Moral Concepts

Edited by N. G. Laskowski (California State University, Long Beach)
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  1. added 2020-03-23
    Uncovering the Moral Heuristics of Altruism: A Philosophical Scale.Julian Friedland, Kyle Emich & Benjamin M. Cole - 2020 - PLoS ONE 15 (3).
    Extant research suggests that individuals employ traditional moral heuristics to support their observed altruistic behavior; yet findings have largely been limited to inductive extrapolation and rely on relatively few traditional frames in so doing, namely, deontology in organizational behavior and virtue theory in law and economics. Given that these and competing moral frames such as utilitarianism can manifest as identical behavior, we develop a moral framing instrument—the Philosophical Moral-Framing Measure (PMFM)—to expand and distinguish traditional frames associated and disassociated with observed (...)
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  2. added 2020-01-23
    Quietism and Counter-Normativity.Andrew Sepielli - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
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  3. added 2020-01-06
    THE SNAKE AND THE ROUNDABOUT: ETHICAL PARTICULARISM AND THE PATTERNS OF NORMATIVE INDUCTION.R. Kellogg Frederic - 2016 - DUC IN ALTUM CADERNOS DE DIREITO 8 (16).
    Using two examples of ethical choice, Philippa Foot’s snake and the traffic roundabout, this paper offers an account of normative induction that characterizes particularism and generalism as stages of normative inquiry, rather than rival accounts of moral knowledge and motivation. Ethical particularism holds that the evaluative cannot be “cashed out” in propositional form, and that it is descriptively “shapeless.” Drawing on examples from law, this paper claims that, while individual normative inquiry may be viewed as encountering a shapeless particularist context (...)
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  4. added 2019-07-27
    Forgiveness: From Conceptual Pluralism to Conceptual Ethics.Andrew James Latham, Kristie Miller, James Norton & Luke Russell - forthcoming - In Court Lewis (ed.), The Philosophy of Forgiveness, Volume V. Vernon.
    Forgiveness theorists focus a good deal on explicating the content of what they take to be a shared folk concept of forgiveness. Our empirical research, however, suggests that there is a range of concepts of forgiveness present in the population, and therefore that we should be folk conceptual pluralists about forgiveness. We suggest two possible responses on the part of forgiveness theorists: (1) to deny folk conceptual pluralism by arguing that forgiveness is a functional concept and (2) to accept folk (...)
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  5. added 2019-06-05
    Martial Arts and Moral Life.Burrow Sylvia - 2014 - In Graham Priest Priest & Damon Young Young (eds.), Martial Arts and Philosophy: Engagement. London, UK: Routledge.
    A key point of feminist moral philosophy is that social and political conditions continue to work against women’s ability to flourish as moral agents. By pointing to how violence against women undermines both autonomy and integrity I uncover a significant means through which women are undermined in society. My focus is on violence against women as a pervasive, inescapable social condition that women can counter through self-defence training.
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  6. added 2019-05-24
    Hypocrisy as Either Deception or Akrasia.Christopher Bartel - 2019 - Philosophical Forum 50 (2):269-281.
    The intuitive, folk concept of hypocrisy is not a unified moral category. While many theorists hold that all cases of hypocrisy involve some form of deception, I argue that this is not the case. Instead, I argue for a disjunctive account of hypocrisy whereby all cases of “hypocrisy” involve either the deceiving of others about the sincerity of an agent's beliefs or the lack of will to carry through with the demands of an agent's sincere beliefs. Thus, all cases of (...)
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  7. added 2019-03-30
    The Mill-Whewell Controversy on Ethics and its Bequest to Analytic Philosophy.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 2006 - In Elvio Baccarini & Snežana Prijic Samaržja (eds.), Rationality in Belief and Action. Rijeka, Croatia: University of Rijeka - Croatian Society for Analytic Philosophy. pp. 45-62.
    In this paper I intend to reconstruct the weight of rational and non rational factors in ethical controversies and to highlight the mixed bequest this controversy left to 20th century analytic ethics. I argue that the structure of the controversy includes ‘Kuhnian’ factors, rhetoric and pragmatic dimensions, and that a consistent self-criticism of his own previous views may be detected in Mill’s writings published after the controversy. I argue that the controversy’s bequest for analytic ethics includes: (i) anti-empiricist elements, which (...)
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  8. added 2019-03-26
    The World is Not Enough.Nathan Robert Howard & N. G. Laskowski - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Throughout his career, Derek Parfit made the bold suggestion, at various times under the heading of the "Normativity Objection," that anyone in possession of normative concepts is in a position to know, on the basis of their competence with such concepts alone, that reductive realism in ethics is not even possible. Despite the prominent role that the Normativity Objection plays in Parfit's non-reductive account of the nature of normativity, when the objection hasn't been ignored, it's been criticized and even derided. (...)
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  9. added 2018-05-20
    The Sense of Incredibility in Ethics.Nicholas Laskowski - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (1):93-115.
    It is often said that normative properties are “just too different” to reduce to other kinds of properties. This suggests that many philosophers find it difficult to believe reductive theses in ethics. I argue that the distinctiveness of the normative concepts we use in thinking about reductive theses offers a more promising explanation of this psychological phenomenon than the falsity of Reductive Realism. To identify the distinctiveness of normative concepts, I use resources from familiar Hybrid views of normative language and (...)
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  10. added 2018-05-20
    Parfit, Derek. On What Matters. Vol. 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. 488. $45.00 .Singer, Peter, Ed. Does Anything Really Matter? Essays on Parfit on Objectivity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. 288. $45.00. [REVIEW]Nicholas Laskowski - 2018 - Ethics 128 (2):496-505.
    Over the course of summarizing Volume Three and Does Anything Really Matter?, I argue that Parfit does not give us strong reason to think that Naturalists, Expressivists, and Non-Realist Cognitivists agree.
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  11. added 2018-05-20
    Conceptual Analysis in Metaethics.N. G. Laskowski & Stephen Finlay - 2017 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 536-551.
    A critical survey of various positions on the nature, use, possession, and analysis of normative concepts. We frame our treatment around G.E. Moore’s Open Question Argument, and the ways metaethicists have responded by departing from a Classical Theory of concepts. In addition to the Classical Theory, we discuss synthetic naturalism, noncognitivism (expressivist and inferentialist), prototype theory, network theory, and empirical linguistic approaches. Although written for a general philosophical audience, we attempt to provide a new perspective and highlight some underappreciated problems (...)
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  12. added 2018-05-20
    How to Pull a Metaphysical Rabbit Out of an End-Relational Semantic Hat.Nicholas Laskowski - 2014 - Res Philosophica 91 (4):589-607.
    Analytic reductivism in metaethics has long been out of philosophical vogue. In Confusion of Tongues: A Theory of Normativity (2014), Stephen Finlay tries to resuscitate it by developing an analytic metaethical reductive naturalistic semantics for ‘good.’ He argues that an end-relational semantics is the simplest account that can explain all of the data concerning the term, and hence the most plausible theory of it. I argue that there are several assumptions that a reductive naturalist would need to make about contextual (...)
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  13. added 2018-05-19
    Mental Time-Travel, Semantic Flexibility, and A.I. Ethics.Marcus Arvan - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-20.
    This article argues that existing approaches to programming ethical AI fail to resolve a serious moral-semantic trilemma, generating interpretations of ethical requirements that are either too semantically strict, too semantically flexible, or overly unpredictable. This paper then illustrates the trilemma utilizing a recently proposed ‘general ethical dilemma analyzer,’ _GenEth_. Finally, it uses empirical evidence to argue that human beings resolve the semantic trilemma using general cognitive and motivational processes involving ‘mental time-travel,’ whereby we simulate different possible pasts and futures. I (...)
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  14. added 2017-05-25
    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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  15. added 2017-05-05
    The Revisability of Moral Concepts.Nada Gligorov - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 1 (4):32-34.
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  16. added 2016-05-30
    'Explanatory Indispensability Arguments in Metaethics and Philosophy of Mathematics'.Debbie Roberts - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
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  17. added 2016-03-02
    Moral Norms, Moral Ideals and Supererogation.Piotr Machura - 2013 - Folia Philosophica 29:127--159.
    The aim of the paper is to investigate the relations between the basic moral categories, namely those of norms, ideals and supererogation. The subject of discussion is, firstly, the ways that these categories are understood; secondly, the possible approaches towards moral acting that appear due to their use; and thirdly, their relationship within the moral system. However, what is of a special importance here is the relationship between the categories of norms and ideals (or in a wider aspect — laudable (...)
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  18. added 2015-11-04
    Ethics, Fitting Attitudes, and Practical Reason: A Theory of Normative Facts.Howard Nye - 2009 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    I present and defend (1) an account of ethical judgments as judgments about our reasons to feel specific motivationally laden attitudes, (2) an account of what an agent should do in terms of what would achieve ends that she has reason to be motivated to pursue, and (3) an account of an agent’s reasons for motivation (and thus action) in terms of the prescriptions of the most fundamental principles that guide her deliberations. Using these accounts, I explain the connection between (...)
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  19. added 2015-06-09
    Sterba’s Argument From Non-Question-Beggingness for the Rationality of Morality.Duncan MacIntosh - 2014 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (1):171-189.
    James Sterba describes the egoist as thinking only egoist reasons decide the rationality of choices of action, the altruist, only altruistic reasons, that each in effect begs the question of what reasons there are against the other, and that the only non-question-begging and therefore rationally defensible position in this controversy is the middle-ground position that high-ranking egoistic reasons should trump low ranking-altruistic considerations and vice versa, this position being co-extensive with morality. Therefore it is rationally obligatory choose morally. I object (...)
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  20. added 2015-03-20
    Normative Responsibilities: Structure and Sources.Gunnar Björnsson & Bengt Brülde - 2017 - In Kristien Hens, Dorothee Horstkötter & Daniela Cutas (eds.), Parental Responsibility in the Context of Neuroscience and Genetics. Springer. pp. 13–33.
    Attributions of what we shall call normative responsibilities play a central role in everyday moral thinking. It is commonly thought, for example, that parents are responsible for the wellbeing of their children, and that this has important normative consequences. Depending on context, it might mean that parents are morally required to bring their children to the doctor, feed them well, attend to their emotional needs, or to see to it that someone else does. Similarly, it is sometimes argued that countries (...)
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  21. added 2014-04-02
    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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  22. added 2014-04-02
    Moral Rationalism Without Overridingness.Alfred Archer - 2014 - Ratio 27 (1):100-114.
    Moral Rationalism is the view that if an act is morally required then it is what there is most reason to do. It is often assumed that the truth of Moral Rationalism is dependent on some version of The Overridingness Thesis, the view that moral reasons override nonmoral reasons. However, as Douglas Portmore has pointed out, the two can come apart; we can accept Moral Rationalism without accepting any version of The Overridingness Thesis. Nevertheless, The Overridingness Thesis serves as one (...)
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  23. added 2014-03-04
    What Are Thick Concepts?Matti Eklund - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):25-49.
    Many theorists hold that there is, among value concepts, a fundamental distinction between thin ones and thick ones. Among thin ones are concepts like good and right. Among concepts that have been regarded as thick are discretion, caution, enterprise, industry, assiduity, frugality, economy, good sense, prudence, discernment, treachery, promise, brutality, courage, coward, lie, gratitude, lewd, perverted, rude, glorious, graceful, exploited, and, of course, many others. Roughly speaking, thick concepts are value concepts with significant descriptive content. I will discuss a number (...)
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  24. added 2012-08-15
    Protecting One’s Commitments.Sylvia Burrow - 2012 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 26 (1):49-66.
    Living in a culture of violence against women leads women to employ any number of avoidance and defensive strategies on a daily basis. Such strategies may be self protective but do little to counter women’s fear of violence. A pervasive fear of violence comes with a cost to integrity not addressed in moral philosophy. Restricting choice and action to avoid possibility of harm compromises the ability to stand for one’s commitments before others. If Calhoun is right that integrity is a (...)
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  25. added 2012-07-28
    The Nature of Consequence.John Altmann - manuscript
    The Nature of Consequence is a sequel to the Treatise, and expounds more on the force that is Consequence and its significance as it pertains to what is "moral" or "immoral".
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  26. added 2012-07-28
    Treatise on Morality.John Altmann - manuscript
    The Treatise on Morality aims to put in place a logical framework for how moral philosophy should be perceived and discussed. It boils down certain aspects of morality to mere linguistics, and even goes as far as to delineate how we act into mathematics.
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  27. added 2012-05-15
    ‘BOGHOSSIAN's BLIND REASONING’, CONDITIONALIZATION AND THICK CONCEPTS A FUNCTIONAL MODEL.Olga Ramirez - 2012 - Ethics in Progress Quarterly 3 (1):31-52.
    Boghossian’s (2003) proposal to conditionalize concepts as a way to secure their legitimacy in disputable cases applies well, not just to pejoratives – on whose account Boghossian first proposed it – but also to thick ethical concepts. It actually has important advantages when dealing with some worries raised by the application of thick ethical terms, and the truth and facticity of corresponding statements. In this paper, I will try to show, however, that thick ethical concepts present a specific case, whose (...)
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  28. added 2012-05-15
    Between Non-Cognitivism and Realism in Ethics: A Three Fold Model.Olga Ramirez - 2011 - Prolegomena (Croatia) 10 (1):101-11202.
    Abstracts The aim of the paper is to propose an alternative model to realist and non-cognitive explanations of the rule-guided use of thick ethical concepts and to examine the implications that may be drawn from this and similar cases for our general understanding of rule-following and the relation between criteria of application, truth and correctness. It addresses McDowell’s non-cognitivism critique and challenges his defence of the entanglement thesis for thick ethical concepts. Contrary to non-cognitivists, however, I propose to view the (...)
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  29. added 2009-09-10
    Slim Epistemology with a Thick Skin.Pekka Väyrynen - 2008 - Philosophical Papers 37 (3):389-412.
    The distinction between “thick” and “thin” value concepts, and its importance to ethical theory, has been an active topic in recent meta-ethics. This paper defends three claims regarding the parallel issue about thick and thin epistemic concepts. (1) Analogy with ethics offers no straightforward way to establish a good, clear distinction between thick and thin epistemic concepts. (2) Assuming there is such a distinction, there are no semantic grounds for assigning thick epistemic concepts priority over the thin. (3) Nor does (...)
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  30. added 2009-06-02
    What Are Millian Qualitative Superiorities?Jonathan Riley - 2008 - Prolegomena 7 (1):61-79.
    In an article published in Prolegomena 2006, Christoph Schmidt-Petri has defended his interpretation and attacked mine of Mill’s idea that higher kinds of pleasure are superior in quality to lower kinds, regardless of quantity. Millian qualitative superiorities as I understand them are infinite superiorities. In this paper, I clarify my interpretation and show how Schmidt-Petri has misrepresented it and ignored the obvious textual support for it. As a result, he fails to understand how genuine Millian qualitative superiorities determine the novel (...)
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