In this paper, I articulate and defend a conception of trust that solves what I call “the trickster problem.” The problem results from the fact that many accounts of trust treat it similar to, or identical with, relying on someone’s good will. But a trickster could rely on your good will to get you to go along with his scheme, without trusting you to do so. Recent philosophical accounts of trust aim to characterize what it is for one person to (...) trust another so as to avoid this problem, but no extant account successfully does so. I argue that connecting trust to important, normatively defined relationships like friendship, romantic partnerships and parenting shows us something important about trust. The clearest cases of trust are found within the confines of normatively defined relationships like these, suggesting that there is a normative element to trust. Trusting someone involves not just believing that another person’s good will covers your interactions. Trusting involves believing that, at least in a certain domain of interaction, you are entitled to rely on that person’s good will. This account solves the trickster problem, because a trickster is not entitled to his victim’s good will. (shrink)
This chapter presents an account of an angrily virtuous, or patient, person informed by research on emotion in empirical and philosophical psychology. It is argued that virtue for anger is determined by excellence and deficiency with respect to all three of anger’s psychological functions: appraisal, motivation, and communication. Many competing accounts of virtue for anger assess it by attention to just one function; it is argued that singular evaluations of a person’s anger will ignore important dimensions of anger that bear (...) on virtue and vice. Thus, possessing excellence with respect to only one function of anger is insufficient for virtue. The account is also extended to the characteristic vices of anger: wrath and meekness. (shrink)
This paper defends an account of forgiveness that is sensitive to recent work on anger. Like others, we claim anger involves an appraisal, namely that someone has done something wrong. But, we add, anger has two further functions. First, anger communicates to the wrongdoer that her act has been appraised as wrong and demands she feel guilty. This function enables us to explain why apologies make it reasonable to forgo anger and forgive. Second, anger sanctions the wrongdoer for what she (...) has done. This function allows us to explore the moral status of forgiveness, including why forgiveness is typically elective. (shrink)
Currently, there are many advocacy interventions aimed at reducing animal consumption. We report results from a lab (N = 267) and a field experiment (N = 208) exploring whether, and to what extent, some of those educational interventions are effective at shifting attitudes and behavior related to animal consumption. In the lab experiment, participants were randomly assigned to read a philosophical ethics paper, watch an animal advocacy video, read an advocacy pamphlet, or watch a control video. In the field experiment, (...) we measured the impact of college classes with animal ethics content versus college classes without animal ethics content. Using a pretest, post-test matched control group design, humane educational interventions generally made people more knowledgeable about animals used as food and reduced justifications and speciesist attitudes supporting animal consumption. None of the interventions in either experiment had a direct, measurable impact on self-reported animal consumption. These results suggest that while some educational interventions can change beliefs and attitudes about animal consumption, those same interventions have small impacts on animal consumption. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore the idea that someone can deserve resentment or other reactive emotions for what she does by attention to three psychological functions of such emotions – appraisal, communication, and sanction – that I argue ground claims of their desert. I argue that attention to these functions helps to elucidate the moral aims of reactive emotions and to distinguish the distinct claims of desert, as opposed to other moral considerations.
In this paper, I explore the idea that someone can deserve resentment or other reactive emotions for what she does by attention to three psychological functions of such emotions—appraisal, communication, and sanction—that I argue ground claims of their desert. I argue that attention to these functions helps to elucidate the moral aims of reactive emotions and to distinguish the distinct claims of desert, as opposed to other moral considerations.
In this chapter, I defend a novel account of contempt’s evaluative presentation by synthesizing relevant psychological work (Rozin et al. 1999; Fischer and Roseman 2007; Fischer 2011; Hutcherson and Gross 2011) with philosophical insights (Mason 2003; Bell 2005; Abramson 2009; Bell 2013). I then show how a concern about contempt’s status as an emotion involved in holding people accountable can be helpfully addressed. Finally, I gesture at an account of why, when we feel contemptuous toward people, our accountability responses involve (...) withdrawal and exclusion rather than approach and confrontation. (shrink)
I here consider the reasonableness of punishing future autonomous military robots. I argue that it is an engineering desideratum that these devices be responsive to moral considerations as well as human criticism and blame. Additionally, I argue that someday it will be possible to build such machines. I use these claims to respond to the no subject of punishment objection to deploying autonomous military robots, the worry being that an “accountability gap” could result if the robot committed a war crime. (...) (Sparrow 2007). But these robots will be blameworthy and morally responsible for their wrongful conduct. I then show that we have reasons to punish them based both on good effects and the impact on the robot, itself. (shrink)
Knowledge of human uses of animals is an important, but understudied, aspect of how humans treat animals. We developed a measure of one kind of knowledge of human uses of animals – knowledge of factory farming. Studies 1 (N = 270) and 2 (N = 270) tested an initial battery of objective, true or false statements about factory farming using Item Response Theory. Studies 3 (N = 241) and 4 (N = 278) provided evidence that responses to a 10-item Knowledge (...) of Factory Farming Scale predicted a reduction in consumption of animal products (rs = −.17- −.27) and approval of political actions aimed at factory farming (rs = .2 – .24). Path models from Studies 3 and 4 suggested that different kinds of knowledge uniquely predicted different outcomes. The Knowledge of Factory Farming scale was a unique predictor of approval of political actions concerning factory farmed animals but not animal consumption. Knowledge of Animals Used as Food predicted animal consumption but not political actions concerning farmed animals. These results highlight that different kinds of knowledge can be relevant for different animal related outcomes. (shrink)
I here sketch a reply to Peter van Inwagen’s Rollback Argument, which suggests that libertarian accounts of free agency are beset by problems involving luck. Van Inwagen imagines an indeterministic agent whose universe is repeatedly ‘rolled back’ by God to the time of her choice. Since the agent’s choice is indeterministic, her choices are sometimes di erent in the imaginary rollback scenarios. I show that although this is true, this need not impair her control over what she does. I develop (...) an account of when and why the fact that an agent would choose di erently impairs control, which provides a novel response to the Rollback Argument. (shrink)
In this review I present the main claims of McKenna's book Conversation and Responsibility. There McKenna develops a theory of moral responsibility inspired by an analogy with the relationship people bear to each other as part of a conversational exchange. The first half of the book develops the conversational account and considers objections to it. In the second half of the book, McKenna turns to an examination of the kind of normative claim being made when we say that being morally (...) responsible is to be understood in terms of appropriately holding someone morally responsible. I discuss the main themes of the book, how McKenna advances the literature on moral responsibility, and some challenges/limits of the view. (shrink)
I develop and explore the main themes of Vargas's recent book. The first section of my review lays out Vargas's case for revisionism about moral responsibility: the idea that our thinking about moral responsibility is internally inconsistent, so we need to purge core problematic elements. In the section section, I develop Vargas's own revisionist position. Vargas argues that the practice of blaming people aims at agency cultivation: trying to train people to be more sensitive to moral considerations. I explore similarities (...) between Vargas's model of blame and the classical model, also knows as the 'morality's enforcer' or 'economy of threats' model. I argue that Vargas's revisionism shares the core problem of this model: it has difficulty making sense of the warrant of blaming people who are and will be continue to be unresponsive to blame. Finally, I briefly explore Vargas's discussion of the situationist literature and his argument that manipulation cases don't threaten our being morally responsible for what we do. (shrink)