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Research News

Recent research highlights from Duke Kunshan University’s centers and programs, plus a few other places. Use the filter to narrow your search.

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Can virtues of inquiry combat epistemologies of ignorance

In an essay on epistemic virtues that features in “Overcoming Epistemic Injustice: Social and Psychological Perspectives,” philosophy professor Emily McWilliams writes on the habits and practices of inquiry that promote problematic ignorance at the individual, psychological level. She argues against a popular view that it may be possible to develop virtues of inquiry that help overcome pernicious and ignorance-promoting habits.

Book review: Understanding the future of warfare

“Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War” by award-winning author Paul Scharre “leaves no stone unturned in navigating the complicated, and often technical, terrain” of lethal autonomous weapons, philosophy professor Daniel Lim and undergraduate student Runya Liu write in a review published by the Journal of Military Ethics. Lim and Liu also talked to Scharre for a podcast interview.

Fugitive slaves and vigilance committees

In an essay published in “A Global History of Runaways,” historian Jesse Olsavsky examines the history of the American antislavery organizations known as “vigilance committees.” These committees defended African American neighborhoods in U.S. cities from police and slave catchers, plotted slave insurrections, helped thousands of slaves run off from American plantations, and helped spark the American Civil War.

Neglected, but showing a lot of promise

Our understanding of how paradigmatic promises generate moral obligations should be informed by an examination of sibling phenomena, in this case oaths and vows, philosophy professor Kyle Fruh argues in a paper entitled “Promising’s Neglected Siblings: Oaths, Vows and Promissory Obligation,” published by Pacific Philosophical Quarterly. He finds that some theories of promissory obligation are not positioned to extend their explanations to cover these additional phenomena, and as such those theories should be dispreferred when compared with views that are better able to accommodate the breadth of ways in which we enact commitments.

Divergent values and adaptive preferences: A Chinese challenge?

The International Neuroethics Society has expressed concern about neuroscientific data being collected through emerging technologies. Daniel Lim, assistant professor of philosophy, suggests in a paper published by the American Journal of Bioethics that this important effort could be improved by taking non-Western, and especially Chinese, perspectives into consideration.

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