• Response to Professor Marshall Cohen

      Hughes, Graham; New York University (1970-01-01)
      At trial, a civil disobedient may appeal to his reasonable belief in the unconstitutionality of the law that he violated. However, he cannot appeal to any technical difficulties that would require him to lie about his performance of the act in question, or about the role of his conscience in motivating his action.
    • Sex and Consequences: World Population Growth vs. Reproductive Rights

      Battin, Margaret Pabst (1997-01-01)
      Conflict between concern over global population growth and concern for reproductive rights is intense. In this paper I explore how developments in reproductive technology, present and future, may provide a solution to this conflict – one which promises both a significant drop in population growth and the fullest protection of reproductive rights and preferences.
    • The Coinage of Man: King Lear and Camus’ Stranger

      Weitz, Morris; Brandeis University (1970-01-01)
      In Shakespeare’s King Lear, the universe is indifferent to human values, but human values are of the utmost importance for human life. Good and evil are not built into the fabric of nature. Rather, they rest of human prerogative. However, this does not diminish the importance of human values for human life. The plot of King Lear charts Lear’s own progress through the many stages of this realization.
    • The Moral of Moral Luck

      Wolf, Susan; Johns Hopkins University (2001-01-01)
      This essay is primarily concerned with one type of moral luck – luck in how things turn out. Do acts that actually lead to harm deserve the same treatment as similar acts that, by chance, do not lead to harm? This paper argues that we must recognize the truth in two, opposing tendencies in such cases.
    • The Philosophy of Mind and Some Ethical Implications

      Shaffer, Jerome A.; University of Connecticut (1971-01-01)
      Materialism is the view that the only things in existence are material – matter in motion. Materialists hold that mental events are either identical to bodily events, or that mental events are particular kinds of behavior exhibited by particular material objects. These theories face several serious problems, involving spatial location, privileged access, and other phenomena. Moreover, these theories cannot explain why it is wrong to cause pain in another person. It is not obvious why it is wrong to cause another person to exhibit pain behavior, nor is it obviously wrong to cause physical events to occur in another person’s brain. These ethical implications of behaviorism and the identity theory constitute serious disadvantages for those theories. Consequently, what we have here is an argument for dualism.
    • The Rational Physician

      Hirsch, Eli; Brandeis University (2000-01-01)
      In recent years, some professors of medicine have applied the results of decision theory to the practice of medicine. This paper argues that this agenda is deeply flawed and potentially unethical.
    • The Scientific Enterprise and Social Conscience

      Edel, Abraham; City University of New York (1970-01-01)
      The scientific enterprise is constantly changing, and the moral conscience of society changes as well. The moral obligations of scientists to society change with both of these changes. Four such changes are especially relevant here. Over time, society has come to accept the idea of intervening to change the course of nature. Both science and society have begun to believe that there are no principled barriers to progress in science. Within society, there has emerged an “ecological mode of thought.” Finally, the relationship between theory and practice has changed. All four of these changes profoundly affect the ethics of science in society today.
    • The Scope of Motivation and the Basis of Practical Reason

      Audi, Robert; University of Nebraska, Lincoln (1999-01-01)
      This paper explores the relationship between motivation, desire, pleasure and value. I argue that the motivational grounds of action are the kinds of desires that tend, in rational persons, to be produced both by experience of the good, and by beliefs that something one can do would be good.
    • Tragic Error and Agent Responsibility

      Witt, Charlotte; University of New Hampshire (2005-09-01)
      The characters of tragedy are in some sense responsible for their errors. However, given their ignorance of the consequences of their actions, it seems that they ought not be held responsible by others for what they have done. This is a paradox. The way to resolve the paradox is to distinguish two kinds of agent responsibility: accountability and culpability. Being accountable is primarily a private affair, whereas being culpable entails the possibility of just punishment.
    • Trust as Robustly Moral

      Carse, Alisa; Georgetown University (2010-10-01)
      Trust is more than mere reliance on another person. To trust someone is to rely on her goodwill for the care of something valuable. It is to have a confident expectation that the other person will take care of the valuable thing because she recognizes its value to you. It is to expect her to take care of it because she recognizes that she should take care of it. Therefore trust is a robustly moral attitude.
    • Weitz on the Coinage of Man

      Sparshott, F. E.; Victoria College, University of Toronto (1970-01-01)
      The events in Shakespeare’s King Lear are not represented as typical, nor are the judgments made in the play represented as wise or reliable. This complicates any attempt to interpret the play as making the sorts of claims that Professor Weitz attributes to it.
    • When Doctors Kill Patients: Vital Organ Transplants

      Warfield, Ted A.; The University of Notre Dame (2002-01-01)
      This paper attempts to discern exactly what is happening in some medical situations involving patients who are, in different ways, near death. In order to arrive at a correct moral evaluation of these practices, it is necessary to begin with a careful analysis of exactly what is happening, and then proceed to moral evaluation. This paper argues that declarations of death in many vital organ transplants are unjustified. Thus, probably there are killings occurring in these cases. However, there is no reason to think that these killings are morally unacceptable.
    • Whose Patient Am I, Anyway? How New Economic Threats to Continuity of Care Can Undermine the Doctor / Patient Relationship

      Gorovitz, Samuel (1994-01-01)
      New structures for the financing and delivery of health care and serious efforts to control costs all create tensions in the relationship between doctors and patients and heighten the need for clarification of that relationship. We all want to maintain the traditional sense of a personal, caring, trusting relationship between doctor and patient. However, economic incursions into that relationship threaten to make it a thing of the past. This paper explores these issues.
    • Women, Welfare, and a Public Ethic of Care

      Kittay, Eva Feder (1997-01-01)
      Welfare is not only a poverty issue, it is a woman’s issue. We need to formulate a foundation of the political will to shape and support a welfare policy that can serve women raising families without stigmatizing them in the process. The paper attempts to formulate such a foundation.