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Tom O'Shea
University of Edinburgh
  1. Are Workers Dominated?Tom O'Shea - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (1).
    This article undertakes a republican analysis of power in the workplace and labour market in order to determine whether workers are dominated by employers. Civic republicans usually take domination to be subjection to an arbitrary power to interfere with choice. But when faced with labour disputes over what choices it is normal for workers to make for themselves, these accounts of domination struggle to determine whether employers possess the power to interfere. I propose an alternative capabilitarian conception of domination as (...)
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  2. Disability and Domination: Lessons from Republican Political Philosophy.Tom O'Shea - 2018 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (1):133-148.
    The republican ideal of non-domination identifies the capacity for arbitrary interference as a fundamental threat to liberty that can generate fearful uncertainty and servility in those dominated. I argue that republican accounts of domination can provide a powerful analysis of the nature of legal and institutional power that is encountered by people with mental disorders or cognitive disabilities. In doing so, I demonstrate that non-domination is an ideal which is pertinent, distinctive, and desirable in thinking through psychological disability. Finally, I (...)
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  3. A Law of One's Own: Self‐Legislation and Radical Kantian Constructivism.Tom O'Shea - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (4):1153-1173.
    Radical constructivists appeal to self-legislation in arguing that rational agents are the ultimate sources of normative authority over themselves. I chart the roots of radical constructivism and argue that its two leading Kantian proponents are unable to defend an account of self-legislation as the fundamental source of practical normativity without this legislation collapsing into a fatal arbitrariness. Christine Korsgaard cannot adequately justify the critical resources which agents use to navigate their practical identities. This leaves her account riven between rigorism and (...)
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  4. Godless Conscience.Tom O'Shea - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (3):95-114.
    . John Cottingham suggests that “only a traditional theistic framework may be adequate for doing justice to the role of conscience in our lives.” Two main reasons for endorsing this proposition are assessed: the religious origins of conscience, and the need to explain its normative authority. I argue that Graeco-Roman conceptions of conscience cast doubt on this first historical claim, and that secular moral realisms can account for the obligatoriness of conscience. Nevertheless, the recognition of the need for an objective (...)
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  5. Radical Republicanism and the Future of Work.Tom O'Shea - 2021 - Theory and Event 24 (4):1050-1067.
    I develop a socialist republican conception of economic liberty and show how it can be used to understand the domination of workers. It holds that both paid and unpaid workers can be deprived of economic freedom when they are exposed to an arbitrary power to undermine their access to the economic capabilities needed for civic equality. Measures intended to reduce domination are recommended, including public ownership of productive property, workplace democracy, and robust unconditional basic income and services. Finally, I discuss (...)
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  6. Consent: Historical Perspectives in Medical Ethics.Tom O'Shea - 2018 - In Andreas Müller & Peter Schaber (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Consent. London: Routledge. pp. 261-271.
    This chapter provides an outline of consent in the history of medical ethics. In doing so, it ranges over attitudes towards consent in medicine in ancient Greece, medieval Europe and the Middle East, as well as the history of Western law and medical ethics from the early modern period onwards. It considers the relationship between consent and both the disclosure of information to patients and the need to indemnify physicians, while attempting to avoid an anachronistic projection of concern with patient (...)
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  7. A Civic Republican Analysis of Mental Capacity Law.Tom O'Shea - 2018 - Legal Studies 1 (38):147-163.
    This article draws upon the civic republican tradition to offer new conceptual resources for the normative assessment of mental capacity law. The republican conception of liberty as non-domination is used to identify ways in which such laws generate arbitrary power that can underpin relationships of servility and insecurity. It also shows how non-domination provides a basis for critiquing legal tests of decision-making that rely upon ‘diagnostic’ rather than ‘functional’ criteria. In response, two main civic republican strategies are recommended for securing (...)
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