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Profile: Owen Ware (Simon Fraser University)
  1. Owen Ware (forthcoming). Kant on Moral Sensibility and Moral Motivation. Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    Despite Kant's lasting influence on philosophical accounts of moral motivation, many details of his own position remain elusive. In the Critique of Practical Reason, for example, Kant argues that our recognition of the moral law’s authority must elicit both painful and pleasurable feelings in us. On reflection, however, it is unclear how these effects could motivate us to act from duty. As a result, Kant’s theory of moral sensibility comes under a skeptical threat: the possibility of a morally motivating feeling (...)
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  2. Owen Ware (forthcoming). Rethinking Kant's Fact of Reason. Philosophers' Imprint.
    Kant’s doctrine of the Fact of Reason is one of the most perplexing aspects of his moral philosophy. The aim of this paper is to defend Kant’s doctrine from the common charge of dogmatism. My defense turns on a previously unexplored analogy to the notion of ‘matters of fact’ popularized by members of the Royal Society in the seventeenth century. In their work, ‘facts’ were beyond doubt, often referring to experimental effects one could witness first hand. While Kant uses the (...)
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  3. Owen Ware (2014). Forgiveness and Respect for Persons. American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (3).
    The concept of respect for persons is often rejected as a basis for understanding forgiveness. As many have argued, to hold your offender responsible for her actions is to respect her as a person; but this kind of respect is more likely to sustain, rather than dissolve, your resentment toward her (Garrard & McNaughton 2003; 2011; Allais 2008). I seek to defend an alternative view in this paper. To forgive, on my account, involves ceasing to identify your offender with her (...)
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  4. Owen Ware (2014). Skepticism in Kant's Groundwork. European Journal of Philosophy 21 (4).
    This paper offers a new interpretation of Kant's relationship with skepticism in the Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals. My position differs from commonly held views in the literature in two ways. On the one hand, I argue that Kant's relationship with skepticism is active and systematic (contrary to Hill, Wood, Rawls, Timmermann, and Allison). On the other hand, I argue that the kind of skepticism Kant is interested in does not speak to the philosophical tradition in any straightforward sense (...)
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  5. Owen Ware & Donald C. Ainslie (2014). Consciousness and Personal Identity. In Aaron Garrett (ed.), The Routledge Companion to Eighteenth Century Philosophy. Routledge. 245-264.
    This paper offers an overview of consciousness and personal identity in eighteenth-century philosophy. Locke introduces the concept of persons as subjects of consciousness who also simultaneously recognize themselves as such subjects. Hume, however, argues that minds are nothing but bundles of perceptions, lacking intrinsic unity at a time or across time. Yet Hume thinks our emotional responses to one another mean that persons in everyday life are defined by their virtues, vices, bodily qualities, property, riches, and the like. Rousseau also (...)
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  6. Owen Ware (2013). Review of Virtue, Rules, and Justice: Kantian Aspirations. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (5):1005 - 1008.
    Virtue, Rules, and Justice: Kantian Aspirations is a collection of 16 individual essays. The book is organised into four parts, covering a wide range of topics. ‘Basic Themes’ (Part I) presents an overview of Kant’s ethics and its development in contemporary philosophy; ‘Virtue’ (Part II) considers the notion of virtue from a variety of theoretical perspectives; ‘Moral Rules and Principles’ (Part III) interprets and defends the idea of a ‘Kantian legislative perspective’; and ‘Practical Questions’ (Part IV) addresses a number of (...)
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  7. Owen Ware (2012). Review of Kant and Education: Interpretations and Commentary. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    Kant and Education brings together sixteen essays by an international group of scholars. The range of topics covered in the anthology is impressive. Kant's contribution to contemporary theories of education is central, as well as Kant's intellectual debt to Rousseau, the role of education in Kant's normative theories, and the impact of Kant's ideas on subsequent generations. Add to this the relative shortness of each essay (ten to fifteen pages), and one is left with an accessible introduction to a fascinating, (...)
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  8. Owen Ware (2010). Fichte's Voluntarism. European Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):262-282.
    Abstract: In recent work Stephen Darwall has attacked what he calls J. G. Fichte's ‘voluntarist’ thesis, the idea—on Darwall's reading—that I am bound by obligations of respect to another person by virtue of my choice to interact with him. Darwall argues that voluntary choice is incompatible with the normative force behind the concept of a person, which demands my respect non-voluntarily. He in turn defends a ‘presuppositional’ thesis which claims that I am bound by obligations of respect simply by recognizing (...)
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  9. Owen Ware (2010). Kant, Skepticism, and Moral Sensibility. Dissertation, University of Toronto
    In his early writings, Kant says that the solution to the puzzle of how morality can serve as a motivating force in human life is nothing less than the “philosophers’ stone.” In this dissertation I show that for years Kant searched for the philosophers’ stone in the concept of “respect” (Achtung), which he understood as the complex effect practical reason has on feeling. I sketch the history of that search in Chapters 1-2. In Chapter 3 I show that Kant’s analysis (...)
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  10. Owen Ware (2009). The Duty of Self-Knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (3):671-698.
    Kant is well known for claiming that we can never really know our true moral disposition. He is less well known for claiming that the injunction "Know Yourself" is the basis of all self-regarding duties. Taken together, these two claims seem contradictory. My aim in this paper is to show how they can be reconciled. I first address the question of whether the duty of self-knowledge is logically coherent (§1). I then examine some of the practical problems surrounding the duty, (...)
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  11. Owen Ware (2008). Love Speech. Critical Inquiry 34 (3):491-508.
  12. Owen Ware (2007). Rudolph Otto's Idea of the Holy: A Reappraisal. Heythrop Journal 48 (1):48–60.
    This paper explores the ambiguity in Rudolph Otto's discussion of the mysterium tremendum in order to address a broader set of difficulties in The Idea of the Holy (1917). In doing so, I outline two common criticisms of Otto's position. The first attacks Otto for not providing a secure transition from the numinous experience of terror to the holy experience of faith. The second attacks Otto for upholding a kind of theistic dualism, which seemingly puts his thought at odds with (...)
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  13. Owen Ware (2006). Sartre and Merleau-Ponty on Intersubjectivity. Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 10 (2):503-513.
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  14. Owen Ware (2006). Ontology, Otherness, and Self-Alterity. Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 10 (2):503-513.
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  15. Owen Ware (2006). Universality and Historicity: On the Sources of Religion. Research in Phenomenology 36 (1):238-254.
    One of the central questions of Jacques Derrida's later writings concerns the sources of religion. At times he gives explicit priority to the universal dimension of religion. In other places, however, he considers the primacy of faith in its concrete, historical context. This paper will clarify Derrida's relationship to universality and historicity by first comparing his notion of "messianicity without messianism" to that of Walter Benjamin's "weak Messianism." After drawing out these differences, I will focus on Derrida's later writings. I (...)
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  16. Owen Ware (2005). Impossible Passions. Philosophy Today 49 (2):171-183.
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