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Vida Yao
Rice University
  1. Grace and Alienation.Vida Yao - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (16):1-18.
    According to an attractive conception of love as attention, discussed by Iris Murdoch, one strives to see one’s beloved accurately and justly. A puzzle for understanding how to love another in this way emerges in cases where more accurate and just perception of the beloved only reveals his flaws and vices, and where the beloved, in awareness of this, strives to escape the gaze of others - including, or perhaps especially, of his loved ones. Though less attentive forms of love (...)
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  2.  70
    The Undesirable & The Adesirable.Vida Yao - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):115-130.
    The guise of the good thesis can be understood as an attempt to distinguish between human motivations that are intelligible as desires and those that are not. I propose, first, that we understand the intelligibility at stake here as the kind necessary for the experience of reactive attitudes, both negative and positive, to the behavior and motivations of an agent. Given this, I argue that the thesis must be understood as proposing substantive content restrictions on how human agents perceive objects (...)
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  3. ‘I Love Women’: An Explicit Explanation of Implicit Bias Test Results.Reis-Dennis Samuel & Vida Yao - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):13861-13882.
    Recent years have seen a surge of interest in implicit bias. Driving this concern is the thesis, apparently established by tests such as the IAT, that people who hold egalitarian explicit attitudes and beliefs, are often influenced by implicit mental processes that operate independently from, and are largely insensitive to, their explicit attitudes. We argue that implicit bias testing in social and empirical psychology does not, and without a fundamental shift in focus could not, establish this startling thesis. We suggest (...)
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  4. Boredom and the Divided Mind.Vida Yao - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (4):937-957.
    On one predominant conception of virtue, the virtuous agent is, among other things, wholehearted in doing what she believes best. I challenge this condition of wholeheartedness by making explicit the connections between the emotion of boredom and the states of continence and akrasia. An easily bored person is more susceptible to these forms of disharmony because of two familiar characteristics of boredom. First, that we can be – and often are – bored by what it is that we know would (...)
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    Strong-Willed Akrasia.Vida Yao - 2017 - In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility Volume 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 06-27.
    To act akratically is to act, knowingly, against what you judge is best for you to do, and it is traditionally assumed that to do this is to be weak-willed. Some have rejected this identification of akrasia and weakness of will, arguing that the latter is instead best understood as a matter of abandoning one's reasonable resolutions. This paper also rejects the identification of akrasia and weakness of will, but argues that this alternative conception is too broad, and that weakness (...)
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  6.  95
    Two Problems Posed by the Suffering of Animals.Vida Yao - 2019 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 33 (2):324-339.
    ABSTRACT What is the ethical significance of the suffering of nonhuman animals? For many, the answer is simple. Such suffering has clear moral significance: nonhuman animal suffering is suffering, suffering is something bad, and the fact that it is bad gives us reason to alleviate or prevent it. The practical problem that remains is how to do this most efficiently or effectively. I argue that this does not exhaust the ethical significance of certain evils, once we consider how the existence (...)
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  7. Boredom as Cognitive Appetite.Vida Yao - forthcoming - In The Moral Psychology of Boredom. Rowman & Littlefield.
    Boredom can motivate us to perform actions that are painful, imprudent, morally objectionable, or unwise in other respects. It can also give rise to forms of akrasia: we may be unwilling to do what we know we must, simply because we will find it boring; when we are racked with boredom—bored stiff, bored to tears—actions that might otherwise never occur to us to do can begin to appear attractive, and sometimes remain attractive against our better judgment. But boredom is also (...)
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  8. Grace: An Interpersonal Conception.Vida Yao - unknown
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  9. Transformations and Discoveries of the Self.Vida Yao - manuscript
    The notion that there is something that is one’s deepest impulse, that there is a discovery to be made here, rather than a decision; and the notion that one trusts what is so discovered, although unclear where it will lead—these, rather, are the point. The combination—of discovery, trust and risk—are central to this sort of [Romantic] outlook, as of course they are to the state of being in love. -/- — Bernard Williams .
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  10. Virtue and Emotional Accuracy.Vida Yao -
    It is now common for moral philosophers to be wary of conflating two distinct forms of emotional assessment: the “fittingness” of an emotion, with any form of moral assessment of that emotion. The philosophers who warned against this conflation, Justin D’Arms and Daniel Jacobson, also warned philosophers not to infer from claims that an emotion is a morally inappropriate emotion to feel, to claims that the emotion is inaccurate, or “unfitting”. Such an inference, they argue, is an instance of what (...)
     
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  11. Who I Am With You: Self-Disclosure, Privacy, and Intimacy.Vida Yao - manuscript
    You have letters to a friend of yours – so you write – to bring to me, and then you advise me not to tell him all your affairs, since you yourself are not in the habit of doing so. Thus in one and the same letter you have said both that he is your friend and that he is not…” So writes one friend, Seneca, to another. He continues: “Live in such a way that anything you would admit to (...)
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  12. The Snares of Self-Hatred.Vida Yao - forthcoming - In The Moral Psychology of Hate. Rowman & Littlefield.
    As with certain other self-reflexive emotions, such as guilt and shame, our understanding of self-hatred may be aided by views of the mind which posit an internalized other whose perspective on oneself embodies and focuses a set of concerns and values, and whose perspective one is in some sense vulnerable to. To feel guilt for some transgression is not solely to feel the anger that one would feel toward another’s trespasses, now directed back onto oneself as an object of that (...)
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