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  1. Against Moral Contingentism.Pekka Väyrynen - forthcoming - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy.
    The conventional wisdom in ethics is that pure moral laws are metaphysically necessary. By contrast, Moral Contingentism holds that pure moral laws are metaphysically contingent. This paper raises a normative objection to Moral Contingentism: it is worse equipped than Moral Necessitarianism to account for the normative standing or authority of the pure moral laws to govern the lives of the agents in the worlds where they hold. Since morality is widely taken to have such a standing, failing to account for (...)
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  2. Epistemic Judgement and Motivation.Cameron Boult & Sebastian Köhler - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (281):738-758.
    Is there an epistemic analogue of moral motivational internalism? The answer to this question has implications for our understanding of the nature of epistemic normativity. For example, some philosophers have argued from claims that epistemic judgement is not necessarily motivating to the view that epistemic judgement is not normative. This paper examines the options for spelling out an epistemic analogue of moral motivational internalism. It is argued that the most promising approach connects epistemic judgements to doxastic dispositions, which are related (...)
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  3. The Incoherence of Moral Relativism.Carlo Alvaro - 2020 - Cultura 17 (1):19-38.
    Abstract: This paper is a response to Park Seungbae’s article, “Defence of Cultural Relativism”. Some of the typical criticisms of moral relativism are the following: moral relativism is erroneously committed to the principle of tolerance, which is a universal principle; there are a number of objective moral rules; a moral relativist must admit that Hitler was right, which is absurd; a moral relativist must deny, in the face of evidence, that moral progress is possible; and, since every individual belongs to (...)
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  4. Variance Theses in Ontology and Metaethics.Matti Eklund - 2020 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.
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  5. Who's On First?Daniel Wodak - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15.
    “X-Firsters” hold that there is some normative feature that is fundamental to all others (and, often, that there’s some normative feature that is the “mark of the normative”: all other normative properties have it, and are normative in virtue of having it). This view is taken as a starting point in the debate about which X is “on first.” Little has been said about whether or why we should be X-Firsters, or what we should think about normativity if we aren’t (...)
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  6. Reply to Bykvist and Olson.Matti Eklund - 2019 - Utilitas 31 (3):347-349.
    Reply to Krister Bykvist and Jonas Olson's review of Choosing Normative Concepts (OUP, 2017) in Utilitas.
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  7. 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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  8. The Expansion View of Thick Concepts.Brent G. Kyle - 2020 - Noûs 54 (4):914-944.
    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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  9. 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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  10. Motivierende Gründe: Aktuelle Probleme und Kontroversen.Jean Moritz Müller - 2019 - Information Philosophie 2019 (4):16-28.
    Dieser Forschungsbericht gibt einen Überblick über die aktuelle Debatte über motivierende Gründe in der Handlungs- und Erkenntnistheorie. Folgende drei Fragen werden schwerpunktmäßig behandelt: a) Was für eine Art von Entität sind motivierende Gründe? b) Welche Beziehung besteht zwischen einer Handlung oder Einstellung und ihren motivierenden Gründen? c) Welche kognitiven Bedingungen gelten für die Zuschreibung motivierender Gründe?
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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. Categorical Norms and Convention‐Relativism About Epistemic Discourse.Cameron Boult - 2017 - Dialectica 71 (1):85-99.
    Allan Hazlett has recently developed an alternative to the most popular form of anti-realism about epistemic normativity, epistemic expressivism. He calls it “convention-relativism about epistemic discourse”. The view deserves more attention. In this paper, I give it attention in the form of an objection. Specifically, my objection turns on a distinction between inescapable and categorical norms. While I agree with Hazlett that convention-relativism is consistent with inescapable epistemic norms, I argue that it is not consistent with categorical epistemic norms. I (...)
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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. Essential Contestability and Evaluation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):471-488.
    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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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. The Procreative Asymmetry and the Impossibility of Elusive Permission.Jack Spencer - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Are There Moral Truths?Bart Streumer - manuscript
    A brief overview of metaethics, written for students.
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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. An Introduction to Metaethics.Jeremiah Joven Joaquin - 2013 - In Exploring the Philosophical Terrain. C&E.
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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  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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1 — 50 / 176