Fred Feldman's Website
last updated: July, 2013
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This is our dog, Sprocket. Here you see him sitting in a patch of early-morning
sunshine in our kitchen.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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Online Papers (in .pdf, requires Adobe Reader;
* indicates a recent addition)
Recent and Forthcoming
*Targeting Welfare (Presented at Princeton Workshop on Well-Being, May 11, 2013)
*True and Useful: On the Structure of A Two Level Normative Theory (Utilitas June 2012)
*What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do (Presented at New Jersey Regional Philosophical Association, November 2011)
*Review of Douglas Kenrick Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life (forthcoming in American Journal of Psychology)
*Brueckner and Fischer on the Evil of Death (Philosophical Studies on line June 23, 2011.)
- Happiness: Empirical Research: Philosophical Conclusions (from RoME I conference)
- Whole Life
Satisfaction Concepts of Happiness, (Theoria 74,3 September 2008: 219-238. )
- Happiness and Subjective Desire Satisfaction:
Wayne Davis's Theory of Happiness, Hommage a Wlodek -- A Festschrift for Wlodek Rabinowicz.
- The Open Question Argument: What it Isn't;
and What it Is, Philosophical Issues 15, 2005, Normativity, 22-43.
Utility, the Objection from Impracticality, and the Move to Expected
Utility, Philosophical Studies 129, 1 (May, 2006): 49-79.
- Abstract of What Is This Thing Called Happiness.
Selected Journal Articles (see CV
for complete list of publications)
- Counterparts, The Journal of Philosophy 68 (1971): 406-409.
- On the Intrinsic Value of Pleasures, Ethics 107 (1997): 448-466.
Good Life: A Defense of Attitudinal Hedonism, Philosophy and
Phenomenological Research 65 (2002): 604-628.
- Adjusting Utility for Justice, Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 55 (1995): 567-585.
Intrinsic Value, Philosophical Studies 99 (2000): 319-346.
- Desert: Reconsideration of Some Received Wisdom, Mind 104 (1995): 63-77.
- Some Puzzles About the Evil of Death, The Philosophical Review 100 (1991): 205-227.
- The Termination Thesis, Midwest Studies in Philosophy 24 (2000): 98-115.
- Obligations – Absolute, Conditioned, and Conditional, Philosophia 12 (1983): 257-272.
- The Principle of Moral Harmony, The Journal of Philosophy 77 (1980): 166-179.
- Epistemic Appraisal and the Cartesian Circle, Philosophical Studies 27 (1975): 37-55.
- Kripke on the Identity Theory, The Journal of Philosophy 71 ( l974): 665-677.
- Sortal Predicates, Noûs 7 (l973): 268-282.
- Hyperventilating About Intrinsic Value, The Journal of Ethics 2 (1998): 339-354.
- Selected Reviews
study of Unger, Living High and Letting Die, Noûs 32 (1998):
of Hare, Moral Thinking, Philosophy and
Phenomenological Research 44 (1983): 131-135.
of Mackie, Ethics, The
Philosophical Review 88 (1979): 134-137.
- Abstract of Pleasure and the Good Life:
On the Nature, Varieties, and Plausibility of Hedonism (Oxford: Oxford
University Press, 2004)
(available from OUP's website, Amazon.com,
and many other places)
entry in the Routledge
Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. E. Craig (Routledge,
- My Banquet Address for the Chisholm Memorial Conference, Brown University, November 10-12, 2000.
- Logic and Ethics, entry in the Encyclopedia of Ethics, 2nd edition, eds. L. Becker and C. Becker (New York: Routledge, 2001), pp. 1011-1017.
Seminar for Spring, 2013: Derek Parfit's On What Matters has received some truly over-the-top praise from critics. Thus, for example, Peter Singer described it as 'the most significant work in ethics since Sidgwick's masterpiece was published in 1873 . . . a work of epic proportions and ambitions'. And Mark Schroeder said that it is 'an epochal work . . . a remarkable achievement, giving us a truly comprehensive picture of the moral outlook --both normative and metaethical --of one of the greatest moral thinkers of our time.'
Among other things, Parfit tries to show that the best form of consequentialism is equivalent to the best form of Kantianism. As he sees it, the best form of consequentialism is some version of rule utilitarianism; and the best form of Kantianism is some version of the categorical imperative that says something about acting on maxims that you can consistently will be universal laws of nature. Each of these theories involves the idea of 'generalization in ethics' -- the morally right thing for you to do is the act that is required by a general rule that either would have very high utility if universally followed, or that you could consistently will be the rule for everyone to follow. Thus we might say that Parfit's thesis is that these two conceptions of generalization in ethics really boil down to the same thing.
But this immediately provokes a series of questions: is the Parfittian form of rule utilitarianism actually the best form of consequentialism? Why isn't it refuted by the standard objections to rule utilitarianism that we learned in Intro Ethics? Is the Parfittian form of Kantianism actually the best form of Kantianism? Why isn't it open to the objections and complaints that we learned in Ethical Theory? And, putting aside the question whether these normative theories are the best of their respective kinds, there remains the question whether Parfit is right in claiming that they are equivalent.
These are the questions we will discuss in Phil 760 during Spring, 2013.
Hepplewhite Lamp Stand
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Footstool, and Pot
Newport Style Queen Anne Highboy
Jenn Air Stainless Steel
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1986 Harley-Davidson FXRT
1951 Ford 8n tractor with Dearborn bucket
loader and Woods Billy Goat mower
Simplicity snow blower
2002 Ford Ranger
2002 Ford Ranger after Ice Storm of December 2008
1936 Chevy Pickup
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Early '60's Velocette
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Fred (October 2004)
The Old Carpenter Tavern (Fred's home) (June 2005)
Tavern in Winter