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Profile: J. Robert Loftis (Lorain County Community College)
  1. J. Robert Loftis (2007). The Other Value in the Debate Over Genetically Modified Organisms. Journal of Philosophical Research 32 (Supplement):151-162.
    I claim that differences in the importance attached to economic liberty are more important in debates over the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture than disagreements about the precautionary principle. I will argue this point by considering a case study: the decision by the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to grant nonregulated status to Roundup Ready soy. I will show that the unregulated release of this herbicide-resistant crop would not be acceptable morally unless one places (...)
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  2. J. Robert Loftis (2003). Three Problems for the Aesthetic Foundations of Environmental Ethics. Philosophy in the Contemporary World 10 (2):41-50.
    This essay takes a critical look at aesthetics as the basis for nature preservation, presenting three reasons why we should not rely on aesthetic foundations to justify the environmentalist program. First, a comparison to other kinds of aesthetic value shows that the aesthetic value of nature can provide weak reasons foraction atbest. Second, not everything environmentalists want to protect has positive aesthetic qualities. Attempts have been made to get around this problem by developing a reformist attitude towards natural aesthetics. I (...)
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  3. J. Robert Loftis (2005). Germ-Line Enhancement of Humans and Nonhumans. Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 15 (1):57-76.
    : The current difference in attitude toward germ-line enhancement in humans and nonhumans is unjustified. Society should be more cautious in modifying the genes of nonhumans and more bold in thinking about modifying our own genome. I identify four classes of arguments pertaining to germ-line enhancement: safety arguments, justice arguments, trust arguments, and naturalness arguments. The first three types are compelling, but do not distinguish between human and nonhuman cases. The final class of argument would justify a distinction between human (...)
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    J. Robert Loftis (2005). Review of Carlson and Berleant (Eds.) The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Environmental Ethics 27 (4):429-432.
    This is a very positive review of Carlson, Allen, and Arnold Berleant, ed. 2004. The Aesthetics of Natural Environments. Broadview Press. -/- .
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    J. Robert Loftis (2008). “What a Strange Little Man”: Baltar the Tyrant? In Jason T. Eberl (ed.), Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy: Knowledge Here Begins Out There. Wiley-Blackwell 29--39.
    The differences in the portrayal of Baltar between the original Battlestar Galactica and the re-imagined version represent two different conceptions of evil, and can be used to illustrate ideas about the tyrant from Plato and Boethius.
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  6. J. Robert Loftis (1999). Review of Byong-Chul Park, Phenomenological Aspects of Wittgenstein's Philosophy. Philosophy in Review 19 (4):277-278.
     
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  7. J. Robert Loftis (2000). Review of Mathieu Marion, Wittgenstein, Finitism, and the Foundations of Mathematics. Philosophy in Review 20 (2):132-134.
     
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  8.  5
    J. Robert Loftis (1999). Normativity and Mathematics: A Wittgensteinian Approach to the Study of Number. Dissertation, Northwestern University
    I argue for the Wittgensteinian thesis that mathematical statements are expressions of norms, rather than descriptions of the world. An expression of a norm is a statement like a promise or a New Year's resolution, which says that someone is committed or entitled to a certain line of action. A expression of a norm is not a mere description of a regularity of human behavior, nor is it merely a descriptive statement which happens to entail a norms. The view can (...)
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