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Scale-based models of weighing reasons face challenges concerning the context sensitivity of weight, the aggregation of weight, and the methodology for determining what the weights of reasons are. I resolve these challenges.
I defend convergentist realism from counterarguments that appeal to apparently deep and widespread moral disagreement. Pace recent claims by antirealists, I first argue that scenarios such as the prominent “Magistrate and the Mob” case betray cognitive defects in subjects, such as partiality, that we would not find in ideal agents. After this, I defend three reasons to expect cross-cultural disagreement on moral cases even if convergentist realism is true. These defusing explanations concern individual and group moral development and the moral models on which agents rely. While developing my defense of moral realism, I aim for comprehensive engagement with responses to arguments by Doris, Plakias, and others that have been dispersed across several related articles.
This chapter addresses the moral justifiability of some of the international legal rules that govern cross-border trade. The primary focus is on the moral standards that ought to be used to critically evaluate those rules or proposals for their reform. Thus the chapter investigates several moral arguments for free trade, such as the claim that it provides an especially effective mechanism for alleviating poverty, and several arguments in defense of restrictions or conditions on trade, including the moral permissible of partiality to compatriots and the right of those who cooperate to make international trade possible to a fair share of the benefits it yields. The chapter concludes with an examination of the argument that the import and consumption of oil and other natural resources from countries ruled by tyrants constitutes trade in stolen goods, a violation of existing international law.
There is no eighteenth-century moral philosopher more reknown for his work on the passions than David Hume, but political theorists have only recently began to explore Hume's myriad, important contributions to the study of moral and political motivation and obligation. The study of Hume's political thought has always been plagued by a so-called “motivational dilemma” related to his theory of justice, which suprisingly appears to rationally established. I argue in this chapter instead that the affective components of Hume's theory of justice, including his treatment of sympathetic resentment, are just as central. Hume not only builds on Butler's account of sympathy but also nuances resentment's tie to injustice, as both an alert to injury and as a motive subject to partiality. Hume explains when and why we are likely to be partial in our sympathetic resentments, as well as what kind of instutions might counteract such partiality.
According to the Asymmetry, we’ve strong moral reason to prevent miserable lives from coming into existence, but no moral reason to bring happy lives into existence. This procreative asymmetry is often thought to be part of commonsense morality, however theoretically puzzling it might prove to be. I argue that this is a mistake. The Asymmetry is merely prima facie intuitive, and loses its appeal on further reflection. Mature commonsense morality recognizes no fundamental procreative asymmetry. It may recognize some superficially similar theses, but we will see that they derive from more familiar principles, and are compatible with there being moral reason to bring happy lives into existence.
According to the guise of the good thesis, we desire things under the ‘guise of the good.’ Here I sympathetically articulate a generic formulation of the guise of the good thesis, and address a problem for the view, which I call the problem of partiality. The problem is, roughly, that our partial pro-attitudes–for example, our special concern for ourselves–do not correspond to what is absolutely good. I criticize three solutions to the problem, and propose an alternative strategy, on which partial pro-attitudes constitute a species of illusion.
According to the relational approach we have obligations to members of future generations not because of their interests or properties but because, and only because, they are our descendants or successors. Common accounts of relational duties do not explain how we can have obligations to people who do not yet exist. In this defence of the relational approach I examine three sources of intergenerational obligations: the concern of parents for their children, including their future children; the desire of community members to pass on a heritage to their descendants; and the relationship of citizens in an intergenerational polity.
In 2012, Susan Manning, Rebecca Schneider, and Janice Ross collaborated across their home institutions of Northwestern University, Brown University, and Stanford University, respectively, to found a research initiative interrogating the field of dance studies. This manifold project, Dance Studies in/and the Humanities, receives funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through 2015 and includes a series of public roundtable discussions. This conversation—abridged from the original event—took place during two such roundtables at Brown University in June 2013, and it features substantial contributions from scholars Michelle Clayton, Mark Franko, Nadine George-Graves, André Lepecki, Susan Manning, Janice Ross, and Rebecca Schneider. Speakers address what dance studies may need, want, or do in this current historical moment. Manning articulates her experience being “inside” and “beside” dance studies through teaching in an integrationist/assimilationist model that promotes dance as a subfield in humanities (and occasionally social science) departments. Franko asserts that dance studies formed as a result of an epistemological break in the 1980s and adds that interdisciplinary frameworks can also support this relatively new field.
Through embracing the partiality that comes with interdisciplinarity, Clayton encourages participants to investigate generative misunderstandings. Ross provides a comprehensive account of the crisis in the humanities, and Lepecki connects this crisis to the permanent state of war in the U.S. and emphasizes the importance of theory in dance studies. Falling short of Afro-pessimism, George-Graves calls for dance studies to infiltrate the upper echelons of higher education administration, and Schneider articulates post-structuralism's link to the Global South while calling for more scholarly representation from this area of the world. Through exploring possibilities for embodied knowledge, reenacting post-structuralism, and embracing partiality, these scholars address the expanding aperture of dance studies in a global economy. Topics identified for future discussion include decentering the whiteness of dance studies transnationally, exploring how dance studies methodologies are currently utilized in academia, and expanding dance studies beyond the American academy.
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