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Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissable Harm

Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissable Harm

by F.M. Kamm

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"Reading F.M. Kamm's latest book is like watching a brilliant astronomer map an uncharted galaxy--the meticulousness and the display of mental stamina must inspire awe. There is a kind of beauty in the performance alone. Intricate Ethics is a major event in normative ethical theory by a living master of the subject.... In the end, professional moral philosophers cannot reasonably ignore Intricate Ethics.... Kamm continues to prove herself the most imaginative, detail-oriented deontologist writing in English today... Professor Kamm is in a class by herself."--Jeffrey Brand-Ballard, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "The operative word in this masterful work is 'intricate.' Watching Kamm's mind dissect and reconstruct different cases is like watching a juggler, riding a unicycle, carrying on a conversation, while getting dressed. It is a glorious celebration of what moral philosophy does best, and what one of its most gifted practitioners can do to enlighten our understanding of the most pressing ethical issues of our time. But it is also a rich playground for empirically minded philosophers and psychologists who want to play with the clever class of dilemmas that Kamm has created, dilemmas that will both amuse and torture generations of people."--Marc Hauser is a Harvard College Professor and author of "Moral Minds" "Frances Kamm once again proves herself to be an astonishingly subtle and creative defender of a deontological outlook. Anyone at all interested in normative ethics will find something of value in Intricate Ethics. There are striking and original views on a wide range of topics. And no one--absolutely no one--compares to Kamm when it comes to constructing relevant test cases and carefully assessing our intuitive reactions to them. This is a master at work, at the height of her powers."--Shelly Kagan, Clark Professor of Philosophy, Yale University "Intricate Ethics fully justifies its title. It is as deep, subtle, imaginative, and analytically rigorous as any work in moral philosophy written in a great many years. It is dense with highly original and fertile ideas supported by powerful and ingenious arguments. This book amply confirms Frances Kamm's standing as one of the greatest living philosophers.--Jeff McMahan, Rutgers University "Kamm's virtuosity in hypothesizing cases in defense or refutation of moral principles remains unsurpassed. Intricate Ethics is also a testament to the fruitfulness of this rarefied method of ethics. One might have thought that, having already devoted several hundred path-breaking pages to the topic of nonconsequentialism in her earlier two-volume Morality, Mortality, it would have been impossible to break much new ground in this sequel. Yet what Kamm has to say here on the topics of harming and saving from harm is as novel, arresting, and insightful as ever."--Michael Otsuka, Professor of Philosophy, University College London "Kamm the most sophisticated of the contemporary exponents of "intuitionist" or "nonconsequentialist" ethics...No one else makes such extraordinarily meticulous and penetrating attempts to extract the principles behind our ordinary moral intuitions...I highly recommend it as an inclusive and subtle attempt to work out nonconsequentialism on an intuitionist basis. As a bonus, Intricate Ethics also offers searching analyses of the work of Peter Unger, Peter Singer, Bernard Gert, T.M. Scanlon, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky."--Ingmar Persson, Times Literary Supplement

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190293499
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/14/2006
Series: Oxford Ethics Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

F. M. Kamm is Littauer Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government and Professor of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, at Harvard University. She is the author of Creation and Abortion (1992); Morality, Mortality, Vol. 1: Death and Whom to Save From It (1993); and Morality, Mortality Vol.2: Rights, Duties, and Status (1996), all from Oxford University Press.

Table of Contents

Section I: Nonconsequentialism And The Trolley Problem
1. Nonconsequentialism
2. Aggregation and Two Moral Methods
3. Intention, Harm, and the Possibility of a Unified Theory
4. The Doctrines of Double and Triple Effect and Why a Rational Agent Need Not Intend the Means to His End
5. Toward the Essence of Nonconsequentialist Constraints on Harming: Modality, Productive Purity, and the Greater Good Working Itself Out
6. Harming People in Peter Unger's Living High and Letting Die
Section II: Rights
7. Moral Status
8. Rights beyond Interests
9. Conflicts of Rights: A Typology
Section III: Responsibilities
10. Responsibility and Collaboration
11. Does Distance Matter Morally to the Duty to Rescue?
12. The New Problem of Distance in Morality
Section IV: Others' Ethics
13. Peter Singer's Ethical Theory
14. Moral Intuitions, Cognitive Psychology, and the Harming/Not-Aiding Distinction
15. Harms, Losses, and Evils in Gert's Moral Theory
16. Owing, Justifying, and Rejecting

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