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Shelly Kagan (1989). The Limits of Morality.

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  1.  97
    Nothing in Ethics Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution? Natural Goodness, Normativity, and Naturalism.Jay Odenbaugh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1031-1055.
    Foot , Hursthouse , and Thompson , along with other philosophers, have argued for a metaethical position, the natural goodness approach, that claims moral judgments are, or are on a par with, teleological claims made in the biological sciences. Specifically, an organism’s flourishing is characterized by how well they function as specified by the species to which they belong. In this essay, I first sketch the Neo-Aristotelian natural goodness approach. Second, I argue that critics who claim that this sort of (...)
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  2. 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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  3.  86
    The Demandingness of Morality: Toward a Reflective Equilibrium.Brian Berkey - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (11):3015-3035.
    It is common for philosophers to reject otherwise plausible moral theories on the ground that they are objectionably demanding, and to endorse “Moderate” alternatives. I argue that while support can be found within the method of reflective equilibrium for Moderate moral principles of the kind that are often advocated, it is much more difficult than Moderates have supposed to provide support for the view that morality’s demands in circumstances like ours are also Moderate. Once we draw a clear distinction between (...)
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  4. Ethical Reflections on Genetic Enhancement with the Aim of Enlarging Altruism.David DeGrazia - 2016 - Health Care Analysis 24 (3):180-195.
    When it comes to caring about and helping those in need, our imaginations tend to be weak and our motivation tends to be parochial. This is a major moral problem in view of how much unmet need there is in the world and how much material capacity there is to address that need. With this problem in mind, the present paper will focus on genetic means to the enhancement of a moral capacity—a disposition to altruism—and of a cognitive capacity that (...)
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  5.  72
    The Burdens of Morality: Why Act‐Consequentialism Demands Too Little.Tom Dougherty - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):82-85.
    A classic objection to act-consequentialism is that it is overdemanding: it requires agents to bear too many costs for the sake of promoting the impersonal good. I develop the complementary objection that act-consequentialism is underdemanding: it fails to acknowledge that agents have moral reasons to bear certain costs themselves, even when it would be impersonally better for others to bear these costs.
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  6. Against Strong Cognitivism: An Argument From the Particularity of Love.Hilla Jacobson - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (3):563-596.
    According to the view we may term “strong cognitivism”, all reasons for action are rooted in normative features that the motivated subject takes objects to have independently of her attitudes towards these objects. The main concern of this paper is to argue against strong cognitivism, that is, to establish the view that conative attitudes do provide subjects with reasons for action. The central argument to this effect is a top-down argument: it proceeds by an analysis of the complex phenomenon of (...)
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  7.  87
    IIA, Rationality, and the Individuation of Options.Tina Rulli & Alex Worsnip - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):205-221.
    The independence of irrelevant alternatives is a popular and important axiom of decision theory. It states, roughly, that one’s choice from a set of options should not be influenced by the addition or removal of further, unchosen options. In recent debates, a number of authors have given putative counterexamples to it, involving intuitively rational agents who violate IIA. Generally speaking, however, these counterexamples do not tend to move IIA’s proponents. Their strategy tends to be to individuate the options that the (...)
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  8. Satisficing and Motivated Submaximization (in the Philosophy of Religion).Chris Tucker - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (1):127-143.
    In replying to certain objections to the existence of God, Robert Adams, Bruce Langtry, and Peter van Inwagen assume that God can appropriately choose a suboptimal world, a world less good than some other world God could have chosen. A number of philosophers, such as Michael Slote and Klaas Kraay, claim that these theistic replies are therefore committed to the claim that satisficing can be appropriate. Kraay argues that this commitment is a significant liability. I argue, however, that the relevant (...)
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  9.  15
    II—Claim Rights, Duties, and Lesser-Evil Justifications.Helen Frowe - 2015 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 89 (1):267-285.
    This paper explores the relationship between a person's claim right not to be harmed and the duties this claim confers on others. I argue that we should reject Jonathan Quong's evidence-based account of this relationship, which holds that an agent A's possession of a claim against B is partly determined by whether it would be reasonable for A to demand B's compliance with a correlative duty. When B's evidence is that demanding compliance would not be reasonable, A cannot have a (...)
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  10. Demandingness, Well-Being and the Bodhisattva Path.Stephen E. Harris - 2015 - Sophia 54 (2):201-216.
    This paper reconstructs an Indian Buddhist response to the overdemandingness objection, the claim that a moral theory asks too much of its adherents. In the first section, I explain the objection and argue that some Mahāyāna Buddhists, including Śāntideva, face it. In the second section, I survey some possible ways of responding to the objection as a way of situating the Buddhist response alongside contemporary work. In the final section, I draw upon writing by Vasubandhu and Śāntideva in reconstructing a (...)
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  11.  75
    The Authority Account of Prudential Options.Keith Horton - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (1):17-35.
    The Authority Account provides a new explanation why commonsense morality contains prudential options—options that permit agents to perform actions that promote their own wellbeing more than the action they have most reason to do, from the moral point of view. At the core of that explanation are two claims. The first is that moral requirements are traditionally widely taken to have an authoritative status; that is, to be rules that morality imposes by right. The second is that in order for (...)
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  12.  78
    Soames and Moore on Method in Ethics and Epistemology.Sarah McGrath & Thomas Kelly - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (6):1661-1670.
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  13.  24
    Direct Moral Grounding and the Legal Model of Moral Normativity.Benjamin Alan Sachs - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):703-716.
    Whereas most moral philosophers believe that the facts as to what we’re morally required to do are grounded by the facts about our moral reasons, which in turn are grounded by non-normative facts, I propose that moral requirements are directly grounded by non-normative facts. This isn’t, however, to say that there is no place in the picture for moral reasons. Moral reasons exist, and they’re grounded by moral requirements. Arguing for this picture of the moral sphere requires playing both offense (...)
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  14.  44
    Kant and Moral Demandingness.Marcel van Ackeren & Martin Sticker - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (1):75-89.
    We discuss the demandingness of Kant’s ethics. Whilst previous discussions of this issue focused on imperfect duties, our first aim is to show that Kantian demandingness is especially salient in the class of perfect duties. Our second aim is to introduce a fine-grained picture of demandingness by distinguishing between different possible components of a moral theory which can lead to demandingness: a required process of decision making, overridingness and the stringent content of demands, due to a standpoint of moral purity. (...)
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  15.  79
    The Normative Requirement of Means-End Rationality and Modest Bootstrapping.Luis Cheng-Guajardo - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (3):487-503.
    “Myth theorists” have recently called the normative requirement of means-end rationality into question. I show that we can accept certain lessons from the Myth Theorists and also salvage our intuition that there is a normative requirement of means-end rationality. I argue that any appeal to a requirement to make our attitudes coherent as such is superfluous and unnecessary in order to vindicate the requirement of means-end rationality and also avoid the problematic conclusion that persons ought to take the means to (...)
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  16. 'Ought', 'Can', and Fairness.Rob van Someren Greve - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (5):913-922.
    According to the principle that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’, it is never the case that you ought to do something you cannot do. While many accept this principle in some form, it also has its share of critics, and thus it seems desirable if an argument can be offered in its support. The aim of this paper is to examine a particular way in which the principle has been defended, namely, by appeal to considerations of fairness. In a nutshell, the idea (...)
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  17.  6
    The Right Not to Know and the Duty to Tell: The Case of Relatives.Niklas Juth - 2014 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 42 (1):38-52.
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  18.  20
    The Public Ecology of Freedom of Association.Andres Moles - 2014 - Res Publica 20 (1):85-103.
    This paper defends the claim that private associations might be legitimately constrained by a requirement of reasonableness. I present a list of goods that freedom of association protect, and argue that the limits to associational freedom have to be sensitive to the nature of these goods. In defending this claim, I cast doubt on two popular liberal arguments: One is that attitudes cultivated in the private sphere are not likely to spill over into the public arena. The other is that (...)
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  19.  79
    Three Cheers for Double Effect.Dana Kay Nelkin & Samuel C. Rickless - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 89 (1):125-158.
    The doctrine of double effect, together with other moral principles that appeal to the intentions of moral agents, has come under attack from many directions in recent years, as have a variety of rationales that have been given in favor of it. In this paper, our aim is to develop, defend, and provide a new theoretical rationale for a secular version of the doctrine. Following Quinn (1989), we distinguish between Harmful Direct Agency and Harmful Indirect Agency. We propose the following (...)
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  20. 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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  21.  23
    Supererogation in an Ethics of Care.Rodney C. Roberts - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (3):597-602.
    Most philosophers who advance an ethics of care do not claim that their theories are meant to account for all of morality, or that they can, or should, replace the traditional Western philosophical approaches to moral theory. However, one care ethicist, Michael Slote, holds that his theory can be used to understand all of individual and political morality. Moreover, while Kantianism, utilitarianism, and both ancient and contemporary Aristotelian ethics are all uncomfortable with supererogation and are typically committed to assumptions that (...)
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  22.  81
    Making Sense of Discrimination.Re'em Segev - 2014 - Ratio Juris 27 (1):47-78.
    Discrimination is a central moral and legal concept. However, it is also a contested one. Particularly, accounts of the wrongness of discrimination often rely on controversial and particular assumptions. In this paper, I argue that a theory of discrimination that relies on premises that are very general and widely accepted provides a plausible account of the concept of wrongful discrimination. According to the combined theory, wrongful discrimination consists of allocating a benefit that is not supported by a morally significant fact, (...)
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  23. Defusing the Demandingness Objection: Unreliable Intuitions.Matthew Braddock - 2013 - Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (2):169-191.
    Dogged resistance to demanding moral views frequently takes the form of The Demandingness Objection. Premise (1): Moral view V demands too much of us. Premise (2): If a moral view demands too much of us, then it is mistaken. Conclusion: Therefore, moral view V is mistaken. Objections of this form harass major theories in normative ethics as well as prominent moral views in applied ethics and political philosophy. The present paper does the following: (i) it clarifies and distinguishes between various (...)
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  24. Agent-Neutral Deontology.Tom Dougherty - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (2):527-537.
    According to the “Textbook View,” there is an extensional dispute between consequentialists and deontologists, in virtue of the fact that only the latter defend “agent-relative” principles—principles that require an agent to have a special concern with making sure that she does not perform certain types of action. I argue that, contra the Textbook View, there are agent-neutral versions of deontology. I also argue that there need be no extensional disagreement between the deontologist and consequentialist, as characterized by the Textbook View.
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  25.  94
    Rule Consequentialism and Disasters.Leonard Kahn - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):219-236.
    Rule consequentialism (RC) is the view that it is right for A to do F in C if and only if A's doing F in C is in accordance with the the set of rules which, if accepted by all, would have consequences which are better than any alternative set of rules (i.e., the ideal code). I defend RC from two related objections. The first objection claims that RC requires obedience to the ideal code even if doing so has disastrous (...)
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  26.  85
    Should Utilitarianism Be Scalar?Gerald Lang - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (1):80-95.
    Scalar utilitarianism, a form of utilitarianism advocated by Alastair Norcross, retains utilitarianism's evaluative commitments while dispensing with utilitarianism's deontic commitments, or its commitment to the existence or significance of moral duties, obligations and requirements. This article disputes the effectiveness of the arguments that have been used to defend scalar utilitarianism. It is contended that Norcross's central does not succeed, and it is suggested, more positively, that utilitarians cannot easily distance themselves from deontic assessment, just as long as scalar utilitarians admit (...)
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  27.  23
    The Internet, Children, and Privacy: The Case Against Parental Monitoring.Kay Mathiesen - 2013 - Ethics and Information Technology 15 (4):263-274.
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  28.  49
    Whither Integrity I: Recent Faces of Integrity1.Greg Scherkoske - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (1):28-39.
    Despite the fact that most of us value integrity, and despite the fact that we readily understand one another when we talk and argue about it, integrity remains elusive to understand. Considerable scholarly attention has left troubling disagreement on fundamental issues: Is integrity in fact a virtue? If it is, what is it a virtue of? Why exactly should we value integrity? What is the appropriate way to have concern for one’s own integrity? Is having integrity compatible with having significant (...)
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  29.  60
    Whither Integrity II: Integrity and Impartial Morality.Greg Scherkoske - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (1):40-52.
    The idea that impartial moral theories – consequentialism and Kantian ethics in particular – were objectionably hostile to a person’s integrity was famously championed by Bernard Williams nearly 40 years ago. That Williams’‘integrity objection’ has significantly shaped subsequent moral theorizing is widely acknowledged. It is less widely appreciated how this objection has helped shape recent thinking about the nature and value of integrity itself. This paper offers a critical survey of main lines of response to this objection.
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  30.  96
    Killing, Wrongness, and Equality.Carlos Soto - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):543-559.
    This paper examines accounts of the moral wrongness of killing persons in addition to determining what conclusions, if any, can be drawn from the morality of killing persons about the equality of persons, and vice versa. I will argue that a plausible way of thinking about the moral wrongness of killing implies that the permissibility of killing innocent, nonthreatening persons depends on a person’s age. I address objections to this conclusion and discuss some potential implications of the view.
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  31.  43
    Consequentialism and Human Rights.William J. Talbott - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (11):1030-1040.
    The article begins with a review of the structural differences between act consequentialist theories and human rights theories, as illustrated by Amartya Sen's paradox of the Paretian liberal and Robert Nozick's utilitarianism of rights. It discusses attempts to resolve those structural differences by moving to a second-order or indirect consequentialism, illustrated by J.S. Mill and Derek Parfit. It presents consequentialist (though not utilitarian) interpretations of the contractualist theories of Jürgen Habermas and the early John Rawls (Theory of Justice) and of (...)
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  32.  74
    If This Is My Body … : A Defence of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing.Fiona Woollard - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3):315-341.
    I defend the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing: the claim that doing harm is harder to justify than merely allowing harm. A thing does not genuinely belong to a person unless he has special authority over it. The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing protects us against harmful imposition – against the actions or needs of another intruding on what is ours. This protection is necessary for something to genuinely belong to a person. The opponent of the Doctrine must claim that (...)
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  33.  84
    A Defence of the Asymmetry in Population Ethics.Per Algander - 2012 - Res Publica 18 (2):145-157.
    A common intuition is that there is a moral difference between ‘making people happy’ and ‘making happy people.’ This intuition, often referred to as ‘the Asymmetry,’ has, however, been criticized on the grounds that it is incoherent. Why is there, for instance, not a corresponding difference between ‘making people unhappy’ and ‘making unhappy people’? I argue that the intuition faces several difficulties but that these can be met by introducing a certain kind of reason that is favouring but non-requiring. It (...)
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  34.  48
    The Ethics of War. Part II: Contemporary Authors and Issues.Endre Begby, Gregory M. Reichberg & Henrik Syse - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (5):328-347.
  35. Logical Knowledge and Ordinary Reasoning.Corine Besson - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (1):59-82.
    This paper argues that the prominent accounts of logical knowledge have the consequence that they conflict with ordinary reasoning. On these accounts knowing a logical principle, for instance, is having a disposition to infer according to it. These accounts in particular conflict with so-called ‘reasoned change in view’, where someone does not infer according to a logical principle but revise their views instead. The paper also outlines a propositional account of logical knowledge which does not conflict with ordinary reasoning.
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  36.  86
    The Ratcheting-Up Effect.Vanessa Carbonell - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (2):228-254.
    I argue for the existence of a ‘ratcheting-up effect’: the behavior of moral saints serves to increase the level of moral obligation the rest of us face. What we are morally obligated to do is constrained by what it would be reasonable for us to believe we are morally obligated to do. Moral saints provide us with a special kind of evidence that bears on what we can reasonably believe about our obligations. They do this by modeling the level of (...)
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  37.  4
    International Rescue and Mediated Consequences.Ned Dobos - 2012 - Ethics and International Affairs 26 (3):335-353.
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  38.  6
    Requirement-Sensitive Legal Moralism: A Critical Assessment.Morten Ebbe Juul Nielsen - 2012 - Ratio Juris 25 (4):527-554.
    Requirement‐sensitive legal moralism is a species of legal moralism in which the legitimacy of turning moral into legal demands depends on the existence of a legitimate moral requirement, producing a legitimate social requirement, which can then ground a legitimate legal requirement. Crucially, each step is defeasible by contingent or instrumental, but not intrinsic moral factors. There is no genuinely moral sphere in which the law is not to interfere; only contingent, non‐moral factors can defeat this. Using William A. Edmundson's Three (...)
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  39.  58
    Internalization and Moral Demands.William Sin - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (2):163-175.
    How should we assess the burden of moral demands? A predominant assessment is provided by what Murphy calls the baseline of factual status-quo (FSQ): A moral theory is demanding if the level of agents’ well-being is reduced from the time they begin to comply perfectly with the theory. The aims of my paper are threefold. I will first discuss the limits of the FSQ baseline. Second, I suggest a different assessment, which examines moral demands from a whole-life perspective. My view (...)
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  40.  82
    The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing II: The Moral Relevance of the Doing/Allowing Distinction.Fiona Woollard - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (7):459-469.
    According to the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, the distinction between doing and allowing harm is morally significant. Doing harm is harder to justify than merely allowing harm. This paper is the second of a two paper critical overview of the literature on the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing. In this paper, I consider the moral status of the distinction between doing and allowing harm. I look at objections to the doctrine such as James’ Rachels’ Wicked Uncle Case and Jonathan (...)
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  41. The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing I: Analysis of the Doing/Allowing Distinction.Fiona Woollard - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (7):448-458.
    According to the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, the distinction between doing and allowing harm is morally significant. Doing harm is harder to justify than merely allowing harm. This paper is the first of a two paper critical overview of the literature on the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing. In this paper, I consider the analysis of the distinction between doing and allowing harm. I explore some of the most prominent attempts to analyse this distinction:. Philippa Foot’s sequence account, Warren (...)
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  42.  49
    Defending Gaita's Example of Saintly Behaviour.Young Elizabeth Drummond - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (2):191 - 202.
    Raimond Gaita's example of saintly love, in which the visit of a nun to psychiatric patients has profound effects on him, has been criticised for being an odd and unconvincing example of saintliness. I defend Gaita against four specific criticisms; firstly, that the nun achieves nothing spectacular, but merely adopts a certain attitude towards people; secondly, that Gaita must already have certain beliefs for the example to work; thirdly, that to be acclaimed a saint requires a saintly biography, not just (...)
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  43.  78
    The Nonworseness Claim and the Moral Permissibility of Better-Than-Permissible Acts.Adam D. Bailey - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (2):237-250.
    Grounded in what Alan Wertheimer terms the nonworseness claim, it is thought by some philosophers that what will be referred to herein as better-than-permissible acts —acts that, if undertaken, would make another or others better off than they would be were an alternative but morally permissible act to be undertaken—are necessarily morally permissible. What, other than a bout of irrationality, it may be thought, would lead one to hold that an act (such as outsourcing production to a sweatshop in a (...)
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  44.  77
    Recent Work on the Ethics of Self-Defense.Tyler Doggett - 2011 - Philosophy Compass 6 (4):220-233.
  45.  97
    Impartial Reasons, Moral Demands.Brian McElwee - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (4):457-466.
  46. The Moral Status of Enabling Harm.Samuel C. Rickless - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):66-86.
    According to the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, it is more difficult to justify doing harm than it is to justify allowing harm. Enabling harm consists in withdrawing an obstacle that would, if left in place, prevent a pre-existing causal sequence from leading to foreseen harm. There has been a lively debate concerning the moral status of enabling harm. According to some (e.g. McMahan, Vihvelin and Tomkow), many cases of enabling harm are morally indistinguishable from doing harm. Others (e.g. Foot, (...)
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  47. Moral Principles As Moral Dispositions.Luke Robinson - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 156 (2):289-309.
    What are moral principles? In particular, what are moral principles of the sort that (if they exist) ground moral obligations or—at the very least—particular moral truths? I argue that we can fruitfully conceive of such principles as real, irreducibly dispositional properties of individual persons (agents and patients) that are responsible for and thereby explain the moral properties of (e.g.) agents and actions. Such moral dispositions (or moral powers) are apt to be the metaphysical grounds of moral obligations and of particular (...)
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  48.  32
    If You’Re a Luck Egalitarian, How Come You Read Bedtime Stories to Your Children?Shlomi Segall - 2011 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (1):23-40.
  49.  87
    Intuitions and the Demands of Consequentialism.Matthew Tedesco - 2011 - Utilitas 23 (1):94-104.
    One response to the demandingness objection is that it begs the question against consequentialism by assuming a moral distinction between what a theory requires and what it permits. According to the consequentialist, this distinction stands in need of defense. However, this response may also beg the question, this time at the methodological level, regarding the credibility of the intuitions underlying the objection. The success of the consequentialist's response thus turns on the role we assign to intuitions in our moral methodology. (...)
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  50. Can There Be a Moral Duty to Cheat in Sport?Hugh Upton - 2011 - Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 5 (2):161 - 174.
    Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, Volume 5, Issue 2, Page 161-174, May 2011.
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