• Why moral philosophers should watch sci-fi movies
    In Fiorella Battaglia & Nathalie Weidenfeld (eds.), Roboethics in Film, Pisa University Press. pp. 79-92. 2014.
    In this short piece, I explore why we, as moral philosophers, should watch sci-fi movies. Though I do not believe that sci-fi material is ne- cessary for doing good moral philosophy, I give three broad reasons why good sci-fi movies should nevertheless be worth our time. These reasons lie in the fact that they can illustrate moral-philosophical pro- blems, probe into possible solutions and, perhaps most importantly, an- ticipate new issues that may go along with the use of new technologies. For …Read more
  • The Case Against Consequentialism: Methodological Issues
    In Miguel Holtje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), GAP.8 Proceedings. GAP (2013), Gesellschaft Für Analytische Philosophie. pp. 654-665. 2013.
    Over the years, consequentialism has been subjected to numerous serious objections. Its adherents, however, have been remarkably successful in fending them off. As I argue in this paper, the reason why the case against consequentialism has not been more successful lies, at least partly, in the methodological approach that critics have commonly used. Their arguments have usually proceeded in two steps. First, a definition of consequentialism is given. Then, objections are put forward based on tha…Read more
  • How to Have your Cake and Eat it Too: Resolving the Efficiency- Equity Trade-off in Minimum Wage Legislation
    with Christoph Schumacher
    Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics 19 315-340. 2008.
    Minimum wages are usually assumed to be inefficient as they prevent the full exploitation of mutual gains from trade. Yet advocates of wage regulation policies have repeatedly claimed that this loss in market efficiency can be justified by the pursuit of ethical goals. Policy makers, it is argued, should not focus on efficiency alone. Rather, they should try to find an adequate balance between efficiency and equity targets. This idea is based on a two-worlds-paradigm that sees ethics and economi…Read more
  • What is Fake News?
    Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5 923-946. 2018.
    An important way in which philosophy can contribute to public discourse is by clarifying concepts that are central to it. This paper is a philosophical contribution in that spirit. It offers an account of fake news—a notion that has entered public debate following the 2016 US presidential election. On the view I defend, fake news is Frankfurtian bullshit that is asserted in the form of a news publication. According to Frankfurt’s famous account, bullshit has two characteristics. There is, firstl…Read more
  • In this paper, I offer a conceptual analysis of fake news. In essence, I suggest analysing this notion as a species of Frankfurtian bullshit. This construal, I argue, allows us to distinguish it from similar phenomena like bad or biased journalism and satire. First, I introduce four test cases. The first three are, intuitively, not cases of fake news, while the fourth one is. A correct conceptual analysis should, hence, exclude the first three while including the fourth. Next, I go through some …Read more
  • The idea of responsibility is deeply embedded into the “lifeworld” of human beings and not subject to change. However, the empirical circumstances in which we act and ascribe responsibility to one another are subject to change. Science and technology play a great part in this transformation process. Therefore, it is important for us to rethink the idea, the role and the normative standards behind responsibility in a world that is constantly being transformed under the influence of scientific and…Read more
  • Technological progress and responsibility
    In Fiorella Battaglia, Nikil Mukerji & Julian Nida-Rümelin (eds.), Rethinking Responsibility in Science and Technology, Pisa University Press. pp. 25-36. 2014.
    In this essay, I will examine how technological progress affects the responsibilities of human agents. To this end, I will distinguish between two interpretations of the concept of responsibility, viz. responsibility as attributability and substantive responsibility. On the former interpretation, responsibility has to do with the idea of authorship. When we say that a person is responsible for her actions we mean that she is to be seen as the author of these actions. They can be attributed to he…Read more
  • Economic rationality and the optimization trap
    St. Gallen Business Review 2015 (1): 12-17. 2015.
    The theme of this issue of the St. Gallen Business Review is "Harmony". For this reason, we would like to discuss whether two aspects of our life- world are in harmony, namely economic optimization and morality. What is the relation between them? According to a widely shared view, which is one aspect of the doctrine of "mainstream economics", the functioning of an economic system does not require moral behaviour on the part of the individual economic agent. In what follows, we will try to convin…Read more
  • Karl Homann, Sollen und Können - Grenzen und Bedingungen der Individualmoral (review)
    Philosophisches Jahrbuch 123 (1): 262-264. 2016.
    Karl Homann ist vor allem als Wirtschaftsethiker bekannt. Er war der erste Inhaber eines wirtschaftsethischen Lehrstuhls und gilt als einer derjenigen Autoren, die das Fach Wirtschaftsethik im deutschen Sprachraum maßgeblich geprägt haben. Dabei hat Homann seinen wirtschaftsethischen Theorieentwurf nie als eine schlichte Anwendung ethischer Grundsätze auf Fragen des Wirtschaftens verstanden. Vielmehr begriff er ihn als allgemeinen ethischen Ansatz mit ökonomischer Methode. Im Rahmen dieses Ansat…Read more
  • Utilitarianism
    In Christoph Lütge (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics, Springer. pp. 297-313. 2013.
    This chapter offers a concise discussion of classic utilitarianism which is the prototypical moral doctrine of the utilitarian family. It starts with an analysis of the classic utilitarian criterion of rightness, gives an overview over its virtues and vices, and suggests an overall assessment of its adequacy as a theory of morality. Furthermore, it briefly discusses whether classic utilitarianism holds promise as a philosophy for doing business.
  • Towards a Moderate Stance on Human Enhancement
    Humana Mente 7 (26): 17-33. 2014.
    In this essay, we argue against radical ethical views about human enhancement that either dismiss or endorse it tout court. Instead, we advocate the moderate stance that issues of enhancement should be examined with an open mind and on a case-by-case basis. To make this view plausible, we offer three reasons. The first lies in the fact that it is difficult to delineate enhancement conceptually, which makes it hard to argue for general ethical conclusions about it. The second is that an appropria…Read more
  • Consequentialism, Deontology and the Morality of Promising
    In Johanna Jauernig & Christoph Lütge (eds.), Business Ethics and Risk Management, Springer. pp. 111-126. 2014.
    In normative ethics there has been a long-standing debate between consequentialists and deontologists. To settle this dispute moral theorists have often used a selective approach. They have focused on particular aspects of our moral practice and have teased out what consequentialists and deontologists have to say about it. One of the focal points of this debate has been the morality of promising. In this paper I review arguments on both sides and examine whether consequentialists or deontologis…Read more
  • Experimentelle Ethik
    In Julian Nida-Rümelin, Irina Spiegel & Markus Tiedemann (eds.), Philosophie Und Ethik - Band 2: Disziplinen Und Themen, Utb. pp. 93-101. 2015.
    Was tun Philosophen eigentlich, wenn sie Philosophie treiben? Oder besser: Was sollten Philosophen tun, wenn sie Philosophie treiben? Diese Frage ist selbst eine philosophische. Und sie wird seit einigen Jahren wieder mit zunehmender Intensität diskutiert. Dafür ist vor allem eine neue philosophische Bewegung verantwortlich, die man als „experimentelle Philosophie“ oder kurz „ x-phi “ bezeichnet. Anhänger dieser Bewegung glauben, die Philosophie solle sich in Vorgehensweise und Methodik den empi…Read more
  • This book examines the theoretical foundations of order ethics and discusses business ethics problems from an order ethics perspective. Order ethics focuses on the social order and the institutional environment in which individuals interact. It is a well-established paradigm in European business ethics. The book contains articles written by leading experts in the field and provides both a concise introduction to order ethics and short summary articles homing in on specific aspects of the order-…Read more
  • Responsibility, Order Ethics, and Group Agency
    Archiv für Rechts- Und Sozialphilosophie 100 (2): 176-186. 2014.
    Those who invoke the notion of moral responsibility in ethical discourse seem to be faced with a dilemma. Apparently, they either have to violate the “control principle” which says that nobody can be held responsible for what is beyond one's control. Or they have to concede that in many cases there is a “responsibility void” which means that nobody is responsible. The first option seems unjustifiable. The second renders the concept of moral responsibility useless. This dilemma may be taken to su…Read more
  • In this paper, I address the question whether drones, which may soon possess the ability to make autonomous choices, should be allowed to make life-and-death decisions and act on them. To this end, I examine an argument proposed by Rob Sparrow, who dismisses the ethicality of what he calls “killer robots”. If successful, his conclusion would extend to the use of what I call autonomous killer drones, which are special kinds of killer robots. In Sparrow’s reasoning, considerations of responsibilit…Read more
  • Science, technology, and responsibility
    In Fiorella Battaglia, Nikil Mukerji & Julian Nida-Rümelin (eds.), Rethinking Responsibility in Science and Technology, Pisa University Press. pp. 7-11. 2014.
    The empirical circumstances in which human beings ascribe responsibility to one another are subject to change. Science and technology play a great part in this transformation process. Therefore, it is important for us to rethink the idea, the role and the normative standards behind responsibility in a world that is constantly changing under the influence of scientific and technological progress. This volume is a contribution to that joint societal effort.
  • Is the Minimum Wage Ethically Justifiable? An Order-Ethical Answer
    with Christoph Schumacher
    In Christoph Luetge & Nikil Mukerji (eds.), Order Ethics: An Ethical Framework for the Social Market Economy, Springer. pp. 279-292. 2016.
    Is the minimum wage ethically justifiable? In this chapter, we attempt to answer this question from an order-ethical perspective. To this end, we develop two simple game theoretical models for different types of labour markets and derive policy implications from an order-ethical viewpoint. Our investigation yields a twofold conclusion. Firstly, order ethicists should prefer a tax-funded wage subsidy over minimum wages, if they assume that labour markets are perfectly competitive. Secondly, order…Read more
  • Guidelines on Regulating Robotics
    with Erica Palmerini, Federico Azzarri, Fiorella Battaglia, Andrea Bertolini, Antonio Carnevale, Jacopo Carpaneto, Filippo Cavallo, Angela Di Carlo, Marco Cempini, Marco Controzzi, Bert-Jaap Koops, Federica Lucivero, Luca Nocco, Alberto Pirni, and Huma Shah
    Robolaw (FP7 project). 2014.
  • Der alle drei Jahre tagende Kongress der „Deutschen Gesellschaft für Philosophie“ (DGPhil) ist der größte Kongress für Philosophie in Deutschland. Vom 11.-15. September fand er diesmal an der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in München statt. Mit rund 1600 Teilnehmern und über 400 philosophischen Vorträgen fiel er, auch durch den Veranstaltungsort bedingt, wesentlich umfangreicher aus als der XXI. Kongress in Essen.
  • Dieses Buch erklärt anschaulich und lebensnah die zentralen Regeln vernünftigen Denkens – die 10 Gebote des gesunden Menschenverstands. Diese Regeln sind essentiell für jeden, der im Leben Erfolg haben möchte. Denn wer Erfolg haben will, muss klug entscheiden. Und wer klug entscheiden will, muss klar und vernünftig denken. Aber wie können Sie diese Fähigkeit entwickeln? Nikil Mukerji, Philosoph und Unternehmensberater, weiß Rat: Sie müssen zehn Regeln befolgen, die verblüffend einfach sind, aber…Read more
  • John Rawls' Differenzprinzip verlangt, die gesellschaftlichen Spielregeln zum größten Vorteil der sozial Schwächsten einzurichten. Der vorliegende Band analysiert, was diese sozialethische Maxime realiter erfordert und erklärt, wie sie moralphilosophisch begründet werden kann. Dabei wird betont, dass die faktische Realisierbarkeit ethischer Prinzipien eine Bedingung ihrer normativen Geltung darstellt. Und es wird eine Interpretation des Differenzprinzips vorgestellt, die eine Umsetzung der Rawls…Read more
  • Order Ethics, Economics, and Game Theory
    with Christoph Schumacher
    In Christoph Luetge & Nikil Mukerji (eds.), Order Ethics: An Ethical Framework for the Social Market Economy, Springer. pp. 93-108. 2016.
    We offer a concise introduction to the methodology of order-ethics and highlight how it connects aspects of economic theory and, in particular, game theory with traditional ethical considerations. The discussion is conducted along the lines of five basic propositions, which are used to characterize the methodological approach of order ethics.
  • Intuitions, Experiments, and Armchairs
    In Christoph Lütge, Hannes Rusch & Matthias Uhl (eds.), Experimental Ethics, Palgrave-macmillan. pp. 227-243. 2014.
    Some ethicists believe that we should give no weight to low-level intuitions about cases. In this paper, three common arguments for this position are examined and rejected. All have an empirical basis. The first is the argument from disagreement. The second draws on framing effects. And the third employs debunking explanations. The discussion aims to make a substantive methodological point about ethical inquiry, viz. that low-level intuitions are not to be shunned. Above that, however, its aim i…Read more
  • Rawls, Order Ethics, and Rawlsian Order Ethics
    with Ludwig Heider
    In Christoph Luetge & Nikil Mukerji (eds.), Order Ethics: An Ethical Framework for the Social Market Economy, Springer. pp. 149-166. 2016.
    This chapter discusses how order ethics relates to the theory of justice. We focus on John Rawls's influential conception "Justice as Fairness" (JF) and compare its components with relevant aspects of the order-ethical approach. The two theories, we argue, are surprisingly compatible in various respects. We also analyse how far order ethicists disagree with Rawls and why. The main source of disagreement that we identify lies in a thesis that is central to the order ethical system, viz. the requi…Read more
  • Wie kann ein Experiment zur Beantwortung philosophischer Fragestellungen beitragen? Etwa: Was ist Wissen? Was bedeuten sprachliche Ausdrücke? Haben wir einen freien Willen? Kann man etwas absichtlich tun, ohne es zu beabsichtigen? Vertreter einer jungen philosophischen Bewegung wollen den Fragen ihres Fachs mithilfe empirisch-psychologischer Methoden auf den Grund gehen. Anstatt den Lehnstuhl (»armchair«) aufzusuchen, um sich philosophischen Problemen zu widmen, begeben sich experimentelle Philo…Read more
  • Experimental Philosophy: A Critical Study
    Rowman & Littlefield International. 2019.
    Suitable for student readers and more advanced scholars who would like an introduction to experimental philosophy, this book guides the reader through current debates on the topic, and provides links to current and emerging work in the field.
  • This book argues that critics of consequentialism have not been able to make a successful and comprehensive case against all versions of consequentialism because they have been using the wrong methodology. This methodology relies on the crucial assumption that consequentialist theories share a defining characteristic. This text interprets consequentialism, instead, as a family resemblance term. On that basis, it argues quite an ambitions claim, viz. that all versions of consequentialism should b…Read more