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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Mediating Suffering: Buddhist Detachment And Tantric Responsibility In Michael Ondaatje’S Anil’S Ghost, Justin M. Hewitson Sep 2019

Mediating Suffering: Buddhist Detachment And Tantric Responsibility In Michael Ondaatje’S Anil’S Ghost, Justin M. Hewitson

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

In “Mediating Suffering: Buddhist Detachment and Tantric Responsibility in Michael Ondaatje’s Anil’s Ghost,” Justin Hewitson argues that the global mediation of suffering following human rights abuses creates the offender-victim binary. The way in which moral judgments drive urgent peacemaking is seldom connected to long-term victimhood narratives. This psychology can exacerbate cyclical patterns of anger, exploitation, and violence by deferring responsibility. Ondaatje’s controversial novel, Anil’s Ghost, which reflects these charged accusations, refuses to settle blame on any side of the Sri Lankan conflict; instead, it offers the troubling recognition that offenders, victims, and mediators are all causal ...


Against The Received Wisdom: Why Should The Criminal Justice System Give Kids A Break?, Stephen J. Morse Jul 2019

Against The Received Wisdom: Why Should The Criminal Justice System Give Kids A Break?, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Professor Gideon Yaffe’s recent, intricately argued book, The Age of Culpability: Children and the Nature of Criminal Responsibility, argues against the nearly uniform position in both law and scholarship that the criminal justice system should give juveniles a break not because on average they have different capacities relevant to responsibility than adults, but because juveniles have little say about the criminal law, primarily because they do not have a vote. For Professor Yaffe, age has political rather than behavioral significance. The book has many excellent general analyses about responsibility, but all are in aid of the central thesis about ...


The Limits Of Sociality, Johnna B. Mcgovern Apr 2019

The Limits Of Sociality, Johnna B. Mcgovern

Theses

There is a longstanding tradition in Western philosophy of emphasizing the capacity for reflection in theories about humans’ characteristic nature. In Talking to Ourselves: Reflection, Ignorance, and Agency, John Doris attempts to shift the focus to an emphasis on human sociality. Particularly, Doris argues that sociality, both implicitly and in the form of collaborative reasoning, is what makes humans best equipped for moral improvement. This collaborativism possesses a defining role in his account of agency and responsibility. This thesis attempts to gain an understanding of how sociality affects moral behavior and to argue that it is not conducive to agency ...


Help Or High Water: On The Moral Entitlements Of And State Responsibilities To Climate Refugees, Jordan Michael Kincaid Jan 2019

Help Or High Water: On The Moral Entitlements Of And State Responsibilities To Climate Refugees, Jordan Michael Kincaid

Environmental Studies Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This dissertation argues that states have a moral responsibility to resettle climate refugees because climate displacement constitutes a distinct form of moral wrongdoing, which thus entitles refugees to rectification and imbues in states a reciprocal ‘duty to rectify.’ I argue first that climate displacement is a moral problem fundamentally because of its anthropogenicity, and that it is mistaken to conceptualize climate displacement as a moral problem because of its bads—i.e. harm, suffering, and loss. Compensation-based approaches to the rectification of climate displacement in particular make this mistake and run aground of value-incommensurability. Generative rights-based approaches, on the other ...


Why Cod Don't Like To Sunbathe: Quantity And Quality In The Animal Kingdom, Christoph Jung Jan 2019

Why Cod Don't Like To Sunbathe: Quantity And Quality In The Animal Kingdom, Christoph Jung

Animal Sentience

The difference between a cod and a lizard is not just a quantitative one. The recognition of qualitative differences between species does not imply a moral ranking. Our species’ special abilities to shape the earth mean we have a special responsibility for ensuring a liveable future for all organisms, human and non-human.


Attributability And Agency: Moral Attributability For Mental States As Possession Of Care-Constitutive Desires, Thomas Vincent Yamilkoski May 2018

Attributability And Agency: Moral Attributability For Mental States As Possession Of Care-Constitutive Desires, Thomas Vincent Yamilkoski

Theses and Dissertations

A prominent line of thought owed originally to the work of Harry Frankfurt is that it is our identifying, in a certain technical sense, with our mental states which makes these states and the actions which emerge from them our own in a way distinctive of agents. Separately, moral attributability, a sort of responsibility located first by T. M. Scanlon, has recently attracted the attention of many philosophers. In this paper I will argue that we ought to aim to adopt theories of identification and moral attributability such that our capacity for the sort of agency involved in identification is ...


Reactive Attitudes & The Value Of Responsibility, Andrew Lichter May 2018

Reactive Attitudes & The Value Of Responsibility, Andrew Lichter

Theses and Dissertations

This paper argues against the family of “reactive accounts” of moral responsibility. On such accounts, which take their cue from P.F. Strawson’s influential “Freedom and Resentment,” being morally responsible is properly understood in terms of being held responsible, which in turn is properly understood in terms of a set of moral emotions and their associated practices. This way of understanding responsibility re-frames apparently metaphysical questions about whether we are responsible in normative terms, as questions about whether and why these practices are permissible or required. I argue that we are responsible because we in some sense affirm the ...


A Distinction Between Expectations And Demands: Towards A Wider Conception Of Accountability, Christiana Eltiste May 2018

A Distinction Between Expectations And Demands: Towards A Wider Conception Of Accountability, Christiana Eltiste

Theses and Dissertations

In the literature on responsibility and blame, ‘expectations’ and ‘demands’ are often used interchangeably. Specifically, R. Jay Wallace construes expectations and demands as equivalent ways of expressing strict prohibitions or requirements. However, expectations and demands are not identical concepts and treating them as such glosses over important nuance. By using these concepts synonymously, Wallace is unable to account for how we blame and hold others responsible for actions that do not violate strict prohibitions or requirements, actions that are merely considered morally bad. In this paper I explore the distinction between expectations and demands and how ignoring this distinction ultimately ...


Human And Nonhuman Animals: Equals In Uniqueness, Uta Maria Juergens Jan 2018

Human And Nonhuman Animals: Equals In Uniqueness, Uta Maria Juergens

Animal Sentience

Chapman & Huffman attack the idea that humans are unique and therefore superior to nonhuman beings. They call on humankind to use their “intellect to change [their] actions.” I am in full accord with their line of thought, which differentiates uniqueness from superiority and enjoins humans to take responsible action. I suggest, however, that humans are unique with regard to cognitive fluidity. The same conclusions can be reached via another argument based on human uniqueness.


From Object To Other: Models Of Sociality After Idealism In Gadamer, Levinas, Rosenzweig, And Bonhoeffer, Christopher J. King Nov 2017

From Object To Other: Models Of Sociality After Idealism In Gadamer, Levinas, Rosenzweig, And Bonhoeffer, Christopher J. King

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation offers an account of the different ways in which putatively idealist and transcendental models of sociality, which grounded the subject’s relation to other human beings in the subject’s own cognition, were rejected and replaced. Scrapping this account led to a variety of models of sociality which departed from the subject as the ground of sociality, positing grounds outside of the subject. Hans-Georg Gadamer, Emmanuel Levinas, Franz Rosenzweig, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer represent alternative positions along a spectrum of models of sociality which reject the idealist concept of sociality.

The central argument of this dissertation claims that the ...


Reading Others Well And Being Well Read, Nathan Louis Engel-Hawbecker May 2017

Reading Others Well And Being Well Read, Nathan Louis Engel-Hawbecker

Theses and Dissertations

The conceptual problem of other minds is over how we can so much as form thoughts or beliefs about (let alone know) mental lives other than our own. What I call the conceptual problem of other conscious minds restricts this question to others’ phenomenally conscious experiences. Past appeals to an individual’s inferential, imaginative, or perceptual faculties all more plausibly presuppose than provide a solution to this problem: such faculties allow us to form thoughts about others’ experiences only if we already have some prior means of doing so (§§2-5). This is not the case with testimony, which I introduce ...


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 ...


Nietzsche's Autonomy, Responsibility, And Will Unification, Waylon Jennings Smith Aug 2016

Nietzsche's Autonomy, Responsibility, And Will Unification, Waylon Jennings Smith

Theses and Dissertations

The modern analytic’s conception of morality usually grounds the agent’s mo-rality in some conception of responsibility and autonomy. Friedrich Nietzsche agrees that morality should be grounded in responsibility and autonomy, however his con-ceptions of responsibility and autonomy are quite different from the modern analytic literature. In this paper, I present Nietzsche’s account of autonomy and responsibility. In part one, I describe Nietzsche’s beliefs about human nature and how the human psyche became disparate. The sovereign individual is also introduced as the Nie-tzschean ideal capable of autonomy and responsibility. The second part of the paper refines Nietzshce ...


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 ...


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 ...


Life At The Meridian: The Subjectivity Of Ethics In The Works Of Albert Camus And Friedrich Nietzsche, Clancy E. Robledo Apr 2016

Life At The Meridian: The Subjectivity Of Ethics In The Works Of Albert Camus And Friedrich Nietzsche, Clancy E. Robledo

Seaver College Research And Scholarly Achievement Symposium

This paper endeavors to respond to the questions: can ethics can be unbound from its traditional rootedness in religious systems? If so, what contributions did Nietzsche make to liberate value from the shackles of Western morality? To what degree is Camus one of the “new philosophers” Nietzsche calls for in On the Genealogy of Morals?

In an attempt to demonstrate that ethics can and do exist vividly in the realm of the non-religious, this paper will begin by illustrating the metaphysical door Nietzsche opens through his use of aphorisms in Thus Spoke Zarathustra and his investigation of the history of ...


The Heart Of Justice: An Augustinian Ethic Of Relational Responsibility, Kathleen Bonnette Apr 2016

The Heart Of Justice: An Augustinian Ethic Of Relational Responsibility, Kathleen Bonnette

Th.D. Dissertations

This dissertation is a response to current justice-thinking that emphasizes fairness, equality and autonomy but neglects the internal aspects of justice – its character as a virtue. By not attending to the heart of justice, I argue, this thinking reduces justice to an anemic concept that is ineffective in promoting flourishing. Thus, I suggest an affective and relational approach to justice that grounds justice in love and the pursuit of right relations. The Augustinian doctrine of rightly ordered loves and modern Catholic social teaching provide the foundation for my account.

Chapter one examines the liberal accounts of John Rawls and Susan ...


“But Who, We?”: Derrida On Non-Human Others, Thomas Helmut Bretz Jan 2016

“But Who, We?”: Derrida On Non-Human Others, Thomas Helmut Bretz

Dissertations

In this dissertation I establish the possibility of social and ethical relationships with non-human natural (and in particular inanimate) beings. I do so based on the work of 20th century French philosopher Jacques Derrida. In chapter 1 I discuss the relatively sparse secondary literature that addresses the intersection between Derrida's work and environmental philosophy. I also go over some textual indications that show that Derrida has been concerned with non-human beings throughout his career.

In chapters 2 and 3 I establish the impossibility of conclusively excluding any kind of being from the purview of ethical responsibility. While chapter 2 ...


Iris Young, Radical Responsibility, And War, Harry Van Der Linden Sep 2014

Iris Young, Radical Responsibility, And War, Harry Van Der Linden

Harry van der Linden

In this paper I argue that a merit of Iris Young’s social connection model of responsibility for structural injustices is that it directs the American people’s responsibility for unjust wars, such as the recent war against Iraq, toward their responsibility to abolish the “war machine,” including the “empire of bases,” that is a contributing factor of unjust U.S. wars. I also raise two objections to her model. First, her model leads us to downplay the culpability of the American people as a political collective in voting to continue the Iraq war with the re-election of George W ...


Interpreting, Stephanie Jo Kent May 2014

Interpreting, Stephanie Jo Kent

Doctoral Dissertations

What do community interpreting for the Deaf in western societies, conference interpreting for the European Parliament, and language brokering in international management have in common? Academic research and professional training have historically emphasized the linguistic and cognitive challenges of interpreting, neglecting or ignoring the social aspects that structure communication. All forms of interpreting are inherently social; they involve relationships among at least three people and two languages. The contexts explored here, American Sign Language/English interpreting and spoken language interpreting within the European Parliament, show that simultaneous interpreting involves attitudes, norms and values about intercultural communication that overemphasize information and ...


Solving The Problem Of Resultant Luck: Extrapolating From Hegel, Constance Sutter May 2014

Solving The Problem Of Resultant Luck: Extrapolating From Hegel, Constance Sutter

Theses and Dissertations

The problem of resultant luck leaves us with a dilemma: Reject the intuition that agents should be blamed only to the extent that events depend on factors within their control, or reject the pre-theoretical intuition that agents should be blamed in cases of negligence. Although many potential solutions have been put forth, the problem remains unsolved. In this paper, I diagnose why the problem has been recalcitrant, and I describe what a genuine solution must explain. To illustrate what such a solution would look like, I defend an interpretation of Hegel's concept of action and moral responsibility, and I ...


Iris Young, Radical Responsibility, And War, Harry Van Der Linden Jan 2014

Iris Young, Radical Responsibility, And War, Harry Van Der Linden

Scholarship and Professional Work - LAS

In this paper I argue that a merit of Iris Young’s social connection model of responsibility for structural injustices is that it directs the American people’s responsibility for unjust wars, such as the recent war against Iraq, toward their responsibility to abolish the “war machine,” including the “empire of bases,” that is a contributing factor of unjust U.S. wars. I also raise two objections to her model. First, her model leads us to downplay the culpability of the American people as a political collective in voting to continue the Iraq war with the re-election of George W ...


The Ethics Glass Ceiling: A Historical Analysis Of Actions By The U.S. House Of Representatives Committee On Ethics, Michael James Gordon Dec 2013

The Ethics Glass Ceiling: A Historical Analysis Of Actions By The U.S. House Of Representatives Committee On Ethics, Michael James Gordon

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The breaking of moral and ethical codes has been with humankind since history was first recorded. As such, the public wants to know that their elected officials are held accountable and cannot disregard enshrined legal rights without incurring broader personal and societal consequences. Within the hallowed halls of government, the "unrequested" House Committee on Ethics (HCE) provides the forum of accountability.

In this qualitative, historical case study, HCE documents are analyzed and both the internal and external motivating factors behind the actions of the HCE members are examined. Computer assisted qualitative data analysis software, namely ATLAS.ti, was used to ...


Manipulation As Breach Of Arguer Responsibility In 'Welcome To Obamaville', Scott Jacobs May 2013

Manipulation As Breach Of Arguer Responsibility In 'Welcome To Obamaville', Scott Jacobs

OSSA Conference Archive

Argumentation should encourage autonomous decision-making. Rick Santorum’s political campaign ad Welcome to Obamaville violates this requirement by deploying a flood of subliminal images. Santorum’s ad involves a fallacy by virtue of clear intent to manipulate. Arguers are responsible for the foreseeable consequences of their action. Santorum acts in bad faith even if subliminal messages are in fact ineffective and he is wrong about the consequences foreseen.


Welcome To Mcdonalds, How May I Exploit You? Fast Food’S Corporate Social Responsibility To Lower-Income Areas, Jennifer T.R. Tomlinson Sep 2011

Welcome To Mcdonalds, How May I Exploit You? Fast Food’S Corporate Social Responsibility To Lower-Income Areas, Jennifer T.R. Tomlinson

Jennifer T.R. Tomlinson

Despite the admiral design and effectiveness of the fast-food business model, it also creates a dilemma between economic prosperity and the social influence of the fast food phenomena, particularly in lower-income areas. Research indicates that demands are dictated by what is available to one’s environment and the social conditions in which one lives. Therefore, the continual marketing and supply of fast food to lower-income areas where people are limited to different food options is a type of exploitation. To alleviate some of the problems associated with fast-food culture, fast-food corporations should consult with community leaders, community members and healthcare ...


Resolving The Tension In Aristotle's Ethic: The Balance Between Naturalism And Responsibility, David E.W. Fenner May 2011

Resolving The Tension In Aristotle's Ethic: The Balance Between Naturalism And Responsibility, David E.W. Fenner

David E. W. Fenner

...It is clear that there exists in the history of ethics the problem that naturalist systems of ethics frequently fall prey to the entailment of behavioral determinism. If this occurs, it robs the ethic of doing any real work. Instead of proscribing correct and incorrect action, or allowing those considering the situation and activity to meaningfully assign praise or blame, the naive naturalist ethic functions only as a psychological thesis: that one will behave according to whatever psychological or mechanical program one is informed by.The question of this paper was whether Aristotle's system falls prey to such a ...


Responsible Believing, Miriam S. Mccormick Jan 2011

Responsible Believing, Miriam S. Mccormick

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In most of our decisions as parents or educators concerning how we should talk to children about difficult subjects, the question turns to what degree we should withhold the truth, how much information we should provide, or what details are appropriate. We, as adults, know the answer to the child's question, and the difficulty arises in figuring out what to convey and how. Questions about death and the afterlife are not like this. We - and by "we;' I mean especially educated adults of the Western world - are often as confused about what we should believe about these matters as ...


Neuroscience And The Future Of Personhood And Responsibility, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2011

Neuroscience And The Future Of Personhood And Responsibility, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This is a chapter in a book, Constitution 3.0: Freedom and Technological Change, edited by Jeffrey Rosen and Benjamin Wittes and published by Brookings. It considers whether likely advances in neuroscience will fundamentally alter our conceptions of human agency, of what it means to be a person, and of responsibility for action. I argue that neuroscience poses no such radical threat now and in the immediate future and it is unlikely ever to pose such a threat unless it or other sciences decisively resolve the mind-body problem. I suggest that until that happens, neuroscience might contribute to the reform ...


Autonomic And Autonomous ‘Thinking’: Preconditions For Criminal Accountability, Mireille Hildebrandt Dec 2010

Autonomic And Autonomous ‘Thinking’: Preconditions For Criminal Accountability, Mireille Hildebrandt

Mireille Hildebrandt

Cognitive psychology suggests that unconscious ‘thought’ is capable of complex analyses, way beyond the capability of the conscious mind. In fact, many cognitive scientists claim that most – if not all – of our behaviour is the result of ‘the adaptive unconscious’ without which we would not be able to function at all. Explaining or justifying our actions depends on being consciously aware of what motivated these actions. If, however, the ‘causes’ of our behaviour are not accessible to the conscious mind, the ‘reasons’ we give may be qualified as a comfortable illusion. The difference between autonomic computing and human behaviour, in ...


Causation, Agency, And Law In Antiphon: On Some Subtleties In The Second Tetralogy, Joel Mann Apr 2010

Causation, Agency, And Law In Antiphon: On Some Subtleties In The Second Tetralogy, Joel Mann

The Society for Ancient Greek Philosophy Newsletter

That no one can or should be convicted in a law court on pollution charges is, I suggest, the implicit message of Antiphon’s second Tetralogy. More than a mere rhetorical exercise, Antiphon offers us a rational and compelling critique of religious law and of legal responsibility generally. In so doing, he anticipates modern puzzles in the philosophy of law as well as some of their more sophisticated solutions. A work not only of ingenious skepticism but also of considerable subtlety, the second Tetralogy should be considered the product of a philosopher who made perhaps the most substantial extant contribution ...