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  1. Aggregating Moral Preferences.Matthew D. Adler - unknown
    Preference-aggregation problems arise in various contexts. One such context, little explored by social choice theorists, is metaethical. “Ideal-advisor” accounts, which have played a major role in metaethics, propose that moral facts are constituted by the idealized preferences of a community of advisors. Such accounts give rise to a preference-aggregation problem: namely, aggregating the advisors’ moral preferences. Do we have reason to believe that the advisors, albeit idealized, can still diverge in their rankings of a given set of alternatives? If so, (...)
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  • The Multidimensional Structure of ‘better than’.Erich H. Rast - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-29.
    According to the mixed lexicographic/additive account of ‘better than’ and similar aggregative value comparatives like ‘healthier than’, values are multidimensional and different aspects of a value are aggregated into an overall assessment in a lexicographic way, based on an ordering of value aspects. It is argued that this theory can account for an acceptable definition of Chang’s notion of parity and that it also offers a solution to Temkin’s and Rachels’s Spectrum Cases without giving up the transitivity of overall betterness. (...)
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  • Imprecise Lexical Superiority and the (Slightly Less) Repugnant Conclusion.James Fanciullo - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2103-2117.
    Recently, Derek Parfit has offered a novel solution to the “Repugnant Conclusion” that compared with the existence of many people whose quality of life would be very high, there is some much larger number of people whose existence would be better but whose lives would be barely worth living. On this solution, qualitative differences between two populations will often entail that the populations are merely “imprecisely” comparable. According to Parfit, this fact allows us to avoid the Repugnant Conclusion without violating (...)
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  • Defending the Transitivity of "Better Than" in the Face of Axiological Relativity.Irene Bosco - manuscript
    At first sight, if A is all-things-considered better than B and B is all-things-considered better than C, the judgment that A is all-things-considered better than C seems to follow. This should be a straight-forward consequence of the transitivity of the \all-things-considered better than" relation. However, if we deny that transitivity is a logical axiom of those relations involving comparatives, then it might turn out that betterness is not transitive. Following Temkin's terminology, a relation R will be de ned as nontransitive (...)
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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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  • The Haecceitic Euthyphro Problem.Jason Bowers & Meg Wallace - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):13-22.
    Haecceitism is the thesis that, necessarily, in addition to its qualities, each thing has a haecceity or individual essence. The purpose of this paper is to expose a flaw in haecceitism: it entails that familiar cases of fission and fusion either admit of no explanation or else only admit of explanations too bizarre to warrant serious consideration. Because the explanatory problem we raise for haecceitism closely resembles the Euthyphro problem for divine command theory, we refer to our objection as the (...)
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  • Why One Should Count Only Claims with Which One Can Sympathize.Alex Voorhoeve - 2017 - Public Health Ethics 10 (2):148-156.
    When one faces competing claims of varying strength on public resources for health, which claims count? This paper proposes the following answer. One should count, or aggregate, a person’s claim just in case one could sympathize with her desire to prioritize her own claim over the strongest competing claim. It argues that this principle yields appealing case judgments and has a plausible grounding in both sympathetic identification with each person, taken separately, and respect for the person for whom most is (...)
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  • Acting on Essentially Comparative Goodness.John Cusbert - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):73-83.
    Temkin's Essentially Comparative View of moral ideals says that goodness is comparison set dependent: the goodness of an outcome is relativized to a set of outcomes. This view does not entail that betterness is intransitive; indeed, it provides the resources for maintaining transitivity. However, it does entail that the structure of goodness is more complex than is standardly supposed. It thereby demands a modification of the standard connection between goodness and decision. I set out this challenge, canvas some options, and (...)
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  • Essentially Comparative Value Does Not Threaten Transitivity.Toby Handfield - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):3-12.
    The essentially comparative conception of value entails that the value of a state of affairs does not depend solely upon features intrinsic to the state of affairs, but also upon extrinsic features, such as the set of feasible alternatives. It has been argued that this conception of value gives us reason to abandon the transitivity of the better than relation. This paper shows that the support for intransitivity derived from this conception of value is very limited. On its most plausible (...)
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  • Betterness of permissibility.Benjamin Ferguson & Sebastian Köhler - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2451-2469.
    It is often assumed that morally permissible acts are morally better than impermissible acts. We call this claim Betterness of Permissibility. Yet, we show that some striking counterexamples show that the claim’s truth cannot be taken for granted. Furthermore, even if Betterness of Permissibility is true, it is unclear why. Apart from appeals to its intuitive plausibility, no arguments in favour of the condition exist. We fill this lacuna by identifying two fundamental conditions that jointly entail betterness of permissibility: ‘reasons (...)
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  • The Paradox of Exploitation.Benjamin Ferguson - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (5):951-972.
    The concept of exploitation brings many of our ordinary moral intuitions into conflict. Exploitation—or to use the commonly accepted ordinary language definition, taking unfair advantage—is often thought to be morally impermissible. In order to be permissible, transactions must not be unfair. The claim that engaging in mutually beneficial transactions is morally better than not transacting is also quite compelling. However, when combined with the claim that morally permissible transactions are better than impermissible transactions, these three imply the counterintuitive claim that (...)
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  • The Problem of Evil and the Suffering of Creeping Things.Dustin Crummett - 2017 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 82 (1):71-88.
    Even philosophers of religion working on the problem of non-human animal suffering have ignored the suffering of creatures like insects. Sensible as this seems, it’s mistaken. I am not sure whether creatures like these can suffer, but it is plausible, on both commonsensical and scientific and philosophical grounds, that many of them can. If they do, their suffering makes the problem of evil much worse: their vast numbers mean the amount of evil in the world will almost certainly be increased (...)
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  • Spectrum Arguments and Hypersensitivity.Theron Pummer - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1729-1744.
    Larry Temkin famously argues that what he calls spectrum arguments yield strong reason to reject Transitivity, according to which the ‘all-things-considered better than’ relation is transitive. Spectrum arguments do reveal that the conjunctions of independently plausible claims are inconsistent with Transitivity. But I argue that there is very strong independent reason to reject such conjunctions of claims, and thus that the fact that they are inconsistent with Transitivity does not yield strong reason to reject Transitivity.
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  • What Matters and How It Matters: A Choice-Theoretic Representation of Moral Theories.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (4):421-479.
    We present a new “reason-based” approach to the formal representation of moral theories, drawing on recent decision-theoretic work. We show that any moral theory within a very large class can be represented in terms of two parameters: a specification of which properties of the objects of moral choice matter in any given context, and a specification of how these properties matter. Reason-based representations provide a very general taxonomy of moral theories, as differences among theories can be attributed to differences in (...)
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  • Similarity and the Trustworthiness of Distributive Judgements.Alex Voorhoeve, Arnaldur Stefansson & Brian Wallace - 2019 - Economics and Philosophy 35 (3):537-561.
    When people must either save a greater number of people from a smaller harm or a smaller number from a greater harm, do their choices reflect a reasonable moral outlook? We pursue this question with the help of an experiment. In our experiment, two-fifths of subjects employ a similarity heuristic. When alternatives appear dissimilar in terms of the number saved but similar in terms of the magnitude of harm prevented, this heuristic mandates saving the greater number. In our experiment, this (...)
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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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  • No Free Lunch: The Significance of Tiny Contributions.Zach Barnett - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):3-13.
    There is a well-known moral quandary concerning how to account for the rightness or wrongness of acts that clearly contribute to some morally significant outcome – but which each seem too small, individually, to make any meaningful difference. One consequentialist-friendly response to this problem is to deny that there could ever be a case of this type. This paper pursues this general strategy, but in an unusual way. Existing arguments for the consequentialist-friendly position are sorites-style arguments. Such arguments imagine varying (...)
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  • Principles of Need and the Aggregation Thesis.Erik Gustavsson & Niklas Juth - 2019 - Health Care Analysis 27 (2):77-92.
    Principles of need are constantly referred to in health care priority setting. The common denominator for any principle of need is that it will ascribe some kind of special normative weight to people being worse off. However, this common ground does not answer the question how a plausible principle of need should relate to the aggregation of benefits across individuals. Principles of need are sometimes stated as being incompatible with aggregation and sometimes characterized as accepting aggregation in much the same (...)
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  • Aggregate Relevant Claims in Rescue Cases?Johanna Privitera - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (2):228-236.
    In 'How Should We Aggregate Competing Claims', Alex Voorhoeve suggests accommodating intuitions about duties in rescue cases by combining aggregative and non-aggregative elements into one theory. In this paper, I discuss two problems Voorhoeve’s theory faces as a result of requiring a cyclic pattern of choice, and argue that his attempt to solve them does not succeed.
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