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The aim of this paper is to argue that the normative significance of the inner aspects of filial piety – in particular, filial love – is better captured when we understand filial love as part of the virtue of filial piety rather than as an object of duty. After briefly introducing the value of filial love, I argue that the idea of a duty to love one's loving parents faces serious difficulties in making sense of the normative significance of filial love. Then I show why the virtue-ethical approach to filial love, which views filial love as a constitutive part of the virtue of filial piety, can do justice to its normative significance while avoiding the difficulties.
J.S. Mill argues against licensing or forced medical examinations of prostitutes even if these would reduce harm, for two reasons: the state should not legitimize immoral conduct; and coercing prostitutes would violate Mill's harm principle as they do not risk causing non-consensual harm to others, their clients do. There is nothing puzzling about Mill opposing coercive restrictions on self-regarding immoral conduct while also opposing state support of that conduct. But why does Mill oppose restrictions on prostitutes’ liberty if those restrictions could prevent harm to third parties? Mill's position is not puzzling once we recognize that his harm principle is not a harm-prevention principle that warrants restrictions on liberty to prevent harm no matter who caused it (as David Lyons famously argued) but instead warrants restrictions on liberty only of individuals who are the morally relevant cause of that harm. Mill's discussion of prostitution shows he prioritizes both individuality and moral progress over harm reduction.
I show that Wittgenstein's critique of G.H. Hardy's mathematical realism naturally extends to Paul Benacerraf's influential paper, ‘Mathematical Truth’. Wittgenstein accuses Hardy of hastily analogizing mathematical and empirical propositions, thus leading to a picture of mathematical reality that is somehow akin to empirical reality despite the many puzzles this creates. Since Benacerraf relies on that very same analogy to raise problems about mathematical ‘truth’ and the alleged ‘reality’ to which it corresponds, his major argument falls prey to the same critique. The problematic pictures of mathematical reality suggested by Hardy and Benacerraf can be avoided, according to Wittgenstein, by disrupting the analogy that gives rise to them. I show why Tarskian updates to our conception of ‘truth’ discussed by Benacerraf do not answer Wittgenstein's concerns. That is, because they merely presuppose what Wittgenstein puts into question, namely, the essential uniformity of ‘truth’ and ‘proposition’ in ordinary discourse.
Greater public awareness of the occurrence of sexual assault has led to the creation of mobile phone apps designed to facilitate consent between sexual partners. These apps exhibit serious practical shortcomings in realistic contexts; however, in this paper I consider the hypothetical case in which these practical shortcomings are absent. The prospect of this viable consent app creates an interesting challenge for consequentialism – one that is comparable to the objection that the theory justifies killing innocent persons to prevent large numbers of less serious harms like experiencing brief, painful headaches. I outline and reject the most straightforward way for consequentialists to address this challenge, and I argue that the empirical calculations at stake reveal something rarely appreciated: consequentialists ought to sometimes favour reinforcing deontological constraints in common-sense morality rather than seeking to undermine them.