Applied Ethics

By In Applied Ethics, Discussions, JESP Discussions, Normative Ethics, Political Philosophy Comments (0)

Upcoming JESP Discussion (3/19) on Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin’s “A View of Racism”

We are excited to announce the return of the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy discussion! This time we’ll look at Benjamin Mitchell-Yellin’s “A View of Racism: 2016 and America’s Original Sin”, with a critical précis by Tommy Curry.

The discussion starts March 19th. As JESP is always open-access, you can check out the paper here. Please join us next Monday!

Read more

By In Applied Ethics, Business Ethics, Ideas Comments (3)

Open Letter Regarding Compensation for Blood Plasma Donation

A couple of years ago, I posted about an open letter about the ethics of compensating bone marrow stem cell donors. Peter M. Jaworski and I, who co-founded, recently published a second open letter about blood plasma donation in Canada (on the site newly redesigned by me!). A number of Canadian provinces have passed, or are considering, legislation that would effectively make it illegal to pay people for blood plasma donations. (The letter concerns donations used to create plasma-based products like immune globulin, not for transfusions.) We and a collection of signatories—ethicists and economists including Soupers Jason Brennan and Jeff Moriarty—argue that this is a mistake. Below is a brief overview of the arguments for these bans (as we understand them) and our responses (as well as a bit of personal editorializing). In my view, this is an open and shut case. We would love to hear what other Soupers think. Are there better arguments for the bans we are missing? We also welcome more signatories (especially Canadian ones!).

Read more

By In Applied Ethics, Ideas Comments (7)

Ethics in the News: The Initials-Etching Surgeon

What are the wrong-making features in this case? These are what seem to be the relevant details:

“According to British news reports, Mr. Bramhall, 53, admitted to using an argon beam — an electrified gas jet that liver surgeons typically employ to stanch bleeding or to mark an area of operation on an organ — to etch “SB,” his initials, onto the livers. Argon beam marks are usually not harmful and would normally disappear. But they were apparently discovered by a colleague when one of the patients underwent a follow-up operation.”

Suppose instead he had sewn a suture in a distinctive way, his “signature style.” Would that too have been “assault”?

Read more

By In Applied Ethics Comments (3)

The Place of Sports in the Academy

This post can also be found here.

“As previously acknowledged by the Office of the Vice Chancellor and Provost, student/athletes are obligated to meet both their academic and athletic commitments. It is possible that required competition may occasionally conflict with class schedules and/or other academic responsibilities. We would appreciate your assistance in providing the student with an opportunity to complete any assignments, exams, and/or projects that will be missed during their absence from your course.


Read more

By In Applied Ethics, NDPR Discussion Forum, Political Philosophy Comments (21)

NDPR Forum: Fritz Allhoff’s Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture (Reviewed by Chris Morris)

Welcome to another installment of our NDPR Forums, in which we invite both the author of a book reviewed in NDPR, as well as the reviewer, to talk about the review, the book, and anything else related to the topic. We also welcome anyone else to jump in to comment on any of those topics as well. Today we are opening a thread on Fritz Allhoff’s book Terrorism, Ticking Time-Bombs, and Torture: A Philosophical Analysis (University of Chicago Press), which was reviewed last week in NDPR by Chris Morris. Blurbs below the fold.


Read more

By In Applied Ethics, Featured Philosophers, Ideas, Political Philosophy Comments (12)

Why Bad People Will Find it Hard to be Patriotic (by Featured Philosopher Derek Baker)

Re-posting after a technical glitch this morning (eds.)


Current events are reminding us that patriotism, at least of the sort that gets publicly acknowledged, is a confusing virtue. I don’t mean that the patriot might get drawn into doing bad things on behalf of his country. Patriotism is a form of loyalty, and loyalty, whether to friends, family, one’s university, or whatever, can draw us into doing bad things on their behalf. I mean instead that those who say they care about patriotism seem surprisingly okay with others doing bad things without regard for the interests of their country.


Read more

By In Applied Ethics, News and Events Comments Off on Call for Participation: Climate Ethics and Climate Economics

Call for Participation: Climate Ethics and Climate Economics

Call for Participation

Climate Ethics And Climate Economics: Risk, Uncertainty and Catastrophe Scenarios

Workshop at the University of Cambridge

Convened by Simon Beard (with Kai Spiekermann), supported by the ESRC, in partnership with the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

8-10 May 2017

Accompanied by public lectures given by Professor Doyne Farmer and Professor Hilary Greaves on the evenings of the 8th and 10th of May.

The fifth of six ESRC-funded workshops on Climate Ethics and Climate Economics.


We are now looking for participants.

Confirmed Speakers

Matthew Rendall (University of Nottingham)

John Halstead (University of Oxford)

Elizabeth Baldwin (University of Oxford)

Doyne Farmer (Oxford Martin School)

Tina Sikka (University of Newcastle)

Iñaki San Pedro (University of the Basque Country)

Eike Düvel (University of Graz)

Hilary Greaves (Future of Humanity Institute)

Mariam Thalos (University of Utah)

Kieran Marray (University of Oxford)

Workshop Description

Some scholars, most notably Martin Weitzman (2009; 2011) have warned that there is an uncertain chance of runaway climate change that could devastate the planet. At least since Hans Jonas’s The Imperative of Responsibility (1981), some have argued that even low-probability existential risks should be treated in a fundamentally different way. How should we act when we believe that there is some chance of a catastrophe, but cannot make reliable probability estimates (Elster 1979; Haller 2002; Gardiner 2005)? How much should we worry about worst-case scenarios? What should we do when experts disagree about whether catastrophe is possible?

Papers will be pre-circulated, with short presentations and comments from discussants.

Please pre-register here.



Read more