abstract Contractarianism roots moral standing in an agreement among rational agents in the circumstances of justice. Critics have argued that the theory must exclude nonhuman animals from the protection of justice. I argue that contractarianism can consistently accommodate the notion that nonhuman animals are owed direct moral consideration. They can acquire their moral status indirectly, but their claims to justice can be as stringent as those among able‐bodied rational adult humans. Any remaining criticisms of contractarianism likely rest on a disputable (...) moral realism; contractarianism can underwrite the direct moral considerability of nonhuman animals by appealing to a projectivist quasi‐realism. (shrink)
This paper considers the relation of corrective to distributive justice. I discuss the shortfalls of one sort of account that holds these are independent domains of justice. To support a more modest claim that these are sometimes independent domains of justice, I focus instead on the case of apologies. Apologies are sometimes among the measures specified by corrective justice. I argue that the sorts of injustices that apologies can help to correct need not always be departures from ideals specified by (...) distributive justice. Apologies and the moral relations they engage might thus be parts of a domain of justice that is neither distributive nor dependent on distributive justice. (shrink)
In this essay I describe how contractarianism might approach interspecies welfare conflicts. I start by discussing a contractarian account of the moral status of nonhuman animals. I argue that contractors can agree to norms that would acknowledge the “moral standing” of some animals. I then discuss how the norms emerging from contractarian agreement might constrain any comparison of welfare between humans and animals. Contractarian agreement is likely to express some partiality to humans in a way that discounts the welfare of (...) some or all animals. While the norms emerging from the contract might be silent or inconsistent in some tragic or catastrophic cases, in most ordinary conflicts of welfare, contractors will agree to norms that produce some determinate resolution. What the agreement says can evolve depending upon how the contractors or the circumstances change. I close with some remarks on contractarian indeterminacy. (shrink)
Whether Social Media Companies (hereafter, SMCs) such as Twitter and Facebook limit speech is an empirical question. No one disputes that they do. Whether they “censor” speech is a conceptual question, the answer to which is a matter of dispute. Whether they may do so is a moral question, also a matter of dispute. We address both of these latter questions and hope to illuminate whether it is morally permissible for SMCs to restrict speech on their platforms. This could be (...) part of a larger argument, when we do not explicitly offer here, that states ought not to forbid SMCs from censoring. We do not focus on legal statutes or precedent. We argue that nonstate actors can (as a conceptual matter) and may (as a moral matter) impede the freedoms of others to express themselves. That is, barring rare emergencies, nonstate actors may censor individuals even when states may not. (shrink)
Contemporary Debates in Applied Ethics features pairs of newly commissioned essays by some of the leading theorists working in the field today. Brings together fresh debates on eleven of the most controversial issues in applied ethics Topics addressed include abortion, affirmative action, animals, capital punishment, cloning, euthanasia, immigration, pornography, privacy in civil society, values in nature, and world hunger. Lively debate format sharply defines the issues, and paves the way for further discussion. Will serve as an accessible introduction to the (...) major topics in applied ethics, whilst also capturing the imagination of professional philosophers. (shrink)
This paper argues against an individualist challenge to the possibility of corporate apologies. According to this challenge, corporations always and only act through their members; thus they are not the sorts of entities that can apologize. Consequently there can be no corporate apologies. Against this challenge, this paper argues that even if corporate acts can be analyzed as acts by individuals within certain relationships, there can still be corporate apologies. This paper offers a noneliminative individualist account of such apologies. The (...) paper also responds to various substantive objections to the possibility of such apologies. (shrink)
What makes a policy work? What should policies attempt to do, and what ought they not do? These questions are at the heart of both policy-making and ethics. Philosophy, Ethics and Public Policy: An Introduction examines these questions and more. Andrew I. Cohen uses contemporary examples and controversies, mainly drawn from policy in a North American context, to illustrate important flashpoints in ethics and public policy, such as: public policy and globalization: sweatshops; medicine and the developing world; immigration marriage, family (...) and education: same-sex marriage; women and the family; education and Intelligent Design justifying and responding to state coercion: torture; reparations and restorative justice the ethics of the body and commodification: the human organ trade, and factory farming of animals. Each chapter illustrates how ethics offers ways of prioritizing some policy alternatives and imagining new ones. Reflecting on various themes in globalization, markets, and privacy, the chapters are windows to enduring significant debates about what states may do to shape our behavior. Overall, the book will help readers understand how ethics can frame policymaking, while also suggesting that sometimes the best policy is no policy. Including annotated further reading, this is an excellent introduction to a fast-growing subject for students in Philosophy, Public Policy, and related disciplines. (shrink)
This book provides rigorous but accessible scholarship, ideal for students in philosophy and public policy. It includes twelve original essays by world-renowned scholars, each examining a key topic in philosophy and public policy and demonstrating how policy debates can be advanced by employing the tools and concepts of philosophy.
Apologies are key components of moral repair. They can identify a wrong, express regret, and accept culpability for some transgression. Apologies can vindicate a victim's value as someone who was due different treatment. This paper explores whether acts with vicarious elements may serve as apologies. I offer a functionalist account of apologies: acts are apologies not so much by having correct ingredients but by serving certain apologetic functions. Those functions can be realized in multiple ways. Whether the offenders are individuals (...) or collectives, they can sometimes fulfill such functions through third party agents. Having vicarious elements does not necessarily undermine the reparative reasons offenders hope to provide. (shrink)
I focus particularly on the case of the glory seekers. Driven by a foolhardy overestimation of their worth, seekers of glory do not value peace as others do. They may not even value peace at all. Their quest for glory then often obstructs peace, which is perhaps why Hobbes condemns vainglory as irrational. But once we clarify what it is that glory seekers seek, it becomes uncertain that gratifying appetites for glory is necessarily against right reason. If Hobbes is then (...) to say that the laws of nature are the dictates of right reason, he must either show that glory seeking is against right reason, or he must explain why the right reason of glory seekers, which argues against the laws of nature, does not count against the normative force of such laws. (shrink)
Statistics education at all levels includes data collected on human subjects. Thus, statistics educators have a responsibility to educate their students about the ethical aspects related to the collection of those data. The changing statistics education landscape has seen instruction moving from being formula-based to being focused on statistical reasoning. The widely implemented Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) Report has paved the way for instructors to present introductory statistics to students in a way that is both (...) approachable and engaging. However, with technological advancement and the increase in availability of real-world datasets, it is necessary that instruction also integrate the ethical aspects around data sources, such as privacy, how the data were obtained and whether participants consent to the use of their data. In this article, we propose incorporating ethics into established curricula and integrating ethics into undergraduate-level introductory statistics courses based on recommendations in the GAISE Report. We provide a few examples of how to prompt students to constructively think about their ethical responsibilities when working with data. (shrink)
This essay explores whether dependent relationships might justify extending direct moral consideration to nonhuman animals. After setting out a formal conception of moral standing as relational, scalar, and unilateral, I consider whether and how an appeal to dependencies might be the basis for an animal’s moral standing. If dependencies generate reasons for extending direct moral consideration, such reasons will admit of significant variations in scope and stringency.
Higher education provides crucial public and private goods. Especially in the United States, however, higher education reflects and sometimes compounds enduring inequities and inefficiencies. Higher education, critics argue, inefficiently provides a credential that is often crucial for career advancement but whose value is mainly to signal skills one already had. This paper explores the moral significance of an oversupply of higher education, especially for persons disadvantaged because of uncorrected historic injustice. I review the moral costs of credentials inflation. Focusing on (...) those who already have independent claims to reparation for historic injustice, I set out whether and how some such persons might have additional claims to repair for the increased credential demands for work. I close by considering what sorts of repair corrective justice might prescribe. (shrink)
This chapter contains sections titled: Why Do We Date? A Brief History of Dating Calculated Relationship Initiation and Maintenance All “Perfect” Dating Relationships Stumble, but Not in the Same Way Dating as a Particular Genre of Friendship Against Unconditional Love Conclusion.
Contractarianism is more inclusive than critics (and, indeed, Gauthier) sometimes suggest. Contractarianism can justify equal moral standing for human persons (in some respects) and provide sufficient moral standing for many nonhuman animals to require what we commonly call decent treatment. Moreover, contractarianism may allow that some entities have more moral standing than others do. This does not necessarily license the oppression that liberal egalitarians rightly fear. Instead, it shows that contractarianism may support a nuanced account of moral status.
Hobbes claims that the sovereign's absolute authority is consistent with the subjects' retaining liberties to resist certain commands. In this essay, I explore what it means for subject to authorize a sovereign with a right to command. I show how retained rights are compatible with sovereignty. Though any given subject does not authorize the sovereign to do anything, I argue that the sovereign power is absolute. The sovereign has the most power anyone could command.
This book argues that justice often governs apologies. Drawing on examples from literature, politics, and current events, Cohen presents a theory of apology as corrective offers. Many leading accounts of apology say much about what apologies do and why they are important. They stop short of exploring whether and how justice governs apologies. Cohen argues that corrective justice may require apologies as offers of reparation. Individuals, corporations, and states may then have rights or duties regarding apology. Exercising rights to apology (...) or fulfilling duties to provide them are ways of holding one another mutually accountable. By casting rights and duties of apology as justifiable to free and equal persons, the book advances conversations about how liberalism may respond to historic injustice. Apologies and Moral Repair will be of interest to scholars and advanced students in ethics, political philosophy, and social philosophy. (shrink)
Besides commanding coercive power, a political authority is supposed to offer directives which ought to exclude private judgment. Any defense of inalienable rights or limited rights of resistance suggests some legitimate residual private judgment. Such retained rights threaten to undermine the binding force of authoritative directives. ;The case of Hobbesian sovereignty typifies this problem. Hobbes claims agents must establish permanent and absolute political authorities, and they can do so only by completely submitting themselves to a sovereign power whose public will (...) stand for their own. Hobbesian political obligation consists in being bound not to act on one's own judgment, but even Hobbes allows for limited rights of resistance. ;Building on the work of Joseph Raz, I show how political authority binds our conduct by providing special reasons not to act on our private judgment. I explain how there can be scope and jurisdictional limitations on political authority, indeed, Hobbesian political authority. Any given subject might not completely authorize political power, but such power can still be absolute. Since private judgment endures in a civil society, subjects are in some position to evaluate the legitimacy of authoritative directives. To the extent authority binds and neither merely advises nor merely coerces, subjects must have reasons why they should not act on their private judgments. (shrink)
This book brings together leading interdisciplinary scholars to broaden and deepen the conversation about moral injury. In original essays, the contributors present new research to show how the humanities are crucial for understanding the expressions, meaning, and significance of moral injury. Moral injury is the disorientation we suffer when we are complicit in some moral transgression. Most existing work addresses moral injury from a clinical or neuroscientific perspective. The essays in this volume show how the humanities are crucial for understanding (...) the meaning and significance of moral injury, as well as suggesting how to grapple with its lived challenges. The chapters address the conceptual, sociological, historical, and ritualistic dimensions of moral injury across three thematic sections. Section 1 explores how tools of the humanities provide new lenses for understanding conceptual and genealogical themes about moral injury. Section 2 highlights the experiences of moral injury in combat soldiers, law enforcement, and noncombatants such as photojournalists. These chapters examine the power and limits to theorizing moral phenomena by appeals to lived experience. Section 3 considers how humanistic inquiry illuminates important dimensions of the aftermath of moral injury beyond the scope of clinical research. These chapters consider how ritual, relationship repair, and atonement might shape the ways people navigate moral injury and consider how such responses shape our understandings of what we owe to one another. Moral Injury and the Humanities: Interdisciplinary Perspectives is an essential resource for researchers and advanced students in philosophy, religious studies, literature, journalism, and the arts who are interested in moral injury. (shrink)
Friendships are voluntary relationships founded and sustained on reciprocated good will and mutual caring. Individuals in end friendships exhibit a mutual regard that is characteristic of those dispositions by which they spontaneously treat one another as ends. But even the closest of friends face challenges that can pit reasons of reciprocity or considerations of morality against friendship. My focus here is to examine how friends may assess their relationships in light of such challenges. This inquiry may then illuminate how the (...) demands of friendship generate reasons. (shrink)
RésuméLes propriétés dynamiques de l'amitié requièrent parfois que les amis réévaluent leur relation à la lumière de raisons de réciprocité ou de considérations morales. Les amis maintiennent leur relation en partie en évaluant leurs rapports de réciprocité. Ils doivent aussi considérer parfois l'impact de raisons morales sur leur amidé; il leur faut résoudre d'occasionnelles tensions entre les exigences de l'amitié et certaines considérations rivales d'ordre moral, et ils doivent agir parfois comme surveillants l'un pour l'autre dans l'ordre moral. Je discute (...) ici la façon dont les amis peuvent gérer leur relation sans compromettre la confiance et le respect mutuels qui sont appropriés entre amis. (shrink)