Is it appropriate to honor artists who have created great works but who have also acted immorally? In this article, after arguing that honoring involves identifying a person as someone we ought to admire, we present three moral reasons against honoring immoral artists. First, we argue that honoring can serve to condone their behavior, through the mediums of emotional prioritization and exemplar identification. Second, we argue that honoring immoral artists can generate undue epistemic credibility for the artists, which can lead (...) to an indirect form of testimonial injustice for the artists’ victims. Third, we argue, building on the first two reasons, that honoring immoral artists can also serve to silence their victims. We end by considering how we might respond to these reasons. (shrink)
Many of those working on moral responsibility assume that "once blameworthy, always blameworthy." They believe that blameworthiness is like diamonds: it is forever. We argue that blameworthiness is not forever; rather, it can diminish through time. We begin by showing that the view that blameworthiness is forever is best understood as the claim that personal identity is sufficient for diachronic blameworthiness. We argue that this view should be rejected because it entails that blameworthiness for past action is completely divorced from (...) the distinctive psychological features of the person at the later time. This is because on none of the leading accounts of personal identity does identity require the preservation of any distinctive psychological features, but merely requires some form of continuity. The claim that blameworthiness is forever should therefore be rejected. We then sketch an account of blameworthiness over time, and consider two objections. (shrink)
Is it appropriate to honour and admire people who have created great works of art, made important intellectual contributions, performed great sporting feats or shaped the history of a nation if those people have also acted immorally? This book provides a philosophical investigation of this important and timely question. -/- The authors draw on the latest research from ethics, value theory, philosophy of emotion, social philosophy and social psychology to develop and substantiate arguments that have been made in the public (...) debates about this issue. They offer a detailed analysis of the nature and ethics of honour and admiration, and present reasons both in favor and against honouring and admiring the immoral. They also take on the important matter of whether we can separate the achievements of public figures from their immoral behavior. Ultimately, the authors reject a "one-size-fits-all" approach and argue that we must weigh up the reasons for and against honouring and admiring in each particular case. -/- Honouring and Admiring the Immoral is written in an accessible style that shows how philosophy can engage with public debates about important ethical issues. It will be of interest to scholars and students working in moral philosophy, philosophy of emotion, and social philosophy. (shrink)
What, if anything, is problematic about the involvement of celebrities in democratic politics? While a number of theorists have criticized celebrity involvement in politics (Meyer 2002; Mills 1957; Postman 1987) none so far have examined this issue using the tools of social epistemology, the study of the effects of social interactions, practices and institutions on knowledge and belief acquisition. This paper will draw on these resources to investigate the issue of celebrity involvement in politics, specifically as this involvement relates to (...) democratic theory and its implications for democratic practice. We will argue that an important and underexplored form of power, which we will call epistemic power, can explain one important way in which celebrity involvement in politics is problematic. This is because unchecked uses and unwarranted allocations of epistemic power, which celebrities tend to enjoy, threaten the legitimacy of existing democracies and raise important questions regarding core commitments of deliberative, epistemic, and plebiscitary models of democratic theory. We will finish by suggesting directions that democratic theorists could pursue when attempting to address some of these problems. (shrink)
The Northern Irish footballer James McClean chooses not to take part in the practice of wearing a plastic red poppy to commemorate those who have died fighting for the British Armed Forces. Each year he faces abuse, including occasional death threats, for his choice. This forms part of a wider trend towards ‘poppy enforcement’, the pressuring of people, particularly public figures, to wear the poppy. This enforcement seems wrong in part because, at least in some cases, it involves abuse. But (...) is there anything else wrong with it? We will consider the various ways the existing literature on the ethics of commemoration might help us understand what is wrong with poppy enforcement. We will argue that this cannot provide a complete account of what is wrong with poppy enforcement. We then argue that such pressure can constitute two distinct forms of affective injustice, which are wrongs done to people specifically in their capacity as affective beings. In McClean’s case, we argue first that poppy enforcement is a violation of affective rights and second that he faces a particular type of affective injustice that we call emotional imperialism. (shrink)
Pereboom’s Four-Case Argument was once considered to be the most powerful of the manipulation arguments against compatibilism. However, because of Demetriou’s :595–617, 2010) response, Pereboom has significantly weakened his argument. Manipulation arguments in general have also been challenged by King : 65–83, 2013). In this paper, I argue that the Four-Case Argument resists both these challenges. One upshot is that Pereboom doesn’t need weaken his argument. Another is that compatibilists still need a response the Four-Case Argument. And another is that (...) we get a much better understanding of the Four-Case Argument, and of manipulation arguments more generally, than is currently available in the literature. (shrink)
Compatibilists disagree over whether there are historical conditions on moral responsibility. Historicists claim there are, whilst structuralists deny this. Historicists motivate their position by claiming to avoid the counter-intuitive implications of structuralism. I do two things in this paper. First, I argue that historicism has just as counter-intuitive implications as structuralism when faced with thought experiments inspired by those found in the personal identity literature. Hence, historicism is not automatically preferable to structuralism. Second, I argue that structuralism is much more (...) plausible once we accept that personal identity is irrelevant to moral responsibility. This paves the way for a new structuralist account that makes clear what it takes to be the diachronic ownership condition (which is normally taken to be personal identity) and the locus of moral responsibility (which is normally taken to be ‘whole’ person), and helps to alleviate the intuitive unease many have with respect to structuralism. (shrink)
Accounts of heavenly freedom typically attempt to reconcile the claim that the redeemed have free will with the claim that the redeemed cannot sin. In this paper, I first argue that Pawl and Timpe :396–417, 2009) tracing account of heavenly freedom—according to which the redeemed in heaven have only ‘derivative’ free will—is untenable. I then sketch an alternative account of heavenly freedom, one which eschews derivative free will. On this account, the redeemed are able to sin in heaven.
In this paper, I first argue that sometimes freely and knowingly manipulating oneself does not fully preserve moral responsibility – namely, in cases of practically distinct self-manipulation. However, I argue that practically distinct self-manipulation preserves moral responsibility to some extent because such a self-manipulated person is more morally responsibility than an other-manipulated person. This is an important result: manipulating oneself doesn’t always fully preserve one’s moral responsibility for one’s actions. But in what sense is the self-manipulated person more morally responsible? (...) I argue the self-manipulated person is not a fitting target of the reactive attitudes but continues to have wrongdoing-incurred reparative obligations. This explains the intuitive judgement about the self-manipulated person, provides a better explanation of “tracing” cases, and reveals important requirements for a plausible theory of moral responsibility. (shrink)
In this paper, I first consider three possible explanations for why celebrities typically apologise publicly and sometimes also include their fans among the targets of their apology. I then identify three moral dangers of celebrity apologies, the third of which arises specifically for fan-targeted apologies, and each of which teaches us important lessons about the practice of celebrity apologies. From these individual lessons, I draw more general lessons about apologies from those with elevated social positions and the powers they are (...) associated with. (shrink)
In this paper, I propose and defend a structural ownership condition on moral responsibility. According to the condition I propose, an agent owns a mental item if and only if it is part of or is partly grounded by a coherent set of psychological states. As I discuss, other theorists have proposed or alluded to conditions like psychological coherence, but each proposal is unsatisfactory in some way. My account appeals to narrative explanation to elucidate the relevant sense of psychological coherence.
In response to the problem of Hell, Buckareff and Plug (Relig Stud 41:39–54, 2005; Relig Stud 45:63–72, 2009) have recently proposed and defended an ‘escapist’ conception of Hell. In short, they propose that the problem of Hell does not arise because God places an open-door policy on Hell. In this paper, I expose a fundamental problem with this conception of Hell—namely, that if there’s an open door policy on Hell, then there should be one on Heaven too. I argue that (...) a coherent conception of Heaven cannot have such a policy. Hence, escapism is not an adequate response to the problem of Hell. (shrink)
Most seem to presume that what is threatening about manipulation arguments is the ‘no difference’ premise – that is, the claim that there are no responsibility-relevant differences between a manipulated agent and her merely causally determined counterpart. This presumption underlies three recent replies to manipulation arguments from Kearns (2012), King (2013), and Schlosser (2015). But these replies fail to appreciate the true threat from manipulation arguments – namely, the manipulation cases that are allegedly counterexamples to the leading compatibilist conditions on (...) moral responsibility. This paper argues that if there is a counterexample to all the leading compatibilist conditions on moral responsibility then this is sufficient to undermine compatibilism. (shrink)
Manipulation arguments aim to show that compatibilism is false. Usually, they aim to undermine compatibilism by first eliciting the intuition that a manipulated agent is not morally responsible. Patrick Todd's (2012) Moral Standing Manipulation Argument instead aims to first elicit the intuition that a manipulator cannot blame her victim. Todd then argues that the best explanation for why a manipulator cannot blame her victim is that incompatibilism is true. In this paper, I present three lines of defence against this argument (...) for those who agree a manipulator cannot blame her victim. (shrink)
According to the character condition, a person is morally responsible for an action A only if a character trait of hers non-accidentally motivates her performing A. But that condition is untenable according to the out of character objection because people can be morally responsible for acting out of character. We reassess this common objection. Of the seven accounts of acting out of character that we outline, only one is even a prima facie counterexample to the character condition. And it is (...) not obvious that people act out of character in that sense. We argue that whether the out of character objection succeeds ultimately depends on the unnoticed methodological commitment that cases that may not resemble human life provide good data for theorizing about moral responsibility. But even if such cases provide good data, the forcefulness of the objection is at least deflated given that its persuasive power is supposed to come from clear real-life cases. (shrink)
In this paper, I present a dilemma for those who believe in the afterlife: either we won’t survive death (or an eternal life) in the sense that most matters to us or we will become bored if we do. First, I argue that even if we – in a strict sense – survive death, there is practical sense in which we don’t survive death. This applies, I contend, to all accounts of the afterlife that: eventually, we lose our practical identity. (...) I show that our practical identity is more important to us than our numerical identity. But, as we’ll see, our practical identity is not just lost in an afterlife, but also with an eternal or immortal life. Theists have a strategy to resist this line of argument: they can argue that God will help us to retain our current practical identities. However, those that pursue this line of argument fall onto the second horn of my proposed dilemma: if we cannot change our practical identities then it seems that eventually we will become bored, and eternally so. (shrink)
Rüdiger Bittner argues that regret is not useful and so it is always unreasonable to feel and express it. In this paper, I argue that regret is often reasonable because regret has a communicative function: it communicates where we stand with respect to things we have done and outcomes that we have caused. So, I not only argue that Bittner’s argument is unsuccessful, I also shed light on the nature and purpose of regret.
Conventional wisdom suggests that the power to do otherwise is necessary for being morally responsible. While much of the literature on alternative possibilities has focused on Frankfurt’s argument against this claim, I instead focus on one of Dennett’s (1984) arguments against it. This argument appeals to cases of volitional necessity rather than cases featuring counterfactual interveners. van Inwagen (1989) and Kane (1996) appeal to the notion of ‘character setting’ to argue that these cases do not show that the power to (...) do otherwise is unnecessary for moral responsibility. In this paper, I argue that their character setting response is unsuccessful. (shrink)
Non-moral blame seems to be widespread and widely accepted in everyday life—tolerated at least, but often embraced. We blame athletes for poor performance, artists for bad or boring art, scientists for faulty research, and voters for flawed reasoning. This paper argues that non-moral blame is never justified—i.e. it’s never a morally permissible response to a non-moral failure. Having explained what blame is and how non-moral blame differs from moral blame, the paper presents the argument in four steps. First, it argues (...) that many (perhaps most) apparent cases of non-moral blame are actually cases of moral blame. Second, it argues that even if non-moral blame is pro tanto permissible—because its target is blameworthy for their substandard performance—it often (perhaps usually) fails to meet other permissibility conditions, such as fairness or standing. Third, it goes further and challenges the claim that non-moral blame is ever even pro tanto permissible. Finally, it considers a number of arguments in support of non-moral obligations and argues that none of them succeed. (shrink)
How should academics respond to the work of immoral intellectuals? This question appears to be one that is of increasing concern in academic circles but has received little attention in the academic literature. In this paper, we will investigate what our response to immoral intellectuals should be. We begin by outlining the cases of three intellectuals who have behaved immorally or at least have been accused of doing so. We then investigate whether it is appropriate to admire an immoral person (...) for their intellectual contributions. We will argue that such admiration can be a fitting response to the intellectual achievements of an immoral person but only if the person has indeed done something important. However, we then identify two moral reasons against openly admiring immoral intellectuals. First, that such admiration may give the appearance of condoning the immoral acts of the intellectual. Second, that such admiration may lead to emulation of the intellectual’s problematic ideals. This may be enough to persuade us of the moral reasons to avoid engaging with the work of unimportant and easily replaceable intellectuals in our research and our teaching. However, for more important intellectual figures we have weighty educational reasons to cite them and include them in our courses. This leads to a tension, which we attempt to resolve by proposing ways to accommodate the moral reasons against admiring immoral intellectuals and the intellectual reasons to include them in our courses, though we conclude on the pessimistic note that this tension may not be entirely resolvable. (shrink)
In this paper, we investigate the diachronic fittingness conditions of admiration – that is, what it takes for a person to continue or cease to be admirable over time. We present a series of cases that elicit judgements that suggest different understandings of admiration over time. In some cases, admirability seems to last forever. In other cases, it seems that it can cease within a person’s lifetime if she changes sufficiently. Taken together, these cases highlight what we call the puzzle (...) of admiration over time. We then present a potential solution to this puzzle. (shrink)
This unique Handbook provides a sophisticated, scholarly overview of the most advanced thought regarding the idea of life after death. Its comprehensive coverage encompasses historical, religious, philosophical and scientific thinking. Starting with an overview of ancient thought on the topic, The Palgrave Handbook of the Afterlife examines in detail the philosophical coherence of the main traditional notions of the nature of the afterlife including heaven, hell, purgatory and rebirth. In addition (and breaking with traditional conceptions) it also explores the most (...) recent exciting advance – digital models. Later sections include analysis of various possible metaphysical accounts that might make sense of the afterlife (including substance dualism, emergent dualism and materialism) and the science of near death experiences as well as the links between human psychology and our attitude to the afterlife. Key features: • Grounded in the most advanced philosophical, theological and scientific thinking • Contributions by eminent scholars from the world’s top universities • Balanced treatment of fundamental issues that are relevant to everyone • Diverse approaches ranging from the religious to the scientific, from the optimistic to the pessimistic • A major section on the meaning of the afterlife which includes chapters on fear, purpose, evil, and issues regarding identity The Palgrave Handbook of the Afterlife is essential reading for scholars, researchers and advanced students researching attitudes to and effects of beliefs about death and life after death from philosophical, historical, religious, psychological and scientific perspectives. (shrink)
This thesis suggests a novel problem for theists. This problem is that there is an incompatibility between free will theodicies and religious experience. Free will theodicies are responses to the problem of evil and religious experience is form of interaction between God and people. The free will theodicies that are discussed say that God gives us free will for two purposes. These purposes are to excuse God from direct responsibility for evil in the world and to act as a qualifying (...) factor in who goes where when we die. Religious experience, it will be argued, usually, if not always, gives recipients of religious experience moral benefits. The giving of moral benefits in religious experience acts to undermine the second purpose we are said to have been given free will and hence generates the incompatibility between free will theodicies and religious experience. (shrink)