This first volume in the four-volume series The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law focuses on the "harm principle," the commonsense view that prevention of harm to persons other than the perpetrator is a legitimate purpose of criminal legislation. Feinberg presents a detailed analysis of the concept and definition of harm and applies it to a host of practical and theoretical issues, showing how the harm principle must be interpreted if it is to be a plausible guide to the lawmaker.
This paper deals with three topics: types of rights, the development of the terminology of rights, and the question of the primacy of welfare rights. Because these topics are interrelated, my exposition does not observe rigid boundaries among them. There is no pretence at all that any of these subjects is fully covered here; nor is it proposed, except for one writer, to touch upon the contemporary literature on rights, as noteworthy as some of that literature is. In order to (...) gain entrance into the field, on which the writing has grown to massive proportions, I shall begin with an interesting historical phenomenon, some of whose philosophical import I want to explore. I should say at the outset, however, that the general motivation of this paper is the problem of the significance of the language of “rights.” Does it really make a difference, for instance, to speak of the “rights of man” rather than the “common duties of humanity”? Does the term “rights” add anything of special significance or is its only significance rhetorical and ideological? Can we dispense with the language of rights and still say everything we need to say about our moral relations? I confess to a moderate skepticism about the necessity of the language of rights in the last analysis. At any rate, this paper is intended as a contribution, however small, to this problem. The historical phenomenon with which I am going to begin will enable us to bring into focus the issue of the meaning of “rights.”. (shrink)
According to both traditional positivist approaches and also to the sociology of scientific knowledge, social analysts should not themselves become involved in the controversies they are investigating. But the experiences of the authors in studying contemporary scientific controversies—specifically, over the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, fluoridation, and vitamin C and cancer—show that analysts, whatever their intentions, cannot avoid being drawn into the fray. The field of controversy studies needs to address the implications of this process for both theory and practice.
The principle of bivalence is the assertion that every statement is either true or else false. Its legal analog, however, must be formulated relative to particular legal systems and in terms of validity rather than truth. It asserts that every statement of law that can be formulated in the vocabulary of a given legal system is valid or else invalid in that system. A line of New York cases is traced, beginning with Thomas v. Winchester . This case, which involved (...) a poison mislabeled as a medicine, established an exception to the rule that a manufacturer or supplier is never liable for negligence to a remote purchaser. The court made an exception because a poison is an “imminently dangerous” thing. How far may this exception be applied to other fact‐situations? Some subsequent cases are examined, and it is considered whether there is no correct answer in these instances and, more dramatically, whether more than one correct answer is tenable. In either event the legal analog of bivalence would seem to fail. (shrink)
If the University had a constitution, would it contain a free speech provision such as exists in the U.S. Constitution? The author develops in some detail the idea of the University as a special social institution that has as its goal the dissemination and advancement of knowledge.Free Speech on Campus examines the arguments, pro and con, concerning appropriate standards of discourse and expression that are particularly germane to the campus context, public or private, whether or not they are constitutionally enforceable. (...) Students and teachers in every discipline will find this book engaging and illuminating; it is especially relevant for ethicists and philosophers of education. (shrink)
From the perspectives of Jewish tradition, particularly that of the Halakhah (Jewish law), this paper considers the policy problem of the balance in health care allocations between preventive and curative or crisis medicine. Since the value of human lives has a high degree of supremacy, and the duties to rescue imperiled life and to treat the sick are recognized, it might be argued that a basically curative policy should be favored. On the other hand, the duty of personal health maintenance (...) and safety would appear to argue in favor of a preventive policy. In balancing these considerations, it is suggested that the halakhic tradition can accommodate a preventive policy of health care because the duty to rescue is lessened or negatived by risk to the as-it-were rescuers. It is further suggested that Halakhah permits a non-divertable allocation of tax-generated funds to preventive health care. Keywords: Preventive medicine, curative medicine, value of human lives, duty to rescue, risk taking, Jewish law ( Halakhah ), charity tax CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)