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Simon Cushing
University of Michigan - Flint
  1. Against "Humanism": Speciesism, Personhood, and Preference.Simon Cushing - 2003 - Journal of Social Philosophy 34 (4):556–571.
    Article responds to the criticism of speciesism that it is somehow less immoral than other -isms by showing that this is a mistake resting on an inadequate taxonomy of the various -isms. Criticizes argument by Bonnie Steinbock that preference to your own species is not immoral by comparison with racism of comparable level.
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  2. Evil, Freedom and Heaven.Simon Cushing - 2018 - In Heaven and Philosophy. Lanham: Lexington. pp. 201-230.
    By far the most respected response by theists to the problem of evil is some version of the free will defense, which rests on the twin ideas that God could not create humans with free will without them committing evil acts, and that freedom is of such value that it is better that we have it than that we be perfect yet unfree. If we assume that the redeemed in heaven are impeccable, then the free will defense faces what I (...)
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  3. Don't Fear the Reaper: An Epicurean Answer to Puzzles About Death and Injustice.Simon Cushing - 2007 - In Kate Woodthorpe (ed.), Layers of Dying and Death. Oxford, UK: Inter-Disciplinary Press. pp. 117-127.
    I begin by sketching the Epicurean position on death - that it cannot be bad for the one who dies because she no longer exists - which has struck many people as specious. However, alternative views must specify who is wronged by death (the dead person?), what is the harm (suffering?), and when does the harm take place (before death, when you’re not dead yet, or after death, when you’re not around any more?). In the second section I outline the (...)
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  4. Has Autism Changed?Simon Cushing - 2018 - In Monika dos Santos & Jean-Francois Pelletier (eds.), The Social Constructions and Experiences of Madness. Leiden: Brill. pp. 75-94.
    The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was published in 2013 containing the following changes from the previous edition: gone are the subcategories ‘Autistic Disorder,’ ‘Asperger Syndrome’ and ‘PDD-NOS,’ replaced by the single diagnosis ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder,’ and there is a new category ‘Social Communication Disorder.’ In this paper I consider what kind of reasons would justify these changes if one were (a) a realist about autism, or (b) one were a constructivist. I explore (...)
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  5. Rawls and "Duty-Based" Accounts of Political Obligation.Simon Cushing - 1999 - APA Newsletter on Law and Philosophy 99 (1):67-71.
    Rawls's theory of political obligation attempts to avoid the obvious flaws of a Lockean consent model. Rawls rejects a requirement of consent for two reasons: First, the consent requirement of Locke’s theory was intended to ensure that the liberty and equality of the contractors was respected, but this end is better achieved by the principles chosen in the original position, which order the basic structure of a society into which citizens are born. Second, "basing our political ties upon a principle (...)
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  6. Autism: The Very Idea.Simon Cushing - 2013 - In Jami L. Anderson & Simon Cushing (eds.), The Philosophy of Autism. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 17-45.
    If each of the subtypes of autism is defined simply as constituted by a set of symptoms, then the criteria for its observation are straightforward, although, of course, some of those symptoms themselves might be hard to observe definitively. Compare with telling whether or not someone is bleeding: while it might be hard to tell if someone is bleeding internally, we know what it takes to find out, and when we have the right access and instruments we can settle the (...)
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    Heaven and Homicide.Simon Cushing - 2018 - In Heaven and Philosophy. Lanham: Lexington. pp. 255-269.
    I address the questions of whether or not the very existence of heaven provides a motivation for killing. If universalism is true, then anyone killed will end up there, as will the killer. And given that heaven is infinitely better than earth, killing would be, on this view, the greatest gift possible to the “victim.” But if universalism is not true, there is perhaps an even greater incentive to kill one’s loved ones if one knows them to be currently heaven-bound: (...)
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  8. Reaching for My Gun: Why We Shouldn't Hear the Word "Culture" in Normative Political Theory.Simon Cushing - 2007 - 1st Global Conference: Multiculturalism, Conflict and Belonging.
    Culture is a notoriously elusive concept. This fact has done nothing to hinder its popularity in contemporary analytic political philosophy among writers like John Rawls, Will Kymlicka, Michael Walzer, David Miller, Iris Marion Young, Joseph Raz, Avishai Margalit and Bikhu Parekh, among many others. However, this should stop, both for the metaphysical reason that the concept of culture, like that of race, is itself either incoherent or lacking a referent in reality, and for several normative reasons. I focus on the (...)
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  9. Representation and Obligation in Rawls' Social Contract Theory.Simon Cushing - 1998 - Southwest Philosophy Review 14 (1):47-54.
    The two justificatory roles of the social contract are establishing whether or not a state is legitimate simpliciter and establishing whether any particular individual is politically obligated to obey the dictates of its governing institutions. Rawls's theory is obviously designed to address the first role but less obviously the other. Rawls does offer a duty-based theory of political obligation that has been criticized by neo-Lockean A. John Simmons. I assess Simmons's criticisms and the possible responses that could be made to (...)
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  10. Justification, Legitimacy, and Social Embeddedness: Locke and Rawls on Society and the State.Simon Cushing - 2003 - Journal of Value Inquiry 37 (2):217-231.
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  11. The Philosophy of Autism.Jami L. Anderson & Simon Cushing (eds.) - 2012 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    This book examines autism from the tradition of analytic philosophy, working from the premise that Autism Spectrum Disorders raise interesting philosophical questions that need to be and can be addressed in a manner that is clear, jargon-free, and accessible. The goal of the original essays in this book is to provide a philosophically rich analysis of issues raised by autism and to afford dignity and respect to those impacted by autism by placing it at the center of the discussion.
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  12. Citizenship, Political Obligation, and the Right-Based Social Contract.Simon Cushing - 1998 - Dissertation, University of Southern California
    The contemporary political philosopher John Rawls considers himself to be part of the social contract tradition of John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant, but not of the tradition of Locke's predecessor, Thomas Hobbes. Call the Hobbesian tradition interest-based, and the Lockean tradition right-based, because it assumes that there are irreducible moral facts which the social contract can assume. The primary purpose of Locke's social contract is to justify the authority of the state over its citizens despite the fact that (...)
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  13. Heaven and Philosophy.Simon Cushing (ed.) - 2017 - Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.
    This volume is a collection of essays analyzing different issues concerning the nature, possibility, and desirability of heaven as understood by the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity. and Islam. Topics include whether or not it is possible that a mortal could, upon bodily death, become an inhabitant of heaven without loss of identity, where exactly heaven might be located, whether or not everyone should be saved, or if there might be alternative destinations (including some less fiery versions of Hell). Chapter (...)
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