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  1. added 2019-02-14
    Saving People From the Harm of Death.Espen Gamlund & Carl Tollef Solberg (eds.) - 2019 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Death is something we mourn or fear as the worst thing that could happen―whether the deaths of close ones, the deaths of strangers in reported accidents or tragedies, or our own. And yet, being dead is something that no one can experience and live to describe. This simple truth raises a host of difficult philosophical questions about the negativity surrounding our sense of death, and how and for whom exactly it is harmful. The question of whether death is bad has (...)
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  2. added 2019-02-05
    The Ethics of Al-Razi.Thérèse-Anne Druart - 1997 - Medieval Philosophy and Theology 6 (1):47-72.
  3. added 2019-01-15
    How to Be an Actualist and Blame People.Travis Timmerman & Philip Swenson - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility 5.
    The actualism/possibilism debate in ethics concerns the relationship between an agent’s free actions and her moral obligations. The actualist affirms, while the possibilist denies, that facts about what agents would freely do in certain circumstances partly determines that agent’s moral obligations. This paper assesses the plausibility of actualism and possibilism in light of desiderata about accounts of blameworthiness. This paper first argues that actualism cannot straightforwardly accommodate certain very plausible desiderata before offering a few independent solutions on behalf of the (...)
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  4. added 2019-01-08
    The Evil of Refraining to Save: Liu on the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing.Jacob Blair - 2017 - Diametros 52:127-137.
    In a recent article, Xiaofei Liu seeks to defend, from the standpoint of consequentialism, the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing: DDA. While there are various conceptions of DDA, Liu understands it as the view that it is more difficult to justify doing harm than allowing harm. Liu argues that a typical harm doing involves the production of one more evil and one less good than a typical harm allowing. Thus, prima facie, it takes a greater amount of good to justify (...)
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  5. added 2019-01-08
    Retributivism, Consequentialism, and the Risk of Punishing the Innocent: The Troublesome Case of Proxy Crimes.Piotr Bystranowski - 2017 - Diametros 53:26-49.
    This paper discusses differences between two major schools in philosophy of criminal law, retributivism and consequentialism, with regard to the risk of punishing the innocent. As it is argued, the main point of departure between these two camps in this respect lies in their attitude towards the high evidentiary threshold in a criminal trial: while retributivism seems to strongly support setting this standard high, consequentialists may find it desirable to relax it in some cases. This discussion is set in the (...)
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  6. added 2018-10-24
    Review of Review of Leland Yeager, Ethics as Social Science. [REVIEW]Roderick Long - 2003 - Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 6:89-98.
    Like feuding relatives at a family barbecue, economists and moral philosophers often like to pretend they have nothing to do with each other. Economists pose as value-neutral scientists who have no need for airy-fairy moral theory; yet they regularly dispense the sorts of prescription and advice that cry out for ethical analysis. Philosophers likewise view themselves as having loftier concerns than vulgar economics; but by conducting their ethical and political theorizing in ignorance of economic principles, they are unable to avoid (...)
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  7. added 2018-10-23
    Recklessness and Uncertainty: Jackson Cases and Merely Apparent Asymmetry.Claire Field - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy.
    Is normative uncertainty like factual uncertainty? Should it have the same effects on our actions? Some have thought not. Those who defend an asymmetry between normative and factual uncertainty typically do so as part of the claim that our moral beliefs in general are irrelevant to both the moral value and the moral worth of our actions (Weatherson 2014; Harman 2015). Here I use the consideration of Jackson cases to challenge this view, arguing that we can explain away the apparent (...)
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  8. added 2018-07-22
    Exceeding Expectations: Stochastic Dominance as a General Decision Theory.Christian Tarsney - manuscript
    The principle that rational agents should maximize expectations is intuitively plausible with respect to many ordinary cases of decision-making under uncertainty. But it becomes increasingly implausible as we consider cases of more extreme, low-probability risk (like Pascal's Mugging), and intolerably paradoxical in cases like the St. Petersburg Lottery and the Pasadena Game. In this paper I show that, under certain assumptions, stochastic dominance reasoning can capture many of the plausible implications of expectational reasoning while avoiding its implausible implications. More specifically, (...)
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  9. added 2018-06-07
    Critical Review of Rawls's Political Liberalism: A Utilitarian and Decision-Theoretical Analysis of the Main Arguments: Stephen W. Ball.Stephen W. Ball - 1998 - Utilitas 10 (2):222-240.
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  10. added 2018-06-07
    No Title Available: Book Reviews. [REVIEW]S. Ambirajan - 1992 - Utilitas 4 (1):154-157.
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  11. added 2018-06-01
    How Should One Live? An Introduction to Ethics and Moral Reasoning.Bradley Thames - 2018 - San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.
    This book provides an entry-level introduction to philosophical ethics, theories of moral reasoning, and selected issues in applied ethics. Chapter 1 describes the importance of philosophical approaches to ethical issues, the general dialectical form of moral reasoning, and the broad landscape of moral philosophy. Chapter 2 presents egoism and relativism as challenges to the presumed objectivity and unconditionality of morality. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 discuss utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics, respectively. Each chapter begins with a general overview of the (...)
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  12. added 2018-02-17
    Can We Harm Furture People?Alan Carter - 2001 - Environmental Values 10 (4):429-454.
    It appears to have been established that it is not possible for us to harm distant future generations by failing to adopt long-range welfare policies which would conserve resources or limit pollution. By exploring a number of possible worlds, the present article shows, first, that the argument appears to be at least as telling against Aristotelian, rights-based and Rawlsian approaches as it seems to be against utilitarianism, but second, and most importantly, that it only holds if we fail to view (...)
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  13. added 2018-02-06
    Abortion and the Moral Significance of Merely Possible Persons.Melinda A. Roberts - 2010 - Springer.
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  14. added 2018-01-09
    Murdering an Accident Victim: A New Objection to the Bare-Difference Argument.Scott Hill - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):767-778.
    Many philosophers, psychologists, and medical practitioners believe that killing is no worse than letting die on the basis of James Rachels's Bare-Difference Argument. I show that his argument is unsound. In particular, a premise of the argument is that his examples are as similar as is consistent with one being a case of killing and the other being a case of letting die. However, the subject who lets die has both the ability to kill and the ability to let die (...)
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  15. added 2017-11-22
    Moral Coercion.Saba Bazargan - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    The practices of using hostages to obtain concessions and using human shields to deter aggression share an important characteristic which warrants a univocal reference to both sorts of conduct: they both involve manipulating our commitment to morality, as a means to achieving wrongful ends. I call this type of conduct “moral coercion”. In this paper I (a) present an account of moral coercion by linking it to coercion more generally, (b) determine whether and to what degree the coerced agent is (...)
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  16. added 2017-11-06
    Minimal Morality: A Multilevel Social Contract Theory.Michael Moehler - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This book develops a novel multilevel social contract theory that, in contrast to existing theories in the liberal tradition, does not merely assume a restricted form of reasonable moral pluralism, but is tailored to the conditions of deeply morally pluralistic societies which may be populated by liberal moral agents, nonliberal moral agents, and, according to the traditional understanding of morality, nonmoral agents alike. The book draws on the history of the social contract tradition, especially the work of Hobbes, Hume, Kant, (...)
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  17. added 2017-09-29
    Must Consequentialists Kill?Kieran Setiya - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (2):92-105.
    Argues that the ethics of killing and saving lives is best described by agent-neutral consequentialism, not by appeal to agent-centred restrictions. It does not follow that killings are worse than accidental deaths or that you should kill one to prevent more killings. The upshot is a puzzle about killing and letting die.
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  18. added 2017-09-26
    The Idea of a Contractarian Business Ethics.Christoph Luetge - 2013 - In Christopher Luetege (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics. Springer. pp. 647--658.
  19. added 2017-08-29
    Political Corruption.Emanuela Ceva & Maria Paola Ferretti - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (12):e12461.
    The corruption of public officials and institutions is generally regarded as wrong. But in what exactly does this form of corruption consist and what kind of wrong does it imply? This article aims to take stock of the current philosophical discussion of the different senses in which political corruption is wrong in a general sense, beyond the specific negative legal, economic, and social costs it may happen to have in specific circumstances. Political corruption is usually presented as a pathology of (...)
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  20. added 2017-08-09
    The Institutional Critique of Effective Altruism.Brian Berkey - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (2):143-171.
    In recent years, the effective altruism movement has generated much discussion about the ways in which we can most effectively improve the lives of the global poor, and pursue other morally important goals. One of the most common criticisms of the movement is that it has unjustifiably neglected issues related to institutional change that could address the root causes of poverty, and instead focused its attention on encouraging individuals to direct resources to organizations that directly aid people living in poverty. (...)
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  21. added 2017-08-08
    Rejoinder to Wall.Scott Forschler - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (4):572-574.
    Edmund Wall's criticism of the author's earlier analysis of Hare's consequentialism and Kantian ethics claims that the author overlooked Hare's commitment to preference satisfaction as an “ultimate good.” This rejoinder points out that Hare never uses the phrase in question, nor any equivalent phrase or concept, in presenting his own arguments and refers only to the standard of “universalizability” as ultimate, in contexts that support the author's original argument. Hence Wall has only given us yet another example of how Hare's (...)
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  22. added 2017-07-21
    A Reply to Bencivenga, “Consequences in Kantian Ethics.”.Samuel J. M. Kahn - 2013 - American Dialectic (1):285-288.
    In Bencivenga’s “Consequences in Kantian Ethics,” he offers a version of Kant’s ethics according to which the most rational approach to living one’s life is “to always imagine what might follow from one’s moves and to choose moves accordingly” (284), but according to which agents always nevertheless must be modest in their judgments about what they ought to do because the actual consequences of their actions might not turn out as they imagined. In this way, he tries to foreground the (...)
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  23. added 2017-07-11
    The Unity of Grounding.Selim Berker - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):729-777.
    I argue—contra moderate grounding pluralists such as Kit Fine and more extreme grounding pluralists such as Jessica Wilson—that there is fundamentally only one grounding/in-virtue-of relation. I also argue that this single relation is indispensable for normative theorizing—that we can’t make sense of, for example, the debate over consequentialism without it. It follows from what I argue that there is no metaethically-pure normative ethics.
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  24. added 2017-07-08
    Global Consequentialism and the Morality and Laws of War.Hilary Greaves - forthcoming - In McDermott and Roser Kuosmanen (ed.), Human rights and 21st century challenges. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Rights-based approaches and consequentialist approaches to ethics are often seen as being diametrically opposed to one another. In one sense, they are. In another sense, however, they can be reconciled: a ‘global’ form of consequentialism might supply consequentialist foundations for a derivative morality that is non-consequentialist, and perhaps rights-based, in content. By way of case study to illustrate how this might work, I survey what a global consequentialist should think about a recent dispute between Jeff McMahan and Henry Shue on (...)
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  25. added 2017-06-23
    Opting for the Best: Oughts and Options.Douglas W. Portmore - forthcoming - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The book concerns what I take to be the least controversial normative principle concerning action: you ought to perform your best option—best, that is, in terms of whatever ultimately matters. The book sets aside the question of what ultimately matters so as to focus on more basic issues, such as: What are our options? Do I have the option of typing out the cure for cancer if that’s what I would in fact do if I had the right intentions at (...)
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  26. added 2017-01-03
    Early Buddhism I: Metaethics (Ethics-1, M-30).Shyam Ranganathan - 2016 - In A. Raghuramaraju (ed.), Philosophy, E-PG Pathshala. Delhi: India, Department of Higher Education (NMEICT).
    Metaethics is that part of moral philosophy that is interested in the conceptual resolution of the relationship between the RIGHT and the GOOD. Metaethics is, hence, one step removed from practical questions of how to live—but not disconnected from them. Our investigation will begin with the early Buddhist account of language as meaningful for intersubjective reasons. This gives rise to a critical awareness of the correspondence between linguistic meaning and reality. The correspondence is outside of our control, but also structured (...)
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  27. added 2017-01-03
    Early Buddhism II: Applied Ethics (Ethics-1, M31).Shyam Ranganathan - 2016 - In A. Raghuramaraju (ed.), Philosophy, E-PG Pathshala. Delhi: India, Department of Higher Education (NMEICT).
    In the previous module, I covered the basics of Early Buddhist metaethics. The core ideas here are: (1) linguistic representation is not the same as reality – linguistic representation depicts reality as static, but reality is relational and dynamic; (2) reality can drift away from linguistic representation causing disappointment – duḥkha; (3) choosing wisely now can result in a better future; (4) ethical choice involves appreciating the justifying relations of states of affairs. In this module, I explore the Four Noble (...)
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  28. added 2016-12-08
    Kinds of Consequentialism.Michael Smith - 2009 - In Ernest Sosa & Enrique Villanueva (eds.), Metaethics. Wiley Periodicals. pp. 257-272.
  29. added 2016-12-08
    Kantian Consequentialism.Lara Denis & David Cummiskey - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (1):130.
  30. added 2016-10-27
    Beyond Consequentialism.Paul Hurley - 2009 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Consequentialism, the theory that morality requires us to promote the best overall outcome, is the default alternative in contemporary moral philosophy, and is highly influential in public discourses beyond academic philosophy. Paul Hurley argues that current discussions of the challenge consequentialism tend to overlook a fundamental challenge to consequentialism. The standard consequentialist account of the content of morality, he argues, cannot be reconciled to the authoritativeness of moral standards for rational agents. If rational agents typically have decisive reasons to do (...)
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  31. added 2016-09-29
    Utilitarismus und Wahrhaftigkeit.Bernd Lahno - 2011 - In Christian Müller, Frank Trosky & Marion Weber (eds.), Ökonomik als Theorie menschlichen Verhaltens. Lucius & Lucius. pp. 273-296.
  32. added 2016-09-29
    Norms of Evaluation Vs. Norms of Conduct.Bernd Lahno - 2010 - In Michael Baurmann, Geoffrey Brennan & Robert Goodin (eds.), Norms and Values. Lucius & Lucius. pp. 95-112.
  33. added 2016-08-31
    On Epistemic Consequentialism and the Virtue Conflation Problem.J. Adam Carter & Ian M. Church - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):239-248.
    Addressing the ‘virtue conflation’ problem requires the preservation of intuitive distinctions between virtue types, that is, between intellectual and moral virtues. According to one influential attempt to avoid this problem proposed by Julia Driver, moral virtues produce benefits to others—in particular, they promote the well-being of others—while the intellectual virtues, as such, produce epistemic good for the agent. We show that Driver's demarcation of intellectual virtue, by adverting to the self-/other distinction, leads to a reductio, and ultimately, that the prospects (...)
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  34. added 2016-07-11
    How to Overstretch the Ethics-Epistemology Analogy: Berker’s Critique of Epistemic Consequentialism.Christian Piller - 2016 - In Pedro Schmechtig & Martin Grajner (eds.), Epistemic Reasons, Norms and Goals. De Gruyter. pp. 307-322.
  35. added 2016-05-31
    Moral Uncertainty and Permissibility: Evaluating Option Sets.Christian Barry & Patrick Tomlin - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (6):1-26.
    In this essay, we explore an issue of moral uncertainty: what we are permitted to do when we are unsure about which moral principles are correct. We develop a novel approach to this issue that incorporates important insights from previous work on moral uncertainty, while avoiding some of the difficulties that beset existing alternative approaches. Our approach is based on evaluating and choosing between option sets rather than particular conduct options. We show how our approach is particularly well-suited to address (...)
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  36. added 2016-03-19
    Desert, Responsibility, and Justification: A Reply to Doris, McGeer, and Robinson.Manuel R. Vargas - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2659-2678.
    Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility argues that the normative basis of moral responsibility is anchored in the effects of responsibility practices. Further, the capacities required for moral responsibility are socially scaffolded. This article considers criticisms of this account that have been recently raised by John Doris, Victoria McGeer, and Michael Robinson. Robinson argues against Building Better Beings’s rejection of libertarianism about free will, and the account of desert at stake in the theory. considers methodological questions that arise (...)
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  37. added 2016-03-16
    Do Non-Philosophers Think Epistemic Consequentialism is Counterintuitive?James Andow - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2631-2643.
    Direct epistemic consequentialism is the idea that X is epistemically permissible iff X maximizes epistemic value. It has received lots of attention in recent years and is widely accepted by philosophers to have counterintuitive implications. There are various reasons one might suspect that the relevant intuitions will not be widely shared among non-philosophers. This paper presents an initial empirical study of ordinary intuitions. The results of two experiments demonstrate that the counterintuitiveness of epistemic consequentialism is more than a philosophers' worry---the (...)
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  38. added 2016-01-02
    Multi-Dimensional Consequentialism and Degrees of Rightness.Vuko Andrić & Attila Tanyi - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (3):711-731.
    In his recent book, The Dimensions of Consequentialism, Martin Peterson puts forward a new version of consequentialism that he dubs ‘multidimensional consequentialism’. The defining thesis of the new theory is that there are irreducible moral aspects that jointly determine the deontic status of an act. In defending his particular version of multidimensional consequentialism, Peterson advocates the thesis—he calls it DEGREE—that if two or more moral aspects clash, the act under consideration is right to some non-extreme degree. This goes against the (...)
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  39. added 2015-11-10
    The Moral Status of Abortion in Islam: A Comparative Study of Muslim and Western Normative Ethics Regarding the Act of Terminating the Life of A Foetus.Paweł Bernat - 2015 - International Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research 3 (4):273-278.
    In the West there seems to be a clear cut-line between the proponents and opponents of abortion. The former tend to justify their choice by calling for consequentialistic arguments, while the latter are, in huge majority, deontologists. The issue of abortion has been long debated in Islam. Those debates however lacked in intensity and rabidity when compared with their Western counterparts. This article is an attempt to compare the two standpoints and point at the reasons of that discrepancy. The paper (...)
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  40. added 2015-09-23
    Consequentialism and the Notion of Agent-Neutral Good.Desheng Zong - manuscript
    This essay argues for three theses. The first is that the notion of agent-neutral value, or more accurately, the promotion of agent-neutral values, is what truly defines consequentialism as a type of moral theory. A state of affairs is of agent-neutral value if it is capable of generating reasons for action for everybody. The second is that the existence of agent-neutral value has never been proven, and no known account of this notion has made clear what kind of things these (...)
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  41. added 2015-06-30
    Ian R. Christie, The Benthams in Russia 1780–1791, Oxford, Berg, 1993, Pp. Xiii + 264.W. E. Butler - 1996 - Utilitas 8 (2):256.
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  42. added 2015-04-15
    Fair Chance and Modal Consequentialism.H. Orri Stefánsson - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (3):371-395.
    This paper develops a Multidimensional Decision Theory and argues that it better captures ordinary intuitions about fair distribution of chances than classical decision theory. The theory is an extension of Richard Jeffrey’s decision theory to counterfactual prospects and is a form of Modal Consequentialism, according to which the value of actual outcomes often depends on what could have been. Unlike existing versions of modal consequentialism, the multidimensional decision theory allows us to explicitly model the desirabilistic dependencies between actual and counterfactual (...)
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  43. added 2015-02-25
    Mere Addition and the Separateness of Persons.Matthew Rendall - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (8):442-455.
    How can we resist the repugnant conclusion? James Griffin has plausibly suggested that part way through the sequence we may reach a world—let us call it “J”—in which the lives are lexically superior to those that follow. If it would be preferable to live a single life in J than through any number of lives in the next one, then it would be strange to judge K the better world. Instead, we may reasonably “suspend addition” and judge J superior, as (...)
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  44. added 2014-09-22
    Vaulting Intuition: Temkin's Critique of Transitivity.Alex Voorhoeve - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (3):409-425.
    In 'Rethinking the Good', Larry Temkin makes two core claims. First, the goodness of a distribution is sometimes ‘essentially comparative’ – it sometimes depends on which alternative distribution(s) it is compared to. Second, such cases threaten the transitivity of ‘all things considered better than’. I argue that the goodness of a distribution may indeed depend on what other distributions are feasible. But contrary to Temkin, I also argue that transitivity holds even when the goodness of a distribution depends on the (...)
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  45. added 2014-09-03
    Reactive Attitudes and the Hare–Williams Debate: Towards a New Consequentialist Moral Psychology.D. E. Miller - 2014 - Philosophical Quarterly 64 (254):39-59.
    Bernard Williams charges that the moral psychology built into R. M. Hare’s utilitarianism is incoherent in virtue of demanding a bifurcated kind of moral thinking that is possible only for agents who fail to reflect properly on their own practical decision making. I mount a qualified defence of Hare’s view by drawing on the account of the ‘reactive attitudes’ found in P. F. Strawson’s ‘Freedom and Resentment’. Against Williams, I argue that the ‘resilience’ of the reactive attitudes ensures that our (...)
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  46. added 2014-05-15
    Foundational Consequentialism and Its Primary Evaluative Focal Point.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    Following Shelly Kagan’s useful terminology, foundational consequentialists are those who hold that the ranking of outcomes is at the foundation of all moral assessment. That is, they hold that moral assessments of right and wrong, virtuous and vicious, morally good and morally bad, etc. are all ultimately a function of how outcomes rank. But foundational consequentialists disagree on what is to be directly evaluated in terms of the ranking of outcomes, which is to say that they disagree on what the (...)
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  47. added 2014-04-14
    Bentham and the Development of the British Critique of Colonialism.Peter J. Cain - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (1):1-24.
    This article examines Bentham's contribution to anti-colonial thought in the context of the development of the British radical movement that attacked colonialism on the grounds that it advantaged what Bentham called the at the expense of the . It shows that Bentham was influenced as much by Josiah Tucker and James Anderson as by Adam Smith. Bentham's early economic critique is examined, and the sharp changes in his arguments after 1800 assessed, in the context of the American and French Revolutions (...)
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  48. added 2014-04-14
    Egalitarianism and the Putative Paradoxes of Population Ethics.Torbjörn Tännsjö - 2008 - Utilitas 20 (2):187-198.
    The repugnant conclusion is acceptable from the point of view of total utilitarianism. Total utilitarians do not seem to be bothered with it. They feel that it is in no way repugnant. To me, a hard-nosed total utilitarian, this settles the case. However, if, sometimes, I doubt that total utilitarianism has the final say in ethics, and tend to think that there may be something to some objection to it or another, it is the objection to it brought forward from (...)
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  49. added 2014-04-14
    Mill and Sidgwick, Imperialism and Racism.C. L. R. James - 2007 - Utilitas 19 (1).
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  50. added 2014-04-14
    Shelly Kagan Normative Ethics.K. Burgess-Jackson - 2001 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (3):314-317.
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