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David McCarthy [23]David Matzko McCarthy [6]David M. Mccarthy [2]David Patrick Mccarthy [1]
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David McCarthy
University of Hong Kong
  1. Utilitarianism with and Without Expected Utility.David McCarthy, Kalle Mikkola & Joaquin Teruji Thomas - 2016 - Journal of Mathematical Economics 87:77-113.
    We give two social aggregation theorems under conditions of risk, one for constant population cases, the other an extension to variable populations. Intra and interpersonal welfare comparisons are encoded in a single ‘individual preorder’. The theorems give axioms that uniquely determine a social preorder in terms of this individual preorder. The social preorders described by these theorems have features that may be considered characteristic of Harsanyi-style utilitarianism, such as indifference to ex ante and ex post equality. However, the theorems are (...)
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  2. The Priority View.David McCarthy - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (2):215–57.
    According to the priority view, or prioritarianism, it matters more to benefit people the worse off they are. But how exactly should the priority view be defined? This article argues for a highly general characterization which essentially involves risk, but makes no use of evaluative measurements or the expected utility axioms. A representation theorem is provided, and when further assumptions are added, common accounts of the priority view are recovered. A defense of the key idea behind the priority view, the (...)
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  3.  88
    Aggregation for General Populations Without Continuity or Completeness.David McCarthy, Kalle M. Mikkola & J. Teruji Thomas - 2019 - arXiv.
    We generalize Harsanyi's social aggregation theorem. We allow the population to be infi nite, and merely assume that individual and social preferences are given by strongly independent preorders on a convex set of arbitrary dimension. Thus we assume neither completeness nor any form of continuity. Under Pareto indifference, the conclusion of Harsanyi's theorem nevertheless holds almost entirely unchanged when utility values are taken to be vectors in a product of lexicographic function spaces. The addition of weak or strong Pareto has (...)
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  4. Utilitarianism and Prioritarianism II.David McCarthy - 2008 - Economics and Philosophy 24 (1):1-33.
    A natural formalization of the priority view is presented which results from adding expected utility theory to the main ideas of the priority view. The result is ex post prioritarianism. But ex post prioritarianism entails that in a world containing just one person, it is sometimes better for that person to do what is strictly worse for herself. This claim may appear to be implausible. But the deepest objection to ex post prioritarianism has to do with meaning: ex post prioritarianism (...)
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  5. Probability in Ethics.David McCarthy - 2016 - In Alan Hájek & Christopher Hitchcock (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Probability. Oxford University Press. pp. 705–737.
    The article is a plea for ethicists to regard probability as one of their most important concerns. It outlines a series of topics of central importance in ethical theory in which probability is implicated, often in a surprisingly deep way, and lists a number of open problems. Topics covered include: interpretations of probability in ethical contexts; the evaluative and normative significance of risk or uncertainty; uses and abuses of expected utility theory; veils of ignorance; Harsanyi’s aggregation theorem; population size problems; (...)
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  6. Distributive Equality.David McCarthy - 2015 - Mind 124 (496):1045-1109.
    Egalitarians think that equality in the distribution of goods somehow matters. But what exactly is egalitarianism? This article argues for a characterization based on novel principles essentially involving risk. The characterization is then used to resolve disputed questions about egalitarianism. These include: the way egalitarianism is concerned with patterns, in particular its relationship to strong separability; the relationship between egalitarianism and other distributive views, such as concerns with fairness and with giving priority to the worse off; and the relationship between (...)
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  7.  63
    Representation of Strongly Independent Preorders by Sets of Scalar-Valued Functions.David McCarthy, Kalle Mikkola & Teruji Thomas - 2017 - MPRA Paper No. 79284.
    We provide conditions under which an incomplete strongly independent preorder on a convex set X can be represented by a set of mixture preserving real-valued functions. We allow X to be infi nite dimensional. The main continuity condition we focus on is mixture continuity. This is sufficient for such a representation provided X has countable dimension or satisfi es a condition that we call Polarization.
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  8. Self Torture and Group Beneficence.Frank Arntzenius & David McCarthy - 1997 - Erkenntnis 47 (1):129-144.
    Moral puzzles about actions which bring about very small or what are said to be imperceptible harms or benefits for each of a large number of people are well known. Less well known is an argument by Warren Quinn that standard theories of rationality can lead an agent to end up torturing himself or herself in a completely foreseeable way, and that this shows that standard theories of rationality need to be revised. We show where Quinn's argument goes wrong, and (...)
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  9.  67
    Risk-Free Approaches to the Priority View.David McCarthy - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):421-449.
    Parfit advertised the priority view as a new and fundamental theory in the ethics of distribution. He never discusses risk, and many writers follow suit when discussing the priority view. This article formalizes two popular arguments for a commonly accepted risk-free definition of the priority view. One is based on a direct attempt to define the priority view, the other is based on a contrast with utilitarianism and egalitarianism. But neither argument succeeds, and more generally, it is not possible to (...)
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  10. Continuity and Completeness of Strongly Independent Preorders.David McCarthy & Kalle Mikkola - 2018 - Mathematical Social Sciences 93:141-145.
    A strongly independent preorder on a possibly in finite dimensional convex set that satisfi es two of the following conditions must satisfy the third: (i) the Archimedean continuity condition; (ii) mixture continuity; and (iii) comparability under the preorder is an equivalence relation. In addition, if the preorder is nontrivial (has nonempty asymmetric part) and satisfi es two of the following conditions, it must satisfy the third: (i') a modest strengthening of the Archimedean condition; (ii') mixture continuity; and (iii') completeness. Applications (...)
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  11. Utilitarianism and Prioritarianism I.David McCarthy - 2006 - Economics and Philosophy 22 (3):335-363.
    Utilitarianism and prioritarianism make a strong assumption about the uniqueness of measures of how good things are for people, or for short, individual goodness measures. But it is far from obvious that the presupposition is correct. The usual response to this problem assumes that individual goodness measures are determined independently of our discourse about distributive theories. This article suggests reversing this response. What determines the set of individual goodness measures just is the body of platitudes we accept about distributive theories. (...)
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  12.  92
    Rights, Explanation, and Risks.David McCarthy - 1997 - Ethics 107 (2):205-225.
    Theories of rights seem well equipped to explain widely accepted claims about the morality of harming. But can they explain popular claims about the morality of imposing risks of harm? Many think not. But a plausible theory of rights can explain those claims if it says we have the right that others not impose risks of harm upon us. That is a good reason to believe we have that right. There are many objections to the claim that we have that (...)
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  13.  23
    Utilitarianism and Prioritarianism II: David McCarthy.David Mccarthy - 2008 - Economics and Philosophy 24 (1):1-33.
    The priority view has become very popular in moral philosophy, but there is a serious question about how it should be formalized. The most natural formalization leads to ex post prioritarianism, which results from adding expected utility theory to the main ideas of the priority view. But ex post prioritarianism entails a claim which is too implausible for it to be a serious competitor to utilitarianism. In fact, ex post prioritarianism was probably never a genuine alternative to utilitarianism in the (...)
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  14.  71
    Intending Harm, Foreseeing Harm, and Failures of the Will.David McCarthy - 2002 - Noûs 36 (4):622–642.
    Theoretical defenses of the principle of double effect (pde) due to Quinn, Nagel and Foot are claimed to face severe difficulties. But this leaves those of us who see something in the case-based support for the pde without a way of accounting for our judgments. This article proposes a novel principle it calls the mismatch principle, and argues that the mismatch principle does better than the pde at accounting for our judgments about cases and is also theoretically defensible. However, where (...)
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  15.  26
    Why Sex Selection Should Be Legal.David McCarthy - 2001 - Journal of Medical Ethics 27 (5):302-307.
    Reliable medically assisted sex selection which does not involve abortion or infanticide has recently become available, and has been used for non-medical reasons. This raises questions about the morality of sex selection for non-medical reasons. But reasonable people continue to disagree about the answers to these questions. So another set of questions is about what the law should be on medically assisted sex selection for non-medical reasons in the face of reasonable disagreement about the morality of sex selection. This paper (...)
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  16. The Two Envelope Paradox and Infinite Expectations.Frank Arntzenius & David McCarthy - 1997 - Analysis 57 (1):42–50.
    The two envelope paradox can be dissolved by looking closely at the connection between conditional and unconditional expectation and by being careful when summing an infinite series of positive and negative terms. The two envelope paradox is not another St. Petersburg paradox and that one does not need to ban talk of infinite expectation values in order to dissolve it. The article ends by posing a new puzzle to do with infinite expectations.
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  17.  49
    Measuring Life's Goodness.David McCarthy - 2007 - Philosophical Books 48 (4):303-319.
    Philosophers often assume that we can somehow quantitatively measure how good things are for people. But what does such talk mean? And what are the measures? In *Weighing Goods* John Broome offers one treatment of these questions. In his later *Weighing Lives* he offers a different treatment. This article discusses both positions but advocates a third. But while the three positions disagree about matters of meaning, they agree about the form of the measures. Roughly speaking, they are such that the (...)
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  18.  14
    The Two Envelope Paradox and Infinite Expectations.Frank Arntzenius & David McCarthy - 1997 - Analysis 57 (1):42-50.
  19.  99
    Harming and Allowing Harm.David McCarthy - 2000 - Ethics 110 (4):749-779.
    The article takes as its starting point the assumption that (a) competing accounts of moral rules should be judged by the distribution of benefits and burdens which would arise from everyone accepting these rules, and that (b) these benefits and burdens are understood in a way which has a substantial resource or freedom-based component. This starting point is compatible with contractualism and various forms of rule consequentialism, and will yield a morality in which people have significant freedoms. The main claim (...)
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  20.  67
    Liability and Risk.David McCarthy - 1996 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 25 (3):238-262.
    Standard theories of liability say that X is liable to Y only if Y was harmed, only if X caused Y harm, and (usually) only if X was at fault. This article offers a series of criticisms of each of these claims, and use them to construct an alternative theory of liability in which the nature of X's having imposed a risk of harm on Y is central to the question of when X is liable to Y, and for how (...)
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  21.  64
    Actions, Beliefs, and Consequences.David McCarthy - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 90 (1):57-77.
    On the agent-relativity thesis, what an agent ought to do is a function of the evidence available to her about the consequences of her potential actions. On the objectivity thesis, what an agent ought to do is a function of what the consequences of her potential actions would be, regardless of the evidence available to her. This article argues for the agent-relativity thesis. The main opposing argument, due to Thomson, points to cases where a bystander can see that an agent (...)
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  22.  34
    Gathered for the Journey: Moral Theology in Catholic Perspective.David Matzko McCarthy & M. Therese Lysaught (eds.) - 2007 - William B. Eerdmans.
    Life together : moral reasoning in theological context -- Pilgrim's progress : virtues and the goal of the journey -- The imitation of Christ : issues along the way.
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  23.  15
    Becoming One Flesh: Marriage, Remarriage, and Sex.David Matzko McCarthy - 2004 - In Stanley Hauerwas & Samuel Wells (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics. Blackwell.
  24.  7
    Foot's Natural Goodness and the Good of Nature.David Matzko McCarthy - 2002 - New Blackfriars 83 (973):108-119.
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  25.  9
    Moral Theology with the Saints.James Keating & David M. Mccarthy - 2003 - Modern Theology 19 (2):203-218.
  26.  8
    Human Rights and the Image of God – Roger Ruston.David Matzko McCarthy - 2007 - Modern Theology 23 (1):142-144.
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  27.  8
    Divine Likeness: Toward a Trinitarian Anthropology of the Family - By Marc Cardinal Ouellet.David M. McCarthy - 2007 - Modern Theology 23 (4):629-631.
  28.  8
    The Family in Christian Social and Political Thought – By Brent Waters.David McCarthy - 2009 - Modern Theology 25 (1):139-141.
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  29.  7
    Sexual Utterances and Common Life.David Matzko McCarthy - 2000 - Modern Theology 16 (4):443-459.
  30.  3
    Human Rights and Pluralism in Catholic Social Thought.David Matzko McCarthy - 2009 - New Blackfriars 90 (1025):72-88.
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  31. The Structure of Good.David McCarthy - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.