Rights and Their Limits: In Theory, Cases, and Pandemics (Hardcover)
In this volume, F.M. Kamm explores how theories as well as hypothetical and practical cases help us understand rights and their limits. The book begins by considering moral status and its relation to having rights (including whether non-human animals have rights and what rights future persons have). The author then considers whether rights are grounded in duties to oneself, which duties are correlative to rights, and whether neuroscientific and psychological studies can help determine what rights we have. Kamm next investigates the contours of the right not to be harmed by considering critiques of deontological distinctions, the costs that must be undertaken to avoid harming, and a proposal for permissibly harming someone (that allows for resisting the harm) in the Trolley Problem. Additional chapters cover possible implications of the Trolley Problem for such practical issues as correctly programming self-driving cars, providing medical treatments, and enacting redistributive economic policy. Kamm concludes the book by comparing the use of case-based judgments about extreme cases in moral versus aesthetic theory, and by exploring the significance of the right not to be harmed for morally correct policies in the extreme cases of torture and a pandemic. Where pertinent, Kamm considers the views of Derek Parfit, Tom Regan, Christine Korsgaard, Shelly Kagan, Ronald Dworkin, Amartya Sen, Allan Gibbard, Joshua Greene, Arthur Danto, and Judith Thomson, among others.
F.M. Kamm is the Henry Rutgers University Professor of Philosophy and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University. Over the course of a distinguished career focused on normative ethical theory and practical ethics, Kamm has published many articles and nine books, including: Morality, Mortality vols. 1 and 2; Intricate Ethics; Bioethical Prescriptions; The Trolley Problem Mysteries (the Berkeley Tanner Lectures 2013); and Almost Over: Aging, Dying, Dead. Kamm has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH, the centers for ethics at Harvard and Princeton, the Center for Advanced Study at Stanford, and the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the NIH. In addition to serving on the editorial boards of Philosophy & Public Affairs, Legal Theory, and the Journal of Moral Philosophy, Kamm has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.