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Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities

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.


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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 ...


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 ...


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


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 ...


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.


An Examination Of Morality In A Naturalistic Universe, Chris Hoops Jul 2015

An Examination Of Morality In A Naturalistic Universe, Chris Hoops

Philosophy Summer Fellows

Naturalism is the view that our death marks a final and irreversible extinction. We are born into this world, we live our lives, and we ultimately perish from existence. This being the case, many naturalists urge people to live as fulfilling lives as possible. If this life is the only life people have, whatever constitutes the fullest or best way to live should be the way a person lives. However, what exactly constitutes a fulfilling life by the naturalist is not entirely agreed upon. Some naturalists claim that having individual happiness is what constitutes a fulfilling life, while others claim ...


Iris Murdoch And The Importance Of Stepping Outside The Self, Megan R. Johnson Jul 2015

Iris Murdoch And The Importance Of Stepping Outside The Self, Megan R. Johnson

Papers & Publications: Interdisciplinary Journal of Undergraduate Research

Abstract

Iris Murdoch and the Importance of Stepping Outside the Self

Megan Johnson

Iris Murdoch was a philosopher, essayist, and novelist who utilized her fictional works such as The Green Knight to artistically depict the core values of her philosophies. Murdoch’s compilation of philosophical essays The Sovereignty of Good expounds upon her belief in the importance of unselfishness in the face of virtues and morality. Murdoch argues against Kantian philosophy which relies heavily on empirical reasoning in her essays and again as her concepts are portrayed by the characters in her novels. This essay explains both Murdoch and Kant ...


Putting Humans First?, David Graham, Nathan Nobis Mar 2015

Putting Humans First?, David Graham, Nathan Nobis

Nathan M. Nobis, Ph.D.

In Putting Humans First: Why We Are Nature's Favorite, Tibor Machan argues against moral perspectives that require taking animals' interests seriously. He attempts to defend the status quo regarding routine, harmful uses of animals for food, fashion and experimentation. Graham and Nobis argue that Machan's work fails to resist pro-animal moral conclusions that are supported by a wide range of contemporary ethical arguments.


Das Subjekt Als Moralische Person. Zu Husserls Späten Reflexionen Bezüglich Des Personenbegriffs, Sebastian Luft Mar 2015

Das Subjekt Als Moralische Person. Zu Husserls Späten Reflexionen Bezüglich Des Personenbegriffs, Sebastian Luft

Sebastian Luft

In this essay, I will attempt a systematic reconstruction of the general shape of Husserl's late philosophy, insofar as it centers on the concept of personhood. The systematic concatenation of this and other themes in Husserl's late work - the method of epoché and reduction, ethics, personhood, and teleology - has only recently begun to be explored in Husserl scholarship, and this article is a modest contribution to the further e1ucidation of their mutual relationship. One of the most striking results of this reconstructive analysis is Husserl's final concept of "person", which goes beyond the traditional distinctions, such as ...


Moral Disagreement And Audi's Account Of Moral Intuitionism, Dustin Michael Sigsbee Jan 2015

Moral Disagreement And Audi's Account Of Moral Intuitionism, Dustin Michael Sigsbee

The Hilltop Review

In Moral Perception Robert Audi advocates for an intuitionist account of moral perception in which a moral agent of the proper disposition can use emotion and intuition as a means of supporting or justifying knowledge claims concerning certain moral truths or propositions. Since emotion and intuition can vary from agent to agent and neither agent would be better disposed to claim priority for their emotion or intuition over that of the other agent this opens Audi’s account up to possible instances of problematic disagreement. For this reason, I argue that agents in this intuitionist picture ought to remain epistemically ...


Tom Regan On ‘Kind’ Arguments Against Animal Rights And For Human Rights, Nathan Nobis Jan 2015

Tom Regan On ‘Kind’ Arguments Against Animal Rights And For Human Rights, Nathan Nobis

ATT

Tom Regan argues that human beings and some non-human animals have moral rights because they are “subjects of lives,” that is, roughly, conscious, sentient beings with an experiential welfare. A prominent critic, Carl Cohen, objects: he argues that only moral agents have rights and so animals, since they are not moral agents, lack rights. An objection to Cohen’s argument is that his theory of rights seems to imply that human beings who are not moral agents have no moral rights, but since these human beings have rights, his theory of rights is false, and so he fails to show ...


Frowe's Machine Cases, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Frowe's Machine Cases, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

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 ...


A Taste Of Armageddon: When Warring Is Done By Drones And Robots, Brian Stiltner Jan 2015

A Taste Of Armageddon: When Warring Is Done By Drones And Robots, Brian Stiltner

Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Discusses the increasing use of drones and weaponized robots. Argues that the international community must put firm ethical guidelines in place before the technology becomes rampant.


Of Drones And Justice: A Just War Theory Analysis Of The United States' Drone Campaigns, Ethan A. Wright Jan 2015

Of Drones And Justice: A Just War Theory Analysis Of The United States' Drone Campaigns, Ethan A. Wright

Richard T. Schellhase Essay Prize in Ethics

No abstract provided.


Hsisp Annotated Bibliography: Moral & Character Education (1998-2013), Erich Yahner Sep 2014

Hsisp Annotated Bibliography: Moral & Character Education (1998-2013), Erich Yahner

Erich Yahner

No abstract provided.


Political Obligation, Richard Dagger, David Lefkowitz Aug 2014

Political Obligation, Richard Dagger, David Lefkowitz

Political Science Faculty Publications

This essay begins, therefore, with a brief history of the problem of political obligation. It then turns, in Part II, to the conceptual questions raised by political obligation, such as what it means for an obligation to be political. In Part III the focus is on the skeptics, with particular attention to the self-proclaimed philosophical anarchists, who deny that political obligations exist yet do not want to abolish the state. Part IV surveys the leading contenders among the various theories of political obligation now on offer, and Part V concludes the essay with a brief consideration of recent proposals for ...