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Meta-Ethics

Edited by Daniel Star (Boston University)
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  1. added 2014-08-31
    Moti Gorin (2014). Towards a Theory of Interpersonal Manipulation. In Michael Weber Christian Coons (ed.), Manipulation: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press.
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  2. added 2014-08-31
    Moti Gorin (2014). Do Manipulators Always Threaten Rationality? American Philosophical Quarterly 51 (1).
  3. added 2014-08-23
    Adam Feltz & Florian Cova (forthcoming). Moral Responsibility and Free Will: A Meta-Analysis. Consciousness and Cognition.
    Fundamental beliefs about free will and moral responsibility are often thought to shape our ability to have healthy relationships with others and ourselves. Emotional reactions have also been shown to have an important and pervasive impact on judgments and behaviors. Recent research suggests that emotional reactions play a prominent role in judgments about free will, influencing judgments about determinism’s relation to free will and moral responsibility. However, the extent to which affect influences these judgments is unclear. We conducted a metaanalysis (...)
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  4. added 2014-08-22
    Selim Berker, The Unity of Grounding.
    I argue that there is only one grounding/in-virtue-of relation, and that it is indispensable for normative inquiry.
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  5. added 2014-08-20
    Daniel Nica (2013). Narrative and Justification in Moral Particularism. Romanian Journal of Analytic Philosophy (2):22-32.
    In this paper I will discuss the problem of justification in moral particularism. The first part is concerned with Jonathan Dancy’s account of justification, which is a narrative one. To justify one’s choice is to present a persuasive description of the context in a narrative fashion, not to subordinate singular cases to universal rules. Since it dismisses arguments and employs persuasiveness, this view seems irrational, so the second part of my paper will consist of a personal reconstruction and reformulation of (...)
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  6. added 2014-08-20
    Daniel Nica (2013). Etica fara principii? Generalism si particularism in filosofia morala. Eikon Publishing House.
    Cum arată un om moral? Este acesta un om care se află în posesia unor principii ferme și știe cum să le aplice? Sau este un om care, neavând nevoie de reguli morale, reușește de fiecare dată să ia decizia corectă? Poate fi moralitatea codificată într-un set de principii universale? Sau viața morală este mult prea complexă pentru a fi guvernată de reguli stricte? Dar dacă moralitatea nu constă în aplicarea unor standarde generale, ci în capacitatea de a lua decizii (...)
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  7. added 2014-08-20
    Daniel Nica (2011). Originile Disputei Etice Dintre Particularism Şi Generalism: Platon Şi Aristotel. Annals of Philosophy. University of Bucharest:51-63.
    This paper is a critical investigation about the historical origins of two contemporary approaches in ethics: moral particularism and moral generalism. Moral particularism states that there are no defensible moral principles and that moral thought doesn’t consist in the application of moral principles to cases, but in understanding the morally relevant features of an action, which vary from case to case. In opposition, moral generalism is the traditional claim that moral decisions are made by applying general rules to particular actions. (...)
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  8. added 2014-08-18
    Michael Kühler (2012). Who Am I to Uphold Unrealizable Normative Claims? In Michael Kühler & Nadja Jelinek (eds.), Autonomy and the Self. Springer. 191--209.
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  9. added 2014-08-18
    Ishtiyaque Haji (2002). Deontic Morality and Control. Cambridge University Press.
    My overall stance on the dilemma concerning freedom and deontic morality can, finally, be summarized in the following way. The dilemma, recollect, is this: If determinism is true, then no one has control – “deontic-grounding” control – over  ...
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  10. added 2014-08-18
    Jaakko Hintikka (1969). Deontic Logic and its Philosophical Morals. In Models for Modalities. Reidel Publishing Company. 184--214.
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  11. added 2014-08-16
    William Lauinger (forthcoming). The Neutralization of Draper-Style Evidential Arguments From Evil. Faith and Philosophy.
    This paper aims to neutralize Draper-style evidential arguments from evil by defending five theses: (1) that, when those who advance these arguments use the word “evil,” they are referring, at least in large part, to ill-being; (2) that well-being and ill-being come as a pair (i.e., are essentially related); (3) that well-being and ill-being are best understood in an at least partly objectivist way; (4) that (even partial) objectivism about well-being and ill-being is best understood as implying non-naturalism about well-being (...)
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  12. added 2014-08-16
    David Shoemaker (forthcoming). McKenna's Quality of Will. Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-14.
    In this paper, I investigate the role played by Quality of Will in Michael McKenna’s conversational theory of responsibility. I articulate and press the skeptical challenge against it, and then I show that McKenna has the (untapped) resources in his account to deflect it.
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  13. added 2014-08-16
    Ann Pang-White (1994). Augustine on Divine Foreknowledge and Human Free Will. Revue Des Études Augustiniennes 40:417-431.
  14. added 2014-08-13
    Ariela Tubert (forthcoming). Sound Advice and Internal Reasons. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Reasons internalism holds that reasons for action contain an essential connection with motivation. I defend an account of reasons internalism based on the advisor model. The advisor model provides an account of reasons for action in terms of the advice of a more rational version of the agent. Contrary to Pettit and Smith's proposal and responding to Sobel and Johnson's objections, I argue that the advisor model can provide an account of internal reasons and that it is too caught up (...)
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  15. added 2014-08-12
    Andrew Sepielli, Moral Uncertainty and the "Fetishism" Objection.
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  16. added 2014-08-12
    Andrew Sepielli (2014). Should You Look Before You Leap? The Philosophers' Magazine 66:89-93.
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  17. added 2014-08-11
    Lei Zhong (2014). Review of Robert Audi's Moral Perception. 92 (3):585-587.
  18. added 2014-08-10
    Jussi Suikkanen, Judgment Internalism and Self-Knowledge.
    Judgment internalism about evaluative judgments is the view that there is a necessary internal connection between evaluative judgments and motivation understood as desires. The debate about judgment internalism has reached a standoff some time ago. In this paper, I outline a new argument for judgment internalism. This argument does not rely on intuitions about cases, but rather it has the form of an inference to the best explanation. I argue that the best philosophical explanations of how we know what we (...)
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  19. added 2014-08-08
    Benjamin Kiesewetter (forthcoming). Instrumental Normativity: In Defense of the Transmission Principle. Ethics.
    If you ought to perform a certain act, and some other action is a necessary means for you to perform that act, then you ought to perform that other action as well – or so it seems plausible to say. This transmission principle is of both practical and theoretical significance. The aim of this paper is to defend this principle against a number of recent objections, which (as I show) are all based on core assumptions of the view called actualism. (...)
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  20. added 2014-08-08
    Fabian Freyenhagen (2013). Adorno's Practical Philosophy: Living Less Wrongly. Cambridge University Press.
    Adorno notoriously asserted that there is no 'right' life in our current social world. This assertion has contributed to the widespread perception that his philosophy has no practical import or coherent ethics, and he is often accused of being too negative. Fabian Freyenhagen reconstructs and defends Adorno's practical philosophy in response to these charges. He argues that Adorno's deep pessimism about the contemporary social world is coupled with a strong optimism about human potential, and that this optimism explains his negative (...)
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  21. added 2014-08-04
    Conor McHugh & Daniel Whiting (forthcoming). Recent Work on the Normativity of Belief. Analysis.
    This is a survey of recent debates concerning the normativity of belief. We explain what the thesis that belief is normative involves, consider arguments for and against that thesis, and explore its bearing on debates in metaethics.
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  22. added 2014-08-04
    Diego E. Machuca (2014). Review of K. Setiya, Knowing Right From Wrong. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 34 (1-2):78-80.
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  23. added 2014-08-02
    Jonathan Dancy & Daniel Muñoz (2014). Not Knowing Everything That Matters. The Philosophers' Magazine (66):94-99.
    We know what to say about the agent who knowingly does the wrong thing. But what of the wrongdoer who doesn't know everything that matters? Some of the usual criticisms may apply, if some of the usual mistakes were made. Other usual criticisms will miss the mark. One task for moral theory is to explain this variety of censures and failures. Derek Parfit proposes that we define for each criticism a sense of 'wrong', and that each new sense be defined (...)
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  24. added 2014-08-01
    Uwe Steinhoff, Drowning the Shallow Pond Analogy: A Critique of Garrett Cullity’s Attempt to Rescue It.
    Garrett Cullity concedes that saving a drowning child from a shallow pond at little cost to oneself is not actually analogous to giving money to a poverty relief organization like Oxfam. The question then arises whether this objection is fatal to Peters Singer’s argument for a duty of assistance or whether it can be saved anyway. Cullity argues that not saving the drowning child and not giving money to organizations like Oxfam are still morally analogous, that is, not giving money (...)
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  25. added 2014-08-01
    Uwe Steinhoff, A Critique of David Miller’s Like Minded Group and Cooperative Practice Models of Collective Responsibility.
    Many authors writing about global justice seem to take national responsibility more or less for granted. Most of them, however, offer very little argument for their position. One of the few exceptions is David Miller. He offers two models of collective responsibility: the like-minded group model and the cooperative practice model. While some authors have criticized whether these two models are applicable to nations, as Miller intends, my criticism is more radical: I argue that these two models fail as accounts (...)
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  26. added 2014-08-01
    Bob Fischer (forthcoming). Against Blaming the Blameworthy. In Ben Bramble & Bob Fischer (eds.), Stirring the Pot: The Moral Complexities of Meat-eating. Oxford University Press.
    We tend not to blame those who eat meat--even if they are blameworthy for so doing. Some think that this is a moral failure on the part of vegetarians and vegans. My aim here, however, is to argue that this isn't so. In short, I argue that if it would be unreasonable to demand that someone behave in a particular way, then we shouldn’t blame her for failing to behave in that way. But it would be unreasonable to demand that (...)
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  27. added 2014-07-31
    Michaela Rehm (2008). Keine Politik ohne Moral, keine Moral ohne Religion? In Mathias Hildebrandt & Manfred Brocker (eds.), Der Begriff der Religion. VS Verlag. 59-80.
    The paper offers a systematic analysis of the phenomenon of civil religion. It reconstructs its historical preconditions and explains that civil religion is advocated when a pluralist society seems about to lose a traditional religion or ideology perceived as former guarantor of social stability. Civil religion is then propagated as a means to create a new equilibrium. The text aims to clarify that this notion is based on the idea that morality depends on religion. The conclusion is that the morality (...)
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  28. added 2014-07-28
    Michelle Mason (forthcoming). Reactivity and Refuge. In David Shoemaker (ed.), Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility. Oxford University Press. 143-162.
    P.F. Strawson famously suggested that employment of the objective attitude in an intimate relationship forebodes the relationship’s demise. Relatively less remarked is Strawson's admission that the objective attitude is available as a refuge from the strains of relating to normal, mature adults as proper subjects of the reactive attitudes. I develop an account of the strategic employment of the objective attitude in such cases according to which it denies a person a power of will – authorial power – whose recognition (...)
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  29. added 2014-07-28
    Katrina Sifferd (forthcoming). What Does It Mean to Be a Mechanism? Morse, Non-Reductivism, and Mental Causation. Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-17.
    Stephen Morse seems to have adopted a controversial position regarding the mind-body relationship: John Searle’s non-reductivism, which claims that conscious mental states are causal yet not reducible to their underlying brain states. Searle’s position has been roundly criticized, with some arguing the theory taken as a whole is incoherent. In this paper I review these criticisms and add my own, concluding that Searle’s position is indeed contradictory, both internally and with regard to Morse's other views. Thus I argue that Morse (...)
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  30. added 2014-07-27
    Friderik Klampfer (2014). Consequentializing Moral Responsibility. Croatian Journal of Philosophy (40):121-150.
    In the paper, I try to cast some doubt on traditional attempts to define, or explicate, moral responsibility in terms of deserved praise and blame. Desert-based accounts of moral responsibility, though no doubt more faithful to our ordinary notion of moral responsibility, tend to run into trouble in the face of challenges posed by a deterministic picture of the world on the one hand and the impact of moral luck on human action on the other. Besides, grounding responsibility in desert (...)
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  31. added 2014-07-25
    John Russell Roberts (forthcoming). Axiarchism and Selectors. Faith and Philosophy.
    This essay offers a defense of Axiarchism's answer to the question, "Why does the world exit?" against prominent objections leveled against it by Derek Parfit. Parfit rejects the Axiarchist answer while abstracting from it his own Selector strategy. I argue that the abstraction fails, and that even if we were to regard Axiarchism as an instance of a Selector hypothesis, we should regard it as the only viable one. I also argue that Parfit's abstraction leads him to mistake the nature (...)
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  32. added 2014-07-23
    Nathaniel Sharadin (forthcoming). Problems for Pure Probabilism About Promotion (and a Disjunctive Alternative). Philosophical Studies:1-16.
    Humean promotionalists about reasons think that whether there is a reason for an agent to ϕ depends on whether her ϕ-ing promotes the satisfaction of at least one of her desires. Several authors have recently defended probabilistic accounts of promotion, according to which an agent’s ϕ-ing promotes the satisfaction of one of her desires just in case her ϕ-ing makes the satisfaction of that desire more probable relative to some baseline. In this paper I do three things. First, I formalize (...)
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  33. added 2014-07-23
    Sven Nyholm (2014). Ingmar Persson, From Morality to the End of Reason (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), Pp. 336. [REVIEW] Utilitas 26 (3):321-325.
    Persson argues that common sense morality involves various “asymmetries” that don’t stand up to rational scrutiny. (One example is that intentionally harming others is commonly thought to be worse than merely allowing harm to happen, even if the harm involved is equal in both cases.) A wholly rational morality would, Persson argues, be wholly symmetrical. He also argues, however, that when we get down to our most basic attitudes and dispositions, we reach the “end of reason,” at which point we (...)
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  34. added 2014-07-19
    Seth Shabo (2014). Review of J. M. Fischer's Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value. [REVIEW] Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (4):523-526.
  35. added 2014-07-18
    Danny Frederick, Ethical Intuitionism: A Structural Critique.
    I present a structural critique of ethical intuitionism. Ethical intuitionists regard moral knowledge as deriving from moral intuition, moral observation, moral emotion and inference. However, moral intuitions, observations and emotions are cultural artefacts which often differ starkly between cultures. Intuitionists attribute uncongenial moral intuitions, observations or emotions to bias or to intellectual or moral failings; but that leads to sectarian mutual recrimination. Intuitionists try to avoid this by restricting epistemically genuine intuitions, observations or emotions to those which are widely agreed. (...)
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  36. added 2014-07-15
    Luc Faucher (2012). Tirer la responsabilité au clair : le cas des attitudes implicites et le révisionnisme. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 7 (1):179-212.
    Dans cet article, je considère l’influence possible des recherches récentes sur les attitudes en psychologie sociale, principalement dans le paradigme des théories des processus duaux [dual process theories], sur notre compréhension de la responsabilité. La thèse que je soutiens est que certaines révisions à notre façon de comprendre la responsabilité et nos pratiques d’attribution de la responsabilité pourraient être justifiées par ces travaux. Avant de présenter les révisions que j’introduis, je décris les grandes lignes du paradigme que j’utiliserai, soit celui (...)
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  37. added 2014-07-12
    Michael Bergmann & Patrick Kain (2014). Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Overview and Future Directions. In Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution.
  38. added 2014-07-12
    Michael Bergmann & Patrick Kain (eds.) (2014). Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution. Oxford University Press.
    Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief contains fourteen original essays by philosophers, theologians, and social scientists on challenges to moral and religious belief from disagreement and evolution. Three main questions are addressed: Can one reasonably maintain one's moral and religious beliefs in the face of interpersonal disagreement with intellectual peers? Does disagreement about morality between a religious belief source, such as a sacred text, and a non-religious belief source, such as a society's moral intuitions, make it irrational to continue trusting (...)
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  39. added 2014-07-11
    Lei Zhong (2013). Internalism, Emotionism, and the Psychopathy Challenge. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (4):329-337.
    The phenomenon of psychopathy has been regarded as a putative challenge to motivational internalism, which asserts a necessary connection between moral judgment and motivation. An increasingly popular internalist response to the psychopathy challenge is to argue that psychopaths do not make genuine moral judgments because they lack moral emotions (e.g., sympathy and guilt), which are alleged to be causally constitutive of moral judgments. In this paper, I attempt to reject the emotion-based internalist response by appeal to most recent empirical research (...)
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  40. added 2014-07-11
    Lei Zhong (2013). Psychopathy, Emotion, and Moral Judgment. Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (4):349-352.
  41. added 2014-07-08
    Brandon Warmke (forthcoming). The Economic Model of Forgiveness. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    It is sometimes claimed that forgiveness involves the cancellation of a moral debt. This way of speaking about forgiveness exploits an analogy between moral forgiveness and economic debt-cancellation. Call the view that moral forgiveness is like economic debt-cancellation the Economic Model of Forgiveness. In this paper I articulate and motivate the model, defend it against some recent objections, and pose a new puzzle for this way of thinking about forgiveness.
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  42. added 2014-07-07
    Markus E. Schlosser (forthcoming). Manipulation and the Zygote Argument: Another Reply. Journal of Ethics:1-12.
    Alfred Mele's zygote argument is widely considered to be the strongest version of the manipulation argument against compatibilism (about free will and determinism). Opponents have focused largely on the first of its two premises and on the overall dialectic. My focus here will be on the underlying thought experiment—the Diana scenario—and on the second premise of the argument. I will argue that reflection on the Diana scenario shows that the second premise does not hold, and we will see that my (...)
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  43. added 2014-07-07
    Tanya de Villiers-Botha (2014). How Not to Be a Metaethical Naturalist –Jesse Prinz on the Emotional Construction of Morals. South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):145-154.
    Jesse Prinz develops a naturalistic metaethical theory with which he purports to sidestep ‘Hume's law’ by demonstrating how, on his theory, in describing what our moral beliefs commit us to we can determine what our moral obligations are. I aim to show that Prinz does not deliver on his prescriptive promise – he does not bridge the is–ought gap in any meaningful way. Given that Prinz goes on to argue that (1) his moral psychology highlights fundamental shortcomings in ‘traditional’ normative (...)
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  44. added 2014-06-30
    Neil Sinclair (2014). On Standing One's Ground. Analysis 74 (3):422-431.
    I provide a positive expressivist account of the permissibility of ‘standing one’s ground’ in some cases of moral conflict, based in part on an illustrative analogy with political disputes. This account suffices to undermine Enoch’s recent argument against expressivism.
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  45. added 2014-06-27
    Katharina Nieswandt & Ulf Hlobil (eds.) (forthcoming). G. E. M. Anscombe: Aufsätze. Suhrkamp.
    Die Wittgenstein-Schülerin Elizabeth Anscombe zählt zu den einflussreichsten Philosophinnen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Mit der Monographie Absicht begründete sie die analytische Handlungstheorie, viele ihrer Abhandlungen gelten als Klassiker, aber nur wenige liegen bislang in deutscher Übersetzung vor. Der vorliegende Band füllt diese Lücke: Er versammelt zwölf von Anscombes wichtigsten Aufsätzen, die thematisch von der praktischen Philosophie über die Metaphysik und die Philosophie des Geistes bis hin zu Aristoteles- und Wittgenstein-Interpretationen reichen, also das ganze Spektrum ihres Denkens repräsentieren. Die Anmerkungen und Erläuterungen (...)
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  46. added 2014-06-27
    Justin Snedegar (forthcoming). Deontic Reasoning Across Contexts. In F. Cariani (ed.), DEON 2014. Springer. 208-223.
    Contrastivism about ‘ought’ holds that ‘ought’ claims are relativized, at least implicitly, to sets of mutually exclusive but not necessarily jointly exhaustive alternatives. This kind of theory can solve puzzles that face other linguistic theories of ‘ought’, via the rejection or severe restriction of principles that let us make inferences between ‘ought’ claims. By rejecting or restricting these principles, however, the contrastivist takes on a burden of recapturing acceptable inferences that these principles let us make. This paper investigates the extent (...)
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  47. added 2014-06-25
    Anne Schwenkenbecher (forthcoming). Joint Moral Duties. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38.
    There are countless circumstances under which random individuals could act together to prevent something morally bad from happening or to remedy a morally bad situation. But when ought individuals to act together in order to bring about a morally important outcome? This paper seeks to answer that question. Building on Philip Pettit’s and David Schweikard’s account of joint action, I will put forward the notion of joint duties: duties to perform an action together that individuals in so-called random or unstructured (...)
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  48. added 2014-06-25
    Anne Schwenkenbecher (2013). Bridging The Emissions Gap: A Plea For Taking Up The Slack. Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 3 (1):273-301.
    With the existing commitments to climate change mitigation, global warming is likely to exceed 2°C and to trigger irreversible and harmful threshold effects. The difference between the reductions necessary to keep the 2°C limit and those reductions countries have currently committed to is called the ‘emissions gap’. I argue that capable states not only have a moral duty to make voluntary contributions to bridge that gap, but that complying states ought to make up for the failures of some other states (...)
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  49. added 2014-06-23
    Bill Wringe (forthcoming). From Global Collective Obligations to Institutional Obligations. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38.
    There are a number of reasons for accepting the existence of Global Collective Obligations - in other words, collective obligations which fall on the world’s population as a whole. One such reason - outlined in Wringe 2005 - is that the existence of such obligations provides a plausible solution a problem which is sometimes thought to arise if we think that individuals have a right to have their basic needs satisfied. However, obligations of this sort would be of little interest (...)
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  50. added 2014-06-23
    Jussi Suikkanen (2014). This is Ethics: An Introduction. Wiley-Blackwell.
    What makes you happy? Should you always do what is best for you, or what is best for everyone? What is the meaning of life – and how are we supposed to think about it? Should sacrifices be made to help future generations? This Is Ethics presents an accessible and engaging introduction to a variety of issues relating to contemporary moral philosophy. It reveals the intimate connection between timeless philosophical problems about right and wrong and offers timely and thought-provoking insights (...)
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