James Stacy Taylor advances a thorough argument for the legalization of markets in current (live) human kidneys. The market is seemly the most abhorrent type of market, a market where the least well-off sell part of their body to the most well off. Though rigorously defended overall, his arguments concerning exploitation are thin. I examine a number of prominent bioethicists’ account of exploitation: most importantly, Ruth Sample’s exploitation as degradation. I do so in the context of Taylor’s argument, (...) with the aim of buttressing Taylor’s position that a regulated kidney market is morally allowable. I argue that Sample fails to provide normative grounds consistent with her claim that exploitation is wrong. I then reformulate her account for consistency and plausibility. Still, this seemingly more plausible view does not show that Taylor’s regulated kidney market is prohibitively exploitative of impoverished persons. I tack into place one more piece of support for Taylor’s conclusion. (shrink)
In contemporary Western biomedical ethics, informed consent practices are commonly justified in terms of the intrinsic value of patient autonomy. James StaceyTaylor maintains that this conception of the moral grounding of medical informed consent is mistaken. On the basis of his reasoning to that effect, Taylor argues that medical informed consent is justified by the instrumental value of personal autonomy. In this article, I examine whether Taylor's justification of medical informed consent is plausible.
This is the first collection of essays of philosophical thanatology that explicitly connects the metaphysical and the ethical questions of death, including some bioethical questions. The volume has four sections, and the discussion moves from historical and theoretical problems to practical issues of bioethics. However, as the editor of the book, James StaceyTaylor, has surely intended, the practical questions discussed are closely related to traditional metaphysical problems, most notably to the questions such as whether death is a (...) harm to the person who dies, whether posthumous harm is possible, and whether the dead can be wronged. Of course, the central idea is not to claim that the discussion of bioethical problems related to death commits us always to consider deeper metaphysical questions first. Rather, the point is simply that in many cases the metaphysical and the (bio)ethical questions of philosophical thanatology are in fact linked. Therefore, a collection that involves deba. (shrink)
I once heard a colleague opine that we would be better off if there were a 50-year moratorium on philosophers using the word 'autonomy'. He went on to argue that we could get along just fine without the word, and that a good number of confusions would be dispelled along the way. This collection of new papers goes a long way toward responding to this challenge in ways that both undercut and vindicate aspects of this complaint.
Legal prohibitions on the financial compensation of donors are frequently justified by appealing either to concerns about patient safety or to concerns about the putatively unethical nature of such compensation. But jurisdictions that legally prohibit the financial compensation of donors routinely import plasma that has been collected from financially compensated donors—and they do so knowing its origins. I outline some possible ways in which this puzzle could be resolved and find them all wanting. Focusing on Canada I draw upon public (...) documents to explain how many provinces came to have its apparently puzzling approach to plasma procurement. I then argue that the actions of those who support this approach to plasma procurement are immoral. (shrink)
In this 1970 introduction to philosophy Mr Taylor concentrates on two central topics - explanation and meaning. He takes the argument far enough to acquaint the reader first-hand with the methods and approach of analytical philosophy, and yet because of the scope of these two topics he is able to introduce many of the traditional philosophical problems in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, and logic. By this approach he avoids the dangers both of superficiality and of undue technicality. Philosophers are (...) concerned to analyse and describe certain concepts and modes of argument, not to establish facts or conclusions of any sort that can be tested by formal demonstration or controlled observation; their findings cannot be conveniently categorized or graded into a comprehensive and progressive course of studies. Mr Taylor meets this difficulty with his extended discussions of specific topics and questions which have implications over the whole subject. (shrink)
Normativism holds that there is a close conceptual link between disease and disvalue. We challenge normativism by advancing an argument against a popular normativist theory, Jerome Wakefield’s harmful dysfunction account. Wakefield maintains that medical disorders are breakdowns in evolved mechanisms that cause significant harm to the organism. We argue that Wakefield’s account is not a promising way to distinguish between disease and health because being harmful is neither necessary nor sufficient for a dysfunction to be a disorder. Counterexamples to the (...) harmful dysfunction account are considered, such as mild infections, perceptual deficits, and beneficial illnesses. Then we consider two ways of amending the harmful dysfunction account to address these cases and argue that the proposed amendments raise even more serious problems for this account. These problems apply generally to any normativist theory and raise doubts about the entire normative approach to the philosophy of health and disease. (shrink)
This paper explores a remarkable convergence of ideas and evidence, previously presented in separate places by its authors. That convergence has now become so persuasive that we believe we are working within substantially the same broad framework. Taylor's mathematical papers on neuronal systems involved in consciousness dovetail well with work by Newman and Baars on the thalamocortical system, suggesting a brain mechanism much like the global workspace architecture developed by Baars (see references below). This architecture is relational, in the (...) sense that it continuously mediates the interaction of input with memory. While our approaches overlap in a number of ways, each of us tends to focus on different areas of detail. What is most striking, and we believe significant, is the extent of consensus, which we believe to be consistent with other contemporary approaches by Weiskrantz, Gray, Crick and Koch, Edelman, Gazzaniga, Newell and colleagues, Posner, Baddeley, and a number of others. We suggest that cognitive neuroscience is moving toward a shared understanding of consciousness in the brain. (shrink)
I am very pleased to see the response by J S Taylor to my critique of the “organs debate”. He makes some notable and important points, but also some errors to which attention should be drawn.Taylor erroneously attributes to me concern that the organ debate excessively focuses on saving the lives of a few people. My concern was about the narrow framework within which the debate is embedded and that it focuses on the lives of a few privileged (...) people—those who can pay—while largely neglecting the lives of those who cannot. The fact that some attention has been paid to such issues in some journals does not negate the importance of my claim. Moreover, it is not that the question of millions of premature deaths has …. (shrink)
_Death, Posthumous Harm, and Bioethics_ offers a highly distinctive and original approach to the metaphysics of death and applies this approach to contemporary debates in bioethics that address end-of-life and post-mortem issues. Taylor defends the controversial Epicurean view that death is not a harm to the person who dies and the neo-Epicurean thesis that persons cannot be affected by events that occur after their deaths, and hence that posthumous harms are impossible. He then extends this argument by asserting that (...) the dead cannot be wronged, finally presenting a defence of revisionary views concerning posthumous organ procurement. (shrink)
Autonomy has recently become one of the central concepts in contemporary moral philosophy and has generated much debate over its nature and value. This 2005 volume brings together essays that address the theoretical foundations of the concept of autonomy, as well as essays that investigate the relationship between autonomy and moral responsibility, freedom, political philosophy, and medical ethics. Written by some of the most prominent philosophers working in these areas, this book represents research on the nature and value of autonomy (...) that will be essential reading for a broad swathe of philosophers as well as many psychologists. (shrink)
Language, Duty, and Value Jonathan Dancy, J. M. E. Moravcsik James Opie Urmson, Edited by Jonathan Dancy, J. M. E. Moravcsik, and C. C. W. Taylor. reasons in general. This is freedom in the sense of acting on reasons, yet not those ...
If pressed to identify the philosophical foundations of contemporary bioethics, most bioethicists would cite the four-principles approach developed by Tom L Beauchamp and James F Childress,1 or perhaps the ethical theories of JS Mill2 or Immanuel Kant.3 Few would cite Aristotle's metaphysical views surrounding death and posthumous harm.4 Nevertheless, many contemporary bioethical discussions are implicitly grounded in the Aristotelian views that death is a harm to the one who dies, and that persons can be harmed, or wronged, by events that (...) occur after their deaths. The view that death is a harm to the one who dies infuses, for example, the debates over abortion and euthanasia, while the view that persons could be harmed or wronged after their deaths informs much of the debate over, for example, policies for the posthumous procurement of transplant and the ethics of research on the dead.In Death, Posthumous Harm, and Bioethics, I argue that we should reject this cluster of influential Aristotelian thanatological claims, and instead endorse a trio of views that together constitute what I term full-blooded epicureanism: That death is not a harm to the person who dies, and that persons can neither be harmed nor wronged by events that occur after their deaths. …. (shrink)
The Metaphysics and Ethics of Death brings together original essays that both address the fundamental questions of the metaphysics of death and explore the relationship between those questions and some of the areas of applied ethics in which they play a central role.
Provides a critical and analytical history of ancient Greek theories on the nature of pleasure, and of its value and rolein human lfie, from the ealriest times down to the period of Epicurus and the early Stoics.
The essays in this volume explore current work in central areas of philosophy, work unified by attention to salient questions of human action and human agency. They ask what it is for humans to act knowledgeably, to use language, to be friends, to act heroically, to be mortally fortunate, and to produce as well as to appreciate art. The volume is dedicated to J. O. Urmson, in recognition of his inspirational contributions to these areas. All the essays but one have (...) been specially written for this volume. (shrink)
In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the degree of philosophical attention devoted to the question of the morality of offering financial compensation in an attempt to increase the medical supply of human body parts and products, such as plasma. This paper will argue not only that donor compensation is ethically acceptable, but that plasma donors should not be prohibited from being offered compensation if they are to give their informed consent to donate. Regulatory regimes that prohibit (...) donor compensation thus unethically prevent the typical donor from being able to give her informed consent to donate. (shrink)
A common criticism of plurality voting is that it fails to reflect the degree of intensity with which voters prefer the candidate or policy that they vote for. To rectify this, many critics of plurality voting have argued that vote buying should be allowed. Persons with more intense preferences for a candidate could buy votes from persons with less intense preferences for the opposing candidate and then cast them for the candidate that they intensely support. This paper argues that instead (...) of better reflecting voters’ weighted preferences, vote buying will lead to electoral outcomes that reflect them less accurately. (shrink)
In Markets Without Limits Brennan and Jaworski defend the view that there are “no legitimate worries about what we buy, trade, and sell.” But rather than being a unified defense of this position Brennan and Jaworski unwittingly offer three distinct pro-commodification views—two of which are subject to counterexamples. This Commentary will clarify what should be the thesis of their volume and identify the conditions that any counterexample to this must meet.
Many still oppose legalizing markets in human organs on the grounds that they are morally repugnant. I will argue in this paper that the repugnance felt by some persons towards sales of human organs is insufficient to justify their prohibition. Yet this rejection of the view that markets in human organs should be prohibited because some persons find them to be morally repugnant does not imply that persons’ feelings of distress at the possibility of organ sales are irrational. Eduardo Rivera-Lopez (...) argues that such instinctive distress is an appropriate response to the perception that certain kinds of arguments that are offered in favor of legalizing organ sales are “in an important sense, illegitimate.” Having argued that repugnance should not ground the prohibition of markets in human organs, I will also argue that the moral distress that some feel towards certain arguments that favor such markets is not rationally defensible, either. (shrink)
For the past three decades philosophical discussions of both personal autonomy and what it is for a person to “identify” with her desires have been dominated by the “hierarchical” analyses of these concepts developed by Gerald Dworkin and Harry Frankfurt. The longevity of these analyses is owed, in part, to the intuitive appeal of their shared claim that the concepts of autonomy and identification are to be analyzed in terms of hierarchies of desires, such that it is a necessary condition (...) for a person to be autonomous with respect to a desire that moves her to act, that she desires that this desire so move her. Despite the intuitive appeal of these analyses, however, Irving Thalberg has argued that they should be rejected. This is because, he argues, a person who is forced to perform an action by being subjected to duress of a certain degree of harshness will desire to be moved by her desire to submit. Thus, he continues, the proponents of hierarchical analyses of autonomy and identification will be forced to hold that such a person acted willingly, and did not suffer from any impairment in her autonomy. This, Thalberg concludes, is so counterintuitive as to justify rejecting hierarchical analyses. (shrink)