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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

A Critique Of Henrik Friberg-Fernros's Defense Of The Substance View, William Simkulet Nov 2016

A Critique Of Henrik Friberg-Fernros's Defense Of The Substance View, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

Proponents of the substance view contend that abortion is seriously morally wrong because it is killing something with the same inherent value and right to life as you or I. Rob Lovering offers two innovative criticisms of the anti-abortion position taken by the substance view - the rescue argument and the problem of spontaneous abortion. Henrik Friberg-Fernros offers an interesting response to Lovering, but one I argue would be inconsistent with the anti-abortion stance taken by most substance view theorists.


Intention And Moral Enhancement, William Simkulet Sep 2016

Intention And Moral Enhancement, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

Recently philosophers have proposed a wide variety of interventions referred to as 'moral enhancements'. Some of these interventions are concerned with helping individuals make more informed decisions; others, however, are designed to compel people to act as the intervener sees fit. Somewhere between these two extremes lie interventions designed to direct an agent's attention either towards morally relevant issues - hat-hanging - or away from temptations to do wrong - hat-hiding. I argue that these interventions fail to constitute genuine moral enhancement because, although they may result in more desirable outcomes - more altruism, more law-following, and/or less self-destructive behavior, they ignore ...


Review Of Art And Ethics In A Material World: Kant's Pragmatist Legacy By Jennifer A. Mcmahon, William Simkulet Sep 2016

Review Of Art And Ethics In A Material World: Kant's Pragmatist Legacy By Jennifer A. Mcmahon, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Is Proxy Consent For An Invasive Procedure On A Patient With Intellectual Disabilities Ethically Sufficient?, Sonya Charles, Stephen Corey, Peter Bulova Apr 2016

Is Proxy Consent For An Invasive Procedure On A Patient With Intellectual Disabilities Ethically Sufficient?, Sonya Charles, Stephen Corey, Peter Bulova

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


On The Signpost Principle Of Alternate Possibilities: Why Contemporary Frankfurt-Style Cases Are Irrelevant To The Free Will Debate, William Simkulet Dec 2015

On The Signpost Principle Of Alternate Possibilities: Why Contemporary Frankfurt-Style Cases Are Irrelevant To The Free Will Debate, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

This article contends that recent attempts to construct Frankfurt-style cases (FSCs) are irrelevant to the debate over free will. The principle of alternate possibilities (PAP) states that moral responsibility requires indeterminism, or multiple possible futures. Frankfurt's original case purported to demonstrate PAP false by showing an agent can be blameworthy despite not having the ability to choose otherwise; however he admits the agent can come to that choice freely or by force, and thus has alternate possibilities. Neo-FSCs attempt to show that alternate possibilities are irrelevant to explaining an agent's moral responsibility, but a successful Neo-FSC would be ...


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 ...


Review Of Freedom And The Self: Essays On The Philosophy Of David Foster Wallace, Edited By Stephan M. Cahn And Maureen Eckert, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of Freedom And The Self: Essays On The Philosophy Of David Foster Wallace, Edited By Stephan M. Cahn And Maureen Eckert, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Abortion, Property, And Liberty, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Abortion, Property, And Liberty, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

In ‘‘Abortion and Ownership’’ John Martin Fischer argues that in Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist case you have a moral obligation not to unplug yourself from the violinist. Fischer comes to this conclusion by comparing the case with Joel Feinberg’s cabin case, in which he contends a stranger is justified in using your cabin to stay alive. I argue that the relevant difference between these cases is that while the stranger’s right to life trumps your right to property in the cabin case, the violinist’s right to life does not trump your right to liberty in the ...


Review Of The Soul Of The Marionette By John Gray, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of The Soul Of The Marionette By John Gray, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Review Of Simone Weil: Late Philosophical Writings Edited By Eric O. Springsted, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of Simone Weil: Late Philosophical Writings Edited By Eric O. Springsted, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Review Of Self And Soul By Mark Edmundson, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of Self And Soul By Mark Edmundson, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Review Of Bioethics And The Human Goods: An Introduction To Natrual Law By Alfonso Gómez-Lobo And John Keown, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of Bioethics And The Human Goods: An Introduction To Natrual Law By Alfonso Gómez-Lobo And John Keown, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


On Derivative Moral Responsibility And The Epistemic Connection Required For Moral Responsibility, William Simkulet Jan 2015

On Derivative Moral Responsibility And The Epistemic Connection Required For Moral Responsibility, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

Derivative moral responsibility is not moral responsibility at all. Much of the confusion found in the literature concerning moral responsibility and the free will problem can be traced back to a penchant to reconcile our philosophical theories of moral responsibility with our folk commonsense linguistic accounts of moral responsibility, a tradition that is notable for its utter lack of making two important distinctions - (1) the distinction between derivative moral responsibility and non-derivative moral responsibility (what Galen Strawson calls “true moral responsibility”) and (2) the distinction between the scope and degree of one’s moral responsibility.1 The failure to make ...


The Compensation Principle, William Simkulet Jan 2015

The Compensation Principle, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

In "Should Race Matter?," David Boonin proposes the compensation principle: When an agent wrongfully harms another person, she incurs a moral obligation to compensate that person for the harms she has caused. Boonin then argues that the United States government has wrongfully harmed black Americans by adopting pro-slavery laws and other discriminatory laws and practices following the end of slavery, and therefore the United States government has an obligation to pay reparations for slavery and discriminatory laws and practices to those who have been harmed by them - in particular, to contemporary black Americans. Here I argue that the compensation principle ...


Review Of Autonomy By Andrew Snodden, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of Autonomy By Andrew Snodden, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

Philosophers have various reasons to be interested in individual autonomy. Individual self-rule is widely recognized to be important. But what, exactly, is autonomy? In what ways is it important? And just how important is it? This book introduces contemporary philosophical thought about the nature and significance of individual self-rule.


On Robust Alternate Possibilities And The Tax Evasion Case, William Simkulet Jan 2015

On Robust Alternate Possibilities And The Tax Evasion Case, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

In his recent article “Defending Hard Incompatibilism Again,” Pereboom (2008) presents what he calls the “Tax Evasion” case, a Frankfurt-style case designed to show the falsity of the principle of alternate possibilities (PAP). According to Pereboom, PAP requires robust alternate possibilities such that an agent could have acted in a manner in which she knew she would have lacked moral responsibility for her actions. However, according to his “Tax Evasion” case, the tax evader lacks such robust alternate possibilities, and yet is still uncontroversially morally responsible for his actions. Here I argue Pereboom’s account of robust alternate possibilities is ...


Review Of Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life By Howard Eiland And Michael W. Jennings, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life By Howard Eiland And Michael W. Jennings, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Review Of How Universities Can Help Create A Wiser World By Nicholas Maxwell, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of How Universities Can Help Create A Wiser World By Nicholas Maxwell, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Review Of The Power Of Tolerance: A Debate By Wendy Brown And Rainer Forst, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of The Power Of Tolerance: A Debate By Wendy Brown And Rainer Forst, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Review Of The Quest For A Moral Compass: A Global History Of Ethics By Kenan Malik, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of The Quest For A Moral Compass: A Global History Of Ethics By Kenan Malik, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Review Of Radio Benjamin By Walter Benjamin And Edited By Lecia Rosenthal, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of Radio Benjamin By Walter Benjamin And Edited By Lecia Rosenthal, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Review Of Happiness And Goodness By Steven M. Cahn And Christine Vitrano, William Simkulet Jan 2015

Review Of Happiness And Goodness By Steven M. Cahn And Christine Vitrano, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


In Control, William Simkulet Jan 2014

In Control, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

In George Sher’s recent article “Out of Control”, he discusses a series of 9 cases that he believes illustrates that some agents are uncontroversially morally responsible for actions they “cannot help” but perform (2006: 285). He argues these agents exert partial control over these actions insofar as their actions are determined from their character; but this is no control at all. Here I argue that in each of these cases the agent exerts morally relevant control over her actions and that none of these are genuine instances of moral luck, nor counterexamples to the control principle.


Review Of The Ethics Of Species: An Introduction By Ronald L. Sandler, William Simkulet Jan 2014

Review Of The Ethics Of Species: An Introduction By Ronald L. Sandler, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Review Of Ethics And The Golden Rule By Henry J. Gensler, William Simkulet Jan 2014

Review Of Ethics And The Golden Rule By Henry J. Gensler, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Island Universe Problems, William Simkulet Jan 2014

Island Universe Problems, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

We share a common space-time with everything that we interact with in our world. An island universe would be a spatiotemporally interrelated segment of reality that is isolated from the rest of reality; it would be part of our world but something that we cannot interact with. Spatiotemporal interrelatedness plays an important role in a number of metaphysical theories concerning possible worlds. Here I discuss four problems surrounding the possibility of island universes. I contend the most troubling of these problems gives us good reason to think that island universes are possible; metaphysical theories that cannot make sense of the ...


Shaky Ground, William Simkulet Jan 2014

Shaky Ground, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

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 ...


Lucky Assassins: On Luck And Moral Responsibility, William Simkulet Jan 2014

Lucky Assassins: On Luck And Moral Responsibility, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Review Of The Philosophy Of Free Will: Essential Readings From The Contemporary Debates Edited By Paul Russell And Oisin Deery, William Simkulet Jan 2014

Review Of The Philosophy Of Free Will: Essential Readings From The Contemporary Debates Edited By Paul Russell And Oisin Deery, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


The Deontic Cycling Problem, William Simkulet Jan 2014

The Deontic Cycling Problem, William Simkulet

Philosophy & Comparative Religion Department Faculty Publications

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.