157 research outputs found

    Behavioural public policies and charitable giving

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    Some of the challenges in Sanders et al. (this issue) can be aptly illustrated by means of charity nudges, that is, nudges designed to increase charitable donations. These nudges raise many ethical questions. First, Oxfam’s triptychs with suggested donations are designed to increase giving. If successful, do our actions match ex ante or ex post preferences? Does this make a difference to the autonomy of the donor? Second, the Behavioural Insights Team conducted experiments using social networks to nudge people to give more. Do these appeals steer clear of exploiting power relations? Do they respect boundaries of privacy? Third, in an online campaign by Kiva, donors are asked to contribute directly to personalized initiatives. In many cases, the initiative has already been funded and donor money is funnelled to a new cause. Is such a “pre-disbursal” arrangement truthful and true to purpose as a social business model

    ‘Interview’, Probability and Statistics: 5 Questions

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    Intervie

    The Ethics of Making Risky Decisions for Others

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    Utilitarianism, it has been said, is not sensitive to the distribution of welfare. In making risky decisions for others there are multiple sensitivities at work. I present examples of risky decision-making involving drug allocations, charitable giving, breast-cancer screening and C-sections. In each of these examples there is a different sensitivity at work that pulls away from the utilitarian prescription. Instances of saving fewer people at a greater risk to many is more complex because there are two distributional sensitivities at work that pull in opposite directions from the utilitarian calculus. I discuss objections to these sensitivities and conclude with some reflections on the value of formal modelling in thinking about societal risk

    'From Each according to Ability; To Each according to Needs': Origin, Meaning, and Development of Socialist Slogans

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    There are three slogans in the history of Socialism that are very close in wording, viz. the famous Cabet-Blanc-Marx slogan: "From each according to his ability; To each according to his needs"; the earlier Saint-Simon-Pecqueur slogan: "To each according to his ability; To each according to his works"; and the later slogan in Stalin’s Soviet Constitution: "From each according to his ability; To each according to his work." We will consider the following questions regarding these slogans: a) What are the earliest occurrences of each of these slogans? b) Where does the inspiration for each half of each slogan come from? c) What do the Saint-Simonians mean by “To each according to his ability”? d) What do they mean by “To each according to his works”? e) What motivates the shift from “To each according to his ability” to “From each according to his ability”? f) How should we envisage the progression toward “To each according to his needs”? g) What is the distinction between from “To each according to his works” and “To each according to his work”

    Nudging the pub: a change in choice architecture can help pubgoers drink less

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    The Government uses various policy tools to reduce alcohol consumption. There are restrictions on promotions, information campaigns, and pricing policies. These policies do not stand unchallenged. Restrictions on promotions irk business, information campaigns fail to reach the less educated, and pricing policies hurt responsible but poor consumers. So what about Thaler and Sunstein’s Nudge? Nudges keep choices open but change the “choice architecture” so as to help those who would like to drink less, and they do so in ways that constructively engage business. Let us focus on one choice environment here, namely beer consumption in British pubs

    The Last Hope Part 1: A worthwhile life

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    In the first in this three-part series, Luc Bovens looks at death, immortality and the worthwhile life

    The tragedy of the commons as a voting game

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    Coping

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    Coping is a collection of philosophical essays on how we deal with life’s challenges. We hope for better times, but what is hope, and is it a good thing to hope? How do we look back and make sense of our lives in the face of death? What is the nature of love, and how do we deal with its hardships? What makes for a genuine apology, and is there too much or too little apologizing in this world? Can we bring about changes in ourselves to adapt to our circumstances? How can we make sense of all the good advice—such as, count your blessings, don’t cry over spilled milk—that people have on offer? Coping is a perfect companion text for a moral psychology course, a resilience course, or part of an ethics course. The material is written for readers who are new to philosophy and progresses in short self-contained sections. It draws on literature, music, podcasts, and news items. Each chapter has questions for discussion or essay writing and suggestions for material to explore the topic further

    Coping

    Get PDF
    Coping is a collection of philosophical essays on how we deal with life’s challenges. We hope for better times, but what is hope, and is it a good thing to hope? How do we look back and make sense of our lives in the face of death? What is the nature of love, and how do we deal with its hardships? What makes for a genuine apology, and is there too much or too little apologizing in this world? Can we bring about changes in ourselves to adapt to our circumstances? How can we make sense of all the good advice—such as, count your blessings, don’t cry over spilled milk—that people have on offer? Coping is a perfect companion text for a moral psychology course, a resilience course, or part of an ethics course. The material is written for readers who are new to philosophy and progresses in short self-contained sections. It draws on literature, music, podcasts, and news items. Each chapter has questions for discussion or essay writing and suggestions for material to explore the topic further

    Why the refugee quota system is unfair on poorer eastern and southern EU states

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    EU states agreed on 23 September to implement a refugee quota system which will distribute 120,000 refugees across the EU, despite four member states – the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia – voting against the proposal. Luc Bovens and Anna Bartsch write that regardless of the wider debate over whether a quota system is justified or not, it is vital that the ‘distribution key’ determining how many refugees are assigned to each state is fair. They argue that the distribution key proposed by the European Commission is ill-conceived and regressive, and that a fairer system with recalculated quotas may go some way toward convincing the dissenting states to support the system
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