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Reasons and Persons

Oxford University Press (1984)

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  1. The Principle of Procreative Beneficence and its Implications for Genetic Engineering.Luvuyo Gantsho - 2022 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 43 (5):307-328.
    Molecular genetic engineering technologies such as CRISPR/Cas9 have made the accurate and safe genetic engineering of human embryos possible. Further advances in genomics have isolated genes that predict qualities and traits associated with intelligence. Given these advances, prospective parents could use these biotechnologies to genetically engineer future children for genes that enhance their intelligence. While Julian Savulescu’s Principle of Procreative Beneficence (PPB) argues for the moral obligation of prospective parents to use in-vitro fertilization and preimplantation genetic diagnosis to make eugenic (...)
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  • Motive and Right Action.Liezl van Zyl - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (2):405-415.
    Some philosophers believe that a change in motive alone is sometimes sufficient to bring about a change in the deontic status (rightness or wrongness) of an action. I refer to this position as ‘weak motivism’, and distinguish it from ‘strong’ and ‘partial motivism’. I examine a number of cases where our intuitive judgements appear to support the weak motivist’s thesis, and argue that in each case an alternative explanation can be given for why a change in motive brings about (or, (...)
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  • Should Future Generations Be Content with Plastic Trees and Singing Electronic Birds?Danielle Zwarthoed - 2016 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 29 (2):219-236.
    The aim of this paper is to determine whether the present generation should preserve non-human living things for future generations, even if in the future all the contributions these organisms currently make to human survival in decent conditions were performed by adequate technology and future people's preferences were satisfied by this state of affairs. The paper argues it would be wrong to leave a world without non-human living plants, animals and other organisms to future generations, because such a world would (...)
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  • Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis and Rational Choice Under Risk or Uncertainty.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics 40 (11):774-778.
    In this paper I present an argument in favour of a parental duty to use preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). I argue that if embryos created in vitro were able to decide for themselves in a rational manner, they would sometimes choose PGD as a method of selection. Couples, therefore, should respect their hypothetical choices on a principle similar to that of patient autonomy. My thesis shows that no matter which moral doctrine couples subscribe to, they ought to conduct the PGD (...)
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  • A Third Version of Constructivism: Rethinking Spinoza’s Metaethics.Peter D. Zuk - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2565-2574.
    In this essay, I claim that certain passages in Book IV of Benedict de Spinoza’s Ethics suggest a novel version of what is known as metaethical constructivism. The constructivist interpretation emerges in the course of attempting to resolve a tension between Spinoza’s apparent ethical egoism and some remarks he makes about the efficacy of collaborating with the right partners when attempting to promote our individual self-interest . Though Spinoza maintains that individuals necessarily aim to promote their self-interest, I argue that (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility for Distant Collective Harms.David Zoller - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (5):995-1010.
    While it is well recognized that many everyday consumer behaviors, such as purchases of sweatshop goods, come at a cost to the global poor, it has proven difficult to argue that even knowing, repeat contributors are somehow morally complicit in those outcomes. Some recent approaches contend that marginal contributions to distant harms are consequences that consumers straightforwardly should have born in mind, which would make consumers seem reckless or negligent. Critics reasonably reply that the bad luck that my innocent purchase (...)
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  • Advantageous Interventions: Will Someone Be Healed?Noam Zohar - 2012 - American Journal of Bioethics 12 (8):32 - 33.
    The American Journal of Bioethics, Volume 12, Issue 8, Page 32-33, August 2012.
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  • Risk, Rights, and Restitution.M. J. Zimmerman - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 128 (2):285-311.
    In “Imposing Risks,” Judith Thomson gives a case in which, by turning on her stove, she accidentally causes her neighbor’s death. She claims that both the following are true: (1) she ought not to have caused her neighbor’s death; (2) it was permissible for her to turn her stove on. In this paper it is argued that it cannot be that both (1) and (2) are true, that (2) is true, and that therefore (1) is false. How this is so (...)
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  • On the Fulfillment of Moral Obligation.Michael J. Zimmerman - 2006 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (5):577-597.
    This paper considers three general views about the nature of moral obligation and three particular answers concerning the following question: if on Monday you lend me a book that I promise to return to you by Friday, what precisely is my obligation to you and what constitutes its fulfillment? The example is borrowed from W.D. Ross, who in The Right and the Good proposed what he called the Objective View of obligation, from which he inferred what is here called the (...)
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  • Cooperation and Doing the Best One Can.Michael J. Zimmerman - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 65 (3):283 - 304.
    The view that what one ought, or is obligated, to do is the best that one can do faces a problem even from the perspective of someone sympathetic with the view: there are cases of group action where, through lack of cooperation, the best that can be done is not done and yet where, it seems, each individual does the best that he or she can do. In this paper, various attempts to deal with this problem are criticized and then (...)
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  • Neural Redundancy and Its Relation to Neural Reuse.John Zerilli - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1191-1201.
    Evidence of the pervasiveness of neural reuse in the human brain has forced a revision of the standard conception of modularity in the cognitive sciences. One persistent line of argument against such revision, however, cites the evidence of cognitive dissociations. While this article takes the dissociations seriously, it contends that the traditional modular account is not the best explanation. The key to the puzzle is neural redundancy. The article offers both a philosophical analysis of the relation between reuse and redundancy (...)
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  • Neural Reuse and the Modularity of Mind: Where to Next for Modularity?John Zerilli - 2019 - Biological Theory 14 (1):1-20.
    The leading hypothesis concerning the “reuse” or “recycling” of neural circuits builds on the assumption that evolution might prefer the redeployment of established circuits over the development of new ones. What conception of cognitive architecture can survive the evidence for this hypothesis? In particular, what sorts of “modules” are compatible with this evidence? I argue that the only likely candidates will, in effect, be the columns which Vernon Mountcastle originally hypothesized some 60 years ago, and which form part of the (...)
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  • Who Am I? When Do “I” Become Another? An Analytic Exploration of Identities, Sameness and Difference, Genes and Genomes.Kristin Zeiler - 2007 - Health Care Analysis 15 (1):25-32.
    What is the impact of genetics and genomics on issues of identity and what do we mean when we speak of identity? This paper explores how certain concepts of identity used in philosophy can be brought together in a multi-layered concept of identity. It discusses the concepts of numerical, qualitative, personal and genetic identity-over-time as well as rival concepts of genomic identity-over-time. These are all understood as layers in the multi-layered concept of identity. Furthermore, the paper makes it clear that (...)
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  • Addressing Suffering in Infants and Young Children Using the Concept of Suffering Pluralism.Amir M. Zayegh - 2022 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 19 (2):203-212.
    Despite the central place of suffering in medical care, suffering in infants and nonverbal children remains poorly defined. There are epistemic problems in the detection and treatment of suffering in infants and normative problems in determining what is in their best interests. A lack of agreement on definitions of infant suffering leads to misunderstanding, mistrust, and even conflict amongst clinicians and parents. It also allows biases around intensive care and disability to affect medical decision-making on behalf of infants. In this (...)
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  • Democracy, Children, and the Environment: A Case for Commons Trusts.Alex Zakaras - 2016 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 19 (2):141-162.
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  • Well-Being, Categorical Deprivation and Pleasure.Yossi Yonah - 2001 - Philosophia 28 (1-4):233-253.
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  • Well-Being, Categorical Deprivation and the Role of Education.Yossi Yonah - 1994 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 28 (2):191–204.
  • Towards a Dialogue Between Utilitarianism and Medicine.Y. Michael Barilan - 2004 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 7 (2):163-173.
    Utilitarianism focuses on the optimization of personal well being in ways that seems to make the practice of medicine irrelevant to the well being of the practitioners, unless given external incentives such as money or honor. Care based on indirect incentives is considered inferior to care motivated internally. This leads to the paradox of utilitarian care. Following Nozick's conceptual Pleasure Machine it is argued that in addition to the promotion of personal well being, people care about fulfilling their well being (...)
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  • The Neutrality of Life.Andrew Y. Lee - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-19.
    Some think that life is worth living not merely because of the goods and the bads within it, but also because life itself is good. I explain how this idea can be formalized by associating each version of the view with a function from length of life to the value generated by life itself. Then I argue that every version of the view that life itself is good faces some version of the following dilemma: either (1) good human lives are (...)
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  • Non-Branching Clause.Huiyuhl Yi - 2010 - Metaphysica 11 (2):191-210.
    The central claim of the Parfitian psychological approach to personal identity is that the fact about personal identity is underpinned by a non-branching psychological continuity relation. Hence, for the advocates of the Parfitian view, it is important to understand what it is for a relation to take or not take a branching form. Nonetheless, very few attempts have been made in the literature of personal identity to define the non-branching clause. This paper undertakes this task. Drawing upon a recent debate (...)
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  • Brueckner and Fischer on the Evil of Death.Huiyuhl Yi - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (2):295-303.
    A primary argument against the badness of death (known as the Symmetry Argument) appeals to an alleged symmetry between prenatal and posthumous nonexistence. The Symmetry Argument has posed a serious threat to those who hold that death is bad because it deprives us of life’s goods that would have been available had we died later. Anthony Brueckner and John Martin Fischer develop an influential strategy to cope with the Symmetry Argument. In their attempt to break the symmetry, they claim that (...)
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  • Against Psychological Sequentialism.Huiyuhl Yi - 2014 - Axiomathes 24 (2):247-262.
    Psychological Sequentialism holds that no causal constraint is necessary for the preservation of what matters in survival; rather, it is sufficient for preservation if two groups of mental states are similar enough and temporally close enough. Suppose that one’s body is instantaneously dematerialized and subsequently, by an amazing coincidence, a collection of molecules is configured to form a qualitatively identical human body. According to Psychological Sequentialism, these events preserve what matters in survival. In this article, I examine some of the (...)
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  • What Should We Do About Future Generations?Yew-Kwang Ng - 1989 - Economics and Philosophy 5 (2):235.
    Parfit's requirements for an ideal Theory X cannot be fully met since the Mere Addition Principle and Non-Antiegalitarianism imply the Repugnant Conclusion: Theory X does not exist. However, since the Repugnant Conclusion is really compelling, the Impersonal Total Principle should be adopted for impartial comparisons concerning future generations. Nevertheless, where our own interests are affected, we may yet choose to be partial, trading off our concern for future goodness with our self-interests. Theory X' meets all Parfit's requirements except the Mere (...)
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  • Dualism all the way down: why there is no paradox of phenomenal judgment.Helen Yetter-Chappell - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-24.
    Epiphenomenalist dualists hold that certain physical states give rise to non-physical conscious experiences, but that these non-physical experiences are themselves causally inefficacious. Among the most pressing challenges facing epiphenomenalists is the so-called “paradox of phenomenal judgment”, which challenges epiphenomenalism’s ability to account for our knowledge of our own conscious experiences. According to this objection, we lack knowledge of the very thing that epiphenomenalists take physicalists to be unable to explain. By developing an epiphenomenalist theory of subjects and mental states, this (...)
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  • A Bayesian Analysis of Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Shang Long Yeo - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1673-1692.
    Debunking arguments in ethics contend that our moral beliefs have dubious evolutionary, cultural, or psychological origins—hence concluding that we should doubt such beliefs. Debates about debunking are often couched in coarse-grained terms—about whether our moral beliefs are justified or not, for instance. In this paper, I propose a more detailed Bayesian analysis of debunking arguments, which proceeds in the fine-grained framework of rational confidence. Such analysis promises several payoffs: it highlights how debunking arguments don’t affect all agents, but rather only (...)
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  • Quality Time: Temporal and Other Aspects of Ethical Principles Based on a “Life Worth Living”. [REVIEW]James Yeates - 2012 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (4):607-624.
    The evaluation of whether an animal has a life worth living (LWL) has been suggested as a useful concept for farm animal policymaking. But there are a number of different ways in which the concept could be applied. This paper attempts to identify and evaluate candidate ethical principles based on the concept. It suggests that an appropriate principle by which to apply the concept is one that (1) is framed in terms of preventing an animal having a life worth avoiding (...)
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  • Epicurus, Death and Grammar.Hektor K. T. Yan - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):223-242.
    Using the Epicurean position on death as a starting point, this article re-examines the basic assumptions of philosophers regarding their views on whether death should be seen as a bad. It questions the positions of philosophers such as Thomas Nagel and Derek Parfit by applying Wittgenstein’s notion of grammar as developed by G. P. Baker and P. M. S. Hacker. While philosophers may characterize questions such as ‘What is the nature of death?’ and ‘Is death a bad?’ as metaphysical, I (...)
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  • Action Always Involves Attention.Wayne Wu - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):693-703.
    Jennings and Nanay argue against my claim that action entails attention by providing putative counterexamples to the claim that action entails a Many–Many Problem. This reply demonstrates that they have misunderstood the central notion of a pure reflex on which my argument depends. A simplified form of the argument from pure reflex to the Many–Many Problem as a necessary feature of agency is given, and putative counterexamples of action without attention are addressed. Attention is present in every action. In passing, (...)
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  • Objective Consequentialism and the Plurality of Chances.Leszek Wroński - 2021 - Synthese 198 (12):12089-12105.
    I claim that objective consequentialism faces a problem stemming from the existence in some situations of a plurality of chances relevant to the outcomes of an agent’s acts. I suggest that this phenomenon bears structural resemblance to the well-known Reference Class problem. I outline a few ways in which one could attempt to deal with the issue, suggesting that it is the higher-level chance that should be employed by OC.
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  • The Leibniz’s Law Problem.Stephen Wright - 2010 - Metaphysica 11 (2):137-151.
    Stage theorists invoke the idea of counterpart relations to make sense of how objects are able to persist despite their claim that an object is identical with a single instantaneous stage. According to stage theorists, an object persists if and only if it has a later counterpart that bears the appropriate counterpart relation of identity to it. Whilst objects can and do persist, stages cannot and do not. This seems to amount to a refutation of Leibniz’s law. Stage theorists think (...)
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  • Harm to Future Persons: Non-Identity Problems and Counterpart Solutions.Anthony Wrigley - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (2):175-190.
    Non-Identity arguments have a pervasive but sometimes counter-intuitive grip on certain key areas in ethics. As a result, there has been limited success in supporting the alternative view that our choices concerning future generations can be considered harmful on any sort of person-affecting principle. However, as the Non-Identity Problem relies overtly on certain metaphysical assumptions, plausible alternatives to these foundations can substantially undermine the Non-Identity argument itself. In this paper, I show how the pervasive force and nature of Non-Identity arguments (...)
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  • Rationality and the Unit of Action.Christopher Woodard - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (2):261-277.
    This paper examines the idea of an extended unit of action, which is the idea that the reasons for or against an individual action can depend on the qualities of a larger pattern of action of which it is a part. One concept of joint action is that the unit of action can be extended in this sense. But the idea of an extended unit of action is surprisingly minimal in its commitments. The paper argues for this conclusion by examining (...)
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  • Pedro’s Significance.Christopher Woodard - 2009 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 47 (3):301-319.
    Williams’s famous story of Jim exemplifies a general class of dilemmas caused by recalcitrant agents. Like Williams himself, most commentators have focused on Jim and the idea that he has special responsibility for his actions. This paper shifts attention to Pedro, exploring his significance in the story and arguing that Jim has a reason not to shoot that depends on Pedro’s best possible response. In so doing, it sketches a new approach to the general class of dilemmas posed by recalcitrant (...)
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  • Persons and Personal Identity.Simon Woods - 2000 - Nursing Philosophy 1 (2):169-172.
  • Have We Solved the Non-Identity Problem?Fiona Woollard - 2012 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (5):677-690.
    Our pollution of the environment seems set to lead to widespread problems in the future, including disease, scarcity of resources, and bloody conflicts. It is natural to think that we are required to stop polluting because polluting harms the future individuals who will be faced with these problems. This natural thought faces Derek Parfit’s famous Non-Identity Problem ( 1984 , pp. 361–364). The people who live on the polluted earth would not have existed if we had not polluted. Our polluting (...)
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  • Best Interests: Puzzles and Plausible Solutions at the End of Life. [REVIEW]Simon Woods - 2008 - Health Care Analysis 16 (3):279-287.
    This paper argues that the concept of best interests in the context of clinical decisions draws on concepts rooted in the philosophical discipline of axiology. Reflection on the philosophical origins enables a distinction to be drawn between those interests related to clinical goals and those global interests that are axiological in nature. The implication of this distinction is most clearly seen in the context of end of life decisions and it is argued here that greater weight ought to be given (...)
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  • Social Choice and Normative Population Theory: A Person Affecting Solution to Parfit's Mere Addition Paradox.Clark Wolf - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 81 (2-3):263 - 282.
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  • It Is Time to Consult the Children: A Mother Who Faced Mitochondrial Replacement and Her Son Consider the Limits of Genetic Modification.Susan M. Wolf & Jacob S. Borgida - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (8):41-43.
    Volume 20, Issue 8, August 2020, Page 41-43.
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  • Life, Death, and Harm: Staying Within the Boundaries of Nonmaleficence.Sandra Woien - 2008 - American Journal of Bioethics 8 (11):31 – 32.
  • Case Study of R-1234yf Refrigerant: Implications for the Framework for Responsible Innovation.Rafał Wodzisz - 2015 - Science and Engineering Ethics 21 (6):1413-1433.
    Safety and care for the natural environment are two of the most important values that drive scientific enterprise in twentieth century. Researchers and innovators often develop new technologies aimed at pollution reduction, and therefore satisfy the strive for fulfilment of these values. This work is often incentivized by policy makers. According to EU directive 2006/40/EC on mobile air conditioning since 2013 all newly approved vehicles have to be filled with refrigerant with low global warming potential. Extensive and expensive research financed (...)
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  • Middle Ground on Liability for Costs?Joachim Wündisch - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):3097-3115.
    On the strict liability view, excusably ignorant agents must cover all the wrongful costs they have inadvertently brought onto others, although it is undisputed that they are not at fault. On the fault liability view, victims need not be compensated by excusably ignorant harmers. To some, both views appear harsh. Under fault liability, those who cause harm are seen as getting off scot-free while victims suffer. Under strict liability, agents are viewed as being burdened without any fault of their own. (...)
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  • Value Based on Preferences.Wlodek Rabinowicz & Jan Österberg - 1996 - Economics and Philosophy 12 (1):1.
    What distinguishes preference utilitarianism from other utilitarian positions is the axiological component: the view concerning what is intrinsically valuable. According to PU, intrinsic value is based on preferences. Intrinsically valuable states are connected to our preferences being satisfied.
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  • Identity Change and Informed Consent.Karsten Witt - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (6):384-390.
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  • Demenz und personale Identität.Karsten Witt - 2018 - Zeitschrift für Praktische Philosophie 5 (1):153-180.
    Viele Menschen halten Patientenverfügungen für ein geeignetes Mittel, um selbstbestimmt zu entscheiden, wie mit ihnen im Fall schwerer Demenz umgegangen werden soll. Die meisten Bioethiker stimmen ihnen zu: Demenzverfügungen seien Ausdruck der „verlängerten Autonomie“ der Patientin. Doch ob sie recht haben, ist unklar. Dem viel beachteten Identitätseinwand zufolge sind die Ausstellerin der Verfügung und ihre schwer demente Nachfolgerin numerisch verschieden: Sie sind zwei und nicht eins. Wenn das stimmt, kann die Ausstellerin nicht verfügen, wie mit ihr im Falle schwerer Demenz (...)
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  • Deep Brain Stimulation and the Search for Identity.Karsten Witt, Jens Kuhn, Lars Timmermann, Mateusz Zurowski & Christiane Woopen - 2011 - Neuroethics 6 (3):499-511.
    Ethical evaluation of deep brain stimulation as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease is complicated by results that can be described as involving changes in the patient’s identity. The risk of becoming another person following surgery is alarming for patients, caregivers and clinicians alike. It is one of the most urgent conceptual and ethical problems facing deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease at this time. In our paper we take issue with this problem on two accounts. First, we elucidate what is (...)
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  • Parenting and Intergenerational Justice: Why Collective Obligations Towards Future Generations Take Second Place to Individual Responsibility. [REVIEW]M. L. J. Wissenburg - 2011 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 24 (6):557-573.
    Theories of intergenerational obligations usually take the shape of theories of distributive (social) justice. The complexities involved in intergenerational obligations force theorists to simplify. In this article I unpack two popular simplifications: the inevitability of future generations, and the Hardinesque assumption that future individuals are a burden on society but a benefit to parents. The first assumption obscures the fact that future generations consist of individuals whose existence can be a matter of voluntary choice, implying that there are individuals who (...)
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  • What is the Harm in Harmful Conception? On Threshold Harms in Non-Identity Cases.Nicola J. Williams & John Harris - 2014 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 35 (5):337-351.
    Has the time come to put to bed the concept of a harm threshold when discussing the ethics of reproductive decision making and the legal limits that should be placed upon it? In this commentary, we defend the claim that there exist good moral reasons, despite the conclusions of the non-identity problem, based on the interests of those we might create, to refrain from bringing to birth individuals whose lives are often described in the philosophical literature as ‘less than worth (...)
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  • Wrongful Life and Abortion.Jeremy Williams - 2010 - Res Publica 16 (4):351-366.
    According to theories of wrongful life (WL), the imposition upon a child of an existence of poor quality can constitute an act of harming, and a violation of the child’s rights. The idea that there can be WLs may seem intuitively compelling. But, as this paper argues, liberals who commit themselves to WL theories may have to compromise some of their other beliefs. For they will thereby become committed to the claim that some women are under a stringent moral duty (...)
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  • Valuing life and evaluating suffering in infants with life-limiting illness.Dominic Wilkinson & Amir Zayegh - 2020 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 41 (4):179-196.
    In this paper, we explore three separate questions that are relevant to assessing the prudential value of life in infants with severe life-limiting illness. First, what is the value or disvalue of a short life? Is it in the interests of a child to save her life if she will nevertheless die in infancy or very early childhood? Second, how does profound cognitive impairment affect the balance of positives and negatives in a child’s future life? Third, if the life of (...)
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  • The Survival of the Sentient.Peter Unger - 2000 - Philosophical Perspectives 14:325-348.
    In this quite modestly ambitious essay, I'll generally just assume that, for the most part, our "scientifically informed" commonsense view of the world is true. Just as it is with such unthinking things as planets, plates and, I suppose, plants, too, so it also is with all earthly thinking beings, from people to pigs and pigeons; each occupies a region of space, however large or small, in which all are spatially related to each other. Or, at least, so it is (...)
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