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Cynthia A. Stark [10]Cynthia Stark [3]
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Cynthia A. Stark
University of Utah
  1. Gaslighting, Misogyny, and Psychological Oppression.Cynthia A. Stark - 2019 - The Monist 102 (2):221-235.
    This paper develops a notion of manipulative gaslighting, which is designed to capture something not captured by epistemic gaslighting, namely the intent to undermine women by denying their testimony about harms done to them by men. Manipulative gaslighting, I propose, consists in getting someone to doubt her testimony by challenging its credibility using two tactics: “sidestepping” and “displacing”. I explain how manipulative gaslighting is distinct from reasonable disagreement, with which it is sometimes confused. I also argue for three further claims: (...)
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  2. Hypothetical Consent and Justification.Cynthia A. Stark - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (6):313.
    Hypothetical contracts have been said to be not worth the paper they are not written on. This paper defends hypothetical consent theories of justice, such as Rawls's, against the view that they lack justificatory power. I argue that while hypothetical consent cannot generate political obligation, it can generate political legitimacy.
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  3. The Presumption of Equality.Cynthia Stark - 2018 - Law. Ethics and Philosophy 6:7-27.
    Many distributive egalitarians do not endorse strict equality of goods. Rather, they treat an equal division as having a special status such that departures from equality must be justified. They claim, then, that an equal division is “presumptively” just. Though the idea that equality is presumptively just and that departures from it may be just has intuitive appeal, making a case for this idea proves difficult. I argue, first, that extant “presumption arguments” are unsound. Second, I distill two general philosophical (...)
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  4. How to Include the Severely Disabled in a Contractarian Theory of Justice.Cynthia A. Stark - 2007 - Journal of Political Philosophy 15 (2):127-145.
    This paper argues that, with modification, Rawls's social contract theory can produce principles of distributive justice applying to the severely disabled. It is a response to critics who claim that Rawls's assumption that the parties in the original position represent fully cooperating citizens excludes the disabled from the social contract. I propose that this idealizing assumption should be dropped at the constitutional stage of the contract where the parties decide on a social minimum. Knowing that they might not be fully (...)
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  5.  75
    Rawlsian Self-Respect.Cynthia Stark - 2012 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics. Oxford, UK: pp. 238-261.
    Critics have argued that Rawls's account of self-respect is equivocal. I show, first, that Rawls in fact relies upon an unambiguous notion of self-respect, though he sometimes is unclear as to whether this notion has merely instrumental or also intrinsic value. I show second that Rawls’s main objective in arguing that justice as fairness supports citizens’ self-respect is not, as many have thought, to show that his principles support citizens’ self-respect generally, but to show that his principles counter the effects (...)
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  6. Contractarianism and Cooperation.Cynthia A. Stark - 2009 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 8 (1):73-99.
    Because contractarians see justice as mutual advantage, they hold that justice can be rationally grounded only when each can expect to gain from it. John Rawls seems to avoid this feature of contractarianism by fashioning the parties to the contract as Kantian agents whose personhood grounds their claims to justice. But Rawls also endorses the Humean idea that justice applies only if people are equal in ability. It would seem to follow from this idea that dependent persons (such as the (...)
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  7.  96
    Respecting Human Dignity: Contract Versus Capabilities.Cynthia A. Stark - 2009 - Metaphilosophy 40 (3-4):366-381.
    There appears to be a tension between two commitments in liberalism. The first is that citizens, as rational agents possessing dignity, are owed a justification for principles of justice. The second is that members of society who do not meet the requirements of rational agency are owed justice. These notions conflict because the first commitment is often expressed through the device of the social contract, which seems to confine the scope of justice to rational agents. So, contractarianism seems to ignore (...)
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  8. The Rationality of Valuing Oneself: A Critique of Kant on Self-Respect.Cynthia A. Stark - 1997 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 35 (1):65-82.
    Kant claims that persons have a perfect duty to respect themselves. I argue, first, that Kant’s argument for the duty of self-respect commits him to an implausible view of the nature of self-respect: he must hold that failures of self-respect are either deliberate or matter of self-deception. I argue, second, that this problem cannot be solved by understanding failures of self-respect as failures of rationality because such a view is incompatible with human psychology. Surely it is not irrational for people, (...)
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  9.  64
    There's Something About Marla: Fight Club and the Engendering of Self-Respect.Cynthia Stark - 2012 - In Thomas E. Wartenberg (ed.), Fight Club. New York, NY, USA: pp. 51-77.
    My article discusses the character of Marla, the narrator’s lover, in the film Fight Club. Her only option, within the terms of the film’s logic, I argue, is to define her worth derivatively, by association with the narrator. Fight Club, then, despite its somewhat self-effacing attitude about the rejuvenation of masculinity that it portrays, reinforces a familiar patriarchal story: men’s sense of worth lies in their joint world-making activities. Women’s sense of worth lies in their attachment to individual men who (...)
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  10.  77
    Decision Procedures, Standards of Rightness and Impartiality.Cynthia A. Stark - 1997 - Noûs 31 (4):478-495.
    I argue that partialist critics of deontological theories make a mistake similar to one made by critics of utilitarianism: they fail to distinguish between a theory’s decision procedure and its standard of rightness. That is, they take these deontological theories to be offering a method for moral deliberation when they are in fact offering justificatory arguments for moral principles. And while deontologists, like utilitarians do incorporate impartiality into their justifications for basic principles, many do not require that agents utilize impartial (...)
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  11.  71
    Luck, Opportunity and Disability.Cynthia A. Stark - 2013 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 16 (3):383-402.
    This paper argues that luck egalitarianism, especially in the guise of equality of opportunity for welfare, is in tension with the ideal of fair equality of opportunity in three ways. First, equal opportunity for welfare is compatible with a caste system in employment that is inconsistent with open competition for positions. Second, luck egalitarianism does not support hiring on the basis of qualifications. Third, amending luck egalitarianism to repair this problem requires abandoning fair access to qualifications. Insofar as luck egalitarianism (...)
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  12.  90
    Abstraction and Justification in Moral Theory.Cynthia A. Stark - 2010 - Hypatia 25 (4):825-833.
    Ethicists of care have objected to traditional moral philosophy's reliance upon abstract universal principles. They claim that the use of abstraction renders traditional theories incapable of capturing morally relevant, particular features of situations. I argue that this objection sometimes conflates two different levels of moral thinking: the level of justification and the level of deliberation. Specifically, I claim that abstraction or attention to context at the level of justification does not entail, as some critics seem to think, a commitment to (...)
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  13.  49
    Pornography, Verbal Acts, and Viewpoint Discrimination.Cynthia A. Stark - 1998 - Public Affairs Quarterly 12 (4):429-445.
    Catharine MacKinnon argues that pornography is action, rather than speech. She argues further that the speech/action distinction is what delineates the scope of the First Amendment. It follows, she thinks, that pornography does not fall within the scope of the First Amendment. I argue that the legal distinction between speech and action on which MacKinnon relies is unstable and therefore cannot determine which utterances fall within the scope of the First Amendment. Indeed, attempting to sort utterances by means of the (...)
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