A great deal of scholarly attention has been paid to coercion. Less attention has been paid to what might be a more pervasive form of influence: manipulation. The essays in this volume address this relative imbalance by focusing on manipulation, examining its nature, moral status, and its significance in personal and social life.
Is it allowable for your government, or anyone else, to influence or coerce you 'for your own sake'? This is a question about paternalism, or interference with a person's liberty or autonomy with the intention of promoting their good or averting harm, which has created considerable controversy at least since John Stuart Mill's On Liberty. Mill famously decried paternalism of any kind, whether carried out by private individuals or the state. In this volume of new essays, leading moral, political and (...) legal philosophers address how to define paternalism, its justification, and the implications for public policy, professional ethics and criminal law. So-called 'libertarian' or non-coercive paternalism receives considerable attention. The discussion addresses the nature of freedom and autonomy and the relation of individuals to law, policy and the state. The volume will interest a wide range of readers in political philosophy, public policy and the philosophy of law. (shrink)
I first argue that there are many true claims of the form: Φ-ing would be morally required, if anything is. I then explain why the following conditional-type is true: If φ-ing would be morally required, if anything is, then anything is actually morally required. These results allow us to construct valid proofs for the existence of some substantive moral facts—proofs that some particular acts really are morally required. Most importantly, none of my argumentation presupposes any substantive moral claim; I use (...) only plausible claims that most moral skeptics and error theorists can and do accept. The final section diagnoses why my arguments work. Here, I offer an explanation for the supervenience of the moral on the non-moral that may help those worried that the strategy is a sophisticated trick. I conclude by considering two objections. In replying to these objections, I explain why the strategy may allow us to demonstrate more than “obvious” moral truths, and why it may also address a stronger version of error theory, according to which, moral truths are not possible. (shrink)
The fifteen new essays collected in this volume address questions concerning the ethics of self-defense, most centrally when and to what extent the use of defensive force, especially lethal force, can be justified. Scholarly interest in this topic reflects public concern stemming from controversial cases of the use of force by police, and military force exercised in the name of defending against transnational terrorism. The contributors pay special attention to determining when a threat is liable to defensive harm, though doubts (...) about this emphasis are also raised. The legitimacy of so-called "stand your ground" policies and laws is also addressed. This volume will be of great interest to readers in moral, political, and legal philosophy. (shrink)
We argue that the dead donor rule, which states that multiple vital organs should only be taken from dead patients, is justified neither in principle nor in practice. We use a thought experiment and a guiding assumption in the literature about the justification of moral principles to undermine the theoretical justification for the rule. We then offer two real world analogues to this thought experiment, voluntary active euthanasia and capital punishment, and argue that the moral permissibility of terminating any patient (...) through the removal of vital organs cannot turn on whether or not the practice violates the dead donor rule.Next, we consider practical justifications for the dead donor rule. Specifically, we consider whether there are compelling reasons to promulgate the rule even though its corresponding moral principle is not theoretically justified. We argue that there are no such reasons. In fact, we argue that promulgating the rule may actually decrease public trust in organ procurement procedures and medical institutions generally – even in states that do not permit capital punishment or voluntary active euthanasia.Finally, we examine our case against the dead donor rule in the light of common arguments for it. We find that these arguments are often misplaced – they do not support the dead donor rule. Instead, they support the quite different rule that patients should not be killed for their vital organs. (shrink)
In “Vindicating the Normativity of Rationality,” Nicholas Southwood proposes that rational requirements are best understood as demands of one’s “first-personal standpoint.” Southwood argues that this view can “explain the normativity or reason-giving force” of rationality by showing that they “are the kinds of thing that are, by their very nature, normative.” We argue that the proposal fails on three counts: First, we explain why demands of one’s first-personal standpoint cannot be both reason-giving and resemble requirements of rationality. Second, the proposal (...) runs headlong into the now familiar “bootstrapping” objection that helped illuminate the need to vindicate the normativity of rationality in the first place. Lastly, even if Southwood is right—the demands of rationality just are the demands or our first-personal standpoints—the explanation as to why our standpoints generate reasons will entail that we sometimes have no reason at all to be rational. (shrink)