•  337
    Applied Ethics. A Defence
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 14 (4): 397-406. 2011.
    Given a reasonable coherentist view of justification in ethics, applied ethics, as here conceived of, cannot only guide us, in our practical decisions, but also provide moral understanding through explanation of our moral obligations. Furthermore, applied ethics can contribute to the growth of knowledge in ethics as such. We put moral hypotheses to crucial test in individual cases. This claim is defended against the challenges from moral intuitionism and particularism
  •  211
    Moral Relativism
    Philosophical Studies 135 (2): 123-143. 2007.
    Moral relativism comes in many varieties. One is a moral doctrine, according to which we ought to respect other cultures, and allow them to solve moral problems as they see fit. I will say nothing about this kind of moral relativism in the present context. Another kind of moral relativism is semantic moral relativism, according to which, when we pass moral judgements, we make an implicit reference to some system of morality (our own). According to this kind of moral relativism, when I say that a…Read more
  •  198
    Why We Ought to Accept the Repugnant Conclusion
    Utilitas 14 (3): 339. 2002.
    Derek Parfit has famously pointed out that ‘total’ utilitarian views, such as classical hedonistic utilitarianism, lead to the conclusion that, to each population of quite happy persons there corresponds a more extensive population with people living lives just worth living, which is better. In particular, for any possible population of at least ten billion people, all with a very high quality of life, there must be some much larger imaginable population whose existence, if other things are equa…Read more
  •  190
    Chinese and Westerners Respond Differently to the Trolley Dilemmas
    Journal of Cognition and Culture 12 (3-4): 195-201. 2012.
    A set of moral problems known as The Trolley Dilemmas was presented to 3000 randomly selected inhabitants of the USA, Russia and China. It is shown that Chinese are significantly less prone to support utility-maximizing alternatives, as compared to the US and Russian respondents. A number of possible explanations, as well as methodological issues pertaining to the field of surveying moral judgment and moral disagreement, are discussed.
  •  156
    Why should we respect the privacy of donors of biological material?
    Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 14 (1): 43-52. 2011.
    Why should we respect the privacy of donors of biological material? The question is answered in the present article in general philosophical terms from the point of view of an ethics of honour, a libertarian theory of rights, a view of respect for privacy based on the idea that autonomy is of value in itself, and utilitarianism respectively. For different reasons the ethics of honour and the idea of the value of autonomy are set to one side. It surfaces that the moral rights theory and utilitari…Read more
  •  131
    Donald Davidson brought to our attention deviant causal chains as a problem for causal theories of action. Consider Davidson's own example: " A climber might want to rid himself of the weight and danger of holding another man on a rope, and he might know that by loosening his hold on the rope he could rid himself of the weight and danger. This belief and want might so unnerve him as to cause him to loosen his hold, and yet it might be the case that he never chose to loosen his hold, nor did he d…Read more
  •  126
    Against Sexual Discrimination in Sports
    In William J. Morgan (ed.), Ethics in Sport, Human Kinetics. pp. 347. 2007.
  •  95
    The repugnant conclusion is acceptable from the point of view of total utilitarianism. Total utilitarians do not seem to be bothered with it. They feel that it is in no way repugnant. To me, a hard-nosed total utilitarian, this settles the case. However, if, sometimes, I doubt that total utilitarianism has the final say in ethics, and tend to think that there may be something to some objection to it or another, it is the objection to it brought forward from egalitarian thought that first comes t…Read more
  •  91
    Review: Goodness and Advice (review)
    Mind 113 (452): 787-791. 2004.
  •  90
    The repugnant conclusion
    with Jesper Ryberg and Gustaf Arrhenius
    The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Online; Last Accessed October 4 2006. 2006.
  •  82
    Genetic Technology and Sport: Ethical Questions (edited book)
    with Claudio Marcello Tamburrini
    Routledge. 2005.
    For elite athletes seeking a winning advantage, manipulation of their own genetic code has become a realistic possibility. In Genetic Technology and Sport, experts from sports science, genetics, philosophy, ethics, and international sports administration describe the potential applications of the new technology and debate the questions surrounding its use.
  •  64
    Classical hedonistic utilitarianism
    Philosophical Studies 81 (1). 1996.
  •  64
    Social psychology and the paradox of revolution
    South African Journal of Philosophy 26 (2): 228-238. 2007.
    No. South African Journal of Philosophy Vol.26 (2) 2007:228-238
  •  62
    The morality of clinical research – a case study
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 19 (1): 7-21. 1994.
    The paper is a record of a debate which took place between a group of clinicians and the author concerning a clinical trial of a drug supposed to postpone the time when HIV-patients develop AIDS. A problem with the trial was that on available (inconclusive) evidence it appeared that one patient out of 500 was killed by the drug. The question raised was whether, in view of this evidence, it was morally defensible to go on with the trial. The discussion came to involve general topics such as the a…Read more
  •  56
    Utilitarianism or Prioritarianism?
    Utilitas 27 (2): 240-250. 2015.
    A simple hedonistic theory allowing for interpersonal comparisons of happiness is taken for granted in this article. The hedonistic theory is used to compare utilitarianism, urging us to maximize the sum total of happiness, with prioritarianism, urging us to maximize a sum total of weighed happiness. It is argued with reference to a few thought experiments that utilitarianism is, intuitively speaking, more plausible than prioritarianism. The problem with prioritarianism surfaces when prudence an…Read more
  •  55
  •  48
    The moral significance of moral realism
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 26 (2): 247-261. 1988.
    Moral realism does not imply any interesting moral statements. However, There are pragmatic consequences of our acceptance of moral realism. If we accept moral realism we have good reasons to be concerned about moral arguments, And we are able to account for moral fallibility. If, On the other hand, We accept moral irrealism, A concern for moral arguments and moral consistency seems completely arbitrary, And we have difficulties to account for moral fallibility. We may even come to think, When a…Read more
  •  48
    If there is such a thing as objectively existing prescriptivity, as the moral realist claims, then we can also explain why—and we need not deny that—strong internalism is true. Strong conceptual internalism is true, not because of any belief in any magnetic force thought to be inherent in moral properties themselves, as Mackie argued, but because we do not allow that anyone has ‘accepted’ a normative claim, unless she is prepared to some extent to act on it
  •  47
    In Defence of Theory in Ethics
    Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (4). 1995.
  •  47
    Conservatism for Our Time
    Routledge. 1990.
    1 THE CONSERVATIVE ATTITUDE THE HARD CORE OF THE CONSERVATIVE IDEOLOGY What is conservatism? It may seem a hopeless task to characterize a timeless concept ...
  •  45
    Coercive Care: The Ethics of Choice in Health and Medicine asks probing and challenging questions regarding the use of coercion in health care and social services. This book combines philosophical analysis with comparative studies of social policy and law in a large number of industrialized countries and proposes an ideal of judicial security on a global scale.
  •  45
    Is Our Admiration for Sports Heroes Fascistoid?
    Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 25 (1): 23-34. 1998.
    No abstract
  •  43
    Why no compromise is possible
    Metaphilosophy 38 (2-3). 2007.
  •  42
    The moral import of modal realism
    Theoria 53 (2-3): 87-96. 1987.
  •  38
    Blameless Wrongdoing
    Ethics 106 (1): 120-127. 1995.
  •  37
    Non-voluntary sterilization
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 31 (4). 2006.
    We cannot easily condemn in principle a policy where people are non-voluntarily sterilized with their informed consent (where they accept sterilization, if they do, in order to avoid punishment). There are conceivable circumstances where such a policy would be morally acceptable. One such conceivable circumstance is the one (incorrectly, as it were) believed by most decent advocates of eugenics in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century to exist: to wit, a situation where the human race …Read more
  •  37
    Responsibility and the explanatory view of consequences
    Philosophical Studies 42 (2). 1982.
    I conclude that the explanatory view of consequences is a fruitful one.This view accounts for our common sense view that actions are, in some sense, ‘sufficient’ for their consequences. It shows in a concrete and illuminating manner that we are or may be responsible for a vast number of events no matter how ‘innocently’ our actions may be described. It allows for the fact that individuals lack responsibility for consequences of collective actions, thereby explaining a generally felt ‘double effe…Read more
  •  37
    The morality of abstract entities
    Theoria 44 (1): 1-18. 1978.