|Allocating Scarce Medical Resources by Worth: Shaw’s Critique in The Doctor’s Dilemma
||When the demand for a medical resource exceeds the supply, we have a problem of scarcity. There are many instantiations of this issue. The time of health care providers during an emergency, organs for transplantation, a bed in an intensive care unit,...
|The Argument from Psychological Egoism to Ethical Egoism
||Psychological egoism is the view that each person is so constituted that he always seeks his own advantage or best interest. This thesis makes the factual claim that human nature is such that no person can perform an act unless he believes that it is...
|Book Review of: J.M. Brennan’s The Open-Texture of Moral Concepts (Barnes & Noble, 1977)
||Do moral questions admit of correct and incorrect answers, or are they merely subjective matters? This is the most fundamental metaethical issue and it is the "guiding question" of Brennan's investigation (p. 9). Moral judgements are objective if and...
|Conducting Research Related to Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease: Ethical Issues
||Researchers are obligated to protect the rights of study participants. Protecting the rights of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is particularly complicated because of the special needs of this patient population, and the characteristics of dev...
|Confidentiality and the law
||Codes of medical ethics issued by professional
organizations typically contain statements affirming the importance of confidentiality between patients and health-care practitioners. Seldom, however, is the confidentiality obligation depicted as abso...
|Critical Review of David Wong, Moral Relativity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985),
||This book defends "a theory built around the claim that there is no single true morality" (p. 1). To clarify what he is arguing for, Wong sets out six theses associated with the debate about objectivity and subjectivity in morality (p. 1): (1) "Moral...
|Dilemmas and Incommensurateness
||Gerald H. Paske has recently criticized some of the conclusions of my work on moral dilemmas. Paske's argument turns on the intriguing idea that right-making properties are incommensurate. In this essay, I argue that even if basic values are incommen...
|Donagan on Act and Agent Evaluations
||What the connection is between the moral evaluation of actions and the moral evaluation of agents is a matter of dispute among philosophers. Marty hold that these two types of evaluation are logically distinct, that there is no conceptual connection ...
|Genetic Enhancement and Moral Attitudes Toward the Given
||Several authors, including Michael Sandel, distinguish between two different attitudes toward nature: mastery and giftedness. Giftedness is the superior attitude, Sandel argues, because it better accords with the values of humility, responsibility, a...
|Genetic Enhancement, Human Nature, and Rights
||Authors such as Francis Fukuyama, the President's Council on Bioethics, and George Annas have argued that biotechnological interventions that aim to promote genetic enhancement pose a threat to human nature. This paper clarifies what conclusions thes...
|Genetic Intervention and the Parent-Child Relationship
||There is a long history of opposition to allowing parents to use biotechnology in order to select the traits of their children. Jurgen Habermas’s book, The Future of Human Nature, is an important addition to this literature. Habermas, like C.S. Lewis...
|Genetic Testing of Children for Late Onset Disease
||Over the past decade, genetic tests have become available for a wide variety of
disorders. As a result we are able to predict, with some degree of certainty,
whether or not an individual will develop such diseases as breast cancer,
|Hugh McCann’s The Works of Agency (Cornell University Press, 1998)
||Review of The Works of Agency On Human Action, Will, and Freedom. Includes summary, analysis, and discussion of the book's arguments and conclusions.
|The Inalienable Right of Conscience: A Madisonian Argument
||Characterizing conscience is difficult. The way that this term is often used makes it sound as if it is a special power possessed by people. Unlike Bishop Butler, however, and more like recent authors, I deny that conscience is a special faculty that...
|The Inalienable Right to Withdraw from Research
||Consent forms given to potential subjects in research protocols typically contain a sentence like this: "You have a right to withdraw from this study at any time without penalty" If you have ever served on an institutional review board (IRB) or a res...
|The incentive argument for the unionisation of medical workers
||Whenever a country institutes a national health
insurance programme, the government in effect
becomes the sole purchaser of health care and
medical workers often become salaried employees.
Many countries have already adopted such programmes.
|Interpersonal Moral Conflicts
||A moral dilemma is often characterized as a situation in which an agent ought to do each of two acts, but he cannot do both. This characterization is too narrow, however, because it erroneously suggests that dilemmas are limited to situations in whic...
|Is Aristotle's Account of Incontinence Inconsistent?
||Included among the many topics on which Aristotle writes in the Nicomachean Ethics is an account of incontinence or akrasia. Many controversies have arisen among interpreters of Aristotle on this issue, and a few of these disputes will be discussed i...
|Metaethical Principles, Meta-Prescriptions, and Moral Theories
||Ethicists in the normative tradition seem to believe that moral knowledge is possible. Yet there is widespread disagreement about what the fundamental principle of morality is. Because of the presence of conflicting theories of rightness, it is impor...
|Moral Absolutism and the Problem of Hard Cases
||In The Theory of Morality Alan Donagan discusses two problems recently raised for anti-consequentialist moral theories. He calls these "cases of necessity" anti "the problem of dirty hands." What is common to each is that anti-consequentialist theori...
||As moral agents we must deal with the fact that many of our ethical
decisions are made under imperfect conditions, and these imperfections
may alter our actual obligations. If a person has done something wrong,
he may incur a duty of reparation or...
|Moral Combat in An Enemy of the People: Public Health versus Private Interests
||Dr. Thomas Stockmann, the protagonist of Ibsen's play, An Enemy of the People, discovers a serious health threat in the Baths of his Norwegian town. The Baths have been marketed as a health resort to lure visitors. Dr. Stockmann alerts officials abou...
|Moral Combat in an Enemy of the People: Public Health Versus Private Interests.
||Dr Thomas Stockmann, the protagonist of Ibsen's play, An Enemy of the People, discovers a serious health threat in the Baths of his Norwegian town. The Baths have been marketed as a health resort to lure visitors. Dr Stockmann alerts officials about ...
|Moral Dilemmas and Consistency in Ethics
||Recently it has been argued that there are genuine moral dilemmas and that any theory which does not account for this fact is an unrealistic one. This represents a challenge to an assumption that most moral theorists have held: an adequate ethical th...
|Moral Dilemmas and Requiring the Impossible
||It can be shown that the conjunction of three theses, each of which has been maintained by some philosophers, is inconsistent. The first thesis is that there are genuine moral dilemmas. Moral dilemmas are typically described in the following way: an ...
|More on Moral Dilemmas
||Lyle V. Anderson’s "Moral Dilemmas, Deliberation, and Choice," is a paper that moves in many directions and attempts to cover much ground. But, sorting through these intricacies, one can see that Anderson sets for himself two major tasks: one is to r...
|Objectivity and Moral Expertise
||Recently a well-known magazine published an article entitled ‘Moral Specialist.’1 This article recounts the activities of Russell McIntyre, described by the authors as a theologian and philosopher who specializes in bioethics. McIntyre is routinely c...
|On an alleged probletn for voluntary euthanasia
||Dr Campbell presents proponents of
euthanasia with a dilemma.1 Only voluntary
euthanasia is permissible; involuntary
euthanasia is always impermissible.
The question of allowing
euthanasia arises most frequently
when patients are ter...
|On the Nature and Scope of Morality
||The Validity of Values (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), the second volume of Nicholas Rescher's trilogy, A System of Pragmatic Idealism, is a wide-ranging and intriguing book. Professor Rescher covers many fundamental issu...
|'Ought’ Implies ‘Can’ and the Scope of Moral Requirements
||The purpose of this paper is to discuss whether moral requirements range over actions or attempts. In particular, I shall examine two contexts in ethics theory that some have thought provide a basis for believing that attempts are what are morally re...
|Permissive Abortion Laws, Religion, and Moral Compromise
||In the 1984 elections in the United States some of the candidates were criticized for advocating public policies that conflicted with the teachings of their churches. Chief among such targets of this criticism were Catholics, such as Geraldine Ferrar...
|Review of Ethical Idealism, by Nicholas Rescher. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987.
||The purpose of this book is to examine "the nature and function of ideals" (p. 1). Its central thesis is that ideals are important because of their capacity to guide thought and action in beneficial directions, and that ideals "play a positive and pr...
|Review of: Alfred Mele’s Autonomous Agents (Oxford University Press, 1995)
||Part 1 of Autonomous Agents develops a conception of an ideally self-controlled
person and argues that such a person can fall short of personal autonomy.
Part 2 addresses what must be added to self-control in order to yield autonomy.
Chapter 1 exp...
|Review of: Moral Perception and Particularity By Lawrence A. Blum; Cambridge University Press, 1994.
||This book consists of eleven chapters, nine of which were previously published in journals and anthologies. Only Chapter 1, an introduction, and Chapter 11, an essay on Carol Gilligan's 'two voices', appear here for the first time.
|Review of: Nomy Arpaly‘s Unprincipled Virtue (Oxford University Press, 2002)
||The ultimate goal of this book is to develop an account of what makes a person praiseworthy or blameworthy for performing a particular action. The book is divided into five chapters, with Arpaly's positive theory presented most prominently in Chapter...
|Review of: P.S. Greenspan’s Practical Guilt (Oxford University Press, 1995)
||Reviews the book `Practical Guilt: Moral Dilemmas, Emotions, and Social Norms,' by P.S. Greenspan.
|Review of: Robert Audi’s Moral Knowledge and Ethical Character (Oxford University Press, 1997)
||This excellent book consists of twelve chapters, divided into four parts: moral epistemology, ontology of ethics, moral psychology, and the foundations of ethics. Audi’s overall goal is to bring to bear on moral philosophy insights from the fields of...
|Ross on Duty and Ignorance
||In his Foundations of Ethics, W. D. Ross continued to maintain the view, first developed in The Right and the Good, that "right" designates that which is morally suitable to the situation in which an agent finds himself.1 But...
|Utilitarianism and Supererogatory Acts
||Utilitarianism is the veiw that an act X is right if and only if the doing of X will have consequences at least as good as the consequences of any alternative act open to the agent. Among the many standard objections raised against this theory is the...
|William Lad Sessions’ Honor for Us (Continuum Publishing Group, 2010).
||This volume consists of an introductory essay by the editors and thirteen single-authored articles, including one by each of the editors. The title, Practical Conflicts, may lead one expect that the focus will be on conflicting moral obligations, as ...