In general, we think that when it comes to the good of another, we respect that person’s will by acting in accordance with what he wills because he wills it. I argue that this is not necessarily true. When it comes to the good of another person, it is possible to disrespect that person’s will while acting in accordance with what he wills because he wills it. Seeing how this is so, I argue, enables us to clarify the distinct (...) roles that the wills of competent and incompetent people should play in third-party deliberations about their welfare. (shrink)
Respect, Pluralism, and Justice is a series of essays which sketches a broadly Kantian framework for moral deliberation, and then uses it to address important social and political issues. Hill shows how Kantian theory can be developed to deal with questions about cultural diversity, punishment, political violence, responsibility for the consequences of wrongdoing, and state coercion in a pluralistic society.
It is a widely supported claim that liberal democratic institutions should treat citizens with equal respect. I neither dispute nor champion this claim, but investigate how it could be fulfilled. I do this by asking, as a sort of litmus test, how liberal democratic institutions should treat with respect citizens holding minority convictions, and thereby dissenting from a deliberative output. The first step of my argument consists in clarifying the sense in which liberal democracies have a primary concern (...) for the respectful treatment of citizens qua self-legislating persons. Taking the second step, I address critically the common tendency in the literature to concentrate on what I have termed the ex ante legem phase, focusing solely on the structure of institutionalized decision-making processes. I submit, rather, that the principle of equal respect for persons demands more of liberal democratic institutions to enhance citizens' chances to give voice to their consciences and influence, on that ground, the formulation of the rules to which they should conform. Fulfilling this commitment requires democratic theorizing to go beyond the ex ante legem phase and regard forms of ex post legem contestation as an extension of citizens' right to political participation. Against this backdrop, I take the third and last step and argue that a promising way forward consists in the adoption of an ex post legem version of conscientious exemptionism, granting citizens a conditional moral right to request exemptions on the grounds of conscience from certain controversial legal and political provisions. (shrink)
This paper explores the scope and limits of rational consensus through mutual respect, with the primary focus on the best known formal model of consensus: the Lehrer–Wagner model. We consider various arguments against the rationality of the Lehrer–Wagner model as a model of consensus about factual matters. We conclude that models such as this face problems in achieving rational consensus on disagreements about unknown factual matters, but that they hold considerable promise as models of how to rationally resolve non-factual (...) disagreements. (shrink)
The paper considers acts of private (in the sense of individually motivated and extra-legal) revenge, and draws attention to a special kind of judgement we may make of such acts. While endorsing the general view that an act of private revenge must be morally wrong, it maintains that under certain special conditions (which include its being just) it is susceptible of a rational respect from others which is based on its standing outside morality, as a choice by the revenger (...) not to act morally but to obey other compelling motives. This thesis is tested against various objections, notably those which doubt the intelligibility or application of such non-moral 'respect,' or would assimilate it to moral approval; and it is distinguished from various positions with which it might be confused, such as the 'admirable immorality' of Slote, or the Nietzschean critique of morality. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that equal respect-based accounts of the normative basis of tolerance are self-defeating, insofar as they are unable to specify the limits of tolerance in a way that is consistent with their own commitment to the equal treatment of all conceptions of the good. I show how this argument is a variant of the longstanding ‘conflict of freedoms’ objection to Kantian-inspired, freedom-based accounts of the justification of systems of norms. I criticize Thomas Scanlon’s defence of (...) ‘pure tolerance’, Anna Elisabetta Galeotti’s work on the relationship between tolerance, equal respect and recognition, and Arthur Ripstein’s recent response to the ‘conflict of freedoms’ objection. The upshot of my argument is that, while valuing tolerance for its own sake may be an appealing ideal, it is not a feasible way of grounding a system of norms. I close with a thumbnail sketch of two alternative, instrumental (i.e. non- Kantian) approaches to the normative foundations of tolerance. (shrink)
The relations between the majority and minorities in a democracy have been standardly viewed as the main subject matter of toleration: the majority should refrain from using its dominant position to interfere with some minorities’ practices or beliefs despite its dislike or disapproval of such practices or beliefs. Can the idea of toleration provide us with the necessary resources to understand and respond to the problems arising out of majority/minorities relations in a democracy? We reply in the negative and make (...) two main claims: first, that resorting to toleration is not enough to make sense of the problems deriving from the unequal participation of minorities in society, and, second, that it risks sanctioning the asymmetric relation between the majority and minorities informed by the negative judgement of the former towards some belief or practice of the latter. We suggest resorting instead to the idea of equal opacity respect for persons: all persons should be treated equally as moral agents, in accordance with their equally possessing the capacity for self-legislation, and as if they were opaque to our judgement for all those properties of theirs which exceed moral agency. Looking at the majority/minorities relations through such a lens enables us to understand (and appropriately respond to) what is problematic in such relations: the majority often fails to treat minorities as moral agents by failing to take their voices into account on an equal footing, by seeing them merely as recipients of certain provisions affecting them rather than their authors, and by considering them as legitimately exposed to the majority’s (negative) judgment. The purchase of our argument is illustrated by reference to two minorities whose treatment is paradigmatic of the problematic nature of majority/minorities relations across Europe: Muslims and Roma. (shrink)
Many moral philosophers assume that a person is entitled to respect; this suggests that there is a right to respect. I argue, however, that there is no such right. There can be no right to respect because of what respect is, in conjunction with what a right demands and certain limitations of human agency. In this paper, I first examine the nature and ontological basis of rights. I next consider the notion of respect in general; (...) I adduce several varieties of respect, then present a primary distinction needed to discern the notion of respect relevant to the putative right. Then I propound the argument that there can be no right to respect and consider some means of challenging its conclusion. In closing, I trace some of the consequences of this argument and suggest how it might motivate a different approach to understanding our most basic obligations to one another. (shrink)
. Despite the classical prohibition of moving from fact to value, encounter with the biodiversity and plenitude of being in evolutionary natural history moves us to respect life, even to reverence it. Darwinian accounts are value-laden and necessary for understanding life at the same time that Darwinian theory fails to provide sufficient cause for the historically developing diversity and increasing complexity on Earth. Earth is a providing ground; matter and energy on Earth support life, but distinctive to life is (...) information coded in the genetic molecules that superintends this matter-energy. Life is generated and regenerated in struggle, persists in its perishing. Such life is also a gift; nature is grace. Biologists and theologians join in celebrating and conserving the genesis on Earth, awed in their encounter with this creativity that characterizes our home planet. (shrink)
The debate concerning the moral permissibility of using human embryos in human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research has long centred on the question of the embryo's supposed right to life. However, in focussing only on this question, many opponents to hESC research have escaped rigorous scrutiny by making vague and unfounded appeals to the concept of moral respect in order to justify their opposition to certain hESC practices. In this paper, I offer a critical analysis of the concept of (...) moral respect, and its use to support the intuitively appealing principle of proportionality in hESC research. I argue that if proponents of this principle are to justify its adoption by appealing to the concept of moral respect, they must explain two things concerning the nature of the moral respect owed to embryos. First, they must explain which particular aspect of the embryo is morally relevant, and why. Second, they must explain why some uses of embryos in research fail to acknowledge what is morally relevant about the embryo, and thereby involve a violation of the moral respect that they are due. I shall show that providing such explanations may be more difficult than it first appears. (shrink)
According to Immanuel Kant, moral experience is made possible by respect, an absolutely unique feeling in which the sensible and the intelligible are given immediately together. This paper argues that Kant's moral philosophy underemphasizes the role of this sensibility at the heart of moral experience and that a more rigorous conception of respect, grounded in Michel Serres's concepts of the parasite, the excluded/included third, and noise would yield a moral philosophy more consistent with Kant's own basic insights.
The book is a contribution to the study of values, as they affect both our personal and our public life. It defends the view that values are necessarily universal, on the ground that that is a condition of their intelligibility. It does, however, reject most common conceptions of universality, like those embodied in the writings on human rights. It aims to reconcile the universality of value with (a) the social dependence of value and (b) the centrality to our life of (...) deep attachments to people and countries alike. Building from there, the book explores personal love, the value of life, and the fundamental duty of respect for people. (shrink)
What is the free will problem about? It is surely about human freedom. But human freedom is a broad and varied topic, and we do not seek to cover all of it when we speak about the free will problem. The concerns of political philosophy with freedom from tyranny, for instance, are largely independent of the philosophical concern with free will (although, as we shall see, there is a connection). Let me then characterize more narrowly the concern that the free (...) will problem addresses: it focuses on peopleâ€™s control over their own actions rather than on their political or economic freedom. But why do we care about control? The traditional answer is that we care about moral responsibility, and control of our actions is a condi- tion for being morally responsible. A person whose actions are not within her control is not morally responsible. We expect a person to control her actions, and because she can do so, we hold her liable for her actions. (shrink)
This article applies the Kantian doctrine of respect for persons to the problem of sweatshops. We argue that multinational enterprises are properly regarded as responsible for the practices of their subcontractors and suppliers. We then argue that multinational enterprises have the following duties in their offshore manufacturing facilities: to ensure that local labor laws are followed; to refrain from coercion; to meet minimum safety standards; and to provide a living wage for employees. Finally, we consider and reply to the (...) objection that improving health and safety conditions and providing a living wage will cause greater harm than good. (shrink)
Socialization enforces gendered standards of politeness that encourage men to be dominating and women to be deferential in mixed-gender discourse. This gendered dynamic of politeness places women in a double bind. If women are to participate in polite discourse with men, and thus to avail of smooth and fortuitous social interaction, women demote themselves to a lower social ranking. If women wish to rise above such ranking, then they fail to be polite and hence, open themselves to a wellspring of (...) social discord, dissention, and antagonism. The possibility for women’s politeness in mixed-gender conversation threatens more than cooperation, it undermines the possibility for self-respect and autonomy. (shrink)
The article begins by reconstructing the just distribution of the social bases of self-respect, a principle of justice that is covert in Rawls’s writing. I argue that, for Rawls, justice mandates that each social basis for self-respect be equalized (and, as a second priority, maximized). Curiously, for Rawls, that principle ranks higher than Rawls’s two more famous principles of justice - equal liberty and the difference principle. I then recall Rawls’s well-known confusion between self-respect and another form (...) of self-appraisal, namely, confidence in one’s determinate plans and capacities. Correcting that confusion forces Rawls to accept objectionable and illiberal politics. Surprisingly, a consistent Rawls must endorse absolute economic equality, deny liberty any priority whatsoever, or sponsor still other illiberal political views - evidence of a flaw in the ethical basis of Rawls’s politics. -/- Key Words: self-respect • self-esteem • distributive justice • Rawls • maximin • primary goods • liberty • equality • lexicographical order. (shrink)
The literature on conscience in medicine has paid little attention to what is meant by the word ‘conscience.’ This article distinguishes between retrospective and prospective conscience, distinguishes synderesis from conscience, and argues against intuitionist views of conscience. Conscience is defined as having two interrelated parts: (1) a commitment to morality itself; to acting and choosing morally according to the best of one’s ability, and (2) the activity of judging that an act one has done or about which one is deliberating (...) would violate that commitment. Tolerance is defined as mutual respect for conscience. A set of boundary conditions for justifiable respect for conscientious objection in medicine is proposed. (shrink)
Three main claims are made in this paper. First, it is argued that Onora O’Neill has uncovered a serious problem in the way medical ethicists have thought about both respect for autonomy and informed consent. Medical ethicists have tended to think that autonomous choices are intrinsically worthy of respect, and that informed consent procedures are the best way to respect the autonomous choices of individuals. However, O’Neill convincingly argues that we should abandon both these thoughts. Second, it (...) is argued that O’Neill’s proposed solution to this problem is inadequate. O’Neill’s approach requires that a more modest view of the purpose of informed consent procedures be adopted. In her view, the purpose of informed consent procedures is simply to avoid deception and coercion, and the ethical justification for informed consent derives from a different ethical principle, which she calls principled autonomy. It is argued that contrary to what O’Neill claims, the wrongness of coercion cannot be derived from principled autonomy, and so its credentials as a justification for informed consent procedures is weak. Third, it is argued that we do better to rethink autonomy and informed consent in terms of respecting persons as ends in themselves, and a characteristically liberal commitment to allowing individuals to make certain categories of decisions for themselves. -/- Respect for autonomy is in trouble. In recent work in this journal1 and elsewhere,2 O’Neill has forcefully argued that respect for autonomy, as it has come to be used in medical ethics, is philosophically indefensible. If her arguments are sound, then, contrary to the standard view, respect for autonomy cannot be the source of the ethical requirement to seek informed consent before treating a patient or enrolling a participant in a trial. So her critique goes to the heart of contemporary medical ethics: if O’Neill is right, medical ethicists have systematically misunderstood two of the most fundamental concepts they deal with—respect for autonomy and informed consent. -/- This paper has four sections. Section 1 distinguishes between three different ways of talking about respect for autonomy, and looks in more detail at the one that has come to be central to bioethical writing on informed consent—namely, the idea that we should respect autonomous choices. Section 2 argues, following O’Neill, that it is implausible to think that the purpose of informed consent requirements is to respect autonomous choices. Section 3 argues that O’Neill’s proposed reworking of autonomy and informed consent is inadequate. O’Neill’s approach requires us to adopt a more modest view of the purpose of informed consent procedures. In her view, the purpose of informed consent procedures is simply to avoid deception and coercion, and the ethical justification for informed consent derives from a different ethical principle, which she calls principled autonomy. I argue that contrary to what O’Neill claims, we cannot derive the wrongness of coercion from principled autonomy, and so its credentials as a justification for informed consent procedures is weak. Section 4 argues that we do better to rethink autonomy and informed consent in terms of respecting persons as ends in themselves, and a characteristically liberal commitment to allowing individuals to make certain categories of decisions for themselves. (shrink)
There is surprisingly little attention in Information Technology ethics to respect for persons, either as an ethical issue or as a core value of IT ethics or as a conceptual tool for discussing ethical issues of IT. In this, IT ethics is very different from another field of applied ethics, bioethics, where respect is a core value and conceptual tool. This paper argues that there is value in thinking about ethical issues related to information technologies, especially, though not (...) exclusively, issues concerning identity and identity management, explicitly in terms of respect for persons understood as a core value of IT ethics. After explicating respect for persons, the paper identifies a number of ways in which putting the concept of respect for persons explicitly at the center of both IT practice and IT ethics could be valuable, then examines some of the implicit and problematic assumptions about persons, their identities, and respect that are built into the design, implementation, and use of information technologies and are taken for granted in discussions in IT ethics. The discussion concludes by asking how better conceptions of respect for persons might be better employed in IT contexts or brought better to bear on specific issues concerning identity in IT contexts. (shrink)
Let me begin with a stylized contrast between two ways of thinking about morality. On the one hand, morality can be understood as the dictate of, or uncovered by, impartial reason. That which is (truly) moral must be capable of being verified by everyone’s reasoning from a suitably impartial perspective. If we are to respect the free and equal nature of each person, each must (in some sense) rationally validate the requirements of morality. If we take this view, the (...) genuine requirements of morality are a matter of rational reflection and self-imposed law. For Kant it seemed to be a matter of reflection by a rational individual, testing the impartiality of his maxims. For Rousseau, who was an important influence on Kant, under the proper conditions collective deliberation could yield impartial rules of justice that are willed by all. From another point of view moralities are social facts with histories. The heroes of this tradition are Hume, Ferguson and, perhaps surprisingly given his “deductive” method, Hobbes. The moral codes — or if “code” implies too much systematization, moral “practices” — we have ended up with are, to some extent, a matter of chance. This is by no means to say that morality is entirely arbitrary, but it does contain a significant arbitrary element. The morality we have ended up with is path-dependent: only because our moral codes have started somewhere, and have changed in response to unanticipated events, can we explain why we ended up where we have, and different societies end up in different places. The proponents of each view typically seek to discredit the other. Those who conceive of morality as the demand of impartial reason often insist the evolutionists confuse “positive morality” (the moral code that people actually follow) with justified (or true) morality, which is revealed by impartial reason. The positive morality that has evolved is simply what people think is morality, not what really is morality.. (shrink)
This essay aims to show that arrogance corrupts the very qualities that make persons persons. The corruption is subtle but profound, and the key to understanding it lies in understanding the connections between different kinds of arrogance, self-respect, respect for others and personhood. Making these connections clear is the second aim of this essay. It will build on Kant's claim that self-respect is central to living our human lives as persons and that arrogance is, at its core, (...) the failure to respect oneself as a person. (shrink)
Some philosophers object that Kant's respect cannot express mutual recognition because it is an attitude owed to persons in virtue of an abstract notion of autonomy and invite us to integrate the vocabulary of respect with other persons-concepts or to replace it with a social conception of recognition. This paper argues for a dialogical interpretation of respect as the key-mode of recognition of membership in the moral community. This interpretation highlights the relational and practical nature of (...) class='Hi'>respect, and accounts for its governing role over other persons-regarding concepts. (shrink)
This paper reconsiders some themes and arguments from my earlier paper “Fairness, Respect and the Egalitarian Ethos.” That work is often considered to be part of a cluster of papers attacking “luck egalitarianism” on the grounds that insisting on luck egalitarianism's standards of fairness undermines relations of mutual respect among citizens. While this is an accurate reading, the earlier paper did not make its motivations clear, and the current paper attempts to explain the reasons that led me to (...) write the earlier paper, assesses the force of its arguments, and locates it in respect to work of Richard Arneson and Elizabeth Anderson. The paper concludes by bringing out what now appears to be the main message of the earlier paper: that the attempt to implement an “ideal” theory of equality can harm the very people that the theory is designed to help. (shrink)
I present the foundational structure for a life-centered theory of environmental ethics. The structure consists of three interrelated components. First is the adopting of a certain ultimate moral attitude toward nature, which I call “respect for nature.” Second is a belief system that constitutes a way of conceiving of the natural world and of our place in it. This belief system underlies and supports the attitude in a way that makes it an appropriate attitude to take toward the Earth’s (...) natural ecosystems and their life communities. Third is a system of moral rules and standards for guiding our treatment of those ecosystems and life communities, a set of normative principles which give concrete embodiment or expression to the attitude of respect for nature. The theory set forth and defended here is, I hold, structurally symmetrical with a theory of human ethics based on the principle of respect for persons. (shrink)
Species egalitarianism is the view that all living things have equal moral standing. To have moral standing is, at a minimum, to command respect, to be more than a mere thing. Is there reason to believe that all living things have moral standing in even this most minimal sense? If so?that is, if all living things command respect?is there reason to believe they all command equal respect?1 I explain why members of other species command our respect (...) but also why they do not command equal respect. The intuition that we should have respect for nature is one motive for embracing species egalitarianism, but we need not be species egalitarians to have respect for nature. This paper questions whether species egalitarianism is even compatible with respect for nature. (shrink)
Abstract: This paper examines the claim that agents' self-respect depends on receiving appropriate respect from others. It concentrates on a particular version of the claim defended by Avishai Margalit. The paper argues that Margalit's arguments fail to explain why the rival stoic view, that agents ultimately retain responsibility for their own self-respect, is incorrect.
This essay explores two largely distinct discussions about equality: the 'luck egalitarian' debate concerning the appropriate metric of equality and the 'equality and difference' debate which has focused on the need for egalitarianism to consider the underlying norms in light of which the abstract principle to 'treat equals equally' operates. In the end, both of these discussions point to the importance of political equality for egalitarianism more generally and, in the concluding section, an attempt is made to show how the (...) ideal of 'equal concern and respect' might best be pursued given the results of these important discussions. (shrink)
That an intimate connection exists between the notion of human dignity and the notion of humiliation seems to be a commonplace among philosophers, who tend to assume that humiliation should be explained in terms of (violation of) human dignity. I believe, however, that this assumption leads to an understanding of humiliation that is too "philosophical" and too detached from psychological reality. The purpose of the paper is to modify the above connection and to offer a more "down to earth" account (...) of humiliation that does not depend on metaphysical or axiological questions concerning the unique dignity enjoyed by all human beings qua human beings. The paper argues for a subjective-psychological notion of self-respect in the explication of humiliation, instead of an objective-normative one. To be humiliated means to suffer an actual threat to or fall in one's self-respect. (shrink)
This essay provides a critical examination of Rawls' (and Rawlsians') conception of self-respect, the social bases of self-respect, and the normative justification of equality in the social bases of self-respect. I defend a rival account of these notions and the normative ideals at stake in political liberalism and a theory of social justice. I make the following arguments: (1) I argue that it is unreasonable to take self-respect to be a primary social good, as Rawls and (...) his interpreters characterize it; (2) secondly, drawing on a distinction made by Darwall, I argue that recognition respect provides a far more suitable notion of respect for a theory of justice than Rawls' notion of appraisal respect; (3) thirdly, I argue that Rawls' treatment of self-respect and the social bases of self-respect as empirical conceptions should be rejected in favor of normative notions of a reasonable or justified self-respect and equality in reasonable social bases of self-respect; (4) I argue that Rawls' notions of political liberalism and public reason provide a way of grounding a notion of the reasonable social bases of self-respect in political ideals of the person implicit in modern economic institutions, and family relations, ignored by Rawlsians—but as central to reasonable social bases of self-respect and justice, as Rawlsians' ideal of persons as free and equal citizens. (shrink)
Harry Frankfurt has claimed that some of our desires are ‘internal’, i.e., our own in a special sense. I defend the idea that a desire's being internal matters in a normative, reasons-involving sense, and offer an explanation for this fact. The explanation is Kantian in spirit. We have reason to respect the desires of persons in so far as respecting them is a way to respect the persons who have them (in some cases, ourselves). But if desires matter (...) normatively in so far as they belong to persons, then it matters whether they really do belong to the persons who have them. Thus Kantian considerations explain why identification (or internality) is a normatively relevant category. This account is superior to others, and does not lead to reasons bootstrapping or a self-centred conception of deliberation. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to explain what is involved in the exercise of the Judaeo-Christian virtue of forgiveness, and in so doing to lay bare the structure of human (rather than Divine) forgiveness. It argues that it is not possible, through some act of will, to forgive a person for the wrongs that have been done to one, but shows nonetheless that forgiving is a task and that the disposition to undertake this task in the appropriate circumstances may (...) properly be regarded as a virtue. However, to be too willing to undertake this task, or to undertake it in inappropriate circumstances, is a vice since it is indicative of diminished self-respect. Success in the task of forgiving falls beyond our full rational control and depends very largely on a capacity to empathise and to feel an appropriate degree of compassion. Whether or not we are able to do so and sustain this itself depends on certain social contingencies. (shrink)
Respect for autonomy is problematic in relation to public health programmes such as vaccination, as the success of such programmes depends on widespread compliance. European countries have different policies for dealing with objectors to vaccination programmes. In some countries compliance is compulsory, while in others objectors are exempted or allowed to enter the programme under specific conditions. In this paper I argue that the objectors should not be treated as a homogenous group as is done in the above-mentioned policies. (...) Objectors have different arguments for not participating in vaccination programmes. Considering the value of respect for autonomy, some but not all of these arguments need to be accommodated by authorities. The concept of 'narrative autonomy' provides criteria to distinguish between tenable and untenable claims to the right to refuse vaccination. Narrative autonomy understands autonomy as essentially linked to identity, as this provides the moral framework with which we assess our first-order preferences. The above-mentioned concept of autonomy is derived from the concept of narrative identity as described by Marya Schechtman. She suggests that the application of the Articulation Constraint and the Reality Constraint enables us to establish the validity of personal narratives. Additionally, form and content features of identity, as proposed by Anthony Laden, will be used as criteria to establish the compatibility of the defectors' arguments with shared scientific and political values. Such compatibility is essential to accommodate respect for autonomy in the context of public health. (shrink)
One prominent criticism of John Rawlss The Law of Peoples is that it treats certain non-liberal societies, what Rawls calls decent hierarchical societies, as equal participants in a just international system. Rawls claims that these non-liberal societies should be respected as equals by liberal democratic societies, even though they do not grant their citizens the basic rights of democratic citizenship. This is presented by Rawls as a consequence of liberalisms commitment to the principle of toleration. A number of critics have (...) claimed that Rawlss treatment of these non-liberal societies is symptomatic of a more general problem with political liberalism, namely, its reliance on toleration as its fundamental principle. Against this view, I argue that the principle of toleration should not be understood as political liberalisms fundamental principle. This is revealed through a consideration of the normative basis of what Rawls calls the Liberal Principle of Legitimacy. A correct understanding of political liberalisms fundamental principle, which I claim is a principle of equal civic respect for citizens, shows that Rawlss toleration of non-liberal societies is in fact a misapplication of political liberalism to the global domain. Moreover, I explain that political liberalism must assert that the principle of equal civic respect for citizens is the correct principle to govern the public political relations of citizens in all pluralist societies, and that most decent hierarchical societies are pluralist in nature. Identifying political liberalisms fundamental principle as that of equal civic respect for citizens helps to render political liberalism, in both the domestic and international domains, a more coherent and compelling approach to thinking about fundamental political issues. Key Words: civic respect international relations justice political liberalism Rawls toleration. (shrink)
According to John Rawls, self-respect is the most important of the primary goods and is essential for the construction of the just society. Self-respect, however, remains a concept which is inadequately theorised, being closely linked to other concepts such as dignity, shame, pride, autonomy and security. Most usually self-respect is considered to be just the self-reflection of the respect we receive from others. In this paper I argue that self-respect consists of both a self-evaluative and (...) a social reflexive element. Using Darwall’s distinction between two types of respect as a building block, I argue that it is worth considering self-respect as having three dimensions. Broadly these are human recognition, status recognition and appraisal. (shrink)
Routine testing is a practice whereby medical professionals ask all patients whether they would like an HIV test, regardless of whether there is anything unique to a given patient that suggests the presence of HIV. In three respects I aim to offer a fresh perspective on the debate about whether a developing country with a high rate of HIV infection morally ought to adopt routine testing. First, I present a neat framework that organises the moral issues at stake, bringing out (...) the basic principles involved and exhibiting their logical relationships. Second, appealing to the Kantian principle of respect for the dignity of persons, I offer a thorough justification for routine testing when it serves as a gateway to anti-retroviral treatment (ART). Third, I present a respect-based defence of the controversial and novel thesis that routine testing is morally justified even if ART is unaffordable or otherwise unavailable. (shrink)
I. The development of the earth has not progressed in the way that Leibniz so hopefully envisaged three hundred years ago. Late twentieth century disillusion demonstrated by citation. II-IV. In making sense of that disillusion it is a good beginning to abstain from speculative extravagance and simply to bring the human scale of values to bear; then to inquire how far the destruction of that which we prize has been gratuitous or economically subsidized. The human scale of values is not (...) a scale of exclusively human values. (Cp. Williams.) It gives no licence to the instrumentalist attitude. V. The swallow or the lapwing in Cambridgeshire (for instance) as a value recognized by the human scale of values, but misrepresented by many forms of economic analysis. The off-colour presuppositions of the question 'Can we afford to save the swallow in Cambridgeshire?' Will the natural framework be preserved for meaningful life, or will human beings face an aeon of inanition? VI. Every departure from policies of 'sustainability' to be justified by dire need. Incommensurability in the theory of practical reason, and in possible forms of politics. John Stuart Mill on a world with 'nothing left to the spontaneous activity of Nature'. VII. 'Nature' explicated by the use of three contrasts proposed by Hume. VIII. Respect for Nature? Roman religio and its secular-cum-precautionary counterpart. In risk analysis, are there moral asymmetries between assurable satisfaction of vital needs (one part of contentment) and probable provision of future benefits? Analogous asymmetries with respect to the reasonableness of the reliance on Nature under normal conditions and under radically altered conditions. (shrink)
One of the principal aims of Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals, especially of the Doctrine of Virtue, is to present a taxonomy of our duties as human beings. The basic division of duties is between juridical duties and ethical duties, which determines the division of the Metaphysics of Morals into the Doctrine of Right and the Doctrine of Virtue. Juridical duties are duties that may be coercively enforced from outside the agent, as by the civil or criminal laws, or other social (...) pressures. Ethical duties must not be externally enforced (to do so violates the right of the person coerced). Instead, the subject herself, through her own reason and the feelings and motives arising a priori from her rational capacities -- the feelings of respect, conscience, moral feeling and love of other human beings, must constrain herself to follow them (MS 6:399-404).1 Among ethical duties, the fundamental division is between duties to oneself and duties to others. Within each of these two main divisions of ethical duty, there is a further division between duties that are strictly owed, requiring specific actions or omissions, and whose violation incurs moral blame, and duties that are wide or meritorious, the specific actions not strictly owed, but deserving of moral credit or merit. Kant treats these latter as ‘duties’ (eschewing any category such as ‘supererogation’) because the actions in question are conceived as fit objects of self-constraint – things we can make ourselves do through the exercise of reason and the moral feelings arising from the application of practical reason to our faculty of desire. Regarding duties to oneself, this division is between ‘perfect’ and ‘imperfect’ duty; regarding duties to others, the strict or narrow.. (shrink)
Kant's discussion of the feeling of respect presents a puzzle regarding both the precise nature of this feeling and its role in his moral theory as an incentive that motivates us to follow the moral law. If it is a feeling that motivates us to follow the law, this would contradict Kant's view that moral obligation is based on reason alone. I argue that Kant has an account of respect as feeling that is nevertheless not separate from the (...) use of reason, but is intrinsic to willing. I demonstrate this by taking literally Kant's references to force in the second Critique. By referring to Kant's pre-critical essay on Negative Magnitudes (1763), I show that Kant's account of how the moral law effects in us a feeling of respect is underpinned by his view that the will is a kind of negative magnitude, or force. I conclude by noting some of the implications of my discussion for Kant's account of virtue. (shrink)
: Is love essential to ethical life, or merely a supplement? In Kant's view, respect and love, as duties, are in tension with each other because love involves drawing closer and respect involves drawing away. By contrast, Irigaray says that love and respect do not conflict because love as passion must also involve distancing and we have a responsibility to love. I argue that love, understood as passion and based on respect, is essential to ethics.
The aim of the present paper is to show that Hegel’s concept of personal respect is of great interest to contemporary Critical Theory. The author first analyzes this notion as it appears in the Philosophy of Right and then offers a new interpretation of the conceptual relation between personal respect and the institutions of (private) property and (capitalist) markets. In doing so, he shows why Hegel’s concept of personal respect allows us to understand markets as possible institutionalizations (...) of this kind of recognition, and why it is compatible with a critique of neoliberal capitalism. He argues that due to these features Hegel’s notion of personal respect is of great interest to theoreticians within the tradition of critical theory. (shrink)
: The principle of respect for autonomy has come under increasing attack both within health care ethics, specifically, and as part of the more general communitarian challenge to predominantly liberal values. This paper will demonstrate the importance of respect for autonomy for the social practice of assigning moral responsibility and for the development of moral responsibility as a virtue. Guided by this virtue, the responsible exercise of autonomy may provide a much-needed connection between the individual and the community.
This article provides an intellectual archeology of how the term "respect" has functioned in the field of bioethics. I argue that over time the function of the term has shifted, with a significant turning point occurring in 1979. Prior to 1979, the term "respect" connoted primarily the notion of "respect for persons" which functioned as an umbrella which conferred protection to autonomous persons and those with compromised autonomy. But in 1979, with the First Edition of Principles of (...) Biomedical Ethics by Beauchamp and Childress, and the report of the Ethical Advisory Board (EAB) of the (then) Department of Health, Education, and Welfare entitled Research on In Vitro Fertilization, usage shifts from "respect for persons" to "respect for autonomy." Two results: 1) those with compromised autonomy are no longer protected by the canons of "respect" but rather the less overriding canons of beneficence; and 2) the term "respect" functions increasingly as a rhetorical device in public bioethics discourse. (shrink)
Part IV. Section 2. Self-Respect and Autonomy: Meyers's discussion of self-respect takes into account work by Stephen Darwall, Thomas Hill, Jr., and Stephen Massey and proposes a unified triadic account that undermines the distinction between self-respect and self-esteem. After distinguishing compromised respect from unqualified respect, she shows why self-respect is both required for and a product of exercising autonomy competency.
The concept of respect plays a central role in several recent attempts to re-actualise the programme of a critical social theory. In Axel Honneth's most prominent version of that concept, respect is closely tied to the sphere of law, and it is limited to the recognition of a Kantian-type moral autonomy of the individual. So interpreted, the concept of respect can only have a very limited application in the field of education, where concern for the particular desires, (...) intentions and beliefs of mostly immature persons is at stake.However, more than forty years ago R. S. Peters did develop an extended concept of respect as a central component in education. This concept focuses exactly on those desires, intentions and beliefs, instead of on the very demanding capability of practical reasoning orientated towards the Kantian Categorical Imperative. My task in this paper is to explore the potential of Peters' concept of respect for the identification and description of educational pathologies and ultimately for the founding of a critical theory of education. (shrink)
Iris Marion Young argues we cannot understand others’ experiences by imagining ourselves in their place or in terms of symmetrical reciprocity (1997a). For Young, reciprocity expresses moral respect and asymmetry arises from people’s greatly varying life histories and social positions. La Caze argues there are problems with Young’s articulation of asymmetrical reciprocity in terms of wonder and the gift. By discussing friendship and political representation, she shows how taking self-respect into account complicates asymmetrical reciprocity.
On Kant's view, the feeling of respect is the mark of moral agency, and is peculiar to us, animals endowed with reason. Unlike any other feeling, respect originates in the contemplation of the moral law, that is, the idea of lawful activity. This idea works as a constraint on our deliberation by discounting the pretenses of our natural desires and demoting our selfish maxims. We experience its workings in the guise of respect. Respect shows that from (...) the agent's subjective perspective, morality is the experience of being bound and necessitated, but also of being free and emancipated from inclinations. (shrink)
In a recent article, David Christensen casts aspersions on a restricted version of van Fraassen's Reflection principle, which he dubs ‘Self-Respect’(sr). Rejecting two possible arguments for sr, he concludes that the principle does not constitute a requirement of rationality. In this paper we argue that not only has Christensen failed to make a case against the aforementioned arguments, but that considerations pertaining to Moore's paradox indicate that sr, or at the very least a mild weakening thereof, is indeed a (...) plausible normative principle. (shrink)
The illusion that Kant respects persons comes from ascribing contemporary meanings to purely technical terms within his second formulation of the categorical imperative, “[A]ct so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only”. When we realize that “humanity” means rational nature and “person” means the supersensible self (homo noumenon), we find that we are to respect, not human selves in all their diversity (homo (...) phaenomenon), but rational selves in all their sameness, in their unvarying conformity to the universal principles of pure practical reason. Contemporary individualism gets no support from Kant. (shrink)
This essay critically examines the idea that "identity " or "difference " might be proper objects of principles of respect. The author suggests that this idea makes sense only at the cost of the egalitarianism to which its adherents usually subscribe. The essay also shows that liberal interpretations of respect can evade this problem and reaches this conclusion on the basis of an analysis of the concept of respect and its connections with notions of status.
The fact that Kantian beneficence is constrained by Kantian respect appears to seriously restrict the Kantian's moral response to agents who have embraced self-destructive ends. In this paper I defend the Kantian duties of love and respect by arguing that Kantians can recognize attempts to get an agent to change her ends as a legitimate form of beneficence. My argument depends on two key premises. First, that rational nature is not identical to the capacity to set ends, and (...) second, that an agent's conception of her happiness is not identical to the satisfaction of her ends. (shrink)
We offer a critique of one prominent understanding of the principle of respect for autonomy and of analyses of medical paternalism based on that understanding. Our main critique is that understanding respect for autonomy as respect for freedom from interference is mistaken because it is overly influenced by four-alarm cases, because it fails to appreciate the full dimensions of legal self-determination (one of its main sources), because it conflates the research and therapeutic settings, and because it fails (...) to appreciate themes of authority and power that have historically shaped the principle of respect for freedom from interference. We argue that respect for autonomy involves more than just freedom from interference and, on this basis, offer a critique of prevailing accounts of medical paternalism. (shrink)
Can a state seek to promote a thick conception of the good (such as fostering a kind of meaning or excellence in people's lives) without treating its citizens disrespectfully? The predominant answer among friends of the principle of respect for persons is "no." The most powerful Kantian objection to non-liberalism or perfectionism is the claim that citizens who do not share the state's conception of the good would be wronged in that the state would treat a certain way of (...) life as more important than its citizens' capacities to choose their own ways of life. I sketch a new non-liberal principle for political decision-making and show that, unlike other forms of non-liberalism, it is not vulnerable to this major respect-based objection. 'Open perfectionism' is the view that state enforcement of a conception of the good favoured by the majority is permissible if and only if the minority has the substantial ability to avoid the territory in which the conception of the good is enforced. I argue that it is a realistic possibility for some non-liberal states to provide a fair opportunity to their dissenters to avoid the imposition of non-liberal policies and that the Kantian liberal's central complaint would not apply to non-liberal states if they were to provide such an opportunity. The principle of respect for persons grounds the most influential argument for liberalism, and so showing that open perfectionism is consistent with liberal intuitions about free choice promises to help to transcend the long-standing conflict between non-liberalism and Kantian liberalism. (shrink)
In order to understand the nature of human embryos I first distinguish between active and passive potentiality, and then argue that the former is found in human gametes and embryos (even in embryos in vitro that may fail to be implanted) because they all have an indwelling power or capacity to initiate certain changes. Implantation provides necessary conditions for the actualization of that prior, active potentiality. This does not imply that embryos are potential persons that do not deserve the same (...)respect as actual persons. To claim that embryos become persons is to understand the predicate person as a phase sortal, roughly equivalent to adult person. This entails that we would not be essentially persons. In order to explain the traditional understanding of person as a proper sortal rather than a phase sortal, the author distinguishes between proximate and remote potentiality, and shows that, unlike feline embryos, human embryos, by their genetic constitution, possess the remote potentiality to later exercise the typically human activities. It follows that they are already persons essentially. (shrink)
I defend a certain claim about rationing in the context of HIV/AIDS, namely, the 'priority thesis' that the state of a developing country with a high rate of HIV should provide highly active anti-retroviral treatment (HAART) to those who would die without it, even if doing so would require not treating most other life-threatening diseases. More specifically, I defend the priority thesis in a negative way, by refuting two influential and important arguments against it inspired by the Kantian principle of (...)respect for persons. The 'equality argument' more or less maintains that prioritizing treatment for HIV/AIDS would objectionably treat those who suffer from it as more important than those who do not. The 'responsibility argument' says, roughly, that to ration life-saving treatment by prioritizing those with HIV would wrongly fail to hold people responsible for their actions, since most people infected with HIV could have avoided the foreseeable harm of infection. While it appears that a Kantian must think that one of these two arguments is sound, I maintain that, in fact, respect for persons grounds neither the equality nor responsibility argument against prioritizing HAART and hence at least permits doing so. If this negative defence of the priority thesis succeeds, then conceptual space is opened up for the possibility that respect for persons requires prioritizing HAART, which argument I sketch in the conclusion as something to articulate and defend in future work. (shrink)
Human beings with diminished decision-making capacities are usually thought to require greater protections from the potential harms of research than fully autonomous persons. Animal subjects of research receive lesser protections than any human beings regardless of decision-making capacity. Paradoxically, however, it is precisely animals’ lack of some characteristic human capacities that is commonly invoked to justify using them for human purposes. In other words, for humans lesser capacities correspond to greater protections but for animals the opposite is true. Without explicit (...) justification, it is not clear why or whether this should be the case. Ethics regulations guiding human subject research include principles such as respect for persons—and related duties—that are required as a matter of justice while regulations guiding animal subject research attend only to highly circumscribed considerations of welfare. Further, the regulations guiding research on animals discount any consideration of animal welfare relative to comparable human welfare. This paper explores two of the most promising justifications for these differences␣between the two sets of regulations. The first potential justification points to lesser moral status for animals on the basis of their lesser capacities. The second potential justification relies on a claim about the permissibility of moral partiality as␣found in common morality. While neither potential justification is sufficient to justify the regulatory difference as it stands, there is possible common ground between supporters of some regulatory difference and those rejecting the current difference. (shrink)
In a series of reports the United Nations Special Representative on the issue of Human Rights and Transnational Corporations has emphasized a tripartite framework regarding business and human rights that includes the state “duty to protect,” the TNC “responsibility to respect,” and “appropriate remedies” for human rights violations. This article examines the recent history of UN initiatives regarding business and human rights and places the tripartite framework in historical context. Three approaches to human rights are distinguished: moral, political, and (...) legal. It is argued that the tripartite framework’s grounding of the responsibility of TNCs to respect human rights is properly understood as moral and not merely as a political or legal duty. A moral account of the duty of TNCs to respect basic human rights is defended and contrasted with a merely strategic approach. The main conclusion of the article is that only a moral account of the basic human rights duties of TNCs provides a sufficiently deep justification of “the corporate responsibility to respect human rights” feature of the tripartite framework. (shrink)
The building and maintaining of a tolerant society requires both a general policy of toleration on the behalf of the state, as well as a minimal number of acts of intolerance by individual citizens towards their fellow citizens. It is this second area of citizen-citizen relations that is of most interest for education policy. There are those who argue that the best way to achieve a tolerant society is by encouraging, or even requiring, the respect and appreciation of difference (...) amongst a citizenry. In this paper I argue that using education to encourage the respect and appreciation of difference is deeply problematic for both adults and children. I argue that it is a poor servant of those whose differences it is meant to protect, and crucially that it cannot be justified on the key liberal premise of protecting the freedom of individuals to live their (non-harming) lives as they see fit. I conclude by putting forward the educational alternative of respecting the basic rights of citizens irrespective of your view of their differences. (shrink)
: Jing (respect) in ancient Confucianism can be seen as referring to either a frame of mind or an intentional state that includes the elements of singlemindedness, concentration, seriousness, caution, and a strong sense of responsibility. Hence, it can be seen as a due regard based on the perception of the worth of its object. It is the central element and the germ of li (ritual). A critical comparison is made between jing and the ideas of appraisal respect, (...) recognition respect, and identification respect as discussed in Western ethics. (shrink)
In Cohen’s vision of the just society, there would be no need for unequalizing incentives so as to benefit the least well-off; instead, people would be motivated by an egalitarian ethos to work hard and in the most socially productive jobs. As such, Cohen appears to offer a way to mitigate the trade-off of equality for efficiency that often characterizes theorizing about distributive justice. This article presents an egalitarian challenge to Cohen’s vision of the just society. I argue that a (...) society where all internalized the egalitarian ethos would be one lacking equal respect among its members, in which certain groups lacked the grounds of self-respect. Section 1 defends equal respect and a form of equality of self-respect as values with broad-based appeal to egalitarians, and argues that a particular form of hierarchy would undermine both equal respect and the grounds of self-respect. Sections 2 and 3 reveal that just such a hierarchy would emerge in a society in which all had internalized the egalitarian ethos, in the case of both carers and the untalented. Thus, Cohen’s proposed society is shown to fail to unite equality and efficiency. Instead, Cohen’s society would be characterized by a lack of equality. (shrink)
This paper explores the value of respect for personal autonomy in relation to clearly immoral and irrational acts committed freely and intentionally by competent people. Following Berlin's distinction between two kinds of liberty and Darwall's two kinds of respect, it is argued that coercive suppression of nonautonomous, irrational, and self-harming acts of competent persons is offensive to their human dignity, but not disrespectful of personal autonomy. Irrational and immoral choices made by competent people may claim only the negative (...) liberty to be left alone. Lives disposed to autonomy are worthy of solidarity and active support in addition to the right of free choice and action. Autonomous premeditated desires (distinguished from mere consent) may embody transcendental choices, which transcend consideration of physical and psychological well-being. Choices made by incompetent persons (e.g., children and the mentally disabled) are not related to autonomy, but to self-directedness. The value of human dignity confers protection to self-directedness, but not at the expense of other vital interests. (shrink)
Jonathan Wolff and Timothy Hinton have criticized a version of liberal egalitarianism, often associated with Ronald Dworkin, for promoting an account of social justice that fails to treat everyone with respect. This paper analyses Wolff’s and Hinton’s critiques, particularly with regard to how notions of self-respect and respect-standing are deployed. The paper argues that the analyses of both Wolff and Hinton display affinities with a dualist approach to social justice. A dualist approach theorizes respect as an (...) aspect of both distributive, socioeconomic injustice and cultural injustice, rather than of the former only, which is typical of liberal egalitarianism. Nancy Fraser is widely associated with such a dualist framework, so her version is used to assess Wolff’s and Hinton’s work. The paper argues that both make use of ideals and commitments from the dualist approach to justice in their respect objection. However, despite their evident sympathy for the notion of cultural injustice, both continue to theorize respect primarily as an aspect of distributive justice. Thus, for cultural justice theorists, Wolff’s and Hinton’s critiques of Dworkinian justice may leave something to be desired. (shrink)
Contemporary theories of civic education frequently appeal to an ideal of mutual respect in the context of ethical, ethical and religious disagreement. This paper critically examines two recently popular criticisms of this ideal. The first, coming from a postmodern direction, charges that the ideal is hypocritical in its effort to be maximally impartial and fair. The second, which I associate with such 'new atheists' as Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, argues that notions of mutual respect pose a threat (...) to such basic goals of education as the cultivation of critical thinking. (shrink)
To claim that respect is one of the cornerstones of professional ethics is uncontroversial. However, it has become commonplace in the philosophical literature to distinguish between different kinds of respect. This paper considers the distinction between ‘recognition respect,’ said to be owed to persons as such, and ‘appraisal respect,’ said to be owed to those persons whom merit it, in the context of the professional–client relationship. Using the practice of counselling as an example, it is argued (...) that both kinds of respect have a place in the professional–client relationship, which is in turn articulated as a relationship between equally fallible moral agents. (shrink)
Respect is a cardinal virtue in schools and foundational to our common ethical beliefs, yet its meaning is muddled. For philosophers Kant, Mill, and Rawls, whose influential theories span three centuries, respect includes appreciation of universal human dignity, equality, and autonomy. In their view children, possessors of human dignity, but without perspective and reasoning ability, are entitled only to the most minimal respect. While undeserving of mutual respect they are nonetheless expected to show unilateral respect. (...) Dewey and Piaget, scions of the same liberal tradition, grant children a larger degree of autonomy and equality thereby approximating the full respect conditions reserved for adults in the prior theories. In this article, after reviewing the premises of respect, I attempt to blend the divide - between minimal and full respect - by separating respect-due from respect-earned . While the former, premised on human dignity, should be granted unconditionally to all, the latter is contingent upon qualities that one possesses or acquires over time. Adding the notion of respect-due is a constraint on the prevalent school practice of turning respect into demands for deference. The relevance of this distinction is discussed in terms of student-teacher relationships. (shrink)
Paul W. Taylor has proposed a foundational structure for developing a respect for nature. This structure appears to go weIl beyond what is needed to justify such respect. The intricacies and nuances of life on Earth can gain our respect without attempting the impossible task of abandoning our human perspective or a particular interest in our own species.
John Rawls says that one of the requirements for stability is “[s]ociety as an employer of last resort” (PLP, lix). He explains: “[t]he lack of . . . the opportunity for meaningful work and occupation is destructive . . . of citizens’ self-respect” (PLP, lix). Rawls implies in these claims that the opportunity for meaningful work is a social basis of self-respect. This constitutes a significant shift in his account of self-respect, one that has been overlooked. I (...) begin by clarifying Rawls’s account of self-respect in A Theory of Justice, then consider some post-Theory developments in it. After exploring the nature of Rawls’s commitment to the opportunity for meaningful work, I ask why he comes to think it is a social basis of self-respect. I extract a partial answer from his writings, then speculate about his full reasoning. Finally, I consider whether Rawls is right that the opportunity for meaningful work is a social basis of self-respect. I give some reason to believe that he is. (shrink)
In “Sweatshops and Respect for Persons” we argued on Kantian grounds that managers of multinational enterprises (MNEs) have the following duties: to adhere to local labor laws, to refrain from coercion, to meet minimum health and safety standards, and to pay workers a living wage. In their commentary on our paper Sollars and Englander challenge some of our conclusions. We argue here that several of their criticisms are based on an inaccurate reading of our paper, and that none of (...) the remaining criticisms successfully challenge our main arguments. By highlighting the shortcomings of their arguments we hope to advance discussion of the ethical treatment of workers in global supply chains. (shrink)
This paper explores the idea of 'respect for nature' in the Earth Charter. It maintains that the Earth Charter proposes a broadly holistic environmental ethic where, in situations of conflict, species are given ethical priority over the lives of individual sentient organisms. The paper considers policy implications of this perspective, looking by means of example at the current European environmental policy dispute about the ruddy and white-headed duck. Questions about the value of species and biological diversity this raises are (...) explored. The paper concludes that the principle of valuing individual animal lives should be given more prominence in Earth Charter principles. (shrink)
In this article the author intends to provide general normative guidelines which ought to inform policies concerning the most controversial multicultural claims for a liberal democracy. In order to do that, she proposes a general reconsideration of the struggle of cultures and identities which makes up the stuff of multiculturalism. She suggests that instead of focusing on the issue of compatibility, the adequate viewpoint from which considering multicultural claims should be justice and, within justice, the principle of equal respect (...) (ER). The reference to ER is widespread in the literature on multiculturalism, but it does not specify what should be the object of ER: persons and their dignity, or cultures/religions/identities and their members? The alternative is then examined and the author argues in favour of an interpretation of ER for persons which considers persons as they are, given their identities and differences. Finally, the author provides a typology of multicultural claims, ranked on a scale of different levels of disrespect, which consequently require different kinds of response. As a result, one is invited to reflect on the how beside the what , on the procedures and attitudes beside the benefits and measures , and not only for the pragmatic reasons of finding a relatively easy way out, but also for principled reasons of justice. (shrink)
Many accounts of the historical development of neurological criteria for determination of death insufficiently distinguish between two strands of interpretation advanced by advocates of a "whole-brain" criterion. One strand focuses on the brain as the organ of integration. Another provides a far more complex and nuanced account, both of death and of a policy on the determination of death. Current criticisms of the whole-brain criterion are effective in refuting the first interpretation, but not the second, which is advanced in the (...) 2008 President's Council report on the determination of death. In this essay, I seek to further develop this second strand of interpretation. I argue that policy on determination of death aligns moral, biological, and ontological death concepts. Morally, death marks the stage when respect is no longer owed. Biologically, death concerns integrated functioning of an organism as a whole. But the biological concepts are underdetermined. The moral concerns lead to selection of strong individuality concepts rather than weak ones. They also push criteria to the "far side" of the dying process. There is a countervailing consideration associated with optimizing the number of available organs, and this pushes to the "near side" of death. Policy is governed by a conviction that it is possible to align these moral and biological death concepts, but this conviction simply lays out an agenda. There is also a prescription—integral to the dead donor rule—that lexically prioritizes the deontic concerns and that seeks to balance the countervailing tendencies by using science-based refinements to make the line between life and death more precise. After showing how these concerns have been effectively aligned in the current policy, I present a modified variant of a "division" scenario and show how an "inverse decapitation problem" leads to a conclusive refutation of the nonbrain account of death. (shrink)
We formulate a distinctly 'political liberal' conception of mutual respect, which we call 'civic respect', appropriate for governing the public political relations of citizens in pluralist democratic societies. A political liberal account of education should aim at ensuring that students, as future citizens, learn to interact with other citizens on the basis of civic respect. While children should be required to attend educational institutions that will inculcate in them the skills and concepts necessary for them to be (...) free and equal citizens, parents should be granted as much freedom as is compatible with the requirements of civic respect to raise their children in accordance with their respective 'comprehensive doctrines' (systems of beliefs and values, including religious doctrines). We consider an objection to our position drawn from the account of upbringing recently advanced by Matthew Clayton, namely, that the conception of civic respect that we advance rests on an implausible view about the limited scope of the requirements of political justice. We develop an account of the 'basic structure of society' as the appropriate subject of political justice that can overcome this objection. (shrink)
In an article in Utilitas Theo van Willigenburg has argued that moral valuation is distinguished from other forms of valuation by the Kantian concept of respect. He criticizes, from that standpoint, an account I put forward, which builds on the connections between moral wrongdoing, blame and withdrawal of recognition. I examine the difference between these two approaches and defend my own.
Although neglected by psychology, self-respect has been an integral part of philosophical discussion since Aristotle and continues to be a central issue in contemporary moral philosophy. Within this tradition, self-respect is considered to be based on one's capacity for rationality and leads to behaviors that promote autonomy, such as independence, self-control and tenacity. Self-respect elicits behaviors that one should be treated with respect and requires the development and pursuit of personal standards and life plans that are (...) guided by respect for self and others. In contrast, the psychological concept of self-esteem is grounded in the theories of self-concept. As such, self-esteem is a self-evaluation of competency ratios and opinions of significant others that results in either a positive or negative evaluation of one's worthiness and inclusionary status. The major distinction between the two is that while competency ratios and others' opinions are central to self-esteem, autonomy is central to self-respect. We submit that not only is self-respect important in understanding self-esteem, but that it also uniquely contributes to individual functioning. Research is needed to establish the central properties of self-respect and their effects on individual functioning, developmental factors, and therapeutic approaches. (shrink)
Abstract: Bringing children to have respect for others is generally regarded as a central task of moral and social education. In this article one particular view of what ?respect for others? means and how it is justified is examined critically and found to be unsatisfactory. This view states that ?respect for others? follows logically from the proper conceptualization of ?person?, and claims, as a consequence, that in bringing children to respect others moral educators would be engaged (...) primarily in a cognitive task (ie helping children to acquire the proper concept of a ?person') ?? and would not have to resort to the conditioning of attitudes or the use of extrinsic motivation. This view is unsatisfactory, it is argued, as it does not give a correct account of the logical relationship between ?person? and ?respect? ?? and the conclusion is drawn that it has not been shown that moral and social education can be primarily cognitive, in this particular respect. Neither has it been shown that conditioning of attitudes is unnecessary. (shrink)
Over the last years, Norway has revised its animal welfare legislation. As of January 1, 2010, the Animal Protection Act of 1974 was replaced by a new Animal Welfare Act. This paper describes the developments in the normative structures from the old to the new act, as well as the main traits of the corresponding implementation and governance system. In the Animal Protection Act, the basic animal ethics principles were to avoid suffering, treat animals well, and consider their natural needs (...) and instincts. In addition, a principle for balancing our duties towards animals with the needs and interests of humans was expressed by the formulation unnecessary suffering. These principles (only with slightly different formulations) are retained in the new act. The novelty of the new act is shown by its explicit intention to promote respect for animals and its recognition of animals’ intrinsic value. Whereas intrinsic value is only given a symbolic function, the notion of respect is intended to have practical consequences. One interpretation of respect for animals is taking the animal’s integrity—and not only welfare—into account. Another is to see the introduction of respect as a call to animal keepers to provide animals with welfare exceeding the minimum requirements. In several respects, the legal system now seems to leave more responsibility to the individual animal keeper—and to citizens in general. I argue that if the authorities really do want to promote respect for animals, they must at the same time initiate activities to achieve this. In my perspective the challenge is to provide adequate measures to achieve in practice the intended respect for animals expressed in the new act. (shrink)
In recent years liberals have had much to say about the kinds of reasons that citizens should offer one another when they engage in public political debates about existing or proposed laws. One of the more notable claims that has been made by a number of prominent liberals is that citizens should not rely on religious reasons alone when persuading one another to support or oppose a given law or policy. Unsurprisingly, this claim is rejected by many religious citizens, including (...) those who are also committed to liberalism. In this paper I revisit that debate and ask whether liberal citizens have a moral obligation not to explain their support for existing or proposed laws on the basis of religious reasons alone. I suggest that for most (ordinary) citizens no such obligation exists and that individuals are entitled to explain their support for a specific law and to persuade others of the merits of that law on the basis of religious reasons alone (though there may be sound prudential reasons for not doing so). My argument is grounded in the claim that in most instances advocating laws on the basis of religious reasons alone is consistent with treating citizens with equal respect. However, I acknowledge an exception to that claim is to be found when using religious reasons to justify a law also implies that the state endorses those reasons. For this reason I argue that there is a moral obligation for some (publicly influential) citizens, and especially those who hold public office, to refrain from explaining their support for existing or proposed laws on the basis of religious reasons. I conclude by suggesting that this understanding of the role of religion in public political discourse and the obligations of liberal citizens is a better reflection of our experience of liberal citizenship than that given in some well-known accounts of liberalism. (shrink)
This article applies the Kantian doctrine of respect for persons to the problem of sweatshops. We argue that multinational enterprises are properly regarded as responsible for the practices of their subcontractors and suppliers. We then argue that multinationalenterprises have the following duties in their off-shore manufacturing facilities: to ensure that local labor laws are followed; to refrain from coercion; to meet minimum safety standards; and to provide a living wage for employees. Finally, we consider and reply to the objection (...) that improving health and safety conditions and providing a living wage will cause greater harm than good. (shrink)
Harvesting human embryonic stem (hES) cells is a highly controversial field of research because it rests on the destruction of human embryos. Altering the procedure of nuclear transfer (NT) is suggested to generate hES cell lines without ethical obstacles by claiming that no embryo would be involved. While discussing the nature of an embryo and related central questions concerning their moral status and the respect they deserve, this paper argues that the entity created by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) (...) or altered nuclear transfer (ANT) is an embryo and has the same moral status as a natural embryo. Respect for the embryo is expressed by the ethical principles of proportionality, probability and subsidiarity. This paper argues that the human embryo should only be taken for research with high ranking goals, which are proven in animal experimentation and for which there are no alternatives. This makes ANT obsolete and shows that SCNT to produce hES cells is premature at the present time. (shrink)
This article discusses the educational significance of the moral demand for respect. In Ethics and Education, Richard Peters presents a conception of educational respect that was recently taken up by Krassimir Stojanov. This article responds to both Peters' and Stojanov's contributions and proposes another understanding of educational respect: to respect children is to treat them in a way that enables them to see themselves as persons endowed with dignity; that is, as having the equal standing to (...) make claims on others. (shrink)
Respect for human embryos is often defended on the basis of the potentiality argument: embryos deserve respect because they already possess potentially the features that in adults are fully actualized. Opponents of this argument challenge it by claiming that if embryos should be respected because they are potentially adults, then gametes should be respected because they are potentially embryos. This article rejects this reductio ad absurdum argument by showing that there are two different types of potentiality involved so (...) that the transitivity of potentiality does not hold up in this case. Respect for embryos does not logically entail respect for gametes. (shrink)
This paper argues that the demands of respect for autonomy in the context of biobanking are fewer and more limited than is often supposed. It discusses the difficulties of agreeing a concept of autonomy from which duties can easily be derived, and suggests an alternative way to determine what respect for autonomy in a biobanking context requires. These requirements, it argues, are limited to provision of adequate information and non-coercion. While neither of these is in itself negligible, this (...) is a smaller set of demands than is often suggested. In particular, it is argued here that securing ‘one time consent’ is consistent with respect for autonomy. Finally, the paper notes that while the demands of respect for autonomy may be less than some suppose, respecting autonomy is not the only way in which biobanks and their users may have moral duties to donors. (shrink)
Is Knowledge a Duty? Yes, It Is, and We Also Have to “Respect People As Things”, At Least in Our Technological World: Response to Bernd Carsten Stahl’s Review of Morality in a Technological World: Knowledge as Duty Content Type Journal Article Pages 161-164 DOI 10.1007/s11023-010-9179-x Authors Lorenzo Magnani, University of Pavia Department of Philosophy Piazza Botta 6 27100 Pavia Italy Journal Minds and Machines Online ISSN 1572-8641 Print ISSN 0924-6495 Journal Volume Volume 20 Journal Issue Volume 20, Number 1.
I argue that Stephen Darwall's account of second-personal respect should be of special interest to feminists because it opens up space for the development of certain feminist resources. Specifically, Darwall's account leaves room for an experiential aspect of respect, and I suggest that abilities related to this aspect may vary along with social position. I then point out a potential parallel between the feminist critique of epistemology and a budding feminist critique of moral philosophy (specifically relating to (...) class='Hi'>respect). (shrink)
The article calls for a departure from the common concept of autonomy in two significant ways: it argues for the supremacy of semantic understanding over procedure, and claims that clinicians are morally obliged to make a strong effort to persuade patients to accept medical advice. We interpret the value of autonomy as derived from the right persons have to respect, as agents who can argue, persuade and be persuaded in matters of utmost personal significance such as decisions about medical (...) care. Hence, autonomy should and could be respected only after such an attempt has been made. Understanding suffering to a significant degree is a prerequisite to sincere efforts of persuasion. It is claimed that a modified and pragmatic form of discourse is the necessary framework for understanding suffering and for compassionately interacting with the frail. (shrink)
In recent years there have been ever-growing concerns regarding environmental decline, causing some companies to focus on the implementation of environmentally friendly supply, production and distribution systems. Such concern may stem either from the set of beliefs and values of the company’s management or from certain pressure exerted by the market – consumers and institutions – in the belief that an environmentally respectful management policy will contribute to the transmission of a positive image of the company and its products. Sometimes, (...) however, ethics and market rules are not enough to deal with this situation and specific laws must be considered. This is the case when companies base their activity on the ‹ethics of self-interest’ concentrating their efforts on projecting an adequate image – e.g. environmental respect – rather than fundamentally behaving in environmentally respectful ways. This article, taking as reference the SME context, discusses the reasons for implementing environmentally friendly systems. Both ethics and business seem to be relevant and, therefore, a certain balance between market and interventionism seems to be necessary. (shrink)
Philosophers and physicians alike tend to discuss the physician-patient relationship in terms of physician privilege and patient autonomy, stressing the duty of the physician to respect the autonomy and the variously elaborated rights of the patient. The authors of this article argue that such emphasis on rights was initially productive, in a first generation of debate on medical ethical issues, but that it is now time for a second generation effort that will stress the importance of the unique experiential (...) aspects of the physician-patient relationship — mutual trust, suffering and healing. We attempt here to initiate this second-generation discussion, presenting the first generation's philosophical background, criticizing it from the perspective of clinical experience, and seeking a synthesis in the relational qualities of patient and physician interacting in a medical context. (shrink)
The concept of self-respect is often invoked in feminist theorizing. But both women's too-common experiences of struggling to have self-respect and the results of feminist critiques of related moral concepts suggest the need for feminist critique and reconceptualization of self-respect. I argue that a familiar conception of self-respect is masculinist, thus less accessible to women and less than conducive to liberation. Emancipatory theory and practice require a suitably feminist (...) conception of self-respect; I propose one such conception. (shrink)
The issues of human cloning and stem cell retrieval are inseparable in circumstances in which the rationale of self-preservation may be invoked as a negative right. I apply this rationale to a hypothetical case in which cloning is necessary to preserve the bodily integrity or life of an individual. Self-preservation as moral integrity is examined in a narrower context, i.e., as applicable to those for whom deliberate termination of embryonic life is morally-problematic. This issue is addressed through comparison with two (...) paradigms commonly used in support of clinical practice: the distinction between letting die and killing, and the permissibility of vital organ retrieval after death. Although these paradigms are questionable in their own right, they offer a rationale by which scientists and clinicians may respect the negative right to moral integrity of those with whom they disagree. (shrink)
This paper argues that self?respect constitutes an important value, and further, an important basis for equality. It also argues that under conditions of inequality?producing segregation, voluntary separation in schooling may be more likely to provide the resources necessary for self?respect. A prima facie case of voluntary separation for stigmatized minorities when equality ? as equal status and treatment ? is not an option under either the terms of integration or involuntary segregation is defended.
It is often argued that scientific developments in the area of biomedicine call for new ethical paradigms. Given the inadequacies of the traditional “sanctity-of-life ethics” (SLE), many have argued for a quality-of-life ethics (QLE), based on a non-speciesistic theory ofthe value of life. In this paper, I claim that QLE cannot account for the normativity of moral judgments, which can be explained only within the context of a theory of practical rationality: the peculiarity of moral normativity calls for an ethics (...) based on respect for rational creatures. I then go on to argue that the ethics of respect for persons (ERP) is not equivalent to SLE; that it can ground the moral protection of human “marginal cases”; that it does not rely on a scientifically implausible notion of human nature; and that it is not vulnerable to the charge of speciesism. Lastly, I suggest that ERP is a strictly philosophical interpretation of the Judeo-Christian moral tradition, and that is a better interpretation than SLE. If these assertions are correct, then the necessity of a new moral paradigm is seriously undermined. (shrink)
Most theorists believe that when it comes to freedom, no economic system does better than laissez-faire capitalism the system may have other problems, but as far as freedom is concerned, laissez-faire is as good as it gets. The goal of this paper is to show that this view is mistaken. I begin by criticising two important contemporary conceptions of freedom, the libertarian and the liberal egalitarian conceptions, both of which support the dominant view. I then develop a better alternative, one (...) that I call the social democratic conception of freedom. Using this conception, I go on to show that an economic system that requires firms to have an internal structure that makes decision-making more transparent and responsive to the concerns of workers actually shows greater respect for freedom than laissez-faire capitalism does. (shrink)
Human dignity seems very important to us. At the same time, the concept ‘human dignity’ is extrordinarily elusive. A good way to approach the questions “What is it?” and “Why is it important?” is to raise another question first: In virtue of what do human beings have dignity? Speciesism - the idea that human beings have a particular dignity because they are humans - does not seem very convincing. A better answer says that human beings have dignity because and insofar (...) as they are persons. I discuss several versions of this idea as well as several objections against it. The most promising line of analysis says that human beings cannot survive psychologically without a very basic form of recognition and respect by others. The idea that humans have a very special dignity is the idea that they owe each other this kind of respect. All this also suggests that human dignity is inherently social. Non-social beings do not have dignity - nor do they lack it. It is because we are social animals of a certain kind that we have dignity - not so much because we are rational animals. (shrink)
Is love essential to ethical life, or merely a supplement? In Kant's view, respect and love, as duties, are in tension with each other because love involves drawing closer and respect involves drawing away. By contrast, Irigaray says that love and respect do not conflict because love as passion must also involve distancing and we have a responsibility to love. I argue that love, understood as passion and based on respect, is essential to ethics.
The leading accounts of respect for others usually assume that persons have a rational nature, which is a marvelous thing, so they should be respected like other objects of ‘awesome’ value. Kant's views about the ‘value’ of humanity, which have inspired contemporary discussions of respect, have been interpreted in this way. I propose an alternative interpretation in which Kant proceeds from our own rational self-regard, through our willingness to reciprocate with others, to duties of respect for others. (...) This strategy, which shares some similarities with moral contractualism, offers a way to justify other-regarding moral requirements from self-regarding rational dispositions. (shrink)