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Mostrando las entradas de noviembre, 2015

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…