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Profile: Toby Svoboda (Fairfield University)
  1. Toby Svoboda (2014). A Reconsideration of Indirect Duties Regarding Non-Human Organisms. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (2):311-323.
    According to indirect duty views, human beings lack direct moral duties to non-human organisms, but our direct duties to ourselves and other humans give rise to indirect duties regarding non-humans. On the orthodox interpretation of Kant’s account of indirect duties, one should abstain from treating organisms in ways that render one more likely to violate direct duties to humans. This indirect duty view is subject to several damaging objections, such as that it misidentifies the moral reasons we have to treat (...)
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  2. Toby Svoboda (2012). Duties Regarding Nature: A Kantian Approach to Environmental Ethics. Kant Yearbook 4 (1):143-163.
    Many philosophers have objected to Kant’s account of duties regarding non-human nature, arguing that it does not ground adequate moral concern for non-human natural entities. However, the traditional interpretation of Kant on this issue is mistaken, because it takes him to be arguing merely that humans should abstain from animal cruelty and wanton destruction of flora solely because such actions could make one more likely to violate one’s duties to human beings. Instead, I argue, Kant’s account of duties regarding nature (...)
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  3. Toby Svoboda (2012). Is Aerosol Geoengineering Ethically Preferable to Other Climate Change Strategies? Ethics and the Environment 17 (2):111-135.
    In this paper, I address the question of whether aerosol geoengineering (AG) ought to be deployed as a response to climate change. First, I distinguish AG from emissions mitigation, adaptation, and other geoengineering strategies. Second, I discuss advantages and disadvantages of AG, including its potential to result in substantial harm to some persons. Third, I critique three arguments against AG deployment, suggesting reasons why these arguments should be rejected. Fourth, I consider an argument that, in scenarios in which all available (...)
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  4. Toby Svoboda (2012). The Ethics of Geoengineering: Moral Considerability and the Convergence Hypothesis. Journal of Applied Philosophy 29 (3):243-256.
    Although it could avoid some harmful effects of climate change, sulphate aerosol geoengineering (SAG), or injecting sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere in order to reflect incoming solar radiation, threatens substantial harm to humans and non-humans. I argue that SAG is prima facie ethically problematic from anthropocentric, animal liberationist, and biocentric perspectives. This might be taken to suggest that ethical evaluations of SAG can rely on Bryan Norton's convergence hypothesis, which predicts that anthropocentrists and non-anthropocentrists will agree to implement the same (...)
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  5. Nancy Tuana, Ryan L. Sriver, Toby Svoboda, Roman Olson, Peter J. Irvine, Jacob Haqq-Misra & Klaus Keller (2012). Towards Integrated Ethical and Scientific Analysis of Geoengineering: A Research Agenda. Ethics, Policy and Environment 15 (2):136 - 157.
    Concerns about the risks of unmitigated greenhouse gas emissions are growing. At the same time, confidence that international policy agreements will succeed in considerably lowering anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is declining. Perhaps as a result, various geoengineering solutions are gaining attention and credibility as a way to manage climate change. Serious consideration is currently being given to proposals to cool the planet through solar-radiation management. Here we analyze how the unique and nontrivial risks of geoengineering strategies pose fundamental questions at (...)
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  6. Toby Svoboda (2011). Hybridizing Moral Expressivism and Moral Error Theory. Journal of Value Inquiry 45 (1):37-48.
    Philosophers should consider a hybrid meta-ethical theory that includes elements of both moral expressivism and moral error theory. Proponents of such an expressivist-error theory hold that all moral utterances are either expressions of attitudes or expressions of false beliefs. Such a hybrid theory has two advantages over pure expressivism, because hybrid theorists can offer a more plausible account of the moral utterances that seem to be used to express beliefs, and hybrid theorists can provide a simpler solution to the Frege-Geach (...)
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  7. Toby Svoboda (2011). Why There is No Evidence for the Intrinsic Value of Non-Humans. Ethics and the Environment 16 (2):25-36.
    The position of some environmental ethicists that some non-humans have intrinsic value as a mind-independent property is seriously flawed. This is because human beings lack any evidence for this position and hence are unjustified in holding it. For any possible world that is alleged to have this kind of intrinsic value, it is possible to conceive an observationally identical world that lacks intrinsic value. Hence, one is not justified in inferring the intrinsic value of some non-human from any set of (...)
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  8. Toby Svoboda, Klaus Keller, Marlos Goes & Nancy Tuana (2011). Sulfate Aerosol Geoengineering: The Question of Justice. Public Affairs Quarterly 25 (3):157-180.
    Some authors have called for increased research on various forms of geoengineering as a means to address global climate change. This paper focuses on the question of whether a particular form of geoengineering, namely deploying sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere to counteract some of the effects of increased greenhouse gas concentrations, would be a just response to climate change. In particular, we examine problems sulfate aerosol geoengineering (SAG) faces in meeting the requirements of distributive, intergenerational, and procedural justice. We argue (...)
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