Research

Publications

Journal Articles

[Published in Korean Journals (in English)]

Book Review

Dissertation

[Abstract] (Committee: Owen Flanagan, Gopal Sreenivasan (co-chairs), David B. Wong, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong)

Having good relationships with our family members and friends is an important part of human flourishing. My dissertation aims to shed light on the importance and distinctive nature of intimate relationships by taking my own version of a virtue-ethical approach to this topic. For this purpose, I analyze ideal intimate relationships in terms of what I call “relational virtues,” which are the virtues required for each participant in relation to the other participant in the given relationship. The paradigmatic examples of relational virtue I discuss include filial piety and the virtue of friendship.

Translations

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Works in Progress (draft available upon request: sungwoou@mail.com)

  • “Autonomy and Non-Intrusion” (with Dave Wendler) (under review)

[Abstract] The philosophical literature on the importance of autonomy focuses on its positive aspect, namely, individuals determining the course of their lives for themselves. In this paper, we describe and explore autonomy’s negative aspect—i.e., no one else determining the course of one’s life, which we call non-intrusion. We argue that this largely ignored aspect of autonomy has value independently of the extent to which it promotes or protects the positive aspect of autonomy. To support this claim, we consider a range of cases in which intrusion is problematic even though the affected individuals cannot, or do not, control the aspect of their lives in question. After establishing the independent value of non-intrusion, we consider two cases, coercion and paternalism, which illustrate the extent to which non-intrusion is central to respecting the autonomy of others, even when they do exercise positive control. This analysis suggests that non-intrusion is a vital part of respecting others, and to ethics more generally. We thus close by briefly considering a vital question for future research: Does the present analysis suggest that we need to reconsider the relationship between the positive and negative aspects of autonomy?

  • “Duty, Virtue, and Filial Love” (under review)

[Abstract] The aim of this paper is to argue that the normative significance of the inner aspects of filial piety—in particular, filial love—is better captured when we understand it as a part of the virtue of filial piety rather than as an object of duty. After briefly introducing the value of filial love, I argue that the idea of a duty to love one’s loving parents faces serious difficulties in making sense of the normative significance of filial love. Then I show why the virtue-ethical approach to filial love, which views filial love as a constitutive part of filial piety understood as a virtue, can do justice to the normative significance while avoiding the difficulties.

  • “Friendly Hope and Epistemic Partiality” (under review)

[Abstract] We often seem to be epistemically partial in forming beliefs about our friends who are near and dear to us. Simon Keller and Sarah Stroud argue that good friendship not only often accompanies such differential epistemic practices, but also demand them at least sometimes. Good friendship, they say, sometimes demands some sort of epistemic partiality that is objectionable from an epistemic point of view. This paper aims to examine the relationship between friendship and epistemic partiality. First, I argue that what good friendship involves as its constituent part is not epistemic partiality per se, but what I call friendly hope. Second, I address the concern that friendship can be an epistemic vice, since, even if it does not demand epistemically objectionable partiality, it frequently gives rise to such partiality. Finally, I argue that the epistemic partiality associated with friendship is not epistemically objectionable as it first appears.

  • “Mozi on Inclusive Care and Filial Piety”

[Abstract]  In this paper, my main aim is to give a plausible interpretation of how Mozi’s doctrine of inclusive care ‘jian ai (兼愛)’ is to be harmonized with filial piety (xiao 孝). I examine how this doctrine is to be practiced in relation to special relationships, especially a parent-child relationship. As a background work, I briefly analyze the meaning of basic concepts in the Mozi. Next, I provide evidence that Mozi endorses the significant special relationships and regards filial piety as an important relational virtue. And then I suggest a possible interpretation of Mohist doctrine which can reconcile the apparent conflict between caring for everyone inclusively and being filial to one’s own parents. Finally, I compare Mohist view on filial piety with Mengzi’s view, and conclude by showing where their disagreement actually lies.

  • “Trustfulness as a Risky Virtue”

[Abstract] After Annette Baier’s seminal works on trust, there have been a considerable number of studies on this important topic. Most of these studies, however, have focused on trust or trustworthiness, but there has been little, if any, study on trustfulness as the trait of a person who trusts well or wisely, that is, a good truster’s virtue. My aim in this paper is to shed some light on the nature and value of this neglected but important virtue of trustfulness. First, I briefly introduce the nature of trust and trust relationships and explain why they are essentially risky. Second, I examine the nature of trustfulness, comparing it with other traits such as distrustfulness, credulity, and prudent reliance. Finally, I argue that its attitudinal element of respecting the trustee’s free will and caring about her as a person is what distinguishes trustfulness from other traits.

  • “Virtue, Virtuous Activity, and Moral Self-Indulgence”
  • “Explanation and the Pragmatic”
  • “Rousseau on Human Nature: Pity and Amour-Propre
  • “Kant on Virtue and Moral Pleasure”