The 1992 incorporation of an article by referendum in the SwissConstitution mandating that the federal government issue regulations onthe use of genetic material that take into account the dignity ofnonhuman organism raises philosophical questions about how we shouldunderstand what is meant by ``the dignity of nonhuman animals,'' andabout what sort of moral demands arise from recognizing this dignitywith respect to their genetic engineering. The first step in determiningwhat is meant is to clarify the difference between dignity when appliedto humans and (...) when applied to nonhumans. Several conceptions of humandignity should be rejected in favor of a fourth conception: the rightnot to be degraded. This right implies that those who have it have thecognitive capacities that are prerequisite for self-respect. In the caseof nonhuman organisms that lack this capacity, respecting their dignityrequires the recognition that their inherent value, which is tied totheir abilities to pursue their own good, be respected. This value isnot absolute, as it is in the case of humans, so it does not prohibitbreeding manipulations that make organisms more useful to humans. But itdoes restrict morally how sentient animals can be used. In regard togenetic engineering, this conception requires that animals be allowedthe uninhibited development of species specific functions, a positionshared by Holland and Attfield, as opposed to the Original Purposeconception proposed by Fox and the Integrity of the Genetic Make-upposition proposed by Rolston. The inherent value conception of dignity,as here defended, is what is meant in the Swiss Constitution article. (shrink)
This paper discusses the volenti non fit injuria maxim. The volenti maxim states that a person is not wronged by that to which she consents, provided her consent is valid. I will argue, however, that the volenti maxim does not apply to all instances of valid consent. In some cases the consenter is wronged even if his consent is valid. Valid consent can only release others from consent-sensitive duties, not from consent-insensitive duties. If the consentee flouts a consent-insensitive duty the (...) consentee wrongs the consenter and thereby commits a wrong. (shrink)
ZusammenfassungEs wurde für die These argumentiert, dass der Begriff der Würde in der Medizinethik nutzlos sei und in den Fällen, in denen er verständlich verwendet wird, nichts anderes meint als den Respekt vor der Autonomie von Personen. In diesem Aufsatz soll gezeigt werden, dass diese These falsch ist. Es wird ein Begriff von Würde vorgestellt, der sich nicht auf den Begriff des Respekts vor der Autonomie von Personen reduzieren lässt. Anhand der Diskussion um ein Sterben in Würde soll auch deutlich (...) werden, dass auf den Begriff der Würde auch in der Medizinethik nicht verzichtet werden kann. (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’.
ZusammenfassungIm Blick auf ein Recht auf assistierten Suizid ist nicht nur umstritten, ob es ein solches Recht gibt, es ist auch umstritten, worauf ein solches Recht denn ein Recht wäre. Der vorliegende Artikel versucht deutlich zu machen, dass das, worum es in dieser Diskussion um den selbstbestimmten Suizid geht, die Frage ist, was Entscheidungen von Menschen achtungswürdig macht. Der Artikel plädiert für eine Idee von Achtungswürdigkeit, für welche die selbstbestimmte Ausübung von Rechten über sich selbst leitend ist, eine Idee, die (...) auch in unserer Rechtspraxis wirksam ist. Dabei legen achtungswürdige Entscheidungen fest, was getan werden darf, nicht aber was getan werden soll. (shrink)
The paper deals with the question of whether poverty as such violates the dignity of persons. It is argued that it does. This is, it is argued, not due to a lack of basic goods, nor to the fact that poverty prevents persons from enjoying the rights they have, particularly the right to bodily integrity. Poverty does violate dignity, so it is argued, insofar as poor people are dependent on others in a degrading way.
The so-called resource curse raises moral issues. Who, if anyone, is morally responsible for it? This article argues that this question amounts to: who is blameworthy for the violations of people's property rights? The international oil companies are blameworthy for the violations of property rights only in the case of complicity, not in the normal purchase case. Yet the international community has to take action against massive violations of property rights. The article discusses different measures, and criticizes voluntary initiatives such (...) as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative for not making the states accountable to their people. In this line of thought, it argues for an extension of the mandate of the International Criminal Court: massive violations of property rights should be prosecuted at the international level. (shrink)
How do we change the normative landscape by making requests? It will be argued that by making requests we create reasons for action if and only if certain conditions are met. We are able to create reasons if and only if doing so is valuable for the requester, and if they respect the requestee. Respectful requests have a normative force – it will be argued – because it is of instrumental value to us that we all have the normative power (...) of creating reasons by making requests. The normative power has the potential for creating and shaping valuable interactions and relationships for the requester and the requestee. This potential could not be realized if we did not have the normative power of making requests. It will also be shown why this account of the normative force of requests should be preferred to the two alternative accounts of the reason-giving force of requests that have been put forward by James H.P. Lewis and David Enoch. (shrink)
Es geht in diesem Aufsatz um die Frage, was es heißt, eine andere Person zu achten. Im Zentrum steht dabei die moralische Achtung, nicht die Achtung im Sinne der Wertschätzung einer anderen Person. Ein wohlfahrts- und ein autonomietheoretisches Verständnis moralischer Achtung werden dargestellt und zurückgewiesen. Es wird für ein Verständnis moralischer Achtung argumentiert, wonach eine Person genau dann geachtet wird, wenn ihr authentischer Wille ernst genommen wird. Die Achtung schulden wir dabei der Würde der Person. Achtung vor der Würde der (...) Person ist Achtung vor dem, was die Selbstachtung von Personen ermöglicht. Die Würde von Personen ist unantastbar sowohl in der anderen wie auch in der eigenen Person. Der authentische Wille von Personen darf entsprechend bloß dann geachtet werden, wenn er mit dieser Würde sich verträgt. (shrink)
According to Doris Schroeder, the view that human rights derive from human dignity should be rejected. She thinks that this is the case for three different reasons: the first has to do with the fact that the dominant concept of dignity is based on religious beliefs which will do no justificatory work in a secular society; the second is that the dominant secular view of dignity, which is the Kantian view, does not provide us with a justification of human rights, (...) i.e. rights all humans have; and the third reason has to do with the fact that dignity is understood in too many different ways to provide us with a justification of human rights. It is argued in this paper that none of these reasons for separating human rights from human dignity is convincing. It is true, it will be argued, that some accounts of dignity will not be successful in justifying human rights. But there is no reason to assume that no account of human dignity is capable of doing this. In the final part of the paper a concept of human dignity is presented that could indeed provide us with a justificatory basis for human rights. (shrink)
Bittner argues in his paper that the idea of a general duty to respect persons is of much less importance than some moral philosophers think. If respect plays a role in our lives it is mainly appriciation respect persons have to merit. Respecting persons as such is, Bittner thinks, not just irrelevant, but also incompatibel with personal relations. Against this it is argued that respect for persons should be seen as the basic moral duty we have towards persons. And in (...) addition, it is argued, that you can only be a proper friend of someone, if the relation to her or him is based on moral respect. (shrink)
It is a widely held view in moral philosophy that reasons for action are based on desires. This view should be rejected. Reasons for action are never provided by desires. Desires provide us with motives, whereas reasons for action are based on valuable facts which obtain independently of our desires. The recognition of these reasons does not necessarily motivate us. Motives depend on desires, for instance the motive for moral actions on the desire to do the morally right thing.
This paper deals with the wrongness of having sex with someone without her valid consent. There are good reasons to think that deception about deal-breakers invalidate consent to sex and that acting without valid consent wrongs the consenter. Tom Dougherty argues that it is always seriously wrong to deceive another person into sex by deceiving her. We should on his view therefore reject the view that doing so is in certain cases only a minor wrong. It will be argued here (...) that we should accept this view. I will argue against Dougherty that the lenient view does not presuppose an unacceptably moralistic view of sexuality. In addition, the lenient view can be defended by what I call the harm view of the wrongness of having sex without valid consent. If no or only mild harm is caused deceiving someone into sex is only a minor wrong. (shrink)
While the importance of Consent has been discussed widely over the last few decades, interest in its study has received renewed attention in recent years, particularly regarding medical treatment, clinical research and sexual acts. The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Consent is an outstanding reference source to this exciting subject and the first collection of its kind. Comprising over thirty chapters by a team of international contributors the Handbook is divided into five main parts: General Questions Normative Ethics Legal (...) Theory Medical Ethics Political Philosophy ¿ Within these sections central issues, debates and problems are examined, including: the nature and normative importance of consent, paternalism, exploitation and coercion, privacy, sexual consent, consent and criminal law, informed consent, organ donation, clinical research, and consent theory of political obligation and authority. ¿ The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Consent is essential reading for students and researchers in moral theory, applied ethics, medical ethics, philosophy of law and political philosophy. This volume will also be very useful for those in related fields, such as political science, law, medicine and social science. (shrink)
To respect the autonomous choices of persons is an important moral principle. There is, however, little agreement about its nature and its normative importance. This is due to the fact that the concept of autonomy as well as the moral relevance of autonomy are contested. It is argued in this paper that the debate about autonomy is at its core a debate about the reasons for respecting decisions. Decisions of persons are to be respected as their decisions, and they have (...) to be respected as determining the deontic properties of situations. This, however, can only be understood against the background of persons having rights over themselves. Their decisions determine the deontic properties as exercises of their rights. Thus, respect for the autonomous choice of persons turns out to be respect for their rights. (shrink)
Are the values of different options and goods, as cost-benefit analysis assumes, commensurable? Not always. The incommensurability of certain options is based on the fact that preferences are sometimes not rankable, even if the agent is fully informed about the options in question. In addition, even if all values were commensurable they could not be compared in monetary terms. If this is the case, cost-benefit analysis should not be seen as a decision procedure.