Category Archives: Deontology and Moral Responsibility

Elizabeth Brake, ‘Price gouging and the duty of easy rescue’

ABSTRACT What, if anything, is wrong with price gouging? Its defenders argue that it increases supply of scarce necessities; critics argue that it is exploitative, inequitable and vicious. In this paper, I argue for its moral wrongness and legal prohibition, without relying on charges of exploitation, inequity or poor character. What is fundamentally wrong with […]

‘Legal Theory Lexicon: Deontology’

“A prior Legal Theory Lexicon post explored utilitarianism, an approach to normative moral theory that has had an enormous influence on legal thought. This week, I take up one of utilitarianism’s main rivals, deonotology. Deontological moral theories vary in myriad ways, but the focal point for deontology is the concept of duty with its correlative […]

Jamie Buckland, ‘Agent-Relativity and the Status of Deontological Restrictions’

“There is a familiar distinction in moral philosophy between deontological and consequentialist normative theories. Deontological theories place a significant emphasis on the idea that what matters, morally, is that individual agents perform or refrain from performing certain action-types, rather than promoting the occurrence, or non-occurrence of these action-types more generally. More specifically, a deontologist will […]

Bakhtawar Bilal Soofi, ‘Property Rights In Kant’s Political Philosophy’

ABSTRACT This essay attempts to unravel some of the tensions inherent in Kant’s treatment of property rights when viewed in conjunction with the broader themes central to his political philosophy. This essay proceeds as follows. In Part II, I will explore why property rights are essential to Kant’s political philosophy and what role they play, […]

Kneer and Skoczeń, ‘Outcome Effects, Moral Luck and the Hindsight Bias’

ABSTRACT In a series of ten preregistered experiments (N=2043), we investigate the effect of outcome valence on judgments of probability, negligence, and culpability – a phenomenon sometimes labelled moral (and legal) luck. We found that harmful outcomes, when contrasted with neutral outcomes, lead to increased perceived probability of harm ex post, and consequently to increased […]

Emily McTernan, ‘Taking offense: An emotion reconsidered’

“A stranger in the pub bumps into you spilling your drink and then doesn’t apologize, or someone pushes past to grab a seat on the train. A colleague makes a dismissive remark about your work in front of your boss. A man catcalls a woman on the street, or wears a T‐shirt declaring, ‘keep calm, […]

Licht and Brülde, ‘On Defining “Reliance” and “Trust”: Purposes, Conditions of Adequacy, and New Definitions’

ABSTRACT Trust is often perceived as having great value. For example, there is a strong belief that trust will bring different sorts of public goods and help us preserve common resources. A related concept which is just as important, but perhaps not explicitly discussed to the same extent as ‘trust’, is ‘reliance’ or ‘confidence’. To […]

Bruce Palmer, ‘What Is an Unjust Act’

ABSTRACT This essay proposes an operational or functional definition of an unjust act, an objective definition that would allow one to identify an unjust act across societies and cultures. It distinguishes between ‘injustice’ and a ‘just act’, justice being defined at least in part subjectively, unlike the proposed operational definition of an unjust act. It […]

Ko Hasegawa, ‘Interactive Reason in Law’

ABSTRACT This paper, which is the original draft of the article already published in 2017, explicates more about the article, exploring the complex working of reason in law and its interrelationship to the emotion of fairness. Hasegawa, Ko, Interactive Reason in Law (2017). Law, Reason and Emotion (Cambridge UP, 2017).

Matthieu Queloz, ‘The self-effacing functionality of blame’

ABSTRACT This paper puts forward an account of blame combining two ideas that are usually set up against each other: that blame performs an important function, and that blame is justified by the moral reasons making people blameworthy rather than by its functionality. The paper argues that blame could not have developed in a purely […]