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By In Uncategorized Comments (5)

Valuing Babies?

I would value your help in thinking about how to use the term “valuing”. In the disreputable circles I run in, people tend to say that valuing is a higher order attitude that babies, who admittedly have lots of desires, lack. Some say, for example that one’s valuings are expressed only in what you want yourself to want, or what you believe good, and babies will lack such complicated attitudes. This has led Eden Lin to say that subjective views have a problem in that the typical subjectivist views, which tend to claim the well-being or reasons determining attitude is a more complex higher order attitude, cannot capture the well-being of babies.

I think the word valuing is used to point toward our authentic evaluative take on the world. The heroin addict desires heroin but does not value it because her first order desire does not speak for her or express her evaluative point of view. But because creatures with an evaluative point of view can differ so widely in other ways, it seems to me which attitudes speak for an agent can differ quite widely as well. That is, I want to try out saying, what it is for different creatures to value something can be quite different depending on their capacities and depth of attitudes. A baby has a very simple evaluative point of view. They don’t second guess their initial instincts the way us sophisticates do. But still, there is a clear sense in which they care about stuff and have an evaluative point of view. (more…)

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By In Discussions, ETMP Discussions at PEA Soup, Uncategorized Comments (7)

ETMP Discussion of Robin Zheng’s “What is My Role in Changing the System? A New Model of Responsibility for Structural Injustice”

Welcome to the first ever Ethical Theory and Moral Practice discussion! We’re looking at Robin Zheng‘s new article, “What is My Role in Changing the System? A New Model of Responsibility for Structural Injustice”, which can be downloaded here. Maeve McKeown kicks things off with a critical précis, which appears immediately below. Please join the discussion!

Structural injustice is ‘ordinary injustice’ (Young 2011). When individuals go about their daily lives, working, consuming, renting or buying property etc., there are unintended, cumulative outcomes that result in the oppression of certain social groups. The problem is, as Robin Zheng points out, how can individuals be held responsible for this? (more…)

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By In Happiness, Uncategorized Comments (3)

Avi Appel: Unrestricted Wellbeing Subjectivism is Compatible with Self-Sacrifice

A theory of wellbeing contributes to explaining whether this or that state of affairs is a benefit or harm to a particular subject. A natural starting point from which to build such a theory is the subject’s valenced attitudes: I benefit from occurrences I like, desire, value, take a subjective interest in, etc.  and am harmed by occurrences I dislike, desire not to happen, disvalue, take a subjective interest against, etc. Call this theory “Unrestricted Wellbeing Subjectivism.” The theory is unrestricted, since no state-of-affair types are excluded; that is, any occurring state of affairs that the subject takes a valenced attitude towards will benefit or harm that subject. There are several reasons philosophers have adduced in favor of restricting wellbeing subjectivism – i.e. in favor of stipulating that some specified types of events are ineligible to affect a subject’s wellbeing. One such source of reasons, against which I will defend unrestricted wellbeing subjectivism, is the problem of self-sacrifice.

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By In Happiness, Uncategorized Comments (9)

Rosa Terlazzo: Must Adaptive Preferences be Prudentially Bad for Us?

Think about Belle from Beauty and the Beast. She is a smart, ambitious, independent young woman who trades her freedom for her father’s and over time comes to love the inconsiderate, dominating Beast who keeps her captive.

On one plausible reading, Belle’s case is a classic case of adaptive preference. By adaptive preference, I mean a preference that a person forms for an option in a limited set, that she would not have formed if other more expansive options had been available. And such preferences tend to raise problems for social and political philosophers and well-being theorists because they pull us simultaneously in two different directions: because they are the person’s own preferences, it seems that they are relevant to – perhaps even decisive in – determining what is good for her or how she should be treated; but because they involve settling for what she can get rather than a desire for what she would want if only it were available, they do not seem to capture what is genuinely good for her.

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By In Academia, Uncategorized Comments (9)

What to do Now about US College Sports?

Collegiate athletics is likely going to change significantly in the near future and we should think together about how we want to direct that change. Collegiate athletics is likely to become significantly more expensive soon as student-athletes will soon be paid or paid more. And there is a possibility that those expenses will further eat away at the academic “side” of higher education,

At most colleges and universities, athletics 1) already uses up too much money and is 2) given too much weight in admissions. Concerning 1, most athletic departments, especially outside the elite athletic conferences, are a net financial drain on universities. Revenue-generating sports currently help pay for non-revenue generating sports. It is often claimed, usually without much evidence, that this cost is compensated for by alumni giving which is motivated partly by alum bonding with the university through its high-profile sports teams and continuing to relate to it after they graduate via following its nationally prominent sports teams.  Further, concerning 2, prowess in athletics, like playing the tuba well, is an achievement that could reasonably give one an advantage in admissions. But prowess in sports currently is given a much larger role in admissions than similar prowess outside of sports. (more…)

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By In Uncategorized Comments Off on Upcoming Ethics Discussion, Feb. 8-10: Nandi Theunissen’s “Must We Be Just Plain Good? On Regress Arguments for the Value of Humanity,” with a critical précis by Richard Kraut

Upcoming Ethics Discussion, Feb. 8-10: Nandi Theunissen’s “Must We Be Just Plain Good? On Regress Arguments for the Value of Humanity,” with a critical précis by Richard Kraut

We’re excited to announce our next Ethics discussion, which will be about Nandi Theunissen‘s “Must We Be Just Plain Good? On Regress Arguments for the Value of Humanity.” The paper is available through open access hereRichard Kraut has kindly agreed to contribute a critical précis. Join us Feb. 8-10!

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By In Uncategorized Comments Off on Upcoming Ethics Discussion, October 22-24: David Enoch’s “Hypothetical Consent and the Value(s) of Autonomy,” with a critical précis by Beth Vallentine

Upcoming Ethics Discussion, October 22-24: David Enoch’s “Hypothetical Consent and the Value(s) of Autonomy,” with a critical précis by Beth Vallentine

We’re excited to announce our next Ethics discussion, which will be about David Enoch‘s “Hypothetical Consent and the Value(s) of Autonomy.” The paper is available through open access hereBeth Valentine has kindly agreed to contribute a critical précis. Join us October 22-24!

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