28 found
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  1. The ethics of nudging: An overview.Andreas T. Schmidt & Bart Engelen - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (4):e12658.
    So‐called nudge policies utilize insights from behavioral science to achieve policy outcomes. Nudge policies try to improve people's decisions by changing the ways options are presented to them, rather than changing the options themselves or incentivizing or coercing people. Nudging has been met with great enthusiasm but also fierce criticism. This paper provides an overview of the debate on the ethics of nudging to date. After outlining arguments in favor of nudging, we first discuss different objections that all revolve around (...)
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  2.  66
    From relational equality to personal responsibility.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1373-1399.
    According to relational egalitarians, equality is not primarily about the distribution of some good but about people relating to one another as equals. However, compared with other theorists in political philosophy – including other egalitarians – relational egalitarians have said relatively little on what role personal responsibility should play in their theories. For example, is equality compatible with responsibility? Should economic distributions be responsibility-sensitive? This article fills this gap. I develop a relational egalitarian framework for personal responsibility and show that (...)
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  3.  77
    Getting Real on Rationality—Behavioral Science, Nudging, and Public Policy.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2019 - Ethics 129 (4):511-543.
    The nudge approach seeks to improve people’s decisions through small changes in their choice environments. Nudge policies often work through psychological mechanisms that deviate from traditional notions of rationality. Because of that, some critics object that nudging treats people as irrational. Such treatment might be disrespectful in itself and might crowd out more empowering policies. I defend nudging against these objections. By defending a nonstandard, ecological model of rationality, I argue that nudging not only is compatible with rational agency but (...)
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  4.  68
    Domination without Inequality? Mutual Domination, Republicanism, and Gun Control.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2018 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 46 (2):175-206.
  5. Why Animals Have an Interest in Freedom.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2015 - Historical Social Research 40 (4):92-109.
    Do non-human animals have an interest in sociopolitical freedom? Cochrane has recently taken up this important yet largely neglected quest ion. He argues that animal freedom is not a relevant moral concern in itself, because animals have a merely instrumental but not an intrinsic interest in freedom (Cochrane 2009a, 2012). This paper will argue that even if animals have a merely instrumental interest in freedom, animal freedom should nonetheless be an important goal for our relationships with animals. Drawing on recent (...)
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  6. Abilities and the Sources of Unfreedom.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2016 - Ethics 127 (1): 179-207.
    What distinguishes constraints on our actions that make us unfree (in the sociopolitical sense) from those that make us merely unable? I provide a new account: roughly, a constraint makes a person unfree, if and only if, first, someone else was morally responsible for the constraint and, second, it impedes an ability the person would have in the best available distribution of abilities. This new account is shown to overcome shortcomings of existing proposals. Moreover, by linking its account of unfreedom (...)
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  7.  92
    The Power to Nudge.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2017 - American Political Science Review 111 (2):404-417.
    Nudging policies rely on behavioral science to improve people's decisions through small changes in the environments within which people make choices. This article first seeks to rebut a prominent objection to this approach: furnishing governments with the power to nudge leads to relations of alien control, that is, relations in which some people can impose their will on others—a concern which resonates with republican, Kantian, and Rousseauvian theories of freedom and relational theories of autonomy. I respond that alien control can (...)
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  8.  68
    Withdrawing Versus Withholding Freedoms: Nudging and the Case of Tobacco Control.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics 16 (7):3-14.
    Is it a stronger interference with people's freedom to withdraw options they currently have than to withhold similar options they do not have? Drawing on recent theorizing about sociopolitical freedom, this article identifies considerations that often make this the case for public policy. However, when applied to tobacco control, these considerations are shown to give us at best only very weak freedom-based reason to prioritize the status quo. This supports a popular argument for so-called “endgame” tobacco control measures: If we (...)
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  9.  41
    Economic inequality and the long-term future.Andreas T. Schmidt & Daan Juijn - 2024 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 23 (1):67-99.
    Why, if at all, should we object to economic inequality? Some central arguments – the argument from decreasing marginal utility for example – invoke instrumental reasons and object to inequality because of its effects. Such instrumental arguments, however, often concern only the static effects of inequality and neglect its intertemporal consequences. In this article, we address this striking gap and investigate income inequality's intertemporal consequences, including its potential effects on humanity's (very) long-term future. Following recent arguments around future generations and (...)
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  10.  29
    Consequentialism and the Role of Practices in Political Philosophy.Andreas T. Schmidt - forthcoming - Res Publica:1-22.
    Political philosophers have recently debated what role social practices should play in normative theorising. Should our theories be practice-independent or practice-dependent? That is, can we formulate normative institutional principles independently of real-world practices or are such principles only ever relative to the practices they are meant to govern? Any first-order theory in political philosophy must contend with the methodological challenges coming out of this debate. In this article, I argue that consequentialism has a plausible account of how social practices should (...)
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  11.  85
    An unresolved problem: freedom across lifetimes.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1413-1438.
    Freedom is one of the central values in political and moral philosophy. A number of theorists hold that freedom should either be the only or at least one of the central distribuenda in our theories of distributive justice. Moreover, many follow Mill and hold that a concern for personal freedom should guide, and limit, how paternalist public policy can be. For the most part, theorists have focussed on a person’s freedom at one specific point in time but have failed to (...)
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  12.  56
    Does collective unfreedom matter? Individualism, power and proletarian unfreedom.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2023 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 26 (6):964-985.
    When assessing institutions and social outcomes, it matters how free society is within them (‘societal freedom’). For example, does capitalism come with greater societal freedom than socialism? For such judgements, freedom theorists typically assume Individualism: societal freedom is simply the aggregate of individual freedom. However, G.A. Cohen’s well-known case provides a challenge: imagine ten prisoners are individually free to leave their prison but doing so would incarcerate the remaining nine. Assume further that no one actually leaves. If we adopt Individualism (...)
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  13.  97
    Freedom in Political Philosophy.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2022 - Oxford Research Encyclopedias.
    Freedom is among the central values in political philosophy. Freedom also features heavily in normative arguments in ethics, politics, and law. Yet different sides often invoke freedom to establish very different conclusions. Some argue that freedom imposes strict constraints on state power. For example, when promoting public health, there is a limit on how far the state can interfere with individual freedom. Others, in contrast, argue that freedom is not just a constraint but also an important goal of state power (...)
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  14. Economic inequality and the long-term future.Andreas T. Schmidt & Daan Juijn - 2023 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
    Why, if at all, should we object to economic inequality? Some central arguments – the argument from decreasing marginal utility for example – invoke instrumental reasons and object to inequality because of its effects. Such instrumental arguments, however, often concern only the static effects of inequality and neglect its intertemporal conse- quences. In this article, we address this striking gap and investigate income inequality’s intertemporal consequences, including its potential effects on humanity’s (very) long-term future. Following recent arguments around future generations (...)
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  15. Longtermist Political Philosophy: An Agenda for Future Research.Andreas T. Schmidt & Jacob Barrett - forthcoming - In Jacob Barrett, Hilary Greaves & David Thorstad (eds.), Essays on Longtermism. Oxford University Press.
    We set out longtermist political philosophy as a research field by exploring the case for, and the implications of, ‘institutional longtermism’: the view that, when evaluating institutions, we should give significant weight to their very long-term effects. We begin by arguing that the standard case for longtermism may be more robust when applied to institutions than to individual actions or policies, both because institutions have large, broad, and long-term effects, and because institutional longtermism can plausibly sidestep various objections to individual (...)
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  16.  41
    Persons or Property – Freedom and the Legal Status of Animals.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (1):20-45.
    Is freedom a plausible political value for animals? If so, does this imply that animals are owed legal personhood rights or can animals be free but remain human property? Drawing on different conceptions of freedom, I will argue that while positive freedom, libertarian self-ownership, and republican freedom are not plausible political values for animals, liberal ‘option-freedom’ is. However, because such option-freedom is in principle compatible with different legal statuses, animal freedom does not conceptually imply a right to legal self-ownership. Nonetheless, (...)
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  17.  26
    Consequentialism, Collective Action, and Blame.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2024 - Journal of Moral Philosophy:1-33.
    Several important questions in applied ethics – like whether to switch to a plant-based diet, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or vote in elections – seem to share the following structure: if enough people ‘cooperate’ and become vegan for example, we bring about a better outcome; but what you do as an individual seems to make no difference whatsoever. Such collective action problems are often thought to pose a serious challenge to consequentialism. In response, I defend the Reactive Attitude Approach: rather (...)
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  18.  26
    : The Well-Ordered Republic.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2024 - Ethics 134 (4):584-590.
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  19.  22
    Moral Uncertainty and Public Justification.Jacob Barrett & Andreas T. Schmidt - 2024 - Philosophers' Imprint 24 (1).
    Moral uncertainty and disagreement pervade our lives. Yet we still need to make decisions and act, both individually and politically. So, what should we do? Moral uncertainty theorists provide a theory of what individuals should do when they are uncertain about morality. Public reason liberals provide a theory of how societies should deal with reasonable disagreements about morality. They defend the public justification principle: state action is permissible only if it can be justified to all reasonable people. In this article, (...)
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  20.  50
    The ethics and politics of mindfulness-based interventions.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (7):450-454.
    Recently, there has been a lot of enthusiasm for mindfulness practice and its use in healthcare, businesses and schools. An increasing number of studies give us ground for cautious optimism about the potential of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) to improve people's lives across a number of dimensions. This paper identifies and addresses some of the main ethical and political questions for larger-scale MBIs. First, how far are MBIs compatible with liberal neutrality given the great diversity of lifestyles and conceptions of the (...)
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  21.  90
    Persons or Property – Freedom and the Legal Status of Animals.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (1):20-45.
    _ Source: _Page Count 26 Is freedom a plausible political value for animals? If so, does this imply that animals are owed legal personhood rights or can animals be free but remain human property? Drawing on different conceptions of freedom, I will argue that while positive freedom, libertarian self-ownership, and republican freedom are not plausible political values for animals, liberal ‘option-freedom’ is. However, because such option-freedom is in principle compatible with different legal statuses, animal freedom does not conceptually imply a (...)
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  22.  49
    Should We Extend Voluntary Euthanasia to Non-medical Cases? Solidarity and the Social Context of Elderly Suffering.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (2):129-162.
    Several Dutch politicians have recently argued that medical voluntary euthanasia laws should be extended to include healthy elderly citizens who suffer from non-medical ‘existential suffering’. In response, some seek to show that cases of medical euthanasia are morally permissible in ways that completed life euthanasia cases are not. I provide a different, societal perspective. I argue against assessing the permissibility of individual euthanasia cases in separation of their societal context and history. An appropriate justification of euthanasia needs to be embedded (...)
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  23.  32
    Withdrawing and Withholding Treatment: What Do Medical Professionals Owe Their Patients?Andreas T. Schmidt - 2019 - American Journal of Bioethics 19 (3):31-33.
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  24.  22
    Is there a human right to tobacco control?Andreas T. Schmidt - 2020 - In Marie Gispen (ed.), Human Rights and Tobacco Control. Edward Elgar Publishing. Translated by Birgit Toebes.
    This chapter defends a legal human right to tobacco control. Building on existing work, the chapter argues that the legal case for such a right is strong. Existing international human rights treaties, chiefly the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, recognize a human right to health alongside several other rights that speak for covering tobacco control under human rights law. Drawing on Allen Buchanan’s pluralistic justificatory framework for human rights, the chapter argues that the philosophical case is strong (...)
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  25.  32
    Freedom of choice and the tobacco endgame.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2021 - Bioethics 36 (1):77-84.
    Endgame proposals strive for a tobacco‐free (or at least cigarette‐free) society. Some endgame proposals are radical and include, for example, a complete ban on cigarettes. Setting aside empirical worries, one worry is ethical: would such proposals not go too far in interfering with individual freedom? I argue that concerns around freedom do not speak against endgame proposals, including strong proposals such as a ban on cigarettes. I first argue that when balancing freedom with public health goals in tobacco control, the (...)
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  26.  64
    Being Good by Doing Good: Goodness and the Evaluation of Persons.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2017 - Utilitas 29 (1):3-26.
    Does doing good in itself make one a better person? This idea is intuitive yet its precise formulation underexplored. This article first shows that it is not the case that a person is good to the extent that her existence brings about good or to the extent that her actions do good. A proportional principle that evaluates a person according to the expected goodness of her actual course of action relative to the expected goodness of other available courses is shown (...)
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  27.  28
    Response to Open Peer Commentaries on “Withdrawing Versus Withholding Freedoms: Nudging and the Case of Tobacco Control”.Andreas T. Schmidt - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics 16 (11):1-3.
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  28.  31
    The Ethics of Mindfulness-Based Interventions: A Population- Level Perspective.Andreas T. Schmidt & Lovro Savic - 2019 - The Oxford Handbook of Psychotherapy Ethics.
    When applied in population-level contexts, such as schools or business, mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) find themselves in a crossfire between two different kinds of criticisms. On one side, some worry that MBIs’ normative commitments might be “too thick,” worrying that MBIs might come with a particular conception of the good, and significant ethical and religious commitments. On the other side, some worry that contemporary MBIs are ethically “too thin,” as they shed too many of their original Buddhist ethical and soteriological goals. (...)
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