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  1. The Limits of Virtue Ethics.Travis Timmerman & Yishai Cohen - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 10:255-282.
    Virtue ethics is often understood as a rival to existing consequentialist, deontological, and contractualist views. But some have disputed the position that virtue ethics is a genuine normative ethical rival. This chapter aims to crystallize the nature of this dispute by providing criteria that determine the degree to which a normative ethical theory is complete, and then investigating virtue ethics through the lens of these criteria. In doing so, it’s argued that no existing account of virtue ethics is a complete (...)
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  • The many ‘oughts’ of deliberation.John Pittard - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2617-2637.
    It is commonly recognized that ‘ought’ is a semantically flexible word admitting of more “objective” and more “subjective” senses. Which of these senses (if any) is the one that is of central concern in normative ethics? According to some philosophers, the sense ‘ought’ that is centrally at issue in normative ethics is the sense of ‘ought’ that features in the various ‘ought’ questions that rational subjects aim to answer when deliberating about what to do. An assumption of this proposal is (...)
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  • Actualism, Possibilism, and the Nature of Consequentialism.Yishai Cohen & Travis Timmerman - 2020 - In Douglas W. Portmore (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Consequentialism. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    The actualism/possibilism debate in ethics is about whether counterfactuals of freedom concerning what an agent would freely do if they were in certain circumstances even partly determines that agent’s obligations. This debate arose from an argument against the coherence of utilitarianism in the deontic logic literature. In this chapter, we first trace the historical origins of this debate and then examine actualism, possibilism, and securitism through the lens of consequentialism. After examining their respective benefits and drawbacks, we argue that, contrary (...)
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  • Sweatshops and Free Action: The Stakes of the Actualism/Possibilism Debate for Business Ethics.Travis Timmerman & Abe Zakhem - 2021 - Journal of Business Ethics 171 (4):683-694.
    Whether an action is morally right depends upon the alternative acts available to the agent. Actualists hold that what an agent would actually do determines her moral obligations. Possibilists hold that what an agent could possibly do determines her moral obligations. Both views face compelling criticisms. Despite the fact that actualist and possibilist assumptions are at the heart of seminal arguments in business ethics, there has been no explicit discussion of actualism and possibilism in the business ethics literature. This paper (...)
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  • Risky Thoughts.Philip Swenson - 2023 - The Journal of Ethics 27 (2):123-130.
    I respond to George Sher's A Wild West of the Mind. Sher argues that the mind is a “morality-free zone.” I respond that some thoughts are too risky to think. As a result, there are some moral limits on our mental lives. But these moral limits need not be overly burdensome. Many somewhat risky thoughts are nonetheless permissible.
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  • All or Nothing, but If Not All, Next Best or Nothing.Theron Pummer - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (5):278-291.
    Suppose two children face a deadly threat. You can either do nothing, save one child by sacrificing your arms, or save both by sacrificing your arms. Here are two plausible claims: first, it is permissible to do nothing; second, it is wrong to save only one. Joe Horton argues that the combination of these two claims has the implausible implication that if you are not going to save both children, you ought to save neither. This is one instance of what (...)
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  • Three Forms of Actualist Direct Consequentialism.Shyam Nair - 2023 - Utilitas 35 (1):1-24.
    One family of maximizing act consequentialist theories are actualist direct theories. Indeed, historically there are at least three different forms of actualist direct consequentialism (due to Bentham, Moore, and contemporary consequentialists). This paper is about the logical differences between these three actualist direct theories and the differences between actualist direct theories and their competitors. Three main points emerge. First, the sharpest separation between actualist direct theories and their competitors concerns the so-called inheritance principle. Second, there are a myriad of other (...)
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