Penn Journal of Philosophy: Volume 9, Issue 1

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  • Publication
    Rational Choice and Domestic Violence: How Decision Theory can inform Domestic Violence Policy
    (2017-11-14) Sivitz, Elizabeth
    The field of decision theory has been all but ignored in domestic violence research. As domestic violence research has evolved to the point where it recognizes the necessity of evaluating victim decision-making, decision theory could be a great asset. The following paper argues for the inclusion of decision theory in domestic violence research because of its implication for policy and practice. The argument is made through an establishment of principles of decision theory and analysis of domestic violence literature. The study incorporates interviews with victims of domestic violence and high-ranking officials in Philadelphia as well as observational work. Implications for policy in Philadelphia are discussed.
  • Publication
    An Intercultural Dialogue between Confucianism and Liberalism: Towards a Universal Foundation for Human Rights
    (2017-11-14) Yeo, Elton
    This paper builds on the debate between Confucianism and human rights first sparked by the Bangkok Declaration of 1993. I show that there is indeed a conflict between Confucianism and human rights, which on the broader level, can be characterized as the conflict between communitarianism and liberalism. These are two particular traditions and in spite of the conflict between them, I show that they can come to complement each other through an intercultural dialogue. The idea of an intercultural dialogue is a response to the inadequate responses of liberals to the fact of multiculturalism, which is a broader implication of the liberalism vs. communitarianism debate. In this regard, I argue that an intercultural dialogue can ensure fairness. In addition, the intercultural dialogue also sustains traditions, and ultimately, is able to produce a truly universal foundation for human rights through a shared understanding of "human universals".
  • Publication
    Letter from the Editor
    (2017-11-14) Grunfeld, Avi
  • Publication
    A New Generation of Voting: Promoting Youth Voter Turnout through Applied Behavioral Economics
    (2017-11-14) Skekloff, Jonathan
    The American democratic system is fundamentally based on the idea of a government of the people. At the cornerstone of this system is voting. However, to date, voter turnout among the youth vote (citizens aged 18-29) is very low. This paper explores the historical data of youth voter turnout and subsequently addresses two core questions. First, why is youth voter turnout important? Second, what can we do to increase youth voter turnout in the 21st century? This paper argues that youth voter turnout is important for a number of reasons, from education levels to habitual voting. Primary among these is the argument that increases in youth voter turnout can help to moderate U.S. Congressional polarization. In answering the second question, this paper turns to behavioral economics. After exploring bounded rationality, bounded willpower, and bounded self-interest, this essay proposes making voter registration, as well as voting itself, available online and applying nudges to boost online voter turnout. These proposed nudges include framing voting as a matter of identity, using social media to prompt individuals to vote, and turning voting into a type of social norm, among others.