The Mind Association is delighted to announce its two six-month research fellows for 2018-19. Fellowships have been awarded to Dr Stephen DeWijze (Manchester) and Dr Mona Simion (Glasgow). Brief abstracts of their respective projects are set out below.
Stephen deWijze, Dirty Hands: A Philosophical Analysis
The problem of ‘dirty hands’ is concerned with sui generis moral scenarios where good persons seeking to act morally are obliged to commit a serious moral violation in order to bring about a lesser evil. This characterisation of such scenarios tends to be rejected by both consequentialist and deontological theories as incoherent on the grounds that it is logically impossible to commit an action that is both wrong and right at the same time. My monograph argues against this orthodoxy and rehabilitates the problem of ‘dirty hands’ within contemporary ethical theory. It provides a sustained philosophical defence of ‘dirty hands’ scenarios, develops a particular conception of dirty hands, and then explores the implications of such a notion for our understanding of ethics in general, both normative and practical.
Mona Simion, Epistemic Norms: A Function-First Account
We often believe without sufficient evidence, assert based on hunches, or rush into action without checking the facts. When we do, we are subject to criticism. This suggests that our beliefs, assertions and actions are governed by epistemic norms. This study develops a novel, integrated account of the epistemic norms governing belief, assertion and practical reasoning. Its central thesis is that these norms are generated by epistemic functions.