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Ryan Harter
Centenary College of Louisiana
  1.  73
    Rational Persuasion, Paternalism, and Respect.Ryan W. Davis - 2017 - Res Publica 23 (4):513-522.
    In ‘Rational Persuasion as Paternalism', George Tsai argues that providing another person with reasons or evidence can be a morally objectionable form of paternalism. I believe Tsai’s thesis is importantly correct, denying the widely accepted identification of rational persuasion with respectful treatment. In this comment, I disagree about what is centrally wrong with objectionable rational persuasion. Contrary to Tsai, objectionable rational persuasion is not wrong because it undermines the value of an agent’s life. It is wrong because it is contrary (...)
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  2.  33
    Symbolic Values.Ryan W. Davis - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (4):449-467.
    When a symbol is a marker of a primary bearer of value and, secondarily, a bearer of value itself, then it has symbolic value. Philosophers have long been suspicious of symbolic values, often regarding them as illusory or irrelevant. I suggest that arguments against symbolic values either overgeneralize or else require premises that can only be supported if the normative significance of some symbolic considerations is presupposed. Humans need symbols to represent identity facts to themselves and others. Symbolic values thereby (...)
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  3. Teaching Philosophy through Lincoln-Douglas Debate.Jacob Nebel, Ryan W. Davis, Peter van Elswyk & Ben Holguin - 2013 - Teaching Philosophy 36 (3):271-289.
    This paper is about teaching philosophy to high school students through Lincoln-Douglas (LD) debate. LD, also known as “values debate,” includes topics from ethics and political philosophy. Thousands of high school students across the U.S. debate these topics in class, after school, and at weekend tournaments. We argue that LD is a particularly effective tool for teaching philosophy, but also that LD today falls short of its potential. We argue that the problems with LD are not inevitable, and we offer (...)
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  4.  39
    When Should we be Open to Persuasion?Ryan W. Davis & Rachel Finlayson - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (1):123-136.
    Being open to persuasion can help show respect for an interlocutor. At the same time, open-mindedness about morally objectionable claims can carry moral as well as epistemic risks. Our aim in this paper is to specify when there might be duty to be open to persuasion. We distinguish two possible interpretations of openness. First, openness might refer to a kind of mental state, wherein one is willing to revise or abandon present beliefs. Second, it might refer to a deliberative practice, (...)
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  5.  46
    Frontier Kantianism: Autonomy and Authority in Ralph Waldo Emerson and Joseph Smith.Ryan W. Davis - 2018 - Journal of Religious Ethics 46 (2):332-359.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson is often seen as the early American prophet of autonomy. This essay suggests a perhaps surprising fellow traveler in this prophetic call: Joseph Smith. Smith opposed religious creeds for the same reason that Emerson denounced them, namely that creeds represent a threat to the autonomy of a person's beliefs. Smith and Emerson also forward similar defenses of individual autonomy in action. Furthermore, they encounter a shared problem: how can autonomy be possible in a society where other individuals (...)
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  6.  27
    The Common Good: A Buck‐Passing Account.Eric Beerbohm & Ryan W. Davis - 2017 - Journal of Political Philosophy 25 (4):60-79.
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  7.  9
    Which Moral Requiriments Does Constituvism Support?Ryan W. Davis - unknown
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  8.  8
    Self‐Authorship and the Claim Against Interference.Ryan W. Davis - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (2):220-242.
    We can imagine agents who would have the moral status to demand contractualist justification but still lack an especially strong claim against interference. In contrast, agents who can conceive of their lives in a temporally unified way have a distinctive, strong interest in non‐interference. This contrast helps illuminate the moral importance of self‐authorship. The upshot is that ordinary persons have a more general and less variable right against interference than is often supposed. Self‐authorship can also help appreciate the sense in (...)
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  9.  36
    Autonomy and Toleration as a Moral Attitude.Ryan W. Davis - 2017 - Journal of Social Philosophy 48 (1):92-116.
  10.  23
    Can Consequentialism Require Selfishness?Ryan W. Davis - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Research 41:239-262.
  11.  36
    Divine love as a model for human relationships.Ryan W. Davis - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 83 (3):271-290.
    A common Christian belief is that God loves universally, and that the Christian believer ought, likewise, to love universally. On standard analyses of love, loving universally appears unwise, morally suspect, or even impossible. This essay seeks to understand how the Christian command to love could be both possible and morally desirable. It considers two scriptural examples: Matthew’s trilogy of parables, and the Feast of the Tabernacles in the Gospel of John. I argue that God shows love to humanity through revealed (...)
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  12.  56
    Is revolution morally revolting?Ryan W. Davis - 2004 - Journal of Value Inquiry 38 (4):561-568.
  13.  27
    Individual Valuing of Social Equality in Political and Personal Relationships.Ryan W. Davis & Jessica Preece - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 13 (1):177-196.
    Social egalitarianism holds that individuals ought to have equal power over outcomes within relationships. Egalitarian philosophers have argued for this ideal by appealing to features of political society. This way of grounding the social egalitarian principle renders it dependent on empirical facts about political culture. In particular, egalitarians have argued that social equality matters to citizens in political relationships in a way analogous to the value of equality in a marriage. In this paper, we show how egalitarian philosophers are committed (...)
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  14.  20
    Manipulation and the grounds of institutional obligation: an argument for international equality.Ryan W. Davis - 2015 - Ethics and Global Politics 8 (1).
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  15.  12
    Reasons, Rights, and Values, by Robert Audi.Ryan W. Davis - 2016 - Faith and Philosophy 33 (4):487-491.
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  16. Justice: Metaphysical, After All? [REVIEW]Ryan W. Davis - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (2):207-222.
    Political liberals, following Rawls, believe that justice should be ‘political’ rather than ‘metaphysical.’ In other words, a conception of justice ought to be freestanding from first-order moral and metaethical views. The reason for this is to ensure that the state’s coercion be justified to citizens in terms that meet political liberalism’s principle of legitimacy. I suggest that privileging a political conception of justice involves costs—such as forgoing the opportunity for political theory to learn from other areas of philosophy. I argue (...)
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