•  6
    Regulation Enables: Corporate Agency and Practices of Responsibility
    Journal of Business Ethics 154 (4): 989-1002. 2019.
    Both advocates of corporate regulation and its opponents tend to depict regulation as restrictive—a policy option that limits freedom in the name of welfare or other social goods. Against this framing, I suggest we can understand regulation in enabling terms. If well designed and properly enforced, regulation enables companies to operate in ways that are acceptable to society as a whole. This paper argues for this enabling character by considering some wider questions about responsibility and th…Read more
  •  21
    An empirical survey on biobanking of human genetic material and data in six EU countries
    with Isabelle Hirtzlin, Christine Dubreuil, Nathalie Préaubert, Jenny Duchier, Brigitte Jansen, Jürgen Simon, Paula Lobatao De Faria, Anna Perez-Lezaun, Bert Visser, Anne Cambon-Thomsen, and The Eurogenbank Consortium
    European Journal of Human Genetics 11. 2003.
    Biobanks correspond to different situations: research and technological development, medical diagnosis or therapeutic activities. Their status is not clearly defined. We aimed to investigate human biobanking in Europe, particularly in relation to organisational, economic and ethical issues in various national contexts. Data from a survey in six EU countries were collected as part of a European Research Project examining human and non-human biobanking. A total of 147 institutions concerned with b…Read more
  •  65
    Like most bioethical discussion, examination of human biobanks has been largely framed in terms of research subjects’ rights, principally informed consent, with some gestures toward public benefits. However, informed consent is for the competent, rights-bearing individual: focussing on the individual, it thus neglects social, economic and even political matters; focussing on the competent rights-bearer, it does not serve situations where consent is plainly inappropriate (eg, the young child) or …Read more
  •  59
    Sharing Responsibility and Holding Responsible
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 30 (4): 351-364. 2013.
    Who, in particular, may hold us responsible for our moral failings? Most discussions of moral responsibility bracket this question, despite its obvious practical importance. In this article, I investigate the moral authority involved and how it arises in the context of personal relationships, such as friendship or family relations. My account is based on the idea that parties to a personal relationship not only share responsibility for their relationship, but also — to some degree that is negoti…Read more
  •  20
    The ethics of evaluating obesity intervention studies on children
    with Dita Wickins-Drazilova
    International Journal of Obesity 35 (supplement). 2011.
    The methodology of the IDEFICS (Identification and prevention of dietary- and lifestyle-induced health effects in children and infants) study raises a number of important ethical questions. Many of these are already well recognised in ethical guidelines that uphold principles of individual and parental consent, confidentiality and scientific review. There are, however, wider issues that require ethical reflection. In this paper, we focus on a set of problems surrounding the evaluation of complex…Read more
  •  33
    Review article of Christopher Kutz, Complicity: Ethics and Law for a Collective Age (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000)
  •  3
    Judges in Our Own Case: Kantian Legislation and Responsibility Attribution
    Journal of International Political Theory 3 8-23. 2007.
    This paper looks at the attribution of moral responsibility in the light of Kant's claim that the maxims of our actions should be universalizable. Assuming that it is often difficult for us to judge which actions satisfy this test, it suggests one way of translating Kantian morality into practice. Suppose that it is possible to read each action, via its maxim, as a communication addressed to the world: as an attempt to set the terms on which we should interact with one another. The paper suggest…Read more
  •  92
    Human genetic banking:altruism, benefit and consent
    with Doris Schroeder
    New Genetics and Society 23 (1): 89-103. 2004.
    This article considers how we should frame the ethical issues raised by current proposals for large-scale genebanks with on-going links to medical and lifestyle data, such as the Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council's 'UK Biobank'. As recent scandals such as Alder Hey have emphasised, there are complex issues concerning the informed consent of donors that need to be carefully considered. However, we believe that a preoccupation with informed consent obscures important questions about the …Read more
  •  40
    Disclosure and responsibility in Arendt’s The Human Condition
    European Journal of Political Theory 14 (1): 37-54. 2015.
    Hannah Arendt is one of the few philosophers to examine the dynamics of political action at length. Intriguingly, she emphasises the disclosure of who the actor is as a specific distinction of political action. This emphasis is connected with some long-standing worries about Arendt’s account that centre on its apparent unconcern for political responsibility. In this paper, I argue that Arendt’s emphasis on disclosure actually harbours a profound concern with responsibility. I do so by examining …Read more
  •  11
    The claim that happiness and virtue ought to be proportionate to one another has often been expressed in the idea of a future world of divine justice, despite many moral difficulties with this idea. This paper argues that human efforts to enact such a proportionment are, ironically, justified by the same reasons that make the idea of divine justice seem so problematic. Moralists have often regarded our frailty and fallibility as reasons for abstaining from the judgment of others; and doubts abou…Read more
  •  17
  •  109
    Responsibility
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006.
    We evaluate people and groups as responsible or not, depending on how seriously they take their responsibilities. Often we do this informally, via moral judgment. Sometimes we do this formally, for instance in legal judgment. This article considers mainly moral responsibility, and focuses largely upon individuals. Later sections also comment on the relation between legal and moral responsibility, and on the responsibility of collectives.
  •  48
    Discusses the different senses of morality in Hannah Arendt's work, and her understanding of conscience.
  •  62
    Blame and responsibility
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 6 (4): 427-445. 2003.
    This paper looks at judgments of guilt in the face of alleged wrong-doing, be it in public or in private discourse. Its concern is not the truth of such judgments, although the complexity and contestability of such claims will be stressed. The topic, instead, is what sort of activities we are engaged in, when we make our judgments on others' conduct. To examine judging as an activity it focuses on a series of problems that can occur when we blame others. On analysis, we see that these problems t…Read more
  •  46
    Two approaches to moral responsibility : part two
    Richmond Journal of Philosophy 6 14-19. 2004.
    In this first part of the article, I want to sketch two things. First, I will say something about the idea of free will. The paradoxes involved in this idea often occur to people even before they come to philosophy, and these difficulties will be central to Kant’s account. But second, before turning to Kant, I would like to tackle Aristotle’s broad approach, and show that, before free will was invented by Christian philosophers, there was a quite different way of thinking about moral responsibil…Read more
  •  4
    This paper considers a short quotation from near the beginnings of Arendt’s Denktagebuch, dated to August 1950. This epigrammatic formulation presages Arendt’s whole political theory, by situating the political outside of the individual, in-between a plurality of human beings. My concern, however, is not with politics as such. Instead, I ask: cannot what Arendt says of politics be said with equal truth of morality? To make some attempt upon this vast question, I examine Arendt’s own more tentati…Read more
  •  100
    Nietzsche's response to Kant's morality
    Philosophical Forum 30 (3). 1999.
    Although commentators sometimes mention a link between Kant and Nietzsche, this paper claims that the continuities in their moral thought have been insufficiently explored. I argue that Nietzsche may offer us a profound rethinking of Kant’s morality – one indebted to Kant’s ideal of critique. The paper first considers the wide apparent gulf between the thinkers. The second section seeks to explain this gulf in terms which relate to Kant’s overall project, while the final section deals with Nietz…Read more
  •  84
    Kant's account of reason
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2009.
    Two of the most prominent questions in Kant's critical philosophy concern reason. The first, central to his theoretical philosophy, is the unprovable pretensions of reason in earlier “rationalist” philosophers, especially Leibniz and Descartes. The second, central to his practical philosophy, is the subservient role accorded to reason by the British empiricists—above all Hume, who declared, “Reason is wholly inactive, and can never be the source of so active a principle as conscience, or a sense…Read more
  •  94
    Hobbes: Moral and Political Philosophy
    Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2003.
    This encyclopedia entry surveys the moral and political thought of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679). Hobbes's vision of the world is strikingly original and still relevant to contemporary politics. His main concern is the problem of social and political order: how human beings can live together in peace and avoid the danger and fear of civil conflict. He poses stark alternatives: we should give our obedience to an unaccountable sovereign (a person or group empowered to decide ev…Read more
  •  22
    As we have seen in the cases of Serbia and Israel, collectives can be mobilised to perpetrate grave wrongs on the basis of patently ideological claims about the harms they have suffered. This article seeks a theoretical understanding of this troubling phenomenon. It does so, first, by contrasting mobilisation based on vicarious victimhood with revenge. The groups in question do not exhibit the contact with reality and clear sense of agency that are prerequisites for revenge. However, these evasi…Read more
  •  78
    The claim that happiness and virtue ought to be proportionate to one another has often been expressed in the idea of a future world of divine justice, despite many moral difficulties with this idea. This paper argues that human efforts to enact such a proportionment are, ironically, justified by the same reasons that make the idea of divine justice seem so problematic. Moralists have often regarded our frailty and fallibility as reasons for abstaining from the judgment of others; and doubts abou…Read more
  •  21
    DNA-Banken und Treuhandschaft [DNA Banking and Trusteeship]
    with Doris Schröder
    Ethik in der Medizin 14 (2): 84-95. 2002.
    Definition of the problem:The frequency and scope of human genetic banking has increased significantly in recent years and is set to expand still further. Two of the major growth areas in medical research, pharmacogenomics and population genetics, rely on large DNA banks to provide extensive, centralised and standardised genetic information as well as clinical and personal data. This development raises ethical concerns. Arguments and conclusion: Our article focuses on the appropriateness of info…Read more
  •  14
    Discusses what is involved in describing a person as responsible: she has responsibilities that she is duty-bound to undertake, and may be held responsible when she fails to fulfill these. Considers why societies and organizations divide responsibilities between persons. Also considers how questions of responsibility arise in the spheres of morality, law, organizational life and politics, and how different modes of holding responsible may be appropriate in each. Concludes with a brief discussion…Read more
  •  102
    Moral responsibility
    Oxford Bibliographies Online. 2010.
    [Bibliographic article focussing on compatibilist approaches to responsibility.] Moral responsibility relates to many significant topics in ethics and metaphysics, such as the content and scope of moral obligations, the nature of human agency, and the structure of human interaction. This entry focuses on compatibilist approaches to moral responsibility—that is, approaches that see moral responsibility as compatible with the causal order of the world. This is partly because they have more to say …Read more
  •  42
    'Infrastructures of responsibility': The moral tasks of institutions
    Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (2). 2006.
    The members of any functioning modern society live their lives amid complex networks of overlapping institutions. Apart from the major political institutions of law and government, however, much normative political theory seems to regard this institutional fabric as largely a pragmatic convenience. This paper contests this assumption by reflecting on how institutions both constrain and enable spheres of effective action and responsibility. In this way a society’s institutional fabric constitutes…Read more
  •  53
    Discusses different aspects of responsibility in Hannah Arendt's works.
  •  40
    Between Ethics and Right: Kantian Politics and Democratic Purposes
    European Journal of Philosophy 20 (3): 479-486. 2012.
    Arthur Ripstein's book Force and Freedom insists that, ‘Freedom, understood as independence of another person's choice, is [all] that matters’. In this paper I suggest that this premise leads Ripstein to an instrumentalization of democracy that neglects a properly public and collective notion of freedom. The paper first criticizes Ripstein's key argument against any extension of public purposes beyond the upholding of persons’ ‘independence of others’ choice’. More constructively, the paper then…Read more