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Tobias Flattery
Wake Forest University
  1. May Kantians commit virtual killings that affect no other persons?Tobias Flattery - 2021 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (4):751-762.
    Are acts of violence performed in virtual environments ever morally wrong, even when no other persons are affected? While some such acts surely reflect deficient moral character, I focus on the moral rightness or wrongness of acts. Typically it’s thought that, on Kant’s moral theory, an act of virtual violence is morally wrong (i.e., violate the Categorical Imperative) only if the act mistreats another person. But I argue that, on Kant’s moral theory, some acts of virtual violence can be morally (...)
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  2. The Kant-Inspired Indirect Argument for Non-Sentient Robot Rights.Tobias Flattery - 2023 - AI and Ethics.
    Some argue that robots could never be sentient, and thus could never have intrinsic moral status. Others disagree, believing that robots indeed will be sentient and thus will have moral status. But a third group thinks that, even if robots could never have moral status, we still have a strong moral reason to treat some robots as if they do. Drawing on a Kantian argument for indirect animal rights, a number of technology ethicists contend that our treatment of anthropomorphic or (...)
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  3. Leibniz's Causal Road to Existential Independence.Tobias Flattery - 2023 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 1:1-28.
    Leibniz thinks that every created substance is causally active, and yet causally independent of every other: none can cause changes in any but itself. This is not controversial. But Leibniz also thinks that every created substance is existentially independent of every other: it is metaphysically possible for any to exist with or without any other. This is controversial. I argue that, given a mainstream reading of Leibniz’s essentialism, if one accepts the former, uncontroversial interpretation concerning causal independence, then one ought (...)
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  4. Leibniz’s Lost Argument Against Causal Interaction.Tobias Flattery - 2020 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 7.
    Leibniz accepts causal independence, the claim that no created substance can causally interact with any other. And Leibniz needs causal independence to be true, since his well-known pre-established harmony is premised upon it. So, what is Leibniz’s argument for causal independence? Sometimes he claims that causal interaction between substances is superfluous. Sometimes he claims that it would require the transfer of accidents, and that this is impossible. But when Leibniz finds himself under sustained pressure to defend causal independence, those are (...)
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