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2016

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Ethics and Political Philosophy

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Articles 1 - 30 of 65

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

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 ...


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.


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.


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 ...


Introduction: Envisioning The Good Life In The 21st Century And Beyond, Shannon Vallor Sep 2016

Introduction: Envisioning The Good Life In The 21st Century And Beyond, Shannon Vallor

Philosophy

In May 2014 cosmologist Stephen Hawking, computer scientist Stuart Russell, and physicists Max Tegmark and Frank Wilczek published an open letter in the UK news outlet The Independent, sounding the alarm about the grave risks to humanity posed by emerging technologies of artificial intelligence. They invited readers to imagine these technologies "outsmarting financial markets, out-inventing human researchers, out-manipulating human leaders, and developing weapons we cannot even understand." The authors note that while the successful creation of artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to bring "huge benefits" to our world, and would undoubtedly be "the biggest event in human history ... it ...


How Civility Works, Keith Bybee Sep 2016

How Civility Works, Keith Bybee

Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media at Syracuse University

Is civility dead? Americans ask this question every election season, but their concern is hardly limited to political campaigns. Doubts about civility regularly arise in just about every aspect of American public life. Rudeness runs rampant. Our news media is saturated with aggressive bluster and vitriol. Our digital platforms teem with expressions of disrespect and trolls. Reflecting these conditions, surveys show that a significant majority of Americans believe we are living in an age of unusual anger and discord. Everywhere we look, there seems to be conflict and hostility, with shared respect and consideration nowhere to be found. In a ...


Book Review: Democracy, Culture, Catholicism: Voices From Four Continents, Edited By Michael Schuck And John Crowley-Buck, Joy Gordon Sep 2016

Book Review: Democracy, Culture, Catholicism: Voices From Four Continents, Edited By Michael Schuck And John Crowley-Buck, Joy Gordon

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

A review of Democracy, Culture, Catholicism: Voices from Four Continents edited by Michael Schuck and John Crowley-Buck.


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.


Neuroethics: Neurolaw, Stephen J. Morse Sep 2016

Neuroethics: Neurolaw, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This is a pre-copyedited version of a chapter in the Oxford Handbooks Online (Philosophy) edited by Sandy Goldberg. In altered form, it was published online in February, 2017 and can be found at the Oxford Handbooks Online website. The entry discusses whether the findings of the new neuroscience based largely on functional brain imaging raise new normative questions and entail normative conclusions for ethical and legal theory and practice. After reviewing the source of optimism about neuroscientific contributions and the current scientific status of neuroscience, it addresses a radical challenge neuroscience allegedly presents: whether neuroscience proves persons do not have ...


The Wooden Doctrine: Basketball, Moral Character, And The Successful Life, Janelle Dewitt Aug 2016

The Wooden Doctrine: Basketball, Moral Character, And The Successful Life, Janelle Dewitt

Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Papers

No abstract provided.


Crispr Humans: Ethics At The Edge Of Science, Insoo Hyun Aug 2016

Crispr Humans: Ethics At The Edge Of Science, Insoo Hyun

Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Papers

No abstract provided.


How Being Right Can Risk Wrongs, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2016

How Being Right Can Risk Wrongs, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This is a chapter from the new book The Vigilante Echo. Previous chapters have made clear that some vigilantism can be morally justified where the government has failed in its promise under the social contract to protect and to do justice. But this chapter explains how even moral vigilante action can be problematic for the larger society. Vigilantes may try to do the right thing but are likely to lack the training and professional neutrality of police. They may be successful, but only on pushing the crime problem to an adjacent neighborhood. Because their open lawbreaking may seem admirable to ...


Shadow Vigilante Officials Manipulate And Distort To Force Justice From An Apparently Reluctant System, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Aug 2016

Shadow Vigilante Officials Manipulate And Distort To Force Justice From An Apparently Reluctant System, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The real danger of the vigilante impulse is not of hordes of citizens, frustrated by the system’s doctrines of disillusionment, rising up to take the law into their own hands. Frustration can spark a vigilante impulse but such classic aggressive vigilantism is not the typical response. More common is the expression of disillusionment in less brazen ways, by a more surreptitious undermining and distortion of the operation of the criminal justice system.

Shadow vigilantes, as they might be called, can affect the operation of the system in a host of important ways. For example, when people act as classic ...


The Ethics Of Reparations For Slavery, Kyla A. Jermin Jul 2016

The Ethics Of Reparations For Slavery, Kyla A. Jermin

Philosophy Summer Fellows

Reparations has always been a lingering topic in American history – one that is heavily discussed, but never quite put into action. Though there are many who agree that payment is owed for slavery, or that a crime was committed, they are often dissuaded by various issues, or by the idea that reparations are “too divisive” and would encourage racial dissension. In my project, I address these arguments, and establish a case for reparations and the ethical responsibility behind it. My project explores themes of duty, responsibility, and compensation for wrongdoing as applied to the American slave trade. In this project ...


I Dreamed In Terms Of Novels: Dorothy Day And The Ethics Of Nineteenth-Century Literature, Katherine Thomsen Pierson Jul 2016

I Dreamed In Terms Of Novels: Dorothy Day And The Ethics Of Nineteenth-Century Literature, Katherine Thomsen Pierson

Dissertations, Theses, and Student Research: Department of English

To the extent that she is known, Dorothy Day, a twentieth-century American Catholic journalist and social reformer currently under consideration for sainthood by the Vatican, is recognized for her religious influences. Pope Francis, in his 2015 speech before the American Congress, said she was inspired by “the Gospel, her faith, and the example of the saints.” Yet throughout her life Day was a consistent reader of secular texts and even said she “lived by” the vision of some of her favorite writers. This thesis examines Day’s secular influences—in particular Dickens’s David Copperfield and Little Dorrit—and begins ...


The Challenge Of Teaching Chinese Philosophy: Some Thoughts On Method, Andrew Lambert Jul 2016

The Challenge Of Teaching Chinese Philosophy: Some Thoughts On Method, Andrew Lambert

Publications and Research

In this essay I offer an alternative perspective on how to organize class material for courses in Chinese philosophy for predominately American students. Instead of selecting topics taken from common themes in Western discourses, I suggest a variety of organizational strategies based on themes from the Chinese texts themselves, such as tradition, ritual, family, and guanxi (關係), which are rooted in the Chinese tradition but flexible enough to organize a broad range of philosophical material.


Provocations In Consideration Of Thomas Nail's The Figure Of The Migrant, Vernon W. Cisney Jun 2016

Provocations In Consideration Of Thomas Nail's The Figure Of The Migrant, Vernon W. Cisney

Philosophy Faculty Publications

I am delighted to be part of the conversation surrounding this important work. Thomas Nail’s The Figure of the Migrant is one of those rare works that is at once timely and timeless. It is timely in the sense that the figure of the migrant has become a ubiquitous and undeniable reality of our time. As I write this at the end of spring 2016, the number of Syrian citizens displaced by civil war since 2011 has climbed to roughly 13.5 million; the United States is in the middle of its most racially charged presidential election of my ...


The Prospects For Change: The Question Of Justice In A Law & Society Framework, Michael W. Raphael Jun 2016

The Prospects For Change: The Question Of Justice In A Law & Society Framework, Michael W. Raphael

Graduate Student Publications and Research

What is the law and society framework and where has it gotten us? A student in a classroom might raise their hand and offer "understanding legal pluralism" as a possible answer. However, the conceptual problem with legal pluralism is the coexistence of potentially conflicting bases of justification. Given this, desiring to understand how the law shapes the structural underpinnings of whichever "legal" phenomena and its "ongoing transformation", is nevertheless an immense achievement that stops short of its underlying goal – the achievement of human dignity through human rights. For example, to talk about 'multi-stakeholder consultations' and other pithy phrases that describe ...


Peasant Revolts As Anti-Authoritarian Archetypes For Radical Buddhism In Modern Japan, James Shields Jun 2016

Peasant Revolts As Anti-Authoritarian Archetypes For Radical Buddhism In Modern Japan, James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

The late Meiji period (1868-1912) witnessed the birth of various forms of “progressive” and “radical” Buddhism both within and beyond traditional Japanese Buddhist institutions. This paper examines several historical precedents for “Buddhist revolution” in East Asian—and particularly Japanese—peasant rebellions of the early modern period. I argue that these rebellions, or at least the received narratives of such, provided significant “root paradigms” for the thought and practice of early Buddhist socialists and radical Buddhists of early twentieth century Japan. Even if these narratives ended in “failure”—as, indeed, they often did—they can be understood as examples of what ...


Sources Of Dignity For Persons: Capacities, Friendship, Love And Subjectivity, Matthew Nevius Jun 2016

Sources Of Dignity For Persons: Capacities, Friendship, Love And Subjectivity, Matthew Nevius

Masters Theses

Many people seem to understand the term 'dignity' as applying to all human persons regardless of their race, creed, sex, or religious beliefs. As to what the concept 'dignity' means is a difficult and complex problem. Is the concept 'dignity' an empty concept, void of meaning? What does it mean when we say that this or that person has dignity? Most of the current philosophical literature has very little to say as to what dignity is. I will argue that what we need to find is a concept of dignity that accounts for both the infinite and the irreplaceable value ...


A Balancing Act: Reading 'Amoris Laetitia', Peter Steinfels, Paige E. Hochschild, William L. Portier, Sandra A. Yocum, Dennis O'Brien May 2016

A Balancing Act: Reading 'Amoris Laetitia', Peter Steinfels, Paige E. Hochschild, William L. Portier, Sandra A. Yocum, Dennis O'Brien

Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Five religious scholars provide commentary on Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Pope Francis's 2016 apostolic exhortation on love in the family.


A Constitutional Political Economy Perspective On The Colonization Of Mars, Shashank Sirivolu Apr 2016

A Constitutional Political Economy Perspective On The Colonization Of Mars, Shashank Sirivolu

Honors Theses (PPE)

NASA has released an account of the agency's plans for a mission to Mars. Private organizations, like SpaceX, too have expressed a goal to visit or, in some cases, even establish settlements on Mars. Yet the prospect of establishing settlements, that is, colonizing - as opposed to simply exploring - raises a number of issues. The focus of this study is on the emergence of institutions and organizations on an extraterrestrial planet like Mars. Specifically, the thesis will explore the conscious design of organizations and institutions of collective action, from the Constitutional Political Economy perspective.


Sexual Morality And Owning Our Own Bodies, Sarah E. Foreman Apr 2016

Sexual Morality And Owning Our Own Bodies, Sarah E. Foreman

Augustana Center for the Study of Ethics Essay Contest

In our current age of “hook-up cultures” and premarital sex, the issue of sexual morality in our society is one that must be addressed. As the younger generations become sexually active at earlier times in their lives, we need to discuss appropriate views of sexual activity and the moral limitations of sexual acts. Conventional sexual morality will tell us that sex outside of marriage is immoral. Another sexual ethic might claim that sex without love is not morally permissible. However, in today’s changing and ever more liberal society, it is important for us to come to terms with a ...


Opium Eaters: Buddhism As Revolutionary Politics, James Shields Apr 2016

Opium Eaters: Buddhism As Revolutionary Politics, James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

There is no one, single answer to the question: What is or are ‘Buddhist politics’? Rather than seek general historical trends or broad tendencies, in this chapter I explore the meaning and implications of the modern, Western conception of ‘politics’ as understood in relation to key features of Buddhist doctrine. In particular, I pose the question of whether we might fruitfully conceive at least certain interpretations of Buddhism—or perhaps, of Dharma—as politics, rather than ‘religion’ or ‘philosophy.’ I argue that twentieth century progressive Buddhists Seno’o Girō (1889–1961) and B. R. Ambedkar (1891–1956) were not so ...


Law And The Sciences Of The Brain/Mind, Stephen J. Morse Apr 2016

Law And The Sciences Of The Brain/Mind, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This chapter is a submission to the Oxford Handbook of Law and the Regulation of Technology edited by Roger Brownsword. It considers whether the new sciences of the brain/mind, especially neuroscience and behavioral genetics, are likely to transform the law’s traditional concepts of the person, agency and responsibility. The chapter begins with a brief speculation about why so many people think these sciences will transform the law. After reviewing the law’s concepts, misguided challenges to them, and the achievements of the new sciences, the chapter confronts the claim that these sciences prove that we are really not ...


Centralization And Its Discontents: Exploring The Relationship Between Measures Of Moral Development, Happiness And Technology Driven, Centralized Ways Of Being, Kirsti Svendsen Apr 2016

Centralization And Its Discontents: Exploring The Relationship Between Measures Of Moral Development, Happiness And Technology Driven, Centralized Ways Of Being, Kirsti Svendsen

Ph.D. Dissertations (Open Access)

This interdisciplinary, qualitative dissertation offers an exploration into possible intimate relationships between recently expanding, technology driven forms of centralization of our social institutions and a supposed decline in moral development and happiness among Americans today.

According to Jacques Ellul, technology in itself is not the problem. Instead, he believes the tragedy is that the new idea or spirit of technique , technical efficiency and economic progress, which may have started with the Industrial revolution, and has become the western world s new "religion", the new salvation for humanity. Ellul and other thinkers suggest that the single-minded focus on material progress has ...


Indefinite Life Extensions, Jackson L. Slechta Apr 2016

Indefinite Life Extensions, Jackson L. Slechta

UCARE Research Products

The Simple Argument 1. It Is good to save someone’s life, if and only if it is a life worth living. 2. When we save someone’s life we are merely extending their life. 3. If saving a life is good, and saving a life is identical in all relevant characteristics to extending a life, then extending a life must be good. 4. Surely, if extending a life by a limited period is good, then extending a life for an indefinite period would create a vast amount of good. 5. Therefore, extending a life worth living indefinitely is good ...


The Germans And Their Nazi Past: To What Extent Have They Accepted Responsibility?, Martin Hille Apr 2016

The Germans And Their Nazi Past: To What Extent Have They Accepted Responsibility?, Martin Hille

Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Papers

No abstract provided.


Stigmatized Words: A Defense Of Political Correctness, Peter W. Rosenberger Apr 2016

Stigmatized Words: A Defense Of Political Correctness, Peter W. Rosenberger

Student Publications

The debate over political correctness and the repression of speech has experienced a resurgence in the 2016 election season. “Political correctness is killing people,” Senator Ted Cruz remarked in December 2015. This thesis explores the liberal justification for the repressing politically incorrect speech and challenges the association of expressive freedom with truth, a position linked to John Stuart Mill’s philosophy of liberty and George Orwell’s denunciation of political speech. Reflecting contemporary postmodern views on language and liberation, I ultimately defend political correctness as a way to reflect social stigmatization, render stigmatized words more visible, and enhance linguistic agency.


David Novak And The Crisis Of Modern Jewish Thought, Steven Frankel Mar 2016

David Novak And The Crisis Of Modern Jewish Thought, Steven Frankel

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.