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Morals by Agreement

Oxford University Press (1986)

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  1. Artificial Intelligence as a Socratic Assistant for Moral Enhancement.Francisco Lara & Jan Deckers - 2020 - Neuroethics 13 (3):275-287.
    The moral enhancement of human beings is a constant theme in the history of humanity. Today, faced with the threats of a new, globalised world, concern over this matter is more pressing. For this reason, the use of biotechnology to make human beings more moral has been considered. However, this approach is dangerous and very controversial. The purpose of this article is to argue that the use of another new technology, AI, would be preferable to achieve this goal. Whilst several (...)
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  • Efficacité et moralité. Une analyse économique des conventions morales.Louis Corriveau - 1997 - Dialogue 36 (3):469-488.
    We expound an economic explanation of the nature, causes, and effects of moral conventions. We show, first, that systems of moral rules lead to Pareto-efficiency; second, that the efficiency they induce may be interpreted as the outcome of an exchange of courtesies; third, and finally, that moral exchange takes place whenever the costs of transaction are sufficiently low. We also explain various phenomena, including the diversity of moral rules in time and space. Finally, we give sufficient conditions for universal moral (...)
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  • The Moral Rationale for International Fiscal Law.Alexander W. Cappelen - 2001 - Ethics and International Affairs 15 (1):97-110.
    A country's right to levy taxes is a fundamental aspect of its sovereignty. Without the power to tax, a government would be unable to redistribute resources among its citizens and provide public goods.
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  • Gauthier, Equilibrium, and the Emergence of Morality.Brett Mullins - 2016 - Dialogue 55 (4):677-693.
    David Gauthier develops morality in the social contract tradition as an emergent property rationally necessitated by the presence of inefficiency. To demarcate situations in which morality arises from those in which it does not, two principles, Strategic Emergence and Market Emergence, are motivated and assumed by Gauthier to be equivalent. Following the work of Bob Bright, this paper formalizes and expands upon a demonstration of the inconsistency of the two principles. Eliminating each of the emergence conditions is considered to resolve (...)
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  • How to Solve Prichard's Dilemma: A Comlex Contractualist Account of Moral Motivation.Travis Rieder - 2015 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 9 (1):1-19.
    T. M. Scanlon’s contractualist account of morality is articulated alongside and built upon groundbreaking work on moral motivation. According to Scanlon, the central challenge of providing an account of moral motivation is navigating “Prichard’s Dilemma,” which requires that an account be both helpfully explanatory and morally relevant. Scanlon’s own solution is that one has a reason to act rightly because doing so is an aspect of living with others on terms they could accept. There is much to like about this (...)
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  • Social Contract Theory as a Foundation of the Social Responsibilities of Health Professionals.Jos V. M. Welie - 2012 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (3):347-355.
    This paper seeks to define and delimit the scope of the social responsibilities of health professionals in reference to the concept of a social contract. While drawing on both historical data and current empirical information, this paper will primarily proceed analytically and examine the theoretical feasibility of deriving social responsibilities from the phenomenon of professionalism via the concept of a social contract.
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  • The Poverty of Contractarian Moral Education.Matthew Clayton & David Stevens - 2019 - Journal of Moral Education 48 (4):501-514.
    ABSTRACTIn A Theory of Moral Education, Michael Hand claims that a directive moral education that seeks to persuade children that a particular conception of contractarian morality is justified can be undertaken without falling foul of the requirement not to indoctrinate. In this article, we set out a series of challenges to Hand’s argument. First, we argue that Hand’s focus on ‘reasonable disagreement’ regarding the status of a moral conception is a red-herring. Second, we argue that the endorsement of moral contractarianism (...)
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  • The Substantive Dimension of Deliberative Practical Rationality.Pablo Gilabert - 2005 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 31 (2):185-210.
    The aim of this paper is to propose a model for understanding the relation between substance and procedure in discourse ethics and deliberative democracy capable of answering the common charge that they involve an ‘empty formalism’. The expressive-elaboration model introduced here answers this concern by arguing that the deliberative practical rationality presupposed by discourse ethics and deliberative democracy involves the creation of a practical medium in which certain general basic ideas of solidarity, equality and freedom are expressed and elaborated in (...)
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  • Social Justice: Defending Rawls’ Theory of Justice Against Honneth’s Objections.Miriam Bankovsky - 2011 - Philosophy and Social Criticism 37 (1):95-118.
    This article argues that Honneth’s ‘plural conception of justice’, founded on a theory of recognition, does not succeed in distancing itself from Rawls’ liberal theory of justice. The article develops its argument by evaluating three major objections to Rawls’ liberalism raised by Honneth in his recent articles on justice: namely, first, that the parties responsible for choosing principles of justice are too individualistic and their practical reasoning too instrumentalist; second, that by taking as its ‘object-domain’ the negative liberty of persons, (...)
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  • Incommensurability and Moral Value.Mark R. Reiff - 2014 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 13 (3):237-268.
    Some theorists believe that there is a plurality of values, and that in many circumstances these values are incommensurable, or at least incomparable. Others believe that all values are reducible to a single super-value, or that even if there is a plurality of irreducible values these values are commensurable. But I will argue that both sides have got it wrong. Values are neither commensurable nor incommensurable, at least not in the way most people think. We are free to believe in (...)
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  • Taking Reasonable Pluralism Seriously: An Internal Critique of Political Liberalism.Fabian Freyenhagen - 2011 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (3):323-342.
    The later Rawls attempts to offer a non-comprehensive, but nonetheless moral justification in political philosophy. Many critics of political liberalism doubt that this is successful, but Rawlsians often complain that such criticisms rely on the unwarranted assumption that one cannot offer a moral justification other than by taking a philosophically comprehensive route. In this article, I internally criticize the justification strategy employed by the later Rawls. I show that he cannot offer us good grounds for the rational hope that citizens (...)
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  • Contractarian Ethics and Harsanyi’s Two Justifications of Utilitarianism.Michael Moehler - 2013 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 12 (1):24-47.
    Harsanyi defends utilitarianism by means of an axiomatic proof and by what he calls the 'equiprobability model'. Both justifications of utilitarianism aim to show that utilitarian ethics can be derived from Bayesian rationality and some weak moral constraints on the reasoning of rational agents. I argue that, from the perspective of Bayesian agents, one of these constraints, the impersonality constraint, is not weak at all if its meaning is made precise, and that generally, it even contradicts individual rational agency. Without (...)
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  • Justice as Mutual Advantage and the Vulnerable.Peter Vanderschraaf - 2011 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (2):119-147.
    Since at least as long ago as Plato’s time, philosophers have considered the possibility that justice is at bottom a system of rules that members of society follow for mutual advantage. Some maintain that justice as mutual advantage is a fatally flawed theory of justice because it is too exclusive. Proponents of a Vulnerability Objection argue that justice as mutual advantage would deny the most vulnerable members of society any of the protections and other benefits of justice. I argue that (...)
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  • Exclusion From the Social Contract.Paul Weirich - 2011 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 10 (2):148-169.
    Does rational bargaining yield a social contract that is efficient and so inclusive? A core allocation, that is, an allocation that gives each coalition at least as much as it can get on its own, is efficient. However, some coalitional games lack a core allocation, so rationality does not require one in those games. Does rationality therefore permit exclusion from the social contract? I replace realization of a core allocation with another type of equilibrium achievable in every coalitional game. Fully (...)
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  • Orthodox Rational Choice Contractarianism: Before and After Gauthier.Michael Moehler - 2016 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 15 (2):113-131.
    In a recent article, Gauthier rejects orthodox rational choice contractarianism in favor of a revisionist approach to the social contract that, according to him, justifies his principle of maximin proportionate gain as a principle of distributive justice. I agree with Gauthier that his principle of maximin proportionate gain cannot be justified by orthodox rational choice contractarianism. I argue, however, that orthodox rational choice contractarianism, before and after Gauthier, is still a viable approach to the social contract, although the scope of (...)
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  • Interpersonal Comparisons with Preferences and Desires.Jacob Barrett - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 18 (3):219-241.
    Most moral and political theories require us to make interpersonal comparisons of welfare. This poses a challenge to the popular view that welfare consists in the satisfaction of preferences or des...
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  • Morals From Rationality Alone? Some Doubts.J. P. Messina & David Wiens - 2020 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 19 (3):248-273.
    Contractarians aim to derive moral principles from the dictates of instrumental rationality alone. But it is well-known that contractarian moral theories struggle to identify normative principles that are both uniquely rational and morally compelling. Michael Moehler's recent book, *Minimal Morality* seeks to avoid these difficulties by developing a novel "two-level" social contract theory, which restricts the scope of contractarian morality to cases of deep and persistent moral disagreement. Yet Moehler remains ambitious, arguing that a restricted version of Kant's categorical imperative (...)
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  • Self-Organizing Moral Systems: Beyond Social Contract Theory.Gerald Gaus - 2018 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 17 (2):119-147.
    This essay examines two different modes of reasoning about justice: an individual mode in which each individual judges what we all ought to do and a social mode in which we seek to reconcile our judgments of justice so that we can share common rules of justice. Social contract theory has traditionally emphasized the second, reconciliation mode, devising a central plan to do so. However, I argue that because we disagree not only in our judgments of justice but also about (...)
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  • The Normative Significance of Conscience.Kyle Swan & Kevin Vallier - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 6 (3):1-21.
    Despite the increasing amount of literature on the legal and political questions triggered by a commitment to liberty of conscience, an explanation of the normative significance of conscience remains elusive. We argue that the few attempts to address this fail to capture the reasons people have to respect the consciences of others. We offer an alternative account that utilizes the resources of the contractualist tradition in moral philosophy to explain why conscience matters.
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  • Rights Forfeiture and Liability to Harm.Massimo Renzo - 2017 - Journal of Political Philosophy 25 (3):324-342.
  • Die Pflicht, Dem Menschen Seine Würde Zu Erhalten.Ralf Stoecker - 2010 - Zeitschrift Für Menschenrechte 2010 (1):98-116.
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  • Is Rawls Really a Kantian Contractarian?Baldwin Wong - 2016 - Public Reason 8 (1-2).
    In most of the introductions to Rawls and contemporary contractarianism, Rawls is seen as the representative of Kantian contractarianism. He is understood as inheriting a contractarian tradition that can be traced back to Kant and which has inspired followers such as Barry and Scanlon. This paper argues that the label does not fit Rawls. While a Kantian contractarian would presuppose a monistic conception of practical reason, Rawls is a hybrid contractarian who presupposes a dual conception. I shall first argue that (...)
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  • The Ethical Stance in Banking.Jesus Simeon Villa Villa - unknown
    Banks have a central role and importance in all commerce and hence in all societies. This thesis investigates the ethical basis of banking practice with the aim of developing an account of the virtues appropriate to bankers and banking. One central issue concerns a conflict between the interests of banks and their customers, and how this conflict plays out in relation to the lending policies and fee structure of banks. Such lending policies can have a significant effect on banks, their (...)
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  • Review: Self-Ownership and Equality: Brute Luck, Gifts, Universal Dominance, and Leximin. [REVIEW]Peter Vallentyne - 1997 - Ethics 107 (2):321 - 343.
  • A Justiça Intergeracional E A Metáfora Do Refúgio de Montanha.Axel Gosseries - 2011 - Philosophica -- Revista Do Departamento de Filosofia da Faculdade de Letras de Lisboa 38:121-141.
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  • Social Coordination or Social Cooperation? Ambiguities of Haslanger’s Approach to Social Life.Alexei Procyshyn - 2020 - Australasian Philosophical Review 3 (1):104-108.
    I argue that Haslanger’s account of ideology in ‘Cognition as a Social Skill’ does not seem to possess the normative resources it needs to diagnose non-distributive forms of social injustice withou...
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  • The Phylogeny of Rationality.John L. Pollock - 1993 - Cognitive Science 17 (4):563-588.
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  • Professor.Daniel M. T. Fessler - forthcoming - In Richard Joyce, Kim Sterelny & Brett Calcott (eds.), Signaling, Commitment, and Emotion. MIT Press.
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  • Bargaining and the Impartiality of the Social Contract.Johanna Thoma - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3335-3355.
    The question of what a group of rational agents would agree on were they to deliberate on how to organise society is central to all hypothetical social contract theories. If morality is to be based on a social contract, we need to know the terms of this contract. One type of social contract theory, contractarianism, aims to derive morality from rationality alone. Contractarians need to show, amongst other things, that rational and self-interested individuals would agree on an impartial division of (...)
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  • The Connection Between Prudential and Moral Goodness.Peter Vallentyne - 1993 - Journal of Social Philosophy 24 (2):105-128.
  • Contractarianism and the Assumption of Mutual Unconcern.Peter Vallentyne - 1989 - Philosophical Studies 56 (2):187 - 192.
    A contractarian moral theory states that an action (practice, social structure, etc.) is morally permissible if and only if it (or rules to which if conforms) would be agreed to by the members of society under certain circumstances. What people will agree to depends on what their desires are like. Most contractarian theories - for example those of Rawls (1971) and Gauthier (1986) - specify that parties to the agreement are mutually unconcerned (take no interest in each other's interests). Contractarian (...)
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  • Is Society-Centered Moral Theory a Contemporary Version of Natural Law Theory?David Copp - 2009 - Dialogue 48 (1):19-36.
    ABSTRACT: David Braybrooke argues that the core of the natural law theory of Thomas Aquinas survived in the work of Hobbes, Locke, Hume, and Rousseau. Much to my surprise, Braybrooke argues as well that David Copp’s society-centered moral theory is a secular version of this same natural law theory. Braybrooke makes a good case that there is an important idea about morality that is shared by the great philosophers in his group and that this idea is also found in Copp’s (...)
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  • Critical Notice of Aaron James, Fairness in Practice: A Social Contract for a Global Economy.Mathias Risse & Gabriel Wollner - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (3):382-401.
    Nobody has offered such a comprehensive philosophical approach to trade. Nonetheless, James's approach does not succeed. First, we explore James's constructivist method, which does less work than he suggests. The second topic is James's take on the different ‘grounds’ of justice. We explore the shortcomings of approaches that focus exclusively on trade. Our third topic is why James thinks trade is such a ground. The fourth topic is how James argues for his proposed ‘structural equity.’ This proposal remains under-argued. Our (...)
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  • The Evolution of Contractual Morality.Alejandro Rosas - 2011 - Ideas Y Valores 60 (147):209-222.
    Evolutionary explanations of altruism and human cooperation, first set forth by pioneers such as Darwin, Hamilton and Trivers, suggest that biology might be capable of offering a plausible scientific explanation of the core of human morality. According to this project, morality and human cooperation arise when resourcesare scarce; they cannot be exploited by isolated individuals; and individuals cannot maintain a long-term position of domination over others in order to advance their selfish ends. An important philosophical question that arises with respect (...)
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  • Game Theory and Ethics.Bruno Verbeek - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Game theory is the systematic study of interdependent rational choice. It should be distinguished from decision theory, the systematic study of individual (practical and epistemic) choice in parametric contexts (i.e., where the agent is choosing or deliberating independently of other agents). Decision theory has several applications to ethics (see Dreier 2004; Mele and Rawlings 2004). Game theory may be used to explain, to predict, and to evaluate human behavior in contexts where the outcome of action depends on what several agents (...)
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  • Associative Obligation and the Social Contract.Albert Weale - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):463-476.
    John Horton has argued for an associative theory of political obligation in which such obligation is seen as a concomitant of membership of a particular polity, where a polity provides the generic goods of order and security. Accompanying these substantive claims is a methodological thesis about the centrality of the phenomenology of ordinary moral consciousness to our understanding of the problem of political obligation. The phenomenological strategy seems modest but in some way it is far-reaching promising to dissolve some long-standing (...)
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  • Egalitarianism and the Great Recession: A Tale of Missed Connections?Pietro Maffettone - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (2):237-256.
    The main aim of this paper is to act as a corrective to the comparatively deafening silence of egalitarian political philosophy’s response to the Great Recession. The paper thus provides an accessible analysis of a new strand of empirical research into the causes of the crisis. This new literature, which has largely gone unnoticed by the broader philosophical community, maintains that the main driver of financial instability is income and wealth inequality coupled with income stagnation at the bottom of the (...)
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  • Conventions and Moral Norms: The Legacy of Lewis.Bruno Verbeek - 2008 - Topoi 27 (1-2):73-86.
    David Lewis’ Convention has been a major source of inspiration for philosophers and social scientists alike for the analysis of norms. In this essay, I demonstrate its usefulness for the analysis of some moral norms. At the same time, conventionalism with regards to moral norms has attracted sustained criticism. I discuss three major strands of criticism and propose how these can be met. First, I discuss the criticism that Lewis conventions analyze norms in situations with no conflict of interest, whereas (...)
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  • Moral Motivation: Kantians Versus Humeans (and Evolution).Laurence Thomas - 1988 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 13 (1):367-383.
  • On the Advantages of Cooperativeness.Fred Feldman - 1988 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 13 (1):308-323.
  • The Varieties of Impartiality, or, Would an Egalitarian Endorse the Veil?Justin P. Bruner & Matthew Lindauer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):459-477.
    Social contract theorists often take the ideal contract to be the agreement or bargain individuals would make in some privileged choice situation. Recently, experimental philosophers have explored this kind of decision-making in the lab. One rather robust finding is that the exact circumstances of choice significantly affect the kinds of social arrangements experimental subjects unanimously endorse. Yet prior work has largely ignored the question of which of the many competing descriptions of the original position subjects find most compelling. This paper (...)
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  • The Gauthier Contract: Applicable or Not?Jeremy Neill - 2017 - Res Publica 23 (1):1-22.
    In a 2013 article, David Gauthier noted upon the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Morals by Agreement that his contractarian approach to morality had found a niche among ‘some of those who remain unpersuaded by either Kantianism or utilitarianism’. In this article I will focus on Pareto optimization and I will argue that the Gauthier contract, even in spite of the article’s revisions, is still less useful for consultation purposes than Gauthier is assuming. To highlight the conceptual distance that (...)
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  • Contemporary Social Contract Theory and Hegel’s Master/Bondsman-Relation.Arthur Kok - 2015 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 18 (1):160-178.
    This contribution investigates whether Hegel’s critique of social contract theory is still applicable to contemporary contract theory proposed by, e. g., Rawls and Nozick. At first sight, they seem to have overcome the problems identified by Hegel because Rawls and Nozick appropriate the social contract as something essentially rational and normative. I argue, however, that for Hegel, their appeal to rational argumentation is not compatible with the concreteness of human individuals. A revised reading of the master/ bondsman-relation, emphasizing the role (...)
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  • Heller Velferdsstat Enn Borgerlønn.Aksel Braanen Sterri - 2020 - Norsk Filosofisk Tidsskrift 55 (2-03):126-140.
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  • Guise of the Good.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • The Normativity of Rationality.Benjamin Kiesewetter - 2017 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Kiesewetter defends the normativity of rationality by presenting a new solution to the problems that arise from the common assumption that we ought to be rational. He provides a defence of a reason-response conception of rationality, an evidence-relative account of reason, and an explanation of structural irrationality in relation to these accounts.
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  • Rational Cooperation and the Nash Bargaining Solution.Michael Moehler - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):577-594.
    In a recent article, McClennen (2012) defends an alternative bargaining theory in response to his criticisms of the standard Nash bargaining solution as a principle of distributive justice in the context of the social contract. McClennen rejects the orthodox concept of expected individual utility maximizing behavior that underlies the Nash bargaining model in favor of what he calls full rationality, and McClennen’s full cooperation bargaining theory demands that agents select the most egalitarian strictly Pareto-optimal distributional outcome that is strictly Pareto-superior (...)
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  • Respecting Disability.Adam Cureton - 2007 - Teaching Philosophy 30 (4):383-402.
    The goal of this paper is to offer some remarks about how teachers, especially teachers of moral theories and arguments, should respond to insulting messages about disability that may be expressed in their courses. While there is a strong prima facie presumption for instructors to convey the truth as they see it, this is not an absolute requirement when the views they teach have a tendency to be insulting. I investigate some circumstances in which a moral view embeds and expresses (...)
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  • What is Development?Eric Palmer - 2019 - In Lori Keleher & Stacy Kosko (eds.), Ethics, agency and democracy in global development. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 49-74.
    This chapter examines the relation of the Human Development or Capability Approach to liberal political theory. If development is enhancement of capabilities, then this chapter adds that development is human and social: development includes (1) the creation of value as a social process that is (2) a dialectical product of people in their relations. Specifically: (1) The place of the individual within political theory must be revised if the political subject is, as Carol Gould argues, an “individual-in-relations” rather than an (...)
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  • Book Review: Abby L. Wilkerson. Diagnosis: Difference: The Moral Authority of Medicine. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998. [REVIEW]Susan Sherwin - 2001 - Hypatia 16 (3):172-176.