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Steven Sverdlik [22]Steve Sverdlik [3]S. Sverdlik [1]Seven Sverdlik [1]
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Profile: Steven Sverdlik (Southern Methodist University)
  1. Steve Sverdlik, The Availability of Motives.
    Two celebrated passages in Kant center on a problem that is sometimes called the ‘availability’ of motives. One concerns the naturally sympathetic man whose mind becomes “overclouded by sorrows of his own which extinguish all sympathy with the fate of others”. Kant argues that even in this state, when he has no “inclination” to help others, he can do so, since he can act “for the sake of duty alone”.1 The other passage states that the commandment to love our neighbor (...)
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  2. Steven Sverdlik, The Intrinsic Value of Retribution.
    Retributivist approaches to the philosophy of punishment are usually based on certain fundamental moral claims. One of these claims is also accepted, or at least treated sympathetically, by some consequentialists. It is this: -/- Intrinsic Value (IV): The deserved suffering of morally guilty wrongdoers has intrinsic value. -/- IV is sometimes supported by the construction of examples similar to Kant’s ‘desert island’. These are meant to show that there is intrinsic value in the suffering of a wrongdoer, even if none (...)
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  3. Steven Sverdlik, The Origins of the Objection.
    It is considered to be a devastating objection to utilitarianism (and consequentialism) that it would sometimes favor deliberately punishing an innocent person. I call this The Objection. In this paper I try to find the origin of The Objection. Although various writers have suggested that it occurs much earlier, I claim that it emerged in Oxford in the late 1920's, and may have been invented by W. D. Ross.
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  4. Steven Sverdlik, The Permissibility of Deterrence.
    I examine the argument that designing punishment to achieve deterrence is morally objectionable because it uses the offender simply as a means. Using material from my book Motive and Rightness I show that Kant's Formula of Humanity cannot be interpreted as employing the concept of 'using a person simply as a means'. FH must instead be interpreted to mean that we must always treat people as ends. If this is correct the argument about deterrence is weakened. I apply my arguments (...)
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  5. Steven Sverdlik (forthcoming). The Permissibility of Deterrence. In Christian Seidel (ed.), Consequentialism: New Directions, New Problems? Oxford University Press.
    In this paper I explore the degree to which the most plausible versions of a Kantian approach to punishment differ from plausible versions of a consequentialist approach with regard to the permissibility of deterrence. I begin by examining the Formula of Humanity. Perhaps surprisingly, I show that the most plausible statement of this principle does not even mention the idea of treating people merely as a means. The other crucial claim in that principle—that we must treat people as ends—is in (...)
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  6. Steven Sverdlik (2014). Punishment and Reform. Criminal Law and Philosophy 8 (3):619-633.
    The reform of offenders is often said to be one of the morally legitimate aims of punishment. After briefly surveying the history of reformist thinking I examine the ‘quasi-reform’ theories, as I call them, of H. Morris, J. Hampton and A. Duff. I explain how they conceive of reform, and what role they take it to have in the criminal justice system. I then focus critically on one feature of their conception of reform, namely, the claim that a reformed offender (...)
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  7. S. Sverdlik (2012). Hard Luck, by Neil Levy. Mind 121 (482):498-501.
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  8. Steve Sverdlik (2012). People Watching. The Philosophers' Magazine 57 (57):122-124.
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  9. Steve Sverdlik (2012). “The Renaissance Portrait From Donatello to Bellini”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Philosophers' Magazine 57:122-124.
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  10. Steven Sverdlik (2004). Intentionality and Moral Judgments in Commonsense Thought About Action. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):224-236.
    The concept of intentional action occupies a central place in commonsense or folk psychological thought. Philosophers of action, psychologists and moral philosophers all have taken an interest in understanding this important concept. One issue that has been discussed by philosophers is whether the concept of intentional action is purely ‘naturalistic’, that is, whether it is entirely a descriptive concept that can be used to explain and predict behavior. (Of course, judgments using such a concept could be used to support moral (...)
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  11. Steven Sverdlik (2002). Unconscious Evil Principles. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 9 (1):13-14.
  12. Steven Sverdlik (2001). Kant, Nonaccidentalness and the Availability of Moral Worth. Journal of Ethics 5 (4):293-313.
    Contemporary Kantians who defend Kant''s view of the superiority of the sense of duty as a form of motivation appeal to various ideas. Some say, if only implicitly, that the sense of duty is always ``available'''' to an agent, when she has a moral obligation. Some, like Barbara Herman, say that the sense of duty provides a ``nonaccidental'''' connection between an agent''s motivation and the act''s rightness. In this paper I show that the ``availability'''' and ``nonaccidentalness'''' arguments are in tension (...)
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  13. Alfred Mele & Steven Sverdlik (1996). Intention, Intentional Action, and Moral Responsibility. Philosophical Studies 82 (3):265 - 287.
  14. Steven Sverdlik (1996). Consistency Among Intentions and the 'Simple View'. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 26 (4):515 - 522.
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  15. Steven Sverdlik (1996). Motive and Rightness. Ethics 106 (2):327-349.
    Motive and Rightness is the first book-length attempt to answer the question: Does the motive of an action ever make a difference to whether that action is ...
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  16. Steven Sverdlik (1993). Pure Negligence. American Philosophical Quarterly 30 (2):137 - 149.
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  17. Steven Sverdlik, Tomas Kulka & David C. Graves (1991). Book Reviews. [REVIEW] Philosophia 21 (1-2):141-159.
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  18. Steven Sverdlik (1988). Crime and Moral Luck. American Philosophical Quarterly 25 (1):79 - 86.
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  19. Steven Sverdlik (1988). Punishment. Law and Philosophy 7 (2):179 - 201.
    The main previous analyses of punishment by Hart, Feinberg and Wasserstrom are considered and criticized. One persistent fault is the neglect of the idea that in punishment the person subjected to it is represented as having no valid excuse for wrongdoing. A new analysis is proposed which attempts to specify in what sense punishment by its very nature is retributive, as Wasserstrom has asserted. Certain problematic cases such as strict liability offenses and pre-trial detention are considered in light of the (...)
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  20. Steven Sverdlik (1987). Collective Responsibility. Philosophical Studies 51 (1):61 - 76.
    More than one person can be responsible for a particular state of affairs--In this sense collective moral responsibility does indeed exist. However, Even in such cases, Moral responsibility is still fundamentally individualized since each agent responsible for a particular state of affairs is responsible for his/her actions which have the intention of producing this state of affairs.
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  21. Steven Sverdlik (1986). Hume's Key and Aesthetic Rationality. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 45 (1):69-76.
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  22. Steven Sverdlik (1985). Counterexamples in Ethics. Metaphilosophy 16 (2‐3):130-145.
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  23. Steven Sverdlik (1985). Justice and Mercy. Journal of Social Philosophy 16 (3):36-47.
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  24. Steven Sverdlik (1985). Sidgwick's Methodology. Journal of the History of Philosophy 23 (4):537-553.
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  25. Steven Sverdlik (1983). The Logic of Desert. Journal of Value Inquiry 17 (4):317-324.
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  26. Steven Sverdlik (1983). The Nature of Desert. Southern Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):585-594.
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