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Profile: David Shoemaker (Tulane University)
  1. 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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  2.  89
    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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  3.  85
    David W. Shoemaker (2003). Caring, Identification, and Agency. Ethics 114 (1):88-118.
    This paper articulates and defends a noncognitive, care-based view of identification, of what privileged psychic subset provides the source of self-determination in actions and attitudes. The author provides an extended analysis of "caring," and then applies it to debates between Frankfurtians, on the one hand, and Watsonians, on the other, about the nature of identification, then defends the view against objections.
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  4.  69
    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.
  5. 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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  6.  47
    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.
    This paper critically examines several game theoretic interpretations of Hobbes' state of nature, including Prisoner's Dilemma and Assurance Game, and argues instead that the best matrix is that of a combination of the two, an Assurance Dilemma. This move is motivated by the fact that Hobbes explicitly notes two distinct personality types, with different preference structures, in the state of nature: dominators and moderates. The former play as if in a Prisoner's Dilemma, the latter play as if in an Assurance (...)
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  7.  61
    David W. Shoemaker (1999). Selves and Moral Units. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 80 (4):391-419.
    offers each of these as a possible moral unit at various points.1 It is the aim of this paper, however, to suggest that, if Parfit’s two key arguments about the indeterminacy of identity and what matters in our identity are correct, we should take selves to be the significant moral units in any metaphysically-grounded ethical theory. Furthermore, because Parfit’s own explanation of what the concept of the self involves is problematic in important respects, I hope to point out a few (...)
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  8.  25
    David W. Shoemaker (2005). Embryos, Souls, and the Fourth Dimension. Social Theory and Practice 31 (1):51-75.
    This paper defends the permissibility of stem cell research against a theological objector who objects to it by appealing to "souls.".
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  9.  18
    David W. Shoemaker (2008). Reductionist Contractualism. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):343-370.
    This paper attempts to show how a reductionist approach to the metaphysics of personal identity might well be most compatible with a form of contractualism, not utilitarianism.
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  10.  40
    David W. Shoemaker (1996). Theoretical Persons and Practical Agents. Philosophy and Public Affairs 25 (4):318–332.
    This paper attempts to defend Derek Parfit's "theoretical" understanding of persons and personal identity against Christine Korsgaard's objections and independent account of the practical standpoint and the unity of persons from that standpoint.
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  11.  27
    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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  12.  51
    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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  13.  31
    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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  14.  13
    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 (1996). Persons, Selves, and Ethical Theory. Dissertation, University of California, Irvine
    While all complete ethical theories need a plausible conception of their morally significant units , that conception is rarely explained or argued for by ethical theorists. Rather, it is usually either simply presupposed or derived from the particular ethical theory, i.e., once the theory has been outlined, a certain conception of the morally significant unit can be seen as simply following from that system. I argue in a different direction. ;Taking Derek Parfit's work in Reasons & Persons as an initial (...)
     
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  16. David W. Shoemaker (1996). Theoretical Persons and Practical Agents. Philosophy and Public Affairs 25 (4):318-332.
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