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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. Normative concepts.Matti Eklund - forthcoming - In David Copp & Connie Rosati (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Metaethics. Oxford University Press.
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  4. Possible Limits of Conceptual Engineering: Magnetism, Fixed Points and Inescapability.Matti Eklund - forthcoming - Argumenta.
    In contemporary philosophy there is much focus on conceptual engineering: the enterprise of revising and replacing concepts. In this talk, I focus on a theoretical issue that has not yet received much attention. What principled limits are there to this sort of enterprise? Are there concepts that for principled reasons cannot or should not be revised or replaced? Examples discussed include logical concepts and normative concepts.
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  5. The Unity of the Moral Domain.Jeremy David Fix - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    What is the function of morality—what is it all about? What is the basis of morality—what explains our moral agency and patiency? This essay defends a unique Kantian answer to these questions. Morality is about securing our independence from each other by giving each other equal discretion over whether and how we interact. The basis of our moral agency and patiency is practical reason. The first half addresses objections that this account cannot explain the moral patiency of beings who are (...)
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  6. Semantics for Reasons, by Bryan Weaver and Kevin Scharp. [REVIEW]Daniel Fogal & Peter Van Elswyk - forthcoming - Ethics.
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  7. Should We Respond Correctly to Our Reasons?Sebastian Schmidt - forthcoming - Episteme.
    It has been argued that rationality consists in responding correctly to reasons. Recent defenses of the normativity of rationality assume that this implies that we always ought to be rational. However, this follows only if the reasons rationality requires us to correctly respond to are normative reasons. Recent meta-epistemological contributions have questioned whether epistemic reasons are normative. If they were right, then epistemic rationality wouldn’t provide us with normative reasons independently of wrong-kind reasons to be epistemically rational. This paper spells (...)
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  8. Deliberative Control and Eliminativism about Reasons for Emotions.Conner Schultz - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Are there are normative reasons to have – or refrain from having – certain emotions? The dominant view is that there are. I disagree. In this paper, I argue for Strong Eliminativism – the view that there are no reasons for emotions. My argument for this claim has two premises. The first premise is that there is a deliberative constraint on reasons: a reason for an agent to have an attitude must be able to feature in that agent’s deliberation to (...)
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  9. Quietism and Counter-Normativity.Andrew Sepielli - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
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  10. The Problems of Creeping Minimalism.Farbod Akhlaghi - 2023 - Philosophy 98 (3):327-343.
    The problem of creeping minimalism threatens the distinction between moral realism and meta-ethical expressivism, and between cognitivism and non-cognitivism more generally. The problem is commonly taken to be serious and in need of response. I argue that there are two problems of creeping minimalism, that one of these problems is more serious than the other, and that this more serious problem cannot be solved in a way that all parties can accept. I close by highlighting some important questions this raises (...)
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  11. Divine Command Theory without a Divine Commander.Robert Bass - 2023 - Journal of Value Inquiry 1:1-19.
    Recent divine command theorists make a serious and impressive case that a sophisticated divine command theory has significant metaethical advantages and can adequately meet traditional objections, such as the Euthyphro problem. I survey the attempt sympathetically with a view to explaining how the divine command theory can deal with traditional objections while delivering on metaethical desiderata, such as providing an account of ethical objectivity. I argue, however, that to the extent that a divine command theory succeeds, an ideal observer theory (...)
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  12. The Weight of Reasons.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - 2023 - Philosophical Studies 180 (9):2573-2596.
    This paper addresses the question of how the ‘weight’ or ‘strength’ of normative reasons is best understood. We argue that, given our preferred analysis of reasons as sources of normative support, this question has a straightforward answer: the weight of a normative reason is simply a matter of how much support it provides. We also critically discuss several competing views of reasons and their weight. These include views which take reasons to be normatively fundamental, views which analyze reasons as evidence (...)
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  13. The Philosophy of Anti‑Dumping as the Affirmation of Life.Arran Gare - 2023 - Biosemiotics 16:1-21.
    Michael Marder in Dump Philosophy claims that that there has been so much dumping with modern civilization that we now live in a dump, with those parts of our environment not contaminated by dumping, now rare. The growth of the dump is portrayed as the triumph of nihilism, predicted by Nietzsche as the outcome of life denying Neoplatonist metaphysics. Marder’s proposed solution, characterized as “undumping”, is to accept the dump and to promote reinterpretations and informal communities within the dump. It (...)
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  14. Evolutionary debunking of (arguments for) moral realism.Arnon Levy & Itamar Weinshtock Saadon - 2023 - Synthese 201 (5):1-22.
    Moral realism is often taken to have common sense and initial appearances on its side. Indeed, by some lights, common sense and initial appearances underlie all the central positive arguments for moral realism. We offer a kind of debunking argument, taking aim at realism’s common sense standing. Our argument differs from familiar debunking moves both in its empirical assumptions and in how it targets the realist position. We argue that if natural selection explains the objective phenomenology of moral deliberation and (...)
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  15. Alienation and the Metaphysics of Normativity: On the Quality of Our Relations with the World.Jack Samuel - 2023 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 26 (1).
    I argue that metaethicists should be concerned with two kinds of alienation that can result from theories of normativity: alienation between an agent and her reasons, and alienation between an agent and the concrete others with whom morality is principally concerned. A theory that cannot avoid alienation risks failing to make sense of central features of our experience of being agents, in whose lives normativity plays an important role. The twin threats of alienation establish two desiderata for theories of normativity; (...)
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  16. On Deducing Ethical Egoism from Psychological Egoism.John J. Tilley - 2023 - Theoria 89 (1):14-30.
    A familiar question is whether psychological egoism (suitably supplemented with plausible further premises) entails ethical egoism. This paper considers this question, treating it much more thoroughly than do any previous treatments. For instance, it discusses all of the most common understandings of ethical and psychological egoism. It further discusses many strategies and arguments relevant to the question addressed. Although this procedure creates complexity, it has value. It forestalls the suspicion, aroused by so many treatments of this subject, that the results (...)
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  17. It Would be Bad if Compatibilism Were True; Therefore, It Isn't.Patrick Todd - 2023 - Philosophical Issues 33 (1):270-284.
    I want to suggest that it would be bad if compatibilism were true, and that this gives us good reason to think that it isn't. This is, you might think, an outlandish argument, and the considerable burden of this paper is to convince you otherwise. There are two key elements at stake in this argument. The first is that it would be ‐ in a distinctive sense to be explained ‐ bad if compatibilism were true. The thought here is that (...)
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  18. Prospects for a Quietist Moral Realism.Mark Warren & Amie Thomasson - 2023 - In Paul Bloomfield & David Copp (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Moral Realism. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 526-53.
    Quietist Moral Realists accept that there are moral facts and properties, while aiming to avoid many of the explanatory burdens thought to fall on traditional moral realists. This chapter examines the forms that Quietist Moral Realism has taken and the challenges it has faced, in order to better assess its prospects. The best hope, this chapter argues, lies in a pragmatist approach that distinguishes the different functions of diverse areas of discourse. This paves the way for a form of Quietism (...)
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  19. Ethical Evidence.Steven Diggin - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-24.
    This paper argues that ethical propositions can legitimately be used as evidence for and against empirical conclusions. Specifically, I argue that this thesis is entailed by several uncontroversial assumptions about ethical metaphysics and epistemology. I also outline several examples of ethical-to-empirical inferences where it is extremely plausible that one can rationally rely upon their ethical evidence in order to gain a justified belief in an empirical conclusion. The main upshot is that ethical propositions can, under perfectly standard conditions, play both (...)
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  20. In Defense of Constitutivism About Epistemic Normativity.David Horst - 2022 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (2):232-258.
    Epistemic constitutivism (EC) holds that the nature of believing is such that it gives rise to a standard of correctness and that other epistemic normative notions (e.g., reasons for belief) can be explained in terms of this standard. If defensible, this view promises an attractive and unifying account of epistemic normativity. However, EC faces a forceful objection: that constitutive standards of correctness are never enough for generating normative reasons. This paper aims to defend EC in the face of this objection. (...)
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  21. Having a disagreement: expression, persuasion and demand.Giulio Pietroiusti - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-12.
    It is common to distinguish between disagreement in the state sense (being in disagreement) and disagreement in the activity sense (having a disagreement). This paper deals with the question of what it is for two people to have a disagreement. First, I present and reject the thesis according to which having a disagreement is a matter of expressing conflicting attitudes. I argue that this is not sufficient for having a disagreement: two people can express conflicting attitudes without having a disagreement. (...)
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  22. Considering Dispositional Moral Realism.Prabhpal Singh - 2022 - In Francis Fallon (ed.), Insights Into Ethical Theory and Practice: Principia Eclectica. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 32-49.
    An updated reprint of Singh, Prabhpal. 2018. "Considering Dispositional Moral Realism". Perspectives: An International Postgraduate Journal of Philosophy 8(1): 14-22.
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  23. A Defense of Modest Ideal Observer Theory: The Case of Adam Smith’s Impartial Spectator.Nir Ben-Moshe - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (2):489-510.
    I build on Adam Smith’s account of the impartial spectator in The Theory of Moral Sentiments in order to offer a modest ideal observer theory of moral judgment that is adequate in the following sense: the account specifies the hypothetical conditions that guarantee the authoritativeness of an agent’s (or agents’) responses in constituting the standard in question, and, if an actual agent or an actual community of agents are not under those conditions, their responses are not authoritative in setting this (...)
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  24. ÉTICA E INTELIGÊNCIA ARTIFICIAL: da possibilidade filosófica de agentes morais artificiais.Paulo Antônio Caliendo Velloso da Silveira - 2021 - Dissertation, Puc-Rs, Brazil
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  25. Fitting anxiety and prudent anxiety.James Fritz - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8555-8578.
    Most agree that, in some special scenarios, prudence can speak against feeling a fitting emotion. Some go further, arguing that the tension between fittingness and prudence afflicts some emotions in a fairly general way. This paper goes even further: it argues that, when it comes to anxiety, the tension between fittingness and prudence is nearly inescapable. On any plausible theory, an enormous array of possible outcomes are both bad and epistemically uncertain in the right way to ground fitting anxiety. What’s (...)
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  26. Intuitions in 21st-Century Ethics: Why Ethical Intuitionism and Reflective Equilibrium Need Each Other.Ernesto V. Garcia - 2021 - In Discipline filosofiche XXXI 2 2021 ( L’intuizione e le sue forme. Prospettive e problemi dell’intuizionismo). pp. 275-296.
    In this paper, I attempt to synthesize the two most influential contemporary ethical approaches that appeal to moral intuitions, viz., Rawlsian reflective equilibrium and Audi’s moderate intuitionism. This paper has two parts. First, building upon the work of Audi and Gaut, I provide a more detailed and nuanced account of how these two approaches are compatible. Second, I show how this novel synthesis can both (1) fully address the main objections to reflective equilibrium, viz., that it provides neither necessary nor (...)
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  27. Choosing Values? Williams Contra Nietzsche.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 71 (2):286-307.
    Amplifying Bernard Williams’ critique of the Nietzschean project of a revaluation of values, this paper mounts a critique of the idea that whether values will help us to live can serve as a criterion for choosing which values to live by. I explore why it might not serve as a criterion and highlight a number of further difficulties faced by the Nietzschean project. I then come to Nietzsche's defence, arguing that if we distinguish valuations from values, there is at least (...)
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  28. Is Deontic Evaluation Capable of Doing What it is For?Nathaniel Sharadin & Rob Van Someren Greve - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 19 (3).
    Many philosophers think the distinctive function of deontic evaluation is to guide action. This idea is used in arguments for a range of substantive claims. In this paper, we entirely do one completely destructive thing and partly do one not entirely constructive thing. The first thing: we argue that there is an unrecognized gap between the claim that the function of deontic evaluation is to guide action and attempts to put that claim to use. We consider and reject four arguments (...)
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  29. Neurofunctional Prudence and Morality: A Philosophical Theory.Marcus Arvan - 2020 - New York, USA: Routledge.
    This book outlines a unified theory of prudence and morality that merges a wide variety of findings in behavioral neuroscience with philosophically sophisticated normative theorizing. Chapter 1 lays out the emerging behavioral neuroscience of prudence and morality. Chapter 2 then outlines a new theory of prudence as fairness to oneself across time. Chapter 3 then derives a revised version of my 2016 moral theory--Rightness as Fairness--from this theory of prudence, showing how the theory of prudence defends Rightness as Fairness against (...)
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  30. Hume's general point of view: A two‐stage approach.Nir Ben-Moshe - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (3):431-453.
    I offer a novel two-stage reconstruction of Hume’s general-point-of-view account, modeled in part on his qualified-judges account in ‘Of the Standard of Taste.’ In particular, I argue that the general point of view needs to be jointly constructed by spectators who have sympathized with (at least some of) the agents in (at least some of) the actor’s circles of influence. The upshot of the account is two-fold. First, Hume’s later thought developed in such a way that it can rectify the (...)
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  31. A debunking explanation for moral progress.Nathan Cofnas - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3171-3191.
    According to “debunking arguments,” our moral beliefs are explained by evolutionary and cultural processes that do not track objective, mind-independent moral truth. Therefore (the debunkers say) we ought to be skeptics about moral realism. Huemer counters that “moral progress”—the cross-cultural convergence on liberalism—cannot be explained by debunking arguments. According to him, the best explanation for this phenomenon is that people have come to recognize the objective correctness of liberalism. Although Huemer may be the first philosopher to make this explicit empirical (...)
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  32. The Devil in the Details.Nicholas Colgrove - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics 20 (12):18-20.
    McCarthy et al.’s proposal gains much of its plausibility by relying on a superficial treatment of justice, human dignity, sin, and the common good within the Christian tradition. Upon closer inspection of what these terms mean within the context of Christianity, it becomes clear that despite using the same phrases (e.g., a commitment to “protecting vulnerable populations,” the goal of “promoting justice,” etc.) contemporary secular bioethical goals are often deeply at odds with goals of Christian bioethics. So, while the authors (...)
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  33. Love, Reasons, and Desire.Nicholas Drake - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3):591-605.
    This essay defends subjectivism about reasons of love. These are the normative reasons we have to treat those we love especially well, such as the reasons we have to treat our close friends or life partners better than strangers. Subjectivism about reasons of love is the view that every reason of love a person has is correctly explained by her desires. I formulate a version of subjectivism about reasons of love and defend it against three objections that have been made (...)
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  34. Reply to critics.Matti Eklund - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (5):535-561.
    Reply to Stephanie Leary’s, Kris McDaniel’s, Tristram McPherson’s and David Plunkett’s articles on Choosing Normative Concepts (OUP, 2017) in book symposium in Inquiry.
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  35. Explaining historical moral convergence: the empirical case against realist intuitionism.Jeroen Hopster - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1255-1273.
    Over the course of human history there appears to have been a global shift in moral values towards a broadly ‘liberal’ orientation. Huemer argues that this shift better accords with a realist than an antirealist metaethics: it is best explained by the discovery of mind-independent truths through intuition. In this article I argue, contra Huemer, that the historical data are better explained assuming the truth of moral antirealism. Realism does not fit the data as well as Huemer suggests, whereas antirealists (...)
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  36. Utilitarianism for the Error Theorist.François Jaquet - 2020 - The Journal of Ethics 25 (1):39-55.
    The moral error theory has become increasingly popular in recent decades. So much so indeed that a new issue emerged, the so-called “now-what problem”: if all our moral beliefs are false, then what should we do with them? So far, philosophers who are interested in this problem have focused their attention on the mode of the attitudes we should have with respect to moral propositions. Some have argued that we should keep holding proper moral beliefs; others that we should replace (...)
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  37. Socratic reductionism in ethics.Nicholas Smyth - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):970-985.
    In this paper, I clarify and defend a provocative hypothesis offered by Bernard Williams, namely, that modern people are much more likely to speak in terms of master-concepts like “good” or “right,” and correspondingly less likely to think and speak in the pluralistic terms favored by certain Ancient societies. By conducting a close reading of the Platonic dialogues Charmides and Laches, I show that the figure of Socrates plays a key historical role in this conceptual shift. Once we understand that (...)
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  38. Normative explanation unchained.Pekka Väyrynen - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):278-297.
    [This paper is available as open access from the publisher.] Normative theories aim to explain why things have the normative features they have. This paper argues that, contrary to some plausible existing views, one important kind of normative explanations which first-order normative theories aim to formulate and defend can fail to transmit downward along chains of metaphysical determination of normative facts by non-normative facts. Normative explanation is plausibly subject to a kind of a justification condition whose satisfaction may fail to (...)
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  39. Atheism, Naturalism, and Morality.Louise Antony - 2019 - In Michael Peterson & Ray VanArragon (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion, 2nd edition. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 66-78.
    It is a commonly held view that the existence of moral value somehow depends upon the existence of God. Some proponents of this view take the very strong position that atheism entails that there is no moral value; but most take the weaker position that atheism cannot explain what moral value is, or how it could have come into being. Call the first position Incompatibility, and the second position Inadequacy. In this paper, I will focus on the arguments for Inadequacy. (...)
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  40. The Dark Side of Morality: Group Polarization and Moral Epistemology.Marcus Arvan - 2019 - Philosophical Forum 50 (1):87-115.
    This article argues that philosophers and laypeople commonly conceptualize moral truths or justified moral beliefs as discoverable through intuition, argument, or some other purely cognitive or affective process. It then contends that three empirically well-supported theories all predict that this ‘Discovery Model’ of morality plays a substantial role in causing social polarization. The same three theories are then used to argue that an alternative ‘Negotiation Model’ of morality—according to which moral truths are not discovered but instead created by actively negotiating (...)
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  41. The Predicament of Moral Epistemology.Sushruth Ravish - 2019 - Journal of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research 36 (2):265-279.
    Moral epistemology (henceforth ME) has been spoken of as a subject matter in its own right by philosophers in the last few decades and yet the delineation of ME as a sub-discipline remains uncharted. Many eminent scholars with rich contributions have not explicitly defined the scope or demarcation of this emerging field. Drawing from their writings, the paper tries to show that philosophers working on ME either conceptualise it as an application of epistemology to moral beliefs or as encompassing issues (...)
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  42. Review of John Hacker-Wright (ed.): Philippa Foot on Goodness and Virtue, 2018. [REVIEW]Sascha Settegast - 2019 - Zeitschrift Für Ethik Und Moralphilosophie 2 (2):391-397.
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  43. Folk moral objectivism and its measurement.Lieuwe Zijlstra - 2019 - Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 84.
    Experimental philosophers and psychologists investigate whether people perceive moral judgments to be objectively true or false. Existing research focuses on a single dimension of ‘perceived objectivity’. The present research examines whether multiple dimensions of folk moral objectivity underlie moral judgments. It also examines whether such dimensions relate to perceived objectivity, tolerance, and people’s behavioral intentions to punish norm-violators. Exploratory factor analysis on twenty ethical items revealed three different ways of perceiving moral truth (Independent Truth, Universal Truth, Divine Truth), which each (...)
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  44. Skepticism about Ought Simpliciter.Derek Clayton Baker - 2018 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 13.
    There are many different oughts. There is a moral ought, a prudential ought, an epistemic ought, the legal ought, the ought of etiquette, and so on. These oughts can prescribe incompatible actions. What I morally ought to do may be different from what I self-interestedly ought to do. Philosophers have claimed that these conflicts are resolved by an authoritative ought, or by facts about what one ought to do simpliciter or all-things-considered. However, the only coherent notion of an ought simpliciter (...)
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  45. “Entre A Estupidez E A Loucura”: Implicações Éticas Do Princípio De Identidade E Do Princípio De Razão (E Algumas Alternativas Contemporâneas).Diogo Bogéa - 2018 - Aufklärung 5 (1):61-76.
    Investigation on the ethical implications of the principle of identity and of the principle of reason. The logical principle of identity (A=A), along with the principle of non­contradiction and the principle of the third middle costitute the basis of ocidental logic. However, its dominance is not restricted to logic. As the dominance of the principle of reason is not restricted to epistemology and ontology. This principles constitute a whole worldvew with serious ethical implications. We’ll try, at the end of the (...)
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  46. Pessoas virtuosas podem fazer coisas más? Aristóteles entre a idealização e o realismo.João Hobuss - 2018 - Agência, Deliberação E Motivação- Volume 2.
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  47. Epistemic modesty in ethics.Nicholas Laskowski - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1577-1596.
    Many prominent ethicists, including Shelly Kagan, John Rawls, and Thomas Scanlon, accept a kind of epistemic modesty thesis concerning our capacity to carry out the project of ethical theorizing. But it is a thesis that has received surprisingly little explicit and focused attention, despite its widespread acceptance. After explaining why the thesis is true, I argue that it has several implications in metaethics, including, especially, implications that should lead us to rethink our understanding of Reductive Realism. In particular, the thesis (...)
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  48. From punishment to universalism.David Rose & Shaun Nichols - 2018 - Mind and Language 34 (1):59-72.
    Many philosophers have claimed that the folk endorse moral universalism. Some have taken the folk view to support moral universalism; others have taken the folk view to reflect a deep confusion. And while some empirical evidence supports the claim that the folk endorse moral universalism, this work has uncovered intra-domain differences in folk judgments of moral universalism. In light of all this, our question is: why do the folk endorse moral universalism? Our hypothesis is that folk judgments of moral universalism (...)
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  49. Nietzsche and contemporary metaethics.Alex Silk - 2018 - In Paul Katsafanas (ed.), Routledge Philosophical Minds: The Nietzschean Mind. Routledge.
    Recent decades have witnessed a flurry of interest in Nietzsche's metaethics — his views, if any, on metaphysical, epistemological, semantic, and psychological issues about normativity and normative language and judgment. Various authors have highlighted a tension between Nietzsche's metaethical views about value and his ardent endorsement of a particular evaluative perspective: Although Nietzsche makes apparently "antirealist" claims to the effect that there are no evaluative facts, he vehemently engages in evaluative discourse and enjoins the "free spirits" to create values. Nearly (...)
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  50. Footing the Cost (of Normative Subjectivism).Jack Woods - 2018 - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. New York: Routledge.
    I defend normative subjectivism against the charge that believing in it undermines the functional role of normative judgment. In particular, I defend it against the claim that believing that our reasons change from context to context is problematic for our use of normative judgments. To do so, I distinguish two senses of normative universality and normative reasons---evaluative universality and reasons and ontic universality and reasons. The former captures how even subjectivists can evaluate the actions of those subscribing to other conventions; (...)
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1 — 50 / 136