Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy https://jesp.org/index.php/jesp <p>The&nbsp;<em>Journal of Ethics and&nbsp;Social Philosophy</em>&nbsp;is a peer-reviewed online journal in moral, social, political, and legal philosophy. The journal welcomes submissions of articles in any of these and related fields of research. &nbsp;The journal is interested in work in the history of ethics that bears directly on topics of contemporary interest, but does not consider articles of purely historical interest.</p> <p>The <em>Journal of Ethics and&nbsp;Social Philosophy</em> aspires to be the leading venue for the best new work in the fields that it covers, and applies a correspondingly high editorial standard. &nbsp;But it is the view of the associate editors that this standard does not preclude publishing work that is critical in nature, provided that it is constructive, well-argued, current, and of sufficiently general interest.</p> <p>While the&nbsp;<em>Journal of Ethics and&nbsp;Social Philosophy</em>&nbsp;will consider longer articles, in general the journal would prefer articles that do not exceed 15,000 words, and articles of all lengths will be evaluated in terms of what they accomplish in proportion to their length. Articles under 3k words should be submitted as discussion notes, which are reviewed and published separately from main articles. &nbsp;</p> USC School of Philosophy en-US Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 1559-3061 The Invisible Hand from the Grave https://jesp.org/index.php/jesp/article/view/671 <p>The practice of giving the wealthy perpetual control of their assets is re-emerging in an era of great wealth inequality, long after it had been banned in common law countries. The philosophical justification for such control rests on the claim that there are posthumous rights to wealth, and that such rights do not extend in problematic way to other goods, such as political suffrage. On the basis of such a claim, we give people freedom of testation, and deem them vulnerable to posthumous harm. I present a short history of legally sanctioned posthumous control of property in common law, and I argue that its philosophical justification is untenable. No principled case for posthumous rights to wealth survives scrutiny, and the large and powerful institutions that enforce such rights are morally illegitimate.</p> Barry Lam Copyright (c) 2019 Barry Lam http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2019-06-21 2019-06-21 15 3 10.26556/jesp.v15i3.671 Revisiting the Argument from Action Guidance https://jesp.org/index.php/jesp/article/view/467 <p>According to objectivism about the practical 'ought', what one ought to do depends on all the facts; according to perspectivism, it depends only on epistemically available facts. This essay presents a new argument against objectivism. The first premise says that it is at least sometimes possible for a normative theory to correctly guide action. The second premise says that, if objectivism is true, this is never possible. From this it follows that objectivism is false. Perspectivism, however, turns out to be compatible with the plausible assumption about guidance.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>I defend the two premises on the basis of an account of what it is for a normative theory to guide action. Central to this account is the idea that correct action-guidance involves correct practical reasoning from a normative theory to an action, which requires (among other things) that agents have the capacity to believe for the right reasons. Since objectivists about the practical 'ought' are committed to objectivism about the epistemic 'ought', it follows that agents lack this capacity and so are in principle unable to be correctly guided by a normative theory. This shows that recent attempts to reconcile objectivism with action-guidance are unsuccessful, which all assume that, if objectivism is true, it is at least sometimes possible for a normative theory to correctly guide action.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Philip Fox Copyright (c) 2019 Philip Fox http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2019-06-21 2019-06-21 15 3 10.26556/jesp.v15i3.467 Basically Deserved Blame and its Value https://jesp.org/index.php/jesp/article/view/547 <p>How should we understand basic desert as a justification for blaming? Many philosophers account for free will by reference to the sort of moral responsibility that involves a blameworthy person deserving blame in a basic sense of desert; free will just is the control condition for this sort of moral responsibility. But what precisely does basic desert come to, and what is it about blame that makes it the thing that a blameworthy person deserves? As it turns out, there are challenges in attempting to understand basic desert for blame. One concerns whether the only good in harming a person by blaming her is instrumental. If so, there may be reason to reject desert-based conceptions of blame. In this paper, I will develop an account of basically deserved blame. In doing so, I will also defend the controversial thesis that the harm involved in blaming can be good in a way that is not merely instrumental.</p> Michael McKenna Copyright (c) 2019 Michael McKenna http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2019-07-01 2019-07-01 15 3 10.26556/jesp.v15i3.547 Against Jeffrey Howard on Entrapment https://jesp.org/index.php/jesp/article/view/777 <p>Jeffrey Howard has recently argued that entrapment and similar phenomena are wrongful - and wrong the induced agent - because they violate a regulative obligation of respect for the first moral power (FMP, for short.) According to Howard, this obligation grounds a duty not to foreseeably increase the likelihood that another agent acts wrongly (DUTY, for short.) While I accept the existence of the more fundamental obligation, I try to show that it doesn't support DUTY. Therefore, it doesn't support the wrongfulness of entrapment and similar phenomena. I do this by offering a more nuanced account of FMP's value, and one more attuned to certain liberal thoughts about agency. I then suggest a fairly minimalist picture of what respect for FMP involves, but close in a constructive spirit by sketching an alternative argument for DUTY based on the telos of FMP.</p> Jonathan Stanhope Copyright (c) 2019 Jonathan Stanhope http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2019-06-24 2019-06-24 15 3 10.26556/jesp.v15i3.777 Dietz on Group-Based Reasons https://jesp.org/index.php/jesp/article/view/489 <p>Suppose that groups have reasons to act. Do the members of a group “inherit” the group’s reason? Alexander Dietz has recently argued that they do so in some circumstances.&nbsp; Dietz considers two principles. The first one – which I call the “Simple Principle” – claims that the members of a group always inherit the group’s reason. The second one – which I call “Dietz’s Principle,” which is the one Dietz advocates – claims that the members of a group inherit the group’s reason when they cooperate. Although Dietz thinks that the Simple Principle is intuitively appealing he argues that it has to be rejected because it has – in contrast to his own principle – counterintuitive implications. In this article, I shall try to show that Dietz’s Principle also has counterintuitive implications. Furthermore, I shall consider some revisions of Dietz’s Principle, but conclude that they are unattractive. Finally, I shall suggest that Dietz’s Principle is ad hoc.</p> Magnus Jedenheim Copyright (c) 2019 Magnus Jedenheim http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0 2019-07-01 2019-07-01 15 3 10.26556/jesp.v15i3.489