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Normative Ethics

Edited by Jussi Suikkanen (University of Birmingham)
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  1. added 2014-08-14
    Travis Timmerman (forthcoming). Does Scrupulous Securitism Stand-Up to Scrutiny? Two Problems for Moral Securitism and How We Might Fix Them. Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    A relatively new debate in ethics concerns the relationship between one's present obligations and how one would act in the future. One popular view is actualism, which holds that what an agent would do in the future affects her present obligations. Agent's future behavior is held fixed and the agent's present obligations are determined by what would be best to do now in light of how the agent would act in the future. Doug Portmore defends a new view he calls (...)
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  2. added 2014-08-12
    Joshua May (2014). Review of Just Babies by Paul Bloom. [REVIEW] Metapsychology 18 (33).
    The scientific study of moral thought and action is flourishing, even if still in its infancy. In his recent book, Just Babies, Paul Bloom provides a valuable contribution to this movement with a focus on, well, infants (and other young children). I anxiously awaited this next installment from one of my favorite psychologists, and it met my high expectations. This should be unsurprising given the quality of his other books that popularize fascinating research on the mind, including Descartes' Baby and (...)
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  3. added 2014-08-11
    Alfred Archer & Michael Ridge (forthcoming). The Heroism Paradox: Another Paradox of Supererogation. Philosophical Studies:1-18.
    Philosophers are by now familiar with “the” paradox of supererogation. This paradox arises out of the idea that it can never be permissible to do something morally inferior to another available option, yet acts of supererogation seem to presuppose this. This paradox is not our topic in this paper. We mention it only to set it to one side and explain our subtitle. In this paper we introduce and explore another paradox of supererogation, one which also deserves serious philosophical attention. (...)
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  4. added 2014-08-11
    Lei Zhong (forthcoming). A Confucian Virtue Theory of Supererogation. Philosophy East and West 66 (4).
    Contemporary virtue ethicists have attempted to offer a virtue-based account of right action. However, such an account is faced by a daunting challenge, the ‘supererogation problem’ as I call it. Since what a virtuous person would characteristically do is often beyond the scope of moral duty, virtue ethics seems to have difficulty in accommodating the distinction between obligation and supererogation. In the paper, I aim to meet this challenge by recommending a Confucian virtue theory of supererogation.
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  5. added 2014-08-09
    Eric S. Nelson (2014). 科技和道: 布伯, 海德格尔和道家. 长白学刊 2014 (1):9-16.
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  6. added 2014-08-09
    Eric S. Nelson (2013). The Question of Resentment in Nietzsche and Confucian Ethics. Taiwan Journal of East Asian Studies 10 (1):17-51.
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  7. 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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  8. added 2014-08-07
    Dan Hicks (2014). A New Direction for Science and Values. Synthese 191 (14):3271-95.
    The controversy over the old ideal of “value-free science” has cooled significantly over the past decade. Many philosophers of science now agree that even ethical and political values may play a substantial role in all aspects of scientific inquiry. Consequently, in the last few years, work in science and values has become more specific: Which values may influence science, and in which ways? Or, how do we distinguish illegitimate from illegitimate kinds of influence? In this paper, I argue that this (...)
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  9. added 2014-08-05
    Sven Nyholm (forthcoming). Kant's Universal Law Formula Revisited. Metaphilosophy.
    Kantians are increasingly deserting the universal law formula in favor of the humanity formula. The former, they argue, is open to various decisive objections; the two are not equivalent (since the latter, but not the former asserts a basic substantive value judgment); and it is only by appealing to the humanity formula that Kant can reliably generate substantive implications from his theory of an acceptable sort. These assessments of the universal law formula, which clash starkly with Kant’s own assessment of (...)
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  10. 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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  11. added 2014-08-01
    Robert William Fischer (forthcoming). Disgust and the Collection of Bovine Fetal Blood. In Elisa Aaltola & John Hadley (eds.), Animal Ethics and Philosophy: Questioning the Orthodoxy. Rowman & Littlefield International.
    At many slaughterhouses, if a pregnant cow is killed, then medical companies pay to harvest the fetus's blood. When you communicate the details of this process to people, many of them are disgusted. I submit that those who are repulsed thereby acquire a reason to believe that this practice is morally wrong. However, it is controversial to maintain that disgust can provide moral guidance. So, I develop a theory of disgust’s moral salience that fits with the empirical work that’s been (...)
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  12. added 2014-08-01
    Ezio Di Nucci (forthcoming). Eight Arguments Against Double Effect. In Proceedings of the XXIII. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Philosophie.
    I offer eight arguments against the Doctrine of Double Effect, a normative principle according to which in pursuing the good it is sometimes morally permissible to bring about some evil as a side-effect or merely foreseen consequence: the same evil would not be morally justified as an intended means or end.
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  13. added 2014-08-01
    Jonny Anomaly & Geoffrey Brennan (forthcoming). Social Norms: The Invisible Hand of the Law. University of Queensland Law Review 33.
  14. added 2014-08-01
    Anne Siegetsleitner (2010). Logischer Empirismus, Werte und Moral: Anmerkungen zur vorherrschenden Sicht. In , Logischer Empirismus, Werte und Moral. Eine Neubewertung. Springer. 9-19.
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  15. added 2014-08-01
    Anne Siegetsleitner (2010). Die Ethik Moritz Schlicks und die gängige Sicht logisch-empiristischer Ethik. In , Logischer Empirismus, Werte und Moral. Eine Neubewertung. Springer. 131-155.
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  16. added 2014-08-01
    Anne Siegetsleitner (2008). Evolution und ihre Beziehung zur Ethik in Moritz Schlicks Jugendwerk "Lebensweisheit". In Martina Fürst, Wolfgang Gombocz & Christian Hiebaum (eds.), Analysen, Argumente, Ansätze. Beiträge zum 8. Internationalen Kongress der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Philosophie in Graz. Ontos. 75-83.
  17. added 2014-07-31
    Anthony Cunningham (2001). The Heart of What Matters: The Role for Literature in Moral Philosophy. University of California Press.
    The Heart of What Matters shows that literature has a powerful and unique role to play in understanding life's deepest ethical problems. Anthony Cunningham provides a rigorous critique of Kantian ethics, which has enjoyed a preeminent place in moral philosophy in the United States, arguing that it does not do justice to the reality of our lives. He demonstrates how fine literature can play an important role in honing our capacity to see clearly and choose wisely as he develops a (...)
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  18. added 2014-07-30
    Carolyn Korsmeyer & Barry Smith (2014). Comment: Kolnai's Disgust. Emotion Review 6 (3):219-220.
    In The Meaning of Disgust, Colin McGinn employs elements of the phenomenological theory of disgust advanced by Aurel Kolnai in 1929. Kolnai’s treatment of what he calls “material” disgust and of its primary elicitors—putrefying organic matter, bodily wastes and secretions, sticky contaminants, vermin—anticipates more recent scientific treatments of this emotion as a mode of protective recoil. While Nina Strohminger charges McGinn with neglecting such scientific studies, we here attempt to show how Kolnai goes beyond experimental findings in his careful description (...)
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  19. added 2014-07-29
    Holly Lawford-Smith, Difference-Making and Individuals' Climate-Related Obligations.
    Climate change appears to be a classic aggregation problem, in which billions of individuals perform actions none of which seem to be morally wrong taken in isolation, and yet which combine to drive the global concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) ever higher toward environmental (and humanitarian) catastrophe. When an individual can choose between actions that will emit differing amounts of GHGs―such as to choose a vegan rather than carnivorous meal, to ride a bike to work rather than drive a car, (...)
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  20. added 2014-07-28
    Friderik Klampfer (2009). Should We Consult Kant When Assessing Agent's Moral Responsibility for Harm. Balkan Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):131-156.
    The paper focuses on the conditions under which an agent can be justifiably held responsible or liable for the harmful consequences of his or her actions. Kant has famously argued that as long as the agent fulfills his or her moral duty, he or she cannot be blamed for any potential harm that might result from his or her action, no matter how foreseeable these may (have) be(en). I call this the Duty-Absolves-Thesis or DA. I begin by stating the thesis (...)
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  21. added 2014-07-23
    Tyler Doggett, What Would Taurek Do?
    A very short, exegetical paper about Taurek's "Should the Numbers Count?," arguing against the view that Taurek requires giving chances.
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  22. added 2014-07-23
    Susann Wagenknecht (2014). Collaboration in Scientific Practice—-A Social Epistemology of Research Groups. Dissertation, Aarhus University
    This monograph investigates the collaborative creation of scientific knowledge in research groups. To do so, I combine philosophical analysis with a first-hand comparative case study of two research groups in experimental science. Qualitative data are gained through observation and interviews, and I combine empirical insights with existing approaches to knowledge creation in philosophy of science and social epistemology. -/- On the basis of my empirically-grounded analysis I make several conceptual contributions. I study scientific collaboration as the interaction of scientists within (...)
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  23. added 2014-07-23
    Susann Wagenknecht (2014). Four Asymmetries Between Moral and Epistemic Trustworthiness. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 3 (6):82-86.
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  24. added 2014-07-23
    Adam Morton (2010). Imagining Evil. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 5 (1):26-33.
    It is in a way easier to imagine evil actions than we often suppose, but what it is thus relatively easy to do is not what we want to understand about evil. To argue for this conclusion I distinguish between imagining why someone did something and imagining how they could have done it, and I try to grasp partial understanding, in part by distinguishing different imaginative perspectives we can have on an act. When we do this we see an often (...)
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  25. added 2014-07-23
    Christine Tappolet (2010). Introduction: Les vertus de l’imagination. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 5 (1):23-25.
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  26. added 2014-07-21
    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.
  27. added 2014-07-21
    Katia Vavova (2014). Debunking Evolutionary Debunking. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:76-101.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments start with a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our evaluative beliefs, and conclude that we are not justified in those beliefs. The value realist holds that there are attitude-independent evaluative truths. But the debunker argues that we have no reason to think that the evolutionary forces that shaped human evaluative attitudes would track those truths. Worse yet, we seem to have a good reason to think that they wouldn’t: evolution selects for characteristics that increase (...)
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  28. added 2014-07-21
    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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  29. added 2014-07-21
    Katinka Quintelier, Is It Time for a Relativist Turn in Ethics II.
    Recent developments in moral psychology and in evolutionary theories of moral behavior focus on individual and group differences in morality. Moral intuitions may differ depending on sex, age, ecology and evolutionary strategy of the individual. Within the individual, different and mutually incompatible moral intuitions are triggered depending on specific aspects of the situation (see, e.g., Haidt, 2007; Greene et al., 2004). Thus there exist interindividual and intraindividual differences in moral intuitions. This diversity of our moral intuitions has led naturalistic and (...)
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  30. added 2014-07-20
    Matthew Rendall (forthcoming). Carbon Leakage and the Argument From No Difference. Environmental Values.
    Critics of carbon mitigation often appeal to what Jonathan Glover has called ‘the argument from no difference’: that is, ‘If I don’t do it, someone else will’. Yet even if this justifies continued high emissions by the industrialised countries, it cannot excuse business as usual. The North’s emissions might not harm the victims of climate change in the sense of making them worse off than they would otherwise be. Nevertheless, it receives benefits produced at the latter’s expense, with the result (...)
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  31. 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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  32. added 2014-07-18
    George E. Newman, Julian De Freitas & Joshua Knobe (2014). Beliefs About the True Self Explain Asymmetries Based on Moral Judgment. Cognitive Science 38 (6).
    Past research has identified a number of asymmetries based on moral judgments. Beliefs about (a) what a person values, (b) whether a person is happy, (c) whether a person has shown weakness of will, and (d) whether a person deserves praise or blame seem to depend critically on whether participants themselves find the agent's behavior to be morally good or bad. To date, however, the origins of these asymmetries remain unknown. The present studies examine whether beliefs about an agent's “true (...)
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  33. added 2014-07-15
    Catharine Saint Croix & Richmond Thomason (2014). Chisholm's Paradox and Conditional Oughts. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8554:192-207.
    Since it was presented in 1963, Chisholm’s paradox has attracted constant attention in the deontic logic literature, but without the emergence of any definitive solution. We claim this is due to its having no single solution. The paradox actually presents many challenges to the formalization of deontic statements, including (1) context sensitivity of unconditional oughts, (2) formalizing conditional oughts, and (3) distinguishing generic from nongeneric oughts. Using the practical interpretation of ‘ought’ as a guideline, we propose a linguistically motivated logical (...)
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  34. 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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  35. added 2014-07-14
    Kai Spiekermann (forthcoming). Small Impacts and Imperceptible Effects: Causing Harm With Others. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 28.
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  36. added 2014-07-14
    Gary Watson (2012). La responsabilité et les limites du mal. Variations sur un thème de Strawson. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 7 (1):146-178.
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  37. added 2014-07-14
    Mauro Rossi (2012). Normativity and Normative Psychology: Introduction. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 7 (1):141-145.
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  38. added 2014-07-14
    Gary Watson (2012). La responsabilité et les limites du mal. Variations sur un thème de Strawson. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 7 (1):146-178.
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  39. added 2014-07-10
    Inmaculada de Melo-Martin & Arleen Salles (forthcoming). Moral Bioenhancement: Much Ado About Nothing? Bioethics.
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  40. added 2014-07-10
    Inmaculada de Melo-Martin (2014). The Ethics of Anonymous Gamete Donation: Is There a Right to Know One's Genetic Origins? Hastings Center Report 44 (2).
    A growing number of jurisdictions hold that gamete donors must be identifiable to the children born with their eggs or sperm, on grounds that being able to know about one's genetic origins is a fundamental moral right. But the argument for that belief has not yet been adequately made.
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  41. added 2014-07-09
    Douglas W. Portmore (forthcoming). Review of Martin Peterson's The Dimensions of Consequentialism. [REVIEW] Journal of Moral Philosophy.
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  42. added 2014-07-09
    Ezio Di Nucci (2014). Ethics Without Intention. Bloomsbury.
    Ethics Without Intention tackles the questions raised by difficult moral dilemmas by providing a critical analysis of double effect and its most common ethical and political applications. The book discusses the philosophical distinction between intended harm and foreseen but unintended harm. This distinction, which, according to the doctrine of double effect, makes a difference to the moral justification of actions, is widely applied to some of the most controversial ethical and political questions of our time: collateral damages in wars and (...)
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  43. 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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  44. added 2014-07-07
    Michael Slote (forthcoming). Reply To: Roberts. Philosophia:1-3.
    In his critique of my views on supererogation, Rodney Roberts (Philosophia, 2014) claims that I treat care ethics as having a more general moral validity than other care ethicists do. He also claims that the kind of sentimentalism I espouse doesn’t sufficiently emphasize sentiment and then goes on to question what I say about supererogation. But in fact other care ethicists also think care ethics can cover the whole of morality, and my sentimentalism emphasizes sentiment just as much and as (...)
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  45. added 2014-07-04
    Sven Nyholm (forthcoming). Ingmar Persson, From Morality to the End of Reason (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) Pp. 336. [REVIEW] Utilitas 2014.
    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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  46. added 2014-07-03
    Benjamin Bagley (forthcoming). Loving Someone in Particular. Ethics.
    People loved for their beauty and cheerfulness are not loved as irreplaceable, yet people loved for “what their souls are made of” are. Or so literary romance implies; leading philosophical accounts, however, deny the distinction, holding that reasons for love either do not exist or do not include the beloved’s distinguishing features. In this, I argue, they deny an essential species of love. To account for it while preserving the beloved’s irreplaceability, I defend a model of agency on which people (...)
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  47. added 2014-07-03
    Karen Frost‐Arnold (2014). Imposters, Tricksters, and Trustworthiness as an Epistemic Virtue. Hypatia 29 (3).
    This paper argues that trustworthiness is an epistemic virtue that promotes objectivity. I show that untrustworthy imposture can be an arrogant act of privilege that silences marginalized voices. But, as epistemologists of ignorance have shown, sometimes trickery and the betrayal of epistemic norms are important resistance strategies. This raises the question: when is betrayal of trust epistemically virtuous? After establishing that trust is central to objectivity, I argue for the following answer: a betrayal is epistemically vicious when it strengthens or (...)
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  48. added 2014-07-02
    Alex Voorhoeve (forthcoming). Why Sore Throats Don't Aggregate, but Arms Do. Journal of Medical Ethics.
    When do claims to be saved of a small or moderate harm aggregate against a competing claim to be saved from an early death? In this short response to Kamm's Bioethical Prescriptions, I argue for the following answer: aggregation of weaker claims against a life is permitted just in case, in a one-to-one contest, a person with a weaker claim would have a personal prerogative to prioritize her claim over a stranger’s competing claim to life.
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  49. added 2014-07-02
    Joshua May (forthcoming). Moral Judgment and Deontology: Empirical Developments. Philosophy Compass.
    A traditional idea has it that moral judgment involves more than calculating the consequences of actions; it also requires an assessment of the agent’s intentions, the act’s nature, and whether the agent uses another person as a means to her ends. I survey experimental developments suggesting that ordinary people often tacitly reason in terms of such deontological rules. It’s now unclear whether we should posit a traditional form of the Doctrine of Double Effect. However, further research suggests that a range (...)
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  50. added 2014-06-29
    David Forman (forthcoming). Kant’s Moderate Cynicism and the Harmony Between Virtue and Worldly Happiness. Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    For Kant, any authentic moral demands are wholly distinct from the demands of prudence. This has led critics to complain that Kantian moral demands are incompatible with our human nature as happiness-seekers. Kant’s defenders have pointed out, correctly, that Kant can and does assert that it is permissible, at least in principle, to pursue our own happiness. But this response does not eliminate the worry that a life organized around the pursuit of virtue might turn out to be one from (...)
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