Can we still watch Woody Allen's movies? Can we still laugh at Bill Cosby's jokes? Woody Allen, Kevin Spacey, Dave Chappelle, Louis C. K., J.K. Rowling, Michael Jackson, Roseanne Barr. Recent years have proven rife with revelations about the misdeeds, objectional views, and, in some instances, crimes of popular artists. Spurred in part by the #metoo movement, and given more access than ever thanks to social media and the internet in general, the public has turned an alert and critical eye (...) upon the once-hidden lives of previously cherished entertainers. But what should we members of the public do, think, and feel in response to these artists' actions or statements? It's a predicament that many of us face: whether it's possible to disentangle the deeply unsettled feelings we have toward an artist from how we respond to the art they produced. As consumers of art, and especially as fans, we have a host of tricky moral question to navigate: do the moral lives of artists affect the aesthetic quality of their work? Is it morally permissible for us to engage with or enjoy that work? Should immoral artists and their work be "canceled"? Most of all, can we separate an artist from their art? In Drawing the Line, Erich Hatala Matthes employs the tools of philosophy to offer insight and clarity to the ethical questions that dog us. He argues that it doesn't matter whether we can separate the art from the artist, because we shouldn't. While some dismiss the lives of artists as if they are irrelevant to the artist's work, and others instrumentalize artwork, treating it as nothing more than a political tool, Matthes argues both that the lives of artists can play an important role in shaping our moral and aesthetic relationship to the artworks that we love and that these same artworks offer us powerful resources for grappling with the immorality of their creators. Rather than shunning art made by those who have been canceled, shamed, called out, or even arrested, we should engage with it all the more thoughtfully and learn from the complexity it forces us to confront. Recognizing the moral and aesthetic relationships between art and artist is crucial to determining when and where we should draw the line when good artists do bad things. (shrink)
It is a common picture that Kant is committed to an uncompromising account of moral responsibility that leaves no room for excuses. I argue that this picture is mistaken. More specifically, I reconstruct a Kantian quality of will account of excuses according to which an agent is excused for performing a morally wrong (or omitting a morally obligatory) action if and only if the action (or omission) does not manifest a lack of good will on the part of the agent. (...) Based on this Kantian quality of will account of excuses, I explain why agents are often excused in cases that involve physical constraint, unintentional bodily movement, ignorance, coercion or necessity. (shrink)
In this paper, I give a reconstruction of the so‐called Reinhold–Sidgwick objection and show that Korsgaard‐style Kantian constructivists are committed to two key premises of the underlying argument. According to the Reinhold–Sidgwick objection, the Kantian conception of autonomy entails the absurd conclusion that no one is ever morally responsible for a morally wrong action. My reconstruction of the underlying argument reveals that the objection depends on a third premise, which says that freedom is a necessary condition for moral responsibility. After (...) mapping the common replies to the objection, I demonstrate that none of these replies is available to Kantian constructivists. But they need not be committed to the absurd conclusion that no one is ever morally blameworthy. Kantian constructivists who want to resist the Reinhold–Sidgwick objection are well advised to subject the third premise of the underlying argument to critical scrutiny. (shrink)
Opponents of abortion sometimes hold that it is impermissible because fetuses are persons from the moment of conception. But miscarriage, which ends up to 89 % of pregnancies, is much deadlier than abortion. That means that if opponents of abortion are right, then miscarriage is the biggest public-health crisis of our time. Yet they pay hardly any attention to miscarriage, especially very early miscarriage. Attempts to resolve this inconsistency by adverting to the distinction between killing and letting die or to (...) the difficulty of preventing miscarriage fail, leaving a dilemma. Opponents of abortion should either advocate a substantial shift in our political and medical priorities or else give up the view that fetuses are persons from the moment of conception. (shrink)
In this paper, I demonstrate that Kant's commitment to an asymmetry between the control conditions for praise and blame is explained by his endorsement of the principle Ought Implies Can (OIC). I argue that Kant accepts only a relatively weak version of OIC and that he is hence committed only to a relatively weak requirement of alternate possibilities for moral blame. This suggests that whether we are transcendentally free is irrelevant to questions about moral permissibility and moral blameworthiness.
This Brief presents an historical investigation into the reaction between ferric ions and thiocyanate ions, which has been viewed in different ways throughout the last two centuries. Historically, the reaction was used in chemical analysis and to highlight the nature of chemical reactions, the laws of chemistry, models and theories of chemistry, chemical nomenclature, mathematics and data analysis, and instrumentation, which are important ingredients of what one might call the nature of chemistry. Using the history of the iron thiocyanate reaction (...) as a basis, the book’s main objective is to explore how chemistry develops its own knowledge base; how it assesses the reliability of that base; and how some important tools of the trade have been brought to bear on a chemical reaction to achieve understanding, a worthwhile goal of any historical investigation. (shrink)
It is widely accepted among medical ethicists that competence is a necessary condition for informed consent. In this view, if a patient is incompetent to make a particular treatment decision, the decision must be based on an advance directive or made by a substitute decision-maker on behalf of the patient. We call this the competence model. According to a recent report of the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of (...) Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) presents a wholesale rejection of the competence model. The High Commissioner here adopts the interpretation of article 12 proposed by the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. On this interpretation, CRPD article 12 renders it impermissible to deny persons with mental disabilities the right to make treatment decisions on the basis of impaired decision-making capacity and demands the replacement of all regimes of substitute decision-making by supported decision-making. In this paper, we explicate six adverse consequences of CRPD article 12 for persons with mental disabilities and propose an alternative way forward. The proposed model combines the strengths of the competence model and supported decision-making. (shrink)
It has been widely accepted that Kant holds the “Opacity Thesis,” the claim that we cannot know the ultimate grounds of our actions. Understood in this way, I shall argue, the Opacity Thesis is at odds with Kant's account of practical self-consciousness, according to which I act from the (always potentially conscious) representation of principles of action and that, in particular, in acting from duty I act in consciousness of the moral law's determination of my will. The Opacity Thesis thus (...) threatens to render acting from duty unintelligible. To diffuse the threat, I argue, first, that we need not attribute the Opacity Thesis to Kant. Kant's concern with the ubiquity of moral self-opacity does not imply the strong skeptical conclusion that knowledge of the grounds of one's action is impossible. Second, I show how moral self-opacity in cases of morally bad action emerges from the intrinsic inability of representing oneself, insofar as one is pursuing the indeterminate end of “happiness.” Thus, moral self-opacity does not undermine the will's self-consciousness but is born of it. (shrink)
In this interview with Jan Hendrik van den Berg, the Dutch phenomenologist and psychiatrist addresses the origins of his work, his most significant influences, and the purpose of metabletic phenomenology in the modern age. In the course of the interview. Dr. Van den Berg provides a basic overview of his work, and highlights the central finding of his metabletic analyses: a loss of wonder before nature, which results from the more fundamental loss of genuine spirituality in the modern (...) world. (shrink)
In Direct Belief I argue for the Theory of Direct Belief, which treats having a belief about an individual as an unmediated relation between the believer and the individual the belief is about. After a critical review of alternative positions, I use Grice’s theory of conversational implicature to provide a detailed pragmatic account of substitution failure in belief ascriptions and go on to defend this view against objections, including those based on an unwarranted “Inner Speech” Picture of Thought. The work (...) serves as a case study in pragmatic explanation, dealing also with methodological issues about context-sensitivity in language and the relation between semantics and pragmatics. (shrink)
The writings of women philosophers have often been neglected in the discipline of virtue ethics. In this historical survey of feminist virtue ethics, Sandrine Berges redresses the balance by focusing on key writings of important women philosophers, including Perictione, Heloise, Christine de Pizan, Mary Wollstonecraft and Sophie de Grouchy. A Feminist Perspective on Virtue Ethics first applies the findings of its historical survey to questions on the ethics of care, gender and the public life, and global justice. In what follows, (...) it is argued that the ethical theorizing of women in the past can and should be brought to bear on current philosophical debates. (shrink)
In this paper, I give a Kantian answer to the question whether and why it would be inappropriate to blame people suffering from mental disorders that fall within the schizophrenia spectrum. I answer this question by reconstructing Kant’s account of mental disorder, in particular his explanation of psychotic symptoms. Kant explains these symptoms in terms of various types of cognitive impairment. I show that this explanation is plausible and discuss Kant’s claim that the unifying feature of the symptoms is the (...) patient’s inability to enter into an exchange of reasons with others. After developing a Kantian Quality of Will Thesis, I analyze some real life cases. Firstly, I argue that delusional patients who are unable to enter into an exchange of epistemic reasons are exempted from doxastic rather than moral responsibility. They are part of the moral community and exonerated from moral blame only if their actions do not express a lack of good will. Secondly, I argue that disorganized patients who are unable to form intentions and to make plans are exempted from moral responsibility because they do not satisfy the conditions for agency. (shrink)
According to what we propose to call “the competence model,” competence is a necessary condition for valid informed consent. If a person is not competent to make a treatment decision, the decision must be made by a substitute decision-maker on her behalf. Recent reports of various United Nations human rights bodies claim that article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities involves a wholesale rejection of this model, regardless of whether the model is based on a (...) status, outcome, or functional approach to competence. The alleged rationale of this rejection is that denying persons the right to make their own treatment decisions based on an assessment of competence necessarily discriminates against persons with mental disorders. Based on a philosophical account of the nature of discrimination, we argue that a version of the competence model that combines supported decision-making with a functional approach to competence does not discriminate against persons with mental disorders. Furthermore, we argue that status- and outcome-based versions of the competence model are discriminatory. (shrink)
In this paper, I present an outline of the oppression account of cultural appropriation and argue that it offers the best explanation for the wrongfulness of the varied and complex cases of appropriation to which people often object. I then compare the oppression account with the intimacy account defended by C. Thi Nguyen and Matt Strohl. Though I believe that Nguyen and Strohl’s account offers important insight into an essential dimension of the cultural appropriation debate, I argue that justified objections (...) to cultural appropriation must ultimately be grounded in considerations of oppression as opposed to group intimacy. I present three primary objections to the intimacy account. First, I suggest that in its effort to explain expressive appropriation claims (those that purportedly lack an independent ground), the intimacy account doubles down on the boundary problem. Second, I question whether group intimacy possess the kind of bare normativity that Nguyen and Strohl claim for it. Finally, I argue that these objections give us reason to accept the importance of group intimacy to the cultural appropriation debate, but question the source of its significance as identified by Nguyen and Strohl. (shrink)
In the Classical Quarterly for April, 1927, I tried to show how Virgil, in his fourth Eclogue, introduced assonance and even rhyme to contribute in part to the ‘Sibylline’ atmosphere of the poem. Since then I have further investigated this question of assonance in Virgil's poetry, with what appear interesting results.
Is there something morally wrong with cultural appropriation in the arts? I argue that the little philosophical work on this topic has been overly dismissive of moral objections to cultural appropriation. Nevertheless, I argue that philosophers working on epistemic injustice have developed powerful conceptual tools that can aid in our understanding of objections that have been levied by other scholars and artists. I then consider the relationship between these objections and the harms of cultural essentialism. I argue that focusing on (...) the systematic nature of appropriative harms may allow us to sidestep the problem of essentialism, but not without cost. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to situate Kant in the debate on free will. Whereas Kantians often assume that Kant's views on free will cannot be brought under any of the headings of this debate, contemporary free will theorists commonly assume that Kant is an incompatibilist of the libertarian type. I argue against both assumptions: Kant can and should be characterized as a compatibilist and more specifically as a soft determinist. After removing some persistent misconceptions about Kant's position in (...) the free will debate, I contend that Kant affirms the truth of determinism, that he rejects the possibility of libertarian free will and that he considers the sort of freedom required for moral responsibility to be compatible with determinism. (shrink)
Interest in the contribution made by women to the history of philosophy is burgeoning. At the forefront of this revival is Mary Wollstonecraft. While she has long been studied by feminists, and later discovered by political scientists, philosophers themselves have only recently begun to recognise the value of her work for their discipline. This volume brings together new essays from leading scholars, which explore Wollstonecraft's range as a moral and political philosopher of note, both taking a historical perspective and applying (...) her thinking to current academic debates. (shrink)
This chapter offers an overview of issues posed by the problem of immoral artists, artists who in word or deed violate commonly held moral principles. I briefly consider the question of whether the immorality of an artist can render their work aesthetically worse (making connections to chapters in the Theory section of the handbook), and then turn to questions about what the audience should do and feel in response to knowledge of these moral failings. I discuss questions such as whether (...) audiences have reason not to purchase or consume work by these artists, whether their shows and exhibitions should be canceled, and how fans might grapple with the emotional turmoil they feel when artists whom they love act or speak in ways that are morally condemnable. (shrink)
In this paper, I show that Kant’s solution to the third antinomy is a reply sui generis to the consequence argument. If sound, the consequence argument yields that we are not morally responsible for our actions because our actions are not up to us. After expounding the modal version of the consequence argument advanced by Peter van Inwagen, I show that Kant accepts a key inference rule of the argument as well as a requirement of alternate possibilities for moral blame. (...) Kant must therefore reject one of the premises of the consequence argument to be able to deny its conclusion. Whereas Kantian altered-past compatibilism denies the premise of the consequence argument which states the fixity of the past, Kantian altered-law compatibilism denies the premise that states the fixity of the laws of nature. My analysis shows that Kantian altered-past and altered-law compatibilism are logically consistent, yet it also reveals that they depend on strong metaphysical premises. It must be investigated whether these premises withstand textual scrutiny and whether they are credible in their own right. By way of conclusion, I draw the outlines of this investigation. (shrink)
It is often assumed that there is a necessary relationship between historical value and irreplaceability, and that this is an essential feature of historical value’s distinctive character. Contrary to this assumption, I argue that it is a merely contingent fact that some historically valuable things are irreplaceable, and that irreplaceability is not a distinctive feature of historical value at all. Rather, historically significant objects, from heirlooms to artifacts, offer us an otherwise impossible connection with the past, a value that persists (...) even in the face of suitable replacements. (shrink)
How should a free society protect privacy? Dramatic changes in national security law and surveillance, as well as technological changes from social media to smart cities mean that our ideas about privacy and its protection are being challenged like never before. In this interdisciplinary book, Chris Berg explores what classical liberal approaches to privacy can bring to current debates about surveillance, encryption and new financial technologies. Ultimately, he argues that the principles of classical liberalism the rule of law, individual (...) rights, property and entrepreneurial evolution can help extend as well as critique contemporary philosophical theories of privacy. (shrink)
‘Heritage’ is a concept that often carries significant normative weight in moral and political argument. In this article, I present and critique a prevalent conception according to which heritage must have a positive valence. I argue that this view of heritage leads to two moral problems: Disowning Injustice and Embracing Injustice. In response, I argue for an alternative conception of heritage that promises superior moral and political consequences. In particular, this alternative jettisons the traditional focus on heritage as a primarily (...) positive relationship to the past, and thus offers resources for coming to terms with histories of injustice. (shrink)
Philosophers have used the terms 'impersonal' and 'personal value' to refer to, among others things, whether something's value is universal or particular to an individual. In this paper, I propose an account of impersonal value that, I argue, better captures the intuitive distinction than potential alternatives, while providing conceptual resources for moving beyond the traditional stark dichotomy. I illustrate the practical importance of my theoretical account with reference to debate over the evaluative scope of cultural heritage.
The fourth amendment to the German Medicinal Products Act (Arzneimittelgesetz) states that nontherapeutic research in incompetent populations is permissible under the condition that potential research participants expressly declare their wish to participate in scientific research in an advance research directive. This article explores the implementation of advance research directives in Germany against the background of the international legal and ethical framework for biomedical research. In particular, it addresses a practical problem that arises from the disclosure requirement for advance research directives. (...) We show that, if the disclosure standard for advance research directives is set at a token level, nontherapeutic research in incompetent populations becomes practically impossible. To resolve this issue, we suggest the disclosure standard be set at a type level. (shrink)
Jonathan Berg’s insightful and lucid book Direct Belief develops a pragmatic account of our intuitions about Frege-cases. More precisely Berg argues that our practice of belief-reporting normally exhibits certain regularities. He argues that utterances of belief reports typically conversationally implicate that the reports adhere to these regularities. And he uses these implicatures to explain our intuitions about Frege-cases. I explore and unpack Berg’s pragmatic account, considering and offering responses to three natural worries that might be raised. In (...) particular, I respond to the objection that the regularities Berg invokes cannot generate the conversational implicatures he claims. I respond to the objection that the regularities Berg invokes do not, in fact, obtain. And I respond to the worry that Berg cannot explain how these regularities might arise in the first place. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that norms of artistic and aesthetic authenticity that prioritize material origins foreclose on broader opportunities for aesthetic experience: particularly, for the aesthetic experience of history. I focus on Carolyn Korsmeyer’s recent articles in defense of the aesthetic value of genuineness and argue that her rejection of the aesthetic significance of historical value is mistaken. Rather, I argue that recognizing the aesthetic significance of historical value points the way towards rethinking the dominance of the very norms (...) of authenticity that Korsmeyer endeavors to defend and explain. (shrink)
This article draws together research from various sub-disciplines of philosophy to offer an overview of recent philosophical work on the ethics of historic preservation. I discuss how philosophers writing about art, culture, and the environment have appealed to historical significance in crafting arguments about the preservation of objects, practices, and places. By demonstrating how it relates to core themes in moral and political philosophy, I argue that historic preservation is essentially concerned with ethical issues.
Berg seeks to defend the theory that the meaning of a proper name in a belief report is its reference against Frege’s puzzle by hypothesizing that when substituting coreferential names in belief reports results in reports that seem to have different truth values, the appearance is due to the fact that the reports have different metalinguistic implicatures. I review evidence that implicatures cannot be calculated in the way Grice or Berg imagine, and give reasons to believe that belief (...) reports do not have the implicatures Berg attributes to them. I also argue that even if belief reports did have such implicatures, they would not explain why the belief reports in Frege’s puzzle seem to have different truth values. I point out that Berg has no reason to believe that Lois Lane believes Clark Kent is a reporter and Lois Lane believes Superman is a reporter are both true rather than both false, and that Leibniz’s Law cannot be used to defend substitutivity in belief reports because belief reports are not relational in the requisite way. Finally, I observe that some of the linguistic data Berg uses to argue for substitutivity in belief reports concerns the transparent interpretation of belief reports, whereas Frege’s puzzle concerns the opaque interpretation. (shrink)
Do members of cultural groups have special claims to own or control the products of the cultures to which they belong? Is there something morally wrong with employing artistic styles that are distinctive of a culture to which you do not belong? What is the relationship between cultural heritage and group identity? Is there a coherent and morally acceptable sense of cultural group membership in the first place? Is there a universal human heritage to which everyone has a claim? Questions (...) such as these concern the ethics of cultural heritage (or heritage ethics, for short). This entry seeks to provide an overview of the philosophical work on topics in heritage ethics, as well as introduce readers to some of the most philosophically relevant literature from other disciplines. (shrink)
The Duhem?Quine thesis asserts that any empirical evaluation of a theory is in fact a composite test of several interconnected hypotheses. Recalcitrant evidence signals falsity within the conjunction of hypotheses, but logic alone cannot pinpoint the individual element(s) inside the theoretical cluster responsible for a false prediction. This paper considers the relevance of the Duhem?Quine thesis for experimental economics. A starting point is to detail how laboratory evaluations of economic hypotheses constitute composite tests. Another aim is to scrutinize the strategy (...) of conducting a series of experiments in order to hem in the source(s) of disconfirmative evidence. A Bayesian approach is employed to argue that reproducing experiments may be useful in terms of identifying plausible causes of recalcitrant data. (shrink)
Inductive characterizations of the sets of terms, the subset of strongly normalizing terms and normal forms are studied in order to reprove weak and strong normalization for the simply-typed λ-calculus and for an extension by sum types with permutative conversions. The analogous treatment of a new system with generalized applications inspired by generalized elimination rules in natural deduction, advocated by von Plato, shows the flexibility of the approach which does not use the strong computability/candidate style à la Tait and Girard. (...) It is also shown that the extension of the system with permutative conversions by η-rules is still strongly normalizing, and likewise for an extension of the system of generalized applications by a rule of ``immediate simplification''. By introducing an infinitely branching inductive rule the method even extends to Gödel's T. (shrink)