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1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Tony Doyle Posner on Privacy
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Richard Posner is a leading contemporary critic of privacy. He is highly skeptical of most appeals to privacy, characterizing them as self-serving attempts to keep discrediting, embarrassing, or inconvenient facts from others. Accordingly, he is opposed to the legal protection of most personal information. Posner calls his own theory of privacy “economic.” He argues that the social “markets” in which people sell themselves as employees, business associates, friends, or mates would be far more efficient if nearly all personal information were available to potential “buyers.” I offer two direct criticisms of this view. I then attempt to show that Posner’s conception of privacy is too narrow in the light of the challenge presented by the so-called new panopticon that digital technology has created. I close with a criticism of Posner’s endorsement of sweeping surveillance of U.S. citizens’ e-communications in the name of fighting terrorism.
2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Elaine E. Englehardt, Michael S. Pritchard Teaching Practical Ethics
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A common view is that, whether taught in philosophy departments or elsewhere, practical ethics should include some introduction to philosophical ethics. But even an entire course cannot afford much time for this and expect to do justice to ethical concerns in the practical area (for example, business, engineering, or medicine). The concern is that ethical theories would need to be “watered down,” or over-simplified. So, we should not expect that this will be in good keeping with either the theories or the practical concerns.In addressing this problem, we turn to philosopher Thomas Reid (1710–1796). He insisted that, because morality is for everyone, one needn’t be a philosopher to understand its requirements. Although it can be useful to organize our moral thinking around a few basic principles, a system of morality is more like a system of botany or mineralogy than geometry. Noting this can guide us in constructing effective courses in practical ethics.
3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Luigi Saccà A Biophilosophical Model of Human Dignity: The Argument from Development in a Four-Dimensionalist Perspective
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The notion of dignity is central in most international documents concerning bioethics and biolaw, but its significance and its philosophical foundation are a matter of incessant debate. I propose to define dignity as a unique property of human beings stemming from the developmental process of rationality and self-consciousness (R&SC) and conferring on them equal moral rights. A central claim of this essay is that dignity is not an ontological property but has a time-space dimension. It comes to be in the individuated embryo coincident with the beginning of an individuated development of R&SC and ends with irreversible damage of the brain support for R&SC. The philosophical foundation of the model is the argument from development (AFD). Development is the traceable and measurable biological process that assures continuity from the individuated embryo to adulthood. The metaphysical ground of development is also discussed within a four-dimensionalist framework.
4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Scott F. Aikin Responsible Sports Spectatorship and the Problem of Fantasy Leagues
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Given a variety of cases of failed spectatorship, a set of criteria for properly attending to a sporting event are defined. In light of these criteria, it is shown that Fantasy League participation occasions a peculiar kind of failure of sports spectatorship.
5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Jacob Blair Self-Defense, Proportionality, and Defensive War against Mitigated Aggression
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A nation commits mitigated aggression by threatening to kill the citizens of a victim nation if and only if they do not submit to being ruled in a non-egregiously oppressive way. Such aggression primarily threatens a nation’s common way of life (CWL). According to David Rodin, a war against mitigated aggression is automatically disproportionate, as the right of lethal self-defense only extends to protecting against being killed or enslaved. Two strategies have been adopted in response to Rodin. The first strategy grants that CWL is insufficiently valuable to lethally defend, however, other considerations can satisfy the proportionality requirement. I argue that this strategy is not persuasive. The second strategy argues for the sufficient value of CWL. This, however, fails to answer the forceful ‘benign dictator’ objection. I respond to this objection by grounding the proportionality of a defensive war in the value of what Phillip Pettit calls ‘anti-power’.
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Joseph Mazor International Rights Violations and Media Coverage: The Case for Adversarial Impartiality
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I argue that the best way for journalists to enable their audience to determine the truth about international rights questions and to grant the parties’ claims a fair hearing is by adhering to strict impartiality—i.e., by producing coverage that does not reflect the journalist’s personal views on the rights question. I then argue that that the best way for journalists to provide strictly impartial coverage is by utilizing a legal trial, and more specifically an adversarial trial as a model for impartial presentation. Unlike the traditional Just-the-Facts model, the adversarial model explicitly requires the journalist to challenge the narratives of the parties and to cover the relevant normative controversies. It solves the problem of partiality in content choice by asking the journalist to take up the perspective of a principled zealous advocate for both sides of the international rights question.
7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Gregory Robson What We Owe the Global Poor: In Defense of a Moderate Principle of Sacrifice
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Peter Singer’s 1971 essay “Famine, Affluence, and Morality” sparked a surge in interest among philosophers in the obligations of the global rich beneficently to assist the global poor. Richard Miller argues that Singer’s account is too demanding and proposes his Principle of Sympathy as an alternative to it. I first argue against Miller’s view and, in particular, his insistence that the value of pursuing worthwhile goals that are close to one’s heart significantly weakens one’s obligation to assist the least well-off. Secondly, I critique Singer’s account and argue for a substantially revised version thereof. The Moderate Principle of Sacrifice (MPS) that I defend includes four revisions to Singer’s account. These revisions allow it adequately to account for nonmoral value; the suffering of donor as well as recipient; serious need rather than just poverty; and the need for a long-term approach to global poverty relief.
symposium on world government/world governance
8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez Symposium on World Government/World Governance: Introduction
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Introduction to the World Government /World Governance symposium.
9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Michael Davis World Government: A Lockean Perspective
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Most discussions of world government seem to take place today, as they have for a half century at least, in what is largely, if not entirely, a network of concepts that go back to Hobbes. Though the concepts now belong to (political) realism, they seem to be on loan to almost all those participating in the discussion. We might summarize that conceptual network in this relatively simple argument for the inevitability of world government: 1. Without a world government, states (“nation-states”) are like the sovereign individuals in Hobbes’s state of nature, free and equal but miserable prey to both nature and each other.2. By the same logic that drives Hobbes’s individuals to give up their sovereignty to a state, states must give up their sovereignty to a world government or suffer destruction (by nuclear war, climate change, or other global catastrophe).3. If a state is rational, it will (if possible) avoid its own destruction.4. States are rational (and world government is possible)Therefore, states will give up their sovereignty to a world government. What I find most noteworthy about this argument is that it fails in two distinct ways. First, all four of its premises seem to be (more or less) false. Second, on a realist interpretation, the premises are inconsistent. Realism makes a world state conceptually impossible—and so makes rational defense of a world state impossible.
10. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Todd May From World Government to World Governance: An Anarchist Perspective
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Anarchism, of whatever type, is likely to be resistance to the idea of world government. But this does not entail that it is resistance to world governance. Governance can happen at a variety of levels. It does not have to be top-down, as with world government, but can arise from the bottom up. To assume otherwise is to assume that governance happens only through hierarchies and not through the building of networks. The question facing those of us who would like to ask about how people’s behavior might be non-hierarchically governed in a world sense is that of how to construct networks of practices that presuppose the equality of everyone rather than asking what kind of transnational government would be adequate to the task of governing everyone.
11. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
Alan Tomhave Global Government and Global Citizenship
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T. H. Marshall described three stages of citizenship leading to full membership of the community in which one resides: civil, political, and social. This development takes place within the context of states. It is appropriate at this point in history to ask if there is a further change to citizenship that reflects the increasing globalization of the world, to look into the possibility of a global citizen and ask further if this possible global citizen requires also a global or world state. This paper argues that states are not necessary for the concept of citizenship, and thus that a global state is not necessary for global citizenship. One quick objection to this de-coupling of the state and citizenship is the claim that citizenship is a legal status within a full-fledged legal system. Thus, one of the main goals of this paper is to argue that a legal status of “citizen” is neither necessary nor sufficient for citizenship. Citizenship should be understood as a moral concept, not a legal one. Further, for the same reason that a legal conception is insufficient, the traditional liberal view of citizenship is also insufficient; both the legal and liberal views of citizenship are too anemic, only a republican view of citizenship is sufficiently robust to satisfy the promise of citizenship.
12. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 2
About the Contributors
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articles
13. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Deni Elliott, Pamela S. Hogle Access Rights and Access Wrongs: Ethical Issues and Ethical Solutions for Service Dog Use
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Individuals with a variety of disabilities benefit greatly from the ADA provision of easy public access with their service dogs. However, the growing problem of non-disabled individuals passing off their pets as service dogs both threatens public safety and can result in denial of access for legitimate service dog teams. We argue that requiring certification of service dog teams and furnishing qualified teams with state-issued ID tags, following a process similar to that for obtaining accessible-parking placards, is the least intrusive way to protect access for legitimate teams and protect public safety. While some consider a certification requirement for service dog teams to be burdensome, balanced against the harms posed by easy public access for untrained or inappropriate dogs, the mild burden is justified.
14. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Andrew Oberg The Occupied Toolbox: Revisiting the Question of Violence as an Instrument of Protest
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In the present paper the issue of using violence in protests to garner political gain is considered against the background of the Occupy movement and the varied responses to it. Although some may now feel, and certainly many did while the movement was at its peak, that the Occupy protestors should alter their tactics and embrace violence as an efficacious means to sought ends, it is argued here that such a move would be counterproductive and delegitimizing. Moral and psychological impacts on the non-demonstrating public that protestors’ tactics can have are weighed against traditional arguments in favor of using violence. Sources of political legitimacy are also examined, and it is put forward that changes achieved by nonviolence are more likely to be accepted by society at large. Finally, contemporary thinkers and scholars of the left are encouraged to fill the roles open to them that have emerged with Occupy and related movements.
15. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Jane Duran NGOs and Growth: A New Approach to Feminist Epistemology
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Feminist standpoint theory, as a tool for examining women’s lives in less developed nations, is scrutinized from the vantage of NGO-driven work and its changes in women’s routines. Work from Bangladesh and Mexico is cited, and commentary from workers in UN agencies and other non-governmental organizations is used.
16. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Alberto Giubilini Euthanasia: What Is the Genuine Problem?
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The current impasse in the old debate about the morality of euthanasia is mainly due to the fact that the actual source of conflict has not been properly identified—or so I shall argue. I will first analyse the two different issues involved in the debate, which are sometimes confusingly mixed up, namely: (a) what is euthanasia?, and (b) why is euthanasia morally problematic? Considering documents by physicians, philosophers and the Roman Catholic Church, I will show that (a) ‘euthanasia’ is defined by the intention to bring about a patient’s death, and (b) the distinction between what is intentional and what is not does not represent the morally problematic reason against euthanasia. Therefore, although the debate on euthanasia so far has mainly focussed on the distinctions ‘active /passive’ and ‘intentional /unintentional,’ I argue that neither constitutes the genuine source of the controversies. I will clarify what the source of controversies is, and outline the minimal requirement for an argument against euthanasia.
17. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
V. P. J. Arponen The Human Collective Causing of Environmental Problems and Theory of Collective Action: A Critique of Cognitivism
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A range of multidisciplinarily arguments and observations can and have been employed to challenge the view that the human relationship to nature is fundamentally a cognitive matter of collectively held cultural ideas and values about nature. At the same time, the very similar cognitivist idea of collective sharing of conceptual schemes, normative orientations, and the like as the engine of collective action remains the chief analytic tool offered by many influential philosophical and sociological theories of collective action and human sociality generally. Critically discussing in empirical as well as theoretical contexts the prospects of cognitivism to account for the human collective causing of environmental problems, the paper illustrates the deficiencies of cognitivism about collective action and discusses the challenges facing a different way forward.
symposium on procreation, abortion, and childbirth
18. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
James McBain Reproductive Reasons and Procreative Duty
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Debates on procreative liberty usually surround the issue of whether it is permissible to not bring a child into existence. However, some argue that, under certain conditions, there is an obligation to bring a child (or even as many children as possible) into existence. This position, I will call the procreative duty stance, is argued for in two general ways—obligations arising from the extinction of the human species and obligations arising from personal reasons which override the reluctance of a potential parent. It is argued that no version of either of these arguments works to establish a duty to procreate. So, the procreative duty stance is mistaken.
19. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Michael Davis A Present Like Ours: A Refutation of Marquis’s Argument against Abortion and a Sketch of a General Theory of Personhood
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This paper seeks to refute Don Marquis’s well-known “future like ours” argument against abortion (1989) by offering an alternative explanation for why killing people is prima facie morally wrong, one which overall is at least as good as Marquis’s. That alternative is in part that what makes killing “us” wrong is not primarily that it denies us a future (as Marquis would have it) but that it ends our present. Of course, Marquis has dismissed other present-state explanations for what may seem good reasons. To avoid a similar dismissal, I fit my explanation into a larger theory, one I believe plausibly explains the moral status of a wide range of beings, both human and non-human, better than Marquis’s. Ironically, that larger theory recognizes Marquis’s “future like ours” as a relevant consideration for protecting the (normal) fetus against killing but not as the decisive consideration that Marquis claims it to be. Marquis’s ultimate mistake is treating a relevant consideration as the sole consideration.
20. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 27 > Issue: 1
Julie Kirsch Is Abortion a Question of Personal Morality?
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Is abortion a question of personal morality? Liberals and feminists often embrace this idea, but so also do those who are personally opposed to abortion. Someone may claim to believe personally that abortion is wrong without holding the corresponding public belief. I am interested in what exactly one means when one says that abortion is a question of personal morality. In Sec. II, I consider three influential interpretations of the claim that abortion is a question of personal morality. After showing that each of these interpretations is inadequate, I develop a fourth that avoids some of the problems with the first three (in Sec. III). But even on this interpretation, the claim that abortion is a question of personal morality is difficult to defend. This is because we cannot show that abortion is a question of personal morality without first knowing something about the moral status of the fetus. I conclude the paper with some pessimistic remarks concerning our ability to arrive at a compromise position on abortion.