In support of my longstanding claim that the traditional divide between natural law and legal positivist theories of law, the present paper explores a variety of necessary connections between law and morality which are consistent with theories of law traditionally identified as positivist.
There is a tendency in contemporary jurisprudence to regard political authority and, more particularly, legal intervention in human affairs as having no justification unless it can be defended by what Laing calls the principle of modern liberal autonomy (MLA). According to this principle, if consenting adults want to do something, unless it does specific harm to others here and now, the law has no business intervening. Harm to the self and general harm to society can constitute no justification for legal (...) regulation or prohibition. So pervasive is this understanding of legal intervention in human affairs, that it is common now to encounter arguments in favour of permissive laws on, for example, private drug use, pornography, sexual and reproductive choice, based on the idea that to intervene in these areas would constitute a breach of the liberal ideal. The only alternative to modern liberal autonomy is assumed to be radical oppression, in which the State intervenes in the individual’s life to impose unwarranted measures designed to further its own ends. The legacy of Stalin, Hitler and other modern tyrants has undermined conceptual appeals to the common good. So widespread is this liberal assumption in the Western, English-speaking world that critics of the outlook embodied by MLA are customarily regarded with suspicion and charged with paternalism, narrow-mindedness and intolerance. Laing highlights contradictions inherent in the modern liberal tradition. She argues that there is a certain reliance on the notion of the common good within the natural law tradition that is instructive. According to this view, the common good constitutes a mean between two extremes: on the one hand, contemporary liberalism’s over-insistence on radical individual autonomy and, on the other hand, totalitarianism’s over-emphasis on collective social benefit. There is, I will argue, substantial terrain between the conceptual excesses of modern liberalism and oppressive tyranny that needs to be acknowledged and discussed. (shrink)
Art and Morality is a collection of groundbreaking new papers on the theme of aesthetics and ethics, and the link between the two subjects. A group of world-class contributors tackle the important question that arise when one thinks about the moral dimensions of art and the aesthetic dimension of moral life. The volume is a significant contribution to the philosophical literature, opening up unexplored questions and shedding new light on more traditional debates in aesthetics. The topics explored include the (...) relation of aesthetic to ethical judgment; the relation of artistic experience to moral consciousness; the moral status of fiction; the concepts of sentimentality and decadence; the moral dimension of critical practice, pictorial art and music; the moral significance of tragedy; and the connections between artistic and moral issues elaborated in the writings of central figures in modern philosophy such as Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. (shrink)
Management and Morality provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of the moral and ethical dimension to organizational and individual behavior, while adding an original, developmental perceptive. Management and Morality combines organizational theory and behavior with approaches to organizational and individual development. The first two sections of the book, Ethical Thinking and Management Practice, and Moral Issues in Organizations, provide a clear and thorough coverage of these areas relevant to ethical behavior in and of organizations. On this basis, the (...) third section, A Developmental Perspective, develops a new approach to ethical development of organizations and individuals concerned with the improvement of organizational structures, processes, and practices so as to allow for individual morality and individual moral behavior. Rich in its coverage of the field and variety of ideas, Management and Morality will be essential reading to students and academics in management, business and organizational ethics, organizational behavior and development, and organizational sociology. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction William A. Galston and Peter H. Hoffenberg; 2. Global poverty and uneven development Sakiko Fukuda-Parr; 3. The karma of poverty: a Buddhist perspective David R. Loy; 4. Poverty and morality in Christianity Kent A. Van Til; 5. Classical liberalism, poverty, and morality Tom G. Palmer; 6. Confucian perspectives on poverty and morality Peter Nosco; 7. Poverty and morality: a feminist perspective Nancy J. Hirschmann; 8. Hinduism and poverty Arvind Sharma; 9. (...) The problem of poverty in Islamic ethics Sohail H. Hashmi; 10. Jewish perspectives on poverty Noam Zohar; 11. Liberal egalitarianism and poverty Darrel Moellendorf; 12. Marxism and poverty Andrew Levine; 13. Poverty and natural law Stephen J. Pope; 14. Afterword Michael Walzer. (shrink)
In The Ethical Primate, renowned philosopher Mary Midgley tackles important questions about human freedom and morality. Scientists and philosophers have found it difficult to understand how each human being can be both a living part of the natural world and, at the same time, a genuinely free agent. Midgley explores their responses to this seeming paradox and argues that our evolutionary origin, properly understood, explains why human freedom and morality have come about.
Over the past decade much significant new work has appeared in the field of Jewish ethics. While much of this work has been devoted to issues in applied ethics, a number of important essays have explored central themes within the tradition and clarified the theoretical foundations of Jewish ethics. This important text grew out of the need for a single work which accurately and conveniently reflects these developments within the field. The first text of its kind in almost two decades, (...) Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality presents wide-ranging and carefully organized recent essays on Jewish ethical theory and practice. Serving as an introduction to Jewish ethics, it acquaints the student with the distinctive methodological issues involved and offers a sampling of Jewish positions on contemporary moral problems. The book features work from both traditionalist and liberal contributors, making this the only volume which encompasses the full range of contemporary Jewish ethical perspectives. Writers such as Harold Schulweis, Judith Plaskow, David Novak, David Hartman, and Blu Greenberg discuss law and ethics, natural law, humility, justice, sex and the family, euthanasia, and other vital issues relating to modern Judaism. Many of the readings appear here for the first time, making this important text the most timely sourcebook in its field. Uniquely qualified to reflect the high level and depth of contemporary work in this area of study, Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality is an essential contribution to any course dealing with Jewish ethics. (shrink)
David Gauthier suggested that all genuine moral problems are Prisoners Dilemmas (PDs), and that the morally and rationally required solution to a PD is to co-operate. I say there are four other forms of moral problem, each a different way of agents failing to be in PDs because of the agents’ preferences. This occurs when agents have preferences that are malevolent, self-enslaving, stingy, or bullying. I then analyze preferences as reasons for action, claiming that this means they must not target (...) the impossible, they must be able to be acted on in the circumstances, their targets must be attainable, and having the preferences must make their targets more likely. For groups of agents to have a distribution of preferences, their preferences must jointly have those four features, this imposing a kind of universalizability requirement on possible preferences. I then claim that, if all agents began with preferences satisfying these requirements, their preferences would not be of the morally problematic sort (on pain, variously, of circularity or contradiction in the specification of their targets). Instead, they would be either morally innocent preferences, or ones which put the agents in PDs. And it would then be instrumentally rational for the agents to prefer mutual co-operation. Thus if all agents initially had rationally permissible preferences and made rational choices of actions and preferences thereafter, they would never acquire immoral preferences, and so never be rationally moved to immoral actions. Further, the states of affairs such agents would be moved to bring about would be compatible with what Rawls’ agents would chose behind a veil of ignorance. Morality therefore reduces to rationality; necessarily, the actions categorically required by morality are also categorically required by rationality. (shrink)
How are general relations of law and morality typically conceived in an environment of Anglo-saxon common law? This paper considers some classical common law methods and traditions as these have confronted and been overlaid with modern ideas of legal positivism. While classical common law treated a community and its morality as the cultural foundation of law, legal positivism's analytical separation of law and morals, allied with liberal approaches to legal regulation, have made the relationship of legal and moral (...) principles more complex and contested. Using ideas from Durkheim's and Weber's sociology, I argue that the traditional common law emphasis on an inductive, empirical treatment of moral practices has continuing merit, but in contemporary conditions the vague idea of community embedded in classical common law thought must be replaced with a much more precise conceptualisation of coexisting communities, whose moral bonds are diverse and require a corresponding diversity of forms of legal recognition or protection. (shrink)
Brian Leiter and Neil Sinhababu (eds), Nietzsche and Morality Content Type Journal Article DOI 10.1007/s10677-008-9134-6 Authors Rainer Kattel, Tallinn University of Technology Ehitajate tee 5 19086 Tallinn Estonia Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
Throughout this book, I made frequent reference to a wide range of moral issues: honesty, jealousy, sexual fidelity, commitment, paternalism, caring, etc. This suggests there is an intricate connection between morality and personal relationships. There is. Of course personal relationships do not always promote moral values, nor do people find all relationships salutary. Some friendships, marriages, and kin relationships are anything but healthy or valuable. We all know (and perhaps are in) some relationships which hinder personal growth, undermine moral (...) values, and diminish both parties' happiness -- in short, relationships which systematically undermine the values they should promote. (shrink)
The well-known paradox between Marxism and morality is that on the one hand, Marx claims that morality is a form of ideology that should be abandoned, while on the other hand, Marx makes quite a few moral judgments in his writings. It is in the research after Marx’s death that the paradox is found, explored and solved. This paper surveys the history of interpreting Marx from the aspect of moral philosophy by dividing it into three sequential phases. Then (...) it presents the research on Marx in each phase, points out conflicting questions within the different periods and puts forward the solution in the end. This paper points out that a philosophical viewpoint based on Marx’s theory of historical materialism is the key to solving the paradox between Marxism and morality. (shrink)
Powerful emotion and pursuit of self-interest have many times led people to break the law with the belief that they are doing so with sound moral reasons. This study is a comprehensive philosophical and legal analysis of the gray area in which the foundations of law and morality clash. This objective book views these oblique circumstances from two perspectives: that of the person who faces a possible conflict between the claims of morality and law and must choose whether (...) or not to obey the penal code; and that of the people who make and uphold laws and must decide whether to treat someone with a moral claim to disobey differently from ordinary lawbreakers. In examining the extent of the obligations owed by citizens to their government, Greenawalt concentrates on the possible existence of a single source of obligation that reaches all citizens and all laws. He also discusses techniques of amelioration of punishment for conscientious lawbreakers, asking how far legal systems should go to accomodate individuals who break the law for reason of conscience. Drawing from numerous examples of conflicts between law and morality, Greenawalt illustrates in detail the positions and predicaments of potential lawbreakers and lawmakers alike. (shrink)
How are law and morality connected, how do they interact, and in what ways are they distinct? In Part I of this book, Matthew Kramer argues that moral principles can enter into the law of any jurisdiction. He contends that legal officials can invoke moral principles as laws for resolving disputes, and that they can also invoke them as threshold tests which ordinary laws must satisfy. In opposition to many other theorists, Kramer argues that these functions of moral principles (...) are consistent with all the essential characteristics of any legal system. Part II reaffirms the legal positivist argument that law and morality are separable, arguing against the position of natural-law theory, which portrays legal requirements as a species of moral requirements. Kramer contends that even though the existence of a legal system in any sizeable society is essential for the realization of fundamental moral values, law is not inherently moral either in its effects or in its motivational underpinnings. In the final part, Kramer contests the widespread view that people whose conduct is meticulously careful cannot be held morally responsible for harmful effects of their actions. Through this argument, he reveals that fault-independent liability is present even more prominently in morality than in the law. Through a variety of arguments, Where Law and Morality Meet highlights both some surprising affinities and some striking divergences between morality and law. (shrink)
Current environmental problems and technological risks are a challenge for a new institutional arrangement of the value spheres of Science, Politics and Morality. Distinguished authors from different European countries and America provide a cross-disciplinary perspective on the problems of political decision making under the conditions of scientific uncertainty. cases from biotechnology and the environmental sciences are discussed. The papers collected for this volume address the following themes: (i) controversies about risks and political decision making; (ii) concepts of science for (...) policy; (iii) the use of social science in the policy making process; (iv) ethical problems with developments in science and technology; (v) public and state interests in the development and control of technology. (shrink)
This anthology brings together material on two major related topics: the military profession, and morality and war. The revised and updated edition retains those sections that made the original version indispensable in the classroom, while incorporating new selections on topics of special concern for the 1980s and beyond. In particular, Colonel Wakin has included essays focusing on the relevance of nuclear deterrence and “just war” theory in the nuclear age. More than a third of the chapters are new.The articles (...) in the first section stress the ethical dimensions of the military profession, considering topics such as the conflict between military values and societal norms, the relation of the military to the state, and the concepts of loyalty, honor, and integrity. New chapters include an essay by Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale suggesting how moral philosophy can serve the profession, contemporary commentaries on the profession by Jacques Barzun and Max Lerner, and new thoughts on ethics and leadership by Colonel Wakin.The essays in Part 2 confront the agonizing moral issues associated with warfare, especially modern warfare. In conjunction with discussions of the laws of war and war crimes, new chapters highlight the continuing debate on nuclear issues. Included are excerpts from the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ pastoral letter, “The Challenge of Peace: God’s Promise and Our Response’’; a defense of pacifism by Stanley Hauerwas; arguments about the use of nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence by Michael Walzer, Michael Novak, and Charles Krauthammer; and some moral reflections on the Strategic Defense Initiative (“Star Wars’’) by Kenneth Kemp. (shrink)
When a person gives up an end of crucial importance to her in order to promote a moral aim, we regard her as having made a moral sacrifice. The paper analyzes these sacrifices in light of some of Bernard Williams’ objections to Kantian and Utilitarian accounts of them. Williams argues that an implausible consequence of these theories is that that we are expected to sacrifice projects that make our lives worth living and contribute to our integrity. Williams’ arguments about integrity (...) and meaning are shown to be unconvincing when the content of projects is left open. However, a look at his later arguments suggests a reason to be concerned about defensible ethical projects as understood through what he refers to as “the morality system”. The problem for theories of this type turns out to be not merely conflicts between ethical projects and moral demands but making sense of some of the ethically relevant features of these projects. Accommodations to moral theories that leave room for ethical projects may be insufficient to explain such features, for example in cases where agents demand more of themselves than the theories require. Making the theories more demanding is also problematic. Williams’ view about the role ethics plays in our conception of the life we want to lead provides a better account of these cases. (shrink)
Our attitude towards cynicism is ambivalent: On the one hand we condemn it as a character failing and a trend that is undermining political and social life; on the other hand, we are often impressed by the apparent realism and honesty of the cynic. My aim in this paper is to offer an account of cynicism that can explain both our attraction and aversion. After defending a particular conception of cynicism, I argue that most of the work in explaining the (...) fault of cynicism can be done by referring not to the cynic’s beliefs about humanity, but to the attitude cultivated as a response to that belief. This attitude is hostile to the virtues of faith, hope and charity, upon which relationships and our sense of moral community depend. In conclusion, I suggest that holding the cynical belief is itself immoral, and that cynicism is disrespectful and destructive of morality. (shrink)
Incentives and reasons -- Values and human nature -- Right and wrong -- Questions of trust -- Autonomy and freedom -- Obedience, freedom, and engagement : or utility? -- Society, property, and commerce -- On justice -- Using freedom well -- Judging : legal cases and moral questions -- Practical reason, law, and state.
Reflection on religion inevitably involves consideration of its relation to morality. When great evil is done to human beings, we may feel that something absolute has been violated. Can that sense, which is related to gratitude for existence, be expressed without religious concepts? Can we express central religious concerns, such as losing the self, while abandoning any religious metaphysic? Is moral obligation itself dependent on divine commands if it is to be objective, or is morality not only independent (...) of religion, but its accuser if God is said to allow horrendous evils? In any case, what happens to the absolute claims of religion in what is, undeniably, a morally pluralistic world? These are the central questions discussed by philosophers of religion and moral philosophers in this collection. They do so in ways which bring new aspects to bear on these traditional issues. (shrink)
`In the grand tradition of classical social theory, Barry Smart challenges us to face up to the ambivalences of the contemporary moment and to take responsibility for our individual and social existence' - Douglas Kellner, University of California, Los Angeles ` a brilliant excursus through modern social theory, Smart’s book should be read and re-read for its careful analysis of the dilemmas of morality in postmodernism' - Bryan S. Turner, Deakin University Through a critical discussion of the 'ambivalent fruits' (...) of social analysis, exemplified in particular by the work of Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Vattimo, Beck, Bourdieu, Goffman, Giddens, Levinas and Bauman, this book submits that an important responsibility of social enquiry today is to engage critically with the moral difficulties and ethical dilemmas which have arisen in relation to modernity. Facing Modernity offers a wide-ranging analysis of the ways in which issues of reflexivity, ethics and moral responsibility inform social and political thought. This is illustrated with the examples of risk society, modern forms of subjectivity and the problematic relationship between care of the self and a concern for others, the fashioning of the body, the idea and the practice of justice, and the communitarian call to regulate the pursuit of self interest and rediscover 'community'. A comprehensive overview of the ambiguities and moral dilemmas of modernity, this book will be essential reading for students of sociology, social theory and cultural studies. (shrink)
How is feminism changing the way women and men think, feel, and act? Virginia Held explores how feminist theory is changing contemporary views of moral choice. She proposes a comprehensive philosophy of feminist ethics, arguing persuasively for reconceptualizations of the self of relations between the self and others and of images of birth and death, nurturing and violence. Held shows how social, political, and cultural institutions have traditionally been founded upon masculine ideals of morality. She then identifies a distinct (...) feminist morality that moves beyond culturally embedded notions about motherhood and female emotionality. Examining the effects of this alternative moral and ethical system on changing social values, Held discusses its far-reaching implications for altering standards of freedom, democracy, equality, and personal development. Ultimately, she concludes, the culture of feminism could provide a fresh perspective on--even solutions to--contemporary social problems. Feminist Morality makes a vital contribution to the ongoing debate in feminist theory on the importance of motherhood. For philosophers and other readers outside feminist theory, it offers a feminist moral and social critique in clear and accessible terms. (shrink)
This collection of essays by one of the preeminent Kant scholars of our time transforms our understanding of both Kant's aesthetics and his ethics. Guyer shows that at the very core of Kant's aesthetic theory, disinterestedness of taste becomes an experience of freedom and thus an essential accompaniment to morality itself. At the same time he reveals how Kant's moral theory includes a distinctive place for the cultivation of both general moral sentiments and particular attachments on the basis of (...) the most rigorous principle of duty. Kant's thought is placed in a rich historical context including such figures as Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, Hume, Burke, Kames, as well as Baumgarten, Mendelssohn, Schiller, and Hegel. Other topics treated are the sublime, natural versus artistic beauty, genius and art history, and duty and inclination. These essays (half being published for the first time) extend and enrich the account of Kant's aesthetics in the author's earlier book, Kant and the Claims of Taste (1979). (shrink)
Contemporary liberal thinkers commonly suppose that there is something in principle unjust about the legal prohibition of putatively victimless crimes. Here Robert P. George defends the traditional justification of morals legislation against criticisms advanced by leading liberal theorists. He argues that such legislation can play a legitimate role in maintaining a moral environment conducive to virtue and inhospitable to at least some forms of vice. Among the liberal critics of morals legislation whose views George considers are Ronald Dworkin, Jeremy Waldron, (...) David A.J. Richards, and Joseph Raz. He also considers the influential modern justification for morals legislation offered by Patrick Devlin as an alternative to the traditional approach. George closes with a sketch of a "pluralistic perfectionist" theory of civil liberties and public morality, showing that it is fully compatible with a defense of morals legislation. Making Men Moral will interest legal scholars and political theorists as well as theologians and philosophers focusing on questions of social justice and political morality. (shrink)
This book considers two different approaches to moral luck--the Aristotelian vulnerability to factors outside the agent's control and the Kantian ambition to make morality immune to luck--and concludes that both approaches have more in common than previously thought. At the same time, it also considers recent developments in the field of virtue ethics and neo-kantianism.
Relying upon real life examples of human suffering--including torture, genocide, and warfare--as opposed to thought experiments, Corbi proposes a novel approach to self-knowledge that runs counter to standard Kantian approaches to morality.
Based on the author's award-winning and hugely popular undergraduate course at the University of Texas, this book explores these questions and the fundamentally sociological processes which underlie the quest for morality and justice in ...
George Kegode, in this book, has presented a wide range of critical reflections on one of the most controversial moral issues of our times, the intentional and deliberate termination of the life of the unborn human being.
This collection of original essays on political and legal theory concentrates on themes dealt with in the work of Felix Oppenheim, including fundamental political and legal concepts and their implications for the scope of morality in politics and international relations. Among the issues addressed are the relationship between empirical and normative definitions of "freedom", "power", and "interests", whether governments are free to act against the national interest, and whether they can ever be morally obliged to do so.
In this paper I argue that we can learn much about wild justice and the evolutionary origins of social morality – behaving fairly – by studying social play behavior in group-living animals, and that interdisciplinary cooperation will help immensely. In our efforts to learn more about the evolution of morality we need to broaden our comparative research to include animals other than non-human primates. If one is a good Darwinian, it is premature to claim that only humans can (...) be empathic and moral beings. By asking the question What is it like to be another animal? we can discover rules of engagement that guide animals in their social encounters. When I study dogs, for example, I try to be a dogocentrist and practice dogomorphism. My major arguments center on the following big questions: Can animals be moral beings or do they merely act as if they are? What are the evolutionary roots of cooperation, fairness, trust, forgiveness, and morality? What do animals do when they engage in social play? How do animals negotiate agreements to cooperate, to forgive, to behave fairly, to develop trust? Can animals forgive? Why cooperate and play fairly? Why did play evolve as it has? Does being fair mean being more fit – do individual variations in play influence an individual''s reproductive fitness, are more virtuous individuals more fit than less virtuous individuals? What is the taxonomic distribution of cognitive skills and emotional capacities necessary for individuals to be able to behave fairly, to empathize, to behave morally? Can we use information about moral behavior in animals to help us understand ourselves? I conclude that there is strong selection for cooperative fair play in which individuals establish and maintain a social contract to play because there are mutual benefits when individuals adopt this strategy and group stability may be also be fostered. Numerous mechanisms have evolved to facilitate the initiation and maintenance of social play to keep others engaged, so that agreeing to play fairly and the resulting benefits of doing so can be readily achieved. I also claim that the ability to make accurate predictions about what an individual is likely to do in a given social situation is a useful litmus test for explaining what might be happening in an individual''s brain during social encounters, and that intentional or representational explanations are often important for making these predictions. (shrink)
My concern in this paper is how to reconcile a central tension in Hannah Arendt’s thinking, one that – if left unresolved – may make us reluctant to endorse her political theory. Arendt was profoundly and painfully aware of the horrors of political evil; in fact, she is almost unparalleled in 20 th century thought in her concern for the consequences of mass political violence, the victims of political atrocities, and the most vulnerable in political society – the stateless, the (...) pariahs, the outcasts. At least, this is the case in her discussions of concrete, historical political situations. Yet in her philosophical writings, she continues to argue that the political realm ultimately redeems human existence, and furthermore, that politics should remain distinct and autonomous from moral evaluation. Political action must be evaluated according to “greatness,” not goodness or any other explicitly moral or even ethical standard. She goes so far as to suggest that politics and morality may be deeply hostile to one another, and can only be reconciled in situations of extreme emergency. This can leave many feeling both perplexed and deeply uncomfortable with the theory of human action that Arendt proposes. Drawing on her notions of political conscience, judgment and - in particular - her account of forgiveness, in this paper I argue that Arendt offers an ethics of plurality, in which what is good is developed from what is most politically important: amor mundi, or love of our shared political world. (shrink)
In this article we frame a set of important issues in the emerging field of Mind, Brain, and Education in terms of three broad headings: methods, models, and morality. Under the heading of methods we suggest that the need for synthesis across scientific and practical disciplines entails the pursuit of usable knowledge via a catalytic symbiosis between theory, research, and practice. Under the heading of models the goal of producing usable knowledge should shape the construction of theories that provide (...) comprehensive accounts of human learning and development spanning multiple levels of analysis. Under the heading of morality usable knowledge must be put to good use: Its application and dissemination ought to be infused with moral considerations gleaned from dialogue among all those potentially affected. Generally, the field should be shaped not only by its constituent scientific disciplines but also by its applications to education and learning. Thus we argue for the adoption of a kind of pragmatism that would be best actualized by building research-school collaborations between researchers and practitioners. (shrink)
H. L. A. Hart, in his classic book Law, Liberty, and Morality, is unsuccessful in arguing that James Fitzjames Stephen’s observations about the role of vice in criminal sentencing have no relevance to a more general defense of legal moralism. He does, however, have a very important insight about the special significance of sexual liberty.
The connection between shame, guilt and morality is the topic of many recent debates. A broad tendency consists in attributing a higher moral status and a greater moral relevance to guilt, a claim motivated by arguments that tap into various areas of morality and moral psychology. The Pro-social Argument has it that guilt is, contrary to shame, morally good since it promotes pro-social behaviour. Three other arguments claim that only guilt has the requisite connection to central moral concepts: (...) the Responsibility Argument appeals to the ties between guilt and responsibility, the Autonomy Argument to the heteronomy of shame and the Social Argument to shame's link with reputation. In this paper, we scrutinize these arguments and argue that they cannot support the conclusion that they try to establish. We conclude that a narrow focus on particular criteria and a misconception of shame and guilt have obscured the important roles shame plays in our moral lives. (shrink)
Philosophical inquiries into morality are as old as philosophy, but it may turn out that morality itself is much, much older than that. At least, that is the main thesis of prima- tologist Frans De Waal, who in this short book based on his Tanner Lectures at Princeton, elaborates on what biologists have been hinting at since Darwin’s (1871) book The Descent of Man and Hamilton’s (1963) studies on the evolution of altruism: morality is yet another allegedly (...) human characteristic that turns out to be built over evolutionary time by natural. (shrink)
Can an event’s blameworthiness distort whether people see it as intentional? In controversial recent studies, people judged a behavior’s negative side effect intentional even though the agent allegedly had no desire for it to occur. Such a judgment contradicts the standard assumption that desire is a necessary condition of intentionality, and it raises concerns about assessments of intentionality in legal settings. Six studies examined whether blameworthy events distort intentionality judgments. Studies 1 through 4 show that, counter to recent claims, intentionality (...) judgments are systematically guided by variations in the agent’s desire, for moral and nonmoral actions alike. Studies 5 and 6 show that a behavior’s negative side effects are rarely seen as intentional once people are allowed to choose from multiple descriptions of the behavior. Specifically, people distinguish between “knowingly” and “intentionally” bringing about a side effect, even for immoral actions. These studies suggest that intentionality judgments are unaffected by a behavior’s blameworthiness. (shrink)
This is an extensively re-written second edition of a well regarded and much cited text on the issue of animal protection. It remains the only text to combine an examination of the philosophy and politics of the issue. Its central argument is that the philosophical debate is central to an understanding and evaluation of the substantive issues involving animals and the nature of the movement for change. The book has been thoroughly revised to include major theoretical and empirical developments. Specifically, (...) the "second generation" of animal ethics literature is examined in detail, and attention is paid to the campaigns and public controversy over the export of live animals and the use of animals in research, the impact of genetic engineering on the welfare of animals and the latest developments in the controversy over hunting. (shrink)
Following a trajectory of thinking from the philosophy of Spinoza via the work of Nietzsche and through Deleuze's texts, this article explores the possibility of framing a contemporary pedagogical practice by an ontological order that does not presuppose the superiority of the mind over the body and that does not rely on universal morals but that considers instead, as its ontological point of departure, the actual bodies of children and pedagogues through what has come to be known as affective learning. (...) When considering the potentiality of a pure ontology, as outlined by Spinoza, I argue that Nietzsche's critique of higher values and universal morals allows for a deeper understanding of the limitations of a traditional image of thought. Furthermore, I argue that Deleuze's conception of the dogmatic image of thought can provide a helpful framework when connecting the work of the two aforementioned philosophers and when conceptualizing a possible image of thought based on the body as a singularity harboring flows of power, rather than one where the body is considered a necessary obstacle to be overcome in the quest for higher values that are situated always beyond the reach of the experiencing body. This philosophical discussion is then situated within the field of educational philosophy via the concept of affective learning which enables the incorporation of these ideas into a concrete educational setting. (shrink)
In this article I argue that Jürgen Habermas’ notion of morality (moral norms) has more in common with Hegel’s notion of ‘ethical life’ as a ‘ sittlich ’ relation – understood as a socially integrative force – rather than Kant’s supreme principle of personal morality. I show that Habermas and Hegel, each in his own way, make a distinction between morality and ethics. However, I make the case that Habermas’ conception of ‘morality’ incorporates aspects of Hegel’s (...) notion of ‘ethical life’, while Habermas’ conception of ‘ethical’ – referring to individual and group conceptions of the good life – is a remedy to the shortcomings in Hegel’s overly unified ethical life. I offer an alternative reading of Habermas’ principle of morality, which I suggest should be read as his attempt to provide a binding process to set up the norms that ought to condition a modern political community understood as a civil association. (shrink)
HLA Hart has sometimes been associated with the false proposition that there is 'no necessary connection between law and morality'. Nigel Simmonds is the latest critic to make the association. He offers an 'ironic' interpretation of a famous passage in Hart's The Concept of Law in which the proposition is apparently rejected as false by Hart. In this paper I explain why, even if Simmonds's ironic interpretation is tenable, it does not associate Hart with the proposition in the way (...) that Simmonds believes that it does. More affirmatively, I show that among several necessary connections between law and morality that Hart defends, there is an important indirect one that runs from law to legality, from legality to justice, and from justice to morality. (shrink)
This is a representative collection of the work of A.J. Ayer, one of the most influential contemporary philosophers. It includes his Whidden lectures on freedom and morality, which were presented at McMaster University in 1983, a previously unpublished essay on J.L. Mackie's Theory of Causal Priority, and seven other essays which cover such topics as: references and identity, the causal theory of perception, the prisoner's paradox, self-evidence and certainty, and the history of the Vienna Circle.
An international line-up of fourteen distinguished philosophers presents new essays in honor of James Griffin, White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford University. The essays take up topics relating to well-being and morality, prominent themes in contemporary ethics and particularly in Griffin's work. Griffin himself provides replies to these essays, offering a fascinating development of his own thinking on these topics.
In the past twenty years Joseph Raz has consolidated his reputation as one of the most acute, inventive, and energetic scholars currently at work in analytic moral and political theory. This new collection of essays forms a representative selection of his most significant contributions to a number of important debates, including the extent of political duty and obligation, and the issue of self-determination. He also examines aspects of the common (and ancient) theme of the relations between law and morality. (...) This volume of essays, available in one volume for the first time, will be essential to legal philosophers and political theorists. (shrink)
In his essay ‘‘Of the Standard of Taste,’’ Hume argues that artworks with morally flawed outlooks (including Homer's poems) are, to some extent, aesthetically flawed. While Hume's remarks regarding the relationship between art and morality have influenced contemporary aestheticians, Hume's own position has struck many people as incoherent. For Hume appears to entangle himself in two separate contradictions. First, Hume seems to claim both that true judges should not enter into vicious sentiments and that true judges should adopt the (...) standpoint of an artwork's intended audience. But The Iliad, say, was obviously intended for an audience that shared Homer's flawed moral outlook. Second, Hume appears to claim that our moral sentiments are both highly resistant to change and extremely fragile. This essay defends Hume against these two objections by drawing increased attention to the role that Hume's aesthetics assigns to the faculty of good sense or sound reason. (shrink)
This book is a penetrating study of the theory of mind and morality that Hume developed in his Treatise of Human Nature and other writings. Hume rejects any conception of moral beliefs and moral truths. He understands morality in terms of distinctive desires and other sentiments that arise through the correction of sympathy. Hume's theory presents a powerful challenge to recent cognitivist theories of moral judgement, Bricke argues, and suggests significant limitations to recent conventionalist and contractarian accounts of (...)morality's content. (shrink)
In his work, Jules Coleman has held that the rule of recognition, if conceived of as a shared cooperative activity, should be the gateway through which to incorporate moral constraints on the content of law. This analysis, however, leaves unanswered two important questions. For one thing, we do not know when or even why morality becomes a criterion of legality. And, for another thing, we still do not know what conception of morality it is that we are dealing (...) with. In this article, we will attempt to clarify in greater depth what relations there are between the social practice of law and morality. We will thus see how the cooperative nature of social practices imbues law with a moral force, and how this makes it possible to establish a "weak" connection between law and morality: To see this, we will need to single out some basic features of cooperative social practices, thus setting out a suitable framework for the view just mentioned. (shrink)
The discussion in this paper begins with some observations regarding a number of structural similarities between art and morality as it involves human agency. On the basis of these observations we may ask whether or not incompatibilist worries about free will are relevant to both art and morality. One approach is to claim that libertarian free will is essential to our evaluations of merit and desert in both spheres. An alternative approach, is to claim that free will is (...) required only in the sphere of morality—and that to this extent the art/morality analogy breaks down. I argue that both these incompatibilist approaches encounter significant problems and difficulties—and that incompatibilist have paid insufficient attention to these issues. However, although the analogy between art and morality may be welcomed by compatibilists, it does not pave the way for an easy or facile optimism on this subject. On the contrary, while the art/morality analogy may lend support to compatibilism it also serves to show that some worries of incompatibilism relating to the role of luck in human life cannot be easily set aside, which denies compatibilism any basis for complacent optimism on this subject. (shrink)
The aims of this paper are (1) to reconstruct the dialectic between two rival theories on the relation between art and morality, (2) to argue against Berys Gaut’s recent defense of ethicism, and (3) to elaborate some of my critical remarks and propose new considerations in favor of immoralism. To a first approximation, an ethicist maintains that the moral value of a work of art, when relevant, is an important element of its artistic value. In particular, assuming that the (...) moral value of a work, w, is relevant for its artistic value, if w has an immoral character (in a sense to be specified), then its aesthetic value is lessened. In addition, if w has a morally positive character, then w is also artistically more .. (shrink)
Covering an important theme in Humean studies, this book focuses on Humes hugely influential account of the relation between reason and morality, found in book three of his Treatise of Human Nature . Arguing that this account includes a fundamental contradiction that has gone unnoticed in modern debate, this fascinating volume contains a refreshing combination of historical-scholarly work and contemporary analysis that seeks to expose this contradiction and therefore provide a significant contribution to current scholarship in the area. Beginning (...) by pointing out a contradiction in the intermediary premise concerning whether reason can influence action, or is wholly powerless, the book then moves on to draw out the consequences for recent meta-ethics of the failure to acknowledge this contradiction. Finally, Botros highlights the root of the arguments power in an article of naturalistic dogma. A significant and thought-provoking addition to this popular field of study, Hume, Reason and Morality is undoubtedly an important resource for moral philosophers interested in meta-ethics and practical reason, as well as Humean scholars. (shrink)
Neil MacCormick says that his "version of institutional theory" about the law 'is "non positivist", or, if you wish, "post-positivist"'. He is aware, however, that his work could be perfectly labelled, from the point of view of the history of legal and moral thought, as a form of natural law theory, at least by those who adhere to some version of natural law. It is an important merit of MacCormick that, rising above the label walls and wars, his theory of (...) law has taken into account the main insights of the great authors belonging to both traditions, such as Hans Kelsen and Herbert Hart, on the so-called "positivist" side, and some authors in the Thomistic tradition, particularly John Finnis, as well as "the writings of seventeenth and eighteenth century jurists concerning natural jurisprudence and the law of nature", on the so-called "natural law" side. Writing with such openness to all sources and insights, Neil MacCormick, one of the most eminent legal philosophers of our time, does not surprise us when he chooses to end his lifetime's work with an attempt to dig into the ethical foundations of all that he has written on law and politics. Practical Reason in Law and Morality is, in a way, his most significant book. He tackles here the deeper issues that he himself realised were left open and uncertain in his salient works on legal theory. He considered this book as the last one in a quartet on "Law, State, and Practical Reason". The quartet itself has become the culmination of a life devoted to the common good, in academia and in politics, among many other endeavours. Notwithstanding its flaws, I am convinced that Neil MacCormick's last book can be illuminating for all those students, and even professors, who go about doing legal philosophy without ever reading anything antedating Hart's Concept of Law. They tend to be confused by sophisticated forms of scepticism, luxurious discussions on law and morality and metaethics, and all sorts of distrust of truth in practical matters. Hence they will surely benefit from reading how a great legal philosopher of our time, once equally confused but always honestly open to rational deliberation and fair discussion, freed himself of at least half of his misunderstandings, and learned a lot by reading some natural law theorists old and new. (shrink)
Book Information Art and Morality. Art and Morality José Luis Bermùdez and Sebastian Gardener , London : Routledge , 2003 , 303 , £50 ( cloth ) By José Luis Bermùdez. and Sebastian Gardener. Routledge. London. Pp. 303. £50 (cloth:).
Are mysticism and morality compatible or at odds with one another? If mystical experience embraces a form of non-dual consciousness, then in such a state of mind, the regulative dichotomy so basic to ethical discretion would seemingly be transcended and the very foundation for ethical decisions undermined. Venturing Beyond - Law and Morality in Kabbalistic Mysticism is an investigation of the relationship of the mystical and moral as it is expressed in the particular tradition of Jewish mysticism known (...) as the Kabbalah. The particular themes discussed include the denigration of the non-Jew as the ontic other in kabbalistic anthropology and the eschatological crossing of that boundary anticipated in the instituition of religious conversion; the overcoming of the distinction between good and evil in the mystical experience of the underlying unity of all things; divine suffering and the ideal of spiritual poverty as the foundation for transmoral ethics and hypernomian lawfulness. (shrink)
The war on terror is remaking conventional warfare. The protracted battle against a non-state organization, the demise of the confinement of hostilities to an identifiable battlefield, the extensive involvement of civilian combatants, and the development of new and more precise military technologies have all conspired to require a rethinking of the law and morality of war. Just war theory, as traditionally articulated, seems ill-suited to justify many of the practices of the war on terror. The raid against Osama Bin (...) Laden's Pakistani compound was the highest profile example of this strategy, but the issues raised by this technique cast a far broader net: every week the U.S. military and CIA launch remotely piloted drones to track suspected terrorists in hopes of launching a missile strike against them. -/- In addition to the public condemnation that these attacks have generated in some countries, the legal and moral basis for the use of this technique is problematic. Is the U.S. government correct that nations attacked by terrorists have the right to respond in self-defense by targeting specific terrorists for summary killing? Is there a limit to who can legitimately be placed on the list? There is also widespread disagreement about whether suspected terrorists should be considered combatants subject to the risk of lawful killing under the laws of war or civilians protected by international humanitarian law. Complicating the moral and legal calculus is the fact that innocent bystanders are often killed or injured in these attacks. This book addresses these issues. Featuring chapters by an unrivalled set of experts, it discusses all aspects of targeted killing, making it unmissable reading for anyone interested in the implications of this practice. (shrink)
God and Morality evaluates the ethical theories of four principle philosophers, Aristotle, Duns Scotus, Kant, and R.M. Hare. Uses their thinking as the basis for telling the story of the history and development of ethical thought more broadly Focuses specifically on their writings on virtue, will, duty, and consequence Concentrates on the theistic beliefs to highlight continuity of philosophical thought.
Objecting to a restrictive view of morality that limits moral philosophy and religious ethics to what can be logically displayed, this essay seeks to expand our understanding of morality in a way that permits one to account for intentionality in the moral life. It claims that religion makes a contribution to our moral behavior beyond that of motivating one to be moral. The author argues that a right understanding of the relationship of thought and action is essential (...) if we are correctly to understand the relationship of religion and morality. He concludes that "story" and principles have interdependent roles to play in the full variety of our moral life. (shrink)
This paper explores the nature of the relationship between reasonable variations in moral justifications and universal moral principles. It examines Wiredu’s distinction between custom and morality, and its implications for the issue of moral justification in African cultures. It argues that Wiredu’s distinction does not adequately articulate how universal moral principles are employed in different circumstances to justify actions and judgments. Wiredu’s distinction implies that a conceptual account of moral justification does not involve custom regarding relative facts and cultural (...) norms. The paper defends a variant of the relativism about moral justification that does imply relativism of truth and incommensurability between two culturally relative moral perspectives. It argues that the plausibility of such relativism is contingent on the possibility of conceptual, cognitive, and epistemic universals, and the idea that moral reasoning is a kind of practical reasoning that does not necessarily depend on intellectual rationality. (shrink)
Law and morality : constructs and models -- The morality of cognition : the normativity of ordinary reasoning -- Law in action : a praxeological approach to law and justice -- Law in context : legal activity and the institutional context -- Procedural constraint : sequentiality, routine, and formal correctness -- Legal relevance : the production of factuality and legality -- From law in the books to law in action : egyptian criminal law between doctrine, case law, jurisprudence, (...) and practice -- The natural person : the contingent and contextual production of legal personality -- The production of causality : a praxeological grammar of the use of causal concepts -- Intention in action : the teleological orientation of the parties to criminal cases -- Morality on trial : structure and intelligibility of the court sentence -- Questions of morality : sequential, structured organization of the interrogation -- The categories of morality : homosexuality between perversion and debauchery. (shrink)
Does human well-being consist in pleasure, the satisfaction of desires, or some set of goods such as knowledge, friendship, and accomplishment? Does being moral contribute to well-being, and is there a conflict between people's self-interest and the moral demands on them? Are the values of well-being and of morality measurable? Are such values objective? What is the relation between such values and the natural world? And how much can philosophical theory help us in our answers to these and similar (...) questions? Issues such as these provide the focus for much of the work of James Griffin, White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford, in whose honour Well-Being and Morality has been prepared. They are also among the main topics of these fourteen new essays by an international array of leading philosophers. Professor Griffin himself provides a further discussion of central themes in his thought, specially written in response to contributions to this volume. (shrink)
It is reported that the moment anyone talked to Marx about morality, he would roar with laughter. Yet, plainly, he was fired by outrage and a burning desire for a better world. This paradox is the starting point for Marxism and Morality. Discussing the positions taken by Marx, Engels, and their descendants in relation to certain moral issues, Steven Lukes addresses the questions on which Marxist thinkers and actors have taken a number of characteristic stands as well as (...) other questions--personal relations and the moral virtues of the individual, for example--on which Marxism falls silent. A provocative exploration of the gray area where Marxism and morality meet, this book argues that Marxism makes a number of major moral claims and that its appeal has always been, in large part, a moral one. (shrink)
In his critique of a self?interest understanding of rationality Amartya Sen appeals to notions like commitment and identity. Sen uses ?identity? in an abstract sense: it refers to the conditions of rational agency. Sen's emphasis on the notion of identity finds a parallel in recent Kantian accounts, e.g. the work of Christine M. Korsgaard and Elizabeth S. Anderson. In my paper I compare Sen's account of practical rationality and identity with the Kantian accounts of practical rationality which consider the (...) concept of practical identity as crucial for understanding the connection between rationality and morality. Sen's account, as I will show, does not follow the Kantian line altogether since Sen, unlike the Kantian accounts, does not identify the rules of rationality with the rules of morality. Sen's position, as I argue, can be read as a middle position between Humeanism on the one hand and a Kantian position on the other, and I defend such a middle position. (shrink)
In Anglo-American legal theory the lack of morality was often considered as the main problem of Nazi law. Bringing law and morality together thus seems to meet the challenge posed by the Nazi legal system. In this paper I argue that the mere unification of law and morality is not sufficient to cope with the distortions of Nazi law. By discussing the framework of the SS-jurisdiction and the case of the SS-judge Konrad Morgen I try to show (...) that in the Nazi legal system morality is so deformed that in such circumstances a judge’s aiming for justice has equivocal implications. My conclusion is that we should consider law and morality as two distinct normative spheres and approach the issue of Nazi law using a conception of legality that captures basic requirements of a rule-of-law system. (shrink)
This article insists on the relationship between law and morality from the internal point of view. H.L.A. Hart makes distinction between internal and external viewpoints. In the framework of Hart’s approach, it is difficult to imagine the internal point of view as a moral point of view. In fact, the internal point of view illuminates the normative character of rules; it shows that the members of the group accept the rules as standards of behavior for the group as a (...) whole. To explain the internal point of view which includes also moral view, we should leave Hart’s definition. But we may use his definition as accepting and using a rule. For this, we should question the meaning of accepting a rule and using a rule. (shrink)
The relationship between self-realization, thus of what I really wholeheartedly endorse and I owe to myself, and morality or what we owe to others is normally thought of as antagonism, or as a pleasant coincidence: Only if I am indebted to such relations as my fundamental projects that I care wholeheartedly about, does morality have a direct connection to self-realization. The aim of this article is to argue against this picture. I will be argued that the structure of (...) self-realization and the caring activity involved commits the person to values that are beyond the object of his wholehearted caring, in a way that might just pave the way to morality. -/- . (shrink)
Law, Economics, and Morality examines the possibility of combining economic methodology and deontological morality through explicit and direct incorporation of moral constraints into economic models. Economic analysis of law is a powerful analytical methodology. However, as a purely consequentialist approach, which determines the desirability of acts and rules solely by assessing the goodness of their outcomes, standard cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is normatively objectionable. Moderate deontology prioritizes such values as autonomy, basic liberties, truth-telling, and promise-keeping over the promotion of (...) good outcomes. It holds that there are constraints on promoting the good. Such constraints may be overridden only if enough good (or bad) is at stake. While moderate deontology conforms to prevailing moral intuitions and legal doctrines, it is arguably lacking in methodological rigor and precision. -/- Eyal Zamir and Barak Medina argue that the normative flaws of economic analysis can be rectified without relinquishing its methodological advantages and that moral constraints can be formalized so as to make their analysis more rigorous. They discuss various substantive and methodological choices involved in modeling deontological constraints. Zamir and Medina propose to determine the permissibility of any act or rule infringing a deontological constraint by means of mathematical threshold functions. Law, Economics, and Morality presents the general structure of threshold functions, analyzes their elements and addresses possible objections to this proposal. It then illustrates the implementation of constrained CBA in several legal fields, including contract law, freedom of speech, antidiscrimination law, the fight against terrorism, and legal paternalism. (shrink)
Abstract A view of interpersonal morality is set out, derived in large part from psychotherapeutic practice. The key concept is that of giving free attention to the subjectivity of another, leading to the equation: free attention + free attention = moral space. Some of the historical and societal implications are explored and it is suggested that the problem of social fabric emerges as more important than that of social justice. The view presented here stands in contrast to much of (...) Western moralism, with its tendency to create ?grand narratives? about the right and the good; the universalistic character of such accounts has been drastically called in question by some of the theorists of postmodernism. (shrink)
In order to clarify the relationship between morality and law, it is necessary to define both concepts precisely. Cultural realities refer to concepts which are more specifically defined if we focus towards the genealogy of those realities, that is to say, their motivation, function and aim. Should we start from legal anthropology, comparative law and history of law, law arises as a social technique which coactively imposes ways of solving conflicts, protecting fundamental values for a society's co-existence. Values subject (...) to being protected are proposed by morality, the latter making subordination of law to morality inevitable. This explains that a great number of modern constitutions include a reference to fundamental moral values, that is to say, they have explicitly positivised moral contents. Legal reasoning, at all levels and expressions, needs to appeal to the aforementioned values. Constitutional reasoning, international law, legislative activity and judicial practice are studied to verify the latter. This subordination of law to morality sets out a serious problem: moralities are cultural realities which are only valid for a specific society. In order for law not to fall in a not very rational legal relativism, law should not be subordinated to morality, but to ethics, the latter understood as cross-cultural morality. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was a step forward in this sense. (shrink)
What I set out to do is to cast some doubt on the thesis that, in Bernard Williams''s words, any appeal to God in morality either adds nothing at all, or it adds the wrong sort of thing. A first conclusion is that a morality of real, inescapable and (sometimes) for the agent costly obligations, while being at home in a theistic metaphysic, does not sit easily with metaphysical, atheistic naturalism. The second conclusion is that Christine Korsgaard''s impressive (...) ethical project which is neutral towards theism and atheism fails in giving a satisfying account of such obligations. My final claim is that a theistic account in terms of a strong divine command theory might succeed where non- and atheistic accounts seem to founder. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. The fundamental problem; Part I. Social Order and Social Morality: 2. The failure of instrumentalism; 3. Social morality as the sphere of rules; 4. Emotion and reason in social morality; Part II. Real Public Reason: 5. The justificatory problem and the deliberative model; 6. The rights of the moderns; 7. Moral equilibrium and moral freedom; 8. The moral and political orders; Appendix A. The plurality of morality; Appendix B. Mozick's attempt to (...) solve the prisoner's dilemma; Appendix C. Deontic utility functions; Appendix D. The Kantian coordination game; Appendix E. Protection of property rights and economic freedom in states that do best at protecting civil rights. (shrink)
It is a matter for both surprise and disappointment that so little has been written from a philosophical perspective about the moral tradition enshrined in Europe''s oldest living literature, the Icelandic sagas. The main purpose of the present essay is to start to ameliorate this shortcoming by analysing and assessing the moral code bequeathed to us by the saga literature. To do so, I draw attention to the striking similarities between saga morality and what tends to be called an (...) ''ancient moral outlook'' (with special reference to Aristotle''s much-maligned virtue of megalopsychia) and then try to defend the credentials of both outlooks in so far as they clash, or seem to clash, with certain aspects of a ''modern moral outlook.''. (shrink)
Abstract What do we mean to say when we call some person a good business manager? And where do the criteria flow from by which we judge people good business managers? I answer these questions by drawing on von Wright's distinction between several varieties of goodness. We can then discriminate between instrumental, technical and moral senses of the expression ?to be a good business manager?. The first two senses presume that business managers have a characteristic task or that they engage (...) in typical activities. It is natural to specify this task and these activities by appealing to goods and to the good of a business. These goods may then be identified as goods for people. Insofar as the welfare of people is of moral value, we obtain a morally loaded account of business management. I argue against this account and plead for a more sober understanding of economic goods and of the good of a business. The latter can be understood in analogy to the good of an individual person, but is largely determined by the goals of the founders and owners. Economic goods are things that are wanted by some people and thus exchanged on markets. If this is so, then there is no direct conceptual path from instrumentally or technically good business managers to morality even though there are certain affinities. To conclude, I trace the consequences for our understanding of business ethics. (shrink)
When seeing immoral actions, criminal or not, we sometimes deem the people who perform them unhealthy. This is especially so if the actions are of a serious nature, e.g. involving murder, assault, or rape. We turn our moral evaluation into an evaluation about health and illness. This tendency is partly supported by some diagnoses found in the DMS-IV, such as Antisocial personality disorder, and the ICD-10, such as Dissocial personality disorder. The aim of the paper is to answer the question: (...) How analytically sound is the inclusion of morality into a theory of health? The holistic theory of Lennart Nordenfelt is used as a starting point, and it is used as an example of a theory where morality and health are conceptually distinct categories. Several versions of a pluralistic holistic theory are then discussed in order to see if, and if so, how, morality can be conceptually related to health. It is concluded that moral abilities (and dispositions) can be seen as being part of the individual’s health. It is harder to incorporate moral virtues and moral actions into such a theory. However, if immoral actions “cluster” in an individual, and are of a severe kind, causing serious harm to other people, it is more likely that the person, for those reasons only, be deemed unhealthy. (shrink)
Some of the most difficult and wrenching social and political issues in U.S. society today are about the relationship between strongly held moral values and the laws of the land. There is no consensus about whether the law should deal with morality at all, and if it is to do so, there is no agreement over whose morality is to be reflected in the law.In this compact and carefully edited anthology, Gerald Dworkin presents the readings necessary for an (...) understanding of these issues. The volume contains classical and contemporary philosophical statements as well as a generous sampling of legal cases and opinions, including such topics of current interest as flag-burning, nude dancing, the sale of human organs, and sexual behavior. The volume represents the best in applied legal and moral philosophy. (shrink)
The entwined history of humans and elephants is fascinating but often sad. People have used elephants as beasts of burden and war machines, slaughtered them for their ivory, exterminated them as threats to people and ecosystems, turned them into objects of entertainment at circuses, employed them as both curiosities and conservation ambassadors in zoos, and deified and honored them in religious rites. How have such actions affected these pachyderms? What ethical and moral imperatives should humans follow to ensure that elephants (...) are treated with dignity and saved from extinction? In Elephants and Ethics, Christen Wemmer and Catherine A. Christen assemble an international cohort of experts to review the history of human-elephant relations, discuss current issues of vital concern to elephant welfare, and assess the prospects for the ethical coexistence of both species. Part I provides an overview of the vexatious human-elephant relationship, from the history of our interactions to understanding elephant intelligence and sense of self. It concludes with a discussion of the issues of stress, pain, and suffering as experienced by elephants in human care and the problems inherent in assessing these subjectively. The second part explores how humans use elephants as tools and entertainment. It reviews domestic uses in Asia, examines the history and roles of elephants in zoos and circuses, and discusses the methods and ethics of training and caring for captive elephants. In Part III the contributors examine the fragile and conflict-filled world of human-elephant interactions in the wild. Each chapter delves into a different angle of the "elephant problem" -- the all-too-human problem of our growing populations taking over space that was historically the domain of these pachyderms. The chapters explore attempts to tame and "train" elephants in populous areas, the struggle over balancing species preservation while maintaining biodiversity in protected areas, and the conundrums posed by hunting, tourism, and human-elephant competition on rural land. That the future health and survival of elephants is dependent on human actions is irrefutable. In addressing these issues from multiple perspectives, Elephants and Ethics promotes mutual understanding of the cultural, conservation, and economic difficulties at the root of the many troublesome human-elephant interactions and poses new questions about our responsibility toward these largest of land mammals. (shrink)
Law, unlike morality, is made by someone. So it may, unlike morality, have aims, which are the aims of its makers (either individually or collectively). Not all law has aims, however, because not all law-making is intentional. Customary law is made by convergent actions that are performed without the intention of making law, and so without any further intention to achieve anything by making law, i.e. without any aim. There are also some other modes of accidental law-making. However (...) for the time being we will focus on law that is intentionally made, and therefore is capable of having aims. (shrink)
In this essay, then, I would like to address what I believe are the most compelling epistemic arguments against the notion that literature (and art more broadly) can function as an instrument of education and a source of knowledge.
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 a default some moral theory, like consequentialism, that demands that we do a great deal of good. The theory is then modified so as to make room for individuals to pursue the projects they value most deeply, and perhaps their trivial interests as well—i.e., so as to respect individual integrity. This paper presupposes that Integrity Theories are correct and that, for the reasons given by others, they can explain why morality should grant us agent-centered prerogatives to pursue our own projects and interests. The goal is to extend this work in two respects. First, it will be shown that previous authors have not paid sufficient attention to ordinary morality’s conflicting pronouncements about agent-centered prerogatives. Second, it is argued that Integrity Theories can vindicate those conflicting intuitions by positing a special kind of obligations, relievable obligations. (shrink)
David Gauthier's book represents the culmination of his work over the last twenty years on the theory of rational choice and on contractarian moral theory. It is the most important book on contractarianisni since Rawls‘ A Theory of Justice' and is mandatory reading for anyone specializing in contemporary moral theory. Gauthier does two distinct, although closely related, things in his book: (l) he defends a theory of rational choice, and (2) he defends a contractarian theory of morality. The two (...) are related, since on his view moral principles are rational and impartial constraints on the pursuit of self—interest. (shrink)
In Section 1, I rehearse some arguments for the claim that morality should be ``action-guiding'', and try to state the conditions under which a moral theory is in fact action-guiding. I conclude that only agents who are cognitively and conatively ``ideal'' are in general able to use a moral theory as a guide to action. In Sections 2 and 3, I discuss whether moral ``actualism'' implies that morality cannot be action-guiding even for ideal agents. If actualism is true, (...) an ideal agent will know about her own future actions. Since such foreknowledge is often thought to be incompatible with deliberation, and since action-guidance presupposes the possibility of deliberation, there is an apparent difficulty in combining actualism with the requirement of action-guidance. In opposition to an argument by Jan Österberg, I try to show that actualism and action-guidance are in fact compatible. (shrink)
Whistle-blowing is generally considered from the viewpoint of professional morality. Morality rejects the idea of choice and the interests of the professional as immoral. Yet the dreadful retaliations against the messengers of the truth make it necessary for morality to leave a way out of whistle-blowing. This is why it forges rights (sometimes called duties) to trump the duty to the public prescribed by professional codes. This serves to hide the obvious fact that whether to blow the (...) whistle is indeed a choice, not a matter of objective duty. One should also notice that if it fails to achieve anything then blowing the whistle was the wrong decision (or maybe the right decision that nobody would want to make). There is nevertheless a tendency to judge it based on the motivation of the whistle blower. In a way, whistle blowers should strive to act like saints. Yet, it is logically impossible to hold both whistle-blowing as mandatory and whistle-blowers as heroes or saints. Moreover, this tends to value the great deeds of a few over the lives of the many, which is incompatible with the basic assumptions of morality. But consistency is not a main feature of professional morality. (shrink)
In order responsibly to decide whether there ought to be an international legal right of secession, I believe we need an account of the morality of secession. I propose that territorial and political societies have a moral right to secede, and on that basis I propose a regime designed to give such groups an international legal right to secede. This regime would create a procedure that could be followed by groups desiring to secede or by states desiring to resolve (...) the issue of secession. It would give territorial political societies a legally recognized liberty to conduct a plebiscite on secession, and, assuming such a plebiscite is won by the secessionist side, a qualified right in international law to create a state without interference. Alan Buchanan has argued that proposals of this sort would create perverse incentives. I argue that there is no good reason to believe this. The point is to allow the legal regulation of secession in cases where there are active secessionist movements with legitimate moral claims, and to attempt to dampen the desire for secession in cases where secessionist sentiment is not well grounded in social and geographic reality. (shrink)
In each decade of the nuclear age, philosophers have provided critical reflections on the nature, use, and consequences of nuclear weapons. Frequently, these reflections have addressed the morality of producing, testing, deploying, and using nuclear weapons. Already, these philosophical reflections have passed through four phases and are now entering a fifth phase. The first phase stretches from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to the above ground nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll. From the initial use of atomic weapons in 1945 (...) to the testing of the hydrogen bomb in 1952, the United States held a virtual monopoly. (The Soviet Union tested its first atomic weapon in 1949, and the United States progressed not only to the development of the hydrogen bomb, but also to a miniaturization of nuclear weapons that spawned even more tactical nuclear weapons than the eventual strategic arsenals of the superpowers.) During the 1950s and 1960s, the second phase shifts to a focus on the above ground testing of the hydrogen bomb, as well as the post war tension between the United States and the Soviet Union. The third phase addresses increasing shifts during the 1970s and 1980s to counterforce weapons and nuclear war fighting strategies. The fourth phase responds to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and to the problems of nuclear proliferation and nuclear deterrence in the post Cold War world, culminating with a critique of the renewal of Star Wars in 2001 under the guise of ballistic missile defense. The first decade of the twenty first century ushers in not only the purported “war against terrorism” by the United States, but also a broader and deeper philosophical response to the interconnections among violence, terrorism, and war. (shrink)
Contractualism has a venerable history and considerable appeal. Yet as an account of the foundations or ultimate grounds of morality it has been thought by many philosophers to be subject to fatal objections. This book argues otherwise. It begins by detailing and diagnosing the shortcomings of the main existing models of contractualism, “Hobbesian” contractualism (or contractarianism) and “Kantian” contractualism. It then proposes a novel, "deliberative" model, based on an interpersonal, deliberative conception of practical reason. It argues that the deliberative (...) model of contractualism represents an attractive alternative to its more familiar rivals and that it has the resources to offer a more compelling account of morality’s foundations, one that can do justice to the twin demands of moral accuracy and explanatory adequacy. (shrink)
Modality, morality and belief are among the most controversial topics in philosophy today, and few philosophers have shaped these debates as deeply as Ruth Barcan Marcus. Inspired by her work, a distinguished group of philosophers explore these issues, refine and sharpen arguments and develop new positions on such topics as possible worlds, moral dilemmas, essentialism, and the explanation of actions by beliefs. This 'state of the art' collection honours one of the most rigorous and iconoclastic of philosophical pioneers.
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 good of other people and instead spend our time on non-harmful actions of our choice. I argue that this hope is unrealistic, because if any version of the Integrity Explanation is correct, morality won’t contain broad permissions to refrain from promoting the good of others and do as we choose. Instead the basic structure of morality must be fundamentally different from what we usually take it to be. Our common-sense moral theories say that we take on responsibilities to others only in certain specific situations, but may otherwise engage in non-harmful actions of our choice. But if the Integrity Explanation is correct, then we are entitled to pursue our own interests to at least some extent, but unless we do, we come under obligations to maximize the good of others. (shrink)
A theory of morality acceptable to humanists must be one that can be accepted independently of religion. In this paper, I argue that while there is such a theory, it is a non-standard one, and its acceptance would have some far-reaching consequences. As one might expect, the theory is similar to others in various ways. But it is not the same as any of them. Indeed, it is a radically new theory. Like Hume’s ethics, it is founded on our (...) natural sociability, and feelings of empathy for others. Like Aristotle’s theory, it incorporates an ethics of virtue. Like Kant’s theory, it regards the set of moral principles as those appropriate for a socially ideal society. But unlike Kant’s theory, it is essentially utilitarian. I call it ‘social contractual utilitarianism’. (shrink)
There is an ongoing debate in the philosophical and jurisprudential literature regarding the nature and possibility of Contract theory. On one hand are those who argue (or assume) that there is, or should be, a single, general, universal theory of Contract Law, one applicable to all jurisdictions and all times. On the other hand are those who assert that Contract theory should be localized to particular times and places, perhaps even with different theories for different types of agreements. This article (...) considers one facet of this debate: evaluating the relevance of the fact that the remedies available for breach of contract can vary significantly from one jurisdiction to another. This wide variation in remedies for breach of a (contractual) promise is one central difference between promises in morality and enforceable agreements in law. The article asserts that variation of remedies strongly supports the conclusion that there is (and can be) no general, universal theory of Contract Law. (shrink)
Martha Nussbaum's work has been characterized by a sustained critique of Stoic ethics, insofar as that ethics denies the validity and importance of our valuing things that elude our control. This essay explores the idea that the very possibility of morality, understood as social or interpersonal ethics, presupposes that we do value such things. If my argument is right, Stoic ethics is unable to recognize the validity of morality (so understood) but can at most acknowledge duties to oneself. (...) A further implication is that moral luck, so far from undermining morality as some have held, is presupposed by the very possibility of morality. (shrink)
Discourse ethics is originally conceived as a programme of philosophical justification of morality. This depends on the formal derivation of the moral principle (U) from non-moral principles. The moral theory is supposed to fall out of a pragmatic theory of meaning. The original programme plays a central role in Habermas's social theory: the moral theory, if true, provides good evidence for the more general theory of modernization. But neither Habermas nor his followers have succeeded in providing a formal derivation. (...) This essay shows how and why Habermas's proposed derivation is impossible. As if aware of the lacuna, Habermas has recently suggested that (U) can be derived by 'abduction' rather than deduction. The proposal draws heavily on modernization theory; hence the only justification for (U) now available to him rests on premises drawn from that theory. The original programme of the justification of morality has thus given way to the weaker programme of the philosophical elucidation of morality. Further, since Habermas's moral theory is no longer justified independently of modernization theory, but at least partly by it, the moral theory cannot without circularity provide evidence for the modernization theory. (shrink)