61 research outputs found

    Why coercion is wrong when it’s wrong

    Get PDF
    It is usually thought that wrongful acts of threat-involving coercion are wrong because they involve a violation of the freedom or autonomy of the targets of those acts. I argue here that this cannot possibly be right, and that in fact the wrongness of wrongful coercion has nothing at all to do with the effect such actions have on their targets. This negative thesis is supported by pointing out that what we say about the ethics of threatening (and thus the ethics of coercion) constrains what we can say about the ethics of warning and offering. Importantly, our favoured explanation of the wrongness of certain kinds of threatening should not commit us to condemning as wrong parallel cases of warning and offering. My positive project is to show how this can be done. I defend the claim that wrongful coercion is nothing more than the issuing of a conditional threat to do wrong, and that an agent's issuing of a conditional threat to do wrong is wrong because it constitutes motivation for that agent to adopt the announced intention to do wrong. The idea of explaining the wrongness of wrongful coercion in this way has gone unnoticed because we have thus far been mistaken about what a threat is. In this essay I present my moral analysis of coercion only after presenting a careful descriptive analysis of threats. On my view, it is essential to a threat that the announced intention is one that the agent does not possess before announcing it. This analysis makes it possible to elucidate the descriptive differences between threats, warnings and offers, which sets up the later project of elucidating the moral differences between them.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    III - Contractarianism as a political morality

    Get PDF
    Contractarianism initially made its mark, in the seventeenth century, as a sort of theory of everything in ethics. But gradually philosophers became convinced that there were resources available outside contractarianism for settling important moral questions—for instance, ideas of human rights and the moral equality of persons. Then Rawls revived contractarianism with a more modest aim—namely, as a theory of justice. But even this agenda for contractarianism has been called into question, most notably by G.A. Cohen, who contends that we have other tools at our disposal for identifying the true conception of justice. So the question remains: how should contractarianism be construed if it is to provide answers to questions that cannot be answered in some other way? In my essay I offer a very simple answer: contractarianism should be construed as a political morality. I arrive at this answer by starting with contractarianism as a theory of everything and paring away the unappealing layers of contractarianism so understood. I begin by describing what contractarianism is. Then I dispense with contractarianism as a theory of state legitimacy, as a theory of interpersonal morality, and as a theory of justice. Finally, I distinguish political morality from the other already-mentioned areas of morality, and argue that contractarianism is a sensible theory of its grounds.PostprintNon peer reviewe

    Book review : Fourie, C., and A. Rid (eds) 2017. What is enough? Sufficiency, justice, and health. New York: Oxford University Press

    Get PDF
    This review uses the excellent recent anthology, What Is Enough: Sufficiency, Justice, and Health, edited by Carina Fourie and Annette Rid, as a springboard for a discussion of a little-noticed problem for sufficientarian principles governing the distribution of health or health care. All sufficientarian principles must be assigned a scope: the set of individuals who are to be brought up to the level of sufficiency. When it comes to health and health care, sufficientarians will, rightly, want to reject broad scopes, because they will entail that we are accountable for securing health care for, for example, wild animals. Unfortunately, any narrow scope will seem morally arbitrary, because it will imply that among all the individuals who could benefit from health care we are obligated to provide it only to some of them. But, I suggest here that such arbitrariness is no problem for narrow-scope sufficientarianism in health or health care as long as the principle is cast as a non-fundamental principle of public policy as opposed to a fundamental moral principle.PostprintPeer reviewe

    Meritocracy in the political and economic spheres

    Get PDF
    The authors acknowledge the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which by funding our Future of Work and Income Research Network helped to advance our thinking on meritocracy.The idea that our economic institutions should be designed meritocratically is back as a hot topic in western academic circles. At the same time political meritocracy is once again a subject of philosophical discussion, with some Western philosophers embracing epistocracy and Confucianism being revived among Eastern philosophers. This survey has the ambition, first, of putting differing strands of this literature into dialogue with each other: the economic with the political, and the Western with the Eastern. Second, we seek here to impose order on the debates over meritocracy by carefully separating out the four steps that must be traversed on the journey to a meritocratic conclusion. Third we want to promote a more productive debate moving forward by cleanly pulling apart three kinds of purported merit base.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    Scepticism about moral superiority

    Get PDF
    Chapman & Huffman suggest that we might change people’s behavior toward animals by resisting an argument that because humans are intellectually superior to animals they are also morally superior to animals. C & H try to show that the premise is false: Humans are not intellectually superior. Several commentators have resisted this response. We suggest that there are other ways of attacking the argument: The notion of moral superiority on which the argument relies is dubious, and the obvious ways of reformulating the argument are instances of the “naturalistic fallacy.”Publisher PDFNon peer reviewe

    p75 neurotrophin receptor regulates energy balance in obesity

    Get PDF
    Obesity and metabolic syndrome reflect the dysregulation of molecular pathways that control energy homeostasis. Here, we show that the p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) controls energy expenditure in obese mice on a high-fat diet (HFD). Despite no changes in food intake, p75NTR-null mice were protected from HFD-induced obesity and remained lean as a result of increased energy expenditure without developing insulin resistance or liver steatosis. p75NTR directly interacts with the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A (PKA) and regulates cAMP signaling in adipocytes, leading to decreased lipolysis and thermogenesis. Adipocyte-specific depletion of p75NTR or transplantation of p75NTR-null white adipose tissue (WAT) into wild-type mice fed a HFD protected against weight gain and insulin resistance. Our results reveal that signaling from p75NTR to cAMP/PKA regulates energy balance and suggest that non-CNS neurotrophin receptor signaling could be a target for treating obesity and the metabolic syndrome

    Author Correction: The FLUXNET2015 dataset and the ONEFlux processing pipeline for eddy covariance data

    Get PDF

    The FLUXNET2015 dataset and the ONEFlux processing pipeline for eddy covariance data

    Get PDF
    The FLUXNET2015 dataset provides ecosystem-scale data on CO2, water, and energy exchange between the biosphere and the atmosphere, and other meteorological and biological measurements, from 212 sites around the globe (over 1500 site-years, up to and including year 2014). These sites, independently managed and operated, voluntarily contributed their data to create global datasets. Data were quality controlled and processed using uniform methods, to improve consistency and intercomparability across sites. The dataset is already being used in a number of applications, including ecophysiology studies, remote sensing studies, and development of ecosystem and Earth system models. FLUXNET2015 includes derived-data products, such as gap-filled time series, ecosystem respiration and photosynthetic uptake estimates, estimation of uncertainties, and metadata about the measurements, presented for the first time in this paper. In addition, 206 of these sites are for the first time distributed under a Creative Commons (CC-BY 4.0) license. This paper details this enhanced dataset and the processing methods, now made available as open-source codes, making the dataset more accessible, transparent, and reproducible.Peer reviewe

    Morality, adapted

    Get PDF
    Over the last few decades, scientists have been busy debunking the myth that nonhuman animals relate to each other in a primarily competitive, aggressive way. What they have found is that many species of animal, including many of those most closely related to humans, display a remarkable range of cooperative, "prosocial" behavior. In fact, it appears that some animal societies adhere to a moral code. What is preventing us, then, from saying that the members of these societies are moral beings? Nothing important, according to a recent book. Probing further into this question, I suggest that in fact quite a lot is at risk in making this move. To integrate nonhuman animals fully into the moral domain, we may have to adapt our conception of morality in some very troublesome ways.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe

    Two kinds of rule regulating human subjects research

    Get PDF
    Alan Wertheimer argues that before we promulgate some rule regarding the conduct of research on human subjects we ethically ought to consider the consequences of the rule being followed. This ethical requirement has an exception, though, Wertheimer maintains: it doesn't apply to rules that are not motivated by considerations of outcome. I agree that there is an exception to be made to Wertheimer's proposed ethical requirement, but not Wertheimer's exception. The important distinction is not that between rules motivated by considerations of outcome and rules motivated otherwise, but between rules designed to enforce ethics and rules not so designed. Before we promulgate the latter kind of rule, we are ethically required to consider the consequences of doing so. This is not so for the former kind of rule. My exception, unlike Wertheimer's, yields the conclusion that we should promulgate, regardless of the consequences of doing so, a rule requiring that the potential benefit to the subject of participation in a study outweigh the risks. This rule is motivated by considerations of outcome, so it would land on the wrong side of Wertheimer's divide. But it's also designed to enforce ethics, so it lands on the correct side of my divide.Publisher PDFPeer reviewe
    • …
    corecore