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Remy Debes
University of Memphis
  1. Neither Here nor There: The Cognitive Nature of Emotion.Remy Debes - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 146 (1):1-27.
    The philosophy of emotion has long been divided over the cognitive nature of emotion. In this paper I argue that this debate suffers from deep confusion over the meaning of “cognition” itself. This confusion has in turn obscured critical substantive agreement between the debate’s principal opponents. Capturing this agreement and remedying this confusion requires re-conceptualizing “the cognitive” as it functions in first-order theories of emotion. Correspondingly, a sketch for a new account of cognitivity is offered. However, I also argue that (...)
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  2. Which Empathy? Limitations in the Mirrored “Understanding” of Emotion.Remy Debes - 2010 - Synthese 175 (2):219-239.
    The recent discovery of so-called “mirror-neurons” in monkeys and a corresponding mirroring “system” in humans has provoked wide endorsement of the claim that humans understand a variety of observed actions, somatic sensations, and emotions via a kind of direct representation of those actions, sensations, and emotions. Philosophical efforts to assess the import of such “mirrored understanding” have typically focused on how that understanding might be brought to bear on theories of mindreading, and usually in cases of action. By contrast, this (...)
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  3.  78
    Dignity's Gauntlet.Remy Debes - 2009 - Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):45-78.
    The philosophy of “ human dignity” remains a young, piecemeal endeavor with only a small, dedicated literature. And what dedicated literature exists makes for a rather slapdash mix of substantive and formal metatheory. Worse, ironically we seem compelled to treat this existing theory both charitably and casually. For how can we definitively assess any of it? Existing suggestions about the general features of dignity are necessarily contentious in virtue of being more or less blissfully uncritical of themselves. Because none of (...)
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  4.  61
    Humanity, Sympathy and the Puzzle of Hume's Second Enquiry.Remy Debes - 2007 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (1):27 – 57.
    Two longstanding questions about Hume's later moral theory have preoccupied scholars of his work: First, what does Hume mean by "humanity" in the second Enquiry, and what are we to make of its seeming replacement of "extensive sympathy" as the source of our moral sentiments? Second, what happened to the associationist account of sympathy emphasized so keenly in the Treatise? My primary task in this paper will be to answer the first of these two questions. To do this, I conduct (...)
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  5.  51
    Adam Smith on Dignity and Equality.Remy Debes - 2012 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (1):109 - 140.
    Where exactly should we place Adam Smith in the cannon of classical liberalism? Smith's advocacy of free market economics and defence of religious liberty in The Wealth of Nations suffice for including him somewhere in that tradition.1 The nature and extent of Smith's liberalism, however, remain up for debate. One recent trend has been to characterise Smith as a proponent of social liberalism. This includes those like Stephen Darwall, Samuel Fleischacker and Charles Griswold, who have drawn attention to a kind (...)
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  6.  72
    Has Anything Changed? Hume's Theory of Association and Sympathy After the Treatise.Remy Debes - 2007 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (2):313 – 338.
    Many prominent scholars of Hume's philosophy have suggested that Hume eventually abandoned his associationist account of sympathy, which he made so much of in the Treatise, by the time he came to write the second Enquiry. In this paper I reconsider the seeming disappearance of the associationist account of sympathy, but with the ultimate aim of defending a no-change hypothesis. That is, I’ll argue that careful analysis reveals that Hume not only retained the associationist theory of sympathy in his later (...)
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  7.  30
    Recasting Scottish Sentimentalism: The Peculiarity of Moral Approval.Remy Debes - 2012 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (1):91-115.
    By founding morality on the particular sentiments of approbation and disapprobation, Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, and Smith implied that the nature of moral judgment was far more intuitive and accessible than their rationalist predecessors and contemporaries would, or at least easily could, allow. And yet, these ‘Sentimentalists’ faced the longstanding belief that the human affective psyche is a veritable labyrinth – an obstacle to practical morality if not something literally brutish in us. The Scottish Sentimentalists thus implicitly tasked themselves with distinguishing (...)
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  8.  9
    Editor's Introduction.Remy Debes - 2011 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (s1):1-3.
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  9.  18
    Reflecting Subjects: Passion, Sympathy, and Society in Hume's Philosophy by Jacqueline A. Taylor.Remy Debes - 2018 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (3):567-568.
    In this entry to David Hume scholarship, Jacqueline Taylor brings together a line of interpretation she has been developing over several years, connecting Hume's theory of the passions to what she calls Hume's "social theory." Through a concise, well-organized argument, the book offers insights into how one of the Enlightenment's most famous and gifted thinkers conceptualized social roles and institutions, the ways we navigate these roles and institutions, and how all this connects to the kind of creature we are. It (...)
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  10.  23
    SJP Referees.Remy Debes - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (4):521-527.
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  11.  4
    How Many Bachs Do We Have? Reflections on the Work of Gordon Graham.Remy Debes - 2019 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 17 (1):1-6.
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  12.  38
    Untangling Dignity.Remy Debes - 2013 - The Philosophers' Magazine 62 (62):118-119.
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  13.  52
    Emotion, Value, and the Ambiguous Honor of a Handbook.Remy Debes - 2011 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 8 (2):273-285.
    Scholars take note: the philosophy of emotion is staking its claim. Peter Goldie's new Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion (OHPE) is undoubtedly the most significant collection of original philosophical essays on emotion to date. It spans a broad range of topics from the nature of mind and reason to personal identity and beauty. It also boasts an incredible set of prestigious authors. But more than that - it bears testimony to its own legitimacy.
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  14.  30
    Hume Studies Referees, 2006–2007.Margaret Atherton, Tom Beauchamp, Deborah Boyle, Emily Carson, Dorothy Coleman, Angela Coventry, Shelagh Crooks, Remy Debes, Georges Dicker & Paul Draper - 2007 - Hume Studies 33 (2):385-387.
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  15.  8
    Editor's Note.Remy Debes - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (1):5-6.
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  16.  14
    Understanding Others in an Alienating World: Comments on Lori Gruen's Entangled Empathy.Remy Debes - 2017 - Hypatia 32 (2):428-438.
    Is moral theory alienating? This question, and the worries that lie behind it, motivate much of Lori Gruen's distinctive approach to animal ethics in Entangled Empathy. According to Gruen, the “traditional” methods of moral theory rely on abstractions that strip away the details that give our lives meaning. Although I am deeply sympathetic to these worries, as well as to the alternative ethics Gruen proposes in response to them, in this article I express a few reservations about the argument Gruen (...)
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  17.  10
    Editorial Introduction: Scottish Reactions to Mandeville.Remy Debes - 2014 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 12 (1):v-viii.
    Given a steady increase of interest in 18th Scottish philosophy it isn't surprising that Mandeville is also enjoying a new wave of interest. On the one hand, Mandeville had an especially obvious influence on Scottish Enlightenment thought. As the contributions in this volume demonstrate, the Scots took Mandeville very seriously, more so than any other collective audience at the time. In The Fable, the Scots saw fundamental challenges, not mere rabble-rousing social commentary. On the other hand, an essential aspect of (...)
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  18.  16
    Review of George Kateb, Human Dignity[REVIEW]Remy Debes - 2011 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2011 (5).
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  19.  19
    Review of Valerie Tiberius, The Reflective Life: Living Wisely with Our Limits[REVIEW]Remy Debes - 2008 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (10).
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  20.  4
    Untangling Dignity. [REVIEW]Remy Debes - 2013 - The Philosophers' Magazine 62:118-119.
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  21.  1
    On Bertram Morris’s “The Dignity of Man”.Remy Debes - 2015 - Ethics 125 (3):836-839,.
  22. Dignity: A History.Remy Debes (ed.) - 2017 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    In everything from philosophical ethics to legal argument to public activism, it has become commonplace to appeal to the idea of human dignity. In such contexts, the concept of dignity typically signifies something like the fundamental moral status belonging to all humans. Remarkably, however, it is only in the last century that this meaning of the term has become standardized. Before this, dignity was instead a concept associated with social status. Unfortunately, this transformation remains something of a mystery in existing (...)
     
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  23. Ethical Sentimentalism: New Perspectives.Karsten Stueber & Remy Debes (eds.) - 2017 - Cambridge University Press.
    In recent years there has been a tremendous resurgence of interest in ethical sentimentalism, a moral theory first articulated during the Scottish Enlightenment. Ethical Sentimentalism promises a conception of morality that is grounded in a realistic account of human psychology, which, correspondingly, acknowledges the central place of emotion in our moral lives. However, this promise has encountered its share of philosophical difficulties. Chief among them is the question of how to square the limited scope of human motivation and psychological mechanism (...)
     
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