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  1. Explanation and Manipulation.Alexander Prescott-Couch - 2017 - Noûs 51 (3):484-520.
    I argue that manipulationist theories of causation fail as accounts of causal structure, and thereby as theories of “actual causation” and causal explanation. I focus on two kinds of problem cases, which I call “Perceived Abnormality Cases” and “Ontological Dependence Cases.” The cases illustrate that basic facts about social systems—that individuals are sensitive to perceived abnormal conditions and that certain actions metaphysically depend on institutional rules—pose a challenge for manipulationist theories and for counterfactual theories more generally. I then show how (...)
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  2.  84
    Nietzsche, Genealogy, and Historical Individuals.Alexander Prescott-Couch - 2015 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 46 (1):99-109.
    ABSTRACT In On the Genealogy of Morality, Nietzsche sets out to answer the question of the value of morality by looking at the conditions under which it developed. However, there is a puzzle about why historical investigation should be required for assessing our moral practices, especially if the defining features of those practices have changed over time. The puzzle is that if morality is “historical,” then the features that will be revealed by historical investigation are ones that—ex hypothesi—are unlikely to (...)
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  3.  96
    Williams and Nietzsche on the Significance of History for Moral Philosophy.Alexander Prescott-Couch - 2014 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 45 (2):147-168.
    It is a truism that our current common sense morality is the product of a complicated historical development. Whether and in what way classic questions of moral philosophy need to be informed by this history is, however, a matter of controversy.Some recent work in meta-ethics has taken the broad contours of morality’s history as important for answering questions about the existence of moral facts and the justifications of our beliefs about such facts. For instance, moral diversity and the history of (...)
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  4.  70
    Deliberation through Misrepresentation? Inchoate Speech and the Division of Interpretive Labor.Alexander Prescott-Couch - 2021 - Journal of Political Philosophy 29 (4):496-518.
    Journal of Political Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  5.  41
    Genealogy and the Structure of Interpretation.Alexander Prescott-Couch - 2015 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 46 (2):239-247.
    ABSTRACT In this article, I consider how Nietzsche's history of morality in On the Genealogy of Morality is relevant to his critique of morality. I argue that, on Nietzsche's view, morality's history is a guide to whether and where we should expect to find coherence in our current moral practice. It helps us “structure our interpretation” of morality. History is relevant to critique because it reveals that morality is unlikely to have the kind of coherence required by many of its (...)
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  6. The Philosopher as Reverse-Engineer.Alexander Prescott-Couch - 2024 - Analysis 84 (2):368-384.
    Philosophers do not have a reputation for being pragmatic. When offered a chance to avoid execution, Socrates used his window of escape to deliver a series.
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  7.  42
    Genealogy beyond Debunking.Alexander Prescott-Couch - 2023 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 47:171-194.
    Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morality (GM) is often interpreted as providing a debunking argument of some kind. I consider different versions of such arguments and suggest that they face important challenges. Moving beyond debunking interpretations of GM, I consider Nietzsche’s claim that his genealogy should be used to assess the “value” of moral values. After explaining how to understand this claim, I consider different ways that history might be used to assess the value of beliefs, practices, and institutions. The (...)
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  8. Nietzsche and the Significance of Genealogy.Alexander Prescott-Couch - forthcoming - Mind:fzae008.
    How is Nietzsche’s genealogy of morality relevant to his revaluation of values? I consider and reject three accounts: contingency accounts, pedigree accounts, and unmasking accounts. I then propose an alternative account. On this view, Nietzsche provides a ‘deconstructive genealogy’ that indicates whether and where we should expect to find unity in our current moral practices. Moreover, Nietzsche’s history contributes to a critique of contemporary morality because it reveals that morality is unlikely to have the kind of unity required by many (...)
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  9.  24
    Rational Reconstruction and the Construction of an Interlocutor.Alexander Prescott-Couch - unknown
    There has been much recent work in philosophy of science on idealization – the way inaccurate representations can be used to understand a target system. My dissertation concerns a particular sort of idealization that is familiar but often overlooked: rational reconstruction. Rational reconstructions are “cleaned-up” – more coherent and accurate – versions of an individual’s or a group’s attitudes. They are the kind of idealized model that facilitates a crucial aim of the interpretive sciences, the understanding of another’s point of (...)
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  10.  46
    Moral Psychology with Nietzsche, by Brian Leiter. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019, 224 pp., ISBN: 9780199696505, Hardcover $65.00. [REVIEW]Alexander Prescott-Couch - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):260-265.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  11.  35
    The Epistemic Life of Groups, MichaelBrady and MirandaFricker (Eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press (eds.) 2016, vi + 255 pp ISBN 978–0–19‐875964‐5, £45.00. [REVIEW]Alexander Prescott-Couch - 2018 - European Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):897-900.
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