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  1. Iain Law, Evil Pleasure is Good for You!
    Many people are uncomfortable with the idea that pleasure from certain sources is genuinely beneficial. These sources can be sorted into two classes: ones that involve others’ pain; and ones that involve what seems to be damage rather than benefit to the person involved. Here’s an example of the latter: a woman who claims that she enjoys her work performing in hard-core pornographic films. Some find it hard to take such a claim at face value – they instinctively assume that (...)
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  2. Iain Law, The Irrelevance of Direction of Fit.
    The so-called ‘Humean’ view of motivation is pretty standard in the Philosophy of Mind. Its most prominent contemporary defender, Michael Smith, calls it a ‘dogma’. Humeans believe in a strict divide between beliefs and desires. Beliefs have no intrinsic motivating force: I may believe anything at all, but only with the contribution of a separate desire will I be motivated to act. This claim should be broadened out to include all cognitive states (belief, knowledge…). The Humean claim is that cognitive (...)
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  3. Iain Law (2011). Respect for Autonomy: Its Demands and Limits in Biobanking. [REVIEW] Health Care Analysis 19 (3):259-268.
    This paper argues that the demands of respect for autonomy in the context of biobanking are fewer and more limited than is often supposed. It discusses the difficulties of agreeing a concept of autonomy from which duties can easily be derived, and suggests an alternative way to determine what respect for autonomy in a biobanking context requires. These requirements, it argues, are limited to provision of adequate information and non-coercion. While neither of these is in itself negligible, this is a (...)
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  4. Iain Law & Heather Widdows (2008). Conceptualising Health: Insights From the Capability Approach. [REVIEW] Health Care Analysis 16 (4):303-314.
    This paper suggests the adoption of a ‘capability approach’ to key concepts in healthcare. Recent developments in theoretical approaches to concepts such as ‘health’ and ‘disease’ are discussed, and a trend identified of thinking of health as a matter of having the capability to cope with life’s demands. This approach is contrasted with the WHO definition of health and Boorse’s biostatistical account. We outline the ‘capability approach’, which has become standard in development ethics and economics, and show how existing work (...)
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  5. Iain Law (2003). Autonomy, Sanity and Moral Theory. Res Publica 9 (1):39-56.
    The concept of autonomy plays atleast two roles in moral theory. First, itprovides a source of constraints upon action:because I am autonomous you may not interferewith me, even for my own good. Second, itprovides a foundation for moral theory: humanautonomy has been thought by some to producemoral principles of a more general kind.This paper seeks to understand what autonomyis, and whether the autonomy of which we arecapable is able to serve these roles. We wouldnaturally hope for a concept of autonomy (...)
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  6. Iain Law (2000). Morals, Methods and Madness. Res Publica 6 (1):93-104.
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  7. Iain Law (1999). Rule-Consequentialism's Dilemma. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 2 (3):263-276.
    This paper examines recent attempts to defend Rule-Consequentialism against a traditional objection. That objection takes the form of a dilemma, that either Rule-Consequentialism collapses into Act-Consequentialism or it is incoherent. Attempts to avoid this dilemma based on the idea that using RC has better results than using AC are rejected on the grounds that they conflate the ideas of a criterion of rightness and a decision procedure. Other strategies, Brad Hooker's prominent amongst them, involving the thought that RC need contain (...)
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  8. Garrett Cullity, Alex Miller, Duncan McFarland, James Griffin, R. Jay Wallace, Iain Law, Ralph Wedgwood, Maggie Little, Nick Zangwill & Elinor Mason (1998). British Society for Ethical Theory 1998 Conference. Journal of Ethics 2 (189).
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  9. Iain Law (1998). The Hierarchical Model of Autonomy. Cogito 12 (1):51-57.
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  10. Iain Law (1996). Improvement and Truth in Quasi-Realism. Cogito 10 (3):189-193.
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