London School of Economics
Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
PhD, 1976
  •  290
    The wrong of rape
    Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228). 2007.
    If rape is evaluated as a serious wrong, can it also be defined as non-consensual sex (NCS)? Many do not see all instances of NCS as seriously wrongful. I argue that rape is both properly defined as NCS and properly evaluated as a serious wrong. First, I distinguish the hurtfulness of rape from its wrongfulness; secondly, I classify its harms and characterize its essential wrongfulness; thirdly, I criticize a view of rape as merely ‘sex minus consent’; fourthly, I criticize mistaken attempts to …Read more
  •  248
    Professional philosophers are members of bioethical committees and regulatory bodies in areas of interest to bioethicists. This suggests they possess moral expertise even if they do not exercise it directly and without constraint. Moral expertise is defined, and four arguments given in support of scepticism about their possession of such expertise are considered and rejected: the existence of extreme disagreement between moral philosophers about moral matters; the lack of a means clearly to iden…Read more
  •  211
    Insults, Free Speech and Offensiveness
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (2): 127-141. 2014.
    This article examines what is wrong with some expressive acts, ‘insults’. Their putative wrongfulness is distinguished from the causing of indirect harms, aggregated harms, contextual harms, and damaging misrepresentations. The article clarifies what insults are, making use of work by Neu and Austin, and argues that their wrongfulness cannot lie in the hurt that is caused to those at whom such acts are directed. Rather it must lie in what they seek to do, namely to denigrate the other. The causi…Read more
  •  173
    Whether children have rights is a debate that in recent years has spilled over into all areas of public life. It has never been more topical than now as the assumed rights of parents over their children is challenged on an almost daily basis. David Archard offers the first serious and sustained philosophical examination of children and their rights. Archard reviews arguments for and against according children rights. He concludes that every child has at least the right to the best possible upbri…Read more
  •  168
    Children's rights
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
    Children are young human beings. Some children are very young human beings. As human beings children evidently have a certain moral status. There are things that should not be done to them for the simple reason that they are human. At the same time children are different from adult human beings and it seems reasonable to think that there are things children may not do that adults are permitted to do. In the majority of jurisdictions, for instance, children are not allowed to vote, to marry, to b…Read more
  •  153
    The moral and political status of children
    Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216): 490-492. 2004.
    The book contains original essays by distinguished moral and political philosophers on the topic of the moral and political status of children. It covers the themes of children's rights, parental rights and duties, the family and justice, and civic education.
  •  149
    Procreation and Parenthood offers new and original essays by leading philosophers on some of the main ethical issues raised by these activities.
  •  141
    Informed consent: Autonomy and self-ownership
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (1). 2008.
    Using the example of an unconsented mouth swab I criticise the view that an action of this kind taken in itself is wrongful in respect of its being a violation of autonomy. This is so much inasmuch as autonomy merits respect only with regard to ‘critical life choices’. I consider the view that such an action is nevertheless harmful or risks serious harm. I also respond to two possible suggestions: that the action is of a kind that violates autonomy; and, that the class of such actions violates a…Read more
  •  139
    Child Abuse: parental rights and the interests of the child
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 7 (2): 183-194. 1990.
    I criticise the ‘liberal’view of the proper relationship between the family and State, namely that, although the interests of the child should be paramount, parents are entitled to rights of both privacy and autonomy which should be abrogated only when the child suffers a specifiable harm. I argue that the right to bear children is not absolute, and that it only grounds a right to rear upon an objectionable proprietarian picture of the child as owned by its producer. If natural parents have any …Read more
  •  129
    Liberalism and Prostitution * By PETER DE MARNEFFE
    Analysis 70 (3): 595-597. 2010.
    (No abstract is available for this citation)
  •  112
    Consider the following examples of behavior by Smith: 1. Smith, seated at her restaurant table, gives an order to the waiter; 2. Smith gets into a cab and names a destination; 3. Smith agrees to Jones's suggestion that they go back to Jones's apartment for a few drinks; 4. Smith casts her vote in some election. In each of these instances what can Smith be understood as consenting to? Is she consenting to pay the bill for whatever meal she orders; pay the fare for the journey to her named destina…Read more
  •  91
    Wrongful life
    Philosophy 79 (3): 403-420. 2004.
    I argue that it is wrong deliberately to bring into existence an individual whose life we can reasonably expect will be of very poor quality. The individual's life would on balance be worth living but would nevertheless fall below a certain threshold. Additionally the prospective parents are unable to have any other child who would enjoy a better existence. Against the claims of John Harris and John Robertson I argue that deliberately to conceive such a child would not be to exercise the right t…Read more
  •  86
    The moral and political status of children
    Philosophical Quarterly 54 (216): 490-492. 2004.
    The book contains original essays by distinguished moral and political philosophers on the topic of the moral and political status of children. It covers the themes of children's rights, parental rights and duties, the family and justice, and civic education
  •  82
    Should We Teach Patriotism?
    Studies in Philosophy and Education 18 (3): 157-173. 1999.
    This article examines a particular debate between Eamonn Callan and William Galston concerning the need for a civic education which counters the divisive pull of pluralism by uniting the citizenry in patriotic allegiance to a single national identity
  •  79
    The Future of the Family
    Ethics and Social Welfare 6 (2): 132-142. 2012.
    Much is said about the decline of the family, often in connection with the prevalence of certain social problems. In this article I consider two kinds of fear: (i) that the traditional family is disappearing; (ii) that new forms of family emerging are, in some or other respect, not worthy of the title. In themselves, neither fear, I argue, should give rise to pressing ethical concerns as such. On fear (i): if by ?traditional family? we mean one whose adult members are heterosexuals, normally mar…Read more
  •  79
    Selling yourself: Titmuss's argument against a market in blood (review)
    The Journal of Ethics 6 (1): 87-102. 2002.
    This article defends Richard Titmuss''s argument, and PeterSinger''s sympathetic support for it, against orthodoxphilosophical criticism. The article specifies thesense in which a market in blood is ``dehumanising'''' ashaving to do with a loss of ``imagined community'''' orsocial ``integration'''', and not with a loss of valued or``deeper'''' liberty. It separates two ``domino arguments''''– the ``contamination of meaning'''' argument and the``erosion of motivation'''' argument which support, i…Read more
  •  69
    Disgust, offensiveness and the law
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 25 (4): 314-321. 2008.
    abstract  Martha Nussbaum's concern is to limit the role that emotions can legitimately play in the definition of the criminal law. She would allow nuisance laws to curtail the occasioning of disgust but only disgust of a certain kind. Problems arise for her account when she extends this analysis to the prevention of offensiveness. Unavoidable is an evaluation of those beliefs subscription to which explains the taking of offence. Hence the principal problem for a liberalism of the kind Nussbaum …Read more
  •  64
    Political disagreement, legitimacy, and civility
    Philosophical Explorations 4 (3). 2001.
    For many contemporary liberal political philosophers the appropriate response to the facts of pluralism is the requirement of public reasonableness, namely that individuals should be able to offer to their fellow citizens reasons for their political actions that can generally be accepted.This article finds wanting two possible arguments for such a requirement: one from a liberal principle of legitimacy and the other from a natural duty of political civility. A respect in which conversational res…Read more
  •  64
    Dirty Hands and the Complicity of the Democratic Public
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (4): 777-790. 2013.
    The alleged problem of the dirty hands of politicians has been much discussed since Michael Walzer’s original piece (Walzer 1974). The discussion has concerned the precise nature of the problem or sought to dissolve the apparent paradox. However there has been little discussion of the putative complicity, and thus also dirtying of hands, of a democratic public that authorizes politicians to act in its name. This article outlines the sense in which politicians do get dirty hands and the degree to…Read more
  •  61
    Hearing the child
    with Marit Skivenes
    . 2009.
    Given that in our view the child has a fundamental right to be heard in all collective deliberative processes determining his or her future, we set out, firstly, what is required of such processes to respect this right – namely that the child's authentic voice is heard and makes a difference – and, secondly, the distance between this ideal and practice exemplified in the work of child welfare and child protection workers in Norway and the UK, chiefly in their display of an instrumental attitude …Read more
  •  60
    Moral Compromise
    Philosophy 87 (3): 403-420. 2012.
    A moral compromise is a compromise on moral matters; it is agreement in the face of moral disagreement but where there is agreement on the importance of consensus -namely that it secures a morally desirable outcome. It is distinguishable from other forms of agreement, and an important distinction between moral compromise with public agreement and moral compromise with public disagreement is also made. Circumstances in which the former might be permissible are outlined, and the sense in which it …Read more
  •  59
    Political Reasonability
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (1). 2005.