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  1. added 2020-06-12
    How Not to Make Trade-Offs Between Health and Other Goods.Antti Kauppinen - manuscript
    In the context of a global pandemic, there is good health-based reason for governments to impose various social distancing measures. However, in addition to health benefits, such measures also cause economic and other harms. In this paper, I look at proposals to make use of existing QALY (quality-adjusted life year) valuations and WELLBYs (wellbeing-adjusted life-years) as the currency for making trade-offs between health and other goods. I argue that both methods are problematic. First, whether the costs and benefits are translated (...)
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  2. added 2020-03-17
    Consequentialism & Machine Ethics: Towards a Foundational Machine Ethic to Ensure the Right Action of Artificial Moral Agents.Josiah Della Foresta - 2020 - Montreal AI Ethics Institute.
    In this paper, I argue that Consequentialism represents a kind of ethical theory that is the most plausible to serve as a basis for a machine ethic. First, I outline the concept of an artificial moral agent and the essential properties of Consequentialism. Then, I present a scenario involving autonomous vehicles to illustrate how the features of Consequentialism inform agent action. Thirdly, an alternative Deontological approach will be evaluated and the problem of moral conflict discussed. Finally, two bottom-up approaches to (...)
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  3. added 2020-02-27
    Veganism, Animal Welfare, and Causal Impotence.Samuel J. M. Kahn - forthcoming - Journal of Animal Ethics.
    Proponents of the utilitarian animal welfare argument (AWA) for veganism maintain that it is reasonable to expect that adopting a vegan diet will decrease animal suffering. In this paper I argue otherwise. I maintain that (i) there are plausible scenarios in which refraining from meat-consumption will not decrease animal suffering; (ii) the utilitarian AWA rests on a false dilemma; and (iii) there are no reasonable grounds for the expectation that adopting a vegan diet will decrease animal suffering. The paper is (...)
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  4. added 2019-12-13
    The Case for Valuing Non-Health and Indirect Benefits.Govind Persad & Jessica du Toit - 2020 - In Ole F. Norheim, Ezekiel J. Emanuel & Joseph Millum (eds.), Global Health Priority-Setting: Beyond Cost-Effectiveness. New York, NY, USA: pp. 207-222.
    Health policy is only one part of social policy. Although spending administered by the health sector constitutes a sizeable fraction of total state spending in most countries, other sectors such as education and transportation also represent major portions of national budgets. Additionally, though health is one important aspect of economic and social activity, people pursue many other goals in their social and economic lives. Similarly, direct benefits—those that are immediate results of health policy choices—are only a small portion of the (...)
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  5. added 2019-09-25
    Explaining the Geometry of Desert.Neil Feit & Stephen Kershnar - 2004 - Public Affairs Quarterly 18:273.
    In the past decade, three philosophers in particular have recently explored the relation between desert and intrinsic value. Fred Feldman argues that consequentialism need not give much weight – or indeed any weight at all – to the happiness of persons who undeservedly experience pleasure. He defends the claim that the intrinsic value of a state of affairs is determined by the “fit” between the amount of well-being that a person receives and the amount of well-being that the person deserves. (...)
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  6. added 2019-09-12
    Effective Altruism’s Underspecification Problem.Travis Timmerman - 2019 - In Hilary Greaves & Theron Pummer (eds.), Effective Altruism: Philosophical Issues. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 166-183.
    Effective altruists either believe they ought to be, or strive to be, doing the most good they can. Since they’re human, however, effective altruists are invariably fallible. In numerous situations, even the most committed EAs would fail to live up to the ideal they set for themselves. This fact raises a central question about how to understand effective altruism. How should one’s future prospective failures at doing the most good possible affect the current choices one makes as an effective altruist? (...)
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  7. added 2019-05-15
    Principled Utility Discounting Under Risk.Kian Mintz-Woo - 2019 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 6 (1):89-112.
    Utility discounting in intertemporal economic modelling has been viewed as problematic, both for descriptive and normative reasons. However, positive utility discount rates can be defended normatively; in particular, it is rational for future utility to be discounted to take into account model-independent outcomes when decision-making under risk. The resultant values will tend to be smaller than descriptive rates under most probability assignments. This also allows us to address some objections that intertemporal considerations will be overdemanding. A principle for utility discount (...)
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  8. added 2019-04-25
    Will More Organs Save More Lives? Cost‐Effectiveness and the Ethics of Expanding Organ Procurement.Govind Persad - 2019 - Bioethics 33 (6):684-690.
    The assumption that procuring more organs will save more lives has inspired increasingly forceful calls to increase organ procurement. This project, in contrast, directly questions the premise that more organ transplantation means more lives saved. Its argument begins with the fact that resources are limited and medical procedures have opportunity costs. Because many other lifesaving interventions are more cost‐effective than transplantation and compete with transplantation for a limited budget, spending on organ transplantation consumes resources that could have been used to (...)
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  9. added 2019-03-25
    La strana idea di applicare la teoria etica.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2008 - In Christoph Lumer (ed.), Etica normativa – Principi dell’agire morale. Roma, Italy: Carocci. pp. 167-188.
    In this paper I argue that applied ethics is a phenomenon spontaneously emerged between the Sixties and the Seventies and resulting from interbreeding of theoretical discussion in ethics and public discourse of liberal-democratic societies. I contend that the phenomenon’s novelty is in a peculiar relationship it has helped in establishing between ethical theories and real-world issues, and besides that the true nature of applied ethics is that of deliberation, whose tool is the faculty of judgment, or casuistry, understood the Kantian (...)
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  10. added 2018-01-09
    Murdering an Accident Victim: A New Objection to the Bare-Difference Argument.Scott Hill - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):767-778.
    Many philosophers, psychologists, and medical practitioners believe that killing is no worse than letting die on the basis of James Rachels's Bare-Difference Argument. I show that his argument is unsound. In particular, a premise of the argument is that his examples are as similar as is consistent with one being a case of killing and the other being a case of letting die. However, the subject who lets die has both the ability to kill and the ability to let die (...)
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  11. added 2017-09-04
    The Consequences of Individual Consumption: A Defence of Threshold Arguments for Vegetarianism and Consumer Ethics.Ben Almassi - 2011 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (4):396-411.
    As a moral foundation for vegetarianism and other consumer choices, act consequentialism can be appealing. When we justify our consumer and dietary choices this way, however, we face the problem that our individual actions rarely actually precipitate more just agricultural and economic practices. This threshold or individual impotence problem engaged by consequentialist vegetarians and their critics extends to morally motivated consumer decision-making more generally, anywhere a lag persists between individual moral actions taken and systemic moral progress made. Regan and others (...)
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  12. added 2017-07-08
    Global Consequentialism and the Morality and Laws of War.Hilary Greaves - forthcoming - In McDermott and Roser Kuosmanen (ed.), Human rights and 21st century challenges. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Rights-based approaches and consequentialist approaches to ethics are often seen as being diametrically opposed to one another. In one sense, they are. In another sense, however, they can be reconciled: a ‘global’ form of consequentialism might supply consequentialist foundations for a derivative morality that is non-consequentialist, and perhaps rights-based, in content. By way of case study to illustrate how this might work, I survey what a global consequentialist should think about a recent dispute between Jeff McMahan and Henry Shue on (...)
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  13. added 2017-04-13
    Utilitarianism and Animal Cruelty: Further Doubts.Davies Ben - 2016 - De Ethica 3 (3):5-19.
    Utilitarianism has an apparent pedigree when it comes to animal welfare. It supports the view that animal welfare matters just as much as human welfare. And many utilitarians support and oppose various practices in line with more mainstream concern over animal welfare, such as that we should not kill animals for food or other uses, and that we ought not to torture animals for fun. This relationship has come under tension from many directions. The aim of this article is to (...)
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  14. added 2016-09-05
    Veganism.Alejandra Mancilla - 2016 - In Paul B. Thompson & David M. Kaplan (eds.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Dordrecht: Springer.
    Narrowly understood, veganism is the practice of excluding all animal products from one’s diet, with the exception of human milk. More broadly, veganism is not only a food ethics, but it encompasses all other areas of life. As defined by the Vegan Society when it became an established charity in the UK in 1979, veganism is best understood as “a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude – as far as is possible and practicable – all forms of (...)
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  15. added 2016-05-24
    Introduction to the Symposium on The Most Good You Can Do.Anthony Skelton - 2016 - Journal of Global Ethics 12 (2):127-131.
    This is the introduction to the Journal of Global Ethics symposium on Peter Singer's The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically. It summarizes the main features of effective altruism in the context of Singer's work on the moral demands of global poverty and some recent criticisms of effective altruism. The symposium contains contributions by Anthony Skelton, Violetta Igneski, Tracy Isaacs and Peter Singer.
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  16. added 2015-12-04
    Commentary on Szmukler: Mental Illness, Dangerousness, and Involuntary Civil Commitment.Ken Levy & Alex Cohen - 2016 - In Daniel D. Moseley Gary J. Gala (ed.), Philosophy and Psychiatry: Problems, Intersections, and New Perspectives. Routledge. pp. 147-160.
    Prof. Cohen and I answer six questions: (1) Why do we lock people up? (2) How can involuntary civil commitment be reconciled with people's constitutional right to liberty? (3) Why don't we treat homicide as a public health threat? (4) What is the difference between legal and medical approaches to mental illness? (5) Why is mental illness required for involuntary commitment? (6) Where are we in our efforts to understand the causes of mental illness?
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  17. added 2015-08-11
    A Moral Defense of Recreational Drug Use.Rob Lovering - 2015 - Palgrave Macmillan.
    Why does American law allow the recreational use of some drugs, such as alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, but not others, such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin? The answer lies not simply in the harm the use of these drugs might cause, but in the perceived morality—or lack thereof—of their recreational use. Despite strong rhetoric from moral critics of recreational drug use, however, it is surprisingly difficult to discern the reasons they have for deeming the recreational use of (some) drugs morally (...)
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  18. added 2014-12-27
    You Can't Choose Your Family: Impartial Morality and Personal Obligations in Alias.Brendan Shea - 2014 - In Patricia Brace & Robert Arp (eds.), The Philosophy of J.J. Abrams. The University Press of Kentucky. pp. 173-189.
    In this essay, I critically examine the ways in which the characters of Alias attempt to balance their impartial moral obligations (e.g. duties toward humanity) and their personal obligations (e.g. duties toward one's children). I specifically examine three areas of conflict: (1) choices between saving loved ones and maximizing consequences, (2) choices to maintain or sever relationships with characters who are vicious or immoral, and (3) choices to seek or not seek revenge on the behalf of loved ones. I conclude (...)
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  19. added 2014-07-20
    Carbon Leakage and the Argument From No Difference.Matthew Rendall - 2015 - Environmental Values 24 (4):535-52.
    Critics of carbon mitigation often appeal to what Jonathan Glover has called ‘the argument from no difference’: that is, ‘If I don’t do it, someone else will’. Yet even if this justifies continued high emissions by the industrialised countries, it cannot excuse business as usual. The North’s emissions might not harm the victims of climate change in the sense of making them worse off than they would otherwise be. Nevertheless, it receives benefits produced at the latter’s expense, with the result (...)
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  20. added 2014-07-14
    Small Impacts and Imperceptible Effects: Causing Harm with Others.Kai Spiekermann - 2014 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38 (1):75-90.
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  21. added 2014-03-26
    Option Ranges.Timothy Chappell - 2001 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (2):107–118.
    An option range is a set of alternative actions available to an agent at a given time. I ask how a moral theory’s account of option ranges relates to its recommendations about deliberative procedure (DP) and criterion of rightness (CR). I apply this question to Act Consequentialism (AC), which tells us, at any time, to perform the action with the best consequences in our option range then. If anyone can employ this command as a DP, or assess (direct or indirect) (...)
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