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Lawrence Masek [19]Lawrence Joseph Masek [1]
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Lawrence Masek
Ohio Dominican University
  1. Intentions, Motives and the Doctrine of Double Effect.Lawrence Masek - 2010 - Philosophical Quarterly 60 (240):567-585.
    I defend the doctrine of double effect and a so-called ‘strict’ definition of intention: A intends an effect if and only if A has it as an end or believes that it is a state of affairs in the causal sequence that will result in A's end. Following Kamm's proposed ‘doctrine of triple effect’, I distinguish an intended effect from an effect that motivates an action, and show that this distinction is morally significant. I use several contrived cases as illustrations, (...)
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  2.  39
    The Doctrine of Double Effect, Deadly Drugs, and Business Ethics.Lawrence Masek - 2000 - Business Ethics Quarterly 10 (2):483-495.
    Manuel Velasquez and F. Neil Brady apply the doctrine of double effect to business ethics and conclude that the doctrine allows a pharmaceutical company to sell a drug with potentially fatal side effects only if it also has the good effect of saving lives. This forbidsthe sale of many common products, such as automobiles and alcohol. My account preserves the virtues of the doctrine of double effectwithout making it too restrictive. I apply the doctrine to a pharmaceutical company’s decision to (...)
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  3.  49
    A Contralife Argument Against Altered Nuclear Transfer.Lawrence Masek - 2006 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 6 (2):235-240.
    I argue that the contralife argument, which new natural law theorists have proposed as an argument against contraception, also would rule out altered nuclear transfer, which has been proposed as a way of procuring human stem cells without destroying human embryos.
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  4.  55
    All's Not Fair in War: How Kant's Just War Theory Refutes War Realism.Lawrence Masek - 2002 - Public Affairs Quarterly 16 (2):143-154.
    I argue that Kant identifies the only principle that refutes war realism, or the view that warring nations should do whatever they can to win the war as quickly as possible. According to Kant, warring nations must follow principles that preserve the possibility of entering a peaceful condition, and the peaceful condition is not merely an end to hositilities.
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  5.  98
    Treating Humanity as an Inviolable End.Lawrence Masek - 2008 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (1):1-16.
    I argue that contraception is morally wrong but that periodic abstinence (or natural family planning) is not. Further, I argue that altered nuclear transfer—a proposed technique for creating human stem cells without destroying human embryos—is morally wrong for the same reason that contraception is. Contrary to what readers might expect, my argument assumes nothing about the morality of cloning or abortion and requires no premises about God or natural teleology. Instead, I argue that contraception and altered nuclear transfer are morally (...)
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  6.  62
    Deadly Drugs and the Doctrine of Double Effect: A Reply to Tully.Lawrence Masek - 2006 - Journal of Business Ethics 68 (2):143-151.
    In a recent contribution to this journal, Patrick Tully criticizes my view that the doctrine of double effect does not prohibit a pharmaceutical company from selling a drug that has potentially fatal side-effects and that does not treat a life-threatening condition. Tully alleges my account is too permissive and makes the doctrine irrelevant to decisions about selling harmful products. In the following paper, I respond to Tully’s objections and show that he misinterprets my position and misstates some elements of the (...)
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  7.  49
    Improving the Analogies in Contralife Arguments: The Consistency of Catholic Teachings About Regulating Births.Lawrence Masek - 2008 - Heythrop Journal 49 (3):442-452.
    This paper discusses the analogies that proponents of contralife arguments have used to distinguish contraception from periodic abstinence or natural family planning. I criticize these analogies and present a new analogy that better illustrates how contraception can be contralife when periodic abstinence are not.
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  8.  23
    Colloquy.Lawrence Masek - 2012 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 12 (2):199-202.
    I respond to Rev. Jonah Pollock's criticisms of my argument about the contralife argument and the principle of double effect.
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  9. How Kant's View of Perfect and Imperfect Duties Resolves an Alleged Moral Dilemma for Judges.Lawrence Masek - 2005 - Ratio Juris 18 (4):415-428.
    I clarify Kant's classification of duties and criticize the apocryphal tradition that, according to Kant, perfect duties trump imperfect duties. I then use Kant's view to argue that judges who believe that an action is immoral and should be illegal need not set aside their beliefs in order to comply with binding precedents that permit the action. The same view of morality that causes some people to oppose certain actions, including abortion, requires lower–court judges to comply with binding precedents. Therefore, (...)
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  10.  1
    Intention, Character, and Double Effect.Lawrence Masek - 2018 - Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.
    The principle of double effect has a long history, from scholastic disputations about self-defense and scandal to current debates about terrorism, torture, euthanasia, and abortion. Despite being widely debated, the principle remains poorly understood. In Intention, Character, and Double Effect, Lawrence Masek combines theoretical and applied questions into a systematic defense of the principle that does not depend on appeals to authority or intuitions about cases. Masek argues that actions can be wrong because they corrupt the agent's character and that (...)
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  11.  32
    In Defense of a Minimalist, Agent-Based Principle of Double Effect.Lawrence Masek - 2015 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 89 (3):521-538.
    Many philosophers assume that the principle of double effect (PDE) is meant to cover trolley cases. In fact, trolley cases come from PDE’s critics, not its defenders. When philosophers stretch PDE to explain intuitions about trolley cases, they define intended effects too broadly. More importantly, trolley cases make poor illustrations of PDE because they focus attention away from the agent and onto the victim. When philosophers lose sight of the agent, some intuitions that fit PDE survive, but the rational basis (...)
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  12.  73
    On Some Proposals for Producing Human Stem Cells.Lawrence Masek - 2010 - National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 10 (2):257-264.
    The author argues that an action is morally wrong if any of its steps serves no purpose apart from preventing the existence of a human being. This principle entails that contraception and some proposed techniques for altered nuclear transfer are morally wrong, but it does not preclude producing stem cells through parthenogenesis. His argument depends on the premise that human life always is a good, including human life produced through immoral actions. The immoral action, not the life caused by the (...)
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  13.  1
    On Some Proposals for Producing Human Stem Cells.Lawrence Masek - 2010 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 10 (2):257-264.
    The author argues that an action is morally wrong if any of its steps serves no purpose apart from preventing the existence of a human being. This principle entails that contraception and some proposed techniques for altered nuclear transfer are morally wrong, but it does not preclude producing stem cells through parthenogenesis. His argument depends on the premise that human life always is a good, including human life produced through immoral actions. The immoral action, not the life caused by the (...)
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  14. Petitionary Prayer to an Omnipotent and Omnibenevolent God.Lawrence Masek - 2000 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 74 (Suppl.):273-283.
    Petitionary prayer might seem pointless. If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, then why wouldn't God give us what is good for us regardless of whether we ask for it? I answer this question by arguing that the efficacy of petitionary prayer does not contradict the doctrines of divine omnipotence and omnibenevolence.
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  15.  70
    The Contralife Argument and the Principle of Double Effect.Lawrence Masek - 2011 - National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11 (1):83-97.
    The author uses the principle that the distinction between intended effects and foreseen side effects is morally significant to distinguish contraception from natural family planning (NFP). After summarizing the contralife argument against contraception, the author identifies limitations of arguments presented by Pope John Paul II and by Martin Rhonheimer. To show that the contralife argument does not apply to NFP, the author argues that agents do not intend every effect that motivates their actions. This argument supplements the action theory of (...)
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  16.  30
    The Contralife Argument Andthe Principle of Double Effect.Lawrence Masek - 2011 - The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 11 (1):83-97.
    The author uses the central insight of the principle of double effect—that the distinction between intended effects and foreseen side effects is morally significant—to distinguish contraception from natural family planning. After summarizing the contralife argument against contraception, the author identifies limitations of arguments presented by Pope John Paul II and by Martin Rhonheimer. To show that the contralife argument does not apply to NFP, the author argues that agents do not intend every effect that motivates their actions. This argument supplements (...)
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  17.  1
    The Moral Status of Human Embryos and Other Possible Sources of Stem Cells.Lawrence Masek - 2017 - In Jason Eberl (ed.), Contemporary Controversies in Catholic Bioethics. Springer. pp. 331-343.
    I argue against the view that modern biology has undermined traditional moral rules, including the prohibition of abortion and restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research, by blurring the distinction between humans and other animals. I argue that this view depends on the false premise that an organism can be wronged only if the organism has conscious interests. I then defend a rule against harvesting stem cells in a way that kills an organism with a rational nature. Finally, I apply (...)
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  18.  85
    Why Kant’s Project Did Not Have to Fail.Lawrence Masek - 2002 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 76 (Suppl.):253-264.
    This paper argues that Kant identifies what is morally good as what allows people to fulfill their essential purpose. In After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre contends that the Enlightenment project of justifying morality had to fail because Enlightenment thinkers did not treat moral judgments as teleological judgments. However, Kant claims in his Critique of Judgment that judging something to be good always refers to a purpose. I reconcile this claim with some passages from Kant’s writings that seem to contradict it, including (...)
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  19.  11
    Why Kant’s Project Did Not Have to Fail.Lawrence Masek - 2002 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 76:253-264.
    This paper argues that Kant identifies what is morally good as what allows people to fulfill their essential purpose. In After Virtue, Alasdair MacIntyre contends that the Enlightenment project of justifying morality had to fail because Enlightenment thinkers did not treat moral judgments as teleological judgments. However, Kant claims in his Critique of Judgment that judging something to be good always refers to a purpose. I reconcile this claim with some passages from Kant’s writings that seem to contradict it, including (...)
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