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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.
21

Problems in post-foundational ethics : contingency, responsibility, attention

Alford, Lucy Maddux January 2011 (has links)
Over the course of the last century, modern and postmodern thought has called attention to the uncertain ground for relations of respect and responsibility within an increasingly contingent, post-secular, and seemingly “foundationless” context. The strong moral claims of the contemporary human rights discourse have both responded to (with stronger claims and better campaign strategies) and suffered from the pervasive condition of moral uncertainty, ethical groundlessness. This dissertation considers the development, destabilization, and breakdown of moral subjectivity over the course of the last half of the twentieth century. My thesis identifies a correlation between an increasingly contingent political and intellectual terrain and an increasingly plural and indeterminate moral subject. Chapter One addresses the subjectivity with which the field of human rights was born—the atomized, individual agency, a product of Enlightenment thought, imbued with the appropriate theological holdovers: a secular version of the transcendent soul, the hallmarks of which are inherent dignity, integrity, and inviolability. Chapter Two marks a first stage in the pluralization of the moral subject, now conceived as a subjective relation between responsible and culpable parties. I explore this relational subjectivity in the work of Emmanuel Levinas, and explore its interpretation and application in the fields of rights talk and witness media. Chapter Three considers a further pluralized moral subjectivity in the context of systemic violence, in which the lines of agent, perpetrator and victim are less clear, more contingent. Chapter Four follows the implications of systemic relation into the domain of human/non-human relation, wherein even the standing of the “human” becomes riddled with contingencies. Chapter Five explores the space of attention as both opening and precondition for ethical relation and responsibility in a post-foundational context marked by contingency, porosity, and instability.
22

A critical and experimental study in the development of moral ideas

Miller, R. January 1928 (has links)
No description available.
23

Should have known better : responsibility, ignorance and reasons

Trofimov, Alexandra January 2016 (has links)
Sometimes, we accept "I'm sorry, I didn't know" as an excuse, but at other times we do not. When are we justified in claiming that a person should have known better and that they are, therefore, responsible and blameworthy for their ignorant wrongdoing? Through a detailed investigation of ignorant wrongdoing, I establish conditions of responsibility for ignorant wrongdoing that not only provide a coherent justification for many of our standard judgements regarding responsibility and blame but also enable me to defend those judgements against objections and revisionist perspectives. I argue that: (1) Persons are responsible for their ignorant wrongdoing if and only if they are responsible for their ignorance. And that: (2) Persons are responsible for their ignorance if and only if: (a) They possess the rational capacity to accurately appreciate the relevant reasons. (b) There are no limitations in their circumstances that make it unreasonably difficult for them to accurately appreciate the relevant reasons. I argue that if both conditions (a) and (b) are met, then it is reasonable to claim that a person should have known better because they have had fair opportunity to avoid both their ignorance and their wrongdoing that results. In developing this account of responsibility for ignorant wrongdoing, I argue that internalist accounts of practical reasons are untenable from the perspective of responsibility and blame.
24

Expanding individualism : moral responsibility for social structural harms

Curzon, Rebecca Elizabeth Mary January 2015 (has links)
The central concern of this thesis is the examination of individual agents' moral responsibilities in large-scale social structures. I begin with a discussion of the emergence of social structural harm and the history of the collective responsibility debate. I suggest that previous attempts to make accurate responsibility ascriptions in cases of social structural harm have fallen short, leaving responsibility for the harm caused underdetermined. Arguing that collectivist approaches to large-scale harms are inadequate, because those participating in social structures cannot satisfy the criteria for responsibility-bearing groups required by these accounts, I turn to an attempt to provide an individualist account of responsibility in these cases presented by Young. I argue that there are many interesting ideas in her work that support an account of collective responsibility for social structures, but that her specific attempt to develop a new kind of non-moral responsibility ultimately fails. I therefore examine an alternative account of joint responsibility based on agent motivation and attitude presented by Bjornsson, who focusses on the reasons why agents become involved and complicit in collective harms. Through the further development of Bjornsson's discussion of the importance of agent motivation and participation in harmful practices, and Young's analysis of the relationship between individual agents and social structures, I suggest an alternative approach to analysing social structural harm: expanded individualism. To support this account, I analyse the ways in which agents come to be involved in these harms in a blameworthy manner, and the reasons why participation makes individuals responsible for addressing the harms caused by the social structures in which they participate.
25

Feeling like stories : empathy and narrative engagement

Baker, Al January 2016 (has links)
In this thesis I present and defend a theory of empathy, and then apply that theory of empathy to understanding how we engage with stories. I argue that empathy should be understood as a well-grounded demonstrative ascription of the form ‘[the target] feels like this’. I take the well-groundedness of such an ascription to consist in a series of ‘proto-empathic’ imaginings, which justify our ascription to a target by virtue of being congruent with one another. In laying out my conception of empathy I argue against several prominent theories of empathy, including those favoured by Preston and de Waal and Alvin Goldman. I argue in particular against the idea that empathy should be understood as aiming primarily at a matching of affect between an empathiser and their target. Moving on to narrative engagement, I argue that when audiences engage with stories they empathise with an implied narrator of that story. I make this case by showing how empathy can prima facie be employed to solve two outstanding philosophical problems about stories by virtue of its employment of perspective shifting. I sketch a conception of ‘perspectives’ and go on to argue that every story features what I call a ‘narrative perspective’, and by process of elimination conclude that the holder of the narrative perspective must be an implied narrating agency. I then show how an empathic theory of narrative engagement can help us understand how stories can help or hinder our moral education. Finally, I outline a theory of how audiences engage with interactive artworks such as videogames, drawing out the consequences of that view for how we might apply my theory of empathic engagement to furthering the understanding of interactive art.
26

Ethicising : towards an understanding of ethics as material practice

Tønnensen, Christian January 2008 (has links)
No description available.
27

Neo-Schopenhauerian virtue ethics

Weatherup, Michael Norman January 2017 (has links)
In this dissertation I argue that a neo-Schopenhauerian virtue ethic is a viable position in moral philosophy, preferable to deontology, consequentialism and neo-Aristotelianism. I do this by arguing that, as Schopenhauer’s main criticisms of Kant’s moral philosophy apply to contemporary deontology and consequentialism, virtue ethics is preferable to both. I defend the Schopenhauerian claim that compassion is the basis of morality by appealing to its intuitive plausibility and by arguing for a neo-Schopenhauerian version of the Aristotelian idea that the virtues are constitutive of the good life. I further support the claim that compassion is the basis of morality by illustrating how compassion can account for a range of our core moral concepts and intuitions. 1 also defend neo-Schopenhauerianism against, a number of criticisms of virtue ethics in general and neo-Schopenhauerianism in particular. I conclude by arguing that as the Aristotelian virtues of courage, temperance, prudence, etc., could be possessed by someone who is malicious and/or extremely selfish, and so do not capture our intuitions about what makes a person morally good, neo-Schopenhauerian virtue ethics is preferable to Aristotelianism.
28

The aesthetic expression of moral character : moral beauty in the eighteenth century

Plato, Levno January 2013 (has links)
Moral beauty is the beauty of a person’s character. Generosity, for instance, is morally beautiful. Since antiquity and especially during the eighteenth century the notion of moral beauty was commonplace in aesthetic and moral theory. Today we tend to think that talk of moral beauty is merely metaphorical. A literal meaning of moral beauty involves the danger that the attractiveness of beauty leads us to make moral judgments that are biased by the mere physical appearance of a person that is not necessarily morally relevant. In this thesis I assess the most influential eighteenth century conceptions of moral beauty. I recognize that the unqualified use of the term ‘beauty’ in these theories might support the cautionary dismissal of moral beauty as a mere metaphor. Yet, I argue that by meeting two conditions it is possible to defend a literal conception of moral beauty that can be taken seriously by current research on the interaction between aesthetic and moral values. First, we need an account of why moral beauty and non-moral physical beauty are distinct kinds of beauty. Second, we need an account of how moral beauty can be expressive of moral virtue without identifying one with the other. Meeting these conditions avoids conflating moral beauty with non-moral beauty and/or with moral virtue. The morally relevant kind of beauty is thereby distinguished from the morally irrelevant kind of beauty. This allows for a safe literal conception of moral beauty that helps justify many of our moral judgments based on aesthetic value. I argue that while Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, and Reid meet the first condition, only Kant and Schiller meet both conditions. I also argue that these philosophers’ literal conception of moral beauty reveals that judgments of beauty and moral judgments are, according to their theories, based on the same normative principles.
29

Thomistic virtue theory

Hynes, Julia Maria January 2008 (has links)
No description available.
30

An argument for divine expressivism

Taylor, Luke January 2016 (has links)
I defend two positions in this thesis. Firstly, I defend the claim that the existence of God makes morai realism more likely to be true than it would otherwise be. I argue that non-theistic versions of moral realism are susceptible to one or the other of two objections - namely, a version of the Open Question Argument, or a version of the argument from Queerness. My thesis is that a theistic version of moral realism can avoid both these two objections. Secondly, I develop and defend a particular account of theistic moral realism, according to which morality derives from God’s attitudes of approval and disapproval, rather than his commands. More specifically, I claim that the property of wrongness is identical to the property of being disapproved of by God, and that the property of goodness is identical to the property of being approved of by God. Other moral properties derive from these two. I then show how this account can accommodate three important desiderata of metaethics = namely, the ciaim that the wrongness of an action entails a normative reason to avoid that action; the claim that moral judgments are usually accompanied by motivation; and the claim that the moral supervenes on the natural. I call my account Divine Expressivism, because I draw on an analogy between my account and expressivism. Both types of theory make an important link between morality and attitudes, and in developing the analogy, I am able to solve some of the problems faced by moral realism, such as the problem as to how to explain moral supervenience. Whilst there may be nothing ground-breaking in linking morality to God’s attitudes rather than his commands, in developing the analogy between theistic ethics and expressivism I am developing a new contribution in the area of metaethics.

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