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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. 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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  5. Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 2000 - Mind 109 (434):373-377.
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  6. 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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  7. The Additive Fallacy.Shelly Kagan - 1988 - Ethics 99 (1):5-31.
  8.  47
    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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  9. Well-Being as Enjoying the Good.Shelly Kagan - 2009 - Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):253-272.
  10. 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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  11. Death.Shelly Kagan - 2012 - Yale University Press.
    There is one thing we can be sure of: we are all going to die. But once we accept that fact, the questions begin. In this thought-provoking book, philosophy professor Shelly Kagan examines the myriad questions that arise when we confront the meaning of mortality. Do we have reason to believe in the existence of immortal souls? Or should we accept an account according to which people are just material objects, nothing more? Can we make sense of the idea of (...)
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  12.  83
    The Geometry of Desert.Shelly Kagan - 2005 - 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. 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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  14. How to Count Animals, More or Less.Shelly Kagan - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    Shelly Kagan argues for a hierarchical position in animal ethics where people count more than animals do, and some animals count more than others. In arguing for his account of morality, Kagan sets out what needs to be done to establish our obligations toward animals and to fulfil our duties to them.
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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. Me and My Life.Shelly Kagan - 1994 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 94:309-324.
    In this paper I take some initial steps toward exploring and motivating the suggestion that quality of life and level of well-being do not come to the same thing.
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  18. Does Consequentialism Demand Too Much? Recent Work on the Limits of Obligation.Shelly Kagan - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (3):239-254.
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    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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  20.  18
    XIV—Me and My Life.Shelly Kagan - 1994 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 94 (1):309-324.
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  21.  62
    Replies to My Critics. [REVIEW]Shelly Kagan - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):919-928.
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  22. The Structure of Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 1992 - Philosophical Perspectives 6:223-242.
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  23.  50
    Review: Replies to My Critics. [REVIEW]Shelly Kagan - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):919 - 928.
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  24.  7
    Comparative Desert.Shelly Kagan - 2003 - In Serena Olsaretti (ed.), Desert and Justice. Oxford University Press. pp. 93--122.
    Serena Olsaretti brings together new essays by leading moral and political philosophers on the nature of desert and justice, their relations with each other and with other values.
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  25. Defending Options.Shelly Kagan - 1994 - Ethics 104 (2):333-351.
  26. 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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  27. 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.
  28.  13
    Replies to My CriticsThe Limits of Morality.Shelly Kagan - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):919.
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  29. Why Study Philosophy?Shelly Kagan - 2013 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 8 (2):258-265.
     
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  30. 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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  31.  43
    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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  32.  60
    Causation and Responsibility.Shelly Kagan - 1988 - American Philosophical Quarterly 25 (4):293 - 302.
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  33.  15
    Defending Moral OptionsThe Limits of Morality.Dan W. Brock & Shelly Kagan - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):909.
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  34.  52
    The Costs of Transitivity: Thoughts on Larry Temkin’s Rethinking the Good.Shelly Kagan - 2015 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 12 (4):462-478.
  35. 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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  36.  64
    Precis of The Limits of MoralityThe Limits of Morality. [REVIEW]Shelly Kagan - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (4):897.
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  37.  89
    The Present-Aim Theory of Rationality.Shelly Kagan - 1986 - Ethics 96 (4):746-759.
  38.  76
    Causation, Liability, and Internalism.Shelly Kagan - 1986 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 15 (1):41-59.
  39.  3
    Acknowledgments.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press.
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  40.  46
    3. Arguments for the Existence of the Soul.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 24-56.
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  41.  4
    Contents.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press.
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  42.  3
    16. Conclusion: An Invitation.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 362-364.
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  43.  9
    7. Choosing Between the Theories.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 132-169.
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  44.  9
    4. Descartes’ Argument.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 57-68.
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  45.  29
    Donagan on the Sins of Consequentialism.Shelly Kagan - 1987 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):643 - 653.
    Most intuitively forceful criticisms of utilitarianism, I believe, reduce to two basic objections. Both arise from the relentlessness of the utilitarian injunction to promote the overall good. On the one hand, this means that agents are permitted to perform an act of any kind whatsoever–provided only that the consequences of that act are better than those of any alternative. In particular, this means that it is permissible to impose tremendous sacrifices or injuries upon someone, if this is the only way (...)
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    Donagan On The Sins Of Consequentialism.Shelly Kagan - 1987 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):643-653.
    Most intuitively forceful criticisms of utilitarianism, I believe, reduce to two basic objections. Both arise from the relentlessness of the utilitarian injunction to promote the overall good. On the one hand, this means that agents are permitted to perform an act of any kind whatsoever–provided only that the consequences of that act are better than those of any alternative. In particular, this means that it is permissible to impose tremendous sacrifices or injuries upon someone, if this is the only way (...)
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    2. Dualism Versus Physicalism.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 6-23.
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  48.  5
    Frontmatter.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press.
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  49. For Hierarchy in Animal Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 2018 - Journal of Practical Ethics 6 (1):1-18.
    In my forthcoming book, How to Count Animals, More or Less (based on my 2016 Uehiro Lectures in Practical Ethics), I argue for a hierarchical approach to animal ethics according to which animals have moral standing but nonetheless have a lower moral status than people have. This essay is an overview of that book, drawing primarily from selections from its beginning and end, aiming both to give a feel for the overall project and to indicate the general shape of the (...)
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    Index.Shelly Kagan - 2017 - In Death. Yale University Press. pp. 371-376.
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