Philosophy Faculty Research and Publications

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • ItemOpen Access
    The limits of global health diplomacy: Taiwan’s observer status at the world health assembly
    (2015-03-17) Herington, Jonathan C. C.; Lee, Kelley; jherington
    In 2009, health authorities from Taiwan (under the name “Chinese Taipei”) formally attended the 62nd World Health Assembly (WHA) of the World Health Organization as observers, marking the country’s participation for the first time since 1972. The long process of negotiating this breakthrough has been cited as an example of successful global health diplomacy. This paper analyses this negotiation process, drawing on government documents, formal representations from both sides of the Taiwan Strait, and key informant interviews. The actors and their motivations, along with the forums, practices and outcomes of the negotiation process, are detailed. While it is argued that non-traditional diplomatic action was important in establishing the case for Taiwan’s inclusion at the WHA, traditional concerns regarding Taiwanese sovereignty and diplomatic representation ultimately played a decisive role. The persistent influence of these traditional diplomatic questions illustrates the limits of global health diplomacy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Educating for Autonomy: Liberalism and Autonomy in the Capabilities Approach
    (2014-11-25) Ferracioli, Luara; Terlazzo, Rosa E.; rterlazzo
    Martha Nussbaum grounds her version of the capabilities approach in political liberalism. In this paper, we argue that the capabilities approach, insofar as it genuinely values the things that persons can actually do and be, must be grounded in a hybrid account of liberalism: in order to show respect for adults, its justification must be political; in order to show respect for children, however, its implementation must include a commitment to comprehensive autonomy, one that ensures that children develop the skills necessary to make meaningful choices about whether or not to exercise their basic capabilities. Importantly, in order to show respect for parents who do not necessarily recognize autonomy as a value, we argue that the liberal state, via its system of public education, should take on the role of ensuring that all children within the state develop a sufficient degree of autonomy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The perfectionism of Nussbaum's adaptive preferences
    (2014-11-25) Terlazzo, Rosa E.; rterlazzo
    Although the problem of adaptiveness plays an important motivating role in her work on human capabilities, Martha Nussbaum never gives a clear account of the controversial concept of adaptive preferences on which she relies. In this paper I aim both to reconstruct the most plausible account of the concept that may be attributed to Nussbaum, and to provide a critical appraisal of that account. Although her broader work on the capabilities approach moves progressively towards political liberalism as time passes, I aim to show that her account of adaptive preferences continues to maintain her earlier commitment to perfectionism about the good. I then distinguish between two obligatory kinds of respect for persons, which I call respectively primary and secondary recognition respect. This distinction allows us to see that that her perfectionist account of adaptive preferences allows her to show persons primary but not secondary recognition respect. Ultimately, I claim that an acceptable account of adaptive preferences must succeed in showing persons both types of respect. I conclude with some preliminary remarks on what such an account might look like.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Semantics and the plural conception of reality
    (2014-10-28) Florio, Salvatore; florio
  • ItemOpen Access
    Academic freedom and the professional responsibilities of applied ethicists: a comment on Minerva
    (2014-06-24) Dawson, Angus; Herington, Jonathan C. C.; jherington
    Academic freedom is an important good, but it comes with several responsibilities. In this commentary we seek to do two things. First, we argue against Francesca Minerva's view of academic freedom as presented in her article ‘New threats to academic freedom’ on a number of grounds. We reject the nature of the absolutist moral claim to free speech for academics implicit in the article; we reject the elitist role for academics as truth-seekers explicit in her view; and we reject a possible more moderate re-construction of her view based on the harm/offence distinction. Second, we identify some of the responsibilities of applied ethicists, and illustrate how they recommend against allowing for anonymous publication of research. Such a proposal points to the wider perils of a public discourse which eschews the calm and careful discussion of ideas.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The explanatory relevance of Nash equilibrium: one-dimensional chaos in boundedly rational learning
    (2014-03-19) Wagner, Elliott O.; eowagner
    Game theory is often used to explain behavior. Such explanations often proceed by demonstrating that the behavior in question is a Nash equilibrium. Agents are in Nash equilibrium if each agent’s strategy maximizes her payoff given her opponents’ strategies. Nash equilibriums are fundamentally static, but it is usually assumed that equilibriums will be the outcome of a dynamic process of learning or evolution. This article demonstrates that, even in the most simple setting, this need not be true. In two-strategy games with just a single equilibrium, a family of imitative learning dynamics does not lead to equilibrium.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The wrong equations: a reply to Gildenhuys
    (2013-08-22) Glymour, Bruce D.; glymour
    Glymour (2006) claims that classical population genetic models can reliably predict short and medium run population dynamics only given information about future fitnesses those models cannot themselves predict, and that in consequence the causal, ecological models which can predict future fitnesses afford a more foundational description of natural selection than do population genetic models. This paper defends the first claim from objections offered by Gildenhuys (2011).