Wolf, Susan, , . Freedom Within Reason
1990, Oxford University Press
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Jojanneke Vanderveen

Publisher’s Note: In Freedom Within Reason, Susan Wolf charts a course between incompatibilism, or the notion that freedom and responsibility require causal and metaphysical independence from the impersonal forces of nature, and compatibilism, or the notion that people are free and responsible as long as their actions are governed by their desires. Wolf argues that some of the forces which are beyond our control are friends to freedom rather than enemies of it, enabling us to see the world for what it is. The freedom we want is not independence from the world, but independence from the forces that prevent us from choosing how to live in the light of a sufficient appreciation of the world.

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Wolf, Susan, , . Sanity and the Metaphysics of Responsibility
1987, In Ferdinand David Schoeman (ed.), Responsibility, Character, and the Emotions: New Essays in Moral Psychology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 46-62.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Jojanneke Vanderveen

Abstract: My strategy is to examine a recent trend in philosophical discussions of responsibility, a trend that tries, but I think ultimately fails, to give an acceptable analysis of the conditions of responsibility. It fails due to what at first appear to be deep and irresolvable metaphysical problems. It is here that I suggest that the condition of sanity comes to the rescue. What at first appears to be an impossible requirement for responsibility—the requirement that the responsible agent have created her- or himself—turns out to be the vastly more mundane and non controversial requirement that the responsible agent must, in a fairly standard sense, be sane.

Comment: Super great for metaethics/the responsibility debate. The book (Freedom Within Reason) is a more elaborated version of the same argument, and continues toward value pluralism.

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