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Now showing 1 - 5 of 9
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    Do machines with artificial intelligence performing as caring companions have personhood and social rights?.
    (Wheaton College. (Norton, Mass.), 2020-05-10) Zhou, Yixi
    More machines with Artificially Intelligence will likely appear in the market as caring companions to respond to the market demand in the near future. Therefore, this study aims to address the issue of whether machines with AI have basic rights, related to the existence of personhood, and social rights in interaction with human beings. Focusing on the necessary conditions of personhood, the origin of social rights, and the structure of social power in caring companionships, it claims that we still have barriers to identifying whether machines with AI have personhood and, therefore, basic rights. It is because some of the current necessary conditions of personhood, provided by personists like Dennett, are either too vague to identify or not as necessary as personists think they are. However, machines with AI performing as caring companions deserve social rights equally with human persons because they are socially situated, and power in caring companionships are multidimensional.
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    Grounding friendship in non-traditional moral frameworks.
    (Wheaton College (MA)., 2018) Hulsey, Gabriella R.
    I distinguish between two types of questions about the conflict between friendship commitments and rule based morality: normative questions, and metaethical questions. In order to answer the normative questions, we must first answer the metaethical question about the conflict. That is what I do in this thesis. Previous attempts to handle the conflict between friendship and morality — either by appeal to traditional moral theories, or by removing friendship from the moral realm entirely — fail to correctly understand the nature of friendship, and its conflict with rule based morality. I suggest that we must look to non-traditional moral theories such as Feminist Care Ethics, or Particularist Moral Values Pluralism, in order to get the correct account of friendship, morality, and the conflict between them.
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    The ethical foundations for animal rights.
    (Wheaton College (Norton, Mass.), 2016) Prober, Clare.
    In my thesis, I accept the premise that animals possess inherent value and as a result, are deserving of certain protections. I argue that a rights-based approach is required to sufficiently ensure such protections, since the beneficence of the human spirit has consistently fallen short in the modern era. To this end, I explore the dominant ethical theories of contemporary philosophy, to see if they are conceptually capable of accommodating a rights based system of protections to ensure animal welfare in our society. The theories I explore are Contractarianism, Utilitarianism, Kantian Ethics, and Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach. I conclude that in order for an ethical theory to successfully house a robust system of animal rights, the theory must be open to accommodating various forms of consciousness that do not necessarily conform to the human standards of cognition. Ultimately, I argue that Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach is the only theory that meets the criterion required to successfully accommodate animal rights.
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    Does freedom imply morality? : the understanding and interrelation of freedom, action, and morality in Kant and Nietzsche's normative philosophy.
    (Wheaton College (Norton, Mass.), 2015) Green, John.
    This paper imagines a debate between Nietzsche and Kant in the realms of normativity, metaphysics of the self, and philosophy of action. It also displays how these concepts are necessarily interrelated in these two philosophers systems. Last, it proposes a novel understanding of Nietzsche’s normative principles in accordance with the metaphysical understandings laid out throughout the debate.
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    Respect for individuals in theories of criminalization
    (Wheaton College (Norton, Mass.), 2013-06-06) Kestigian, Aidan E.
    Considers the five most prominent theories of criminalization that have been put forward by criminal legal philosophers: Antony Duff, Douglas Husak, Hyman Gross, Michael Moore, and Joel Feinberg. Shows that the concept of respect is a unifying fundamental feature of these theories, although argues that they fail to incorporate respect for persons to the appropriate degree.