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  1. Some Theories of Freedom: Comparison, Contrast and Criticism.Danny Frederick - manuscript
    I present a diversity of theories of freedom which I compare and contrast. I begin with a brief summary of my own recently published theory, which I show to be superior to the other theories considered. I find that there are various weaknesses or errors in the other theories and that my own theory is the only one that gives an adequate explanation of why freedom, or a free society, is desirable.
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  2. The Grounds of Human Rights.Brian Slattery - manuscript
    What is the rational foundation for the doctrine of universal human rights? Some philosophers, such as Alan Gewirth, argue that it may be discovered simply by reflection on certain essential features of the human constitution. However this approach has significant problems, achieving its ends by smuggling certain tacit premises into the argument. A better approach is one that appeals to the communal practices and traditions within which doctrines of human rights have evolved historically. It is here that Alasdair MacIntyre's work (...)
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  3. Democratic Liberalism:The Politics of Dignity.Craig Duncan - manuscript
    (a chapter from my book Libertarianism:For and Against).
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  4. Consequentialism and the Case of Symmetrical Attackers.Stephen Kershnar - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (4):395-413.
    There are puzzle cases that forfeiture theory has trouble handling, such as the issue of what happens to the rights of two qualitatively identical people who simultaneously launch unprovoked attacks against the other. Each person either has or lacks the right to defend against the other. If one attacker has the right, then the other does not and vice versa. Yet the two are qualitatively identical so it is impossible for one to have the right if the other does not. (...)
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  5. Rights and Consent in Mixed Martial Arts.Stephen Kershnar & Robert Kelly - 2019 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 47 (1):105-120.
    MMA fighting in a competition is not necessarily wrong and is often, as far as we can tell, permissible. Our argument has two premises. First, if an act does not infringe on anyone’s moral right or violate another side-constraint, then it is morally permissible. Second, MMA-violence does not infringe on anyone’s moral right or violate another side-constraint. The first premise rested on two assumptions. First, if a person does a wrong act, then he wrongs someone. Second, if one person wrongs (...)
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  6. Children, Religion and the Ethics of Influence.John Tillson - 2019 - London: Bloomsbury.
    In Children, Religion and the Ethics of Influence, John Tillson develops a theory concerning which kinds of formative influence are morally permissible, impermissible or obligatory. Applying this theory to the case of religion, he argues that religious initiation in childhood is morally impermissible whether conducted by parents, teachers or others. Tillson addresses questions such as: how we come to have the ethical responsibilities we do, how we understand religion, how ethical and religious commitments can be justified, and what makes children (...)
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  7. Political Corruption as a Relational Injustice.Emanuela Ceva - 2018 - Social Philosophy and Policy 35 (2):118-137.
    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? Recent proponents of the “institutionalist approach” to political corruption have concentrated on those occasions when incentive structures distract institutions from their essential purpose and weaken public trust. The corruption of individual public officials has been less relevant to their work, except for when it leads to the erosion of the functioning (...)
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  8. The Rights of Future Persons and the Ontology of Time.Aaron M. Griffith - 2017 - Journal of Social Philosophy 48 (1):58-70.
    Many are committed to the idea that the present generation has obligations to future generations, for example, obligations to preserve the environment and certain natural resources for those generations. However, some philosophers want to explain why we have these obligations in terms of correlative rights that future persons have against persons in the present. Attributing such rights to future persons is controversial, for there seem to be compelling arguments against the position. According to the “nonexistence” argument, future persons cannot have (...)
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  9. Forfeiture Theory and Symmetrical Attackers.Stephen Kershnar - 2017 - Criminal Justice Ethics 36 (2):224-245.
    In this paper, I defend the following thesis: The Problem of Symmetrical Attackers does not falsify forfeiture theory. The theory asserts that except in the case where violence is necessary to avoid a catastrophe, only those who forfeit their rights are liable for defensive violence. The problem focuses on the following sort of case. Symmetrical Attacker Case Al and Bob are doppelgangers. They both mistakenly but justifiably think that the other is about to attack him. They both respond with violence (...)
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  10. Proportionality in Self-Defense.Uwe Steinhoff - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (3):263-289.
    This article considers the proportionality requirement of the self-defense justification. It first lays bare the assumptions and the logic—and often illogic—underlying very strict accounts of the proportionality requirement. It argues that accounts that try to rule out lethal self-defense against threats to property or against threats of minor assault by an appeal to the supreme value of life have counter-intuitive implications and are untenable. Furthermore, it provides arguments demonstrating that there is not necessarily a right not to be killed in (...)
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  11. The Right of Necessity: Moral Cosmopolitanism and Global Poverty.Alejandra Mancilla - 2016 - Rowman & Littlefield International.
    What does the basic right to subsistence allow its holders to do for themselves when it goes unfulfilled? This book guides the reader through the morality of infringing property rights for subsistence, in a global context.
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  12. Why Human Rights? Because of You.Ariel Zylberman - 2016 - Journal of Political Philosophy 24 (3):321-343.
  13. Reply to Mark Friedman.Danny Frederick - 2015 - Reason Papers 37 (1):85-87.
    I reply to Mark Friedman's response to my review of his book, 'Nozick's Libertarian Project.' I restate what I take to be the key mistakes in Friedman’s arguments for individual rights and the minimal state. I outline the explanation of the right to freedom in terms of the human capacity for critical rationality, and the explanation of the poliitcial authority of the state in rule-consequentialist terms which do not appeal to consent.
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  14. Book Review: Retributivism Has a Past: Has It a Future?, Edited by Michael Tonry. [REVIEW]Stephen Kershnar - 2015 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 12 (1):112-115.
    Retributivism is the notion that punishment is justified because, and only because, the wrongdoer deserves it. Proportionality is central to retributivism. A proportional punishment is one in which the severity of a punishment is proportional to the seriousness of the offense (for example, its wrongness or harmfulness). Michael Tonry’s collection is must reading for punishments theorists. The articles are well-chosen and the reflections of theorists such as Andreas von Hirsch, R. A. Duff, and Douglas Husak who have shaped punishment theory (...)
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  15. Review Essay: Mark D. Friedman, 'Nozick’s Libertarian Project: An Elaboration and Defense'. [REVIEW]Danny Frederick - 2014 - Reason Papers 36 (1):132-42.
    Review of Mark Friedman's book 'Nozick’s Libertarian Project,' which is a defence of Robert Nozick's 'Anarchy, State, and Utopia.'.
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  16. Voluntary Slavery.Danny Frederick - 2014 - Las Torres de Lucca: Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política 3 (4):115-137.
    The permissibility of actions depends upon facts about the flourishing and separateness of persons. Persons differ from other creatures in having the task of discovering for themselves, by conjecture and refutation, what sort of life will fulfil them. Compulsory slavery impermissibly prevents some persons from pursuing this task. However, many people may conjecture that they are natural slaves. Some of these conjectures may turn out to be correct. In consequence, voluntary slavery, in which one person welcomes the duty to fulfil (...)
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  17. Doing, Allowing, and the State.Adam Omar Hosein - 2014 - Law and Philosophy 33 (2):235-264.
    The doing/allowing distinction plays an important role in our thinking about a number of legal issues, such as the need for criminal process protections, prohibitions on torture, the permissibility of the death penalty and so on. These are areas where, at least initially, there seem to be distinctions between harms that the state inflicts and harms that it merely allows. In this paper I will argue for the importance of the doing/allowing distinction as applied to state action. Sunstein, Holmes, Vermeule (...)
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  18. A Better World.Ryan Preston-Roedder - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (3):629-644.
    A number of moral philosophers have endorsed instances of the following curious argument: it would be better if a certain moral theory were true; therefore, we have reason to believe that the theory is true. In other words, the mere truth of the theory—quite apart from the results of our believing it or acting in accord with it—would make for a better world than the truth of its rivals, and this fact provides evidence of the theory’s truth. This form of (...)
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  19. Hoppe’s Derivation of Self-Ownership From Argumentation: Analysis and Critique.Danny Frederick - 2013 - Reason Papers 35 (1):92-106.
    Hans-Hermann Hoppe contends that the fact that a person has the capacity to argue entails that she has the moral right of exclusive control over her own body. Critics of Hoppe’s argument do not appear to have pinpointed its flaws. I expose the logical structure of Hoppe’s argument, distinguishing its pragmatic-contradiction and its mutual-recognition components. I provide three counterexamples to show that Hoppe’s mutual-recognition argument is invalid and I argue that the truth that appears to motivate the argument is simply (...)
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  20. Aksjologiczne podstawy polskiego prawa [The Axiological Basis of Polish Law].Marek Piechowiak - 2013 - In Tadeusz Guz, Jan Głuchowski & Maria Pałubska (eds.), Synteza prawa polskiego od 1989 roku. C. H. Beck. pp. 39-70.
    An axiological analysis of the basis of the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of Poland, determined mainly in the Preamble, makes it possible to put forward a thesis that this axiology is not, at least in reference to the principle, eclectic. In respect of the meta-axiological settlements, this is a tradition of natural-law type, recognizing the objective grounding of values and law. The accepted solutions are also convergent with the axiology typical of the international protection of human rights. -/- Résumé (...)
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  21. Natural Rights to Welfare.Siegfried Van Duffel - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (4):641-664.
    : Many people have lamented the proliferation of human rights claims. The cure for this problem, it may be thought, would be to develop a theory that can distinguish ‘real’ from ‘supposed’ human rights. I argue, however, that the proliferation of human rights mirrors a deep problem in human rights theory itself. Contemporary theories of natural rights to welfare are historical descendants from a theory of rights to subsistence which was developed in twelfth-century Europe. According to this theory, each human (...)
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  22. Defending the Right To Do Wrong.Ori J. Herstein - 2012 - Law and Philosophy 31 (3):343-365.
    Are there moral rights to do moral wrong? A right to do wrong is a right that others not interfere with the right-holder’s wrongdoing. It is a right against enforcement of duty, that is a right that others not interfere with one’s violation of one’s own obligations. The strongest reason for moral rights to do moral wrong is grounded in the value of personal autonomy. Having a measure of protected choice (that is a right) to do wrong is a condition (...)
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  23. The Morality of Faking Orgasms: Deception in a Dishonest World.Stephen Kershnar - 2012 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (1):85-104.
    In this essay, I argue that orgasm-faking is permissible. My essay consists of three parts. First, I provide a background sketch of the psychology of orgasm-faking. Second, I argue that it is permissible. Third, I consider other arguments that might be made for the permissibility of faking it.
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  24. A Liberal Theory of Asylum.Andy Lamey - 2012 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (3):235-257.
    Hannah Arendt argued that refugees pose a major problem for liberalism. Most liberal theorists endorse the idea of human rights. At the same time, liberalism takes the existence of sovereign states for granted. When large numbers of people petition a liberal state for asylum, Arendt argued, these two commitments will come into conflict. An unwavering respect for human rights would mean that no refugee is ever turned away. Being sovereign, however, allows states to control their borders. States supposedly committed to (...)
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  25. New Frontiers in the Philosophy of Intellectual Property.Annabelle Lever - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    The new frontiers in the philosophy of intellectual property lie squarely in territories belonging to moral and political philosophy, as well as legal philosophy and philosophy of economics – or so this collection suggests. Those who wish to understand the nature and justification of intellectual property may now find themselves immersed in philosophical debates on the structure and relative merits of consequentialist and deontological moral theories, or disputes about the nature and value of privacy, or the relationship between national and (...)
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  26. Godność w Karcie Praw Podstawowych Unii Europejskiej – destrukcja uniwersalnego paradygmatu ujęcia podstaw praw człowieka? [Dignity in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union – Destruction of the Universal Paradigm of Understanding of the Foundations of Human Rights?].Marek Piechowiak - 2012 - Themis Polska Nova 2 (1):126-146.
    Zasadniczym przedmiotem analiz tego opracowania jest pojęcie godności w Karcie praw podstawowych Unii Europejskiej z 7 grudnia 2000 r. Interpretacja Karty prowadzona jest z uwzględnieniem postanowień Traktatu z Lizbony z 13 grudnia 2007 r., który podniósł Kartę do rangi prawa traktatowego. Uwyraźnienie treści pojęcia godności w Karcie dokonywane jest przez pryzmat paradygmatu rozumienia godności utrwalonego już w prawie międzynarodowym praw człowieka na poziomie uniwersalnym, czyli prawa kształtowanego i funkcjonującego w ramach Organizacji Narodów Zjednoczonych. Paradygmat uniwersalny, w którego centrum znajduje się (...)
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  27. Extremely Harsh Treatment.Stephen Kershnar - 2011 - Reason Papers 33:60-81.
    Extremely harsh treatment (for example, unanesthetized tooth, branding with a hot iron, violent shaking, repeated beatings, and car-battery shocks to the genitalia) is often considered unjust. On different accounts, extremely harsh treatment fails to respect persons because it infringes on an absolute right, fails to respect a person’s dignity, constitutes cruel or inhumane treatment, violates rules that rational persons would choose under fair and equal choosing conditions, or results in a person losing his agency to another. Others respond that in (...)
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  28. Wishful Thinking in Moral Theorizing: Comment on Enoch.Rob van Someren Greve - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (4):447-450.
    David Enoch recently defended the idea that there are valid inferences of the form ‘it would be good if p, therefore, p’. I argue that Enoch's proposal allows us to infer the absurd conclusion that ours is the best of all possible worlds.
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  29. Bloom's Literary Themes: Civil Disobedience.Harold Bloom Blake Hobby (ed.) - 2010
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  30. Where Is the Civil in the Invisible Man's Disobedience?Brian E. Butler - 2010 - In Harold Bloom Blake Hobby (ed.), Bloom's Literary Themes: Civil Disobedience.
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  31. Hell, Threshold Deontology, and Abortion.Stephen Kershnar - 2010 - Philosophia Christi 12 (1):79-101.
    In this paper, I argue that Threshold-Hell Christianity conflicts with the pro-life position on abortion. The specific type of Christianity is that which also accepts threshold deontology and the existence of hell. Threshold deontology is the view that ordinarily moral duties consist of non-consequentialist side-constraints on the pursuit of the good but that in some cases these side-constraints are overridden. My strategy is to establish that a person who brings about an abortion guarantees that the aborted individual goes to heaven (...)
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  32. The Forfeiture Theory of Punishment: Surviving Boonin’s Objections.Stephen Kershnar - 2010 - Public Affairs Quarterly 24 (4):319-334.
    In this paper, I set out a version of the Forfeiture Theory of Punishment. Forfeiture Theory: Legal punishment is just or permissible because offenders forfeit their rights.On this account, offenders forfeit their rights because they infringed on someone’s rights. My strategy is to provide a version of the Forfeiture Theory and then to argue that it survives a number of initially intuitive seeming objections, most having their origins in the recent work of David Boonin.
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  33. Prawnonaturalny charakter klauzuli dobra wspólnego [Natural–Law Character of a Common Good Claus in the Polish Constitution].Marek Piechowiak - 2010 - In Agnieszka Choduń & Stanisław Czepita (eds.), W poszukiwaniu dobra wspólnego. Księga jubileuszowa Profesora Macieja Zielińskiego. Wydawnictwo Naukowe Uniwersytetu Szczecińskiego. pp. 597-611.
    W NINIEJSZYM opracowaniu analizuję klauzulę dobra wspólnego zawartą w art. 1 Konstytucji Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z 2 kwietnia 1997 r., zmierzając do uwyraźnienia, w jakim sensie można mówić o jej prawnonaturalnym charakterze (zatem i do zarysowania możliwych znaczeń zwrotu "prawnonaturalny charakter klauzuli dobra wspólnego") oraz do ujawnienia „momentów" prawnonaturalnych, które mogą wchodzić w grę przy interpretacji tej klauzuli.
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  34. Ari Kohen, In Defense Of Human Rights: A Non-Religious Grounding In A Pluralistic World. [REVIEW]Peter Higgins - 2009 - Human Rights Review 10 (2):291-293.
  35. Review of Hauke Brunkhorst, Habermas. [REVIEW]Marco Solinas - 2009 - Iride: Filosofia e Discussione Pubblica (56):253-254.
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  36. The Dependence of Libertarianism On.Siegfried Van Duffel - 2009 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 21 (1):117-124.
    G. E. Morton’s attempt to defend libertarianism against my claim that it relies on an implausible secularization of ideas of divine sovereignty fails. It is not true that morality itself entails human sovereignty, as witnessed by the moral theories of theological voluntarists and of consequentialists. Nor is it true that sovereignty can be conceptually transferred from God to equal human individuals, since they would have no legitimate way to legislate over each other short of a unanimous “general will.” Nor, finally, (...)
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  37. Mill and Barry on the Foundations of Liberal Rights.Alex Voorhoeve - 2009 - The Philosophers' Magazine 46:78-82.
    In On Liberty, Mill famously propounded a view of the good life as the autonomous life. On this view, it is crucial that people develop and exercise, to a high degree, their ability to reason independently about what to believe and what to aim at in life. It is also important that they be able to freely hold and express their beliefs and effectively act on their aims. As Mill put it: The mental and the moral, like the muscular, powers (...)
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  38. The Limits of Autonomy.Alex Voorhoeve - 2009 - The Philosophers' Magazine 46 (46):78-82.
    This short piece contrasts, and critically analyses, Brian Barry's and J.S. Mill's ideas about the foundations of liberal rights.
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  39. 'A Liberal Defence of Compulsory Voting': Some Reasons for Scepticism.Annabelle Lever - 2008 - POLITICS 28 (1):61-64.
    Liberal egalitarians such as Rawls and Dworkin, insist that a just society must try to make sure that socio-economic inequalities do not undercut the value of the vote, and of other political liberties. They insist on this not just for instrumental reasons, but because they assume that democratic forms of political participation can be desirable ends in themselves. However, compulsory voting laws seem to conflict with respect for reasonable differences of belief and value, essential to liberal egalitarians. Nor is it (...)
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  40. For Discrimination Against Women.Stephen Kershnar - 2007 - Law and Philosophy 26 (6):589 - 625.
    In this paper, I argue that it is morally permissible and should be legally permissible for state and private professional schools to discriminate against women. By professional schools, I mean law, medical, and business schools. More specifically, I argue that such schools may discount womens applications to the degree that they are likely to produce less than male counterparts. The argument differs with regard to state and private institutions because of the greater moral elbowroom that private institutions have. The argument (...)
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  41. Who Owns Me: Me Or My Mother? How To Escape Okin's Problem For Nozick's And Narveson's Theory Of Entitlement.Duncan MacIntosh - 2007 - In Malcolm Murray (ed.), Liberty, Games And Contracts: Jan Narveson And The Defense Of Libertarianism. Ashgate.
    Susan Okin read Robert Nozick as taking it to be fundamental to his Libertarianism that people own themselves, and that they can acquire entitlement to other things by making them. But she thinks that, since mothers make people, all people must then be owned by their mothers, a consequence Okin finds absurd. She sees no way for Nozick to make a principled exception to the idea that people own what they make when what they make is people, concluding that Nozick’s (...)
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  42. Liberty, Games And Contracts: Jan Narveson And The Defense Of Libertarianism.Malcolm Murray (ed.) - 2007 - Ashgate.
    Jan Narveson is one of the most significant contemporary defenders of the libertarian political position.
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  43. Defending the Argument.Robert H. Bass - 2006 - Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 7 (2):371-381.
    In "Egoism versus Rights," I argued that egoism is incompatible with rights. Here, I respond to two critics of that argument.
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  44. Egoism Versus Rights.Robert H. Bass - 2006 - Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 7 (2):329-349.
    I develop an argument that key theses from Ayn Rand's ethics and political philosophy are incompatible with one another. Her ethical egoism is not compatible with her rights theory. Though Rand's version of rights theory is libertarian, the argument does not depend upon any claims peculiar to her theory, but would apply to the (in)compatibility of ethical egoism and almost any plausible rights theory.
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  45. 4. The Mutual Limitation of Needs as Bases of Moral Entitlements: A Solution to Braybrooke’s Problem.Duncan Macintosh - 2006 - In Susan Sherwin & Peter Schotch (eds.), Engaged Philosophy: Essays in Honour of David Braybrooke. University of Toronto Press. pp. 77-100.
    David Braybrooke argues that meeting people’s needs ought to be the primary goal of social policy. But he then faces the problem of how to deal with the fact that our most pressing needs, needs to be kept alive with resource-draining medical technology, threaten to exhaust our resources for meeting all other needs. I consider several solutions to this problem, eventually suggesting that the need to be kept alive is no different in kind from needs to fulfill various projects, and (...)
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  46. Engaged Philosophy: Essays in Honour of David Braybrooke.Susan Sherwin & Peter Schotch (eds.) - 2006 - University of Toronto Press.
  47. The Moral Status of Sexual Fantasies.Stephen Kershnar - 2005 - Public Affairs Quarterly 19 (4):301-315.
    Sexual fantasy is a non-perceptual thought that is sexually arousing. It has several paradigmatic features. The structure of a fantasy involves an agent taking pleasure in an object that is often a visual depiction of an event. The fantasy is under the agent’s control and has a semantic content. Since mere sexual fantasizing about someone respects the individual who are depicted in the fantasy, the rightness of a sexual fantasy depends on whether consequentialism is true and, if so, whether the (...)
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  48. Assassination and the Immunity Theory.Stephen Kershnar - 2005 - Philosophia 33 (1-4):129-147.
    This paper argues for a policy of assassination. Foreign leaders causing unjust wars forfeit their rights against being killed. Killing them also satisfies the conditions on defensive violence that accompany forfeiture (consider, for example, imminence, necessity, and proportionality). Assassination sometimes maximizes the good. In some cases, then, assassination is right and good. A separate issue is whether it is good policy. To the extent that traditional just war theory disallows assassination, it should be revised or rejected.
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  49. For Interrogational Torture.Stephen Kershnar - 2005 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 19 (2):223-241.
    Interrogational torture is torture that is done in order to gain information. It is wrong if it either wrongs the person being interrogated or is a free-floating wrong. In the relevant cases, interrogational torture need not wrong the person being interrogated. This is because in many cases it doesn’t, and is known not to, infringe on the tortured person’s moral rights. It is not clear whether interrogational torture is a free-floating wrong since we lack confidence in judging whether it violates (...)
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  50. The Moral Argument for a Policy of Assassination.Stephen Kershnar - 2004 - Reason Papers 27:43-66.
    In some cases, the U.S. should adopt a policy of assassinating national leaders. On just war theory, national leaders are sometimes combatants. This is because some leaders are both causal and logical agents of an unjust military campaign. Such leaders occupy this logical role because in some cases their position has an essential link to their nation’s military projects. In addition, such a policy aligns with some of the policies that motivate just war theory in that assassination does not target (...)
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