Hoping to hear people's intuitions about this case:
A corruptible good samaritan, Sam, is planning on saving several people who are dying. Let me stipulate that Sam is not required to do so and the dying have no claim on his aid. I follow Sam around and when he comes to each person he plans to save, I bribe him to not do so. The dying have all volunteered to be organ donors. I bride the samaritan so that their organs can be used to save many.
I’ll never forget the old guy who asked me, at an APA interview: “suppose I wanted to slap you, and suppose I wanted to slap you because I thought you were giving us really bad answers, and I mistakenly believed that by slapping you I’ll bring out the best in you. Am I blameworthy?”.
When he said “suppose I wanted to slap you”, his butt actually left his chair for a moment and his hand was mimicking a slap in the air.
Since that event - which happened back when I was a frightened youngster with all the social skills of a large rock - I have thought many times about the connection between philosophy and rudeness - especially the connection between philosophical debating and rudeness. It seems to me that the connection between philosophical argument and rudeness is similar to the connection between fighting a war and immorality. Surprisingly precise analogies can be drawn between the soldier in a just war and the philosophical arguer in pursuit of the truth. Let me explain.
Welcome to what will hopefully be a very interesting discussion of Dale Dorsey's "Moral Distinctiveness and Moral Inquiry". The paper is published in the most recent edition of Ethics and available to read through open access here. Kathryn M Lindeman has kindly contributed a critical précis, and it appears immediately below. Please join in the discussion!
We're excited to announce our next Ethics discussion on Dale Dorsey's "Moral Distinctiveness and Moral Inquiry." The paper is available through open access here. Kathryn M Lindeman has kindly agreed to contribute a critical précis. Join us on April 18-20!
John Taurek (1977) argued that in conflict situations--situations in which we can save some people only by failing to save some others--the numbers don't count--i.e., it is not morally wrong to save the smaller group instead of the larger group. His argument is controversial. Here I offer a degrees-of-moral-wrongness argument for the conclusion that, contra Taurek, the numbers do count.
We are pleased to announce a Call for Papers for the Inaugural Marc Sanders Award for Public Philosophy. We hope that this award will incentivize and draw attention to excellent new long-form public philosophy.
Essay: We invite submissions of unpublished essays (minimum 3,000 words, maximum 10,000) with significant philosophical content or method by authors with significant philosophical training addressed primarily to the general reader. There is no restriction to any area of philosophy. In particular, there is no restriction to practical philosophy. Everyone from graduate students to emeritus professors is encouraged to apply. Prizes: The winner of the Marc Sanders Award for Public Philosophy will receive $4,500. The winning essay will be published in Philosophers’ Imprint. Philosophers’ Imprint is a free online journal specializing in major original contributions to philosophy. The second best essay will be published inAeon, whose editorial staff will be available to help with the final draft. The top two essays will both be published (or cross-posted) in Salon and The Point. There will also be an opportunity for the winner(s) to present their work directly to a general audience.
John Brunero and I are running a conference on Practical Reason and Metaethics, here in Lincoln, Nebraska on April 21st to 23rd. Speakers include Michael Bratman (Stanford), Stephen Darwall (Yale), Jonathan Drake (Texas), Amelia Hicks (Kansas State), Chris Howard (Arizona), Sarah McGrath (Princeton), Barry Maguire (UNC), and Sigrún Svavarsdóttir (Tufts). There were over 75 submissions for the refereed program and we expect it to be a very good conference.
There will be a free conference dinner Friday night and a party Saturday, so please register if you are coming by sending an email to email@example.com stating that you plan on attending. There's no fee to attend.
I am pleased to announce a call for abstracts for the Eighth Annual Arizona Workshop in Normative Ethical Theory that will be held in Tucson, Arizona on January 12-14, 2017. Abstracts are welcome in any area or on any topic in normative ethical theory (to be distinguished as well as possible from metaethics, political philosophy, and applied ethics).
Abstracts should be 2-3 double-spaced pages and are due no later than Thursday, June 1, 2016. Please send abstracts by email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who presented at the 2015 or 2016 workshops are not eligible for presenting at the 2017 workshop. A program committee will evaluate the submissions, and decisions will be finalized early to mid-July.
The keynote speakers for the 2016 workshop are Christine Korsgaard,Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University, and Talbot Brewer, Professor of Philosophy at University of Virginia. Further information about the Workshop is available here.