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James Rocha
Louisiana State University
  1.  71
    Autonomy Within Subservient Careers.James Rocha - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (3):313-328.
    While there is much literature on autonomy and the conditions for its attainment, there is less on how those conditions reflect on agents’ ordinary careers. Most people’s careers involve a great deal of subservient activity that would prevent the kind of control over agents’ actions that autonomy would seem to require. Yet, it would seem strange to deny autonomy to every agent who regularly follows orders at work—to do so would make autonomy a futile ideal. Most contemporary autonomy accounts provide (...)
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  2.  94
    Aggressive Hook Ups: Modeling Aggressive Casual Sex on BDSM for Moral Permissibility.James Rocha - 2016 - Res Publica 22 (2):173-192.
    Aggressive techniques within casual sex encounters, such as taking sexual liberties without permission or ignoring rejection, can, perhaps unintentionally, complicate consent. Passive recipients may acquiesce out of fear, which aggressors may not realize. Some philosophers argue that social norms are sufficiently well known to make this misunderstanding unlikely. However, the chance of aggression leading to non-consensual sex, even if not great, is high enough that aggressors should work diligently to avoid this potentially grave result. I consider how this problem plays (...)
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  3.  85
    The Philosophers' Brief in Support of Happy's Appeal.Gary Comstock, Sue Donaldson, Andrew Fenton, Tyler M. John, L. Syd M. Johnson, Robert C. Jones, Will Kymlicka, Letitia M. Meynell, Nathan Nobis, David M. Peña-Guzmán, James Rocha, Bernard Rollin, Jeff Sebo & Adam Shriver - 2021 - New York State Appellate Court.
    We submit this brief in support of the Nonhuman Rights Project’s efforts to secure habeas corpus relief for the elephant named Happy. The Supreme Court, Bronx County, declined to grant habeas corpus relief and order Happy’s transfer to an elephant sanctuary, relying, in part, on previous decisions that denied habeas relief for the NhRP’s chimpanzee clients, Kiko and Tommy. Those decisions use incompatible conceptions of ‘person’ which, when properly understood, are either philosophically inadequate or, in fact, compatible with Happy’s personhood.
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  4. The Philosophers' Brief on Chimpanzee Personhood.Kristin Andrews, Gary Comstock, Gillian Crozier, Sue Donaldson, Andrew Fenton, Tyler John, L. Syd M. Johnson, Robert Jones, Will Kymlicka, Letitia Meynell, Nathan Nobis, David Pena-Guzman, James Rocha, Bernard Rollin, Jeff Sebo, Adam Shriver & Rebecca Walker - 2018 - Proposed Brief by Amici Curiae Philosophers in Support of the Petitioner-Appelllant Court of Appeals, State of New York,.
    In this brief, we argue that there is a diversity of ways in which humans (Homo sapiens) are ‘persons’ and there are no non-arbitrary conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can include all humans and exclude all nonhuman animals. To do so we describe and assess the four most prominent conceptions of ‘personhood’ that can be found in the rulings concerning Kiko and Tommy, with particular focus on the most recent decision, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc v Lavery.
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  5.  40
    Kantian Respect for Minimally Rational Animals.James Rocha - 2015 - Social Theory and Practice 41 (2):309-327.
    Immanuel Kant, in a much-maligned view, thought that we could only have indirect duties to nonhuman animals who have no inherent moral value since they lack rationality. While there are various responses to this worrisome position, no one seems to consider that animals could conceivably qualify as having rationality, even on Kantian high standards. Animals engage in various activities that could be taken as indicators of the core aspects of rationality that Kant requires for having absolute worth. While these animal (...)
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  6. Teaching Firefly: Companion Material. A Class Schedule for a Course on Joss Whedon and Philosophy.James Rocha - 2018 - Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy 1:1-10.
    Philosophers often rely on their own examples and intuitions, which can be problematic since philosophers are a small group with their own set of biases and limitations. Science fiction can assist with this problem through the provision of examples that are both designed by non-philosophers and intended to be thought-provoking and plausible. In particular, when philosophers teach, we can use science fiction for examples that raise relevant issues in interesting contexts, while also being fully fleshed out. In this paper, I (...)
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  7. Symposia on Gender, Race and Philosophy.James Rocha - 2011 - Symposia on Gender, Race, and Philosophy 7 (1).
  8.  16
    The Philosophers’ Brief on Elephant Personhood.Gary Comstock, G. K. D. Crozier, Andrew Fenton, Tyler John, L. Syd M. Johnson, Robert C. Jones, Nathan Nobis, David M. Peña-Guzmán, James Rocha, Bernard E. Rollin & Jeff Sebo - 2020 - New York State Appellate Court.
    We submit this brief in support of the Nonhuman Rights Project’s efforts to secure habeas corpus relief for the elephant named Happy. We reject arbitrary distinctions that deny adequate protections to other animals who share with protected humans relevantly similar vulnerabilities to harms and relevantly similar interests in avoiding such harms. We strongly urge this Court, in keeping with the best philosophical standards of rational judgment and ethical standards of justice, to recognize that, as a nonhuman person, Happy should be (...)
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  9.  43
    Autonomous Abortions: The Inhibiting of Women's Autonomy Through Legal Ultrasound Requirements.James Rocha - 2012 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 22 (1):35-58.
  10.  2
    Professional Responsibility as a Response to Systematic Moral Ambiguity in Advance.James Rocha - forthcoming - International Journal of Applied Philosophy.
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  11.  46
    Environmental Racism and Privileged Consumerism.James Rocha - 2019 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 25 (1):5-20.
    Environmental racism concerns the ways in which environmental protections are unfairly distributed along racial lines. One outcome of environmental racism is that environmental degradation does not harm us all equally, with oppressed racial groups facing greater burdens. Consequently, members of privileged groups can more comfortably engage in environmentally destructive consumerism because they will neither initially nor primarily face the worst impact from environmental destruction. I will argue that the ability to feel comfortable while engaging in environmentally destructive consumerism is a (...)
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  12.  30
    Teaching Firefly: Companion Material. A Class Schedule for a Course on Joss Whedon and Philosophy.James Rocha - 2018 - Journal of Science Fiction and Philosophy 1:1-3.
    This schedule, provided as a companion to my “Teaching Firefly” article, was used for a sophomore level philosophy course that was populated mostly by non-majors. The original idea for the course was to develop a popular culture philosophy course that would attract students from all over campus, which was meant to both introduce them to multiple philosophical ideas and theories and hopefully convince some of them to major or minor in philosophy. The course was quite successful at drawing Whedon fans (...)
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  13.  36
    The Sexual Harassment Coercive Offer.James Rocha - 2011 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (2):203-216.
    There is disagreement in the coercion literature over whether an offer, which necessarily lacks a threat, could be coercive, which tends to imply at least some affinity with coercion, which, in paradigm cases, includes a threat. In one difficult sexual harassment case, someone is offered a promotion in exchange for sex, but there is, due to the arrangement of the case, no implied threat or repercussion for refusal. I argue this case counts as coercive since the offer-making attempts to recast (...)
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  14.  34
    Chasing Secretariat's Consent: The Impossibility of Permissible Animal Sports.James Rocha - 2018 - Between the Species 21 (1).
    Tom Regan argued that animal sports cannot be morally permissible because they are cruel and the animals do not voluntarily participate. While Regan is correct about actual animal sports, we should ask whether substantially revised animal sports could be permissible. We can imagine significant changes to certain animal sports, such as horse racing, that would avoid cruelty and even allow the animals to make their own choices. Where alternative options are freely available, we can consider the horses to have preference (...)
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  15.  38
    Unauthorized but Permitted: Limits on the Legal Obligations of Unauthorized Immigrants.James Rocha - 2013 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 20 (1):1-14.
    While politicians seek to increase punitive measures against so-called "illegal aliens," it is worth asking whether unauthorized immigrants are obligated by immigration laws that would demand their punishment, whether it is deportation or jail time. I seek to examine this question in light of the traditional defenses of legal obligations: consent, prudential interest, and fairness. Due to the various ways in which the benefits of society are largely excluded from them and the severe penalties that the state seeks to impose (...)
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  16. The Ethics of Hooking Up: Casual Sex and Moral Philosophy on Campus.James Rocha - 2019 - Routledge.
    The Ethics of Hooking Up: Casual Sex and Moral Philosophy on Campus provides a systematic moral analysis of hooking up, or sexual activity between people who barely know each other, frequently while intoxicated, and with little or no verbal interaction. It explores the moral quandaries resulting from this potent combination of sex, alcohol, near-anonymity, and limited communication, focusing in particular on issues involving consent and respect. After delineating common practices involving casual sex on college campuses and exploring the difficulty of (...)
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  17. Philosophical Reflections on Black Mirror.Dan Shaw, Kingsley Marshall & James Rocha (eds.) - 2022 - London: Bloomsbury.
     
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  18.  25
    Autonomous Pigs.David Judd & James Rocha - 2017 - Ethics and the Environment 22 (1):1-18.
    It is well established that nonhuman animals are sentient, have feelings, have desires, and are conscious. For many of us, some set of those points is sufficient to ground moral duties to nonhuman animals. Yet, others retain doubts about whether humans have such duties. Perhaps these doubters set even higher standards—standards that they believe nonhuman animals are incapable of meeting. The task of this paper is to consider how nonhuman animals fare against an incredibly high standard for moral duties: autonomy. (...)
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  19.  59
    Sean A. Spence, The Actor’s Brain: Exploring the Cognitive Neuroscience of Free Will: Oxford University Press, 2009, 395 Pp. ISBN: 978-0-19-852666-7, US $79.95. [REVIEW]James Rocha - 2010 - Journal of Value Inquiry 44 (3):401-405.
  20.  1
    Professional Responsibility as a Response to Systematic Moral Ambiguity.James Rocha - 2021 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 35 (2):273-287.
    There is something mysterious about what explains the foundations or grounding for professional responsibility. What grounds the distinct professional responsibility that an engineer, doctor, or lawyer has that is separate from their moral duties and legal requirements? I argue that professional responsibility can derive from a systematic response to ambiguities that occur within moral issues that arise for given professions. Moral problems can often be solved in different ways that are equally permissible, which I will say provides a “moral ambiguity.” (...)
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  21.  17
    Forced to Listen to the Heart: Fetal Heartbeat Laws and Autonomous Abortions.James Rocha - 2014 - Southwest Philosophy Review 30 (1):187-194.
    Among the various proposed ultrasound laws, a few have provisions that either provide the option for the pregnant woman to hear the heartbeat or require that the heartbeat be played and merely give the woman the option to somehow avert her ears. I will argue that these heartbeat provisions actually belie the argument that these laws are intended to assist autonomous choosing. Since the information could be provided just as easily through a factual statement , it cannot be justified to (...)
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  22.  14
    A Priori Progress: A Comment on Ryan Nichols’ “Hypothesis-Testing of the Humanities: The Hard and Soft Humanities As Two Emerging Cultures”.James Rocha - 2015 - Southwest Philosophy Review 31 (1):29-35.
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  23.  13
    The Homophobic Sexual Harassment Claim and Sexuality Discrimination.James Rocha - 2015 - Ratio Juris 28 (2):204-215.
    In sexual harassment law scholarship, it is often argued that the reasonable person standard should give way to a reasonable victim standard. Yet, this latter standard may unintentionally invite homophobic employees to attempt to use a reasonable homophobe standard to charge gay supervisors with harassment merely for being openly gay at work. In response, I argue that we currently act on an unjustifiable distinction whereby we treat sexuality behavior as necessarily sexualized only for GLBTQ behavior. By disallowing this discriminatory treatment, (...)
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  24.  9
    Sour Clinical Trials: Autonomy and Adaptive Preferences in Experimental Medicine.James Rocha - 2013 - In Juha Räikkä & Jukka Varelius (eds.), Adaptation and Autonomy: Adaptive Preferences in Enhancing and Ending Life. Springer. pp. 101--115.
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  25.  3
    Oppositional Courage: The Martial Courage of Refusing to Fight.James Rocha - 2017 - Essays in Philosophy 18 (2):245-263.
    In a nearly paradoxical manner, the virtue of martial courage is best understood through violent acts that are typically vicious, such as killing, maiming, and bombing. To ameliorate this worry, I make a new distinction that is dependent on whether the agent acts in accord with social norms or against them. We usually understand martial courage through social courage, where soldiers are courageous through performing violent acts that society determines are necessary. While this understanding is accurate for a just war, (...)
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