•  573
    Should the Late Stage Demented be Punished for Past Crimes?
    Criminal Law and Philosophy 7 (1): 137-150. 2013.
    The paper investigates whether it is plausible to hold the late stage demented criminally responsible for past actions. The concern is based on the fact that policy makers in the United States and in Britain are starting to wonder what to do with prison inmates in the later stages of dementia who do not remember their crimes anymore. The problem has to be expected to become more urgent as the population ages and the number of dementia patients increases. This paper argues that the late-stage dem…Read more
  •  453
    Potentiality Arguments and the Definition of “Human Organism”
    American Journal of Bioethics 13 (1): 33-34. 2013.
    Bettina Schöne-Seifert and Marco Stier present a host of detailed and intriguing arguments to the effect that potentiality arguments have to be viewed as outdated due to developments in stem cell research, in particular the possibility of re-setting the development potential of differentiated cells, such as skin cells. However, their argument leaves them without an explanation of the intuitive difference between skin cells and human beings, which seems to be based on the assumption that a skin c…Read more
  •  409
    There is a widespread consensus that a commodification of body parts is to be prevented. Numerous policy papers by international organizations extend this view to the blood supply and recommend a system of uncompensated volunteers in this area—often, however, without making the arguments for this view explicit. This situation seems to indicate that a relevant source of justified worry or unease about the blood supply system has to do with the issue of commodification. As a result, the current he…Read more
  •  168
    Michael Quante, person
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5): 569-570. 2009.
    Michael Quante’s book Person offers a systematic and argumentative assessment of the question what a person is and accounts for the multiple aspects that play a role in our everyday understanding of the term. Quante is skeptical about the possibility of constructing a purely psychological account of the person and proposes to base the diachronic unity conditions of persons on the human organism. At the same time he acknowledges that psychological considerations, including the notion of a person’…Read more
  •  18
    A recent organ distribution scandal in Germany raises questions of general importance on which many thousands of lives may well depend. The scandal in Germany has produced reactions that are likely to occur whenever and wherever distribution irregularities occur and become public knowledge. After it had become known that physicians in three German hospitals were in the habit of manipulating records in order to fast-track their patients’ cases, the country experienced a decrease of available orga…Read more
  •  6
    Contrasting Mill and Sidgwick. A Development Analysis of the Value Theory of Classical Utilitarianism
    Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie 39 (2): 173-193. 2014.
    This paper points out a number of long-standing objections to Mill’s theory of the good and shows how exactly Sidgwick’s more detailed approach can avoid these pitfalls. In particular, critics have always insisted that (i) Mill’s "proof" of utilitarianism represents a naturalistic fallacy, and that (ii) his qualitative hedonism is inconsistent. Sidgwick’s "ideal element" of the good allows him to avoid these charges, and sheds new light on the assumption that the 'hedonism' of classical utilitar…Read more
  •  1
    This paper argues that Henry Sidgwick's theory of the good is a form of enlightened preference hedonism. In order to support this conclusion, the paper argues that the correct interpretation of his notorious passage about the 'ideal element' of the good should get tied to his views about weakness of the will. Sidgwick believes that reaching your own good requires overcoming weakness of the will. An applied section illustrates the practical significance of this finding. In cases in which shooting…Read more
  •  1
    Surprising Theses in Classical Utilitarianism. Henry Sidgwick's Neglected Completion of Classical British Moral Philosophy
    Archiv für Rechts- Und Sozialphilosophie / Archives for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy / Archives de Philosophie du Droit Et de Philosophie Sociale / Archivo de Filosofía Jurídica y Social 98 (4): 510-534. 2012.
    This paper argues that Henry Sidgwick’s account of the relationship between the right and the good, as well as his theory of the good are still undervalued in many respects. An applied section illustrates the practical significance of this finding. In cases in which shooting down a passenger plane can save a greater number of people on the ground, and no other relevant considerations apply, the passengers should desire their own destruction—not only to promote the general good, but also in order…Read more