Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Keynote speaker: Professor David Schmidtz Department of Philosophy,
University of Arizona
Undergraduate and graduate students in all disciplines encouraged to
submit their work on any philosophical topic.
Scope: Original papers on any philosophical topic from graduate and
undergraduate students are welcome. The conference format will be
symposium-style: each session will include presentation/reading,
commentary, and brief Q&A/discussion period. Undergraduate and
authors will be selected for presentation. All accepted submissions
will available online in the Proceedings of the Georgia Student
Prizes: One prize valued at $100 will be awarded to the most
outstanding paper by a graduate student. Another prize valued at $100
will be awarded to the most outstanding paper by an undergraduate
student. Prizes may take the form of books of the winner's choice.
Winners will be selected on the basis of philosophical content/
insight, clarity of written expression, and general appeal to a
Submission Requirements: Papers must be prepared for blind review
(i.e., no author-identifying information or notes in the body of the
paper, only on the cover page). Reading length of paper should not
exceed twenty-five minutes (approx 3750 words). When submitting,
please include the following in the body of the email:
1. Author's name
2. Paper/presentation title
3. Brief abstract (~100 words describing topic discussed in paper)
4. Academic status (undergraduate/graduate), major, university
5. Regularly checked email address
Submissions that fail to include all of the above will not be
accepted. No more than one submission per author will be considered.
Authors should email their submission as a Word or PDF attachment to
Shane Callahan at email@example.com
Deadline: Papers must be received no later than January 20, 2010.
Notification of acceptance will be emailed by February 21, 2010.
For any questions (including queries from students traveling from
outside the area who may need overnight accommodations) - contact
Shane Callahan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsored by the Zeta Chapter (Georgia) of Phi Sigma Tau, and the
Center for Ethics, Student Forum Georgia State University
Posted by Andrew I. Cohen, Department of Philosophy, Georgia State
University - email@example.com
Monday, December 7, 2009
3. A Rulebook for Arguments, by Anthony Weston, Hackett Publishing; any edition; please find used if possible)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
The Third Annual Southeast Philosophy Congress invites submissions from undergraduate and graduate students in any area of philosophy. The Congress, hosted by Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia, runs February 12-13, 2010, with keynote speaker George Rainbolt from Georgia State University. Presented papers will be published in online and print proceedings.
Talks run 20 minutes, followed by a 10 minute question/answer period. Please email papers, accompanied by a brief abstract, to Dr. Todd Janke: ToddJanke@Clayton.edu. Submission deadline is January 31, 2010. To allow time to plan travel, speakers will be notified immediately upon acceptance and selection will close when all slots are filled. The registration fee of $45.00 includes lunch both days and a print copy of the proceedings.
Last Day of Classes: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Reading Period: Thursday, Thursday, December 3rd and Friday, December 4th 2009
Final Examination Week: Monday, December 7th through Friday, December 11th
Classes That Meet Days Examination Date Examination Time
10:00 AM MWF Tuesday, December 8th 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Oh, BTW, the due date on the Regan paper (see blog and previous emails for the assignement) has been changed to the Monday after we get back from Thanksgiving so that we can have more time to do more of the Pence book.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 2:57 PM, Nathan Nobis
I only made copies for people in class today and said they need it. I cannot help students who don't come to class and don't tell me their needs! :)
Monday, November 9, 2009
Explain Regan's moral theory that he calls the "rights theory." This is a theory that ascribes moral rights to (some) humans and (some) animals. Explain what this theory is, what rights are, and so forth, in a manner that someone who has not read the book would understand.
Explain what practical consequences follow from Regan's rights theory, i.e., what should we do, if it is true?
Explain Regan's argument in favor of the rights theory. How does he support his theory? How does he argue that we should accept it?
Present three of what you think are the strongest and/or most important and/or interesting objections to Regan's rights theory and/or the arguments he gives in its favor. These objections can be from the Regan book, the Preface to the Case for Animal Rights book or the Cohen article. Objections from any other source must be approved by Dr. Nobis.
Bring 3 copies of your paper on Friday, November 20. We will plan to read three students' papers in class for feedback.
Final version due Monday, November 23.
Friday, November 6, 2009
I mentioned this paper today, FYI:
- "Carl Cohen's 'Kind' Argument For Animal Rights and Against Human Rights"Journal of Applied Philosophy, March 2004, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 43-59. [PDF]).
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Carl Cohen, “Why Animals Do Not Have Rights,” from Cohen and Regan, The Animal Rights Debate (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001) at http://ethicsandanimals.googlepages.com/cohen-ar-debate.pdfVideo: Carl Cohen, "Why Animals Do Not Have Rights”: http://www.rzuser.uni-heidelberg.de/~rebert/arlectures/media/index.php?f=2&v=cohen Also here: http://youtube.com/profile_videos?user=rainerebert&p=r (GET EXACT LINK)
For Monday, please read that Preface of The Case for Animal Rights that I handed out today.
Friday, October 30, 2009
For those of you who missed today, you must write a detailed summary of Regan Ch. 6. You missed important discussion today.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday: Ch. 7 & 8: Animal Rights and Objections and Replies
Wednesday: Moral Philosophy and Change
I. The basic concepts:
If an individual has (basic) moral rights, then:
(1) Others are not morally free to harm that being by taking his or her most important goods (e.g., his or her life, bodily integrity, liberty, etc.). [contractarianisms deny this]
(2) Benefits that others might derive from harming that individual do not, cannot, justify harming that individual. [utilitarians deny this]
(1) and (2) we can see as a consequence of respect: to treat an individually respectfully requires that (1) you not harm that being by taking its most important goods and (2) you do not harm that being to try to achieve benefits for others.
Saying that the concept is instantiated, or that some beings have the property of having moral rights:
To say “humans have (basic) moral rights” is to say that
(1) “humans should not be harmed by taking away their lives, violating their bodies, restricting their liberty, etc. and
(2) that benefits that others might gain from doing so would not justify those kinds of harms.”
Respecting human beings requires this treatment.
Basic ways to deny this:
(1) Denying (1): No, others are morally free to harm individuals: harming individuals in these ways is not wrong.
· Two options, among many: egoism: “No, morally, I can harm you if doing so will benefit me more than anything else I can do.” Nihilism: “Nothing is right or wrong, good or bad, so harming you in any way is not wrong.”
(2) Denying (2): No, if there are enough overall benefits to be gained by harming individuals, then it’s morally OK to harm them.
· One option, among many: utilitarianism: “Acts are morally permissible when, and only when, they produce the greatest overall utility/intrinsic goodness. If achieving that requires harming you greatly, that’s morally permissible.”
II. So, for those beings that we (1) should not profoundly harm and (2) shouldn’t do this even if there were great benefits from doing so, what is it about those beings that makes this so?
1. Identify some candidate rights-making property (or properties). Get clear on what the property exactly is since, sometimes, the meanings of the terms used are not clear (e.g., human, person, “moral community” etc.”
2. Think about whether this seems true, in light of possible counterexamples (i.e., is this property a sufficient condition for having rights, i.e., _____________ ):
If an individual has this property (or properties), then we (1) should not profoundly harm that individual and (2) we shouldn’t do this even if there were great benefits from doing so.
3. Think about whether this seems true, in light of possible counterexamples (i.e., is this property a necessary condition for having rights, i.e., _____________):
We (1) should not profoundly harm that individual and (2) we shouldn’t do this even if there were great benefits from doing so only if an individual has this property (or properties).
4. Think about whether the property (or properties) seems to be the ones that make harming someone wrong: there must be some [essential] connection between this one and harm.
Patterns of Critical responses:
“No, morally we can profoundly harm this individual (especially if (2) there were great benefits from doing so) because this individual lacks this property (or properties): _________________.
 Important details about this account are provided in CASE Ch. 8. For many hard questions about this account, answers are given there.
 What’s being referred to when we speak of ‘humans’ and ‘human beings’ is not often clear. Here are some possibilities: (1) anything that’s biologically human, has human DNA, (2) anything of the species homo sapiens, (3) anything biologically human that’s living, (4) anything biologically human that’s living and would pretty easily “naturally” develop into a conscious individual, (5) anything biologically human that’s living and, in some sense, could develop into a conscious individual, (6) anything biologically human that’s living and has a mind (i.e., is conscious, can feel, etc.), etc.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
For more on utilitarianism, see this entry on Consequentialism:
Monday, October 19, 2009
Writing assignment: what is utilitarianism? (or what are the different kinds of utilitarianism?). What are Regan's arguments against it?
A SEARCH OF THE PHILOSOPHERS’ INDEX (AVAILABLE ONLINE THROUGH THE LIBRARY) OF “NARVESON OR CONTRACTARIAN” AND “ANIMALS”
· Contractarianism and Interspecies Welfare Conflicts By: Cohen, Andrew. Social Philosophy and Policy, 26(1), 227-257, 31 p. Win
Beastly Contractarianism? A Contractarian Analysis of the Possibility of Animal Rights By: Tucker, Chris, MacDonald, Chris. Essays in Philosophy, 5(2), 1-15, 15 p. June 2004. Abs
Contractarianism and Animal Rights By: Rowlands, Mark. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 14(3), 235-247, 13 p. 1997. Abs
Expanding the Social Contract By: Cavalieri, Paola, Kymlicka, Will. E
Commentary on 'Contractarianism Gone Wild: Carruthers and the Moral Status of Animals' By: Robinson, William S. Be
Contracts, Animals, and Ecosystems By: Wenz, Pe
Moral Matters By: Narveson, Jan. Pe
· Commentary: On the Utility of Contracts By: Sapon
ANIMAL RIGHTS REVISITED By: NARVESON, JAN. ETHICS AND ANIMALS.
JUSTICE AND THE TREATMENT OF ANIMALS: By: PRITCHARD, MICHAEL S, ROBISON, WADE L. Environmen
ANIMAL RIGHTS (IN POLISH). By: NARVESON, JAN. E
ANIMAL RIGHTS. By: