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Walter Veit
University of Sydney
  1. Racial Justice Requires Ending the War on Drugs.Brian D. Earp, Jonathan Lewis, Carl L. Hart & Walter Veit - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (4):4-19.
    Historically, laws and policies to criminalize drug use or possession were rooted in explicit racism, and they continue to wreak havoc on certain racialized communities. We are a group of bioethicists, drug experts, legal scholars, criminal justice researchers, sociologists, psychologists, and other allied professionals who have come together in support of a policy proposal that is evidence-based and ethically recommended. We call for the immediate decriminalization of all so-called recreational drugs and, ultimately, for their timely and appropriate legal regulation. We (...)
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  2. Ethics of Mixed Martial Arts.Walter Veit & Heather Browning - forthcoming - In J. Holt & M. Ramsay (eds.), The Philosophy of Mixed Martial Arts: Squaring the Octagon. London: Routledge. pp. 134-149.
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  3. Biological Normativity: A New Hope for Naturalism?Walter Veit - 2021 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 24 (2):291-301.
    Since Boorse [Philos Sci 44:542–573, 1977] published his paper “Health as a theoretical concept” one of the most lively debates within philosophy of medicine has been on the question of whether health and disease are in some sense ‘objective’ and ‘value-free’ or ‘subjective’ and ‘value-laden’. Due to the apparent ‘failure’ of pure naturalist, constructivist, or normativist accounts, much in the recent literature has appealed to more conciliatory approaches or so-called ‘hybrid accounts’ of health and disease. A recent paper by Matthewson (...)
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  4. Can ‘Eugenics’ Be Defended?Francesca Minerva, Diana S. Fleischman, Peter Singer, Nicholas Agar, Jonathan Anomaly & Walter Veit - 2021 - Monash Bioethics Review 39 (1):60-67.
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  5.  61
    Model Pluralism.Walter Veit - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (2):91-114.
    This paper introduces and defends an account of model-based science that I dub model pluralism. I argue that despite a growing awareness in the philosophy of science literature of the multiplicity, diversity, and richness of models and modeling practices, more radical conclusions follow from this recognition than have previously been inferred. Going against the tendency within the literature to generalize from single models, I explicate and defend the following two core theses: any successful analysis of models must target sets of (...)
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  6.  81
    “The Essence of Autism: Fact or Artefact?”.Walter Veit - forthcoming - Molecular Psychiatry.
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  7. Procreative Beneficence and Genetic Enhancement.Walter Veit - 2018 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 32 (1):75-92.
    Imagine a world where everyone is healthy, intelligent, long living and happy. Intuitively this seems wonderful albeit unrealistic. However, recent scienti c breakthroughs in genetic engineering, namely CRISPR/Cas bring the question into public discourse, how the genetic enhancement of humans should be evaluated morally. In 2001, when preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF), enabled parents to select between multiple embryos, Julian Savulescu introduced the principle of procreative bene cence (PPB), stating that parents have the obligations to choose (...)
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  8. Improving Invertebrate Welfare.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2020 - Animal Sentience 29 (4).
    Mikhalevich & Powell (2020) argue that it is wrong, both scientifically and morally, to dismiss the evidence for sentience in invertebrates. They do not offer any examples, however, of how their welfare should be considered or improved. We draw on animal welfare science to suggest some ways that would not be excessively demanding.
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  9. Phenomenology Applied to Animal Health and Suffering.Walter Veit & Heather Browning - 2021 - In Susi Ferrarello (ed.), Phenomenology of Bioethics: Technoethics and Lived Experience. Springer. pp. 73-88.
    What is it like to be a bat? What is it like to be sick? These two questions are much closer to one another than has hitherto been acknowledged. Indeed, both raise a number of related, albeit very complex, philosophical problems. In recent years, the phenomenology of health and disease has become a major topic in bioethics and the philosophy of medicine, owing much to the work of Havi Carel (2007, 2011, 2018). Surprisingly little attention, however, has been given to (...)
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  10. Freedom and Animal Welfare.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2021 - Animals 4 (11):1148.
    The keeping of captive animals in zoos and aquariums has long been controversial. Many take freedom to be a crucial part of animal welfare and, on these grounds, criticise all forms of animal captivity as harmful to animal welfare, regardless of their provisions. Here, we analyse what it might mean for freedom to matter to welfare, distinguishing between the role of freedom as an intrinsic good, valued for its own sake and an instrumental good, its value arising from the increased (...)
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  11. Confined Freedom and Free Confinement: The Ethics of Captivity in Life of Pi.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2020 - In Ádám T. Bogár & Rebeka Sára Szigethy (eds.), Critical Insights: Life of Pi. Salem Press. pp. 119-134.
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  12. Model Anarchism.Walter Veit - 2020
    This paper constitutes a radical departure from the existing philosophical literature on models, modeling-practices, and model-based science. I argue that the various entities and practices called 'models' and 'modeling-practices' are too diverse, too context-sensitive, and serve too many scientific purposes and roles, as to allow for a general philosophical analysis. From this recognition an alternative view emerges that I shall dub model anarchism.
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  13. Representing the Autism Spectrum.Robert Chapman & Walter Veit - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (4):46-48.
    Volume 20, Issue 4, May 2020, Page 46-48.
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  14.  42
    Evolution of Multicellularity: Cheating Done Right.Walter Veit - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (3):34.
    For decades Darwinian processes were framed in the form of the Lewontin conditions: reproduction, variation and differential reproductive success were taken to be sufficient and necessary. Since Buss and the work of Maynard Smith and Szathmary biologists were eager to explain the major transitions from individuals to groups forming new individuals subject to Darwinian mechanisms themselves. Explanations that seek to explain the emergence of a new level of selection, however, cannot employ properties that would already have to exist on that (...)
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  15. Cognitive Enhancement and the Threat of Inequality.Walter Veit - 2018 - Journal of Cognitive Enhancement 2 (4):1-7.
    As scientific progress approaches the point where significant human enhancements could become reality, debates arise whether such technologies should be made available. This paper evaluates the widespread concern that human enhancements will inevitably accentuate existing inequality and analyzes whether prohibition is the optimal public policy to avoid this outcome. Beyond these empirical questions, this paper considers whether the inequality objection is a sound argument against the set of enhancements most threatening to equality, i.e., cognitive enhancements. In doing so, I shall (...)
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  16.  55
    Nancy Cartwright. Nature, the Artful Modeler: Lectures on Laws, Science, How Nature Arranges the World and How We Can Arrange It Better. [REVIEW]Walter Veit - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (2):366-369.
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  17.  16
    Modeling Morality.Walter Veit - 2019 - In Matthieu Fontaine, Cristina Barés-Gómez, Francisco Salguero-Lamillar, Lorenzo Magnani & Ángel Nepomuceno-Fernández (eds.), Model-Based Reasoning in Science and Technology. Springer Verlag. pp. 83–102.
    Unlike any other field, the science of morality has drawn attention from an extraordinarily diverse set of disciplines. An interdisciplinary research program has formed in which economists, biologists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and even philosophers have been eager to provide answers to puzzling questions raised by the existence of human morality. Models and simulations, for a variety of reasons, have played various important roles in this endeavor. Their use, however, has sometimes been deemed as useless, trivial and inadequate. The role of models (...)
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  18.  89
    The Measurement Problem of Consciousness.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2020 - Philosophical Topics 48 (1):85-108.
    This paper addresses what we consider to be the most pressing challenge for the emerging science of consciousness: the measurement problem of consciousness. That is, by what methods can we determine the presence of and properties of consciousness? Most methods are currently developed through evaluation of the presence of consciousness in humans and here we argue that there are particular problems in application of these methods to nonhuman cases—what we call the indicator validity problem and the extrapolation problem. The first (...)
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  19. The Evolution of Knowledge During the Cambrian Explosion.Walter Veit - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences:e47.
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  20.  43
    Evaluating Tradeoffs Between Autonomy and Wellbeing in Supported Decision Making.Julian Savulescu, Heather Browning, Brian D. Earp & Walter Veit - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (11):21-24.
    A core challenge for contemporary bioethics is how to address the tension between respecting an individual’s autonomy and promoting their wellbeing when these ideals seem to come into conflict (Not...
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  21. Drawing the Boundaries of Animal Sentience.Walter Veit & Bryce Huebner - 2020 - Animal Sentience 13 (29).
    We welcome Mikhalevich & Powell’s (2020) (M&P) call for a more “‘inclusive”’ animal ethics, but we think their proposed shift toward a moral framework that privileges false positives over false negatives will require radically revising the paradigm assumption in animal research: that there is a clear line to be drawn between sentient beings that are part of our moral community and nonsentient beings that are not.
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  22.  71
    Recognizing the Diversity of Cognitive Enhancements.Walter Veit, Brian D. Earp, Nadira Faber, Nick Bostrom, Justin Caouette, Adriano Mannino, Lucius Caviola, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 11 (4):250-253.
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  23. Is Humane Slaughter Possible?Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2020 - Animals 10 (5):799.
    One of the biggest ethical issues in animal agriculture is that of the welfare of animals at the end of their lives, during the process of slaughter. Much work in animal welfare science is focussed on finding humane ways to transport and slaughter animals, to minimise the harm done during this process. In this paper, we take a philosophical look at what it means to perform slaughter humanely, beyond simply reducing pain and suffering during the slaughter process. In particular, we (...)
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  24.  28
    Petition to Include Cephalopods as “Animals” Deserving of Humane Treatment Under the Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.New England Anti-Vivisection Society, American Anti-Vivisection Society, The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Jennifer Jacquet, Becca Franks, Judit Pungor, Jennifer Mather, Peter Godfrey-Smith, Lori Marino, Greg Barord, Carl Safina, Heather Browning & Walter Veit - forthcoming - Harvard Law School Animal Law and Policy Clinic:1–30.
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  25.  28
    Perspectival Pluralism for Animal Welfare.Walter Veit & Heather Browning - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-14.
    Animal welfare has a long history of disregard. While in recent decades the study of animal welfare has become a scientific discipline of its own, the difficulty of measuring animal welfare can still be vastly underestimated. There are three primary theories, or perspectives, on animal welfare - biological functioning, natural living and affective state. These come with their own diverse methods of measurement, each providing a limited perspective on an aspect of welfare. This paper describes a perspectival pluralist account of (...)
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  26.  83
    Experimental Philosophy of Medicine and the Concepts of Health and Disease.Walter Veit - 2020 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics:1-18.
    If one had to identify the biggest change within the philosophical tradition in the twenty-first century, it would certainly be the rapid rise of experimental philosophy to address differences in intuitions about concepts. It is, therefore, surprising that the philosophy of medicine has so far not drawn on the tools of experimental philosophy in the context of a particular conceptual debate that has overshadowed all others in the field: the long-standing dispute between so-called naturalists and normativists about the concepts of (...)
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  27.  42
    Evolutionary Biology Meets Consciousness: Essay Review of Simona Ginsburg and Eva Jablonka’s The Evolution of the Sensitive Soul.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-11.
    In this essay, we discuss Simona Ginsburg and Eva Jablonka’s The Evolution of the Sensitive Soul from an interdisciplinary perspective. Constituting perhaps the longest treatise on the evolution of consciousness, Ginsburg and Jablonka unite their expertise in neuroscience and biology to develop a beautifully Darwinian account of the dawning of subjective experience. Though it would be impossible to cover all its content in a short book review, here we provide a critical evaluation of their two key ideas—the role of Unlimited (...)
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  28.  37
    Extending Animal Welfare Science to Include Wild Animals.Walter Veit & Heather Browning - forthcoming - Animal Sentience:1-4.
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  29.  60
    The Rationale of Rationalization.Walter Veit, Joe Dewhurst, Krzysztof Dołęga, Max Jones, Shaun Stanley, Keith Frankish & Daniel C. Dennett - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 43:e53.
    While we agree in broad strokes with the characterisation of rationalization as a “useful fiction,” we think that Fiery Cushman's claim remains ambiguous in two crucial respects: the reality of beliefs and desires, that is, the fictional status of folk-psychological entities and the degree to which they should be understood as useful. Our aim is to clarify both points and explicate the rationale of rationalization.
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  30.  45
    In Science We Trust? Being Honest About the Limits of Medical Research During COVID-19.Walter Veit, Rebecca Brown & Brian D. Earp - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (1):22-24.
    As a result of the world-wide COVID-19 epidemic, an internal tension in the goals of medicine has come to the forefront of public debate. Medical professionals are continuously faced with a tug of...
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  31.  61
    Evolving Resolve.Walter Veit & David Spurrett - 2021 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 44.
    The broad spectrum revolution brought greater dependence on skill and knowledge, and more demanding, often social, choices. We adopt Sterelny's account of how cooperative foraging paid the costs associated with longer dependency, and transformed the problem of skill learning. Scaffolded learning can facilitate cognitive control including suppression, whereas scaffolded exchange and trade, including inter-temporal exchange, can help develop resolve.
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  32.  70
    Metaphors in Arts and Science.Walter Veit & Ney Milan - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-24.
    Metaphors abound in both the arts and in science. Due to the traditional division between these enterprises as one concerned with aesthetic values and the other with epistemic values there has unfortunately been very little work on the relation between metaphors in the arts and sciences. In this paper, we aim to remedy this omission by defending a continuity thesis regarding the function of metaphor across both domains, that is, metaphors fulfill any of the same functions in science as they (...)
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  33. Enhancement Technologies and Inequality.Walter Veit - 2018 - Proceedings of the IX Conference of the Spanish Society of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science.
    Recognizing the variety of dystopian science-fiction novels and movies, from Brave New World to Gattaca and more recently Star Trek, on the future of humanity in which eugenic policies are implemented, genetic engineering has been getting a bad reputation for valid but arguably, mostly historical reasons. In this paper, I critically examine the claim from Mehlman & Botkin (1998: ch. 6) that human enhancement will inevitably accentuate existing inequality in a free market and analyze whether prohibition is the optimal public (...)
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  34.  34
    Agential Thinking.Walter Veit - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13393-13419.
    In his 2009 monograph, Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection, Peter Godfrey-Smith accuses biologists of demonstrating ‘Darwinian Paranoia’ when they engage in what he dubs ‘agential thinking’. But as Daniel Dennett points out, he offers neither an illuminating set of examples nor an extended argument for this assertion, deeming it to be a brilliant propaganda stroke against what is actually a useful way of thinking. Compared to the dangers of teleological thinking in biology, the dangers of agential thinking have unfortunately rarely (...)
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  35.  33
    Are Generational Welfare Trades Always Unjust?Walter Veit, Julian Savulescu, David Hunter, Brian D. Earp & Dominic Wilkinson - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (9):70-72.
    Volume 20, Issue 9, September 2020, Page 70-72.
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  36.  43
    Does Birth Matter?Walter Veit - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (3):194-195.
    This paper is a response to a recent paper by Bobier and Omelianchuk in which they argue that the critics of Giubilini and Minerva’s defence of infanticide fail to adequately justify a moral difference at birth. They argue that such arguments would lead to an intuitively less plausible position: that late-term abortions are permissible, thus creating a dilemma for those who seek to argue that birth matters. I argue that the only way to resolve this dilemma, is to bite the (...)
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  37. Existential Nihilism: The Only Really Serious Problem in Philosophy.Walter Veit - 2018 - Journal of Camus Studies 2018:211-232.
    Since Friedrich Nietzsche, philosophers have grappled with the question of how to respond to nihilism. Nihilism, often seen as a derogative term for a ‘life-denying’, destructive and perhaps most of all depressive philosophy is what drove existentialists to write about the right response to a meaningless universe devoid of purpose. This latter diagnosis is what I shall refer to as existential nihilism, the denial of meaning and purpose, a view that not only existentialists but also a long line of philosophers (...)
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  38. Flesh Without Blood: The Public Health Argument for Synthetic Meat.Jonathan Anomaly, Diana Fleischman, Heather Browning & Walter Veit - manuscript
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  39.  65
    Does Utilitarianism Need a Rethink? Review of Louis Narens and Brian Skyrms' The Pursuit of Happiness.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - forthcoming - Tandf: Journal of Economic Methodology:1-5.
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  40.  51
    Scaffolding Natural Selection.Walter Veit - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-18.
    Darwin provided us with a powerful theoretical framework to explain the evolution of living systems. Natural selection alone, however, has sometimes been seen as insufficient to explain the emergence of new levels of selection. The problem is one of “circularity” for evolutionary explanations: how to explain the origins of Darwinian properties without already invoking their presence at the level they emerge. That is, how does evolution by natural selection commence in the first place? Recent results in experimental evolution suggest a (...)
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  41.  32
    Samir Okasha’s Philosophy.Walter Veit - forthcoming - Lato Sensu: Revue de la Société de Philosophie des Sciences.
    This essay offers some reflections on Samir Okasha’s new monograph Agents and Goals in Evolution, his style of doing philosophy, and the broader philosophy of nature project of trying to make sense of agency and rationality as natural phenomena.
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  42.  53
    Utilitarian Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic for Non-Pandemic Diseases.Heather Browning & Walter Veit - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (12):39-42.
    The COVID-19 pandemic has created a unique set of challenges for national governments regarding how to deal with a major international pandemic of almost unprecedented scope. As the pandemic consti...
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  43.  38
    Model Diversity and the Embarrassment of Riches.Walter Veit - 2021 - Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (3):291-303.
    In a recent special issue dedicated to the work of Dani Rodrik, Grüne-Yanoff and Marchionni [. Modeling model selection in model pluralism. Journal of Economic Methodology, 25, 265–275. ht...
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  44. Should Parents Genetically Engineer Their Children?Walter Veit - 2019 - Psychology Today.
    Imagine a world where everyone is healthy, intelligent, long living and happy. Intuitively this seems wonderful, albeit unrealistic. However, recent scientific developments in genetic engineering, namely CRISPR/Cas bring the question into public discourse, how the genetic enhancement of humans should be evaluated morally.
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  45.  37
    Dennett and Spinoza.Walter Veit - 2020 - Australasian Philosophical Review 4 (3):259-265.
    ABSTRACT This paper compares Spinoza with Daniel Dennett and uncovers a number of striking parallels. Genevieve Lloyd’s recent work on Spinoza reveals a picture of a philosopher that anticipated many of Dennett’s later ideas. Both share a fervent opposition to Descartes’ conception of mind and body and endorse a strikingly similar naturalist philosophy. It is the goal of this paper to tease out these connections and once again highlight the richness of a Spinozist lens of the world.
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  46.  30
    Why Socio-Political Beliefs Trump Individual Morality: An Evolutionary Perspective.Walter Veit & Heather Browning - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 11 (4):290-292.
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