© Catherine Wilson, CC BY dx.doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0087.12
1. Moses Finley, Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology, 2nd edn, Princeton: Markus Wiener, 1998.
2. Early Judaism and Islam enacted prohibitions against this ancient practice.
3. John Boswell, The Kindness of Strangers: The Abandonment of Children in Western Europe from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.
4. David Hume presents this possibility in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, ed. Nelson Pike, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970.
5. To put this in perspective, four billion pennies would fill 1520 blocks, each amounting to the size of a school bus: see http://www.kokogiak.com/megapenny/nine.asp
6. Some of the great Stoics from time to time seem to achieve this detached perspective. For example, Epictetus, The Discourses, ed. C. Gill, London: Everyman, 1995.
7. See John Searle, The Construction of Social Reality, New York: Free Press, 1995.
8. See Adam Smith on social sanctions, Theory of Moral Sentiments, Pt. II, ‘Of Merit and Demerit.’
9. Hume claims ‘Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger.’ Treatise, Bk II, Pt. III, § 3, p. 416. ‘Reason’ is here opposed to sentiment.
10. Thomas Hobbes describes manners as ‘small morals,’ in Leviathan, Ch. XI, p. 42.
11. John Broome discusses ‘pro tanto’ reasons vs. ‘perfect’ reasons in ‘Reasons,’ in R. Jay Wallace, Philip Pettit, Samuel Scheffler, and Michael Smith, eds., Reason and Value: Themes From the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004, pp. 4–28 [http://philpapers.org/rec/WALRAV].
12. I am not considering the case where a politician accidentally poisons a rival by lacing his soup with arsenic mistaken for salt. On morality and intended and unintended consequences, the ‘doctrine of double effect,’ see G.E.M. Anscombe, Intention, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.
13. Adam Smith in the Theory of Moral Sentiments calls attention to these vicarious experiences; see note 8 above.
14. Autism, certain types of cerebral pathology, and psychopathy influence moral responses and judgements. See Joshua D. Greene, ‘The Cognitive Neuroscience of Moral Judgment,’ http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~mcl/mcl/pubs/Greene-CogNeurosciences-Chapter-Consolidated.pdf
15. Kant offers an argument like this one in the Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, IV: 423. He does not, however, frame it as a motivational argument directed to a selfish individual, but rather as a point of logic, insisting that it would be inconsistent for all members of a society to desire help when in need but to refuse to give it.
16. Thomas Hobbes attempted to show that fear, and a desire for security and long life, rather than love of humanity, could be the basis of social co-operation in Leviathan, Ch. XIV.
17. This is a popular rhetorical strategy employed by Plato, Cicero, and Kant.
18. An argument advanced by Thomas Nagel in The Possibility of Altruism, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979.
19. Enquiry II, pp. 29–31.
20. This pernicious tendency is discussed by M.J. Lerner, The Belief in a Just World: A Fundamental Delusion, New York: Plenum, 1980.
21. Is a Utilitarian agent always obliged to act so as bring about the greatest happiness within the agent’s power, or does the Utilitarian agent generally strive to spread happiness and well-being and to reduce, eliminate, or alleviate pain? The first alternative seems too strong, the second too weak. Modern Consequentialist theories try to spell out more precisely the ways in which pleasure and pain are morally directive.
22. It is clear that Kantians have a special class of actions in mind. Thus ‘Always give parties but never go to parties’ is not universalisable, but no one would say that it is morally forbidden to behave in this way.
23. The method of ‘reflective equilibrium’ says that judgements are true and theories are adequate when they harmonise in this fashion. It was first proposed by John Rawls, ‘Outline of a Decision Procedure for Ethics,’ Philosophical Review, 60 (1951), pp. 177–197, reprinted in his Collected Papers, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999, pp. 1–19.
24. Tim Scanlon develops this perspective in his essay ‘Contractualism and Utilitarianism,’ in Utilitarianism and Beyond, ed. Amartya Sen and Bernard Williams, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982, pp. 103–129.
25. On realistic adaptation to circumstances vs. brainwashing, see David Zimmerman, ‘Sour Grapes, Self-Abnegation and Character Building: Non-Responsibility and Responsibility for Self-Induced Preferences,’ The Monist, 2003, pp. 220–241.
26. See Peter Railton’s discussion of resistance to mistreatment in ‘Moral Realism,’ Philosophical Review, 95 (1986), pp. 163–207.
27. The term is J.S. Mill’s, On Liberty (1859), ed. J. Gray, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998, p. 63.