Man controls and dominates the habitat of most animals, both domestic and wild and there is a need for a pragmatic, workable approach to the problem of reconciling animal welfare with economic forces and the needs of man. It is the author's contention that much of the current philosophical discussion of animal welfare is misdirected now that it is possible to measure to some extent what animals think and feel and how much they can appreciate their quality of (...) life. The book deals with farm animals, pets, wild animals and laboratory animals and dicusses their environmental requirements, fear and stress, their response to pain, injury, disease and death, behaviour and aggression, and the implications of biotechnology and genetic engineering. Finally, the book tries to reconcile reverence for life with the inescapability of killing and reviews the prospects of preserving and enhancing quality of life for animals through legislations, education, economic and moral incentives. (shrink)
Moral philosophers agree that welfare matters. But they disagree about what it is, or how much it matters. In this vital new work, Wayne Sumner presents an original theory of welfare, investigating its nature and discussing its importance. He considers and rejects all notable theories of welfare, both objective and subjective, including hedonism and theories founded on desire or preference. His own theory connects welfare closely with happiness or life satisfaction. Reacting against the value pluralism that (...) currently dominates moral philosophy, he advances welfare as the only basic ethical value. He concludes by discussing the implications of this thesis for ethical and political theory. Written in clear, non-technical language, and including a definitive survey of other work in this area, Sumner's book is essential reading for moral philosophers, political theorists, and welfare economists. (shrink)
Utilitarianism is the view according to which the only basic requirement of morality is to maximize net aggregate welfare. This position has implications for the ethics of creating and rearing children. Most discussions of these implications focus either on the ethics of procreation and in particular on how many and whom it is right to create, or on whether utilitarianism permits the kind of partiality that child rearing requires. Despite its importance to creating and raising children, there are, by (...) contrast, few sustained discussions of the implications of utilitarian views of welfare for the matter of what makes a child’s life go well. This paper attempts to remedy this deficiency. It has four sections. Section one discusses the purpose of a theory of welfare and its adequacy conditions. Section two evaluates what prominent utilitarian theories of welfare imply about what makes a child’s life go well. Section three provides a sketch of a view about what is prudentially valuable for children. Section four sums things up. (shrink)
In recent work, economist Yew-Kwang Ng suggests strategies for improving animal welfare within the confines of institutions such as the meat industry. Although I argue that Ng is wrong not to advocate abolition, I do find his position concerning wild animals to be compelling. Anyone who takes the interests of animals seriously should also accept a cautious commitment to intervention in the wild.
Thomas Hill, a leading figure in the recent development of Kantian moral philosophy, presents a set of essays exploring the implications of basic Kantian ideas for practical issues. The first part of the book provides background in central themes in Kant's ethics; the second part discusses questions regarding human welfare; the third focuses on moral worth -- the nature and grounds of moral assessment of persons as deserving esteem or blame. Hill shows moral, political, and social philosophers just how (...) valuable moral theory can be in addressing practical matters. (shrink)
What kind of life best ensures human welfare? Since the ancient Greeks, this question has been as central to ethical philosophy as to ordinary reflection. But what exactly is welfare? This question has suffered from relative neglect. And, as Stephen Darwall shows, it has done so at a price. Presenting a provocative new "rational care theory of welfare," Darwall proves that a proper understanding of welfare fundamentally changes how we think about what is best for people.Most (...) philosophers have assumed that a person's welfare is what is good from her point of view, namely, what she has a distinctive reason to pursue. In the now standard terminology, welfare is assumed to have an "agent-relative normativity." Darwall by contrast argues that someone's good is what one should want for that person insofar as one cares for her. Welfare, in other words, is normative, but not peculiarly for the person whose welfare is at stake. In addition, Darwall makes the radical proposal that something's contributing to someone's welfare is the same thing as its being something one ought to want for her own sake, insofar as one cares. Darwall defends this theory with clarity, precision, and elegance, and with a subtle understanding of the place of sympathetic concern in the rich psychology of sympathy and empathy. His forceful arguments will change how we understand a concept central to ethics and our understanding of human bonds and human choices. (shrink)
The central thesis of this book is that there is more to what makes a life worth living than welfare. I argue that the notion of worth captures matters of importance that no plausible theory of welfare can account for. Worth is best thought of as a higher-level kind of value. I defend an objective list theory (OLT) of worth¬—lives worth living are net high in various objective goods. Not only do I defend an list of some of (...) the goods, I also defend a set of bads, a set of things that detract from the worth of a life. -/- I defend a theory of worth, a theory of welfare, and a theory of meaning. I devote a chapter to each form of value before exploring the implications for moral theory and the viability of pessimism about the human condition. (shrink)
The issue of social welfare and individual responsibility has become a topic of international public debate in recent years as politicians around the world now question the legitimacy of state-funded welfare systems. David Schmidtz and Robert Goodin debate the ethical merits of individual versus collective responsibility for welfare. David Schmidtz argues that social welfare policy should prepare people for responsible adulthood rather than try to make that unnecessary. Robert Goodin argues against the individualization of welfare (...) policy and expounds the virtues of collective responsibility. (shrink)
Setting the scene -- Sentience and the sentient mind -- Special senses and their interpretation Survival strategies -- Social strategies -- Animals of the waters -- Animals of the air -- Animals of the savannah and plains -- Animals of the forests -- Close neighbours -- Our duty of care.
Subjectivism about welfare is the view that something is basically good for you if and only if, and to the extent that, you have the right kind of favorable attitude toward it under the right conditions. I make a presumptive case for the falsity of subjectivism by arguing against nearly every extant version of the view. My arguments share a common theme: theories of welfare should be tested for what they imply about newborn infants. Even if a theory (...) is intended to apply only to adults, the fact that it is false of newborns may give us sufficient reason to reject it. (shrink)
Welfare and the Constitution defends a largely forgotten understanding of the U.S. Constitution: the positive or "welfarist" view of Abraham Lincoln and the Federalist Papers. Sotirios Barber challenges conventional scholarship by arguing that the government has a constitutional duty to pursue the well-being of all the people. He shows that James Madison was right in saying that the "real welfare" of the people must be the "supreme object" of constitutional government. With conceptual rigor set in fluid prose, Barber (...) opposes the shared view of America's Right and Left: that the federal constitutional duties of public officials are limited to respecting negative liberties and maintaining processes of democratic choice. Barber contends that no historical, scientific, moral, or metaethical argument can favor today's negative constitutionalism over Madison's positive understanding. He urges scholars to develop a substantive account of constitutional ends for use in critiquing Supreme Court decisions, the policies of elected officials, and the attitudes of the larger public. He defends the philosophical possibility of such theories while also offering a theory of his own as a starting point for the discussion the book will provoke. This theory holds, for example, that voucher schemes which drain resources from secular public schools to schools that would train citizens to submit to religious authority are unconstitutional; First Amendment issues aside, such schemes defeat what is undeniably an element of the "real welfare" of the people, individually and collectively: the capacity to think critically for oneself. (shrink)
_Welfare, Meaning, and Worth_ argues that there is more to what makes a life worth living than welfare, and that a good life does not consist of what is merely good for the one who lives it. Smuts defends an objective list theory that states that the notion of worth captures matters of importance for which no plausible theory of welfare can account. He puts forth that lives worth living are net high in various objective goods, including pleasure, (...) meaning, knowledge, and loving relationships. The first part of the book presents a theory of worth, a mental statist account of welfare, and an objectivist theory of meaning. The second part explores the implications for moral theory, the popularity of painful art, and the viability of pessimism about the human condition. This book offers an original exploration of worth as a combination of welfare and meaning that will be of interest to philosophers and ethicists who work on issues in well-being and positive psychology. (shrink)
Winds of change, from the political perspective in Mexico, invite us to reformulate the methodological vision for the direction of public policy in the field of social development, directing their actions towards the construction of a methodological proposal that allows us to direct ourselves towards achieving higher levels of Well-being Social in our country, as a desirable objective of public policy and which is expected to be inclusive, participatory and democratic. -/- In this sense, it is important to recognize that (...) the current debate, in the academic and political sphere, questions what is being well? What is the life that is worth living? And that, additionally, the recognition of the satisfaction of life goals, at an individual and collective level, which invites us to reflect, if the current economic and social policy and strategy has produced results in what we envision as social welfare? Is a new approach necessary to solve the problem? What strategy should it be to consider the new methodological approach that seeks social welfare? And what components should be considered in the measurement of social welfare? This document is an invitation to review the concept of social welfare, as a proposal whose purpose is to correct the deficiencies or historical deficiencies suffered by the population, in the elemental enjoyment of social rights, a situation that causes social backwardness, marginalization, and that it is aimed at the impossibility of participating in the social decisions of the community and in collective decisions, such as: speaking, proposing, being heard and demanding compliance with fundamental human rights such as: health, food, housing, employment and security, among others. These deficiencies in the enjoyment of social and human rights are seen in the presence of social exclusion, and that together these social deficiencies explain the degree of multidimensional poverty suffered by the population in rural and urban areas. It is here that he invites us to reflect: what is the problem that social welfare seeks to solve? Multidimensional poverty, social exclusion, social backwardness or social inequality? And consequently, how to define the components to identify social welfare? -/- The document is made up of three sections: i) Social welfare: A retrospective look; ii) Social Welfare, an integrative view: The contribution of Sen, Naussbam, Rawls, Actis Di Pasquale and Keyes; and iii) Social Welfare: The recognition of limits in economic development -/- The first section presents a review of the proposals, which in the area of economic development have been presented since 1968 in the Human Condition Project, until the 2015 proposal of Sustainable Development Goals. -/- In the second section, the contributions of (Rawls, 1995), (Sen, 1982), (Nussbaum, 2011), (Keyes, 1998) , (Actis Di Pasquale, 2015) and (Actis Di Pasquale, 2017) are presented in order to present an integrative approach to the concept of social welfare. And finally, the third section presents the recognition of limits in development, as well as an invitation for action from a transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary perspective in the study of social welfare. -/- August 2020 DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.24147.20006/1 LicenseCC BY-SA 4.0 -/- . (shrink)
Animal welfare has been a subject of intellectual and academic study for a long time. In the past philosophers, thought-leaders and scientists have contributed to the debate, and seismic changes such as the advent of post-war industrial farming have brought about changes in attitudes to the way animals are farmed. Animal welfare as a science and philosophy can be understood as a trajectory through history of our understanding of our relationship with animals, enhanced in recent years through studies (...) into animal behaviour and cognition and societal changes in the way we view animals. --From back cover. (shrink)
Animal welfare science has advanced greatly in the last several decades. This trend is also evident in the zoo and aquarium community, where resources are increasingly being dedicated to better understanding how captivity impacts animals and how best to assess and improve the welfare of individual animals living in the care of humans. In this book, Chapter One examines how far the zoo community has come in addressing the welfare needs of animals in varying housing conditions and (...) highlights areas in need of further attention and research. Chapter Two discusses animal welfare from the viewpoints of cruelty, conservation of wild animals and veterinary attention. Chapter Three examines the justifications for the criminalisation of bestiality and argues that bestiality should be placed within the confines of animal welfare legislation and the focus should be on the animal and respecting the animal and its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns and its need to be protected from sexual abuse. Chapter Four analyzes from a legal perspective the European Unions (EU) measures and strategies for animal welfare in its external relations and highlights the development of the concept of animal welfare in the EU and in its relationships with the rest of the world. Chapter Five studies the growing demand for healthier animal products and the improvement of animal well-being. (shrink)
Most accounts of welfare aggregation in the tradition of Arrow's and Sen's social-choice-theoretic frameworks represent the welfare of an individual in terms of a single welfare ordering or a single scalar-valued welfare function. I develop a multidimensional generalization of Arrow's and Sen's frameworks, representing individual welfare in terms of multiple personal welfare functions, corresponding to multiple 'dimensions' of welfare. I show that, as in the one-dimensional case, the existence of attractive aggregation procedures depends (...) on certain informational assumptions, specifically about the measurability of welfare and its comparability not only across individuals but also across dimensions. I state several impossibility and possibility results. Under Arrow-type conditions, insufficient comparability across individuals leads to dictatorship of a single individual, while insufficient comparability across dimensions leads to dominance of a single dimension. Given sufficient comparability both across individuals and across dimensions, a range of possibilities emerges. I discuss the substantive implications of the results. (shrink)
The use of legislative and other controls on animal research to meet public expectations and improve animal welfare -- Animal rights and animal welfare : philosophy and science -- Species choice and animal welfare -- The harm/benefit judgement -- Improving the welfare of animals used in research : the 3Rs -- Science and animal welfare : a partnership.
Many philosophers hold that the achievement of one's goals can contribute to one's welfare apart from whatever independent contributions that the objects of those goals or the processes by which they are achieved make. Call this the Achievement View, and call those who accept it achievementists. In this paper, I argue that achievementists should accept both that one factor that affects how much the achievement of a goal contributes to one’s welfare is the amount that one has invested (...) in that goal and that the amount that one has invested in a goal is a function of how much one has personally sacrificed for its sake, not a function of how much effort one has put into achieving it. So I will, contrary to at least one achievementist, be arguing against the view that the greater the amount of productive effort that goes into achieving a goal, the more its achievement contributes to one's welfare. Furthermore, I argue that the reason that the achievement of those goals for which one has personally sacrificed matters more to one’s welfare is that, in general, the redemption of one's self-sacrifices in itself contributes to one’s welfare. Lastly, I argue that the view that the redemption of one's self-sacrifices in itself contributes to one's welfare is plausible independent of whether or not we find the Achievement View plausible. We should accept this view so as to account both for the Shape of a Life Phenomenon and for the rationality of honoring "sunk costs.". (shrink)
Suppose we morally ought to maximise social welfare. Suppose profit maximisation is a means to maximise social welfare. Does this imply that we morally ought to maximise profits? Many proponents of the view that we have a moral obligation to maximise profits (tacitly) assume the validity of this argument. In this paper, we critically assess this assumption. We show that the validity of this argument is far from trivial and requires a careful argumentative defence.
An introduction to the philosophical debate over what makes a person's life go well. It attempts to clarify the question of welfare and to explore several of the most important answers, while displaying the main contours of the dialectic.
Thomas Hill, a leading figure in the recent development of Kantian moral philosophy, presents a set of essays exploring the implications of basic Kantian ideas for practical issues. The first part of the book provides background in central themes in Kant's ethics; the second part discusses questions regarding human welfare; the third focuses on moral worth-the nature and grounds of moral assessment of persons as deserving esteem or blame. Hill shows moral, political, and social philosophers just how valuable moral (...) theory can be in addressing practical matters. (shrink)
A traditional interpretation holds that Kant's political theory simply constitutes an account of the constraints which reason places on the state's authority to regulate external action. Alexander Kaufman argues that this traditional interpretation succeeds neither as a faithful reading of Kant's texts nor as a plausible, philosophically sound reconstruction of a `Kantian' political theory. Rather, he argues that Kant's political theory articulates a positive conception of the state's role.
I defend the claim that posthumous harm is possible against a simple but powerful and appealing argument for the impossibility of harm from posthumous events. I produce a counterargument against one of its assumptions. My conclusion is that the boundaries of welfare-affecting events may extend beyond the existence of the person whose welfare is in question. My case for rejecting the contrary claim avoids an objection to some familiar arguments for posthumous harm and is superior to another argument (...) for posthumous harm. To my knowledge, the case for posthumous harm presented here is a novel one, though it is of the same form as arguments made in 1984 by Feinberg and Parfit. My case for posthumous harm is not complete, for I argue for the satisfaction of what many people regard as only a necessary condition for harm. But I hope to have cleared away one obstacle to the possibility of posthumous harm. (shrink)
Contemporary and challenging, this thought-provoking book outlines a number of the key dilemmas in animal welfare for today's, and tomorrow's, world. The issues discussed range from the welfare of hunted animals, to debates around intensive farming versus sustainability, and the effects of climate and environmental change. The book explores the effects of fences on wild animals and human impacts on carrion animals; the impacts of tourism on animal welfare; philosophical questions about speciesism; and the quality and quantity (...) of animal lives. The welfare impacts of human-animal interactions are explored, including human impacts on marine mammals, fish, wildlife, and companion and farm animals. Animal Welfare in a Changing World provides: Concise, opinion-based views on important issues in animal welfare by world experts and key opinion leaders. Pieces based on experience, which balance evidence-based approaches and the welfare impacts of direct engagement through training, campaigning and education. A wide-ranging collection of examples and descriptions of animal welfare topics which outline dilemmas in the real world, that are sometimes challenging, and not always comfortable reading. This is a 'must-read' book for animal and veterinary scientists, ethologists, policy and opinion leaders, NGOs, conservation biologists and anyone who feels passionately about the welfare of animals. (shrink)
Discourse is central in promoting – or hindering – social change. This paper discusses the ethical-political dilemmas that academics face in developing progressive discourses on social welfare in the hegemonic crisis of neoliberalism. A central dilemma concerns the (implicit or explicit) target of their discourse. Speaking to elites reproduces dominant values and interests, reinforcing central elements of neoliberalism such as economisation and de-politicisation. Moreover, this approach remains technocratic (i.e. academics act as experts), thereby failing to address citizens’ distrust towards (...) ‘scientific evidence’ that characterises the hegemonic crisis of neoliberalism. A possible alternative is to work together with civil society and marginalised groups for promoting an oppositional discourse. In this way scholars may contribute to the democratisation of the public sphere but may fail to influence the content of policies, remaining trapped in marginal political positions. The paper illustrates this tension focusing on ‘social investment’. This discourse – which is today the most important framework for welfare reform among academics – emphasises the economic benefits of social policy for promoting alternatives to welfare retrenchment. Building on a research project aimed at re-thinking social investment from Sen's capability perspective, the paper discusses the conditions for developing a post-neoliberal discourse on social welfare. (shrink)
Welfare biology is the study of living things and their environment with respect to their welfare. Despite difficulties of ascertaining and measuring welfare and relevancy to normative issues, welfare biology is a positive science. Evolutionary economics and population dynamics are used to help answer basic questions in welfare biology : Which species are affective sentients capable of welfare? Do they enjoy positive or negative welfare? Can their welfare be dramatically increased? Under plausible (...) axioms, all conscious species are plastic and all plastic species are conscious. More complex niches favour the evolution of more rational species. Evolutionary economics also supports the common-sense view that individual sentients failing to survive to mate suffer negative welfare. A kind of God-made fairness between species is also unexpectedly found. The contrast between growth maximization, average welfare, and total welfare maximization is discussed. It is shown that welfare could be increased without even sacrificing numbers. Since the long-term reduction in animal suffering depends on scientific advances, strict restrictions on animal experimentation may be counter-productive to animal welfare. (shrink)
Introduction: Facts and values -- Challenge and response -- Sentience, sense, and suffering -- Husbandry and welfare on the farm : assessment and assurance -- Animals for food : industrialised farming, pigs, and poultry -- Animals for food : cattle and other ruminants -- Animals for food : handling, transport, and slaughter -- Animals, science, and biotechnology -- Animals for sport -- Animals for pets -- Limping towards Eden : stepping stones.
Intuition suggests there is no value in adding people to the population if it brings no benefits to people already living: creating people is morally neutral in itself. This paper examines the difficulties of incorporating this intuition into a coherent theory of the value of population. It takes three existing theories within welfare economics - average utilitarianism, relativist utilitarianism, and critical-level utilitarianism - and considers whether they can satisfactorily accommodate the intuition that creating people is neutral.
This book is an assault on the notion that it is empirically accurate and legally and philosophically satisfactory to see humans as atomistic entities. It contends that our welfare is inextricably entangled with that of others, and accordingly law and ethics, in determining our best interests, should recognise the central importance of relationality, the performance of obligations, and (even apparently injurious) altruism.
`I would encourage undergraduates students to read it, for it does summarise well a classical Marxist analysis of social policy and welfare' - Social Policy The anti-capitalist movement is increasingly challenging the global hegemony of neo-liberalism. The arguments against the neo-liberal agenda are clearly articulated in Rethinking Welfare. The authors highlight the growing inequalities and decimation of state welfare, and use Marxist approaches to contemporary social policy to provide a defence of the welfare state. Divided into (...) three main sections, the first part of this volume looks at the growth of inequality, and social and environmental degradation. Part Two centres on the authors' argument for the relevance of core Marxists concepts in aiding our understanding of social policy. This section includes Marxist approaches to a range of welfare issues, and their implications for studying welfare regimes and practices. Issues covered include: · Class and class struggle · Opression · Alienation and the family The last part of the book explores the question of globalization and the consequences of international neo-liberalism on indebted countries as well as the neo-liberal agenda of the Conservative and New Labour governments in Britain. The authors conclude with the prospect of an alternative welfare future which may form part of the challenge against global neo-liberalism. (shrink)
The state has always authoritatively used criminal law to give effect to its policy of condemning acts either antisocial or unacceptable to the conscience of the law and society. The existence of criminal law is well justified on grounds of ‘social welfare’ or “reinforcement of those values most basic to proper social functioning”. This initiates or sustains the process of criminalization. The relativity of ‘social welfare’ makes law ‘dynamic’ as well as ‘varying’, vis-à-vis its ambit and scope. Current (...) scholarship is critical of what is referred to as the trend of overcriminalization or rapid increase in criminalizing of acts, as leading to ‘uncertainty’ in criminal law. The rationale for such a critique is that there are activities that need not be labeled as offences if they do not possess the potential to cause damage that criminal law seeks to protect. In light of the overcriminalization critique, this paper examines the criminalization of certain offences labeled as public welfare offences. (shrink)
Aquaculture is the fastest growing animal-production sector in the world. This leads to the question how we should guarantee fish welfare. Implementing welfare standards presupposes that we know how to weigh, define, and measure welfare. While at first glance these seem empirical questions, they cannot be answered without ethical reflection. Normative assumptions are made when weighing, defining, and measuring welfare. Moreover, the focus on welfare presupposes that welfare is a morally important concept. This in (...) turn presupposes that we can define the capacities of fish, which is an empirical undertaking that informs and is informed by ethical theories about the moral status of animals. In this article we want to illustrate the need for a constant interaction between empirical scientific research and ethics, in which both fields of research make their own contribution. This is not a novel claim. However, the case of fish sheds new light on this claim, because regarding fish there is still much empirical uncertainty and there is a plurality of moral views on all levels. Therefore, we do not only want to show the necessity of this interaction, but also the added value of a cooperation between ethicists and empirical scientists, such as biologists, physiologists, and ethologists. We demonstrate this by considering the different steps in the process of reflection about and implementation of fish welfare. (shrink)
The keeping of captive animals in zoos and aquariums has long been controversial. Many take freedom to be a crucial part of animal welfare and, on these grounds, criticise all forms of animal captivity as harmful to animal welfare, regardless of their provisions. Here, we analyse what it might mean for freedom to matter to welfare, distinguishing between the role of freedom as an intrinsic good, valued for its own sake and an instrumental good, its value arising (...) from the increased ability to provide other important resources. Too often, this debate is conducted through trading intuitions about what matters for animals. We argue for the need for the collection of comparative welfare data about wild and captive animals in order to settle the issue. Discovering more about the links between freedom and animal welfare will then allow for more empirically informed ethical decisions regarding captive animals. (shrink)
This book addresses critical issues in normative ethical theory. Every such theory must contain not only a theory of motivation but also a theory of value, and the link that is often forged between what is valuable and what would be right is human welfare or well-being. This topic is a subject of considerable controversy in contemporary ethics, not least because of the current reconsideration of utilitarianism. Indeed, there is as much disagreement about the nature of value and its (...) relationship to welfare and morality, as there is about the substantive content of normative ethical theories. The essays in this collection, all written by a distinguished team of moral philosophers, provide an overview, analysis and an attempted resolution of those controversies. They constitute a rigorous account of the relationships among value, welfare and morality. (shrink)
Invariabilism is the view that the same theory of welfare is true of every welfare subject. Variabilism is the view that invariabilism is false. In light of how many welfare subjects there are and how greatly they differ in their natures and capacities, it is natural to suppose that variabilism is true. I argue that these considerations do not support variabilism and, indeed, that we should accept invariabilism. This has important implications: it eliminates many of the going (...) theories of welfare while making some of the remaining ones more attractive. (shrink)
Very plausibly, there is something important missing in our lives if we are thoroughly ignorant or misled about reality – even if, as in a kind of Truman Show scenario, intervention or fantastic luck prevents unhappiness and practical failure. But why? I argue that perfectionism about well-being offers the most promising explanation. My version says, roughly, that we flourish when we exercise our self-defining capacities successfully according to their constitutive standards. One of these self-defining capacities, or capacities whose exercise reveals (...) who we are, is Reason, our capacity for normative self-governance. I argue that in its practical use, Reason formally aims at competently realizing self-chosen valuable ends that are in harmony with each other, or valuable achievements. In its theoretical use, it formally aims at competently grasping fundamental enough subject matters, or a kind of understanding. Because success by reason’s own standards requires many things to go right, there are many different ways in which we can fall short. Some of them amount to partial success. But some, like incompetent inquiry that fails to yield understanding of its target, or taking inefficient means to a worthless end, are robust failures that amount to epistemic or agential unflourishing, and thus to a form of ill-being. (shrink)
In this book some options concerning the greenhouse effect are assessed from a welfarist point of view: business as usual, stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions and reduction by 25% and by 60%. Up to today only economic analyses of such options are available, which monetize welfare losses. Because this is found to be wanting from a moral point of view, the present study welfarizes (among others) monetary losses on the basis of a hedonistic utilitarianism and other, justice incorporating, (...) class='Hi'>welfare ethics. For these welfarist evaluations information about the social consequences of the four options are collected from the literature and eventually corrected; then the consequences for individual well-being are assessed based on psychological research about well-being dependent on the social situation of the individual; finally the aggregation formulas of the respective welfare ethics are applied to these data. Assessments by other types of ethics, e.g. Kantian ethic, are included. The strongest abatement option is found to be optimum with great unanimity. - In addition a cost-welfare analysis of greenhouse gas abatement is undertaken revealing efficient cost-welfare ratios for these measures and the most efficient ratio for the strongest option. - A final, more theoretical part discusses the moral obligations following from such evaluations. The notion of 'moral obligation' is explained in a way that, apart from moral goodness of the required act, reinforcement by formal or informal sanctions is another necessary condition for moral obligations. This leads to a conception of a historical morality according to which the demands of morality rise in the long run. Applying this conception to the greenhouse effect implies that presently we have the moral duty to raise the standards of greenhouse gas abatement as much as is politically feasible. (shrink)
When making decisions about action to improve animal lives, it is important that we have accurate estimates of how much animals are suffering under different conditions. The current frameworks for making comparative estimates of suffering all fall along the lines of multiplying numbers of animals used by length of life and amount of suffering experienced. However, the numbers used to quantify suffering are usually generated through unreliable and subjective processes which make them unlikely to be correct. In this paper, I (...) look at how we might apply principled methods from animal welfare science to arrive at more accurate scores, which will then help us in making the best decisions for animals. I argue that a combined use of both a whole-animal measure and a combination measurement framework for assessing welfare will give us the most accurate answers to guide our action. (shrink)
The interests or welfare of the child are rightly central to anydiscussion of the ethics of reproduction. The problematic nature of thislegitimate concern is seldom, if ever, noticed or if it is, it ismisunderstood. A prominent example of this sort of misunderstandingoccurs in the Department of Health's recent and important `SurrogacyReview' chaired by Margaret Brazier (The Brazier Report) and thesame misunderstanding makes nonsense of at least one provision of theHuman Fertilization and Embryology Act 1990. (The HFE Act).This paper explores (...) and hopefully resolves this misunderstandingand sets out the ways in which the idea of theinterests of the child can legitimately function inbioethics. (shrink)