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Abstract

Ex-ante deontology is an attempt to combine deontological constraints on doing or intending harm with the idea that one should act in everyone’s interest if possible. I argue that ex-ante deontology has serious problems in cases where multiple decisions are to be made over time. I then argue that these problems force us to choose between commonsense deontological morality and a more consequentialist morality. I suggest that we should choose the latter.

Open Access
In: Journal of Moral Philosophy

Abstract

Recurrent and concurrent crises call for new development paradigms, as dominant theories of economic development are not fostering equity or sustainability. We argue that part of the reason is that the conceptualization of development, and the resulting metrics driving decision-making, are narrow. Building on work that proposes adding values/ethics as a fourth pillar to development, along with economic, environmental, and social pillars, this article presents an Islamic perspective of how values-based development would differ from the dominant, contemporary forms. While rooted in a specific perspective and worldview, it has great relevance as approximately a quarter of humanity adheres to the faith. We offer a holistic, values-based approach to development, drawing on classical foundations and contemporary lessons, rooted in a different epistemic and ideological orientation. On this basis, we highlight five values that could be the foundation for re-orienting development: vicegerency, justice, excellence, tranquility, and freedom. Integrating these values in a fourth, values-based pillar of development alters the conceptualization and the metrics of development, resulting in processes driven by different objectives for individuals and societies.

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics
Author:

Abstract

When a person finds herself in peril her right to be rescued is activated and a rescue duty is imposed on those who are in a position to help. In this article, I argue that the activation of the right to be rescued needs to be suitably constrained so that the rescuee is prevented from arbitrarily controlling the normative situation between herself and potential rescuers. Such control would be in conflict with the moral equality of persons. I argue that the activation of the right to be rescued should be conditional on the person having a justification for the action that caused her peril. One implication of my view is that the right to be rescued cannot fulfill the function that Jonathan Quong ascribes to it. The right to be rescued turns out to be an unsuitable ground for the necessity condition which constrains the permissible use of defensive force.

Open Access
In: Journal of Moral Philosophy

Abstract

The counterfactual comparative account of harm (cca) faces well-known problems concerning preemption and omission. In a recent article in this journal, Daniel Immerman proposes a novel variant of cca, which he calls the worse than nothing account (wtna). According to Immerman, wtna nicely handles the preemption and omission problems. We seek to show, however, that wtna is not an acceptable account of harm. In particular, while wtna deals better than cca with some cases that involve preemption and omission, it has implausible implications in other similar cases – cases that, moreover, pose no problems for cca.

Open Access
In: Journal of Moral Philosophy
Author:

Abstract

This paper focuses on Quong’s account of the scope of the means principle (the range of actions over which the special constraint on using a person applies). One the key ideas underpinning Quong’s approach is that the means principle is downstream from an independent and morally prior account of our rights over the world and against one another. I raise three challenges to this ‘rights first’ approach. First, I consider Quong’s treatment of harmful omissions and argue that Quong’s view generates counter-intuitive results. Second, I argue that cases of harmful omissions raise problems for Quong’s claim that intentions are irrelevant to permissibility. Third, I consider Quong’s extension of the means principle to include uses of persons’ rightfully-owned property. I suggest that, contra Quong, questions of distributive justice are not morally prior to the ethics of defensive harm. Instead the two normative domains mutually inform one another.

Open Access
In: Journal of Moral Philosophy
Author:

Abstract

This article considers Bernard Rollin’s justification of the genetic modification of the telos of livestock animals for welfare purposes. While agreeing that a pragmatic approach to animal welfare might well reach this far, the claim is that Rollin’s approach leaves some important harms out of the picture. Section (1) will outline the rationale for a pragmatic approach towards animal rights. Section (2) will outline Rollin’s telos-based argument for allowing modification. Sections (3) and (4) will draw upon analogies that (respectively) lend support to and problematize Rollin’s telos-based argument: the production of anencephalic ‘Chicken Little’ lumps of animal tissue as a way to avoid suffering; and the manipulation of preferences by ‘hypnopaedia’ in Huxley’s Brave New World. Section (5) will suggest that this does not rule out modification, but it does require us to recognize that modification involves harms, even if they are sometimes outweighed by benefits.

Open Access
In: Journal of Applied Animal Ethics Research
Author:

Abstract

Despite ongoing interdisciplinary calls to level the playing field toward a more symmetrical view of human-nonhuman animal relationships, frameworks and formats that serve to border human and animal lifeworlds into separate categories of experience and study continue to stymie such efforts. This interdisciplinary focuses on several aspects of language and communication concerning horse-human interactions. These include the limits and possibilities of the theory and methods through which scholars frame and describe such communication, and the means by which horses attempt to communicate rhetorically with humans. I review recent applied ethology studies concerning equine communicative abilities, and relationships. Then, using models and theory from the fields of communication studies and psychology, I consider the implications of these findings for interspecies power dynamics, specifically in instances where humans do not allow for the types of communication and levels of interpersonal attunement of which horses are capable. Pulling from interdisciplinary theory and method, this case study introduces a model for “trans-species communication” that provides a means for studying and speaking about human-equine relationships.

Open Access
In: The Relational Horse

Abstract

The current study elaborates on the place, status and functions of the concept of ābirū in Shīʿī religious discourse in contemporary Iran. Its main source material has been selected from a variety of rulings (fatwās) and other type of statements delivered by Iranian marājiʿ taqlīd (sources of emulation). By emphasizing the significance of the concept of ābirū in the Iranian tradition and its reception within the Shīʿī tradition, this study outlines the main functions attributed to the idea of ‘good reputation’ and ‘positive social image’ in contemporary Iranian religious jurisprudence. The analysis of the rulings issued by Iranian clergy allows one to distinguish how the idea of ābirū influences verdicts in different aspects of the life of a believer – personal, ethical, legal and political. The study reveals the flexible way in which this moral concept is being incorporated into judgements which, in turn, may result in a novel and nuanced understanding of many Islamic principles, especially in socio-political perspectives.

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics

الخلاصة

‫تعترض التنبؤ الجيني في العلم الحديث تساؤلات عن مدى كونه يتعارض مع الموقف الإسلامي من الغيب، حيث وردت نصوص تحرم أنماطًا من التنبؤ بالغيب، فهل ينطبق على التنبؤ الجيني ما ينطبق على التنبؤ بالغيب؟ تناقش هذه الدراسة هذا الموضوع من خلال ثلاثة محاور، الأول: تحرير مفهوم الغيب في القرآن، والثاني: تحرير مفهوم مفاتيح الغيب الذي بنيت عليه القضايا المشكلة في الموضوع، والمحور الثالث: تحرير علة ما تم تحريمه أو السماح به من أنماط التنبؤ بالغيب، مع استعراض تاريخي لمواقف الفقهاء من القيافة وبناء الأحكام عليها كنموذج من نماذج التنبؤ، وانتهت الدراسة إلى أن مناط المنع أو الاباحة في التنبؤ يرتبط بعلمية الوسيلة وخلوها من التلبس بمعتقد ديني ينافي التوحيد، وأن ما ينطبق على التنبؤ بالغيب ينطبق على التنبؤ الجيني.‬

Open Access
In: Journal of Islamic Ethics