Giubilini and Minerva argue that the permissibility of abortion entails the permissibility of infanticide. Proponents of what we refer to as the Birth Strategy claim that there is a morally significant difference brought about at birth that accounts for our strong intuition that killing newborns is morally impermissible. We argue that strategy does not account for the moral intuition that late-term, non-therapeutic abortions are morally impermissible. Advocates of the Birth Strategy must either judge non-therapeutic abortions as impermissible in the later (...) stages of pregnancy or conclude that they are permissible on the basis of premises that are far less intuitively plausible than the opposite conclusion and its supporting premises. (shrink)
Would the virtuous person eat animals? According to some ethicists, the answer is a resounding no, at least for the virtuous person living in an affluent society. The virtuous person cares about animal suffering, and so, she will not contribute to practices that involve animal suffering when she can easily adopt a strict plant-based diet. The virtuous person is temperate, and temperance involves not indulging in unhealthy diets, which include diets that incorporate animals. Moreover, it is unjust for an animal (...) to be killed for food when this is unnecessary. By contrast, I argue that the virtuous person in an affluent society would eat animals, at least sometimes. I explain how the very virtues thought to motivate “virtuous modest veganism”—compassion, temperance, and justice—motivate the virtuous person to consume some animals. (shrink)
There is a growing consensus among philosophers that hope is a moral virtue: the virtuously hopeful person experiences the right amount of hope for the right things. This moralization of hope presents us with a puzzle. The historical consensus is that hope is a passion and hope is a theological virtue, not a moral virtue. Thomas Aquinas, the philosopher who wrote most extensively on hope, offers an explanation for why hope is not a moral virtue. The aim of this paper (...) is argue that Aquinas is right in thinking that hope is not a moral virtue.1. (shrink)
New omnivorism is a term coined by Andy Lamey to refer to arguments that – paradoxically – our duties towards animals require us to eat some animal products. Lamey’s claim to have identified a new, distinctive position in food ethics is problematic, however, for some of his interlocutors are not new (e.g., Leslie Stephen in the nineteenth century), not distinctive (e.g., animal welfarists), and not obviously concerned with eating animals (e.g., plant neurobiologists). It is the aim of this paper to (...) bolster Lamey’s argument that he has identified a novel, unified, and intriguing position (or set of positions) in animal ethics and the philosophy of food. We distinguish new omnivorism from four other non-vegan positions and then differentiate three versions of new omnivorism based on the kinds of animal products they propose we consume. We conclude by exploring a range of argumentative strategies that could be deployed in response to the new omnivore. (shrink)
Accounts of practical deliberation tend to overlook any possible role for hope. I offer an argument showing that hope sets the ends of our practical deliberations and is thereby necessary for practical deliberation. It is because I hope to summit the mountain by midday that I deliberate about how to do so. Absent this particular hope, I could not deliberate about how to summit the mountain by midday.
In response to criticism of the impairment argument for the immorality of abortion, Bruce Blackshaw and Perry Hendricks appeal to Don Marquis’s future-like-ours (FLO) account of the wrongness of killing to explain why knowingly causing fetal impairments is wrong. I argue that wedding the success of the impairment argument to FLO undermines all claims that the impairment argument for the immorality of abortion is novel. Moreover, I argue that relying on FLO when there are alternative explanations for the wrongness of (...) causing FAS begs the question. I conclude, therefore, that the impairment argument remains unsuccessful. (shrink)
This paper offers a new argument against raising and killing sentient non-human animals for food. It is immoral to non-lethally impair sentient non-human animals for pleasure, and since raising and killing sentient animals for gustatory pleasure impairs them to a much greater degree, it also is wrong. This is because of the impairment principle: if it is immoral to impair an organism to some degree, then, ceteris paribus, it is immoral to impair it to a higher degree. This argument is (...) structurally analogous to Perry Hendricks’s impairment argument for the immorality of abortion. However, the argument is more defensible applied to the raising and killing of sentient nonhuman animals for food because of the sentience of the non-human animals involved. I explain how the argument is distinct from other pro-vegan, pro-vegetarian arguments. (shrink)
It is envisioned that one day xenotransplantation will bring about a future where transplantable organs can be safely and efficiently grown in transgenic pigs to help meet the global organ shortage. While recent advances have brought this future closer, worries remain about whether it will be beneficial overall. The unique challenges and risks posed to humans that arise from transplanting across the species barrier, in addition to the costs borne by non-human animals, has led some to question the value of (...) xenotransplantation altogether. In response, we defend the value of xenotransplantation research, because it can satisfy stringent welfare conditions on the permissibility of animal research and use. Along the way, we respond to the alleged concerns, and conclude that they do not currently warrant a cessation or a curtailing of xenotransplantation research. (shrink)
The Kalām cosmological argument deploys the following causal principle: whatever begins to exist has a cause. Yet, under what conditions does something ‘begin to exist’? What does it mean to say that ‘X begins to exist at t’? William Lane Craig has offered and defended various accounts that seek to establish the necessary and sufficient conditions for when something ‘begins to exist.’ I argue that all of the accounts that William Lane Craig has offered fail on the following grounds: either (...) they entail that God has a cause or they render the Kalām argument unsound. Part of the problem is due to Craig’s view of God’s relationship to time: that God exists timelessly without creation and temporarily with creation. The conclusion is that Craig must abandon either the Kalām argument or his view of God’s relationship to time; he cannot consistently hold both. (shrink)
According to a common reading of Thomas Hobbes, fear is the most philosophically important passion, responsible for the founding and sustaining of the commonwealth. I argue that this common reading is incorrect by focusing on the necessary and important role of hope in human action as well as in the founding and sustaining of the commonwealth. Life in the Hobbesian commonwealth, on the reading defended in this paper, is less fearful and more hopeful than scholars have noticed.
Prabhpal Singh has defended a relational account of the difference in moral status between fetuses and newborns. Newborns stand in the parent-child relation while fetuses do not, and standing in the parent-child relationship brings with it higher moral status for newborns. Orphans pose a problem for this account because they do not stand in a parent-child relationship. I argue that Singh has not satisfactorily responded to the problem.
Hope is important in Thomas Aquinas’s account of the emotions: it is one of the four primary emotions and the first of the irascible emotions. Yet his account of hope as a movement of the sensory appetite toward a future possible good that is arduous to attain appears to be overly restrictive, for people often hope for things that are not cognized as arduous. This paper examines Aquinas’s reasons for limiting hope to arduous goods.
Thomas Aquinas divides the sensory appetite into two powers: the irascible and the concupiscible. The irascible power moves creatures toward arduous goods and away from arduous evils, while the concupiscible power moves creatures toward pleasant goods and away from non-arduous evils. Despite the importance of this distinction, it remains unclear what counts as an arduous good or evil, and why arduousness is the defining feature of the division. The aim of this paper is twofold. First, I argue that an arduous (...) object is one that is difficult and important for the creature. Second, given this proper understanding of arduousness, I highlight the shortcomings of the standard interpretation of Aquinas’s argument for the irascible-concupiscible distinction and suggest an alternative. I argue that Aquinas grounds the distinction in the distinction between useful and pleasant goods. I explain how these distinct goods allow arduousness to be the defining feature of the irascible-concupiscible division. (shrink)
If non-human animals have high moral status, then we commit a grave moral error by eating them. Eating animals is thus morally risky, while many agree that it is morally permissible to not eat animals. According to some philosophers, then, non-animal ethicists should err on the side of caution and refrain from eating animals. I argue that this precautionary argument assumes a false dichotomy of dietary options: a diet that includes farm-raised animals or a diet that does not include animals (...) of any kind. There is a third dietary option, namely, a diet of plants and non-traditional animal protein, and there is evidence that such a diet results in the least amount of harm to animals. It follows therefore that moral uncertainty does not support the adoption of a vegetarian diet. (shrink)
Scientists will soon be able to grow human-transplantable organs in pigs. This paper focuses on the question of whether it is morally permissible to eat genetically altered pigs after harvesting their organs. Despite a lack of scholarly discussion of this question, the impetus for it is straightforward. There is no reason to think that peoples’ taste for pig will subside when scientists reach the point of being able to growing mature human organs inside them. In this paper, I argue that (...) there is a good reason why we should eat genetically altered pigs and currently no compelling reasons to the contrary. (shrink)
Anti-Luck Virtue Epistemology (ALVE) states that for S to have knowledge, S must have a virtuously formed safe true belief. S’s belief that p is safe if, in most near-by possible worlds where S’s belief is formed in the same manner as in the actual world, S’s belief is true. S’s safe belief that p is virtuously formed if S’s safe belief is formed using reliable and well-integrated cognitive processes and it is to S’s credit that she formed the belief. (...) In this paper, I offer a novel counterexample to ALVE. I offer a case where an individual forms a belief on the basis of divine revelation. Intuitively the person has knowledge, but ALVE predicts otherwise. The upshot is not only that we have a counter example to ALVE, but also, that ALVE may not serve the needs of an adequate religious epistemology. (shrink)
Xenotransplant patient selection recommendations restrict clinical trial participation to seriously ill patients for whom alternative therapies are unavailable or who will likely die while waiting for an allotransplant. Despite a scholarly consensus that this is advisable, we propose to examine this restriction. We offer three lines of criticism: (1) The risk–benefit calculation may well be unfavorable for seriously ill patients and society; (2) the guidelines conflict with criteria for equitable patient selection; and (3) the selection of seriously ill patients may (...) compromise informed consent. We conclude by highlighting how the current guidance reveals a tension between the societal values of justice and beneficence. (shrink)
In ‘Dilemma for Appeals to the Moral Significance of Birth’, we argued that a dilemma is faced by those who believe that birth is the event at which infanticide is ruled out. Those who reject the moral permissibility of infanticide by appeal to the moral significance of birth must either accept the moral permissibility of a late-term abortion for a non-therapeutic reason or not. If they accept it, they need to account for the strong intuition that her decision is wrong (...) as well as deny the underlying normative principle that killing a viable fetus requires good reason, and not wanting to care for the child when the child could be easily placed for adoption is not a good enough reason to abort. If they reject the moral permissibility of the late-term abortion, they need to explain why her decision is wrong. Doing so, however, will undermine their own project of denying infanticide by appeal to birth. Walter Veit argues that the dilemma relies too much on intuition and does not live up to biological continuity. We explain why his criticisms are unconvincing. (shrink)
How to understand Saint Anselm of Canterbury on time and divine eternity is subject to debate. Katherin Rogers argues that Anselm is a four‐dimensionalist, whereas Brian Leftow argues that he is a presentist. Despite the disagreement, both scholars assume that Anselm has a positive account of time and divine eternity to offer. I challenge this assumption, arguing that Anselm is not interested in offering an account of the metaphysics of time and divine eternity. The reading defended here is deflationary in (...) the following sense: Anselm is trying to purify, so to speak, the notion of ‘divine eternity’ from creaturely imperfections that are suggested by our language. (shrink)
David DeGrazia (2009) and Stuart Rachels (2011), among others, offer moral arguments in favor of adopting a vegetarian diet that have, they claim, broad appeal. Rather than relying on an account of animal rights or a particular ethical theory, these arguments rely on the moral principle that an extensive amount of pain requires moral justification. Since people do not need to eat meat in order to survive, the arguments conclude that the pain that animals experience in factory farming is unjustified. (...) I argue that these very same arguments support a more radical conclusion, namely, vegetarians morally should avoid eating vegetables from industrialized farming. Thus, if vegetarians are convinced by the moral arguments for vegetarianism offered by DeGrazia and Rachels, then they should be convinced, by analogous reasoning, that they should not eat vegetables from industrialized farming. (shrink)
I argue that proponents of heterologous embryo transfer are faced with the practical decision of whether would-be parents should adopt a prenatal child or a postnatal child (e.g., a child from the foster system). I argue that, all things considered, there is a good reason to favor postnatal adoption in every case in which a postnatal child is available for adoption. Since, unfortunately, there will always be postnatal children to adopt, there is little practical impetus for prenatal adoption.
Timothy Hsiao defends industrial animal agriculture from the “strongest version of the cruelty objection” :37–54, 2017). The cruelty objection, following Rachels Food for thought: the debate over eating meat, Prometheus, Amherst, 2004), is that, because it is wrong to cause pain without a morally good reason, and there is no morally good reason for the pain caused in factory farming, factory farming is morally indefensible.In this paper, I do not directly engage Hsiao’s argument for the moral permissibility of factory farming, (...) which has been done by others :311–323, 2017). Rather, my aim is to assess whether Hsiao’s criticism of one version of the cruelty-based objection is a criticism of all versions of the cruelty-based objection, or objections to factory farming that appeal to the harm or suffering experienced by farm animals. I argue that there are, at least, four distinct kinds of cruelty-based objections to factory farming, distinguishable by their different moral principles or moral observations, and that Hsiao’s criticism of one kind of cruelty-based objection does not generalize to the others. (shrink)
Thomas Aquinas situates virtues of character in the noncognitive appetite. He also claims that virtues of character provide the ends in practical matters. Since providing proper ends seems to be a cognitive act, it is unclear how virtues of character, qua perfections of the noncognitive appetite, provide ends. After criticizing three approaches to this interpretive challenge, we suggest that Aquinas provides us with a theory of practical identity. We argue that that on Aquinas's view a practical identity is constituted both (...) by a virtuous disposition in the appetitive power and by a rational commitment to proximate ends, a rational commitment that results from acquiring the virtuous disposition. With this account of practical identity in mind, we explain how Aquinas can consistently claim that virtues, qua perfections of the appetite, provide ends. (shrink)
If I reasonably think that you and I enjoy the same evidence as well as virtues and vices, then we are epistemic peers. What does rationality require of usshould we disagree? According to the conciliatory view, I should become less confident in my belief upon finding out that you, whom I take to be my peer, disagree with me. Question: Does the conciliatory view lead to wholesale skepticism regarding areas of life where disagreement is rampant? After all, people focusing on (...) the same arguments and possessing the same virtues commonly disagree over religion, politics, ethics, philosophy and other areas. David Christensen and Adam Elga have responded that conciliationism does not lead to wholesale skepticism. I argue that Christensen and Elga cannot avoid the charge of wholesale skepticism. But I also argue that if they could avoid skepticism, then the conciliatory view would become irrelevant since it would not inform us as to what rationality requires of us in every-day disagreement. Thus either way the conciliatory view is saddled with unintuitive consequences. (shrink)
A growing number of animal ethicists defend new omnivorism--the view that it's permissible, if not obligatory, to consume certain kinds of animal flesh and products. This book puts defenders of new omnivorism and advocates of strict veganism into conversation with one another to further debates in food ethics in novel and meaningful ways. The book includes six chapters that defend distinct versions of new omnivorism and six critical responses from scholars who are sympathetic to strict veganism. The contributors debate whether (...) it's ethically permissible to eat the following: "freegan" meat, roadkill, cultured meat, genetically disenhanced animals, possibly insentient animals such as insects, and fish. The volume concludes with two chapters that examine strict vegan and new omnivore policy. Presenting readers with clear defenses and criticisms of the various dietary proposals, this book draws attention to the most important ethical challenges facing traditional animal agriculture and alternative systems of food production. New Omnivorism and Strict Veganism will appeal to scholars and students interested in food ethics, animal ethics, and agricultural ethics. (shrink)
Marleen Eijkholt presents a new argument in healthcare ethics, the false hope harms (FHH) argument. In brief, false hope promotes a host of individual harms (e.g., financial, physical, and psychological harms) and system‐level harms (e.g., distrust of medical practitioners, increased complexity of care and the associated costs), all of which provide reason for healthcare providers to stop promoting false hope in medicine. The goal of this paper is to show that the FHH argument is unsuccessful.
There is widespread scholarly disagreement whether Hobbesian passions are or involve a type of cognition (i.e., imagination). This largely overlooked disagreement has implications for our understanding of Hobbesian deliberation. If passions are intrinsically cognitive, then, because Hobbesian deliberation is a series of alternating passions, deliberation would appear to be intrinsically cognitive as well. In this paper, I bring to light this overlooked disagreement and argue for a non-cognitive reading of Hobbesian passions, according to which, a passion is an appetite or (...) aversion caused by, but distinct from, an imagination of a future good or harm. (shrink)
Leibniz consistently denies that unbaptized infants are condemned to hell in virtue of original sin. He is less than forthcoming, however, about where they go when they die. Scholars are divided on this issue. Some think that, according to Leibniz, they go to limbo, while others think that he is committed to the view that they go to heaven. The aim of this paper is to show that this scholarly attention is misguided and that Leibniz does not defend a position (...) regarding the fate of unbaptized infants. (shrink)
Modest realism affirms that some of the objects of our beliefs exist independently of our beliefs. That is, there is a mind-independent world that we canepistemically access. The Cartesian skeptic claims that we can’t offer any non-question-begging arguments in favor of modest realism and therefore we are not justified in believing that modest realism is true. Reliabilists argue that the skeptic assumes an evidentialist-internalist account of justification and that a proper account of justification jettisons this. Hence, our belief in modest (...) realism can be justified. I argue in this paper that virtue-responsibilism offers an analogous response to the Cartesian skeptic. According to the virtue-responsibilist, my belief that P is an instance of knowledge iff it maps onto reality and is the result of an act of virtue. I show that the virtueresponsibilist theory excludes evidentialist-internalism, and allows for our belief in modest realism to be justified. However, it may be objected that the virtue-responsibilist can’t offer non-question-begging reasons for thinking that the virtues are reliable. I argue that this objection fails and that we can know that the virtues are reliable by empirical study. Thus, virtue-responsibilism provides a satisfactory response to the Cartesian skeptic. (shrink)