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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Constituting normativity : a phenomenological study of agency

Shannon, Nathan Liam January 2017 (has links)
In The Sources of Normativity, Christine Korsgaard gives an account of the force that various claims (e.g., obligations, demands) can possess for us. She continues this project, in later works, with a more explicit focus upon the nature of agency. Korsgaard defends the view that normativity is grounded in an ongoing process of ‘self-constitution’: we assume various ‘practical identities’ (e.g., teacher, parent) and the commitments these embody generate reasons, obligations, etc. As we negotiate these demands we refine our view of their authority over us and realize our identity more concretely. Taking this as the point of departure, I draw upon Heidegger’s phenomenology (and, in a later section, Sartre’s) to explore the relationship between agency, identity and normativity. My aim is to shed light not only upon the attitudes which sustain normativity, but also those which hold open the space of possibilities within which self-constitution unfolds. In this respect, what I offer is a broad phenomenology of agency. The discussion has two parts. Part I addresses the ‘personal’ aspects of identity. Drawing upon Heidegger’s account of everyday Being-in-the-world, I defend the claim that our practical identities involve a kind of pre-reflective self-understanding. This understanding is inextricable both from the way we find ourselves affectively attuned to the world and a form of self-interpretation. I also consider how this relates to practical reasoning. Part II focuses upon the ‘anonymous’ dimensions of identity. Rejecting Korsgaard’s account of moral normativity, I argue that what she calls our ‘human identity’, plays a different but more pervasive role in our lives, akin to Heidegger’s ‘everydayness’. Distinguishing ‘everydayness’ from das Man understood as an existentiale, I identify a deeper anonymity, which I call our ‘existential identity’. Finally, drawing upon Sartre’s account of ‘Being-for-Others’, I characterise this as a way of being ‘just someone’ that is simultaneously a form of deep agential unity.

The normative and the evaluative : a defence of the buck-passing account of value submitted

Rowland, Richard January 2013 (has links)
The buck-passing account of goodness and value analyses goodness and value in terms of reasons for pro-attitudes. In this thesis I defend the buck-passing account of goodness and value. The buck-passing account is ordinarily thought of as an account of good simpliciter and final value. In chapter 1 I defend the notion of good simpliciter and final value against scepticism about good simpliciter in particular. In chapter 2 I introduce and elucidate what seems to me to be the strongest understanding of the buck-passing account of good simpliciter and final value. In chapters 3 and 4 I discuss the most famous objection to the buck-passing account, the Wrong Kind of Reason problem, and offer two different responses to this problem. In chapter 5 I discuss and respond to several other objections to the buck-passing account of good simpliciter. Some philosophers hold that (1) if a buck-passing account of good simpliciter holds, then a buck-passing account of all other types of goodness must hold. (2) But buck-passing accounts of other types of goodness are implausible. So, the buck-passing account is implausible. In chapter 6 I argue for (1) but contest (2) by defending new buck-passing accounts of other types of goodness. In chapter 7 I argue that if the buck-passing account of good simpliciter and final value holds, it does not follow that a buck-passing account of thick evaluative concepts holds. But, nevertheless, a buck-passing account of thick concepts is not implausible. In chapters 8 and 9 I explore the arguments for the buck-passing account. I argue that there are problems with all other plausible accounts of the relationship between reasons for pro-attitudes and value, that the buck-passing account has explanatory advantages over these other accounts, and helps to demystify goodness and value in a way that they do not.

Moral epistemology, particularism and generalism

Rickard, Joel January 2011 (has links)
This thesis is a contribution to the debate between moral generalism and moral particularism. Generalism is the view that morality both can and needs to be-expressed in finite and manageable general principles. Particularists challenge this claim. In this thesis I defend particularism. This involves four contributions: (i) In chapter 1 I present an account of what exactly a principle is, as surprisingly little analysis of this central term has been carried out. This includes a reply to the constitutive generalist, who argues that without principles that there would be no way of demarcating the correct use of the terms 'right' and 'wrong'. (ii) In chapter 2 I develop an argument for reasons holism, which is typically advanced as the basis for adopting particularism. Although I agree that some versions of holism are consistent with generalism, I show there is one version which is not. This, in turn, places the onus on the generalist to show why this version of holism is implausible. (iii) Chapters 3 and 4 form my main contribution to the debate. Particularists have been accused of having an untenable epistemology rooted in their commitment to a fonn of moral intuitionism. Throughout these chapters my main claims are as follows: a. intuitionism can be divorced from foundationalism b. particularism cannot adopt foundationalism c. intuitionism is consistent with coherentism d. particularism is consistent with coherentism e. coherentism is a tenable moral epistemology It follows that particularists can remain loyal to their historical commitments to intuitionism whilst adopting a coherentist moral epistemology. (iv) In the final part of chapter 4 I tackle some of the worries associated with the particularist's putative recommendation that we abandon using principles in our . everyday moralizing. My focus here is special pleading.

The distinctive voice of literature and its importance to ethical enquiry studied in relation to the work of Iris Murdoch and Martha Nussbaum

Walker, Rosalind January 2005 (has links)
No description available.

Ethics and the emotions : an account of the role of sentiment in moral thought

Grant, Stephen Michael January 2005 (has links)
No description available.

Motivation, moral judgement, and the justification of morality

Pantazatos, Andreas January 2007 (has links)
It is often supposed that those who remain unmoved by their moral judgements cast doubt on the authority of moral requirements. In this dissertation, I consider the related, but neglected question, of how such people might be motivated to be moral. I consider four arguments. The first and the second investigate whether it is possible to justify morality to those who remain resistant to moral claims if we show that moral actions advance their self-interest, or if we expand their sympathies. I claim, that the former argument fails, since self-interested actions inspire moral motivation only accidentally.The latter argument by contrast might guarantee some motivation, but it is notsuccessful because it depends on the feeling of sympathy and the arbitrary degree of motivation it produces. The third argument holds that there is no need to offer any justification for morality, since moral considerations are merely practical considerations and therefore if one understands the latter one will be able to understand the former. Nonetheless, this argument does not provide a standpoint according to which one would be able to judge whether one acts well and it therefore dismisses too hastily the skeptical threat. The fourth argument rests on the view that there is no difference between moral and practical considerations and conceives the entry point to ethical reflection in terms of a virtue ethical account of moral training.

Social values and self-regulation : distinct effects of centrality and motivational content

Rees, Kerry John January 2006 (has links)
This thesis examines the role of social values in self-regulation. Across eight studies, I investigate the distinct self-regulatory processes influenced by specific types of social values. Chapter 1 reviews research on the concepts of social values and self- regulation, and highlights the main issues that are addressed in the subsequent chapters. In Chapter 2, four studies tested the hypothesis that social values (e.g., equality) vary in the extent that they act as self-guides that people hold as "ideal" standards versus "ought" prescriptions. Results revealed that central values function as ideal self-guides, whereas peripheral values function as ought self-guides. In addition, violations of central values evoked dejection-type emotions, whereas violations of peripheral values evoked agitation emotions, but only in a public setting. Focusing on a second stream of research, Chapter 3 utilised three studies to test the hypothesis that the role of social values as self-guides depends on the type of motivation that they serve. Results revealed that openness values (e.g., freedom) are more likely to serve as ideal self-guides than as ought self-guides and perceptions of failure to fulfil openness values uniquely predicts the experience of more dejection- type emotions. Chapter 4 demonstrated that, following central value violation, subsequent value-affirmation dissipated dejection-type emotions. Finally, Chapter 5 reviews the contribution of the present research to theories that examine the manner in which social values influence cognitions, affect, and behaviour and outlines potential directions for future research. Overall, these results provide the first direct support for longstanding assumptions about a close link between social values and affect, while providing more precise information about which types of social values elicit which types of emotion.

Engaging with counter-moral fictions : a contextual approach

Clavel Vazquez, Adriana January 2016 (has links)
In order to understand our complex engagement with counter-moral fictions, and to assess it adequately, we must acknowledge that there are different types of counter-moral fictions. In particular, there is an important distinction between fictional and actual immorality in countermoral fictions. Appreciators engage with fictional immorality because the affective responses elicited by the narrative allow for a discontinuity in their evaluative attitudes. While these affective responses constitute genuine emotions, they contrast with the emotions appreciators would normally experience in real-life scenarios that involve moral deviance. This is possible because the criteria governing emotional responses to merely fictional immorality do not include ethical appropriateness. Further, the distinction between fictional and actual immorality not only impacts how appreciators engage with counter-moral fictions, but how we should assess both the works and our imaginative and emotional engagement with them. Only instances of actual immorality can be legitimate candidates to be ethically criticised; but this ethical assessment depends on the extra-fictional commitments of the attitude expressed by the work. For this reason, the ethical assessment of actual immorality can only be understood as an extrinsic assessment of the work in a specific context that gives the work certain extra-fictional pretensions. We should thus defend contextual autonomism in regards to the ethical criticism of fiction. Finally, appreciators’ responses to fiction can only be legitimately ethically assessed when they are expressive of their actual attitudes and motivations. Nevertheless, in these cases the object of the ethical assessment are not the responses to fiction, but appreciators’ actual character. Therefore responses to fiction cannot be assessed qua responses to fiction, and we should defend response amoralism.

The fictive pass asymmetry : condemnation of harm, but not purity, is mitigated by fictional contexts

Sabo, John January 2016 (has links)
Is there a double standard when it comes to the moral acceptability of fiction that encourages the imagination of acts that violate moral norms of harm and moral norms of purity? Observations of ethics, legal proceedings, and public reactions to different types of media seems to suggest so. Over six experiments this phenomenon, coined the fictive pass asymmetry, will be tested. The fictive pass asymmetry hypothesis proposes that fictional contexts including imagination, film, and virtual environments, will mitigate the condemnation of harm code violations more so than purity code violations. In other words, fictional representations of harm are given a "fictive pass" in moral condemnation, but the fictional representation of purity code violations that involve an abnormal use of one's body are denied a pass, and thus evaluated more similarly across real and fictional contexts. Chapters 1 through 3 introduce the fictive pass asymmetry and review the literature that provide its theoretical framework. Chapter 4 presents three experiments that establish initial evidence in support of the fictive pass asymmetry effects. Experiment 1 presented participants (N = 431) with vignettes that described agents committing either sexual acts or violent acts that were described as occurring in real life, being performed in a video game, or watched in a film. Experiments 2 and 3 (N = 360 and N = 321, respectively) systematically improved methodology by expanding upon the fictive contexts and creating manipulations based more strictly on the moral psychology literature. Chapter 5 presents experiment 4 (N = 312) and experiment 5 (N = 352) which deepened the understanding of the fictive pass asymmetry effects by using mediation analyses to demonstrate how the perceived wrongness of fictional purity code violations can be explained by the extent to which they signal poor moral character. Lastly, chapter 6 contains a final experiment (N = 484) and a series of meta-analyses. The final experiment considers fictive pass asymmetry effects in relation to an opposing theoretical framework, validates a number of manipulations, and tests the presumption of desire as an alternate explanation of fictive pass asymmetry effects. Finally, the meta-analyses aggregate the data of these experiments to highlight the robustness of the fictive pass asymmetry effects. Chapter 7, the concluding chapter, reviews the experiments and discusses the results in regards to theories of anger and disgust, moral theories of act and character, as well as the fictive pass asymmetry's implications in media use and regulation.

Robustness in moral reality

Ingram, Stephen January 2016 (has links)
This thesis examines the metaethical theory known as 'Robust Realism'. According to defenders of this view, there exist irreducible, non-natural, mind-independent, and categorically authoritative moral properties. The central aim of this thesis is to identify the best way of understanding and motivating these claims. In other words, I intend to develop a compelling metaphysics for Robust Realism. I don't plan to show that Robust Realism is true, but I do plan to identify the best formulation of it. I will thereby put us in a better place to assess its viability against rival views of moral reality. The robustly realistic theory that I will develop is built around the idea that there are necessary moral norms. In other words, norms that have authority in every possible world. I show how positing such norms enables the Robust Realist to defuse two influential ways of objecting to their claim that moral properties are irreducible. I provide an account of necessary moral norms as fundamental entities with a modal jurisdiction that, unlike the many non-fundamental moral norms, is not limited by any contingent presupposition. I show that the mind-independence of moral properties and norms takes us some way toward the elimination of those contingent limiting factors. I use this account to clarify the categoricity of moral direction, and in turn show how the categoricity of moral direction can be used in defence of an interestingly non-naturalist view of moral reality. I thereby give a compelling metaphysics for Robust Realism, but I do not thereby show that this theory is true. I thus consider prominent ways of arguing about moral reality, to assess whether we can decide the matter one way or another. Unfortunately, however, I show that debate about moral reality often results in a persistent stalemate. I diagnose this by appealing to deep differences in 'temperament' and 'existential need'. I thus conclude that we might need to limit the ambitions of metaethical inquiry.

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