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  1.  11
    Rawlsian Constructivism: A Practical Guide to Reflective Equilibrium.Eric Brandstedt & Johan Brännmark - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (3):355-373.
    Many normative theorists want to contribute to making the world a better place. In recent years, it has been suggested that to realise this ambition one must start with an adequate description of real-life practices. To determine what should be done, however, one must also fundamentally criticise existing moral beliefs. The method of reflective equilibrium offers a way of doing both. Yet, its practical usefulness has been doubted and it has been largely ignored in the recent practical turn of normative (...)
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  2. Children’s Capacities and Paternalism.Samantha Godwin - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (3):307-331.
    Paternalism is widely viewed as presumptively justifiable for children but morally problematic for adults. The standard explanation for this distinction is that children lack capacities relevant to the justifiability of paternalism. I argue that this explanation is more difficult to defend than typically assumed. If paternalism is often justified when needed to keep children safe from the negative consequences of their poor choices, then when adults make choices leading to the same negative consequences, what makes paternalism less justified? It seems (...)
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  3.  3
    Children, Political Power, and Punishment.Alexander Guerrero - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (3):269-280.
    How does age matter to moral responsibility and criminal liability? Almost no one thinks that a 3-year old is morally responsible for what she does. No one would think an 8-year old should be held criminally liable for engaging in illegal criminal action—even for something seriously harmful such as intentionally setting fire to a building or badly harming another child. Something else should happen, certainly, but not criminal prosecution and conviction and State punishment. And that’s true even if we might (...)
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  4.  3
    Comments on Gideon Yaffe, The Age of Culpability: Children and the Nature of Criminal Responsibility.Erin I. Kelly - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (3):281-286.
    Gideon Yaffe argues that children should be treated as less culpable by the criminal justice system because children have little political say over the law. I analyze several elements of Yaffe’s argument and express qualified agreement with his thesis. Though I reject the role he assigns to the notions of desert and legal reasons, I agree that people who lack political power are less accountable to the criminal justice system’s legal authorities.
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  5.  6
    Demystifying Desert.Gabriel S. Mendlow - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (3):287-294.
    In his penetrating book on the criminal culpability of children, Gideon Yaffe advances a novel theory of desert. According to the theory, the punishment you deserve for committing a given crime is the punishment the prospect of which would have led you to deliberate correctly about how to act, had that punishment been presented to you beforehand as an inevitable consequence of your committing the crime. Although fascinating and ambitious, Yaffe’s theory of desert struggles as an account of who deserves (...)
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  6.  8
    The Unreliable Intuitions Objection Against Reflective Equilibrium.Norbert Paulo - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (3):333-353.
    Reflective equilibrium has been criticized for various reasons ever since the publication of Rawls’ A Theory of Justice. Recent empirical research into moral decision-making poses new challenges to RE because it questions the reliability of moral intuitions. This research might discredit moral intuitionism in general and RE in particular insofar as it ascribes epistemic value to moral intuitions. These findings suggest, for instance, that moral intuitions vary with cultural background, gender or framing. If it could be shown that all or (...)
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  7.  6
    Legal Reasons, Legal Desert, Legal Culpability: Reply to Guerrero, Kelly and Mendlow.Gideon Yaffe - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (3):295-306.
    This is a reply to Alex Guerrero’s, Erin Kelly’s and Gabe Mendlow’s commentaries on Gideon Yaffe’s The Age of Culpability: Children and the Nature of Criminal Responsibility. The reply focuses on their objections concerning the nature of legal reasons, desert, and the political arrangements that make a difference to criminal culpability.
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  8. Lying, Misleading, and Dishonesty.Alex Barber - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (2):141-164.
    An important moral category—dishonest speech—has been overlooked in theoretical ethics despite its importance in legal, political, and everyday social exchanges. Discussion in this area has instead been fixated on a binary debate over the contrast between lying and ‘merely misleading’. Some see lying as a distinctive wrong; others see it as morally equivalent to deliberately omitting relevant truths, falsely insinuating, or any other species of attempted verbal deception. Parties to this debate have missed the relevance to their disagreement of the (...)
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  9.  13
    Epicureanism and the Wrongness of Killing.Tim Burkhardt - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (2):177-192.
    This paper argues that Epicureanism about death is consistent with grounding the wrongness of killing in the interests of the victim. Both defenders and critics of Epicureanism should agree that, if we knew Epicureanism to be false, then we would have a moral reason not to kill people. We would have this reason because we would know that killing people harms them. And even Epicureans should agree that, given their evidence, Epicureanism could be false. Given that it could be false, (...)
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  10.  12
    On the Immorality of Tattoos.Matej Cíbik - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (2):193-206.
    Tattoos are widely regarded as morally neutral, and the decision to have them as carrying no ethical implications. The aim of this paper is to question this assumption. I argue that decisions to have tattoos involve risks that are not merely prudential—they are normative. The argument starts with a thesis that the power we presently have over our lives is constrained by the need to respect our future selves. If we make a discretionary choice that disregards our future interests and (...)
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  11.  9
    Sufficiency and the Threshold Question.Robert Huseby - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (2):207-223.
    In this paper I address the objection to sufficientarianism posed by Paula Casal and Richard Arneson, that it is hard to conceive of a sufficiency threshold such that distribution is highly important just below it, and not required at all just above it. In order to address this objection, I elaborate on the idea that sufficientarianism structurally can be seen to require two separate thresholds, which may or may not overlap. I then argue that a version of such a view (...)
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  12.  9
    A Dilemma for Privacy as Control.Björn Lundgren - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (2):165-175.
    Although popular, control accounts of privacy suffer from various counterexamples. In this article, it is argued that two such counterexamples—while individually resolvable—can be combined to yield a dilemma for control accounts of privacy. Furthermore, it is argued that it is implausible that control accounts of privacy can defend against this dilemma. Thus, it is concluded that we ought not define privacy in terms of control. Lastly, it is argued that since the concept of privacy is the object of the right (...)
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  13.  7
    On the Absence of Moral Goodness in Hobbes’s Ethics.Johan Olsthoorn - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (2):241-266.
    This article reassesses Hobbes’s place in the history of ethics based on the first systematic analysis of his various classifications of formal goodness. The good was traditionally divided into three: profitably good, pleasurably good, and morally good. Across his works, Hobbes replaced the last with pulchrum—a decidedly non-moral form of goodness on his account. I argue that Hobbes’s dismissal of moral goodness was informed by his hedonist conception of the good and accompanied by reinterpretations of right reason and natural law. (...)
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  14.  7
    Complex Harmony: Rethinking the Virtue-Continence Distinction.Nick Schuster - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (2):225-240.
    In the Aristotelian tradition, the psychological difference between virtue and continence is commonly understood in terms of inner harmony versus inner conflict. Virtuous agents experience inner harmony between feeling and action because they do not care to do other than what their circumstances call for, whereas continent agents feel conflicted about doing what is called for because of competing concerns. Critics of this view argue, however, that when the circumstances require sacrificing something of genuine value, virtuous agents can indeed feel (...)
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  15.  28
    “Offensiphobia” is a Red Herring: On the Problem of Censorship and Academic Freedom.Ben Cross & Louise Richardson-Self - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (1):31-54.
    In a recent article, J. Angelo Corlett criticises what he takes to be the ‘offensiphobic’ practices characteristic of many universities. The ‘offensiphobe’, according to Corlett, believes that offensive speech ought to be censured precisely because it offends. We argue that there are three serious problems with Corlett’s discussion. First, his criticism of ‘offensiphobia’ misrepresents the kinds of censorship practiced by universities; many universities may in some way censure speech which they regard as offensive, but this is seldom if ever a (...)
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  16.  9
    The Duty to Let Others Do Their Duty.Robert E. Goodin - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (1):1-10.
    We have no general duty to help others do their duty. But arguably we do, for a combination of agency-based and outcome-based reasons, have a general duty to let others do their duty. Our duty is derived from the other’s duty, but it is none the worse for being so. It is best seen as a duty, rather than as the upshot of some right or power of the other that would preclude us from insisting that the others do their (...)
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  17.  38
    Egalitarian Provision of Necessary Medical Treatment.Robert C. Hughes - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (1):55-78.
    Considerations of autonomy and independence, properly understood, support strictly egalitarian provision of necessary medical treatment. If the financially better-off can purchase access to necessary medical treatments that the financially less well-off cannot purchase without help, then their discretionary power to give or to withhold monetary gifts indirectly gives them the power to make life-and-death or sickness-and-health decisions for others. To prevent private citizens from having this objectionable form of power, government must ensure that citizens’ finances do not affect their access (...)
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  18.  15
    The Volenti Maxim.Peter Schaber - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (1):79-89.
    This paper discusses the volenti non fit injuria maxim. The volenti maxim states that a person is not wronged by that to which she consents, provided her consent is valid. I will argue, however, that the volenti maxim does not apply to all instances of valid consent. In some cases the consenter is wronged even if his consent is valid. Valid consent can only release others from consent-sensitive duties, not from consent-insensitive duties. If the consentee flouts a consent-insensitive duty the (...)
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  19.  11
    What’s So Queer About Morality?Luke Taylor - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (1):11-29.
    Mackie famously argued for a moral error theory on the basis that objective moral values, if they existed, would be very queer entities. Unfortunately, his argument is very brief and it is not totally obvious from what he says exactly where the queerness of moral values is supposed to lie. In this paper I will firstly show why a typical interpretation of Mackie is problematic and secondly offer a new interpretation. I will argue that, whether or not we have reason (...)
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  20.  22
    Hume, Humans and Animals.Michael-John Turp - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (1):119-136.
    Hume’s Treatise, Enquiries and Essays contain plentiful material for an investigation into the moral nature of other animals and our moral relations to them. In particular, Hume pays considerable attention to animal minds. He also argues that moral judgment is grounded in sympathy. As sympathy is shared by humans and some other animals, this already hints at the possibility that some animals are morally considerable, even if they are not moral agents. Most contributions to the literature on animal ethics assume (...)
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  21.  50
    Moore’s Open Question Maneuvering: A Qualified Defense.Jean-Paul Vessel - 2020 - Journal of Ethics 24 (1):91-117.
    §13 of Principia Ethica contains G. E. Moore’s most famous open question arguments. Several of Moore’s contemporaries defended various forms of metaethical nonnaturalism—a doctrine Moore himself endorsed—by appeal to OQAs. Some contemporary cognitivists embrace the force of Moore’s OQAs against metaethical naturalism. And those who posit noncognitivist meaning components of ethical terms have traditionally used OQAs to fuel their own emotivist, prescriptivist, and expressivist metaethical programs. Despite this influence, Moore’s OQAs have been ridiculed in recent decades. Their deployment has been (...)
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