Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 2022-03-28T18:50:53+00:00 Rachel Keith Open Journal Systems <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> Voter Motivation 2020-11-17T16:42:54+00:00 Adam Lovett <p>Voters have many motivations. Some vote on the issues. They vote for a candidate because they share that candidate's policy positions. Some vote on performance. They vote for a candidate because they think that candidate will produce the best outcomes in office. Some vote on group identities. They vote for a candidate because that candidate is connected to their social group. This paper is about these motivations. I address three questions. First, which of these motivations, were it widespread, would be best for intrinsic democratic values? Second, how do the motivations of actual American voters affect the value of American democracy? Third, what motivations should individual American voters have? I argue that widespread issue voting would be best, followed by performance voting, followed by group voting. I argue that American voters do not much contribute to the value of American democracy. Their behavior makes it hard to achieve many democratic values. Finally, I argue that, were America an ideal democracy, American voters would have reason to vote on the issues. But, in their non-ideal democracy, American voters merely have reason to avoid voting on privileged group identities.</p> 2022-03-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Adam Lovett Why Paternalists Must Endorse Epistocracy 2020-09-12T02:40:01+00:00 Jason Brennan Christopher Freiman <p>Recent findings from psychology and behavioral economics suggest that we are “predictably irrational” in the pursuit of our interests. Paternalists from both the social sciences and philosophy use these findings to defend interfering with people's consumption choices for their own good. We should tax soda, ban cigarettes, and mandate retirement savings to make people healthier and wealthier than they’d be on their own. Our thesis is that the standard arguments offered in support of restricting people’s consumption choices for their own good also imply support for “epistocratic” restrictions on people’s voting choices for their own good. Indeed, the philosophical case for paternalistic restrictions on voting choices may be stronger than the case for restricting personal consumption choices. So, paternalists face a dilemma: either endorse less interference with consumption choices or more interference with voting choices.</p> 2022-03-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Jason Brennan, Christopher Freiman Well-Being as Need Satisfaction 2021-02-17T06:44:31+00:00 Marlowe Fardell <p>This paper presents a new analysis of the concept of non-instrumental need, and, using it, demonstrates how a need-satisfaction theory of well-being is much more plausible than might otherwise be supposed. Its thesis is that in at least some contexts of evaluation a central part of some persons’ well-being consists in their satisfying certain “personal needs”. Unlike common conceptions of other non-instrumental needs, which make those out to be moralised, universal, and minimal, personal needs are expansive and particular to particular persons, generated rather by persons’ non-moral personal commitments. Against objections to the contrary, I show how these are genuine necessities, since unlike mere desires and freely escapable aims, personal needs constitute objective, inescapable, and non-compensable practical requirements. The personal-need-satisfaction theory of well-being combines objectivity with subject-dependence in novel ways, and motivates well-being pluralism at the level of individual agency. Implicating necessity as it does in the structure of individual well-being, this account presents a robust challenge to ethical and political theories that rely on the intrapersonal aggregation of well-being to be unproblematic.</p> 2022-03-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Benjamin Fardell An Account of Normative Stereotyping 2021-02-04T06:50:25+00:00 Corey Barnes <p>Adrian Piper provides an excellent way of thinking about both what motivates discrimination and the relationship between stereotyping and discrimination. Piper elucidates two kinds of political discrimination, namely first- and higher-order political discrimination. The relationship between discrimination and stereotyping can be captured by a form that I call “discrimination from descriptive stereotyping.” Here, stereotypical properties are taken to be possessed by and principally define individuals because of groups to which they belong; they are descriptive properties explain what group-members must be like. Discrimination results from and is thought to be justified by the perception that group-members must unfailingly possess certain negatively valued attributes because they belong to targeted groups. In this article I add a form of discrimination as related to stereotyping that has been rather overlooked, call it “discrimination from normative stereotyping.” Here, stereotypes prescribe criteria for what legitimate members of some group are like, and thus which attributes group-members ought to possess. Discrimination results from a failure of group-members to possess these stereotypical attributes. And thus negative evaluations that lead to discrimination are not made insofar as persons are thought to possess some negatively valued attribute. Herein I take discrimination from normative stereotyping to explain the use of particular slurs, namely race-traitor terms such as “Uncle Tom” and “Nigger Lover.” Targets of these slurs are discriminated against in some sense because they are perceived as failing to be legitimate group-members.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> 2022-03-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Corey Barnes What is the Bad-Difference View of Disability? 2022-02-13T08:32:20+00:00 Thomas Crawley <p>The Bad-Difference View (BDV) of disability says, roughly, that disability makes one worse off. The Mere-Difference View (MDV) of disability says, roughly, that it doesn’t. In recent work, Barnes – a MDV proponent – offers a detailed exposition of the MDV. No BDV proponent has done the same. While many thinkers make it clear that they endorse a BDV, they don’t carefully articulate their view. In this paper, I clarify the nature of the BDV. I argue that its best interpretation is probabilistic and comparative: it is the view that a person is <em>likely to be</em>, <em>all things considered</em>, worse off with a disability than without. As such, Barnes – who criticises the version of the BDV that disability <em>by itself</em>, <em>intrinsically</em> or <em>automatically</em> makes a person worse off – misses an opportunity to attack the most plausible and relevant version of the BDV, and the best version remains unchallenged.&nbsp;</p> 2022-03-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Thomas Crawley The Goal Problem in the 'Now What' Problem 2020-09-13T12:50:16+00:00 Xinkan Zhao <p>In this discussion note, I argue that the philosophers who propose solutions to the 'now what' problem for error theory typically face a goal problem. The problem has its root in the argument they back up their proposal with, which is one of instrumental reason, consisting of two premises. First, we as normal agents have a certain set of goals; second, agents with this set of goals instrumentally should accept their proposal. I argue that when we specify the set of goals with sufficient detail so that the second premise comes out true, the first premise will most likely come out false. These philosophers could retreat to a conditional solution, but that comes with the cost of the solution being less non-trivial; instead, they may try to establish the truth of the first premise, but that requires sufficient empirical investigation that no armchair speculation will suffice.</p> 2022-03-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Xinkan Zhao Normative Uncertainty without Unjustified Value Comparisons 2020-08-05T10:15:27+00:00 Ron Aboodi <p>Jennifer Rose Carr’s (2020) article “Normative Uncertainty without Theories” proposes a method to maximize expected value under normative uncertainty without Intertheoretic Value Comparison (hereafter IVC). Carr argues that this method avoids IVC because it avoids theories: the agent’s credence is distributed among normative hypotheses of a particular type, which don’t constitute theories. However, I argue that Carr’s method doesn’t avoid or help to solve what I consider as the justificatory problem of IVC, which isn’t specific to comparing theories as such. This threatens the implementability of Carr’s method. Fortunately, I also show how Carr’s method can nevertheless be implemented. I identify a type of epistemic state where the justificatory problem of IVC is not a necessary obstacle to maximizing expected value. In such states, the uncertainty stems from indecisive normative intuitions, and the agent justifiably constructs all the normative hypotheses (each on the basis of a different, internally-consistent subset of her normative intuitions) by reference to the same unit of value. This part of my argument complements not only Carr’s (2020) argument, but also some moderate defenses of explicit IVC. The combination of Carr’s paper and mine helps to illuminate the conditions for maximizing expected value under normative uncertainty without unjustified value comparison.</p> 2022-03-28T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Ron Aboodi