Journal of Practical Ethics

The Journal of Practical Ethics is an open access journal in moral and political philosophy (and related areas), published by the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, located at the University of Oxford.

Our vision is to build an open access journal that will bring the best work in philosophy to bear on pressing issues of public, political or interdisciplinary interest. We believe that the ideas and arguments of many moral and political philosophers are of significant relevance to problems in contemporary life. Not only are these arguments of interest to a wide general public, but they are of relevance to many other academics, political and social leaders. However, there is less than optimal penetration of this philosophical work. It will aim to disseminate excellent research in practical and applied ethics to a broad, global audience comprised of both academic and non-academic readers, with high impact.

Every issue of the Journal of Practical Ethics is available online, free of charge. It is an invitation only, blind-peer-reviewed journal. It is entirely open access online, and print copies may be ordered at cost price via a print-on-demand service. Authors and reviewers are offered an honorarium. The Journal aims to bring the best in academic moral and political philosophy, applied to practical matters, to a broader student or interested public audience. It seeks to promote informed, rational debate, and is not tied to any one particular viewpoint. The Journal will present a range of views and conclusions within the analytic philosophy tradition. It is funded through the generous support of the Uehiro Foundation in Ethics and Education.

Current Issue

A Journal of Philosophy, Applied to the Real World

Current Issue: Volume 6 Number 1, June 2018
Download Complete Issue | Order Print Copy | Journal Homepage

Contents

For Hierarchy in Animal Ethics
Shelly Kagan
Journal of Practical Ethics 6(1): 1-18

In my forthcoming book, How to Count Animals, More or Less (based on my 2016 Uehiro Lectures in Practical Ethics), I argue for a hierarchical approach to animal ethics according to which animals have moral standing but nonetheless have a lower moral status than people have. This essay is an overview of that book, drawing primarily from selections from its beginning and end, aiming both to give a feel for the overall project and to indicate the general shape of the hierarchical position that I defend there. In this essay, I contrast the hierarchical approach with its most important rival (which holds that people and animals have the very same moral status), sketch the main idea behind one central argument for hierarchy, and briefly review three potentially troubling implications of the hierarchical view. I close with a discussion of a promising possible solution to the most worrisome of the three objections.

 

The Claims of Animals and the Needs of Strangers: Two Cases of Imperfect Right
Christine M. Korsgaard
Journal of Practical Ethics 6(1): 19-51

This paper argues for a conception of the natural rights of non-human animals grounded in Kant’s explanation of the foundation of human rights. The rights in question are rights that are in the first instance held against humanity collectively speaking—against our species conceived as an organized body capable of collective action. The argument proceeds by first developing a similar case for the right of every human individual who is in need of aid to get it, and then showing why the situation of animals is similar. I first review some of the reasons why people are resistant to the idea that animals might have rights. I then explain Kant’s conception of natural rights. I challenge the idea that duties of aid and duties of kindness to animals fit the traditional category of “imperfect duties” and argue that they are instead cases of “imperfect right.” I explain how you can hold a right against a group, and why it is legitimate to conceive of humanity as such a group. I then argue that Kant’s account of the foundation of property rights is grounded in a conception of the common possession of the Earth that grounds a right to aid and the rights of animals to be treated in ways that are consistent with their good. Finally, I return to the objections to the idea that animals have rights and offer some responses to them.

 

The Fundamental Problem of Philosophy: Its Point
Ingmar Persson
Journal of Practical Ethics 6(1): 52-68

The fundamental problem of philosophy is whether doing it has any point, since if it does not have any point, there is no reason to do it. It is suggested that the intrinsic point of doing philosophy is to establish a rational consensus about what the answers to its main questions are. But it seems that this cannot be accomplished because philosophical arguments are bound to be inconclusive. Still, philosophical research generates an increasing number of finer grained distinctions in terms of which we try to conceptualize reality, and this is a sort of progress. But if, as is likely, our arguments do not suffice to decide between these alternatives, our personalities might slip in to do so. Our philosophy will then express our personality. This could provide philosophy with a point for us. If some of our conclusions have practical import, philosophy could have the further point of giving us something by which we can live.

Past Issues

Expand All

 
The Neglected Harms of Beauty: Beyond Engaging Individuals
Heather Widdows
Journal of Practical Ethics 5(2): 1-29
 
Why be Moral in a Virtual World?
John McMillan & Mike King
Journal of Practical Ethics 5(2): 30-48
 
Population and Having Children Now
Jan Narveson
Journal of Practical Ethics 5(2): 49-6
 
Is Sex With Robots Rape?
Romy Eskens
Journal of Practical Ethics 5(2): 62-7
 
Prostitution: You Can’t Have Your Cake and Sell It
Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette
Journal of Practical Ethics 5(2): 77-8
 
The Ethics of Political Bots: Should We Allow Them For Personal Use?
Jonas Haeg
Journal of Practical Ethics 5(2): 85-10
 
What Makes Discrimination Wrong?
Paul de Font-Reaulx
Journal of Practical Ethics 5(2): 105-11
 
The Ethical Dilemma of Youth Politics
Andreas Masvie
Journal of Practical Ethics 5(2): 114-121

Journal of Practical Ethics 5(1)

Structural Injustice and the Place of Attachment 
Lea Ypi
Journal of Practical Ethics 5(1): 1-21

Accepting Collective Responsibility for the Future
Stephen M. Gardiner
Journal of Practical Ethics 5(1): 22-52

The Death Penalty Debate: Four Problems and New Philosophical Perspectives
Masaki Ichinose
Journal of Practical Ethics 5(1): 53-80

Journal of Practical Ethics 4(2)

The Greatest Vice?
Hugh LaFollette
Journal of Practical Ethics 4(2), pp 1-24

Ignorance, Humility and Vice
Cecile Fabre
Journal of Practical Ethics 4(2), pp 25-30

Humanity’s Collective Ownership of the Earth and Immigration
Mathias Risse
Journal of Practical Ethics 4(2), pp 31-66

Twenty Questions
Peter Singer
Journal of Practical Ethics 4(2), pp 67-78

Necessity and Liability: On an Honour-Based Justification for Defensive Harming
Joseph Bowen
Journal of Practical Ethics 4(2), pp 79-93

Consistent Vegetarianism and the Suffering of Wild Animals
Thomas M. Sittler-Adamczewski
Journal of Practical Ethics 4(2), pp 94-102

Journal of Practical Ethics 4(1)

Dilemmas of Political Correctness
Dan Moller
Journal of Practical Ethics 4(1), pp 1-22

Offsetting Class Privilege
Holly Lawford-Smith
Journal of Practical Ethics 4(1), pp 23-51

Unjust Wars Worth Fighting For
Victor Tadros
Journal of Practical Ethics 4(1), pp 52-78

The Economics of Morality
Dillon Bowen
Journal of Practical Ethics 4(1), pp 80-103

Going Viral: Vaccines, Free Speech, and the Harm Principle
Miles Unterreiner
Journal of Practical Ethics 4(1), pp 104-120

Journal of Practical Ethics 3(2)

Less Blame, Less Crime? The Practical Implications of Moral Responsibility Skepticism
Neil Levy
Journal of Practical Ethics 3(2), pp 1-17

Common Morality, Human Rights, and Multiculturalism in Japanese and American Bioethics
Tom L. Beauchamp
Journal of Practical Ethics 3(2), pp 18-35

Should we Prohibit Breast Implants? Collective Moral Obligations in the Context of Harmful and Discriminatory Social Norms
Jessica Laimann
Journal of Practical Ethics 3(2), pp 37-60

How Should Vegans Live?
Xavier Cohen
Journal of Practical Ethics 3(2), pp 61-65

Journal of Practical Ethics 3(1)

Cost Effectiveness Analysis and Fairness
F. M. Kamm
Journal of Practical Ethics 3(1), pp 1-14

The Elements of Well-Being
Brad Hooker
Journal of Practical Ethics 3(1), pp 15-35

Motives to Assist and Reasons to Assist: the Case of Global Poverty
Simon Keller
Journal of Practical Ethics 3(1), pp 37-63

Journal of Practical Ethics 2(2)

How Theories of Well-Being Can Help Us Help
Valerie Tiberius
Journal of Practical Ethics 2(2), pp 1-19

What Can we Learn From Happiness Surveys?
Edward Skidelsky
Journal of Practical Ethics 2(2), pp 20-32

Indirect Discrimination Is Not Necessarily Unjust
Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen
Journal of Practical Ethics 2(2), pp 33-57

Letter: Comment on “Associative Duties and the Ethics of Killing in War”
Jeff McMahan
Journal of Practical Ethics 2(2), pp 58-68

Letter: A Reply to McMahan
Seth Lazar
Journal of Practical Ethics 2(2), pp 69-71

Journal of Practical Ethics 2(1)

Church-State Separation, Healthcare Policy, and Religious Liberty
Robert Audi
Journal of Practical Ethics 2(1), pp 1-23

Taking Humour (Ethics) Seriously, But Not Too Seriously
David Benatar
Journal of Practical Ethics 2(1), pp 24-43

Only X%: The Problem of Sex Equality
Janet Radcliffe-Richards
Journal of Practical Ethics 2(1), pp 44-67

Journal of Practical Ethics 1(2)

The Morality of Reputation and the Judgment of Others
David S. Oderberg
Journal of Practical Ethics 1(2), pp 3-33

Moral Education in the Liberal State
Kyla Ebels-Duggan
Journal of Practical Ethics 1(2), pp 34-63

Motives and Markets in Health Care
Daniel Hausman
Journal of Practical Ethics 1(2), pp 64-84

Journal of Practical Ethics 1(1)

Introducing the Journal of Practical Ethics
Roger Crisp & Julian Savulescu
Journal of Practical Ethics 1(1), pp 1-2

Associative Duties and the Ethics of Killing in War
Seth Lazar
Journal of Practical Ethics 1(1), pp 3-48

Biotechnology, Justice and Health
Ruth Faden & Madison Powers
Journal of Practical Ethics 1(1), pp 49-61

Situationism and Agency
Alfred R. Mele & Joshua Shepherd
Journal of Practical Ethics 1(1), pp 62-83

List of site pages