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Profile: Holly Lawford-Smith (University of Melbourne)
  1. The Feasibility of Collectives' Actions.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):453-467.
    Does ?ought? imply ?can? for collectives' obligations? In this paper I want to establish two things. The first, what a collective obligation means for members of the collective. The second, how collective ability can be ascertained. I argue that there are four general kinds of obligation, which devolve from collectives to members in different ways, and I give an account of the distribution of obligation from collectives to members for each of these kinds. One implication of understanding collective obligation and (...)
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  2. Understanding Political Feasibility.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2013 - Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (3):243-259.
  3. Political Feasibility. A Conceptual Exploration.Pablo Gilabert & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - Political Studies 60 (4):809-825.
  4. Difference-Making and Individuals' Climate-Related Obligations.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - In Clare Hayward & Dominic Roser (eds.), Climate Justice in a Non-Ideal World. pp. 64-82.
    Climate change appears to be a classic aggregation problem, in which billions of individuals perform actions none of which seem to be morally wrong taken in isolation, and yet which combine to drive the global concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) ever higher toward environmental (and humanitarian) catastrophe. When an individual can choose between actions that will emit differing amounts of GHGs―such as to choose a vegan rather than carnivorous meal, to ride a bike to work rather than drive a car, (...)
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  5. Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law (by Larry Alexander Et Al.). [REVIEW]Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 35:152-158.
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  6. Benefiting From Failures to Address Climate Change.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2014 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (4):392-404.
    The politics of climate change is marked by the fact that countries are dragging their heels in doing what they ought to do; namely, creating a binding global treaty, and fulfilling the duties assigned to each of them under it. Many different agents are culpable in this failure. But we can imagine a stylised version of the climate change case, in which no agents are culpable: if the bad effects of climate change were triggered only by crossing a particular threshold, (...)
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  7. The Motivation Question: Arguments From Justice, and From Humanity.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - British Journal of Political Science 42:661-678.
    Which of the two dominant arguments for duties to alleviate global poverty, supposing their premises were generally accepted, would be more likely to produce their desired outcome? I take Pogge's argument for obligations grounded in principles of justice, a "contribution" argument, and Campbell's argument for obligations grounded in principles of humanity, an "assistance" argument, to be prototypical. Were people to accept the premises of Campbell's argument, how likely would they be to support governmental reform in policies for international aid, or (...)
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  8. The Transfer of Duties: From Individuals to States and Back Again.Stephanie Collins & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - In Michael Brady & Miranda Fricker (eds.), The Epistemic Life of Groups. Oxford University Press. pp. 150-172.
    Individuals sometimes pass their duties on to collectives, which is one way in which collectives can come to have duties. The collective discharges its duties by acting through its members, which involves distributing duties back out to individuals. Individuals put duties in and get (transformed) duties out. In this paper we consider whether (and if so, to what extent) this general account can make sense of states' duties. Do some of the duties we typically take states to have come from (...)
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  9. Debate: Ideal Theory—A Reply to Valentini.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - Journal of Political Philosophy 18 (3):357-368.
    In her ‘On the apparent paradox of ideal theory’, Laura Valentini combines three supposedly plausible premises to derive the paradoxical result that ideal theory is both unable to, and indispensable for, guiding action. Her strategy is to undermine one of the three premises by arguing that there are good and bad kinds of ideal theory, and only the bad kinds are vulnerable to the strongest version of their opponents’ attack. By undermining one of the three premises she releases ideal theorists (...)
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  10. Unethical Consumption & Obligations to Signal.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2015 - Ethics and International Affairs 29 (3):315-330.
    Many of the items that humans consume are produced in ways that involve serious harms to persons. Familiar examples include the harms involved in the extraction and trade of conflict minerals (e.g. coltan, diamonds), the acquisition and import of non- fair trade produce (e.g. coffee, chocolate, bananas, rice), and the manufacture of goods in sweatshops (e.g. clothing, sporting equipment). In addition, consumption of certain goods (significantly fossil fuels and the products of the agricultural industry) involves harm to the environment, to (...)
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  11. Collectives’ and Individuals’ Obligations: A Parity Argument.Stephanie Collins & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):1-21.
    Individuals have various kinds of obligations: keep promises, don’t cause harm, return benefits received from injustices, be partial to loved ones, help the needy and so on. How does this work for group agents? There are two questions here. The first is whether groups can bear the same kinds of obligations as individuals. The second is whether groups’ pro tanto obligations plug into what they all-things-considered ought to do to the same degree that individuals’ pro tanto obligations plug into what (...)
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  12. Non-Ideal Accessibility.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):653-669.
    What should we do when we won't do as we ought? Suppose it ought to be that the procrastinating professor accept the task of reviewing a book, and actually review the book. It seems clear that given he won't review it, he ought not to accept the task. That is a genuine moral obligation in light of less than perfect circumstances. I want to entertain the possibility that a set of such obligations form something like a 'practical morality'; that which (...)
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  13. The Importance of Being Earnest, and the Difficulty of Faking It.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - In M. Baurmann, G. Brennan, R. Goodin & N. Southwood (eds.), Norms and Values. Nomos Verlag.
    http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/ZIF/Publikationen/books/10_Baurmann_NormsAndValues.html.
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  14. What 'We'?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (2):225-250.
    The objective of this paper is to explain why certain authors - both popular and academic - are making a mistake when they attribute obligations to uncoordinated groups of persons, and to argue that it is particularly unhelpful to make this mistake given the prevalence of individuals faced with the difficult question of what morality requires of them in a situation in which there's a good they can bring about together with others, but not alone. I'll defend two alternatives to (...)
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  15.  41
    Collectives’ and Individuals’ Obligations: A Parity Argument.Stephanie Collins & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):38-58.
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  16.  38
    Offsetting Class Privilege.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - Journal of Practical Ethics 4 (1):23-51.
    The UK is an unequal society. Societies like these raise significant ethical questions for those who live in them. One is how they should respond to such inequality, and in particular, to its effects on those who are worst-off. In this article, I’ll approach this question by focusing on the obligations of a particular group of those who are best-off. I’ll defend the idea of morally objectionable class-based advantage, which I’ll call ‘class privilege’, argue that class privilege can be non-culpable, (...)
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  17. Cosmopolitan Global Justice: Brock Vs. The Feasibility Sceptic.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2011 - Global Justice Theory Practice Rhetoric (4).
  18. Introduction.Christian Barry & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - In Christian Barry & Holly Lawford-Smith (eds.), Global Justice. Ashgate.
    This volume brings together a range of influential essays by distinguished philosophers and political theorists on the issue of global justice. Global justice concerns the search for ethical norms that should govern interactions between people, states, corporations and other agents acting in the global arena, as well as the design of social institutions that link them together. The volume includes articles that engage with major theoretical questions such as the applicability of the ideals of social and economic equality to the (...)
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  19.  18
    Offsetting Race Privilege.Jeremy Dunham & Holly Lawford-Smith - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    For all the talk there has been lately about privilege, few have commented on the moral obligations that are associated with having privilege. Those who have commented haven't gone much beyond the idea that the privileged should be conscious of their privilege, should listen to those who don't have it. Here we want to go further, and build an account of the moral obligations of those with a particular kind of privilege: race privilege. In this paper we articulate an understanding (...)
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  20. Peter Corning: The Fair Society: The Science of Human Nature and the Pursuit of Social Justice. [REVIEW]Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (2):313-320.
    Peter Corning: The Fair Society: The science of human nature and the pursuit of social justice Content Type Journal Article Category Review Essay Pages 1-8 DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9304-0 Authors Holly Lawford-Smith, Centre for Applied Ethics and Public Philosophy, Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia Journal Biology and Philosophy Online ISSN 1572-8404 Print ISSN 0169-3867.
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  21.  77
    Juha Räikkä, Social Justice in Practice.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-6.
    Imagine yourself standing on the edge of a canyon, marveling at the terrain below, wondering about all the sights currently obscured from your view, and lamenting that you just don’t have time to commit to the steep descent in and long trek across, which would give you a perspective from right up close. Being handed Juha Räikkä’s new book Social Justice in Practice is like being told there’s a flying fox you can take: the canyon is applied political theory, and (...)
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  22.  23
    Climate Matters Pro Tanto, Does It Matter All-Things-Considered?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 40 (1):129-142.
    In Climate Matters (2012), John Broome argues that individuals have private duties to offset all emissions for which they are causally responsible, grounded in the general moral injunction against doing harm. Emissions do harm, therefore they must be neutralized. I argue that individuals' private duties to offset emissions cannot be grounded in a duty to do no harm, because there can be no such general duty. It is virtually impossible in our current social context―for those in developed countries at least―to (...)
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  23.  8
    Does Purchasing Make Consumers Complicit in Global Labour Injustice?Holly Lawford-Smith - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-20.
    Do consumers’ ordinary actions of purchasing certain goods make them complicit in global labour injustice? To establish that they do, two things much be shown. First, it must be established that they are not more than complicit, for example that they are not the principal perpetrators. Second, it must be established that they meet the conditions for complicity on a plausible account. I argue that Kutz’s account faces an objection that makes Lepora and Goodin’s better suited, and defend the idea (...)
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  24.  30
    [Comment] A Brief Note on the Ambiguity of ‘Ought’. Reply to Moti Mizrahi’s ‘Ought, Can and Presupposition: An Experimental Study’.Miklos Kurthy & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2015 - Methode: Analytic Perspectives 4 (6):244-249.
    Moti Mizrahi provides experimental evidence according to which subjects judge that a person ought to ? even when she cannot ?. He takes his results to constitute a falsification of the alleged intuitiveness of the ‘Ought Implies Can’ principle. We point out that in the light of the fact that (a) ‘ought’ is multiply ambiguous, that (b) only a restricted set of readings of ‘ought’ will be relevant to the principle, and that (c) he did not instruct his subjects appropriately (...)
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  25.  36
    Feasibility Constraints and the Cosmopolitan Vision: Empirical Reasons for Choosing Justice Over Humanity.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - In Stan van Hooft & Wim Vandekerckhove (eds.), Questioning Cosmopolitanism. Springer. pp. 137--150.
  26. Review of James Pattison's 'The Morality of Private War'.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2015 - Times Literary Supplement 5870.
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  27.  2
    Juha Räikkä, Social Justice in Practice.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (2):473-478.
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  28.  9
    Global Justice.Christian Barry & Holly Lawford-Smith (eds.) - 2012 - Ashgate.
    This volume brings together a range of influential essays by distinguished philosophers and political theorists on the issue of global justice. Global justice concerns the search for ethical norms that should govern interactions between people, states, corporations and other agents acting in the global arena, as well as the design of social institutions that link them together. This volume includes articles that engage with major theoretical questions such as the applicability of the ideals of social and economic equality to the (...)
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  29. Accelerating the Carbon Cycle: The Ethics of Enhanced Weathering.Adrian Currie & Holly Lawford-Smith - forthcoming - Biology Letters.
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  30. Feasibility Constraints for Political Theories.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - Dissertation, Australian National University