Moral Justification

Edited by Christopher Michael Cloos (University of California at Santa Barbara)
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  1. 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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  2. Groundwork for a New Moral Epistemology.Marcus Arvan - 2013 - Klesis 27:155-190.
    This paper argues that virtue ethics and prevailing epistemic norms in moral and political philosophy more generally both support a new kind of empirically-informed moral-virtue epistemology, or “experimental ethics” – an epistemology according to which disputed normative premises in moral and political philosophy should be epistemically evaluated on the basis of empirically-observed relationships they bear to morally admirable and morally repugnant psycho-behavioral traits, as defined by cross-cultural, cross-historical, and cross-debate agreement on the moral valence of particular traits and behaviors.
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  3. The Objectivity of Truth, Morality, and Beauty.Steven James Bartlett - 2017 - Willamette University Faculty Research Website.
    Whether truth, morality, and beauty have an objective basis has been a perennial question for philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics, while for a great many relativists and skeptics it poses a problem without a solution. In this essay, the author proposes an innovative approach that shows how cognitive intelligence, moral intelligence, and aesthetic intelligence provide the basis needed for objective judgments about truth, morality, and beauty.
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  4. No Coincidence?Matthew Bedke - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:102-125.
    This paper critically examines coincidence arguments and evolutionary debunking arguments against non-naturalist realism in metaethics. It advances a version of these arguments that goes roughly like this: Given a non-naturalist, realist metaethic, it would be cosmically coincidental if our first order normative beliefs were true. This coincidence undermines any prima facie justification enjoyed by those beliefs.
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  5. Moral Epistemology: The Mathematics Analogy.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2014 - Noûs 48 (2):238-255.
    There is a long tradition comparing moral knowledge to mathematical knowledge. In this paper, I discuss apparent similarities and differences between knowledge in the two areas, realistically conceived. I argue that many of these are only apparent, while others are less philosophically significant than might be thought. The picture that emerges is surprising. There are definitely differences between epistemological arguments in the two areas. However, these differences, if anything, increase the plausibility of moral realism as compared to mathematical realism. It (...)
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  6. The Evolution of Moral Intuitions and Their Feeling of Rightness.Christine Clavien & Chloë FitzGerald - forthcoming - In Joyce R. (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy.
    Despite the widespread use of the notion of moral intuition, its psychological features remain a matter of debate and it is unclear why the capacity to experience moral intuitions evolved in humans. We first survey standard accounts of moral intuition, pointing out their interesting and problematic aspects. Drawing lessons from this analysis, we propose a novel account of moral intuitions which captures their phenomenological, mechanistic, and evolutionary features. Moral intuitions are composed of two elements: an evaluative mental state and a (...)
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  7. C.D. Broad on Moral Sense Theories in Ethics.Robert Cowan - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Virtual Issue: Methods of Ethics (3):168-183.
    C.D. Broad’s Reflections stands out as one of the few serious examinations of Moral Sense Theory in twentieth century analytic philosophy. It also constitutes an excellent discussion of the interconnections that allegedly exist between questions concerning what Broad calls the ‘logical analysis’ of moral judgments and questions about their epistemology. In this paper I make three points concerning the interconnectedness of the analytical and epistemological elements of versions of Moral Sense Theory. First, I make a general point about Broad’s association (...)
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  8. Does Religion Deserve a Place in Secular Medicine?Brian D. Earp - 2015 - Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (11):865-866.
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  9. Madhyamaka Buddhist Meta-Ethics: The Justificatory Grounds of Moral Judgments.Bronwyn Finnigan - 2015 - Philosophy East and West 65 (3):765-785.
    In recent decades, several attempts have been made to characterize Buddhism as a systematically unified and consistent normative ethical theory. This has given rise to a growing interest in meta-ethical questions. Meta-ethics can be broadly or narrowly defined. Defined broadly, it is a domain of inquiry concerned with the nature and status of the fundamental or framing presuppositions of normative ethical theories, where this includes the cognitive and epistemic requirements of presupposed conceptions of ethical agency.1 Defined narrowly, it concerns the (...)
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  10. Postmodernism and the Dilemma of an Appropriate Christian Paradigm for Ethical Descision Making.Edvard Kristian Foshaugen - 2000 - Dissertation, Stellenbosch
    The Church is facing a dilemma in how to apply and live out its message in a postmodern world. For many in the Church an understanding and application of morals and ethics has become bewildering. This assignment attempts to develop a Christian vocabulary and conceptual framework for morality. This is done by firstly elucidating the milieu out of which postmodernism arose. Modernism, through universal claims of reason and instrumental rationality, believed in the ultimate mastery of the world. The failure of (...)
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  11. Moral Intuition in Philosophy and Psychology.Antti Kauppinen - 2015 - In Neil Levy & Jens Clausen (eds.), Springer Handbook of Neuroethics. Springer.
    Psychologists and philosophers use the term 'intuition' for a variety of different phenomena. In this paper, I try to provide a kind of a roadmap of the debates, point to some confusions and problems, and give a brief sketch of an empirically respectable philosophical approach.
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  12. A Humean Theory of Moral Intuition.Antti Kauppinen - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (3):360-381.
    According to the quasi-perceptualist account of philosophical intuitions, they are intellectual appearances that are psychologically and epistemically analogous to perceptual appearances. Moral intuitions share the key characteristics of other intuitions, but can also have a distinctive phenomenology and motivational role. This paper develops the Humean claim that the shared and distinctive features of substantive moral intuitions are best explained by their being constituted by moral emotions. This is supported by an independently plausible non-Humean, quasi-perceptualist theory of emotion, according to which (...)
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  13. Do Reasons and Evidence Share the Same Residence?Clayton Littlejohn - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):720-727.
    This is part of an authors meets critics session on Daniel Star's wonderful book, Knowing Better. I discuss a potential problem with Kearns and Star's Reasons as Evidence thesis. The issue has to do with the difficulties we face is we treat normative reasons as evidence and impose no possession conditions on evidence. On such a view, it's hard to see how practical reasoning could be a non-monotonic process. One way out of the difficulty would be to allow for (potent) (...)
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  14. 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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  15. Skeptical Hypotheses and Moral Skepticism.Joshua May - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 43 (3):341-359.
    Moral skeptics maintain that we do not have moral knowledge. Traditionally they haven’t argued via skeptical hypotheses like those provided by perceptual skeptics about the external world, such as Descartes’ deceiving demon. But some believe this can be done by appealing to hypotheses like moral nihilism. Moreover, some claim that skeptical hypotheses have special force in the moral case. But I argue that skeptics have failed to specify an adequate skeptical scenario, which reveals a general lesson: such arguments are not (...)
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  16. Deliberative Indispensability and Epistemic Justification.Tristram McPherson - 2015 - In Oxford Studies in Metaethics, vol. 10. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 104-133.
    Many of us care about the existence of ethical facts because such facts appear crucial to making sense of our practical lives. On one tempting line of thought, this idea does more than raise the metaethical stakes: it can also play a central role in justifying our belief in those facts. In recent work, David Enoch has developed this tempting thought into a formidable new proposal in moral epistemology, that aims to explain how the deliberative indispensability of ethical facts gives (...)
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  17. Experimentelle Ethik.Nikil Mukerji - 2015 - In Julian Nida-Rümelin, Irina Spiegel & Markus Tiedemann (eds.), Philosophie Und Ethik - Band 2: Disziplinen Und Themen. Utb. pp. 93-101.
    Was tun Philosophen eigentlich, wenn sie Philosophie treiben? Oder besser: Was sollten Philosophen tun, wenn sie Philosophie treiben? Diese Frage ist selbst eine philosophische. Und sie wird seit einigen Jahren wieder mit zunehmender Intensität diskutiert. Dafür ist vor allem eine neue philosophische Bewegung verantwortlich, die man als „experimentelle Philosophie“ oder kurz „ x-phi “ bezeichnet. Anhänger dieser Bewegung glauben, die Philosophie solle sich in Vorgehensweise und Methodik den empirischen Wissenschaften annähern und philosophischen Fragestellungen mithilfe empirischer Tests zu Leibe rücken. Diese (...)
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  18. The Case Against Consequentialism: Methodological Issues.Nikil Mukerji - 2013 - In Miguel Holtje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), GAP.8 Proceedings. GAP (2013). Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie. pp. 654-665.
    Over the years, consequentialism has been subjected to numerous serious objections. Its adherents, however, have been remarkably successful in fending them off. As I argue in this paper, the reason why the case against consequentialism has not been more successful lies, at least partly, in the methodological approach that critics have commonly used. Their arguments have usually proceeded in two steps. First, a definition of consequentialism is given. Then, objections are put forward based on that definition. This procedure runs into (...)
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  19. Narrative and Justification in Moral Particularism.Daniel Nica - 2013 - Romanian Journal of Analytic Philosophy (2):22-32.
    In this paper I will discuss the problem of justification in moral particularism. The first part is concerned with Jonathan Dancy’s account of justification, which is a narrative one. To justify one’s choice is to present a persuasive description of the context in a narrative fashion, not to subordinate singular cases to universal rules. Since it dismisses arguments and employs persuasiveness, this view seems irrational, so the second part of my paper will consist of a personal reconstruction and reformulation of (...)
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  20. Against Moral Truths.Seungbae Park - 2012 - Cultura 9 (1):179-194.
    I criticize the following three arguments for moral objectivism. 1. Since we assess moral statements, we can arrive at some moral truths (Thomson, 2006). 2. One culture can be closer to truths than another in moral matters because the former can be closer to truths than the latter in scientific matters (Pojman, 2008). 3. A moral judgment is shown to be true when it is backed up by reason (Rachels and Rachels, 2010). Finally, I construct a dilemma against the view (...)
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  21. Evolution, Moral Justification, and Moral Realism.Uwe Peters & King'S. College London - 2012 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica Junior 3 (1):8–18.
    Does evolutionary theory have the potential to undermine morality? In his book The Evolution of Morality, Richard Joyce (2006) argues for a positive answer. He contends that an evolutionary account of morality would undermine moral judgements and lend support to moral scepticism. I offer a critique of Joyce’s argument. As it turns out, his case can be read in two different ways. It could be construed as an argument to establish a general scepticism about the justification of moral judgements. Or (...)
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  22. Instrumentalism, Objectivity, and Moral Justification.Adrian M. S. Piper - 1986 - American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (4):373 - 381.
    I want to examine critically a certain strategy of moral justification which I shall call instrumentalism. By this I mean the view that a moral theory is rationally justified if the actions, life-plan, or set of social arrangements it prescribes can be shown to be the best means to the achievement of an agent's final ends, whatever these may be. Instrumentalism presupposes a commitment to what I shall call the Humean conception of the self. By this I mean a certain (...)
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  23. 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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  24. Moral Reasons for Moral Beliefs: A Puzzle for Moral Testimony Pessimism.Andrew Reisner & Joseph Van Weelden - 2015 - Logos and Episteme 6 (4):429-448.
    According to moral testimony pessimists, the testimony of moral experts does not provide non-experts with normative reasons for belief. Moral testimony optimists hold that it does. We first aim to show that moral testimony optimism is, to the extent such things may be shown, the more natural view about moral testimony. Speaking roughly, the supposed discontinuity between the norms of moral beliefs and the norms of non-moral beliefs, on careful reflection, lacks the intuitive advantage that it is sometimes supposed to (...)
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  25. Socratic Metaethics Imagined.Steven Ross & Lisa Warenski - 2017 - S.Ph. Essays and Explorations:1-8.
    This is an imagined dialogue between one of the more famous skeptics regarding moral attribution, Thrasymachus, and an imagined Socrates who, through the convenient miracle of time travel, returns to Athens after exposure to contemporary metaethics, now a devoted and formidable quasi-realist expressivist. The dialogue focuses on the characterization of moral conflict and moral justification available to the expressivist, and the authors attempt to lay out the distinctive strengths and weaknesses of the expressivist view.
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  26. The Form of Practical Knowledge and Implicit Cognition: A Critique of Kantian Constitutivism.Amir Saemi - 2016 - Social Theory and Practice 42 (4):733-747.
    Moral realism faces two worries: How can we have knowledge of moral norms if they are independent of us, and why should we care about them if they are independent of rational activities they govern? Kantian constitutivism tackles both worries simultaneously by claiming that practical norms are constitutive principles of practical reason. In particular, on Stephen Engstrom’s account, willing involves making a practical judgment. To will well, and thus to have practical knowledge (i.e., knowledge of what is good), the content (...)
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  27. Explanatory Challenges in Metaethics.Joshua Schechter - 2018 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 443-459.
    There are several important arguments in metaethics that rely on explanatory considerations. Gilbert Harman has presented a challenge to the existence of moral facts that depends on the claim that the best explanation of our moral beliefs does not involve moral facts. The Reliability Challenge against moral realism depends on the claim that moral realism is incompatible with there being a satisfying explanation of our reliability about moral truths. The purpose of this chapter is to examine these and related arguments. (...)
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  28. Difficult Cases and the Epistemic Justification of Moral Belief.Joshua Schechter - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 12.
    This paper concerns the epistemology of difficult moral cases where the difficulty is not traceable to ignorance about non-moral matters. The paper first argues for a principle concerning the epistemic status of moral beliefs about difficult moral cases. The basic idea behind the principle is that one’s belief about the moral status of a potential action in a difficult moral case is not justified unless one has some appreciation of what the relevant moral considerations are and how they bear on (...)
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  29. Moral Skepticism and Justification.Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 1996 - In Walter Sinnott-Armstrong & Mark Timmons (eds.), Moral Knowledge? New Readings in Moral Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
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  30. Moral Knowledge, Epistemic Externalism, and Intuitionism.Daniel Star - 2008 - Ratio 21 (3):329-343.
    This paper explores the generally overlooked relevance of an important contemporary debate in mainstream epistemology to philosophers working within ethics on questions concerning moral knowledge. It is argued that this debate, between internalists and externalists about the accessibility of epistemic justification, has the potential to be both significantly influenced by, and have a significant impact upon, the study of moral knowledge. The moral sphere provides a particular type of strong evidence in favour of externalism, and mainstream epistemologists might benefit from (...)
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  31. Erkölcsi igazolás és politikai kötelezettség (Moral justification and political obligation).Attila Tanyi - 2004 - Journal of Legal Theory (Jogelmeleti Szemle) 5 (4).
    The paper focuses on John Rawls’ theory of political obligation. Rawls bases political obligation on our natural duties of justice, which are mediated to us by our sense of justice. Therefore the justification of political obligation also requires moral justification: the justification of the principles of justice. In the paper I first investigate that part of Rawls’ argument that has the role of justification: the method of reflective equilibrium. This method raises several problems, the most severe of which is that (...)
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  32. The Nature of Normativity.Ralph Wedgwood - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    This is a book about normativity -- where the central normative terms are words like 'ought' and 'should' and their equivalents in other languages. It has three parts: The first part is about the semantics of normative discourse: what it means to talk about what ought to be the case. The second part is about the metaphysics of normative properties and relations: what is the nature of those properties and relations whose pattern of instantiation makes propositions about what ought to (...)
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