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Morality

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Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities

Response To Commentaries On Disorientation And Moral Life, Ami Harbin Jun 2018

Response To Commentaries On Disorientation And Moral Life, Ami Harbin

Feminist Philosophy Quarterly

In Disorientation and Moral Life, I consider disorientations as experiences of not knowing how to go on following serious life events and experiences like those involved in traumas, grief, illness, education, consciousness raising, and migration. I challenge a history of moral philosophy that I claim has been preoccupied by a focus on the best moral agents as those who are most decisive, wholehearted, and clear about how they ought to act. In this piece, I respond to three commentaries on Disorientation and Moral Life. In particular, I offer reflections on how disorientations might be useful in contexts of disability studies ...


Non-Naturalism And Naturalism In Mathematics, Morality, And Epistemology, Nicholas Distefano May 2018

Non-Naturalism And Naturalism In Mathematics, Morality, And Epistemology, Nicholas Distefano

Honors Projects

No abstract provided.


The Philosophical Value Of Reflective Endorsement, Rachel Robison Jan 2018

The Philosophical Value Of Reflective Endorsement, Rachel Robison

Doctoral Dissertations

Through the years, many philosophers have appealed to reflective endorsement to address important philosophical problems. In this dissertation, I evaluate the merits of those approaches. I first consider Christine Korsgaard’s appeal to reflective endorsement to solve what she calls “the normative problem.” I then consider Harry Frankfurt’s use of reflective endorsement as part of his account of “caring,” which plays a crucial role in his accounts of agency, free will, and personhood. I then turn to Marilyn Friedman’s use of reflective endorsement to explain autonomous action. Finally, I turn to Alan Gibbard’s use of reflective endorsement ...


A Game We Have To Lose: Overcoming The Harm Of Coming Into Existence, Hannah Strang Dec 2017

A Game We Have To Lose: Overcoming The Harm Of Coming Into Existence, Hannah Strang

Honors Projects

This paper explores the asymmetry of pleasure and pain as expressed in David Benatar’s book Better Never to Have Been, which is the basis for the argument that it is always an irreparable harm to bring a person into existence, and therefore we are morally obligated to pursue extinction as a species. I will examine Benatar’s argument in support of the asymmetry’s existence and analyze the strength of his argument for extinction overall, ultimately determining that his conclusion is too strong. I will defend this claim on the grounds that Benatar’s asymmetry implies the truth of ...


What’S Wrong With Paying Parents To Not Have Children?, Benjamin Feis Nov 2017

What’S Wrong With Paying Parents To Not Have Children?, Benjamin Feis

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

In this paper, I use the example of Project Prevention, a nonprofit that incentivizes people with substance abuse problems to not have children, as a launching point to pose a thought experiment. Namely, I consider a hypothetical policy whereby the U.S. government would issue a $5,000 tax credit per year to poor women or couples if they refrain from having a child. I examine several arguments in favor of such a policy, most notably that it produces mutual gains for both parties and is, technically speaking, completely voluntary. I then outline three potential objections to the policy. The ...


Intent Concerning Morality And Justice And The Particular Differences Between Morality And Justice, G. Colin Emerle Nov 2017

Intent Concerning Morality And Justice And The Particular Differences Between Morality And Justice, G. Colin Emerle

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

No abstract provided.


Response To Five Philosophers: Toward A Feminist Theory Of The State Some Decades Later, Catharine A. Mackinnon Jul 2017

Response To Five Philosophers: Toward A Feminist Theory Of The State Some Decades Later, Catharine A. Mackinnon

Feminist Philosophy Quarterly

In this response to the five philosophers who engaged her Toward a Feminist Theory of the State in decades-down-the-road assessments, Professor MacKinnon takes up the central questions in the dialogues they raised on questions of epistemology, method, social construction, racism, and judgment. She re-asserts the centrality of sexuality in gender and sexual abuse in gender inequality and recounts some of the legal consequences of this critique, which she originated.


Teaching Excellence: The Use Of Heroes In Moral Education, Shaun Douglas Respess Jul 2017

Teaching Excellence: The Use Of Heroes In Moral Education, Shaun Douglas Respess

Institute for the Humanities Theses

Heroism allows us to explore morality on a much deeper level, supplying us with people, events, actions, and circumstances that make our beliefs more complex, more meaningful, and more practical. My research evaluates heroism as an instructional tool and subject for the use in moral education and personal development. In this thesis, I argue that heroes are and should be used in moral education to stimulate the retention or reevaluation of cultural values and moral conventions. My objective will be to explain how heroes are currently used to support and guide moral development, while raising important questions regarding the benefits ...


Building Morality: A New Strategy For Creating Human-Like Moral Psychology In Artificial General Intelligence, Christopher Barr May 2017

Building Morality: A New Strategy For Creating Human-Like Moral Psychology In Artificial General Intelligence, Christopher Barr

Lawrence University Honors Projects

Humanity seems well on its way to creating artificial general intelligence, or AGI, within the next century. Such a creation poses great existential risk to humanity, as an AGI of suitable power could conceivably wipe us all out, either by accident or through actual malevolence, and this threat has lead many to search for a solution to the “Control Problem”. Current theories propose various kinds of rule-based solutions, like Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, supposing that a rule-based system would be sufficient for creating a cooperative AGI. I argue that this is not the case; rather, what is necessary ...


Theory For A Starving Obese, Ishai Shapira Kalter May 2017

Theory For A Starving Obese, Ishai Shapira Kalter

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

Theory for a Starving Obese (2017) is both a book and an installation. During the years 2015-2017 I began writing Theory for a Starving Obese; a collection of essays and art criticism about exhibitions that took place in white cubes in New York. I was following my dissatisfaction, and hoped to delve deeper into the question “What is Contemporary Art?” At the end of a process, I sent seventeen envelopes to artists who exhibited solo shows in New York and whose works I have criticized. Each envelope consists of one digital drawing (שרבוט, pronounced Shirbut), DVD with the video Arabesque ...


Nietzsche's Genealogy: An Historical Investigation Of The Contingency Of Moral Values, John A. Greene May 2017

Nietzsche's Genealogy: An Historical Investigation Of The Contingency Of Moral Values, John A. Greene

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This work examines how values seem to be contingent on various factors which affect their growth and development. This study is based around the ethical writings of Friedrich Nietzsche. Specifically, On the Genealogy of Morals serves as the foundation for my thesis. This book contains three essays which purport to show how moral values originated as a result of certain human phenomena rather than, as many people take for granted, from moral “truths.” This contribution to ethics is important because it leaves many questions regarding the value of morality untouched. In the Genealogy, there are numerous themes of Nietzsche’s ...


Art By Jerks, Bernard Wills, Jason Holt Jan 2017

Art By Jerks, Bernard Wills, Jason Holt

Contemporary Aesthetics

Is it wrong to enjoy art created by immoral people? Some people express discomfort with listening to or reading the works of artists who have been abusive to others in their personal lives. In this paper, the authors argue that, generally speaking, moral and aesthetic judgment should be kept distinct, as authors and their works formally differ. Indeed, works by morally dubious artists may well contain crucial acts of moral imagination we should not deprive ourselves of as ethical beings. Nonetheless, the authors argue there are limits to how far the ethical and aesthetic can be divorced. Art that is ...


The Demandingness Of Morality: The Person Confined, Jose Salazar Jan 2017

The Demandingness Of Morality: The Person Confined, Jose Salazar

CMC Senior Theses

Losing ownership and control over the development of and connection to our own person detaches us from the most innate embodiment of ourselves, our person. Without being able to develop and connect to our person, we become detached from expressing our identity, exercising our autonomy, and formulating our own values, the most intrinsic features our person encapsulates. While we yearn to act on our own projects to express our identity, exercise our autonomy, and formulate our own values the way we want, morality imposes huge demands on our person that restrain us from doing so. Morality’s major requirement to ...


The Morality Of Corporate Persons, Ladelle Mcwhorter Jan 2017

The Morality Of Corporate Persons, Ladelle Mcwhorter

Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Faculty Publications

This essay provides a genealogy of corporate personhood as it exists currently in US law and places moral personhood in a similar genealogical context. This treatment demonstrates that the two are inextricably intertwined in both conception and institutionalized practices. We would do well to dismantle both; meanwhile, however, corporate personhood's implicit illiberal notion of collective mentality and responsibility may suggest possibilities for establishing collective counterforces to oppose activities of transnational for-profit corporations and mitigate their devastating political, economic, and environmental effects upon actual people and the ecosystems upon which we depend.


Jess Smith And The Design Firm, Gabriel Tenaglia Jan 2017

Jess Smith And The Design Firm, Gabriel Tenaglia

Richard T. Schellhase Essay Prize in Ethics

No abstract provided.


Just War Thought And The Notion Of Peace, James G. Murphy Jan 2017

Just War Thought And The Notion Of Peace, James G. Murphy

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

The goal of this chapter is to explore the notion of peace appropriate to just war thought. Some just war principles generate a number of inferences about peace.


Minority Report: Re-Reading Gilgamesh After Levinas, Francis Dominic Degnin Jul 2016

Minority Report: Re-Reading Gilgamesh After Levinas, Francis Dominic Degnin

Faculty Publications

The Epic of Gilgamesh attempts to answer the question of how, given the finality of death, one might find meaning and happiness in life. Many commentators argue that the text provides two separate, although ultimately unsatisfactory, alternatives. What these commentators appear to miss, however, is the possibility that these two solutions may not be separate. Using Levinas’s distinction between “need” and “desire,” I argue that, by the end of the Epic, they may in fact be synthesized into a single solution, one that suggests the priority of an affective moral grounding as prior to and more fundamental than intellectual ...


Under The Veil, William Simkulet Feb 2016

Under The Veil, William Simkulet

William Simkulet

No abstract provided.


The Deontic Cycling Problem, William Simkulet Feb 2016

The Deontic Cycling Problem, William Simkulet

William Simkulet

In his recent article "Deontic Cycling and the Structure of Commonsense Morality," Tim Willenken argues that commonsense ethics allows for rational agents having both ranked reasons (A > B, B > C, and A > C) and cyclical reasons (A < B, B < C, and A > C). His goal is to show that not all plausible views are variations of consequentialism, as consequentialism requires ranked reasons. I argue instances of apparent deontic cycling in commonsense morality are the byproducts of incomplete characterizations of the cases in question.


Trolley Cases And Autonomy Violation, William Simkulet Feb 2016

Trolley Cases And Autonomy Violation, William Simkulet

William Simkulet

No abstract provided.


Shaky Ground, William Simkulet Feb 2016

Shaky Ground, William Simkulet

William Simkulet

The debate surrounding free will and moral responsibility is one of the most intransigent debates in contemporary philosophy - but it does not have to be. At its heart, the free will debate is a metaethical debate - a debate about the meaning of certain moral terms - free will, moral responsibility, blameworthiness, praiseworthiness. Compatibilists argue that these concepts are compatible with wholly deterministic world, while incompatibilists argue that these concepts require indeterminism, or multiple possible futures. However, compatibilists and incompatibilists do not disagree on everything - both parties agree that free will and moral responsibility require control - the kind of control that we ...


Moral And Professional Accountability For Clinical Ethics Consultants, William Simkulet Feb 2016

Moral And Professional Accountability For Clinical Ethics Consultants, William Simkulet

William Simkulet

No abstract provided.


Frowe's Machine Cases, William Simkulet Feb 2016

Frowe's Machine Cases, William Simkulet

William Simkulet

Helen Frowe (2006/2010) contends that there is a substantial moral difference between killing and letting die, arguing that in Michael Tooley's infamous machine case it is morally wrong to flip a coin to determine who lives or dies. Here I argue that Frowe fails to show that killing and letting die are morally inequivalent. However, I believe that she has succeeded in showing that it is wrong to press the button in Tooley's case, where pressing the button will change who lives and dies. I argue that because killing and letting die are morally equivalent we have ...


Thinking About Friendship: Historical And Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives, Damian Caluori Jan 2016

Thinking About Friendship: Historical And Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives, Damian Caluori

Damian Caluori

It is hard to imagine a good life without friendship. But what precisely makes friendship so valuable? And what is friendship at all? What unites friends and distinguishes them from others? Is the preference we give to friends rationally and morally justifiable? This collection of thirteen new essays on the philosophy of friendship considers such questions. In particular, it offers new interpretations of the answers given by famous classic philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and Kant and provides fresh answers by leading contemporary philosophers. It is organized around five topics: the nature of friendship, the unity of friendship, friendship and ...


Empathy And Moral Laziness, Kathie Jenni Jan 2016

Empathy And Moral Laziness, Kathie Jenni

Animal Studies Journal

In The Empathy Exams Leslie Jamison offers an unusual perspective: ‘Empathy isn’t just something that happens to us – a meteor shower of synapses firing across the brain – it’s also a choice we make: to pay attention, to extend ourselves. It’s made of exertion, that dowdier cousin of impulse’ (23). This essay is dedicated to elaborating that crucial observation. A vast amount of recent research concerns empathy – in evolutionary biology, neurobiology, moral psychology, and ethics. I want to extend these investigations by exploring the degree to which individuals can control our empathy: for whom and what we feel ...


Three Kinds Of Practical Reason, Shane Matthew Gronholz Jan 2016

Three Kinds Of Practical Reason, Shane Matthew Gronholz

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This dissertation is about the nature and variety of practical reasons. A practical reason is a fact that counts in favor of an agent performing some action, having some emotion, or having some other non-cognitive attitude. I provide a classification of different kinds of reasons and offer an account of how they determine different kinds of oughts. Many philosophers recognize that there is something distinctive about moral reasons and the moral point of view, but just what distinguishes the moral from other normative standpoints is not well understood. On my view, what makes a reason a moral reason is that ...


The Difference That Art Makes, Mariana Ortega Jan 2016

The Difference That Art Makes, Mariana Ortega

Contemporary Aesthetics

In the following essay I discuss Monique Roelofs’s The Cultural Promise of the Aesthetic. I show that Roelofs’s rich and complex notion of the aesthetic, informed by promises, modes of address, and aesthetic relationality, offers an important and novel way of understanding the aesthetic within a context attuned to questions of difference. I point out that Roelofs’s analysis may be enhanced by notions theorized by Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldúa, and María Lugones. Moreover, I raise a question regarding the intricate link between Roelofs’s notion of the aesthetic and morality


Reduction Ad Absurdum (Or About Freedom), David Leonard Mamukelashvili Jan 2016

Reduction Ad Absurdum (Or About Freedom), David Leonard Mamukelashvili

Senior Projects Fall 2016

If I asked you what was your favorite book? Who was your favorite actor? Or which candy did you like the most? You would answer; furthermore support your response with reason. That reason would be the philosophical aspect of your response. However, even if I, also with reason, refuted your argument, there’d still be this spark of ‘just because’ in you, and that is what I want to dedicate my project to – that little sparkle of ‘just because’ – little inner faith, belief, and ambiguous attraction that we have towards things.

Philosophy asks for practice. It is something that requires ...


A Critical Analysis Of Neural Buddhism's Explanation Of Moral Transformation, Jeffrey R. Dickson Dec 2015

A Critical Analysis Of Neural Buddhism's Explanation Of Moral Transformation, Jeffrey R. Dickson

Eleutheria

As non-theistic arguments for morality become increasingly sophisticated and complex, they are harder to criticize without first admiring their skillful design and near-artistry. One such argument involves a relatively new innovation that is the child of naturalism and eastern philosophy—Neural Buddhism. Like two world-renowned designers collaborating on a new garment, Naturalism and Buddhism have come together in this distinct program to offer something inventive, especially in its explanation of moral transformation. However, this critical analysis will ultimately reveal that Neural Buddhism’s explanation of moral transformation is incapable of providing good answers to several compelling criticisms.


Drugs, Morality And The Law, Steven Luper, Curtis Brown Aug 2015

Drugs, Morality And The Law, Steven Luper, Curtis Brown

Curtis Brown

No abstract provided.