Recent philosophical arguments in favor of legal markets in human organs such as kidneys claim that respect for autonomy justifies such markets. I argue that these arguments fail to establish the moral permissibility of commercialized organ sales because they do not show that those most likely to serve as vendors would choose to sell autonomously. Pro-market views utilize hierarchical theories of autonomy to demonstrate that potential organ vendors may autonomously consent to selling their organs even in the absence of any (...) practical alternative to doing so. But central to hierarchical accounts of autonomy is the idea that persons my experience volitional ambivalence, a condition in which the will is irreconcilably conflicted. Because commercialized organ sales would create volitional ambivalence in many of those who opt to sell an organ, the choice to sell an organ would not be an autonomous one. (shrink)
Over the past decade or so political leaders around the world have begun to apologize for, and even seek reconciliation between perpetrators and victims of large-scale moral wrongs such as slavery, campaigns of ethnic cleansing, and official regimes of racial segregation. The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) is probably the most well-known example of such political efforts to effect what might be called moral healing within and between nations. In this essay, I canvass various senses of reconciliation, clarifying (...) which are appropriate for understanding these recent political efforts to heal the wounds caused by state-sanctioned moral atrocities. I argue that interpersonal reconciliation is not likely to be a promising model for understanding political efforts to achieve moral closure for large-scale wrongs, and I close with some worries about the efficacy of state-sponsored attempts to reconcile victims to their wrongdoers. (shrink)
A recent argument in favor of a free market in human organs claims that such a market enhances personal autonomy. I argue here that such a market would, on the contrary, actually compromise the autonomy of those most likely to sell their organs, namely, the least well off members of society. A Marxian-inspired notion of exploitation is deployed to show how, and in what sense, this is the case.