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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Art, Pleasure, Value: Reframing The Questions, Mohan Matthen Jan 2018

Art, Pleasure, Value: Reframing The Questions, Mohan Matthen

Philosophic Exchange

In this essay, I’ll argue, first, that an art object's aesthetic value (or merit) depends not just on its intrinsic properties, but on the response it evokes from a consumer who shares the producer's cultural background. My question is: what is the role of culture in relation to this response? I offer a new account of aesthetic pleasure that answers this question. On this account, aesthetic pleasure is not just a “feeling” or “sensation” that results from engaging with a work of art. It is rather a mental state that facilitates engagement with an artwork, and (in ...


Should We Be Moved By What Motivates Expressivism?, Terence Cuneo Jan 2018

Should We Be Moved By What Motivates Expressivism?, Terence Cuneo

Philosophic Exchange

When two views differ as sharply as do realism and expressivism, it is easy for their proponents to talk past one another, failing to understand the other’s most fundamental commitments. My project in this essay is to bring these two very different views into conversation. I begin by offering a more specific characterization of both expressivism and realism, noting where some of their important differences lie. I then identify the primary rationale that expressivists offer for rejecting moral realism in favor of their view, an argument that has a long history in the expressivist tradition, which I refer to ...


Well-Being At A Time, Ben Bradley Aug 2016

Well-Being At A Time, Ben Bradley

Philosophic Exchange

No abstract provided.


A Mysterious Case Of Missing Value, Earl Conee Aug 2016

A Mysterious Case Of Missing Value, Earl Conee

Philosophic Exchange

No abstract provided.


Of Fortunes And Fortune: Justice And The Variety Of Inputs To Wealth, Craig Duncan Jan 2014

Of Fortunes And Fortune: Justice And The Variety Of Inputs To Wealth, Craig Duncan

Philosophic Exchange

No abstract provided.


Parfit’S ‘Triple Theory’ And Its Troubles, David Mcnaughton, Piers Rawling Jan 2014

Parfit’S ‘Triple Theory’ And Its Troubles, David Mcnaughton, Piers Rawling

Philosophic Exchange

No abstract provided.


Love And Duty, Julia Driver Jan 2014

Love And Duty, Julia Driver

Philosophic Exchange

The thesis of this paper is that there is an important asymmetry between a duty to love and a duty to not love: there is no duty to love as a fitting response to someone’s very good qualities, but there is a duty to not love as a fitting response to someone’s very bad qualities. The source of the asymmetry that I discuss is the two-part understanding of love: the emotional part and the evaluative commitment part. One cannot directly, or “at will,” control an emotional response, but one can undermine any commitment one would normally have under ...


Evolutionary Theory And Morality: Why The Science Doesn't Settle The Philosophical Questions, William J. Fitzpatrick Jan 2014

Evolutionary Theory And Morality: Why The Science Doesn't Settle The Philosophical Questions, William J. Fitzpatrick

Philosophic Exchange

Four decades ago, E.O. Wilson famously declared that “the time has come for ethics to be removed temporarily from the hands of the philosophers and biologicized." One still finds Wilson’s idea echoed frequently in popular science writing today. While I’m not going to deny that evolutionary biology and other sciences have important things to tell us about morality, I think there is a lot of confusion about what exactly they can tell us, and how much they can tell us. My aim here is first to make some distinctions and sort out some issues, and then to ...


Is Patriotism Immoral?, Richard Arneson Jul 2013

Is Patriotism Immoral?, Richard Arneson

Philosophic Exchange

The principle of patriotism says that we are morally required to favor our own nation and its people. But there is an opposed moral perspective: cosmopolitanism. The cosmopolitan regards herself as a citizen of the world and holds that national borders lack intrinsic, noninstrumental moral significance. The cosmopolitan view is that people are people, and our common humanity is the ground of our moral duties toward people. This paper examines some recent arguments for patriotism, and finds them all wanting. In the absence of any good argument for patriotism, perhaps we should consider cosmopolitanism.


Tired Of Capitalism? How About Something Better?, David Schweickart May 2013

Tired Of Capitalism? How About Something Better?, David Schweickart

Philosophic Exchange

Capitalism causes staggering inequality, rising unemployment, growing poverty, and the degradation of democracy. But is there any viable alternative? Is there a form of socialism that would preserve the strengths of competitive capitalism, yet mitigate its worst evils? This paper argues that there is such an alternative -- economic democracy. An economic democracy keeps competitive markets for goods and services, but dispenses with labor markets and capital markets. It replaces labor markets with worker ownership, and capital markets with democratic control of investment. These mechanisms will preserve the principal advantages of capitalism, while mitigating its worst evils.


Aristotelian Happiness, Paula Gottlieb Apr 2011

Aristotelian Happiness, Paula Gottlieb

Philosophic Exchange

Aristotle’s account of happiness aims to show that happiness is both objective and attainable. According to Aristotle, the pursuit of happiness benefits both the agent and other people too. This paper attempts to explain how Aristotle’s account supports these claims. Along the way, I argue that Aristotle’s much-maligned doctrine of the mean has some true and important implications concerning the nature and value of happiness.


Virtue And Flourishing In Our Interpersonal Relationships, Lorraine Besser-Jones Jan 2011

Virtue And Flourishing In Our Interpersonal Relationships, Lorraine Besser-Jones

Philosophic Exchange

The eudaimonistic thesis claims that being virtuous is a necessary aspect of the development of some important kind of happiness. To be true, it must be the case that virtue is associated with a kind of happiness that is clearly recognizable as something that we want, that we can appreciate as a good state for us to be in, that we can identify as a state of our own well-being. So here is the empirical question: in our ordinary experiences, is it the case that virtue is necessary to developing this kind of state? This is a very large, and ...


Alcibiades And The Politics Of Rumor In Thucydides, C.D.C. Reeve Jan 2011

Alcibiades And The Politics Of Rumor In Thucydides, C.D.C. Reeve

Philosophic Exchange

This is a story about Alcibiades, about Athens, and about the politics of rumor. When rumor set its claws into Alcibiades, it contributed not only to his own downfall, but to the downfall of Athens. The very traits that made Alcibiades an effective public figure also made him vulnerable to rumor. In the end, Thucydides himself excised rumor from his own histories because he came to see its destructive force


Love As Intimate Identification, Bennett Helm Nov 2010

Love As Intimate Identification, Bennett Helm

Philosophic Exchange

It is widely acknowledged that love is a distinctively intimate form of concern in which we in some sense identify with our beloveds; it is common, moreover, to construe such identification in terms of the lover’s taking on the interests of the beloved. From this starting point, Harry Frankfurt argues that the paradigm form of love is that between parents and infants or young children. I think this is mistaken: the kind of loving attitude or relationship we can have towards or with young children is distinct in kind from that which we can have towards adult persons, as ...


Trust As Robustly Moral, Alisa Carse Oct 2010

Trust As Robustly Moral, Alisa Carse

Philosophic Exchange

Trust is more than mere reliance on another person. To trust someone is to rely on her goodwill for the care of something valuable. It is to have a confident expectation that the other person will take care of the valuable thing because she recognizes its value to you. It is to expect her to take care of it because she recognizes that she should take care of it. Therefore trust is a robustly moral attitude.


Responsibility In A World Of Causes, Manuel Vargas Sep 2010

Responsibility In A World Of Causes, Manuel Vargas

Philosophic Exchange

A familiar chain of reasoning goes like this: if everything is caused, then no one is genuinely free; if no one is genuinely free, then no one can be morally responsible for anything; so if everything is caused, then no one can be morally responsible for anything. This paper will challenge the part of this reasoning that concerns moral responsibility. What is at stake for us when we ascribe moral responsibility to ourselves and others? This paper will argue that we can reconcile the idea of moral responsibility with a broadly scientific worldview.


Left-Libertarianism As A Promising Form Of Liberal Egalitarianism, Peter Vallentyne Jan 2009

Left-Libertarianism As A Promising Form Of Liberal Egalitarianism, Peter Vallentyne

Philosophic Exchange

Left libertarianism is a theory of justice that is committed to full self-ownership and to an egalitarian sharing of the value of natural resources. It is, I shall suggest, a promising way of capturing the liberal egalitarian values of liberty, security, equality, and prosperity.


Diabolical Mysticism, Death, And Skepticism, Eli Hirsch Jan 2009

Diabolical Mysticism, Death, And Skepticism, Eli Hirsch

Philosophic Exchange

According to one view, death is bad for the one who dies. The challenge for this view is to explain exactly why and when death is bad for the one who dies. According to an alternative view, death is not actually bad for the one who dies. There is a third alternative, according to which the thought of one’s own death elicits an experience that reveals the horror of one’s own death in a way that is ineffable. This paper explores this third alternative.


Stories And The Meaning Of Life, John Martin Fischer Jan 2009

Stories And The Meaning Of Life, John Martin Fischer

Philosophic Exchange

This paper argues that the value of acting freely and responsibly is a species of the value of self-expression. When I act freely, I write a sentence in the story of my life, and this gives my life the shape of a narrative, which, in turn, gives my life a unique sort of meaning and value.


Atheism: Young Hegelian Style, Andrew Levine Jan 2009

Atheism: Young Hegelian Style, Andrew Levine

Philosophic Exchange

In the decade after the death of Hegel in 1833, a group of young philosophers sought to extend some of Hegel’s ideas to criticize contemporary thought and society. These were the so-called “Young Hegelians,” which included the young Karl Marx. With interest in Marx and Marxism on the wane, interest in the Young Hegelians has also subsided. That is unfortunate, since the Young Hegelians have much to teach us. This paper recounts the Young Hegelians’ critique of religion, beginning with that of Ludwig Feuerbach in his seminal work, The Essence of Christianity.


Why Care About Liberty?, Jan Narveson Dec 2008

Why Care About Liberty?, Jan Narveson

Philosophic Exchange

This is the age of the welfare state. The general assumption is that something is amiss if governments do not provide benefits to its people. Since these benefits are funded by coercive taxation, this implies that those who are taxed are morally required to pay for benefits for others. This paper argues that this assumption is mistaken. Like the founders of the American republic, I argue that government should protect individual liberty, not provide benefits to the needy.


Stoic Equanimity In The Face Of Torture, Nancy Sherman Oct 2008

Stoic Equanimity In The Face Of Torture, Nancy Sherman

Philosophic Exchange

In what ways, if any, is Stoic equanimity a plausible armor for enduring torture? I believe that we can learn something about stoic equanimity in general by examining this especially hard case. It turns out that a broadly Stoic view still leaves a torture victim vulnerable to being forced to use one’s agency against oneself. In this sense, even the best Stoic armor has its limits.


Gandhi, Newton And The Enlightenment, Akeel Bilgrami Sep 2008

Gandhi, Newton And The Enlightenment, Akeel Bilgrami

Philosophic Exchange

Gandhi expressed opposition to the Enlightenment and even to science. His view is best understood in the context of a radical critique of a certain orthodoxy that emerged after the Enlightenment. That orthodoxy insists that we take a detached, impersonal standpoint in relation to nature. By contrast, Gandhi and his forebears in the radical enlightenment see nature as suffused with value, and allow us to approach nature from the first-person point of view.


Nietzsche's New Happiness: Longing, Boredom, And The Elusiveness Of Fulfillment, Bernard Reginster Nov 2007

Nietzsche's New Happiness: Longing, Boredom, And The Elusiveness Of Fulfillment, Bernard Reginster

Philosophic Exchange

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the elusiveness of fulfillment was a source of much perplexity. You believe that the possession of something that you desire will bring you fulfillment, but the acquisition of it leaves you dissatisfied. Arthur Schopenhauer said that this is because the objects of desire lack any intrinsic value. By contrast, Nietzsche argued that our experience of boredom reflects our desire to engage in a challenging form of activity.


Preemption, Prevention And Predation: Why The Bush Strategy Is Dangerous, Henry Shue Dec 2005

Preemption, Prevention And Predation: Why The Bush Strategy Is Dangerous, Henry Shue

Philosophic Exchange

In September of 2002, the administration of President George W. Bush announced its policy of preemption. This policy is actually equivalent to a policy of preventive war. The principal difficulty with this policy is that it will incite fear in governments who would not otherwise attack us, and thereby incite them to hostile action. Thus the policy actually makes the world a more dangerous place.


Tragic Error And Agent Responsibility, Charlotte Witt Sep 2005

Tragic Error And Agent Responsibility, Charlotte Witt

Philosophic Exchange

The characters of tragedy are in some sense responsible for their errors. However, given their ignorance of the consequences of their actions, it seems that they ought not be held responsible by others for what they have done. This is a paradox. The way to resolve the paradox is to distinguish two kinds of agent responsibility: accountability and culpability. Being accountable is primarily a private affair, whereas being culpable entails the possibility of just punishment.


Future Genders? Future Races?, Sally Haslanger Jan 2004

Future Genders? Future Races?, Sally Haslanger

Philosophic Exchange

Gender is the social meaning of a person’s sex, and race is the social meaning of a person’s color. This paper reviews some accounts of these social meanings. It is argued that there are important differences between race and gender that count against treating them as parallel.


Are Women Morally Different From Men?, Michael Slote Jan 2004

Are Women Morally Different From Men?, Michael Slote

Philosophic Exchange

In recent years there has been a surge of interest in the differences between men and women. Some recent work appears to show that men and women differ in the ways in which they approach moral issues. This paper considers the implications of this research for moral philosophy. It is argued that this research does not undermine the idea of a single morality that applies equally to both men and women.


Empiricism And Multiculturalism, Kenneth P. Winkler Jan 2004

Empiricism And Multiculturalism, Kenneth P. Winkler

Philosophic Exchange

This paper relates the work of the great British empiricists – Locke, Berkeley, and Hume – to issues of multiculturalism. It is argued that these philosophers can help to provide us with some of the tools we need to craft an appropriate response to the diversity of cultures.


Meaning In Life Without Free Will, Derk Pereboom Jan 2003

Meaning In Life Without Free Will, Derk Pereboom

Philosophic Exchange

Even if determinism precludes responsibility and accountability, it does not eliminate everything that we deem valuable. This paper argues that life can be meaningful even if we do not have free will.