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  1. Finlay's Radical Altruism.Gerald Hull - manuscript
    The question “Why should I be moral?” has long haunted normative ethics. How one answers it depends critically upon one’s understanding of morality, self-interest, and the relation between them. Stephen Finlay, in “Too Much Morality”, challenges the conventional interpretation of morality in terms of mutual fellowship, offering instead the “radical” view that it demands complete altruistic self-abnegation: the abandonment of one’s own interests in favor of those of any “anonymous” other. He ameliorates this with the proviso that there is no (...)
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  2. Acts, Attitudes, and Rational Choice.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    In this paper, I argue that we have obligations not only to perform certain actions, but also to have certain attitudes (such as desires, beliefs, and intentions), and this despite the fact that we rarely, if ever, have direct voluntary control over our attitudes. Moreover, I argue that whatever obligations we have with respect to actions derive from our obligations with respect to attitudes. More specifically, I argue that an agent is obligated to perform an action if and only if (...)
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  3. Maximalism and Rational Control.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    Maximalism is the view that if an agent is permitted to perform a certain type of action (say, baking), this is in virtue of the fact that she is permitted to perform some instance of this type (say, baking a pie), where φ-ing is an instance of ψ-ing if and only if φ-ing entails ψ-ing but not vice versa. Now, the point of this paper is not to defend maximalism, but to defend a certain account of our options that when (...)
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  4. Morality, Rationality, and Performance Entailment.Douglas W. Portmore - manuscript
    The performance of one option can entail the performance of another. For instance, baking an apple pie entails baking a pie. Now, suppose that both of these options—baking a pie and baking an apple pie—are permissible. This raises the issue of which, if either, is more fundamental than the other. Is baking a pie permissible because it’s permissible to bake an apple pie? Or is baking an apple pie permissible because it’s permissible to bake a pie? Or are they equally (...)
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  5. Precautionary Paralysis.J. E. H. Simon - manuscript
    A brief examination of the self-negating quality of the precautionary principle within the context of environmental ethics, and its consequent failure, as an ethical guide, to justify large-scale regulation of atmospheric cabon dioxide emissions.
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  6. Constructing the Abstract Individual.Jesper Ahlin Marceta - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-14.
    The abstract individual is a model that represents real human beings in moral and political philosophy. It occupies a central role in individualist theories such as political liberalism and mainstream Western medical ethics. This article presents two methodological standards for assessing competing models. Taken together, the standards form an objective yardstick against which different constructions of the abstract individual can be evaluated. Thereby, the article introduces a new level of abstraction, and a new set of normative principles, to individualist moral (...)
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  7. Duties and Demandingness, Individual and Collective.Marcus Hedahl & Kyle Fruh - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-23.
    Concern regarding overly demanding duties has been a prominent feature of moral debate ever since the possibility was famously sounded out by Bernard Williams nearly fifty years ago. More recently, some theorists have attempted to resolve the issue by reconsidering its underlying structure, drawing attention to the possibility that the duties to respond to large-scale moral issues like global poverty, systemic racism, and climate change may be fundamentally collective duties rather than indi- vidual ones. On this view, the relationship between (...)
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  8. Damage, Flourishing, and Two Sides of Morality.Adam Morton - forthcoming - Eshare: An Iranian Journal of Philosophy 1 (1).
    I explore how considerations about psychological damage connect with moral theories.
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  9. Parfit's Ethics.Richard Yetter Chappell - 2021 - Cambridge University Press.
    Derek Parfit was one of the most important and influential moral philosophers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. This Element offers a critical introduction to his wide-ranging ethical thought, focusing especially on his two most significant works, Reasons and Persons and On What Matters, and their contribution to the consequentialist moral tradition. Topics covered include: rationality and objectivity, distributive justice, self-defeating moral theories, Parfit's Triple Theory, personal identity, and population ethics.
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  10. Whence the Demand for Ethical Theory?Damian Cueni & Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - American Philosophical Quarterly 58 (2):135–46.
    Where does the impetus towards ethical theory come from? What drives humans to make values explicit, consistent, and discursively justifiable? This paper situates the demand for ethical theory in human life by identifying the practical needs that give rise to it. Such a practical derivation puts the demand in its place: while finding a home for it in the public decision-making of modern societies, it also imposes limitations on the demand by presenting it as scalable and context-sensitive. This differentiates strong (...)
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  11. Sweatshops and Free Action: The Stakes of the Actualism/Possibilism Debate for Business Ethics.Travis Timmerman & Abe Zakhem - 2021 - Journal of Business Ethics 171 (4):683-694.
    Whether an action is morally right depends upon the alternative acts available to the agent. Actualists hold that what an agent would actually do determines her moral obligations. Possibilists hold that what an agent could possibly do determines her moral obligations. Both views face compelling criticisms. Despite the fact that actualist and possibilist assumptions are at the heart of seminal arguments in business ethics, there has been no explicit discussion of actualism and possibilism in the business ethics literature. This paper (...)
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  12. Derivation of Morality From Prudence.Marcus Arvan - 2020 - In Neurofunctional Prudence and Morality: A Philosophical Theory. New York: Routledge. pp. 60-94.
    This chapter derives and refines a novel normative moral theory and descriptive theory of moral psychology--Rightness as Fairness--from the theory of prudence defended in Chapter 2. It briefly summarizes Chapter 2’s finding that prudent agents typically internalize ‘moral risk-aversion’. It then outlines how this prudential psychology leads prudent agents to want to know how to act in ways they will not regret in morally salient cases, as well as to regard moral actions as the only types of actions that satisfy (...)
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  13. Neurofunctional Prudence and Morality: A Philosophical Theory.Marcus Arvan - 2020 - New York, USA: Routledge.
    This book outlines a unified theory of prudence and morality that merges a wide variety of findings in behavioral neuroscience with philosophically sophisticated normative theorizing. Chapter 1 lays out the emerging behavioral neuroscience of prudence and morality. Chapter 2 then outlines a new theory of prudence as fairness to oneself across time. Chapter 3 then derives a revised version of my 2016 moral theory--Rightness as Fairness--from this theory of prudence, showing how the theory of prudence defends Rightness as Fairness against (...)
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  14. Dewey's Independent Factors in Moral Action [Preprint].Steven Fesmire - 2020 - In Roberto Frega & Steven Levine (eds.), John Dewey's Ethical Theory: The 1932 Ethics. New York and London: pp. 18-39.
    Drawing on archival and published sources from 1926 to 1932, this chapter analyzes “Three Independent Factors in Morals” (1930) as a blueprint to Dewey’s chapters in the 1932 Ethics. The 1930 presentation is Dewey’s most concise and sophisticated critique of the quest in ethical theory for the central and basic source of normative justification. He argued that moral situations are heterogeneous in their origins and operations. They elude full predictability and are not controllable by the impositions of any abstract monistic (...)
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  15. Moral Context, Moral Complicity And Ethical Theory.Daniel F. Hartner - 2020 - SATS 21 (2):179-198.
    One of the dominant traditions in normative ethics is characterised by the attempt to develop a comprehensive moral theory that can distinguish right from wrong in a range of cases by drawing on a philosophical account of the good. Familiar versions of consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics have emerged from this tradition. Yet such theories often seem to lack the resources needed to evaluate the broader contexts in which moral dilemmas arise, which may cause them to encourage moral complicity. Context-insensitive (...)
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  16. Die Sinntheorie der Menschenwürde. Auf dem Weg zu einem neuen und integrativen Ansatz.Roland Kipke - 2020 - Zeitschrift Für Praktische Philosophie 7 (2):91-118.
    The central role of human dignity in ethics and law stands in striking contrast to the disagreement regarding the meaning and normative content of this concept. Each competing theory of human dignity also has serious problems. Against the background of this situation, the meaning-oriented theory of human dignity suggests a new understanding that can integrate a number of conceptions of human dignity and resolve their theoretical problems. According to this new theory, respect for human dignity consists in respect for human (...)
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  17. Philosophy and Synthetic Biology: The BrisSynBio Experiment.Darian Meacham & Miguel Prado Casanova - 2020 - NanoEthics 14 (1):21-25.
    This article provides an overview of the relation between synthetic biology and philosophy as understood from within the Ethics, Philosophy and Responsible Innovation programme of BrisSynBio (a BBSRC/EPSCR Synthetic Biology Research Centre). It also introduces the special issue of NanoEthics devoted to synthetic biology and philosophy.
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  18. The Methodological Implications of Reference Magnetism on Moral Twin Earth.David Mokriski - 2020 - Metaphilosophy 51 (5):702-726.
    The Moral Twin Earth challenge to ethical naturalism threatens to undermine an otherwise promising metaethical view by showing that typical, naturalist-friendly theories of reference determination predict diverging reference in Twin Earth scenarios, making it difficult to account for substantive moral disagreement. Several theorists have recently invoked David Lewis’s doctrine of reference magnetism as a solution, claiming that a highly elite moral property—a moral “joint in nature”—could secure shared reference between ourselves and our twins on Twin Earth, despite our diverging usages (...)
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  19. The Ethics of Social Punishment: The Enforcement of Morality in Everyday Life.Linda Radzik, Christopher Bennett, Glen Pettigrove & George Sher - 2020 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    How do we punish others socially, and should we do so? In her 2018 Descartes Lectures for Tilburg University, Linda Radzik explores the informal methods ordinary people use to enforce moral norms, such as telling people off, boycotting businesses, and publicly shaming wrongdoers on social media. Over three lectures, Radzik develops an account of what social punishment is, why it is sometimes permissible, and when it must be withheld. She argues that the proper aim of social punishment is to put (...)
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  20. The Epistemology of Group Duties: What We Know and What We Ought to Do.Anne Schwenkenbecher - 2020 - Journal of Social Ontology (1):91-100.
    In Group Duties, Stephanie Collins proposes a ‘tripartite’ social ontology of groups as obligation-bearers. Producing a unified theory of group obligations that reflects our messy social reality is challenging and this ‘three-sizes-fit-all’ approach promises clarity but does not always keep that promise. I suggest considering the epistemic level as primary in determining collective obligations, allowing for more fluidity than the proposed tripartite ontology of collectives, coalitions and combinations.
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  21. Moral Uncertainty and the Criminal Law.Christian Barry & Patrick Tomlin - 2019 - In Kimberly Ferzan & Larry Alexander (eds.), Handbook of Applied Ethics and the Criminal Law. New York: Palgrave.
    In this paper we introduce the nascent literature on Moral Uncertainty Theory and explore its application to the criminal law. Moral Uncertainty Theory seeks to address the question of what we ought to do when we are uncertain about what to do because we are torn between rival moral theories. For instance, we may have some credence in one theory that tells us to do A but also in another that tells us to do B. We examine how we might (...)
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  22. Rawlsian Constructivism and the Assumption of Disunity.Johan Brännmark & Eric Brandstedt - 2019 - Journal of Political Philosophy 27 (1):48-66.
  23. Bontly on Harm and the Non-Identity Problem.Erik Carlson & Jens Johansson - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (4):477-481.
    The ‘non-identity problem’ raises a well-known challenge to the person-affecting view, according to which an action can be wrong only if it affects someone for the worse. In a recent article, however, Thomas D. Bontly proposes a novel way to solve the non-identity problem in person-affecting terms. Bontly's argument is based on a contrastive causal account of harm. In this response, we argue that Bontly's argument fails even assuming that the contrastive causal account is correct.
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  24. Against the Fallacy of Education as a Source of Ethics.Spyridon Kakos - 2019 - MCDSARE 3:33-41.
    For centuries, the major story of enlightenment was that education is and should be the cornerstone of our society. We try to educate people to make them respectable members of society, something which we inherently relate to being "better persons", firmly believing that education makes humans less prone to evil. Today, modern research seems to validate that premise: statistics verify that more education results to less crime. But is this picture accurate and does this mean anything regarding morality per se? (...)
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  25. Meaning and Morality.Roland Kipke & Markus Rüther - 2019 - Social Theory and Practice 45 (2):225-247.
    The debate on how an individual human life can be understood as being more or less meaningful has been pursued for a considerable time now. Despite extensive discussion some important aspects remain under-explored, namely the relation between meaningfulness and morality – even though many authors implicitly assume a connection between these two value dimensions. But how does morality contribute to a meaningful life? Is it a necessary condition? Or is it not necessary but sufficient or contributive? Or is there, when (...)
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  26. On Keeping Things in Proportion.Adam Lovett & Stefan Riedener - 2019 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 16 (3).
    Formula One isn’t very important. You can't care about it too much. The refugee crisis is more important. You can care about it much more. In this paper we investigate how important something is. By ‘importance’ we mean how much it is fitting to care about a thing. We explore a view about this which we call Proportionalism. This view says that a thing’s importance depends on that thing’s share of the world’s total value. The more of what matters there (...)
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  27. 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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  28. Making Morality Work, Written by Holly M. Smith. [REVIEW]Simon Rosenqvist - 2019 - Utilitas 31:353-355.
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  29. Kantian Constructivism : A Restatement.Janis David Schaab - 2019 - Dissertation, St. Andrews
    This thesis provides a restatement of Kantian constructivism, with the aim of avoiding some of the objections and clearing up some of the ambiguities that have haunted previous versions of the view. I restate Kantian constructivism as the view that morality’s normativity has its source in the form of second-personal reasoning, a mode of practical reasoning in which we engage when we address demands person-to-person. By advancing a position about the source of moral normativity, Kantian constructivism addresses a metaethical question, (...)
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  30. Actualism and Possibilism in Ethics.Travis Timmerman & Yishai Cohen - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  31. The Problem with Person‐Rearing Accounts of Moral Status.Travis Timmerman & Bob Fischer - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (2):119-128.
    Agnieszka Jaworska and Julie Tannenbaum recently developed the ingenious and novel person‐rearing account of moral status, which preserves the commonsense judgment that humans have a higher moral status than nonhuman animals. It aims to vindicate speciesist judgments while avoiding the problems typically associated with speciesist views. We argue, however, that there is good reason to reject person‐rearing views. Person‐rearing views have to be coupled with an account of flourishing, which will (according to Jaworska and Tannenbaum) be either a species norm (...)
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  32. Non-Repeatable Hedonism Is False.Travis Timmerman & Felipe Pereira - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:697-705.
    In a series of recent papers, Ben Bramble defends a version of hedonism which holds that purely repetitious pleasures add no value to one’s life (i.e. Non-Repeatable Hedonism). In this paper, we pose a dilemma for Non-Repeatable Hedonism. We argue that it is either committed both to a deeply implausible asymmetry between how pleasures and pains affect a person’s well-being and to deeply implausible claims about how to maximize well-being, or is committed to the claim that a life of eternal (...)
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  33. Moral Thought in Wittgenstein: Clarity and Changes of Attitude.Reshef Agam-Segal - 2018 - In Reshef Agam-Segal & Edmund Dain (eds.), Wittgenstein's Moral Thought. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 67-96.
    In ethics, Wittgenstein, early and late, emphasized changes of attitude over questions about how to act. He once told his friend Rhees: “One of my sister’s characteristics is that whenever she hears of something awful that has happened, her impulse is to ask what one can do about it, what she can do to help or remedy. This is a tendency in her of which I disapprove.” Instead, he says elsewhere: “If life becomes hard to bear we think of improvements. (...)
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  34. Wittgenstein’s Moral Thought.Reshef Agam-Segal & Edmund Dain (eds.) - 2018 - Routledge.
    This book offers a radical reappraisal of the nature and significance of Wittgenstein’s thought about ethics from a variety of different perspectives. The book includes essays on Wittgenstein’s early remarks on ethics in the _Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus,_ on his 1929 "Lecture on Ethics", and on various aspects of Wittgenstein’s later views on ethics in the _Philosophical Investigations_ and elsewhere. Together, the essays in this volume provide a comprehensive assessment of Wittgenstein’s moral thought throughout his work, its continuity and development between his (...)
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  35. From Nonsense to Openness: Wittgenstein on Moral Sense.Joel Backström - 2018 - In Reshef Agam-Segal & Edmund Dain (eds.), Wittgenstein's Moral Thought. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 247-275.
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  36. Logic, Ethics, Aesthetics: Wittgenstein and the Transcendental.Kristin Boyce - 2018 - In Reshef Agam-Segal & Edmund Dain (eds.), Wittgenstein's Moral Thought. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 133-151.
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  37. Opening the Tomb of New Philosophical Accounts of Death.Thom Brooks - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 52 (2):149-151.
    Many efforts are directed towards philosophical accounts of life from life’s meaning to how it should be led. Often overlooked are no less important issues concerning the end of life. Questions like what is death?, is immortality desirable?, is death ‘bad’ for the person who dies?, can the dead be harmed or punished? and what, if any, obligations do we have towards the dead? – these are but a few key concerns deserving greater attention. This special issue brings together three (...)
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  38. An "Exclusively Self-Regarding" Ethics: Response to Sluga.Kevin M. Cahill - 2018 - In Reshef Agam-Segal & Edmund Dain (eds.), Wittgenstein's Moral Thought. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 223-245.
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  39. ‘What Is Ethical Cannot Be Taught’ – Understanding Moral Theories as Descriptions of Moral Grammar”.Anne-Marie Soendergaard Christensen - 2018 - In Reshef Agam-Segal & Edmund Dain (eds.), Wittgenstein’s Moral Thought. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 175-199.
    Traditionally, the development of moral theories has been considered one of the main aims of moral philosophy. In contrast, Wittgenstein was very critical of the use of theories both in philosophy in general and in moral philosophy in particular, and philosophers inspired by his philosophy have become some of the most prominent critics of both particular, contemporary moral theories and the idea of moral theory as such. Nonetheless, this article aims to show how Wittgenstein’s later philosophy offers us resources for (...)
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  40. The Meditations of Manuel de la Vega.Cora Cruz - 2018 - New York, NY, USA: Peter Lang.
    The Meditations of Manuel de la Vega addresses the "hard" problem of consciousness in a nonreductive way. Which is to say, the question is posited as to why, no matter how much structural or functional explanation we may devise, this does not quite satisfy attempts to grasp the essence, the "what it is like," of being an embodied consciousness. The book’s method aims to be faithful to its subject by its choice of format. It does not intend to offer fully (...)
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  41. Wittgenstein’s Moral Thought.Edmund Dain - 2018 - In Reshef Agam-Segal & Edmund Dain (eds.), Wittgenstein's Moral Thought. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 9-35.
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  42. Logic, Ethics and Existence in Wittgenstein's Tractatus.Eli Friedlander - 2018 - In Reshef Agam-Segal & Edmund Dain (eds.), Wittgenstein's Moral Thought. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 97-131.
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  43. Intellectuals’ Engagement in Italy: Sebastiano Maffettone and the Public Intellectual.Valentina Gentile - 2018 - Notizie di Politeia 34 (132):55-63.
    The public intellectual has been the subject of a lively scholarly debate for over two decades, especially in the US. There, it is often said that intellectuals have increasingly lost interest in speaking to a broad public and engaging with important real-world issues. Advocates of this view condemn academics’ distance from reality and their propensity for abstract theorizing – something that it is said has been primarily inspired by Rawls’s normative political theory. Supporters of ‘engaged’ philosophy argue that this abstract (...)
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  44. Risk Impositions, Genuine Losses, and Reparability as a Moral Constraint.Madeleine Hayenhjelm - 2018 - Ethical Perspectives 25 (3):419-446.
    What kind of moral principle could be sufficiently restrictive to avoid the kind of large-scale risks that have resulted in catastrophe in the past, while at the same time not be so restrictive as to halt desirable progress? Is there such a principle that is not merely a precautionary principle, but one that could be based on firm moral grounds? In this article, I set out to explore a simple idea: might it be the case that reparability could serve as (...)
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  45. Le sens du travail et la philosophie d'Alexandre Kojève.Yusuke Kaneko - 2018 - Problemata 9 (2):63-79.
    One can work for another person, probably for all the others in an ethical way, and not for money. This is the main idea pursued in this article. When it comes to labour, we are inclined to deal with Marx. But even Marx apparently did not notice this ethical side of labour, because his focus was mainly on the creation of value, which was common among thinkers at that time, such as Locke and Smith. In contrast, Hegel consistently tackled the (...)
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  46. Wittgenstein, Ethics and Philosophical Clarification.Oskari Kuusela - 2018 - In Reshef Agam-Segal & Edmund Dain (eds.), Wittgenstein's Moral Thought. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 37-65.
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  47. Learning to Be Reliable: Confucius' Analects.Karyn L. Lai - 2018 - In Karyn L. Lai, Rick Benitez & Hyun Jin Kim (eds.), Cultivating a Good Life in Early Chinese and Ancient Greek Philosophy Perspectives and Reverberations. Bloomsbury. pp. 193-207.
    In the Lunyu, Confucius remarks on the implausibility—or impossibility—of a life lacking in xin 信, reliability (2.22). In existing discussions of Confucian philosophy, this aspect of life is often eclipsed by greater emphasis on Confucian values such as ren 仁 (benevolence), li 禮 (propriety) and yi 義 (rightness). My discussion addresses this imbalance by focusing on reliability, extending current debates in two ways. First, it proposes that the common translation of xin as denoting coherence between a person’s words and deeds (...)
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  48. Consumer Choice and Collective Impact.Julia Nefsky - 2018 - In Mark Budolfson, Tyler Doggett & Anne Barnhill (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Food Ethics. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 267-286.
    Taken collectively, consumer food choices have a major impact on animal lives, human lives, and the environment. But it is far from clear how to move from facts about the power of collective consumer demand to conclusions about what one ought to do as an individual consumer. In particular, even if a large-scale shift in demand away from a certain product (e.g., factory-farmed meat) would prevent grave harms or injustices, it typically does not seem that it will make a difference (...)
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  49. Sketches of Blurred Landscapes: Wittgenstein and Ethics.Duncan Richter - 2018 - In Reshef Agam-Segal & Edmund Dain (eds.), Wittgenstein's Moral Thought. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 153-173.
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  50. 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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