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Robert C. Hughes
University of Pennsylvania
  1. Paying People to Risk Life or Limb.Robert C. Hughes - 2019 - Business Ethics Quarterly 29 (3):295-316.
    Does the content of a physically dangerous job affect the moral permissibility of hiring for that job? To what extent may employers consider costs in choosing workplace safety measures? Drawing on Kantian ethical theory, this article defends two strong ethical standards of workplace safety. First, the content of a hazardous job does indeed affect the moral permissibility of offering it. Unless employees need hazard pay to meet basic needs, it is permissible to offer a dangerous job only if prospective employees (...)
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  2. Imprisonment and the Right to Freedom of Movement.Robert C. Hughes - 2018 - In Chris W. Surprenant (ed.), Rethinking Punishment in the Era of Mass Incarceration. New York, USA: Routledge. pp. 89-104.
    Government’s use of imprisonment raises distinctive moral issues. Even if government has broad authority to make and to enforce law, government may not be entitled to use imprisonment as a punishment for all the criminal laws it is entitled to make. Indeed, there may be some serious crimes that it is wrong to punish with imprisonment, even if the conditions of imprisonment are humane and even if no adequate alternative punishments are available.
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  3.  42
    Justifying Community Benefit Requirements in International Research.Robert C. Hughes - 2014 - Bioethics 28 (8):397-404.
    It is widely agreed that foreign sponsors of research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are morally required to ensure that their research benefits the broader host community. There is no agreement, however, about how much benefit or what type of benefit research sponsors must provide, nor is there agreement about what group of people is entitled to benefit. To settle these questions, it is necessary to examine why research sponsors have an obligation to benefit the broader host community, not (...)
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  4.  24
    Would Many People Obey Non-Coercive Law?Robert C. Hughes - 2018 - Jurisprudence 9 (2):361-367.
    In response to Frederick Schauer's book The Force of Law, I argue that the available evidence indicates that non-coercive law could influence many people's behavior. It may sometimes be best to forgo coercive enforcement of an important law.
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  5.  13
    Pricing Medicine Fairly.Robert C. Hughes - 2020 - Philosophy of Management 19 (4):369-385.
    Recently, dramatic price increases by several pharmaceutical companies have provoked public outrage. These scandals raise questions both about how pharmaceutical firms should be regulated and about how pharmaceutical executives ethically ought to make pricing decisions when drug prices are largely unregulated. Though there is an extensive literature on the regulatory question, the ethical question has been largely unexplored. This article defends a Kantian approach to the ethics of pharmaceutical pricing in an unregulated market. To the extent possible, pharmaceutical companies must (...)
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  6.  97
    Law and the Entitlement to Coerce.Robert C. Hughes - 2013 - In Wilfrid J. Waluchow & Stefan Sciaraffa (eds.), Philosophical Foundations of the Nature of Law. Oxford University Press. pp. 183.
    Many assume that whenever government is entitled to make a law, it is entitled to enforce that law coercively. I argue that the justification of legal authority and the justification of governmental coercion come apart. Both in ideal theory and in actual human societies, governments are sometimes entitled to make laws that they are not entitled to enforce coercively.
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  7.  62
    Law and Coercion.Robert C. Hughes - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (3):231-240.
    Though political philosophers often presuppose that coercive enforcement is fundamental to law, many legal philosophers have doubted this. This article explores doubts of two types. Some legal philosophers argue that given an adequate account of coercion and coerciveness, the enforcement of law in actual legal systems will generally not count as coercive. Others accept that actual legal systems enforce many laws coercively, but they deny that law has a necessary connection with coercion. There can be individual laws that lack coercive (...)
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  8.  32
    Individual Risk and Community Benefit in International Research.Robert C. Hughes - 2012 - Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (10):626-629.
    It is widely agreed that medical researchers who conduct studies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are morally required to ensure that their research benefits the broader host community, not only the subjects. The justification for this moral requirement has not been adequately examined. Most attempts to justify this requirement focus on researchers' interaction with the community as a whole, not on their relationship with their subjects. This paper argues that in some cases, research must benefit the broader host community (...)
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  9.  29
    Corporations and Justice.Robert C. Hughes & Alan Strudler - 2019 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    For the past half century, there has been a large controversy within academic business ethics, in legal scholarship, and in the larger public about the role that corporations should have in addressing social injustices. Do corporations have a moral obligation to conduct business in a way that reduces poverty, racial inequality, other unjust economic and social inequalities, and unjust threats to the environment? Or should for-profit corporations focus on making money and leave solutions of these social problems to governments, nonprofit (...)
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  10.  69
    Exploitation, Deontological Constraints, and Shareholder Theory.Robert C. Hughes - 2019 - Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy 17:1007-1026.
    One of the central controversies in normative business ethics is the question whether transactions and economic relationships can be wrongfully exploitative despite being mutually beneficial and consensual. This article argues that anyone who accepts a shareholder theory of business ethics should accept deontological constraints on mutually beneficial, consensual exploitation.
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  11.  68
    Egalitarian Provision of Necessary Medical Treatment.Robert C. Hughes - 2020 - The Journal of Ethics 24 (1):55-78.
    Considerations of autonomy and independence, properly understood, support strictly egalitarian provision of necessary medical treatment. If the financially better-off can purchase access to necessary medical treatments that the financially less well-off cannot purchase without help, then their discretionary power to give or to withhold monetary gifts indirectly gives them the power to make life-and-death or sickness-and-health decisions for others. To prevent private citizens from having this objectionable form of power, government must ensure that citizens’ finances do not affect their access (...)
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  12.  74
    Judicial Democracy.Robert C. Hughes - 2019 - Loyola University Chicago Law Journal 51:19-64.
    Many scholars believe that it is procedurally undemocratic for the judiciary to have an active role in shaping the law. These scholars believe either that such practices as judicial review and creative statutory interpretation are unjustified, or that they are justified only because they improve the law substantively. This Article argues instead that the judiciary can play an important procedurally democratic role in the development of the law. Majority rule by legislatures is not the only defining feature of democracy; rather, (...)
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  13.  26
    Risk, Double Effect and the Social Benefit Requirement.Robert C. Hughes - forthcoming - Journal of Medical Ethics:medethics-2019-106034.
    Many ethicists maintain that medical research on human subjects that presents no prospect of direct medical benefit must have a prospect of social benefit to be ethical. Payment is not the sort of benefit that justifies exposing subjects to risk. Alan Wertheimer has raised a serious challenge to this view, pointing out that in industry, social value is not considered necessary to make dangerous jobs ethical. This article argues that Wertheimer was correct to think that the ethics of hazard pay (...)
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  14.  68
    Responsive Government and Duties of Conscience.Robert C. Hughes - 2014 - Jurisprudence 5 (2):244-264.
    This paper defends a new argument for enabling citizen participation in government: individuals must have genuine opportunities to try to change the law in order to be able to satisfy duties of conscience. Without such opportunities, citizens who regard systems of related laws as partially unjust face a moral dilemma. If they comply with these laws willingly without also trying to change them, they commit a pro tanto wrong by willingly participating in injustice . If they disobey, or if they (...)
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  15.  12
    The Ethics of Obeying Judicial Orders in Flawed Societies.Robert C. Hughes - 2020 - Res Publica 26 (4):559-575.
    Many accounts of the moral duty to obey the law either restrict the duty to ideal democracies or leave the duty’s application to non-ideal societies unclear. This article presents and defends a partial account of the moral duty to obey the law in non-ideal societies, focusing on the duty to obey judicial orders. We need public judicial authority to prevent objectionable power relationships that can result from disputes about private agreements. The moral need to prevent power imbalances in private relationships (...)
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