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  1. added 2016-12-08
    On the Moral Epistemology of Ideal Observer Theories.Jason Kawall - 2006 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (3):359-374.
    : In this paper I attempt to defuse a set of epistemic worries commonly raised against ideal observer theories. The worries arise because of the omniscience often attributed to ideal observers – how can we, as finite humans, ever have access to the moral judgements or reactions of omniscient beings? I argue that many of the same concerns arise with respect to other moral theories (and that these concerns do not in fact reveal genuine flaws in any of these theories), (...)
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  2. added 2016-09-18
    Meaningful Lives, Ideal Observers, and Views From Nowhere.Jason Kawall - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Research 37:73-97.
    In recent discussions of whether our lives are or can be meaningful, appeals are often made to such things as “a view from nowhere,” or “the viewpoint of the universe.” In this paper I attempt to make sense of what it might mean for a being to possess such a perspective, and argue that common appeals to such perspectives are inadequately developed; crucially, they do not adequately account for the character of the beings taken to possess these viewpoints. In the (...)
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  3. added 2016-09-18
    Thomas L. Carson, Value and the Good Life. [REVIEW]Jason Kawall - 2002 - Philosophy in Review 22 (4):260-262.
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  4. added 2014-03-18
    Moral Response-Dependence, Ideal Observers, and the Motive of Duty: Responding to Zangwill.Jason Kawall - 2004 - Erkenntnis 60 (3):357-369.
    Moral response-dependent metaethical theories characterize moral properties in terms of the reactions of certain classes of individuals. Nick Zangwill has argued that such theories are flawed: they are unable to accommodate the motive of duty. That is, they are unable to provide a suitable reason for anyone to perform morally right actions simply because they are morally right. I argue that Zangwill ignores significant differences between various approvals, and various individuals, and that moral response-dependent theories can accommodate the motive of (...)
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  5. added 2014-03-18
    Virtue Theory and Ideal Observers.Jason Kawall - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 109 (3):197 - 222.
    Virtue theorists in ethics often embrace the following characterizationof right action: An action is right iff a virtuous agent would performthat action in like circumstances. Zagzebski offers a parallel virtue-basedaccount of epistemically justified belief. Such proposals are severely flawedbecause virtuous agents in adverse circumstances, or through lack ofknowledge can perform poorly. I propose an alternative virtue-based accountaccording to which an action is right (a belief is justified) for an agentin a given situation iff an unimpaired, fully-informed virtuous observerwould deem the (...)
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  6. added 2014-03-07
    The Epistemic Demands of Environmental Virtue.Jason Kawall - 2009 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (1-2):109-28.
    To lead an environmentally virtuous life requires information—about morality, environmental issues, the impacts of our actions and commitments, our options for alternatives, and so on. On the other hand, we are finite beings with limited time and resources. We cannot feasibly investigate all of our options, and all environmental issues (let alone moral issues, more broadly). In this paper I attempt to provide initial steps towards addressing the epistemic demands of environmental virtue. In the first half of the paper I (...)
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  7. added 2013-05-30
    On Three Defenses of Sentimentalism.Noriaki Iwasa - 2013 - Prolegomena 12 (1):61-82.
    This essay shows that a moral sense or moral sentiments alone cannot identify appropriate morals. To this end, the essay analyzes three defenses of Francis Hutcheson's, David Hume's, and Adam Smith's moral sense theories against the relativism charge that a moral sense or moral sentiments vary across people, societies, cultures, or times. The first defense is the claim that there is a universal moral sense or universal moral sentiments. However, even if they exist, a moral sense or moral sentiments alone (...)
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  8. added 2012-02-18
    Sentimentalism (International Encyclopedia of Ethics).Antti Kauppinen - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Blackwell.
    Sentimentalism comes in many varieties: explanatory sentimentalism, judgment sentimentalism, metaphysical sentimentalism, and epistemic sentimentalism. This encyclopedia entry gives an overview of the positions and main arguments pro and con.
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  9. added 2008-12-31
    Virtue Theory, Ideal Observers, and the Supererogatory.Jason Kawall - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 146 (2):179-96.
    I argue that recent virtue theories (including those of Hursthouse, Slote, and Swanton) face important initial difficulties in accommodating the supererogatory. In particular, I consider several potential characterizations of the supererogatory modeled upon these familiar virtue theories (and their accounts of rightness) and argue that they fail to provide an adequate account of supererogation. In the second half of the paper I sketch an alternative virtue-based characterization of supererogation, one that is grounded in the attitudes of virtuous ideal observers, and (...)
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