, available at http://jonathanforeman.info/the-timothy-hunt-witch-hunt-commentary-sept-2015/. Some of the details of this quote are disputed. See Dan Waddell and Paula Higgins, 'Saving Tim Hunt'. Medium, 9 th November 2015, available at https://medium.com/@danwaddell/saving-tim-hunt-97db23c6ee93. 3 See https://twitter.com/connie_stlouis/status/607813783075954688?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw. 4 It bears emphasizing that Connie St Louis was herself subject to a backlash from defenders of Hunt. We address this feature of the case in the final section of the paper. 5 Quoted in Robin McKie, 'Tim Hunt: 'I've been hung out to dry. They haven't even bothered to ask for my side of affairs'', The Guardian, 13 th June 2015, available at https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jun/13/tim-hunt-hung-out-to-dry-interview-mary-collins. 6 As reported by Jon Ronson. See http://www.lbc.co.uk/sexism-shame-scientist-considered-suicide-124010.
In this article, I am concerned exclusively with the kind of comparative disadvantage an individual suffers in having less valuable opportunities than another individual and that may entitle her to corrective action, such that we ought to regulate the risk of this disadvantage and/or consider compensating her if she suffers disadvantage. The dominant approach in both political philosophy and public policy proceeds by identifying a metric by which to determine whether an individual’s opportunities are less valuable than another’s. Let’s call this the Metric Test. However, there is another way in which to proceed. Rather than appealing to a metric by which to determine disadvantage, we could instead allow an individual to determine for herself whether or not she is disadvantaged. On the version of this view that I shall defend, we should treat an individual as disadvantaged if and only if that individual envies another’s opportunities. Let’s call this the Envy Test. My overall aim in this article is to illuminate the appeal of the Envy Test and, in particular, to explain its superiority over the Metric Test.
There is a deep divide among political philosophers of an egalitarian stripe. On the one hand, there are so-called distributive egalitarians, who hold that equality obtains within a political community when each of its members enjoys an equal share of the community’s resources. On the other hand, there are so-called social egalitarians, who instead hold that equality obtains within a political community when each of its members stands in certain relations to other members of the community, such as non-domination and lack of oppression. In this article, we have three aims. Our first aim is to cast doubt on the helpfulness of characterizing the debate in this way. Our second aim is to reconstruct this debate in alternative and more precise terms, so that disagreements between advocates of either side are easier to evaluate. Our third aim is to advance a hybrid account that integrates element from both views.
In the debate on the basis of moral equality, one conclusion achieves near consensus: that we must reject all accounts that ground equality in the possession of some psychological capacity (Psychological Capacity Accounts). This widely held view crystallises around three objections. The first is the Arbitrariness Objection, which holds that the threshold at which the possession of the relevant capacities places an individual within the required range is arbitrary. The second is the Variations Objection, which holds that there is rational pressure to acknowledge that variations in psychological capacities between individuals are morally relevant. The third is the No Rational Agency Objection, according to which Psychological Capacity Accounts have unpalatable implications for our treatment of humans who do not possess the relevant capacities. We develop a Psychological Capacity Account based on the capacity for a conception of the good and offer a novel defence of the account against these objections.
Imposing pure risks—risks that do not materialise into harm—is sometimes wrong. The Harm Account explains this wrongness by claiming that pure risks are harms. By contrast, The Autonomy Account claims that pure risks impede autonomy. We develop two objections to these influential accounts. The Separation Objection proceeds from the observation that, if it is wrong to v then it is sometimes wrong to risk v‐ing. The intuitive plausibility of this claim does not depend on any account of the facts that ground moral wrongness. This suggests a close relationship between the factors that make an act wrong and the factors that make risking that act wrong, which both accounts fail to recognise. The Determinism Objection holds that both accounts fail to explain the wrongness of pure risks in a deterministic world. We then develop an alternative—The Buck‐Passing Account—that withstands both objections.
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