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Ben Schwan
Case Western Reserve University
  1. What Ability Can Do.Ben Schwan - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):703-723.
    One natural way to argue for the existence of some subjective constraint on agents’ obligations is to maintain that without that particular constraint, agents will sometimes be obligated to do that which they lack the ability to do. In this paper, I maintain that while such a strategy appears promising, it is fraught with pitfalls. Specifically, I argue that because the truth of an ability ascription depends on an (almost always implicit) characterization of the relevant possibility space, different metaethical accounts (...)
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  2.  36
    Wrongfulness rewarded?David O’Brien & Ben Schwan - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    In this paper, we raise and discuss a puzzle about the relationships among goods, reasons, and deontic status. Suppose you have it within your power to give someone something they would enjoy. The following claims seem platitudinous: you can use this power to reward whatever kind of option you want, thereby making that option better and generating a reason for that person to perform it; this reason is then weighed alongside and against the other reasons at play; and altogether, the (...)
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    Why Decision-Making Capacity Matters.Ben Schwan - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    Decision-making Capacity (DMC) matters to whether a patient’s decision should determine her treatment. But why it matters in this way isn’t clear. The standard story is that DMC matters because autonomy matters. And this is thought to justify DMC as a gatekeeper for autonomy—whereby autonomy concerns arise if but only if a patient has DMC. But appeals to autonomy invoke two distinct concerns: concern for authenticity—concern that a choice is consistent with an individual’s commitments; and concern for sovereignty—concern that an (...)
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