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  1. Developing Virtue and Rehabilitating Vice: Worries About Self-Cultivation and Self-Reform.Heather Battaly - 2016 - Journal of Moral Education 45 (2):207-222.
    Aristotelian virtue theorists have emphasized the role of the self in developing virtue and in rehabilitating vice. But this article argues that, as Aristotelians, we have placed too much emphasis on self-cultivation and self-reform. Self-cultivation is not required for developing virtue or vice. Nor will sophia-inspired self-reform jumpstart change in the vicious person. In each case, the external environment has an important role to play. One can unwittingly acquire virtues or vices from one’s environment. Likewise, a well-designed environment may be (...)
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  • Response-Dependent Responsibility; or, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Blame.David Shoemaker - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (4):481-527.
    This essay attempts to provide and defend what may be the first actual argument in support of P. F. Strawson's merely stated vision of a response-dependent theory of moral responsibility. It does so by way of an extended analogy with the funny. In part 1, it makes the easier and less controversial case for response-dependence about the funny. In part 2, it shows the tight analogy between anger and amusement in developing the harder and more controversial case for response-dependence about (...)
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  • I’Ll Show You: Spite as a Reactive Attitude.Krista K. Thomason - 2020 - The Monist 103 (2):163-175.
    Spite is typically considered a vicious emotion that causes us to engage in petty, vindictive, and sometimes self-destructive behavior. Even though it has this bad reputation, I will argue that spite is a reactive attitude. Spite is emotional defiance of another’s command: to spite you, I will do something exactly because you told me not to. Our liability to feelings of spite presupposes that we recognize others as having practical authority, which is why it qualifies as a reactive attitude. I (...)
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  • Neither Pardon Nor Blame: Reacting in the Wrong Way.Daniel Coren - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Why does someone, S, deserve blame or reproach for an action or event? One part of a standard answer since Aristotle: the event was caused, at least in part, by S’s bad will. But recently there’s been some insightful discussion of cases where the event’s causes do not include any bad will from S and yet it seems that S is blameworthy or not off the hook for the event. Cheshire Calhoun, Miranda Fricker, Elinor Mason, David Enoch, Randolph Clarke, and (...)
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  • The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Kiesewetter defends the normativity of rationality by presenting a new solution to the problems that arise from the common assumption that we ought to be rational. He provides a defence of a reason-response conception of rationality, an evidence-relative account of reason, and an explanation of structural irrationality in relation to these accounts.
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  • The Smart Theory of Moral Responsibility and Desert.Richard Arneson - 2003 - In Serena Olsaretti (ed.), Desert and Justice. Clarendon Press.
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  • Reasonable Doubts About Reasonable Nonbelief.Douglas V. Henry - 2008 - Faith and Philosophy 25 (3):276-289.
    In Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason, J. L. Schellenberg argues that the phenomenon of “reasonable nonbelief” constitutes sufficient reason to doubtthe existence of God. In this essay I assert the reasonableness of entertaining doubts about the kind of reasonable nonbelief that Schellenberg needs for a cogent argument. Treating his latest set of arguments in this journal, I dispute his claims about the scope and status of “unreflective nonbelief,” his assertion that God would prevent reasonable nonbelief “of any kind and duration,” (...)
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  • If You Can't Change What You Believe, You Don't Believe It.Grace Helton - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):501-526.
    I develop and defend the view that subjects are necessarily psychologically able to revise their beliefs in response to relevant counter-evidence. Specifically, subjects can revise their beliefs in response to relevant counter-evidence, given their current psychological mechanisms and skills. If a subject lacks this ability, then the mental state in question is not a belief, though it may be some other kind of cognitive attitude, such as a supposi-tion, an entertained thought, or a pretense. The result is a moderately revisionary (...)
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  • Strong Internalism, Doxastic Involuntarism, and the Costs of Compatibilism.Timothy Perrine - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):3171-3191.
    Epistemic deontology maintains that our beliefs and degrees of belief are open to deontic evaluations—evaluations of what we ought to believe or may not believe. Some philosophers endorse strong internalist versions of epistemic deontology on which agents can always access what determines the deontic status of their beliefs and degrees of belief. This paper articulates a new challenge for strong internalist versions of epistemic deontology. Any version of epistemic deontology must face William Alston’s argument. Alston combined a broadly voluntarist conception (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility, Manipulation Arguments, and History: Assessing the Resilience of Nonhistorical Compatibilism. [REVIEW]Michael McKenna - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (2):145-174.
    Manipulation arguments for incompatibilism all build upon some example or other in which an agent is covertly manipulated into acquiring a psychic structure on the basis of which she performs an action. The featured agent, it is alleged, is manipulated into satisfying conditions compatibilists would take to be sufficient for acting freely. Such an example used in the context of an argument for incompatibilism is meant to elicit the intuition that, due to the pervasiveness of the manipulation, the agent does (...)
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  • Agency of Belief and Intention.A. Flowerree - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2763-2784.
    In this paper, I argue for a conditional parity thesis: if we are agents with respect to our intentions, we are agents with respect to our beliefs. In the final section, I motivate a categorical version of the parity thesis: we are agents with respect to belief and intention. My aim in this paper is to show that there is no unique challenge facing epistemic agency that is not also facing agency with respect to intention. My thesis is ambitious on (...)
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  • The Free Will Debate and Basic Desert.Michael McKenna - 2019 - Journal of Ethics 23 (3):241-255.
    A familiar claim in the free will debate is that the freedom in dispute between compatibilists and incompatibilists is limited to the type required for an agent to deserve blame for moral wrongdoing, and to deserve it in a sense that is basic. In this paper, I seek a rationale for this claim, offer an explanation of basic desert, and then argue that the free will debate can persist even when divorced from basic desert.
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  • Alternatives to Neo-Aristotelian Virtue Ethics.Glen Pettigrove - 2018 - In Nancy Snow (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Virtue. New York, NY, USA: pp. 359-376.
    Most contemporary variants of virtue ethics have a neo-Aristotelian timbre. However, standing alongside the neo-Aristotelians are a number of others playing similar tunes on different instruments. This chapter highlights the four most important virtue ethical alternatives to the dominant neo-Aristotelian chorus. These are Michael Slote’s agent-based approach, Linda Zagzebski’s exemplarism, Christine Swanton’s target-centered theory, and Robert Merrihew Adams’s neo-Platonic account. What these four approaches showcase is the range of possible theoretical structures available to virtue ethicists. A virtue ethicist might attempt (...)
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  • Deontology and Descartes’s Demon.Brian Weatherson - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (9):540-569.
    In his Principles of Philosophy, Descartes says, Finally, it is so manifest that we possess a free will, capable of giving or withholding its assent, that this truth must be reckoned among the first and most common notions which are born with us.
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  • Love and Free Will.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Many think that love would be a casualty of free will skepticism. I disagree. I argue that love would be largely unaffected if we came to deny free will, not simply because we cannot shake the attitude, but because love is not chosen, nor do we want it to be. Here, I am not alone; others have reached similar conclusions. But a few important distinctions have been overlooked. Even if hard incompatibilism is true, not all love is equal. Although we (...)
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  • Omissions, Responsibility, and Symmetry.Randolph Clarke - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):594-624.
    It is widely held that one can be responsible for doing something that one was unable to avoid doing. This paper focuses primarily on the question of whether one can be responsible for not doing something that one was unable to do. The paper begins with an examination of the account of responsibility for omissions offered by John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza, arguing that in many cases it yields mistaken verdicts. An alternative account is sketched that jibes with and (...)
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  • Responsibility and the Kinds of Freedom.John Martin Fischer - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):203 - 228.
    In this paper I seek to identify different sorts of freedom putatively linked to moral responsibility; I then explore the relationship between such notions of freedom and the Consequence Argument, on the one hand, and the Frankfurt-examples, on the other. I focus (in part) on a dilemma: if a compatibilist adopts a broadly speaking "conditional" understanding of freedom in reply to the Consequence Argument, such a theorist becomes vulnerable in a salient way to the Frankfurt-examples.
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  • Flickers of Freedom and Moral Luck.Carolina Sartorio - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):93-105.
    Midwest Studies In Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Moral Motivation: Kantians Versus Humeans (and Evolution).Laurence Thomas - 1988 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 13 (1):367-383.
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  • Responsibility Regarding the Unthinkable.Michael J. Zimmerman - 1995 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 20 (1):204-223.
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  • The Epistemic Role of Core Cognition.Zoe Jenkin - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (2):251-298.
    According to a traditional picture, perception and belief have starkly different epistemic roles. Beliefs have epistemic statuses as justified or unjustified, depending on how they are formed and maintained. In contrast, perceptions are “unjustified justifiers.” Core cognition is a set of mental systems that stand at the border of perception and belief, and has been extensively studied in developmental psychology. Core cognition's borderline states do not fit neatly into the traditional epistemic picture. What is the epistemic role of these states? (...)
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  • Teorie dei vizi. Un'analisi critica.Michel Croce - 2020 - Ethics and Politics 22 (1):577-598.
    This paper offers a critical analysis of the current debate in vice theory. Its main aim is to provide the reader with the conceptual and methodological tools to navigate the discussion among reliabilist, responsibilist, and obstructivist approaches to moral and epistemic vices. After a brief exploration of the reasons underlying the recent flourishing of vice theories (§2), the responsibilist account is introduced (§3) and several critical remarks are offered to ensure that this view can accommodate the cases of malevolent and (...)
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  • Implicit Bias, Moods, and Moral Responsibility.Alex Madva - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (S1):53-78.
    Are individuals morally responsible for their implicit biases? One reason to think not is that implicit biases are often advertised as unconscious, ‘introspectively inaccessible’ attitudes. However, recent empirical evidence consistently suggests that individuals are aware of their implicit biases, although often in partial and inarticulate ways. Here I explore the implications of this evidence of partial awareness for individuals’ moral responsibility. First, I argue that responsibility comes in degrees. Second, I argue that individuals’ partial awareness of their implicit biases makes (...)
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  • The Ethics of Imagination and Fantasy.Aaron Smuts - forthcoming - In Amy Kind (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Imagination.
    The "ethics of imagination" or the "ethics of fantasy" encompasses the various ways in which we can morally evaluate the imagination. This topic covers a range of different kinds of imagination: (1) fantasizing, (2) engaging with fictions, and (3) dreaming. The clearest, live ethical question concerns the moral value of taking pleasure in undeserved suffering, whether willfully imagined, represented, or dreamed. Much of this entry concerns general theoretical considerations and how they relate to the ethics of fantasy. In the final (...)
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  • Pleasurably Regarding the Pain of Fictional Others.Aaron Smuts - manuscript
    Is it ever bad to take pleasure in the suffering of fictional characters? I think so. I attempt to show when and why. I begin with two powerful objections to my view: (1) engaging with fiction is akin to morally unproblematic autonomous fantasy, and (2) since no one is harmed, it is morally unproblematic. I reply to the objections and defend a Moorean view on the issue: It is intrinsically bad to enjoy evil, actual (past, present, or future) and merely (...)
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  • The Good, the Bad, and the Blameworthy.Neil Levy - 2005 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 1 (2):1-16.
    Accounts of moral responsibility can be divided into those that claim that attributability of an act, omission, or attitude to an agent is sufficient for responsibility for it, and those which hold that responsibility depends crucially on choice. I argue that accounts of the first, attributionist, kind fail to make room for the relatively stringent epistemic conditions upon moral responsibility, and that therefore an account of the second, volitionist, kind ought to be preferred. I examine the various arguments advanced on (...)
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  • Responsibility and the Negligence Standard.Joseph Raz - 2010 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 30 (1):1-18.
    The paper has dual aim: to analyse the structure of negligence, and to use it to offer an explanation of responsibility (for actions, omissions, consequences) in terms of the relations which must exist between the action (omission, etc.) and the agents powers of rational agency if the agent is responsible for the action. The discussion involves reflections on the relations between the law and the morality of negligence, the difference between negligence and strict liability, the role of excuses and the (...)
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  • The Cognitive Boundaries of Responsibility.Martin Weichold - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (1-2):226-267.
    This paper poses a new challenge to control-based theories of moral responsibility. Control-based theories – as defended, for instance, by Aristotle and John Martin Fischer – hold that an agent is responsible for an action only if she acted voluntarily and knew what she was doing. However, this paper argues that there is a large class of cases of unreflective behavior of which the following is true: the persons involved did not have the kind of control required by control-based theories, (...)
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  • No Fats, Femmes, or Asians.Xiaofei Liu - 2015 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 2 (2).
    A frequent caveat in online dating profiles – “No fats, femmes, or Asians” – caused an LGBT activist to complain about the bias against Asians in the American gay community, which he called “racial looksism”. In response, he was asked that, if he himself would not date a fat person, why he should find others not dating Asians so upsetting. This response embodies a popular attitude that personal preferences or tastes are simply personal matters – they are not subject to (...)
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  • Articulate Forgiveness and Normative Constraints.Brandon Warmke - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):1-25.
    Philosophers writing on forgiveness typically defend the Resentment Theory of Forgiveness, the view that forgiveness is the overcoming of resentment. Rarely is much more said about the nature of resentment or how it is overcome when one forgives. Pamela Hieronymi, however, has advanced detailed accounts both of the nature of resentment and how one overcomes resentment when one forgives. In this paper, I argue that Hieronymi’s account of the nature of forgiveness is committed to two implausible claims about the norms (...)
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  • Modal Empiricism Made Difficult: An Essay in the Meta-Epistemology of Modality.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
    Philosophers have always taken an interest not only in what is actually the case, but in what is necessarily the case and what could possibly be the case. These are questions of modality. Epistemologists of modality enquire into how we can know what is necessary and what is possible. This dissertation concerns the meta-epistemology of modality. It engages with the rules that govern construction and evaluation of theories in the epistemology of modality, by using modal empiricism – a form of (...)
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  • A Plea for Accuses.Michael J. Zimmerman - 1997 - American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (2):229 - 243.
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  • Helping It.H. C. Steward - unknown
    There is a long-standing debate in the literature on moral responsibility about the general idea that there is some sort of control condition on our assignment of blameworthiness to agents. In this paper, I try to defend the claims of a very ordinary, everyday locution to offer the best means of formulating a version of the control principle that stands some chance of fitting with our ethical intuitions. The locution whose merits I champion is the ‘can’t help it’ locution, as (...)
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  • Opting for the Best: Oughts and Options.Douglas W. Portmore - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The book concerns what I take to be the least controversial normative principle concerning action: you ought to perform your best option—best, that is, in terms of whatever ultimately matters. The book sets aside the question of what ultimately matters so as to focus on more basic issues, such as: What are our options? Do I have the option of typing out the cure for cancer if that’s what I would in fact do if I had the right intentions at (...)
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  • How to Solve Nagel's Paradox About Moral Luck and Responsibility.Fernando Rudy Hiller - 2016 - Manuscrito 39 (1):5-32.
    In this paper I defend a solution to the moral luck problem based on what I call "a fair opportunity account of control." I focus on Thomas Nagel's claim that moral luck reveals a paradox, and argue that the apparent paradox emerges only because he assumes that attributions of responsibility require agents to have total control over their actions. I argue that a more modest understanding of what it takes for someone to be a responsible agent-i.e., being capable of doing (...)
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  • Responsibility Beyond Belief: The Epistemic Condition on Moral Responsibility.Christopher Michael Cloos - 2018 - Dissertation,
    In this dissertation, I argue for a new conception of the epistemic condition on moral responsibility.
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  • Intellectual Skill and the Rylean Regress.Brian Weatherson - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (267):370-386.
    Intelligent activity requires the use of various intellectual skills. While these skills are connected to knowledge, they should not be identified with knowledge. There are realistic examples where the skills in question come apart from knowledge. That is, there are realistic cases of knowledge without skill, and of skill without knowledge. Whether a person is intelligent depends, in part, on whether they have these skills. Whether a particular action is intelligent depends, in part, on whether it was produced by an (...)
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  • Responsibility, Reaction, and Value.Michael J. Zimmerman - 2010 - Journal of Ethics 14 (2):103-115.
    Many writers accept the following thesis about responsibility: (R) For one to be responsible for something is for one to be such that it is fitting that one be the object of some reactive attitude with respect to that thing. This thesis bears a striking resemblance to a thesis about value that is also accepted by many writers: (V) For something to be good (or neutral, or bad) is for it to be such that it is fitting that it be (...)
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  • How Not to Defend Response Moralism. Smuts - 2015 - Journal of Aesthetic Education 49 (4):19-38.
    The bulk of the literature on the relationship between art and morality is principally concerned with an aesthetic question: Do moral flaws with works of art constitute aesthetic flaws?1 Much less attention has been paid to the ways in which artworks can be morally flawed. There are at least three promising contenders that concern aesthetic education: Artworks can be morally flawed by endorsing immorality, corrupting audiences, and encouraging responses that are bad to have. When it comes to works of fiction, (...)
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  • Circumstantial Ignorance and Mitigated Blameworthiness.Daniel J. Miller - 2018 - Philosophical Explorations 22 (1):33-43.
    It is intuitive that circumstantial ignorance, even when culpable, can mitigate blameworthiness for morally wrong behavior. In this paper I suggest an explanation of why this is so. The explanation offered is that an agent’s degree of blameworthiness for some action depends at least in part upon the quality of will expressed in that action, and that an agent’s level of awareness when performing a morally wrong action can make a difference to the quality of will that is expressed in (...)
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  • Answerability, Blameworthiness, and History.Daniel Miller - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (2):469-486.
    This paper focuses on a non-volitional account that has received a good deal of attention recently, Angela Smith's rational relations view. I argue that without historical conditions on blameworthiness for the non-voluntary non-volitionist accounts like Smith’s are (i) vulnerable to manipulation cases and (ii) fail to make sufficient room for the distinction between badness and blameworthiness. Towards the end of the paper I propose conditions aimed to supplement these deficiencies. The conditions that I propose are tailored to suit non-volitional accounts (...)
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  • Direct Blameworthiness for Non-Conduct?E. Coffman - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (4):1087-1094.
    Peter Graham argues against the prima facie plausible thesis that one can be directly blameworthy only for one’s conduct—that is, only for one’s actions or omissions to act. Because this thesis serves as a premise in a challenging recent argument for the revisionist conclusion that we’re at most rarely directly blameworthy for anything, Graham’s argument holds out a promise of contributing to a defense of a wide range of commonsense ascriptions of blameworthiness. After reconstructing Graham’s argument for the possibility of (...)
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  • When and Why is It Disrespectful to Excuse an Attitude?John Robison - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2391-2409.
    It is intuitive that, under certain circumstances, it can be disrespectful or patronizing to excuse someone for an attitude. While it is easy enough to find instances where it seems disrespectful to excuse an attitude, matters are complicated. When and why, precisely, is it disrespectful to judge that someone is not responsible for his attitude? In this paper, I show, first, that the extant philosophical literature on this question is underdeveloped and overgeneralized: the writers who address the question suggest quite (...)
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  • Können Wir Uns Entscheiden, Etwas Zu Glauben? Zur Möglichkeit Und Unmöglichkeit Eines Doxastischen Willens.Sebastian Schmidt - 2016 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 93 (4):571-582.
    I argue that believing at will – i.e. believing for practical reasons – is in some sense possible and in some sense impossible. It is impossible insofar as we think of belief formation as a re-sult of our exercise of certain capacities (perception, memory, agency). But insofar as we think of belief formation as an action that might lead to such a result (i.e. a deliberation or an in-quiry), believing at will is possible. First I present and clarify the problem (...)
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  • Incompatibilism and the Avoidability of Blame.Michael Otsuka - 1998 - Ethics 108 (4):685-701.
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  • Moral Responsibility, Voluntary Control, and Intentional Action.Kyle Fritz - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):831-855.
    Many theorists writing about moral responsibility accept that voluntary control is necessary for responsibility. Call such theorists volitionists. Recently, volitionism has been called into question by theorists I call nonvolitionists. Yet neither volitionists nor nonvolitionists have carefully articulated a clear volitionist thesis, nor have they sufficiently explained the concept of voluntary control that somehow seems connected to volitionism. I argue that attempts to explain the volitionist thesis, voluntary control, and their relation are more problematic than have previously been recognized. Instead, (...)
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  • The Objects of Moral Responsibility.Andrew Khoury - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1357-1381.
    It typically taken for granted that agents can be morally responsible for such things as, for example, the death of the victim and the capture of the murderer in the sense that one may be blameworthy or praiseworthy for such things. The primary task of a theory of moral responsibility, it is thought, is to specify the appropriate relationship one must stand to such things in order to be morally responsible for them. I argue that this common approach is problematic (...)
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  • Social Evil.Ted Poston - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion 5:209-233.
    Social evil is any pain or suffering brought about by game-theoretic interactions of many individuals. This paper introduces and discusses the problem of social evil. I begin by focusing on social evil brought about by game-theoretic interactions of rational moral individuals. The problem social evil poses for theism is distinct from problems posed by natural and moral evils. Social evil is not a natural evil because it is brought about by the choices of individuals. But social evil is not a (...)
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  • Attention, Emotion, and Evaluative Understanding.John Monteleone - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (4):1749-1764.
    This paper assesses Michael Brady’s claim that the ‘capture and consumption of attention’ in an emotion facilitates evaluative understanding. It argues that emotional attention is epistemically deleterious on its own, even though it can be beneficial in conjunction with the right epistemic skills and motivations. The paper considers Sartre’s and Solomon’s claim that emotions have purposes, respectively, to circumvent difficulty or maximize self-esteem. While this appeal to purposes is problematic, it suggests a promising alternative conception of how emotions can be (...)
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  • Should Have Known.Sanford Goldberg - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2863-2894.
    In this paper I will be arguing that there are cases in which a subject, S, should have known that p, even though, given her state of evidence at the time, she was in no position to know it. My argument for this result will involve making two claims. The uncontroversial claim is this: S should have known that p when another person has, or would have, legitimate expectations regarding S’s epistemic condition, the satisfaction of these expectations would require that (...)
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