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Profile: Gerald Lang (University of Leeds)
  1. Helen Frowe & Gerald Lang (eds.) (2014). How We Fight: Ethics in War. OUP.
  2. Gerald Lang (2014). Jobs, Institutions, and Beneficial Retirement. Ratio 27 (2):205-221.
    According to Saul Smilansky's ‘Paradox of Beneficial Retirement’, many serving members of professions may have decisive integrity-based reasons for retiring immediately. The Paradox of Beneficial Retirement holds that a below-par performance in one's job does not require any outright incompetence, but may take a purely relational form, in which a good performance is not good enough if it would be improved upon by someone else who would be appointed instead. It is argued, in response, that jobs in the sectors Smilansky (...)
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  3. Gerald Lang (2014). Why Not Forfeiture? In Helen Frowe and Gerald Lang (ed.), How We Fight: Ethics in War. OUP. 38-61.
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  4. Gerald Lang (2013). Should Utilitarianism Be Scalar? Utilitas 25 (1):80-95.
    Scalar utilitarianism, a form of utilitarianism advocated by Alastair Norcross, retains utilitarianism's evaluative commitments while dispensing with utilitarianism's deontic commitments, or its commitment to the existence or significance of moral duties, obligations and requirements. This article disputes the effectiveness of the arguments that have been used to defend scalar utilitarianism. It is contended that Norcross's central does not succeed, and it is suggested, more positively, that utilitarians cannot easily distance themselves from deontic assessment, just as long as scalar utilitarians admit (...)
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  5. Gerald Lang (2013). What Does Ivan Ilyich Need To Be Rescued From? Philosophy:1-23.
    Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich describes how a man's exposure to imminent death allows him to secure redemption from a flawed life. Through close textual attention to Tolstoy's novella and extensive engagement with Frances Kamm's treatment of it, this article quarrels with this of Ivan's case, offering a sourer, more pessimistic view. It is argued that Ivan's reconciliation to death is facilitated by a series of mistakes he makes en route to his dying moments. Two more general lessons are (...)
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  6. Gerald Lang & Rob Lawlor (2013). In Defense of Batman: Reply to Bradley. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy:1-7.
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  7. Ulrike Heuer & Gerald Lang (eds.) (2012). Luck, Value, and Commitment: Themes From the Ethics of Bernard Williams. Oxford University Press, USA.
    Luck, Value, and Commitment comprises eleven new essays which engage with, or take their point of departure from, the influential work in moral and political philosophy of Bernard Williams (1929-2003).
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  8. Gerald Lang (2012). Doubly Good: Natural Goodness, Philippa Foot,(Clarendon Press)£ 15.99/$22.00 Being Good: A Short Introduction to Ethics, Simon Blackburn (Oxford University Press)£ 9.99. [REVIEW] The Philosophers' Magazine 15:57.
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  9. Gerald Lang (2012). Discrimination, Partial Concern, and Arbitrariness. In Ulrike Heuer & Gerald Lang (eds.), Luck, Value, and Commitment: Themes From the Ethics of Bernard Williams. Oxford University Press, Usa. 293.
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  10. Gerald Lang (2012). Invigilating Republican Liberty. Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):273-293.
    Republican liberty, as recently defended by Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner, characterises liberty in terms of the absence of domination, instead of, or in addition to, the absence of interference, as favoured by Berlin-style negative liberty. This article considers several claims made on behalf of republican liberty, particularly in Pettit's and Skinner's recent writings, and finds them wanting. No relevant moral or political concern expressed by republicans, it will be contended here, fails to be accommodated by negative liberty.
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  11. Gerald Lang (2012). Is There Potential in Potentiality? Philosophical Papers 41 (1):129-147.
    Philosophical Papers, Volume 41, Issue 1, Page 129-147, March 2012.
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  12. Gerald Lang (2012). Just Cause, Liability, and the Moral Inequality of Combatants. Theoretical and Applied Ethics 1 (4):54-60.
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  13. Gerald Lang (2012). What's the Matter? Review of Derek Parfit, On What Matters. Utilitas 24 (02):300-312.
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  14. Gerald Lang (2011). Excuses for the Moral Equality of Combatants. Analysis 71 (3):512-523.
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  15. Gerald Lang (2010). How Far Can You Go With Quietism? Problema 4:3-37.
    Ronald Dworkin’s Justice for Hedgehogs renews and amplifies his earlier attacks on metaethics. This article reviews the main lineaments of Dworkin’s anti-metaethical arguments and discusses, in detail, a number of issues which arise from them. First, it is suggested that Dworkin’s appraisal of what is doing most of the explanatory work in his account is largely askew. Second, it is claimed that Dworkin’s allegation that expressivism is self-defeating is wide of the mark, but that another charge in the same vicinity (...)
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  16. Gerald Lang (2010). Review of N. Ann Davis, Richard Keshen, Jeff McMahan (Eds.), Ethics and Humanity: Themes From the Philosophy of Jonathan Glover. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (8).
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  17. Gerald Lang (2009). Luck Egalitarianism, Permissible Inequalities, and Moral Hazard. Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (3):317-338.
    In this article, I appeal to the phenomenon of moral hazard in order to explain how at least some of the inequalities permitted by Luck Egalitarianism can be given an alternative, more plausible grounding than that which is supplied by Luck Egalitarianism. This alternative grounding robs Luck Egalitarianism of a potentially significant source of intuitive support whilst enabling conditional welfare policies to survive the attacks on them made by Elizabeth Anderson, Jonathan Wolff, and others.
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  18. Gerald Lang (2009). Thinking Big, Thinking Small: Smilansky's Paradoxes. Iyyun 58:277-291.
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  19. Gerald Lang (2008). Consequentialism, Cluelessness, and Indifference. Journal of Value Inquiry 42 (4):477-485.
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  20. Gerald Lang (2008). Nudging the Responsibility Objection. Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (1):56–71.
    The ‘Responsibility Objection’ to Judith Thomson's famous argument for the permissibility of abortion challenges the relevance of her ‘Violinist Analogy’ to certain types of voluntary unwanted pregnancy, on the grounds that those pregnancies, even though they may be unwanted, are pregnancies for which the woman can be plausibly held responsible. This article considers the force of a number of recent objections to the Responsibility Objection, advanced by Harry Silverstein, David Boonin, and Jeff McMahan, and judges them to be unpersuasive. It (...)
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  21. Gerald Lang (2008). Review of Christopher Miles Coope, Worth and Welfare in the Controversy Over Abortion. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2008 (2).
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  22. Gerald Lang (2008). The Right Kind of Solution to the Wrong Kind of Reason Problem. Utilitas 20 (4):472-489.
    Recent discussion of Scanlon's account of value, which analyses the value of X in terms of agents' reasons for having certain pro-attitudes or contra-attitudes towards X, has generated the problem (WKR problem): this is the problem, for the buck-passing view, of being able to acknowledge that there may be good reasons for attributing final value to X that have nothing to do with the final value that X actually possesses. I briefly review some of the existing solutions offered to the (...)
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  23. Gerald Lang (2006). Luck Egalitarianism and the See-Saw Objection. American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (1):43 - 56.
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  24. Gerald Lang (2005). Fairness in Life and Death Cases. Erkenntnis 62 (3):321 - 351.
    John Taurek famously argued that, in ‘conflict cases’, where we are confronted with a smaller and a larger group of individuals, and can choose which group to save from harm, we should toss a coin, rather than saving the larger group. This is primarily because coin-tossing is fairer: it ensures that each individual, regardless of the group to which he or she belongs, has an equal chance of being saved. This article provides a new response to Taurek’s argument. It proposes (...)
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  25. Gerald Lang (2005). Review of David Rodin, War and Self-Defense. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (5).
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  26. Gerald Lang (2004). A Dilemma for Objective Act-Utilitarianism. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 3 (2):221-239.
    Act-utilitarianism comes in two standard varieties: ‘subjective’ act-utilitarianism, which tells agents to attempt to maximize utility directly, and ‘objective’ act-utilitarianism, which permits agents to use non-utilitarian decision-making procedures. This article argues that objective actutilitarianism is exposed to a dilemma. On one horn of it is the contention that objective act-utilitarianism makes inconsistent claims about the rightness of acts. On the other horn of it is the contention that objective act-utilitarianism collapses back into what is, essentially, subjective act-utilitarianism. Three objective act-utilitarian (...)
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  27. Gerald Lang (2002). Moral Relativism & Cultural Chauvanism. Philosophy Now 36:24-27.
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  28. Gerald Lang (2001). Doubly Good. The Philosophers' Magazine 15 (15):57-57.
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  29. Gerald Lang (2001). The Rule-Following Considerations and Metaethics: Some False Moves. European Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):190–209.
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