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Samuel Director
Brown University
  1. A Dilemma for Saulish Skepticism: Either Self-Defeating or Not Even Skepticism.Samuel Director - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (48):43-55.
    Jennifer Saul argues that the evidence from the literature on implicit biases entails a form of skepticism. In this paper, I argue that Saul faces a dilemma: her argument is either self-defeating, or it does not yield a skeptical conclusion. For Saul, both results are unacceptable; thus, her argument fails.
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  2. Justice in the Laws, a Restatement: Why Plato Endorses Public Reason.Samuel Director - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (2):184-203.
    In the Laws, Plato argues that the legislator should attempt to persuade people to voluntarily obey the laws. This persuasion is accomplished through use of legislative preludes. Preludes (also called preambles) are short arguments written into the legal code, which precede laws and give reasons to follow them. In this paper, I argue that Plato’s use of persuasive preludes shows that he endorses the core features of a public reason theory of political justification. Many philosophers argue that Plato’s political philosophy (...)
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  3. Consent’s Dominion: Dementia and Prior Consent to Sexual Relations.Samuel Director - 2019 - Bioethics 33 (9):1065-1071.
    In this paper, I answer the following question: suppose that two individuals, C and D, have been in a long-term committed relationship, and D now has dementia, while C is competent; if D agrees to have sex with C, is it permissible for C to have sex with D? Ultimately, I defend the view that, under certain conditions, D can give valid consent to sex with C, rendering sex between them permissible. Specifically, I argue there is compelling reason to endorse (...)
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  4.  59
    Civil Liberties in a Lockdown: The Case of COVID-19.Samuel Director & Christopher Freiman - forthcoming - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy:1-24.
    In response to the spread of COVID-19, governments across the world have, with very few exceptions, enacted sweeping restrictive lockdown policies that impede citizens’ freedom to move, work, and assemble. This paper critically responds to the central arguments for restrictive lockdown legislation. We build our critique on the following assumption: public policy that enjoys virtually unanimous support worldwide should be justified by uncontroversial moral principles. We argue that that the virtually unanimous support in favor of restrictive lockdowns is not adequately (...)
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  5. Global Public Reason, Diversity, and Consent.Samuel Director - 2019 - Philosophical Papers 48 (1):31-57.
    In this paper, I examine global public reason as a method of justifying a global state. Ultimately, I conclude that global public reason fails to justify a global state. This is the case, because global public reason faces an unwinnable dilemma. The global public reason theorist must endorse either a hypothetical theory of consent or an actual theory of consent; if she endorses a theory of hypothetical consent, then she fails to justify her principles; and if she endorses a theory (...)
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  6. Intuitions, Biases, and Extra‐Wide Reflective Equilibrium.Samuel Director - 2020 - Metaphilosophy 51 (5):674-684.
    It seems that intuitions are indispensable in philosophical theorizing. Yet, there is evidence that our intuitions are heavily influenced by biases. This generates a puzzle: we must use our intuitions, but we seemingly cannot fully trust those very intuitions. In this paper, I develop a methodology for philosophical theorizing which attempts to avoid this puzzle. Specifically, I develop and defend a methodology that I call Extra-Wide Reflective Equilibrium. I argue that this method allows us to use intuitions, while also providing (...)
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  7. Speciesism, Prejudice, and Epistemic Peer Disagreement.Samuel Director - 2020 - Journal of Value Inquiry 55 (1):1-20.
    Peter Singer famously argues that speciesism, like racism and sexism, is based on a preju-dice. As Singer argues, since we reject racism and sexism, we must also reject speciesism. Since Singer articulated this line of reasoning, it has become a widespread argument against speciesism. Shelly Kagan has recently critiqued this argument, claiming that one can endorse speciesism with-out doing so on the basis of a prejudice. In this paper, I defend Kagan’s conclusion (that one can endorse speciesism without being prejudiced). (...)
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  8.  92
    Sober Thoughts on Drunken Consent: Intoxication and Consent to Sexual Relations.Samuel Director - forthcoming - Social Theory and Practice:1-33.
    Drunken sex is common. Despite how common drunken sex is, we think very uncritically about it. In this paper, I want to examine whether drunk individuals can consent to sex. Specifically, I answer this question: suppose that an individual, D, who is drunk but can still engage in reasoning and communication, agrees to have sex with a sober individual, S; is D’s consent to sex with S morally valid? I will argue that, within a certain range of intoxication, an individual (...)
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