Call for contributions for a special issue of Moral Philosophy and Politics focusing on problems of demandingness and overdemandingness in practical ethics. The issue will be edited by Marcel van Ackeren (Oxford) and Simon Derpmann (Münster).
Demandingness and overdemandingness are primarily discussed in the context of metaethical objections to moral theories. But the idea that particular moral obligations can be deferred by reference to their excessiveness is also relevant to quite a number of debates in practical ethics. It is plainly not self-evident or deducible from a general principle that — and at what point — moral obligation reaches its limits, say, when it comes to the demand to reduce one’s carbon footprint, to pay for the pensions of the young, to donate a liver, to risk one’s job or more over whistleblowing, to testify against a loved one, or even share one’s apartment with a stranger in need. The variety of these problems across different practical domains call for a reflection on the limits moral demands in terms of individual — and possibly also collective— (over-)demandingness: a reflection on real life problems that bridges the concern of metaethical, normative reflection with practical ethics.
The special issue on „Demandingness in Practice — The Limits of Moral Obligations in Social, Political, Legal and Economic Contexts“ aims at unfolding a fine-grained picture of demandingness-objections in practical ethics, and thus at linking the meta-ethical debate with concrete ethical problems that deserve more detailed and often interdisciplinary studies. Submissions for the special issue may be dealing with questions such as:
- In which particular fields (law, economics, ecology, personal relations, etc.) do problems of demandingness appear? How do these contexts differ from each other?
- Which social or legal norms can be understood to pose limits to individual obligations by reference to demandingness?
- Does the metaethical debate on demandingness adequately represent widespread intuitions about the phenomenon in common morality?
- How are conventional limits regarding the demands on agents related to the moral debate on demandingness?
- Is demandingness a socially and politically relative notion?
- Can excessive demands on individuals be compared to excessive demands on groups or collectives?
- Is the debate on the demandingness of ethical theories (to be) linked to the debate on ideal and non-ideal theories in political philosophy?
Papers should be submitted before September 15, 2018 and should not exceed 8000 words; shorter articles will also be accepted for review. All submissions will undergo double-blind refereeing. See the journal’s guidelines.