Utilitas 30 (1):32-53 (2018)

How much personal partiality do agent-centred prerogatives allow? If there are limits on what morality may demand of us, then how much does it permit? For a view Henry Shue has termed ‘yuppie ethics’, the answer to both questions is a great deal. It holds that rich people are morally permitted to spend large amounts of money on themselves, even when this means leaving those living in extreme poverty unaided. Against this view, I demonstrate that personal permissions are limited in certain ways: their strength must be continuous with the reasons put forward to explain their presence inside morality to begin with. Typically, these reasons include non-alienation and the preservation of personal integrity. However, when personal costs do not result in alienation or violate integrity, they are things that morality can routinely demand of us. Yuppie ethics therefore runs afoul of what I call the ‘continuity constraint’.
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DOI 10.1017/s0953820817000024
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References found in this work BETA

Alienation, Consequentialism, and the Demands of Morality.Peter Railton - 1984 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 13 (2):134-171.
Moral Saints.Susan Wolf - 1982 - Journal of Philosophy 79 (8):419-439.
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Guy Kahane - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):103-125.
Normative Ethics.Shelly Kagan - 1998 - Mind 109 (434):373-377.

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Citations of this work BETA

Why Do We Disagree About Our Obligations to the Poor?Peter Seipel - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (1):121-136.
Against “Democratizing AI”.Johannes Himmelreich - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-14.
Effective Altruism and Extreme Poverty.Fırat Akova - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Warwick

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