Monday, August 4, 2008


I'm home exhausted after a trip to Portland became unexpectedly a trip to Portland to Sacramento to San Francisco. If you're ever in Portland and in need of a place to stay, I'd recommend Ace Hotel. It's cheap, the rooms are unbelievable, I had the best coffee and food downstairs in recent memory, and the staff is incredibly friendly. In the next few days, I need to update my syllabi for the contemporary moral problems and logic courses I'll be teaching at SMU and TCU, finish another draft of my paper on reasons for belief, and write up comments on a paper on detachment that Mark van Roojen will be giving at the Rocky Mountain Ethics Congress in a few days.

Originally, I was slated to give comments on a paper defending a contextualist approach to ascriptions of intrinsic value. After the speaker had to cancel, I was invited to give a poster at the poster session. I'll still be presenting a version of "'Ought', 'Can', and Practical Reasons" (coming to APQ in the not terribly distant future!), but while deplaning in Sacramento two nights ago I received word that a commentator was involved in some sort of accident and there's a need for someone to step up and offer comments. So, I'll be stepping up. It's not often that you get the opportunity to give comments to your own adviser at a conference. So, I'm looking forward to seeing quite a few familiar faces and meeting some new folks in Boulder in a few days.

Quick philosophical question. Mustard believes Plum is plotting against him and decides to carry a pistol for protection. It turns out that he's right. How many reasons has he that bear on whether to carry the pistol? One? Two? None? Thirty?

1 comment:

Brandon said...

Two in the Conservatory and infinitely many in the Library.

If we take 'Plum is plotting against me' and 'A pistol will protect me if Plum is plotting against me', that will be two; but if he's sitting in an armchair in the Library he might try to get technical about it and say that he needs to add 'If a pistol will protect me, I have a reason to to carry a pistol.' And then he might think, "Ah, but if 'Plum is plotting against me' is a reason, so, too, is 'I think Plum is plotting against me.' And if that's a reason, so is 'I think that I think Plum is plotting against me.' And if that's a reason, 'I think I think I think Plum is plotting against me' must also be a reason."

That is all completely made up, incidentally; I don't think reasons are discrete and countable units.