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Proportion responding (PR) is the preference for proportionally higher gains, such that the same absolute quantity is valued more as the reference group decreases. This research investigated this kind of proportion PR in decisions about saving lives (e.g., saving 10/10 lives is preferred to saving 10/100 lives). The results of two studies suggest that PR does not stem from an overall tendency to choose higher proportions, but rather from faulty deliberative reasoning. In particular, people who display PR are less likely to engage in deliberative reflection as measured by response time, the Process Dissociation Procedure, the Cognitive Reflection Test, a numeracy test, and a task assessing denominator neglect. This association between faulty deliberation and PR was observed only when choosing the highest proportion was non-normative because it came at the expense of absolute gains (e.g., saving 10/10 lives is preferred to saving 11/100 lives). These results help to make sense of discrepant findings in previous research, pertaining to how PR relates to biased reasoning and decision making.
A number of theistic philosophers have recently denied that God is subject to moral and rational norms. At the same time, many theists employ epistemological and inductive arguments for the existence of God. I will argue that ‘no-norms’ theists cannot make use of such arguments: if God is not subject to norms – particularly rational norms – then we can say nothing substantive about what kind of worlds God would be likely to create, and as such, we cannot predict the likelihood of any particular evidence given theism. What is more, I argue that this lack of constraint on God's creative act raises a serious sceptical challenge for no-norms theism.
This chapter explores some philosophical quandaries facing the natural law outlook, with particular emphasis on the prospects for a natural law account of human rights. The chapter begins by considering challenges to natural law’s reliance on the notion of human nature. It then examines the role of time in natural law theories, focusing on the question of whether natural law changes. Next, the chapter looks at the place of rights in the natural law tradition, critically discussing the suggestion that the notion of rights is at odds with the core themes of the natural law outlook, before considering what natural law has to offer to human rights theory. Finally, I turn to the place of God within natural law theories, raising the issue of whether natural law assumes a theistic worldview. I argue throughout the chapter that a hermeneutic and historicised view of natural law, which sees it as shaped by and discovered through human social practices, holds important advantages in responding to each of these challenges.
In Fellow Creatures, Christine Korsgaard claims that human beings ought to treat all sentient animals as ends in themselves. However, in this article, I argue that Korgaard's method goes beyond what a coherent constructivist conception allows, and I claim that we should therefore adopt a Humean rather than a Kantian version of constructivism. I believe that such a conception permits us to hold substantial ethical positions about non-human animals without having to compromise our ontological commitments.
International responsibility law today is in great need of theorizing or, at least, that is the present volume’s argument. This introduction sets the stage for that argument. It unfolds in four steps: first, it clarifies the reasons that led to putting this collection of essays together and explains what it hopes to achieve; second, it introduces the main theoretical challenges addressed in the volume; third, it provides some information about how the book is organized; and, finally, it sketches out the content of its successive chapters and their articulation.
There is no issue more central to a legal order than responsibility, and yet the dearth of contemporary theorizing on international responsibility law is worrying for the state of international law. The volume brings philosophers of the law of responsibility into dialogue with international responsibility law specialists. Its tripartite structure corresponds to the three main theoretical challenges in the contemporary practice of international responsibility law: the public and private nature of the international responsibility of public institutions; its collective and individual dimensions; and the place of fault therein. In each part, two international lawyers and two philosophers of responsibility law address the most pressing questions in the theory of international responsibility law. The volume closes with a comparative 'world tour' of the responsibility of public institutions in four different legal cultures and regions, identifying stepping-stones and stumbling blocks on the path towards a common law of international responsibility.
In the Hippias Minor, Socrates argues that the expert in a given domain is the one in a position to voluntarily violate the rules of that domain. For example, the expert archer can ensure that her arrows miss the target, whereas the novice archer might accidentally hit the target she’s trying to miss. Socrates claims, shockingly, that this point holds for justice as well: it is the expert in justice who will have the power to deliberately act unjustly. Though some accuse Socrates of drawing this conclusion on the basis of uncritical reliance on the craft analogy, I argue that in fact Socrates is identifying common ground between a variety of forms of practical normativity. In any activity that can be assessable as going well or badly, those who intentionally flout the norm, by erring on purpose, are better at it than those who unintentially flub the norm, by erring accidentally. Socrates’ argument places powerrather than the exercise of powerat the heart of ethics. The Hippias Minor shows why Socratic ethics is an ethics of virtue, rather than an ethics of virtue activation.
With this chapter, we contrast the mainstream explanatory practices with forms of causality that are processual: complex causality. Complex dynamic systems are used as a framework, incorporating principles such as emergence, self-organization, circular causality, and perturbations. With this alternative, processes themselves are seen as causes, making causality a moving and dynamic phenomenon. We conclude with descriptions of various concrete causal models that can be used to help researchers understand causality via processes.
This chapter explores how speakers use MOOD^RESIDUE clause features and discourse–semantic resources to configure space-times homophobically, focusing on mass-media reported statements from Wyoming (USA) residents in response to the 2005 release of Brokeback Mountain. Using Systemic–Functional grammatical analysis, both interpersonal and representational lexicogrammatical features are examined, identifying: who is ‘in’ the lexicogrammatical/semantic space (speaker, addressee, non–interactants); speech function (proposition/proposal) and the interlocutors’ assigned roles (giving/receiving, offering/accepting, demanding/giving); clause participants’ location within free, bound, and embedded clauses; and clause participants– semantic content, querying the extent to which they index normative gender–sexuality or non-normative gender–sexuality. Mapping these features onto the MOOD^RESIDUE structure reveals how speakers seek to delimit the possibilities of negotiating or contesting their configurations of space and time by locating homophobic ideations within bound and embedded clauses, with an additional preference of placing such ideations with the Residue, thereby further curtailing negotiability.
Chapter 7 concludes this work by focussing on the specificity of political institutions as opposed to any other type of institutions. I discuss particular aspects of political institutions such as their primordiality and scope, their generative character, weak normativity and sanctionability, their particular enforcement mechanisms, their contestedness and their intentional inefficiency. I conclude that it is improper to assimilate, and even worse to derive, the properties of political institutions from other kinds of economic, administrative or social institutions. For political institutions the political element outweighs the institutional one, giving them their unique character.
Chapter 3 first discusses separately and in an analytical way the main properties of the institutions identified by the different approaches reviewed in Chapter 2. The property space of the term ‘institution’ is unpacked in the following set of analytical properties: stability, normativity, sanctionability, enforcement, layering, intentionality, endogeneity and efficiency. In the second part of the chapter, I propose a typology of different institutions based on the values these properties have. This exercise allows inherent and constitutive difficulties in institutional analysis to emerge. It is necessary to take a clear stand on these problems and to try to disentangle the definitional maze. The chapter concludes by discussing the fundamental difference between ‘norms’ and ‘rules’ and suggests a line along which this can be established.
The normativity of practice remains a major research challenge in practice turn scholarship. Recent debates have nevertheless demonstrated the promise of international practice theory for a wider IR audience. Instead of focusing on the effects of norms, constructivist norm research, for instance, has turned its attention to processes, practices, and actions in world politics through which norms are negotiated, contested, and embedded. This processual perspective overcomes simple explanations built on the agency-structure dichotomy, and resembles the research objectives of practice-oriented scholars. I argue, first, that a conversation between practice theorists and norm researchers is analytically fruitful thanks to their shared interest in normativity; this includes the consideration of power and agency, a social understanding of learning, and the contestation and multiplicity of normative orders. Secondly, I argue that practice approaches provide innovative conceptual vocabulary and methodological tools. Thirdly, in contrast to norm research, however, practice-oriented scholars (following Wittgenstein) do not ontologically distinguish practices from norms and attribute theoretical and methodological primacy to practice. I present three different practice-oriented research examples that study normativity from different angles: through power relations of structuring normative orders, learning processes via active participation in communities, and disputes on political actors’ competing moral claims.
This invited response commentary engages with Benoit Mayer's case comment, published in this issue of Transnational Environmental Law, on the recent landmark decision by the District Court of The Hague (The Netherlands) of May 2021 in Milieudefensie v. Royal Dutch Shell. The Court ordered the oil giant Royal Dutch Shell to reduce at least 45% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared with 2019 levels. In this response commentary I build on and contrast Mayer's examination of how the Court arrived at this target. In doing so, I discuss the normativity of tort law compared with international law against the background of the ideas of Martti Koskenniemi. I conclude that the District Court legitimately qualified Shell's business plans as tortious. The specific reduction target is the result of civil procedural rules on evidence and the debate between the parties. In the light of this analysis, I respectfully reject Benoit Mayer's suggestion that sectoral practices should play a more significant role in determining corporate climate mitigation obligations. In my view, such an approach would be dangerously apologetic and lead to dystopian outcomes.
Feelings are conscious states evoked by situations and, presumably, experienced by all animals. Most of us judge the feelings of young children and other animals as sufficiently similar to our own that we attribute or ascribe feelings, understandings, and beliefs to them. Clearly, the ascription of mental states, a verbal practice, depends on the availability of concepts. The question is whether the states themselves depend on such a verbal practice. I have suggested that they do. Those concepts, represented as the senses of the word “understanding,” go beyond feelings to include both correctness (Chapter 5) and intersubjectivity (Chapter 6). Thus, the relationship between subjective feeling and the concepts representing those feelings may be compared in terms of their “identity conditions,” that is, the features that distinguish them that came to light in the discussion of the views of Taylor and Nussbaum and Jackendoff (2012).
This Element examines the many facets of ethical realism and the issues at stake in metaethical debates about it—both between realism and non-realist alternatives, and between different versions of realism itself. Starting with a minimal core characterization of ethical realism focused on claims about meaning and truth, we go on to develop a narrower and more theoretically useful conception by adding further claims about objectivity and ontological commitment. Yet even this common understanding of ethical realism captures a surprisingly heterogeneous range of views. In fact, a strong case can be made for adding several more conditions in order to arrive at a proper paradigm of realism about ethics when understood in a non-deflationary way. We then develop this more robust realism, bringing out its distinctive take on ethical objectivity and normative authority, its unique ontological commitments, and both the support for it and some challenges it faces.
In Chapter 2, I draw from pragmatist philosophy and relational sociology to develop a new theory of normativity and institutional change. I propose the concept of a normative configuration as an alternative to the concept of a norm, defined as an arrangement of ongoing, interacting practices establishing action-specific regulation, value-orientation, and avenues of contestation. I argue that situated creativity, problem-solving, and the institutionalisation of action establish normativity within enduring social arrangements. This alternative conception helps clarify the origins of normativity in situations where existing IR theory is limiting, as I show through a review of scholarship on norms drawn both from the field of IR and from the social sciences and humanities more broadly. To develop this new concept, I draw heavily from the work of John Dewey, Hans Joas, and the insights of practice theorists.
In Chapter 4, I investigate the emergence and evolution of the USA’s targeted killing programme, focusing mainly on its origins within the CIA and its transformation from a limited, ad hoc method to a systematic and institutionalised form of militarised counterterrorism. I question whether it represents the erosion of international and domestic prohibitions on assassination and find that it does not; those prohibitions continue to exist and play a normative role in shaping how force is used, but they have changed in content – they refer to something different than before. Central to this process were legal arguments and bureaucratic politics designed to adjust the delegation of authorities across the agencies of the US security apparatus, facilitated by the development of armed unmanned aerial vehicles, which supplied an essential means, and by pressure from the Bush and Obama administrations.
In Chapter 5, I investigate the emergence, institutionalisation, and cessation of the US use of torture during interrogation, in the form of ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques’ developed for the CIA’s detention and interrogation programme. I question whether this represents the erosion of international and domestic prohibitions on torture and find that it does not; they too continue to exist, but temporarily transformed, before reverting back to their earlier form. This process occurred because the CIA developed a new ‘science’ of interrogation and placed it at the centre of new institutional capacities to detain and interrogate ‘high-value’ prisoners, which they justified on the basis of its scientific validity and efficacy. Their legal and scientific arguments revolved around distinguishing their activities from torture, which they never claimed was appropriate but also never admitted to using. As these justifications increasingly failed, the use of EITs stopped and was again prohibited.
In Chapter 6 I investigate the increasing use of Private Security and Military Contractors as armed guards, mainly in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, during the USA’s lengthy occupations there, but also elsewhere. I question whether this represents the erosion of international and domestic US prohibitions on mercenarism and find that it does not; as with the previous two cases, these prohibitions changed rather than disappeared. This process occurred as the US government incorporated armed contractors into its operational command and control structures, while the private firms themselves developed mechanisms of self-regulation through a code of conduct and a professional association. Communications technology played a major role in process at first, but then bureaucratic dynamics took precedence. The boundaries between public and private violence have shifted, but most recognisable forms of mercenarism remain prohibited.
This paper presents a dilemma for the additive model of reasons. Either the model accommodates disjunctive cases in which one ought to perform some act $$\phi $$ just in case at least one of two factors obtains, or it accommodates conjunctive cases in which one ought to $$\phi $$ just in case both of two factors obtains. The dilemma also arises in a revised additive model that accommodates imprecisely weighted reasons. There exist disjunctive and conjunctive cases. Hence the additive model is extensionally inadequate. The upshot of the dilemma is that one of the most influential accounts of how reasons accrue to determine what we ought to do is flawed.