Kevin Tobia and I have co-written a paper on personal identity for the Oxford Handbook on Moral Psychology, edited by John Doris and Manuel Vargas. You can see the draft here. What’s particularly new and interesting about the entry is Kevin’s part of the project, which involves a survey and critical discussion of the state of the art on work about personal identity that has taken place in the psychology-heavy literature over the last 5-10 years. We then bring together that literature with the standard philosophy-heavy work on the topic since Locke. As we will get one more run on revising, we are interested in any thoughts you might have about it, preferably spelled out in the comments here.
The 7th annual Workshop for Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy will take place in Syracuse, NY, August 21-3, 2019.
Keynote speakers will be:
Kwame Anthony Appiah, NYU
Sally Haslanger, MIT
Joseph Raz, Columbia
We invite submissions of full papers (not abstracts) of between 7500 and 12000 words, including footnotes, to fill the remaining slots for the conference. (more…)
Upcoming ETMP Discussion, June 29 – July 1: Robin Zheng’s “What is My Role in Changing the System? A New Model of Responsibility for Structural Injustice”
We’re thrilled to announce the very first Ethical Theory and Moral Practice discussion here at PEA Soup, which will be from Friday, June 29th until Sunday, July 1st. The discussion will be on Robin Zheng‘s “What is My Role in Changing the System? A New Model of Responsibility for Structural Injustice”. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice has generously provided free access to the article, which can be found here. Maeve McKeown will contribute a critical précis and commentary, which will be posted when the discussion starts.
Please join in on the discussion of the important and captivating intersection between responsibility and injustice. We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Here, at the View from the Owl’s Roost.
About a year ago, several family members, friends, and philosophical luminaries gathered at All Souls College to remember and celebrate the life of the great moral philosopher, Derek Parfit. Those twenty videos, with the production assistance of several members of the Parfit family, have been posted here, and they include remembrances by the moral and political philosophers Tim Scanlon, Frances Kamm, Jeff McMahan, Martin O’Neill, Larry Temkin, Roger Crisp, John Broome, Brad Hooker, Jonathan Dancy, Jonathan Glover, Rahul Kumar, Julian Savulescu, and others.
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.
There is surprisingly little discussion about pain’s badness in the philosophical literature. One might think that it falls naturally out of any of the various theories of well-being, but this is not so straightforward (as Shelly Kagan argues). In recent work, I look at some ways pain’s badness can be explained. This post summarizes some of my arguments.
At first, the explanation for pain’s badness seems simple: it hurts! Ideally, an account of pain’s badness will appeal to pain’s feel in the explanation. It would be nice if that were all there were to it – pain is bad straightforwardly in virtue of the negative feeling tone. Call such a view dolorism. Straightforward dolorism is, however, too straightforward. It fails to allow for cases where pain is not intuitively bad. I will discuss one type of case. (Another, which I explain elsewhere, is a condition called pain asymbolia, in which patients report to experience pain but don’t find it bothersome.)