Most people agree that murder is wrong. Yet, within computer games virtual murder scarcely raises an eyebrow. In one respect this is hardly surprising, as no one is actually murdered within a computer game. A virtual murder, some might argue, is no more unethical than taking a pawn in a game of chess. However, if no actual children are abused in acts of virtual paedophilia (life-like simulations of the actual practice), does that mean we should disregard these acts with the (...) same abandon we do virtual murder? In this paper I shall outline several arguments which attempt to permit virtual murder, whilst prohibiting virtual paedophilia. (shrink)
In this paper I will evaluate Ali’s dissolution of the gamer’s dilemma. To this end the dilemma will be summarized and Ali’s dissolution formulated. I conclude that Ali has not dissolved the dilemma (at least not fully).
In this paper we consider whether Christopher Bartel has resolved the gamer’s dilemma. The gamer’s dilemma highlights a discrepancy in our moral judgements about the permissibility of performing certain actions in computer games. Many gamers have the intuition that virtual murder is permissible in computer games, whereas virtual paedophilia is not. Yet finding a relevant moral distinction to ground such intuitions can be difficult. Bartel suggests a relevant moral distinction may turn on the notion that virtual paedophilia harms women in (...) a way that virtual murder does not. We argue that this distinction is only in a position to provide a partial solution to the dilemma. (shrink)
In this paper a new resolution to the gamer’s dilemma is presented. The first part of the paper is devoted to strictly formulating the dilemma, and the second to establishing its resolution. The proposed resolution, the grave resolution, aims to resolve not only the gamer’s dilemma, but also a wider set of analogous paradoxes – which together make up the paradox of treating wrongdoing lightly.
Philosophers have made numerous and varied attempts to analyse the concept of a miracle. To the end, an assortment of necessary and sufficient conditions for the truth an instantiation of a miracle have been offered. In this paper we discuss one of the most common of these conditions - the violation restriction. This restriction holds that all miracles involve a violation of a law of nature.
Negative conditional stimulus valence acquired during fear conditioning may enhance fear relapse and is difficult to remove as it extinguishes slowly and does not respond to the instruction that unconditional stimulus presentations will cease. We examined whether instructions targeting CS valence would be more effective. In Experiment 1, an image of one person was paired with an aversive US, while another was presented alone. After acquisition, participants were given positive information about the CS+ poser and negative information about the CS− (...) poser. Instructions reversed the pattern of differential CS valence present during acquisition and eliminated differential electrodermal responding. In Experiment 2, we compared positive and negative CS revaluation by providing positive/negative information about the CS+ and neutral information about CS−. After positive revaluation, differential valence was removed and differential electrodermal responding remained intact. After negative revaluation, differential valence was strengthened and differential electrodermal responding was eliminated. Unexpectedly, the instructions did not affect the reinstatement of differential electrodermal responding. (shrink)
Norms provide a valuable mechanism for establishing coherent cooperative behaviour in decentralised systems in which there is no central authority. One of the most influential formulations of norm emergence was proposed by Axelrod :1095–1111, 1986). This paper provides an empirical analysis of aspects of Axelrod’s approach, by exploring some of the key assumptions made in previous evaluations of the model. We explore the dynamics of norm emergence and the occurrence of norm collapse when applying the model over extended durations. It (...) is this phenomenon of norm collapse that can motivate the emergence of a central authority to enforce laws and so preserve the norms, rather than relying on individuals to punish defection. Our findings identify characteristics that significantly influence norm establishment using Axelrod’s formulation, but are likely to be of importance for norm establishment more generally. Moreover, Axelrod’s model suffers from significant limitations in assuming that private strategies of individuals are available to others, and that agents are omniscient in being aware of all norm violations and punishments. Because this is an unreasonable expectation, the approach does not lend itself to modelling real-world systems such as online networks or electronic markets. In response, the paper proposes alternatives to Axelrod’s model, by replacing the evolutionary approach, enabling agents to learn, and by restricting the metapunishment of agents to cases where the original defection is observed, in order to be able to apply the model to real-world domains. This work can also help explain the formation of a “social contract” to legitimate enforcement by a central authority. (shrink)
Miracles and the problem of evil are two prominent areas of research within philosophy of religion. On occasion these areas converge, with God’s goodness being brought into question by the claim that either there is a lack of miracles, or there are immoral miracles. In this paper I shall highlight a second manner in which miracles and the problem of evil relate. Namely, I shall give reason as to why what is considered to be miraculous may be dependent upon a (...) particular response to the problem of natural evil. To establish this claim, I shall focus upon Aquinas’s definition of a miracle and a particular free-will defence, the Luciferous defence. (shrink)
In this paper I shall assess Clarke’s assertion that all definitions of miracles that purport to satisfy the criterion of religious inclusiveness should substitute the term ‘supernatural’ for ‘non-natural’. In addition, I shall attempt to strengthen Clarke’s conception of the supernatural by offering an analysis of what it means for something to be ‘above’ nature. Lastly, I shall offer a new argument as to why Clarke’s intention-based definition of miracles is necessarily less religiously inclusive than Mumford’s causation-based definition.
In his book The Concept of Miracle and his paper ‘For the Possibility of Miracles’ Swinburne claims that there are no logical difficulties in supposing that there could be strong historical evidence for the occurrence of miracles. This claim is based on three assertions; two of which I demonstrate are only true contingently. In this paper I identify several logical difficulties regarding the possibility of attaining historical evidence for the occurrence of miracles. On the strength of these logical difficulties I (...) hope to demonstrate that there is sufficient reason to doubt Swinburne’s central claim. (shrink)
The increased incidences of academic misconduct in universities are compromising the reputation of higher education in Australia and increasing the work of academics responsible for the delivery of quality learning outcomes to students. Confronted with increasing instances of academic dishonesty in university classrooms, universities play a pivotal role in ensuring their academic staff are well-equipped with academic integrity knowledge. It is therefore important to understand academic staff perspectives about the training their workplaces could provide them on academic integrity. Specifically, this (...) qualitative case study explores the opinions and perceptions of sessional or casual university academic staff on what content they would like to know about academic integrity, and how this knowledge could best be delivered to them. The study found that participants were genuinely interested in furthering their understanding of academic integrity issues, particularly in the areas of contract cheating, effective use of plagiarism detection tools, and developing a toolkit of skills that they could use to detect and deter plagiarism. In terms of the delivery of academic integrity training programs, webinars and orientation sessions were suggested as effective delivery mechanisms. Imparting knowledge about the content areas through the identified delivery mechanisms could enhance teaching faculty’s understanding of student academic dishonesty and how to curb this behaviour proactively. (shrink)
The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake. On page 14 of the published PDF version of the article, first word of the first line, should read “Plagiarism incident reporting” not “Plagiarism”.
The aim of this paper is to help authors construct coherent time-travel narratives by establishing five features of multiverse time travel. To this end, multiverse time travel will be contrasted to fixed-universe time travel, and both versions related to various cases - where each case is designed to illustrate a key feature of multiverse time travel.
PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to outline a case where people's intuitions regarding the ethical status of an action performed in a massively multiplayer online role‐playing game are divided, and provide an argument to resolve this division.Design/methodology/approachThis paper takes a philosophical approach, from the analytical tradition. It details the main arguments for each side and provides counter‐arguments in order to indicate the salient points.FindingsThe paper argues that, of the three arguments for the morality of particular virtual action outlined in (...) this paper, none are satisfactory. An argument for the immorality of the action in questions based upon the fairness/sportsmanship distinction is offered.Originality/valueThe development of case‐based ethical studies, which draw upon current and controversial events within popular virtual environments, are useful in the construction of a deeper understanding of moral action within such spaces. (shrink)
abstract Intuitively, all killings are equally wrong, no matter how old one's victim. In this paper we defend this claim — The Equal Wrongness of Killings Thesis — against a challenge presented by Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen. Lippert-Rasmussen shows The Equal Wrongness of Killings Thesis to be incompatible with two further theses: The Unequal Wrongness of Renderings Unconscious Thesis and The Equivalence Thesis. Lippert-Rasmussen argues that, of the three, The Equal Wrongness of Killings Thesis is the least defensible. He suggests that the (...) most convincing considerations apparently in favour of the Equal Wrongness thesis may be satisfied just as well if we adopt an alternative principle, a 'Prioritarian View' about the wrongness of killing. We argue that The Prioritarian View does not resolve the trilemma: it too is inconsistent with the other two theses. Instead, we argue, the most plausible resolution of the trilemma involves a rejection, rather, of The Unequal Wrongness of Renderings Unconscious Thesis. In its place, we offer an attractive principle that is compatible with both The Equal Wrongness of Killings Thesis as well as The Equivalence Thesis. (shrink)
Purpose This paper aims to evaluate a potential resolution to the gamer’s dilemma that arises from Gary Young’s metaethical theory of constructive ecumenical expressivism. Design/methodology/approach In this paper, the gamer’s dilemma is reformulated as a paradox and the potential resolution is evaluated in light of this new formulation. Findings The author argues that this resolution does resolve the dilemma, but CEE itself has limited appeal. Originality/value This paper contributes to the growing scholarship dedicated to resolving the gamer’s dilemma.
I will consider how the notion of incommensurability, as championed by Parfit (Reasons and persons, 1984), Griffin (Well-being: its meaning, measurement and importance, 1986), Chang (Ethics 112:659–688, 2002), and Hare (Philos Perspect 23:165–176, 2009), might affect both the argument from slight pain (which suggests God’s non-existence can be inferred from the merest stubbing of one’s toe) and Leibniz’s reply to this argument. I conclude that the notion of incommensurability may ultimately strengthen Leibniz’s general position.
In this paper, I evaluate an argument offered by Per Norström in section 8 of his paper Knowing how, knowing that, knowing technology. The argument is for the proposition that some instance of knowing how is not an instance of knowing that; the instance in question being one of technological know-how. This conclusion contradicts Stanley and Williamson’s proposal that all instances of knowing how are instances of knowing that. I provide reason to think that there are problems with Norström’s argument.
Normally, we would accuse anyone who holds inconsistent beliefs of irrationality. However, Keenan apologists may claim that in some circumstances it does seem perfectly rational to hold inconsistent beliefs. And we are not alone in this assertion. A small band of philosophers, led most notably by Graham Priest, have also championed this cause, the cause of paraconsistency.
I argue that there exists a proportional relationship between degrees of moral culpability and degrees of probability, where the more an agent believes her actions will result in certain consequences, the more morally culpable she is for these consequences. I assert that this degree of probability is necessarily diminished by the existence of active supernatural powers. Consequently, agents who believe in such powers are less morally culpable than agents who do not.
Background: Multiple studies have shown that people who have experienced a serious health problem such as an injury tend to overrate the quality of health they had before that event. The main objective of this study was to test whether the phenomenon of respondents overrating their past health can also be observed in people from the general population. A second aim was to test whether habitual optimism is indeed focused on events in the future.Method: A representatively selected community sample from (...) Leipzig, Germany was examined. Respondents were asked to assess their current health, their past health, and their expected future health on a 0–100 scale. In addition, the study participants completed several questionnaires on specific aspects of physical and mental health.Results: Respondents of all age groups assessed their health as having been better in the past than it was at present. Moreover, they also assessed their earlier state of health more positively than people 5 years younger did their current state. Habitual optimism was associated with respondents having more positive expectations of how healthy they will be in 5 years time, but the correlation with their assessments of their current health was nearly as high.Conclusion: Highly positive scores of retrospectively assessed health among people who have experienced a health problem cannot totally be accounted for by a response to that health problem. (shrink)