Morality's Critics and Defenders: A Philosophical Dialogue
by Timm Triplett
Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (September 3, 2014)
In this engaging and accessible dialogue, four students offer contrasting arguments on the nature and scope of morality. While specific social policy issues, such as animal rights and racism, come into play, the discussions focus on more general—and fundamental—questions, including: Does morality limit personal freedom? Is morality relative to culture, or is it universal? What is the motivation to be moral? Is religion in tension with secular moral principles? Does science undermine morality? Can a common morality emerge out of the diversity of human interests? A glossary of important terms and suggestions for further reading are included.
Justice through Apologies: Remorse, Reform, and Punishment
by Nick Smith
Cambridge University Press (March 24, 2014)
In this follow up to I Was Wrong: The Meanings of Apologies, Nick Smith expands his ambitious theories of categorical apologies to civil and criminal law. After rejecting court-ordered apologies as unjustifiable humiliation, this book explains that penitentiaries were originally designed to bring about penance–something like apology–and that this tradition has been lost in the assembly line of mass incarceration. Smith argues that the state should modernize these principles and techniques to reduce punishments for offenders who demonstrate moral transformation through apologizing. Smith also explains the counterintuitive situation whereby apologies come to have considerable financial worth in civil cases because victims associate them with priceless matters of the soul. Such confusions allow powerful wrongdoers to manipulate perceptions to disastrous effect, such as when corporations or governments assert that apologies do not equate to accepting blame or require reform or redress.
From the publisher: The Metaphysics of Gender is a book about gender essentialism: what it is and why it might be true. It opens with the question: What is gender essentialism? After distinguishing between essentialism about gender viewed as a kind and essentialism about gender in relation to individuals and their lived experiences, successive chapters introduce the ingredients for a theory of gender essentialism about individuals, called uniessentialism. Gender uniessentialism claims that a social individual's gender is uniessential to that individual. It is modeled on Aristotle's essentialism in which the form or essence of an individual is the principle of unity of that individual. For example, the form or essence of an artifact, like a house, is what unifies the material parts of the house into a new individual (over and above a sum of parts). Since an individual's gender is a social role (or set of social norms) the kind of unity in question is not the unity of material parts, as it is in the artifact example. Instead, the central claim of gender uniessentialism is that an individual's gender provides that individual with a principle of normative unity -- a principle that orders and organizes all of that individual's other social roles. An important ingredient in gender uniessentialism concerns exactly which individuals are at issue -- human organisms, persons or social individuals? Given the view of gender as a social role the claim of gender essentialism can only be coherently expressed of social individuals. The Metaphysics of Gender argues that a social individual's gender is uniessential to it.
Feminist Metaphysics: Explorations in the Ontology of Sex, Gender and the Self
Edited by Charlotte Witt
From book cover: The present volume is an exciting new collection of original essays by outstanding feminist theorists including Sally Haslanger, Marilyn Frye and Linda Alcoff. Feminist Metaphysics is the first collection of articles addressing metaphysical issues from a feminist perspective. The essays cover central feminist topics including: the ontology of sex and gender, persons, identity and subjectivity, and the relations among experience, ideology and reality. Many of the papers combine cutting-edge feminist theory with contemporary metaphysics and the philosophy of language. The volume is also distinctive in including articles representing both analytic and continental perspectives on metaphysics. The essays are philosophically sophisticated and are primarily intended for a professional audience of philosophers and feminist theorists.
Empiricism, Perceptual Knowledge, Normativity, and Realism: Essays on Wilfrid Sellars (Mind Association Occasional Series)
edited by Willem deVries
Oxford University Press, USA, 2010
From publisher: The ten essays in this collection were written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the lectures which became Wilfrid Sellars's Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind, one of the crowning achievements of 20th-century analytic philosophy. Both appreciative and critical of Sellars's accomplishment, they engage with his treatment of crucial issues in metaphysics and epistemology. The topics include the standing of empiricism, Sellars's complex treatment of perception, his dissatisfaction with both foundationalist and coherentist epistemologies, his commitment to realism, and the status of the normative (the "logical space of reasons" and the "manifest image"). The volume shows how vibrant Sellarsian philosophy remains in the 21st century.