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An Ethical Argument For In Vitro Meat, Christian Vido Jun 2018

An Ethical Argument For In Vitro Meat, Christian Vido

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This paper makes a moral argument for why in vitro meat should be adopted in favour of traditional forms of meat on the basis that doing so would reduce animal suffering. It argues that we ought to act compassionately towards animals who have the capacity to experience suffering (primarily in the form of physical pain) in a similar way to our own capacity to experience suffering. Given that the animals which are traditionally raised and slaughtered for meat (i.e. cows, pigs, and perhaps to a slightly lesser extent, chickens) have the capacity to experience pain in a significantly similar ...


The Problem Of Authenticity In Heidegger And Gadamer, Jim M. Murphy Jan 2018

The Problem Of Authenticity In Heidegger And Gadamer, Jim M. Murphy

Major Papers

In Being and Time, Martin Heidegger claims that one can obtain an authentic identity by way of the resolute anticipation of death. With this proper relation to one’s finitude, one’s understanding will no longer be obscured by entanglement in the world, and the world can be genuinely seen as it is according to the tradition that supports one’s understanding. Following Charles Taylor in The Ethics of Authenticity, I argue that Heidegger’s account of authenticity fails to incorporate the necessary role of recognition by the community in the formation of an authentic identity. Because of the deeply ...


Empathy, Asymmetrical Reciprocity, And The Ethics Of Mental Health Care, Andrew Molas Jan 2018

Empathy, Asymmetrical Reciprocity, And The Ethics Of Mental Health Care, Andrew Molas

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

I discuss Young’s “asymmetrical reciprocity” and apply it to an ethics of mental health care. Due to its emphasis on engaging with others through respectful dialogue in an inclusive manner, asymmetrical reciprocity serves as an appropriate framework for guiding caregivers to interact with their patients and to understand them in a morally responsible and appropriate manner. In Section 1, I define empathy and explain its benefits in the context of mental health care. In Section 2, I discuss two potential problems surrounding empathy: the difficulty of perspective-taking and “compassion fatigue.” In Section 3, I argue that these issues can ...


The Myth Of Progress? Critical Theory And The Debate Over Progress, John Lundy Jan 2018

The Myth Of Progress? Critical Theory And The Debate Over Progress, John Lundy

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

Philosophy as a discipline has generally claimed that human beings have a capacity called practical reason that allows us to address moral-practical questions. Applied to historical change, this yields an account of progress as a process of rationalization. The 20th century has produced a long line of radical critiques of this idea of progress. My central aim is to defend contemporary critical theory’s reliance on the idea of progress as an emancipatory process of rationalization. Because she engages deeply and directly with the accounts of progress I seek to defend, my focus is on Amy Allen’s critique ...


Aboriginal Title Or Legal Personhood For Land?, Melany Banks Jan 2018

Aboriginal Title Or Legal Personhood For Land?, Melany Banks

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

In 1983, British Columbia granted Carrier Lumber Ltd a license to engage in industrial logging within the territory of the Tsilhqot’in Nation. The Xeni Gwet’in First Nations government (part of Tsilhqot’in Nation) sought an injunction to halt Carrier. For the Xeni Gwent’in, the proposed logging would destroy the forest in which they lived and hunted. In order to gain the power to stop the proposed logging, the Xeni Gwet’in fought for a declaration of Aboriginal Title. After a lengthy trial, the Supreme Court granted their claim. This may sound like a story about victory for ...


Genetic Discrimination, Life Insurance, And Justice As Fairness, Ozan Gurcan Jan 2018

Genetic Discrimination, Life Insurance, And Justice As Fairness, Ozan Gurcan

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

In this paper, I use justice as fairness (JAF) to inquire whether any issues of liberal justice are raised by the practice of genetic discrimination in society, in particular from the standpoint of life insurance pricing in Canada. I present three ways in which JAF may apply. First and foremost, Rawls’ negative thesis can be interpreted to say that one’s genetic characteristics are morally arbitrary and therefore persons do not deserve to be advantaged or disadvantaged by the basic structure of society based on these characteristics. Second, as James W. Nickel observes, Rawls’ principle of equal basic liberties can ...


Painful Virtue, Marginalisation, And Resistance, Jordan Joseph Wadden Jan 2018

Painful Virtue, Marginalisation, And Resistance, Jordan Joseph Wadden

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

This paper argues a potentially controversial thesis in virtue ethics, i.e., in situations of oppression and marginalisation, it is better to be a person of atypical virtue, one who has struggled to resist oppressive circumstances, than it is to be a traditionally defined virtuous agent. As such, those who have been through a tragic dilemma (or several) are more important for successful resistance movements than their traditionally defined counterparts. This paper does not romanticise oppressive situations or their influence on some individuals developing virtuous actions and behaviours. Instead, it acknowledges that these are tragic circumstances that permanently affect some ...


Missing The Mark: Exploring The Forgetting Of Disability In Media, Emily Dobson Apr 2017

Missing The Mark: Exploring The Forgetting Of Disability In Media, Emily Dobson

Critical Reflections

A common concern within the disability community are the ways in which negative or misguided representations in media produce stigma. Stigma can be broadly defined to include “problems of knowledge (ignorance), problems of attitudes (prejudice), and problems of behaviour (discrimination),” which means that inadequate or unrealistic representations can cause a variety of damaging effects1. In Narrative Prosthesis, David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder explore the ways in which a broad selection of literature has represented disability as a literary device. Despite an ever growing number of examples of disability in media, the public, and especially many scholars, have forgotten ...


Scientific Revolutions As Events: A Kuhnian Critique Of Badiou, Jacob Smith Apr 2017

Scientific Revolutions As Events: A Kuhnian Critique Of Badiou, Jacob Smith

Critical Reflections

In this essay, I will attempt a critique of the Badiouan formulation of the event by asking if Badiou’s theory, as formulated in Being and Event, explains the phenomenon of the scientific revolution. While Badiou remains relatively cryptic about the status of science in Being and Event and does not refer to any scientific revolutions explicitly, there are several reasons why it might seem problematic if they are not to be included within his theory of the event. After all, they are called revolutions and the historical narrative surrounding them typically develops, much like the Badiouan event, with the ...


How To Interpret Spinoza’S Theory Of Attribute: The Subjective And Objective Interpretations Revisited, Xiangnong (Herbert) Hu Apr 2017

How To Interpret Spinoza’S Theory Of Attribute: The Subjective And Objective Interpretations Revisited, Xiangnong (Herbert) Hu

Critical Reflections

Scholars disagree on how to interpret two terms, ‘intellect’ and ‘as’, in the definition of attribute given by Spinoza in his Ethics and thus divide themselves into two rival camps: one is known as the subjective interpretation, and the other, objective interpretation. In this essay, I argue that both interpretations are problematic in one way or another, and a better interpretation should take a middle path between the subjective and objective. By this new interpretation, ‘intellect’ should be understood as infinite and finite intellects, and ‘as’ to be ‘as in fact’. Therefore, what the definition of attribute really means is ...


A-Theory Or B-Theory Of Time? An Aristotelian Answer, Luca Banfi Apr 2017

A-Theory Or B-Theory Of Time? An Aristotelian Answer, Luca Banfi

Critical Reflections

A-Theory or B-Theory of Time? An Aristotelian Answer

The purpose of this paper is to provide a description of Aristotle’s theory of time, in order to understand if it could introduce a stimulus into the contemporary debate on the nature of time between A-theorists and B-theorists. The first section (§1) of the paper is devoted to a conceptual explanation of these two main positions about the nature of time and their intimate link with eternalism and presentism. The second section (§2) presents the Aristotelian view on the nature of time (Strobach: 1998), considering his analysis on the notion of ...


On Realism And The Pessimistic Meta-Induction, Stanford Howdyshell Apr 2017

On Realism And The Pessimistic Meta-Induction, Stanford Howdyshell

Critical Reflections

In this paper I will discuss the Pessimistic Meta-Induction put forth by Larry Laudan in his paper A Confutation of Convergent Realism and discuss how it overcomes the No Miracles argument for scientific realism. I will then reconcile these two positions through the theory that scientific terms posit and refer to models of reality that are relevantly similar to how the world is.

This paper will begin with a discussion of the No Miracles argument and Pessimistic Meta-Induction, resulting in doubt that scientific terms genuinely refer to objects in the world. In order to overcome the anti-realist position that the ...


Accusatory Based Discourse Strategies: Apologia, Kategoria And Strategic Image Repair Discourse, Josie E. Richards Apr 2017

Accusatory Based Discourse Strategies: Apologia, Kategoria And Strategic Image Repair Discourse, Josie E. Richards

Critical Reflections

The purpose of this paper is to suggest that an orator can strategically pick discourse strategies when issuing their apologia if they understand the attitudes they are combatting in the subsequent kategoria. This paper draws heavily on works by William Benoit and Halford Ryan. Using a general understanding of apologia, and the concept of kategoria as conceptualized by Ryan, I suggest that once an orator understands apologia and kategoria as a speech set, they can use Benoit’s image repair tactics as an effective way to repair their image to their respective audience. The combination of an orators understanding of ...


The Paradox Of Imprecision In Language, Henry R. Bauer Mar 2017

The Paradox Of Imprecision In Language, Henry R. Bauer

Critical Reflections

The Paradox of Imprecision in Language

Abstract

This paper investigates philosophical questions bearing on the relationship between language and mind, through an analysis of the phenomenon of “efficient imprecision” in language. It is argued that language users’ ability to intuitively connect allegedly imprecise linguistic expressions with definite conceptual information presents a paradox that might lead philosophers, linguists and cognitive scientists alike to reconsider the relationship between the computational machinery of human language and its function as the vehicle of conscious thought.

Like the puzzle about the identity relation which Gottlob Frege presents in the seminal Sense and Reference (1892), which ...


Law And Oppression: A Moral Call To Abstain From The Use Of Moral Language, Benjamin L. Stalnaker Mar 2017

Law And Oppression: A Moral Call To Abstain From The Use Of Moral Language, Benjamin L. Stalnaker

Critical Reflections

Abstract: In this presentation, I first establish that morality is invoked to justify the existence of discriminatory or otherwise oppressive laws that harm marginalized groups. Examples that demonstrate this point will be pulled from past and present laws that target homosexual and transgender populations, ranging from anti-sodomy laws to trans bathroom bills. Next, I argue that moral language is imbued with normative and motivational force because of its association with legitimate moral judgments. Since normative judgments provide reason to act, the invocation of such judgments is seen to carry that same reason and motivational force. In the absence of legitimate ...


Virtue Theory As A Feminist Ethical Framework, Alejandro Navas Mar 2017

Virtue Theory As A Feminist Ethical Framework, Alejandro Navas

Critical Reflections

In recent decades, feminists have pointed out how prominent ethical theories are primarily concerned with establishing rules of conduct between strangers who share (or are theorized as if they share) the same social status. As Claudia Card points out, such theories outline explicit expectations and rewards of formal relationships; these relationships characterize formal institutions, such as law and business, and the considerations of upper-class men who predominate in such institutions. An ethics which focuses on the impersonal application of rules risks overlooking attentiveness to personal needs, a crucial quality in caring relationships which women and poorer classes have had primary ...


Understanding Pain In Non-Human Animals: A Critical Exploration Of Arguements, Jessica L. Sitko Mar 2017

Understanding Pain In Non-Human Animals: A Critical Exploration Of Arguements, Jessica L. Sitko

Critical Reflections

Abstract

This essay contains a critical analysis of common understandings of pain in animals and challenges common arguments for the presence of phenomenological pain sensations in non-human animals. I will argue that (i) pain behaviors are neither necessary nor sufficient for pain sensations, (ii) the presence of nerve structures in non-human animals which are similar to that of humans are not sufficient for pain sensations, (iii) we cannot rely on similarities between human and non-human experiences of pain to argue for the presence of pain sensations in animals, unless we think that animals are self-conscious in the same way that ...


The Truth Of Carousing Peasants Becomes Disclosed, Sebastian Kanally Mar 2017

The Truth Of Carousing Peasants Becomes Disclosed, Sebastian Kanally

Critical Reflections

The Truth Of Carousing Peasants Becomes Disclosed

In this paper, I attempt to reconstruct the central points of Martin Heidegger’s theory of the work of art, and argue that Adriaen van Ostade's 1634 painting, "Carousing Peasants In a Rustic Interior," is a perfect lens to see the strength and validity of Heidegger's understanding of art. Heidegger's philosophy of art contains three major components, each of which I examine and argue is manifest in Ostade's painting. The three components the work of art reveals are the following: firstly, a tension is created between "earth" and "world ...


On The Rawlsian Anthropology And The "Autonomous" Account, Jared Mayer Mar 2017

On The Rawlsian Anthropology And The "Autonomous" Account, Jared Mayer

Critical Reflections

In his later major work, Political Liberalism, John Rawls argues for a “political conception of justice,” one that is intended to operate in a diverse and morally pluralistic polity. A crucial feature of this political conception of justice is its ability to supersede (nearly) all other morals claims. This is because the political conception of justice is intended to be “a freestanding view;” that is, it is intended to ground its own normative force without needing to appeal to any particular comprehensive doctrine or set of doctrines. Joseph Raz, in critiquing Rawls, claims that any given justification of political and ...


At Death’S Door: Unsuccessful Political Entreaties In Antigone And The Apology, Zoe Grabow Mar 2017

At Death’S Door: Unsuccessful Political Entreaties In Antigone And The Apology, Zoe Grabow

Critical Reflections

In this paper, I compare the positions of two iconoclasts on the brink of death, Antigone in Sophocles’ Antigone and Socrates in Plato’s Apology, as well as their motivations for addressing the public while facing execution, examining controversial lines from both works. First I assay Antigone’s final lament, focusing on her statement that she would not bestow the same burial honors on a husband or child as she did for her brother (lines 967-970). This is followed by an analysis of Socrates’ defense speech, focusing on his claim to be the wisest human living (23b). I study the ...


Authoritative Faith’S Relation To Reason In The Writings Of St. Thomas Aquinas, Mitchell Witteveen Mar 2017

Authoritative Faith’S Relation To Reason In The Writings Of St. Thomas Aquinas, Mitchell Witteveen

Critical Reflections

There seems little reason for a philosopher to have religious faith. Beliefs derived from faith are often described as being without evidence or sacrosanct from scrutiny. This is not the belief of St. Thomas Aquinas. I begin the paper by drawing necessary distinctions to other forms of intellectual assent to make clear exactly what Aquinas means when he writes of fides. I then seek to explain how Aquinas seeks to ground the preambles in faith in his philosophical investigations of God, and how the gap between what is known by philosophy and what is known by theology allows for the ...


Ethics And Economics: An Internal Relation, Bruce Morito Jan 2017

Ethics And Economics: An Internal Relation, Bruce Morito

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

The relationship between ethics and economics in the modern age is typically viewed as external. This view is usually articulated in the notion that for economic relations to be ethical, an ethic must be imposed. Otherwise, economic relations are amoral. I try to show how the relationship is actually best explained by adopting an explanatory framework of inter-dependent arising, according to which the emergence and development of both ethical and economic relations is a matter of mutual determination. Ethical values emerge in the course of developing economic relations and, in turn, direct or at least implicate economic relations. The consequences ...


Thinking Beyond Electronic Borders: Global Ideas, Global Values, Benjamin D. Lowinsky Jan 2017

Thinking Beyond Electronic Borders: Global Ideas, Global Values, Benjamin D. Lowinsky

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

The theme and indeed title of this Conference is “Thinking beyond Borders: Global Ideas, Global Values.” It is a theme in keeping with numerous developments both within and between countries, nationalities, ethnicities and groups of people in general, that militates against old fashioned and traditional notions of nation state and geopolitical, social, cultural and linguistic boundaries founded on some of the basic ingredients of nationhood, nation-making, and nationalism. To think beyond borders is therefore to give voice to global ideas and global values of the sort that transcend national, regional, municipal borders and thereby embrace truly international, world-wide, and universal ...


Ask The Philosopher: Practical Advice And Self-Help In Antiquity And Today, Dimitrios Dentsoras Jan 2017

Ask The Philosopher: Practical Advice And Self-Help In Antiquity And Today, Dimitrios Dentsoras

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

This paper examines the genre of practical philosophical treatises in antiquity, contrasting it with contemporary literature in philosophical practice. Its main focus concerns the role of the philosopher as a guide to practical everyday concerns and the relationship between theoretical and practical ethics. An important question for ancient works on practical philosophy (and to a lesser extent their contemporary equivalents) has to do with whether, and to what extent, adopting the philosopher’s advice also requires an adoption of that person’s broader philosophical framework (Stoicism, Neoplatonism, Skepticism, etc.). Philosophers tend to put heavy emphasis on the existence of a ...


Before The Birth Of Bioethics: The Shaping Of Physicians’ Ethics In Canada, 1940-1970, Maureen Muldoon Jan 2017

Before The Birth Of Bioethics: The Shaping Of Physicians’ Ethics In Canada, 1940-1970, Maureen Muldoon

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

Students who study bioethics today usually learn very little about the medical ethics of physicians prior to the 1970’s. The practices of earlier physicians are often characterized as being paternalistic and lacking in respect for patient autonomy and justice. Yet just as the emergence of bioethics was shaped by social context, so was the medical ethics that preceded it.

This paper is a work in “descriptive ethics,” which explores the de facto morality of physicians roughly between 1940 and 1970. De facto morality refers to the profession’s officially endorsed standards as stated in its codes of ethics and ...


Why Practical Ethics Should Be Interested In Cognitive Science, Sheldon J. Chow Jan 2017

Why Practical Ethics Should Be Interested In Cognitive Science, Sheldon J. Chow

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

Practical ethics can greatly benefit from the work in cognitive science. Cognitive science boasts substantial research and data on how people think, reason, and process information, as well as on the nature of the mind. I argue that cognitive science research and data are invaluable to investigating how people conduct themselves as they plod through practical moral problems. I discuss three reasons why practical ethics should be interested in cognitive science: cognitive science :(i) helps us to better understand how people reason and offers theories about underlying mental processes; (ii) offers substantive discussion on normative accounts of reason and rationality ...


Trait Attribution Error, W. Owen Thornton Jan 2017

Trait Attribution Error, W. Owen Thornton

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

Sometimes we make the choice to rely upon the trait of being on time over making the choice to rely upon the trait of driving safely. So Gerry can run the red light to respect Stephanie’s time, while striking Paul’s car and disrespecting his property and life in the process. It appears that there are single situations with two or more morally salient features where we can apply different and ordinarily positive traits to our moral choices and by selecting the wrong moral choice, we can be seen to behave abominably. Notice that when utilizing the trait attribution ...


National Responsibilities To Citizens: Past Or Present?, Melany Banks Jan 2017

National Responsibilities To Citizens: Past Or Present?, Melany Banks

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

Throughout history governments have neglected, mistreated, or intentionally harmed their own citizens. In Canada this includes the denial of equal rights, the internment of Japanese Canadians during and after WWII, and the forced expulsion of the Acadians in1755, as well as other events. In the literature on reparations, the most popular examples of harm perpetrated by a state is the capture and enslavement of Africans and the acquisition of Aboriginal lands during European exploration and colonization in North America.

In this paper I will examine the argument for reparative claims against nations. I will argue that when we closely examine ...


Forgiveness, Finitude, Apology And Acknowledgment, Mano Daniel, Jim Gough Jan 2017

Forgiveness, Finitude, Apology And Acknowledgment, Mano Daniel, Jim Gough

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

We argue for a particular conception of forgiveness with the following characteristics: forgiveness as transactional (primarily bi-lateral, rather than unilateral), elective (not obligatory) and conditional. Initiating the process requires forgiveness to be extended to the wrongdoer but not at the expense of forgetting, excusing, or condoning the wrong. The offer of the apology shifts the control or power from the wrongdoer to the victim who may initiate the conditional decision which may culminate in the repairing of the damaged relationship. A wrong may not be simply a perpetration of harm, but also a moral insult. It is the insult, this ...


Exploitation As A Path To Development: Sweatshop Labour, Micro-Unfairness, And The Non-Worseness Claim, Michael Randall Barnes Jan 2017

Exploitation As A Path To Development: Sweatshop Labour, Micro-Unfairness, And The Non-Worseness Claim, Michael Randall Barnes

The Canadian Society for Study of Practical Ethics / Société Canadienne Pour L'étude De L'éthique Appliquée — SCEEA

Sweatshop labour is sometimes defended from critics by arguments that stress the voluntariness of the worker’s choice, and the fact that sweatshops provide a source of income where no other similar source exists. The idea is if it’s exploitation—as their opponents charge—it’s mutually beneficial and consensual exploitation. This defence appeals to the non-worseness claim (NWC), which says that if exploitation is better for the exploited party than neglect, it cannot be seriously wrong. The NWC renders otherwise exploitative—and therefore morally wrong—transactions permissible, making the exploitation of the global poor a justifiable path to ...