Critics have charged that John Stuart Mill''s discussion as of paternalism in On Liberty is internally inconsistent, noting, for example, the numerous instances in which Mill explicitly endorses examples of paternalistic coercion. Similarly, commentators have noted an apparent contradiction between Mill''s political liberalism – according to which the state should be neutral among competing conceptions of the good – and Mill''s condemnation of non-autonomous ways of life, such as that of a servile wife. More generally, critics have argued that while (...) Mill professes an allegiance to utilitarianism, he actually abandons it in favor of a view that values personal autonomy as the greatest intrinsic good. This paper presents an interpretation of Mill that provides a viable and consistent treatment of paternalism, thereby refuting each of the aforementioned critiques. Mill''s views, it argues, are consistently utilitarian. Moreover, the interpretation accounts for all of Mill''s departures from his otherwise blanket prohibition of paternalistic legislation. In particular, it explains his most notorious example, the condemnation of voluntary contracts for slavery. The interpretation emphasizes Mill''s conceptual linkage between autonomy and utility, noting his implicit use of at least three different senses of the notion of autonomy. (shrink)
Can events that take place after an individual’s death affect that person’s weIl-being? Aristotle apparently thought that they could, but Mark Overvold disagrees. Like other contemporary moral theorists, Overvold analyzes the notion of a person’s utility or welfare in terms of the fulfillment of the individual’s desires, but he adds the important qualification that the desites must be for states-of-affairs in which the agent is an essential constituent. The clear implication of such a view is that our welfare cannot be (...) affected by the post-mortem satisfaction of any of the interests which we had while alive.I shall defend Overvold against his critics who insist that at least some posthumous satisfactions can contribute to a person’s welfare. I shall also argue against Brad Hooker’s proposal that we revise Overvold’s theory in order to account for such cases. (shrink)
Academic freedom and tenure, both cherished institutions of higher education, are currently under attack by many both outside and within the academy. Richard DeGeorge argues that they can be defended on ethical grounds only if they are joined with appropriate accountability, publicly articulated and defended standards, and conscientious enforcement of these standards by academic institutions and the members of the academic community.
Encounters with Alphonso Lingis is the first extensive study of this American philosopher who is gaining an international reputation to augment his national one. The distinguished contributors to this volume address most of the central themes found in Lingis's writings—including singularity and otherness, death and eroticism, emotions and rationality, embodiment and the face, excess and the sacred. The book closes with a new essay by Lingis himself.
The European project European and Latin American Systems of Ethics Regulation of Biomedical Research Project (EULABOR) has carried out the first comparative analysis of ethics regulation systems for biomedical research in seven countries in Europe and Latin America, evaluating their roles in the protection of human subjects. We developed a conceptual and methodological framework defining ‘ethics regulation system for biomedical research’ as a set of actors, institutions, codes and laws involved in overseeing the ethics of biomedical research on humans. This (...) framework allowed us to develop comprehensive national reports by conducting semi-structured interviews to key informants. These reports were summarised and analysed in a comparative analysis. The study showed that the regulatory framework for clinical research in these countries differ in scope. It showed that despite the different political contexts, actors involved and motivations for creating the regulation, in most of the studied countries it was the government who took the lead in setting up the system. The study also showed that Europe and Latin America are similar regarding national bodies and research ethics committees, but the Brazilian system has strong and noteworthy specificities. (shrink)