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Normative Ethics

Edited by Jussi Suikkanen (University of Birmingham)
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  1. added 2014-11-22
    Noell Birondo (forthcoming). Aristotle and the Virtues of Will Power. Southwest Philosophy Review 31 (1).
    Since the 1970s, at least, and presumably under the influence of the later Wittgenstein, certain advocates of Aristotle’s ethics have insisted that a proper validation of the virtues of character must proceed only from within, or be internal to, the particular evaluative outlook provided by possession of the virtues themselves. The most influential advocate of this line of thinking is arguably John McDowell, although Rosalind Hursthouse and Daniel C. Russell have also more recently embraced it. Here I consider whether a (...)
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  2. added 2014-11-22
    Noell Birondo (2014). Mark Timmons (Ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 1. [REVIEW] Journal of Moral Philosophy 11.
    This volume initiates a welcome new Oxford Studies series based on the annual meeting of the Arizona Workshop in Normative Ethics, organized by Mark Timmons. The back matter indicates that the series is a place where "Leading philosophers present original contributions to our understanding of a wide range of moral issues and positions." But Timmons himself says more accurately, it seems, that the series aims to provide "some of the best contemporary work in the field of contemporary ethical theory" (p. (...)
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  3. added 2014-11-22
    Uwe Steinhoff (ed.) (2014). Do All Persons Have Equal Moral Worth? On "Basic Equality" and Equal Respect and Concern. Oxford University Press.
    In present-day political and moral philosophy the idea that all persons are in some way moral equals is an almost universal premise, with its defenders often claiming that philosophical positions that reject the principle of equal respect and concern do not deserve to be taken seriously. This has led to relatively few attempts to clarify, or indeed justify, 'basic equality' and the principle of equal respect and concern. Such clarification and justification, however, would be direly needed. After all, the ideas, (...)
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  4. added 2014-11-20
    Jeffrey White, Autonomous Reboot: The Challenges of Artificial Moral Agency and the Ends of Machine Ethics.
    Ryan Tonkens (2009) has issued a seemingly impossible challenge, to articulate a comprehensive ethical framework within which artificial moral agents (AMAs) satisfy a Kantian inspired recipe - both "rational" and "free" - while also satisfying perceived prerogatives of Machine Ethics to create AMAs that are perfectly, not merely reliably, ethical. Challenges for machine ethicists have also been presented by Anthony Beavers and Wendell Wallach, who have pushed for the reinvention of traditional ethics in order to avoid "ethical nihilism" due to (...)
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  5. added 2014-11-20
    Jeffrey White (201?). An Information Processing Model of Psychopathy. In Unknown (ed.), moral psychology. Nova. 1-53.
    Psychopathy is increasingly in the public eye. However, it is yet to be fully and effectively understood. Within the context of the DSM-IV, for example, it is best regarded as a complex family of disorders. The upside is that this family can be tightly related along common dimensions. Characteristic marks of psychopaths include a lack of guilt and remorse for paradigm case immoral actions, leading to the common conception of psychopathy rooted in affective dysfunctions. An adequate portrait of psychopathy is (...)
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  6. added 2014-11-20
    C. Mantzavinos (2012). The Ethical Project. A Dialogue. Analyse Und Kritik 34 (1).
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  7. added 2014-11-17
    Śaśon Mordekhai Mosheh (2012). Ha-Maʻaṭeh Matoḳ Ṿeha-Terufah Marah: Sefer Ḳol Śaśon. Merkaz Moreshet Yahadut Bavel.
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  8. added 2014-11-16
    Mordekhai Gifṭer (2013). Sefer Śimḥat Mordekhai: Ḳovets Maʼamre Ṿe-Ḥidushe ... Mordekhai Gifṭer, Z. Ts. L., Rosh Yeshivat Ṭelz. Shual Dovid Jacob.
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  9. added 2014-11-16
    Khazʻal Khān (2013). .
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  10. added 2014-11-16
    Isaiah Horowitz (2012). Sefer Musre Ha-Shelah: Derekh Ḥamim Tokhekhat Musar She-Katav Ha-Meḥaber Be-Sof Kol Parashah: Divre Ḥokhmah U-Musar' U-Maʻalot Ha-Midot, Ṿe-Hanhagot, Ṿe-Toʻelet, Ha-Yotseʼot Mi-Kol Parashah U-Farashah. Makhon Hotsaʼat Sefarim Mir.
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  11. added 2014-11-15
    Michael Yudanin (forthcoming). Can Positive Duties Be Derived From Kant's Categorical Imperative? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-20.
    Kant’s moral philosophy usually considers two types of duties: negative duties that prohibit certain actions and positive duties commanding action. With that, Kant insists on deriving all morality from reason alone. Such is the Categorical Imperative that Kant lays at the basis of ethics. Yet while negative duties can be derived from the Categorical Imperative and thus from reason, the paper argues that this is not the case with positive duties. After answering a number of attempts to derive positive duties (...)
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  12. added 2014-11-14
    Emanuele Serrelli, Traits and Functions in the Evolution of Morality.
    This paper is about evolutionary explanations. They come in different kinds but mostly need traits and functions. Evolutionary theory requires traits to be inheritable although not in a strong genetic sense: ideas of “inheritance pattern” and “inheritable pattern” are explored. Function is also a necessary concept, but complex and diverse, and it lacks causal power on traits. The debate on the evolution of morality is cautious and already far from naive “just-­‐so story” explanations, but theoretical analysis fleshed into morality-­‐related examples (...)
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  13. added 2014-11-14
    Julian Nida-Rümelin (forthcoming). Thomas Nagel: Mind and Cosmos. Why the Materialist, Neo-Darwinian Conception is Almost Certainly False. Journal for General Philosophy of Science:1-4.
    Anti-naturalists share the conviction that something is wrong with the naturalistic conceptual frame and with the idea that in principle all events are explainable by using the means of physics. Physicalist naturalism is the modern form of old fashioned materialism. And there is no doubt that naturalism is still going strong notwithstanding its critiques. In ethics the boom of present-day Kantian constructivism can be understood as the last and maybe the most sophisticated “naturalist” answer to the realist challenge in ethics. (...)
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  14. added 2014-11-14
    Fabrice Teroni, Julien A. Deonna & Christine Tappolet (forthcoming). Emotions: Philosophical Issues About. WIREs Cognitive Science.
    We start this overview by discussing the place of emotions within the broader affective domain – how different are emotions from moods, sensations and affective dispositions? Next, we examine the way emotions relate to their objects, emphasizing in the process their intimate relations to values. We move from this inquiry into the nature of emotion to an inquiry into their epistemology. Do they provide reasons for evaluative judgements and, more generally, do they contribute to our knowledge of values? We then (...)
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  15. added 2014-11-14
    Brendan Cline (forthcoming). Nativism and the Evolutionary Debunking of Morality. Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-23.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments purport to undercut the justification of our moral judgments by showing why a tendency to make moral judgments would evolve regardless of the truth of those judgments. (Machery and Mallon (2010). Evolution of morality. In J.M. Doris and The Moral Psychology Research Group (Eds.), The Moral Psychology Handbook (pp. 3–46). Oxford: Oxford University Press) have recently tried to disarm these arguments by showing that moral cognition – in the sense that is relevant to debunking – is not (...)
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  16. added 2014-11-14
    Mary Midgley (2014). The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene. Routledge.
    Renowned philosopher Mary Midgley explores the nature of our moral constitution to challenge the view that reduces human motivation to self-interest. Midgley argues cogently and convincingly that simple, one-sided accounts of human motives, such as the 'selfish gene' tendency in recent neo-Darwinian thought, may be illuminating but are always unrealistic. Such neatness, she shows, cannot be imposed on human psychology. She returns to Darwin's original writings to show how the reductive individualism which is now presented as Darwinism does not derive (...)
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  17. added 2014-11-14
    Gary Slater (2014). A Peircean Response to the Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Knowledge. Zygon 49 (3):593-611.
    The evolutionary debunking argument advanced by Sharon Street, Michael Ruse, and Richard Joyce employs the logic of Paul Griffiths and John Wilkins to contend that humans cannot have knowledge of moral truths, since the evolutionary process that has produced our basic moral intuitions lacks causal connections to those (putative) truths. Yet this argument is self-defeating, because its aim is the categorical, normative claim that we should suspend our moral beliefs in light of the discoveries about their non-truth-tracking origins, when it (...)
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  18. added 2014-11-14
    Abraham Graber, A Methodologically Naturalist Defense of Ethical Non-Naturalism.
    The aim of this dissertation is to show that, if one is committed to the scientific worldview, one is thereby committed to ethical non-naturalism. In the first chapter I offer the reader an outline of the three primary domains of ethical inquiry: normative ethics, applied ethics, and meta-ethics. I commit myself to a meta-ethical thesis--ethical non-naturalism--and contrast ethical non-naturalism with its competitors. In the second chapter I offer a cursory defense of the moral realist's semantic thesis. I offer reason to (...)
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  19. added 2014-11-13
    Fabrice Teroni (2014). Emotions et connaissance. In Jean-Marie Chevalier Benoît Gautier (ed.), Connaître: Questions de philosophie contemporaine. Ithaque.
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  20. added 2014-11-10
    Ben Bramble (forthcoming). Consequentialism About Meaning in Life. Utilitas.
    In this paper, I defend what I call Consequentialism about Meaning in Life, the view that (1) one’s life is meaningful at time t just in case one’s surviving at t would be good in some way, and (2) one’s life was meaningful considered as a whole just in case the world was (or will be) made better in some way for one’s having existed.
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  21. added 2014-11-06
    Peter Olsthoorn (2015). Honor in Political and Moral Philosophy. State University of New York Press.
    In this history of the development of ideas of honor in Western philosophy, Peter Olsthoorn examines what honor is, how its meaning has changed, and whether it can still be of use. Political and moral philosophers from Cicero to John Stuart Mill thought that a sense of honor and concern for our reputation could help us to determine the proper thing to do, and just as important, provide us with the much-needed motive to do it. Today, outside of the military (...)
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  22. added 2014-11-06
    Brendan Dill & Stephen Darwall (2014). Moral Psychology as Accountability. In Justin D'Arms Daniel Jacobson (ed.), Moral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics. Oxford University Press. 40-83.
    Recent work in moral philosophy has emphasized the foundational role played by interpersonal accountability in the analysis of moral concepts such as moral right and wrong, moral obligation and duty, blameworthiness, and moral responsibility (Darwall 2006; 2013a; 2013b). Extending this framework to the field of moral psychology, we hypothesize that our moral attitudes, emotions, and motives are also best understood as based in accountability. Drawing on a large body of empirical evidence, we argue that the implicit aim of the central (...)
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  23. added 2014-11-04
    Bradford Cokelet, Virtue is a Great Moral Good.
    According to Aristotelian virtue ethicists, virtue is a great moral good that contributes to, but cannot be reduced to, an agent's welfare. In addition, they hold that the value of virtue is different from, and in some sense greater than, the agent-neutral intrinsic goodness that consequentialists attribute to states of affair. According to Thomas Hurka (1998, 2003, 2011), these fundamental Aristotelian views are indefensible. In this paper, I rebuff Hurka's skepticism and identify an Aristotelian view that stands fast in the (...)
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  24. added 2014-11-04
    Andreas Elpidorou (2014). The Bright Side of Boredom. Frontiers in Psychology 5.
  25. added 2014-11-03
    J. Paul Kelleher (2014). Relevance and Non-Consequentialist Aggregation. Utilitas 26 (4):385-408.
    Interpersonal aggregation involves the combining and weighing of benefits and losses to multiple individuals in the course of determining what ought to be done. Most consequentialists embrace thoroughgoing interpersonal aggregation, the view that any large benefit to each of a few people can be morally outweighed by allocating any smaller benefit to each of many others, so long as this second group is sufficiently large. This would permit letting one person die in order to cure some number of mild headaches (...)
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  26. added 2014-11-02
    Jluie Tannenbaum & Agnieszka Jaworska (forthcoming). “Who Has the Capacity to Participate as a Rearee in a Person-Rearing Relationship&Quot;. Ethics.
    In this paper we discuss applications of the account of moral status proposed in our original article "Person-Rearing Relationships as a Key to Higher Moral Status." We address in this article which individuals would have higher moral status, or not, and why, focusing on three classes of cases: (1) cases involving incomplete realization of the capacity to care, including whether infants or fetuses have this capacity; (2) cases in which higher moral status rests in part on what is required for (...)
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  27. added 2014-10-31
    J. Colin McQuillan (2014). Oaths, Promises, and Compulsory Duties: Kant's Response to Mendelssohn's Jerusalem. Journal of the History of Ideas 75 (4).
    This article argues that Kant's essay on enlightenment responds to Moses Mendelssohn's defense of the freedom of conscience in Jerusalem. While Mendelssohn holds that the freedom of conscience as an inalienable right, Kant argues that the use of one's reason may be constrained by oaths. Kant calls such a constrained use of reason the private use of reason. While he also defends the unconditional freedom of the public use of reason, Kant believes that one makes oneself a part of the (...)
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  28. added 2014-10-29
    Bradford Cokelet (2014). Review of Christian Miller, Moral Character: An Empirical Theory. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2014 (2.7).
    Review of Christian Miller's "Moral Character: An Empirical Theory." I question Miller's criteria for overall judgements about the vice and vice of people's character traits, and sketch an alternative framework.
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  29. added 2014-10-27
    Amir Saemi (2014). On John Laird's “Value and Obligation”. Ethics 125 (1):235-237,.
    Unjustly forgotten, Laird’s “value and obligation”, I shall argue, is of great relevance to contemporary moral philosophy. To this aim, I will explore three main theses of Laird’s paper which are as follows: (T1) We can’t understand judgments of value and obligation in terms of mere feelings and desires. (T2) Desire must be guided by cognition of some value. (T3) Judgments of rightness and obligation must be grounded in judgments of value.
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  30. added 2014-10-25
    Yair Levy (forthcoming). Brennan, Eriksson, Goodin, and Southwood, 'Explaining Norms' (OUP 2013). [REVIEW] Mind.
  31. added 2014-10-23
    Mavis Biss (2014). On W. P. Ker's “Imagination and Judgment”. Ethics 125 (1):232-234,.
    In “Imagination and Judgment” W.P. Ker argues, contrary to the “ordinary teaching” of the moralists of his day, that we have good reason to consider imagination as “the highest form of practical wisdom or prudence” (475). Modes of imaginative thought that direct human passion towards morally valuable ends are best understood as a form of reason or an intellectual virtue, as opposed to a dangerous distraction from reality and threat to good judgment. Ker’s piece remains of interest partly because it (...)
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  32. added 2014-10-22
    Owen Ware (forthcoming). Rethinking Kant's Fact of Reason. Philosophers' Imprint.
    Kant’s doctrine of the Fact of Reason is one of the most perplexing aspects of his moral philosophy. The aim of this paper is to defend Kant’s doctrine from the common charge of dogmatism. My defense turns on a previously unexplored analogy to the notion of ‘matters of fact’ popularized by members of the Royal Society in the seventeenth century. In their work, ‘facts’ were beyond doubt, often referring to experimental effects one could witness first hand. While Kant uses the (...)
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  33. added 2014-10-22
    Mavis Biss (forthcoming). Empathy and Interrogation. International Journal of Applied Philosophy.
    Against the background of not-so-distant debate regarding “enhanced” interrogation techniques used by the United States during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which many understand to be torture, this essay explores the moral complexities of “ordinary” interrogation practices, those that are clearly not forms of torture. Based on analysis of the written reflections of two United States interrogators on the work they did during the Iraq war, I categorize the roles played by multiple modes of empathy within interrogation and argue (...)
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  34. added 2014-10-22
    Antoine C. Dussault (2014). Fitting-Attitude Analyses and the Relation Between Final and Intrinsic Value. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 9 (2):166-189.
    This paper examines the debate as to whether something can have final value in virtue of its relational (i.e., non-intrinsic) properties, or, more briefly put, whether final value must be intrinsic. The paper adopts the perspective of the fitting-attitude analysis (FA analysis) of value, and argues that from this perspective, there is no ground for the requirement that things may have final value only in virtue of their intrinsic properties, but that there might be some grounds for the alternate requirement (...)
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  35. added 2014-10-22
    Antoine C. Dussault (2014). Attitudes, valeurs et environnement : Introduction. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 9 (2):50-56.
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  36. added 2014-10-22
    Antti Kauppinen (2014). Hate and Punishment. Journal of Interpersonal Violence:1-19.
    According to legal expressivism, neither crime nor punishment consists merely in intentionally imposing some kind of harm on another. Crime and punishment also have an expressive aspect. They are what they are in part because they enact attitudes toward others—in the case of crime, some kind of disrespect, at least, and in the case of punishment, society’s condemnation or reprobation. Punishment is justified, at least in part, because (and when) it uniquely expresses fitting condemnation or other retributive attitude. What makes (...)
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  37. added 2014-10-22
    Mauro Rossi (2014). Sur la symétrie présumée entre valeurs et préférences. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 9 (2):82-98.
    Comment pouvons-nous analyser des relations de valeur non standards, comme la parité axiologique, en termes d’attitudes appropriées? Wlodek Rabinowicz suggère que deux choses sont à parité si et seulement si il est à la fois permissible de préférer l’une à l’autre et permissible d’avoir la préférence contraire. Dans un article récent, Johan Gustafsson soutient toutefois que l’analyse de Rabinowicz viole un principe de symétrie entre valeurs et préférences, selon lequel il existe pour toute relation de valeur une relation de préférence (...)
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  38. added 2014-10-22
    Chris Kelly (2014). Value Monism, Richness, And Environmental Ethics. Les Ateliers de l'Éthique / the Ethics Forum 9 (2):110-129.
    The intuitions at the core of environmental ethics and of other neglected value realms put pressure on traditional anthropocentric ethics based on monistic value theories. Such pressure is so severe that it has led many to give up on the idea of monistic value theories altogether. I argue that value monism is still preferable to value pluralism and that, indeed, these new challenges are opportunities to vastly improve impoverished traditional theories. I suggest an alternative monistic theory, Richness Theory, and show (...)
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  39. added 2014-10-21
    Hallvard Lillehammer (forthcoming). Minding Your Own Business? Understanding Indifference as a Virtue. Philosophical Perspectives 28.
    Indifference is sometimes described as a virtue. Yet who is indifferent; to what; and in what way is poorly understood, and frequently subject to controversy and confusion. This paper proposes a framework for the interpretation and analysis of ethically acceptable forms of indifference in terms of how different states of indifference can be either more or less dynamic, or more or less sensitive to the nature and state of their object.
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  40. added 2014-10-16
    Thaddeus Metz & Sarah Clark Miller (forthcoming). Relational Ethics. In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
    An overview of relational approaches to ethics, which contrast with individualist and holist ones.
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  41. added 2014-10-14
    Bradford Cokelet (forthcoming). Virtue Ethics and the Demands of Social Morality. In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Volume 4. Oxford University Press.
    Building on work by Steve Darwall, I argue that standard virtue ethical accounts of moral motivation are defective because they don't include accounts of social morality. I then propose a virtue ethical account of social morality, and respond to one of Darwall's core objections to the coherence of any such (non-Kantian) account.
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  42. added 2014-10-13
    Bradford Cokelet (forthcoming). Dispositions, Character, and the Value of Acts. In Christian Miller, R. Michael Furr, Angela Knobel & William Fleeson (eds.), Character: New Directions from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology. Oxford University Press.
    This paper concerns the central virtue ethical thesis that the ethical quality of an agent's actions is a function of her dispositional character. Skeptics have rightly urged us to distinguish between an agent's particular intentions or occurrant motives and dispositional facts about her character, but they falsely contend that if we are attentive to this distinction, then we will see that the virtue ethical thesis is false. In this paper I present a new interpretation and defense of the virtue ethical (...)
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  43. added 2014-10-12
    Alison Reiheld (2014). BOOK REVIEW: Technologies of Life and Death: From Cloning to Capital Punishment by Kelly Oliver. [REVIEW] Environmental Values 23 (2).
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  44. added 2014-10-08
    Rafał Wonicki (2013). Global Environmental Citizenship: The Polish Approach to Ecology. In Is Planet Earth Green? 57-66.
    chapter aims at tracing the connections between global citizenship and global environmentalism at both, the theoretical and the practical level. At the theoretical level I define the notion of global citizenship referring to Nigel Dower's definition described in his book titled World Ethics - The New Agenda. Subsequently, I show that the idea of global citizenship is a part of global justice concept. At the first glance it seems to be a political concept, while it is primarily an ethical one. (...)
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  45. added 2014-10-06
    Sven Nyholm (2014). Lorraine Besser-Jones, Eudaimonic Ethics: The Philosophy and Psychology of Living Well. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2014.
    Besser-Jones holds that well-being consists in having the experience of satisfying three innate psychological needs at the core of human nature: "relatedness," "autonomy," and "competence." Of these three, the first is the most central one, and we satisfy it by interacting with our fellows in caring and respectful ways: by "acting well." To act well, we need, Besser-Jones argues, a virtuous character: we need certain moral beliefs, and we need those to interact with our intentions in ways that reliably lead (...)
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  46. added 2014-10-04
    Chris Keegan (2010). “It Puts the Lotion in the Basket: The Language of Psychopathy”. In Sara Waller (ed.), Serial Killers: Philosophy for Everyone – Killing and Being, ed. Sara Waller (Wiley-Blackwell: 2010), 129-140. Wiley-Blackwell. 129-140.
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  47. added 2014-10-01
    Aaron Smuts, How Much Should We Be Moved by the Fate of Anna Karenina?
    It is widely assumed that we can meaningfully talk about emotional reactions as being appropriate or inappropriate. Much of the discussion has focused on one kind of appropriateness, that of fittingness. An emotional response is appropriate only if it fits its object. For instance, fear only fits dangerous things. There is another dimension of appropriateness that has been relatively ignored — proportionality. For an emotional reaction to be appropriate not only must the object fit, the reaction should be of the (...)
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  48. added 2014-09-30
    Gunnar Björnsson (2014). Essentially Shared Obligations. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38 (1):103-120.
    This paper lists a number of puzzles for shared obligations – puzzles about the role of individual influence, individual reasons to contribute towards fulfilling the obligation, about what makes someone a member of a group sharing an obligation, and the relation between agency and obligation – and proposes to solve them based on a general analysis of obligations. On the resulting view, shared obligations do not presuppose joint agency.
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  49. added 2014-09-29
    Christian Barry & David Wiens (forthcoming). Benefiting From Wrongdoing and Sustaining Wrongful Harm. Journal of Moral Philosophy.
  50. added 2014-09-28
    Elijah Chudnoff (forthcoming). Moral Perception: High-Level Perception or Low-Level Intuition? In Thiemo Breyer & Christopher Gutland (eds.), Phenomenology of Thinking.
    Here are four examples of “seeing.” You see that something green is wriggling. You see that an iguana is in distress. You see that someone is wrongfully harming an iguana. You see that torturing animals is wrong. The first is an example of low-level perception. You visually represent color and motion. The second is an example of high-level perception. You visually represent kind properties and mental properties. The third is an example of moral perception. You have an impression of moral (...)
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