Zangwill (“Our Moral Duty to Eat Meat”, “If you care about animals, you should eat them”) has argued that we have a duty to eat meat. In this paper I first show that Zangwill’s essays contain two distinct conclusions: (1) a rather weak thesis that his argument is officially supposed to establish, and (2) a much stronger, advertised thesis that his argument is not officially supposed to establish, but on whose basis he gives concrete recommendations for action and launches polemic (...) attacks on vegans, animal rights activists, and others. Consequently, I argue that Zangwill is likely culpable of some combination of epistemic failure, objectionable carnist activism, and trolling. In the second part of this paper I rebut Zangwill’s argument proper. I conclude by identifying some important issues in the vicinity concerning the suffering of wildlife and population ethics generalized to both human and non-human animals. (shrink)
This paper first identifies several plausible desiderata on satisfactory explanations of logical theorems, shows that ordinary grounding explanations cannot satisfy them and argues that there is reason to believe that no alternative grounding explanations of logical theorems can be given. It then develops an alternative explanation of logical theorems based on Yablo’s idea of reductive truthmaking. The resulting proposal invokes instances of reductive truthmaking that bear an interesting structural similarity to the notion of zero-ground, in virtue of which it is (...) able to satisfy the identified desiderata. (shrink)
This paper explores the practice of explanation by status, in which a truth with a certain status is supposed to be explained by its having that status. It first investigates whether such explanations are possible. Having found existing accounts of the practice wanting, it then argues for a novel account of explanation by status as empty-base explanation. The latter notion captures a certain limiting case of ordinary explanation so that according to the empty-base account, explanation by status can be fruitfully (...) understood as a corresponding limiting case of ordinary explanation. One way in which the empty-base account is argued to be superior to other treatments of explanation by status is that it allows for a principled assessment of the possibility of particular kinds of explanation by status. Thus, one result of the present discussion is that explanation by essential status and status as a law are possible, while explanation by merely necessary status is not. (shrink)
Antonin Broi argues that the thesis of phenomenal revelation is in tension with the best available accounts of similarity and certain other relations between phenomenal properties and should hence be rejected. In the following, I investigate Broi’s argument, show how the notion of collective essence can be used to withstand it, and consider a corresponding “collective” version of the revelation thesis.
This paper explores a novel notion of self-explanation that combines ideas from two sources: the tripartite account of explanation, according to which a proposition can help explain another either in the capacity of a reason why the latter obtains or in the capacity of an explanatory link, and the notion of an empty-base explanation, which generalizes the ideas of explanation by zero-grounding and explanation by status. After having introduced these ideas and the novel notion of self-explanation, I argue that the (...) latter has the potential to resist extant arguments against the possibility of self-explanation. In the remainder of the paper, I discuss candidates for such self-explanatory propositions and suggest possible applications for Humeanism about laws of nature, the debate on the grounds of ground, the rationalist tradition, and philosophical theology. (shrink)
This paper offers a modification of Fabrice Correia's and Alexander Skiles' ("Grounding, Essence, and Identity") definition of grounding in terms of generalized identity that extends it to zero-grounding. This definition promises to improve our understanding of zero-grounding by capturing it within the framework of generalized identity and allows an essentialist theory of modality based on Correia's and Skiles' account to resist a recent challenge by Jessica Leech. The latter is achieved by combining the following two ideas: (1) Some necessities are (...) grounded in truths about zero-grounding, and (2) at least some identity truths are zero-grounded. Finally, some advantages of the zero-grounding approach over Correia's and Skiles' recent definition of necessity in terms of generalized identity and logical consequence are argued for. (shrink)
This book develops and applies a novel kind of explanation: Empty-Base Explanation. While ordinary explanations have a tripartite structure involving an explanandum, a base of reasons why the explanandum obtains, and a link that connects the reasons to the explanandum, this book argues that there are explanations whose corresponding set of reasons is empty. This novel idea is located in the theoretical background of several fundamental philosophical issues. For example, it provides a convincing kind of ultimate or final explanation that (...) completely and conclusively explains a phenomenon without involving other phenomena for which further explanations could be demanded. -/- The possibility and fruitfulness of empty-base explanation is defended by general considerations from the theory of explanation, as well as concrete applications to (1) the practice of explanation by status, (2) the explanation of logical theorems, causal connections, and laws of nature, (3) self-explanation, (4) the use of IBE in metaphysics, (5) the notion of zero-ground (which it provides with a solid theoretical footing), and (6) ultimate explanation and its application to philosophical cosmology, the debate about the PSR, and the question of why there is anything at all. (shrink)