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Dan Demetriou [22]Daniel Demetriou [1]
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Dan Demetriou
University of Minnesota, Morris
  1. The Ethics of Racist Monuments.Dan Demetriou & Ajume Wingo - forthcoming - In David Boonin (ed.), Palgrave Handbook of Philosophy and Public Policy. Palgrave.
    In this chapter we focus on the debate over publicly-maintained racist monuments as it manifests in the mid-2010s Anglosphere, primarily in the US (chiefly regarding the over 700 monuments devoted to the Confederacy), but to some degree also in Britain and Commonwealth countries, especially South Africa (chiefly regarding monuments devoted to figures and events associated with colonialism and apartheid). After pointing to some representative examples of racist monuments, we discuss ways a monument can be thought racist, and neutrally categorize removalist (...)
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  2.  89
    The Racial Offense Objection to Confederate Monuments: A Reply to Timmerman.Dan Demetriou - forthcoming - In Bob Fischer (ed.), Ethics Left and Right: The Moral Issues that Divide Us.
    This is my reply essay (1000 words) to Travis Timmerman's "A Case for Removing Confederate Monuments" in Bob Fisher's _Ethics, Left and Right: The Moral Issues That Divide Us_ volume. In it, I explain why I think the mere harm from the racial offense a monument may cause does not justify removing it.
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  3. Ashes of Our Fathers: Racist Monuments and the Tribal Right.Dan Demetriou - forthcoming - In Bob Fischer (ed.), Ethics, Left and Right: The Moral Issues That Divide Us. Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter I sketch a rightist approach to monumentary policy in a diverse polity beleaguered by old ethnic grievances. I begin by noting the importance of tribalism, memorialization, and social trust. I then suggest a policy which 1) gradually narrows the gap between peoples in the heritage landscape, 2) conserves all but the most offensive of the least beloved racist monuments, 3) avoids recrimination (i.e., “keeps it positive”) and eschews ideological commentary in new monuments or revisions to old ones, (...)
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  4. Honor for Intro.Dan Demetriou - manuscript
    This piece is written as a public service to ethics professors and students interested in learning more about honor ethics. To facilitate its use in classrooms, it’s written in the style of many contemporary textbooks: it focuses on ideas, principles, and intuitions and ignores scholarly figures and intellectual history. Readers should note this is an “opinionated” introduction, as it focuses on the agonistic conception of honor. It also takes for granted that the agonistic ethos described counts as a “moral” theory. (...)
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  5. There’s Some Fetish in Your Ethics: A Limited Defense of Purity Reasoning in Moral Discourse.Dan Demetriou - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Research 38:377-404.
    Call the ethos understanding rightness in terms of spiritual purity and piety, and wrongness in terms of corruption and sacrilege, the “fetish ethic.” Jonathan Haidt and his colleagues suggest that this ethos is particularly salient to political conservatives and non-liberal cultures around the globe. In this essay, I point to numerous examples of moral fetishism in mainstream academic ethics. Once we see how deeply “infected” our ethical reasoning is by fetishistic intuitions, we can respond by 1) repudiating the fetishistic impulse, (...)
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  6. Gender Exaggeration as Trans.Dan Demetriou & Michael Prideaux - manuscript
    Surprisingly, it follows from commonplaces about sex and gender that there is a widely-practiced variety of transgenderism achievable through sex/gender “exaggerating.” Recognizing exaggeration as trans---or at least its moral equivalent---has several important consequences. One is that, since most traditional cultures endorse exaggeration, trans lifestyles have often been mainstream. But more importantly, recognizing that gender exaggeration is trans (or its moral equivalent) reveals a number of sex- and gender-discriminatory practices and intolerant attitudes: from pathologizing hypergender to legally restricting androgenic hormones, many (...)
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  7. What Should Realists Say About Honor Cultures?Dan Demetriou - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (5):893-911.
    Richard Nisbett and Dov Cohen’s (1996) influential account of “cultures of honor” speculates that honor norms are a socially-adaptive deterrence strategy. This theory has been appealed to by multiple empirically-minded philosophers, and plays an important role in John Doris and Alexandra Plakias’ (2008) antirealist argument from disagreement. In this essay, I raise four objections to the Nisbett-Cohen deterrence thesis, and offer another theory of honor in its place that sees honor as an agonistic normative system regulating prestige competitions. Since my (...)
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  8. Fighting Fair: The Ecology of Honor in Humans and Animals.Dan Demetriou - 2015 - In Jonathan Crane (ed.), Beastly Morality. Columbia University Press. pp. 123-154.
    This essay distinguishes between honor-typical and authoritarian behavior in humans and animals. Whereas authoritarianism concerns hierarchies coordinated by control and obedience, honor concerns rankings of prestige determined by fair contests. Honor-typical behavior is identifiable in non-human species, and is to be expected in polygynous species with non-resource-based mating systems. This picture lends further support to an increasingly popular psychological theory that sees morality as constituted by a variety of moral systems. If moral cognition is pluralistic in this way, then the (...)
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  9. Honor War Theory: Romance or Reality?Dan Demetriou - 2013 - Philosophical Papers 42 (3):285 - 313.
    Just War Theory (JWT) replaced an older "warrior code," an approach to war that remains poorly understood and dismissively treated in the philosophical literature. This paper builds on recent work on honor to address these deficiencies. By providing a clear, systematic exposition of "Honor War Theory" (HWT), we can make sense of paradigm instances of warrior psychology and behavior, and understand the warrior code as the martial expression of a broader honor-based ethos that conceives of obligation in terms of fair (...)
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  10. The Fictionalist’s Attitude Problem.Graham Oddie & Dan Demetriou - 2007 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (5):485-498.
    According to John Mackie, moral talk is representational but its metaphysical presuppositions are wildly implausible. This is the basis of Mackie's now famous error theory: that moral judgments are cognitively meaningful but systematically false. Of course, Mackie went on to recommend various substantive moral judgments, and, in the light of his error theory, that has seemed odd to a lot of folk. Richard Joyce has argued that Mackie's approach can be vindicated by a fictionalist account of moral discourse. And Mark (...)
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  11.  22
    Defense with Dignity: How the Dignity of Violent Resistance Informs the Gun Rights Debate.Dan Demetriou - manuscript
    Abstract: Perhaps the biggest disconnect between philosophers and non-philosophers on gun rights is over the importance of arms to our dignitary interests. This essay argues that we have a strong prima facie moral right to resist with dignity and that (with certain qualifications) violent resistance is more dignified than nonviolent resistance. Since in some cases dignified resistance will require violence, and since effective violent resistance will sometimes require guns, we have a strong prima facie right to own or carry guns (...)
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  12. Fighting Together: Civil Discourse and Agonistic Honor.Dan Demetriou - 2016 - In Laurie Johnson & Dan Demetriou (eds.), Honor in the Modern World: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Lexington Books. pp. 21-42.
    Whereas civil discourse is usually thought to be about defusing conflict, this essay argues it may be fruitfully thought of as fighting honorably for what we believe. Thus agonistic honor, which conceives of rightness in terms of fair and respectful contest for status, will be an especially important virtue in contexts—from classrooms to courtrooms to pluralistic democracies in general—where conflict is inevitable and desirable. To motivate this claim, I take a Hobbesian approach. I begin with a rational reconstruction of honor (...)
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  13. Justifying Punishment: The Educative Approach as Presumptive Favorite.Dan Demetriou - 2012 - Criminal Justice Ethics 31 (1):2-18.
    In The Problem of Punishment, David Boonin offers an analysis of punishment and an account of what he sees as ethically problematic about it. In this essay I make three points. First, pace Boonin's analysis, everyday examples of punishment show that it sometimes isn't harmful, but merely "discomforting." Second, intentionally discomforting offenders isn't uniquely problematic, given that we have cases of non-punitive intentional discomforture---and perhaps even harmful discomforture---that seem unobjectionable. Third, a notable fact about both non-harmful punishment and non-punitive intentional (...)
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  14. The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen, by Kwame Anthony Appiah. [REVIEW]Dan Demetriou - 2013 - Mind 122 (486):fzt064.
    Honor has been in disrepute among intellectuals for almost a century now. The standard explanation for honor’s demise is its role in driving young men and their countries to surpass the limits of acceptable human slaughter in the First World War, the trenches of which became ‘a mass grave for honor’ (Welsh 2008: x). Academic interest in honor revived in the 1950s among anthropologists and sociologists, where it was treated with a studied moral distance. Literary scholars, historians, and political scientists (...)
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  15. The Virtues of Honorable Business Executives.Dan Demetriou - 2013 - In Mike Austin (ed.), Virtues in Action: New Essays in Applied Virtue Ethics. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 29-38.
    Although most cultures have held honorableness to be a virtue of the first importance, contemporary analytic ethicists have just begun to consider honor’s nature and ethical worth. In this essay, I provide an analysis of the honor ethos and apply it to business ethics. Applying honor to business may appear to be a particularly challenging task, since (for reasons I discuss) honor has traditionally been seen as incompatible with commerce. Nonetheless, I argue here that two of the central virtues of (...)
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  16.  13
    Dignitarian Hunting.Dan Demetriou & Bob Fischer - 2018 - Social Theory and Practice 44 (1):49-73.
    Faced with the choice between supporting industrial plant agriculture and hunting, Tom Regan’s rights view can be plausibly developed in a way that permits a form of hunting we call “dignitarian.” To motivate this claim, we begin by showing how the empirical literature on animal deaths in plant agriculture suggests that a non-trivial amount of hunting would not add to animal harm. We discuss how Tom Regan’s miniride principle appears to morally permit hunting in that case, and we address recent (...)
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  17. Moral Fictionalism. [REVIEW]Daniel Demetriou & Graham Oddie - 2007 - Mind 116 (462):439-446.
  18. A Modest Intuitionist Reply to Greene's fMRI-Based Objections to Deontology.Dan Demetriou - 2009 - Southwest Philosophy Review 25 (1):107-117.
    I argue that Greene’s research, although fascinating for many reasons, doesn’t undermine deontological moral philosophy. This is because both sentimentalist and rationalist moral epistemologies, applied to deontological value, predict exactly the data Greene has found. My discussion proceeds in three steps. In the first section I summarize Greene’s brief against deontology. In the second section I draw on standard accounts of moral emotions to suggest that there are ‘deontological emotions’ made rational by appearances of ‘deontological value.’ Finally, I outline a (...)
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  19.  2
    Why Honor Matters. [REVIEW]Dan Demetriou - 2018 - The Philosophers' Magazine 82:113-115.
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  20.  24
    Honor Ethics for Executives and Leaders.Dan Demetriou - 2016 - In George Washington’s Lessons in Ethical Leadership. George Washington’s Mount Vernon.
    [Requested essay for George Washington Leadership Institute curriculum, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington, Mt. Vernon.] Honor is often equated with integrity, dignity, courage, and unimpeachable reputation. But what is the underlying essence of honor that explains those associations? This essay provides a framework for thinking about honor, and explores a theory of honor that understands it in terms of agonism---that is, as an ethic regulating our pursuit of prestige according to principles of fair and (...)
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  21.  23
    Civic Immortality: The Problem of Civic Honor in Africa and the West.Dan Demetriou - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (3-4):257-276.
    From Thomas Hobbes to Steven Pinker, it is often remarked that cultures of honor are destabilizing and especially dangerous to liberal institutions. This essay sharpens that criticism into two objections: one saying honor cultures encourage tyranny, and another accusing them of undermining rule of law. Since these concerns manifest differently in established as opposed to fledgling liberal democracies, I appeal to Western and African examples both to motivate and allay these worries. I contend that a culture of civic honor is (...)
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  22.  6
    Modern Honor: A Philosophical Defense, Written by Anthony Cunningham. [REVIEW]Dan Demetriou - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (2):221-224.
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  23.  14
    Honor in the Modern World: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.Laurie Johnson & Dan Demetriou (eds.) - 2016 - Lexington.
    After a century-long hiatus, honor is back. Academics, pundits, and everyday citizens alike are rediscovering the importance of this ancient and powerful human motive. This volume brings together some of the foremost researchers of honor to debate honor’s meaning and its compatibility with liberalism, democracy, and modernity. Contributors—representing philosophy, sociology, political science, history, psychology, leadership studies, and military science—examine honor past to present, from masculine and feminine perspectives, and in North American, European, and African contexts. Topics include the role of (...)
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