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  1. A Taxonomy of Meta-Ethical Theories.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    The author contends that classifying theories in the field of meta-ethics along a single dimension misses important nuances in each theory. With the increased sophistication and complexity of meta-ethical analyses in the modern era, the traditional cognitivist–non-cognitivist and realist–anti-realist categories no longer function adequately. The author categorizes the various meta-ethical theories along three dimensions. These dimensions focus on the linguistic analysis offered by each theory, its metaphysical commitments and its degree of normative tolerance.
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  2. Meta-Ethics: An Introduction.Leslie Allan - manuscript
    Meta-ethics is the area of philosophy in which thinkers explore the language and nature of moral discourse and its relations to other non-moral areas of life. In this introduction to the discipline written explicitly for novices, Leslie Allan outlines the key questions and areas of analysis in contemporary meta-ethics. In clear, tabular format, he summarizes the core concepts integral to each of the major meta-ethical positions and the strengths of each view. To prompt further thinking and reading, Allan explains briefly (...)
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  3. Approving on the Basis of Moral and Aesthetic Testimony.Daniel Wodak - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    If a reliable testifier tells you that a song is beautiful or that an act is wrong, do you thereby have a reason to approve of the painting and disapprove of the agent's action? Many insist that we don’t: normative testimony does not give us reasons for affective attitudes like approval. This answer is often treated as a datum in the literatures on moral and aesthetic testimony. I argue that once we correct for a common methodological mistake in these literatures, (...)
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  4. Mere Formalities: Normative Fictions and Normative Authority.Daniel Wodak - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    It is commonly said that some standards, such as morality, are ‘normatively authoritative’ in a way that other standards, such as etiquette, are not; standards like etiquette are said to be ‘not really normative’. Skeptics deny the very possibility of normative authority, and take claims like ‘etiquette is not really normative’ to be either empty or confused. I offer a different route to defeat skeptics about authority: instead of focusing on what makes standards like morality special, we should focus on (...)
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  5. A Platonic Kind-Based Account of Goodness.Berman Chan - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (4):1369-1389.
    Robert Adams defends a platonic account of goodness, understood as excellence, claiming that there exists a platonic good that all other good things must resemble, identifying the Good with God. Mark Murphy agrees, but argues that this platonic account is in need of Aristotelian supplementation, as resemblance must take into account a thing’s kind-membership. While this article will accept something like Murphy’s account of goodness, it will further develop its details and support. Without relying on theistic premises, I show that (...)
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  6. An Ebola-Like Microbe and The Limits of Kind-Based Goodness.Berman Chan - 2021 - Philosophia:1-21.
    Aristotelian theory, as found in Michael Thompson and Philippa Foot, claims that to be good is to be good as a member of that kind, and so there are varying standards of goodness dependent on an individual’s kind-membership. It is a perhaps little noticed feature of Foot’s project, in particular, that it aims to provide more than just a kind-relative account, but seeks an exhaustive account of goodness. She concludes, in effect, that goodness admits of only the kind-based sort. Accordingly, (...)
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  7. The procreative asymmetry and the impossibility of elusive permission.Jack Spencer - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3819-3842.
    This paper develops a form of moral actualism that can explain the procreative asymmetry. Along the way, it defends and explains the attractive asymmetry: the claim that although an impermissible option can be self-conditionally permissible, a permissible option cannot be self-conditionally impermissible.
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  8. Normative Explanation and Justification.Pekka Väyrynen - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):3-22.
    Normative explanations of why things are wrong, good, or unfair are ubiquitous in ordinary practice and normative theory. This paper argues that normative explanation is subject to a justification condition: a correct complete explanation of why a normative fact holds must identify features that would go at least some way towards justifying certain actions or attitudes. I first explain and motivate the condition I propose. I then support it by arguing that it fits well with various theories of normative reasons, (...)
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  9. Decolonizing the Demarcation of the Ethical.Joseph Len Miller - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):337-352.
    The question of what distinguishes moral problems from other problems is important to the study of the evolution and functioning of morality. Many researchers concerned with this topic have assumed, either implicitly or explicitly, that all moral problems are problems of cooperation. This assumption offers a response to the moral demarcation problem by identifying a necessary condition of moral problems. Characterizing moral problems as problems of cooperation is a popular response to this issue – especially among researchers empirically studying the (...)
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  10. Moral Error Theory, Explanatory Dispensability and the Limits of Guilt.Silvan Wittwer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2969-2983.
    Recently, companions in guilt strategies have garnered significant philosophical attention as a response to arguments for moral error theory, the view that there are no moral facts and that our moral beliefs are thus systematically mistaken. According to Cuneo (The normative web: an argument for moral realism, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007), Das (Philos Q 66:152–160, 2016; Australas J Philos 95(1):58–69, 2017), Rowland (J Ethics Soc Philos 7(1):1–24, 2012; Philos Q 66:161–171, 2016) and others, epistemic facts would be just as (...)
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  11. The Meta-Ethical Significance of Experiments About Folk Moral Objectivism.Jeroen Hopster - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (6):831-852.
    The meta-ethical commitments of folk respondents – specifically their commitment to the objectivity of moral claims – have recently become subject to empirical scrutiny. Experimental findings suggest that people are meta-ethical pluralists: There is both inter- and intrapersonal variation with regard to people’s objectivist commitments. What meta-ethical implications, if any, do these findings have? I point out that current research does not directly address traditional meta-ethical questions: The methods used and distinctions drawn by experimenters do not perfectly match those of (...)
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  12. Qui peut sauver la morale? Essai de métaéthique.François Jaquet & Hichem Naar - 2019 - Paris: Ithaque.
    Vous pensez peut-être que la peine de mort est injuste ? Ou que l’avortement est moralement acceptable ? Se pourrait-il alors que vous vous trompiez ? C’est en tout cas l’avis des théoriciens de l’erreur. D’après ces philosophes, tous les jugements moraux sont faux parce qu’ils présupposent à tort l’existence de faits moraux à la fois objectifs et non naturels. Organisé autour de ce défi nihiliste, le présent ouvrage aborde les principales théories métaéthiques comme autant de tentatives, plus ou moins (...)
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  13. Normative Commitments in Metanormative Theory.Pekka Väyrynen - 2019 - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 193-213.
    First-order normative theories concerning what’s right and wrong, good and bad, etc. and metanormative theories concerning the nature of first-order normative thought and talk are widely regarded as independent theoretical enterprises. This paper argues that several debates in metanormative theory involve views that have first-order normative implications, even as the implications in question may not be immediately recognizable as normative. I first make my claim more precise by outlining a general recipe for generating this result. I then apply this recipe (...)
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  14. Realist Ethical Naturalism for Ethical Non-Naturalists.Ryan Stringer - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (2):339-362.
    It is common in metaethics today to draw a distinction between “naturalist” and “non-naturalist” versions of moral realism, where the former view maintains that moral properties are natural properties, while the latter view maintains that they are non-natural properties instead. The nature of the disagreement here can be understood in different ways, but the most common way is to understand it as a metaphysical disagreement. In particular, the disagreement here is about the reducibility of moral properties, where the “naturalists” maintain (...)
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  15. The Authority of Formality.Jack Woods - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
    Etiquette and other merely formal normative standards like legality, honor, and rules of games are taken less seriously than they should be. While these standards are not intrinsically reason-providing in the way morality is often taken to be, they also play an important role in our practical lives: we collectively treat them as important for assessing the behavior of ourselves and others and as licensing particular forms of sanction for violations. This chapter develops a novel account of the normativity of (...)
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  16. Rawls’s Justification Model for Ethics: What Exactly Does It Justify?Necip Fikri Alican - 2017 - Humanitas 30 (1/2):112–147.
    John Rawls is famous for two things: his attempt to ground morality in rationality and his conception of justice as fairness. He has developed and polished both in conjunction over the course of half a century. Yet the moral principles he advocates have always been more doctrinaire than the corresponding justification model should have ever allowed with design details explicitly promising objectivity. This article goes to the beginning, or to a reasonable proxy for it, in the “Outline of a Decision (...)
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  17. Dove scorrono i fiumi dell'anima - 2a edizione -.Antonio Chiocchi - 2017 - Biella, Italy: Zigzagando.
    Sentieri etici e poetici tra Paul Celan, Ingeborg Bachmann, Emily Dickinson, Franz Kafka e altri ancora.
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  18. What Do You Mean “This Isn’T the Question”?David Enoch & Tristram McPherson - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):820-840.
    This is a contribution to the symposium on Tim Scanlon’s Being Realistic about Reasons. We have two aims here: First, we ask for more details about Scanlon’s meta-metaphysical view, showing problems with salient clarifications. And second, we raise independent objections to the view – to its explanatory productivity, its distinctness, and the argumentative support it enjoys.
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  19. Guilt, Practical Identity, and Moral Staining.Andrew Ingram - 2017 - Philosophy 92 (4):623-645.
    The guilt left by immoral actions is why moral duties are more pressing and serious than other reasons like prudential considerations. Religions talk of sin and karma; the secular still speak of spots or stains. I argue that a moral staining view of guilt is in fact the best model. It accounts for guilt's reflexive character and for anxious, scrupulous worries about whether one has transgressed. To understand moral staining, I borrow Christine Korsgaard's view that we construct our identities as (...)
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  20. An African Perspective on the Partiality and Impartiality Debate: Insights From Kwasi Wiredu's Moral Philosophy.Motsamai Molefe - 2017 - South African Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):470-482.
    In this article, I attempt to bridge the gap between partiality and impartiality in moral philosophy from an oft-neglected African perspective. I draw a solution for this moral-theoretical impasse between partialists and impartialists from Kwasi Wiredu's, one of the most influential African philosophers, distinction between an ethic and ethics. I show how an ethic accommodates partiality and ethics impartiality. Wiredu's insight is that partialism is not concerned with strict moral issues. -/- .
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  21. An African Religious Ethics and the Euthyphro Problem.Motsamai Molefe - 2017 - Acta Academica 49 (1):22-38.
    Supposing that an African metaphysics grounded on the notion and/or value of vitality is true, can it do a better job in terms of informing an African religious ethics than its Western counterparts, specifically, the Divine Command theory (DCT)? By ‘religious ethics’, in this article, I have in a mind a meta-ethical theory i.e., an account of moral properties whether they are best understood in spiritual rather than physical terms. In this article, I articulate an under-explored African meta-ethical theory grounded (...)
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  22. Individualism in African Moral Cultures.Motsamai Molefe - 2017 - Cultura 14 (2):49-68.
    This article repudiates the dichotomy that African ethics is communitarian (relational) and Western ethics is individualistic. ‘Communitarianism’ is the view that morality is ultimately grounded on some relational properties like love or friendship; and, ‘individualism’ is the view that morality is ultimately a function of some individual property like a soul or welfare. Generally, this article departs from the intuition that all morality including African ethics, philosophically interpreted, is best understood in terms of individualism. But, in this article, I limit (...)
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  23. Debunking Morality: Lessons From the EAAN Literature.Andrew Moon - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):208-226.
    This paper explores evolutionary debunking arguments as they arise in metaethics against moral realism and in philosophy of religion against naturalism. Both literatures have independently grappled with the question of which beliefs one may use to respond to a potential defeater. In this paper, I show how the literature on the argument against naturalism can help clarify and bring progress to the literature on moral realism with respect to this question. Of note, it will become clear that the objection that (...)
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  24. Why Realists Must Reject Normative Quietism.Daniel Wodak - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2795-2817.
    The last two decades have seen a surge of support for normative quietism: most notably, from Dworkin, Nagel, Parfit and Scanlon. Detractors like Enoch and McPherson object that quietism is incompatible with realism about normativity. The resulting debate has stagnated somewhat. In this paper I explore and defend a more promising way of developing that objection: I’ll argue that if normative quietism is true, we can create reasons out of thin air, so normative realists must reject normative quietism.
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  25. Rightness as Fairness: A Moral and Political Theory.Marcus Arvan - 2016 - Palgrave MacMillan.
    This book argues that moral philosophy should be based on seven scientific principles of theory selection. It then argues that a new moral theory—Rightness as Fairness—satisfies those principles more successfully than existing theories. Chapter 1 explicates the seven principles of theory-selection, arguing that moral philosophy must conform to them to be truth-apt. Chapter 2 argues those principles jointly support founding moral philosophy in known facts of empirical moral psychology: specifically, our capacities for mental time-travel and modal imagination. Chapter 2 then (...)
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  26. Is Deontology a Moral Confabulation?Emilian Mihailov - 2016 - Neuroethics 9 (1):1-13.
    Joshua Greene has put forward the bold empirical hypothesis that deontology is a confabulation of moral emotions. Deontological philosophy does not steam from "true" moral reasoning, but from emotional reactions, backed up by post hoc rationalizations which play no role in generating the initial moral beliefs. In this paper, I will argue against the confabulation hypothesis. First, I will highlight several points in Greene’s discussion of confabulation, and identify two possible models. Then, I will argue that the evidence does not (...)
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  27. A New Evolutionary Debunking Argument Against Moral Realism.Justin Morton - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):233-253.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments claim that evolution has influenced our moral faculties in such a way that, if moral realism is true, then we have no positive moral knowledge. I present several popular objections to the standard version of this argument, then give a new EDA that has clear advantages in responding to these objections. Whereas the Standard EDA argues that evolution has selected for many moral beliefs with certain contents, this New EDA claims that evolution has selected for one belief: (...)
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  28. The Circumstances of Intergenerational Justice.Eric Brandstedt - 2015 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 2 (1):33-56.
    Some key political challenges today, e.g. climate change, are future oriented. The intergenerational setting differs in some notable ways from the intragenerational one, creating obstacles to theorizing about intergenerational justice. One concern is that as the circumstances of justice do not pertain intergenerationally, intergenerational justice is not meaningful. In this paper, I scrutinize this worry by analysing the presentations of the doctrine of the circumstances of justice by David Hume and John Rawls. I argue that we should accept the upshot (...)
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  29. Moral Deference and Deference to an Epistemic Peer.Cory Davia & Michele Palmira - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (261):605-625.
    Deference to experts is normal in many areas of inquiry, but suspicious in morality. This is puzzling if one thinks that morality is relevantly like those other areas of inquiry. We argue that this suspiciousness can be explained in terms of the suspiciousness of deferring to an epistemic peer. We then argue that this explanation is preferable to others in the literature, and explore some metaethical implications of this result.
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  30. Rightness = Right-Maker.Long Joseph - 2015 - Disputatio 7 (41):193-206.
    I have recently argued that if the causal theory of reference is true, then, on pain of absurdity, no normative ethical theory is true. In this journal, Michael Byron has objected to my reductio by appealing to Frank Jackson’s moral reductionism. The present essay defends reductio while also casting doubt upon Jackson’s moral reductionism.
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  31. Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism.Katia Vavova - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments move from a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our moral beliefs to a skeptical conclusion about those beliefs. My primary aim is to clarify this empirically grounded epistemological challenge. I begin by distinguishing among importantly different sorts of epistemological attacks. I then demonstrate that instances of each appear in the literature under the ‘evolutionary debunking’ title. Distinguishing them clears up some confusions and helps us better understand the structure and potential of evolutionary debunking arguments.
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  32. The Problem of Ethical Vagueness for Expressivism.Nicholas Baima - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):593-605.
    Ethical vagueness has garnered little attention. This is rather surprising since many philosophers have remarked that the science of ethics lacks the precision that other fields of inquiry have. Of the few philosophers who have discussed ethical vagueness the majority have focused on the implications of vagueness for moral realism. Because the relevance of ethical vagueness for other metaethical positions has been underexplored, my aim in this paper is to investigate the ramifications of ethical vagueness for expressivism. Ultimately, I shall (...)
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  33. Are Emotions Necessary and Sufficient for Making Moral Judgments?Marco Aurélio Sousa Alves - 2013 - [email protected] - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 12 (1):113-126.
    Jesse Prinz (2006, 2007) claimed that emotions are necessary and sufficient for moral judgments. First of all, I clarify what this claim amounts to. The view that he labels emotionism will then be critically assessed. Prinz marshals empirical findings to defend a series of increasingly strong theses about how emotions are essential for moral judgments. I argue that the empirical support upon which his arguments are based is not only insufficient, but it even suggests otherwise, if properly interpreted. My criticism (...)
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  34. Bad News for Conservatives? Moral Judgments and the Dark Triad Personality Traits: A Correlational Study.Marcus Arvan - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (2):307-318.
    This study examined correlations between moral value judgments on a 17-item Moral Intuition Survey (MIS), and participant scores on the Short-D3 “Dark Triad” Personality Inventory—a measure of three related “dark and socially destructive” personality traits: Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy. Five hundred sixty-seven participants (302 male, 257 female, 2 transgendered; median age 28) were recruited online through Amazon Mechanical Turk and Yale Experiment Month web advertisements. Different responses to MIS items were initially hypothesized to be “conservative” or “liberal” in line with (...)
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  35. Moral Progress: A Present-Day Perspective on the Leading Enlightenment Idea.Andrzej Elżanowski - 2013 - Argument: Biannual Philosophical Journal 3 (1):9-26.
    Most Enlightenment thinkers believed that the World’s order (as ultimately based on divine laws) is good and thus every gain of knowledge will have good consequences. Scientific process was assumed to entail moral progress. In fact some moral progress did occur in the Western civilization and science contributed to it, but it is widely incommensurate with the progress of science. The Enlightenment’s concept of a concerted scientific and moral progress proved largely wrong for several reasons. (1) Public morality and science (...)
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  36. Reductionism in Ethics.Chris Heathwood - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley.
    An encyclopedia entry on the issue of whether morality is reducible -- that is, whether moral facts are identical to facts that can be expressed in non-moral terms.
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  37. An Introduction to Metaethics.Jeremiah Joven Joaquin - 2013 - In Exploring the Philosophical Terrain. C&E.
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  38. Divine Commands or Divine Attitudes?Matthey Carey Jordan - 2013 - Faith and Philosophy 30 (2):159-70.
    In this essay, I present three arguments for the claim that theists should reject divine command theory in favor of divine attitude theory. First, DCT implies that some cognitively normal human persons are exempt from the dictates of morality. Second, it is incumbent upon us to cultivate the skill of moral judgment, a skill that fits nicely with the claims of DAT but which is superfluous if DCT is true. Third, an attractive and widely shared conception of Jewish/Christian religious devotion (...)
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  39. Evolution and Moral Diversity.Tim Dean - 2012 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 7:1-16.
    If humans have an evolved moral psychology, then we should not expect it to function in an identical way between individuals. Instead, we should expect a diversity in the function of our moral psychology between individuals that varies along genetic lines, and a corresponding diversity of moral attitudes and moral judgements that emerge from it. This is because there was no one psychological type that would reliably produce adaptive social behaviour in the highly heterogeneous environments in which our minds evolved. (...)
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  40. Review of Christian Miller (Ed.), The Continuum Companion to Ethics. [REVIEW]Jon Garthoff - 2012 - Notre Dame Philosophical Review.
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  41. Bounded Mirroring. Joint Action and Group Membership in Political Theory and Cognitive Neuroscience.Machiel Keestra - 2012 - In Frank Vandervalk (ed.), Thinking About the Body Politic: Essays on Neuroscience and Political Theory. Routledge. pp. 222--249.
    A crucial socio-political challenge for our age is how to rede!ne or extend group membership in such a way that it adequately responds to phenomena related to globalization like the prevalence of migration, the transformation of family and social networks, and changes in the position of the nation state. Two centuries ago Immanuel Kant assumed that international connectedness between humans would inevitably lead to the realization of world citizen rights. Nonetheless, globalization does not just foster cosmopolitanism but simultaneously yields the (...)
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  42. Knowledge as a Thick Concept: New Light on the Gettier and Value Problems.Brent G. Kyle - 2011 - Dissertation, Cornell University
    I argue that knowledge is a particular kind of concept known as a thick concept. Examples of thick concepts include courage, generosity, loyalty, brutality, and so forth. These concepts are commonly said to combine both evaluation and description, and one of the main goals of this dissertation is to provide a new account of how a thick concept combines these elements. It is argued that thick concepts are semantically evaluative, and that they combine evaluation and description in a way similar (...)
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  43. The Epistemology of Ethical Intuitions.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2011 - Philosophy 86 (2):175-200.
    Intuitions are widely assumed to play an important evidential role in ethical inquiry. In this paper I critically discuss a recently influential claim that the epistemological credentials of ethical intuitions are undermined by their causal pedigree and functional role. I argue that this claim is exaggerated. In the course of doing so I argue that the challenge to ethical intuitions embodied in this claim should be understood not only as a narrowly epistemological challenge, but also as a substantially ethical one. (...)
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  44. Folk Moral Relativism.Hagop Sarkissian, John Park, David Tien, Jennifer Cole Wright & Joshua Knobe - 2011 - Mind and Language 26 (4):482-505.
    It has often been suggested that people's ordinary understanding of morality involves a belief in objective moral truths and a rejection of moral relativism. The results of six studies call this claim into question. Participants did offer apparently objectivist moral intuitions when considering individuals from their own culture, but they offered increasingly relativist intuitions considering individuals from increasingly different cultures or ways of life. The authors hypothesize that people do not have a fixed commitment to moral objectivism but instead tend (...)
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  45. Moral Philosophy (Unit 2).Michael Lacewing - 2004 - In Elizabeth Burns & Stephen Law (eds.), Philosophy for as and A. Routledge.
    An overview of moral philosophy for the AQA A level philosophy syllabus.
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  46. Deriving Morality From Rationality.Holly Smith - 1991 - In Peter Vallentyne (ed.), Contractarianism and Rational choice: Essays on David Gauthier's Morals by Agreement. Cambridge University Press.
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  47. A Modern Nihilism.Marc Krellenstein - manuscript
    Presents the author's evolving views of the best current positions on certain core philosophical and psychological problems as they developed over time. These positions together suggest a skeptical or nihilist perspective modified by evolutionary psychology and contemporary philosophy that embraces our desire to live as best we can and the relative and psychological reality of values, free will and other phenomena while recognizing limitations on their foundations and our understanding. The below makes no claims to originality for most of the (...)
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  48. Waking Up and Growing Up: Two Forms of Human Development.Blaine Snow - manuscript
    This paper contrasts two relatively independent forms of human development: waking up, the process and practices of psychospiritual awakening , and growing up, the process of moving from lesser narcissistic and ethnocentric self-identities towards mature postconventional self-identities with greater degrees of inclusion, perspective-taking, caring, and compassion. Each is a unique type of growth, contemplative and transformative, with different ways of engaging and differing goals and results. The former is about transcending or deconstructing the ego and the latter about building, strengthening, (...)
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  49. Are There Moral Truths?Bart Streumer - manuscript
    A brief overview of metaethics, written for students.
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