Philosophy Paper (Choose 1 Topic

1. Lachlan Umbers, let’s assume, has successfully established that some children (who are currently disenfranchised) are at least as competent as some adults (who are all enfranchised). Consider the following two possible arguments:
Some children are as competent as some adults.
All adults should have the right to vote.
By the same standards, therefore, those children who are as competent as some adults should also have the right to vote. vs.
Some children are as competent as some adults.
No children should have the right to vote.
By the same standards, therefore, those adults who are as competent as or less competent than those children should not have the right to vote.
Please evaluate these arguments, and comment on how we should decide which, if any, is the more plausible.

2. Even if Corlett is wrong (i.e. we can censor some terms), does he point to legitimate issues concerning the way that universities engage in censorship? E.g. it might still be a bad idea for a handful of administrators, who do not belong to minority X, to decide what you can/can’t say about minority X. What kinds of policies and procedures, if any, could ensure that the subjectivity of offence isn’t allowed to result in chilling effects or other undesirable outcomes on campus?

3. Schultz argues that monuments are problematic when they express oppressive ideologies and furthermore connect to existing wrongful social hierarchies. Risse and Zeckhauser argue that racial profiling itself doesn’t cause excessive harm, as the harm is caused by what they call “underlying racism.” Please compare these two different approaches to something that allegedly causes or constitutes harm relative to the conditions under which they are harmful. (For instance, can we argue that monuments aren’t the problem, as the problem is the existence of wrongful social hierarchies? Or conversely, can we argue that racial profiling is problematic because there is underlying racism, which enables profiling to cause excessive harm?)

Key concepts from lectures
Voting age:
The actual voting age
The “all affected interest” principle
• The competence objection

All affected interest •“everyone who is affected by the decisions of a government should have the right to participate in that government”
• This principle appears to be nonins

Why AAI?
• Non-instrumental concerns
•Instrumental concerns?
• BTW, What does non-/instrumental mean?

• Liberty/Freedom • Expressive concerns • Distributive equality •Social (relational equality)

• Nondomination •Positive liberty • Does the vote really help to secure liberty?

Expressive concerns
• The state ought to assure the equal status of all (citizens) • Differential treatment, without good reason, suggests otherwise • What may differences may justify disenfranchisement?

Distributive fairness
• The vote is such a good that each has an equal claim to •For autonomy; a safeguard; for pursuing one’s own interest •Furthermore, each citizen has contributed to the society

Social Equality
•Social equality requires equal political political power • Equal political power at least requires equal voting rights • When is it ok to allow social inequality?
• Undue risks on others? • Lack an interest in liberty? • Merely reflects competency and thus not discriminatory? • Lack contribution and thus no claim to distribution? • Obvious differences between children and adults? • Children are learning, exploring, and incapable of taking up responsibility

Undue risks?
• Voting incompetently imposes undue risks on others • We have a right against undue risks imposition • Children (will most likely) vote incompetently • Therefore, we have a right against children suffrage

Undue risks?
• Children above 14 are (somewhat) politically competent? • Children are also morally capable enough • Adding more competent voters betters political decisions (Condorcet Jury Theorem, or does it apply here?) • Even if they aren’t, the risk is too low to be taken seriously (keep in mind the rationality of voting) • Enfranchising the youth increases political competency of both children and adults (in the long run)


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