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Psychopaths exhibit diminished ability to grieve. Here I address whether this inability can be explained by the trademark feature of psychopaths, namely, their diminished capacity for interpersonal empathy. I argue that this hypothesis turns out to be correct, but requires that we conceptualize empathy not merely as an ability to relate (emotionally and ethically) to other individuals but also as an ability to relate to past and present iterations of ourselves. This reconceptualization accords well with evidence regarding psychopaths’ intense focus on the temporal present and difficulties in engaging in mental time travel, as well as with the essentially egocentric and identity-based nature of grief.
There has been recent discussion of a puzzle posed by emotions that are backward looking. Though our emotions commonly diminish over time, how can they diminish fittingly if they are an accurate appraisal of an event that is situated in the past? Agnes Callard (2017) has offered a solution by providing an account of anger in which anger is both backwards looking and resolvable, yet her account depends upon contrition to explain anger's fitting diminishment. My aim is to explain how anger can fittingly diminish even when there is lack of contrition. I propose a permissivism about fittingness by showing that both anger and compassion are fitting responses to blameworthy behaviour. I argue that anger is rendered fitting because it accurately appraises the behaviour, whereas compassion becomes fitting as a valuational response to what the behaviour reveals about the lived experience of the offender. I then respond to some worries my account raises, and I clarify details of my account to show that it is not unrealistic to the way some of our anger actually does diminish. I end with a proposal that our anger can fittingly diminish through the act of forgiveness when compassion is not a forthcoming affective response.
This paper focuses on the question of political anger's non-instrumental justification. I argue that the case for anger is strong where anger expresses a valuable form of valuing the good. It does so only when properly integrated with non-angry emotional responsiveness to the good. The account allows us to acknowledge the non-instrumentally bad side of anger while still delivering the intuitive verdict that anger is often justified. Moreover, it provides an avenue for criticizing much of the anger run amok in contemporary political life without directly engaging entrenched moral and political views.
Depending on whether we are somewhat tolerant of nearby error-possibilities or not, the safety condition on knowledge is open to a strong reading and a weak reading. In this paper, it is argued that induction and conjunction introduction constitute two horns of a dilemma for the safety account of knowledge. If we opt for the strong reading, then the safety account fails to account for inductive knowledge. In contrast, if we opt for the weak reading, then the safety account fails to accommodate knowledge obtained via the method of conjunction introduction.
This essay aims to review and clarify an emerging consensus among philosophers of time: that belief in the passage of time is not a matter of illusion but rather the result of a variety of cognitive error. I argue that this error is best described in terms of psychological projection, properly understood. A close analysis of varieties of projection reveals how well this phenomenon accounts for belief in dynamic temporal passage and the objective becoming of events. A projectivist account of belief in the passage of time is, in actuality, already predominant in contemporary philosophy of time; but the language of illusion still used by many theorists is hampering recognition of the nature of the solution as well as the recent progress towards consensus.
The distinction between the personal and the subpersonal is often invoked in philosophy of psychology but remains surrounded by confusion. Building on recent work by Zoe Drayson, this paper aims to help further improve this situation by offering a satisfactory explication of the distinction that remains close to Dennett's original intentions. Reasons are offered for construing the distinction as applying to representational (as opposed to worldly) items, for not building contested theoretical assumptions into it, and for taking it to apply in the first instance to descriptive statements and only derivatively to explanations. An explication of the distinction that accords with these points is then developed, according to which the distinction should be drawn in terms of what personal and subpersonal-level statements are ‘transparently about’. The theoretical role of this explication is discussed, and potential objections are addressed.