Does economic globalization create a “race to the bottom” or a “race to the top” in labor rights practices? Despite significant research on the possible impact of economic globalization on labor conditions, little consensus exists as to whether and what forms of economic openness might help or undermine labor rights. In this study, we illustrate the significance of considering the two distinct processes of de facto and de jure globalization. We argue that whereas de facto globalization in the form of (...) trade and financial transactions is likely to result in worse labor rights practices, de jure globalization that entails regulations to facilitate these transactions is likely to have a positive effect on labor conditions. Combining time-series, cross-national data on labor rights with data on economic globalization, we find significant evidence of the divergent effects of de facto and de jure globalization on labor rights practices. Results also indicate that the labor rights effects of de facto and de jure globalization are stronger for trade than financial globalization. We further show that the effects of economic globalization apply to both collective and substantive labor rights practices. (shrink)
Totalism Without Repugnance.Jacob M. Nebel - 2022 - In Jeff McMahan, Tim Campbell, James Goodrich & Ketan Ramakrishnan (eds.), Ethics and Existence: The Legacy of Derek Parfit. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 200-231.details
Totalism is the view that one distribution of well-being is better than another just in case the one contains a greater sum of well-being than the other. Many philosophers, following Parfit, reject totalism on the grounds that it entails the repugnant conclusion: that, for any number of excellent lives, there is some number of lives that are barely worth living whose existence would be better. This paper develops a theory of welfare aggregation—the lexical-threshold view—that allows totalism to avoid the repugnant (...) conclusion, as well as its analogues involving suffering populations and the lengths of individual lives. The theory is grounded in some independently plausible views about the structure of well-being, identifies a new source of incommensurability in population ethics, and avoids some of the implausibly extreme consequences of other lexical views, without violating the intuitive separability of lives. (shrink)
The Rachels–Temkin spectrum arguments against the transitivity of better than involve good or bad experiences, lives, or outcomes that vary along multiple dimensions—e.g., duration and intensity of pleasure or pain. This paper presents variations on these arguments involving combinations of good and bad experiences, which have even more radical implications than the violation of transitivity. These variations force opponents of transitivity to conclude that something good is worse than something that isn’t good, on pain of rejecting the good altogether. That (...) is impossible, so we must reject the spectrum arguments. (shrink)
The standard view of "believes" and other propositional attitude verbs is that such verbs express relations between agents and propositions. A sentence of the form “S believes that p” is true just in case S stands in the belief-relation to the proposition that p; this proposition is the referent of the complement clause "that p." On this view, we would expect the clausal complements of propositional attitude verbs to be freely intersubstitutable with their corresponding proposition descriptions—e.g., "the proposition that p"—as (...) they are in the case of "believes." In many cases, however, intersubstitution of that-clauses and proposition descriptions fails to preserve truth value or even grammaticality. These substitution failures lead some philosophers to reject the standard view of propositional attitude reports. Others conclude that propositional attitude verbs are systematically ambiguous. I reject both these views. On my view, the that-clause complements of propositional attitude verbs denote propositions, but proposition descriptions do not. (shrink)
I defend the view that a reason for someone to do something is just a reason why she ought to do it. This simple view has been thought incompatible with the existence of reasons to do things that we may refrain from doing or even ought not to do. For it is widely assumed that there are reasons why we ought to do something only if we ought to do it. I present several counterexamples to this principle and reject some (...) ways of understanding "ought" so that the principle is compatible with my examples. I conclude with a hypothesis for when and why the principle should be expected to fail. (shrink)
This paper is about the role of interpersonal comparisons in Harsanyi's aggregation theorem. Harsanyi interpreted his theorem to show that a broadly utilitarian theory of distribution must be true even if there are no interpersonal comparisons of well-being. How is this possible? The orthodox view is that it is not. Some argue that the interpersonal comparability of well-being is hidden in Harsanyi's premises. Others argue that it is a surprising conclusion of Harsanyi's theorem, which is not presupposed by any one (...) of the premises. I argue instead that Harsanyi was right: his theorem and its weighted-utilitarian conclusion do not require interpersonal comparisons of well-being. The key to making sense of this possibility is to treat Harsanyi's weights as dimensional constants rather than dimensionless numbers. (shrink)
This paper presents a new kind of problem in the ethics of distribution. The problem takes the form of several “calibration dilemmas,” in which intuitively reasonable aversion to small-stakes inequalities requires leading theories of distribution to recommend intuitively unreasonable aversion to large-stakes inequalities. We first lay out a series of such dilemmas for prioritarian theories. We then consider a widely endorsed family of egalitarian views and show that they are subject to even more forceful calibration dilemmas than prioritarian theories. Finally, (...) we show that our results challenge common utilitarian accounts of the badness of inequalities in resources. (shrink)
I present a new argument for the repugnant conclusion. The core of the argument is a risky, intrapersonal analogue of the mere addition paradox. The argument is important for three reasons. First, some solutions to Parfit’s original puzzle do not obviously generalize to the intrapersonal puzzle in a plausible way. Second, it raises independently important questions about how to make decisions under uncertainty for the sake of people whose existence might depend on what we do. And, third, it suggests various (...) difficulties for leading views about the value of a person’s life compared to her nonexistence. (shrink)
Many economists and philosophers assume that status quo bias is necessarily irrational. I argue that, in some cases, status quo bias is fully rational. I discuss the rationality of status quo bias on both subjective and objective theories of the rationality of preferences. I argue that subjective theories cannot plausibly condemn this bias as irrational. I then discuss one kind of objective theory, which holds that a conservative bias toward existing things of value is rational. This account can fruitfully explain (...) some compelling aspects of common sense morality, and it may justify status quo bias. (shrink)
Matthew Adler's Measuring Social Welfare is an introduction to the social welfare function (SWF) methodology. This essay questions some ideas at the core of the SWF methodology having to do with the relation between the SWF and the measure of well-being. The facts about individual well-being do not single out a particular scale on which well-being must be measured. As with physical quantities, there are multiple scales that can be used to represent the same information about well-being; no one scale (...) is special. Like physical laws, the SWF and its ranking of distributions cannot depend on exactly which of these scales we use. Adler and other theorists in the SWF tradition have used this idea to derive highly restrictive constraints on the shape of the SWF. These constraints rule out seemingly plausible views about distributive justice and population ethics. I argue, however, that these constraints stem from a simple but instructive mistake. The SWF should not be applied to vectors of numbers such as 1 and 2, but rather to vectors of dimensioned quantities such as 1 util and 2 utils. This seemingly pedantic suggestion turns out to have far-reaching consequences. Unlike the orthodox SWF approach, treating welfare levels as dimensioned quantities lets us distinguish between real changes in well-being and mere changes in the unit of measurement. It does this without making the SWF depend on the scale on which welfare is measured, and in a way that avoids the restrictive constraints on the shape of the SWF. (shrink)
We defend three controversial claims about preference, credence, and choice. First, all agents (not just rational ones) have complete preferences. Second, all agents (again, not just rational ones) have real-valued credences in every proposition in which they are confident to any degree. Third, there is almost always some unique thing we ought to do, want, or believe.
How should we choose between uncertain prospects in which different possible people might exist at different levels of wellbeing? Alex Voorhoeve and Marc Fleurbaey offer an egalitarian answer to this question. I give some reasons to reject their answer and then sketch an alternative, which I call person-affecting prioritarianism.
Lara Buchak argues for a version of rank-weighted utilitarianism that assigns greater weight to the interests of the worse off. She argues that our distributive principles should be derived from the preferences of rational individuals behind a veil of ignorance, who ought to be risk averse. I argue that Buchak’s appeal to the veil of ignorance leads to a particular way of extending rank-weighted utilitarianism to the evaluation of uncertain prospects. This method recommends choices that violate the unanimous preferences of (...) rational individuals and choices that guarantee worse distributions. These results, I suggest, undermine Buchak’s argument for rank-weighted utilitarianism. (shrink)
The most rigorous framework for theorizing about the measurement and aggregation of value is the framework of social welfare functionals developed by Amartya Sen. In this framework, a social or overall betterness ordering is assigned to each possible profile of real-valued utility functions. Different possibilities for the measurability and interpersonal comparability of well-being are captured, in this framework, by invariance conditions, which require the same ordering to be assigned to profiles that are deemed informationally equivalent. But these invariance conditions are (...) highly restrictive and it is not clear whether they really follow from the underlying measurability/comparability possibilities with which they are associated. -/- The alternative framework developed in this paper cuts out the middleman of utilities, replacing them with the properties that utilities are supposed to represent. This allows us to define the measurability/comparability possibilities directly, without the use of any invariance condition, and to state social welfare functionals that violate the standard invariance conditions without requiring inadmissible information. This suggests that the invariance conditions cannot be justified in the standard way. But they do follow from a simple principle that can be motivated by some familiar considerations from the metaphysics of quantities. I conclude by considering the case for this principle. (shrink)
This paper reports on the results of an experiment conducted with experienced corporate directors. The study findings indicate that directors employ prospective rationality cognition, and they sometimes make decisions that emphasize legal defensibility at the expense of personal ethics and social responsibility. Directors recognize the ethical and social implications of their decisions, but they believe that current corporate law requires them to pursue legal courses of action that maximize shareholder value. The results suggest that additional ethics education will have little (...) influence on the decisions of many business leaders because their decisions are driven by corporate law, rather than personal ethics. (shrink)
The public discourse surrounding sex and severe disability over the past 40 years has largely focused on protecting vulnerable populations from abuse. However, health professionals and activists are increasingly recognising the inherent sexuality of disabled persons and attempting to find ways to accommodate their intimacy needs. This essay explores several ethical issues arising from such efforts.
Although there has been consistent interest in Marx and Marxism there has been little sustained interest in the origins of Marx’s ethical thought and his relation to the German philosophical tradition as a whole. Work has been done linking Marx to Fichte, and a great deal more linking him to Hegel. However, the fundamental concept joining them all is recognition, or interpersonal relations in general. In this regard, none of the German thinkers can be understood withoutfirst grasping their understanding of (...) the human person as one among many. This article begins this process for Marx. Although some literature has been devotedto the explication of Marx’s notion of species-being it is sparse and dated. In this article I proceed to reiterate how important species-being is as the foundationto Marx’s ethical philosophy. However, my main focus is on simply how to understand the concept itself. I, therefore, devote the majority of the article to ananalysis of Marx’s use of the concept in his early work as well as his critique of Ludwig Feuerbach’s use of it. This account provides the basis for understandingMarx’s concept of human essence and is the beginning of a project of rephrasing Marxian ethics around the concept of recognition thus reconnecting him to theGerman philosophical tradition. (shrink)
There has been a growing concern over establishing norms that ensure the ethically acceptable and scientifically sound conduct of clinical trials. Among the leading norms internationally are the World Medical Association's Declaration of Helsinki, guidelines by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences, the International Conference on Harmonization's standards for industry, and the CONSORT group's reporting norms, in addition to the influential U.S. Federal Common Rule, Food and Drug Administration's body of regulations, and information sheets by the Department of (...) Health and Human Services. There are also many norms published at more local levels by official agencies and professional groups.Any account of international standards should cover both scientific and ethical norms at once – the two are conceptually intertwined. Recent sources recognize that “[s]cientifically unsound research on human subjects is unethical in that it exposes research subjects to risks without possible benefit.”. (shrink)
According to the person-affecting restriction, one distribution of welfare can be better than another only if there is someone for whom it is better. Extant problems for the person-affecting restriction involve variable-population cases, such as the nonidentity problem, which are notoriously controversial and difficult to resolve. This paper develops a fixed-population problem for the person-affecting restriction. The problem reveals that, in the presence of incommensurable welfare levels, the person-affecting restriction is incompatible with minimal requirements of impartial beneficence even in fixed-population (...) contexts. (shrink)
The Dutch rules governing neonatal euthanasia, known as the Groningen Protocol, require parental consent for severely disabled infants with poor prognoses to have their lives terminated. This paper questions whether parental consent should be dispositive in such cases, and argues that the potential suffering of the neonate or pediatric patient should be the decisive factor under such unfortunate circumstances.
Several hypotheses on the form and function of sex differences in social behaviors were tested. The results suggest that friendship preferences in both sexes can be understood in terms of perceived reciprocity potential—capacity and willingness to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship. Divergent social styles may in turn reflect trade-offs between behaviors selected to maintain large, functional coalitions in men and intimate, secure relationships in women. The findings are interpreted from a broad socio-relational framework of the types of behaviors that (...) facilitate selective advertisement and investment of reciprocity potential across individuals and within groups of men and women. (shrink)
Recent research indicates that compensation structure can be used by firms to discourage their employees from whistleblowing. We extend the ethics literature by examining how compensation structures and financial rewards work together to influence managers’ decisions to blow the whistle. Results from an experiment indicate that compensation with restricted stock, relative to stock payments that lack restrictions, can enhance the likelihood that managers will blow the whistle when large rewards are available. However, restricted stock can also threaten the effectiveness of (...) whistleblowing systems without the presence of large financial rewards for whistleblowing. Thus, the large potential rewards for whistleblowing enacted by the Dodd–Frank Act appear timely as firms are moving toward compensation agreements that include greater proportions of restricted stock. (shrink)
According to asymmetric comparativism, it is worse for a person to exist with a miserable life than not to exist, but it is not better for a person to exist with a happy life than not to exist. My aim in this paper is to explain how asymmetric comparativism could possibly be true. My account of asymmetric comparativism begins with a different asymmetry, regarding the (dis)value of early death. I offer an account of this early death asymmetry, appealing to the (...) idea of conditional goods, and generalize it to explain how asymmetric comparativism could possibly be true. I also address the objection that asymmetric comparativism has unacceptably antinatalist implications. (shrink)
We argue that all gradable expressions in natural language obey a principle that we call Comparability: if x and y are both F to some degree, then either x is at least as F as y or y is at least as F as x. This principle has been widely rejected among philosophers, especially by ethicists, and its falsity has been claimed to have important normative implications. We argue that Comparability is needed to explain the goodness of several patterns of (...) inference that seem manifestly valid, that the purported failures of Comparability would have absurd consequences, and that the influential arguments against Comparability are less compelling than they may have initially seemed. (shrink)
Embodied simulation and the epistemic motivation to search for the of other people's behaviors are not necessary for specific and functional responding to, and hence processing of, human facial expressions. Rather, facial expression processing can be achieved through lower-cognitive, heuristical perceptual processing and expression of prototypical morphological musculature movement patterns that communicate discrete trustworthiness and capacity cues to conspecifics.
A sample of 460 low-income women completed a mate preference questionnaire and surveys that assessed family background, life history, conscientiousness, sexual motives, self-ratings (e.g., looks), and current circumstances (e.g., income). A cluster analysis revealed two groups of women: women who reported a strong preference for looks and money in a short-term mate and commitment in a long-term mate, and women who reported smaller differences across mating context. Group differences were found in reported educational levels, family background, sexual development, number of (...) children, and motives for having sex. Implications for understanding individual differences in women’s mate-preference trade-offs are discussed. (shrink)
Anti-Porn activists have argued for decades that pom is discrimination, it hamis women as a class. The Pro-porn response has been to dismiss these concems, laud the First Amendment, or argue that pornography is a valuable contribution to society. The debate has progressed little beyond this stage. In this article, I argue that it is time to frame the pomography debate as a discussion on sexualized media in general. Recent research indicates that the negative results often attributed to hard-core pornography, (...) such as sexist attitudes, lack of empathy for women, objectification, etc., are attributable to sexualized media as a whole. Pornography is, therefore, an infelicitous target. The solution to this problem is not the prohibition or litigation of one narrow aspect of this phenomenon, hard-core pornography, but the regulation of the producers of sexualized media in conjunction with efforts to educate consumers. (shrink)
SpanFor generations the elements of humor, poignancy, fantasy, and unfettered morality found within acclaimed children's author Roald Dahl's most famous tales have captivated both children and adults. Editor Jacob M. Held has collected the insights of today's leading philosophers into the significances, messages, and greater truths at which Dahl's rhythmic writing winks, revealing a whole new way to appreciate the creation of a man and mind to which readers of all ages are still drawn. /span...
Chemical castration laws, such as one recently adopted in the U.S. State of Louisiana, raise challenging ethical concerns for physicians. Even if such interventions were to prove efficacious, which is far from certain, they would still raise troubling concerns regarding the degree of medical risk that may be imposed upon prisoners in the name of public safety as well as the appropriate role for physicians and other health care professionals in the administration of pharmaceuticals to competent prisoners over the inmates’ (...) unequivocal objections. This paper argues that the concerns raised by chemical castration are grave enough that, until they are adequately addressed by policymakers, physicians ought not to participate in the process. (shrink)
Physicians expressing opinions on medical matters that run contrary to the consensus of experts pose a challenge to licensing bodies and regulatory authorities. While the right to express contrarian views feeds a robust marketplace of ideas that is essential for scientific progress, physicians advocating ineffective or dangerous cures, or actively opposing public health measures, pose a grave threat to societal welfare. Increasingly, a distinction has been made between professional speech that occurs during the physician-patient encounter and public speech that transpires (...) beyond the clinical setting, with physicians being afforded wide latitude to voice empirically false claims outside the context of patient care. This paper argues that such a bifurcated model does not sufficiently address the challenges of an age when mass communications and social media allow dissenting physicians to offer misleading medical advice to the general public on a mass scale. Instead, a three-tiered model that distinguishes between citizen speech, physician speech and clinical speech would best serve authorities when regulating physician expression. (shrink)
We have developed and validated a new approach to upscale lithology and porosity-type fractions from thin sections to cores using dual energy and multiscale computed tomography. A new rock-typing approach is proposed to upscale ⇋diagenetic mineral and diagenetic pore-type fractions, from thin sections to the core domain, eventually to create a diagenesis and porosity types logs. An extensive set of short cores from Mason County provides a representative sample set of Late Cambrian microbial buildups and their interbuildup sediments to test (...) the GRT approach. GRTs were defined by using a dolomite log as a proxy for diagenesis and the average percentage of dolomite from each observed depositional facies as a cutoff. Dolomite, diagenetic calcite, and diagenetic porosity fractions are summed to form a diagenesis log, which captures depositional facies and the diagenetic overprint at a 0.5 mm resolution. The diagenesis log was subdivided based on the number of pore-throat size classes within each GRT and provided a framework to distribute porosity-type fractions from thin sections to log form. A high correlation coefficient is observed when the predicted extent of diagenetic alteration from the log is compared with that quantified for each thin section using image processing. Multiscale CT imaging and dual-energy-derived logs could be directly linked to well-log photoelectric factor and bulk-density logs. This approach thus has the ability to span six orders of magnitude in resolution. The diagenesis log can be used to extrapolate porosity-type fractions from thin sections to logs, from which qualitative geologic interpretations can be generally translated into quantitative values. (shrink)