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Gerald Lang [62]Gerald R. Lang [2]Gerald R. B. Lang [1]
  1. The right kind of solution to the wrong kind of reason problem.Gerald Lang - 2008 - Utilitas 20 (4):472-489.
    Recent discussion of Scanlon's account of value, which analyses the value of X in terms of agents' reasons for having certain pro-attitudes or contra-attitudes towards X, has generated the problem (WKR problem): this is the problem, for the buck-passing view, of being able to acknowledge that there may be good reasons for attributing final value to X that have nothing to do with the final value that X actually possesses. I briefly review some of the existing solutions offered to the (...)
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  2.  18
    Strokes of Luck: A Study in Moral and Political Philosophy.Gerald Lang - 2021 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Strokes of Luck provides a detailed and wide-ranging examination of the role of luck in moral and political philosophy. The first part tackles debates in moral luck, which are concerned with the assignment of blameworthiness to individuals who are separated only by lucky differences. ‘Anti-luckists’ think that an agent who, for example, attempts and succeeds in an assassination and an agent who attempts and fails are equally blameworthy. This book defends an ‘anti-anti-luckist’ argument, according to which the successful assassin is (...)
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  3. Luck, Value, and Commitment: Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams.Ulrike Heuer & Gerald R. Lang (eds.) - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press USA.
    Luck, Value, and Commitment comprises eleven new essays which engage with, or take their point of departure from, the influential work in moral and political philosophy of Bernard Williams (1929-2003).
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  4. Should Utilitarianism Be Scalar?Gerald Lang - 2013 - Utilitas 25 (1):80-95.
    Scalar utilitarianism, a form of utilitarianism advocated by Alastair Norcross, retains utilitarianism's evaluative commitments while dispensing with utilitarianism's deontic commitments, or its commitment to the existence or significance of moral duties, obligations and requirements. This article disputes the effectiveness of the arguments that have been used to defend scalar utilitarianism. It is contended that Norcross's central ‘Persuasion Argument’ does not succeed, and it is suggested, more positively, that utilitarians cannot easily distance themselves from deontic assessment, just as long as scalar (...)
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  5. Invigilating Republican Liberty.Gerald Lang - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):273-293.
    Republican liberty, as recently defended by Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner, characterises liberty in terms of the absence of domination, instead of, or in addition to, the absence of interference, as favoured by Berlin-style negative liberty. This article considers several claims made on behalf of republican liberty, particularly in Pettit's and Skinner's recent writings, and finds them wanting. No relevant moral or political concern expressed by republicans, it will be contended here, fails to be accommodated by negative liberty.
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  6.  58
    Numbers scepticism, equal chances and pluralism: Taurek revisited.Gerald Lang & Rob Lawlor - 2016 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 15 (3):298-315.
    The ‘standard interpretation’ of John Taurek’s argument in ‘Should the Numbers Count?’ imputes two theses to him: first, ‘numbers scepticism’, or scepticism about the moral force of an appeal to the mere number of individuals saved in conflict cases; and second, the ‘equal greatest chances’ principle of rescue, which requires that every individual has an equal chance of being rescued. The standard interpretation is criticized here on a number of grounds. First, whilst Taurek clearly believes that equal chances are all-important, (...)
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  7.  81
    The Rule‐Following Considerations and Metaethics: Some False Moves.Gerald Lang - 2001 - European Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):190–209.
    In a series of influential papers, John McDowell has argued that the rule‐following considerations explored in Wittgenstein’s later work provide support for a particularist form of moral objectivity. The article distinguishes three such arguments in McDowell’s writings, labelled the Anthropocentricism Argument, the Shapelessness Argument, and the Anti‐Humean Argument, respectively, and the author disputes the effectiveness of each of them. As far as these metaethical debates are concerned, the article concludes that the rule‐following considerations leave everything in their place.
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  8. In Defense of Batman: Reply to Bradley.Gerald Lang & Rob Lawlor - 2013 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (3):1-7.
  9. Why Not Forfeiture?Gerald Lang - 2014 - In Helen Frowe and Gerald Lang (ed.), How We Fight: Ethics in War. Oxford University Press. pp. 38-61.
     
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  10.  51
    Fairness in life and Death Cases.Gerald Lang - 2005 - Erkenntnis 62 (3):321-351.
    John Taurek famously argued that, in ‘conflict cases’, where we are confronted with a smaller and a larger group of individuals, and can choose which group to save from harm, we should toss a coin, rather than saving the larger group. This is primarily because coin-tossing is fairer: it ensures that each individual, regardless of the group to which he or she belongs, has an equal chance of being saved. This article provides a new response to Taurek’s argument. It proposes (...)
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  11.  9
    Getting on to the Same Page: War, Moral Fundamentalism, and Convention.Gerald Lang - 2023 - Philosophia 51 (5):2345-2355.
    Uwe Steinhoff’s The Ethics of War and the Force of Law contains an extended critique of ‘moral fundamentalism’, or the project of uncovering an individualist ‘deep morality’ of war governed by the same moral principles and rules that govern ordinary moral life, as well as a more positive account of war that depicts it as a social practice. Much of Steinhoff’s account is indebted to a series of claims involving the standing to blame, reciprocity, and the necessity and proportionality conditions (...)
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  12.  70
    How We Fight: Ethics in War.Helen Frowe & Gerald R. Lang (eds.) - 2014 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    How We Fight: Ethics in War contains ten groundbreaking essays by some of the leading philosophers of war. The essays offer new perspectives on key debates including pacifism, punitive justifications for war, the distribution of risk between combatants and non-combatants, the structure of 'just war theory', and bases of individual liability in war.
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  13. What Follows from Defensive Non-Liaibility?Gerald Lang - 2017 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (3):231-252.
    Theories of self-defence tend to invest heavily in ‘liability justifications’: if the Attacker is liable to have defensive violence deployed against him by the Defender, then he will not be wronged by such violence, and selfdefence becomes, as a result, morally unproblematic. This paper contends that liability justifications are overrated. The deeper contribution to an explanation of why defensive permissions exist is made by the Defender’s non-liability. Drawing on both canonical cases of self-defence, featuring Culpable Attackers, and more penumbral cases (...)
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  14. Introduction.Gerald Lang & Ulrike Heuer - 2012 - In Ulrike Heuer & Gerald R. Lang (eds.), Luck, Value, and Commitment: Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press USA. pp. 1-16.
     
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  15. Rawlsian Incentives and the Freedom Objection.Gerald Lang - 2016 - Journal of Social Philosophy 47 (2):231-249.
    One Rawlsian response to G. A. Cohen’s criticisms of justice as fairness which Cohen canvasses, and then dismisses, is the 'Freedom Objection'. It comes in two versions. The 'First Version' asserts that there is an unresolved trilemma among the three principles of equality, Pareto-optimality, and freedom of occupational choice, while the 'Second Version' imputes to Rawls’s theory a concern to protect occupational freedom over equality of condition. This article is mainly concerned with advancing three claims. First, the 'ethical solution' Cohen (...)
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  16.  52
    How Interesting is the “Boring Problem” for Luck Egalitarianism?Gerald Lang - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 91 (3):698-722.
    Imagine a two-person distributive case in which Ernest's choices yield X and Bertie's choices yield X + Y, producing an income gap between them of Y. Neither Ernest nor Bertie is responsible for this gap of Y, since neither of them has any control over what the other agent chooses. This is what Susan Hurley calls the “Boring Problem” for luck egalitarianism. Contrary to Hurley's relatively dismissive treatment of it, it is contended that the Boring Problem poses a deep problem (...)
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  17. A dilemma for objective act-utilitarianism.Gerald Lang - 2004 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 3 (2):221-239.
    Act-utilitarianism comes in two standard varieties: ‘subjective’ act-utilitarianism, which tells agents to attempt to maximize utility directly, and ‘objective’ act-utilitarianism, which permits agents to use non-utilitarian decision-making procedures. This article argues that objective actutilitarianism is exposed to a dilemma. On one horn of it is the contention that objective act-utilitarianism makes inconsistent claims about the rightness of acts. On the other horn of it is the contention that objective act-utilitarianism collapses back into what is, essentially, subjective act-utilitarianism. Three objective act-utilitarian (...)
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  18. Introduction.Gerald Lang & Helen Frowe - 2014 - In Helen Frowe & Gerald R. Lang (eds.), How We Fight: Ethics in War. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  19.  47
    Selective Pressures: No-Platforming and Academic Freedom.Gerald Lang - 2023 - Pea Soup Blog.
    I investigate the case for being comparatively relaxed about academic no-platforming, based on the 'gatekeeping argument' and 'selectivity argument'. I find more to be concerned about than these arguments suggest.
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  20. Luck Egalitarianism, Permissible Inequalities, and Moral Hazard.Gerald Lang - 2009 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (3):317-338.
    In this article, I appeal to the phenomenon of moral hazard in order to explain how at least some of the inequalities permitted by Luck Egalitarianism can be given an alternative, more plausible grounding than that which is supplied by Luck Egalitarianism. This alternative grounding robs Luck Egalitarianism of a potentially significant source of intuitive support whilst enabling conditional welfare policies to survive the attacks on them made by Elizabeth Anderson, Jonathan Wolff, and others.
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  21. Consequentialism, cluelessness, and indifference.Gerald Lang - 2008 - Journal of Value Inquiry 42 (4):477-485.
  22. Jobs, Institutions, and Beneficial Retirement.Gerald Lang - 2013 - Ratio 27 (2):205-221.
    According to Saul Smilansky's ‘Paradox of Beneficial Retirement’, many serving members of professions may have decisive integrity-based reasons for retiring immediately. The Paradox of Beneficial Retirement holds that a below-par performance in one's job does not require any outright incompetence, but may take a purely relational form, in which a good performance is not good enough if it would be improved upon by someone else who would be appointed instead. It is argued, in response, that jobs in the sectors Smilansky (...)
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  23. Nudging the responsibility objection.Gerald Lang - 2008 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (1):56–71.
    The ‘Responsibility Objection’ to Judith Thomson's famous argument for the permissibility of abortion challenges the relevance of her ‘Violinist Analogy’ to certain types of voluntary unwanted pregnancy, on the grounds that those pregnancies, even though they may be unwanted, are pregnancies for which the woman can be plausibly held responsible. This article considers the force of a number of recent objections to the Responsibility Objection, advanced by Harry Silverstein, David Boonin, and Jeff McMahan, and judges them to be unpersuasive. It (...)
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  24. What's the Matter? Review of Derek Parfit, On What Matters.Gerald Lang - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (2):300-312.
  25. Gauguin's Lucky Escape: Moral Luck and the Morality System.Gerald Lang - 2018 - In Sophie Grace Chappell & Marcel van Ackeren (eds.), Ethics Beyond the Limits: New Essays on Bernard Williams' Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. New York: Routledge. pp. 129-47.
    Williams’s attack on the ‘morality system’ in Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy was preceded by his famous but misunderstood essay ‘Moral Luck’. This essay pursues two principal aims. First and foremost, I take a fresh look at Williams’s argument in ‘Moral Luck’, to assess its defensibility. Second, I investigate how Williams’s treatment of moral luck shapes and informs the wider assault on the ‘morality system’ which reached its fullest expression in the later work. We can learn something about both (...)
     
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  26. Legitimating Torture?Gerald Lang - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (2):331-349.
    Steinhoff defends the moral and legal permissibility of torture in a limited range of circumstances. This article criticizes Steinhoff’s arguments. The analogy between ordinary defensive violence and defensive torture which Steinhoff argues for is partly spoiled by the presence, within defensive torture, of opportunistic harm, in addition to eliminative harm. Steinhoff’s arguments that the mere legalization of defensive torture would not metastasize into a more full-fledged institutionalization of torture are also found wanting. As a minimal form of institutionalization, the mere (...)
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  27.  97
    Excuses for the Moral Equality of Combatants.Gerald Lang - 2011 - Analysis 71 (3):512-523.
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  28. Just Cause, Liability, and the Moral Inequality of Combatants.Gerald Lang - 2012 - Theoretical and Applied Ethics 1 (4):54-60.
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  29.  70
    Luck Egalitarianism and the See-Saw Objection.Gerald Lang - 2006 - American Philosophical Quarterly 43 (1):43 - 56.
  30. Punishment and the Rebalancing of Status.Gerald Lang - 2014 - Philosophy and Public Issues - Filosofia E Questioni Pubbliche 4 (3):53-67.
  31. Thinking Big, Thinking Small: Smilansky's Paradoxes.Gerald Lang - 2009 - Iyyun 58:277-291.
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  32. Free Speech and Liberal Community.Gerald Lang - 2019 - In Joe Saunders & Carl Fox (eds.), Media Ethics, Free Speech, and the Requirements of Democracy. Routledge. pp. 105-123.
    This essay offers a liberal, neo-Millian account of free speech, which attempts to fix some familiar bugs in Mill's account of free speech by focusing primarily on the right of free association, together with the permissibility of imposing restrictions to deal with, as Mill put it, ‘violations of good manners’ and ‘offences against decency’. It also uncovers a number of more conceptual puzzles with free speech. These can be resolved, it is contended, by regarding free speech as a practice.
     
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  33. What Does Ivan Ilyich Need To Be Rescued From?Gerald Lang - 2014 - Philosophy 89 (2):1-23.
    Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich describes how a man's exposure to imminent death allows him to secure redemption from a flawed life. Through close textual attention to Tolstoy's novella and extensive engagement with Frances Kamm's treatment of it, this article quarrels with this of Ivan's case, offering a sourer, more pessimistic view. It is argued that Ivan's reconciliation to death is facilitated by a series of mistakes he makes en route to his dying moments. Two more general lessons are (...)
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  34.  32
    Defensive Escalations.Gerald Lang - 2022 - The Journal of Ethics 26 (2):273-294.
    Defence cases with an escalatory structure, in which the levels of violence between aggressor and defender start out as minor and then become major, even lethal, raise sharp problems for defence theory, and for our understanding of the conditions of defence: proportionality, necessity, and imminence. It is argued here that defenders are not morally required to withdraw from participation in these cases, and that defensive escalations do not offend against any of the conditions of defence, on an adequate understanding of (...)
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  35.  13
    How Far can you Go with Quietism?Gerald Lang - 2010 - Problema. Anuario de Filosofía y Teoria Del Derecho 1 (4):3-37.
    Ronald Dworkin’s Justice for Hedgehogs renews and amplifies his earlier attacks on metaethics. This article reviews the main lineaments of Dworkin’s anti-metaethical arguments and discusses, in detail, a number of issues which arise from them. First, it is suggested that Dworkin’s ap- praisal of what is doing most of the explanatory work in his account is largely askew. Second, it is claimed that Dworkin’s allegation that expressivism is self-defeating is wide of the mark, but that another charge in the same (...)
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  36.  20
    Defensive Liability and the Moral Status Account.Gerald Lang - 2022 - Washington University Review of Philosophy 2:150-169.
    Jonathan Quong argues for the “moral status” account of defensive liability. According to the moral status account, what makes it the case that assailants lack rights against the imposition of defensive violence on them is that they are treating defenders as if those defenders lack rights against the imposition of aggressive violence on them. This “as if” condition can be met in some situations in which one person, A, commands very good but factually inaccurate evidence that another person, B, poses (...)
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  37.  32
    Discrimination, Partial Concern, and Arbitrariness.Gerald Lang - 2012 - In Ulrike Heuer & Gerald R. Lang (eds.), Luck, Value, and Commitment: Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press USA. pp. 293.
  38.  75
    Is There Potential in Potentiality?Gerald Lang - 2012 - Philosophical Papers 41 (1):129-147.
    Philosophical Papers, Volume 41, Issue 1, Page 129-147, March 2012.
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  39. Value, Luck, and Commitment.Ulrike Heuer & Gerald Lang (eds.) - 2012 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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  40. An Enquiry Into Moral Realism.Gerald Lang - 1994
     
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  41.  40
    Forfeiture and the Right to a Fair Trial.Gerald Lang - 2020 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 14 (2):203-213.
    In his Rights Forfeiture and Punishment, Christopher Heath Wellman argues that his preferred ‘strong’ version of rights forfeiture theory makes the moral rights of due process and a fair trial null and void for guilty offenders. They may still possess legal rights to due process, but these are not strong pre-institutional moral rights. I explain here why I disagree with Wellman. I also suggest that he is not entitled, by his own lights, to affirm strong forfeiture theory, at least in (...)
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  42.  59
    How Far Can You Go With Quietism?Gerald Lang - 2010 - Problema 4:3-37.
    Ronald Dworkin’s Justice for Hedgehogs renews and amplifies his earlier attacks on metaethics. This article reviews the main lineaments of Dworkin’s anti-metaethical arguments and discusses, in detail, a number of issues which arise from them. First, it is suggested that Dworkin’s appraisal of what is doing most of the explanatory work in his account is largely askew. Second, it is claimed that Dworkin’s allegation that expressivism is self-defeating is wide of the mark, but that another charge in the same vicinity (...)
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  43.  13
    How Resilient is the War Contract?Gerald Lang - 2022 - Law and Philosophy 41 (6):741-761.
    In _War By Agreement_, Yitzhak Benbaji and Daniel Statman argue that the morality of war can be governed by a freely accepted agreement over the principles that apply to it. This war contract supersedes the application of the principles of everyday morality to war, thus defying ‘revisionist’ approaches to war, and it upholds a recognizable version of traditional just war theory. This article argues for three claims. First, the contractarian apparatus Benbaji and Statman deploy is actually inconsistent with the deep (...)
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  44. Hate Speech and the Limits of Free Speech.Gerald Lang - 2024 - In Carl Fox & Joe Saunders (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Media Ethics. Routledge. pp. 21-31.
    Hate speech involves the vilification of individuals for characteristics such as ethnicity, religion, and sex. The argument for and against the regulation of hate speech is controversial, partly because it remains unclear whether hate speech is encompassed by general arguments for free speech. Some think that the opportunity to engage in hate speech is the price we must pay for living in a democratic society where individuals take responsibility for what they think and can freely contribute to the moral and (...)
     
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  45.  46
    Lippert-Rasmussen, Kasper. Luck Egalitarianism: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. IBSN: 978-1-47257-043-7 , 978-1-47257-042-0 . £49.50 , £17.99.Gerald Lang - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (1):215-217.
  46.  27
    Moral Relativism & Cultural Chauvanism.Gerald Lang - 2002 - Philosophy Now 36:24-27.
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  47.  45
    One Another’s Equals, by Jeremy Waldron.Gerald Lang - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):249-260.
    _ One Another’s Equals _, by WaldronJeremy. Cambridge, Mass., and London: Harvard University Press, 2017. Pp. x + 264.
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  48.  59
    Shaping the Normative Landscape By David Owens.Gerald Lang - 2015 - Analysis 75 (1):175-177.
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  49.  39
    What's the Matter? Review of Derek Parfit, On What Matters — ERRATUM.Gerald Lang - 2012 - Utilitas 24 (3):441-441.
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  50. Discrimination, partial concern, and arbitrariness.Gerald Lang - 2012 - In Ulrike Heuer & Gerald R. Lang (eds.), Luck, Value, and Commitment: Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press USA.
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