Parity and Ambiguity
By S. Matthew Liao

1. Chang’s Argument for Parity
The Trichotomy Thesis says that there are three and only three positive value relations: ‘better than,’ ‘worse than,’ and ‘equal to.’ Incomparability, which is not a positive value relations, follows, if none of these three relations holds between two things being compared. In “The Possibility of Parity,” Ruth Chang argues for a fourth positive relation, what she calls ‘on a par.’ To do this, Chang gives an argument based on comparing the creative genius of Mozart and Michaelangelo, which can be put as follows:

Kamm Reading Group
By S. Matthew Liao

To help launch Ethics Etc, we will shortly be running an online reading group on Frances Kamm’s new book Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissible Harm. The Table of Contents for her book is as follows:

I. Nonconsequentialism and the trolley problem
1. Nonconsequentialism       
2. Aggregation and two moral methods        
3. Intention, harm, and the possibility of a unified theory    
4. The doctrines of double and triple effect and why a rational agent need not intend the means to his end
5. Toward the essence of nonconsequentialist constraints on harming : modality, productive purity, and the greater good working itself out
6. Harming people in Peter Unger’s Living high and letting die
II. Rights
7. Moral status         
8. Rights beyond interests     
9. Conflicts of rights : a typology
III. Responsibilities
10. Responsibility and collaboration
11. Does distance matter morally to the duty to rescue?
12. The new problem of distance in morality          
IV. Others’ ethics
13. Peter Singer’s ethical theory
14. Moral intuitions, cognitive psychology, and the harming/not-aiding distinction
15. Harms, losses, and evils in Gert’s moral theory
16. Owing, justifying, and rejecting
Each week one of us will give a brief summary of a chapter of her book and provide some points for discussion. The post will then be open for discussion, and we welcome comments on any aspects of the chapter.
By S. Matthew Liao

Welcome to Ethics Etc. We are delighted that you have found your way to this blog. We will begin posting very shortly and we look forward to your comments.

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0.