•  415
    Environmental Security and Just Causes for War
    Almanac: Discourses of Ethics 10 (1): 47-54. 2015.
    This article asks whether a country that suffers from serious environmental problems caused by another country could have a just cause for a defensive war? Danish philosopher Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen has argued that under certain conditions extreme poverty may give a just cause for a country to defensive war, if that poverty is caused by other countries. This raises the question whether the victims of environmental damages could also have a similar right to self-defense. Although the article con…Read more
  •  148
    On political conspiracy theories
    Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (2): 185-201. 2008.
  •  102
    The ethics of conspiracy theorizing
    Journal of Value Inquiry 43 (4): 457-468. 2009.
  •  86
    Brain imaging and privacy
    Neuroethics 3 (1): 5-12. 2010.
    I will argue that the fairly common assumption that brain imaging may compromise people’s privacy in an undesirable way only if moral crimes are committed is false. Sometimes persons’ privacy is compromised because of failures of privacy. A normal emotional reaction to failures of privacy is embarrassment and shame, not moral resentment like in the cases of violations of right to privacy. I will claim that if (1) neuroimaging will provide all kinds of information about persons’ inner life and no…Read more
  •  79
    On irrational guilt
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (5). 2005.
    A person raised in a religious family may have been taught that going to the theater is not allowed, and even if he has rejected this taboo years ago, he still feels guilty when attending theater. These kinds of cases may not be rare, but they are strange. Indeed, one may wonder how they are even possible. This is why an explanation is needed, and in my paper I aim to give such an explanation. In particular, I will first provide a brief review of the explanations of irrational guilt that are com…Read more
  •  76
    Pogge on global poverty
    Journal of Global Ethics 2 (1). 2006.
    Thomas Pogge has recently defended additional ways in which to eradicate poverty from the developing world. In this article, Pogge's argument is discussed. First the premises on which Pogge relies are summarized and the logic of 'international borrowing privilege' introduced. Then it is argued that Pogge's solutions to the poverty problem would face similar difficulties to many other solutions - that is, in order to work properly they all must gain extensive international support and political w…Read more
  •  73
    When a Person Feels that She Is Guilty and Believes that She Is Not Guilty
    The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 9 149-152. 2006.
    Guilt feelings are an important part of our emotional life that is relevant to moral philosophy, and guilt feelings raise many theoretically interesting questions. One such question is the problem of how it is possible that sometimes people seem to feel guilty because of an act they have committed even if they believe that the act is not wrong and that it does not have any moral costs. A person raised in a religious family may have been taught that going to the theater is wrong, and even if she …Read more
  •  61
    Rawls and international justice
    Philosophia 25 (1-4): 163-189. 1997.
  •  59
  •  57
    The Ethics of Alien Attitudes
    The Monist 95 (3): 511-532. 2012.
  •  53
    Burden of Proof Rules in Social Criticism
    Argumentation 11 (4): 463-477. 1997.
    The article discusses burden of proof rules in social criticism. By social criticism I mean an argumentative situation in which an opponent publicly argues against certain social practices; the examples I consider are discrimination on the basis of species and discrimination on the basis of one's nationality. I argue that burden of proof rules assumed by those who defend discrimination are somewhat dubious. In social criticism, there are no shared values which would uncontroversially determine w…Read more
  •  53
    The social concept of disease
    Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 17 (4). 1996.
    In the discussion of such social questions as how should alcoholics be treated by society? and what kind of people are responsible in the face of the law?, is disease a value-free or value-laden notion, a natural or a normative one? It seems, for example, that by the utterance alcoholism should be classified as a disease we mean something like the following: the condition called alcoholism is similar in morally relevant respects to conditions that we uncontroversially label diseases, and therefo…Read more
  •  49
    According to Derek Parfit's well‐known argument, a version of utilitarian moral theory implies the so‐called Repugnant Conclusion. This version of utilitarianism states that other things being equal, it is better if there is a greater total sum of whatever makes life worth living. This view appears to implicate that a world where there is an immense total sum of whatever makes life worth living but where individual people have an exceedingly low quality of life is better than a world where there…Read more
  •  48
    In this article I shall undertake a preliminary exploration of the notion of second best. I shall follow a three-step strategy. First, I shall introduce some applications of the theorem of the second best in different fields of philosophy and social sciences. Secondly, I shall make several conceptual distinctions related to the theorem. I aim to show that there are certain theoretical results that are similar but not identical to the theorem of the second best, and that the notion of second best…Read more
  •  46
    Global justice and the logic of the burden of proof
    Metaphilosophy 36 (1-2): 228-239. 2005.
    The question of who has the burden of proof is often important in practice. We must frequently make decisions and act on the basis not of conclusive evidence but of what is reasonable to presume true. Consequently, it happens that a given practical question must be solved by referring to principles that explicitly or implicitly determine, at least partly, where the burden of proof should rest. In this essay, I consider the role of the logic of the burden of proof in a debate on global justice. I…Read more
  •  43
    Black magic (henceforth BM) is acting in an attempt to harm human beings through supernatural means. Examples include the employment of spells, the use of special curses, the burning of objects related to the purported victim, and the use of pins with voodoo dolls. For the sake of simplicity, we shall focus on attempts to kill through BM. The moral attitude towards BM has not been, as far as we know, significantly discussed in contemporary analytic philosophy. Yet the topic brings up interesting…Read more
  •  43
    Distribution and ignorance
    Synthese 198 (3): 2641-2657. 2019.
    According to the so-called presumption of equality, a person who does not know whether there is an acceptable reason for differential treatment should just presume the similarity of the cases and treat them equally. If we assume that the presumption of equality is an acceptable moral principle, at least when the allocation cannot be postponed and an equal distribution of goods is possible, then an important question arises: when exactly does the allocator have sufficient reasons for differential…Read more
  •  43
    This is the first collection of essays of philosophical thanatology that explicitly connects the metaphysical and the ethical questions of death, including some bioethical questions. The volume has four sections, and the discussion moves from historical and theoretical problems to practical issues of bioethics. However, as the editor of the book, James Stacey Taylor, has surely intended, the practical questions discussed are closely related to traditional metaphysical problems, most notably to t…Read more
  •  41
    Moderate Conventionalism and Cultural Appropriation
    Etikk I Praksis - Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics 1 81-88. 2019.
    Cultural appropriation, also called cultural borrowing, has been the topic of much discussion in recent years. Roughly speaking, cultural appropriation happens when someone outside of a cultural or ethnic group takes or uses some object that is characteristic or in some way important to the group without the group’s permission. Individuals who find cultural appropriation unproblematic have often argued that if we express moral criticism of the use of traditional Sami outfits by non-Sami, then we…Read more
  •  40
    Demands for Forgiveness
    Heythrop Journal 53 (5): 724-730. 2012.
  •  39
    Freedom and a Right (Not) to Know
    Bioethics 12 (1): 49-63. 1998.
    The article discusses the relationship between the notion of a moral right to personal self‐determination, the notion of a moral right to know and the notion of a moral right not to know. In particular, the author asks under what conditions, if any, the right to self‐determination implies a right to have information or a right not to have information. The conclusions he defends are theoretical in character rather than concrete norms and directions, and they are intended to be relevant in many co…Read more
  •  38
  •  38
    On Political Conspiracy Theories
    Journal of Political Philosophy 17 (2): 185-201. 2009.
  •  36
    On the presumption of equality
    Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 22 (7): 809-822. 2019.
  •  35
    Privacy and Self-Presentation
    Res Publica 23 (2): 213-226. 2017.
    It has often been argued that one of the reasons why we should value privacy is that it enables self-presentation and impression management. According to this approach, it is valuable to be able to govern the impression one gives, as the capacity to govern impressions is an instrument by which people take care of their various social relationships. In this paper I will take a closer look at that approach on privacy, with specific reference to the alleged threats to privacy created by brain imagi…Read more
  •  31
    Are there Alternative Methods in Ethics?
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 52 (1): 173-189. 1996.
    Do all methods of moral justification resemble the method of reflective equilibrium in presupposing that moral judgment's being justified depends at least in part on its being appropriately related to our actual substantial moral views? Can a moral judgment be justified without such a presupposition? I shall distinguish three versions of the no-option argument According to any version of the no-option argument, there is certain fact which characterizes moral theories, and that fact implies that …Read more
  •  29
    Genes and Morality: New Essays
    with Veikko Launis and Juhani Pietarinen
    Rodopi. 1999.
    Most public discussion has focused on those effects of genetic research that are considered in some way unwanted or unpleasant. For example, there has been much debate concerning the risks and the ethical appropriateness of genetic screening, gene therapy, and agricultural applications based on genetic techniques. It often claimed that genetic research may cause new problems such as genetic discrimination, stigmatization, environmental risks, or mistreatment of animals. Genes and Morality: New E…Read more
  •  29
    The ethical and political evaluation of biotechnology strategies
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 12 (3): 273-280. 2009.
    In this paper I will briefly discuss the role and function of the ethical advisory committees and other ethics bodies that are supposed to take care of the ethical dimension of the biotechnology strategies. The expert ethical advice has created colourful discussion in many contexts, but here I aim to analyze the role and relevance of ethical expertise in the context of national and regional biotechnology strategies. I will argue that it may be quite unproblematic that the work of the ethics comm…Read more