27 found

Year:

  1.  57
    Moral Obligation, Self-Interest and The Transitivity Problem.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (4):441-464.
    Is the relation ‘is a morally permissible alternative to’ transitive? The answer seems to be a straightforward yes. If Act B is a morally permissible alternative to Act A and Act C is a morally permissible alternative to B then how could C fail to be a morally permissible alternative to A? However, as both Dale Dorsey and Frances Kamm point out, there are cases where this transitivity appears problematic. My aim in this paper is to provide a solution to (...)
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  2.  17
    The Practice-Independence of Intergenerational Justice.Merten Reglitz - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (4): 415-440.
    The question whether distributive justice is at bottom practice-dependent or practice-independent has received much attention in recent years. I argue that the problem of intergenerational justice resolves this dispute in favor of practice-independence. Many believe that we owe more to our descendants than leaving them a world in which they can merely lead minimally decent lives. This thought is particularly convincing given the fact that it is us who determine to a significant extent what this future world will look like. (...)
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  3.  43
    Interpersonal Comparisons of the Good: Epistemic Not Impossible.Mathew Coakley - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):288-313.
    To evaluate the overall good/welfare of any action, policy or institutional choice we need some way of comparing the benefits and losses to those affected: we need to make interpersonal comparisons of the good/welfare. Yet sceptics have worried either: that such comparisons are impossible as they involve an impossible introspection across individuals, getting ; that they are indeterminate as individual-level information is compatible with a range of welfare numbers; or that they are metaphysically mysterious as they assume the existence either (...)
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  4.  22
    Original Position Models, Trade-Offs and Continuity.Steven Daskal - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):254-287.
    John Harsanyi has offered an argument grounded in Bayesian decision theory that purports to show that John Rawls's original position analysis leads directly to utilitarian conclusions. After explaining why a prominent Rawlsian line of response to Harsanyi's argument fails, I argue that a seemingly innocuous Bayesian rationality assumption, the continuity axiom, is at the heart of a fundamental disagreement between Harsanyi and Rawls. The most natural way for a Rawlsian to respond to Harsanyi's line of analysis, I argue, is to (...)
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  5.  92
    How to Use the Experience Machine.Eden Lin - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):314-332.
    The experience machine was traditionally thought to refute hedonism about welfare. In recent years, however, the tide has turned: many philosophers have argued not merely that the experience machine doesn't rule out hedonism, but that it doesn't count against it at all. I argue for a moderate position between those two extremes: although the experience machine doesn't decisively rule out hedonism, it provides us with some reason to reject it. I also argue for a particular way of using the experience (...)
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  6.  13
    Value and Preference Relations: Are They Symmetric?Mauro Rossi - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):239-253.
    According to Wlodek Rabinowicz's fitting-attitude analysis of comparative value, it is possible to analyse both standard and non-standard value relations in terms of the standard preference relations and two levels of normativity. In a recent article, however, Johan Gustafsson has argued that Rabinowicz's analysis violates a principle of valuepreference symmetry or he cannot make conceptual room for multiple permissible preferences.
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  7.  73
    Fairness and the Strengths of Agents' Claims.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):347-360.
    John Broome has proposed a theory of fairness according to which fairness requires that agents’ claims to goods be satisfied in proportion to the relative strength of those claims. In the case of competing claims for a single indivisible good, Broome argues that what fairness requires is the use of a weighted lottery as a surrogate to satisfying the competing claims: the relative chance of each claimant's winning the lottery should be set to the relative strength of each claimant's claim. (...)
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  8.  11
    Two Kinds of Value Pluralism.Miles Tucker - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):333-346.
    I argue that there are two distinct views called in contemporary axiology, but that these positions have not been properly distinguished. The first kind of pluralism, weak pluralism, is the view philosophers have in mind when they say that there are many things that are valuable. It is also the kind of pluralism that philosophers like Moore, Brentano and Chisholm were interested in. The second kind of pluralism, strong pluralism, is the view philosophers have in mind when they say there (...)
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  9.  89
    The Supererogatory and How Not To Accommodate It: A Reply to Dorsey.Alfred Archer - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (2):179-188.
    It is plausible to think that there exist acts of supererogation. It also seems plausible that there is a close connection between what we are morally required to do and what it would be morally good to do. Despite being independently plausible these two claims are hard to reconcile. My aim in this article will be to respond to a recent solution to this puzzle proposed by Dale Dorsey. Dorsey's solution to this problem is to posit a new account of (...)
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  10.  32
    A Humean Constructivist Reading of J. S. Mill's Utilitarian Theory.Nicholas Drake - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (2):189-214.
    There is a common view that the utilitarian theory of John Stuart Mill is morally realist and involves a strong kind of practical obligation. This article argues for two negative theses and a positive thesis. The negative theses are that Mill is not a moral realist and that he does not believe in certain kinds of obligations, those involving external reasons and those I call robust obligations, obligations with a particular, strong kind of practical authority. The positive thesis is that (...)
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  11.  33
    Comparative Harm, Creation and Death.Neil Feit - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (2):136-163.
    Given that a person's death is bad for her, when is it bad? I defend subsequentism, the view that things that are bad in the relevant way are bad after they occur. Some have objected to this view on the grounds that it requires us to compare the amount of well-being the victim would have enjoyed, had she not died, with the amount she receives while dead; however, we cannot assign any level of well-being, not even zero, to a dead (...)
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  12.  20
    Should We Prevent Optimific Wrongs?Andreas L. Mogensen - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (2):215-226.
    Most people believe that some optimific acts are wrong. Since we are not permitted to perform wrong acts, we are not permitted to carry out optimific wrongs. Does the moral relevance of the distinction between action and omission nonetheless permit us to allow others to carry them out? I show that there exists a plausible argument supporting the conclusion that it does. To resist my argument, we would have to endorse a principle according to which, for any wrong action, there (...)
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  13.  16
    Thomas Hurka, British Ethical Theorists From Sidgwick to Ewing , Pp. Xiv + 310.Jonas Olson - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (2):234-237.
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  14.  33
    Paternalism: An Analysis.Shane Ryan - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (2):123-135.
    In this article I argue for a particular analysis of paternalism. I start by examining Dworkin's conditions for the paternalist act and make a case for alternative conditions. I argue that the paternalist actor acts irrespective of what she believes the wishes of the target of her action are and the paternalist actor acts because she has a positive epistemic standing that the act may or will improve the welfare of the target of her action. I also argue that it (...)
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  15.  30
    Against Securitism, the New Breed of Actualism in Consequentialist Thought.Jean-Paul Vessel - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (2):164-178.
    In Commonsense Consequentialism: Wherein Morality Meets Rationality, Douglas Portmore introduces a novel position regarding the actualist securitism – a position he argues is theoretically superior to the standard views in both the actualist and possibilist camps. After distinguishing the two camps through an examination of the original Procrastinate case, I present Portmore's securitism and its implications regarding his modified Procrastinate case. I level two serious objections against securitism: that it implausibly implies that morality is radically more demanding for the virtuous (...)
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  16.  15
    Harry Frankfurt, On Inequality , Pp. Xi + 102.Paul Weithman - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (2):227-234.
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  17.  19
    Mill on Mental Health Acts.Alister Browne - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (1):1-18.
    Mental health acts allow for interference with the liberty of the individual. As such, they serve as test cases for theories of liberty, and thus the question of what Mill would think about them arises. My aim is to answer this question. I argue that Mill would embrace mental health acts to protect mentally disturbed individuals from themselves and others from them, and that they should have broad admission criteria, allow capable patients to refuse treatment, and have treatment decisions made (...)
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  18.  25
    Ethical Dilemmas of Sociability.Kimberley Brownlee - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (1):54-72.
    There is a tension between our need for associative control and our need for social connections. This tension creates ethical dilemmas that we can call each-we dilemmas of sociability. To resolve these dilemmas, we must prioritize either negative moral rights to dissociate or positive moral rights to social inclusion. This article shows that we must prioritize positive social rights. This has implications both for personal morality and for political theory. As persons, we must attend to each other's basic social needs. (...)
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  19.  21
    Roberts on Depletion: How Much Better Can We Do for Future People?Mark E. Greene - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (1):108-118.
    Suppose that Depletion will reduce the well-being of future people. Many of us would like to say that Depletion is wrong because of the harm to future people. However, it can easily be made to seem that Depletion is actually harmless – this is the non-identity problem. I discuss a particularly ingenious attempt by Melinda Roberts to attribute a harm to Depletion. I will argue that the magnitude of Roberts's harm is off target by many orders of magnitude: it is (...)
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  20.  27
    Morality, Accountability and the Wrong Kind of Reasons.Micah Lott - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (1):28-40.
    In The Second Person Standpoint, Stephen Darwall makes a new argument against consequentialism, appealing to: the conceptual tie between obligation and accountability, and the for holding others accountable. I argue that Darwall's argument, as it stands, fails against indirect consequentialism, because it relies on a confusion between our being right to establish practices, and our having a right to do so. I also explore two ways of augmenting Darwall's argument. However, while the second of these ways is more promising than (...)
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  21.  33
    Solving Rule-Consequentialism's Acceptance Rate Problem.Timothy D. Miller - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (1):41-53.
    Recent formulations of rule-consequentialism have attempted to select the ideal moral code based on realistic assumptions of imperfect acceptance. But this introduces further problems. What assumptions about acceptance would be realistic? And what criterion should we use to identify the ideal code? The solutions suggested in the recent literature all calculate a code's value using formulas that stipulate some uniform rate of acceptance. After pointing out a number of difficulties with these approaches, I introduce a formulation of RC on which (...)
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  22.  20
    Mill and the Gorgias.David A. Nordquest - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (1):19-27.
    John Stuart Mill thought himself more indebted to Plato for his mental culture than to any other author. A study of his Gorgias translation and notes shows that arguments in On Liberty and Utilitarianism for individuality, freedom of discussion and the superiority of higher pleasures were probably shaped by that dialogue.
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  23.  38
    Treating Others Merely as Means: A Reply to Kerstein.Lina Papadaki - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (1):73-100.
    At the heart of Kantian theory lies the prohibition against treating humanity merely as a means. Two of the most influential interpretations of what this means are Wood's and O'Neill's. Drawing on these thinkers' ideas, Kerstein formulates two accounts of what is involved in the idea of treating a person merely as a means: the and accounts. Kerstein's attempt is to show that they are problematic. He introduces his to alleviate the problems they face. I argue that the end-sharing and (...)
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  24.  29
    Weighting Surprise Parties: Some Problems for Schroeder.Olle Risberg - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (1):101-107.
    In this article I argue against Schroeder's account of the weight of normative reasons. It is shown that in certain cases an agent may have reasons she cannot know about without them ceasing to be reasons, and also reasons she cannot know about at all. Both possibilities are troubling for Schroeder's view.
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  25.  25
    Richard Kraut, Against Absolute Goodness , Pp. Xii+ 224.Julie Tannenbaum - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (1):119-122.
    In Against Absolute Goodness Richard Kraut aims to show that absolute goodness (or badness) is not reason-giving; it plays no role is justifying or requiring certain attitudes and no role in reasoning about what to do. It passes the buck (it never adds to the weightiness of more specific reasons) and so for practical purposes can be ignored. However, he claims that the notions of ‘a good R’ (e.g. a good play) and ‘good for S’ do justify certain attitudes and (...)
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  26.  2
    Calibrating QALYs to Respect Equality of Persons.Franklin Donald - 2016 - Utilitas:1-23.
    Comparative valuation of different policy interventions often requires interpersonal comparability of benefit. In the field of health economics, the metric commonly used for such comparison, quality adjusted life years (QALYs) gained, has been criticized for failing to respect the equality of all persons’ intrinsic worth, including particularly those with disabilities. A methodology is proposed that interprets ‘full quality of life’ as the best health prospect that is achievable for the particular individual within the relevant budget constraint. This calibration is challenging (...)
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  27.  6
    Scepticism About Virtue and the Five-Factor Model of Personality.Panos Paris - 2016 - Utilitas:1-30.
    Considerable progress in personality and social psychology has been largely ignored by philosophers, many of whom still remain sceptical concerning whether the conception of character presupposed by virtue theory is descriptively adequate. Here, I employ the five-factor model of personality, currently the consensus view in personality psychology, to respond to a strong reading of the situationist challenge, whereby most people lack dispositions that are both cross-situationally consistent and temporally stable. I show that situationists rely on a false dichotomy between character (...)
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