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  1. Responsibility for Acts and Omissions.Randolph Clarke - forthcoming - In Dana Kay Nelkin & Derk Pereboom (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Moral Responsibility.
    Accounts of moral responsibility commonly focus on responsibility for actions and their consequences. But we can be responsible as well for omitting to act or refraining from acting, and for consequences of these. And since omitting and refraining are not in every case performing an action, an account of responsibility for actions will not apply straightforwardly to these cases. This paper advances proposals concerning responsibility for omitting, refraining, and their consequences. Providing such an account is complicated by the fact that (...)
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  2. Ethical Attention and the Self in Iris Murdoch and Maurice Merleau-Ponty.Antony Fredriksson & Silvia Panizza - forthcoming - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology:1-16.
    As attention, in philosophy, is mainly discussed in the philosophy of mind, its ethical aspects have remained relatively unexplored. One notable exception is Iris Murdoch. Another philosopher, Maur...
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  3. Error Theories and Bare-Difference Methodology: A Reply to Kopeikin.Scott Hill - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-10.
    Kopeikin (forthcoming a, forthcoming b) and Rachels’ (1975) bare-difference cases elicit the intuition that killing is no different than letting die. Hill’s (2018) bare-difference cases elicit the intuition that killing is worse than letting die. At least one of the intuitions must be mistaken. This calls for an error theory. Hill has an error theory for the intuition elicited by the Kopeikin/Rachels’ cases. Kopeikin and Rachels have an error theory for the intuition elicited by Hill’s cases. A natural thought is (...)
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  4. Letting Climate Change.Charlotte Franziska Unruh - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (3):368-386.
    Recent work by Ingmar Persson and Jason Hanna has posed an interesting new challenge for deontologists: How can they account for so-called cases of letting oneself do harm? In this article, I argue that cases of letting oneself do harm are structurally similar to real-world cases such as climate change, and that deontologists need an account of the moral status of these cases to provide moral guidance in real-world cases. I then explore different ways in which deontologists can solve this (...)
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  5. Trolleyology: ¿De quién es el dilema del tranvía?Fabio Morandín-Ahuerma - 2020 - Vox Juris 38 (1):203-210.
    El autor recobra las fuentes originales del llamado Dilema del Tranvía pues considera que existe confusión sobre quién es el autor original. Sostiene que no es Phillipa Foot como suele citarse comúnmente, ni siquiera Judith Thomson, sino que sus raíces son más lejanas y se encuentran en dos juristas alemanes: Hans Welzel y, aún antes, Karl Engisch. Propone que la solución al dilema está dada desde el Derecho positivo y no en especulaciones consecuencialistas. ABSTRACT The author recovers the original sources (...)
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  6. Ways to Be Blameworthy: Rightness, Wrongness, and Responsibility.Elinor Mason - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    Elinor Mason draws on ethics and responsibility theory to present a pluralistic view of both wrongness and blameworthiness. Mason argues that our moral concepts, rightness and wrongness, must be connected to our responsibility concepts. But the connection is not simple. She identifies three different ways to be blameworthy, corresponding to different ways of acting wrongly. The paradigmatic way to be blameworthy is to act subjectively wrongly. Mason argues for an account of subjective obligation that is connected to the notion of (...)
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  7. Barry and Øverland on Doing, Allowing, and Enabling Harm.Fiona Woollard - 2019 - Ethics and Global Politics 12 (1):43-51.
    In Responding to Global Poverty: Harm, Responsibility, and Agency, Christian Barry and Gerhard Øverland address the two types of argument that have dominated discussion of the responsibilities of the affluent to respond to global poverty. The second type of argument appeals to ‘contribution-based responsibilities’: the affluent have a duty to do something about the plight of the global poor because they have contributed to that plight. Barry and Øverland rightly recognize that to assess contribution-based responsibility for global poverty, we need (...)
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  8. Autonomy and the Moral Symmetry Principle: Reply to Frowe and Tooley.Jacob Blair - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (4):531-541.
    Helen Frowe has recently objected to Michael Tooley’s famous Moral Symmetry Principle, which is meant to show that in themselves killing and letting die are morally equivalent. I argue that her objection is not compelling but a more compelling objection is available. Specifically, Tooley’s rebuttal of a proposed counter-example to his Moral Symmetry Principle has two problematic implications. First, it undercuts the very principle itself. If we reject the proposed counter-example, then any instance of the Moral Symmetry Principle will actually (...)
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  9. Two Ways to Kill a Patient.Ben Bronner - 2018 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 43 (1):44-63.
    According to the Standard View, a doctor who withdraws life-sustaining treatment does not kill the patient but rather allows the patient to die—an important distinction, according to some. I argue that killing can be understood in either of two ways, and given the relevant understanding, the Standard View is insulated from typical criticisms. I conclude by noting several problems for the Standard View that remain to be fully addressed.
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  10. Omissions: Agency, Metaphysics and Responsibility, Written by Randolph Clarke.Tyron Goldschmidt - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (1):97-99.
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  11. Murdering an Accident Victim: A New Objection to the Bare-Difference Argument.Scott Hill - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):767-778.
    Many philosophers, psychologists, and medical practitioners believe that killing is no worse than letting die on the basis of James Rachels's Bare-Difference Argument. I show that his argument is unsound. In particular, a premise of the argument is that his examples are as similar as is consistent with one being a case of killing and the other being a case of letting die. However, the subject who lets die has both the ability to kill and the ability to let die (...)
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  12. Causal Relevance, Permissible Omissions, and Famine Relief.Chad Vance - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (1):25-47.
    Failures are sometimes, but not always, causally relevant to events. For instance, the failure of the sprinkler was causally relevant to the house fire. However, the failure of the dam upstream to break (thus inundating the house with water) was not. Similarly, failures to prevent harms are sometimes, but not always, morally wrong. For instance, failing to save a nearby drowning child is morally wrong. Yet, you are also in some sense “allowing” someone on another continent to drown right now, (...)
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  13. The Evil of Refraining to Save: Liu on the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing.Jacob Blair - 2017 - Diametros 52:127-137.
    In a recent article, Xiaofei Liu seeks to defend, from the standpoint of consequentialism, the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing: DDA. While there are various conceptions of DDA, Liu understands it as the view that it is more difficult to justify doing harm than allowing harm. Liu argues that a typical harm doing involves the production of one more evil and one less good than a typical harm allowing. Thus, prima facie, it takes a greater amount of good to justify (...)
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  14. Civic Trust.Ryan Preston-Roedder - 2017 - Philosophers' Imprint 17.
    It is a commonplace that there are limits to the ways we can permissibly treat people, even in the service of good ends. For example, we may not steal someone’s wallet, even if we plan to donate the contents to famine relief, or break a promise to help a colleague move, even if we encounter someone else on the way whose need is somewhat more urgent. In other words, we should observe certain constraints against mistreating people, where a constraint is (...)
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  15. Double Effect, Doing and Allowing, and the Relaxed Nonconsequentialist.Fiona Woollard - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (sup2):142-158.
    Many philosophers display relaxed scepticism about the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing and the Doctrine of Double Effect, suspecting, without great alarm, that one or both of these Doctrines is indefensible. This relaxed scepticism is misplaced. Anyone who aims to endorse a theory of right action with Nonconsequentialist implications should accept both the DDA and the DDE. First, even to state a Nonconsequentialist theory requires drawing a distinction between respecting and promoting values. This cannot be done without accepting some deontological (...)
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  16. Responding to Global Poverty: Harm, Responsibility, and Agency.Christian Barry & Gerhard Øverland - 2016 - Cambridge University Press.
    This book explores the nature of moral responsibilities of affluent individuals in the developed world, addressing global poverty and arguments that philosophers have offered for having these responsibilities. The first type of argument grounds responsibilities in the ability to avert serious suffering by taking on some cost. The second argument seeks to ground responsibilities in the fact that the affluent are contributing to such poverty. The authors criticise many of the claims advanced by those who seek to ground stringent responsibilities (...)
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  17. Fiona Woollard, Doing and Allowing Harm: Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-19-968364-2, $70, HC. [REVIEW]Jacob Blair - 2016 - Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (3):673-681.
  18. The Total Artificial Heart and the Dilemma of Deactivation.Ben Bronner - 2016 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 26 (4):347-367.
    It is widely believed to be permissible for a physician to discontinue any treatment upon the request of a competent patient. Many also believe it is never permissible for a physician to intentionally kill a patient. I argue that the prospect of deactivating a patient’s artificial heart presents us with a dilemma: either the first belief just mentioned is false or the second one is. Whichever horn of the dilemma we choose has significant implications for contemporary medical ethics.
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  19. On Killing as Causing Death.Cheng-Chih Tsai - 2016 - Prolegomena 15 (2):163-175.
    Common sense has that killing someone amounts to causing the death of someone. This makes killing a physical, biological, or, at best, metaphysical issue, and, as a consequence, the ethics of killing can be dealt with independently of the non-ethical issue of who the killer is. However, in this paper, we show that this is not the case. A physical/biological definition of death plus a metaphysical definition of causation does not exhaust the meaning of killing. Rather, the notion of killing (...)
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  20. Moral Responsibility and Desert of Praise and Blame.Audrey L. Anton - 2015 - Lexington Books.
    Through critical examination of three main contemporary approaches to describing moral responsibility, this book illustrates why philosophers must take into account the relationship between retrospective moral responsibility and desert of praise or blame. The author advances the moral attitude account, whereby desert of praise and blame depends on the agent’s moral attitudes in response to moral reasons, and retrospective moral responsibility results from expressions of those attitudes in overt behavior.
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  21. Unifying Morality’s Influence on Non-Moral Judgments: The Relevance of Alternative Possibilities.Jonathan Phillips, Jamie B. Luguri & Joshua Knobe - 2015 - Cognition 145:30-42.
    Past work has demonstrated that people’s moral judgments can influence their judgments in a number of domains that might seem to involve straightforward matters of fact, including judgments about freedom, causation, the doing/allowing distinction, and intentional action. The present studies explore whether the effect of morality in these four domains can be explained by changes in the relevance of alternative possibilities. More precisely, we propose that moral judgment influences the degree to which people regard certain alternative possibilities as relevant, which (...)
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  22. Doing and Allowing Harm.Fiona Woollard - 2015 - Oxford University Press.
    Fiona Woollard presents an original defence of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, according to which doing harm seems much harder to justify than merely allowing harm. She argues that the Doctrine is best understood as a principle that protects us from harmful imposition, and offers a moderate account of our obligations to offer aid to others.
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  23. Omissions: Agency, Metaphysics, and Responsibility.Randolph Clarke - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Philosophical theories of agency have focused primarily on actions and activities. But, besides acting, we often omit to do or refrain from doing certain things. How is this aspect of our agency to be conceived? This book offers a comprehensive account of omitting and refraining, addressing issues ranging from the nature of agency and moral responsibility to the metaphysics of absences and causation. Topics addressed include the role of intention in intentional omission, the connection between negligence and omission, the distinction (...)
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  24. Persson, Ingmar. From Morality to the End of Reason: An Essay on Rights, Reasons, and Responsibility.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Pp. 336. $55.00. [REVIEW]Fiona Woollard - 2014 - Ethics 125 (1):272-276.
    From Morality to the End of Reason is an ambitious book. Ingmar Persson tackles key issues from across the spectrum of ethical theory and beyond: the nature of rights, self-ownership, killing and letting die, the doctrine of double effect, collective action, freedom and moral responsibility, the nature and ground of practical and epistemic reasons. His conclusions on these wide-ranging issues are woven into an overarching view of morality and rationality.
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  25. If This Is My Body … : A Defence of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing.Fiona Woollard - 2013 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3):315-341.
    I defend the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing: the claim that doing harm is harder to justify than merely allowing harm. A thing does not genuinely belong to a person unless he has special authority over it. The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing protects us against harmful imposition – against the actions or needs of another intruding on what is ours. This protection is necessary for something to genuinely belong to a person. The opponent of the Doctrine must claim that (...)
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  26. The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing II: The Moral Relevance of the Doing/Allowing Distinction.Fiona Woollard - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (7):459-469.
    According to the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, the distinction between doing and allowing harm is morally significant. Doing harm is harder to justify than merely allowing harm. This paper is the second of a two paper critical overview of the literature on the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing. In this paper, I consider the moral status of the distinction between doing and allowing harm. I look at objections to the doctrine such as James’ Rachels’ Wicked Uncle Case and Jonathan (...)
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  27. The Doctrine of Doing and Allowing I: Analysis of the Doing/Allowing Distinction.Fiona Woollard - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (7):448-458.
    According to the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing, the distinction between doing and allowing harm is morally significant. Doing harm is harder to justify than merely allowing harm. This paper is the first of a two paper critical overview of the literature on the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing. In this paper, I consider the analysis of the distinction between doing and allowing harm. I explore some of the most prominent attempts to analyse this distinction:. Philippa Foot’s sequence account, Warren (...)
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  28. Most Ways I Could Move: Bennett's Act/Omission Distinction and the Behaviour Space.Fiona Woollard - 2011 - Mind 120 (477):155-182.
    The distinction between action and omission is of interest in both theoretical and practical philosophy. We use this distinction daily in our descriptions of behaviour and appeal to it in moral judgements. However, the very nature of the act/omission distinction is as yet unclear. Jonathan Bennett’s account of the distinction in terms of positive and negative facts is one of the most promising attempts to give an analysis of the ontological distinction between action and omission. According to Bennett’s account, an (...)
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  29. A Reappraisal of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing.David K. Chan - 2010 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke & Harry S. Silverstein (eds.), Action, Ethics, and Responsibility. MIT Press. pp. 25-45.
    Warren Quinn and Philippa Foot have given versions of the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing justifying a moral distinction between doing something to bring about harm, and doing nothing to prevent harm. They argue that it is justified to allow one person to die so that one can save a larger number of people, but not to kill one person to achieve the same purpose. In this chapter, I show that the examples typically used to support the DDA do not (...)
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  30. Killing, Letting Die, and the Case for Mildly Punishing Bad Samaritanism.Ken Levy - 2010 - Georgia Law Review 44:607-695.
    For over a century now, American scholars (among others) have been debating the merits of “bad Samaritan” laws — laws punishing people for failing to attempt easy and safe rescues. Unfortunately, the opponents of bad Samaritan laws have mostly prevailed. In the United States, the “no-duty-to-rescue” rule dominates. Only four states have passed bad Samaritan laws, and these laws impose only the most minimal punishment — either sub-$500 fines or short-term imprisonment. -/- This Article argues that every state should criminalize (...)
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  31. Doing/Allowing and the Deliberative Requirement.Fiona Woollard - 2010 - Ratio 23 (2):199-216.
    Attempts to defend the moral significance of the distinction between doing and allowing harm directly have left many unconvinced. I give an indirect defence of the moral significance of the distinction between doing and allowing, focusing on the agent's duty to reason in a way that is responsive to possible harmful effects of their behaviour. Due to our cognitive limitations, we cannot be expected to take all harmful consequences of our behaviour into account. We are required to be responsive to (...)
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  32. Risk, Everyday Intuitions, and the Institutional Value of Tort Law.Govind C. Persad - 2009 - Stan. L. Rev 62:1445.
    This Note offers a normative critique of cost-benefit analysis, one informed by deontological moral theory, in the context of the debate over whether tort litigation or a non-tort approach is the appropriate response to mass harm. The first Part argues that the difference between lay and expert intuitions about risk and harm often reflects a difference in normative judgments about the existing facts, rather than a difference in belief about what facts exist, which makes the lay intuitions more defensible. The (...)
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  33. Moral Responsibility and Omissions.Jeremy Byrd - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):56–67.
    Frankfurt-type examples seem to show that agents can be morally responsible for their actions and omissions even if they could not have done otherwise. Fischer and Ravizza's influential account of moral responsibility is largely based on such examples. I examine a problem with their account of responsibility in cases where we fail to act. The solution to this problem has a surprising and far reaching implication concerning the construction of successful Frankfurt-type examples. I argue that the role of the counterfactual (...)
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  34. Environmentalism, Moral Responsibility, and the Doctrine of Doing and Allowing.Allen Thompson - 2006 - Ethics, Place and Environment 9 (3):269 – 278.
    In 'Doing and Allowing', Samuel Scheffler argues that if a person sees herself as subject to norms of individual moral responsibility, then the content of her first-order substantive norms of individual moral responsibility must attribute greater responsibility to what one does than to what one could, but fails, to prevent. This paper is about how a morally responsible agent could deny the doctrine of doing and allowing, why an environmentalist should, and what this means for environmental ethical theory.
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  35. Why It Is Sometimes Fair to Blame Agents for Unavoidable Actions and Omissions.Ken Levy - 2005 - American Philosophical Quarterly 42 (2):93 - 104.
    It is generally thought that ought implies can. If this maxim is correct, then my inability to do otherwise entails that I cannot be blamed for failing to do otherwise. In this article, however, I use Harry Frankfurt’s famous argument against the "Principle of Alternative Possibilities" (PAP) to show that the maxim is actually false, that I can be blamed for failing to do otherwise even in situations where I could not have done otherwise. In these situations, I do not (...)
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  36. Two Distinctions That Do Make a Difference: The Action/Omission Distinction and the Principle of Double Effect.Timothy Chappell - 2002 - Philosophy 77 (2):211-233.
    The paper outlines and explores a possible strategy for defending both the action/omission distinction (AOD) and the principle of double effect (PDE). The strategy is to argue that there are degrees of actionhood, and that we are in general less responsible for what has a lower degree of actionhood, because of that lower degree. Moreover, what we omit generally has a lower degree of actionhood than what we actively do, and what we do under known-but-not-intended descriptions generally has a lower (...)
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  37. Philosophical Intuitions and Psychological Theory.Tamara Horowitz - 1998 - Ethics 108 (2):367-385.
    To what extent can philosophical thought experiments reveal norms? Some ethicists have argued that certain thought experiments reveal that people draw a morally significant distinction between "doing" and "allowing". I examine one such thought experiment in detail and argue that the intuitions it elicits can be explained by "prospect theory", a psychological theory about the way people reason. The extent to which such alternative explanations of the results of thought experiments in philosophy are generally available is an empirical question.
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  38. The Principle of Agency.James Rachels - 1998 - Bioethics 12 (2):150–161.
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  39. Compatibilists Could Have Done Otherwise: Responsibility and Negative Agency.Alison McIntyre - 1994 - Philosophical Review 103 (3):453-488.
  40. Is the Distinction Between Positive Actions and Omissions Value-Neutral?Douglas N. Husak - 1985 - Tulane Studies in Philosophy 33:83-92.
  41. The Moral Equivalence of Action and Omission.Judith Lichtenberg - 1982 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume 8:19.
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  42. Rational Learners and Non-Utilitarian Rules.Shaun Nichols, Shikhar Kumar & Theresa Lopez - manuscript