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Incommensurability (and incomparability)

In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Blackwell. pp. 2591-2604 (2013)

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  1. Ideas of Justice and Reconstructions of Confucian Justice.Tim Murphy & Ralph Weber - 2016 - Asian Philosophy 26 (2):99-118.
    ABSTRACTConfucianism tends to play only a marginal role in current theorizing about justice, which is a global pursuit dominated by Western theory and its strong tendency to assume that justice refers to some substantive conception of distributive, socioeconomic justice. This article examines and compares reconstructions of Confucian justice by Joseph Chan, May Sim, and Fan Ruiping. Each reconstruction makes reference to both classical and modern Western justice theory and thus each involves a comparative approach; indeed, each reconstruction seeks ultimately, in (...)
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  • Value Incomparability and Incommensurability.Ruth Chang - 2015 - In Iwao Hirose & Jonas Olson (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Value Theory. Oxford University Press.
    This introductory article describes the phenomena of incommensurability and incomparability, how they are related, and why they are important. Since incomparability is the more significant phenomenon, the paper takes that as its focus. It gives a detailed account of what incomparability is, investigates the relation between the incomparability of values and the incomparability of alternatives for choice, distinguishes incomparability from the related phenomena of parity, indeterminacy, and noncomparability, and, finally, defends a view about practical justification that vindicates the importance of (...)
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  • Answer to Our Prayers.Martin Pickup - 2018 - Faith and Philosophy 35 (1):84-104.
    There is a concern about the effectiveness of petitionary prayer. If I pray for something good, wouldn’t God give it to me anyway? And if I pray for something bad, won’t God refrain from giving it to me even though I’ve asked? This problem has received significant attention. The typical solutions suggest that the prayer itself can alter whether something is good or bad. I will argue that this is insufficient to fully address the problem, but also that the problem (...)
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  • Draining the pond: why Singer’s defense of the duty to aid the world’s poor is self-defeating.Anton Markoč - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1953-1970.
    Peter Singer’s defense of the duty to aid the world’s poor by the pond analogy is self-defeating. It cannot be both true that you ought to save the drowning child from a pond at the expense of ruining your shoes and that you ought to aid the world’s poor if you thereby do not sacrifice anything of comparable moral importance. Taking the latter principle seriously would lead you to let the child in front of you drown whenever you could thereby (...)
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  • Requiring and Justifying: Two Dimensions of Normative Strength. [REVIEW]Joshua Gert - 2003 - Erkenntnis 59 (1):5 - 36.
    Many contemporary accounts of normative reasons for action accord a single strength value to normative reasons. This paper first uses some examples to argue against such views by showing that they seem to commit us to intransitive or counterintuitive claims about the rough equivalence of the strengths of certain reasons. The paper then explains and defends an alternate account according to which normative reasons for action have two separable dimensions of strength: requiring strength, and justifying strength. Such an account explains (...)
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  • Incommensurability, Incomparability, and God’s Choice of a World.Klaas J. Kraay - 2011 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 69 (2):91 - 102.
    Anselmian theism holds that there necessarily exists a being, God, who is essentially unsurpassable in power, knowledge, goodness, and wisdom. This being is also understood to be the creator and sustainer of all that is. In contemporary analytic philosophy of religion, this role is generally understood as follows: God surveys the array of possible worlds, and in his wisdom selects exactly one for actualization, based on its axiological properties. In this paper, I discuss an under-appreciated challenge for this account of (...)
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  • What's Fair About Individual Fairness?Will Fleisher - 2021 - Proceedings of the 2021 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society.
    One of the main lines of research in algorithmic fairness involves individual fairness (IF) methods. Individual fairness is motivated by an intuitive principle, similar treatment, which requires that similar individuals be treated similarly. IF offers a precise account of this principle using distance metrics to evaluate the similarity of individuals. Proponents of individual fairness have argued that it gives the correct definition of algorithmic fairness, and that it should therefore be preferred to other methods for determining fairness. I argue that (...)
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  • Death, Deprivation and the Afterlife.Anna Brinkerhoff - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-16.
    Most people believe that death is bad for the one who dies. Much attention has been paid to the Epicurean puzzle about death that the rests on a tension between that belief and another—that death is the end of one’s existence. But there is nearby puzzle about death that philosophers have largely left untouched. This puzzle rests on a tension between the belief that death is bad for the one who dies and the belief that that death is not the (...)
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  • The Ethical Challenges in the Context of Climate Loss and Damage.Ivo Wallimann-Helmer, Kian Mintz-Woo, Lukas Meyer, Thomas Schinko & Olivia Serdeczny - 2019 - In Reinhard Mechler, Laurens M. Bouwer, Thomas Schinko, Swenja Surminski & JoAnne Linnerooth-Bayer (eds.), Loss and Damage from Climate Change. Cham: Springer. pp. 39-62.
    This chapter lays out what we take to be the main types of justice and ethical challenges concerning those adverse effects of climate change leading to climate-related Loss and Damage (L&D). We argue that it is essential to clearly differentiate between the challenges concerning mitigation and adaptation and those ethical issues exclusively relevant for L&D in order to address the ethical aspects pertaining to L&D in international climate policy. First, we show that depending on how mitigation and adaptation are distinguished (...)
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  • Breaking the Law of Desire.Joshua Gert - 2005 - Erkenntnis 62 (3):295-319.
    This paper offers one formal reason why it may often be inappropriate to hold, of two conflicting desires, that the first must be weaker than, stronger than, or of the same strength as the second. The explanation of this fact does not rely on vagueness or epistemological problems in determining the strengths of desires. Nor does it make use of the problematic notion of incommensurability. Rather, the suggestion is that the motivational capacities of many desires might best be characterized by (...)
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  • Making Sense of Doing Wrong: On the Justification of Compromise Decisions.Rafael Cejudo Córdoba - 2013 - Critica 45 (135):29-53.
    El artículo defiende que los compromisos son tanto un tipo de acuerdo como un tipo de decisión. Los principales objetivos son: 1) identificar la estructura formal de las situaciones de compromiso en las que alguna decisión de compromiso es inevitable, incluyendo CDs que ponen en riesgo la integridad del decisor; 2) mediante las nociones de juicio básico y compulsivo propuestas por Amartya Sen, establecer cuándo una CD en una situación de compromiso podría estar moralmente justificada. Se concluye que las CDs (...)
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  • On the Limits of the Precautionary Principle.H. Orri Stefansson - 2019 - Risk Analysis 39 (6):1204-1222.
    The Precautionary Principle (PP) is an influential principle of risk management. It has been widely introduced into environmental legislation, and it plays an important role in most international environmental agreements. Yet, there is little consensus on precisely how to understand and formulate the principle. In this paper I prove some impossibility results for two plausible formulations of the PP as a decision-rule. These results illustrate the difficulty in making the PP consistent with the acceptance of any trade-offs between catastrophic risks (...)
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