Abstract: The notion of a claim right—with its counterparts “directed duty” or “duty owed to another”—is frequently used in moral discourse, for the purpose of designating a specific and important deontic attribute. I argue that this notion is not fit for this purpose. I show that the concept of a claim right is associated with a family of such attributes (e.g., the powers to demand, waive, and enforce the performance of duties) as well as with the justifications for conferring them on individuals.
Perspectives are intuitive modes of interpretation, which can be encapsulated in slogans, memes, even caricatures and novels.
Most philosophers agree that when we act in a weak-willed way, e.g., indulging an appetite against our better judgment, we are not simply being overpowered by an external force. Weak-willed action, though weak, is still in some sense willed. And yet it is also weak. I argue that philosophers have underestimated the difficulty of explaining the sense in which it is weak, and I offer my own account, which draws on the details of my theory of inclination.
Levels of organization and their use in science have received increased philosophical attention of late, including challenges to the well-foundedness or widespread usefulness of levels concepts. One kind of response to these challenges has been to advocate a more precise and specific levels concept that is coherent and useful. Another kind of response has been to argue that the levels concept should be taken as a heuristic, to embrace its ambiguity and the possibility of exceptions as acceptable consequences of its usefulness.
Decades of feminist theory have approached the question ‘what is gender?’ with an eye to gender as a system— in particular, the system that creates and sustains patriarchy. Using this approach, feminists have proposed theories of gender focused on the social positions that persons occupy within a patriarchal system. These analyses almost uniformly assume a gender binary (men & women), and so look for corresponding, binary social positions.