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Porn and Feminism

On the ethics of (watching, doing, commercialising, etc.) pornography/adult entertainment, we commonly find six major positions:

Three positions on porn itself:

Neutral: There is nothing morally wrong with porn itself, but nothing good about it either. Pornography is a semantic category and, as such, it has no moral significance.Positive: Porn itself is morally good. Porn is art (Maes 2011) and art is good. Porn is, at least for the consumer, (safe, consensual, satisfying) sex and (safe, consensual, satisfying) sex is good.Negative: Porn itself is evil. It contributes to the subjugation of women. It debases sex.
Positions on porn de facto, i.e., as it actually happens nowadays:

Negative: Porn de facto is evil, but it need not be. It contributes to the subjugation of women, but it could not; as a matter of fact, it could be liberating to women. It debases sex, but it could not; as a matter of fact, it could ennoble our sexuality.Positive: Porn de facto is good, but there is risk of it turn…

The Desert Traveller is a Moral Gettier Case

I have previously argued that given the strong similarities between moral and epistemic normatively (first explored by me in my 2012 paper), we must expect to find Gettier cases in the case of moral judgments, i.e., cases where we want to claim that an agent’s actions are morally reprehensible from the internal or intentional perspective, morally reprehensible from the external or consequentialist perspective YET NOT morally reprehensible from a third perspective, different (ex hypothesis) from the intrinsic and extrinsic ones. This third perspective, I have argued, is the perspective from the adequate link between intentions (and preparations and similar internal aspects of action) and outcomes (and consequences and similar external aspects of action). So, just as a Gettier case in epistemology is one where one has a justified true belief which is yet not knowledge because justification and truth are not adequately linked, so a moral Gettier case would be one where one has bad intent…

Hypocrite good reasons are still good reasons.

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In previous posts (here and here), I have written about tu quoques, also known as “appeals to hypocrisy” and “whateverisms” using as examples the common criticisms that commonly accompany public displays of solidairty, concern, attention, etc. over some tragedies -- like the attacks in Paris this month –– and not over others –– like the recent, bomgings in Ankara. But it is not only tragedies that bring tu quoques into public discourse. A couple of weeks after the attacks in Paris, in a very tight electoral race, Argentina elected conservative candidate Mauricio Macri to the presidency. In one of his first public statement after the elections, he promised to request Venezuela to be ejected from the regional free trade association Mercosur, because of human rights violations. In reaction, former president of Uruguay, José Mujica, criticised Macri by saying “It's easy to criticize Venezuela but there are also many other places to criticize. [For example] They just killed four mayors…

When is a whataboutism not fallacious?

In a previous post, I have addressed a very interesting sub-case of tu quouque arguments –  unfortunately known as "whateverisms" – using the following example:
Professor Anderson is having a conversation with his wife, Dr. Marion. He tells her he wants to organise a dinner for a couple of recent graduates, John and Mary. His wife asks him why he wants to do so. He argues that he wants to celebrate their graduation and maybe give them some advice on their future careers that might be of help for their navigating the current job market. Dr. Marion thinks that Profr. Anderson helping recent graduates with professional advice is a great idea and also agrees with him that celebrating the graduation of one’s students is also a good enough reason for organising a dinner. However, she is dissatisfied with Profr. Anderson’s justification. “Ok, but what about Ezekiel? He also just recently graduated and could use some advice as well, right?”The general  form of these argumentative exc…

The Paris Attacks ... tu quoque?

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Professor Anderson is having a conversation with his wife, Dr. Marion. He tells her he wants to organise a dinner for a couple of recent graduates, John and Mary. His wife asks him why he wants to do so. He argues that he wants to celebrate their graduation and maybe give them some advice on their future careers that might be of help for their navigating the current job market. Dr. Marion thinks that Profr. Anderson helping recent graduates with professional advice is a great idea and also agrees with him that celebrating the graduation of one’s students is also a good enough reason for organising a dinner. However, she is dissatisfied with Profr. Anderson’s justification. “Ok, but what about Ezekiel? He also just recently graduated and could use some advice as well, right?”
Very little has been written about this sort of argumentative exchanges in the specialised literature on argumentation theorem but according to ti, Dr. Marion’s reply commits some kind of tu quoque fallacy (also k…

Relativism and Moral Luck revisited

Contextualist and relativists regarding epistemic modals quarrel on how to account for phenomena like the following:
Sally’s mother comes into Sally’s bedroom to find her looking under the bed. “What is going on?” asks Sally’s mother, “why are you looking under the bed?” (1) “My glasses, they might be there,” replies Sally. After taking a long look under he bed, Sally finds no glasses under it. So she moves on to look in other places, but not before saying, (2) “Oops, I was wrong.” What is going on here? According to me, this is just a case of moral luck, but in the context of assertion.
According to Andrew Latus (2001): The problem of moral luck traps us between an intuition and a fact: .1)  the intuition that luck must not make moral differences (e.g., that luck must not affect a person’s moral worth, that luck must not affect what a person is morally responsible for).  .2)  the fact [Berg-Cross 1975, Cushman et.al. 2009, Cushman 2008, etc.] that luck does seem to make moral differences (e…

Riesgo y Normatividad

Cada vez que se toma un riego, existen por lo menos dos maneras de evaluar el acto: uno, juzgar si estuvo justificado asumir el riesgo (dado el estado de conocimiento del sujeto, la información disponible, las probabilidades, las ganancias posibles de los posibles resultados, etc.) y dos, simplemente juzgar si el resultado fue el deseado. Arriesgar todo nuestro patrimonio en una carrera de caballos de cuyos participantes no sabemos nada es insensato, aun cuando ganemos la puesta y la riqueza que obtengamos de la misma nos traiga enormes beneficios. Inversamente, hay un sentido en el que, aún cuando estamos justificados en tomar un riesgo, post facto sentimos que estuvo mal tomarlo si el resultado que obtenemos no es el deseado. Distinguir entre estos dos tipos de juicios es uno de los puntos centrales de Bernard Williams en su seminal artículo “Suerte Moral” (1981). Cada vez que tomamos el volante de un auto, estamos corriendo el riesgo de atropellar a alguien. Si somos cuidadosos al…