We present an extensive literature review exploring the relationships between food insecurity and rapid biodiversity loss, and the competing methods proposed to address each of these serious problems. Given a large and growing human population, the persistence of widespread malnutrition, and the direct and significant threats the expanding agricultural system poses to biodiversity, the goals of providing universal food security and protecting biodiversity seem incompatible. Examining the literature shows that the current agricultural system already provides sufficient food on a worldwide (...) basis, but in doing so methodically undermines the capacity of agroecosystems to preserve biodiversity. However, the available evidence emphasizes the interdependence of biodiversity and agriculture, and the important role each plays in the maintenance of the other. Thus, our review supports the claim that the solutions to the problems of widespread food insecurity and biodiversity loss need not be mutually exclusive, and that it may be possible to address both using appropriate alternative agricultural practices. (shrink)
I talk about the relation between the direct encounters with values that I take to be a key part of ordinary moral phenomenology, and the well-worn topic of demandingness. I suggest that an ethical philosophy based on (inter alia) such encounters sheds interesting light on some familiar problems.
In this book philosophers, scholars of religion, and activists address the theme of responsibility. Barbara Darling-Smith brings together an enlightening collection of essays that analyze the ethics of responsibility, its relational nature, and its global struggle.
This book has its origins in the output from a conference that took place in Oxford in the Autumn of 2016. The conference represented a ground-breaking attempt to bring together interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners in order to have a meaningful dialogue about the many issues that surround science and religion in an educational setting. Topics that have been at the forefront of the study of science and religion, such as evolution and the origins of the Universe, were considered from new (...) perspectives. In particular, the notion of conflict as a necessary model for the relationship between science and religion was challenged and new approaches considered. Conflict itself was considered in new ways, recognising that it too can be creative and constructive if dealt with appropriately. The debates and questions relating to science and religion continue and will continue for quite some time. The work reported in this book, we believe, represents a step forward at all levels, not least the thorny problem of how we present these debates and questions to young people. (shrink)
Questions which bridge science and religion cross many boundaries, and this is especially the case in schools and other educational institutions. The boundaries that a curriculum puts around different types of knowledge and different ways of constructing knowledge work well in so many ways in education, but they can become barriers to asking and exploring questions that bridge science and religion if they become systematic and entrenched. At the heart of this book and this introductory chapter, there is a belief (...) that a model of the relationship between science and religion that presumes conflict to be the only way in which they can be viewed does neither science nor religion justice. (shrink)
Universals: Loux, M. J. The existence of universals. Russell, B. The world of universals. Quine, W. V. O. On what there is. Pears, D. F. Universals. Strawson, P. F. Particular and general. Wolterstorff, N. Qualities. Bambrough, R. Universals and family resemblances. Donagan, A. Universals and metaphysical realism. Sellars, W. Abstract entities. Wolterstorff, N. On the nature of universals.--Particulars: Loux, M. J. Particulars and their individuation. Black. M. The identity of indiscernibles. Ayer, A. J. The identity of indiscernibles. O'Connor, D. J. (...) The identity of indiscernibles. Allaire, E. B. Bare particulars. Chappell, V. C. Particulars re-clothed. Allaire, E. B. Another look at bare particulars. Meiland, J. W. Do relations individuate? Long, D. C. Particulars and their qualities. Copi, I. Essence and accident. Chandler, H. S. Essence and accident. Plantinga, A. World and essence. (shrink)
Robert Boyle showed that air “has a Spring that enables it to sustain or resist a pressure” and also it has “an active Spring . . . as when it distends a flaccid or breaks a full-blown Bladder in our exhausted receiver” (Boyle 1999, 6.41-42).1 In this respect, he distinguished between air and other fluids, since liquids such as water are “not sensibly compressible by an ordinary force” (ibid., 5.264). He explained the air’s tendency to resist and to expand by (...) hypothesizing the Air near the Earth to be such a heap of little Bodies, lying one upon another, as may be resembled to a Fleece of Wooll. For this (to omit other likenesses betwixt them) consists of many slender and flexible hairs; each of which, may indeed, like a little Spring, be easily bent or rouled up; but will also, like a Spring, be still endeavouring to stretch it self out again (Boyle 1999, 1.165). (shrink)
Book synopsis: The first full and sustained discussion of Parfit's views on objectivity in ethics Leading philosophers respond to Parfit's criticisms and advance our understanding of the arguments An essential companion volume to Parfit's On What Matters, Volume Three In the first two volumes of On What Matters Derek Parfit argues that there are objective moral truths, and other normative truths about what we have reasons to believe, and to want, and to do. He thus challenges a view of the (...) role of reason in action that can be traced back to David Hume, and is widely assumed to be correct, not only by philosophers but also by economists. In defending his view, Parfit argues that if there are no objective normative truths, nihilism follows, and nothing matters. He criticizes, often forcefully, many leading contemporary philosophers working on the nature of ethics, including Simon Blackburn, Stephen Darwall, Allen Gibbard, Frank Jackson, Peter Railton, Mark Schroeder, Michael Smith, and Sharon Street. Does Anything Really Matter? gives these philosophers an opportunity to respond to Parfit's criticisms, and includes essays on Parfit's views by Richard Chappell, Andrew Huddleston, Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer, Bruce Russell, and Larry Temkin. A third volume of On What Matters, in which Parfit engages with his critics and breaks new ground in finding significant agreement between his own views and theirs, is appearing as a separate companion volume. (shrink)
Timothy Chappell’s new translation of the Theaetetus is presented here in short sections of text, each preceded by a summary of the argument and followed by his philosophical commentary on it. Introductory remarks discuss Plato and his works, his use of dialogue, the structure of the Theaetetus, and alternative interpretations of the work as a whole. A glossary and bibliography are provided.
Utilitarianism is often rejected on the grounds that it fails to respect the separateness of persons, instead treating people as mere “receptacles of value”. I develop several different versions of this objection, and argue that, despite their prima facie plausibility, they are all mistaken. Although there are crude forms of utilitarianism that run afoul of these objections, I advance a new form of the view—‘token-pluralistic utilitarianism’—that does not.
I develop a nontheistic (quasi-)Berkeleyan idealism. The basic strategy is to peel away the attributes of God that aren't essential for role he plays in idealist metaphysics. God's omnibenevolence, his desires, intentions, beliefs, his very status as an agent ... aren't relevant to the work he does. When we peel all these things away, we're left with a view on which reality is a vast unity of consciousness, weaving together sensory experiences of colors, shapes, sounds, sizes, etc. into the trees, (...) electrons, black holes, and central nervous systems that fill the world around us. This phenomenal unity is governed by laws analogous to those posited by materialists, governing the unfolding of reality. I argue that if reality is fundamentally phenomenal in this way, we can give a unique account of perception that robustly captures direct realist intuitions of reality forming the "constituents" of our experiences: In perception, our finite unities of consciousness come to literally overlap with the unity of consciousness that is reality. I assess the unique virtues and challenges such a view faces, paying particular attention to the question of whether idealism entails a profligacy of physical laws. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to assess the relationship between anti-physicalist arguments in the philosophy of mind and anti-naturalist arguments in metaethics, and to show how the literature on the mind-body problem can inform metaethics. Among the questions we will consider are: (1) whether a moral parallel of the knowledge argument can be constructed to create trouble for naturalists, (2) the relationship between such a "Moral Knowledge Argument" and the familiar Open Question Argument, and (3) how naturalists can respond (...) to the Moral Twin Earth argument. We will give particular attention to recent arguments in the philosophy of mind that aim to show that anti-physicalist arguments can be defused by acknowledging a distinctive kind of conceptual dualism between the phenomenal and the physical. This tactic for evading anti-physicalist arguments has come to be known as the Phenomenal Concept Strategy. We will propose a metaethical version of this strategy, which we shall call the `Moral Concept Strategy'. We suggest that the Moral Concept Strategy offers the most promising way out of these anti-naturalist arguments, though significant challenges remain. (shrink)
This new volume in the successful Oxford Readings in Philosophy series presents a selection of the best recent articles on the main topics in Locke's philosophy. These include: innate ideas, ideas and perception, primary and secondary qualities, free will, substance, personal identity, language, essence, knowledge, and belief. The authors include some of the world's leading Locke scholars, and their essays exemplify the best - and most accessible - recent scholarship on Locke, making the volume essential for students and specialists.
I argue that we can see in a great many cases that run counter to common sense. We can literally see through mirrors, in just the same way that we see through our eyes. We can, likewise, literally see through photographs, shadows, and paintings. Rather than starting with an analysis of seeing, I present a series of evolving thought experiments, arguing that in each case there is no relevant difference between it and the previous case regarding whether we see. In (...) a sense, my arguments can be thought of as akin to the Extended Mind Hypothesis. But instead of arguing that our minds can extend into the world, I argue that our sensory organs can extend into the world. Among the things that emerge from this discussion are that—contrary to Currie and Carroll —seeing an object O doesn’t require being able to locate O with respect to yourself, that—contrary to Sorensen —we can see objects by seeing their shadows, and that—contrary to Walton —it doesn’t matter whether the causal relation between O and yourself is mediated by beliefs. (shrink)
The paper outlines and explores a possible strategy for defending both the action/omission distinction and the principle of double effect. The strategy is to argue that there are degrees of actionhood, and that we are in general less responsible for what has a lower degree of actionhood, because of that lower degree. Moreover, what we omit generally has a lower degree of actionhood than what we actively do, and what we do under known-but-not-intended descriptions generally has a lower degree of (...) actionhood than what we do under known-and-intended descriptions. Therefore, we are in general less responsible for what we omit than for what we do—which is just what AOD says. And we are in general less responsible for what we do under known-but-not-intended descriptions than for what we do under known-and-intended descriptions—which is just what PDE says. (shrink)
This paper draws on the 'Fitting Attitudes' analysis of value to argue that we should take the concept of fittingness (rather than value) as our normative primitive. I will argue that the fittingness framework enhances the clarity and expressive power of our normative theorising. Along the way, we will see how the fittingness framework illuminates our understanding of various moral theories, and why it casts doubt on the Global Consequentialist idea that acts and (say) eye colours are normatively on a (...) par. We will see why even consequentialists, in taking rightness to be in some sense determined by goodness, should not think that rightness is conceptually reducible to goodness. Finally, I will use the fittingness framework to explicate the distinction between consequentialist and deontological theories, with particular attention to the contentious case of Rule Consequentialism. (shrink)
This paper explores one way in which the meta-problem may shed light on existing debates about the hard problem (though not directly on the hard problem itself). I'll argue that the possibility of a suitable agent without problem intuitions would undercut the dialectical force of arguments against physicalism. Standard antiphysicalist arguments begin from intuitions about what's ideally conceivable, and argue from there to the falsity of physicalism. For these arguments to be dialectically effective, there must be a shared conception of (...) what ideal conceivability consists in. Unfortunately, proposed accounts of ideal conceivability all make reference to an unexplained 'intuitive' notion of idealization. Consideration of the meta-problem reveals that, when it comes to the hard problem, intuitions about idealization are essentially theory-laden. There is no neutral basis for determining whether agents with or without problem intuitions are more rationally ideal. (shrink)
I argue that if a normative theory of practical rationality is to represent an adequate and coherent response to a plurality of incommensurable goods, it cannot be a maximising theory. It will have to be a theory that recognises two responses to goods as morally licit – promotion and respect – and one as morally illicit – violation. This result has a number of interesting corollaries, some of which I indicate. Perhaps the most interesting is that it makes the existence (...) of a plurality of incommensurable goods incompatible with consequentialism. (shrink)
Bioethicists often present ‘saving lives’ as a goal distinct from, and competing with, that of extending lives by as much as possible. I argue that this usage of the term is misleading, and provides unwarranted rhetorical support for neglecting the magnitudes of the harms and benefits at stake in medical allocation decisions, often to the detriment of the young. Equal concern for all persons requires weighting equal interests equally, but not all individuals have an equal interest in ‘life-saving’ treatment.
Democracy is usually justified either on intrinsic or instrumental, particularly epistemic, grounds. Intrinsic justifications stress the values inherent in the democratic process itself, whereas epistemic ones stress that it results in good outcomes. This article examines whether epistemic justifications for deliberative democracy are superior to intrinsic ones. The Condorcet jury theorem is the most common epistemic justification of democracy. I argue that it is not appropriate for deliberative democracy. Yet deliberative democrats often explicitly state that the process will favour the (...) best argument. This can only be the case if deliberation improves the overall competence of the group and of the individuals that constitute it. I analyse when deliberation will increase competences and when it will not do so and find that individual competences will not reliably increase as a result of deliberation. In order for deliberative democracy to be epistemically more effective than representative democracy, strong procedural assumptions need to be made and deliberative democracy needs to be justified based on a combination of epistemic and intrinsic elements. (shrink)
Ontology was never Hume's main interest, but he certainly had opinions as to what there is, and he often expressed these in his philosophical works. Indeed it seems clear that Hume changed his ontological views while writing the Treatise , and that not just one but two different ontologies are to be found there. The ontology of Parts I, II, and III of Book I is more or less Lockean. There are minds and their operations and qualities. There are physical (...) entities, bodily actions and qualities if not bodies over and above these. And there are further entities, called ideas by Locke and perceptions by Hume, that represent things other than themselves, both physical and mental, while existing in and being dependent upon minds. In Part IV of Book I, however, and especially in Sections 2 and 6, a new ontology appears, one that differs not only from the doctrine of the earlier sections of the Treatise but also from any that previous philosophers had held. According to this new ontology, there are only perceptions: all other sorts of things are absorbed by or reduced to these, or else simply eliminated. Berkeley had indeed assimilated bodies and the properties of bodies to perceptions, but he had kept minds as a distinct category of entity. Hume went the whole way, making everything perceptions. We might characterise this new ontology as trans-Berkeleyan, or call it, on account of its similarity to later doctrines so named, phenomenalism or neutral monism. (shrink)
Tim the terrorist: We have Tim the terrorist in custody, and we know that he knows where the bomb is that his group have secretly planted somewhere in central London, and we know that if we torture him hard enough he will reliably tell us where it is in time for us to defuse it, and we know that there is no other way of getting him to tell us, and we know that if we don't defuse it the bomb (...) will kill thousands of innocent people. So: what to do? (shrink)
Can there be a moral philosophy which combines Christianity and consequentialism? John Stuart Mill himself claimed that these positions were, at the least, not mutually exclusive, and quite possibly even congenial to one another; and some recent work by Christian philosophers in America has resurrected this claim. But there is a simple argument to show that consequentialism and orthodox Christianity are not so much as jointly assertible.
Are non-natural properties worth caring about? I consider two objections to metaethical non-naturalism. According to the intelligibility objection, it would be positively unintelligible to care about non-natural properties that float free from the causal fabric of the cosmos. According to the ethical idlers objection, there is no compelling motivation to posit non-natural normative properties because the natural properties suffice to provide us with reasons. In both cases, I argue, the objection stems from misunderstanding the role that non-natural properties play in (...) the non-naturalist's understanding of normativity. The role of non-natural properties is not to be responded to, but to "mark" which natural properties it is correct for us to respond to in certain ways. (shrink)
Satisficing Consequentialism is often rejected as hopeless. Perhaps its greatest problem is that it risks condoning the gratuitous prevention of goodness above the baseline of what qualifies as "good enough". I propose a radical new willpower-based version of the view that avoids this problem, and that better fits with the motivation of avoiding an excessively demanding conception of morality. I further demonstrate how, by drawing on the resources of an independent theory of blameworthiness, we may obtain a principled specification of (...) what counts as "good enough". (shrink)
The conditional analysis of phenomenal concepts purports to give physicalists a way of understanding phenomenal concepts that will allow them to (1) accept the zombie intuition, (2) accept that conceivability is generally a good guide to possibility, and yet (3) reject the conclusion that zombies are metaphysically possible. It does this by positing that whether phenomenal concepts refer to physical or nonphysical states depends on what the actual world is like. In this paper, I offer support for the Chalmers/Alter objection (...) that the conditional analysis fails to accommodate the true zombie intuition, and develop a new and far more powerful argument against the conditional analysis. I argue that, as stated, the conditional analysis is radically incomplete. But when fully fleshed out, the analysis becomes viciously circular. The only way to avoid this circularity is to adopt a species of analytic functionalism, on which it’s a priori that phenomenal concepts refer to the state (perhaps physical, perhaps nonphysical) that actually plays so-and-so functional role. While this rigidified analytic functionalism is coherent, it is highly unattractive, running contrary to both the intuitions that motivate functionalism and the intuitions that motivated the conditional analysis. (shrink)
I examine the familiar criterial view of personhood, according to which the possession of personal properties such as self-consciousness, emotionality, sentience, and so forth is necessary and sufficient for the status of a person. I argue that this view confuses criteria for personhood with parts of an ideal of personhood. In normal cases, we have already identified a creature as a person before we start looking for it to manifest the personal properties, indeed this pre-identification is part of what makes (...) it possible for us to see and interpret the creature as a person in the first place. This pre-identification is typically based on biological features. Except in some interesting special or science-fiction cases, some of which I discuss, it is human animals that we identify as persons. (shrink)
Although a fascination with language is a familiar feature of 20th-century empiricism, its origins reach back at least to the early modern period empiricists. John Locke offers a detailed (if sometimes puzzling) treatment of language and uses it to illuminate key regions of the philosophical topography, particularly natural kinds and essences. Locke's main conceptual tool for dealing with language is 'signification'. Locke's central linguistic thesis is this: words signify nothing but ideas. This on its face seems absurd. Don't we need (...) words to signify things as well? But its very absurdity – our inclination to dismiss Locke as a 'linguistic idealist'– should signal to us that we have not yet understood Locke. Doing so must begin with an analysis of signification. Each of the three main interpretations on offer allows Locke to escape the charge of linguistic idealism, although they do so in very different ways. Locke's text also offers an influential account of linguistic particles, words like 'is', 'and' and 'if'. These signify, not ideas, but acts of the mind. These acts can either take place within a proposition, uniting its constituent ideas into a thought that admits of a truth-value, or they can take propositions as their objects, in which case they express attitudes like doubt, assertion and so on. Even this seemingly innocuous sketch of Locke's view is controversial, and many writers, from J.S. Mill onwards, have argued that Locke cannot make sense of propositional attitudes. Apart from the intrinsic interest of these questions, understanding how Locke thinks language works is a prerequisite for understanding his arguments against scholastic essentialism. It also illuminates later discussions of language in Berkeley, Hume and Mill. Author Recommends: 1. Losonsky, Michael. 'Language, Meaning, and Mind in Locke's Essay. ' The Cambridge Companion to Locke's Essay . Ed. Lex Newman. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. 286–313. In addition to making some original points, Losonsky provides an excellent overview of the three main competing positions on Lockean signification: the Fregean reading, the Scholastic reading and the Indicator theory (see entries 2–5 in the following). 2. Kretzmann, Norman. 'The Main Thesis of Locke's Semantic Theory.' Locke on Human Understanding . Ed. I. C. Tipton. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1975. 123–40. Kretzmann's influential paper offers a broadly Fregean analysis, according to which primary signification is sense and secondary, reference. Locke can then avoid the charge of linguistic idealism, as it is not the case that words signify only ideas. 3. Ashworth, E. J. 'Do Words Signify Ideas or Things?' Journal of the History of Philosophy 19 (1981): 299–326. Ashworth rejects Kretzmann's view, partly on the grounds of anachronism, and sets Locke in his historical context. As she reads Locke, he holds a scholastic position, according to which signification amounts to 'making known' or 'expressing'. This preserves the portmanteau analysis of Kretzmann: words can primarily signify or express ideas, while secondarily signifying things. 4. Lowe, E. J. 'Language and Meaning,' chapter 4. Locke . London: Routledge, 2005. This is a spirited defense of Locke's claim that words signify ideas against contemporary prejudices. Like Ian Hacking (see entry 7 in the following), Lowe argues that Locke is not offering a semantic theory in anything like the contemporary sense; rather, he is concerned with explaining human communication. 5. Ott, Walter. Locke's Philosophy of Language . Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004. On the interpretation offered in chapter 1, Lockean signification is indication: words signify ideas in the same sense in which clouds signify rain. If this view is correct, Locke is departing from the particular scholastic tradition Ashworth focuses on, and embracing instead a tradition running from the Stoics through Thomas Hobbes. http://www.springerlink.com/content/xv362655719101n3/ 6. Winkler, Kenneth. 'Signification, Intention, Projection.' Forthcoming, Philosophia . http://www.springerlink.com/content/xv362655719101n3 Although previous commentators acknowledge the role of intentions in Locke's view (see especially Kretzmann's argument from the uses of words), Winkler claims that they are far more central to Locke's view than has been supposed. In particular, Winkler uses these considerations to criticize the indicator interpretation. 7. Hacking, Ian. Why Does Language Matter to Philosophy? Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1975. Much broader in focus than these other works, Hacking's classic text has much to say about early modern views on language. Hacking argues that Hobbes and Locke do not, properly speaking, even have theories of meaning. Online Materials The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on Locke, by William Uzgalis: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/locke/ > The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on Locke, author unknown: http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/l/locke.htm > Sample Syllabus Weeks 1–2: What is Locke's linguistic thesis? Is it a semantic thesis at all? Ashworth, E. J. 'Do Words Signify Ideas or Things?' Journal of the History of Philosophy 19 (1981): 299–326. Kretzmann, Norman. 'The Main Thesis of Locke's Semantic Theory.' Locke on Human Understanding . Ed. I. C. Tipton. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1975. 123–40. Locke, Essay III. i–iii. Lowe, E. J. 'Language and Meaning,' chapter 4. Locke . London: Routledge, 2005. Week 3: Propositions and attitudes Locke, Essay III. vii. Ott, Walter. 'Propositional Attitudes in Modern Philosophy.' Dialogue 41 (2002): 1–18. Owen, David. 'Locke on Judgment.' The Cambridge Companion to Locke's Essay . Ed. Lex Newman. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. 406–35. If one wanted to explore whether and how Locke applies his semiotic theory in his anti-essentialist argument, one might add (or perhaps replace Week 3 with): Week 4: Applications Bolton, Martha. 'The Relevance of Locke's Theory of Ideas to his Doctrine of Nominal Essence and Anti-Essentialist Semantic Theory.' Locke . Ed. Vere Chappell. Oxford: OUP, 1998. pp. 214–225 Locke, Essay III. vi; III.xi. 4–22. Ott, Walter. 'Locke's Argument from Signification.' Locke Studies 2 (2002): 145–76. Focus Questions 1. What is a semantic theory? What do we want out of such a theory, and does Locke even purport to provide one? 2. What are the differences among the three main competing readings of Locke? What is at stake here? What, if anything, turns on which of them accurately captures Locke's view? 3. How does Locke think his linguistic thesis tells against competing views, such as those of the scholastics? 4. What is the difference between a proposition and a list? Can Locke account for this difference? 5. There is clearly a difference between merely thinking that the cat is on the mat and asserting that it is. Can Locke account for this difference? (shrink)
In the first two volumes of On What Matters Derek Parfit argues that there are objective moral truths, and other normative truths about what we have reasons to believe, and to want, and to do. In defending his view, Parfit argues that if there are no objective normative truths, nihilism follows, and nothing matters. He criticizes many leading contemporary philosophers working on ethics, including Simon Blackburn, Stephen Darwall, Allen Gibbard, Frank Jackson, Peter Railton, Mark Schroeder, Michael Smith, and Sharon (...) Street. Does Anything Really Matter? gives these philosophers an opportunity to respond to Parfit, and includes essays by Richard Chappell, Andrew Huddleston, Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer, Bruce Russell, and Larry Temkin. A third volume of On What Matters, in which Parfit engages with his critics and breaks new ground in finding significant agreement between his own views and theirs, is appearing as a separate companion volume. (shrink)
I develop an account of moral perception which is able to deal well with familiar naturalistic non-realist complaints about ontological extravagance and ‘queerness’. I show how this account can also ground a cogent response to familiar objections presented by Simon Blackburn and J.L. Mackie. The familiar realist's problem about relativism, however, remains.
Timothy Chappell develops a picture of what philosophical ethics can be like, once set aside from conventional moral theory. His question is 'How are we to know what to do?', and the answer he defends is 'By developing our moral imaginations'--a key part of human excellence, which plays many roles in our practical and evaluative lives.
The paper outlines and explores a possible strategy for defending both the action/omission distinction (AOD) and the principle of double effect (PDE). The strategy is to argue that there are degrees of actionhood, and that we are in general less responsible for what has a lower degree of actionhood, because of that lower degree. Moreover, what we omit generally has a lower degree of actionhood than what we actively do, and what we do under known-but-not-intended descriptions generally has a lower (...) degree of actionhood than what we do under known-and-intended descriptions. Therefore, we are in general less responsible for what we omit than for what we do—which is just what AOD says. And we are in general less responsible for what we do under known-but-not-intended descriptions than for what we do under known-and-intended descriptions—which is just what PDE says. (shrink)