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Can appealing to children’s rights help to solve the non-identity problem in cases of procreation? A number of philosophers have answered affirmatively, arguing that even if children cannot be harmed by being born into disadvantaged conditions, they may nevertheless be wronged if those conditions fail to meet a minimal standard of decency to which all children are putatively entitled. This paper defends the tenability of this view by outlining and responding to five prominent objections that have been raised against it in the contemporary literature: (1) the identifiability objection; (2) the non-existence objection; (3) the waiving of rights objection, (4) the lack of legitimate complaint objection; and (5) the unfairness objection.
This paper explores the relationship between phenomenal properties and intentional properties. In recent years a number of philosophers have argued that intentional properties are sometimes necessitated by phenomenal properties, but have not explained why or how. Exceptions can be found in the work of Katalin Farkas and Farid Masrour, who develop versions of reductionism regarding phenomenally-necessitated intentionality (or ‘phenomenal intentionality’). I raise two objections to reductive theories of the sort they develop. Then I propose a version of primitivism regarding phenomenal intentionality. I argue that primitivism avoids the pitfalls of reductionism while promising broad explanatory payoffs.
Many theories of social justice maintain that concern for the social bases of self-respect grounds demanding requirements of political and economic equality, as self-respect is supposed to be dependent on continuous just recognition by others. This paper argues that such views miss an important feature of self-respect, which accounts for much of its value: self-respect is a capacity for self-orientation that is robust under adversity. This does not mean that there are no social bases of self-respect that such theories ought to incorporate. It means that they are different: they consist of the motivational and epistemic resources needed to develop and maintain such robustness.
Simon Evnine’s Making Objects and Events: A Hylomorphic Theory of Artifacts develops amorphic hylomorphism. I critically discuss three of its main themes. One theme is its attempt to do the work of form without forms. A second theme is the requirement that hylomorphs have ‘metabolisms at work’. A third theme is the use of artifacts as the paradigms for hylomorphs. I will raise some criticisms of each of these themes. Although the themes might at first appear disconnected, I believe the third underwrites the first two. So the criticisms of the third theme also bear on the rest.
Molyneux’s question asks whether someone born blind, who could distinguish cubes from spheres using his tactile sensation, could recognize those objects if he received his sight. Locke says no: the newly sighted person would fail to point to the cube and call it a cube. Locke never provided a complete explanation for his negative response, and there are concerns of inconsistency with other important aspects of his theory of ideas. These charges of inconsistency rest upon an unrecognized and unfounded assumption that seeing entails recognition. Locke’s negative answer to Molyneux’s question is consistent with his other philosophical commitments.
I explore the question of when an agent is derivatively, rather than directly, culpable for an undesirable outcome. The undesirable outcome might be a harmful incompetent or unwitting act, or it might be a harmful event. By examining various cases, I develop a sophisticated account of indirect culpability that is neutral about controversies regarding normative ethical issues and the condition on direct culpability.
This paper defends a theory of hope according to which hopes are composed of a desire and a belief that the object of the desire is possible. Although belief plus desire theories of hope are now widely rejected, this is due to important oversights. One is a failure to recognize the relation that hope-constituting desires and beliefs must stand in to constitute a hope. A second is an oversimplification of the explanatory power of hope-constituting desires. The final portion of the paper uses an enhanced understanding of the psychology of hope to make progress on normative questions about hoping well.