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  1. Frank Arntzenius & David McCarthy (1997). Self Torture and Group Beneficence. Erkenntnis 47 (1):129-144.
    Moral puzzles about actions which bring about very small or what are said to be imperceptible harms or benefits for each of a large number of people are well known. Less well known is an argument by Warren Quinn that standard theories of rationality can lead an agent to end up torturing himself or herself in a completely foreseeable way, and that this shows that standard theories of rationality need to be revised. We show where Quinn's argument goes wrong, and (...)
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  2. Selim Berker (forthcoming). Reply to Goldman: Cutting Up the One to Save the Five in Epistemology. Episteme.
    I argue that Alvin Goldman has failed to save process reliabilism from my critique in earlier work of consequentialist or teleological epistemic theories. First, Goldman misconstrues the nature of my challenge: two of the cases he discusses I never claimed to be counterexamples to process reliabilism. Second, Goldman’s reply to the type of case I actually claimed to be a counterexample to process reliabilism is unsuccessful. He proposes a variety of responses, but all of them either feature an implausible restriction (...)
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  3. Selim Berker (2013). Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions. Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
    When it comes to epistemic normativity, should we take the good to be prior to the right? That is, should we ground facts about what we ought and ought not believe on a given occasion in facts about the value of being in certain cognitive states (such as, for example, the value of having true beliefs)? The overwhelming answer among contemporary epistemologists is “Yes, we should.” This essay argues to the contrary. Just as taking the good to be prior to (...)
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  4. Mathieu Doucet (2013). Playing Dice with Morality: Weighted Lotteries and the Number Problem. Utilitas 25 (2):161-181.
    In this article I criticize the non-consequentialist Weighted Lottery (WL) solution to the choice between saving a smaller or a larger group of people. WL aims to avoid what non-consequentialists see as consequentialism's unfair aggregation by giving equal consideration to each individual's claim to be rescued. In so doing, I argue, WL runs into another common objection to consequentialism: it is excessively demanding. WL links the right action with the outcome of a fairly weighted lottery, which means that an agent (...)
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  5. Julian Fink (2007). Is the Right Prior to the Good? South African Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):143-149.
    One popular line of argument put forward in support of the principle that the right is prior to the good is to show that teleological theories, which put the good prior to the right, lead to implausible normative results. There are situa- tions, it is argued, in which putting the good prior to the right entails that we ought to do things that cannot be right for us to do. Consequently, goodness cannot (always) explain an action's rightness. This indicates that (...)
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  6. Daniel Groll (2010). Review of Jeffrey A. Schaler (Ed.), Peter Singer Under Fire: The Moral Iconoclast Faces His Critics. [REVIEW] Teaching Philosophy 33 (4):418-421.
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  7. Elinor Mason (2012). Coercion and Integrity. In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 2. Oxford.
    Williams argues that impartial moral theories undermine agents’ integrity by making them responsible for allowings as well as doings. I argue that in some cases of allowings, where there is an intervening agent, the agent has been coerced, and so is not fully responsible. -/- I provide an analysis of coercion. Whether an agent is coerced depends on various things (the coercer must provide strong reasons, and the coercer must have a mens rea), and crucially, the coercee’s action is rendered (...)
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  8. Paul McNamara (1995). The Confinement Problem: How to Terminate Your Mom with Her Trust. Analysis 55 (4):310 - 313.
    Cliff Landesman provides a vivid description of a case where we have no best outcome available to us. He poses this as a problem for utilitarians who advise us to do the best we can. This does indeed make such advice impractical. I begin by contrasting older versions of utilitarianism with newer ones that have appeared in deontic logic and that were designed precisely to accommodate Landesman's sort of scenario. (I cast matters in terms of the Limit Assumption and world-theoretic (...)
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  9. Mark T. Nelson (1991). Utilitarian Eschatology. American Philosophical Quarterly 28 (4):339-47.
    Traditional utilitarianism, when applied, implies a surprising prediction about the future, viz., that all experience of pleasure and pain must end once and for all, or infinitely dwindle. Not only is this implication surprising, it should render utilitarianism unacceptable to persons who hold any of the following theses: that evaluative propositions may not imply descriptive, factual propositions; that evaluative propositions may not imply contingent factual propositions about the future; that there will always exist beings who experience pleasure or pain.
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  10. Holly Smith (2010). Measuring the Consequences of Rules. Utilitas 22 (4):413-433.
    Rule utilitarianism has recently enjoyed a resurgence of interest triggered by Brad Hooker’s sophisticated treatment in Ideal Code, Real World.1 An intriguing new debate has now broken out about how best to formulate rule utilitarianism – whether to evaluate candidate moral codes in terms of the value of their consequences at a fixed rate (such as 90%) of social acceptance (as Hooker contends), or to evaluate codes in terms of the value of their consequences throughout the entire range of possible (...)
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  11. Holly M. Smith (2011). The Prospective View of Obligation. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
  12. David Sobel (2007). The Impotence of the Demandingness Objection. Philosophers' Imprint 7 (8):1-17.
    Consequentialism, many philosophers have claimed, asks too much of us to be a plausible ethical theory. Indeed, the theory's severe demandingness is often claimed to be its chief flaw. My thesis is that as we come to better understand this objection, we see that, even if it signals or tracks the existence of a real problem for Consequentialism, it cannot itself be a fundamental problem with the view. The objection cannot itself provide good reason to break with Consequentialism, because it (...)
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