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Erick Ramirez [12]Erick Jose Ramirez [6]Erick J. Ramirez [1]
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Erick Ramirez
Santa Clara University
  1.  38
    Ethical Issues with Simulating the Bridge Problem in VR.Erick Jose Ramirez & Scott LaBarge - forthcoming - Science and Engineering Ethics:1-19.
    We aim to generate a dilemma for virtual reality-based research that we motivate through an extended case study of Judith Thomson’s (1985) Bridge variant of the trolley problem. Though the problem we generate applies more broadly than the Bridge problem, we believe it makes a good exemplar of the kind of case we believe is problematic. First, we argue that simulations of these thought experiments run into a practicality horn that makes it practically impossible to produce them. These problems revolve (...)
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  2. How to (Dis)Solve the Gamer’s Dilemma.Erick Jose Ramirez - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice (1):1-21.
    The Gamer's Dilemma challenges us to find a distinction between virtual murder and virtual pedophilia. Without such a distinction, we are forced to conclude that either both are morally acceptable or that both should be morally illicit. This paper argues that the best way to solve the dilemma is, in one sense, to dissolve it. The Gamer's Dilemma rests on a misunderstanding in the sense that it does not distinguish between the form of a simulation and its surface content. A (...)
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  3. Psychopathy, Autism, and Basic Moral Emotions: Evidence for Sentimentalist Constructivism.Erick Ramirez - 2019 - In Serife Tekin & Robyn Bluhm (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry. Bloomsbury.
    Philosophers and psychologists often claim that moral agency is connected with the ability to feel, understand, and deploy moral emotions. In this chapter, I investigate the nature of these emotions and their connection with moral agency. First, I examine the degree to which these emotional capacities are innate and/or ‘basic’ in a philosophically important sense. I examine three senses in which an emotion might be basic: developmental, compositional, and phylogenetic. After considering the evidence for basic emotion, I conclude that emotions (...)
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  4. Empathy and the Limits of Thought Experiments.Erick Ramirez - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (4):504-526.
    This article criticizes what it calls perspectival thought experiments, which require subjects to mentally simulate a perspective before making judgments from within it. Examples include Judith Thomson's violinist analogy, Philippa Foot's trolley problem, and Bernard Williams's Jim case. The article argues that advances in the philosophical and psychological study of empathy suggest that the simulative capacities required by perspectival thought experiments are all but impossible. These thought experiments require agents to consciously simulate necessarily unconscious features of subjectivity. To complete these (...)
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  5. A Conditional Defense of Shame and Shame Punishment.Erick Jose Ramirez - 2017 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 4 (1):77-95.
    This paper makes two essential claims about the nature of shame and shame punishment. I argue that, if we properly understand the nature of shame, that it is sometimes justifiable to shame others in the context of a pluralistic multicultural society. I begin by assessing the accounts of shame provided by Cheshire Calhoun (2004) and Julien Deonna, Raffaele Rodogno, & Fabrice Teroni (2012). I argue that both views have problems. I defend a theory of shame and embarrassment that connects both (...)
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  6. “Psychopathy, Moral Reasons, and Responsibility”.Erick Ramirez - 2013 - In Alexandra Perry C. D. Herrera (ed.), Ethics and Neurodiversity.
    In popular culture psychopaths are inaccurately portrayed as serial killers or homicidal maniacs. Most real-world psychopaths are neither killers nor maniacs. Psychologists currently understand psychopathy as an affective disorder that leads to repeated criminal and antisocial behavior. Counter to this prevailing view, I claim that psychopathy is not necessarily linked with criminal behavior. Successful psychopaths, an intriguing new category of psychopathic agent, support this conception of psychopathy. I then consider reactive attitude theories of moral responsibility. Within this tradition, psychopaths are (...)
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  7. Real Moral Problems in the Use of Virtual Reality.Erick Jose Ramirez & Scott LaBarge - 2018 - Ethics and Information Technology (4):249-263.
    In this paper, we argue that, under a specific set of circumstances, designing and employing certain kinds of virtual reality (VR) experiences can be unethical. After a general discussion of simulations and their ethical context, we begin our argu-ment by distinguishing between the experiences generated by different media (text, film, computer game simulation, and VR simulation), and argue that VR experiences offer an unprecedented degree of what we call “perspectival fidelity” that prior modes of simulation lack. Additionally, we argue that (...)
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  8. Neurosurgery for Psychopaths? The Problems of Empathy and Neurodiversity.Erick Ramirez - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 7 (3):166-168.
    I argue that deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a bad approach for incarcerated psychopaths for two reasons. First, given what we know about psychopathy, empathy, and DBS, it is unlikely to function as an effective treatment for the moral problems that characterize psychopathy. Second, considerations of neurodiversity speak against seeing psychopathy as a mental illness in the first place.
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  9. Receptivity, Reactivity and the Successful Psychopath.Erick Ramirez - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (3):330-343.
    I argue that psychopathy undermines three common assumptions typically invoked in favor of moderate reasons responsive theories of moral responsibility. First, I propose a theory of psychopathic agency and claim that psychopathic agency suggests that the systems underlying receptivity to reason bifurcate into at least two sub-systems of receptivity. Next, I claim that the bifurcation of systems for receptivity suggests that reactivity is not “all of a piece” but that it too decomposes into at least two subsystems. Lastly, I argue (...)
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  10. Virtual Reality Thought Experiments Module Package (Includes VR Training Room).Erick Ramirez, Scott LaBarge, Miles Elliott & Carl Maggio - manuscript
    A virtual reality module that incorporates a training room (for subjects to become accommodated to virtual environments) and VR translations of Philippa Foot's Trolley Problem and Judith Thomson's Violinist thought experiment. -/- These modules are free to use for classroom or research/x-phi purposes. This set of modules is optimized for the HTC Vive. If you have an Oculus Rift, please see our VR modules optimized for the rift. -/- *Requires an HTC Vive and VR capable computer. To access the simulation, (...)
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  11.  30
    Virtual Reality Interview (Metaphysics and Epistemology): "Welcome Back!".Erick Jose Ramirez & Miles Elliott - manuscript
    This is a virtual reality simulation that imagines its subject as emerging from a long stint in Robert Nozick's "Experience Machine." The simulation is an interview (with many branching paths) meant to gauge the subject's views on the metaphysics of virtual objects and the ethics of virtual actions. It draws heavily from the published work of David Chalmers, Mark Silcox, Jon Cogburn, Morgan Luck, and Nick Bostrom. *Requires an Oculus Rift (or Rift-S) or HTC Vive and a VR capable computer. (...)
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  12.  62
    Virtual Reality Translation of Nozick's Experience Machine.Erick Ramirez, Carl Maggio, Miles Elliott & Lia Petronio - manuscript
    A virtual reality translation of Robert Nozick's "Experience Machine" thought experiment from his "Anarchy, State, and Utopia" (1974). These modules are free to download and use in the classroom and for research/x-phi purposes. NPCs are randomized for gender during startup of each run. *Requires an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and VR capable computer. To open the files, uncompress the downloaded .zip folder and run the executable (.exe) file. -/- V1.2 Fixed missing projector video footage during experience machine sales pitch.
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  13. Mental Illness, Philosophy Of.Erick Ramirez - 2014 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Philosophy of Mental Illness The Philosophy of Mental Illness is an interdisciplinary field of study that combines views and methods from the philosophy of mind, psychology, neuroscience, and moral philosophy in order to analyze the nature of mental illness. Philosophers of mental illness are concerned with examining the ontological, epistemological, and normative issues arising from […].
     
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  14. Critical Review: The Emotional Construction of Morals.Erick Ramirez - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (3):461-475.
    Jesse Prinz's The Emotional Construction of Morals is an ambitious and intriguing contribution to the debate about the nature and role of emotion within moral psychology. I review Prinz's recent claims surrounding the nature of emotional concepts as ?embodied representations of concern? and survey his later arguments meant to establish a form of cultural relativism. Although I suggest that other theories of emotional representation (i.e. prototype views) would better serve Prinz's aims, the underlying meta-ethical relativism that results is well defended (...)
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  15.  69
    Virtual Reality Translation of Philippa Foot's Trolley Problem.Erick Ramirez, Scott LaBarge, Miles Elliott & Carl Maggio - manuscript
    A virtual reality translation of Philippa Foot's original "Trolley Problem." These modules are free to download and use in the classroom and for research/x-phi purposes. -/- *Requires an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and VR capable computer. To open the files, uncompress the downloaded .zip folder and run the executable (.exe) file.
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  16.  58
    Virtual Reality Translation of Judith Thomson's Violinist Analogy.Erick Ramirez, Miles Elliott, Scott LaBarge & Carl Maggio - manuscript
    A virtual reality translation of Judith Thomson's Violinist Analogy. These modules are free to download and use in the classroom and for research/x-phi purposes. -/- *Requires an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive and VR capable computer. To open the files, uncompress the downloaded .zip folder and run the executable (.exe) file.
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  17.  37
    Shame, Embarrassment, and the Subjectivity Requirement.Erick J. Ramirez - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):97-114.
    Reactive theories of responsibility see moral accountability as grounded on the capacity for feeling reactive-attitudes. I respond to a recent argument gaining ground in this tradition that excludes psychopaths from accountability. The argument relies on what Paul Russell has called the 'subjectivity requirement'. On this view, the capacity to feel and direct reactive-attitudes at oneself is a necessary condition for responsibility. I argue that even if moral attitudes like guilt are impossible for psychopaths to deploy, that psychopaths, especially the "successful" (...)
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  18.  63
    Can Suicide in the Elderly Be Rational?Lawrence Nelson & Erick Ramirez - 2017 - In Robert E. McCue & Meera Balasubramaniam (eds.), Rational Suicide in the Elderly Clinical, Ethical, and Sociocultural Aspects. Springer. pp. 1-21.
    In this chapter, we consider, and reject, the claim that all elderly patients’ desires for suicide are irrational. The same reasons that have led to a growing acceptance for the rationality of suicide in terminal cases should lead us to view other desires for suicide as possibly rational. In both cases, desires for suicide can and do materialize in the absence of mental illness. Furthermore, we claim that desires for suicide can remain rational even in the face of some mental (...)
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