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Steven Swartzer [5]Steven E. Swartzer [1]
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Steven Swartzer
Fordham University
  1. Humean Externalism and the Argument From Depression.Steven Swartzer - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (2):1-16.
    Several prominent philosophers have argued that the fact that depressed agents sometimes make moral judgments without being appropriately motivated supports Humean externalism – the view that moral motivation must be explained in terms of desires that are distinct from or “external” to an agent’s motivationally inert moral judgments. This essay argues that such motivational failures do not, in fact, provide evidence for this view. I argue that, if the externalist argument from depression is to undermine a philo-sophically important version of (...)
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  2.  51
    A Challenge for Humean Externalism.Steven Swartzer - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):23-44.
    Humean externalism is the view that moral motivation must be explained in terms of desires that are “external” to an agent’s motivationally-inert moral judgments. A standard argument in favor of Humean externalism appeals to the possibility of amoral or morally cynical agents—agents for whom moral considerations gain no motivational traction. The possibility of such agents seems to provide evidence for both the claim that moral judgments are themselves motivationally inert, and the claim that moral motivation has its source in desires (...)
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  3.  61
    Race, Ideology, and the Communicative Theory of Punishment.Steven Swartzer - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19:1-22.
    This paper explores communicative punishment from a non-idealized perspective. I argue that, given the specific racial dynamics involved, and given the broader social and historical context in which they are embedded, American policing and punishment function as a form of racially derogatory discourse. Understood as communicative behavior, criminal justice activities express a commitment to a broader ideology. Given the facts about how the American justice system actually operates, and given its broader socio-political context, American carceral behaviors express a commitment to (...)
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  4. Appetitive Besires and the Fuss About Fit.Steven Swartzer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 165 (3):975-988.
    Some motivational cognitivists believe that there are besires—cognitive mental states (typically moral beliefs) that share the key feature of desire (typically desire’s ‘direction of fit’) in virtue of which they are capable of being directly motivational. Besires have been criticized by Humeans and cognitivists alike as philosophically extravagant, incoherent, ad hoc, and incompatible with folk psychology. I provide a response to these standard objections to besires—one motivated independently of common anti-Humean intuitions about the motivational efficacy of moral judgments. I proceed (...)
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  5.  46
    Doing Without Desiring.Steven E. Swartzer - 2011 - Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    This dissertation defends a cognitivist alternative to the Humean belief-desire theory of motivation against standard philosophical arguments. Moral judgments influence our action. For instance, someone might donate to charity because she believes she has a duty to give back to her community. According to the Humean orthodoxy, some additional state—some passion or desire—is needed to explain her action. She may want to donate the money, to give back to her community, or to fulfill her duty. Yet there must be something (...)
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  6.  37
    Review of Amy E. Lerman and Vesla M. Weaver, Arresting Citizenship: The Democratic Consequences of American Crime Control. [REVIEW]Steven Swartzer - 2016 - Ethics 126 (3):840-845.