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Area: Ethics

| Annas | Baier | Barclay | Baron | Card | Foot | Held | La Caze | Langton | Mackenzie | Nussbaum | Purdy | Teichman | Uniacke | Vogler |


Annas, J

Annas,# J. (2008). The Phenomenology of Virtue. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Science 7: 21-34.

Kw: virtue; practical skill; expertise; pleasure; flow; phenomenology

What is it like to be a good person? I examine and reject suggestions that this will involve having thoughts which have virtue or being a good person as part of their content, as well as suggestions that it might be the presence of feelings distinct from the virtuous person’s thoughts. Is there, then, anything after all to the phenomenology of virtue? I suggest that an answer is to be found in looking to Aristotle’s suggestion that virtuous activity is pleasant to the virtuous person. I try to do this, using the work of the contemporary social psychologist Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi and his work on the ‘flow experience’. Crucial here is the point that I consider accounts of virtue which take it to have the structure of a practical expertise or skill. It is when we are most engaged in skilful complex activity that the activity is experienced as ‘unimpeded’, in Aristotle’s terms, or as ‘flow’. This experience does not, as might at first appear, preclude thoughtful involvement and reflection. Although we can say what in general the phenomenology of virtue is like, each of us only has some more or less dim idea of it from the extent to which we are virtuous—that is, for most of us, not very much.


Baier, A.

Baier,# A. C. (2004). Demoralization, Trust, and the Virtues. In Setting the Moral Compass: Essays by Women Philosophers Cheshire Calhoun (ed.); Oxford: Oxford University Press: pp. 176

Kw: morality; trust; virtue

Demoralization is taken to involve temporary loss of virtues previously possessed, and all virtues are taken to be, in their essence, contributors to a decent climate of trust. An account is given of what sort of contribution different virtues make, and a special role is found for the old "theological" virtues of faith, hope, and love, in warding off demoralization in bad times.


Baier,# A. C. (1995). Moral Sentiments, and the Difference They Make, I. Aristotelian Society: Supplementary Volume, Supp(69): 15-30

Kw: judgement; morals sentiment; sympathy; virtue

Hume's understanding of our moral sentiments is compared with that of Adam Smith, as well as of Locke, Shaflerburg, and Hutcheson. For Hume these sentiments express our reflective taste in "characters," or character traits. The problems that arise when such tastes differ, between individuals and between cultures, are discussed.


Baier,# A. C. (1993). Moralism and Cruelty: Reflections on Hume and Kant. Ethics 103 (3): 436- 457

Kw: criticism; Hume; Kant

Examines morality and cruelty in the context of Immanuel Kant's and David Hume's opposing views. Exploration of what is being relied upon to pressure people into conformity to enlightened morality; Moral standards advocated by the two philosophers; Relative cruelty of both philosophers' versions of morality and its sanctions; Guilt morality versus shame morality.


Baier,# A. C. (1992). Trusting People. Philosophical Perspectives 6:137-153

Kw: God; trust

What difference does the design of a social role make to the appropriateness of trusting the person who occupies that role? We may sometimes trust another just because her face reassures us, but usually social role and institutional setting play an important part in creating the conditions in which trust is reasonably given, and successfully sustained.


Baier,# A. C. (1991). MacIntyre on Hume. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51:  159- 163

Kw: judgement

MacIntyre's treatment of Hume's ethics, in Whose Justice, Which Rationality? is praised for its rich textual basis, and criticised for its over-emphasis on Hume's endorsement of early capitalist forms of life, what MacIntyre calls his "anglicising subversion" of Scottish culture. Hume was cosmopolitan more than "anglophile," as were many other Scots in the eighteenth century.


Baier,# A. C. (1990). Natural Virtues, Natural Vices. Social Philosophy and Policy 1: 24- 34

Kw: Hume;  human nature; sentiment; vice; virtue

Hume's writings have been invoked both by sociobiologists who wish to draw normative conclusions from facts about human nature and its capacities for cooperation, and also by their critics, who point to Hume's warnings about the apparent impossibility of deducing an "ought" from an "is." He does make facts about what is normal in human populations highly relevant to what it is reasonable of us to take as moral standards, but the step from such facts to normative endorsement takes complicated footwork. Our nature has multiple potential, and ambivalence, especially concerning our proven sexist and racist tendencies, is part of that nature.


Baier,# A. C. (1986). Trust and Antitrust. Ethics 96 (2) 231- 260

Kw: contract; morality; value; power; trust

Trust is of central moral importance, both as a great good, and as the prior condition of the evils of betrayal and conspiracy. Our tradition in moral philosophy has offered no general account of when we should trust, and meet trust. The attention given to contractual agreement, in that tradition, is attention to one form of trust--that between more or less equals, once they have voluntarily become mutual trusters, on a limited matter for a limited time. A more general account is offered, and a moral test for trust-relationships.


Baier,# A. C. (1986). Extending the Limits of Moral Theory. Journal of Philosophy 83: 538-544

Kw: belief; limits; morality; Hume

A moral theory is usually the outcome of a single individual's ruminations about what version of morality merits our support--a web of arguments appealing to our intellects. Morality itself is a social product--a set of customs and standards for evaluating laws, customs, characters. A moral theory would be less limited if like its subject matter it were a cooperative product, and appealed to heart and guts as well as intellect and self-interest.


Baier,# A. C. (1985). What do Women Want in a Moral Theory?’ Nous 19 (1): 53- 63

Kw: women

Different from men's, then one would expect women's moral philosophy also to exhibit different emphases, as indeed it has. That work, so far, contains little "theory." is moral theory a male product, the wish for theory tied to male moral prejudices? Could any moral theory systematize and extend the intuitions of both women and men? It would need to contain an account both of obligation and of the ethics of love and care. A theory taking the concepts of proper trust and proper response to trust to be central might accomplish this double task.


Baier,# A. C. (1984). Some Thoughts on how we Moral Philosophers live now. Monist: An International Quarterly Journal of General Philosophical Inquiry 67: 490-497

Kw: moral reasoning; philosophizing; Social Philosophy; social structure

Moral philosophers do "theory," or "apply" someone else's theory, helped by their own intuitions, to decisions others have to take. We advise other professions on their professional ethics. If really reflective, we should reflect on our social niche. Should a society pay so many of us to do what we do? We should improve our own professional ethics before advising others on theirs.


Baier,# A. C. (1981). Frankena and Hume on Points of View. Monist: An International Quarterly Journal of General Philosophical Inquiry 64: 342-358

Kw: caring; practical reason; sentiment; sympathy

Frankena's treatment of the moral point of view as the source of less final practical judgments than those made by practical reason, simply as such, is compared with hume's version of the moral point of view. The role of sympathy, the claimed relation of morality to ultimate rationality, the reducibility of point-of-view talk to other locutions, is investigated in the two philosophers' accounts of morality. More disagreements than agreements are found between the two, despite the shared locution of the "moral point of view".


Baier,# A. C. (1980). Hume on Resentment. Hume Studies 6: 133- 149

Kw: justice; pride; resentment; Social Philosophy

Hume says that to be a right-holder, a party to conventions of justice, one must have power to make resentment felt. The relation of resentment, for hume an instinctive passion, to the "irregular" passion of envy and the "mixed" passion of respect is explored, and the role of the concepts of power and social status in hume's philosophy highlighted. As instinctive benevolence is the attendant protector of the indirect passion of love, so resentment is the watchdog attendant of pride. Pride, since it is always pride in possession, is essentially pride in power. Both resentment, and each proud person's need for the esteem of others, generates a humean dynamic (foreshadowing the hegelian dialectic) whereby, given the postulated psychology, moral equilibrium can come out of conflict.


Baier,# A. C. (1980). Rights of Past and Future Generations. In Responsibilities to Future Generations, Partridge, E. (ed.) Prometheus Books, Buffalo, NY: 171- 183

Kw: community; future; obligation; right

Past persons are believed to have rights, for example the right to have their properly made private wills executed. We recognize present persons as spokesmen for past persons, claiming their rights. We could appoint present persons as spokesmen for the general human rights of future persons without conceptual or moral incoherence. Indeed our obligations to past persons includes the obligation to pass on to future generations those transmitted goods, such as constitutions, and also unpoisoned water and air, which we inherited from past persons. In as a far as past persons made efforts to create or preserve, and to pass on, such goods, it was not to pass them on only to us, but to an indefinite run of generations. Our obligations to past and to future persons reinforce one another.


Baier,# A. C. (1979). Good Men’s Women: Hume on Chastity and Trust. Hume Studies 5: 1- 19

Kw: chastity; marriage; trust; virtue; woman

Hume concludes his discussion of artificial virtues with a section on modesty and chastity, which provide, he says, still more conspicuous instances of artifice. It is argued, on the contrary, that chastity is an atypical humean artificial virtue in several respects. It is an artificial virtue in women whose point, on hume's account, is to make paternity determinable and so make possible the natural male virtue of parental affection. What is more, its utility depends not on universal practice in the female sex, but on each single woman's exceptionless practice. Indeed, hume assumes that not all women will aspire to the status of mothers of children of recognized lineage. Both the chastity of respectable women and the greater liberty of males depends upon the existence of women whose social "virtues" will be the absence of chastity and modesty. In all these respects hume's account of chastity raises general theoretical questions about the nature, scope, and utility of all hume's social artifices.


Baier,# A. C. (1976). Realizing What’s What. Philosophical Quarterly 26 (105): 328- 337

Kw: Hume

Four features of "realize" distinguish it from "know" and show realization to be of epistemological interest. "realize" rejects a "whether"-complement, and the accusative and infinitive construction. These indicate a loose link between realizing and prior question-raising. Not "know", as vendler claimed, but "realize" lacks interrogative flavor. The limited use for 'i do not realize...' and the deviance of 'you, but not i, realize...' indicate that realization, unlike knowledge, cannot be recognized without being shared.


Baier,# A. C. (1970). Act and Intent. Journal of Philosophy 67 (19): 648- 658

Kw: action; intention; object

Several features of chisholm's analysis of intention are cited to show that his attempt to analyze intention without relying on the concept of action is unsatisfactory. These include a too narrowly causal account of the means end relation involved in purposive action, a failure to exclude intentions to do the impossible, a failure to distinguish competent intentional action from lucky wish fulfillment, or intention to do from consent to another's act. It is claimed that the proper objects of intention are acts, not states of affairs.


Barclay, L.

Barclay,# L. (1999). Rights, Intrinsic Values and the Politics of Abortion. Utilitas: A Journal of Utilitarian Studies 11 (2): 215- 230

Kw: Abortion; criticism; Dworkin; intrinsic value

No Abstract


Baron, M. W.

Baron,# M. W. (2006) Moral Paragons and the Metaphysics of Morals. In A Companion to Kant, Bird, G. (ed.), Oxford: Blackwell: 335-49.

Kw: Metaphysics; morality; self- perfection; Kant

Abstract not available


Baron,# M. W. (2004). Killing in the Heat of Passion. In Setting the Moral Compass: Essays by Women Philosophers, Calhoun, Cheshire (ed.) Oxford: Oxford University Press: 353- 378.

Kw: Defense; killing; passion

In this essay I examine the provocation or "heat of passion" defense in law, with particular attention to the following questions: Is the defense a justification or an excuse? What is the rationale for having such a defense? Should there be such a defense? I reject the view that it is purely a partial excuse, and instead take it to be a hybrid--part excuse, part justification (and of course a partial rather than complete defense). After canvassing the reasons--and strong reasons they are--for abolishing the defense, I support retaining it, but only for cases in which the provocation was a clear and serious wrong. This reflects my emphasis on the justificatory component of the defense.


Baron,# M. W. (2003). Manipulativeness. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 77 (2): 37- 54.

Kw: Manipulation; vice

The aim of this address is to understand manipulativeness, focusing on the character trait of being manipulative, not on manipulation itself. I take it that manipulativeness is a vice, but also take seriously the claims of some that one can go too far in the opposite direction. I employ an Aristotelian model, according to which virtue is a mean, lying between extremes. If manipulativeness is one extreme, what vice or vices are there in the opposite direction? And what would be the corresponding virtue? Through this approach I try to figure out what makes manipulativeness a vice, looking not only at egregious cases of manipulativeness, but at forms of manipulativeness that some see as virtuous.


Baron,# M. W. (2001) ‘I Thought She Consented’. Nous-Supplement: Philosophical Issues (11): 1-32

Kw: Consent; criminal law; rape

Should mistakes of fact be a complete defense in criminal law only when they are reasonable? Or should even unreasonable mistakes exculpate? I examine and take issue with arguments that mistakes should not have to be reasonable to be a complete defense. For the most part, however, I focus not on the general question, but on one particular defense: the defense, to a charge of rape, that "I thought s/he was consenting." Mistakes are possible regarding sexual consent, but unreasonable mistakes are possible only if the defendant was indifferent as to whether his partner consented, or at best cared too little to attend to the matter. An unreasonable mistake shows him to be culpable in roughly the same way that recklessness does, and therefore should not exculpate. This may not be true of unreasonable mistakes in general, but is true of unreasonable mistakes regarding sexual consent.


Baron,# M. W. (1997). Kantian Ethics and Claims of Detachment. In Feminist Interpretations of Immanuel Kant., Schott, Robin May (ed.); University Park: Penn State Univ Pr.: 145- 170.

Kw: Feminism; Kant

This paper develops and assesses a set of criticisms of Kantian ethics that claim that Kantian ethics involves detachment: detachment from other persons, detachment from our own projects, and detachment from our emotions and feelings. These criticisms are often, though by no means always, developed as feminist objections and although I do not focus on them as feminist objections, at some points I assess the claim that a particular objection draws sustenance from feminism. My broader aim is to show that Kant's ethics is more congenial to feminism than us usually thought.


Baron,# M. W. (1997) Love and Respect in the Doctrine of Virtue. Southern Journal of Philosophy, 36 (Supplement): 29-44.

Kw: Love; respect; virtue; Kant

In the 'Metaphysics of Morals', Kant contrasts duties of love with duties of respect, claiming that love bids us to approach one another, while respect admonishes us to maintain distance between ourselves and others. This paper examines the relationship between love and respect in the 'Doctrine of Virtue' and between duties of love and duties of respect, and challenges the sharp contrast Kant draws between the two types of duty.


Card, C.

Card,# C. (2002). Responsibility Ethics, Shared Understandings, and Moral Communities. Hypatia 17 (1): 141- 155

Kw: Community; moral theory; responsibility

Margaret Walker's Moral Understandings offers an "expressive-collaborative," culturally situated, practice-based picture of morality, critical of a "theoretical-juridical" picture in most prefeminist moral philosophy since Henry Sidgwick. This essay compares her approach to ethics with that of John Rawls, another exemplar of the "theoretical-juridical" model, and asks how Walker's approach would apply to several ethical issues, including interaction with (other) animals, social reform and revolution, and basic human rights.


Card,# C. and Marsoobian, A. T. (2006). Introduction: Genocide’s Aftermath. Metaphilosophy 37 (3- 4): 229- 307

Kw: Genocide; reparation; responsibility

Abstract not available


Card,# C. (2004). Environmental Atrocities and Non- Sentient Life. Ethics and the Environment 9 (1): 23- 45

Kw: Atrocity; environmental ethics; evil; tree

Abstract not available


Card,# C. (1998). Stoicism, Evil, and the Possibility of Morality. (1998). Metaphilosophy 29 (4): 245- 253

Kw: Stoicism; moral luck; social and interpersonal ethics

Martha Nussbaum's work has been characterized by a sustained critique of Stoic ethics, insofar as that ethics denies the validity and importance of our valuing things that elude our control. This essay explores the idea that the very possibility of morality, understood as social or interpersonal ethics, presupposes that we do value such things. If my argument is right, Stoic ethics is unable to recognize the validity of morality (so understood) but can at most acknowledge duties to oneself. A further implication is that moral luck, so far from undermining morality as some have held, is presupposed by the very possibility of morality.

Card,# C. (1996). The Unnatural Lottery: Character and Moral Luck. Temple University Press

Character development; good person; virtues

The opportunities to become a good person are not the same for everyone. Modern European ethical theory, especially Kantian ethics, assumes the same virtues are accessible to all who are capable of rational choice. Character development, however, is affected by circumstances, such as those of wealth and socially constructed categories of gender, race, and sexual orientation, which introduce factors beyond the control of individuals. Implications of these influences for morality have, since the work of Williams and Nagel in the seventies, raised questions in philosophy about the concept of moral luck. In The Unnatural Lottery, Claudia Card examines how luck enters into moral character and considers how some of those who are oppressed can develop responsibility. Luck is often best appreciated by those who have known relatively bad luck and have been unable to escape steady comparison of their lot with those of others. The author takes as her paradigms the luck of middle and lower classes of women who face violence and exploitation, of lesbians who face continuing pressure to hide or self-destruct, of culturally Christian whites who have ethnic privilege, and of adult survivors of child abuse. How have such people been affected by luck in who they are and can become, the good lives available to them, the evils they may be liable to embody? Other philosophers have explored the luck of those who begin from privileged positions and then suffer reversals of fortune. Claudia Card focuses on the more common cases of those who begin from socially disadvantaged positions, and she considers some who find their good luck troubling when its source is the unnatural lottery of social injustice. (book overview)


Card,# C. (1990). Caring and Evil. Hypatia 5 (1): 101- 108

Kw: Ethics of care; ethical relationships; abuse

Nel Noddings, in Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education (1984), presents and develops an ethic of care as an alternative to an ethic that treats justice as a bask concept. I argue that this care ethic is unable to give an adequate account of ethical relationships between strangers and that it is also in danger of valorizing relationships in which carers are seriously abused.


Card, C.# (1988). Gratitude and Obligation. American Philosophical Quarterly 25 (2): 115 – 127

Kw: Friendship; formal and informal obligations

The ethics of friendship requires clarification of the relationships between gratitude and obligation. The paradox in the idea of a debt of gratitude is unraveled by means of a distinction between two paradigms of obligation: the debtor paradigm and the trustee paradigm. Kant's and Aristotle's views on the obligations incurred to a benefactor are rejected in favor of Hobbes's on the ground that only Hobbes's account remains congruent with the spirit of gratitude. The trustee model of obligation is then used to clarify misplaced gratitude, especially in relationships of unequal power.


Card,# C. (1972). On Mercy. Philosophical Review 81 (2): 182- 207

Kw: Benevolence; charity; ethics; justice; mercy; retribution; right

Abstract not available


Foot, P

Foot,# P. (2004). Rationality and Goodness. Modern Moral Philosophy (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 54) O’Hear, Anthony (ed.): 1- 13

Kw: goodness; rationality

The problem I am going to discuss here concerns practical rationality, rationality not in thought but in action. More particularly, I am going to discuss the rationality, or absence of rationality (even, as one might put it, the contra-rationality or irrationality) of moral action. And ‘moral action’ shall mean here something done by someone who (let us suppose rightly) believes that to act otherwise would be contrary to, say, justice or charity; or again not done because it is thought that it would be unjust or uncharitable to do it. The question is whether in so acting, or refusing to act, this person will be acting rationally, even in cases where he or she believes that not only desire but self-interest would argue in favour of the wrongdoing.


Foot,# P. (2002). Moral Dilemmas and Other Topics in Moral Philosophy. Oxford: Clarendon Press

Kw: goodness; moral dilemmas; moral theory; utilitarianism

'Moral Dilemmas' is the second volume of collected essays by the eminent moral philosopher Philippa Foot. It fills the gap between her famous 1978 collection 'Virtues and Vices' and her acclaimed monograph 'Natural Goodness', published in 2001. 'Moral Dilemmas' presents the best of Professor Foot's work from the late 1970s to the 1990s. In these essays she develops further her influential critique of the 'noncognitivist' approaches that have dominated moral philosophy over the last fifty years.


Foot,# P. (2002). Virtues and Vices and Other Essays in Moral Philosophy. Oxford: Clarendon Press

Kw: moral theory; vice; virtue

Foot stands out among contemporary ethical theorists because of her conviction that virtues and vices are more central ethical notions than rights, duties...or consequences--the primary focus of most other contemporary theorists. This volume brings together a dozen essays published between 1957 and 1977, and includes two new ones as well. In the first, Foot argues explicitly for an ethic of virtue, and in the next five discusses abortion, euthanasia, free will/determinism, and the ethics of Hume and Nietzsche. The final eight essays chart her growing disenchantment with emotivism and prescriptism and their account of moral arguments.


Foot,# P. (1994). Rationality and Virtue. Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 2: 205-216

Kw: morality; rationality; virtue

It is argued in favor of (1) the unity of "ought"--there is no rational vs. moral "ought," (2) practical rationality as based on good reasons, (3) a structural understanding of rationality.


Foot,# P. (1978). The Problem of Abortion and Negative and Positive Duty. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 3: 245- 252

KW: applied ethics; abortion; duty; intention; medicine

Philippa foot has argued that negative duty in general takes precedence over positive duty, where negative duty is duty not to harm and positive duty is duty to bring aid, and suggests that such a distinction is at least as helpful in all cases of duty conflict as the doctrine of double effect and is even more helpful in some cases. She has applied the distinction to a series of differing abortion cases. I examine her application of her distinction and argue that the problem of how close imminent death must be, even "inevitable" imminent death, before our negative duty is absolved is unsolved in her application. This hitch is as troublesome as the difficulty dde supporters have in establishing a criterion with which to distinguish consequences of strict intentions from merely foreseeable consequences.


Foot,# P. (1972). Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives. Philosophical Review 81 (3):  305-316

Kw: hypothesis; imperatives; morality

This Article Examines The Alleged Distinction Between Moral Judgements And Hypothetical Imperatives. It Is Suggested That What We Really Find Is A Different Distinction, Viz Between Uses Of 'Ought' Which Are And Those Which Are Not Dependent On The Subject's Interests Or Desires. The Moral Use Of 'Ought' Is In This Sense 'Non-Hypothetical', But This Makes It Like The 'Ought' Of Etiquette, Club Rules Etc. Attempts To Explain The Special 'Categorical' Status Of Moral Judgements Are Examined And Rejected. Moral Judgements Have No Automatic Reason-Giving Force, And No Necessity. In So Far As They Give Reasons For Action Only For One With Particular Desires Or Interests They May Be Counted As Hypothetical Imperatives.


Held, V.

Held,# V. (2006). The Ethics of Care. Oxford University Press

Kw: Justice; equality; individual rights; international civility; moral theory

Virginia Held assesses the ethics of care as a promising alternative to the familiar moral theories that serve so inadequately to guide our lives. The ethics of care is only a few decades old, yet it is by now a distinct moral theory or normative approach to the problems we face. It is relevant to global and political matters as well as to the personal relations that can most clearly exemplify care. This book clarifies just what the ethics of care is: what its characteristics are, what it holds, and what it enables us to do. It discusses the feminist roots of this moral approach and why the ethics of care can be a morality with universal appeal. Held examines what we mean by "care," and what a caring person is like. Where other moral theories demand impartiality above all, the ethics of care understands the moral import of our ties to our families and groups. It evaluates such ties, focusing on caring relations rather than simply on the virtues of individuals. The book proposes how such values as justice, equality, and individual rights can "fit together" with such values as care, trust, mutual consideration, and solidarity. In the second part of the book, Held examines the potential of the ethics of care for dealing with social issues. She shows how the ethics of care is more promising than Kantian moral theory and utilitarianism for advice on how expansive, or not, markets should be, and on when other values than market ones should prevail. She connects the ethics of care with the rising interest in civil society, and considers the limits appropriate for the language of rights. Finally, she shows the promise of the ethics of care for dealing with global problems and seeing anew the outlines of international civility.


Held,# V. (2002). Group Responsibility for Ethnic Conflict. Journal of Ethics 6 (2): 157- 178.

Kw: Responsibility; attitudes; individuals; group membership

When a group of persons such as a nation or corporation has a relatively clear structure and set of decision procedures, it is capable of acting and should, it can well be argued, be considered morally as well as legally responsible. This is not because it is a full-fledged moral person, but because assigning responsibility is a human practice, and we have good moral reasons to adopt the practice of considering such groups responsible. From such judgments, however, little follows about the responsibility of individual members of such groups; much more needs to be ascertained about which officials or executives are responsible for what before we can consider individual members of nations or corporations responsible. Whether an unorganized group can be morally responsible is much less clear, but there have been useful discussions in recent years of the possible responsibility of whites for racism, or males for sexism, and the like. In this essay I explore arguments for considering groups or their members responsible for ethnic conflict. Such groups may lack a clear organizational structure, but they are not random assortments of persons. Groups can and often should take responsibility for the attitudes and actions of their members, and can sometimes be considered responsible for failing to do so. And persons often can and should take responsibility for the attitudes and actions of the groups of which they are members.

La Caze

La Caze,# M. (2002). Revaluing Envy and Resentment.  Philosophical Explorations: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Mind and Action 5 (2): 155- 158

Kw: Anger; resentment; envy

Some forms of envy and resentment are centrally connected with a concern for justice and so should not be morally condemned but accepted. Envy and resentment enable us to discern and respond to injustices against our selves and others. I argue that whereas envy and resentment as character traits or dispositions may be ethically deplorable, as episodic emotions they can be both moral responses to injustice and lead to action against injustice.


La Caze,# M. (2002) The Analytic Imaginary. Ithaca: Cornell University Press

Kw: Analytic; image; imagination; language

The notion of the philosophical imaginary developed by Michèle Le Doeuff refers to the capacity to imagine as well as to the stock of images philosophers employ. Making use of this notion, Marguerite La Caze explores the idea of the imaginary of analytic philosophy. Noting the marked tendency of analytic philosophy to be unselfconscious about the use of figurative language and the levels at which it works, La Caze shows how analytic images can work to define the parameters of debates and exclude differing approaches, including feminist ones. La Caze focuses on five influential types of images in five central areas of contemporary analytic philosophy: analogies and how they are used in the abortion debates; thought experiments in personal identity; the myth of the social contract; Thomas Nagel's use of visual and spatial metaphors in epistemology; and Kendall Walton's use of children's games as a foundational model in aesthetics. The author shows how the image promotes assumptions and conceals tensions in philosophical works, how the image persuades, and how it limits debate and excludes ideas. In providing an analysis of and reflection on the nature of the analytic imaginary, La Caze suggests that a more open-ended and reflexive approach can result in richer, more fruitful, philosophical work.


La Caze,# M. (2001). The Encounter between Wonder and Generosity. Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 17 (3): 1- 19

Kw: Generosity; women; wonder; Descartes; Irigaray

In a reading of René Descartes's 'The Passions of the Soul', Luce Irigaray explores the possibility that wonder, first of all passions, can provide the basis for an ethics of sexual difference because it is prior to judgment, and thus nonhierarchical. For Descartes, the passion of generosity gives the key to ethics. I argue that wonder should be extended to other differences and should be combined with generosity to form the basis of an ethics.


La Caze,# M. (2001). Envy and Resentment. Philosophical Explorations: An International Journal for the Philosophy of Mind and Action 4 (1): 31- 45

Kw: Emotion; envy; justice; resentment

Envy and resentment are generally thought to be unpleasant and unethical emotions which ought to be condemned. I argue that both envy and resentment, in some important forms, are moral emotions connected with concern for justice, understood in terms of desert and entitlement. They enable us to recognize injustice, work as a spur to acting against it and connect us to others. Thus, we should accept these emotions as part of the ethical life.


Langton, R.

Langton,# Rae (1992). Duty and Desolation. Philosophy: The Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, 67(262), 481-505

Kw: Duty, Despair, Ethics, FriendshipSuitability

The correspondence between Kant and Maria von Herbert concerns friendship and secrecy, duty and desire. I discuss the role of these in Kant's philosophy, drawing on the "Doctrine of Virtue", and the work of Strawson and Korsgaard. Kant's contrast between lying and reticence is ill founded by Kant's own lights: lying can be virtuous. Moreover, Herbert's plight challenges a severe Kantian philosophy, for she, although suicidal, is a Kantian saint. There is a saner Kantian philosophy which has a better answer to her quandary. Following Korsgaard, I consider how a consequentialist Kantianism might apply to Herbert's case.


Mackenzie, C.

Mackenzie,# C. (1992). Abortion and Embodiment.  Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70 (2): 136-155

Kw: Abortion

Abstract not available


Nussbaum, M.

Nussbaum,# M. C. (1999). Conversing with the Tradition: John Rawls and the History of Ethics. Ethics 109 (2): 424- 435.

Kw: Rawls

Focuses on political philosopher John Rawls and the history of ethics. Details on Rawls' teaching and writing; Information on his book `Reclaiming the History of Ethics.'


Nussbaum,# M. C. (1999). Virtue Ethics: A Misleading Category?. Journal of Ethics: An International Philosophical Review 3 (3): 163- 201.

Kw: Category; utilitarianism; virtue ethics; Kant; Aristotle

One group of modern virtue-theorists, I argue, are primarily anti-Utilitarians, concerned with the plurality of value and the susceptibility of passions to social cultivation. These theorists want to enlarge the place of reason in ethics. They hold that reason can deliberate about ends as well as means, and that reason can modify the passions themselves. Another group of virtue theorists are primarily anti-Kantians. They believe that reason plays too dominant a role in most philosophical accounts of ethics, and that a larger place should be given to sentiments and passions--which they typically construe in a less reason-based way than does the first group. The paper investigates these differences, concluding that it is not helpful to speak of 'virtue ethics'.


Purdy, L.

Purdy,# L. (2008). What Religious Ethics Can and Cannot Tell us about Reproduction and Sexuality. Reproductive BioMedicine Online 17 (Supplement 3): 9- 16

Kw: contraception; religious ethics; reproduction; sexuality

The Religious Right movement maintains that only sexual activity open to reproduction is morally acceptable, and that violating this imperative violates God's will. Religious progressives and secular humanists deny these positions, arguing instead that the moral quality of sex is determined by how its participants treat each other. However, religious progressives (but not secular humanists) continue to believe that religion has some authority in ethics. This paper shows why no such arguments are successful, and concludes that any compelling case against the Religious Right sexual ethic and in support of a humane one must be based in secular ethics.


Teichman, J.

Teichman,# J. (1993). Humanism and the Meaning of Life. Ratio: An International Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (2): 155- 164

Kw: Purpose; intrinsic value

This paper addresses two related questions: 1. Does human life have a purpose? and 2. Is human life intrinsically valuable?
Clearly human beings have personal, communal and common purposes, but we cannot know whether there is an external transcendent purpose in addition to these. However the argument that mundane purposes are meaningless without transcendent purposes, though valid, rests on false premises. There are four ways of explaining the intrinsic value of life. The first (pantheism) is the idea that human life is sacred because everything is sacred. A second is that life is intrinsically valuable because something else is valuable and indeed sacred – the idea, for instance, that mankind is made in the image of God. The third is that human life lacks value because of its contrast with the sanctity of the gods. The humanistic explanation is that human life as such has intrinsic value.
There are (at least) six reasons for holding that human life is intrinsically valuable; these reasons are given.


Teichman,# J. (1982). Pacifism. Philosophical Investigations 5(1):72-83

Kw: Pacifism

The main thesis of this paper is that pacifism is not as incoherent doctrine; contra the arguments of several contemporary philosophers. It seems to me that contemporary philosophers generally give pacifism a pretty raw deal. I have in mind especially the following: Mr Barrie Paskins, Professor Jan Narveson and Professor Anscombe. The usual move is to first misdescribe pacifism and then to attack the straw man.
(First paragraph)


Teichman,# J. (1975). Mr Bennett on Huckleberry Finn. Philosophy: The Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy 50: 358- 359

Kw: Morality; sympathy; irrationality; reason

Mr Bennett in his interesting essay in the April 1974 issue of Philosophy claims that ‘… in a particular case sympathy and morality may pull in opposite directions. This can happen not just with bad moralities, but also with good ones like yours and mine.’ By sympathy he says he means ‘every sort of fellow-feeling’. Although a triumph of sympathy over morality may be a good thing, it also represents a triumph of irrationality over reason.


Uniacke, S.

Uniacke,# S. (2000). In Defense of Permissible Killing: A Response to Two Critics. Law and Philosophy: An International Journal for Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy 19 (5): 627- 633

Kw: Killing; law; permissibility

Two articles have appeared in 'Law and Philosophy' that provide detailed criticisms of aspects of my account of the justification of individual self-defense. One of these articles misconstrues central aspects of my account. The other raises a less central, but nonetheless an important issue that invites clarification. The criticisms raised in these two articles to which I respond here have important bearing on the nature of the justification of self-defense.

Uniacke,# S. (1999). Absolutely Clean Hands? Responsibility for What's Allowed in Refraining from What's Not Allowed. (1999). International Journal of Philosophical Studies 7 (2): 189- 209

Kw: Responsibility; harm; absolutists; agent; moral norm; non- intervention

This paper examines the absolutist grounds for denying an agent's responsibility for what he allows to happen in 'keeping his hands clean' in acute circumstances. In defending an agent's non-prevention of what is, viewed impersonally, the greater harm in such cases, absolutists typically insist on a difference in responsibility between what an agent brings about as opposed to what he allows. This alleged difference is taken to be central to the absolutist justification of non-intervention in acute cases: the agent's obligation not to do harm is held to be more stringent than his obligation to prevent (comparable) harm, since as agents we are principally responsible for what we ourselves do. The paper's central point is that this representation of the absolutist response to acute cases- as grounded in a difference in responsibility for what we do as opposed to what we allow- involves a misleading theoretical inversion. I argue that the absolutist justification of non-intervention in acute cases must depend on a direct defence of the nature and the stringency of the moral norm with which the agent's non-intervention complies. The nature and stringency of this norm are basic to attribution of agent responsibility in acute cases, and not the other way around.


Uniacke,# S. (1997). Replaceability and Infanticide. (1997). Journal of Value Inquiry 31(2): 153- 166

Kw: Equivalence; infanticide; replaceability; utilitarianism

The paper sets out elements of a nest of arguments invoked in recent utilitarian defenses of the replaceability of human infants. It argues that none of these arguments genuinely represent the claim that infants are replaceable. The paper highlights a range of controversial tenets and moves on which the various arguments for infant replaceability depend. They include elision of the relevant notion of replacement and rejection of its moral significance and the doubly indirect valuing of infants.


Uniacke,# S. (1994). Permissible Killing: The Self- Defence Justification of Homicide. (1994). New York: Cambridge University Press

Kw: Crime; homicide; justification; laws; life; morality; murder; rights; self-defense; social philosophy

A philosophical discussion of the principles relevant to self- defense as a moral and legal justification of homicide. The book defends a unitary right of self-defense and defense of others, one which grounds the permissibility of the use of necessary and proportionate defensive force against culpable and non- culpable, active and passive unjust threats. Topics include: moral and legal justification and excuse; natural law justifications of self- defense; the Principle of Double Effect and the claim that self- defense is justified as unintended killing; self-defense and the right to life; and the question of self- preferential killing.


Vogler, A.

Vogler,# A. (2008). For Want of a Nail. Christian Bioethics: Non-ecumenical Studies in Medical Morality 14 (2): 187-205

Kw: decision theory; moral responsibility; probability theory;
psychometric paradigm; rationality; risk; risk assessment, Anscombe

In "Modern Moral Philosophy," Elizabeth Anscombe charged that Sidgwick's failure to distinguish intended from merely foreseen consequences of an action counted as a very bad degeneration of thought. Sidgwick's failure is endemic to contemporary normative models of decision and choice. There are three components to rational decision making on these models: what the agent wants the prospective actions or policies under consideration and what the agent expects will happen as a result of taking specific action or adopting specific policy measures. The prospective actions are often modeled as lotteries across possible outcomes. Choice on any lottery-based model or representation is choice among probability distributions. Participants in contemporary risk assessment studies do not make decisions in the way suggested by these models. Instead, the participants deploy a distinctive form of estimating the future. I advance a series of considerations meant to motivate the claim that the form of estimating the future at issue for participants of risk assessment studies may be sound, even when the content of their practical judgment is dubious. The form belongs equally to ethics and to practical reason and tracks Anscombe's remarks about moral responsibility.


Vogler, A. (2006). Modern Moral Philosophy Again: Isolating the Promulgation Problem. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 106 (3): 345-362

Kw: interaction; Moral Philosophy; Neo- Kantianism; virtue

In urging a return to Aristotle, Anscombe sets us a task that she does not know how to complete. Her bafflement should set constraints on interpreting the essay. I argue that Anscombe's complaints against neo-Kantianism and social contact were of a piece with her sense that virtue-centred ethics presented serious philosophical challenges. The problem becomes clear when we notice that accounting for just interaction requires that various agents act from a single source. The uniformity cannot rest on an accidental convergence of individuals (hence, cannot be built up, person by person). Nor can it be a simple matter of the internalization of social norms. Neo-Aristotelians taking their cue from Anscombe seek that source in our species. But even after we have rejected empiricist accounts of our species, the hard work of explaining how something of virtue belongs to our kind remains to be done.