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Scott Forschler
University of Minnesota
  1.  71
    Willing Universal Law Vs. Universally Lawful Willing: What Kant’s Supreme Principle of Ethics Should Have Been.Scott Forschler - 2010 - Southwest Philosophy Review 26 (1):141-152.
    Kant's Formula of Universal Law is shown to be an inadequate condition for morality because it uses the wrong scope for a universal qualifier, ranging only over the behavior of a set of agents in a world. If it instead ranges over the behavior of all possible agents, then we arrive at the stronger condition that a maxim is morally acceptable just if we can will, not just that all agents follow it simultaneously, but that any agent in any situation (...)
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  2. Kantian and Consequentialist Ethics: The Gap Can Be Bridged.Scott Forschler - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (1-2):88-104.
    Richard Hare argues that the fundamental assumptions of Kant's ethical system should have led Kant to utilitarianism, had Kant not confused a norm's generality with its universality, and hence adopted rigorist, deontological norms. Several authors, including Jens Timmermann, have argued contra Hare that the gap between Kantian and utilitarian/consequentialist ethics is fundamental and cannot be bridged. This article shows that Timmermann's claims rely on a systematic failure to separate normative and metaethical aspects of each view, and that Hare's attempt to (...)
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  3.  47
    Two Dogmas of Kantian Ethics.Scott Forschler - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (3):255-269.
    Two fundamental assumptions of Kant’s procedure for testing a maxim’s morality via the Formula of Universal Law are that a contradiction in will is 1) generated by the universal practice of immoral maxims, and 2) constituted by the impossibility of an agent’s therein satisfying certain ends. These features are the source of two types of false positive counter-examples, involving maxims where 1) the harmful effects of the maxims are non-linear and hence vanish when universalized, and 2) even the universal practice (...)
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  4.  36
    Universal Practice and Universal Applicability Tests in Moral Philosophy.Scott Forschler - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):3041-3058.
    We can distinguish two kinds of moral universalization tests for practical principles. One requires that the universal practice of the principle, i.e., universal conformity to it by all agents in a given world, satisfies some condition. The other requires that conformity to the principle by any possible agent, in any situation and at any time, satisfies some condition. We can call these universal practice and universal applicability tests respectively. The logical distinction between these tests is rarely appreciated, and many philosophers (...)
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  5. Truth and Acceptance Conditions for Moral Statements Can Be Identical: Further Support for Subjective Consequentialism.Scott Forschler - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (3):337-346.
    Two meanings of "subjective consequentialism" are distinguished: conscious deliberation with the aim of producing maximally-good consequences, versus acting in ways that, given one's evidence set and reasoning capabilities, is subjectively most likely to maximize expected consequences. The latter is opposed to "objective consequentialism," which demands that we act in ways that actually produce the best total consequences. Peter Railton's arguments for a version of objective consequentialism confuse the two subjective forms, and are only effective against the first. After reviewing the (...)
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  6.  64
    How to Make Ethical Universalization Tests Work.Scott Forschler - 2007 - Journal of Value Inquiry 41 (1):31-43.
    Richard Hare described the "ethical fanatic" as an agent who appeared to be able to rationally universalize morally horrendous values by "fanatically" accepting the consequences of those values even if their universalization harmed the original agent. This challenges the project of basing ethics on universalization tests, as advocated by Hare, Immanuel Kant, and others. Hare later argued that fanatics are irrational by appealing to a "principle of prudence," but this violates his meta-principle of not basing fundamental ethical principles upon intuitions (...)
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  7.  4
    Intuition and Counterfactual Scenarios.Scott Forschler - 2017 - Southwest Philosophy Review 33 (2):169-178.
    Gerald Harrison has argued that the readiness with which we have and agree to moral intuitions about the value of disembodied persons shows that persons are essentially non-material, for if we were essentially material we would not so easily be able to ascribe moral value to an impossible non-material person. To support this point, he advances a somewhat novel metaphor of intuitions as a "call" to a help desk which can answer our queries about counter-factual scenarios. I first point out (...)
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  8.  51
    From Supervenience to “Universal Law”: How Kantian Ethics Became Heteronomous.Scott Forschler - 2012 - In Dietmar Heidemann (ed.), Kant Yearbook 4 (Kant and Contemporary Moral Philosophy). Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 49-67.
    In his Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant’s desiderata for a supreme principle of practical reasoning and morality require that the subjective conditions under which some action is thought of as justified via some maxim be sufficient for judging the same action as justified by any agent in those conditions. This describes the kind of universalization conditions now known as moral supervenience. But when he specifies his “formula of universal law” (FUL) Kant replaces this condition with a quite different (...)
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  9.  43
    Revenge, Poetic Justice, Resentment, and The Golden Rule.Scott Forschler - 2012 - Philosophy and Literature 36 (1):1-16.
    Despite its common use in both literature and popular discourse, the concept of “poetic justice” in which a wrong-doer is harmed by his own crimes has been completely ignored by both literary and philosophical scholars. We can learn more about it by comparing its charms to those of its more popular cousin, revenge. Each can assuage our resentment at the wrong-doer’s contempt of human suffering, promises to teach a moral lesson, and can borrow some moral justification from the golden rule. (...)
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  10. “Engineering Hubris: Adam Smith and the Quest for the Perfect Machine.”.Scott Forschler - 2014 - In David Goldberg, Natasha Mccarthy & Diane Michelfelder (eds.), Philosophy and Engineering: Reflections on Practice, Principles and Process. New York: Springer. pp. 267-277.
    I describe several historical cases of engineers or inventors obsessed with perfecting their products, illustrating how in some of those cases the perfectionist impulse led to tremendously valuable innovation, while in others to disaster, or at least to failure of the project to make the mark in history it otherwise could have. The psychological tendency towards perfecting an instrument for achieving some telos beyond what is pragmatically necessary or even desirable was diagnosed by Adam Smith, and may always be a (...)
     
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  11. Rejoinder to Wall.Scott Forschler - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (4):572-574.
    Edmund Wall's criticism of the author's earlier analysis of Hare's consequentialism and Kantian ethics claims that the author overlooked Hare's commitment to preference satisfaction as an “ultimate good.” This rejoinder points out that Hare never uses the phrase in question, nor any equivalent phrase or concept, in presenting his own arguments and refers only to the standard of “universalizability” as ultimate, in contexts that support the author's original argument. Hence Wall has only given us yet another example of how Hare's (...)
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  12. Shocking Grace, Sudden Enlightenment: O’Connor and the Koans of Zen Buddhism.Scott Forschler - 2017 - The Flannery O'Connor Review 15:50-69.
    The work argues that the koans of Zen Buddhism have several intriguing non-accidental parallels with the short stories of Catholic author Flannery O'Connor. Both typically portray characters in a state of non-enlightenment in which they are egoistically obsessed with something which prevents them from perceiving and properly responding to the real world around them. Both present the characters with some opportunity for enlightenment, which they may or may not take up. Both come in a variety of forms, in order to (...)
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  13. “The Nature of Avatars: A Response to Roxanne Kurtz’s ‘My Avatar, My Choice’.”.Scott Forschler - 2016 - APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers 16 (1):48-51.
    Roxanne Kurtz has argued that the "virtual rape" of a character in a computer-generated world (an avatar) shares many (though obviously not all) of the wrong-making features of physical rape in the real world. I agree in part, but argue that, due to the typical features of virtual worlds, its wrongfulness is dominated by the harm it does to the avatar user's capacity for social interaction and self-representation. In the course of the argument I hope to shed more light upon (...)
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  14. 'Bearing Gifts: How Librarians Deal with Gift Books and Gift Givers.Earl Lee & Scott Forschler - 1992 - Journal of Information Ethics 1:52-9.
    We present and discuss the responses to a survey we sent to selected libraries regarding their decisions to accept unsolicited book donations, especially regarding any with an apparent political or proselytizing intent.
     
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