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Profile: Alex Rajczi (Claremont McKenna College)
  1. Alex Rajczi (2011). The Argument From Self-Creation: A Refutation of Act-Consequentialism and a Defense of Moral Options. American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (4):315.
    The standard form of act-consequentialism requires us to perform the action with the best consequences; it allows choice between moral options only on those rare occasions when several actions produce equally good results. This paper argues for moral options and thus against act-consequentialism. The argument turns on the insight that some valuable things cannot exist unless our moral system allows options. One such thing is the opportunity for individuals to enact plans for their life from among alternatives. Because (...)
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    Alex Rajczi (forthcoming). On the Incoherence Objection to Rule-Utilitarianism. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-20.
    For a long time many philosophers felt the incoherence objection was a decisive objection to rule-consequentialism, but that position has recently become less secure, because Brad Hooker has offered a clever new way for rule-consequentialists to avoid the incoherence objection. Hooker’s response defeats traditional forms of the incoherence objection, but this paper argues that another version of the problem remains. Several possible solutions fail. One other does not, but it introduces other problems into the theory. I conclude that the new (...)
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  3. Alex Rajczi (2008). A Liberal Approach to the Obesity Epidemic. Public Affairs Quarterly 22 (3):269-288.
    At least half of American adults are overweight or obese, and the number may be as high as two-thirds. These facts have spurred anti-obesity campaigns, and those campaigns have provoked difficult questions in public health and population ethics. Should the government merely inform people about the risks of unhealthy food? May it try to change behavior by taxing unhealthy food? May it ban some foods outright? This paper proposes that we should answer these questions using familiar liberal principles. The principles (...)
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  4. Alex Rajczi (2002). The Moral Theory Behind Moral Dilemmas. American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (4):373-383.
    In the last forty years there has been a resurgence of interest in moral dilemmas—situations in which through no fault of a person’s own, he or she is morally required to do one thing, required to do another, but cannot do both. Some prominent figures have argued that such things could be. Opponents have marshaled several anti-dilemma arguments in response. For the most part, this debate has centered on issues in metaethics. Those metaethical questions are interesting, and resolving them could (...)
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  5.  74
    Alex Rajczi (2013). Formulating and Articulating Public Health Policies: The Case of New York City. Public Health Ethics 6 (3):pht029.
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  6. Alex Rajczi (2007). Integrity and Ordinary Morality. American Philosophical Quarterly 44 (1):15-27.
    Consequentialism is enticing, and yet it also seems overly demanding. As a result, many non-consequentialists try to explain why we aren’t required to maximize the good. One explanation is the Integrity Explanation: we aren’t required to maximize the good because morality must make room for us to pursue the projects we value most deeply. Some people hope that the Integrity Explanation will not just explain why consequentialism is false, but simultaneously vindicate the common-sense permission to generally refrain from promoting the (...)
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    Alex Rajczi (2009). Consequentialism, Integrity, and Ordinary Morality. Utilitas 21 (3):377-392.
    According to the moral standards most of us accept and live by, morality generally permits us to refrain from promoting the good of others and instead engage in non-harmful projects of our own choice. This aspect of so-called ‘ordinary morality’ has turned out to be very difficult to justify. Recently, though, various authors, including Bernard Williams and Samuel Scheffler, have proposed “Integrity Theories” that would vindicate this aspect of ordinary morality, at least in part. They are generated by treating as (...)
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  8.  84
    Alex Rajczi (2008). A Populist Argument for Same-Sex Marriage. The Monist 91 (3-4):475-505.
    The paper argues that same-sex marriage ought to be legalized. The argument is ecumenical and appeals only to basic principles of liberal government. Specifically, the paper argues that if the government is offering an opportunity to one group, then it may not withhold the opportunity from another on the ground that the people receiving it are immoral or that their receipt of the opportunity would spread immoral messages. The only acceptable ground is that the group’s receipt would cause wrongful harm (...)
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  9.  9
    Alex Rajczi (2016). Liberalism and Public Health Ethics. Bioethics 30 (2):96-108.
    Many public health dilemmas involve a tension between the promotion of health and the rights of individuals. This article suggests that we should resolve the tension using our familiar liberal principles of government. The article considers the common objections that liberalism is incompatible with standard public health interventions such as anti-smoking measures or intervention in food markets; there are special reasons for hard paternalism in public health; and liberalism is incompatible with proper protection of the community good. The article argues (...)
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  10. Alex Rajczi (2009). Abortion, Competing Entitlements, and Parental Responsibility. Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (4):379-395.
    Don Marquis offered the most famous philosophical argument against abortion. His argument contained a novel defence of the idea that foetuses have the same moral status as ordinary adults. The first half of this paper contends that even if Marquis has shown that foetuses have this status, he has not proven that abortion is therefore wrong. Instead his argument falls victim to problems similar to those raised by Judith Thomson, problems that have plagued most anti-abortion arguments since. Once Marquis's anti-abortion (...)
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  11.  36
    Alex Rajczi (2008). A Populist Argument for Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage. The Monist 91 (3/4):475-505.
    The paper argues that same-sex marriage ought to be legalized. The argument is ecumenical and appeals only to basic principles of liberal government. Specifically, the paper argues that if the government is offering an opportunity to one group, then it may not withhold the opportunity from another on the ground that the people receiving it are immoral or that their receipt of the opportunity would spread immoral messages. The only acceptable ground is that the group’s receipt would cause wrongful harm (...)
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  12.  25
    Alex Rajczi (2002). When Can One Requirement Override Another? Philosophical Studies 108 (3):309 - 326.
    I argue that any theory of moral obligation must be able to explain two things: why we cannot be thrust into a moral dilemma through no fault of our own, and why we can get into a moral dilemma through our own negligence. The most intuitive theory of moral obligation cannot do so. However, I offer a theory of moral obligation that satisfies both of these criteria, one that is founded on the principle that if you are required to do (...)
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  13.  9
    Alex Rajczi (2004). Making Risk-Benefit Assessments of Medical Research Protocols. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 32 (2):338-348.
    An axiom of medical research ethics is that a protocol is moral only if it has a “favorable risk-benefit ratio”. This axiom is usually interpreted in the following way: a medical research protocol is moral only if it has a positive expected value -- that is, if it is likely to do more good (to both subjects and society) than harm. I argue that, thus interpreted, the axiom has two problems. First, it is unusable, because it (...)
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    Alex Rajczi (2008). One Danger of Biomedical Enhancements. Bioethics 22 (6):328–336.
    In the near future, our society may develop a vast array of medical enhancements. There is a large debate about enhancements, and that debate has identified many possible harms. This paper describes a harm that has so far been overlooked. Because of some particular features of enhancements, we could come to place more value on them than we actually should. This over-valuation would lead us to devote time, energy, and resources to enhancements that could be better spent somewhere else. That (...)
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    Alexander Rajczi (2003). Why Are There No Expert Teachers of Virtue? Educational Theory 53 (4):389-400.
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    Alex Rajczi (2007). A Critique of the Innovation Argument Against a National Health Program. Bioethics 21 (6):316–323.
    President Bush and his Council of Economic Advisors have claimed that the U.S. shouldn’t adopt a national health program because doing so would slow innovation in health care. Some have attacked this argument by challenging its moral claim that innovativeness is a good ground for choosing between health care systems. This reply is misguided. If we want to refute the argument from innovation, we have to undercut the premise that seems least controversial -- the premise that our current system produces (...)
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  17. Alex Rajczi (2004). Making Risk-Benefit Assessments of Medical Research Protocols. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 32 (2):338-348.
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