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Susan Dwyer [35]Susan J. Dwyer [1]
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Profile: Susan Jane Dwyer (University of Maryland, College Park)
  1. Susan Dwyer, Moral Psychology as Cognitive Science: Explananda and Acquisition.
    Depending on how one looks at it, we have been enjoying or suffering a significant empirical turn in moral psychology during this first decade of the 21st century. While philosophers have, from time to time, considered empirical matters with respect to morality, those who took an interest in actual (rather than ideal) moral agents were primarily concerned with whether particular moral theories were ‘too demanding’ for creatures like us (Flanagan, 1991; Williams, 1976; Wolf, 1982). Faithful adherence to Utilitarianism or Kantianism (...)
     
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  2. Susan Dwyer, Romancing the Dane: Ethics and Observation.
    So far as we know, we are the only species capable of introspection, and thus, sometimes, of insight into our own individual and collective nature. Arguably, the entire discipline of philosophy and, much more recently, of psychology, is premised on this simply stated but complicated fact. We are also a social species, each of us desiring – perhaps, even needing – to live as one among others. Taken together, these perfectly trite observations invite a number of questions regarding the nature (...)
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  3. Susan Dwyer, Understanding the Problem of Abortion.
    Abortion raises a number of difficult questions for morality, law, and public policy. When, if ever, is abortion morally permissible? Do women have a legal right to abortion, and how is that right to be justified? Ought abortions for poor women be funded by the state? These questions are related in the sense that answers to any one of them have implications for answers to the others. But it is crucial to remember that they are different questions. (...)
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  4. Susan Dwyer, Censorship.
    For individuals at all points on the political spectrum, and especially for those engaged in any form of expressive enterprise – from comic book illustrators, to film directors, to performance artists – censorship typically carries very negative connotations. Indeed, for many, censorship is the very antithesis of freedom and creativity. However, we can and should conceive of censorship more neutrally – simply as the imposition of constraints. On such a construal, censorship is not obviously always a Bad Thing. This point (...)
     
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  5. Susan Dwyer, How not to argue that morality isn't innate: Comments on Jesse Prinz's “is morality innate?”.
    We must admire the ambition of Prinz’s title question. But does he provide a convincing answer to it? Prinz’s own view of morality as “a byproduct – accidental or invented – of faculties that evolved for different purposes (1),” which appears to express a negative reply, does not receive much direct argument here. Rather, Prinz’s main aim is to try to show that the considerations he believes are typically presented by moral nativists are insufficient or inadequate to establish that morality (...)
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  6. Susan Dwyer, Mind Your Morals.
    Morality is so steeped in the quotidian details of praise and blame, of do’s and don’t’s, and of questions about the justifiability of certain practices it is no wonder that philosophers and psychologists have devoted relatively little effort to investigating what makes moral life possible in the first place. In making this claim, I neither ignore Kant and his intellectual descendants, nor the large literature in developmental moral psychology from Piaget on. My charge has to do with this fact: (...)
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  7. Susan Dwyer, Pornography.
    Pornography has attracted a good deal of academic and political attention, primarily from feminists of various persuasions, moral philosophers, and legal scholars. Surprisingly less work has been forthcoming from film theorists, given how much pornography has been produced on video and DVD and is now available through live streaming video over the Internet. Indeed, it is not until 1989, with the publication of Linda Williams’ groundbreaking Hard Core, that pornography is distinguished, in terms of its content, intent, and governing conventions, (...)
     
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  8. Susan Dwyer (2011). Review of Abigail Levin, The Cost of Free Speech: Pornography, Hate Speech, and Their Challenge to Liberalism. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2011 (2).
  9. Susan Dwyer, Bryce Huebner & Marc D. Hauser (2010). The Linguistic Analogy: Motivations, Results, and Speculations. Topics in Cognitive Science 2 (3):486-510.
    Inspired by the success of generative linguistics and transformational grammar, proponents of the linguistic analogy (LA) in moral psychology hypothesize that careful attention to folk-moral judgments is likely to reveal a small set of implicit rules and structures responsible for the ubiquitous and apparently unbounded capacity for making moral judgments. As a theoretical hypothesis, LA thus requires a rich description of the computational structures that underlie mature moral judgments, an account of the acquisition and development of these structures, and an (...)
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  10. Susan Dwyer (2009). Moral Dumbfounding and the Linguistic Analogy: Methodological Implications for the Study of Moral Judgment. Mind and Language 24 (3):274-296.
    The manifest dissociation between our capacity to make moral judgments and our ability to provide justifications for them, a phenomenon labeled Moral Dumbfounding, has important implications for the theory and practice of moral psychology. I articulate and develop the Linguistic Analogy as a robust alternative to existing sentimentalist models of moral judgment inspired by this phenomenon. The Linguistic Analogy motivates a crucial distinction between moral acceptability and moral permissibility judgments, and thereby calls into question prevailing methods used in the study (...)
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  11. Bryce Huebner, Susan Dwyer & Marc D. Hauser (2009). The Role of Emotion in Moral Psychology. Trends in Cognitive Science 13 (1):1-6.
    Recent work in the cognitive and neurobiological sciences indicates an important relationship between emotion and moral judgment. Based on this evidence, several researchers have argued that emotions are the source of our intuitive moral judgments. However, despite the richness of the correlational data between emotion and morality, we argue that the current neurological, behavioral, developmental and evolutionary evidence is insufficient to demonstrate that emotion is necessary for making moral judgments. We suggest instead, that the source of moral judgments lies in (...)
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  12. Susan Dwyer (2008). Dupoux and Jacob's Moral Instincts: Throwing Out the Baby, the Bathwater and the Bathtub. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 12 (1):1-2.
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  13. Susan Dwyer (2006). How Good is the Linguistic Analogy? In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen P. Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind, Vol. 2: Culture and Cognition. Oxford University Press.
    A nativist moral psychology, modeled on the successes of theoretical linguistics, provides the best framework for explaining the acquisition of moral capacities and the diversity of moral judgment across the species. After a brief presentation of a poverty of the moral stimulus argument, this chapter sketches a view according to which a so-called Universal Moral Grammar provides a set of parameterizable principles whose specific values are set by the child's environment, resulting in the acquisition of a moral idiolect. The principles (...)
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  14. Susan Dwyer (2003). Moral Development and Moral Responsibility. The Monist 86 (2):181-199.
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  15. Julian Baggini, Susan Dwyer, Simon Kassom & Peter Fosl (2001). News Hound the All-Time Top 50, Lord Sutherland and the Death of Wesley Salmon. The Philosophers' Magazine 13.
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  16. Susan Dwyer (2001). Free Speech. SATS: Northern European Journal of Philosophy 2 (2):80-97.
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  17. Susan Dwyer (2001). The Many Faces of Autonomy. The Philosophers' Magazine 13:40-41.
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  18. Susan Dwyer (2000). Miranda Fricker and Jennifer Hornsby, Eds., The Cambridge Companion to Feminism in Philosophy Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 20 (6):410-413.
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  19. Susan Dwyer (2000). What Psychopaths Can Teach Us. The Philosophers' Magazine 9 (9):32-33.
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  20. Susan Dwyer (1999). Does Moral Philosophy Have a Future? Fieldwork in Familiar Places: Morality, Culture, and Philosophy, Michele M. Moody-Adams (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997), 270 Pp., $35.00 Cloth. [REVIEW] Ethics and International Affairs 13:269-271.
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  21. Susan Dwyer (1999). Moral Competence. In Kumiko Murasugi & Robert Stainton (eds.), Philosophy and Linguistics. Westview Press. 169--190.
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  22. Susan Dwyer (1999). Reconciliation for Realists. Ethics and International Affairs 13 (1):81–98.
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  23. Susan Dwyer (1999). The Meaning of Mind: Language, Morality, and Neuroscience Thomas Szasz Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996, X + 182 Pp., $19.95. [REVIEW] Dialogue 38 (02):420-.
  24. Susan Dwyer (1999). The Meaning of Mind. Dialogue 38 (2):420-421.
     
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  25. Paul M. Pietroski & Susan J. Dwyer (1999). Knowledge by Ignoring. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):781-781.
    Some cases of implicit knowledge involve representations of (implicitly) known propositions, but this is not the only important type of implicit knowledge. Chomskian linguistics suggests another model of how humans can know more than is accessible to consciousness. Innate capacities to focus on a small range of possibilities, thereby ignoring many others, need not be grounded by inner representations of any possibilities ignored. This model may apply to many domains where human cognition “fills a gap” between stimuli and judgment.
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  26. Susan Dwyer (1998). Andrews Reath, Barbara Herman, and Christine M. Korsgaard, Eds., Reclaiming the History of Ethics. Essays for John Rawls Reviewed By. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 18 (4):294-297.
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  27. Susan Dwyer (1998). Learning From Experience: Moral Phenomenology and Politics. In Bat-Ami Bar On & Ann Ferguson (eds.), Daring to Be Good: Essays in Feminist Ethico-Politics. Routledge. 28--44.
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  28. Susan Dwyer (1998). David M. Estlund and Martha C. Nussbaum, Eds., Sex, Preference, and Family: Essays on Law and Nature:Sex, Preference, and Family: Essays on Law and Nature. [REVIEW] Ethics 109 (1):184-187.
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  29. Susan Dwyer (1997). Political Correctness. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):545-569.
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  30. Susan Dwyer (1996). Moral Competence is Cognitive but (Perhaps) Nonmodular. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (1):128.
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  31. Susan Dwyer (1996). Who's Afraid of Feminism? Dialogue 35 (02):327-.
  32. Susan Dwyer & Paul M. Pietroski (1996). Believing in Language. Philosophy of Science 63 (3):338-373.
    We propose that the generalizations of linguistic theory serve to ascribe beliefs to humans. Ordinary speakers would explicitly (and sincerely) deny having these rather esoteric beliefs about language--e.g., the belief that an anaphor must be bound in its governing category. Such ascriptions can also seem problematic in light of certain theoretical considerations having to do with concept possession, revisability, and so on. Nonetheless, we argue that ordinary speakers believe the propositions expressed by certain sentences of linguistic theory, and that linguistics (...)
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  33. Susan Dwyer (1995). Gerald Dworkin, Ed., Morality, Harm and the Law Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 15 (1):29-32.
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  34. Susan Dwyer (1995). Robert V. Hannaford, Moral Anatomy and Moral Reasoning Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 15 (4):246-249.
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  35. Susan Dwyer (1994). Linda Alcoff and Elizabeth Potter, Eds., Feminist Epistemologies Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 14 (3):155-157.
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  36. Susan Dwyer (1994). Why Care Where Moral Intuitions Come From? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (1):14.
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