L.W. Sumner University of Toronto
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  • Faculty, University of Toronto
  • PhD, Princeton University, 1965.

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  1. L. W. Sumner (forthcoming). The Criterion of Sentience. Bioethics: Readings and Cases.
     
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  2. L. W. Sumner (forthcoming). Welfare, Happiness &. Ethics.
     
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  3. L. W. Sumner (2015). Reply to Williams. Criminal Law and Philosophy 9 (2):331-335.
    In her review of my book Assisted Death: A Study in Ethics and Law, Glenys Williams raises a number of substantive objections to its argument. In this note I reply to those objections.
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  4. L. W. Sumner (2013). Book Review. [REVIEW] Law and Philosophy 32 (2-3):377-383.
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  5. L. W. Sumner (2013). Ishani Maitra and Mary Kate McGowan (Eds.), Speech and Harm: Controversies Over Free Speech. Social Theory and Practice 39 (4):710-718.
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  6. L. W. Sumner (2013). Rawls and the Contract Theory of Civil Disobedience. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 7 (sup1):1-48.
    (1977). Rawls and the Contract Theory of Civil Disobedience. Canadian Journal of Philosophy: Vol. 7, Supplementary Volume 3: New Essays on Contract Theory, pp. 1-48.
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  7. L. W. Sumner (2011). Assisted Death: A Study in Ethics and Law. Oxford University Press.
    In this timely book L.W. Sumner addresses these issues within the wider context of palliative care for patients in the dying process.
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  8. L. W. Sumner (2011). Criminalizing Expression : Hate Speech and Obscenity. In John Deigh & David Dolinko (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of the Criminal Law. Oxford University Press
     
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  9. L. Sumner (2008). Politician, Judges, and the Charter. Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 21 (1):227-238.
    The complaint is a familiar one: unelected, politically unaccountable judges are using their powers of judicial review to subvert the democratic process by shaping public policy in accordance with their own personal moral/political views. It is tempting to dismiss this complaint as the grumbling of those, usually on the political right, who have been disaffected by court decisions with which they personally disagree. But this temptation must be resisted, since the critics of judicial review, such as Jeremy Waldron, raise important (...)
     
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  10. L. W. Sumner (2006). Utility and Capability. Utilitas 18 (1):1-19.
    When Amartya Sen defends his capability theory of well-being he contrasts it with the utility theory advocated by the classical utilitarians, including John Stuart Mill. Yet a closer examination of the two theories reveals that they are much more similar than they appear. Each theory can be interpreted in either a subjective or an objective way. When both are interpreted subjectively the differences between them are slight, and likewise for the objective interpretations. Finally, whatever differences may remain are less important (...)
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  11. L. W. Sumner (2006). Utility and Capability. Utilitas 18 (1):1-19.
    When Amartya Sen defends his capability theory of well-being he contrasts it with the utility theory advocated by the classical utilitarians, including John Stuart Mill. Yet a closer examination of the two theories reveals that they are much more similar than they appear. Each theory can be interpreted in either a subjective or an objective way. When both are interpreted subjectively the differences between them are slight, and likewise for the objective interpretations. Finally, whatever differences may remain are less important (...)
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  12. L. W. Sumner (2005). Critical Notice. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (4):623-640.
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  13. L. W. Sumner (2005). Freedom of Commercial Expression. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (4):623-640.
  14. L. W. Sumner (2002). Happiness Now and Then. Apeiron 35 (4):21-40.
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  15. L. W. Sumner, John G. Slater & Marcus Singer (2002). Timothy LS Sprigge. In Leemon McHenry, P. Dematteis & P. Fosl (eds.), British Philosophers, 1800-2000. Bruccoli Clark Layman 262--266.
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  16. L. W. Sumner (1998). Fred Feldman, Utilitarianism, Hedonism, and Desert: Essays in Moral Philosophy:Utilitarianism, Hedonism, and Desert: Essays in Moral Philosophy. Ethics 109 (1):176-179.
  17. L. W. Sumner (1998). Is Virtue Its Own Reward? Social Philosophy and Policy 15 (01):18-36.
    If I lead a life of virtue, that may well be good for you. But will it also be good for me? The idea that it will—or even must—is an ancient one, and its appeal runs deep. For if this idea is correct then we can provide everyone with a good reason—arguably the best reason—for being virtuous. However, for all the effort which has been invested in defending the idea, by some of the best minds in the history of philosophy, (...)
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  18. L. W. Sumner (1997). Moderate Views of Abortion. Advances in Bioethics 2:203.
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  19. L. W. Sumner (1996). Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics. Oxford University Press.
    Moral philosophers agree that welfare matters. But they disagree about what it is, or how much it matters. In this vital new work, Wayne Sumner presents an original theory of welfare, investigating its nature and discussing its importance. He considers and rejects all notable theories of welfare, both objective and subjective, including hedonism and theories founded on desire or preference. His own theory connects welfare closely with happiness or life satisfaction. Reacting against the value pluralism that currently dominates moral philosophy, (...)
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  20. L. W. Sumner (1996). Why the Numbers Count. Dialogue 35 (02):375-.
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  21. L. W. Sumner & Joseph Boyle (eds.) (1996). Philosophical Perspectives on Bioethics. University of Toronto Press.
    How are we to understand the role of bioethics in the health care system, government, and academe? This collection of original essays raises these and other questions about the nature of bioethics as a discipline.
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  22. L. W. Sumner (1995). Book Review:Creation and Abortion. Frances Myrna Kamm. [REVIEW] Ethics 105 (2):426-.
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  23. L. W. Sumner (1995). The Subjectivity of Welfare. Ethics 105 (4):764-790.
  24. L. W. Sumner (1993). Conrad D. Johnson, Moral Legislation: A Legal-Political Model for Indirect Consequentialist Reasoning, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991, Pp. 232. Utilitas 5 (01):122-.
  25. L. W. Sumner (1992). Welfare, Happiness, and Pleasure. Utilitas 4 (02):199-.
    Time and philosophical fashion have not been kind to hedonism. After flourishing for three centuries or so in its native empiricist habitat, it has latterly all but disappeared from the scene. Does it now merit even passing attention, for other than nostalgic purposes? Like endangered species, discredited ideas do sometimes manage to make a comeback. Is hedonism due for a revival of this sort? Perhaps it is overly optimistic to think that it could ever flourish again in its original form; (...)
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  26. L. W. Sumner (1992). Two Theories of the Good. Social Philosophy and Policy 9 (02):1-.
    Suppose that the ultimate point of ethics is to make the world a better place. If it is, we must face the question: better in what respect? If the good is prior to the right that is, if the rationale for all requirements of the right is that they serve to further the good in one way or another then what is this good? Is there a single fundamental value capable of underlying and unifying all of our moral categories? If (...)
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  27. J. W. Child, A. I. Melden & L. W. Sumner (1990). Rights in Moral Lives.The Moral Foundations of Rights. Philosophical Quarterly 40 (158):112.
  28. L. W. Sumner (1989). Book Review:Persons, Rights, and the Moral Community. Loren E. Lomasky. [REVIEW] Ethics 99 (3):640-.
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  29. L. W. Sumner (1989). Reply to Hurka and Copp. Dialogue 28 (01):149-.
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  30. L. Sumner (1988). Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 8:149-152.
     
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  31. L. W. Sumner (1988). Animal Welfare and Animal Rights. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 13 (2):159-175.
    Animal liberationists tend to divide into two mutually antagonistic camps: animal welfarists, who share a utilitarian moral outlook, and animal rightists, who presuppose a structure of basic rights. However, the gap between these groups tends to be exaggerated by their allegiance to oversimplified versions of their favored moral frameworks. For their part, animal rightists should acknowledge that rights, however basic, are also defeasible by appeals to consequences. Contrariwise, animal welfarists should recognize that rights, however derivative, are capable of constraining appeals (...)
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  32. L. W. Sumner (1988). Joseph Raz, The Morality of Freedom Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 8 (4):149-152.
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  33. L. W. Sumner (1987). Justice Contracted. Dialogue 26 (03):523-.
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  34. L. W. Sumner (1987). Positive Sexism. Social Philosophy and Policy 5 (01):204-.
    No one who cares about equal opportunity can derive much comfort from the present occupational distribution of working women. In the various industrial societies of the West, women comprise between one quarter and one-half of the national labor force. However, they tend to clustered in employment sectors – especially clerical, sales, and service J occupations – which rank relatively low in remuneration, status, autonomy, and other perquisites. Meanwhile, the more prestigious and rewarding managerial and professional positions, as well as the (...)
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  35. L. W. Sumner (1987). The Moral Foundation of Rights. Oxford University Press.
    What does it mean for someone to have a moral right to something? What kinds of creatures can have rights, and which rights can they have? While rights are indispensable to our moral and political thinking, they are also mysterious and controversial; as long as these controversies remain unsolved, rights will remain vulnerable to skepticism. Here, Sumner constructs both a coherent concept of a moral right and a workable substantive theory of rights to provide the moral foundation necessary to dispel (...)
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  36. L. W. Sumner (1986). Abortion and Infanticide. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (3):527-543.
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  37. L. W. Sumner (1986). A Response to Morris. Bowling Green Studies in Applied Philosophy 8:22-23.
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  38. L. W. Sumner (1986). Subjectivity and Moral Standing. Bowling Green Studies in Applied Philosophy 8:1-15.
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  39. L. W. Sumner (1986). The Ethics of Environmental Concern. Environmental Ethics 8 (1):77-82.
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  40. L. Sumner (1985). Derek Parfit, Reasons and Persons. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 5:310-313.
     
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  41. L. W. Sumner (1985). Derek Parfit, Reasons and Persons Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 5 (7):310-313.
  42. L. W. Sumner (1985). Moral Theory and Moral Standing: A Reply to Woods and Soles. Dialogue 24 (4):691.
     
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  43. L. W. Sumner (1985). Sumner on Abortion: Moral Theory and Moral Standing: A Reply to Woods and Soles. Dialogue 24 (04):691-.
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  44. L. W. Sumner (1984). Deliberating on Death. Dialogue 23 (03):503-508.
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  45. L. W. Sumner (1984). The Carnivore Strikes Back. Dialogue 23 (04):661-668.
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  46. Stanley S. Kleinberg & L. W. Sumner (1983). Abortion and Moral Theory. Philosophical Quarterly 33 (132):310.
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  47. L. W. Sumner (1982). Does Medical Ethics Have Its Own Theory? Hastings Center Report 12 (4):38-39.
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  48. Thomas A. Goudge, John G. Slater, Fred Wilson & L. W. Sumner (1981). Pragmatism and Purpose Essays Presented to Thomas A. Goudge /Edited by L.W. Sumner, John G. Slater, Fred Wilson. --. --. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
     
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  49. L. Sumner (1981). C.L. Ten, Mill On Liberty. [REVIEW] Philosophy in Review 1:229-232.
     
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  50. L. W. Sumner (1981). CL Ten, Mill on Liberty Reviewed By. Philosophy in Review 1 (5):229-232.
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  51. L. W. Sumner (1979). Animal Liberation. Environmental Ethics 1 (4):365-370.
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  52. L. W. Sumner (1979). Animal Liberation. Environmental Ethics 1 (4):365-370.
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  53. L. W. Sumner (1979). Critical Notice of Alan Donagan, The Theory of Morality. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):185-194.
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  54. L. W. Sumner (1979). The Good and the Right. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 5:99.
  55. L. W. Sumner (1978). Classical Utilitarianism and the Population Optimum. In Richard I. Sikora & Brian M. Barry (eds.), Obligations to Future Generations. White Horse Press 91--111.
     
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  56. L. W. Sumner (1978). Ethics: Report of the Consultative Group on Ethics. Ottawa: The Canada Council, 1977. Vi + 34 Pages. $2.00. [REVIEW] Dialogue 17 (03):575-581.
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  57. L. W. Sumner (1978). The Moral Status of Animals.By Stephen R.L. Clark. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977. 221 Pages. [REVIEW] Dialogue 17 (03):570-575.
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  58. L. W. Sumner (1977). Negativities: The Limits of Life. By Joseph Margolis. Columbus. Ohio: Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company. 1975. Pp. Vii, 166. [REVIEW] Dialogue 16 (02):348-352.
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  59. L. W. Sumner (1976). A Matter of Life and Death. Noûs 10 (2):145-171.
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  60. L. W. Sumner (1975). Catching Up With Castañeda. Dialogue 14 (04):671-685.
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  61. L. W. Sumner (1974). More Light on the Later Mill. Philosophical Review 83 (4):504-527.
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  62. L. W. Sumner (1974). Toward a Credible View of Abortion. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):163 - 181.
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  63. L. W. Sumner (1971). Cooperation, Fairness and Utility. Journal of Value Inquiry 5 (2):105-119.
    In the situations canvassed I have argued that (a) the dominant aim of the utilitarian will be the establishment of a fair procedure, (b) under radical uncertainty cooperation will constitute his best bet, and (c) when he knowsthat all others will cooperate it is still an open question whether he will slack, and if under some conditions he does so he does not then act unfairly. It is wise to bear in mind, however, that an enormous number of possible situations, (...)
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  64. L. W. Sumner (1969). Consequences of Utilitarianism. Dialogue 7 (04):639-642.
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  65. L. W. Sumner & John Hayden Woods (1969). Necessary Truth a Book of Readings. Random House.
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  66. L. W. Sumner (1968). Morality and Utility. By Jan Narveson. Baltimore; The Johns Hopkins Press; Toronto: Copp Clark Pub. Co. 1967. Pp. Ix, 293. $7.50. [REVIEW] Dialogue 7 (02):302-305.
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  67. L. W. Sumner (1968). Value Judgments and Action. Mind 77 (307):383-399.
  68. L. W. Sumner (1967). Hare's Arguments Against Ethical Naturalism. Journal of Philosophy 64 (23):779-791.
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  69. L. W. Sumner (1967). Normative Ethics and Metaethics. Ethics 77 (2):95-106.
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  70. L. W. Sumner (1967). The Revolution in Ethical Theory. By George C. Kerner. Oxford University Press, 1966. Pp. Vi, 254. $4.40. Dialogue 5 (04):649-652.
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