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Utilitarianism

In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Exploring Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology. Oxford University Press (2009)

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  1. Towards a Constructivist Eudaemonism.Robert Bass - 2004 - Dissertation, Bowling Green State University
    Eudaemonism is the common structure of the family of theories in which the central moral conception is eudaemonia , understood as "living well" or "having a good life." In its best form, the virtues are understood as constitutive and therefore essential means to achieving or having such a life. What I seek to do is to lay the groundwork for an approach to eudaemonism grounded in practical reason, and especially in instrumental reasoning, rather than in natural teleology. In the first (...)
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  • Rethinking Virtue Ethics and Social Justice with Aristotle and Confucius.May Sim - 2010 - Asian Philosophy 20 (2):195-213.
    Comparing Aristotle's and Confucius' ethics, where each represents an ethics of virtue, I show that they are not susceptible to some of the frequent charges against them when compared to non-virtue ethical theories like utilitarianism and deontology. These charges are that virtue ethics: (1) lack universal laws; they cannot (a) provide content for actions, and (b) they do not consider actions in the evaluation of morality. (2) Virtue ethics cannot provide the resources for dealing with social justice and human rights (...)
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  • One for One: A Defense of Pitcher Retaliation in Baseball.Alister Browne - 2015 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 42 (3):379-391.
    Baseball rules prohibit pitchers from intentionally throwing at batters. When a pitcher does so, however, it is common practice for a pitcher on the opposing team to retaliate by throwing at the first player of the offending team to bat the next inning, and for umpires to ignore the rule forbidding that. I argue that player retaliation in the form of one for one is a better response to the initial violation than any other that is available, one for one (...)
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  • Seemings and the Possibility of Epistemic Justification.Matthew Skene - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (2):539-559.
    Abstract I provide an account of the nature of seemings that explains why they are necessary for justification. The account grows out of a picture of cognition that explains what is required for epistemic agency. According to this account, epistemic agency requires (1) possessing the epistemic aims of forming true beliefs and avoiding errors, and (2) having some means of forming beliefs in order to satisfy those aims. I then argue that seeming are motives for belief characterized by their role (...)
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  • The Nature and Meaning of Teamwork.Paul Gaffney - 2015 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 42 (1):1-22.
    Teamwork in sport presents a variety of special challenges and satisfactions. It requires an integration of talents and contributions from individual team members, which is a practical achievement, and it represents a shared pursuit, which is a moral achievement. In its best instances team sport allows members to transform individual interests into a common interest, and in the process discover of part of their own identities. Teamwork is made intelligible by the collective pursuit of victory, but moral requirements importantly condition (...)
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  • On 'Imperfect' Imperfect Duties and the Epistemic Demands of Integrationist Approaches to Justice.Christian Seidel - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (1):39-42.
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  • Substance and Procedure in Theories of Prudential Value.Valerie Tiberius - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):373 – 391.
    In this paper I argue that the debate between subjective and objective theories of prudential value obscures the way in which elements of both are needed for a comprehensive theory of prudential value. I suggest that we characterize these two types of theory in terms of their different aims: procedural (or subjective) theories give an account of the necessary conditions for something to count as good for a person, while substantive (or objective) theories give an account of what is good (...)
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  • Virtue Ethics is Self-Effacing.Simon Keller - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):221 – 231.
    An ethical theory is self-effacing if it tells us that sometimes, we should not be motivated by the considerations that justify our acts. In his influential paper 'The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theories' [1976], Michael Stocker argues that consequentialist and deontological ethical theories must be self-effacing, if they are to be at all plausible. Stocker's argument is often taken to provide a reason to give up consequentialism and deontology in favour of virtue ethics. I argue that this assessment is a (...)
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  • Moral Obligation: Form and Substance.Stephen Darwall - 2010 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 110 (1pt1):31-46.
    Beginning from an analysis of moral obligation's form that I defend in The Second-Person Standpoint as what we are answerable for as beings with the necessary capacities to enter into relations of mutual accountability, I argue that this analysis has implications for moral obligation's substance. Given what it is to take responsibility for oneself and hold oneself answerable, I argue, it follows that if there are any moral obligations at all, then there must exist a basic pro tanto obligation not (...)
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  • Mill's Criterion of Wrong Conduct.D. G. Brown - 1982 - Dialogue 21 (1):27-44.
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  • The Power to Make Others Worship.Aaron Smuts - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (2):221 - 237.
    Can any being worthy of worship make others worship it? I think not. By way of an analogy to love, I argue that it is perfectly coherent to think that one could be made to worship. However, forcing someone to worship violates their autonomy, not because worship must be freely given, but because forced worship would be inauthentic—much like love earned through potions. For this reason, I argue that one cannot be made to worship properly; forced worship would be unfitting. (...)
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  • Painful Art and the Limits of Well-Being.Aaron Smuts - 2013 - In Jerrold Levinson (ed.), Suffering Art Gladly: The Paradox of Negative Emotions in Art. Palgrave/ Macmillan.
    In this chapter I explore what painful art can tell us about the nature and importance of human welfare. My goal is not so much to defend a new solution to the paradox of tragedy, as it is to explore the implications of the kinds of solutions that I find attractive. Both nonhedonic compensatory theories and constitutive theories explain why people seek out painful art, but they have troublesome implications. On some narrow theories of well-being, they imply that painful art (...)
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  • Educating for Good Judgment.Thomas S. Yos - unknown
    What should be the primary aims of education? How might these aims be realized? These are foundational questions which Plato raised long ago in his Republic. The first of these questions is a normative, and profoundly philosophical, one which provides guidance to the whole endeavor of education. The second of these questions is a pedagogical one which informs educators as to how their work can be best conducted. In this work I endeavor to answer these interlocking educational questions. I follow (...)
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  • Philosophical Themes in Mass Effect.Michael Aristidou & Brian Basallo - 2014 - Open Journal of Philosophy 4 (2):174-181.
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  • Consequentialism and Permissibility.Brian Mcelwee - 2010 - Utilitas 22 (2):171-183.
    Scalar consequentialism, recently championed by Alastair Norcross, holds that the value of an action varies according to the goodness of its consequences, but eschews all judgements of moral permissibility and impermissibility. I show that the strongest version of scalar consequentialism is not vulnerable to the objection that it is insufficiently action-guiding. Instead, the principle objection to the scalar view is simply that it leaves out important and interesting ethical judgements. In demonstrating this, I counter Rob Lawlor's contention that consequentialists cannot (...)
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  • Hierarchical Consequentialism.Re'em Segev - 2010 - Utilitas 22 (3):309-330.
    The paper considers a hierarchical theory that combines concern for two values: individual well-being – as a fundamental, first-order value – and (distributive) fairness – as a high-order value that its exclusive function is to complete the value of individual well-being by resolving internal clashes within it that occur in interpersonal conflicts. The argument for this unique conception of high-order fairness is that fairness is morally significant in itself only regarding what matters – individual well-being – and when it matters (...)
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  • La philosophie de la normativité ou comment tenter de faire un peu d’ordre.Christine Tappolet & Alain Voizard - 2011 - Dialogue 50 (2):239-246.
    Cette introduction à une collection d'articles sur la normativité propose d'adopter les divisions trouvées habituellement en éthique pour aborder la normativité. Ainsi, il semble utile de diviser les questions en cinq groupes: l'ontologie normative, la sémantique normative, l'épistémologie normative, la psychologie normative, et finalement, les questions normatives substantielles.
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  • Agency and Reasons in Epistemology.Luis R. G. Oliveira - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Ever since John Locke, philosophers have discussed the possibility of a normative epistemology: are there epistemic obligations binding the cognitive economy of belief and disbelief? Locke's influential answer was evidentialist: we have an epistemic obligation to believe in accordance with our evidence. In this dissertation, I place the contemporary literature on agency and reasons at the service of some such normative epistemology. I discuss the semantics of obligations, the connection between obligations and reasons to believe, the implausibility of Lockean evidentialism, (...)
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  • Why Not Just Ask? Preferences, “Empirical Ethics” and the Role of Ethical Reflection.Daniel M. Hausman - unknown
    Many questions concerning health involve values. How well is a health system performing? How should resources be allocated between the health system and other uses or among competing healthrelated uses? How should the costs of health services be distributed among members of a population? Who among those in need of transplants should receive scarce organs? What is the best way to treat particular patients? Although many kinds of expertise bear on these questions, values play a large role in answering them. (...)
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  • Aristotle's Virtue Ethics.John Bowin - forthcoming - In A Companion to World Literature. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell.
    Aristotle, though not the first Greek virtue ethicist, was the first to establish virtue ethics as a distinct philosophical discipline. His exposition of the subject in his Nicomachean Ethics set the terms of subsequent debate in the European and Arabic traditions by proposing a set of plausible assumptions from which virtue ethics should proceed. His conception of human well-being and virtue as well as his brand of ethical naturalism were influential from antiquity through the Middle Ages and continue to be (...)
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  • Cognitive Load Selectively Interferes with Utilitarian Moral Judgment.Jonathan D. Cohen Joshua D. Greene, Sylvia A. Morelli, Kelly Lowenberg, Leigh E. Nystrom - 2008 - Cognition 107 (3):1144.
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  • Who is Afraid of Figure of Speech?Erik C. W. Krabbe - 1997 - Argumentation 12 (2):281-294.
    Aristotle's illustrations of the fallacy of Figure of Speech (or Form of Expression) are none too convincing. They are tied to Aristotle's theory of categories and to peculiarities of Greek grammar that fail to hold appeal for a contemporary readership. Yet, upon closer inspection, Figure of Speech shows many points of contact with views and problems that inhabit 20th-century analytical philosophy. In the paper, some Aristotelian examples will be analyzed to gain a better understanding of this fallacy. The case of (...)
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  • The Sensuous as Source of Demand: A Response to Jennifer McMahon's “Aesthetics of Perception”.Justin L. Harmon - 2012 - Essays in Philosophy 13 (2):4.
    In this response paper I defend an alternative position to both Jennifer McMahon’s neo-Kantian view on the aesthetics of perceptual experience, and the sense-data theory that she rightly repudiates. McMahon argues that sense perception is informed by concepts “all the way out,” and that the empiricist notion of unmediated sensuous access to entities in the world is untenable. She further claims that art is demanding inasmuch as it compels one to engage in an open-ended, cognitive interpretive process with sensuous phenomena, (...)
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  • J. S. Mill's Concept of Maturity as the Criterion in Determining Children's Eligibility for Rights.Ki Kim - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 24 (2):235-244.
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  • Intrinsic Values and Reasons for Action.Ralph Wedgwood - 2009 - In Ernest Sosa & Enrique Villanueva (eds.), Metaethics. Wiley Periodicals. pp. 342-363.
    What reasons for action do we have? What explains why we have these reasons? This paper articulates some of the basic structural features of a theory that would provide answers to these questions. According to this theory, reasons for action are all grounded in intrinsic values, but in a way that makes room for a thoroughly non-consequentialist view of the way in which intrinsic values generate reasons for aaction.
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  • We Are What We Eat: Feminist Vegetarianism and the Reproduction of Racial Identity.Cathryn Bailey - 2007 - Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 22 (2):39-59.
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  • Moral Ideals and Virtue Ethics.Gregory F. Mellema - 2010 - Journal of Ethics 14 (2):173-180.
    There have traditionally been two schools of thought regarding moral ideals and their relationship with moral duty. First, many have held that moral agents at all times have a duty or obligation to realize or attain moral ideals, or at least they have a duty to strive to realize or attain them. A second school of thought has maintained that attaining or pursuing moral ideals is supererogatory or beyond the call of duty. Recently a third school of thought has been (...)
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  • Financial Returns of Corporate Social Responsibility, and the Moral Freedom and Responsibility of Business Leaders.Peter Demacarty - 2009 - Business and Society Review 114 (3):393-433.
    A number of theorists have proposed mechanisms suggesting that corporate social responsibility produces better financial results. Others subscribe to the theory that, realistically, less ethical means are necessary. This article contains an analysis of these perspectives drawing on observations from evolutionary game theory and nature. Based on these analyzes, it is concluded that the financial returns of corporate social responsibility and irresponsibility (CSR and CSI) are equal on average. The explanation is that CSR and CSI are driven to a state (...)
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  • Altruism and Volunteerism: The Perceptions of Altruism in Four Disciplines and Their Impact on the Study of Volunteerism.Debbie Haski-Leventhal - 2009 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (3):271-299.
    Although volunteering is the most organized and formal manner of altruism, the two subjects are rarely connected in literature. In this article reviewed is the egocentric approach that is found in four social disciplines: psychology, sociology, economics and socio-biology , and the way that studies on altruism are based on Utilitarian philosophy and on the homo economicus perception of man. All of the above have influenced the study of volunteerism: the research questions, the study areas, and the conclusions on the (...)
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  • Moral Values and the Arts in Environmental Education: Towards an Ethics of Aesthetic Appreciation.David Carr - 2004 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 38 (2):221–239.
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  • Imperfection, Practice and Humility in Clinical Ethics.Kim Garchar - 2012 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 18 (5):1051-1056.
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  • Beyond Voluntariness, Beyond CSR: Making a Case for Human Rights and Justice.Florian Wettstein - 2009 - Business and Society Review 114 (1):125-152.
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  • The Formula of Universal Law: A Reconstruction.Matthew Braham & Martin van Hees - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (2):243-260.
    This paper provides a methodologically original construction of Kant’s “Formula of Universal Law” . A formal structure consisting of possible worlds and games—a “game frame”—is used to implement Kant’s concept of a maxim and to define the two tests FUL comprises: the “contradiction in conception” and “contradiction in the will” tests. The paper makes two contributions. Firstly, the model provides a formal account of the variables that are built into FUL: agents, maxims, intentions, actions, and outcomes. This establishes a clear (...)
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  • Lexical Priority and the Problem of Risk.Michael Huemer - 2010 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 91 (3):332-351.
    Some theories of practical reasons incorporate a lexical priority structure, according to which some practical reasons have infinitely greater weight than others. This includes absolute deontological theories and axiological theories that take some goods to be categorically superior to others. These theories face problems involving cases in which there is a non-extreme probability that a given reason applies. In view of such cases, lexical-priority theories are in danger of becoming irrelevant to decision-making, becoming absurdly demanding, or generating paradoxical cases in (...)
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  • A Moderate Defence of the Use of Thought Experiments in Applied Ethics.Adrian Walsh - 2011 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (4):467-481.
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  • Autonomous Machines, Moral Judgment, and Acting for the Right Reasons.Duncan Purves, Ryan Jenkins & Bradley J. Strawser - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (4):851-872.
    We propose that the prevalent moral aversion to AWS is supported by a pair of compelling objections. First, we argue that even a sophisticated robot is not the kind of thing that is capable of replicating human moral judgment. This conclusion follows if human moral judgment is not codifiable, i.e., it cannot be captured by a list of rules. Moral judgment requires either the ability to engage in wide reflective equilibrium, the ability to perceive certain facts as moral considerations, moral (...)
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  • Practice Makes Perfect: The Effect of Dance Training on the Aesthetic Judge. [REVIEW]Barbara Montero - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (1):59-68.
    According to Hume, experience in observing art is one of the prerequisites for being an ideal art critic. But although Hume extols the value of observing art for the art critic, he says little about the value, for the art critic, of executing art. That is, he does not discuss whether ideal aesthetic judges should have practiced creating the form of art they are judging. In this paper, I address this issue. Contrary to some contemporary philosophers who claim that experience (...)
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  • Ethically Insoluble Dilemmas in War.Marcus Schulzke - 2013 - Journal of Military Ethics 12 (2):95 - 110.
    Soldiers encounter extremely difficult ethical dilemmas during wars, as they must make decisions about how to follow the laws of war and their rules of engagement while still protecting themselves and accomplishing their missions. Scholarship on just war theory and military ethics generally describe soldiers' dilemmas as being ethical challenges that soldiers can overcome by using the correct ethical reasoning process. However, this essay argues that some of the apparent ethical dilemmas that soldiers confront are actually ethically insoluble dilemmas that (...)
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  • Does Doxastic Justification Have a Basing Requirement?Paul Silva Jr - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (2):1-17.
    The distinction between propositional and doxastic justification is the distinction between having justification to believe P (= propositional justification) versus having a justified belief in P (= doxastic justification). The focus of this paper is on doxastic justification and on what conditions are necessary for having it. In particular, I challenge the basing demand on doxastic justification, i.e., the idea that one can have a doxastically justified belief only if one’s belief is based on an epistemically appropriate reason. This demand (...)
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  • Epistemic Value: Truth or Explanation?David Resnik - 1994 - Metaphilosophy 25 (4):348-361.
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  • The Priority and Posteriority of Right.Jon Garthoff - 2015 - Theoria 81 (3):222-248.
    In this article I articulate two pairs of theses about the relationship between the right and the good and I sketch an account of morality that systematically vindicates all four theses, despite a nearly universal consensus that they are not all true. In the first half I elucidate and motivate the theses and explain why leading ethical theorists maintain that at least one of them is false; in the second half I present the outlines of an account of the relationship (...)
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  • In Defense of a Utilitarian Business Ethic.Andrew Gustafson - 2013 - Business and Society Review 118 (3):325-360.
    In this article, I suggest and support a utilitarian approach to business ethics. Utilitarianism is already widely used as a business ethic approach, although it is not well developed in the literature. Utilitarianism provides a guiding framework of decision making rooted in social benefit which helps direct business toward more ethical behavior. It is the basis for much of our discussion regarding the failures of Enron, Worldcom, and even the subprime mess and Wall Street Meltdown. In short, the negative social (...)
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  • The Smuggler's Fallacy.Kenneth G. Ferguson - 2004 - Metaphilosophy 35 (5):648-660.
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  • Can Positive Duties Be Derived From Kant’s Categorical Imperative?Michael Yudanin - 2015 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 18 (3):595-614.
    Kant’s moral philosophy usually considers two types of duties: negative duties that prohibit certain actions and positive duties commanding action. With that, Kant insists on deriving all morality from reason alone. Such is the Categorical Imperative that Kant lays at the basis of ethics. Yet while negative duties can be derived from the Categorical Imperative and thus from reason, the paper argues that this is not the case with positive duties. After answering a number of attempts to derive positive duties (...)
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  • A Feminist Utilitarian Perspective on Euthanasia: From Nancy Crick to Terri Schiavo.Gail Tulloch - 2005 - Nursing Inquiry 12 (2):155-160.
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  • Economic Behavior—Evolutionary Versus Behavioral Perspectives.Ulrich Witt - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (4):388-398.
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  • Environmental Legislation and Harms to Remote Resource‐Based Communities: The Case of Atikokan, Ontario.A. Scott Carson - 2010 - Business and Society Review 115 (4):437-466.
    ABSTRACTEnvironmental ethics research pays much attention to the rights of individuals, future generations, and nonhuman stakeholders to have a clean environment. Moral condemnation is directed at polluters for violation of stakeholder rights. However, little consideration is given in the research literature to those who are harmed by well‐intended progressive environmental legislation. This article addresses the moral entitlements of small, remote resource‐based communities not to be harmed by environmental legislation that results in the elimination of the major employer that economically sustains (...)
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  • Forgiveness and its Place in Ethics.Jeremy Watkins - 2005 - Theoria 71 (1):59-77.
    A number of philosophers have suggested that acts of forgiveness are pointless if the wrongdoer has atoned for his offence (since there is nothing to be forgiven) and unjustified if no atonement has been forthcoming (since there are no grounds for forgiveness). My aim in this paper is twofold. First, I try to remove this dilemma and show that forgiveness has a proper place in ethics by providing an account of its nature and justification. Second, I argue that the dilemma (...)
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  • Divine Agriculture.Charles Taliaferro - 1992 - Agriculture and Human Values 9 (3):71-80.
    Theological literacy is an important asset in the development of a comprehensive agricultural ethic and philosophy. Four areas are delimited in which theological reflection is relevant for agricultural study.
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  • Friedman, Sommers, and Women's Desires.Keith Burgess-Jackson - 1993 - Journal of Social Philosophy 24 (3):62-68.
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