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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

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 ...


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.


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.


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.


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.


When Doctors Kill Patients: Vital Organ Transplants, Ted A. Warfield Jan 2002

When Doctors Kill Patients: Vital Organ Transplants, Ted A. Warfield

Philosophic Exchange

This paper attempts to discern exactly what is happening in some medical situations involving patients who are, in different ways, near death. In order to arrive at a correct moral evaluation of these practices, it is necessary to begin with a careful analysis of exactly what is happening, and then proceed to moral evaluation. This paper argues that declarations of death in many vital organ transplants are unjustified. Thus, probably there are killings occurring in these cases. However, there is no reason to think that these killings are morally unacceptable.


The Moral Of Moral Luck, Susan Wolf Jan 2001

The Moral Of Moral Luck, Susan Wolf

Philosophic Exchange

This essay is primarily concerned with one type of moral luck – luck in how things turn out. Do acts that actually lead to harm deserve the same treatment as similar acts that, by chance, do not lead to harm? This paper argues that we must recognize the truth in two, opposing tendencies in such cases.


The Rational Physician, Eli Hirsch Jan 2000

The Rational Physician, Eli Hirsch

Philosophic Exchange

In recent years, some professors of medicine have applied the results of decision theory to the practice of medicine. This paper argues that this agenda is deeply flawed and potentially unethical.


Cosmopolitanism, Universalism And Particularism In An Age Of Nationalism And Multiculturalism, Kai Nielsen Jan 1999

Cosmopolitanism, Universalism And Particularism In An Age Of Nationalism And Multiculturalism, Kai Nielsen

Philosophic Exchange

The objectivity of morality is achieved by the coherentist method of appealing to considered convictions in wide reflective equilibrium. This method yields a conception of morality that is at once universalistic and particularistic. It follows that morality must be cosmopolitan, but also accept a liberal nationalism, at least under certain circumstances. This paper concludes by applying these ideas to the issues of Quebec nationalism and the status of African-Americans in the United States.


The Scope Of Motivation And The Basis Of Practical Reason, Robert Audi Jan 1999

The Scope Of Motivation And The Basis Of Practical Reason, Robert Audi

Philosophic Exchange

This paper explores the relationship between motivation, desire, pleasure and value. I argue that the motivational grounds of action are the kinds of desires that tend, in rational persons, to be produced both by experience of the good, and by beliefs that something one can do would be good.


Computers, Ethics And Business, Richard T. De George Jan 1998

Computers, Ethics And Business, Richard T. De George

Philosophic Exchange

When it comes to computers and computer-related activities, moral responsibility is in short supply. Our language often manifests the myth that computers are responsible and hence no one is to blame. This paper explores the idea that computer programmers are morally responsible for the consequences of their programming.


Sex And Consequences: World Population Growth Vs. Reproductive Rights, Margaret P. Battin Jan 1997

Sex And Consequences: World Population Growth Vs. Reproductive Rights, Margaret P. Battin

Philosophic Exchange

Conflict between concern over global population growth and concern for reproductive rights is intense. In this paper I explore how developments in reproductive technology, present and future, may provide a solution to this conflict – one which promises both a significant drop in population growth and the fullest protection of reproductive rights and preferences.


Coping With Cognitive Limitations: Problems Of Rationality In A Complex World, Nicholas Rescher Jan 1997

Coping With Cognitive Limitations: Problems Of Rationality In A Complex World, Nicholas Rescher

Philosophic Exchange

In cognitive and practical contexts alike, even the most rational of problem-solutions can misfire in situations of incomplete information. The prevailing state of our information will -- and should -- decisively affect the determination of what is the best thing to do or think. Accordingly, reason faces the predicament of acknowledging that it must call on us to do that which, for aught we know, may in the end prove totally inappropriate.


Women, Welfare, And A Public Ethic Of Care, Eva Feder Kittay Jan 1997

Women, Welfare, And A Public Ethic Of Care, Eva Feder Kittay

Philosophic Exchange

Welfare is not only a poverty issue, it is a woman’s issue. We need to formulate a foundation of the political will to shape and support a welfare policy that can serve women raising families without stigmatizing them in the process. The paper attempts to formulate such a foundation.


Justice And Utility: Who Cares?, Virginia Held Jan 1996

Justice And Utility: Who Cares?, Virginia Held

Philosophic Exchange

In recent decades, the dominant moral theories have been deontological and consequentialist. Also in the last few decades, feminist moral theory has developed. Is feminist moral theory distinctive, or is it just a version of one of these other types of theory? This paper discusses this issue.


Luck And The Enigmas Of Fate, Nicholas Rescher Jan 1994

Luck And The Enigmas Of Fate, Nicholas Rescher

Philosophic Exchange

Luck is a formidable and ubiquitous factor in human life as we know it. It is a rogue force that prevents human life from being fully domesticated to rational management. This paper explores the nature of luck and its role in human life.


Whose Patient Am I, Anyway? How New Economic Threats To Continuity Of Care Can Undermine The Doctor / Patient Relationship, Samuel Gorovitz Jan 1994

Whose Patient Am I, Anyway? How New Economic Threats To Continuity Of Care Can Undermine The Doctor / Patient Relationship, Samuel Gorovitz

Philosophic Exchange

New structures for the financing and delivery of health care and serious efforts to control costs all create tensions in the relationship between doctors and patients and heighten the need for clarification of that relationship. We all want to maintain the traditional sense of a personal, caring, trusting relationship between doctor and patient. However, economic incursions into that relationship threaten to make it a thing of the past. This paper explores these issues.


A Reckoning Of Sorts On The Prospects Of Moral Philosophy, Joseph Margolis Jan 1994

A Reckoning Of Sorts On The Prospects Of Moral Philosophy, Joseph Margolis

Philosophic Exchange

Western philosophy has tended to distinguish between the use of our cognitive powers in theoretical and practical matters. Moreover, Western philosophy has persuaded itself that whatever is valid in human judgment depends upon and implicates necessary invariances. These assumptions are manifested and developed, most prominently, in Aristotle and Kant. This paper argues against both of these assumptions of the Western philosophical tradition.


On Being In The Mind, Roderick Firth Jan 1971

On Being In The Mind, Roderick Firth

Philosophic Exchange

There is exactly one good reason to prefer dualism to the identity theory, and it is is this: whereas brain events occur in a particular spatial location inside the head, it is nonsensical to say that mental events occur in any particular location. Professor Shaffer’s other objections to the identity theory are either parasitic on this one, or else unsuccessful.


Ethical And Epistemic Dilemmas Of Behaviorism And The Identity Thesis, George J. Stack Jan 1971

Ethical And Epistemic Dilemmas Of Behaviorism And The Identity Thesis, George J. Stack

Philosophic Exchange

Jerome Shaffer’s argument against behaviorism and the identity theory assume that the wrongness of causing pain is constituted entirely by that effect. However, the intrinsic wrongness of such actions lies in the intentions of the agent, not in the physical responses of the victim.


Mrs. Foot On The Sufficiency Of Hypothetical Imperatives, Lewis White Beck Jan 1971

Mrs. Foot On The Sufficiency Of Hypothetical Imperatives, Lewis White Beck

Philosophic Exchange

The issue between Mrs. Foot and Immanuel Kant is this: does the reason why one ought to do something always lie in expected, desired consequences, so that the command to do it is hypothetical? Mrs. Foot argues that the answer is “yes,” and that any alternative use of “ought” is unintelligible. I think that her argument for this claim is stronger when it is directed at the intuitionists than when it is directed at Kant. An analogy with logic, which is full of categorical imperatives, supports Kant’s position against Mrs. Foot.


In Defense Of The Hypothetical Imperative, Philippa Foot Jan 1971

In Defense Of The Hypothetical Imperative, Philippa Foot

Philosophic Exchange

Kant insisted that moral precepts must be categorical imperatives, telling the agent what he should do, no matter what his desires or interests. Kant contrasted these categorical imperatives with hypothetical imperatives, which operate only on the condition of certain desires or interests. I believe it is a mistake to think that Kant has disposed of the hypothetical imperative in morals. In this paper, I will consider the arguments that he has brought against it, and respond to them.


Foot-Notes, Joseph Gilbert Jan 1971

Foot-Notes, Joseph Gilbert

Philosophic Exchange

The major disagreement here is that Foot, contra Kant, denies that moral ends are ends that the agent has a duty to adopt. Though I, in part, agree with Foot, it is difficult to see what is paradoxical about the view that she denies. Foot’s position is the one that appears paradoxical. Her position is that I may have duties within morality, but I cannot have a duty to adopt the ends of morality. On the contrary, morality is inescapable.


The Philosophy Of Mind And Some Ethical Implications, Jerome A. Shaffer Jan 1971

The Philosophy Of Mind And Some Ethical Implications, Jerome A. Shaffer

Philosophic Exchange

Materialism is the view that the only things in existence are material – matter in motion. Materialists hold that mental events are either identical to bodily events, or that mental events are particular kinds of behavior exhibited by particular material objects. These theories face several serious problems, involving spatial location, privileged access, and other phenomena. Moreover, these theories cannot explain why it is wrong to cause pain in another person. It is not obvious why it is wrong to cause another person to exhibit pain behavior, nor is it obviously wrong to cause physical events to occur in another person’s ...


Response To Professor Marshall Cohen, Graham Hughes Jan 1970

Response To Professor Marshall Cohen, Graham Hughes

Philosophic Exchange

At trial, a civil disobedient may appeal to his reasonable belief in the unconstitutionality of the law that he violated. However, he cannot appeal to any technical difficulties that would require him to lie about his performance of the act in question, or about the role of his conscience in motivating his action.


Civil Disobedience In A Constitutional Democracy, Marshall Cohen Jan 1970

Civil Disobedience In A Constitutional Democracy, Marshall Cohen

Philosophic Exchange

Civil disobedience is an action that is intended to appeal to the public, to show that they have violated principles that they otherwise generally accept. This is why acts of civil disobedience must be public acts. Acts of civil disobedience cannot involve violence to persons, for that might provoke fear, which undermines the public’s ability to listen to the appeal. The civil disobedient accepts his punishment in order to demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law, and also to demonstrate the seriousness of his commitment to the principles that have been violated by the public.


Lear And Nature, Marshall Cohen Jan 1970

Lear And Nature, Marshall Cohen

Philosophic Exchange

Morris Weitz is mistaken in his interpretation of King Lear. The distinction between good and evil is maintained clearly and sharply throughout the play, and nature actually provides the key to the difference between the two.


Remarks On Violence And Paying The Penalty, Kai Nielsen Jan 1970

Remarks On Violence And Paying The Penalty, Kai Nielsen

Philosophic Exchange

The civil disobedient need not accept his punishment in order to demonstrate his commitment to the rule of law, and in some circumstances it would be inappropriate to do so. The use of violence is justified when and only when the pain, suffering, and injustice that we overcome thereby outweighs the pain, suffering and injustice that results from our actions. There have been circumstances in recent history in which, it is plausible to believe, these conditions were met.


Weitz On The Coinage Of Man, F. E. Sparshott Jan 1970

Weitz On The Coinage Of Man, F. E. Sparshott

Philosophic Exchange

The events in Shakespeare’s King Lear are not represented as typical, nor are the judgments made in the play represented as wise or reliable. This complicates any attempt to interpret the play as making the sorts of claims that Professor Weitz attributes to it.