Showing papers in "Journal of Ethics & Social Philosophy in 2019"
TL;DR: The authors argue that no deceptive intentions are necessary for fake news to arise; rather, fake news arises when stories which were not produced via standard journalistic practice are treated as though they had been.
Abstract: The term "fake news" ascended rapidly to prominence in 2016 and has become a fixture in academic and public discussions, as well as in political mud-slinging. In the flurry of discussion, the term has been applied so broadly as to threaten to render it meaningless. In an effort to rescue our ability to discuss—and combat—the underlying phenomenon that triggered the present use of the term, some philosophers have tried to characterize it more precisely. A common theme in this nascent philosophical discussion is that contemporary fake news is not a new kind of phenomenon, but just the latest iteration of a broader kind of phenomenon that has played out in different ways across the history of human information-dissemination technologies. While we agree with this, we argue that newer sorts of fake news reveal substantial flaws in earlier understandings of this notion. In particular, we argue that no deceptive intentions are necessary for fake news to arise; rather, fake news arises when stories which were not produced via standard journalistic practice are treated as though they had been. Importantly, this revisionary understanding of fake news allows us to accommodate and understand the way that fake news is plausibly generated and spread in a contemporary setting, as much by non-human actors as by ordinary human beings.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors develop an account of basically deserved blame and defend the controversial thesis that the harm involved in blaming can be good in a way that is not merely instrumental.
Abstract: How should we understand basic desert as a justification for blaming? Many philosophers account for free will by reference to the sort of moral responsibility that involves a blameworthy person deserving blame in a basic sense of desert; free will just is the control condition for this sort of moral responsibility. But what precisely does basic desert come to, and what is it about blame that makes it the thing that a blameworthy person deserves? As it turns out, there are challenges in attempting to understand basic desert for blame. One concerns whether the only good in harming a person by blaming her is instrumental. If so, there may be reason to reject desert-based conceptions of blame. In this paper, I will develop an account of basically deserved blame. In doing so, I will also defend the controversial thesis that the harm involved in blaming can be good in a way that is not merely instrumental.
TL;DR: The authors argued that counterspeech can be understood as a diachronic process, which not only follows, but also pre-empts, ignorant utterances by affirming a correct proposition that is inconsistent with the falsehoods at hand.
Abstract: Ignorant speech, which spreads falsehoods about people and policies, is pervasive in public discourse. A popular response to this problem recommends countering ignorant speech with more speech, rather than legal regulations. However, Mary Kate McGowan has influentially argued that this ‘counterspeech’ response is flawed, as it overlooks the asymmetric pliability of conversational norms: the phenomenon whereby some conversational norms are easier to enact than subsequently to reverse. After demonstrating that this conversational ‘stickiness’ is an even broader concern for counterspeech than McGowan suggests—it applies not just to oppressive or hateful speech, but also to ordinary policy-related misinformation—I argue that a more sophisticated account of counterspeech can nevertheless overcome it. First, the stickiness objection overlooks the distinction between ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ counterspeech. Instead of directly negating a distorted proposition, positive counterspeech affirms a correct proposition that is inconsistent with the falsehoods at hand. This, I contend, allows it to counter ignorant speech without triggering the properties that render it sticky. Second, the stickiness objection presupposes an unrefined conception of counterspeech’s temporality. Counterspeech should be understood as a diachronic process, which not only follows, but also pre-empts, ignorant utterances. Drawing on speech-act theories of silencing, I argue that pre-emptive counterspeech can condition the conversational context so as to prevent subsequent ignorant utterances from enacting sticky conversational norms. Thus, this theoretically-refined conception of counterspeech helps appreciate how verbal responses might overcome the stickiness of conversational norms; and, in doing so, it reveals that this stickiness need not provide reasons to prefer legal remedies to counterspeech.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that the right-kind-of-reason problem makes it harder for reasons fundamentalists to analyze all derivative normative properties in terms of normative reasons.
Abstract: Reasons fundamentalists maintain that we can analyze all derivative normative properties in terms of normative reasons. These theorists famously encounter the Wrong Kind of Reasons (WKR) problem, since not all reasons for reactions seem relevant for reasons-based analyses. Some have argued that this problem is a general one for many theorists, and claim that this lightens the burden for reasons fundamentalists. We argue in this paper that the reverse is true: the generality of the problem makes life harder for reasons fundamentalists. We do this in two stages. First, we show that reflection on the generality of the distinction between wrong-kind reasons and right-kind reasons shows that not all right-kind reasons are normative reasons. So, not only do reasons-based analyses require a distinction between right-kind reasons and wrong-kind reasons, they also need a distinction between normative right-kind reasons from nonnormative right-kind reasons. We call this the Right Kind of Reasons Problem. In the second stage of the paper, we argue that reasons fundamentalism places tight constraints on its proper solution: in particular, it forbids one from appealing to anything normative to distinguish normative RKRs from nonnormative RKRs. It hence seems that reasons fundamentalists can only appeal to natural facts to solve the problem, but it is unclear which ones can do the job. So, reflection on the generality of the distinction only multiplies the fundamentalist’s problems. We end by exploring several solutions to these problems, and recommend a form of constitutivism as the best.
TL;DR: This paper critically examines three claims about the way in which unknown and unrealized risks of harm might diminish individual well-being and argues that all three of these hypotheses are mistaken, but that they deepen the understanding of the ways in which subjective security is an important constituent of individualWell-being.
Abstract: Do unknown and unrealized risks of harm diminish an individual’s well-being? The traditional answer is no: that the security of prudential goods benefits an individual only instrumentally or by virtue of their subjective sense of security. Recent work has argued, however, that the security of prudential goods non-instrumentally benefits an individual regardless of whether or not they enjoy subjective security. In this paper, I critically examine three claims about the way in which unknown and unrealized risks of harm might diminish individual well-being: (i) it frustrates a desire to be secure, (ii) it frustrates the enjoyment of modally-robust goods, and (iii) it undermines the ability to make reasonable plans. Ultimately, I argue that all three of these hypotheses are mistaken, but that they deepen our understanding of the ways in which subjective security is an important constituent of individual well-being.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors propose an alternative capabilitarian conception of domination as the arbitrary power to determine access to capabilities necessary for relationships of equality between citizens, which reveals a richer set of conditions under which employers dominate workers.
Abstract: This article undertakes a republican analysis of power in the workplace and labour market in order to determine whether workers are dominated by employers. Civic republicans usually take domination to be subjection to an arbitrary power to interfere with choice. But when faced with labour disputes over what choices it is normal for workers to make for themselves, these accounts of domination struggle to determine whether employers possess the power to interfere. I propose an alternative capabilitarian conception of domination as the arbitrary power to determine access to capabilities necessary for relationships of equality between citizens. This approach allows us to diagnose domination in the workplace and the labour market but does not capture unfreedom arising from the wider socio-structural position of workers. Thus, I supplement this capabilitarian account of the domination of workers with a structural account of dominating power, which reveals a richer set of conditions under which employers dominate workers.
TL;DR: To accommodate complexity, theorists of social reform must give up on ideal theory and supplement problem solving with a new sort of theorizing that aims to work out how to make the authors' institutional arrangements more progressive: more conducive to further improvements in general, though not necessarily to the achievement of any antecedently specified goal.
Abstract: Our world is complex—it is composed of many interacting parts—and this complexity poses a serious difficulty for theorists of social reform. On the one hand, we cannot merely work out ways of ameliorating immediate problems of injustice, because the solutions we generate may interact to set back the achievement of overall long-term justice. On the other, we cannot supplement such problem solving with theorizing about how to make progress towards a long-term goal of ideal justice, because the very interactions that render problem solving unsatisfactory raise insurmountable epistemic difficulties for this latter approach. To accommodate complexity, we must therefore give up on ideal theory, and instead supplement problem solving with a new sort of theorizing that aims to work out how to make our institutional arrangements more progressive: more conducive to further improvements in general, though not necessarily to the achievement of any antecedently specified goal. More concretely, we must identify ways of improving our capacity to flexibly experiment with many promising solutions to problems as they arise, to select for those solutions that prove successful while eliminating those that do not, and to learn from both our successes and our inevitable failures.
TL;DR: The authors argue that using the term "fake news" does not serve propagandistic aims, and that philosophers can use this concept without engaging in epistemic policing, that is, commanding their interlocutors not to believe specific news stories or sources.
Abstract: In a recent contribution to conceptual ethics, Joshua Habgood-Coote argues that philosophers should refrain from using the term “fake news,” which is commonly employed in public discussions focusing on the epistemic health of democracies. In this short discussion note, I take issue with this claim, discussing each of the three arguments advanced by Coote to support the conclusion that we should abandon this concept. First, I contend that although “fake news” is a contested concept, there is significant agreement among contemporary philosophers about its key feature. Second, I argue against the claim that “fake news” is an unnecessary concept by underlying that it is not reducible to other terms we customarily use to describe the epistemic dysfunctions of democracies. Lastly, I suggest that using the term “fake news” need not serve propagandistic aims, and that philosophers can use this concept without engaging in epistemic policing, that is, commanding their interlocutors not to believe specific news stories or sources.
TL;DR: In this paper, a non-arbitrariness condition on blame has been developed to enrich our understanding of the ethics of blame. But without this condition, an account of the blame will be incomplete.
Abstract: Much has been written about the fittingness, epistemic, and standing norms that govern blame. In this paper, we argue that there exists a norm of blame that has yet to receive philosophical discussion and without which an account of the ethics of blame will be incomplete: a norm proscribing comparatively arbitrary blame. By reflecting on the objectionableness of comparatively arbitrary blame, we stand to elucidate a substantive, and thus far overlooked, norm governing our attributions of responsibility. Accordingly, our aim in this paper is to develop a comparative non-arbitrariness condition on blame that can enrich our understanding of the ethics of blame.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present a new argument against objectivism in action-guidance, arguing that if objectivism is true, it is impossible for a normative theory to guide action.
Abstract: According to objectivism about the practical 'ought', what one ought to do depends on all the facts; according to perspectivism, it depends only on epistemically available facts. This essay presents a new argument against objectivism. The first premise says that it is at least sometimes possible for a normative theory to correctly guide action. The second premise says that, if objectivism is true, this is never possible. From this it follows that objectivism is false. Perspectivism, however, turns out to be compatible with the plausible assumption about guidance. I defend the two premises on the basis of an account of what it is for a normative theory to guide action. Central to this account is the idea that correct action-guidance involves correct practical reasoning from a normative theory to an action, which requires (among other things) that agents have the capacity to believe for the right reasons. Since objectivists about the practical 'ought' are committed to objectivism about the epistemic 'ought', it follows that agents lack this capacity and so are in principle unable to be correctly guided by a normative theory. This shows that recent attempts to reconcile objectivism with action-guidance are unsuccessful, which all assume that, if objectivism is true, it is at least sometimes possible for a normative theory to correctly guide action.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors apply the eligibility theory of meaning to normative ethics and argue that the theory of rule utilitarianism achieves a high balance of charity and eligibility, where eligibility is a function of metaphysical naturalness (i.e. how much of a natural kind the property is).
Abstract: According to the eligibility theory of meaning, often attributed to David Lewis, the referent of a predicate is the property that best balances the twin constraints of charity (i.e. fit with our usage of the term) and eligibility, where eligibility is a function of metaphysical naturalness (i.e. how much of a natural kind the property is). This sort of metasemantics, which is motivated by its ability to resolve problems of indeterminacy and secure shared reference between disputing parties, can be somewhat friendly towards revisionary (i.e. counterintuitive) theories, since highly natural properties can act as “reference magnets,” securing our reference despite some mismatch with usage. In this paper, I apply these considerations to normative ethics and argue that the theory of rule utilitarianism achieves a high balance of charity and eligibility. I proceed by comparing rule utilitarianism to two of its well-known rivals, act utilitarianism and Rossian pluralism (a.k.a. “Commonsense Morality”). I show how the former achieves a high degree of eligibility but only at a significant cost of charity, while the latter does the opposite, fitting very nicely with our considered judgments but at the price of very low eligibility. Rule utilitarianism, on the other hand, strikes a good balance between these extremes; it assigns to our core moral term (‘moral permissibility’) a relatively natural property without doing too much damage to our moral convictions. Thus, rule utilitarianism should be regarded as a promising moral theory by any philosopher who takes seriously considerations of eligibility and naturalness.
TL;DR: The authors argue that the skill analogy should not be understood as proposing that being virtuous is analogous to possessing a practical skill but, rather, as proposing to be a good occupant of a skill-involving role.
Abstract: This paper argues for a reinterpretation of the skill analogy in virtue ethics. It argues that the skill analogy should not be understood as proposing that being virtuous is analogous to possessing a practical skill but, rather, as proposing that being virtuous is analogous to being a good occupant of a skill-involving role. The paper argues for this by engaging with various standard objections to the analogy, two recent defences of it, and Aristotle’s treatment of it in developing his account of virtue in the Nicomachean Ethics. It aims to show that neither virtue nor the skill analogy is correctly understood without recourse to the notion of a role and that once we have recourse to that notion, many objections to the analogy are met.
TL;DR: Counterstory as discussed by the authors is a story that is told for the purpose of resisting a socially shared narrative used to justify the oppression of a social group, and it can sometimes repair the damage to the identity.
Abstract: counterstory, as I have developed the concept, is a story that is told for the purpose of resisting a socially shared narrative used to justify the oppression of a social group.1 The socially shared story enters the tissue of stories that constitute the group’s identity, damaging that identity and thereby constricting group members’ access to the goods on offer in their society. The counterstory sets out to uproot some part of the oppressive story and replace it with a more accurate one. In this way it can sometimes repair the damage to the identity. Whether it succeeds is a question of uptake: enough people in the dominant group must accept the new story and treat the members of the group accordingly. In this paper, I explore some of the difficulties that arise in getting a counterstory to succeed. I will focus in particular on six narrative strategies that people in dominant social positions use to counter a counterstory and thereby keep an oppressive social order in place, and then I will offer a tiny hope. But first I will have to say a little more about how personal identities work.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors propose a method to solve the problem of homonymity in homonym-based homonymization, i.e., homophily-free homonymisation.
Abstract: Abstract here.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that expressivism and naturalism do not constitute genuine alternatives to abolitionism, and even less conveniently, variants that are conform to the very spirit of abolitionism as formulated by its proponents.
Abstract: Moral error theorists face the so-called “now-what problem”: what should we do with our moral judgments from a prudential point of view if these judgments are uniformly false? On top of abolitionism and conservationism, which respectively advise us to get rid of our moral judgments and to keep them, three revisionary solutions have been proposed in the literature: expressivism (we should replace our moral judgments with conative attitudes), naturalism (we should replace our moral judgments with beliefs in non-moral facts), and fictionalism (we should replace our moral judgments with fictional attitudes). In this paper, I argue that expressivism and naturalism do not constitute genuine alternatives to abolitionism, of which they are in the end mere variants—and, even less conveniently, variants that are conform to the very spirit of abolitionism as formulated by its proponents. The main version of fictionalism, by contrast, provides us with a recommendation to which abolitionists cannot consistently subscribe. This leaves us with only one revisionary solution to the now-what problem.
TL;DR: Frankfurt as mentioned in this paper argued that romantic love does not fit the ideal of love as it includes a number of vividly distracting elements, which do not belong to the essential nature of love.
Abstract: Harry Frankfurt has a comprehensive and, at times, compelling, account of love, which are outlined in several of his works. However, he does not think that romantic love fits the ideal of love as it ‘includes a number of vividly distracting elements, which do not belong to the essential nature of love as a mode of disinterested concern’ (Frankfurt, 2004, p. 43). In this paper, I argue that we can, nonetheless, learn some important things about romantic love from his account. Furthermore, I will suggest, conversely, that there is distinct value in romantic love, which derives from the nature of the relationship on which it is based. Frankfurt tries to take agape and reformulate it so that it can also account for love of particular people. Whilst he succeeds, to some extent, in describing parental love, he fails to accurately describe romantic love and friendship, and, moreover, overlooks what is distinctly valuable about them. Although it was not his intention to describe romantic love, by failing to include features such as reciprocity in his account of love, Frankfurt leaves no room for a kind of love that is important and valuable to many people
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that a particular type of risk that allows some to gain only if others lose occurs when the fates of individuals are tied together in such a way that inequality that is to the detriment of the person who is worse off is guaranteed (or likely) to obtain.
Abstract: This paper offers a novel account of how complaints of unfairness arise in risky distributive cases. According to a recently proposed view in distributive ethics, the Competing Claims View, an individual has a claim to a benefit when her well-being is at stake, and the strength of this claim is determined by the expected gain to the individual’s well-being, along with how worse off the individual is compared to others (Voorhoeve and Fleurbaey, 2012: 397). If an individual is at a lower level of well-being than another, their claim to a given benefit is stronger. On this view, the strength of individuals’ claims are a function of their comparative well-being levels. In this paper, I instead argue that competing claims obtain only when a particular relationship obtains between the fates of individuals: that one individual’s gain is at the expense of another. This is a particular complaint that obtains when the fates of individuals are tied together in such a way that inequality that is to the detriment of the person who is worse off is guaranteed (or likely) to obtain. I demonstrate that this complaint arises only when individuals are exposed to a particular type of risk that allows some to gain only if others lose. As such, I propose that complaints of unfairness occur less frequently than we might think if we take the Competing Claims View to be true. A purely comparative view is unable to account for this unique complaint of unfairness. I argue that this complaint is not only independently plausible, but can serve as a foundation for a more general account of competing claims complaints.
TL;DR: In this article, the connection between humility and ethical development is explored, and it is argued that humility is valuable twice over: it has intrinsic worth but is also instrumentally valuable, enabling us to become better people.
Abstract: Humility can seem like a somewhat ‘unfashionable’ virtue: the word can conjure an image of cringing servility, unduly romanticised feelings of inferiority, or a level of self-denial which seems ill-placed in a life well-lived. But the term can also capture something of great ethical importance. In this paper, I will propose an account of humility that attempts to capture this moral significance. I will then explore the connection between humility and ethical development, seeking to argue that humility has an important role in ethical improvement. If such a connection is vindicated, it suggests that humility is valuable twice over: it has intrinsic worth but is also instrumentally valuable, enabling us to become better people.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that consequentialism is equally plausible as a direct theory of the right rules, motives, character traits, institutions, and even such things as climates and eye colours.
Abstract: Consequentialism is most famously a theory of right action. But many consequentialists assume, and some have explicitly argued, that consequentialism is equally plausible as a direct theory of the right rules, motives, character traits, institutions, and even such things as climates and eye colours. In this paper, I call into question this ‘Global Consequentialist’ extension of consequentialist evaluation beyond the domain of action. Consequentialist treatments of evaluands other than action are most plausible when they are interpreted as claims about reasons for action; other key ethical concepts involve claims about what there is reason to feel, which makes a consequentialist treatment of them implausible.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that either definition is incompatible with a commonsense desideratum on consistent and plausible criteria for refugeehood, since these definitions imply that refugeehood depends partly on the capacities of protecting states and on the needs of third parties.
Abstract: In the scholarly debate, refugeehood is often understood to arise from a special need for basic protection, i.e., for protection of basic needs and rights. However, the main definitions of refugeehood shift to duties when aiming to develop this view. Either, refugees are defined as all those individuals who can receive basic protection from the international community, and thus arguably ought to be protected, or refugees are defined as all those to whom a special form of protection, namely protection by admission is owed. The paper argues that either definition is incompatible with a commonsense desideratum on consistent and plausible criteria for refugeehood, since these definitions imply that refugeehood depends partly on the capacities of protecting states and on the needs of third parties. Instead, refugeehood is defined by the need for basic protection and by flight aiming to remedy this condition.
TL;DR: In this article, a new account of the notion of content-independence of legal reasons in terms of the normative grounding relation is proposed, which is then used to mount a defense of the claim that we do indeed have content-independent, genuinely normative reasons to obey the law (because it is the law), and these reasons do sometimes amount to an obligation to so-act.
Abstract: Instead of the question, ‘Do we have an obligation to obey the law?,’ we should first ask the easier question, ‘Do we have reasons to obey the law?.’ This paper offers a new account of the notion of what Hart called the content-independence of legal reasons in terms of the normative grounding relation. That account is then used to mount a defense of the claim that we do indeed have content-independent, genuinely normative reasons to obey the law (because it is the law), and that these reasons do sometimes amount to an obligation to so-act.
TL;DR: In this article, Renzo argues that a proper understanding of political self-determination shows that it is often impermissible to intervene in order to establish a regime that leads to more selfdetermination for a group of people if that group was or would be opposed to the intervention.
Abstract: Massimo Renzo has recently argued in this journal that Allen Buchanan’s account of the ethics of intervention is too permissive. Renzo claims that a proper understanding of political self-determination shows that it is often impermissible to intervene in order to establish a regime that leads to more self-determination for a group of people if that group was or would be opposed to the intervention. Renzo’s argument rests on an analogy between individual self-determination and group self-determination, and once we see that there are differences between the two kinds of self-determination, his argument against Buchanan fails, and thus there are more cases of permissible intervention than Renzo countenances. However, understanding these differences also reveals that Buchanan’s account is also not permissive enough. There are cases of justified intervention beyond even what Buchanan compasses.
TL;DR: The recent defenses of semiotic objections to commodification do not survive this distinction, as they either complain about nonsemiotic facts that are indicated rather than expressed by markets, or they complain about semiotic features of markets, but these complaints inevitably collapse into weak consequentialist objections.
Abstract: Are there any viable semiotic objections to commodification? A semiotic objection holds that even if there is no independent consequentialist or deontic objection to the marketing of a good—such as that it is exploitative or causes third party harm—there remains a problem with what is said by participating in that market. Recent discussion of semiotic objections have suffered from a basic ambiguity in such talk. As Grice pointed out, there is a difference between saying that smoke on the horizon means fire, and saying that it means there will be war tomorrow. We could say that in the former case smoke indicates fire because of its causal connection with fire, while in the latter case smoke expresses a call to war because that is the non-natural meaning given to it by convention or by its place in a communicative practice. The recent defenses of semiotic objections presented by Anthony Booth, Jacob Sparks, and Mark Wells do not survive this distinction, as they either complain about non-semiotic facts that are indicated rather than expressed by markets, or they complain about semiotic features of markets, but these complaints inevitably collapse into weak consequentialist objections. But this result is not bad for anticommodificationists, as semiotic objections have dialectical disadvantages.
TL;DR: In this article, a novel account of the grounds of promissory reasons is presented, which is different in important respects to the one he defended decades ago. But, as his previous one, it faces significant difficulties.
Abstract: According to Joseph Raz, the fact of making a valid promise creates “promissory reasons”: it constitutes for the promisor a reason for performing her promise and a reason for not acting for at least some of the reasons that recommend something different than performing. In his latest work on promising, Raz provides a novel account of the grounds of promissory reasons—an account which is different in important respects to the one he defended decades ago. In this paper, I argue that, as his previous one, his latest account of the grounds of promissory reasons faces significant difficulties.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a short history of legally sanctioned posthumous control of property in common law, and argue that its philosophical justification is untenable, and the large and powerful institutions that enforce such rights are morally illegitimate.
Abstract: The practice of giving the wealthy perpetual control of their assets is re-emerging in an era of great wealth inequality, long after it had been banned in common law countries. The philosophical justification for such control rests on the claim that there are posthumous rights to wealth, and that such rights do not extend in problematic way to other goods, such as political suffrage. On the basis of such a claim, we give people freedom of testation, and deem them vulnerable to posthumous harm. I present a short history of legally sanctioned posthumous control of property in common law, and I argue that its philosophical justification is untenable. No principled case for posthumous rights to wealth survives scrutiny, and the large and powerful institutions that enforce such rights are morally illegitimate.
TL;DR: The shmagency objection as mentioned in this paper argues that if we can be shmagents, like agents, minus the norm-explaining features of agency, we can avoid the norms, so the explanation fails.
Abstract: Constitutivism explains norms in terms of their being constitutive of agency, actions, or certain propositional attitudes. However, the shmagency objection says that if we can be shmagents – like agents, minus the norm-explaining features of agency – we can avoid the norms, so the explanation fails. This paper extends this objection, arguing that constitutivists about practical norms suffer from it despite their recent attempts to solve it. The standard response to the objection is that it is self-defeating for agents to become shmagents. I agree, but the response ignores the possibility of shmagents who consider whether to be agents while already standing outside agency. Another response says that we ought to be agents because agency is, in some sense, normatively valuable, and if so, we can explain norms in terms of this valuable form of agency. But then the norms that our constitutions are supposed to explain are underdetermined because it is unclear how much we ought to care about this value. I conclude that the shmagency objection has yet to be answered.
TL;DR: The body-income puzzle as mentioned in this paper considers the question of why labor income may be permissibly redistributed to the poor but body parts should generally not be redistributed to those who are ill.
Abstract: This article considers the question of why labor income may be permissibly redistributed to the poor but body parts should generally not be redistributed to the sick (the body-income puzzle). It argues that solutions to this puzzle that affirm self-ownership but reject labor-income ownership are unsuccessful as are solutions that appeal to the greater welfare loss associated with body-part takings. It defends instead a solution grounded in a novel conception of respect for the separateness of persons. This conception views the sphere of individual moral authority protected by respect for the separateness of persons as encompassing both the person’s body and her labor income. And it views the negative rights that constitute this sphere as varying in strength based on their importance to the right-holder’s personal identity. Since our body parts are generally more intimately connected to our personal identity compared with moderate portions of our labor income, our separateness-based rights against the taking of our body parts are stronger. Thus, while the disadvantaged’s weighty claims to assistance can justify substantial redistribution of labor income, these claims to assistance are insufficiently robust to justify seizing even non-essential parts of others’ bodies.
TL;DR: In the legal anti-positivism, the authors argues that certain rules bearing all the hallmarks of legality are not in fact legal, and proposes a less restrictive view of the kinds of moral properties that ground legality.
Abstract: Legal anti-positivism is widely believed to be a general theory of law that generates far too many false negatives. If anti-positivism is true, certain rules bearing all the hallmarks of legality are not in fact legal. This impression, fostered by both positivists and anti-positivists, stems from an overly narrow conception of the kinds of moral facts that ground legal facts: roughly, facts about what is morally optimific—morally best or morally justified or morally obligatory given our social practices. A less restrictive view of the kinds of moral properties that ground legality results in a form of anti-positivism that can accommodate any legal rule consistent with positivism, including the alleged counter-examples. This form of “inclusive” anti-positivism is not just invulnerable to extensional challenges from the positivist. It is the only account that withstands extensional objections, while incorporating, on purely conceptual grounds, a large part of the content of morality into law.
TL;DR: Proportionalism as discussed by the authors argues that a thing's importance depends on that thing's share of the world's total value, and that the less of what matters there is, the more you can care about each thing in particular.
Abstract: Formula One isn’t very important. You can't care about it too much. The refugee crisis is more important. You can care about it much more. In this paper we investigate how important something is. By ‘importance’ we mean how much it is fitting to care about a thing. We explore a view about this which we call Proportionalism. This view says that a thing’s importance depends on that thing’s share of the world’s total value. The more of what matters there is, the less you can care about each thing in particular. The less of what matters there is, the more you can care about each thing in particular. We argue that, in many respects, Proportionalism is superior to its competitors. It captures some intuitions they leave out and it has a powerful motivation. So, we suggest, you should keep things in proportion.
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that autonomy is a relevant consideration in intra-personal but not inter-personal cases, and one to which pluralist prioritarians ought to attend, and show that this commits them to two controversial assumptions: that welfare consists in an objective list of goods and that there is only a narrow range of rational risk aversions.
Abstract: A well-known objection to prioritarianism, famously levelled by Mike Otsuka and Alex Voorhoeve, is that it wrongly ignores the unity of the individual in treating intra-personal cases like inter-personal cases. In this paper we accept that there should be a moral shift between these cases, but argue that this is because autonomy is a relevant consideration in intra-personal but not inter-personal cases, and one to which pluralist prioritarians ought to attend. To avoid this response, Otsuka and Voorhoeve must (and do) assume we know nothing about the subjective information of the person being chosen for. But we show that this commits them to two controversial assumptions: that welfare consists in an objective list of goods, and – if one accepts an unorthodox but plausible account of the relationship between risk aversion and rationality – that there is only a narrow range of rational risk aversions. Only prioritarians who accept both these assumptions are on the hook of Otsuka and Voorhoeve’s objection; for all others, the examples have insufficient information, and so lose their sting.