David Shoemaker Tulane University
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  1. David Shoemaker (forthcoming). McKenna's Quality of Will. Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-14.
    In this paper, I investigate the role played by Quality of Will in Michael McKenna’s conversational theory of responsibility. I articulate and press the skeptical challenge against it, and then I show that McKenna has the (untapped) resources in his account to deflect it.
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  2. David Shoemaker (ed.) (forthcoming). Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford UP.
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  3. David Shoemaker (2014). The Selves of Social Animals: Comments on Gruen. Southern Journal of Philosophy 52 (S1):66-74.
    In this commentary on Lori Gruen's “Death as a Social Harm,” I first lay out the basics of Gruen's argument, then I offer some critical discussion, and finally I explore whether there might be some metaphysical structure that would support her most provocative idea—that death harms our social selves. What would it take for this idea to be more than metaphor, so that when a loved one dies a part of me has died? In constructing one possibility, I draw from (...)
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  4. David Shoemaker (ed.) (2013). Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility Volume 1. Oxford University Press.
    Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility is a forum for outstanding new work in an area of vigorous and broad-ranging debate in philosophy and beyond. What is involved in human action? Can philosophy and science illuminate debate about free will? How should we answer questions about responsibility for action?
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  5. David Shoemaker (2013). Qualities of Will. Social Philosophy and Policy 30 (1-2):95-120.
    One of P. F. Strawson's suggestions in was that there might be an elegant theory of moral responsibility that accounted for all of our responsibility responses (our in his words) in a way that also explained why we get off the hook from those responses. Such a theory would appeal exclusively to quality of will: when we react with any of a variety of responsibility responses to someone, we are responding to the quality of her will with respect to us, (...)
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  6. David Shoemaker (2012). Responsibility Without Identity. Harvard Revieiw of Philosophy 18 (1):109-132.
    It is taken to be platitude that I can be responsible only for my own actions. Many have taken this to entail the slogan that responsibility presupposes personal identity. In this paper, I show that even if we grant the platitude, the slogan is not entailed and is at any rate false. I then suggest what the relevant non-identity relation grounding the ownership of actions consists in instead.
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  7. D. Shoemaker (2011). Moral Responsibility and the Self. In Shaun Gallagher (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Self. Oxford University Press. 487--521.
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  8. David Shoemaker (2011). Attributability, Answerability, and Accountability: Toward a Wider Theory of Moral Responsibility. Ethics 121 (3):602-632.
    Recently T. M. Scanlon and others have advanced an ostensibly comprehensive theory of moral responsibility—a theory of both being responsible and being held responsible—that best accounts for our moral practices. I argue that both aspects of the Scanlonian theory fail this test. A truly comprehensive theory must incorporate and explain three distinct conceptions of responsibility—attributability, answerability, and accountability—and the Scanlonian view conflates the first two and ignores the importance of the third. To illustrate what a truly comprehensive theory might look (...)
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  9. David W. Shoemaker (2011). Psychopathy, Responsibility, and the Moral/Conventional Distinction. Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):99-124.
    In this paper, I attempt to show that the moral/conventional distinction simply cannot bear the sort of weight many theorists have placed on it for determining the moral and criminal responsibility of psychopaths. After revealing the fractured nature of the distinction, I go on to suggest how one aspect of it may remain relevant—in a way that has previously been unappreciated—to discussions of the responsibility of psychopaths. In particular, after offering an alternative explanation of the available data on psychopaths and (...)
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  10. David Faraci & David Shoemaker (2010). Insanity, Deep Selves, and Moral Responsibility: The Case of JoJo. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3): 319-332.
    Susan Wolf objects to the Real Self View (RSV) of moral responsibility that it is insufficient, that even if one’s actions are expressions of one’s deepest or “real” self, one might still not be morally responsible for one’s actions. As a counterexample to the RSV, Wolf offers the case of JoJo, the son of a dictator, who endorses his father’s (evil) values, but who is insane and is thus not responsible for his actions. Wolf’s data for this conclusion derives from (...)
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  11. David Shoemaker (2010). Personal Identity and Bioethics: The State of the Art. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (4):249-257.
    In this introduction to the special issue of Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics on the topic of personal identity and bioethics, I provide a background for the topic and then discuss the contributions in the special issue by Eric Olson, Marya Schechtman, Tim Campbell and Jeff McMahan, James Delaney and David Hershenov, and David DeGrazia.
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  12. David Shoemaker (2010). Responsibility, Agency, and Cognitive Disability. In Eva Feder Kittay & Licia Carlson (eds.), Cognitive Disability and its Challenge to Moral Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell. 201--223.
  13. David Shoemaker (2010). The Insignificance of Personal Identity for Bioethics. Bioethics 24 (9):481-489.
    It has long been thought that certain key bioethical views depend heavily on work in personal identity theory, regarding questions of either our essence or the conditions of our numerical identity across time. In this paper I argue to the contrary, that personal identity is actually not significant at all in this arena. Specifically, I explore three topics where considerations of identity are thought to be essential – abortion, definition of death, and advance directives – and I show in each (...)
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  14. David W. Shoemaker (2010). Levy, Neil, Neuroethics: Challenges for the 21 St Century , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, Pp. XIV + 346, Aud$99.00, Us$57.99 (Paper). [REVIEW] Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (1):184 – 187.
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  15. David W. Shoemaker (2010). Self-Exposure and Exposure of the Self: Informational Privacy and the Presentation of Identity. [REVIEW] Ethics and Information Technology 12 (1):3-15.
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  16. David Shoemaker (2009). Responsibility and Disability. Metaphilosophy 40 (3-4):438-461.
    This essay explores the boundaries of the moral community—the collection of agents eligible for moral responsibility—by focusing on those just inside it and those just outside it. In particular, it contrasts mild mental retardation with psychopathy, specifically among adults. For those who work with and know them, adults with mild mental retardation are thought to be obvious members of the moral community (albeit not full-fledged members). For those who work with and theorize about adult psychopaths, by contrast, they are not (...)
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  17. David Shoemaker (2008). Personal Identity and Ethics: A Brief Introduction. Broadview Press.
    Personal Identity and Ethics provides a lively overview of the relationship between the metaphysics of personal identity and ethics. How does personal identity affect our ethical judgments? It is a commonplace to hold that moral responsibility for past actions requires that the responsible agent is in some relevant respect identical to the agent who performed the action. Is this true? On the other hand, can ethics constrain our account of personal identity? Do the practical requirements of moral theory commit us (...)
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  18. David Shoemaker, Personal Identity and Ethics. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    What justifies our holding a <span class='Hi'>person</span> morally responsible for some past action? Why am I justified in having a special prudential concern for some future persons and not others? Why do many of us think that maximizing the good within a single life is perfectly acceptable, but maximizing the good across lives is wrong? In these and other normative questions, it looks like any answer we come up with will have to make an essential reference to personal identity. So, (...)
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  19. David W. Shoemaker (2008). Reductionist Contractualism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):343-370.
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  20. Christine M. Korsgaard, R. Jay Wallace, Gary Watson, Stephen Darwall & David Shoemaker (2007). 10. Thomas C. Schelling, Strategies of Commitment and Other Essays Thomas C. Schelling, Strategies of Commitment and Other Essays (Pp. 176-181). In Laurie DiMauro (ed.), Ethics. Greenhaven Press.
     
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  21. David Shoemaker (2007). Moral Address, Moral Responsibility, and the Boundaries of the Moral Community. Ethics 118 (1):70-108.
  22. David W. Shoemaker (2007). Personal Identity and Practical Concerns. Mind 116 (462):317-357.
    Many philosophers have taken there to be an important relation between personal identity and several of our practical concerns (among them moral responsibility, compensation, and self-concern). I articulate four natural methodological assumptions made by those wanting to construct a theory of the relation between identity and practical concerns, and I point out powerful objections to each assumption, objections constituting serious methodological obstacles to the overall project. I then attempt to offer replies to each general objection in a way that leaves (...)
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  23. David W. Shoemaker (2005). Embryos, Souls, and the Fourth Dimension. Social Theory and Practice 31 (1):51-75.
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  24. David W. Shoemaker (2003). Caring, Identification, and Agency. Ethics 114 (1):88-118.
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  25. Graham G. Dodds & David W. Shoemaker (2002). Why We Can't All Just Get Along: Human Variety and Game Theory in Hobbes's State of Nature. Southern Journal of Philosophy 40 (3):345-374.
  26. David W. Shoemaker (2002). Disintegrated Persons and Distributive Principles. Ratio 15 (1):58–79.
    In this paper I consider Derek Parfit’s attempt to respond to Rawls’ charge that utilitarianism ignores the distinction between persons. I proceed by arguing that there is a moderate form of reductionism about persons, one stressing the importance of what Parfit calls psychological connectedness, which can hold in different degrees both within one person and between distinct persons. In terms of this form of reductionism, against which Parfit’s arguments are ineffective, it is possible to resuscitate the Rawlsian charge that the (...)
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  27. David W. Shoemaker (2002). The Irrelevance/Incoherence of Non-Reductionism About Personal Identity. Philo 5 (2):143-160.
    Before being able to answer key practical questions dependent on a criterion of personal identity (e.g., am I justified in anticipating surviving the death of my body?), we must first determine which general approach to the issue of personal identity is more plausible, reductionism or non-reductionism. While reductionism has become the more dominant approach amongst philosophical theorists over the past thirty years, non-reductionism remains an approach that, for all these theorists have shown, could very well still be true. My aim (...)
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  28. David Shoemaker (2000). ''Dirty Words'' and the Offense Principle. Law and Philosophy 19 (5):545 - 584.
    Unabridged dictionaries are dangerous books. In their pages man’s evilest thoughts find means of expression. Terms denoting all that is foul or blasphemous or obscene are printed there for men, women and children to read and ponder. Such books should have their covers padlocked and be chained to reading desks, in the custody of responsible librarians, preferably church members in good standing. Permission to open such books should be granted only after careful inquiry as to which word a reader plans (...)
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  29. David Shoemaker (2000). Reductionist Contractualism: Moral Motivation and the Expanding Self. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):343-370.
    According to a popular contemporary contractualist account of moral motivation, the most plausible explanation for why those who are concerned with morality take moral reasons seriously — why these reasons strike those who are moved by them with a particular inescapability — is that they stem from, and are grounded by, a desire to be able to justify one’s actions to others on grounds they could not reasonably reject.1 My.
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  30. David W. Shoemaker (1999). Selves and Moral Units. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (4):391-419.
    Derek Parfit claims that, at certain times and places, the metaphysical units he labels *'selves" may be thought of as the morally significant units (I.e., the objects of moral concern) for such things as resource distribution, moral responsibility, commitments, etc. But his concept of the self is problematic in important respects, and it remains unclear just why and how this entity should count as a moral unit in the first place. In developing a view I call *'Moderate Reductionism," I attempt (...)
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  31. David W. Shoemaker (1999). Utilitarianism and Personal Identity. Journal of Value Inquiry 33 (2):183-199.
    Ethical theories must include an account of the concept of a person. They also need a criterion of personal identity over time. This requirement is most needed in theories involving distributions of resources or questions of moral responsibility. For instance, in using ethical theories involving compensations of burdens, we must be able to keep track of the identities of persons earlier burdened in order to ensure that they are the same people who now are to receive the compensatory benefits. Similarly, (...)
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  32. David W. Shoemaker (1996). Theoretical Persons and Practical Agents. Philosophy and Public Affairs 25 (4):318–332.
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