Orange Alert

Aatif Abbas, Adam Patterson publish papers

Collage of two men

Posted on: Aug. 17, 2023

Aatif Abbas’s paper “Corporations Choose Differently: A Case for Strict Liability for Businesses” was accepted for publication by Business and Professional Ethics Journal. This paper previously won the 2023 Mary Hatch Marshall Award for the best essay in Humanities at Syracuse University.

Abstract: This article argues that businesses are morally responsible for compensating the people harmed by their activities even if they were not negligent, i.e., the businesses took reasonable precautions. Critics of this position maintain that responsibility requires choice, and by taking precautions, businesses choose not to harm others. This article accepts their argument’s first premise but rejects the second premise. It contends that businesses often seek risky or innovative activities to increase profits, and the essence of innovative activities is that precautions cannot sufficiently reduce their foreseeable harmful consequences. The correct understanding of businesses’ decision-making enables us to appreciate that businesses choose to undertake risky activities while knowing that they can harm others despite preventive measures. It follows that preventive measures should not serve as an excuse against liability for harm.

Adam Patterson’s paper "Avoid Avoiding the Wishful Thinking Problem" is forthcoming at Dialectica.

Abstract. Here I motivate the wishful thinking problem for pure non-cognitivist expressivism. I do so by recasting the problem in terms of the doxastic/propositional justification distinction. Doing so is instructive, for it shows some prominent responses to the problem fail.

Congratulations to Aatif and Adam!