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Profile: Suzy Killmister (University of Connecticut)
  1. Suzy Killmister (forthcoming). Why Group Membership Matters; A Critical Typology. Ethnicities.
    The question of why group-differentiated rights might be a requirement of justice has been a central focus of identity politics in recent decades. I attempt to bring some clarity to this discussion by proposing a typology to track the various ways in which individuals can be harmed or benefited as a consequence of their membership in social groups. It is the well-being of individuals that group-differentiated rights should be understood as protecting, and so clarity on the relationship between group membership (...)
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  2. Suzy Killmister (2014). The Woody Allen Puzzle: How 'Authentic Alienation' Complicates Autonomy. Noûs 48 (2).
    Theories of autonomy commonly make reference to some form of endorsement: an action is autonomous insofar as the agent has a second-order desire towards the motivating desire, or takes it to be a reason for action, or is not alienated from it. In this paper I argue that all such theories have difficulty accounting for certain kinds of agents, what I call ‘Woody Allen cases’. In order to make sense of such cases, I suggest, it is necessary to disambiguate two (...)
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  3. Suzy Killmister (2013). Autonomy and False Beliefs. Philosophical Studies 164 (2):513-531.
    The majority of current attention on the question of autonomy has focused on the internal reflection of the agent. The quality of an agent’s reflection on her potential action (or motivating desire or value) is taken to determine whether or not that action is autonomous. In this paper, I argue that there is something missing in most of these contemporary accounts of autonomy. By focusing overwhelmingly on the way in which the agent reflects, such accounts overlook the importance of what (...)
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  4. Suzy Killmister (2013). Autonomy and the Problem of Socialization. Social Theory and Practice 39 (1):95-119.
    One of the more intractable problems in the debate over autonomy is how we should distinguish autonomy-enhancing from autonomy-compromising forms of socialization. In this paper I first survey a range of theories of autonomy, from the procedural through to the substantive, and argue that none offers sufficient resources to resolve the problem of socialization. In the second half of the paper I develop an alternative theory that can both differentiate benign from pernicious socialization and, more importantly, provide an explanation for (...)
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  5. Suzy Killmister (2013). Autonomy, Liberalism, and Anti-Perfectionism. Res Publica 19 (4):353-369.
    John Christman has recently objected to substantive conceptions of autonomy on the grounds that they introduce unwanted perfectionism into political thinking. I defend substantive conceptions of autonomy against Christman’s critique on two fronts. First, I defend substantive conceptions of autonomy against the charge that their utilisation in political theory would result in the inappropriate exclusion from democratic respect of individuals in oppressive relations. Second, I defend substantive conceptions of autonomy from the charge that they fail the ‘endorsement constraint’, i.e. that (...)
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  6. Suzy Killmister (2012). Dignity: Its History and Meaning by Michael Rosen, 2012 Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Pressxvii + 176pp, £16.95 (Hb). [REVIEW] Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (4):380-381.
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  7. Suzy Killmister (2011). Group-Differentiated Rights and the Problem of Membership. Social Theory and Practice 37 (2):227-255.
    Justifications of group-differentiated rights commonly overlook a crucial practical consideration: if rights are to be allocated on the basis of group membership, how should we determine which individuals belong to which group? Assuming that social identities are fixed and transparent runs the risk of creating further injustices, whilst acknowledging that social groups are porous and heterogeneous runs the risk of rendering group-differentiated rights impracticable. In this paper, I develop a schema for determining group membership which avoids both horns of this (...)
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  8. Suzy Killmister (2010). Dignity: Not Such a Useless Concept. Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (3):160-164.
    In her 2003 article in the British Medical Journal, Ruth Macklin provocatively declared dignity to be a useless concept: either a vague restatement of other more precise values, such as autonomy or respect for persons, or an empty slogan. A recent response to Macklin has challenged this claim. Doris Schroeder attempts to rescue dignity by positing four distinct concepts that fall under the one umbrella term. She argues that much of the confusion surrounding dignity is due to the lack of (...)
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  9. Suzy Killmister (2008). Remote Weaponry: The Ethical Implications. Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (2):121–133.
    The nature of warfare is changing. Increasingly, developments in military technology are removing soldiers from the battlefield, enabling war to be waged from afar. Bombs can be dropped from unmanned drones flying above the range of retaliation. Missiles can be launched, at minimal cost, from ships 200 miles to sea. Micro Air Vehicles, or 'WASPS', will soon be able to lethally attack enemy soldiers. Though still in the developmental stage, progress is rapidly being made towards autonomous weaponry capable of selecting, (...)
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  10. Suzy Killmister (2008). The Philosophy of War and Peace. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (4):697 – 698.
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