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  1. Reasons Why in Normative Explanation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (6):607-623.
    Normative explanations, which specify why things have the normative features they do, are ubiquitous in normative theory and ordinary thought. But there is much less work on normative explanation than on scientific or metaphysical explanation. Skow (2016) argues that a complete answer to the question why some fact Q occurs consists in all of the reasons why Q occurs. This paper explores this theory as a case study of a general theory that promises to offer us a grip on normative (...)
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  2. The Expansion View of Thick Concepts.Brent G. Kyle - forthcoming - Noûs.
    This paper proposes a new Separabilist account of thick concepts, called the Expansion View (or EV). According to EV, thick concepts are expanded contents of thin terms. An expanded content is, roughly, the semantic content of a predicate along with modifiers. Although EV is a form of Separabilism, it is distinct from the only kind of Separabilism discussed in the literature, and it has many features that Inseparabilists want from an account of thick concepts. EV can also give non-cognitivists a (...)
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  3. Review of Paul Katsafanas, Agency and the Foundations of Ethics: Nietzschean Constitutivism. [REVIEW]Alex Silk - 2013 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 10.
    Review of Paul Katsafanas, Agency and the Foundations of Ethics: Nietzschean Constitutivism.
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  4. Objectivity and Evaluation.Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - In Christopher Cowie & Richard Rowland (eds.), Companions in Guilt Arguments in Metaethics.
    I this article, I introduce the notion of pluralism about an area, and use it to argue that the questions at the center of our normative lives are not settled by the facts -- even the normative facts. One upshot of the discussion is that the concepts of realism and objectivity, which are widely identified, are actually in tension. Another is that the concept of objectivity, not realism, should take center stage.
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  5. Review of Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski, Exemplarist Moral Theory[REVIEW]Noell Birondo - 2017 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2017 (10).
    Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski believes that a comprehensive moral theory can be constructed by identifying moral exemplars and by investigating (to put it very roughly) what it is that makes them tick. We identify moral exemplars by direct reference to persons we admire "upon reflection." Moral exemplars are persons like that. Two emotions will play a central role in this type of moral theory: admiration, and its opposite, contempt. Zagzebski's theory proceeds by rough analogy with a physical theory that identifies instances (...)
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  6. À la Rescousse du Platonisme Moral.Christine Tappolet - 2000 - Dialogue 39 (3):531-556.
    Moral platonism, the claim that moral entities are both objective and prescriptive, is generally thought to be a dead end. In an attempt to defend a moderate form of moral platonism or more precisely platonism about values, I first argue that several of the many versions of this doctrine are not committed to ontological extravagances. I then discuss an important objection due to John McDowell and developed by Michael Smith, according to which moral platonism is incoherent. I argue that objectivism (...)
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  7. A Reading of Two Sources of Morality and Religion, or Bergsonian Wisdom, Emotion, and Integrity.Michael R. Kelly - 2013 - In P. Adroin, S. Gontarski & L. Pattison (eds.), Understanding Bergson, Understanding Modernism. Bloomsbury Academic.
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  8. Tracking the Moral Truth: Debunking Street’s Darwinian Dilemma.Gerald L. Hull - manuscript
    Sharon Street’s 2006 article “A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value” challenges the epistemological pretensions of the moral realist, of the nonnaturalist in particular. Given that “Evolutionary forces have played a tremendous role in shaping the content of human evaluative attitudes” – why should one suppose such attitudes and concomitant beliefs would track an independent moral reality? Especially since, on a nonnaturalist view, moral truth is causally inert. I abstract a logical skeleton of Street’s argument and, with its aid, (...)
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  9. Essential Contestability and Evaluation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy (3):1-18.
    Evaluative and normative terms and concepts are often said to be "essentially contestable". This notion has been used in political and legal theory and applied ethics to analyse disputes concerning the proper usage of terms like democracy, freedom, genocide, rape, coercion, and the rule of law. Many philosophers have also thought that essential contestability tells us something important about the evaluative in particular. Gallie (who coined the term), for instance, argues that the central structural features of essentially contestable concepts secure (...)
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  10. How Are Thick Terms Evaluative?Brent G. Kyle - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13:1-20.
    Ethicists are typically willing to grant that thick terms (e.g. ‘courageous’ and ‘murder’) are somehow associated with evaluations. But they tend to disagree about what exactly this relationship is. Does a thick term’s evaluation come by way of its semantic content? Or is the evaluation pragmatically associated with the thick term (e.g. via conversational implicature)? In this paper, I argue that thick terms are semantically associated with evaluations. In particular, I argue that many thick concepts (if not all) conceptually entail (...)
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  11. Value Judgements and Value Neutrality in Economics.Philippe Mongin - 2006 - Economica 73 (290):257-286.
    The paper analyses economic evaluations by distinguishing evaluative statements from actual value judgments. From this basis, it compares four solutions to the value neutrality problem in economics. After rebutting the strong theses about neutrality (normative economics is illegitimate) and non-neutrality (the social sciences are value-impregnated), the paper settles the case between the weak neutrality thesis (common in welfare economics) and a novel, weak non-neutrality thesis that extends the realm of normative economics more widely than the other weak thesis does.
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  12. The Moral Theory Behind Moral Dilemmas.Alex Rajczi - 2002 - American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (4):373-383.
    In the last forty years there has been a resurgence of interest in moral dilemmas—situations in which through no fault of a person’s own, he or she is morally required to do one thing, required to do another, but cannot do both. Some prominent figures have argued that such things could be. Opponents have marshaled several anti-dilemma arguments in response. For the most part, this debate has centered on issues in metaethics. Those metaethical questions are interesting, and resolving them could (...)
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Meta-Ethics, General Works
  1. Decolonizing the Demarcation of the Ethical.Joseph Len Miller - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    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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  2. Normative Explanation and Justification.Pekka Väyrynen - forthcoming - Noûs.
    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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  3. 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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  4. Rawls’s Justification Model for Ethics: What Exactly Does It Justify?Necip Fikri Alican - 2017 - Humanitas (Journal of the National Humanities Institute) 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. Ethics and Uncertainty: The Guest Editor’s Introduction.Tomasz Żuradzki - 2017 - Diametros 53:1-5.
    Until very recently, normative theorizing in ethics was frequently conducted without even mentioning uncertainty. Just a few years ago, Sven Ove Hansson described this state of affairs with the slogan: “Ethics still lives in a Newtonian world.” In the new Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Probability, David McCarthy writes that “mainstream moral philosophy has not been much concerned with probability,” understanding probability as “the best-known tool for thinking about uncertainty.” This special predilection for certainty in ethics was surprising since most (...)
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  13. 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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  14. The Authority of Formality.Jack Woods - forthcoming - 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 aren’t intrinsically reason providing (or “substantive”) 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. I here develop a novel account of the (...)
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  15. 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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  16. An Introduction to Metaethics.Jeremiah Joven Joaquin - 2013 - In Exploring the Philosophical Terrain. C&E.
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. Are Emotions Necessary and Sufficient for Making Moral Judgments?Marco Aurelio Sousa Alves - 2013 - Ethic@ - 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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  31. Review of Christian Miller (Ed.), The Continuum Companion to Ethics. [REVIEW]Jon Garthoff - 2012 - Notre Dame Philosophical Review.
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  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. 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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  38. Folk Moral Relativism.Hagop Sarkissian, John Park, David Tien, Jennifer 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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