Ethics for Enemies comprises three original philosophical essays on torture, terrorism, and war. F. M. Kamm deploys ethical theory in her challenging new treatments of these most controversial practical issues. First she considers the nature of torture and the various occasions on which it could occur, in order to determine why it might be wrong to torture a wrongdoer held captive, even if this were necessary to save his victims. In the second essay she considers what makes terrorism wrong--whether it (...) is the intention to harm civilians, rather than harm to them being 'collateral damage,' or something else--and whether terrorism is always wrong. The third essay discusses whether having a right reason, in the sense of a right intention, is necessary in order for a war to be just. Kamm then examines ways in which the harms of war can be proportional to the achievement of the just cause and other goods that war can bring about, so as to make the declaration of war permissible. (shrink)
In this article, I first compare positions I have taken in the past and those taken by Peter Singer on how the allocation of life-saving resources should be affected by (1) the aggregation of expected quality of life, quantity of life, and need, (2) both within the life of a person (intrapersonal aggregation) and across persons (interpersonal aggregation). I then reexamine the specific issue of whether and why differences in expected years of life and quality of life that a scarce (...) resource can provide a disabled and a nondisabled person should affect our allocation decisions. I attend to how the use of the veil of ignorance bears on this issue and also how the conclusions I reach differ in certain ways from my past positions. (shrink)
I begin by reconsidering the arguments of John Taurek and Elizabeth Anscombe on whether the number of people we can help counts morally. I then consider arguments that numbers should count given by F. M. Kamm and Thomas Scanlon, and criticism of them by Michael Otsuka. I examine how different conceptions of the moral method known as pairwise comparison are at work in these different arguments and what the ideas of balancing and tie-breaking signify for decision-making in various types of (...) cases. I conclude by considering how another moral method that I call virtual divisibility functions and what it helps reveal about an argument by Otsuka against those who do not think numbers count. (shrink)
In the first part of this article, I argue that even those entities that in their own right and for their own sake give us reason not to destroy them and to help them are sometimes substitutable for the good of other entities. In so arguing, I consider the idea of being valuable as an end in virtue of intrinsic and extrinsic properties. I also conclude that entities that have claims to things and against others are especially nonsubstitutable. In the (...) second part, I argue that cloning poses no threat to the nonsubstitutability of these entities (and in this sense, to the dignity of persons). I also consider the relation between cloning and (what I called) holistic identity, and between the latter and genetic identity. In the concluding part of the article, I try to distinguish cases where identity over time and so-called person-affecting acts have and do not have greater moral significance than nonidentity over time and nonperson-affecting acts. I try to apply my results to cases involving embryos, future generations, and to the so-called Non-Identity Problem. (shrink)
This article begins by comparing terror and death and then focuses on whether killing combatants and noncombatants as a mere means to create terror, that is in turn a means to winning a war, is ever permissible. The role of intentions and alternative acts one might have done is examined in this regard. The second part of the article begins by criticizing a standard justification for causing collateral (side effect) deaths in war and offers an alternative justification that makes use (...) of the idea of group liability. (shrink)
In the first part of this article, I raisequestions about Dworkin''s theory of theintrinsic value of life and about the adequacyof his proposal to understand abortion in termsof different ways of valuing life. In thesecond part of the article, I consider hisargument in ``The Philosophers'' Brief on AssistedSuicide'''', which claims that the distinctionbetween killing and letting die is morallyirrelevant, the distinction between intendingand foreseeing death can be morally relevantbut is not always so. I argue that thekilling/letting die distinction can be (...) relevantin the context of assisted suicide, but alsoshow when it is not. Then I consider why theintention/foresight distinction can be morallyirrelevant and conclude by presenting analternative argument for physician-assistedsuicide. (shrink)
In this article, I shall present three arguments for thc pcrmissibility 0f physician-assisted suicide (PAS), and then examine several objections 0f 21 "K21nti2m" and non-Kantian nature against them. These are really 0bjcctions against certain types of suicide. I shall focus 0n active PAS (eg., when 21 patient takes 21 lethal drug given by E1 physician, in which case both thc physician and patient are active). I shall assume the patient is 21 competent, responsible, rational agent, who gives his being in (...) physical discomfort (pain, nausea, ctc.) as thc reason for intending his death. I am assuming, therefore, thc pain while 21 sourcc of suffering docs not undermine his rational agency in 21 way that threatens responsibility for choice.] Current legal proposals for permitting PAS focus 0n procedures.. (shrink)
In this article, I critically examine Peter Unger's arguments for the claim that there is a duty to cause physical harm to oneself and others in order to save lives. This includes discussion of his view that when the method of cases involves several rather than merely two options our intuitive judgements support his radical thesis. In conclusion, I consider his attempt to reconcile his claims with common sense moral judgements.
Why is death bad for us, even on the assumption that it involves the absence of experience? Whom should we save from death if we cannot save everyone? Kamm considers these questions, critically examining some answers other philosophers have given. She also examines specifically what differences between persons are relevant to the distribution of any scarce resources, e.g. bodily organs for transplantaion.
Continuing the examination of life and death that F.M. Kamm began in Morality, Mortality, Volume I, this second volume begins with a discussion of the questions of the moral (in)equivalence of killing and letting die, harming and not aiding, intending and foreseeing harm, and also focuses on the methodology used in analysing these questions. This discussion includes consideration of such problems as the effect of contextual interaction, agent regret, and conflicting measures of the relative stringency of acts. Part II offers (...) an examination of the so-called Survival Lottery and Trolley Problem, and some other closely related dilemmatic situations, for the purpose of developing a principled account of when harming some to save others is permissable and impermissable. Part III is concerned with the further examination of the relation between restrictions on conduct and prerogatives not to make sacrifices, and the contrast between a victim-focused and agent-relative account of rights. Kamm attempts to find the relation between these topics and both the existence of entities with significant status and the existence of valuable states of affairs, forging a link between deontological and consequentialist theories. (shrink)
Based on a non-consequentialist ethical theory, this book critically examines the prevalent view that if a fetus has the moral standing of a person, it has a right to life and abortion is impermissible. Most discussion of abortion has assumed that this view is correct, and so has focused on the question of the personhood of the fetus. Kamm begins by considering in detail the permissibility of killing in non-abortion cases which are similar to abortion cases. She goes on to (...) consider the case for the permissibility of abortion in many types of pregnancies, including ones resulting from rape, voluntary pregnancy, and pregnancy resulting from a voluntary sex act, even if the fetus is considered a person. This argument emerges as part of a broader theory of creating new people responsibly. Kamm explores the implications of this argument for informed consent to abortion; responsibilities in pregnancy that is not aborted, and the significance of extra-uterine gestation devices for the permissibility of abortion. (shrink)