Category Archives: Deontology and Moral Responsibility

Steven Schaus, ‘A Simple Model of Torts and Moral Wrongs’

ABSTRACT According to the ‘standard model’ of torts and moral wrongs – the model implicit in leading moral theories of tort law – tort law imposes genuine duties that are distinct from, and only roughly coincide with, our preexisting moral duties. A ‘tort’, on this model, is a distinctive kind of wrong, the breach of […]

Sandy Steel, ‘Culpability and Compensation’

ABSTRACT This paper examines the role of moral culpability in relation to legal duties to compensate. It explains why duties to compensate generally arise independently of culpability, but why culpability considerations still play a role in determining the incidence and extent of compensatory liability. Despite the prevalence of culpability-independent liability in private law, I describe […]

Horia Tarnovanu, ‘Causal Stability in Moral Contexts’

“Understanding the causal course of nature as a complex, seamless structure of interactions exposes causal claims to a basic form of indeterminacy: under an analysis attentive to increasingly broader causal ramifications, it is simply indeterminate which cause or causal pathway in the antecedent network of determiners brings about a target-effect. Any singular target-consequence appears to […]

Ori Herstein, ‘Reasons to Try’

ABSTRACT The value of trying is various and complex, yielding reasons to try to do numerous different things in diverse contexts. Demonstrating this richness, I draw on cultural insights and on examples from everyday life, with a special focus on the law and on morality. The paper builds on the work of John Gardner, who […]

Mitchell Berman, ‘Blameworthiness, Desert, and Luck’

ABSTRACT Philosophers disagree about whether outcome luck can affect an agent’s ‘moral responsibility’. Focusing on responsibility’s ‘negative side’, some maintain, and others deny, that an action’s results bear constitutively on how ‘blameworthy’ the actor is, and on how much blame or punishment they ‘deserve’. Crucially, both sides to the debate assume that an actor’s blameworthiness […]

Verdicchio and Perin, ‘When Doctors and AI Interact: on Human Responsibility for Artificial Risks’

ABSTRACT A discussion concerning whether to conceive Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems as responsible moral entities, also known as ‘artificial moral agents’ (AMAs), has been going on for some time. In this regard, we argue that the notion of ‘moral agency’ is to be attributed only to humans based on their autonomy and sentience, which AI […]

van Domselaar and De Bock, ‘The Case of David vs Goliath. On Legal Ethics and Corporate Lawyering in Large Scale Civil Liability Cases’

ABSTRACT Large corporations contribute to wealth and make an important contribution to economies. At the same time, their business operations and products form a serious threat to the rights of large groups of citizens, be it their right to health, to housing, a minimum wage, occupational safety, privacy, environment, to financial stability or to equality […]

Andrew Jordan, ‘Uniformity and Multiplicity in Contract Law: Some Reflections on the Morality of Promises’

ABSTRACT This article engages a recent debate in contract theory concerning whether we should embrace a uniform contract law, or whether we should instead adopt different legal rules for different contracting relationships. A common assumption in the literature is that grounding contract in promissory morality would lead to the former. After all, the thinking goes, […]

Nicholas McBride, ‘Are There Any Moral Duties?’

ABSTRACT This is a substantially expanded version of a paper that will appear in a collection of essays in honour of John Gardner’s contribution to thinking about private law. The idea that there are such things as moral duties was central to John’s thought about private law. This paper suggests that we have reason to […]

Nicolas Cornell, ‘Looking and Seeing’

ABSTRACT Negligence resides at the boundaries of ethics and perception. Consider a typical case: a driver fails to see an object in the road and causes an accident. In both law and moral life, we routinely hold people accountable for such failures. It is tempting to cast such failures in terms of a breach of […]