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Profile: Shelly Kagan (Yale University)
  1. The Limits of Morality.Shelly Kagan - 1989 - Oxford University Press.
    Most people believe that there are limits to the sacrifices that morality can demand. Although it would often be meritorious, we are not, in fact, morally required to do all that we can to promote overall good. What's more, most people also believe that certain types of acts are simply forbidden, morally off limits, even when necessary for promoting the overall good. In this provocative analysis Kagan maintains that despite the intuitive appeal of these views, they cannot be adequately defended. (...)
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  2. Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 1998
     
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  3. Do I Make a Difference?Shelly Kagan - 2011 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 39 (2):105-141.
  4. What's Wrong with Speciesism?Shelly Kagan - 2016 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 33 (1):1-21.
    Peter Singer famously argued in Animal Liberation that almost all of us are speciesists, unjustifiably favoring the interests of humans over the similar interests of other animals. Although I long found that charge compelling, I now find myself having doubts. This article starts by trying to get clear about the nature of speciesism, and then argues that Singer's attempt to show that speciesism is a mere prejudice is unsuccessful. I also argue that most of us are not actually speciesists at (...)
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  5. Rethinking Intrinsic Value.Shelly Kagan - 1998 - The Journal of Ethics 2 (4):277-297.
    According to the dominant philosophical tradition, intrinsic value must depend solely upon intrinsic properties. By appealing to various examples, however, I argue that we should at least leave open the possibility that in some cases intrinsic value may be based in part on relational properties. Indeed, I argue that we should even be open to the possibility that an object''s intrinsic value may sometimes depend (in part) on its instrumental value. If this is right, of course, then the traditional contrast (...)
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  6. Death.Shelly Kagan - 2012 - Yale University Press.
    Thinking about death -- Dualism vs. physicalism -- Arguments for the existence of the soul -- Descartes' argument -- Plato on the immortality of the soul -- Personal identity -- Choosing between the theories -- The nature of death -- Two surprising claims about death -- The badness of death -- Immortality -- The value of life -- Other aspects of death -- Living in the face of death -- Suicide -- Conclusion: an invitation.
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  7. Well-Being as Enjoying the Good.Shelly Kagan - 2009 - Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):253-272.
  8. The Additive Fallacy.Shelly Kagan - 1988 - Ethics 99 (1):5-31.
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  9. Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 2000 - Mind 109 (434):373-377.
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  10. Thinking About Cases.Shelly Kagan - 2001 - Social Philosophy and Policy 18 (2):44.
    Anyone who reflects on the way we go about arguing for or against moral claims is likely to be struck by the central importance we give to thinking about cases. Intuitive reactions to cases—real or imagined—are carefully noted, and then appealed to as providing reason to accept various claims. When trying on a general moral theory for size, for example, we typically get a feel for its overall plausibility by considering its implications in a range of cases. Similarly, when we (...)
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  11.  26
    Rethinking Intrinsic Value.Shelly Kagan - 2005 - In Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen & Michael J. Zimmerman (eds.), The Journal of Ethics. Springer. pp. 97--114.
    According to the dominant philosophical tradition, intrinsic value must depend solely upon intrinsic properties. By appealing to various examples, however, I argue that we should at least leave open the possibility that in some cases intrinsic value may be based in part on relational properties. Indeed, I argue that we should even be open to the possibility that an object's intrinsic value may sometimes depend on its instrumental value. If this is right, of course, then the traditional contrast between intrinsic (...)
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  12.  73
    The Geometry of Desert.Shelly Kagan - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    Moral desert -- Fault forfeits first -- Desert graphs -- Skylines -- Other shapes -- Placing peaks -- The ratio view -- Similar offense -- Graphing comparative desert -- Variation -- Groups -- Desert taken as a whole -- Reservations.
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  13. The Limits of Well-Being.Shelly Kagan - 1992 - Social Philosophy and Policy 9 (2):169-189.
    What are the limits of well-being? This question nicely captures one of the central debates concerning the nature of the individual human good. For rival theories differ as to what sort of facts directly constitute a person's being well-off. On some views, well-being is limited to the presence of pleasure and the absence of pain. But other views push the boundaries of well-being beyond this, so that it encompasses a variety of mental states, not merely pleasure alone. Some theories then (...)
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  14. Infinite Value and Finitely Additive Value Theory.Peter Vallentyne & Shelly Kagan - 1997 - Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):5-26.
    000000001. Introduction Call a theory of the good—be it moral or prudential—aggregative just in case (1) it recognizes local (or location-relative) goodness, and (2) the goodness of states of affairs is based on some aggregation of local goodness. The locations for local goodness might be points or regions in time, space, or space-time; or they might be people, or states of nature.1 Any method of aggregation is allowed: totaling, averaging, measuring the equality of the distribution, measuring the minimum, etc.. Call (...)
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  15. Does Consequentialism Demand Too Much? Recent Work on the Limits of Obligation.Shelly Kagan - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (3):239-254.
  16. Me and My Life.Shelly Kagan - 1993 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 94:309 - 324.
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  17. Comparative Desert.Shelly Kagan - 2003 - In Serena Olsaretti (ed.), Desert and Justice. Oxford University Press. pp. 93--122.
  18.  27
    The Paradox of Methods.Shelly Kagan - 2018 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 17 (2):148-168.
    Many proposed moral principles are such that it would be difficult or impossible to always correctly identify which act is required by that principle in a given situation. To deal with this problem, theorists typically offer various methods of determining what to do in the face of epistemic limitations, and we are then told that the right thing to do – given these limitations – is to perform the act identified by the given method. But since the method and the (...)
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  19. 30. Equality and Desert.Shelly Kagan - 1999 - In Louis P. Pojman & Owen McLeod (eds.), What Do We Deserve?: A Reader on Justice and Desert. Oxford University Press. pp. 298.
     
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  20. An Introduction to Ill-Being.Shelly Kagan - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 4:261-88.
    Typically, discussions of well-being focus almost exclusively on the positive aspects of well-being, those elements which directly contribute to a life going well, or better. It is generally assumed, without comment, that there is no need to explicitly discuss ill-being as well—that is, the part of the theory of well-being that specifies the elements which directly contribute to a life going badly, or less well—since (or so it is thought) this raises no special difficulties or problems. But this common assumption (...)
     
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    XIV—Me and My Life.Shelly Kagan - 1994 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 94 (1):309-324.
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  22. The Structure of Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 1992 - Philosophical Perspectives 6:223-242.
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  23.  36
    Review: Replies to My Critics. [REVIEW]Shelly Kagan - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):919 - 928.
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  24. Defending Options.Shelly Kagan - 1994 - Ethics 104 (2):333-351.
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  25. Morality, Rules, and Consequences: A Critical Reader.Brad Hooker, Elinor Mason, Dale E. Miller, D. W. Haslett, Shelly Kagan, Sanford S. Levy, David Lyons, Phillip Montague, Tim Mulgan, Philip Pettit, Madison Powers, Jonathan Riley, William H. Shaw, Michael Smith & Alan Thomas (eds.) - 2000 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
    What determines whether an action is right or wrong? Morality, Rules, and Consequences: A Critical Reader explores for students and researchers the relationship between consequentialist theory and moral rules. Most of the chapters focus on rule consequentialism or on the distinction between act and rule versions of consequentialism. Contributors, among them the leading philosophers in the discipline, suggest ways of assessing whether rule consequentialism could be a satisfactory moral theory. These essays, all of which are previously unpublished, provide students in (...)
     
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  26.  42
    Replies to My Critics. [REVIEW]Shelly Kagan - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):919-928.
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  27. Why Study Philosophy?Shelly Kagan - 2013 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 8 (2):258-265.
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  28. The Grasshopper, Aristotle, Bob Adams, and Me.Shelly Kagan - 2009 - In Samuel Newlands & Larry M. Jorgensen (eds.), Metaphysics and the Good: Themes From the Philosophy of Robert Merrihew Adams. Oxford University Press.
     
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  29.  6
    11. Immortality.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 234-246.
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    2. Dualism Versus Physicalism.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 6-23.
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  31.  4
    10. The Badness of Death.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 205-233.
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  32.  44
    Precis of The Limits of Morality. [REVIEW]Shelly Kagan - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):897-901.
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  33.  16
    Exploring Moral Desert.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (2):407-426.
    In The Geometry of Desert I used graphs to explore two common ideas about moral desert, namely, that people differ in terms of how deserving they are, and that it is a good thing if people get what they deserve. I argued that desert is a more complex value than we normally recognize, and I laid out a number of alternative possible views, defending some of them. In a pair of critical discussions published in this journal, Victor Tadros and Kasper (...)
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  34.  35
    The Costs of Transitivity: Thoughts on Larry Temkin’s Rethinking the Good.Shelly Kagan - 2015 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 12 (4):462-478.
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    3. Arguments for the Existence of the Soul.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 24-56.
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  36.  46
    Causation and Responsibility.Shelly Kagan - 1988 - American Philosophical Quarterly 25 (4):293 - 302.
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  37. The Argument From Liberty.Shelly Kagan - 1994 - In Joel Feinberg, Jules L. Coleman & Allen E. Buchanan (eds.), In Harm's Way: Essays in Honor of Joel Feinberg. Cambridge University Press. pp. 16--41.
     
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  38.  77
    The Present-Aim Theory of Rationality.Shelly Kagan - 1986 - Ethics 96 (4):746-759.
  39.  2
    12. The Value of Life.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 247-263.
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  40.  59
    Causation, Liability, and Internalism.Shelly Kagan - 1986 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 15 (1):41-59.
  41.  1
    Precis of The Limits of Morality. [REVIEW]Shelly Kagan - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):897.
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  42.  38
    The Unanimity Standard.Shelly Kagan - 1993 - Journal of Social Philosophy 24 (2):129-154.
  43.  1
    Acknowledgments.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press.
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  44.  1
    Contents.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press.
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  45.  1
    16. Conclusion: An Invitation.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 362-364.
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  46.  1
    7. Choosing Between the Theories.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 132-169.
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    4. Descartes’ Argument.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 57-68.
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  48.  1
    Frontmatter.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press.
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  49.  1
    Index.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 371-376.
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  50.  1
    14. Living in the Face of Death.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 282-317.
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