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  1. Honor for Intro.Dan Demetriou - manuscript
    This piece is written as a public service to ethics professors and students interested in learning more about honor ethics. To facilitate its use in classrooms, it’s written in the style of many contemporary textbooks: it focuses on ideas, principles, and intuitions and ignores scholarly figures and intellectual history. Readers should note this is an “opinionated” introduction, as it focuses on the agonistic conception of honor. It also takes for granted that the agonistic ethos described counts as a “moral” theory. (...)
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  2. Numbers, Fairness and Charity.Adam Hosein - manuscript
    This paper discusses the "numbers problem," the problem of explaining why you should save more people rather than fewer when forced to choose. Existing non-consequentialist approaches to the problem appeal to fairness to explain why. I argue that this is a mistake and that we can give a more satisfying answer by appealing to requirements of charity or beneficence.
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  3. Falibilidad y Normatividad.Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia (ed.) - forthcoming - Madrid, España: Cátedra.
    La falibilidad es una condición ubicua de nuestras empresas, la cual emana del hecho de que, comúnmente, las cosas que más nos interesan, como el descubrir la verdad, referirnos a cosas que de hecho existen, evitar dañar a los otros, etc., escapan nuestro alcance y, sin embargo, no dejamos de hacer grandes esfuerzos para conseguirlas. Es posible que hagamos todo lo que está en nuestras manos para actuar de manera cuidadosa y responsable y aun así nuestros actos tengan consecuencias negativas; (...)
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  4. Entrapment, Temptation, and Virtue Testing.Daniel J. Hill, Stephen K. McLeod & Attila Tanyi - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    We address the ethics of scenarios in which one party (the ‘agent’) entraps, intentionally tempts, or intentionally tests the virtue of another (the ‘target’). We classify, in a new manner, three distinct types of acts that are of concern, namely acts of entrapment, of (mere) intentional temptation and of (mere) virtue testing. Our classification is, for each kind of scenario, of itself neutral concerning the question whether the agent acts permissibly (and concerning the extent to which the target is culpable). (...)
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  5. Self-Deception as a Moral Failure.Jordan MacKenzie - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    In this paper, I defend the view that self-deception is a moral failure. Instead of saying that self-deception is bad because it undermines our moral character or leads to morally deleterious consequences, as has been argued by Butler, Kant, Smith, and others, I argue the distinctive badness of self-deception lies in the tragic relationship that it bears to our own values. On the one hand, self-deception is motivated by what we value. On the other hand, it prevents us from valuing (...)
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  6. Value Conservatism and Its Challenge to Consequentialism.Reuben Sass - 2021 - Utilitas 33 (3):337-352.
    G.A. Cohen’s value conservatism entails that we ought to preserve some existing sources of value in lieu of more valuable replacements, thereby repudiating maximizing consequentialism. Cohen motivates value conservatism through illustrative cases. The consequentialist, however, can explain many Cohen-style cases by taking extrinsic properties, such as historical significance, to be sources of final value. Nevertheless, it may be intuitive that there’s stronger reason to preserve than to promote certain sources of value, especially historically significant things. This motivates an argument that (...)
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  7. The Rights of Foreign Intelligence Targets.Michael Skerker - 2021 - In Seumas Miller, Mitt Regan & Patrick Walsh (eds.), National Security Intelligence and Ethics. London: Routledge. pp. 89-106.
    I develop a contractualist theory of just intelligence collection based on the collective moral responsibility to deliver security to a community and use the theory to justify certain kinds of signals interception. I also consider the rights of various intelligence targets like intelligence officers, service personnel, government employees, militants, and family members of all of these groups in order to consider how targets' waivers or forfeitures might create the moral space for just surveillance. Even people who are not doing anything (...)
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  8. Teaching and Learning Guide For: Theories of Whistleblowing.Emanuela Ceva & Michele Bocchiola - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (4).
    This is a support piece to the Philosophy Compass article "Theories of Whistleblowing." It gives indications for some essential bibliography helpful to design a teaching module on the justification of whistleblowing.
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  9. Conditional Obligations.Tina Rulli - 2020 - Social Theory and Practice 46 (2):365-390.
    Some obligations are conditional such that act A is morally optional, but if one chooses A, one is required to do act B rather than some other less valuable act C. Such conditional obligations arise frequently in research ethics, in the philosophical literature, and in real life. They are controversial: how does a morally optional act give rise to demanding requirements to do the best? Some think that the fact that a putative obligation has a conditional structure, so defined, is (...)
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  10. Risks and Weak Aggregation: Why Different Models of Risk Suit Different Types of Cases.Alec Walen - 2020 - Ethics 131 (1):62-86.
    Discussions of risk have assumed that risk must be modeled the same in all cases. This is a mistake. Normally, if people know that those affected by an agent’s choice have conflicting interests, th...
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  11. Personal Trust, Public Accountability, and the Justification of Whistleblowing.Emanuela Ceva & Michele Bocchiola - 2019 - Journal of Political Philosophy 27 (2):187-206.
    Whistleblowing (WB) is the practice of reporting immoral or illegal behavior by members of a legitimate organization with privileged access to information concerning an alleged wrongdoing within that organization. A common critique of WB draws on its supposed consequence of generating a climate of mutual distrust. This wariness is heightened in the case of external WB, which may lead to weakening public trust in an organization by diminishing its credibility. Accordingly, even the defenders of WB have presented it as an (...)
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  12. Opting for the Best: Oughts and Options.Douglas W. Portmore - 2019 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The book concerns what I take to be the least controversial normative principle concerning action: you ought to perform your best option—best, that is, in terms of whatever ultimately matters. The book sets aside the question of what ultimately matters so as to focus on more basic issues, such as: What are our options? Do I have the option of typing out the cure for cancer if that’s what I would in fact do if I had the right intentions at (...)
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  13. Wild Goose Chase: Still No Rationales for the Doctrine of Double Effect and Related Principles.Uwe Steinhoff - 2019 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 13 (1):1-25.
    I focus on the question as to what rationale could possibly underlie the doctrine of double effect or related principles. I first briefly review the correct critiques of the claim that people who intend some evil as a means to a good must be “guided by evil,” and that this is allegedly always wrong. I then argue that Quinn’s claim that violations of the DDE express certain negative attitudes of the agent and that agents violating the DDE must make an (...)
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  14. Responsibility for Reason-Giving: The Case of Individual Tainted Reasoning in Systemic Corruption.Emanuela Ceva & Lubomira Radoilska - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (4):789-809.
    The paper articulates a new understanding of individual responsibility focused on exercises of agency in reason-giving rather than intentional actions or attitudes towards others. Looking at how agents make sense of their actions, we identify a distinctive but underexplored space for assessing individual responsibility within collective actions. As a case in point, we concentrate on reason-giving for one's own involvement in systemic corruption. We characterize systemic corruption in terms of its public ‘unavowability’ and focus on the redescriptions to which corrupt (...)
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  15. Rik Peels, Responsible Belief: A Theory in Ethics and Epistemology. [REVIEW]Robert J. Hartman - 2018 - Ethics 128 (3):646-651.
  16. Guidance, Obligations and Ability: A Close Look at the Action Guidance Argument for Ought-Implies-Can.Nick Hughes - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (1):73-85.
    It is often argued that the requirement that moral obligations be ‘action guiding’ motivates the claim that one can be obligated to ϕ only if one can ϕ. I argue that even on its most plausible interpretation, this argument fails, since the reasoning behind it leads to the absurd conclusion that one is permitted to ϕ if one cannot ϕ.
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  17. Knowing Yourself and Being Worth Knowing.Jordan Mackenzie - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (2):243-261.
    Philosophers have often understood self-knowledge's value in instrumentalist terms. Self-knowledge may be valuable as a means to moral self-improvement and self-satisfaction, while its absence can lead to viciousness and frustration. These explanations, while compelling, do not fully explain the value that many of us place in self-knowledge. Rather, we have a tendency to treat self-knowledge as its own end. In this article, I vindicate this tendency by identifying a moral reason that we have to value and seek self-knowledge that is (...)
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  18. Why Desperate Times (But Only Desperate Times) Call for Consequentialism.Chelsea Rosenthal - 2018 - In Mark Timmons (ed.), Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics, Vol. 8. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 211-235.
    People often think there are moral duties that hold irrespective of the consequences, until those consequences exceed some threshold level – that we shouldn’t kill innocent people in order to produce the best consequences, for example, except when those consequences involve saving millions of lives. This view is known as “threshold deontology.” While clearly controversial, threshold deontology has significant appeal. But it has proven quite difficult to provide a non-ad hoc justification for it. This chapter develops a new justification, showing (...)
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  19. Must Consequentialists Kill?Kieran Setiya - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (2):92-105.
    Argues that the ethics of killing and saving lives is best described by agent-neutral consequentialism, not by appeal to agent-centred restrictions. It does not follow that killings are worse than accidental deaths or that you should kill one to prevent more killings. The upshot is a puzzle about killing and letting die.
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  20. How Should One Live? An Introduction to Ethics and Moral Reasoning.Bradley Thames - 2018 - San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.
    This book provides an entry-level introduction to philosophical ethics, theories of moral reasoning, and selected issues in applied ethics. Chapter 1 describes the importance of philosophical approaches to ethical issues, the general dialectical form of moral reasoning, and the broad landscape of moral philosophy. Chapter 2 presents egoism and relativism as challenges to the presumed objectivity and unconditionality of morality. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 discuss utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics, respectively. Each chapter begins with a general overview of the (...)
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  21. Rethinking the Principle of Fair Play.Justin Tosi - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):612-631.
    The principle of fair play is widely thought to require simply that costs and benefits be distributed fairly. This gloss on the principle, while not entirely inaccurate, has invited a host of popular objections based on misunderstandings about fair play. Central to many of these objections is a failure to treat the principle of fair play as a transactional principle—one that allocates special obligations and rights among persons as a result of their interactions. I offer an interpretation of the principle (...)
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  22. Political Corruption.Emanuela Ceva & Maria Paola Ferretti - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (12):e12461.
    The corruption of public officials and institutions is generally regarded as wrong. But in what exactly does this form of corruption consist and what kind of wrong does it imply? This article aims to take stock of the current philosophical discussion of the different senses in which political corruption is wrong in a general sense, beyond the specific negative legal, economic, and social costs it may happen to have in specific circumstances. Political corruption is usually presented as a pathology of (...)
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  23. Rejoinder to Wall.Scott Forschler - 2017 - Metaphilosophy 48 (4):572-574.
    Edmund Wall's criticism of the author's earlier analysis of Hare's consequentialism and Kantian ethics claims that the author overlooked Hare's commitment to preference satisfaction as an “ultimate good.” This rejoinder points out that Hare never uses the phrase in question, nor any equivalent phrase or concept, in presenting his own arguments and refers only to the standard of “universalizability” as ultimate, in contexts that support the author's original argument. Hence Wall has only given us yet another example of how Hare's (...)
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  24. Is Agent-Neutral Deontology Possible?Matthew Hammerton - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (3):319-324.
    It is commonly held that all deontological moral theories are agent-relative in the sense that they give each agent a special concern that she does not perform acts of a certain type rather than a general concern with the actions of all agents. Recently, Tom Dougherty has challenged this orthodoxy by arguing that agent-neutral deontology is possible. In this article I counter Dougherty's arguments and show that agent-neutral deontology is not possible.
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  25. The Morality-Welfare Circularity Problem.William Lauinger - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (8):1959-1981.
    Various moral theories are essentially welfare-involving in that they appeal to the promotion or the respect of well-being in accounting for the moral rightness of at least some acts. Further, various theories of well-being are essentially morality-involving in that they construe well-being in a way that essentially involves morality in some form or other. It seems that, for any moral theory that is essentially welfare-involving and that relies on a theory of well-being that is essentially morality-involving, a circularity problem may (...)
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  26. Action, Deontology, and Risk: Against the Multiplicative Model.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2017 - Ethics 127 (3):674-707.
    Deontological theories face difficulties in accounting for situations involving risk; the most natural ways of extending deontological principles to such situations have unpalatable consequences. In extending ethical principles to decision under risk, theorists often assume the risk must be incorporated into the theory by means of a function from the product of probability assignments to certain values. Deontologists should reject this assumption; essentially different actions are available to the agent when she cannot know that a certain act is in her (...)
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  27. Second Person Rules: An Alternative Approach to Second-Personal Normativity.Kevin Vallier - 2017 - Res Publica 23 (1):23-42.
    Stephen Darwall’s moral theory explains moral obligation by appealing to a “second-person” standpoint where persons use second-person reasons to hold one another accountable for their moral behavior. However, Darwall claims obligations obtain if and only if hypothetical persons endorse them, despite tying the second-person standpoint to our real-world moral practices. Focus on hypothetical persons renders critical elements of his account obscure. I solve this problem by distinguishing two ideas quietly working in tandem, the hypothetical endorsement of moral norms and the (...)
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  28. What's Wrong with Differential Punishment?Benjamin S. Yost - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (3):257-285.
    Half of the drug offenders incarcerated in the United States are black, even though whites and blacks use and sell drugs at the same rate, and blacks make up only 13 percent of the population. Noncomparativists about retributive justice see nothing wrong with this picture; for them, an offender’s desert is insensitive to facts about other offenders. By contrast, comparativists about retributive justice assert that facts about others can partially determine an offender’s desert. Not surprisingly, comparativists, especially comparative egalitarians, contend (...)
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  29. Benefiting From Wrongdoing and Sustaining Wrongful Harm.Christian Barry & David Wiens - 2016 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (5):530-552.
    Some moral theorists argue that innocent beneficiaries of wrongdoing may have special remedial duties to address the hardships suffered by the victims of the wrongdoing. These arguments generally aim to simply motivate the idea that being a beneficiary can provide an independent ground for charging agents with remedial duties to the victims of wrongdoing. Consequently, they have neglected contexts in which it is implausible to charge beneficiaries with remedial duties to the victims of wrongdoing, thereby failing to explore the limits (...)
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  30. Kamm, F. M. The Trolley Problem Mysteries, Ed. Eric Rakowski.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. 264. $29.95. [REVIEW]Molly Gardner - 2016 - Ethics 126 (4):1105-1110.
  31. Collective Obligations: Their Existence, Their Explanatory Power, and Their Supervenience on the Obligations of Individuals.Bill Wringe - 2016 - European Journal of Philosophy 24 (2):472-497.
    In this paper I discuss a number of different relationships between two kinds of obligation: those which have individuals as their subject, and those which have groups of individuals as their subject. I use the name collective obligations to refer to obligations of the second sort. I argue that there are collective obligations, in this sense; that such obligations can give rise to and explain obligations which fall on individuals; that because of these facts collective obligations are not simply reducible (...)
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  32. The Search for Liability in the Defensive Killing of Nonhuman Animals.Cheryl Abbate & C. E. Abbate - 2015 - Social Theory and Practice 41 (1):106-130.
    While theories of animal rights maintain that nonhuman animals possess prima facie rights, such as the right to life, the dominant philosophies of animal rights permit the killing of nonhuman animals for reasons of self-defense. I argue that the animal rights discourse on defensive killing is problematic because it seems to entail that any nonhuman animal who poses a threat to human beings can be justifiably harmed without question. To avoid this human-privileged conclusion, I argue that the animal rights position (...)
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  33. The Moral Status of Abortion in Islam: A Comparative Study of Muslim and Western Normative Ethics Regarding the Act of Terminating the Life of A Foetus.Paweł Bernat - 2015 - International Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research 3 (4):273-278.
    In the West there seems to be a clear cut-line between the proponents and opponents of abortion. The former tend to justify their choice by calling for consequentialistic arguments, while the latter are, in huge majority, deontologists. The issue of abortion has been long debated in Islam. Those debates however lacked in intensity and rabidity when compared with their Western counterparts. This article is an attempt to compare the two standpoints and point at the reasons of that discrepancy. The paper (...)
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  34. The Argument From Self-Defeating Beliefs Against Deontology.Emilian Mihailov - 2015 - Ethical Perspectives 22 (4):573-600.
    There is a tendency to use data from neuroscience, cognitive science and experimental psychology to rail against philosophical ethics. Recently, Joshua Greene has argued that deontological judgments tend to be supported by emotional responses to irrelevant features, whereas consequentialist judgments are more reliable because they tend to be supported by cognitive processes. In this article, I will analyse the evidence used by Greene to suggest a different kind of argument against deontology, which I will call the argument from self-defeating beliefs. (...)
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  35. Hobbes and Normative Egoism.Alex Worsnip - 2015 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 97 (4):481-512.
    Is Hobbes a normative egoist? That is: does Hobbes think that an agent’s normative reasons are all grounded in her own good? A once-dominant tradition of Hobbes scholarship answers ‘yes’. In an important recent work, however, S.A. Lloyd has argued that the answer to the question is ‘no’, and built an alternative non-egoistic interpretation of Hobbes that stresses reciprocity and mutual justifiability. My aim in this paper is to articulate and defend an original ‘middle way’ interpretation of Hobbes which steers (...)
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  36. Moral Coercion.Saba Bazargan - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14.
    The practices of using hostages to obtain concessions and using human shields to deter aggression share an important characteristic which warrants a univocal reference to both sorts of conduct: they both involve manipulating our commitment to morality, as a means to achieving wrongful ends. I call this type of conduct “moral coercion”. In this paper I (a) present an account of moral coercion by linking it to coercion more generally, (b) determine whether and to what degree the coerced agent is (...)
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  37. Chaos and Constraints.Howard Nye - 2014 - In David Boersema (ed.), Dimensions of Moral Agency. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 14-29.
    Agent-centered constraints on harming hold that some harmful upshots of our conduct cannot be justified by its generating equal or somewhat greater benefits. In this paper I argue that all plausible theories of agent-centered constraints on harming are undermined by the likelihood that our actions will have butterfly effects, or cause cascades of changes that make the world dramatically different than it would have been. Theories that impose constraints against only intended harming or proximally caused harm have unacceptable implications for (...)
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  38. The Perils of Earnest Consequentializing.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):233-240.
  39. What is Ethics?Raymond Aaron Younis - 2014 - In Angus Brook (ed.), An Introduction to Philosophy and Theology. Sydney: McGraw-Hill. pp. 109-118.
  40. Torture Porn: Popular Horror After Saw.Steve Jones - 2013 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Torture Porn is a term that has generated a great deal of controversy during the last decade, critics utilizing the term to dismiss contemporary popular horror cinema as obscene and morally depraved. Arguing primarily in defense of torture-themed horror films, this book seeks to offer a critical overview and examination of the Torture Porn phenomenon, discussing the generic contexts in which it is situated, scrutinizing press responses to the sub-genre, and offering narrative analyses of the sub-genre’s central films; including the (...)
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  41. Shaping the Normative Landscape. By David Owens. [REVIEW]Mark Lebar - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):851-853.
    David Owens argues that we have interests in purely normative phenomena—in particular, in being obligated. That is, obligation is valuable not merely because our more obvious and non-normative interests are served via being obligated and doing what we are obligated to do, but because the various ways in which we obligate ourselves to others, and they to us, are valuable in and of themselves. This is our ‘normative landscape’, and we shape that landscape through our various normative undertakings, such as (...)
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  42. Irreconcilable Differences.Erin Taylor - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (2):181-192.
    This paper argues that theoretical consistency and actionguidingness—as these have been formulated in the moral dilemmas debate—do not rule out interpersonal moral conflict. This leaves open the possibility that theoretical consistency and action-guidingness may demand more than what has been traditionally assumed. That question is considered here. Do these resources rule out all-things-considered interpersonal moral conflict in non-consequentialist theories? This paper argues that neither theoretical consistency nor action-guidingness can rule out such conflict, but action-guidingness properly construed provides a desideratum against (...)
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  43. Sen and the Bhagavad Gita: Lessons for a Theory of Justice.Joshua Anderson - 2012 - Asian Philosophy 22 (1):63-74.
    In The Idea of Justice, Amartya Sen, among other things, discusses certain qualities any adequate theory of justice ought to incorporate. Two important qualities a theory of justice should account for are impartiality/objectivity and sensitivity to consequences. In order to motivate his discussion of sensitivity to consequences, Sen discusses the debate between Krishna and Arjuna from the religio-philosophical Hindu text the Bhagavad Gita. According to Sen, Arjuna represents a sensitivity to consequences while Krishna is an archetypal deontologist. In this paper (...)
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  44. All Things Considered Duties to Believe.Anthony Robert Booth - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):509-517.
    To be a doxastic deontologist is to claim that there is such a thing as an ethics of belief (or of our doxastic attitudes in general). In other words, that we are subject to certain duties with respect to our doxastic attitudes, the non-compliance with which makes us blameworthy and that we should understand doxastic justification in terms of these duties. In this paper, I argue that these duties are our all things considered duties, and not our epistemic or moral (...)
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  45. The Idea of Freedom and Moral Cognition in Groundwork III.Sergio Tenenbaum - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (3):555-589.
    Kant’s views on the relation between freedom and moral law seem to undergo a major, unannounced shift. In the third section of the Groundwork, Kant seems to be using the fact that we must act under the idea of freedom as a foundation for the moral law. However, in the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant claims that our awareness of our freedom depends on our awareness of the moral law. I argue that the apparent conflict between the two texts depends (...)
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  46. As Boys Pursue the Rainbow. Whewell’s Independent Morality Vs. Sidgwick’s Dogmatic Intuitionism.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2011 - In Placido Bucolo, Roger Crisp & Bart Schultz (eds.), Proceedings of the Second World Congress on Henry Sidgwick. Ethics, Psychics, Politics. Catania, Italy: CUECM. pp. 146-235.
    I discuss Whewell’s philosophy of morality, as opposed to systematic morality, not unlike Kant’s distinction between a pure and an empirical moral philosophy. Whewell worked out a systematization of traditional normative ethics as a first step before its rational justification; he believed that the point in the philosophy of morality is justifying a few rational truths about the structure of morality such as to rule hedonism, eudemonism, and consequentialism; yet a system of positive morality cannot be derived solely from such (...)
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  47. The "Prospective View" of Obligation.Holly M. Smith - 2010 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-9.
  48. Stephen Darwall, the Second-Person Standpoint: Morality, Respect and Accountability (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2006), Pp. XII + 348.Sam Fleischacker - 2009 - Utilitas 21 (1):117-123.
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  49. Beyond Consequentialism.Paul Hurley - 2009 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Consequentialism, the theory that morality requires us to promote the best overall outcome, is the default alternative in contemporary moral philosophy, and is highly influential in public discourses beyond academic philosophy. Paul Hurley argues that current discussions of the challenge consequentialism tend to overlook a fundamental challenge to consequentialism. The standard consequentialist account of the content of morality, he argues, cannot be reconciled to the authoritativeness of moral standards for rational agents. If rational agents typically have decisive reasons to do (...)
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  50. What is Consequentialism?Elinor Mason - 2009 - Think 8 (21):19-28.
    Elinor Mason explains and contrasts consequentialist and duty-based theories of ethics.
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