Christopher Grau Clemson University
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  • Faculty, Clemson University
  • PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 2002.

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About me
I'm an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Clemson University.
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18 items found.
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  1. Christopher Grau, A Sensible Speciesism?
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  2. Christopher Grau, Happy-Go-Lucky Revisited.
  3. Christopher Grau, Kantian Themes in The Elephant Man.
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  4. Christopher Grau (forthcoming). McMahan on Speciesism and Deprivation. Southern Journal of Philosophy.
    Jeff McMahan has shown himself to be a vigorous and incisive critic of speciesism, and he has been particularly critical of speciesist arguments that draw inspiration from Wittgenstein. In this essay I argue that McMahan’s ethical framework (as outlined in The Ethics of Killing) is more nuanced and more open to the incorporation of speciesist intuitions regarding deprivation than he himself sometimes suggests. I will also argue that a sensible speciesism can be pluralist and flexible enough to accommodate many of (...)
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  5. Christopher Grau & Cynthia Pury (2014). Attitudes Towards Reference and Replaceability. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (2):155-168.
    Robert Kraut has proposed an analogy between valuing a loved one as irreplaceable and the sort of “rigid” attachment that (according to Saul Kripke’s account) occurs with the reference of proper names. We wanted to see if individuals with Kripkean intuitions were indeed more likely to value loved ones (and other persons and things) as irreplaceable. In this empirical study, 162 participants completed an online questionnaire asking them to consider how appropriate it would be to feel the same way about (...)
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  6. Christopher Grau (2013). Love, Loss, and Identity in Solaris. In Susan Wolf & Christopher Grau (eds.), Understanding Love: Philosophy, Film, and Fiction. Oxford University Press.
    The sci-fi premise of the 2002 film Solaris allows director Steven Soderbergh to tell a compelling and distinctly philosophical love story. The “visitors” that appear to the characters in the film present us with a vivid thought experiment, and the film naturally prods us to dwell on the following possibility: If confronted with a duplicate (or near duplicate) of someone you love, what would your response be? What should your response be? The tension raised by such a far-fetched situation reflects (...)
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  7. Christopher Grau (2011). There is No 'I' in 'Robot': Robots and Utilitarianism (Expanded & Revised). In Susan Anderson & Michael Anderson (eds.), Machine Ethics. Cambridge University Press. 451.
    Utilizing the film I, Robot as a springboard, I here consider the feasibility of robot utilitarians, the moral responsibilities that come with the creation of ethical robots, and the possibility of distinct ethics for robot-robot interaction as opposed to robot-human interaction. (This is a revised and expanded version of an essay that originally appeared in IEEE: Intelligent Systems.).
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  8. Christopher Grau (2010). American History X, Cinematic Manipulation, and Moral Conversion. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 34 (1):52-76.
    American History X (hereafter AHX) has been accused by numerous critics of a morally dangerous cinematic seduction: using stylish cinematography, editing, and sound, the film manipulates the viewer through glamorizing an immoral and hate-filled neo-nazi protagonist. In addition, there’s the disturbing fact that the film seems to accomplish this manipulation through methods commonly grouped under the category of “fascist aesthetics.” More specifically, AHX promotes its neo-nazi hero through the use of several filmic techniques made famous by Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl. (...)
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  9. Christopher Grau (2010). Love and History. Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (3):246-271.
    In this essay, I argue that a proper understanding of the historicity of love requires an appreciation of the irreplaceability of the beloved. I do this through a consideration of ideas that were first put forward by Robert Kraut in “Love De Re” (1986). I also evaluate Amelie Rorty's criticisms of Kraut's thesis in “The Historicity of Psychological Attitudes: Love is Not Love Which Alters Not When It Alteration Finds” (1986). I argue that Rorty fundamentally misunderstands Kraut's Kripkean analogy, and (...)
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  10. Christopher Grau (2010). Moral Status, Speciesism, and Liao’s Genetic Account. Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (3):387-96.
    This paper offers several criticisms of the account of rightholding laid out in S. Matthew Liao’s recent paper “The Basis of Human Moral Status.” I argue that Liao’s account both does too much and too little: it grants rightholder status to those who may not deserve it, and it does not provide grounds for offering such status to those who arguably do deserve it. Given these troubling aspects of his approach, I encourage Liao to abandon his “physical basis of moral (...)
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  11. Christopher Grau (2009). A Critical Study of Alice Crary's Beyond Moral Judgment. Philo 12 (1):88-104.
    This study offers a comprehensive summary and critical discussion of Alice Crary’s Beyond Moral Judgment. While generally sympathetic to her goal of defending the sort of expansive vision of the moral previously championed by Cora Diamond and Iris Murdoch, concerns are raised regarding the potential for her account to provide a satisfactory treatment of both “wide” objectivity and moral disagreement. Drawing on the work of Jonathan Lear and Jonathan Dancy, I suggest possible routes by which her position could be expanded (...)
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  12. Christopher Grau (ed.) (2009). Philosophers on Film: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Routledge.
    This is the first book to explore and address the philosophical aspects of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Beginning with a helpful introduction that places each essay in context, specially commissioned chapters examine the following topics: -/- * Philosophical issues surrounding love, friendship, affirmation and repetition * The role of memory (and the emotions) in personal identity and decision-making * The morality of imagination and ethical importance of memory * Philosophical questions about self-knowledge and knowing the minds of others (...)
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  13. Christopher Grau (2006). Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the Morality of Memory. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (1):119–133.
    In this essay I argue that the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind eloquently and powerfully suggests a controversial philosophical position: that the harm caused by voluntary memory removal cannot be entirely understood in terms of harms that are consciously experienced. I explore this possibility through a discussion of the film that includes consideration of Nagel and Nozick on unexperienced harms, Kant on duties to oneself, and Murdoch on the requirements of morality.
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  14. Christopher Grau (2006). Irreplaceability and Unique Value. Philosophical Topics 32 (1&2):111-129.
    This essay begins with a consideration of one way in which animals and persons may be valued as “irreplaceable.” Drawing on both Plato and Pascal, I consider reasons for skepticism regarding the legitimacy of this sort of attachment. While I do not offer a complete defense against such skepticism, I do show that worries here may be overblown due to the conflation of distinct metaphysical and normative concerns. I then go on to clarify what sort of value is at issue (...)
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  15. Christopher Grau (2006). There is No ‘I’ in ‘Robot’: Robots & Utilitarianism. IEEE Intelligent Systems 21 (4):52-55.
  16. Christopher Grau (2005). Bad Dreams, Evil Demons, and the Experience Machine: Philosophy and The Matrix. In , Philosophers Explore The Matrix. Oxford University Press.
  17. Christopher Grau (ed.) (2005). Philosophers Explore the Matrix. Oxford University Press.
    The Matrix trilogy is unique among recent popular films in that it is constructed around important philosophical questions--classic questions which have fascinated philosophers and other thinkers for thousands of years. Editor Christopher Grau here presents a collection of new, intriguing essays about some of the powerful and ancient questions broached by The Matrix and its sequels, written by some of the most prominent and reputable philosophers working today. They provide intelligent, accessible, and thought-provoking examinations of the philosophical issues that support (...)
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  18. Christopher Grau (2000). Moral Responsibility and Wolf's Ability. In den Beld Tovann (ed.), Moral Responsibility and Ontology, (The Library of Ethics and Applied Philosophy, vol. 7). Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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