After months of research (not on this question!) I've found the following concerning why Dickinson Miller published his famous paper on free will under a pseudonym:
'Hume Without Scepticism' and the article on 'Freewill as Involving Determination' both appeared in Mind under the name R. E. Hobart, though Miller openly acknowledged his authorship in footnotes of subsequent articles on 'James and Analysis' and the knowledge-problem. Further, he travelled to England, Ireland, and Italy from 1932 to 1934 with a passport issued in Frankfurt/Main under the name of Richard Emlen Hobart, the first name being derived from his nickname and the last two from family names. He even corresponded with his brother about a permanent legal change of name but abandoned 'Hobart' on returning to America in 1934. His specific motives for adopting the name of Hobart are obscrue because he had an intense sense of privacy and vigilantly guarded it. He did, however, tell one associate that he thought people who knew him would not read his articles because his links with James would make him appear "too old". To another he explained that it is perfectly appropriate to use any name that suites one's private convenience. The content of the articles may have been a factor. His main points in the article on Hume had been dismissed by an eminent British scholar as insubstantial, not worthy of publication.
(From Loyd Easton's introduction to a collection of Miller's essays, Philosophical Analysis and Human Welfare [Reidel, 1975].)
3:AM's Richard Marshall has posted yet another interesting interview--this time, with Bryony Pierce. If you haven't already checked out some of Marshall's earlier interviews, they are all excellent--much like this one!
There have been 107 responses to yesterday's survey, but since I'm too cheap to "upgrade" my Survey Monkey account, I get to see stats on only the first 100. So don't bother voting any more.
At any rate, there was a significant majority of respondents who voted "No." Specifically, 62%, with 38% responding "Yes." I suppose I could have added a "Not sure" option, or a "degrees of confidence" meter, but I didn't.
From the few comments that came in as well, perhaps some important details from the prompt were missing. I threw in the "drunk" comment only as a (very minor) joke, not anything that should be thought to undermine Max's reliability at replacing intentions (which he can do easily and always successfully and by whatever means you're happy with); it was only a way to explain his being mistaken over the identification of the relevant intention.
Suppose we are in a bar and I intend to punch you for insulting my sister. My intention is formed in light of my consideration of the good reasons there are in favor of punching you. Suppose Max, the powerful demon/neurologist able to manipulate my intentions, is monitoring me, but he takes himself to be my guardian angel, ready to replace my intentions with ones based on what he views as good reasons. He is also a little drunk, so he mistakes my intention to punch for an intention to hug. “But this is wrong,” he thinks, “as the insult calls for a punch, not a hug.” He thus eliminates my actual intention to punch (what he thinks is an intention to hug) and replaces it with an exactly similar intention to punch. I then act on it.
Is the implanted intention attributable to me?
To answer, go here.
For those of you interested in the relationship between neuroscience, free will, responsibility, and the law, The Stanford Center for Law and Biosciences has posted an informative talk by Jack Gallant and commentary by Nita Farahany.
We need someone who can teach bioethics, ethics, and intro to philosophy for a year. If you're interested, contact me (email@example.com).
The Journal of Ethics has an exciting new volume on free will and moral responsibility which includes articles by our own John Martin Fischer, Helen Steward, Saul Smilansky, Michael McKenna, and others.