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Profile: Liezl L van Zyl (University of Waikato)
  1. Liezl Van Zyl (2014). Right Action and the Targets of Virtue. In Stan van Hooft & Nafsika Athanassoulis (eds.), The Handbook of Virtue Ethics. Acumen Publishing Ltd..
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  2. Liezl van Zyl (2014). Character as Moral Fiction by Mark Alfano, 2013 Cambridge, Cambridge University Press 226 Pp, £55.00 (Hb). [REVIEW] Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (1):104-106.
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  3. Liezl van Zyl (2013). Virtue Ethics and Right Action. In Daniel C. Russell (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Virtue Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
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  4. Liezl Van Zyl & Ruth Walker (2013). Beyond Altruistic and Commercial Contract Motherhood: The Professional Model. Bioethics 27 (7):373-381.
    It has become common to distinguish between altruistic and commercial contract motherhood (or ‘surrogacy’). Altruistic arrangements are based on the ‘gift relationship’: a woman is motivated by altruism to have a baby for an infertile couple, who are free to reciprocate as they see fit. By contrast, in commercial arrangements both parties are motivated by personal gain to enter a legally enforceable agreement, which stipulates that the contract mother or ‘surrogate’ is to bear a child for the intending parents in (...)
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  5. Liezl van Zyl (2012). Book Review: Motive and Rightness. [REVIEW] Ethics 122 (3):627-632.
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  6. Liezl van Zyl (2012). New Waves in Ethics. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):819-819.
    Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Volume 0, Issue 0, Page 1, Ahead of Print.
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  7. Liezl van Zyl (2012). Sverdlik , Steven . Motive and Rightness . New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Pp. 224. $55.00 (Cloth). Ethics 122 (3):627-632.
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  8. Liezl van Zyl (2011). Right Action and the Non-Virtuous Agent. Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (1):80-92.
    According to qualified-agent virtue ethics, an action is right if and only if it is what a virtuous agent would characteristically do in the circumstances. I discuss two closely related objections to this view, both of which concern the actions of the non-virtuous. The first is that this criterion sometimes gives the wrong result, for in some cases a non-virtuous agent should not do what a virtuous person would characteristically do. A second objection is it altogether fails to apply whenever (...)
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  9. Liezl van Zyl (2011). Rightness and Goodness in Agent-Based Virtue Ethics. Journal of Philosophical Research 36:103-114.
    In Morals from Motives (2001) Michael Slote puts forward an agent-based virtue ethics that purports to derive an account of deontic terms from aretaic evaluations of motives or character traits. In this view, an action is right if and only if it proceeds from a good or virtuous motive or at least does not come from a bad motive, and wrong if it comes from a bad motive. I argue that Slote does not provide an account of right action at (...)
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  10. Liezl van Zyl (2010). Motive and Right Action. Philosophia 38 (2):405-415.
    Some philosophers believe that a change in motive alone is sometimes sufficient to bring about a change in the deontic status (rightness or wrongness) of an action. I refer to this position as ‘weak motivism’, and distinguish it from ‘strong’ and ‘partial motivism’. I examine a number of cases where our intuitive judgements appear to support the weak motivist’s thesis, and argue that in each case an alternative explanation can be given for why a change in motive brings about (or, (...)
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  11. Liezl van Zyl (2009). Accidental Rightness. Philosophia 37 (1):91-104.
    In this paper I argue that the disagreement between modern moral philosophers and (some) virtue ethicists about whether motive affects rightness is a result of conceptual disagreement, and that when they develop a theory of ‘right action,’ the two parties respond to two very different questions. Whereas virtue ethicists tend to use ‘right’ as interchangeable with ‘good’ or ‘virtuous’ and as implying moral praise, modern moral philosophers use it as roughly equivalent to ‘in accordance with moral obligation.’ One implication of (...)
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  12. Liezl van Zyl (2009). Agent-Based Virtue Ethics and the Problem of Action Guidance. Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (1):50-69.
  13. Liezl van Zyl (2009). Motive and Right Action. Philosophia 38 (2):405-415.
    Some philosophers believe that a change in motive alone is sometimes sufficient to bring about a change in the deontic status (rightness or wrongness) of an action. I refer to this position as ‘weak motivism’, and distinguish it from ‘strong’ and ‘partial motivism’. I examine a number of cases where our intuitive judgements appear to support the weak motivist’s thesis, and argue that in each case an alternative explanation can be given for why a change in motive brings about (or, (...)
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  14. Liezl van Zyl (2007). Can Virtuous People Emerge From Tragic Dilemmas Having Acted Well? Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (1):50–61.
  15. Liezl van Zyl (2005). In Defence of Agent-Based Virtue Ethics. Philosophical Papers 34 (2):273-288.
    In ‘Against agent-based virtue ethics' (2004) Michael Brady rejects agent-based virtue ethics on the grounds that it fails to capture the commonsense distinction between an agent's doing the right thing, and her doing it for the right reason. In his view, the failure to account for this distinction has paradoxical results, making it unable to explain why an agent has a duty to perform a given action. I argue that Brady's objection relies on the assumption that an agent-based account is (...)
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  16. Liezl van Zyl (2004). Virtuous Motives, Moral Luck, and Assisted Death. South African Journal of Philosophy 23 (1):20-33.
    In this paper I outline a motive-based virtue account of right action, according to which an action is right if it expresses or exhibits virtuous motive, and which defines virtue in terms of human flourishing. I indicate how this account allows us to deal with the problem of consequential luck. By applying this account to the question of whether it is ever morally right or accept able to assist in someone's death, I demonstrate how it also allows us to deal (...)
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  17. Liezl van Zyl (2002). Intentional Parenthood and the Nuclear Family. Journal of Medical Humanities 23 (2):107-118.
    Reproductive techniques and practices, ranging from ordinary birth-control measures and artificial insemination to embryo transfer and surrogate motherhood, have greatly enhanced our range of reproductive choices. As a consequence, they pose a number of difficult moral and legal questions with regard to the formation of a family and our conception of parenthood. A view that is becoming increasingly common is that parental rights and responsibilities should not be based on genetic relationships but should instead be seen as arising from agreements (...)
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  18. Liezl van Zyl (2002). Intentional Parenthood: Responsibilities in Surrogate Motherhood. [REVIEW] Health Care Analysis 10 (2):165-175.
    In recent years, a number of writers dealingwith questions over parenthood that arisein the context of reproductive technologies andsurrogate motherhood, have appealed to thenotion of ``intentional parenthood''. Basingtheir argument on liberal values such asindividual autonomy, the freedom to entercontracts, the right to privacy, and individualself-fulfilment, they argue that contractuallystated intentions, rather than genetic orgestational relationships, should form thebasis of parental rights. Against this I arguethat parental rights do not derive fromcontractual agreements, but are based in theirobligations towards the child. I (...)
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  19. Liezl van Zyl (2002). Virtue Theory and Applied Ethics. South African Journal of Philosophy 21 (2):133-143.
    Critics of virtue ethics have argued that its focus on character rather than action, as well as its rejection of universal rules of right action renders virtue ethics unable to shed much light on the question of what ought and ought not to be done in specific situations. According to them, this explains why so few attempts have been made to apply virtue theory to specific moral questions. In this paper I aim to go some way towards developing a version (...)
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  20. Liezl van Zyl (2000). Interpretations, Perspectives and Intentions in Surrogate Motherhood. Journal of Medical Ethics 26 (5):404-409.
  21. Anton van Niekerk & Liezl van Zyl (1995). The Ethics of Surrogacy: Women's Reproductive Labour. Journal of Medical Ethics 21 (6):345-349.
    The aim of this article is to establish whether there is anything intrinsically immoral about surrogacy arrangements from the perspective of the surrogate mother herself. Specific attention is paid to the claim that surrogacy is similar to prostitution in that it reduces women's reproductive labour to a form of alienated and/or dehumanized labour.
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