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Are psychopaths morally responsible? Should we argue with them? Remonstrate with them, blame them, sometimes even praise them? Is it worth trying to change them, or should we just try to prevent them from causing harm? In this book, Jim Baxter aims to find serious answers to these deep philosophical questions, drawing on contemporary insights from psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience and law. Moral Responsibility and the Psychopath is the first sustained, book-length philosophical work on this important and fascinating topic, and will be of deep interest and importance to researchers in these fields – not to mention anyone who has had to interact with a psychopath in their everyday life.
Much has been written about whether end-of-life law should change and what that law should be. However, the barriers and facilitators of such changes – law reform perspectives – have been virtually ignored. Why do so many attempts to change the law fail but others are successful? International Perspectives on End-of-Life Law Reform aims to address this question by drawing on ten case studies of end-of-life law reform from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium and Australia. Written by leading end-of-life scholars, the book's chapters blend perspectives from law, medicine, bioethics and sociology to examine sustained reform efforts to permit assisted dying and change the law about withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. Findings from this book shed light not only on changing end-of-life law, but provide insight more generally into how and why law reform succeeds in complex and controversial social policy areas.
This volume offers a carefully argued, compelling theory of bioethics while eliciting practical implications for a wide array of issues including medical assistance-in-dying, the right to health care, abortion, animal research, and the definition of death. The authors' dual-value theory features mid-level principles, a distinctive model of moral status, a subjective account of well-being, and a cosmopolitan view of global justice. In addition to ethical theory, the book investigates the nature of harm and autonomous action, personal identity theory, and the 'non-identity problem' associated with many procreative decisions. Readers new to particular topics will benefit from helpful introductions, specialists will appreciate in-depth theoretical explorations and a novel take on various practical issues, and all readers will benefit from the book's original synoptic vision of bioethics. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
In this comprehensive updated introduction to animal ethics, Lori Gruen weaves together poignant and provocative case studies with discussions of ethical theory, urging readers to engage critically and reflect empathetically on our relationships with other animals. In clear and accessible language, Gruen discusses a range of issues central to human-animal relations and offers a reasoned new perspective on key debates in the field. She analyses and explains a range of theoretical positions and poses challenging questions that directly encourage readers to hone their ethical reasoning skills and to develop a defensible position about their own practices. Her book will be an invaluable resource for students in a wide range of disciplines including ethics, environmental studies, veterinary science, gender studies, and the emerging field of animal studies. The book is an engaging account of animal ethics for readers with no prior background in philosophy.
Envy is almost universally condemned and feared. But is its bad reputation always warranted? In this book, Sara Protasi argues that envy is more multifaceted than it seems, and that some varieties of it can be productive and even virtuous. Protasi brings together empirical evidence and philosophical research to generate a novel view according to which there are four kinds of envy: emulative, inert, aggressive, and spiteful. For each kind, she individuates different situational antecedents, phenomenological expressions, motivational tendencies, and behavioral outputs. She then develops the normative implications of this taxonomy from a moral and prudential perspective, in the domain of personal loving relationships, and in the political sphere. A historical appendix completes the book. Through a careful and comprehensive investigation of envy's complexity, and its multifarious implications for human relations and human value, The Philosophy of Envy surprisingly reveals that envy plays a crucial role in safeguarding our happiness.
In this book, Andy Mueller examines the ways in which epistemic and practical rationality are intertwined. In the first part, he presents an overview of the contemporary debates about epistemic norms for practical reasoning, and defends the thesis that epistemic rationality can make one practically irrational. Mueller proposes a contextualist account of epistemic norms for practical reasoning and introduces novel epistemic norms pertaining to ends and hope. In the second part Mueller considers current approaches to pragmatic encroachment in epistemology, ultimately arguing in favor of a new principle-based argument for pragmatic encroachment. While the book defends tenets of the knowledge-first programme, one of its main conclusions is thoroughly pragmatist: in an important sense, the practical has primacy over the epistemic.
In this book, Charles Larmore develops an account of morality, freedom, and reason that rejects the naturalistic metaphysics shaping much of modern thought. Reason, Larmore argues, is responsiveness to reasons, and reasons themselves are essentially normative in character, consisting in the way that physical and psychological facts - facts about the world of nature - count in favor of possibilities of thought and action that we can take up. Moral judgments are true or false in virtue of the moral reasons there are. We need therefore a more comprehensive metaphysics that recognizes a normative dimension to reality as well. Though taking its point of departure in the analysis of moral judgment, this book branches widely into related topics such as freedom and the causal order of the world, textual interpretation, the nature of the self, self-knowledge, and the concept of duties to ourselves.
The world population is growing, yet we continue to pursue higher levels of well-being, and as a result, increasing energy demands and the destructive effects of climate change are just two of many major threats that we face. Engineers play an indispensable role in addressing these challenges, and whether they recognize it or not, in doing so they will inevitably encounter a whole range of ethical choices and dilemmas. This book examines and explains the ethical issues in engineering, showing how they affect assessment, design, sustainability, and globalization, and explores many recent examples including the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Dieselgate, 'naked scanners' at airports, and biofuel production. Detailed but accessible, the book will enable advanced engineering students and professional engineers to better identify and address the ethical problems in their practice.
Our everyday conversations reveal the widespread assumption that positive and negative treatment of others can be justified on the grounds that 'they deserve it'. But what is it exactly to deserve something? In this book, Kevin Kinghorn explores how we came to have this concept and offers an explanation of why people feel so strongly that redress is needed when outcomes are undeserved. Kinghorn probes for that core concern which is common to the range of everyday desert claims people make, ultimately proposing an alternative model of desert which represents a fundamental challenge to the received wisdom on the structure of desert claims. In the end, he argues, our plea for deserved treatment ends up being linked to the universal human concern for a shared narrative, as we seek healthy relationships within a community.
Thomas Aquinas's classic Treatise on Divine Law is brought to life in this illuminating line-by-line commentary, which acts as a sequel to Budziszewski's Commentary on Thomas Aquinas's Treatise on Law. In this new work, Budziszewski reinvestigates the theory of divine law in Aquinas's Summa Theologiae, exploring questions concerning faith and reason, natural law and revelation, the organization of human society, and the ultimate destiny of human life. This interdisciplinary text includes thorough explanations, applications to life, and ancillary discussions that open up Aquinas's dense body of work, which tends to demand a great deal from readers. More than a half-century has passed since the last commentary on Thomas Aquinas's view of these matters. Budziszewski fills this gap with his consideration of not only the medieval text under examination, but also its immediate relevance to contemporary thought and issues of the modern world.
This book is not a critique of digital ethics but rather a hack. It follows the method of hacking by developing an exploit kit on the basis of state-of-the-art social theory, which it uses to breach the insecure legacy system upon which the discourse of digital ethics is running. This legacy system is made up of four interdependent components: the philosophical mythology of humanism, social science critique, media scandalization, and the activities of many civil society organisations lobbying for various forms of regulation. The hack exposes the bugs, the sloppy programming, and the false promises of current digital ethics, and, because it is an ethical hack, redesigns digital ethics so that it can address the problems of the global network society. The main idea of the book is that the social world of meaning is based on information, which, because of its relational nature, must be understood more as a common good than as private property. A digital ethics that relies upon humanistic individualism cannot address the issues arising from the global network society based upon information. This demands a complete revision of the philosophical foundations of current digital ethics by means of a redesign of ethics as a theory of governance by design.
The Human Embryo in vitro explores the ways in which UK law engages with embryonic processes under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (as amended), the intellectual basis of which has not been reconsidered for almost thirty years. McMillan argues that in regulating 'the embryo' – that is, a processual liminal entity in itself - the law is regulating for uncertainty. This book offers a fuller understanding of how complex biological processes of development and growth can be better aligned with a legal framework that purports to pay respect to the embryo while also allowing its destruction. To do so it employs an anthropological concept, liminality, which is itself concerned with revealing the dynamics of process. The implications of this for contemporary regulation of artificial reproduction are fully explored, and recommendations are offered for international regimes on how they can better align biological reality with social policy and law.
The Cambridge Companion to the Hebrew Bible and Ethics offers an engaging and informative response to a wide range of ethical issues. Drawing connections between ancient and contemporary ethical problems, the essays address a variety of topics, including student loan debt, criminal justice reform, ethnicity and inclusion, family systems, and military violence. The volume emphasizes the contextual nature of ethical reflection, stressing the importance of historical knowledge and understanding in illuminating the concerns, the logic, and the intentions of the biblical texts. Twenty essays, all specially commissioned for this volume, address the texts' historical and literary contexts and identify key social, political, and cultural factors affecting their ethical ideas. They also explore how these texts can contribute to contemporary ethical discussions. The Cambridge Companion to the Hebrew Bible and Ethics is suitable for use in undergraduate and graduate courses in liberal arts colleges and universities, as well as seminaries.
This work investigates the complexity of ethics as a field of inquiry and practice across a principal's career. Fully contextualized, and thus carrying the contradictions and requirements of any school, the issues realistically do not usually lead to a single, beat-all answer, as any solution will likely have positive and negative consequences. Drawn from the authors' experiences and studies of schools over decades, the central figure is a fictional principal of a magnet school, whose dilemmas reflect the questions educators must be prepared for. Each decision takes into account the principal's and staff's identities and values because they are all human and their opinions influence the outcomes. The work injects analytic, virtue, feminist, care, deontological, and critical theory insights as Deweyan ethics provides a lens for examining dilemmas. This accessible work blends reflective theory, the ordinary worlds of schools, and engaging pedagogical practice to guide those planning to enter the education sector.
How do we punish others socially, and should we do so? In her 2018 Descartes Lectures for Tilburg University, Linda Radzik explores the informal methods ordinary people use to enforce moral norms, such as telling people off, boycotting businesses, and publicly shaming wrongdoers on social media. Over three lectures, Radzik develops an account of what social punishment is, why it is sometimes permissible, and when it must be withheld. She argues that the proper aim of social punishment is to put moral pressure on wrongdoers to make amends. Yet the permissibility of applying such pressure turns on the tension between individual desert and social good, as well as the possession of an authority to punish. Responses from Christopher Bennett, George Sher and Glen Pettigrove challenge Radzik's account of social punishment while also offering alternative perspectives on the possible meanings of our responses to wrongdoing. Radzik replies in the closing essay.
Now revised and containing several new chapters, this book provides a comprehensive set of ethical principles and methods of reasoning for a new era of digital, global media. It describes the turbulent state of media ethics in ordinary language and through clear examples, and provides a pragmatic theory of truth and objectivity for engaged media. Concrete guidelines are articulated for identifying fake news and for reporting responsibly on social media racism, extreme groups, and anti-democratic demagogues, showing how citizens and journalists can work together to detox a polluted public sphere. The book examines global media ethics, where norms guide the reporting of global issues such as climate change and immigration, and considers what constitutes responsible journalism. It will be valuable for both students and practitioners of journalism and media ethics, and can also be used as a citizen's guide for evaluating media reports.
In this book, Arthur Keefer offers a new interpretation of the book of Proverbs from the standpoint of virtue ethics. Using an innovative method that bridges philosophy and biblical studies, he argues that much of the instruction within Proverbs meets the criteria for moral and theological virtue as set out in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. Keefer presents the moral thought of Proverbs in its social, historical, and theological contexts. He shows how these contexts shed light on the conceptualization of virtue, the virtues that are promoted and omitted, and the characteristics that make Proverbs a distinctive moral tradition. In giving undivided attention to biblical virtue, this volume opens the way for new avenues of study in biblical ethics, including law, narrative, and other aspects of biblical instruction and wisdom.
Western commentators have often criticized the state of press freedom in China, arguing that individual speech still suffers from arbitrary restrictions and that its mass media remains under an authoritarian mode. Yet the history of press freedom in the Chinese context has received little examination. Unlike conventional historical accounts which narrate the institutional development of censorship and people's resistance to arbitrary repression, Freedom of the Press in China: A Conceptual History, 1831–1949 is the first comprehensive study presenting the intellectual trajectory of press freedom. It sheds light on the transcultural transference and localization of the concept in modern Chinese history, spanning from its initial introduction in 1831 to the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949. By examining intellectuals' thoughts, common people's attitudes, and official opinions, along with the social-cultural factors that were involved in negotiating Chinese interpretations and practices in history, this book uncovers the dynamic and changing meanings of press freedom in modern China.