Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy


Virtue, Character, and Moral Responsibility: Against the Monolithic View

Issue: • Author/s: Giulia Luvisotto, Johannes Roessler
Topics: Epistemology, Ethics, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action

A traditional tenet of virtue ethics is that a proper moral assessment of an action needs to be informed by a view of the agent; in particular, a view of their virtues or vices, as exhibited in their action. This picture has been challenged on the grounds that it is revisionary and ill-motivated. The key claim is that we are ordinarily disposed to judge the moral merits of particular actions independently of any view of the character of the agent, and that there is nothing wrong with that practice. In this paper, we identify…

Davidson on the Objectivity of Values and Reasons [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 05 • Author/s: Pascal Engel
Topics: Ethics, History of Analytic Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Theoretical philosophy

Although he did not write on ethics, Davidson wrote a few papers on the objectivity of values. His argument rests on his holistic conception of interpretation of desires. I examine whether this argument can be sufficient for his objectivism about values. And supposing that the argument were correct, would it entail a form of realism about normativity and reasons? I argue that it falls short of giving us a genuine form of moral realism. My case will rest on an examination of Davidson’s conception of value in relation to what…

The Immunity Capital [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: Paolo Vineis, Andrea Saltelli
Topics: Epidemiology, Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of science

This paper is inspired by a thesis on “immune capital” by Kathryn Olivarius. We suggest that the biological capital, which immunity capital is part of, should be considered as an additional component of the life-course experience of individuals, together with the traditional Bourdieu’s social, economic and cultural capitals that drive their lives. Building upon this concept, we consider the relationships between science, society and policy-making in the course of the pandemic. We suggest that we need to ‘reframe problems so that their ethical dimensions are brought to light’ (Jasanoff), with…

Monitoring the Safety of Medicines and Vaccines in Times of Pandemic: Practical, Conceptual, and Ethical Challenges in Pharmacovigilance [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: Elena Rocca, Birgitta Grundmark
Topics: Epidemiology, Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of science

In this paper, we analyse some of the challenges that pharmacovigilance, the science of detecting and assessing possible adverse reactions from medical interventions, is facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, we consider the issue of increased uncertainty of the evidence and the issue of dealing with an unprecedented amount of data. After presenting the technical advances implemented in response to these two challenges, we offer some conceptual reflections around such practical changes. We argue that the COVID-19 emergency represents a chance to push forward critical thinking in the field…

Lying and Misleading in Context [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Palle Leth
Topics: Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

In this paper I question the lying/misleading distinction from three different angles. I argue, first, that if speakers are responsible for what they explicitly say only and hearers for what they infer that speakers implicitly convey, it is practically impossible to enforce speaker responsibility. An implication of this view is that the lying/misleading distinction is untenable. Other attempts at questioning the distinction have been countered by empirical evidence of the robustness of the distinction. However, there is also contrasting empirical evidence that people do think that it is possible to…

Dangerous Liaisons: The Pragmatics of Sexual Negotiation [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 15 • Author/s: Claudia Bianchi
Topics: Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

The debate about speech acts in sexual contexts has been dominated by discussions of consent and refusal, two illocutions strictly connected to definitions of sexual assault and rape, which constitutes a crucial step in fighting male sexual violence against women. Many authors have recently claimed that this emphasis has a distorting and harmful impact on our understanding of sexual communication—for it highlights only its negative aspects (mostly how to avoid unwanted sex). Moreover, an account in terms of consent and refusal seems to presuppose a default asymmetrical scenario, with men…

Coping: A Philosophical Exploration

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Federica Berdini
Topics: Ethics, Metaethics, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action

Coping is customarily understood as those thoughts and actions humans adopt while undergoing situations appraised as threatening and stressful, or when people’s sense of who they are and what they should do is significantly challenged. In these cases, coping thoughts and actions help one endure and hopefully overcome these stresses, threats, and/or challenges. Discussions of coping are common among psychologists, but nearly absent from the philosophical literature despite their importance in theories of agency and for closely related concepts like resilience. Building from psychological theories of coping, I offer a…

Toward a General Model of Agency

Issue: Issue 16 • Author/s: Emanuele Martinelli
Topics: Epistemology, Metaethics, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of action

Generally speaking, the present literature on agency has been heavily focused on human agency. This approach proves to be very useful for the immediate applications of the philosophy of agency, e.g. to develop a definition ready for use in ethics or political philosophy. However, there are some limitations to this line of thought, as, for instance, it poses too restrictive requirements on agency, like purposefulness, consciousness, or willingness. In this paper, I would like to tackle the question of agency with the need to include non-human agency in mind. I…

Book Reviews

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Peter Øhrstrøm, Giulia Lorenzi, Laura Caponetto, Bianca Cepollaro
Topics: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Moral Philosophy, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Theoretical philosophy

Grassroots Modeling during the Covid-19 Pandemic [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 13 • Author/s: Cecilia Nardini, Fridolin Gross
Topics: Epidemiology, Epistemology, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Medicine, Philosophy of science

One of the many peculiar phenomena that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought about is the engagement of non-scientists with specific questions surrounding the interpretation of epidemiological data and models. Many of them have even begun to get involved in the collection, analysis, and presentation of the data themselves. A reason for this might be that the insights that science can provide in a situation of crisis are often inconclusive or preliminary, motivating many people to look for the answers to pressing questions themselves. Moreover, public engagement is facilitated by the…
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