Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Philosophy Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2016

Ethics and Political Philosophy

Institution
Keyword
Publication
Publication Type
File Type

Articles 1 - 30 of 416

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Complexity Theory & Political Change: Talcott Parsons Occupies Wall Street, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Complexity Theory & Political Change: Talcott Parsons Occupies Wall Street, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

Complexity theory can assist our understanding of social systems and social phenomena. This paper illustrates this assertion by linking Talcott Parsons' model of societal structure to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Parsons' model is used to organize ideas about the underlying causes of the recession that currently afflicts the US. While being too abstract to depict the immediate factors that precipitated this crisis, the model is employed to articulate the argument that vulnerability to this type of event results from flaws in societal structure. This implies that such crises can be avoided only if, in Parsons' terms, structural change occurs ...


Reef Society And The Tyranny Of Data, Robert Wintner Dec 2016

Reef Society And The Tyranny Of Data, Robert Wintner

Animal Sentience

Modern science now approaches divergent processes in many areas, including health assessments of marine eco-systems and social aspects of marine species. Scientific data have long enjoyed a reputation for objectivity but incidents of science-for-hire, data spinning/skewing and political jading are more frequent than ever. In the field of reef creature sensitivity, technical treatises can “logically” explain away what a person of average education can clearly observe on any given reef. Western medicine discounted anecdotal evidence of any cure outside the 4% margin of error until those cures demanded attention and in some cases application. Modern science must now enter ...


Still Wondering How Flesh Can Feel, Gwen J. Broude Dec 2016

Still Wondering How Flesh Can Feel, Gwen J. Broude

Animal Sentience

Reber believes he has simplified Chalmers’s “hard problem” of consciousness by arguing that subjectivity is an inherent feature of biological forms. His argument rests on the related notions of continuity of mind and gradual accretion of capacities across evolutionary time. These notions need to be defended, not just asserted. Because Reber minimizes the differences in mental faculties among species across evolutionary time, it becomes easier to assert, and perhaps believe, that sentience is already present in early biological forms. The more explicit we are about the differences among these mental faculties and the differences across species, the less persuasive ...


The Moral Implications Of Software Piracy, Kyle Hamrick Dec 2016

The Moral Implications Of Software Piracy, Kyle Hamrick

Student Scholarship - Computer Science

Computer software is integrated into almost every aspect of our professional and personal lives. Much of this software requires payment for use and is legally protected by the copyright system. This paper examines and analyzes the arguments pertaining to the moral use of protected software (digital piracy). The three arguments presented are the “victimless crime” argument, the “noble justification” argument, and the “willing but unable argument.” These three arguments claim that piracy is morally justified in certain cases, and claim that software providers are not harmed in such situations. The three arguments are tested against counter-arguments, and it is discovered ...


Animals Aren’T Persons, But Is It Time For A Neologism?, Helen Steward Dec 2016

Animals Aren’T Persons, But Is It Time For A Neologism?, Helen Steward

Animal Sentience

Mark Rowlands argues that at least some animals are persons, based on the idea that (i) many animals have a property he calls “pre-reflective awareness,” (ii) the capacity for pre-reflective awareness is sufficient to satisfy the traditional Lockean definition of personhood, and (iii) satisfaction of the traditional Lockean definition of personhood is sufficient for being a person. I agree with (i) and can see that there is a persuasive case for (ii), but I think the case against (iii) blocks the conclusion that animals are persons. I suggest that we may need instead to coin a neologism in order to ...


Vulnerability And Children With Disabilities: Ethical Spheres Of Concern In Research And Practice, Chris Kliewer, Susan Etscheidt Dec 2016

Vulnerability And Children With Disabilities: Ethical Spheres Of Concern In Research And Practice, Chris Kliewer, Susan Etscheidt

Christopher Kliewer

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requires that research involving children, including highly vulnerable social categories of children, detail adequate provisions to solicit the assent of children (in addition to receiving parental permission). The purpose appears to recognize the autonomy of children. In this presentation, we raise questions about the autonomy and rights of children in both research projects and educational/therapeutic practices (often the focus of research projects). Commonly, justification for research and/or practices proceeds from two seemingly complementary orientations: (1) a deficit/deficiency model of disability and (2) a utilitarian ethical consideration focused on ...


Reber’S Caterpillar Offers No Help, Carl Safina Dec 2016

Reber’S Caterpillar Offers No Help, Carl Safina

Animal Sentience

Reber’s target article “Caterpillars, consciousness and the origins of mind” seems only to shift but not to address the question of where the mind is and how minds occur.



Grounding Deliberative Contractualism, Michael Hogan Dec 2016

Grounding Deliberative Contractualism, Michael Hogan

Theses and Dissertations

Contractualism is often seen as a kind of self-interested bargaining in which individuals engage to preserve their own desired outcome. If individuals are only out for themselves, then no one achieves his or her desired end. Yet, if individuals constrain some of their desires and are assured that others will do the same, then, the contractors can avoid mutual destruction. It is not hard to see why Contractualism is often viewed as a way to explain the origins of morality within civil society. In this paper, I take up a version of Contractualism espoused by Nicholas Southwood called Deliberative Contractualism ...


Book Review: Just Remembering: Rhetorics Of Genocide Remembrance And Sociopolitical Judgment, Jeffrey Blustein Dec 2016

Book Review: Just Remembering: Rhetorics Of Genocide Remembrance And Sociopolitical Judgment, Jeffrey Blustein

Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal

Review of Just Remembering by Michael Warren Tumolo. A critical appraisal of the main ideas and arguments of the book and an assessment of whether the book accomplished its aims.


The Poet And The Polemist: Demystifying The Natural Law Theory Of John Milton, John J. Mazola Dec 2016

The Poet And The Polemist: Demystifying The Natural Law Theory Of John Milton, John J. Mazola

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

A summation of the influences behind Milton's Natural Law theory as found in the works of Aristotle, Grotius, Hobbes, and Thomas Aquinas. The essay's intent is to uncover this important thread that runs through both Milton's Poetic Verse as well as his Polemic tracts.


A Dollar A Day: Child Sponsorship And The Marketization Of Human Development, Taylor Hallett Dec 2016

A Dollar A Day: Child Sponsorship And The Marketization Of Human Development, Taylor Hallett

Capstone Collection

Child sponsorship as a method of international development offers child sponsors a personal connection to the process of alleviating poverty in the global South. As a form of human development, child sponsorship is constituted by neoliberal principles of marketization and social entrepreneurship. How does child sponsorship, in this context, require us to rethink the ethics of international development in light of ongoing debates about neoliberalism? In this research, I argue that child sponsorship reifies the binary of the “developed” and “undeveloped” worlds. Through undertaking a content analysis of three organizations (Compassion International, World Vision, and UNICEF) and applying post-structural critique ...


Insect Consciousness: Commitments, Conflicts And Consequences, Colin Klein, Andrew B. Barron Nov 2016

Insect Consciousness: Commitments, Conflicts And Consequences, Colin Klein, Andrew B. Barron

Animal Sentience

Our target article, “Insects have the capacity for subjective experience,” has provoked a diverse range of commentaries. In this response we have collated what we see as the major themes of the discussion. It is clear that we differ from some commentators in our commitments to what subjective experience is and what the midbrain is capable of. Here we clarify where we stand on those points and how our view differs from some other influential perspectives. The commentaries have highlighted the most lively areas of disagreement. We revisit here the debates surrounding whether the cortex is essential for any form ...


The Four Dimensions Of An Intellectual Virtue, Jason Baehr Nov 2016

The Four Dimensions Of An Intellectual Virtue, Jason Baehr

Jason Baehr

No abstract provided.


On The Reliability Of Moral And Intellectual Virtues, Jason Baehr Nov 2016

On The Reliability Of Moral And Intellectual Virtues, Jason Baehr

Jason Baehr

No abstract provided.


Consciousness And Evolutionary Biology, Yew-Kwang Ng Nov 2016

Consciousness And Evolutionary Biology, Yew-Kwang Ng

Animal Sentience

Reber’s axiom: “Any organism with flexible cell walls, a sensitivity to its surrounds and the capacity for locomotion will possess the biological foundations of mind and consciousness” does not seem to be supported by things we know and the logic of evolutionary biology. The latter leads to the conclusion that conscious species are flexible in their behavior (rather than in their cell walls), as argued in Ng (1995, 2016). Locomotion may be completely hard-wired and need not involve consciousness. It is hard enough to explain how consciousness could emerge in a sophisticated brain: Isn’t it a harder problem ...


The Difference Between Conscious And Unconscious Brain Circuits, Ezequiel Morsella, Zaviera Reyes Nov 2016

The Difference Between Conscious And Unconscious Brain Circuits, Ezequiel Morsella, Zaviera Reyes

Animal Sentience

Theoretical frameworks in which consciousness is an inherent property of the neuron must account for the contrast between conscious and unconscious processes in the brain and address how neural events can ever be unconscious if consciousness is a property of all neurons. Other approaches have sought answers regarding consciousness by contrasting conscious and unconscious processes and through investigating the complex interactions between the two kinds of processes, as occurs most notably in human voluntary action. In voluntary action, consciousness is associated most, not with motor control or low-level perceptual processing, but with the stage of processing known as action selection.



Varieties Of Objectivity: What's Worth Keeping?, Lori Kantymir Nov 2016

Varieties Of Objectivity: What's Worth Keeping?, Lori Kantymir

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

This dissertation addresses the problem of whether or not morality can be objective. Objectivity seems built into our everyday moral discourse and practice, yet it can be difficult to say just what moral objectivity consists in. There is significant disagreement in the philosophical literature on this topic. I examine three influential contemporary accounts of objectivity: Derek Parfit’s non-naturalist realism, Sharon Street’s anti-realist constructivism, and Terry Horgan and Mark Timmons’ cognitivist expressivism. Despite their differences, these authors share a common aim: to defend the idea that the truth of moral claims are at least in some sense invariant with ...


Resolving The Hard Problem And Calling For A Small Miracle, Arthur S. Reber Nov 2016

Resolving The Hard Problem And Calling For A Small Miracle, Arthur S. Reber

Animal Sentience

With the exception of the commentary by Key, the commentaries on Reber have a common feature: the commenters feel, with varying levels of enthusiasm, that there is at least some virtue in the core assumption of the Cellular Basis of Consciousness (CBC) theory that consciousness (or subjectivity or sentience) accompanies the earliest forms of life. The model has two important entailments: (a) it resolves the (in)famous Hard Problem by redirecting the search for the biochemical foundations of sentience away from human consciousness; and (b) it reduces the need for an emergentist miracle to a far simpler scale than is ...


Unconscious Higher-Order Thoughts (Hots) As Pre-Reflective Self-Awareness?, Rocco J. Gennaro Nov 2016

Unconscious Higher-Order Thoughts (Hots) As Pre-Reflective Self-Awareness?, Rocco J. Gennaro

Animal Sentience

Rowlands argues that many nonhuman animals are “persons,” contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy which rests on a mistaken conception of the kind of self-awareness relevant to personhood. He argues that self-awareness bifurcates into two importantly different forms — reflective self-awareness and pre-reflective self-awareness — and that many animals can have the latter, which is sufficient for personhood. I agree that there is good reason to think that many animals can have pre-reflective self-awareness, but I think Rowlands is mistaken about its nature. His account runs the risk of leading to an infinite regress objection, and his notion of pre-reflective self-awareness actually sounds ...


Antitrust, Competition Policy, And Inequality, Jonathan B. Baker, Steven C. Salop Nov 2016

Antitrust, Competition Policy, And Inequality, Jonathan B. Baker, Steven C. Salop

Jonathan B. Baker

Economic inequality recently has entered the political discourse in a highly visible way. This political impact is not a surprise. As the U.S. economy has begun to recover from the Great Recession since mid-2009, economic growth has effectively been appropriated by those already well off, leaving the median household less well off. The serious economic, political and moral issues raised by inequality can be addressed through a panoply of public policies including competition policy, the focus of this article. The article describes the channels through which market power contributes to inequality, and sets forth a range of possible antitrust ...


The Primacy Of Resistance: Anarchism, Foucault, And The Art Of Not Being Governed, Derek C. Barnett Nov 2016

The Primacy Of Resistance: Anarchism, Foucault, And The Art Of Not Being Governed, Derek C. Barnett

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Beginning with a critical inquiry into the reasons why the field of the political is traditionally elaborated in the archic nexus between government and state sovereignty, this study examines the possibilities of elaborating an alternative theory of the political in the intersections between Michel Foucault’s theory of resistance and anarchist political theory. Taking Foucault’s fifth thesis on power from The History of Sexuality as an alternative paradigm from which to reread the history of the political, the aim of this study is to demonstrate that the hallmark of Foucault’s work emerges in the ways in which his ...


The Psychological Concept Of “Person”, Kristin Andrews Nov 2016

The Psychological Concept Of “Person”, Kristin Andrews

Animal Sentience

Reluctance to overextend personhood seems to drive many of the skeptical responses in the first round of commentaries on Rowlands's target article. Despite Rowlands’s straightforward Response that we already accept some nonhumans as persons, there is still hesitation to accept that other nonhuman animals are persons. Rowlands's argument is sound but the skeptics don’t accept the Lockean notion of person. The metaphysical sense of person is a psychological one, however, and psychological properties grant one moral status according to many ethical theories.


Neutrality, Autonomy, And Power, Eldar Sarajlic Nov 2016

Neutrality, Autonomy, And Power, Eldar Sarajlic

Publications and Research

This paper critically examines Alan Patten’s theory of neutrality of treatment. It argues that the theory assumes an inadequate conception of personal autonomy, which undermines its plausibility. However, I suggest that the theory can resolve the problem by developing and reinterpreting its conception of autonomy and introducing an additional strategy for addressing the power imbalances that result from the market-based interactions between individuals and their conceptions of the good.


Review: Interspecies Ethics By Cynthia Willett, Thomas E. Randall Oct 2016

Review: Interspecies Ethics By Cynthia Willett, Thomas E. Randall

Between the Species

This paper provides a review of Cynthia Willett's book Interspecies Ethics. Willett aims to outline the beginnings of biosocial eros ethics – an ethical outline that sketches the potentiality of a cross-species cosmopolitan ideal of compassion (agape), derived through acknowledging and emphasizing the existence of spontaneous, playful interaction between social animals. Though this book is recommended for offering an innovative framework from which to explore the possibility of non-anthropocentric cross-species ethic, readers should be wary of expecting to find a fully-fledged moral program detailing how this would work.


Expanding The Debate: How Can Social Justice And Lasallian Priorities Influence The Electoral Process?, Rosemary Barbera Phd, Ernest Miller Fsc, D. Min. Oct 2016

Expanding The Debate: How Can Social Justice And Lasallian Priorities Influence The Electoral Process?, Rosemary Barbera Phd, Ernest Miller Fsc, D. Min.

Explorer Café

No abstract provided.


In What Sense Are You A Person?, Pamela Barone, Antoni Gomila Oct 2016

In What Sense Are You A Person?, Pamela Barone, Antoni Gomila

Animal Sentience

According to Rowlands, personhood in nonhuman animals calls for a unified mental life and pre-reflective self-awareness provides this. The concept of “person” is fuzzy. Any attempt to define it with necessary and sufficient conditions faces the problem of borderline cases satisfying only some of the conditions to varying degrees. We ask about the implications of a metaphysical sense of personhood for its moral and legal sense. Finally, we address Rowlands’s reliance on pre-reflective self-awareness and present our own criteria for personhood.


Consciousness And The Unity Of Mind, Mark Rowlands Oct 2016

Consciousness And The Unity Of Mind, Mark Rowlands

Animal Sentience

Several types of objection have been raised against the arguments I presented in my target article, “Are animals persons?” Among the objections are the following: (1) the claim that animals are persons is of little significance, (2) my use of the Lockean conception of the person is questionable, (3) whether a creature qualifies as a person is a matter of social construction rather than objective fact, (4) reflective consciousness is more important than I realize, (5) my reliance on implicit self-awareness in the account of personhood is ill-advised, (6) my account entails that too many creatures qualify as persons, and ...


Insects: Still Looking Like Zombies, Christopher S. Hill Oct 2016

Insects: Still Looking Like Zombies, Christopher S. Hill

Animal Sentience

In arguing that insect brains are capable of sentience, Klein & Barron rely heavily on Bjorn Merker’s claim that activity in the human mid-brain is sufficient for conscious experience. I criticize Merker’s claim by pointing out that the behaviors supported by midbrain activity are much more primitive than the ones that appear to depend on consciousness. I raise a similar objection to Klein & Barron’s contention that insect behaviors are similar to behaviors that manifest consciousness in human beings. The similarity is weak. I also respond to the related view that integrative activity in mid-brain structures is sufficient to ...


Poetic Witness In A Networked Age, Jerome D. Clarke Oct 2016

Poetic Witness In A Networked Age, Jerome D. Clarke

Student Publications

When online videos mobilize protestors to occupy public spaces, and those protestors incorporate hashtags in their chants and markered placards, deliberative democratic theory must no longer dismiss technology and peoples historically excluded from the arena of politics. Specifically, political models must account for the role of repetition in paving the way for unheard and unseen messages and people to appear in the political arena. Drawing on Judith Butler’s theory of the Performative and Hannah Arendt’s Space of Appearance, this paper assesses that critical and generative role of iteration. Repeating unheeded acts performs the capacity for those acts to ...


Developing Capabilities: A Feminist Discourse Ethics Approach, Chad Kleist Oct 2016

Developing Capabilities: A Feminist Discourse Ethics Approach, Chad Kleist

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation attempts to preserve the central tenets of a global moral theory called “the capabilities approach” as defended by Martha Nussbaum, but to do so in a way that better realizes its own goals of identifying gender injustices and gaining cross-cultural support by providing an alternative defense of it. Capabilities assess an individual’s well-being based on what she is able to do (actions) and who she is able to be (states of existence). Nussbaum grounds her theory in the intuitive idea that each and every person is worthy of equal respect and dignity. The problem with grounding a ...