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  1. Modeling the precautionary principle with lexical utilities.Paul Bartha & C. Tyler DesRoches - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8701-8740.
    Confronted with the possibility of severe environmental harms, such as catastrophic climate change, some researchers have suggested that we should abandon the principle at the heart of standard decision theory—the injunction to maximize expected utility—and embrace a different one: the Precautionary Principle. Arguably, the most sophisticated philosophical treatment of the Precautionary Principle is due to Steel. Steel interprets PP as a qualitative decision rule and appears to conclude that a quantitative decision-theoretic statement of PP is both impossible and unnecessary. In (...)
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  • Headaches for epistemologists.Brian Talbot - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 104 (2):408-433.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Limits to Aggregation and Uncertain Rescues.Bastian Steuwer - 2022 - Utilitas 34 (1):70-83.
    Limited aggregation holds that we are only sometimes, not always, permitted to aggregate. Aggregation is permissible only when the harms and benefits are relevant to one another. But how should limited aggregation be extended to cases in which we are uncertain about what will happen? In this article, I provide a challenge to ex post limited aggregation. I reconstruct a precise version of ex post limited aggregation that relies on the notion of ex post claims. However, building a theory of (...)
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  • Enough is too much: the excessiveness objection to sufficientarianism.Carl Knight - 2022 - Economics and Philosophy 38 (2):275-299.
    The standard version of sufficientarianism maintains that providing people with enough, or as close to enough as is possible, is lexically prior to other distributive goals. This article argues that this is excessive – more than distributive justice allows – in four distinct ways. These concern the magnitude of advantage, the number of beneficiaries, responsibility and desert, and above-threshold distribution. Sufficientarians can respond by accepting that providing enough unconditionally is more than distributive justice allows, instead balancing sufficiency against other considerations.
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  • Costa, cancer and coronavirus: contractualism as a guide to the ethics of lockdown.Stephen David John & Emma J. Curran - 2022 - Journal of Medical Ethics 48 (9):643-650.
    Lockdown measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic involve placing huge burdens on some members of society for the sake of benefiting other members of society. How should we decide when these policies are permissible? Many writers propose we should address this question using cost-benefit analysis, a broadly consequentialist approach. We argue for an alternative non-consequentialist approach, grounded in contractualist moral theorising. The first section sets up key issues in the ethics of lockdown, and sketches the apparent appeal of addressing (...)
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  • Partial aggregation in ethics.Joe Horton - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (3):1-12.
    Is there any number of people you should save from paralysis rather than saving one person from death? Is there any number of people you should save from a migraine rather than saving one person from death? Many people answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’, respectively. The aim of partially aggregative moral views is to capture and justify combinations of intuitions like these. These views contrast with fully aggregative moral views, which imply that the answer to both questions is ‘yes’, and with (...)
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  • Limited Aggregation for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts.Matthias Eggel & Angela K. Martin - 2022 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 1.
    Human-wildlife interactions frequently lead to conflicts – about the fair use of natural resources, for example. Various principled accounts have been proposed to resolve such interspecies conflicts. However, the existing frameworks are often inadequate to the complexities of real-life scenarios. In particular, they frequently fail because they do not adequately take account of the qualitative importance of individual interests, their relative importance, and the number of individuals affected. This article presents a limited aggregation account designed to overcome these shortcomings and (...)
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  • Risk Attitudes and Justifiability to Each.Pietro Cibinel - 2022 - Ethics 133 (1):106-121.
    How should we choose on behalf of people with different attitudes to risk? Simon Blessenohl has recently argued that this question poses a dilemma: it seems that sometimes we must choose either acts that everyone disprefers or else acts that are sure to turn out worse than some other act. In this article, I offer a complaints-centered account of how to take people’s attitudes to risk into consideration in our decision-making, and then I show that it provides a way out (...)
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  • Longtermism, Aggregation, and Catastrophic Risk.Emma J. Curran - manuscript
    Advocates of longtermism point out that interventions which focus on improving the prospects of people in the very far future will, in expectation, bring about a significant amount of good. Indeed, in expectation, such long-term interventions bring about far more good than their short-term counterparts. As such, longtermists claim we have compelling moral reason to prefer long-term interventions. In this paper, I show that longtermism is in conflict with plausible deontic scepticism about aggregation. I do so by demonstrating that, from (...)
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  • One-by-one: moral theory for separate persons.Bastian Steuwer - 2020 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    You and I lead different lives. While we share a society and a world, our existence is separate from one another. You and I matter individually, by ourselves. My dissertation is about this simple thought. I argue that this simple insight, the separateness of persons, tells us something fundamental about morality. My dissertation seeks to answer how the separateness of persons matters. I develop a precise view of the demands of the separateness of persons. The separateness of persons imposes both (...)
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  • The Scope and Limits of Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Shang Long Yeo - 2020 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    Debunking arguments use empirical evidence about our moral beliefs - in particular, about their causal origins, or about how they depend on various causes - in order to reach an epistemic conclusion about the trustworthiness of such beliefs. In this thesis, I investigate the scope and limits of debunking arguments, and their implications for what we should believe about morality. I argue that debunking arguments can in principle work - they are based on plausible epistemic premises, and at least some (...)
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  • On the possibility of limited weighing of lives.Daniel Ramöller - 2020 - Dissertation, Stockholm University
    This thesis discusses the possibility of limited moral trade-offs between different people’s welfare. In chapter 2, I introduce the two central limited trade-off conditions. First, according to minimal infinite superiority, significantly benefiting one person matters more than slightly benefiting each of any number of better-off people. Second, according to minimal finite superiority, significantly benefiting many people matters more than slightly benefiting one person. I consider both axiological and deontic interpretations of these conditions. However, I explain why none of the simple (...)
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  • Duty and Doubt.Seth Lazar - 2020 - Journal of Practical Ethics 8 (1):28-55.
    Deontologists have been slow to address decision-making under risk and uncertainty, no doubt because the standard approaches to non-moral decision theory appear superficially similar to consequentialist moral reasoning. I identify some central tenets of simple decision theory and show that they should not put deontologists off, before showing where we should go next to develop a comprehensive deontological decision theory.
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