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Holly Lawford-Smith
University of Melbourne
  1. Understanding Political Feasibility.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2013 - Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (3):243-259.
  2. Political Feasibility. A Conceptual Exploration.Pablo Gilabert & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - Political Studies 60 (4):809-825.
  3. The Feasibility of Collectives' Actions.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (3):453-467.
    Does ?ought? imply ?can? for collectives' obligations? In this paper I want to establish two things. The first, what a collective obligation means for members of the collective. The second, how collective ability can be ascertained. I argue that there are four general kinds of obligation, which devolve from collectives to members in different ways, and I give an account of the distribution of obligation from collectives to members for each of these kinds. One implication of understanding collective obligation and (...)
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  4. What 'We'?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2015 - Journal of Social Ontology 1 (2):225-250.
    The objective of this paper is to explain why certain authors - both popular and academic - are making a mistake when they attribute obligations to uncoordinated groups of persons, and to argue that it is particularly unhelpful to make this mistake given the prevalence of individuals faced with the difficult question of what morality requires of them in a situation in which there's a good they can bring about together with others, but not alone. I'll defend two alternatives to (...)
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  5. Difference-Making and Individuals' Climate-Related Obligations.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - In Clare Hayward & Dominic Roser (eds.), Climate Justice in a Non-Ideal World. pp. 64-82.
    Climate change appears to be a classic aggregation problem, in which billions of individuals perform actions none of which seem to be morally wrong taken in isolation, and yet which combine to drive the global concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) ever higher toward environmental (and humanitarian) catastrophe. When an individual can choose between actions that will emit differing amounts of GHGs―such as to choose a vegan rather than carnivorous meal, to ride a bike to work rather than drive a car, (...)
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  6. Unethical Consumption & Obligations to Signal.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2015 - Ethics and International Affairs 29 (3):315-330.
    Many of the items that humans consume are produced in ways that involve serious harms to persons. Familiar examples include the harms involved in the extraction and trade of conflict minerals (e.g. coltan, diamonds), the acquisition and import of non- fair trade produce (e.g. coffee, chocolate, bananas, rice), and the manufacture of goods in sweatshops (e.g. clothing, sporting equipment). In addition, consumption of certain goods (significantly fossil fuels and the products of the agricultural industry) involves harm to the environment, to (...)
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  7.  30
    Not in Their Name: Are Citizens Culpable for Their States' Actions?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2019 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    There are many actions that we attribute, at least colloquially, to states. Given their size and influence, states are able to inflict harm far beyond the reach of a single individual. But there is a great deal of unclarity about exactly who is implicated in that kind of harm, and how we should think about responsibility for it. It is a commonplace assumption that democratic publics both authorize and have control over what their states do; that their states act in (...)
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  8. Debate: Ideal Theory—A Reply to Valentini.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - Journal of Political Philosophy 18 (3):357-368.
    In her ‘On the apparent paradox of ideal theory’, Laura Valentini combines three supposedly plausible premises to derive the paradoxical result that ideal theory is both unable to, and indispensable for, guiding action. Her strategy is to undermine one of the three premises by arguing that there are good and bad kinds of ideal theory, and only the bad kinds are vulnerable to the strongest version of their opponents’ attack. By undermining one of the three premises she releases ideal theorists (...)
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  9. Collectives’ and Individuals’ Obligations: A Parity Argument.Stephanie Collins & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (1):38-58.
    Individuals have various kinds of obligations: keep promises, don’t cause harm, return benefits received from injustices, be partial to loved ones, help the needy and so on. How does this work for group agents? There are two questions here. The first is whether groups can bear the same kinds of obligations as individuals. The second is whether groups’ pro tanto obligations plug into what they all-things-considered ought to do to the same degree that individuals’ pro tanto obligations plug into what (...)
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  10. Benefiting From Failures to Address Climate Change.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2014 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (4):392-404.
    The politics of climate change is marked by the fact that countries are dragging their heels in doing what they ought to do; namely, creating a binding global treaty, and fulfilling the duties assigned to each of them under it. Many different agents are culpable in this failure. But we can imagine a stylised version of the climate change case, in which no agents are culpable: if the bad effects of climate change were triggered only by crossing a particular threshold, (...)
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  11. Non-Ideal Accessibility.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (3):653-669.
    What should we do when we won't do as we ought? Suppose it ought to be that the procrastinating professor accept the task of reviewing a book, and actually review the book. It seems clear that given he won't review it, he ought not to accept the task. That is a genuine moral obligation in light of less than perfect circumstances. I want to entertain the possibility that a set of such obligations form something like a 'practical morality'; that which (...)
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  12. Does Purchasing Make Consumers Complicit in Global Labour Injustice?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2018 - Res Publica 24 (3):319-338.
    Do consumers’ ordinary actions of purchasing certain goods make them complicit in global labour injustice? To establish that they do, two things much be shown. First, it must be established that they are not more than complicit, for example that they are not the principal perpetrators. Second, it must be established that they meet the conditions for complicity on a plausible account. I argue that Kutz’s account faces an objection that makes Lepora and Goodin’s better suited, and defend the idea (...)
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  13. The Transfer of Duties: From Individuals to States and Back Again.Stephanie Collins & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - In Michael Brady & Miranda Fricker (eds.), The Epistemic Life of Groups. Oxford University Press. pp. 150-172.
    Individuals sometimes pass their duties on to collectives, which is one way in which collectives can come to have duties. The collective discharges its duties by acting through its members, which involves distributing duties back out to individuals. Individuals put duties in and get (transformed) duties out. In this paper we consider whether (and if so, to what extent) this general account can make sense of states' duties. Do some of the duties we typically take states to have come from (...)
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  14. On an Alleged Case of Propaganda: Reply to McKinnon.Sophie R. Allen, Elizabeth Finneron-Burns, Mary Leng, Holly Lawford-Smith, Jane Clare Jones, Rebecca Reilly-Cooper & R. J. Simpson - manuscript
    In her recent paper ‘The Epistemology of Propaganda’ Rachel McKinnon discusses what she refers to as ‘TERF propaganda’. We take issue with three points in her paper. The first is her rejection of the claim that ‘TERF’ is a misogynistic slur. The second is the examples she presents as commitments of so-called ‘TERFs’, in order to establish that radical (and gender critical) feminists rely on a flawed ideology. The third is her claim that standpoint epistemology can be used to establish (...)
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  15. The Motivation Question: Arguments From Justice, and From Humanity.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - British Journal of Political Science 42:661-678.
    Which of the two dominant arguments for duties to alleviate global poverty, supposing their premises were generally accepted, would be more likely to produce their desired outcome? I take Pogge's argument for obligations grounded in principles of justice, a "contribution" argument, and Campbell's argument for obligations grounded in principles of humanity, an "assistance" argument, to be prototypical. Were people to accept the premises of Campbell's argument, how likely would they be to support governmental reform in policies for international aid, or (...)
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  16.  57
    XIV—What’s Wrong with Collective Punishment?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2018 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 118 (3):327-345.
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  17. [Comment] A Brief Note on the Ambiguity of ‘Ought’. Reply to Moti Mizrahi’s ‘Ought, Can and Presupposition: An Experimental Study’.Miklos Kurthy & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2015 - Methode: Analytic Perspectives 4 (6):244-249.
    Moti Mizrahi provides experimental evidence according to which subjects judge that a person ought to ? even when she cannot ?. He takes his results to constitute a falsification of the alleged intuitiveness of the ‘Ought Implies Can’ principle. We point out that in the light of the fact that (a) ‘ought’ is multiply ambiguous, that (b) only a restricted set of readings of ‘ought’ will be relevant to the principle, and that (c) he did not instruct his subjects appropriately (...)
     
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  18.  38
    Are ‘the Affluent’ Responsible for Global Poverty?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2019 - Ethics and Global Politics 12 (1):61-67.
  19.  5
    Accelerating the Carbon Cycle: The Ethics of Enhanced Weathering.Adrian Currie & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2017 - Biology Letters 13 (4):1-6.
    Enhanced weathering, in comparison to other geoengineering measures, creates the possibility of a reduced cost, reduced impact way of decreasing atmospheric carbon, with positive knock-on effects such as decreased oceanic acidity. We argue that ethical concerns have a place alongside empirical, political and social factors as we consider how to best respond to the critical challenge that anthropogenic climate change poses. We review these concerns, considering the ethical issues that arise (or would arise) in the large-scale deployment of enhanced weathering. (...)
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  20. Act Consequentialism and the No-Difference Challenge.Holly Lawford-Smith & William Tuckwell - forthcoming - In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. Oxford University Press.
    In this chapter we explain what the no-difference challenge is, focusing in particular on act consequentialism. We talk about how different theories of causation affect the no-difference challenge; how the challenge shows up in real-world cases including voting, global labour injustice, global poverty, and climate change; and we work through a number of the solutions to the challenge that have been offered, arguing that many fail to actually meet it. We defend and extend one solution that does, and present a (...)
     
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  21.  68
    Climate Matters Pro Tanto, Does It Matter All-Things-Considered?Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 40 (1):129-142.
    In Climate Matters (2012), John Broome argues that individuals have private duties to offset all emissions for which they are causally responsible, grounded in the general moral injunction against doing harm. Emissions do harm, therefore they must be neutralized. I argue that individuals' private duties to offset emissions cannot be grounded in a duty to do no harm, because there can be no such general duty. It is virtually impossible in our current social context―for those in developed countries at least―to (...)
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  22. Offsetting Race Privilege.Jeremey Dunham & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 11 (2):1-23.
    For all the talk there has been lately about privilege, few have commented on the moral obligations that are associated with having privilege. Those who have commented haven't gone much beyond the idea that the privileged should be conscious of their privilege, should listen to those who don't have it. Here we want to go further, and build an account of the moral obligations of those with a particular kind of privilege: race privilege. In this paper we articulate an understanding (...)
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  23. Cosmopolitan Global Justice: Brock Vs. The Feasibility Sceptic.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2011 - Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric (4).
  24.  55
    Responsibility for States' Actions: Normative Issues at the Intersection of Collective Agency and State Responsibility.Holly Lawford-Smith & Stephanie Collins - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (11):e12456.
    Is the state a collective agent? Are citizens responsible for what their states do? If not citizens, then who, if anyone, is responsible for what the state does? Many different sub-disciplines of philosophy are relevant for answering these questions. We need to know what “the state” is, who or what it's composed of, and what relation the parts stand in to the whole. Once we know what it is, we need to know whether that thing is an agent, in particular (...)
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  25. Offsetting Class Privilege.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - Journal of Practical Ethics 4 (1):23-51.
    The UK is an unequal society. Societies like these raise significant ethical questions for those who live in them. One is how they should respond to such inequality, and in particular, to its effects on those who are worst-off. In this article, I’ll approach this question by focusing on the obligations of a particular group of those who are best-off. I’ll defend the idea of morally objectionable class-based advantage, which I’ll call ‘class privilege’, argue that class privilege can be non-culpable, (...)
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  26.  21
    The Comparative Culpability of SAI and Ordinary Carbon Emissions.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2017 - Ethics and International Affairs 31 (4):495-499.
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  27. Feasibility Constraints for Political Theories.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - Dissertation, Australian National University
  28. Juha Räikkä, Social Justice in Practice.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-6.
    Imagine yourself standing on the edge of a canyon, marveling at the terrain below, wondering about all the sights currently obscured from your view, and lamenting that you just don’t have time to commit to the steep descent in and long trek across, which would give you a perspective from right up close. Being handed Juha Räikkä’s new book Social Justice in Practice is like being told there’s a flying fox you can take: the canyon is applied political theory, and (...)
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  29. Introduction.Christian Barry & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - In Christian Barry & Holly Lawford-Smith (eds.), Global Justice. Ashgate.
    This volume brings together a range of influential essays by distinguished philosophers and political theorists on the issue of global justice. Global justice concerns the search for ethical norms that should govern interactions between people, states, corporations and other agents acting in the global arena, as well as the design of social institutions that link them together. The volume includes articles that engage with major theoretical questions such as the applicability of the ideals of social and economic equality to the (...)
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  30.  18
    Juha Räikkä, Social Justice in Practice: Switzerland: Springer, 2014. ISBN 978-3-319-04633-4 £72.00 Pb.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2016 - Journal of Value Inquiry 50 (2):473-478.
  31.  24
    Global Justice.Christian Barry & Holly Lawford-Smith (eds.) - 2012 - Ashgate.
    This volume brings together a range of influential essays by distinguished philosophers and political theorists on the issue of global justice. Global justice concerns the search for ethical norms that should govern interactions between people, states, corporations and other agents acting in the global arena, as well as the design of social institutions that link them together. This volume includes articles that engage with major theoretical questions such as the applicability of the ideals of social and economic equality to the (...)
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  32.  1
    Cosmopolitan Global Justice: Brock V. The Feasibility Sceptic.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2014 - Global Justice : Theory Practice Rhetoric 4.
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  33.  43
    Feasibility Constraints and the Cosmopolitan Vision: Empirical Reasons for Choosing Justice Over Humanity.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - In Stan van Hooft & Wim Vandekerckhove (eds.), Questioning Cosmopolitanism. Springer. pp. 137--150.
  34. On Satisfying Duties to Assist.Christian Barry & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2019 - In Hilary Greaves & Theron Pummer (eds.), Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    In this paper, we take up the question of whether there comes a point at which one is no longer morally obliged to do further good, even at very low cost to oneself. More specifically, they ask: under precisely what conditions is it plausible to say that that “point” has been reached? A crude account might focus only on, say, the amount of good the agent has already done, but a moment’s reflection shows that this is indeed too crude. We (...)
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  35. We the People: Is the Polity the State?Stephanie Collins & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (1):78-97.
    When a liberal-democratic state signs a treaty or wages a war, does its whole polity do those things? In this article, we approach this question via the recent social ontological literature on collective agency. We provide arguments that it does and that it does not. The arguments are presented via three considerations: the polity's control over what the state does; the polity's unity; and the influence of individual polity members. We suggest that the answer to our question differs for different (...)
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  36.  12
    Why Does Workplace Gender Diversity Matter? Justice, Organizational Benefits, and Policy.Cordelia Fine, Victor Sojo & Holly Lawford-Smith - forthcoming - Social Issues and Policy Review.
    Why does workplace gender diversity matter? Here, we provide a review of the literature on both justice‐based and organizational benefits of workplace gender diversity that, importantly, is informed by evidence regarding sex differences and their relationship with vocational behavior and outcomes. This review indicates that the sexes are neither distinctly different, nor so similar as to be fungible. Justice‐based gains of workplace gender diversity include that it may cause less sex discrimination and may combat androcentrism in products and services. We (...)
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  37.  50
    Punishing Groups: When External Justice Takes Priority Over Internal Justice.Johannes Himmelreich & Holly Lawford-Smith - 2019 - The Monist 102 (2):134-150.
    Punishing groups raises a difficult question, namely, how their punishment can be justified at all. Some have argued that punishing groups is morally problematic because of the effects that the punishment entails for their members. In this paper we argue against this view. We distinguish the question of internal justice—how punishment-effects are distributed—from the question of external justice—whether the punishment is justified. We argue that issues of internal justice do not in general undermine the permissibility of punishment. We also defend (...)
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  38. Crime and Culpability: A Theory of Criminal Law (by Larry Alexander Et Al.). [REVIEW]Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy 35:152-158.
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  39.  18
    Democratic Authority to Geoengineer.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2020 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 23 (5):600-617.
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  40. Ending Sex-Based Oppression: Transitional Pathways.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (3):1021-1041.
    From a radical feminist perspective, gender is a cage. Or to be more precise, it’s two cages. If genders are cages, then surely we want to let people out. Being less constrained in our choices is something we all have reason to want: theorists in recent years have emphasized the importance of the capability to do and be many different things. At the very least, we should want an end to sex-based oppression. But what does this entail, when it comes (...)
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  41. Is There Collective Responsibility For Misogyny Perpetrated On Social Media?Holly Lawford-Smith & Jessica Megarry - 2021 - In Carissa Veliz (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Digital Ethics.
    Women, particularly those in public positions (e.g. journalists, politicians, celebrities, activists) are subject to disproportionate amounts of abuse on social media platforms like Twitter. This abuse occurs in a landscape that those platforms designed, and maintain. Focusing in particular on Twitter, as typical of the kind of platform we’re interested in, we argue that it is the platform not (usually) the individuals who use it, that bears collective responsibility as a corporate agent for misogyny. Social media platforms, however, should not (...)
     
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  42. Review of James Pattison's 'The Morality of Private War'.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2015 - Times Literary Supplement 5870.
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  43. Peter Corning: The Fair Society: The Science of Human Nature and the Pursuit of Social Justice: University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2011. [REVIEW]Holly Lawford-Smith - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (2):313-320.
    Peter Corning: The Fair Society: The science of human nature and the pursuit of social justice Content Type Journal Article Category Review Essay Pages 1-8 DOI 10.1007/s10539-011-9304-0 Authors Holly Lawford-Smith, Centre for Applied Ethics and Public Philosophy, Charles Sturt University, Canberra, Australia Journal Biology and Philosophy Online ISSN 1572-8404 Print ISSN 0169-3867.
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  44.  19
    Trashing and Tribalism in the Gender Wars.Holly Lawford-Smith - forthcoming - In Noell Birondo (ed.), The Moral Psychology of Hate. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 207-233.
    In 1976, Jo Freeman wrote an article for Ms. Magazine, entitled ‘Trashing: The Dark Side of Sisterhood’. It provoked an outpouring of letters from women relating their own experiences of trashing during the course of the second wave feminist movement—more letters than Ms. had received about any previous article. Since then, the technology has improved but the climate among feminists has not; trashing is now conducted on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, in front of ever-larger audiences and with (...)
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  45. The Importance of Being Earnest, and the Difficulty of Faking It.Holly Lawford-Smith - 2010 - In M. Baurmann, G. Brennan, R. Goodin & N. Southwood (eds.), Norms and Values. Nomos Verlag.
    http://www.uni-bielefeld.de/ZIF/Publikationen/books/10_Baurmann_NormsAndValues.html.
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  46.  77
    The Metaphysics of Intersectionality Revisited.Holly Lawford-Smith & Kate Phelan - forthcoming - Journal of Political Philosophy.
    ‘Intersectionality’ is one of the rare pieces of academic jargon to make it out of the university and into the mainstream. The message is clear and well-known: your feminism had better be intersectional. But what exactly does this mean? This paper is partly an exercise in conceptual clarification, distinguishing at least six distinct types of claim found across the literature on intersectionality, and digging further into the most philosophically complex of these claims—namely the metaphysical and explanatory. It’s also partly a (...)
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  47.  5
    The Metaphysics of Intersectionality Revisited.Holly Lawford-Smith & Kate Phelan - forthcoming - Wiley: Journal of Political Philosophy.
    Journal of Political Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  48. Women-Only Spaces and the Right to Exclude.Holly Lawford-Smith - manuscript
    The central question of the paper is: do women have the right to exclude transwomen from women-only spaces? First I argue that biological sex matters politically, and should be protected legally—at least until such a time as there is no longer sex discrimination. Then I turn to the rationales for women-only spaces, arguing that there are eight independent rationales that together overdetermine the moral justification for maintaining particular spaces as women-only. I address a package of spaces, including prisons, changing rooms, (...)
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  49.  39
    Directed Reflective Equilibrium: Thought Experiments and How to Use Them.Adam Slavny, Kai Spiekermann, Holly Lawford-Smith & David V. Axelsen - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (1):1-25.
    In this paper we develop a new methodology for normative theorising, which we call Directed Reflective Equilibrium. Directed Reflective Equilibrium is based on a taxonomy that distinguishes between a number of different functions of hypothetical cases, including two dimensions that we call representation and elicitation. Like its predecessor, Directed Reflective Equilibrium accepts that neither intuitions nor basic principles are immune to revision and that our commitments on various levels of philosophical enquiry should be brought into equilibrium. However, it also offers (...)
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  50.  22
    Big Data Justice: A Case for Regulating The Global Information Commons.Kai Spiekermann, Adam Slavny, David V. Axelsen & Holly Lawford-Smith - forthcoming - Journal of Politics.
    The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) challenges political theorists to think about data ownership and policymakers to regulate the collection and use of public data. AI producers benefit from free public data for training their systems while retaining the profits. We argue against the view that the use of public data must be free. The proponents of unconstrained use point out that consuming data does not diminish its quality and that information is in ample supply. Therefore, they suggest, publicly available (...)
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