It is well known that John Stuart Mill repeatedly acknowledges Harriet Taylor Mill's substantial contribution to On Liberty. After her death, however, he decides to publish the book under his name only. Are we justified in continuing this practice, initiated by JSM, of refusing unequivocal co-authorship status to HTM? Drawing on stylometric analyses, we make a preliminary case that JSM did not write On Liberty all by himself and that HTM had a hand in formulating it. Drawing on plausible standards (...) for authorship ascription, we further point out that authorship status requires, in addition to a substantial contribution, the approval by all contributors. We discuss potential reasons to assume that HTM did not approve the published version of On Liberty and would have objected to including her name on the title page. (This paper is available on an open-access basis at UTILITAS). (shrink)
In this paper we examine Fehr’s notions of “altruism”, “strong reciprocity” and “altruistic punishment” and query his ascription of altruism. We suggest that, pace Fehr, altruism cannot be defined behaviourally because the definition of altruism must refer to the motives of actors. We also advert to certain inconsistencies in Fehr’s usage of his terms and we question his explanation of altruism in terms of ‘social preferences’.
In Justice as Fairness, Rawls presents a case for property-owning democracy which heavily depends on a favourable comparison with welfare state capitalism. He argues that WSC, but not POD, fails to realise ‘all the main political values expressed by the two principles of justice’. This article argues that Rawls’s case for POD is incomplete. He does not show that POD is superior to other conceivable forms of WSC. In order to present a serious contender, I sketch what I call a (...) realistically utopian welfare state that guarantees the fair equality of political liberties and opportunity and that maximises the situation of the worst-off via a kind of participation income. The main aim of the article is to give credibility to the claim that RUWS is not obviously worse than POD by Rawlsian standards and therefore deserves a fair hearing in further research. (shrink)
In this paper, we examine different forms of altruism. We commence by analysing the definition and, after clarifying its conditions for altruism, we argue that it is not in with everyday linguistic usage of the term. We therefore consider a definition, which we likewise refine, and argue that it better reflects ordinary language use. Both behavioural and psychological approaches define altruism descriptively and thus fail to capture an important aspect of altruism, namely its normative component. Altruism, we argue, is a, (...) i.e. one which embodies both positive and normative components. We discuss and compare various formulations of this normative component. (shrink)
The book provides the first systematic analysis of the question of responsibility for historical injustice since the publication of Karl Jaspers The Question of Guilt. Using the methods of modern philosophical analysis, it investigates the reasons and limits of moral and criminal responsibility and offers suggestions for solving the problem of compensation for past injustice.".
Whilst natural scientists have forged close links with industry, economists—in their capacity as consultants—with private enterprise, and psychologists with the burgeoning market for counselling services, philosophers have shown little eagerness to “ply their trade” in any commercial form whatsoever. Indeed, the very juxtaposition of concepts like “philosophy,” “money,” and “the marketplace” may already have raised eyebrows or induced mocking smirks. The image of this unworldly species assuming a commercial role comparable in scope or nature to that of practitioners of other (...) disciplines is scarcely imaginable. Thus, the peculiar nature of philosophy—its “subject matter,” “method,” or “corpus of knowledge”—provides one reason for prima facie scepticism. The advent of philosophical counselling in both Europe and America during the last decade may well shake such scepticism. It is primarily with this development that the authors in this volume of Philosophy in the Contemporary World deal. (shrink)
Richard Posner avers in his A Failure of Capitalism that managers bear no moral responsibility for the financial crisis. This view has numerous supporters in economics and philosophy, and I shall call it the ‘exemption view’. In this paper, I criticise four arguments for the exemption view and propose a superior alternative, the ‘participation view’. The participation view claims that managers can be co-responsible for harm, even if their actions were not necessary or sufficient conditions for its occurrence. The paper (...) spells out three conditions for moral responsibility according to the participation view. (shrink)
This work provides an interpretation of John Stuart Mill s On Liberty and elucidates the fundamental principles of Mill s concept of liberty. For Mill, the right to form one s own convictions and live according to them should only be infringed upon for one reason, namely to prevent harm to others.".
This volume collects selected papers delivered at the 15th Conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies, which was held at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in July 2018. It includes papers dealing with the past, present, and future of utilitarianism – the theory that human happiness is the fundamental moral value – as well as on its applications to animal ethics, population ethics, and the future of humanity, among other topics.
Trade-offs between competitive priorities are often seen as exogenous – managers accept them as a given downside while simultaneously addressing multiple competitive priorities. However, some companies seem to face fewer trade-offs than others. The question is how companies reduce their trade-offs to successfully compete on multiple competitive priorities simultaneously. We address this question by theorising that bundles of action programmes are needed to reduce trade-offs between competitive priorities. We examine four Swiss manufacturing plants and show how the selection of action (...) programmes influences the simultaneous competition on multiple competitive priorities. We show that successful competition on multiple competitive priorities does not happen by accident but is achieved by aligning competitive priorities, action programmes, infrastructural/structural changes and contextual factors. (shrink)
Baruch Spinoza, Friedrich Nietzsche and, more recently, Ruediger Bittner argued that regret is unreasonable. My article criticises this view and describes what I consider to be the common-sense understanding of regret: In some – but not all – cases of flawed actions it is unreasonable to regret what one did. The article characterises the common-sense understanding by eight principles and offers an explication of core concepts.
The article distinguishes two models of self-realization. The independence model claims that self-realization is compatible with leading a non-moral life, whereas the dependence model argues the converse. Hegel′s influential version of the dependence model aims at showing why and how self-realization must be embedded in a complex structure of reasonable social relations. I argue that Hegel′s dependence model abrogates the Recht der Besonderheit, sich befriedigt zu finden and is thus not convincing. What I call Hegel′s inofficial theory, however, concedes an (...) infusible conflict between modernity and self-realization; philosophy has to reconcile the individual with the impossibility of being a ganzer Mensch in modern societies. After an interlude with Michael Theunissen′s indpendence model, I turn to T. H. Green′s theory of self-realization. Green provides a richer explanatory story than Hegel as to why other-regarding acts contribute to self-realization; however, this story leaves not enough conceptual room for interpersonal conflict and is vulnerable to similar objections to Hegel′s account. (shrink)
This article distinguishes historical ills and historical injustices. It conceives of the latter as legalised natural crimes; committed by morally competent agents. A natural crime consists in the deliberate violation of a natural right. 'Legalised' means that the natural crime must be prescribed; permitted or tolerated by the legal system. I advocate an approach which assesses moral competence on the basis of an exposedness criterion; that is: a historical agent must not be blamed for failing to see the right moral (...) reasons if his epoch and social world is utterly unacquainted with these reasons. However; an appropriate application of the exposedness criterion should take social factors and psychological mechanisms into account that obstruct access to the right reasons. I state a number of factors that seem to be auspicious for the development of moral competence. (shrink)
Many German historians are surprised to see how much attention the long neglected Armenian genocide has received in the news since 2015. A plethora of articles and public events was accompanied by attempts of no less than three of four constitutional bodies—the German government, the parliament, and the president—to come to grips with the question of how to understand the German role in the killing of far more than a million Armenians. Whereas Germany’s President Gauck spoke of ‘genocide’ in April (...) 2015 and said that Germany must acknowledge its own guilt, the government routinely avoids this word and prefers to characterise Germany’s role as shameful, but not necessarily wrongful. I use this rather complex texture of official positions as an opportunity to raise some questions concerning official avowals of collective shame and guilt by political bodies. (shrink)
Mit der »Wirtschaftsethik« hat die deutschsprachige Diskussion einen Sonderweg beschritten, von dem noch offen ist, ob er sich international durchsetzen wird. Grob gesprochen, lässt sich die Wirtschaftsethik in die Felder »Unternehmensethik« und »Ethik der Wirtschaftssysteme« untergliedern. Während die Unternehmensethik unter dem Namen »business ethics« auch im englischsprachigen Raum geläufig ist, ist die Bezeichnung »economic ethics« allem Anschein nach durch Übersetzung aus dem Deutschen eingeführt worden und findet sich bislang selten in der englischsprachigen Literatur.
Zwar hat John Stuart Mill keine konsequentialistische Tugendtheorie im engeren Sinne entwickelt; jedoch finden sich bei ihm deren Grundgedanken angelegt. Tugenden spielen eine zentrale Rolle in seiner Theorie des guten Lebens, seiner Moraltheorie und seiner Politischen Philosophie.
Es dürfte kaum möglich sein, die Bedeutung des Werks von John Stuart Mill für das politische Denken der Gegenwart zu übertreiben. Insbesondere die Schrift Über die Freiheit ist unbestritten ein Hauptwerk liberalen Denkens und ein unerlässlicher Referenzpunkt für gegenwärtige Debatten über Ziele und Grenzen staatlicher und gesellschaftlicher Machtausübung. Das 19. Jahrhundert in Großbritannien wird heute häufig gedanklich mit der Dominanz des Manchester-Liberalismus verbunden.
Der Gedanke einer zu schützenden Rede- und Meinungsfreiheit findet sich in zahllosen grundlegenden Rechtsdokumenten. So hat nach Artikel 19 der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte jeder Mensch das Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung. Ähnlich heißt es in Artikel 5 des bundesdeutschen Grundgesetzes, jeder habe das Recht, seine Meinung in Wort, Schrift und Bild frei zu äußern und zu verbreiten. Dagegen wird im First Amendment der Verfassung der Vereinigten Staaten kein subjektives Recht erwähnt; vielmehr wird dem Kongress verboten, die Redefreiheit gesetzlich einzuschränken.
My comment on the third chapter of Peter Singer's One World consists of two parts. In the first, I criticise a common but simplistic approach to the issue of economic globalisation. This approach presumes that charges against the WTO can be translated - more or less directly - into charges against current development trends of the global economy. The WTO is not the only institution that legally structures the global economy, nor are decisions of the GATT or WTO panel necessarily (...) reliable indicators of the major trends in the ever more integrated world market. It is, moreover, far from clear whether competition between jurisdictions leads to a 'race to the bottom'. In the second part of the paper, I criticise the idea of a general conflict between 'the market' and 'democracy'. I defend the WTO's consensus rule against Singer's charge of being 'a very strange view of democracy' and try to make its benefits clear. (shrink)