What ought individual agents do with regard to climate change? This book challenges the common intuition that every individual agent is morally required to do her bit by refraining from individual polluting actions and still does not leave individuals off the hook. Climate change requires an extremely ambitious, collective solution. This book defends the primacy of promotional duties and focuses on getting individuals as members of society involved. By taking a rights-based approach, it provides a profound normative basis to lead a heated discussion e.g. with regard to what can reasonably be demanded of individuals. Next to addressing duties of specific groups of agents such as young parents, this book aims to derive concrete recommendations for action. But, more broadly, it aims to empower individual agents to finally be able to make a meaningful difference in the global fought against climate change.
Do Animals Have a Time-Relative Interest in Continuing to Live?
Are animals mentally stuck in the present, unable to think beyond the here and now, or are they mental time travelers, capable of planning ahead in time? And why should this matter to us?
“Planning for the Future” provides a thorough conceptual clarification of the most important but ambiguously used concepts in the debate and differentiates between two types of planning. In analyzing several influential studies with birds and apes, the book concludes that there is indeed evidence for anticipatory planning in some animals, but not for strategic planning so far. In a chapter of its own, ethical consequences regarding the wrongness of killing animals from utilitarian and animal rights perspectives are laid out. Do at least some animals have a strong interest in continuing to live? Should they even be ascribed with a right not to be killed? And why might the awareness of our own mortality hinder us in finding answers?
Personhood and personality are essential features of human persons. Following the debate concerning ‘personal identity’ the metaphysical and the practical dimension of our personal lifeform are made explicit.The search for criteria for personal identity on the one hand and for person-making characteristics on the other hand are at the center of the philosophy of person. In this book the various dimensions of the personal lifeform of human beings which have been debated in analytical philosophy are examined. Thereby a new systematic conception is unfolded in which the metaphysical and the practical aspects of our personal lifeform are made explicit as a complex unity.
Is it permissible to kill an innocent person against her will in order to prevent several other innocent persons from being killed against their will? The answer to which this essay comes after extensive discussion is – under certain conditions and limitations – affirmative.
On the way to this answer, the book offers a comprehensive in-depth discussion of so-called deontic restrictions – that is, the idea of an action’s being prohibited in circumstances in which performing it once would be the only way to prevent its being performed multiple times. The book’s leading question is whether there is a plausible rationale for deontic restrictions. To this effect, a taxonomy and critical discussions of the most important approaches to justify deontic restrictions are provided – where many of these approaches undergo a deeper examination for the first time ever. In addition, the book clarifies some adjoining questions, such as why deontic restrictions are often perceived as being problematic or how the concept of agent-relativity should best be understood and formalized. Put into broader perspective, the conclusions offered should have a bearing on a number of debates in normative ethics, not least on the debate between deontologists and consequentialist.
Assessing causal and moral responsibility for the things we fail to do
This book empirically investigates the social practice of ascribing moral responsibility to others for the things they failed to do, and it discusses the philosophical relevance of this practice. In our everyday life, we often blame others for things they failed to do. For instance, we might blame our neighbour for not watering our plants during our vacation. Interestingly, the attribution of blame is typically accompanied by the attribution of causal responsibility. We do not only blame our neighbour for not watering our plants, but we do so because we believe that not watering the plants caused them to dry up and die. In this book, I investigate how we make moral and causal judgments about omissions. I discuss different philosophical perspectives on this matter, and I outline to what extent the actual social practice is in line with philosophical theories.
Im Zuge der Entwicklung der modernen Biotechnologie zu einer Schlüsseltechnologie des 21. Jahrhunderts wurde das Patentrecht als wirtschafts- und forschungspolitisches Instrument auch auf den Bereich der belebten Natur ausgedehnt. Diese Entwicklung stößt unter ethischen Aspekten jedoch vielfach auf Bedenken – zahlreiche Fragen werden kontrovers diskutiert: • Bedeutet die Patentierung von Genen eine Kommerzialisierung des menschlichen Körpers? • Kann im Bereich des Lebendigen überhaupt sinnvoll von “Erfindung” gesprochen werden, was für die Erteilung von Patenten erforderlich ist? • Sind die Privilegien (der Forscher, der Züchter) ausreichend, um Monopolisierungen zu verhindern? Derartige Fragen wurden auch durch die EU-Richtlinie über den rechtlichen Schutz biotechnologischer Erfindungen aus dem Jahr 1998 nicht abschließend geklärt. Die Tatsache, dass diese Richtlinie in verschiedenen europäischen Ländern bislang nicht umgesetzt wurde, zeigt zudem, dass auch auf rechtlicher Ebene noch ein erheblicher Klärungsbedarf besteht. In vorliegendem Buch kommen Befürworter der Biopatentierung ebenso wie deren Kritiker zu Wort: Die Beiträger stammen u.a. aus Disziplinen wie Ethik, Politik- und Rechtswissenschaft, der pharmazeutischen Industrie und der Pflanzenzüchtung. Die angefügten Dokumente, die EU-Biopatentierungsrichtlinie und zwei Stellungnahmen der Ethik-Beratergruppe der Europäischen Kommission von 1996 und 2002 sowie ein Glossar vertiefen und erweitern die angestrebte Übersicht