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The Importance of What We Care About: Philosophical Essays

Cambridge University Press (1988)

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  1. Evolutionary Psychiatry and Depression: Testing Two Hypotheses.Somogy Varga - 2012 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (1):41-52.
    In the last few decades, there has been a genuine ‘adaptive turn’ in psychiatry, resulting in evolutionary accounts for an increasing number of psychopathologies. In this paper, I explore the advantages and problems with the two main evolutionary approaches to depression, namely the mismatch and persistence accounts . I will argue that while both evolutionary theories of depression might provide some helpful perspectives, the accounts also harbor significant flaws that might question their authority and usefulness as explanations.
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  • Demystifying the Deep Self View.August Gorman - 2022 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 19 (4):390-414.
    Deep Self views of moral responsibility have been criticized for positing mysterious concepts, making nearly paradoxical claims about the ownership of one’s mental states, and promoting self-deceptive moral evasion. I defend Deep Self views from these pervasive forms of skepticism by arguing that some criticism is hasty and stems from epistemic injustice regarding testimonies of experiences of alienation, while other criticism targets contingent features of Deep Self views that ought to be abandoned. To aid in this project, I provide original (...)
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  • Run for Your Life: The Ethics of Behavioral Tracking in Insurance.Etye Steinberg - 2022 - Journal of Business Ethics 179 (3):665-682.
    In recent years, insurance companies have begun tracking their customers’ behaviors and price premiums accordingly. Based on the Market-Failures Approach as well as the Justice-Failures Approach, I provide an ethical analysis of the use of tracking technologies in the insurance industry. I focus on the use of telematics in car insurance and on the use of fitness tracking in life insurance. The use of tracking has some important benefits to policyholders and insurers alike: it reduces moral hazard and fraud, increases (...)
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  • Free Will and Education.Johannes Giesinger - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 44 (4):515-528.
    It is commonly assumed that to educate means to control or guide a person's acting and development. On the other hand, it is often presupposed that the addressees of education must be seen as being endowed with free will. The question raised in this paper is whether these two assumptions are compatible. It might seem that if the learner is free in her will, she cannot be educated; however, if she is successfully educated, then it is doubtful whether she can (...)
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  • Pattern Theory of Self and Situating Moral Aspects: The Need to Include Authenticity, Autonomy and Responsibility in Understanding the Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation.Przemysław Zawadzki - 2022 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 21 (3):559-582.
    The aims of this paper are to: identify the best framework for comprehending multidimensional impact of deep brain stimulation on the self; identify weaknesses of this framework; propose refinements to it; in pursuing, show why and how this framework should be extended with additional moral aspects and demonstrate their interrelations; define how moral aspects relate to the framework; show the potential consequences of including moral aspects on evaluating DBS’s impact on patients’ selves. Regarding, I argue that the pattern theory of (...)
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  • The Philosophy of Online Manipulation.Michael Klenk & Fleur Jongepier (eds.) - 2022 - Routledge.
    Are we being manipulated online? If so, is being manipulated by online technologies and algorithmic systems notably different from human forms of manipulation? And what is under threat exactly when people are manipulated online? This volume provides philosophical and conceptual depth to debates in digital ethics about online manipulation. The contributions explore the ramifications of our increasingly consequential interactions with online technologies such as online recommender systems, social media, user-friendly design, micro-targeting, default-settings, gamification, and real-time profiling. The authors in this (...)
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  • Cognitive Enhancement and Authenticity: Moving Beyond the Impasse.Emma C. Gordon - 2022 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 25 (2):281-288.
    In work on the ethics of cognitive enhancement use, there is a pervasive concern that such enhancement will—in some way—make us less authentic. Attempts to clarify what this concern amounts to and how to respond to it often lead to debates on the nature of the “true self” and what constitutes “genuine human activity”. This paper shows that a new and effective way to make progress on whether certain cases of cognitive enhancement problematically undermine authenticity is to make use of (...)
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  • Emergence of the Post-Truth Situation: Its Sources and Contexts.Miroslav Vacura - 2020 - Disputatio 9 (13).
    We often encounter the term “post-truth situation” in quite different contexts. This paper compares existing approaches to the term, reviewing sources of this notion in different domains and fundametally identifying its conceptual core. The starting point is the analysis of the recent transformation of the relationship between scientific fact and the political sphere and the change of the role of experts in relationship to society. The next section focuses on the role of digital and especially social media in the emergence (...)
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  • Do We Have a Coherent Set of Intuitions About Moral Responsibility?Dana K. Nelkin - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):243–259.
    I believe that the data is both fascinating and instructive, but in this paper I will resist the conclusion that we must give up Invariantism, or, as I prefer to call it, Unificationism. In the process of examining the challenging data and responding to it, I will try to draw some larger lessons about how to use the kind of data being collected. First, I will provide a brief description of some influential theories of responsibility, and then explain the threat (...)
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  • A Defence of Autonomy as an Educational Ideal.Jeffrey Morgan - 1996 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 30 (2):239–252.
  • Against Propositionalism.Michelle Montague - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):503–518.
    'Propositionalism' is the widely held view that all intentional mental relations-all intentional attitudes-are relations to propositions or something proposition-like. Paradigmatically, to think about the mountain is ipso facto to think that it is F, for some predicate 'F'. It seems, however, many intentional attitudes are not relations to propositions at all: Mary contemplates Jonah, adores New York, misses Athens, mourns her brother. I argue, following Brentano, Husserl, Church and Montague among others, that the way things seem is the way they (...)
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  • Persisting Intentions.Alfred R. Mele - 2007 - Noûs 41 (4):735–757.
    Al is nearly finished sweeping his kitchen floor when he notices, on a counter, a corkscrew that should be put in a drawer. He intends to put the corkscrew away as soon as he is finished with the floor; but by the time he returns the broom and dustpan to the closet, he has forgotten what he intended to do. Al knows (or has a true belief) that there is something he intended to do now in the kitchen. He gazes (...)
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  • Motivation in Agents.Christian Miller - 2008 - Noûs 42 (2):222–266.
    The Humean theory of motivation remains the default position in much of the contemporary literature in meta-ethics, moral psychology, and action theory. Yet despite its widespread support, the theory is implausible as a view about what motivates agents to act. More specifically, my reasons for dissatisfaction with the Humean theory stem from its incompatibility with what I take to be a compelling model of the role of motivating reasons in first-person practical deliberation and third-person action explanations. So after first introducing (...)
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  • Event-Causal Libertarianism, Functional Reduction, and the Disappearing Agent Argument.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):413-432.
    Event-causal libertarians maintain that an agent’s freely bringing about a choice is reducible to states and events involving him bringing about the choice. Agent-causal libertarians demur, arguing that free will requires that the agent be irreducibly causally involved. Derk Pereboom and Meghan Griffith have defended agent-causal libertarianism on this score, arguing that since on event-causal libertarianism an agent’s contribution to his choice is exhausted by the causal role of states and events involving him, and since these states and events leave (...)
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  • Why Reasons Skepticism is Not Self‐Defeating.Stan Husi - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (3):424-449.
    : Radical meta-normative skepticism is the view that no standard, norm, or principle has objective authority or normative force. It does not deny that there are norms, standards of correctness, and principles of various kinds that render it possible that we succeed or fail in measuring up to their prerogatives. Rather, it denies that any norm has the status of commanding with objective authority, of giving rise to normative reasons to take seriously and follow its demands. Two powerful transcendental arguments (...)
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  • In Defense of Ambivalence and Alienation.Logi Gunnarsson - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (1):13-26.
    In this paper, I argue against certain dogmas about ambivalence and alienation. Authors such as Harry Frankfurt and Christine Korsgaard demand a unity of persons that excludes ambivalence. Other philosophers such as David Velleman have criticized this demand as overblown, yet these critics, too, demand a personal unity that excludes an extreme form of ambivalence (“radical ambivalence”). I defend radical ambivalence by arguing that, to be true to oneself, one sometimes needs to be radically ambivalent. Certain dogmas about alienation are (...)
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  • Pushing the Margins of Responsibility: Lessons From Parks’ Somnambulistic Killing.Filippo Santoni de Sio & Ezio Di Nucci - 2018 - Neuroethics 11 (1):35-46.
    David Shoemaker has claimed that a binary approach to moral responsibility leaves out something important, namely instances of marginal agency, cases where agents seem to be eligible for some responsibility responses but not others. In this paper we endorse and extend Shoemaker’s approach by presenting and discussing one more case of marginal agency not yet covered by Shoemaker or in the other literature on moral responsibility. Our case is that of Kenneth Parks, a Canadian man who drove a long way (...)
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  • Sartre on Mistaken Sincerity.Stefanie Grune - 2003 - European Journal of Philosophy 11 (2):145–160.
  • Equality and the Significance of Coercion.Gabriel Wollner - 2011 - Journal of Social Philosophy 42 (4):363-381.
    Some political philosophers believe that equality emerges as a moral concern where and because people coerce each other. I shall argue that they are wrong. The idea of coercion as a trigger of equality is neither as plausible nor as powerful as it may initially appear. Those who rely on the idea that coercion is among the conditions that give rise to equality as a moral demand face a threefold challenge. They will have to succeed in jointly (a) offering a (...)
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  • On the Importance of History for Responsible Agency.Manuel Vargas - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (3):351-382.
    In this article I propose a resolution to the history issue for responsible agency, given a moderate revisionist approach to responsibility. Roughly, moderate revisionism is the view that a plausible and normatively adequate theory of responsibility will require principled departures from commonsense thinking. The history issue is whether morally responsible agency – that is, whether an agent is an apt target of our responsibility-characteristic practices and attitudes – is an essentially historical notion. Some have maintained that responsible agents must have (...)
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  • Commitment, Reasons, and the Will.Ruth Chang - 2013 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: Volume 8. Oxford University Press. pp. 74-113.
    This paper argues that there is a particular kind of ‘internal’ commitment typically made in the context of romantic love relationships that has striking meta-normative implications for how we understand the role of the will in practical normativity. Internal commitments cannot plausibly explain the reasons we have in committed relationships on the usual model – as triggering reasons that are already there, in the way that making a promise triggers a reason via a pre-existing norm of the form ‘If you (...)
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  • Caring: Gender-Sensitive Ethics.Peta Bowden - 1996 - Routledge.
    In _Caring_, Peta Bowden extends and challenges recent debates on feminist ethics. She takes issue with accounts of the ethics of care that focus on alleged principles of caring rather than analysing caring in practice. Caring, Bowden argues, must be understood by 'working through examples'. Following this approach, Bowden explores four main caring practices: mothering, friendship, nursing and citizenship. Her analysis of the differences and similarities in these practices - their varying degrees of intimacy and reciprocity, formality and informality, vulnerability (...)
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  • Endorsement and Autonomous Agency.François Schroeter - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 69 (3):633 - 659.
    We take self-governance or autonomy to be a central feature of human agency: we believe that our actions normally occur under our guidance and at our command. A common criticism of the standard theory of action is that it leaves the agent out of his actions and thus mischaracterizes our autonomy. According to proponents of the endorsement model of autonomy, such as Harry Frankfurt and David Velleman, the standard theory simply needs to be supplemented with the agent's actual endorsement of (...)
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  • Issues in the Pharmacological Induction of Emotions.David Wasserman & S. Matthew Liao - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (3):178-192.
    abstract In this paper, we examine issues raised by the possibility of regulating emotions through pharmacological means. We argue that emotions induced through these means can be authentic phenomenologically, and that the manner of inducing them need not make them any less our own than emotions arising 'naturally'. We recognize that in taking drugs to induce emotions, one may lose opportunities for self-knowledge; act narcissistically; or treat oneself as a mere means. But we propose that there are circumstances in which (...)
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  • The Normativity of Memory Modification.S. Matthew Liao & Anders Sandberg - 2008 - Neuroethics 1 (2):85-99.
    The prospect of using memory modifying technologies raises interesting and important normative concerns. We first point out that those developing desirable memory modifying technologies should keep in mind certain technical and user-limitation issues. We next discuss certain normative issues that the use of these technologies can raise such as truthfulness, appropriate moral reaction, self-knowledge, agency, and moral obligations. Finally, we propose that as long as individuals using these technologies do not harm others and themselves in certain ways, and as long (...)
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  • Luck Egalitarianism.Carl Knight - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (10):924-934.
    Luck egalitarianism is a family of egalitarian theories of distributive justice that aim to counteract the distributive effects of luck. This article explains luck egalitarianism's main ideas, and the debates that have accompanied its rise to prominence. There are two main parts to the discussion. The first part sets out three key moves in the influential early statements of Dworkin, Arneson, and Cohen: the brute luck/option luck distinction, the specification of brute luck in everyday or theoretical terms and the specification (...)
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  • Varieties of Inference?Anna-Sara Malmgren - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):221-254.
  • The Mess We Are In: How the Morphogenetic Approach Helps to Explain It: IACR 2020 Warsaw.Margaret S. Archer - 2021 - Journal of Critical Realism 20 (4):330-348.
    David Lockwood's distinction between System Integration and Social Integration is brought together with the Morphogenetic Approach to account for the current societal fragmentation experience...
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  • Contemporary Action Theory.Ghita Holmström-Hintikka & R. Tuomela - 1997 - Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer.
    Contemporary Action Theory, Volume I is concerned with topics in philosophical action theory such as reasons and causes of action, intentions, freedom of will and of action, omissions and norms in legal and ethical contexts, as well as activity, passivity and competence from medical points of view. Cognitive trying, freedom of the will and agent causation are challenges in the discussion on computers in action. The Volume consists of contributions by leading experts in the field written specifically for this volume. (...)
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  • Is the Self a Social Construct?Dan Zahavi - 2009 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 52 (6):551-573.
    There is a long tradition in philosophy for claiming that selfhood is socially constructed and self-experience intersubjectively mediated. On many accounts, we consequently have to distinguish between being conscious or sentient and being a self. The requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the latter are higher. My aim in the following is to challenge this form of social constructivism by arguing that an account of self which disregards the fundamental structures and features of our experiential life (...)
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  • Freedom in Uncertainty.Filippos Stamatiou - 2022 - Dissertation, University of Copenhagen
    This work develops a philosophically credible and psychologically realisable account of control that is necessary for moral responsibility. We live, think, and act in an environment of subjective uncertainty and limited information. As a result, our decisions and actions are influenced by factors beyond our control. Our ability to act freely is restricted by uncertainty, ignorance, and luck. Through three articles, I develop a naturalistic theory of control for action as a process of error minimisation that extends over time. Thus (...)
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  • A Study in Metaphysics for Free Will: Using Models of Causality, Determinism and Supervenience in the Search for Free Will.David Robson - unknown
    We have two main aims: to construct mathematical models for analysing determinism, causality and supervenience; and then to use these to demonstrate the possibility of constructing an ontic construal of the operation of free will - one requiring both the presentation of genuine alternatives to an agent and their selecting between them in a manner that permits the attribution of responsibility. Determinism is modelled using trans-temporal ontic links between discrete juxtaposed universe states and shown to be distinct from predictability. Causality (...)
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  • Re-Enchanting The World: An Examination Of Ethics, Religion, And Their Relationship In The Work Of Charles Taylor.David McPherson - 2013 - Dissertation, Marquette University
    In this dissertation I examine the topics of ethics, religion, and their relationship in the work of Charles Taylor. I take Taylor's attempt to confront modern disenchantment by seeking a kind of re-enchantment as my guiding thread. Seeking re-enchantment means, first of all, defending an `engaged realist' account of strong evaluation, i.e., qualitative distinctions of value that are seen as normative for our desires. Secondly, it means overcoming self-enclosure and achieving self-transcendence, which I argue should be understood in terms of (...)
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  • Exploitative, Irresistible, and Coercive Offers: Why Research Participants Should Be Paid Well or Not at All.Sara Belfrage - 2016 - Journal of Global Ethics 12 (1):69-86.
    ABSTRACTThis paper begins with the assumption that it is morally problematic when people in need are offered money in exchange for research participation if the amount offered is unfair. Such offers are called ‘coercive’, and the degree of coerciveness is determined by the offer's potential to cause exploitation and its irresistibility. Depending on what view we take on the possibility to compensate for the sacrifices made by research participants, a wish to avoid ‘coercive offers’ leads to policy recommendations concerning payment (...)
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  • Understanding Addiction.Robert M. Kelly - 2021 - Dissertation, University at Buffalo
    The addiction literature is fraught with conceptual confusions, stalled debates, and an unfortunate lack of clear and careful attempts to delineate the phenomenon of addiction in a way that might lead to consensus. My dissertation has two overarching aims, one metaphysical and one practical. -/- The first aim is to defend an account of addiction as the systematic disposition to fail to control one’s desires to engage in certain types of behaviors. I defend the inclusion of desires and impaired control (...)
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  • Responsibility and Disability.David Shoemaker - 2009 - Metaphilosophy 40 (3-4):438-461.
    This essay explores the boundaries of the moral community—the collection of agents eligible for moral responsibility—by focusing on those just inside it and those just outside it. In particular, it contrasts mild mental retardation with psychopathy, specifically among adults. For those who work with and know them, adults with mild mental retardation are thought to be obvious members of the moral community (albeit not full-fledged members). For those who work with and theorize about adult psychopaths, by contrast, they are not (...)
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  • Predicting Blame Assignment in a Case of Negligent Harm.David R. Mandel - 2010 - Mind and Society 9 (1):5-17.
    Theories of blame posit that observers consider causality, controllability, and foreseeability when assigning blame to actors. The present study examined which of these factors, either on their own or in interaction, predicted blame assigned to actors in a case of harm caused by negligence. The findings revealed that only causal impact ratings predicted blame. The findings also revealed a novel form of asymmetric discounting: the causal impact of a negligent actor was used to discount blame assigned to an innocent actor, (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility for Self-Deluding Beings.David J. Franz - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-17.
    In this article, I argue for four theses. First, libertarian and compatibilist accounts of moral responsibility agree that the capability of practical reason is the central feature of moral responsibility. Second, this viewpoint leads to a reasons-focused account of human behavior. Examples of human action discussed in debates about moral responsibility suggest that typical human actions are driven primarily by the agent’s subjective reasons and are sufficiently transparent for the agent. Third, this conception of self-transparent action is a questionable idealization. (...)
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  • Self-Exposure and Exposure of the Self: Informational Privacy and the Presentation of Identity. [REVIEW]David W. Shoemaker - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 12 (1):3-15.
  • What Are Theories of Desire Theories Of?Tamar Schapiro - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (2):131-150.
    In this paper I try to undermine complacency with a predominant conception of desire, for the sake of refocusing attention on a philosophical problem. The predominant conception holds that to have a desire is to occupy an evaluative outlook, a perspective from which the agent 'sees' the world in practically salient terms. I argue that it is not clear what this theory is a theory of, because the concept of desire at its center is deeply ambiguous. Understood as a theory (...)
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  • The Reasons That Matter.Stephen Finlay - 2006 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 84 (1):1 – 20.
    Bernard Williams's motivational reasons-internalism fails to capture our first-order reasons judgements, while Derek Parfit's nonnaturalistic reasons-externalism cannot explain the nature or normative authority of reasons. This paper offers an intermediary view, reformulating scepticism about external reasons as the claim not that they don't exist but rather that they don't matter. The end-relational theory of normative reasons is proposed, according to which a reason for an action is a fact that explains why the action would be good relative to some end, (...)
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  • Alienated Belief.David Hunter - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (2):221-240.
    This paper argues that it is possible to knowingly believe something while judging that one ought not to believe it and (so) viewing the belief as manifesting a sort of failure. I offer examples showing that such ‘alienated belief’ has several potential sources. I contrast alienated belief with self-deception, incontinent (or akratic) belief and half-belief. I argue that the possibility of alienated belief is compatible with the so-called ‘transparency’ of first-person reflection on belief, and that the descriptive and expressive difficulties (...)
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  • Fearing Death as Fearing the Loss of One's Life: Lessons From Alzheimer's Disease.David Beglin - 2016 - In Michael Cholbi (ed.), Immortality and the Philosophy of Death. London: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 101-114.
  • Reason and Love: A Non-Reductive Analysis of the Normativity of Agent-Relative Reasons.Theo Van Willigenburg - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (1):45-62.
    Why do agent-relative reasons have authority over us, reflective creatures? Reductive accounts base the normativity of agent-relative reasons on agent-neutral considerations like having parents caring especially for their own children serves best the interests of all children. Such accounts, however, beg the question about the source of normativity of agent-relative ways of reason-giving. In this paper, I argue for a non-reductive account of the reflective necessity of agent-relative concerns. Such an account will reveal an important structural complexity of practical reasoning (...)
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  • Autonomy of the Other: On Kant, Levinas, and Universality.Simon Skempton - 2013 - Minerva - An Internet Journal of Philosophy 17 (1).
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  • The Time of the Self.Dan Zahavi - 2012 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 84 (1):143-159.
  • Unself-Conscious Control: Broadening the Notion of Control Through Experiences of Flow and Wu-Wei.Valérie De Prycker - 2011 - Zygon 46 (1):5-25.
    Abstract. This paper both clarifies and broadens the notion of control and its relation to the self. By discussing instances of skillful absorption from different cultural backgrounds, I argue that the notion of control is not as closely related to self-consciousness as is often suggested. Experiences of flow and wu-wei exemplify a nonself-conscious though personal type of control. The intercultural occurrence of this type of behavioral control demonstrates its robustness, and questions two long-held intuitions about the relation between self-consciousness and (...)
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  • Self in Mind. A Pluralist Account of Self-Consciousness.Raphaël Millière - 2020 - Dissertation,
    This thesis investigates the relationship between consciousness and self-consciousness. I consider two broad claims about this relationship: a constitutive claim, according to which all conscious experiences constitutively involve self-consciousness; and a typicalist claim, according to which ordinary conscious experiences contingently involve self-consciousness. Both of these claims call for elucidation of the relevant notions of consciousness and self-consciousness. -/- In the first part of the thesis ('The Myth of Constitutive Self-Consciousness'), I critically examine the constitutive claim. I start by offering an (...)
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  • Irrational Intentionality.Benjamin L. S. Nelson - manuscript
    There at least three ways of thinking about rationality: instrumental, substantive, and intentional. By far, the instrumental account is most influential. This essay proposes that intentional rationality can provide substantive accounts with room to breathe, and in a way that is facially distinct from instrumental accounts. I suggest that the intentionality of a judgment is made up of what it is about and the orientation through which it is judged, while irrationality is the subversion of a strict supporting connection between (...)
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  • Corporate Moral Responsibility.Amy J. Sepinwall - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (1):3-13.
    This essay provides a critical overview of the debate about corporate moral responsibility. Parties to the debate address whether corporations are the kinds of entities that can be blamed when they cause unjustified harm. Proponents of CMR argue that corporations satisfy the conditions for moral agency and so they are fit for blame. Their opponents respond that corporations lack one or more of the capacities necessary for moral agency. I review the arguments on both sides and conclude ultimately that what (...)
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