Frances Bottenberg

I am a neuroethicist whose scholarship is focused on the critical examination of dominant assumptions concerning the nature of mind, its relationship to physically situated beings and systems, and its bearing on moral categories such as personhood and sentience. I have a particular interest in writing about minds classified as disabled, primitive, simulated, or otherwise “unusual,” since these are commonly considered lesser or failed versions of the neurotypical adult human (and quite possibly Caucasian and/or male) mind. In examining their supposed failings, the criteria used to decide which minds ought to count as intelligent and respect-worthy can be laid bare. In appraisals of the “unusual” minds of cognitively disabled human beings, non-human animals, artificially intelligent systems – and historically even the minds of women and people of color – it is possible to find associated moral judgments concerning the worth, dignity, or rights-entitlements of their bearers. In the worst cases, unfair prejudices such as ableism, ageism, sexism, racism or speciesism load the conversation against the very possibility of taking “unusual” minds seriously as persons or entities deserving our moral consideration. The moral imperative driving my work is to unearth instances of such prejudice and to offer countering perspectives on the nature and value of “unusual” minds. I seek out disciplinary, interdisciplinary as well as non-academic venues for disseminating my ideas, so that I may participate in important conversations occurring both within and outside of the academy in matters concerning the care and fair treatment of those unusual minds among us, which, in the end, we all are or will be in some fashion during our lifetimes.

There are 3 included publications by Frances Bottenberg :

TitleDateViewsBrief Description
Emotion as the Animation of Value 2016 63 In this chapter, Frances Bottenberg argues that influential contemporary theories of emotion haveyet to solve the classic puzzle of how the peculiar felt aspect of emotion is to be linked with itsnormative salience for particular action. This is in p...
Judging Inappropriateness in Actions Expressing Emotion 2014 33 Actions expressing strong emotions such as anger can be appropriate responses when an agent judges a serious injustice to have been committed. Certainly, a woman can experience these conditions and express herself through actions such as gesturing ag...
Power-sharing in the Philosophy Classroom: Prospects and Pitfalls 2015 18 Many of our students learn to approach their college education as yet another system of external control that places authority and decision-making power in the hands of others. This attitude carries consequences for young people’s growth as independe...